Eid Party Fruit Snack {Recipe}

How was your Eid Al Adha gathering this past weekend? I hope you had a fabulous time with family, friends and of course food!

 

We got together with friends after prayers for a potluck play date with a toy exchange and craft table, plus this cute station where the kids made fruit snacks in the shape of a palm tree with a sheep enjoying it’s shade.

 

We were inspired from creating them last year at girl scout camp. When we got home, we gathered all the ingredients so we can show you step by step how to make them.

 

Supplies

Icing
Spreader knife
Banana (2)
Blueberries
Cheese stick
Grapes
Clementines (2)

Since kids are doing this, we found spreader knives that were able to cut the fruit, but not each other!  First we had a quick lesson on knife safety.  Once the kids each had a knife, they were told to cut the grapes, lengthwise, to resemble the “grass” at the bottom of the plate. They also cut the banana lengthwise.

After placing the cut banana on the plate, nestled in the grass, the kids used the knives to create cuts in the tree trunk.

Once the banana looked like a palm tree “trunk”, the kids worked on the palm “leaves” by peeling the oranges and placing them in a fan shape on top.

Now that the grass and tree were done, the kids started working on the “sheep” by cutting the other banana into thin slices. They placed a few in a circle and added more on top to resemble “wool.”

Next came the “face” which is made from cutting the blueberries.

For the “eyes” the kids were given the cheese stick and told to cut out small circles.  They can cut as many as they need until they can get two small enough to fit on the face.  Then they used small left over parts of the blueberries for the final touch.

The final touch was writing EID in frosting. Some kids wrote their name, or added balloons and other shapes. You can also add a cup of slightly warmed peanut butter or Nutella for dipping the banana slices!

Here is our final version, which lasted for about two minutes before it was totally gobbled up! This snack is also fun to eat with toothpicks, but be conscious of the kids ages before you bring those out.

If you enjoyed making this fun snack, be sure to follow A Crafty Arab on Pinterest for other recipes, tutorials and downloads that teach about the Arab world.

Egyptian Ful Medames {Recipe}

My book club met to discuss an Egyptian book, so I decided to make an Egyptian dish, ful medames.

 

Ful medames is a meal of cooked fava beans dating back to Ancient Egypt then exported to other parts of the Arab world, such as Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

 

It seemed the perfect accompaniment to our lively discussion of banned book, War in the Land of Egypt by Yusuf Al Qa’id to commemorate Arab American Heritage Month.
The book was difficult to read at times due to it’s too close to home subject matter, but unanimously loved by everyone. Right away it was noted that, despite it being written about the eve of the 1973 October war, it was very timely due to our current politically nepotism.  It showcases a case of the privileges bestowed upon those with money and power.  From Amazon review:

This book tells the story of Masri (the only character with a name), a young Egyptian peasant who is sent into the Egyptian army on the eve of the 1973 Yom Kippur war in place of a rich man’s son. Al-Qa’id tells his tale from several different perspectives: that of the village headman (the Umda) whose son Masri will replace; the broker who finds Masri; the hapless young man’s father; his friend; his commanding officer; and finally, the investigator sent to look into the switch. The one character we do not hear from is Masri.

It soon becomes apparent why this book was banned in Egypt, as Al-Qa’id uses the events surrounding the war to indict the bureaucratic corruption and social inequality rife in his country. Each character represents a different facet of Egyptian society with Masri himself, by virtue of his name (which, in Arabic, translates as “Egyptian”), standing for Everyman. Political this novel doubtless is, but it is also a masterfully crafted piece of fiction and a genuine page-turner as well. –Alix Wilber

 

The ful medames was also a hit and everyone helped themselves to seconds, which to an Arab is the highest compliment.  I had never made ful before but had eaten it hundreds of times growing up. It was my father’s favorite meal and simple one he mastered When my mother was at school studying for her PhD, he would make it for us. All. The. Time.  I got so sick of it that I never ate it again once I left home for college.

 

But because it’s such a staple known Egyptian food, it would have been wrong to serve anything else with such an adumbrate political book.

 

Ingredients

Fava beans
Garlic
Cumin
Olive oil
Tomatoes (optional)
Boiled eggs (optional)
Feta cheese (optional)

 

Add the fava beans, cumin and garlic in a pot with a cup of water and let it boil. You can buy the beans whole or cheat and buy them canned (in which case, just use the water from the can).

Lower the temperature to simmer and let sit for two hours, stirring occasionally. The beans are cooked until very soft.  In ancient times, the ful was left simmering in large copper jars throughout the night, to be served from the next morning.

While the beans are cooking, chop up the tomatoes, boil the eggs and crumble the cheese. Place all in separate bowls with spoons to have available for toppings.

 

Once your ful is ready, Scoop it up in bowls, top with olive oil and pass on to family and friends to pick their own individualized toppings.

Enjoy with a side of couscous with grilled veggies.

 

We ended our evening with a healthy dessert of halwa and fig crackers.  Please stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more recipes from the Arab world.

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Sandwich Swap Hummus {Recipe}

Happy Valentine’s Day! For those that don’t celebrate today, then Happy International Book Giving Day!

 

The mission of book giving day is to get books into the hands of as many children as possible. To help celebrate, my daughter gifted one of her favorite books, The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, to a new friend at school. She had just moved to the area and didn’t have any books in her room yet.

This delightful book tells the story of two best friends, Salma and Lily, who share so many things in common. Except for lunch.

 

Lily eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwiche while Salma eats a hummus and pita sandwich. Soon the entire school is involved in their lunch lesson of friendship, love and tolerance.

 

In the book, Salma’s mother makes her the sandwiches every morning for lunch and I told my daughter that I remember my own doing the same.  We realized that we wanted to gift the sandwich book with some homemade hummus. We then spent the afternoon putting our book and hummus welcoming present together.

 

Supplies

1/3 cup Lemon juice
1/2 cup Olive oil
Olives for garnish
1/4 cup Tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas or 2 cups dried chickpeas*

*Hummus is the Arabic world for mashed chickpeas. If you are buying your chickpeas in the can, they are ready to be used, simply drain them. If you buy your chickpeas dry, you will need to bring them to boil then simmer about 1/2 hour until tender.

 

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and mix until the consistency is smooth. I sometimes sneak in a teaspoon of cayenne if no one is looking for an extra kick.

Place in dish and add a teaspoon of olive oil.  Place a few olives on top for garnish and enjoy with a side of pita chips.  Or add in pita bread as a sandwich.

 

If you enjoyed this hummus recipe, be sure to visit other Arab food recipes on A Crafty Arab on Pinterst.

 

 

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