Wow I can not even believe that Ramadan is in 16 days. I am excited but nervous at the same time. Summer Ramadans really take their toll on you and I especially feel for those who do not live in a Muslim country. Here in Saudi most people get off work at dhur and also get a week off for Eid so that really helps a lot. Also if you happen to be out when magrhib is called there are people in the streets giving you packs of dates and bottles of water to break your fast with. MashAllah no place tops Saudi Arabia during Ramadan.
A few years ago a friend over at Cafe Muslimah shared this tip with us about completing the entire Quran during Ramadan and its something that I do every single year now and it really works perfectly so I wanted to share it with each of you. I have found it better to have a plan for everything before hand that way it comes easy.
The Qur’an has 600 pages approximately if you divide it on 30 days, that’s 20 pages a day. You see, that’s difficult to do right? But, if you divide it on the 5 prayers a day, it gets easier.
If you read 4 pages after every salah in Ramadan, then you’ve completed the Qur’an. If you want to complete the Qur’an twice, you read 4 pages before and after every salah.
As women we tend to get caught up with all the food and cooking of Ramadan every year and while there is barakah in cooking and feeding our fasting families it is important to focus on what Ramadan is really about. It seems many of us spend our days planning and preparing food and then cook it so that it is fresh and hot just at magrhib then we spend the evening having to clean up. With all of that when do we have time to focus on Allah?
A lot of us are so hungry or thirsty that we overcook so many things and end up wasting food or having to eat leftovers the rest of the week. Last year I really looked at my past Ramadans and decided that something needed to be done. I started making meal plans so I knew what I want to make and what I need to buy at the store ahead of time. Also I started cutting down what I cook every night. Yes, lots of varieties sound nice when you’re hungry but a fasting stomach can never even hold that amount of food so its better to keep it real. I would rather have fresh hot cooked every night instead of leftovers how about you? So just make the same amount for iftar that you would any other dinner throughout the year.
I like to write out my meal plan for the week and put it on the refrigerator and then I do get asked 1000 times a day what is for iftar (come on ladies you know your husbands do it as well lol). I am already moody from not eating or having caffeine and by the time I start to cook the last thing I want is someone pestering me about what I am cooking. Here in Saudi you can buy an entire plate of fresh samboosas really cheap so instead of spending hours in Ramadan preparing them I can save a lot of time. Samboosas are a must in an Arab house during Ramadan. You can also save time by prepping or freezing things before hand like lasagna or bread.
This year I plan on sharing some of my menus that I will be making with you all. I also found a Ramadan meal planner that you print off for free here. If you have any great tips for meal planning during The Holy Month then please share with us.
I love croutons on my salad and nothing can top a freshly made batch. You can really use any type of bread that you have on hand but I always just use sliced white bread. You can store these in a covered container or plastic bag if you have any leftover and you can also use different seasonings to create your own taste.
4 slices of white bread
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a bowl add olive oil, garlic salt and Italian seasoning, mix.
2. Cut bread into cubes then add into the bowl coating every piece. On a non-stick baking sheet add the bread and cook in the oven until golden, about 10-13 minutes.
Yields: 6 servings
Last night my son was talking about wanting nutella and cookies so I did a quick search and found this recipe floating all over Pinterest which. I am not sure who the original recipe came from but it’s a pretty good one. The only thing I changed was that I used milk instead of water. They were so simple to make and delicious. I prefer them the next day when they have hardened a bit. I also think these would taste great with a scoop of peanut butter added to the mix if you like peanut butter that is.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cups nutella
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl add sugar and egg, mix. Add nutella, flour and a bit of milk at a time mixing with a hand help mixer. Until a thick dough consistency (not too thick) has formed.
2. On a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or on parchment paper place 1 dozen heaps of dough (lines of 4). And bake for 13 minutes.
3. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool.
Yields: 2 dozen cookies