Posted in Family, Life

Time to share a few laughs :)

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.
Author Unknown

It appears that I’m starting a lot of these posts with quotes nowadays 🙂

Truth.

I was talking with my sister the other day about random things, and we happened upon the topic of things that used to make us laugh when we were kids. Funnily enough, we discovered that we could still incapacitate ourselves from laughter just from the memories and or discussion of those things. Now that I’ve finally caught my breath (for the most part) I thought it would be fun to share some of those things with all of you 🙂

First up: the chef from the Little Mermaid. We would literally pause, rewind, and watch every one of his scenes for hours. I’m pretty sure we drove our mother crazy with this movie.

Next, we have Batty from Fern Gully. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I used to perform this rap for anyone who asked (and quite often to those who didn’t, haha) I couldn’t find a video of the clip, so this will have to suffice  

I don’t think this video needs an introduction… Mary Poppins pretty much speaks for itself!

I couldn’t find any of my favorite clips from Disney’s 1973 Robin Hood movie, so if you haven’t seen it, definitely put it on top of your list. Here’s the intro for it just to give you a taste of the awesomenesss of this movie

This is by far one of my most favorite movies EVER. I can probably quote you this entire movie verbatim, and there are many other scenes (pretty much every other scene) this are hilarious in their own right, but this is a mash-up of the clips of the wedding scenes. It’s not long, but I wish you could have seen how flabbergasted we were the first time we saw this, lol

For now, I think five videos is enough. I’ll probably make another post some time in the future with others because I didn’t even begin to empty out the recesses of our funny memories. Enjoy and share!!

Posted in Family, Life

Enjoy your just desserts!

Let’s admit: we all love dessert. For those strange folks out there who claim otherwise, you’re wrong. I know many people may not eat dessert as often as they would wish, but dessert is one of the best things about food… at least, in my opinion 😉

During Ramadan, I had the nice self-given responsibility of making desserts that kids would like. I was sneaky about it, too; I’d bring my dessert to the masjid (mosque) and hide it until dinner was mostly over, bringing it out only when everyone had a chance to eat and so everyone would have a chance to have dessert and not just merely the kids. With my sneakiness, I also because the designated cake-cutter: whenever (except for maybe once or twice) there were large cakes, I was asked to cut and serve as my pieces were generally uniform in size, I was fair in my portions, and I had no problem refusing anyone who came for a second piece while there were still people waiting for their first. 

Now I wasn’t able to take pictures of every dessert I made, but I did manage to get a few! The ones that I have included are:

  1. Chocolate peanut butter bars- I melted chocolate and butterscotch chips in a 1.5:1 ratio with butter, spread a bottom layer and let it cool. I then put a layer of peanut butter and rice krispies mixed together (along with sugar), let it sit in the refrigerator again, and then spread another layer of chocolate. This came out really good! I usually make chocolate peanut butter balls (the peanut butter mixture dipped in chocolate) but didn’t have enough time. The end result was better than Reeses Peanut Butter cups, if I do say so myself 😉
  2. Now this second dessert (one that I was asked multiple times to make again) was Captain Crunch Krispies. I literally just mixed butter, kosher marshmallows, and the cereal together and pressed it down in a tray. This was by far the most popular dessert I made all Ramadan: I left it in the kitchen area for five minutes and found a bunch of kids pecking at it like little birds, haha!
  3. Now this was probably my favorite out of all of the desserts. These are ice cream cone cupcakes made with confetti cake. I really wanted to use regular vanilla/yellow cake with food coloring, but my mom told me not to make things complicated (it’s not complicated when creating wondrous desserts!!) I feel that yellow cake would have tasted better as I’m not really a fan of white cake. They looked after I frosted them, but then I remembered I had a pack of Mike&Ikes so I ran and used all of them for decoration. These were a hit, to say the least.
  4. Now these next two are made with Cocoa Krispies and Fruity Pebbles. My mother told me that Captain Crunch was just too big for the bars, so I went with the smaller cereals. I have to say, I think the Captain Crunch version came out better. I like how colorful the Fruity Pebbles are, but I think Trix cereal would have worked a lot better and been just as colorful. But I do think that the M&Ms really added to the chocolate version.. the kids were coming just for those!
  5. This one was a raspberry cream cake. For those of you who have Publix grocery stores, the idea was to copy the one that they sell (which is DELICIOUS but very rich). I heated raspberries with a little water, butter, and sugar, and reduced it until it was gel-like. Be careful with the color; I splashed a bit on myself and my sister thought I’d cut my hand off. I baked a regular yellow cake with butter instead of oil, and let it cool in the fridge before working on it. I then cut it in half and spread the raspberry mixture. I would have iced the inside first but didn’t have enough cream cheese. Once the raspberry was spread, I put the top back on and messily frosted it with my cream cheese icing (cream cheese, butter, sugar, confectioner’s sugar, and a little of the raspberry juice: no seeds!). I didn’t get a picture until it was almost gone, but at least this way you can see the layers.

So I hope this comes across as just sharing ideas instead of shamelessly showing off! Trust me, if I was going to show off, I definitely would not have been the one taking pictures.. I have no photography skills. And on top of that, I suck at presentation. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed it! I know it’s different from my usual posts, but hey, at least I waited until none of you were fasting to post this 🙂

Posted in Family, Life

You’re such an “animal”

My sister and I have always had a weird/funny relationship. To be fair, I’m sure everyone says this about their sister and or siblings. When we were little, she used to ask me to put on a ‘funny show,’ where I’d sing, dance, make up a story and act it out, dress up strangely, etc. I’m still 90% certain that I’m going to make it in Hollywood… just waiting to be discovered 😉

What makes my sister so funny is that nobody can come up with silly games like her. She has the best insults in the world, such as: “You’re a lopsided Oreo!” and “Stop being a pig, you llama!” I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to give away her secrets 😉 One of the games she came up with when we were little was the Animal Game. Honestly, I’m still not sure if that’s the official name, but the sake of this blog, I will name it thus. The rules of the game are simple: insult each other by calling them different animals. However, if I call you a snake, you cannot then call me a python as I’ve covered snakes. Likewise, if she calls me a fish, I cannot call her a tuna.

The level of insult of each animal changes in each game. For instance, in one game, anteater can be the biggest insult, yet the biggest source of laughter in the next. There is no real consistency; you have to play according to the setting. The game ends when one of us repeats an animal and loses. Seriously, it’s the funnest game, and we’ve gone super hardcore. My sister has sat with a dictionary next to her and texted me the first 20 animals she found that began with “W.” I in turn had to text back the same number of animals plus one, but having it in text made it easier to be sure I wasn’t repeating any animal. While our verbal games can go on upwards on 5 minutes, our last texting game went on for a good hour, haha. What can I say? We’re special 🙂

So, in honor of my sister who rarely ever reads this, I give to you the best animal pictures that I was able to find in 15 minutes:)

So what obscure animals can you think of? 

Posted in Family, Life

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, an onion will take care of everyone else ;)

My father always tells me how an onion adds some of the most essential flavor to a dish (aside from salt, of course). He was the one who first started teaching me how to cook, and in his mind, if you didn’t use an onion, there was no point in cooking. Sure, we had onion powder in the house, but he never touched it. My mother, on the other hand, was all about getting food made as quickly as easily as possible and preferred using onion powder. Both are really good cooks, but neither of them particularly enjoy cooking unless it’s a once in a while type of thing.

Now for me, I vary. I know that onions give the best flavor, something that powder just can’t compete with, but I also know that sometimes you just don’t want your hands to smell oniony for the next few days (rinse your hands with lemon juice to get rid of the smell!). Now I’m not a fan of eating raw onions; they have to be cooked down to be used in whatever I’m making. So in reference to the title, if you do plan on indulging yourself in the deliciousness an onion can provide, don’t be shy about that mouthwash. Think of the children!

For the longest time, I used to think I was ‘Super Awesome’ because cutting up onions would rarely make me cry. My dad used to bust out my old chemistry safety goggles when cutting onions, and I would scoff at my sister and her tears as a way to avoid cooking and trying to get me to take over. But just the other day, I wore my glasses instead of my contacts, and let me tell you that my eyes were burning.  I can’t even begin to tell you the disappointment I felt at knowing my supposed superpowers were solely because of wearing contacts.

However, I began to think about it. I’ve always lamented my poor vision as a weakness and as something that will be a great detriment during the zombie apocalypse (because let’s be serious; where am I going to be able to stockpile contacts while fighting off hordes of ravenous zombies?). But now I feel that if I can withstand onions, I’ll be able to withstand anything. Bring it on, zombies!

With those pearls of wisdom, I will leave you with one of the few kosher onion jokes I could find:

One day two onions, who were best friends, were walking together down the street. They stepped off the curb and a speeding car came around the corner and ran one of them over. The uninjured onion called 911 and helped his injured friend as best he was able. The injured onion was taken to emergency at the hospital and rushed into surgery. After a long and agonizing wait, the doctor finally appeared. He told the uninjured onion, “I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through. The bad news is that he’s going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life.”

Posted in Family, Life

Language limitations

** I apologize for the false post!**

This past weekend, my family hosted 4 French women associated with the L’Arche organization, a group founded in France by Jean Vanier in 1964, and is geared towards aiding adults with learning and physical disabilities. As none of them spoke English, it was a perfect time for me and my mother to use our French. To be fair, my mother did put in our application that we could host French-speaking women, so it just so happened that all four of our guests were French.

What struck me the most was that one of the ladies is a woman with Down Syndrome. She was highly functioning, but still needed to occasional help from one of the ladies. She was happy and truly excited to be here in the US. She lamented how she was missing France’s version of Mother’s Day, and wanted to buy her tickets to a concert in America (we had to explain that concert tickets in America was a beautiful idea, but not entirely practical).

It was an amazing weekend, and I felt truly blessed to be able to be a part of such an effort. We met with the organization again on Wednesday night for an interfaith session on learning and physically handicapped people. My mother spoke on the Islamic perspective, adding a few personal touches, and we were able to meet with 3/4 of the ladies who stayed with us over the weekend. 

When I first met the group of ladies, they were all impressed with my French and couldn’t believe that I’ve never been to France. They couldn’t believe that I spoke with no accent (aside from French, of course) without having studied in France. That was a definite boost to my ego 😉 However, what really struck me was listening to the woman with Down Syndrome and marveling at her ability to speak a ‘foreign language.’ It took me a bit before I could appreciate that she wasn’t speaking a foreign language.. she was speaking her own. This woman with Down Syndrome spoke better French than me, and her language skills are probably better than mine will ever be. It was something that really made me appreciate how limited I can be by not being open to the fact that just because something is foreign for me,  it’s not for others. I had to struggle a bit to get my message across, as it’s been a while since I’ve spoken French, but I was able to convey everything I wished to say. It was funny for me to see how my mom would go from speaking French to the ladies to speaking to me in Arabic (she usually only speaks to me in English) and how I would accidentally speak to my sister in French, even though she doesn’t understand.

Seriously, the organization is a great one and they’re going to be opening their doors to a new branch in Decatur, GA on July 1st. Here is their website again, so be sure to check them out!