Monday, November 30, 2009

Google Wave - Google Invite me please

Google wave is the all new development to the regular google mail.Its like a one stop where people can collaborate in real time.Cool isn't it ?

It gets cooler.People can be added to the conversation and anyone can make changes to the content and even rewind the waves.Its a great tool for conferences,discussions,debates,team work,communities and so much more.

Does that sound like tele conferencing? Ummm....
Also, will we be able to see each other on cams while conferencing?

There's so many questions and so much to explore.Unfortunately, I haven't received an invite yet so cannot review the technology as yet.

I could do with an extra invite
Anyone, please ? ;

Meanwhile, check out the video which explains the function of google wave in layman language.

Also, more can be read on

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Best Buy Wishes Muslims Happy Eid al Adha - Happy Shopping at BB

The giant electronic retailer store Best Buy has been wishing the Muslims in the US a happy eid ul adha advertised along with its Thanksgiving sales.This move by a popular store such as BB is a pleasant change for all muslims living in the US.The recent attacks in Texas had again created an atmosphere of mistrust and fear among Americans and Muslims alike.However, this step taken by BB will help lessen the feelings of animosity or mistrust and make Muslims feel welcome around here inspite of the damage that a minority has done in the name of islam.

Have you spotted the cute note with Eid al adha greeting ? :)

And talk about timings :) Its thanksgiving and Eid ul adha weekend.So lets sincerely and humbly give thanks to the Almighty for His infinite blessings and celebrate eid ul adha in full spirit of utter submission to the Almighty in remembrance of our beloved Prophet Ibrahim AWS's act.

When Prophet Ibrahim AWS's  only son Ismael AWS was a young man, Allah SWT asked Prophet Ibrahim AWS to sacrifice him.Ismael AWS agreed to the same without hesitation saying  this was Allah's command and he would be patient with Allah's decree.When Prophet Ibrahim AWS was about to slaughter him, Allah commanded him to sacrifice a sheep instead of Ismael AWS for He was testing Prophet Ibrahim AWS.Such was the faith Prophet Ibrahim AWS had in Allah's mercy and His infinite wisdom.Later on, he had another son from his first wife Sara RAA who also went on to become a prophet known as Prophet Ishaaq RAA.Allah blessed Prophet Ibrahim AWS with two sons who were both chosen by Allah SWT to be prophets.He was rewarded by Allah SWT for his faith in Him and total submission to the Almighty.To this day, muslims all over the celebrate the spirit of sacrifice by our beloved Prophets Ibrahim AWS and Ismael AWS by slaughtering an animal.The slaughtered animal is then distributed amongst family and also given as charity to those in need.

Lets keep the spirit of our beloved Prophet alive and follow the tradition of selflessness and sacrifice in our relationships and dealings with people around us.Let us promise ourselves on this eid to learn to be more patient in difficult situations or people and to have a forgiving attitude.

Happy Eid ul Adha to all :)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Journey to Mecca - Ibn Battuta's pilgrimage at the Liberty Science Centre

Journey to Mecca is a travel journal of Ibn Battuta's travels from Tangiers in Morocco to Saudi Arabia to perform the holy pilgrimage or the Hajj.The short film shows Ibn Battuta as a young man who wants to perform hajj and leaves his homeland to do so.He is undeterred by the obstacles he faces such as pirates as well as harsh desert sandstorms and so on.He goes to Damascus and joins a group of travelers heading for hajj.After a journey lasting 40 days of continous travel in the desert, they enter Saudi Arabia.The last 15 minutes of the movie show him performing hajj and all the rituals of the pilgrimage.

The best part about the movie was the experience of watching it on a giant dome screen which is 88 feet in diameter.We felt like we were standing on the edge of a cliff while walking around trying to find our seats.The huge screen made you feel like you were part of the movie.The vast desert or the Nile river or the holy city of makkah and the kabah all looked simply magnificient on screen especially since it was all shot from  quite a height.It felt like you were on an airplane and watching the landmasses move below but only this was clearer and at a slower pace.

Although the movie was about 40 minutes, the experience of watching it on IMAX dome theatre made it totally worthwhile.Also, the last bit where Ibn Battuta takes you to Makkah and explains the different rituals of the pilgrimage makes it worth the money and time for muslims and non muslims alike.

The movie is being shown at the Liberty Scince Centre IMAX dome theatre during eid al adha weekend.As a special treat since eid al adha, there's gonna be halal food too :)

The movie comes right on time when its hajj season so we can learn about hajj,its significance for muslims and the rituals that comprise hajj.

Lets pray for the pilgrims who are away performing hajj for their good health and spirits.May Allah SWT accept their hajj and get them safe back home inshallah.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Very Berry Smoothie - Antioxidant Rich, Ideal for breakfast & to beat the flu season

Yummmm...I'm enjoying my breakfast smoothie this morning.I love smoothie mornings because smoothie can be whizzed in the blender within minutes.As I'm always trying to come up with healthier and yummier stuff, I tried my smoothie with uncooked oats.This is the first time I've added oats to my smoothie.The result is unexpected.It actually makes you want your smoothie more often or want to have more of the smoothie :)

I also added all the berries I had in my fridge namely cranberries,strawberries and blueberries.Cranberries are the most powerful source of antioxidants.You cannot have it plain because it is so sour.I usually add it to my cereal or oatmeal or smoothie.You start seeing cranberries in stores at the onset of winter or fall.Our local Farmers market stocked up on big bags of cranberries around a month back.Due to the antioxidants and vitamin C, they help the immune system grow stronger.As a result, come winter, you do not fall ill with infections or the flu.In fact, all berries are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.

Oats add fibre to the smoothie.It also has proteins and is a healthy breakfast option anytime.Oats gives a crunchy taste to the smoothie.Also, it adds to the consistency of the smoothie.

You can read more about the benefits of oatmeal at Mr.Breakfast.Here are their Top 10 Reasons to Eat Oatmeal

A handful of blueberries
A handful of cranberries
5 strawberries
2 handfuls of  uncooked oats
Maple Syrup
Milk or a mixture of milk and yoghurt

Add all the listed ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.Add maple syrup according to taste.

Note : You can also throw in a few almonds,raisins,flax seeds,bran cereal or any other fruit or dried fruit you have at hand.
You can also add a few drops of honey if using yoghurt.
If adding kiwi, make sure you add a banana along with it as the sweet flavor of banana will compensate for the sourness of kiwi.Or you can just go ahead and add a ripe kiwi.
Do not limit yourself while making your smoothie.Be creative and experiment as you go along.Any knd of fruit, fresh and dried makes it healthy and a great starter for the day.
If you have kids who do not like a particular fruit or dried fruit or their oatmeal, this makes sure they get it in their system with no resistance from them ;)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Burger King Big Fish fried with pork

Salaamz All,
From an online posting...this has been verified to be true (it is also on the Burger Kingwebsite):

After  receiving a message with concerns about Burger King fried products, Burger King was contacted to verify the information.
“These products are fried in a shared fryer: Pork Sausage, Pork Fritter*, TENDERCRISP Chicken, CHICKEN TENDERS, BK Chicken Fries, Original Chicken Patty, BK BIG FISH, Hashbrowns,Onion Rings, and CHEESY TOTS.”

The previous information was found off the website. Burger King was contacted to verify if this is also the case for outlets in Canada. The representative confirmed that this is also the case in Canada outlets.

Therefore, aside from the things we know we should not be eating such  as pork and chicken products from this franchise, we now also encourage everyone to abstain from eating the BK BIG FISH, Hashbrowns, Onion Rings and CHEESY TOTS due to contamination.

The French fries are fried in a separate fryer with vegetable oil.

Just passing it along.

 Source : Forwarded Email

Note : I have checked to verify the info.You can access it on their website.The direct link is provided below.Its on page 5, titled Fried Products.

Picture taken from

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thought for the day - Be Kind

"If your faults become too much in front of the people, and you wish that they were to be concealed, then know that kindness covers all faults, and how many faults are kept hidden by kindness! No sadness lasts forever, nor any happiness, and you shall not remain in poverty, or any luxury." [Imam al-Shafi’i]

Keep thinking ;)


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breathtakingly lovely Scenic Overlook - Morristown Highway New Jersey

The weather's been lovely since the weekend.Its predicted to be the same the entire week fluctuating between fifties and sixties Fahrenheit.I want to get in a lot of outdoor fun before the winter begins to set in.I have been wanting for a long time to head off somewhere peaceful away from the crowds and the city.

Having lived in the UAE for so long amidst skyscrapers,date palms and the vast desert along the highways, I simply love living in New Jersey with so much nature around me.In Abudhabi, everytime we needed to relax away from the  hustle bustle of the city, we would head off to the Corniche.The sight of the calm waters and the soothing sound of the sea would fill us with serenity.There is seating arrangement with round tables and benches in a dome like structure constructed at a distance from each other.Usually, armored with roller blades,bicycle,badminton rackets and KFC/South Indian snacks, we would head off to the Corniche for a lovely family time together on most weekends.

I miss the Corniche/the beach in New Jersey.However, the lovely parks with breautiful lakes and greenery gives me the same pleasure I used to feel at the Corniche.

The first thing I noticed on my way from the airport was the license plates on which New Jersey was nicknames as the Garden State.I thought it was due to the lovely greenery all over New Jersey.Apparently, it isn't so.Its so called because it was nicknamed by some mayor who thought NJ was a great place to enjoy with Pennsylvania on one end and NY on the other.History can be funny yeah especially on retrospect.I'm not a big fan of history so no more history lessons for the day :P

I usually do not realize when I'm feeling restless or moody for a while that all I need is lovely nature to enjoy and just totally relax.I have had enough of shopping malls and NY and restaurants for a while.I had been bugging my husband all weekend for something different.He took me to the mall thinking I needed some retail therapy (wink wink ) LOL But I came back totally unsatisfied with the experience.

On a random totally spur of the moment thought we headed to the highway.My hubby recalled seeing a sign somewhere on the highway for the scenic overlook.And here we are :D

This place on the Morristown/ Somerville highway is called the Scenic Overlook.Its basically a rest area and trespassing after sunrise is not allowed.We drove up on the mountain.WHOA !!

It was breathtaking.We were on the mountain top sometime before sunset.The air felt slightly chilly.But it felt so good to be on a mountain and breathing the fresh air.

You can see the highway down there.

There were thousands of trees in sight.Now I know why its known as the Garden State ;)

We walked towards the fence looked down straight at the highway.By the way,it read  "trespassing not allowed"  :~ It was just meant as a rest area.There were 2/3 cars in the parking lot.Both the drivers were "resting" in the rest area.They were actually reading.Another guy was just sitting and looking around.We were the only ones who were walking around and taking pictures like this was one of the seven wonders of the world :P LOL

This was the end where there was no fence.My husband was scared I was gonna slip and fall.I still managed to take one quick picture.

WHOA !!!
We were so high up there.We looked straight down at the highway.

Later on, another couple drove in.They also took pictures along the fence overlooking the highway.The lady was super sweet and offered to take our pictures.She said we looked lovely together and wanted to take more pictures.She made my day.Its so hard to come by such friendly people.

That was a lovely view of the sunset.
There's only 2/3 pictures more, I promise.

That was after the sun had set in and my last picture.

On the way down.

It was a weekend spent wonderfully.A refreshing start for the week ahead :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Gawar ki phalli gosht / Cluster beans with mutton

My friday mornings are very busy as I prepare an elaborate lunch and keep it all ready on the table for my hubby.He's in a rush on fridays as he has to attend the khutbah/sermon and the  friday prayers followed by a quick lunch.

The menu for today was Bagara khana, Kaddu ka Dalcha and Gawar ki Phalli gosht.Roughly translated that is tempered Rice, Gourd with pureed lentil and Cluster beans with mutton.I hope I got that right ;)

Bagara khana is rice cooked with onions and tempered with shahi zeera/royal cumin seeds.Other whole spices are also added to infuse the rice with  the flavor and aroma.Bagara khana served with dalcha is a very popular hyderabadi dish.Its usually served alongwith Gawar ki phalli gosht or Beans ki phalli gosht/French beans with mutton or Sem ki phalli gosht/Sword beans with mutton or  Aloo methi gosht/Potatoes with fenugreek and mutton or just plain fried mutton.

I cooked bagara khana and dalcha using the recipe on Anjum's blog Cheers to Easy Cooking Her recipes really are easy and turn out delicious.She combines a lot of steps and reduces the cooking time which is quite helpful.

That's the picture of my dalcha in making.I made a small change to the recipe though.I used 2 tomatoes instead of 3-4 as stated in the recipe.It turned out absolutely yummy.

Here's my recipe for gawar ki phalli with gosht.I also added bite size pieces of a small potato.Its optional though.

Gawar ki phalli - 1/2 lb
Mutton - 1/4 lb
Tomato - 1
Onion - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Red pepper - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Potato - 1 small (optional)


1.Marinate the mutton with ginger garlic paste,salt,turmeric,red pepper and pressure cook until tenderizes.

2.Heat oil in a wok.Add chopped onion and fry until transparent.

3.Add ginger garlic paste and fry for until it turns brown.

4.Add finely chopped tomato.

5.Add  phalli and about 1/4 cup water,cover and cook until the phalli becomes tender.If adding a potato, do so along with the phalli.

Note : Sem ki phalli/sword beans and beans ki phalli/French beans is also cooked using the same method.

That was my lunch and dinner on friday

As you've probably noticed, I'm not much of a photographer.You can get a better look at the bagara khana and dalcha at Anjum's rasoi

Enjoy this totally yummy authentic Hyderabadi meal :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Cholesterol Egg Salad Sandwiches

This yummy recipe can be used as a sandwich filling or as a spread on toasted pita or brown bread.I have taken the recipe from the Quick & Easy cookbook by the American Heart Association.The book contains more than 200 healthy recipes that can be made in minutes.Its highly recommended for working couples who are running against the clock to cook nutritious,tasty and quick meals.
Its actually a No-Cholesterol Egg Salad Sandwiches as its yolk-free.I have included yolk in my recipe though.

 6 boiled eggs
1/4 cup fat-free low cholesterol mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tbsp finely chopped green onions or shallots
2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp mustard
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
whole grain bread
lettuce leaves


Peel the boiled eggs and chop egg whites.Mash the egg whites together with the yolks.

Combine the mashed eggs with mayonnaise,green onion,bell pepper,mustard,turmeric,paprika and black pepper.

To serve, spread the egg mixture on slices of bread.Top with lettuce leaf and remaining bread slices.

Note : The egg mixture can be stored in the fridge for a week.It can be had for breakfast or as a snack.