April 23, 2011

Pancakes and Easter Break

I found my favorite pancake recipe. They came out fluffy and delicious. I add a little vanilla to the recipe. After I made this picture perfect stack for your viewing enjoyment, I couldn't finish half of it.



The kids were happy to have pancakes for breakfast though. We have a week off school for Easter. Well, 6 days. It's great, I can't wait for summer vacation though. It's not long now. Safiyah goes for about a week after break then she's done and the older kids will have about 3 weeks left, inshaAllah.


I'm hoping we can go to the beach this week. Love the beach. It's great having time off school, we watched Tangled and How to Train Your Dragon. Both enjoyable. Mentioning it on my Facebook sparked a little conversation about how it's hard to find kid's movies without a love story these days. Isn't that odd? We've become so accustomed to it.


4 more days of break then back to school. InshaAllah we'll make the most of it.

April 21, 2011

Please Don't Die, Plant!


I got this plant, I love it. I've always wanted to have plants but they always meet an untimely demise. I don't know the name of this plant but the flowers smell really nice. The lady said it was ok indoors and to water it every other day or depending on how moist/dry the soil is. Here's hoping it lives a long time and blooms lots of beautiful flowers, inshaAllah.

April 16, 2011

Cupcakes

Made some cupcakes today. Very simple. Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate cake mix and whipped cream + confectioners sugar frosting. Comes out nice and glossy and not too heavy, like butter-cream can be. I topped some with colored sugar and left the rest plain.


April 13, 2011

Just A Mom

Moms, ever feel under-appreciated?  I don't want to write a post listing all the things we, as moms do and all the occupations we provide, I probably already have. I also don't want to write about the big mom debate regarding working vs stay at home moms. I just want to write about my feelings. They have more to do with being a mother than they have to do with working or not.

Sometimes, I feel insignificant.  Like a fixture in the house. Just someone who is there to do what people need. Tie shoes. Iron clothes. Cook food. Pick up the dirty socks. I suppose it should make one feel needed but when you're only conversation  consists of demands and requests on any given day, it kinda hurts. The almost 13 and the 11 year old  have started getting an attitude at times and I'm pretty sure it's tame compared to some older teens but the annoyed tone and the eye rolls hurt too.

I think that kids don't think of their mom as an actual person in and of themselves, until they are older. My older two have started to notice things like my favorite shows or that I write a blog, but for the most part, they think of me as mom. The go-to person when they need something for school or want a snack. And that's natural. It's my job to take care of them and I don't resent it. It's only once in a while that I have a day or a week that makes me feel that it's a thankless job and I'm pretty much a servant. It seems to them that a clean dish is just magically there, and it doesn't cross their mind how their clothes are clean again in their drawers sometimes. I'm not complaining that I have to do these things. It's just frustrating that they don't acknowledge it.

E is often salve on the wounds though, he lets me know he appreciates what I do or voices these things in front of the kids. He'll tell them to thank me for the nice dinner and remind them that we each have a role in the family and what would happen if Mama just stopped washing our clothes or making your lunch?  Alhamdulillah, it helps a lot.

I'm not one of  those martyr moms that feel like their children are their every living breath, that have no life outside of them. I also don't feel that being a mother is a sacrifice, in anyway. I 'm in the middle. I love my kids. I also like them, in fact. I like the people they have become and their unique personalities. I enjoy spending free time with them. I look at the tough times, the daily monotony, the discipline, all of that as an investment. It keeps me sane sometimes and other times I lose it. When no one is listening, when they won't stop fighting and I've had enough. There have been times where I've wanted to hide. Times that I'm counting the minutes until bedtime. Maybe that makes me sound like a bad mom, but I know all moms have those days too.

Mostly, moms just want to feel valued. I know in my head, rationally, that my family appreciates what I do for them but there are always those moments where you feel walked all over. It's almost a longing to feel important or to have someone worry about you instead of you being the one doing all the worrying. In the end, I'm doing my best and I know when they get older, inshaAllah,  they will look back and see me, their mother, as a person, like I did with my mom.

April 12, 2011

The Book vs The Movie

The other day I picked up 2 books from the used book place. I haven't found anything I like in a while so I was glad to see 2 familiar titles. Thankfully I haven't seen either movie.


I'm half way through Slumdog. It's well written and keeps me interested but there's a lot of ugliness in the story. I'll probably watch the films after reading these.

I hate reading a novel after seeing the movie. I'd seen The Time Traveler's Wife and enjoyed it but later read the book and loved it. The problem was that I couldn't help picturing the characters as they were in the movie. I'd rather imagine Henry not automatically see him as Eric Bana. After seeing The Lovely Bones I still want to read that book though.  The Secret Life of Bees' movie was well done, I think. The Devil Wears Prada had many differences but still enjoyable.  Atonement was an interesting movie but a bit of a boring read. The Namesake  was an amazing book but the movie fell very short.

Read any good books lately? What film adaptations do you think were true to the book? Any movies better than the book?

April 7, 2011

Dental Update

Cause it's just so exciting and just a riveting topic, I'm updating you all on my dentist's trip. It really wasn't that bad.

I was  nervous over nothing. At first I was in tears. After the dentist put numbing gel on my gums he was chatting away with E and I happened to look over to see something like this:



I tried to swallow the lump in my throat and hoped the Dr. and hygienist wouldn't notice I was crying. Thankfully they didn't. I had to get a filling first and I had my eyes shut so tight and my hand clenched so hard that it started to hurt. I was causing myself pain, while the procedure wasn't painful at all. I didn't even feel the needle and kept my eyes closed but tried to relax. After my tooth was filled and he went to pull out my wisdom tooth, he said that if I felt any discomfort or wanted to stop at any time to raise my hand. It was over in a minute or two. The tooth looked huge. I had to bite down on some gauze for an hour or so and I'm taking ibuprofen as well as antibiotic, but it's fine. I had no apparent swelling and ate soft foods so far. It still feels weird but I'm so glad I got that over with. I have to go back in a week for another filling but I think it will be no big deal. Thanks for caring you guys!

April 4, 2011

Extraction

So, I have to get a wisdom tooth pulled tomorrow. I'm a little nervous. If by a little nervous I mean, a lot scared. Google-ing is not helping. Seriously, if you have an ailment or health concern, online research can help but I find, more often than not, it scares the crap out of me. I've never had a tooth extracted before and according to good old Dr. Google, it can take a week to feel normal again. That your face swells up and that's normal. Pain after the novocaine wears off can make it so you can't open your mouth properly. But it has to go.
Hit the road, tooth!

I'm not crazy about the dentist's office in general anyway, but you do what you have to do. It's uncomfortable and awkward to lie there with your mouth wide open and the guy's all up in your face, literally. That bright light in your eyes and the annoying spit sucking device, ugh. All this comes with the territory if you want to have oral care but the thought of a needle in my gums then having a big tooth from the back of my mouth pulled out by brute force, is frightening, to say the least.

I hope I'm just over reacting, that it's not as bad as I'm making it out to be. I mean, I've given birth, 4 times, with no medication. This shouldn't phase me. At least then I got a prize, here' all I'm getting is a sore jaw, pain and a mouthful of gauze.

Any words of advice? Have you had it done? How was it? Make duaa for me?!

April 2, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese



Yesterday I decided to make some baked macaroni and cheese. I found this recipe, had a lot of good reviews and it sounded delicious. It's an Alton Brown recipe, and I usually like his stuff.  The sauce take some time but it's totally worth it. Here's what you need:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I just used a standard bag)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard (I didn't have the powder but I had mustard seed, so I whizzed it in the food processor)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded (You can vary the kinds of cheese you want)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I just had regular table salt)
  • Fresh black pepper

Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (These are japanese, coarse bread crumbs, don't have them here but I used regular, I'm sure it would be better with the panko but you can also coarsely chop croutons for the same effect)
  • Combine these 2 and set aside for topping.
Of course, you cook your pasta as usual first.


First, you melt the butter

After it's bubbled, then you add the flour and whisk it.

Add the mustard powder, keep whisking, making sure there are no lumps. About 5 minutes.

This is what it looks like at this point.

Add the milk, paprika, bay leaf and onion and whisk. Let it simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf, if you'd like strain it to remove the onion. I liked the flavor but didn't want the onion texture.

Whisk the egg in a small bowl

Temper it by adding a couple of spoons of the sauce mixture to the egg, so you don't end up with scrambled eggs in your sauce. Whisk it in then add it to the sauce again.
Stir in 3/4 of  your cheese
 CREAMY

Combine with your pasta in a baking dish

Top with the remaining cheese, then the breadcrumb/melted butter mixture

Fully topped, bake for 30 minutes.

After it's baked it comes out crispy and crunchy on top and creamy inside. 



This was the best Mac and Cheese I've ever had and will be my go to recipe from now on. I wanted to take a picture of it plated up but hungry buggers finished it too fast.