Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor

dinner with your muslim neighbr=or

Last weekend, Hussein and I hosted our first installment of Dinner With You Muslim Neighbor. We invited, friends, colleagues, and religious leaders from other faith groups, to join us in our home (well the common area of our condo) for food fun and dialogue!

Dinner with Your Muslim Neighbor

The idea came to me, as I sat on the couch watching the news after work one evening. I was frustrated by the misrepresentation and flat out lies that were being broadcasted to millions after my faith! I decided that I needed to do more, to be more available, open and welcoming of any and all questions from the people in my life. We often get so caught up in the day in and day out and never stop to realllly get to know the people around us.

I had previously seen a post by my friend Amnah of Little Life Of Mine and was inspired by the theme of ‘I am Your Muslim Neighbor’. (Side note: Amnah is awesome and super creative).

I shared a post on my thoughts for the dinner on Facebook. It was well received and many expressed their interest in joining! I actually had to turn people away (so sorry! I am so humbled that you wanted to join us and will have another dinner soon). I made it “official” with a lovely little design from Karama.

dinner with your muslim neighbor, interfaith eventThe evening started everyone gathering and mingling. Hussein welcomed our guests and shared our thoughts and intentions behind this dinner. We enjoyed dinner together (menu below), and opened the discussion for questions.

peace3dinner with your muslim neighbor

I want to express my heartfelt love and appreciation for everyone who joined us. Your friendship means so much to Hussein and I and we cherish these relationships!

I am also grateful that so many people are encouraged to have their own #DinnerWithYourMuslimNeighbor!!! yay!

dinner with your muslim neighbr=or

Some questions I received:

How do have this type of dinner?  Invite people who have questions about Islam to enjoy some delicious food with you and your family. Food really brings people together.

Who did you invite? We invited our colleagues, friends and some strangers that we met on the internet (these were trusted internet friends that we had gotten to know over time-stay safe). 🙂

All my friends already know about Islam, should I still have a dinner? Yes, it helps create a safe, intentional space for dialogue and understanding. Also, it would be good to ask your friends to bring someone you don’t know with them!

Why did you decide to have this dinner? With all the negativity around Islam in the media, we decided we wanted to share our true Islam with those around us. 

Any tips for having this type of dinner? Start with an intention to please God and to do good. Be comfortable with being vulnerable and reach out to your community for support around planning.

Dinner With Your Muslim Neighbor

 

During our conversation, we came to focus on our similarities (of which there are many) and not on differences (which are so few). It was wonderful to come to this place so naturally in our discussion 🙂

It was a beautiful evening and I look forward to many more dinners in the future, God willing 🙂

 

-Amanda

 

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Trends on Trends Noosa Brunch

Trends on Trends, Noosa Yoghurt, The Whale Wins Brunch

You may have noticed a new yoghurt in the dairy aisle with a funny name; Noosa.

It’s an Australian style yoghurt, that is rich and thick, all natural and an absolute treat to eat! My favorite is the pumpkin (it tastes like pumpkin pie).

I was invited to attend the Trends on Trends Noosa brunch at The Whale Wins in Seattle.

Brunch was prepared by Chef Renee Erickson! For those who don’t know, Renee is an incredible chef, cook book author and restaurateur in Seattle!

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Frozen Milk Cubes?

ice cubes in cereal, ice in cereal, frozen milk cubes

I’ll start by apologizing for falling off my schedule for posting new recipes and blogs.. I’ve been catching up after Ramadan and Eid and Hussein and I took a long weekend trip down to San Diego! San Diego was amazing! It rained the first three days we were there but that didn’t bother us. We met with our friends Claudia and Nick from Masterchef! We ate delicious food.. food pics here! And really enjoyed the beautiful beaches!

It was a great trip and I can’t wait to get back down to San Diego and maybe even cross the border to Mexico for some real Mexican food 😀


 

During Ramadan, I read an article by Delish.com about people putting icecubes in their cereal to keep the milk extra cold throughout their cereal eating experience.

Okay, I’ll admit it, never really thought warm milk was a problem because I usually finish my bowl of cereal fairly quickly.

I shared the article on my Facebook page and was quite surprised by all the responses! I mean people have been adding ice cubes to their cereal for years!! While others heat their milk up and then add it to their bowl.

All this talk about cereal and milk had me thinking… why not freeze some milk into cubes, so that when they melt I don’t have watery milk!

I poured the 2% milk I had on hand into a plastic ice cube tray. The next day, I pulled them out and was really surprised at what I saw! The milk had turned a pale shade of yellow! Once they were out of the freezer for a few minutes they became a milky color again-weird!

That wasn’t enough to stop me from adding them to my cereal bowl tho! I added in three cubes and my cereal was ice cold! It was wonderful and I really enjoyed it and there was a noticeable difference in the temperature. (I will leave it to the Chef Steps guys to find the difference in temperature tho! Aint nobody expect them got time for that!)

Did I enjoy it enough to keep a tray of frozen milk in my freezer? Not really. To me, cereal is a super quick breakfast that I don’t have often enough to have a frozen tray of yellow ice cubes in my freezer, but it was a fun little trial!

 

Do you add ice to your cereal?

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Ramadan Mubarak!

The most blessed time of the year for Muslims around the world is here; Ramadan.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calender and is the month that the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). Muslims that are healthy and of an age of maturity, will fast from sunrise to sunset during this month, which lasts 29-30 days. Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.

I set some personal goals for myself during Ramadan. I like to set goals that are challenging, but are attainable and realistic 🙂

This Ramadan I do not want to have any food waste. Traditionally, many may have made a table long feast. It is easy to get caught up in that. I will try to keep it simple with a salad, entree and fresh fruit for dessert. Leftovers? We will eat them the next day. I do not want to take from the true essence of this month by focusing only on food!

 

Some questions I often get about Ramadan:

Q: Can you drink water?

A: No. Muslims refrain from all food and water from sunrise to sunset.

Q: Is that healthy?

A: There have been many studies done on fasting and have proven health benefits.

Q: What if you are sick?

A: If you are sick then you are not required to fast. If it is temporary illness, will have to make up that day later when you are feeling better.

Q: Do you celebrate at the end of the month?

A: Yes! Eid Al-Fitr is a big celebration for the end of Ramadan. People give gifts, visit with family and eat lots of delicious treats 🙂

 

I am by no means a religious scholar. Just a Muslim practicing my faith and this is my understanding.

I wish you all a wonderful, spiritual month, of growth and love. May Allah (SWT) accept all of our fasts and prayers!

 

Happy Ramadan!

Xoxo,

Amanda

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! A special Mother’s Day greeting to my lovely mother, mother in law, grandmother, aunts, cousins and friends, who are amazing mothers and demonstrate the true strength, patience and love everyday.

This Mother’s Day was the first that I did not get to spend with my mom. Due to work schedules and travel plans to be in Michigan for the MasterChef premiere, I was unable to surprise my mother like I had the past two years.

I wanted to do something special to honor my mom, even tho we were 2,200 miles apart. I decided to bake her favorite cake! I used the Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe as the base and made some changes as I saw fit. My mom loves dark chocolate and berries- lucky for me they go great together 😀

The end result was a dark chocolate cake with a raspberry and chocolate butter cream filling, topped off with a a cascade of dark chocolate ganache! So rich, moist, chocolatey and decadent.

This was my way to say; Thank you, Mom! You are the best mother I could have ever hoped for and I am truly grateful to call you my best friend! Thank you for your unconditional support and love and for believing in me in whatever it is I wanted to do. Thank you for teaching me how to strong, patient, loving and independent.

I love you, Mom!

 

My lovely mother and I

 

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No Kid Hungry

I write this post to bring attention to the sad reality in the United States and around the world: several millions of people do not have enough to eat (some studies suggest that 45 million Americans are living in poverty).

It is important for me to recognize the great privilege I have in many aspects of my life. Particularly, when it comes to food. I am not only able to eat 3 full meals per day, I am also able to have fun with different ingredients and can be creative and free in my meal making.

This basic survival need is not  being met for all people. Why? There is more than enough to go around. Americans alone, throw away over $165 billion dollars of food annually (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/1819340).

One of the 5 core pillars in Islam is to provide alms to the poor and needy. In the holy Month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from food and water (and other things) from sun up to sun down. There are many reasons why Muslims fast. Some reasons include having compassion and empathy for those who are less fortunate, to feel the pains of hunger and to exercise self restraint. Fasting the month of Ramadan should make one more compelled to help.

I am so grateful to my parents, who have instilled the spirit of giving in me from a young age. I clearly remember going to COTS (Coalition of Temporary Shelters) to deliver food and to assist in preparing meals for homeless. I share this for the sole purpose of encouraging you who have children to do such activities with them, as they will remember this for many years to come.

I first learned about No Kid Hungry while watching The Food Network. The Food Network selected No Kid Hungry as their charity of choice in 2007. No Kid Hungry aims to end childhood hunger by providing nutrition in schools, teaching families how to prepare meals and bringing awareness to this problem.

 

If you are interested in helping end hunger in America, I encourage you to check out the following organizations:

http://www.nokidhungry.org

http://www.zamaninternational.org/

http://www.ugm.org/

http://www.cotsdetroit.org/

 

 

*All views in this post are my own.

 

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