Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Halal or Not? Islamic Services of America Info


Happy New Year! I hope 2014 proves to be a positive and productive year for everyone insha'Allah.

I wanted to use this post to help spread information made available by the Islamic Services of America. Below is the link which will take you to their website page providing halal terminology.


Another informative link directs the public to different categories such as "Health and Beauty" & "Pharmaceutical" listing their halal compliance....


It's important for us as consumers to make sure we know what we are spending our money on but more importantly what we are exposing ourselves and our loved ones to! Please do take the time to become better aware of such things insha'Allah as I too hope to do so as well :)

Whatever good lies in this post is from Allah (swt ) alone, and any bad is from myself and shaitan.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's Been a While! Pineapple Pudding Cake Recipe.

Assalamu alaikum!

My apologies for not posting in a few months, I had my second baby boy in September Alhamdulillah and its been a full time job (and then some) getting adjusted. I'm so grateful to my family for helping me into this transition of being a mom of two, now its time to get back to work :) insha'Allah...

Just a couple days ago we celebrated my first borns birthday, I baked a cake from scratch for the first time. It was a Pineapple Pudding Cake which was quite yummy! I am going to share the recipe here, there is an easier way to make this cake by using yellow cake mix and instant vanilla pudding (make sure it's halal). I did not take pictures as I went along (only of the final result) but will do so next time (yes there will be a next time for this delicious cake i'A!).

Yellow Cake Recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2 1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup milk

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two nine inch round pans, or you can use a 10" x 13" disposable aluminum pan that is at least 2" deep (these are usually sold in 99cent stores).

Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly, add the eggs and continue mixing lastly adding the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl mix the cake flour, salt, and baking powder. Now alternate mixing the flour and the milk into the butter mixture and pour into cake pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. I baked for 30 and kept checking every five minutes or so to make sure it didn't burn. Poke the center of cake with a toothpick, it should come out clean when done.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about ten minutes before taking it out and then letting it cool more (preferably on a wire rack).


Vanilla Pudding Recipe
I used the recipe from the site provided below, since this is going on the cake make sure its not too runny. I let it cool and then refrigerated the pudding for at least 2-3 hours before putting it on the cake. Also this recipe makes a decent amount of pudding so you may (or may not depending on how rich you want the cake) have some left after assembling the cake.


Ok, now on to the good stuff.......

Pineapple Pudding Cake

In addition to the actual cake and vanilla pudding you need:

*one 8oz container of Cool Whip
*8oz can of crushed pineapple.

I randomly poked holes (about the circumference of a pencil) all over the cake (I spaced them out some), then I poured some of the pineapple with its juice (not too much juice) over the holes and spread it evenly on the cake. Next spread the vanilla pudding over the pineapple. Lastly spread the cool whip over the vanilla pudding, voila!

Here's a picture of the cake I made....its not as refined as I'd like it to be but I did my best while juggling an infant and a toddler at the same time! Alhamdulillah!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Buttercream Burfi Recipe


I am in my third trimester of pregnancy (Alhamdulillah) and have been craving one of my own creations; Buttercream Burfi! Here's the recipe to this sweet treat...

Sooji Burfi (I used manjulaskitchen.com recipe for this, you may want to double the sooji from half a cup to one cup if you like thicker burfi's)

for the Buttercream....
1 TBSP cocoa
1 TBSP + 1tsp Milk
2TBSP butter, softened
1/3 cup confectioner sugar (I milled regular sugar to make it into a powder)
tip of the tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

14 almonds soaked overnight and then peeled and chopped
1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes

I made the sooji as stated on the website provided (when you spread it out for making the burfi make sure its at least 1/2 an inch thick or more). I toasted the almonds and coconut separately for about 2-3 minutes watching carefully so they did not burn (I did this in a small toaster oven).

I then made the buttercream by whipping the butter and then adding the sugar, cocoa, vanilla powder. I added the milk in portions, you can add milk to your liking to make sure the frosting is not gritty. Then simply assemble and cut the burfi into diamond shapes :)

<3 Halal Homemaker

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Homemade Vanilla Powder


Many people do not use pure vanilla extract because it contains alcohol (this can be for religious or other reasons). There are other options, vanilla powder being one of them (you can also try vanilla paste).

Making vanilla powder is pretty easy to do, you just need vanilla beans and time! I had 2 vanilla beans, I chose to oven dry one bean and air dry the other. The reason why I did this was to see if there was any difference in quality when drying by oven vs. air. I will keep you posted with the results for the air dried bean (this may take between 1-2 weeks) insha'Allah! Since the oven method was done today I am posting those results :)

Vanilla powder is strong, if a recipe asks for 1tsp of vanilla extract use 1/2 tsp of the vanilla powder as a substitute, also vanilla powder can be incorporated in sugar and so many other things so its really versatile in use.

Ok so here we go.....

Using a paring knife slice the vanilla bean length wise (do not go through both layers only the top layer), make sure you leave a little room at the tips of the bean by not cutting all the way. Carefully open the bean up a bit just to see the inside, vanilla beans are expensive so don't waste the seeds inside!

Oven Method
I placed the vanilla bean on parchment paper and placed that on a baking sheet. I preheated the oven to 175 degrees F. The whole process took about an hour. However, after about 45 minutes I checked in on it a time or two to make sure it was ok. I did see some recipes that said 175-200 degrees is ok but I played it safe at the lower temperature this time around.

Once dried, I removed the bean from the oven and allowed it to cool for about 30 minutes or more. I then was able to break it into a few pieces by hand and used a coffee grinder to make it into a powder. When transferring the powder to a small jar try doing it over a plate so that any powder that falls is caught, waste not want not!

That 1 vanilla bean gave me 2 teaspoons worth of vanilla powder.


I hope you enjoy making vanilla powder. I'll be sure to add some ideas about how to use it in a few different recipes soon i'A!

<3 Halal Homemaker

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homemade Gel Air Freshener (using Agar Agar)


Recently I learned how to make gel air fresheners. What's cool about these is that you control how strong or how light you want it and its pretty simple to make too!

Since I don't carry gelatin I used agar agar instead and it worked wonderfully. These were good for about 1 week, I used the small jars in closets since they were less strong in scent.

What you'll need:

1 Tablespoon of agar agar powder for every 1 cup of water (so depending on how big your jars are measure accordingly)
Essential oils of your choice
Glass jars (I used old baby food and jam jars)
Aluminum foil
Food Coloring

I brought the water to a boil, added the essential oil and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes, I then added the agar agar and made sure it dissolved before CAREFULLY transferring to the jars (you can add the food coloring as soon as you pour the liquid into the jars if you are using different colors for different jars, otherwise you can use the one color you like while the water's in the pot boiling).

Agar agar becomes gel like as it reaches room temperature. Once it has cooled you can make the covers by cutting aluminum foil using the jar rim as a guide. Then poke holes to let the scent out!


Hope you have as much fun making these as I did.

<3Halal Homemamker