Sep 232014
 

There has often been a debate about whether Muslim women, and particularly those who wear hijab, should be able to sing and perform in public.

Well, this video seems to push all those restrictions out of the way.

Let it be noted though, that across the world Muslim women and Muslim women who wear hijab have been performing throughout history. However, it seems that conservative interpretations of Islam have stifled that type of creativity in some communities.

In any case, this isn’t about who’s right or wrong, it’s about celebrating beauty.

We could not verify where this video came from, but the Arabic text says it’s a group of Chechen women singing a popular Arabic song.

This song has been posted and shared across Facebook, and we are not connected to the person who uploaded it.

If you know the original source, please share!

What do you think?

Sep 222014
 

There is nothing better than home cooking.

I never thought I’d prefer it to eating out, but I really do.

The kids are also quite fond of eating at home, and maybe it’s because the flavors are so fresh that you feel satisfied.

When we go out to eat, it seems like we are full and bloated, but not satisfied. The salt makes us thirsty all day, and if there is dessert, talk about a sugar coma!

It’s definitely fun to do, don’t get me wrong. But I guess we have been doing a little too much of it lately. When I get really busy with work, I end up ordering out a few nights a week and always ended up feeling guilty about it.

The thing is, cooking something at home can be prepared even faster than placing an order and waiting for it to arrive.

But, when you’re exhausted, the excuses to be lazy are endless.

In any case enough about that. You probably want to know what these stuffed zucchini’s are all about?

My grandmother, may she rest in peace, taught this to me before I was married. And while I learned the basic Lebanese style to making this stuff. I prefer to add my own twist. Over the years I’ve tasted a variety of ways that people make this. Some will pour a tomato sauce on top and cook them in it (very tasty) and then there is this style where you cook it in water that is heavy on the lemon juice.

First you have to hollow out the zucchini, and we have a special tool we picked up from a Middle Eastern grocery in town.

We take the inside of the zucchini and put it off to the side, because we’ll cook it with the leftover stuffing that we usually end up with when we’re done.

photo 1 (4)

photo 2 (3)

The stuffing is basically 1/2 – 1 cup of rice with 1 pound of ground beef. Put as much rice as you like, I prefer less because it expands and can break through the zucchini if you’re not careful. I cut up tomatoes, onion, and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh mint (you can also add cinnamon).  Mix it all together by hand, and then stuff the zucchini with it.

photo 1 (2)

My husband brought home this meat to put on the bottom of of he pot. You can also use thin slabs of steak, or potatoes or a combination.

photo 3 (1)

We browned the meat first and then put it in the bottom of pot (yes those spices flew all over the stove top).

Then we put some potatoes and sliced tomatoes, followed by the now stuffed zucchini.

photo 4 (1)

I squeezed a ton of lemons and limes, and made about 2 cups of juice with it. I added some water slowly and salt until I felt it was salty/sour enough. Of course I forgot to take a picture of this step.

Pour the lemon/salt liquid  into the pot until it just covers the tops of the zucchini. Put a plate firmly on top to hold them down so they don’t float up and then put the lid on.

Cook it on medium low for at least 2 hours. The longer you do it, the more tender everything is.

Take any extra stuffing you have and take the innards of the Zucchini and place it in a pan on medium heat. You can add more spices if you’d like. It cooks pretty quickly.

And that’s it…

I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner again tonight!

What’s your favorite way to eat zuccini?

Bonus Tip: in arabic we call this dish koosa mahshi 

koosa” = zucchini and “mahshi” = stuffed.

Sep 172014
 

I was out visiting the parents recently and when I stopped by their local grocery story I happened to come across a beautiful array of eggplant.

Of course I happened to be shopping on an empty stomach, so what do you think happened? I bought at least 8 eggplants!

In my mind I could picture myself grilling them for a fancy panini or pureeing them to make baba ghanoush.

Well, in reality I started at them for the first day.

Then I went to my go to recipe of maklooba (upside down rice).

white eggplant

The second day I decided to saute them in a little olive oil and put them on top of some salad so I could feel I was doing something “healthy”.

It has been awhile since I ate a single raw vegetable, so I was quite surprised as how fresh I felt afterward.

sauteed eggplant

Actually, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve felt this way before. I think it was a friendly reminder that I have to get back on the fresh food track!

What are some of your favorite eggplant recipes?

Sep 152014
 

The weather is definitely getting cooler and that means it’s time for these little ladies to hit the park before the winter keeps them indoors.

They love wearing dresses and tights, so the trade off was that they had to wear tennis shoes so they could run and climb.

And of course, a jacket is always a necessity in case the chilly wind picks up.

Hijabtrendz junior and mini

Hijabtrendz junior and mini

And of course, what would modeling be without a little silly fun?

Hijabtrendz junior and mini

 

Outfit details for Hijabtrendz Junior (left):

Jacket: gift from grandma

Dress: Gymboree

Tights: unknown

Shoes: Saucony

Outfit details for Hijabtrendz mini (right):

Jacket: gift from grandma

Dress: Old Navy

Tights: unknown

Shoes: Saucony

For the little fashionistas out there, Hijabtrendz junior and mini would like to know, do you like tights just as much as they do?

And for the adults out there, the girls say, let your kids wear whatever they want!

 

Sep 112014
 

We didn’t go through every single show, because after awhile, everything just becomes a blur.

So, here are a few pieces by some of the popular designers.

While some of them many not appear as “hijab friendly” right off the bat.

Just use your imagination on how you can add pieces to place more coverage,  or use it simply as inspiration for putting together an outfit. There is always the option of wearing this stuff at home or at a girls party, so don’t feel like it always has to be about hijab!

First we begin with Michael Kors:

New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends 4kors2015 Michael Kors Spring 2015 Michael Kors New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 Michael Kors New York Fashion Week Spring 2015

 

Tory Burch is next:

New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Tory Burch New York Fashion Week  Spring Summer 15 New York September 2014 Tory Burch New York Fashion Week  Spring Summer 15 New York September 2014

 

And last but not least, the intricate styling of Naeem Khan:

Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends Naeem Khan New York Fashion Week Spring 2015 trends

We like each designer for their very different styles, but what we noticed is that both Michael Kors and Naeem Kahn incorporated sheer fabric with bright embroidery on it.

Tory Burch seems to be focused more on structure with bold chunky designs that are almost industrial looking.

Which look is your favorite?