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Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Garlic and Cheese

Finger foods aren’t just for parties. When it’s really hot outside, I don’t like to get too complicated in the kitchen. When it’s cold outside, I like comfort food. Bread and cheese fit in both of these categories, so here comes my recipe for simple Bruschetta, or Italian toasts. They can be made on the grill … Read more

Cheesy Jalapeño Burgers

It’s summer. It’s Ramadan. Do you blame me for craving a burger?  Hopefully not, because maybe you are, too. Chances are there’s plenty of people grilling the summer away as much as possible, since that’s usually the most popular item to throw on. In my case, grilling isn’t so easy so I opt for either oven baking or pan sautéing my burgers. Either way you have them, I think you’re going to love this recipe for a super-quick burger topped with what I think is one of our nation’s best cheese..and it’s halal-certified.

Cheese Jalapeno Burger, Oh My

Cheese from Vermont-based Cabot Creamery has long been on my list of favorite cheeses and in my shopping cart for many years, especially since I noticed that several of their products were halal-certified by IFANCA

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Ricotta Pie

The last ten days of Ramadan are upon us and it’s a special time for Muslims to really try as hard as possible to dedicate a good amount of time (especially in the night hours) to prayer, spiritual reflection, repentance and worship of the Creator. Most people aren’t thinking so much of food and gatherings … Read more

The Importance of Suhoor & a Recipe for Parmesan-Feta Quiche

Everyone is talking about this year’s daily fasts in Ramadan being so long because sunset (the time when the fast is broken) will come a little after 8pm here in Chicago. It’s also a hot summer season. Very hot.

Fasting isn’t meant to be perfectly easy or else how could we savor the reward of building self-discipline? It’s also not meant to harm us, either. We have to do it right so that we can experience it with enough energy to get through the day, do our work and take care of other responsibilities.

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Black Bean Dip | My Halal Kitchen

Five Layer Black Bean Dip + Homemade Tortilla Chip Recipes

This morning I had the great honor of being able to show young junior high students at a local school how to prepare a fun and healthy after-school snack that they can prepare for themselves without ever having to turn on a stove.

gorgeous bean dip trays at MCWS
This demo was conducted in conjunction with IFANCA‘s initiative to talk to kids about what’s halal in commercial food products as well as how to make healthy food choices on their own. Our all-American kids love all-American food as well as food from their ethnic families’ culinary heritage, but the halal factor in store-bought products can be a bit confusing.

Asma Ahad, a food technologist at IFANCA (Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America), was there to dispell many of the myths surrounding food ingredients and what makes them halal or not. She did a great job engaging the kids in a hands-on activity and the kids were great listeners who were totally present during the entire presentation, including, of course the one that involved the food tasting.

I showed them how to make a Five Layer Bean Dip and Homemade Tortilla Chips and also had a few helpers along the way who came up to do some of the prep with me, which was so much fun.

The recipe is below and I’ve also created this video to show you how to make it.

 

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Homemade Yogurt Cheese

When I began this blog, one of the first recipes I shared with everyone was for homemade yogurt. If you have a yogurt maker, the recipe is ideal for going beyond yogurt to making yogurt cheese, commonly known as labneh in the Middle East. If you don’t want to make it yourself,  just start out with a good quality store-bought yogurt.

Labneh is wonderful as a spread or dip any time of day, even breakfast. It’s smooth and thick, a bit tart and most commonly topped with olive oil and zattar {thyme & oregano}. I love it with pita bread and olives, but at times I even use it on tacos when I don’t have sour cream- my kind of fusion food.

Nowadays labneh is normally bought commercially, but it’s so easy to make yourself at home. All you need is yogurt to start out and then top with what you like best, or nothing at all. Here’s my no-fuss way of making it.

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