Melon Salad

melon-salad

Melons taste so great in Saudi during the Summer. It is (still is) so hot here and the intense heat really ripens the melons making them sweet. At night before we go to bed, I usually whip up this salad for my husband and I. The melons taste great mixed together and the addition of mint makes it so refreshing. This recipe does not really need any instructions, but I will try to add a few just in case.

Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam: “Whenever you eat fruit, eat melon, because it is the fruit of Paradise and contains a thousand blessings and a thousand mercies. The eating of it cures every disease. None of your women who are pregnant and eat of watermelon will fail to produce offspring who are good in countenance and good in character.”

The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam took melons with fresh dates.

Cantaloupe, cubed
Watermelon, cubed
Mint, torn

1. In a bowl, add melons and mint, mix.

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Cramping Tea

cramping-tea

Okay ladies, if you’re like me, you get cramps every once in awhile and would do just about anything for them to go away. For centuries, women have depended on herbs to help with pain since many plants contain compounds that alleviate the symptoms. There are lots of herbs that help with cramps, but since I do not own all of them, I make mine with what I do have and it really helps so much. Here are why I use these herbs and how they help.

Sage has estrogenic properties that can help treat female reproductive issues such as menstrual cramps, infertility and amenorrhea. Sage can also reduce menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats. The best form of sage to use for these female issues is as a cold tea or compress. Sage does stimulate the uterus so if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is not advised to use sage without a doctor’s recommendation.

Mint is a well known remedy for the menstrual cramps. It is a natural muscle relaxer and appetite suppressant so it helps to heal the cramps.

1 cup boiling water
Sprig of fresh mint
Sprig of dried sage

1. In a mug, add mint and sage, carefully pour hot water on top and allow to steep for 10 minutes.

Yields: 1 cup

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Rice Pudding

arabic-rice-pudding

Back home in East Tennessee, the only type of rice we ever eat is the Uncle Ben brand and when we do it’s always for dessert. We cook white rice, then add some milk and sugar. I used to love having that, dessert growing up. I never really had rice another way until I met my husband. Funny enough these days I cook basmati rice almost daily for my son and husband who think a meal is not complete without it.

Years ago when my family and I were living in Oklahoma we would sometimes go to this Indian restaurant after Jumah and it was so amazing. I still dream of eating there, but they had the most amazing rice pudding. I tried to get the owner to give me her recipe, but she would never budge. This rice pudding here though is really good in fact I ate it all myself and enjoyed every single bite. Towards the end if you feel like it’s a little too thick you can just add a little more milk and mix it up and it will be fine.

1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1-3/4 cups whole milk
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat, add butter, rice and water. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce to low for 15 minutes.

2. In another small saucepan on low heat, add milk, cardamom pods and cinnamon. Allow to warm and when the rice is finished carefully pour mixture over the rice in the pan. Add the sugar and cook on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, until the milk has thickened.

3. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk, evaporated milk and lemon zest. Stir in a large spoonful of the rice mixture, mix well, then add the remaining rice mixture. Cook over a low heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring all the time, until the pudding is thick.

4. Remove the pan off the heat, remove the cardamom pods. Spoon into individual dessert bowls or glasses, garnish with peeled lemon skin.

Yields: 2 servings

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