Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Masjid Al-Aqsa

Glory be to He
Who carried His servant by night,
from the Holy Mosque
to the Furthest Mosque,
the precincts of which
We have blessed.
so that We might show him
some of Our signs.
Surely He is the All-Hearing, 
                                                                                                                                    the All-Seeing.

(Sura al-Isra', Qur'an 17:1)

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى

الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آَيَاتِنَا إِنَّه هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ 

This video is from a trip to Palestine with family and friends a few years ago. It was an amazing experience and I have been wanting to go back an visit this beautiful mosque ever since. InshaAllah I will have the opportunity to go again soon! 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A Quick, Tasty and Healthy Dessert

Ok, I know I only just posted about the cookies but lesson planning isn't the most exciting thing in the world, even if it is on deserts, so I'm distracting myself on my blog again. Though I'd share one of my favourite recipes with you. Originally I found this in some type of Moroccan cook book, but can't remember exactly, I think it was using figs instead of apples too (which also work very well but are more expensive and normally I don't have them randomly in my house). Apples on the other hand, there always seems to be a few left over that have gone a bit soft, have a few bruises, you don't really feel like eating them but don't want to throw them away. So, what you could do is make some roasted apples with honey and yoghurt, yum!

Step one, find some apples!

Step two, peel the apples, remove any bruises. If they're nice fresh apples you could just leave the skin on for some extra fibre.

Step three: cut up the apples, remove any pips and the core (obviously!) and put on a piece of foil in the grill (make sure you turn up the sides as shown, this will prevent melted honey dripping inside your grill).

Step four: drizzle honey generously (or according to taste!) over the apples

Step five: grill on a HIGH heat (not low of they'll just go really soft and fall apart rather than roasting) until they look like this

Step six: serve immediately (they go cold very quick) with a generous helping of plain creamy yoghurt (I like Greek Yoghurt, they do a really nice one in Lidl, or you could get the Total brand from Waitrose, which is also very yummy, but it's more expensive).

Step seven: enjoy!! As I said, also works well with figs, or you could have a mixture of figs and apples... please give me a comment to let me know what you think. Oh, I forgot, you could also add a little cinnamon to give it some more flavour. 

Makes a great dessert, or tea time snack... in fact I had these today for a late breakfast!


After the meloui and mallorca bread I've rediscovered my love of baking and been inspired to try out some more recipes! So, last week and the week before it was time for some cookies!!

My first attempt was baking Cinnamon Ghoribas from another recipe I found on about.com. I have to say it wasn't as quick as it makes out in the recipe, but then maybe that's because I made soo many!! I think the cups I used were a lot bigger than the ones I was supposed to, I basically used a big mug! So in the end it took more like 3-4 hours not 45 minutes! I also decided to divide the mixture in two and make half chocolate, which added more time (my husband is a chocoholic so I thought he might be a little disappointed if there was no chocolate involved!). I also added a little ginger powder to the cinnamon ones (as you can see I like altering recipes to suit my own taste, sometimes turns out really good but not always I have to admit!).

Anyway, they turned out quite nice except I baked them too long (inexperience in cookie baking led me to believe they would be harder when taken out of the oven, I'd forgotten how soft they are at first and then they harden as they cool). They turned out to be a sort of hard crunchy biscuit, nice in tea, but too hard!! One batch was nice though as I didn't leave them in the oven so long.

Well, the next weekend, I felt like trying out some REAL chewy chocolate cookies, so I searched a suitable recipe and came across this one. Again, it had the cup measurements so this time I used a website to convert the quantities into grams - much easier! I decided to half the ingredients so I wouldn't be there forever (I had so many of the ones from last weekend we were struggling to eat them all!). I didn't have peanut butter chips so I used white chocolate chips and fudge pieces (bought some fudge sweets and cut them up with scissors into small chunks). I also didn't use ready made chocolate chips but just bought a bar of chocolate and smashed it up in a bag - I prefer this method as you can get better quality chocolate for the same price as the chips, and I like the way they're not all the same size). They were easier to make than the ghoribas as you don't need to shape them before baking - just put a large teaspoonful of dough in a blob on the tray, give it enough room and and it will shape itself.

Son mis galletas, que rico!

Anyway, they turned out great!!! everyone loved them and I had enough to take in to college as a reward for my AS students who had just completed their January exam. I was wishing I had made more!!! So, on Thursday I had a second go (couldn't wait till the weekend!) and this time used the full amount of ingredients. However, disappointingly they didn't turn out so well, they went really flat. Maybe it was because I added some milk because the mixture was sooo stiff, which was was probably because I didn't soften the butter enough. Oh well, everyone still loved them and they all got eaten quickly! But next time I know this is a recipe I have to stick to step by step. 

Unfortunately this weekend I have to make play dough for my students to make sand dunes, so no more cookies yet! Oh well, probably better for me right! And it's half term the week after so should have plenty of baking time then, woohoo!