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Snow in Arizona

Everyone around here is more than ready for spring– tired of seeing snow and of the cold. It may make you feel a teeny bit better to know that even the places like sunny Arizona get their fair share of real wintery weather. The only difference is that most people there make the conscious decision to go towards that kind of weather- for fun. We don’t particularly have that choice in Chicago.

A few months ago we flew out t to Arizona to visit family. Our plans were to get out of Phoenix and head straight up to the mountains to experience winter in the high altitude. Most people found it quite odd that we would leave winter in Chicago, head out to the west where they were enjoying perectly warm weather, only to go directly up to the mountains for more snow and cold weather.  I’m not one to enjoy the heat, so for me it made for a nice getaway.

flowers drying naturally out in the wildnerness

I love the mountains and all its serenity.  I’m intrigued by the wildlife and botany, some of which is commonly found in the Midwest and others you just can’t find here at home. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a rather flat area and always wondered what it would be like to be surrounded with such an entirely different atmosphere as the mountains out west. Besides, these log cabins look like something straight out of the Smoky Bear cartoons of my childhood.

Front of our Mogollan Cabin

The drive from Phoenix to the mountain resort area of Heber/Overgaard, Arizona is a couple of hours. It’s a scenic drive through the beautiful, mountainous part of Arizona I’d never been to before, though I don’t recommend going at night. The roads are dark, there are few places to stop for gas or lodging and you run the risk of elk crossing the road. Yes, elk. And yes, they are much larger than deer (see photo at bottom).

Stop in Payson midway to break up the trip and the drive doesn’t feel that long at all.  It’s also great way to see the rare, real remnants of the Wild West still very much a part of the local tourism culture.

inside our cabin, view from the top floor

Our cabin could sleep five. It was impeccably clean, had a washer and dryer in the bathroom, hot water, a full kitchen and even a fireplace and television. There just wasn’t any more we could ask for. Except for heat, when I think someone blew a fuse at some point during the first night…

pine cones and juniper berries abound just outside our front door

During our stay in late November there wasn’t a whole lot to do in or around the town, but it was perfect for us. We took walks and drove around to other places where we could take long walks. It was incredibly, incredibly quiet. We were alone, except for several cars of what looked like elk hunters- the day after we arrived was the first day of elk hunting season. No wonder we couldn’t find any– they probably all knew what was coming.

majestic birch trees were a rare sight; large pinecones abound in the forest

This plant below was actually at the edge of a cliff, with no railings, of course. I found it intriguing because it’s shaped a bit like a saguaro cactus, but it’s definitely nothing of the sort. The seeds are perfectly saved within the buds and you can even see some colorful petals on the branch on the left side.

This unique flower was situated at the edge of an icy cliff. I loved it’s shape, which is a bit like a saguaro cactus

It was just incredible how things seemed to be preserved by the cold, dry weather in the quiet forest. I can’t describe the tranquility enough and I’m still surprised that we didn’t see any wildlife at all. Supposedly the area has elk, black bear and wild cats, but we saw none of them. None alive, anyways.

Dried pine needles, which were quite sharp

autumn leaves seem to be frozen in time

the snow seemed heavy but rested on the pine tree so gracefully

I made this  boquet of local wild flowers just naturally dried by the mountain air

and look who it is- Smokey the Bear….how fun it was to see this in person!

Elk Processing Truck

We tried really hard to see live elk the whole time we were in the Heber/Overgaard area. We even stopped at a local camping store to ask where we had our best chance of finding them in their natural habitat. The woman at the store told us our best chance at the moment would be to either see the stuffed one in the back office (which we did) or to wait for the hunters to come back shortly, though they wouldn’t be bringing any live ones.  It was the first day of elk-hunting season and the hunters were already out since quite early that morning. Good thing we’d finished our hike in the forest the day before…

A local elk hunter who was one of the first of the season to bring in his catch

As far as we know, individuals in the area have to have a license to hunt the elk. The meat is not sold in any grocery stores or restaurants, but it can be consumed by the hunters themselves. I found the size of these animals to be fascinating: larger than deer, smaller than caribou or moose, yet massive and impressive in their own right. I wonder what the meat tastes like–and if anyone around the world hunts and slaughters them in a halal way.I’ve tasted deer before, so my guess is that it may be quite similar.

Turns out we have elk right here in the Midwest, too. Parts of Ohio actually advertise their elk preserves on billboards; in Illinois there’s actually a preservation in a town called Elk Grove Village. Now why didn’t we ever think to ask if there were any elk nearby? Even so, they are protected in a preserve, not hunted for meat.

Have you ever eaten elk or any other wild game? What’s it really like?

Mogollan Cabins

Columbia Lane
Heber-Overgaard, AZ 85933
(928) 535-3250
http://www.azresortcabins.com/

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How to Clean Copper Pots

I don’t have many copper pots in my kitchen- in fact, I have just two ...

Moroccan Argan Fruit- photo courtesy of Saadia Organics

My Favorite Products for Nurturing Winter Skin

Dry winter skin is the worst and after living much of my life in cold ...

oh sicily

A Sicilian Cooking Class: Comfort Food For Everyone

Last month I traveled to Cleveland to teach a cooking class for a group of ...

Crescent Foods in a Chicagoland Grocery Store

Ahmad Adam, The Entrepreneur Behind Halal Chicken at Crescent Foods

Chances are, if you live somewhere in the U.S. and you seek out halal food ...

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Ruby Red Grapefruit & Blood Orange Juice

One of the ways I try  improve my overall health is by making fresh juice most ...

Tuna Pasta with Capers, Olives & Tomatoes

Tuna Pasta with Olives, Capers & Tomatoes

This is a great weekend dish- really healthy, light, and super quick to make. The ...

In the Kitchen with Noor Kids | My Halal Kitchen

In the Kitchen With Noor Kids Children’s Books

Have you ever thought about what you would look like if someone attempted to sketch you and ...

SR Manchurian Dumplings

Saffron Road’s New Line of Vegeterian Entrees

You may have already heard about Saffron Road’s new vegetarian entrees, which are making quite a ...

variety of citrus presses

Citrus Presses

Most of us don’t think about having citrus fruits in the winter as eating seasonally, but the ...

Pepperoni Pizza Bread

Halal Pepperoni Pizza Bread

I love Fridays and for some reason I’m always craving pizza on Friday evenings. Maybe ...

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Halal Nutrition Workshops with IFANCA

I’m really excited to announce my collaboration with IFANCA to bring the local Chicago community ...

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Chocolate 101

Last year I had the great pleasure of meeting Chicago-based chocolatier, Uzma Sharif, and tasting her ...

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5 Tips for Eating Well During Tough Economic Times

tIt’s no secret that many people are suffering right now as a result of unemployment, ...

Dates and Cream for Iftar

A Quick Guide to Dates & How to Store Them

Our latest guest post is by Nadia Hubbi, Founder & CEO of Sweet Pillar & ...

Nudo-Italia Pompeii

Nudo Italian Products Giveaway

Nudo brand Italian olive oils and products are close to my heart because of the interesting concept ...

Pie made from cast iron pan

The ‘Cook What You’ve Got’ Challenge

Many of you already know that recently I’ve moved- within Chicago but still across town ...

Fish Sticks | My Halal Kitchen

Homemade Fish Sticks

I was never a fan of frozen food as a kid. I could always tell ...

Blue Corn for Microwave Popcorn | My Halal Kitchen

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I recently heard that it was possible to make microwaved popcorn without buying bags of pre-seasoned, ...

Where Will You Shop for Your Next Kitchen Makeover | My Halal Kitchen

Where Will You Go Shopping For Your Next Kitchen Makeover?

It’s all over the television and online news and buzzing around in the world of social ...

Mina Harissa Giveaway | My Halal Kitchen

CLOSED: Spice Up Your Life with this Harissa Giveaway!

Have you ever had harissa, that hot and spicy condiment made red by combining chili peppers, ...

ghareeb nawaz biryani

What if You Were Accidentally Served Pork?

I recently read a story on The Daily Meal that summarized a situation where the guests at ...

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Winners Paying it Forward

Recently My Halal Kitchen posted a giveway for Door to Door Organics produce and we ...

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Oven-Roasted Vegetables

I can’t think of a more perfect fast food dish that’s homemade and healthy. Roasted ...

Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil Giveaway

Have you ever cooked with coconut oil? Ever used it on your skin? Until a ...

Introducing My Halal Kitchen by Video

I have been so eager to share this video with you! It was intricately prepared ...

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Honey as an Endangered Food Source

I wrote an extensive article about how important and endangered our honeybees and our honey ...

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3 Simple Steps to Eating Quality Food on a Budget

While a health movement has swept the nation, inspiring people to eat organic products and ...

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The AMCC: An Important Halal Industry Conference

Several weeks ago, I attended the American Muslim Consumer Conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey. ...

kale and onion from door to door organics

Fresh Organic Produce Straight to Your Door– Enter the Giveaway!

After recent holidays like ‘Eid ul Adha and Thanksgiving, everyone is tired- tired of shopping, ...

lamb stew with plantains pumpkin chickpeas

Lamb Stew with Pumpkin, Plantain, Sweet Potato and Chickpeas

When we look through recipes online or in magazines, what really prompts us to go ...

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Roasted Pumpkin

If there’s ever one recipe that will help create even more recipes, it’s those for ...

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Oven Roasted Lamb Chops

I don’t normally set out to by lamb chops, but instead I wait for the ...

Brownies for

‘Eid Mubarak! How We Celebrated ‘Eid ul Adha

‘Eid Mubarak to all of my readers who celebrate this holiday! I hope you’re enjoying ...

long eid table setting

The Many Varieties of Traditional ‘Eid Foods

Muslims all over the world will soon be celebrating the ‘Eid ul Adha, or the ...

Two Easy Eid Appetizers | My Halal Kitchen

2 Easy Dips for ‘Eid Appetizers: Chipotle Dipping Sauce and Yogurt Dip with Fresh Greens

Whether you’re planning an ‘Eid celebration at home or bringing a dish to your host, ...

patchi nougat and square

CLOSED: Patchi Chocolate Giveaway for ‘Eid ul Adha

Chocolate is among the world’s favorite foods. We are inundated with a variety of brands ...

Qurbani, also known as Udhiyah

Hajj Season and Preparing for an ‘Eid ul Adha Celebration

The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, or the Hajj, is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for the Muslim ...

Cherry Galette

Super Quick Cherry Galette

Let’s face it- we’re all busy. We want to eat healthy and watch the ingredients ...

Penne Pasta with Swiss Chard and Beet Leaves | My Halal Kitchen

Pink Pasta: Penne with Swiss Chard and Beet Leaves

I didn’t intentionally set out to make pink pasta; it just happened as a result ...

The Skinless Project Conference | My Halal Kitchen

The Skinless Project Conference

Last weekend I had the wonderful blessing of being able to attend The Skinless Project ...

How to Join a CSA | My Halal Kitchen

How to Find and Join a CSA

I just published a post about where raw milk comes from and what I went throug ...

How We Get Raw Milk | My Halal Kitchen

How We Get Raw Milk

By now, most of my family, friends and fellow comrades on Facebook and Twitter know ...

Green Beans and Toasted Sesame

French Beans with Garlic, Cumin and Toasted Sesame

French green beans are one of my favorite side dishes. They’re light, go well with ...

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Chorizo and Eggs

It's been more than ten years since I've eaten chorizo, a type of Spanish sausage spiced with flavors like paprika which gives it an orange color. The reason I haven't had it in so many years is because it's mostly made with pork.

Mary Nolan of Bon Appetit | My Halal Kitchen

My Interview of Mary Nolan, Chef de Cuisine at Bon Appétit Magazine

I recently attended the Chicago Gourmet event right here in the Windy City, though on ...

Breakfast at Kingsbury Cafe Chicago | My Halal Kitchen

Breakfast at Kingsbury Street Cafe

restaurant Sunday morning is a great time to have breakfast out with the family, but ...

Bon Appetit at Chicago Gourmet | My Halal Kitchen

Bon Appétit Magazine Presented Chicago Gourmet

Last Saturday morning I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Gourmet event in Chicago’s Millenium Park. You ...

San Diego Farmers Markets | My Halal Kitchen

Two San Diego Area Farmers Markets and Vintage Shops Nearby

During my trip to San Diego last May, I shared many of my culinary and ...

Heirloom Tomato Salad | My Halal Kitchen

Heirloom Tomato & Chickpea Salad

I wanted to share this recipe with you before it gets too late to use ...

How to Preserve Fresh Parsley | My Halal Kitchen

How to Preserve Fresh Summer Parsley

It’s always been intriguing to me that despite how often our weather fluctuates, many of ...

Francis Hardy Art Gallery in Ephraim, WI

Cherries and Sunsets on a Wisconsin Peninsula

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a spontaneous trip, one that’s planned the ...

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‘Eid Cupcakes with Vanilla Orange Mascarpone Frosting

It’s hard to believe that Ramadan is over and we’re now celebrating ‘Eid-ul-Fitr, the three-day ...

Cuban Potluck Iftar Party

Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing

Potluck parties are nice, but just the word ‘potluck’ is a bit unappealing to some ...

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Ricotta Pie

The last ten days of Ramadan are upon us and it’s a special time for ...

Date & Walnut Tart | My Halal Kitchen

Date and Walnut Tart

Dates are also the perfect baking fruit- they freeze well, they don’t make your baking ...

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Homemade Chappati

I’ve been really blessed to meet so many amazing people since I started this blog. People are ...

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Caprese Salad with Parsley

Caprese Salad is a somewhat Italian-American dish since it has increased so much in popularity in ...

Strawberry-Cherry Frozen Juice

Cherry-Strawberry Frozen Juice

Contrary to what might be popular belief, not every Muslim family is a large one. ...

Summer Squash Soup | My Halal Kitchen- Yvonne Maffei

Summer Squash Soup

I’m a huge fan of a hearty bowl of soup. I love to select, chop ...

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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 ...

Making Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

I love to use leftovers at any meal, and suhoor (the pre-dawn meal eaten before ...

chocolate truffles from Alladin

Welcome, Ramadan!

Ramadan Mubarak!  Yesterday was the first full day of fasting for us here in Chicago. We ...

inside my freezer

Let Your Freezer Help You This Ramadan

Freezers are sometimes the most underutilized kitchen appliance in American homes. They tend to be ...

beautiful tabbouleh

Tabbouleh (Parlsey & Bulghur Salad)

Tabbouleh, or Parsley Salad, is one of those dishes just packed with nutrition: high fiber ...

Ramadan Menu Day by Day 2011

4 Tips to Organize Your Ramadan Cooking

Ramadan is such a great time to get your home organized. Actually, for me all ...

Freezing Basil | My Halal Kitchen

How to Preserve Fresh Basil

It’s that time of year here in the Midwest of the U.S. and everywhere there ...

Five of My Favorite Useful Things | My Halal Kitchen

5 of My New Favorite Things for the Kitchen

I’ve been gifted a few things recently that I love so much and really want to share ...

Rustic Bread for Bread Crumbs

How to Make Homemade Bread Crumbs

I love recipes that recycle and re-use foods that are beyond comfortable consumption but  just ...

Peach Lemonade | My Halal Kitchen

Peach Lemonade Slush

Lately it’s been so hot outside that I have been craving some really fruity and ...

4 Steps to Quick Apricot Jam

Quick Apricot Jam

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a sort of lazy cook recently. ...

Zucchini, Yogurt and Basil

Sauteed Zucchini with Yogurt & Basil

Our garden zucchini isn’t ready yet, but our basil plant is quite full and the ...

Spring 2011 Edible Garden

Gearing Up for Ramadan and the Winner of our Chocolate Uzma Giveaway

It’s been a busy week here at home and in the kitchen. I recently returned ...

CYKG 600

Clean Your Kitchen Green- My New Book is Coming Soon!

I’m so excited to be able to talk about my new pocket-size book on green cleaning! ...

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 ...

5 Things to Know Before Opening a Halal Restaurant | My Halal Kitchen

5 Important Things to Do Before Opening a Halal Restaurant

I’ve recently seen friends of mine open up {halal} restaurants and for many years considered opening ...

Halal Advocates Logo

Meet Halal Advocates

If you’re interested at all in the world of halal certification, or simply finding out ...

Oven Roasted Tomatoes | My Halal Kitchen

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes may not be summer-ready here in the Midwest, but there’s no shortage of beautiful ...

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Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

Spinach is that quintessential health food. We know it’s good for us, but how often ...

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Roasted Pepper Frittata

Talk about a quick dinner- and yes, frittatas make great quick and nutritious dinners. Just take it ...

three cheese baked ditalini

Three-Cheese Baked Pasta

Pasta is such a quick, easy and filling dinner meal. This recipe only requires a ...

xoco chocolate sign

Churros & Chocolate at Xoco

I’ve wanted to come to this restaurant ever since I first heard of its opening ...

Raised Bed Gardens

Edible Gardening Resources

Yesterday I aired a segment on my blog talk radio program called Organic Edible Gardening, ...

Nourishing Traditional Diets ppt

Sally Fallon Morell and Nourishing Traditions (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of my previous post about Sally Fallon and her work ...

Sally Fallon Morell at the Family Farmed Expo in Chicago

Sally Fallon Morell and Nourishing Traditions

If you haven’t heard about the work of Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston ...

serving tray on frame

How to Make a Hand-Crafted Serving Tray

Although I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, I really am a lover of ...

Green City Market Sign

Green City Chicago Indoor Farmers Market

Most people don’t think there’s much to buy from a farmers market in the winter– ...

Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes | My Halal Kitchen

Chicken Soup with Cabbage & Sweet Potatoes

One of the reasons this soup is so delicious is because it creates a rich ...

Family Farmed Expo

Family Farmed Expo in Chicago

I have to admit, I’ve been really glued to the television and any news media ...

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Cheese Appetizers

Ever been in a pinch for a quick appetizer or dish to take to an ...

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Green Deen Book Giveaway!

If you haven’t heard of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet or the ...

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Chicken Parmesan for Two

There’s just two of us at home for dinner on most nights, unless we have ...

Cuisinart Cast Iron Pizza Pan

Homemade Pizza

  Homemade Pizza. It’s by far my #1 favorite food. Anything with cheese. Anything with bread. ...

Window Box Seeds

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Gardening Groove On

Here in the Midwest, much like other parts of the country we’re experiencing a complete ...

Zucchini Walnut Dip | My Halal Kitchen

Zucchini & Walnut Dip

One of my dearest friends now lives far away from me, across the country. We ...

Inside Chile Relleno Taco | Las Asadas Mexican Restaurant

Chile Relleno Tacos at Las Asadas

I absolutely love Mexican food.  Having lived and studied in Mexico during my college days and ...

Malike Ameen

Top Chef Contestant Malika Ameen Talks to My Halal Kitchen

It isn’t every day that you get to ‘meet’ a pastry chef like Malika Ameen. ...

Quick Guacamole

Super Quick Guacamole or Avocado Spread

I use avocadoes for a lot of things: sandwiches, homemade beauty care (it’s the best ...

Feta & Avocado Sandwich + A Recipe for Homemade Mayonnaise | My Halal Kitchen

Feta, Avocado & Homemade Mayonnaise Torta

Everyone has some sort of comfort food. Some people love cakes for soothing comfort; others ...

homemade labneh

Homemade Yogurt Cheese

When I began this blog, one of the first recipes I shared with everyone was ...

Chayote | Caribbean Squash

Stuffed Chayote with Carne Molida | Caribbean Squash with Ground Beef

How do you decide which recipes to make daily or on special occasions? What sparks your ...

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Vintage Kitchen Finds

I’m just crazy over vintage kitchen things. Though I’m not too fond of gadgets that clutter ...

Chicken Breast with Colorful Peppers and Lemons

Food Styling for a Halal Ad Campaign by IFANCA

I can’t tell you all how excited I am to finally be able to talk ...

Pumpkin Pie Not From a Can | My Halal Kitchen

Pumpkin Pie Not From a Can

I could eat Pumpkin Pie any time of year. It just so happens that because ...

Paglicacci Tomato Paste

How to Preserve Canned Tomato Paste Once It’s Opened

Do you ever open up a can of tomato paste for just one tablespoon required ...

Basil and vegetables  Penne

Vegetable & Basil Penne Pasta

I’m often asked by readers to provide quick and easy meals for busy families. To ...

Coconut & Chocolate Macaroons

‘Eid Mubarak to all of you and your families! What are you doing to celebrate ...

Pumpkin Puree | My Halal Kitchen

How to Make Pumpkin Puree

Are you tired of pumpkin from a can? I most certainly am. I know it’s ...

Handmade Moroccan Candles

Chocolate Mousse Cups | ‘Eid Bazaar Baking

I had the great fortune of being able to do a little baking for a ...

Brussels Sprouts and Corn

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Corn

Right now, it’s Brussels sprouts season and you can find them fresh at many local ...

Fish Tacos at Roberto

Good Eats in San Diego

We recently had a wonderful five day trip to one of my favorite places- San ...

Egg salad and Baby Shrimp on Toast

Easy Appetizer: Egg Salad and Baby Shrimp on Toast

If you’ve already got egg salad on hand, this is a super quick appetizer to ...

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Egg Salad

Once you’ve got a great recipe for egg salad, there’s so much you can do ...

Finished Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

It’s amazing to think that a vegetable such as the butternut squash, so hard on ...

French Toast

Multigrain French Toast

Weekend mornings may be the default, albeit traditional time to make griddled things like pancakes and waffles, but this ...

Curried Okra, South Indian Style

Okra, South Indian Style

This recipe was given to me by a dear college friend, a Malaysian woman smarter ...

Hummus Cups Your Guests Will Love

Hummus Cups

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks around here. I’ve been visiting farmers’ markets everywhere I can here ...

Fall Gourds at the Green City Market

Chicago’s Green City Market and Roasted Chestnuts Recipe

Saturday was a crisp fall morning perfect for heading out to any farmers’ market, even ...

Dwarf Pear Tree in A Neighbor

Organic Ohio: Seasonal Salsa, Sicilian Swiss Chard and More

Going back to Ohio this year at the cusp of summer’s end and the start ...

Zucchini Fritter | My Halal Kitchen

Savory Zucchini Fritters

At the end of every summer, it’s easy to take the plethora of zucchini and ...

Ohio Markets

Culinary Delights at Northeast Ohio Farmers’ Markets

This year during my stay in Ohio I tried to visit as many farmers’ markets and ...

Pickling Peppers

Quick Pickled Peppers

I’ve been really enjoying my time in Ohio among all the backyard gardeners in my ...

Halal in Cleveland- Sahara Supermarket

Halal in Cleveland

For a city not ranked as one of the largest in the U.S., Cleveland has ...

Italian Lamb with Peppers

Italian Lamb Stew

‘Eid Mubarak to you and your families! May all your fasts and prayers be accepted.  We’ve fasted ...

Paula Wolfert

Paula Wolfert’s Recipe for Anatolian Purslane, Lamb and Lentil Stew

Paula Wolfert, an expert in Moroccan cooking and the award-winning author of cookbooks about Moroccan and Mediterranean ...

Tangy Lime and Sumac Summer Salad

Tangy Lime & Sumac Summer Salad

While still experiencing the heat of the summer, it’s always nice to have a refreshing, ...

How to Roast Garlic | My Halal Kitchen

How to Roast Garlic

Raw garlic is a bit…raw. And Strong. Don’t get me wrong, I love garlic. Maybe too ...

Pre-Cooked Peppers

Peppers & Tomatoes Stuffed with Couscous…and a Drizzle of Lemon Olive Oil

It’s a common Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary habit to stuff vegetables with a variety ...

Paella

A Spanish Iftar

My friends and I decided to get together for an Iftar (breaking of the fast ...

Breakfast Eggs in Phyllo Cups

Baked Phyllo Shells with Scrambled Eggs: An Easy Suhoor

What an easy recipe for suhoor (pre-dawn meal before fasting) for your family or for large ...

Cows, Sheep in Ohio

Halal Food is Good for Everyone: A Live Web Chat

I hope you’ll join me for something quite exciting- my first ever web chat, today ...

Dates & Cream Iftar

Ramadan Mubarak! Muslims all over the world are embarking on another blessed month of fasting from ...

The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Talking Iftar On the Kojo Nnamdi Show, American University Radio

Last week was an incredibly busy and productive week, alhamdullilah. For starters, I saw the ...

Blueberry Paleta

Blueberry Paletas

If you live in Chicago, Los Angeles, anywhere in Mexico or near a large Mexican ...

Summer Guava Drink

I grew up drinking guava nectar, my first real introduction being rare, but exciting trips ...

caramel sesame candy

Caramel Sesame Candy

Though I’m not particularly a fan of candy, I do love anything with sesames seeds or honey. ...

Sour Cherry Syrup & Flavored Yogurt

Have you heard about all of the wild things they put in good old fashioned ...

10 Tips to Keep You Efficient in the Kitchen During Ramadan

Efficiency & productivity in the kitchen is a skill that can always be improved upon. During Ramadan, ...

Creme Fraiche, Figs and Honey

Honey is one of my absolute favorite food and health items.  I don’t consider it as ...

How to Dry Citrus Peels | My Halal Kitchen

How to Dry Citrus Peels

Whether you have tons of lemons and limes around or just a few, it’s easy ...

Lemon-Lime Granita

With so much produce left over from the cooking demonstrations I conducted at the ISNA ...

Restaurant Tortellini

Is it Halal? How to Figure Out What’s In Ethnic & American Foods

Based on my own experience with a variety of world cultures and foreign languages, trying ...

Dervaes/UrbanHomestead.org

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

Many of you who follow this blog or actively participate on the MHK Facebook Page probably remember ...

Halal Kitchen Demos at the ISNA Convention: All Four Recipes

The ISNA Convention is over and I’m still reflecting on the wonderful experience it was.  ...

Rice Paper Rolls with Mango & Shrimp Stuffing and Orange-Lime Asian Sauce for Dipping

This recipe is unbelievably simple and there’s absolutely no cooking involved- a perfect crowd pleaser for ...

Mediterranean Spiced Grilled Chicken

This is such a quick summer dish. Use herbs that are ready for picking, which come perfectly ...

Citrus-Herb Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps With Tomatoes & Feta

                  There’s nothing more enjoyable in the summer than ...

Baked Phyllo Cups with Sauteed Mushrooms & Warmed Goat Cheese

These appetizers are so tasty it’s hard to eat just one. Your guests will probably ...

Farmer’s Market Salad

Strolling through the farmer’s market on a humid summer morning is enough inspiration to seek ...

Quinoa with Swiss Chard, Garlic & Tomatoes

I went out to my balcony garden and found the swiss chard growing towards the ...

Everything You Could Want

Shop the My Halal Kitchen Amazon Store for all of your Cooking & Gardening Supplies

I know this isn’t the best time to ask anyone to part with their hard-earned ...

octopus at Alinea (www.alinea-restaurant.com)

If You’re really Into Molecular Gastronomy…or Don’t Even Know What It Is

Check out this site by Martin Lersch about molecular gastronomy and the science of cooking. ...

Yellow Cactus Flower

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

  I’m not only amazed by the fact that my cactus is growing and thriving ...

Fruit Kebobs

There is nothing more refreshing to me on a hut summer day than cold, cold ...

Insalata Caprese (Tomato and Mozzarella Salad)

The summer season is when I truly crave this dish because it reminds me of ...

My Strawberries

My (Edible) Balcony Garden

  Many of my family members and members of  our Facebook page have been asking me ...

Summer Mediterranean Salad with Citrus, Dates & Nasturtium Flowers

  I’ve taken an unexpected break from blogging, partially by choice and partially not. I’ve been developing ...

Mango Salsa | Yvonne Maffei, My Halal Kitchen Recipes

Hangar Steak with Mango Salsa

A great summer dish to leave you satisfied and refreshed all at once this hangar steak ...

Honeydew Melon Cooler | My Halal Kitchen

Honeydew Melon Cooler

It sure is hot. Humid, too. I’ve found the perfect way to cool off without ...

Cherry Tomato and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Quiche

One of my favorite things about pie crust is that it’s so versatile once you ...

Unique Ice Cream Flavors Hit the Spot

I know, I’ve already posted about my gelato fix more than once this month,  but I just couldn’t ...

Chicago French Market

When you live in a big city like I do, it doesn’t mean you always ...

Chocolate Velvet Cake

This week I’ve been testing recipes for good old-fashioned (halal) southern food. It’s a fun and tasty ...

Food Pics Spring 127

Eco-Friendly Gardening: Growing Seedlings in Eggshells

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?

Chicken Pot Pie in Phyllo Dough | My Halal Kitchen

Chicken Pot Pie in Phyllo Dough

Many American kids like myself grew up eating chicken pot pies at some point during ...

A Staycation at the Chicago Botanic Garden

  One of the joys of living near a big city, in my opinion, are ...

Asparagus Burgers Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

A Recipe for Spring: Asparagus Burgers

Sunday we took a trip out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, just to capture the ...

Earth Day and Reflections on “The Cove” Documentary

April 22 is designated as Earth Day. We know as Muslims that every day should ...

Cherry Tomatoes from Coloma, Michigan | Yvonne Maffe, My Halal Kitchen

A Food Revolution for Muslims

You don’t have to be a medical expert to notice that among the Muslim community ...

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

As promised, I’ve put together the recipe for the Chocolate Banana Bread I demonstrated at last week’s ...

Cranberry & White Chocolate Mini Muffins

I offered samples of these muffins to those who attended the My Halal Kitchen Baking ...

53rd and 6th Halal Cart

A NYC Halal Cart Known By Its Street Address

I’ve been to New York City many times as a tourist and have even stopped just ...

Udhiyah Lamb & Lentil Stew

I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to cook the freshest lamb possible, something we ...

At The Martha Stewart Show 1st Annual Pie Bake-Off

It’s been several weeks since I’ve returned from New York City and the Martha Stewart Pie Show. ...

Butter-Basted Roast Chicken

‘Eid Mubarak to everyone reading & subscribing to My Halal Kitchen.  May you all have ...

Radicchio

Baked Radicchio

Radicchio (pronounced ra-dee-kee-yo) is a leafy Italian vegetable mostly available in the fall seasons. It’s ...

Health & Wellness Workshop for Women & Girls

On November 15, 2009, a workshop empowering Muslim women and girls to make healthy choices ...

Penne Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Penne Pasta with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

One of the best things about large squash such as pumpkin is that since they ...

Amish Country: Holmes County, Ohio

I had an incredible time visiting my family this summer in Ohio. Among those fond ...

Fettucine with Simple Caper-Bechamel Sauce

This sauce is a delicious classic with subtle, yet flavorful additions that pair beautifully with ...

roasted pepper and tomato soup

Tomato & Roasted Pepper Soup

These cold fall days seem darker, windier, and overall just more like winter than fall. A good ...

Salted Squash Seeds

Oven-Roasted Acorn Squash Seeds

Acorn Squash and Spaghetti Squash have smaller seeds than the larger butternut squash and the ...

Acorn Squash & Apple Soup

Would you ever put apples into a soup? Necessity and hunger make for very imaginative recipes, in ...

Banana Blueberry Loaf

I’ve been testing this recipe for several years. It’s a favorite of my husband who ...

Sweet Grape Spread

If you don’t have time to jar all those end of summer fruits, try this ...

Moroccan Stuffed Leg of Lamb: An ‘Eid Dish Your Guests Will Savor

‘Eid Mubarak! (Blessed ‘Eid!) to everyone who celebrates, and for those who don’t it just ...

The Last Days of Summer Harvest: Blueberry Picking

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9 comments

  1. Great PHOTOS!… snow in Arizona?! sounds like an oxymoron all in itself subhana’Allah… but yet beautiful and unbelievable. the lodge seems comfy and homey!

    • thank you, it was such an incredible experience to be able to see the natural wonders. I almost forgot I was in a place that just a couple hours away is real desert!

  2. (this message actually came to me via e-mail but with the reader’s permission, I have re-printed it here so everyone could benefit from the dialogue, insha’allah)

    Salam Alaikum Yvonne,

    I really enjoyed your blog on Arizona and elk. You asked your readers if they had eaten elk before. Several years ago, I had elk at a friend’s home and she prepared it like a roast. It tasted very similar to venison, but not quite as “gamey” or “wild”. Her husband brought it home from a hunting trip. I heard that if you marinate wild game in milk it will tone down the gamey or wild taste. I don’t know if she did that or not, but I enjoyed the elk roast very much. Thank you for your inspiring blogs!

  3. Thanks for your comment, Irene. I have also heard about marinating wild game in meat and other marinades. Perhaps it’s the idea of marinating the meat at all. I’ve also watched people soak the meat in white vinegar for just a little bit to get that same ‘wild’ taste out of the meat. My husband thinks pressure cooking wild meats really helps…

    As a child, I ate deer meat and remember that it was often cooked long and slow (real ‘slow food’) and it didn’t taste too gamey after a while. Perhaps we’ve all just lost the notion of how real wild food is supposed to taste, but the bottom line is that it has to taste good for people to enjoy it, right?

    Thanks for your comment, Irene. Hope to see you again here soon 🙂

  4. We had elk burgers in a restaurant in Banff, Canada last summer. It stands as one of the best burgers I’ve ever had! I remember it being very beef-like (maybe a little closer to bison), but a little sweeter.

    Beautiful pictures! It’s a nice reminder that winter isn’t bleak everywhere!

  5. Masha’Allah how beautiful! These images are beautifully taken!

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