Can you believe another month has passed? I can’t believe I’m writing my May post (and it’s already June!). This time, I thought I’d combine some of my Ramadan favourites with my May ones as I’m sure you’re all still on the lookout for ideas for your kids or to make things easier during the month, so here they are. As usual, I’ve included affiliate links where necessary.
These always features heavily don’t they? Well here are my May and Ramadan book picks.
Noor Kids, I have good memories of this series, having purchased them two Ramadans ago for the kids. They were a great surprise, the books are fun and relatable and my now 5-year-old has enjoyed them ever since. He’s even trying to read them himself, Alhumdulillah. Their books cover a range of topics, there’s even the new ‘First time Fasting’, which I will have to get my hands on.
There are so many great options for Ramadan books these days. Our Ramadan books are all laid out on our Ramadan table waiting to be read.
I was a bit worried this year, I’m usually so prepared, but it’s been so busy lately I haven’t had a chance to do much. Eventually, I did get a banner up and put some books out. It’s not much, but Ramadan is about making things fun and I plan to do that through the month with these posts, books, and printables to help along the way.
Bismillah Babies have just released Ramadan books (pictured: top right corner). One is an activity book and the other a journal. I had a chance to check them out and they are both great, filled with stories of Ramadan Around the World, fun activities, recipes and more. There has been an amazing effort put into these books, I’m sure they’ll be loved by so many kids.
When the kids get board I’m definitely going to pull out these cutters for them to use with play dough or maybe even let them cut cookies. If I have some time I’d love to make cookies for my kids’ friends, it might make a perfect/Ramadan gift.
Ramadan planning and goals:
Every year I tell myself to prepare, to plan better, to get things in order before Ramadan but that never happens. The year goes by and we’re back at the same point again. However, I’m not going to let that get me down. I’m going to do my best to prepare the best I can for the rest of the time I have. I’m going to print my meal planner printable so I can get on top of the food. I want to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. This year I’ve also decided to start a few things, I’m going to be writing myself a few goals to achieve this month, as well as a dua and gratitude journal in shaa Allah.
If you’re like me and you’re extremely forgetful, be sure to print the trackers in my Missed Fasts Post so you keep count of exactly how many you miss so you can make them up after.
Those are my picks for May and Ramadan. What are yours?
Things have gotten a little quiet around here and I wanted a way to still be able to share all the amazing things I come across, from products to recipes and anything else interesting along the way, hence the start of a monthly favourites post. My hope is that these monthly posts will let me have a space to share some of my ideas and finds with you without me having to go through the effort of writing full-length blog posts, which I don’t have time for these days. I’ll also include links to recipes, where to purchase or just for viewing where necessary. Some of these links may be affiliate links.
Cakes and cupcakes
I had gone a little cupcake crazy in April. The month started with a woodland themed baby shower for my cousin in law, I made lilac coloured blueberry cream cheese vanilla cupcakes and chocolate mint cupcakes. The mint was an absolute hit. I used a few drops of peppermint oil (I used Oil Garden Aromatherapy from Go Vita Myer Centre, Brisbane) in the buttercream instead of essence which contains alcohol. The mint themed continued with mint cupcakes for my sister in law and my in-laws as they have birthdays close together in April. The cupcake theme was rounded off early May with my mum’s birthday, again another lot of choc mint cupcakes with a rose buttercream piped top. It was the first time I used this rose piping technique. The effect is so beautiful yet so easy to achieve
It didn’t stop there, my in laws offical birthday cake was a piece of luggage since they travel often and for Mr Munchies I made a chocolate covered superman logo cake filled with coffee cheesecake and a surprise inside. April is a seriously crazy month with baking, way too many birthdays!
My favourite chocolate cupcake recipe is a one bowl wonder by Sweetapolita.
Muslim Kids Guide
One of the reasons I’ve been so busy lately is because of my work on Muslim Kids Guide. It’s a new site founded by Peter Gould, co-edited by myself and Razeena of READ Little Muslims. It really is a one-stop shop for finding all the great things out there for Muslim Kids (or at least it will be insha Allah). It’s only in the beginning stages but we’ll get there.
I have been reading a little more than I should lately, I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed reading. I’ve been using an app called Borrow Box which allows you to borrow books via the app using your library membership. There are different types of apps used with library memberships, Borrow Box is just one of them, you might have to check with your local library to see they type they use. I also use the Kindle App on my iPhone to read books I’ve purchased on Amazon.
I have yet to start any preparing in terms of food for Ramadan, but I have been preparing in other ways. I have started making up my missed fasts, I’m really hoping to tackle them all by the end of this year insha Allah. I dug up my 49 ways to Kids Involved in Ramadan post from last year and have started circulating it again, I need to sit down and give it a good read so I can make sure the kids are well prepared too. My first plan will be to start reading Ramadan books to the kids.
I hope you enjoyed the first post in my monthly favourites series. What were you up to in April?
One of the activities on our Hajj Activity list last year was to make sheep cupcakes, unfortunately we never got down to it. So, this year when an opportunity came up to write a post for Multicultural Kids Blog I thought why not make them. I searched Pinterest and Google to see what it offered in terms of sheep cupcakes and most results came back with cute little sheep covered in mini marshmallows. Now, mini HALAL marshmallows aren’t the easiest things to find. We’ve been lucky a few times to have them at our local butcher but not this time. After putting a call out on my personal Facebook page, I realised there were many others in the same boat. So, I decided that I needed to come with some other ways to make cute little sheep cupcakes instead. I hadn’t planned to re-invent the wheel on this, but it just seemed necessary.
I made 4 different versions of sheep cupcakes, they all create the same fluffy effect. There’s cupcakes covered in grated white chocolate, cupcakes covered in shredded coconut, cupcakes covered in marshmallows (the big ones – which are much easier to find) and lastly cupcakes frosted to look like wool. Of course if you can’t find halal marshmallows at all, then just use one of (or all of) the other 3 versions and if you’re lucky enough to find minis then use those instead. The faces/heads were created with royal icing, but you could use compound chocolate or candy melts instead. Click the image below for the template or here – Sheep head Template.
I even went so far to create a video tutorial. This is my first ‘voiced’ tutorial and I have to admit, I am a little nervous. I don’t like the sound of my own voice, but I faced my fears just so I could better show you all how to make these cuties. The Eid Mubaaarak cupcake toppers are also free to download. You just need to print them out, cut them, stick onto some toothpick or lollipop sticks and place into your cupcakes.
Pre heat oven to 180c and prepare your muffin/cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a mixer combine your eggs and sugar and beat for about 1 minute. Add in your oil and vanilla and beat for another minute. Mic together your flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside, you can sift these if you prefer. Measure out your milks and set aside. Add in half the the flour mixture then half the milk then the rest of the flour and follow with the last bit of milk. Mix until just combined.
Fill cupcake liners until ⅔ full and place in the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes. The tops will be slightly golden and the cupcakes will spring back if touched. Alternatively a clean skewer through a cupcake can be used to check if they’re baked. Set aside your cupcakes to cool.
In the bowl of a mixer, place your butter and beat on a medium to high speed for as long as you possibly can. Anywhere from 5-10 is a good time. This will ensure a fluffy and creamer coloured buttercream (instead of a more yellowy one). Reduce the mixer to a very low speed and add in your sifted icing sugar. Beat until combined. Add in you milk and beat until combined.
Make some royal icing in black and white (you could also use compound chocolate). Pipe out the faces over the template and leave aside to set for an hour. Pipe the facial features on top and leave aside to set for 24 hours. Peel off and keep aside ready for use.
Fill a piping bag with your frosting. Pipe a small dome onto the cupcake. Roll into coconut or grated white chocolate. Then pipe on a tiny dot of frosting and attach a face.
If making with marshmallows, cut them in half and place the marshmallows around the cupcakes. Leave a blank spot to attach the face. Alternatively you could just frost the cupcakes in a dome shape and attache the face. Or pipe around the cupcakes, starting at the edges dragging in and continuing the process for a few layers which creates a cloud like effect. Then attach a face.
Every year I try to make something for my sons friends for Eid. Sometimes it’s easier than others. Last year for Eid Ul Fitr I made these play dough gifts and this Eid Ul Fitr was homemade chocolate bark for the parents (and the kids as well). This year for Eid Ul adha I thought something crafty might be nice. So, I put together these little Eid Sheep Craft Bags.
These packs are so cute and super easy too with the printables I made. I printed A4 sheets of sheep (4 to a page), I cut them out and we placed them in snack sized snap lock bags with a handful of cotton wool balls, then sealed the bags. I also made and printed those bag labels. They fit perfectly onto the snack sized snap lock bag. I cut them out, folded in the centre and stapled them on. It’s so simple and you can even get the kids involved with filling the bags. Older kids could definitely help with cutting, folding and stapling too.
They were very well received, everyone I spoke to told me their kids wanted to make them straight away. If the kids are happy i’m happy. I’m so glad they all enjoyed it, we definitely did.
Here are the printables if you’d like to make these sheep. There’s 4 labels to a page and 4 sheep to a page. If you just want to make the sheep you could just print that page alone. To download your printables click here or on the image below.
Still looking for Eid Gift ideas? This year has been a little (very) crazy. I’ve had a 17 month old who would be up 2-4 hours at night, suffice to say I was exhausted during the day. I didn’t have a chance to get, make or even plan out my Eid gifts this year. An idea came to me, simple and easy yet yummy and handmade. I do like giving handmade gifts, last year I gave brownie mix jars hard to family and playdough to all my sons little friends.
This year I handed out almond, toffee, salted chocolate bark to our friends and family. I also made cute printables to go with them. Keep reading for the recipe and free printables.
The size of my bags were 13cm but I made the printables slightly bigger so they’d fit a snack size snap lock bag as well. You could use them as is on a bag or cut the edges to fit. I made them in green and black and there’s 3 on a page to save from excessive printing.
Click the green image for the green version or the black for the black labels. Enjoy!
Lay a piece of baking paper on a flat tray. Place your sugar into a flat pan on medium to high heat. Ensure your sugar is dvey spread onthe pan. When the sugar dissolves and begins to turn an amber colour, remove from the heat and pour into your baking paper and spread thin and evenly.
Chop your almonds and set aside in a bowl. Once your toffee (cooked sugar) has set, cut it with a knife. This will cause the toffee to crack and shatter into small shards. Set aside the shards in a bowl.
Lay baking paper on 3 flat trays. I melted my chocolate in 2 lots as it was easier to work with.
Chop 200g dark chocolate and 400g milk chocolate into small pieces. Melt your chocolate in a metal/glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
Melt the chocolate until almost all the pieces have become smooth and liquid.
Remove from the heat and stir until smooth and shiny. Pour 2 serving spoons of chocolate into each tray and spread to approximately 3mms. If the chocolate is too thin, it will snap easily.
Sprinkle your almonds, toffee shards and salt onto the chocolate.
It’s Ramadan and we’re all looking for ideas to keep the kids busy. Part of Ramadan falls in the Winter break here in Australia (and other Southern countries) and in the Summer break in the Northern Hemisphere, which means the kids will need something extra to keep themselves occupied. Sometimes you just need to have something on hand that is self guided, so you can get on with worship or housework or the laundry or whatever else needs doing and activity books are the perfect solution. They’re easy, you can just give them to your kids with some pencils and crayons and they’re on their way. I wrote a post on getting kids involved in Ramadan in which I share many ideas, one of them, of course includes activity books and sheets.
I recently received this Ramadan activity book from Shaheda of ShahedOPrints and it’s been included in our Ramadan book basket this year. It’s a little smaller than A4 making it easy for little hands and has a bright and fun cover. The layout is simple with an easy flow of activities
It is filled right to the end with 25 fun and varied activities. There’s the standard colouring in pages, as well as a maze (which kid doesn’t love those), word activities and more. I’m not sure what age range the book is designed for, although considering the word activities I’d say say it’s probably best for 6 years and over. My 4 year old would be able to do at least half of the activities in the book. In fact he’s been quite excited about it and has started working on some today.
Ramadan Fun is a cute activity book that will keep the kid(s) from getting bored this Ramadan, it’s a good resource to supplement other Ramadan learning and activities. Purchase from Shaheda O on etsy – shahedaoprints.etsy.com.