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Home & Garden

My Interview with Jules Dervaes of The Path to Freedom: The Modern Urban Homestead

Dervaes/UrbanHomestead.org

Many of you who follow this blog or actively participate on the MHK Facebook Page probably remember my several mentions of the Dervaes Family, the nearly self-sufficient Californians who garden just about every inch of their modest Pasadena home and even sell their harvest to local chefs and restauranteurs. I first learned about Jules Dervaes a few years ago while watching a ... Read More »

Farmer’s Market Salad

Strolling through the farmer’s market on a humid summer morning is enough inspiration to seek out the best salad ingredients you can find. I returned recently with beautiful radishes and purple scallions. Combining that with my balcony garden herbs made this a super local food.   Ingredients ½ bunch radishes, julienned 1 cucumber, seeds removed, sliced lengthwise 3 scallions, cut ... Read More »

My Cactus Plant is Flowering! And I Don’t Live in the Desert…

Yellow Cactus Flower

  I’m not only amazed by the fact that my cactus is growing and thriving here in the Midwest, but now it’s flowering! This is just too beautiful to keep to myself. I wish everyone the same joy in caring for plants that mine bring to me. I’m grateful to friends and family like my mother-in-law who was thoughtful enough ... Read More »

About Citrus Zest

Yvonne Maffei Food Photos | www.myhalalkitchen.com

Did you know that most citrus fruits were traditionally grown for their zest, not for their fruits?  When you zest, or peel away the skin of citrus, you get all the flavor of a lemon, lime or orange in this skin- without all the acidity of the flesh. One has to just be careful not to zest too much of the outside ... Read More »

My (Edible) Balcony Garden

My Strawberries

  Many of my family members and members of  our Facebook page have been asking me to send pictures of my balcony garden, so I’ve finallly had a chance to take and compile pictures of this lovely extension of my home. I’m delighted that so many people are interested in such a wonderful thing to share. Years ago when I first moved ... Read More »

Eco-Friendly Gardening: Growing Seedlings in Eggshells

Food Pics Spring 127

I decided to go very green while balcony gardening this year. I didn't want to invest in more clay or even plastic pots because I know I have some around here in storage and I don't need any more. Besides, I'd read somewhere that you can actually grow seedlings in eggshells. Could it work? Read More »

Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen

Spring Cleaning…the thought of it is refreshing while at the same time overwhelming to some people. In Chicago, we’re feeling as though we’re back to winter- cold temperatures and icy wet snow visited us this weekend and will hopefully leave us with warmer temperatures soon. insha’allah. Since I have been planning for and writing this e-book for quite a while now, I decided ... Read More »

35 Wonderful Uses for Vinegar in Your Kitchen

Years ago, I was turned on to vinegar as a non-toxic alternative to harsh cleaners. I had to stay away from products with heavy fragrance or else I would suffer allergic reactions. I was also concerned about environmental pollution and inhaling toxic fumes or touching products with too many chemicals. The following tips are just some of the most valuable ... Read More »

10 Tips for a Productive Ramadan Kitchen

I was asked to contribute to a site that has a great concept: ProductiveMuslim.com. It exists to encourage Muslims to be productive in all aspects of life, although I think anyone can benefit from the tips posted onto the site from various talented contributors. Please check out this link to my article entitled “Top 10 Productivity Tips For the Ramadan Kitchen” ... Read More »

Must-Have Tools to Help You in the Kitchen

kitchen tools

I must say, over the last couple of years I’ve become obsessed with simplifying my life. I’ve tossed, donated and gifted numerous items around the house that I just knew were causing unnecessary clutter because I rarely used them. The kitchen, however, is another story. Because I love to cook, I kept rationalizing my “need” to have so many gadgets, ... Read More »