Last year during the Hajj and Eid period I made an advent calendar for my son. During this time I tried to teach him about different aspects of Hajj. We discussed the Maqam Ebrahim. This would not be something I would just discuss, but as my son knows the story of Prophet Ebrahim (AS) well, I thought it would be fitting to talk about it and explain that Prophet Ebrahim (AS)’s footprints are inside. On discussing this I learnt that my son didn’t understand what the concept of a footprint was. I decided it would be a good idea for him to make his own, so I let one of the pockets in his advent calendar lead to this activity. Make footprints.
Piece/s of paper
paint (non toxic, in colour/s of your choice)
sponge or paintbrush
Before starting, wash your child’s feet, grab them a chair or something comfortable to sit on, put some newspaper down in the area you need to work in and keep a wet cloth or wipes handy. Paint a foot with the paint and press firmly onto the page, lift off and repeat with the other. If you have older kids and you’re comfortable with them handling the paint, you could always pour some paint into a plastic plate, let them step in and walk onto the paper. Once finished, give the feet a nice wipe down (they’ll still need a wash, but at least it won’t get everywhere in the meantime). Hang up the paper to dry.
We made 3 copies, the first was a practise piece for us to keep and the second 2 we gifted to each set of grandparents.
We printed a note on the paper (if you decide to do this, please ensure your printer is able to handle the painted on paper and test that it’ll line up well once printed), and laminated each sheet. We then put them in A4 envelopes and let the cookie monster give one to each set of grandparents.
Our note read:
I have been learning about Hajj. So far I have learnt that the clothing worn during hajj is called ‘ihram’ and that it is white. I have also learnt that the walking around of the kabah is called ‘tawaaf’. We have talked about the Maqam Ibrahim and that Prophet Abraham’s footprints are inside it. To help me understand we made footprint art. This set of footprints is for you to keep.
It was a simple idea but the grandparents loved it!
Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha is just around the corner and I realised I’ve had this post sitting in drafts for a little while now, I knew I wouldn’t get it to you anytime soon, but almost a year? That’s crazy, or just lazy. Well, at least I made it before Hajj passes this year, I hope this gives you some ideas for things to do with your kids. I’m not sure what I’m doing yet, but probably something similar. If you need more activity and craft ideas, don’t forget to check out my Ramadan Activities post, some of them can definitely be used as Hajj activities as well. Read my very old post below.
I know Hajj and Eid has already passed, and it’ll be almost another year before they appear again. For a long time now I have been wanting to incorporate more Islamic based activities or themes into our everyday lives. It’s not only about making things fun but also about encouraging a joy for learning Islamic related content. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture posted by Confessions of a Muslim Mommoholic. It inspired me to create something similar with/for my son. Here’s my version.
I wish I had thought about this earlier, so I had had more time to plan and create a better poster, but considering it was already the 1st of Dhul-Hijjah I had to be quick and get going. My poster was pretty simple, so I won’t delve into heavy instructions, I’m sure if any of you decided to do this you could come up with posters much better than mine. But here’s my simple guide. I stuck a square black piece of card onto poster paper and decorated it with gold glitter glue. With some yellow paint I drew a little box (Maqam e Ebrahim) and with a circular sponge tool my son (with my help) dotted in white to represent the many people during Hajj. For the calendar portion, I cut pieces of paper, folded them over and stapled the edges, then using craft pegs from a discount store I pegged these to some wool I attached to the poster card. These were labelled 1-13, 1 being the first day of Dhul-hijjah and 13 being the last day of the Hajj.
Each day there was an opportunity to open one of the labelled pockets and take something out (again, I wish I had more time to come up with some better ideas for these pockets, but all in all I was pretty pleased with it).
Day 1: M&Ms
Day 2: Gummy Lollies
Day 3: Mini Marshmallows
Day 4: Money (in coins)
Day 5: Small toy car
Day 6: Try on Eid clothes
Day 7: Mini Marshmallows
Day 8: Make a footprint
Day 9: Try on Ihram
Day 10: Small toy car (Eid)
Day 11: Money (note)
Day 12: Dates and Zam Zam water
Day 13: Crayons
Before opening a pocket each day, we would discuss different things about Hajj, we discussed that the clothing worn is called Ihram and that it is white, we discussed the circling of the Kabah is called Tawaaf and we also discussed the Maqam Ebrahim (my son knows the story of Prophet Ebrahim (AS) well, thanks to Zaky DVDs, but on discussing this I realised he didn’t know what the word footprint meant, which lead to the activity on day 8. We also watched numerous youtube videos of Hajj as well viewed different pictures, from the Kabah, to people in Ihram.
All in all despite the rush, I’m proud of what my son and I gained from the experience, what he learned (as little as it may have been) and that it gave us an opportunity as a family to come together to learn together. I know Eid is over for now, but hopefully this might help as a guide for some of you for next year, I know it will definitely remind me, and give me motivation to up my game next time, in shaa Allah.
What will you be doing with the kids for Hajj and Eid this year?
We recently took a trip to New Castle and Sydney. Coinciding a trip to see my sister in law with Nouman Ali Khan’s Story Night. Our trip was fun, eventful and busy. Although we didn’t stay long, I thought I’d share what we got up to on our halal holiday in Sydney. I’m not sure what constitutes a halal holiday, I guess for us, it’s eating halal, taking part in halal activities and surrounding ourselves with good clean halal fun (but mostly eating).
We started our mini holiday in New Castle. It was a good chance for us to settle and relax. Being in my sister in laws house was as close as being home as you could get, we lazed around and ate. Indian chaat and some delicious Malaysian food were some of the foods we enjoyed as well as home cooked meals by my sister in law.
We planned our Sydney trip for Friday and Saturday, with a stay over on Friday night easing the pressure to get back. We packed up and left early Friday, wanting to desperately make it in time for Jumuah at Lakemba Mosque where NAK was giving the khutbah. After a 2 hour drive we stopped to refresh and onto the mosque we went. At the mosque it took a little shuffling up and down for us ladies to find our place, as time went on the mosque filled to capacity. We patiently waited and Alhumdulillah had the opportunity to hear and watch NAK live (as live as you can get from a projector screen in the ladies section). He spoke of Ramadan and our duties beyond it. A very inspiring khutbah indeed. Here’s a link to that lecture, I may just have to rewatch as a reminder to myself.
We set off for lunch after Jumuah had finished, no selfies in hand. Our hunger was well satisfied at Dougie’s Grill in Bankstown. Great service and great gourmet burgers. Mr munchies ordered a camel burger, yes, CAMEL. My curiosity got the better of me and I had a taste, maybe there was a lot of filling in that burger, maybe I didn’t take a big enough bite, but to me there really isn’t anything weird or outrageous about the flavour. It’s slightly beefy, slightly lamby (beefy? Lamby? Those are totally words). Mr Munchies enjoyed it (so did his beard)!
We headed to our room after lunch, as I mentioned before the view was amazing! The Opera House and Harbour Bridge are beautifully designed but I was more in awe of their backdrop, would they look so beautiful if it were not for that crisp clean ocean and milky blue sky. It was a perfect day, with perfect weather and an amazing view, subhanAllah.
That night everyone went off to see the show while I decided not to brace the crowds with 2 kids at bedtime. The kids and I relaxed in the room and I was happy I had the chance to see NAK at Jumuah.
Saturday was busy, crazy busy! We started our day at the Liverpool Eid festival with special guest Zaky! We met Zaky!!! We even took a photo. He didn’t say much, quiet guy that Zaky, seems to talk more in his DVDs. He’s got a brand spanking new website too, check it out, it looks pretty good, what do you think? The cookie monster also fed a calf and went on a pony ride, he had so much fun.
Haldon street in Lakemba was our next stop. The very famous Haldon Street seems to be really popular in the news lately. For me, it was comforting, seeing such a culturally rich place, hearing Arabic in the streets and seeing Arabic on the walls (not that I can understand but still nice all the same), we even saw The Crudely Islamified Mannequin Man, nope, no selfie with him either, we had a number of missed opportunities this trip. There were 3 Islamic book shops on the street. 3! THREE! Mr munchies and I were like kids in a candy store, you would think we’d never seen islamic books before. We came home with a lot of titles, mainly children’s books, all worth it Alhumdulillah. Here’s a picture of some of the books we purchased (the learning roots books were purchases at the Liverpool Eid Festival in the Zaky stall).
If you stop at a baklava bakery in Lakemba ask for basma and ashta (AKA sweet cheeses). It is delicious, really light and tasty. I need to find a recipe to share.
Our last stop was an Indian chaat place, they seem to be very popular in Sydney, this one was full and busy. It was followed by another 2 hour drive home and subsequently putting all the kids to sleep. We spent the next morning packing and by evening we were home.
All in all the trip was wonderfully fun. Travelling with kids definitely has it’s ups and downs, having to work around tired, sleeping kids, that need food and milk and just some plain old comfort can be draining but having your kids close to you and sharing in these experiences with them makes the hard times worth while.
I teased you with this Baklava Cheesecake in my last post. Well here it is. Let me start with a warning: This cheesecake involves a lot of steps. Let me say that again, A LOT OF STEPS. You might even get lost in this recipe. However, if you’re up for a challenge and want to go for it, I won’t be stopping you! Trust me, it’s worth it.
On a small side note, this version (pictured above) was great, but I modified it slightly to take that great to amazing. So yours might not look quite like this one, but it will taste even better. The recipe below will give you a slightly thinner base, a higher, fuller cheesecake filling and the topping and pastry will be sweeter and just as delicious looking. I used digestive biscuits, but a plain dry sweet biscuit would complement this cheesecake just as well.
The great thing about this recipe is that it has all the full flavour of baklava (plus cheesecake) but doesn’t feel as heavy. The cheesecake is deliciously creamy and the addition of yogurt really gives balance to the flavours.
I would give you a warning about calories, but I it does’t seem like an ideal thing to give 2 warnings in one post. So, how about I just tell you that these are special occasion calories. You know the kind, the calories we totally ignore when special occasions roll around. You could make this on a special occasion like Eid, a birthday or Monday, because Monday’s are special occasions, don’t you think?
This cheesecake was inspired by this picture on Instagram from Amnah (of Little Life of Mine). At the time of posting I had no idea she had a recipe too, If I had I probably would have just used that instead. Go over and check her recipe out, it looks amazingly delicious.
- 200g digestive biscuits
- 75 g butter
- Nut Layer
- 1/2 cup pistachios
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 tblsp castor sugar
- Sugar Syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 water
- Few drops lemon juice
- Cheesecake Filling
- 500g cream cheese
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 3/4 cup yogurt
- Fillo Top
- 50g butter
- 2 sheets filo pastry
Base and preparing the nut layer
Preheat your oven to 170c and remove the filo pastry from the fridge so it will be defrosted and ready to use in time (you may have to take these out earlier). Crush nuts until fine. Reserve 1/2 a cup aside to be used with the base. Add castor sugar to the remaining nuts and mix. Prepare a 20cm springform pan by laying the bottom with baking paper and greasing. Crush the biscuits and melt the butter. Add biscuits and the reserved nuts to the melted butter. Mix well and press into the springform pan. Be sure to press into the base and up the sides. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Cheesecake Filling and Filo Top
Whip cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla and whip until combined. Add in yogurt and mix again. Pour onto base and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently top with the nut mixture. Fold your filo sheets in half and place on top of the nuts (you should have 4 layers of pastry). Trim off the edges so the filo fits into the pan. Melt butter and spoon onto each sheet of the filo. Place in the oven for a further 20-25 minutes or until the filo is lightly golden.
While the cheesecake is in the oven get your sugar syrup ready. In a small saucepan on the stove, mix together the water, sugar and lemon juice. Cook on a medium heat until thick and syrupy. It will thicken more as it sits.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and pour over your sugar syrup. Set aside to cool completely. Remove from pan and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before serving.
I’m going for an Eid party and I had to take something! So I’m taking burfee. Yeah I know. It’s burfee. Your plain, old, typical, traditional burfee! I had plans, I did, big plans in fact! You all know how it is though, life takes over, it gets busy, all that usual mum stuff! Before I go on, I need to tell you about this Eid party. It’s being hosted by my blogger friends Sarah of Flour and Spice and Asiya of Chocolate and Chillies. Where is this party happening you might ask? On their blogs of course! It’s another virtual party. Be sure to head over to their blogs to check out what everyone else is taking!
Isn’t Burfee just one of those things, it screams Eid. I mean I don’t know what other time of the year you’d make Burfee. Oh, family weddings of course! Family weddings always call for celebration food and Burfee is definitely celebration food and Eid is definitely a celebration. So Burfee it is.
- 500g milk powder
- 1 tin reduced fat cream
- 350g icing sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 I butter
- 1/4 can of condensed milk
Combine your milk powder and cream until it resembles breadcrumbs, set aside. On a medium heat in a small saucepan, combine icing sugar, milk and butter, gently stir until it comes to a boil, the sugar should be dissolved. Remove from the stove and add in the condensed milk, mix well. Pour the milk and sugar mixture into the powdered mixture and mix well until it comes together. Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge until needed. The burfee will firm up and can be easily shaped or cut. Top with slivered almonds and serve.
I need to tell you a story. One year, I sent a little Eid plate to my husband’s work. It included burfee and a few other special treats. His colleagues each took one of the treats and shoved the whole thing in their mouths, little did they know each one was meant for sharing. It was after this incident I realised burfee should come with some sort of instruction manual on proper eating etiquette. You see for those of you who don’t know, burfee is an Indian sweet treat referred to as a sweet meat, weird name I know, don’t know who thought up that one. Burfee is sort of like a milky type fudge or a rich milky truffle. It’s made with sugar and milk powder. It’s meant to be eaten in small doses, just like you would fudge or a truffle. It’s usually laid out in a big block and people are expected to cut away a small piece and savour it.
Today’s burfee is traditional but I did turn this into a yummy modern treat when I made Burfee Frosting once, it was SOOO good. Be sure to try either of these recipes out!
To my food blogger friend Henna of My Ninja Naan, who was originally co-hosting this event. I am so sorry to hear about your dad, you and your family will be in my prayers.
Have a blessed Eid!
Eid is around the corner, have you got your gifts sorted? If you haven’t I’ve got a great idea for you today. Nothing says ‘it’s from the heart’ like something home/handmade does, right? Well what do you think of these Brownie Mix Eid Gift Jars? I’ve seen this idea around Pinterest and thought it would be the perfect Eid gift idea.
You see, I need to tell you something, I’m not the biggest fan of boxed cake mixes. I don’t know why, I’ve just always preferred the joy of homemade and have never really liked the taste of them. It’s ok if you use boxed cake mix though, I know it totally makes life easier sometimes, I get it! NO judging. It’s just not for me.
I also have some other motivation for creating these jars as my Eid Gift this year. I have a certain family member, I won’t mention any names, for some reason always makes boxed cake mixes. To curb this habit, I drop off freshly baked goods, I provide yummy homemade recipes, I offer to bake when needed, yet despite my efforts, they still find their way into her pantry. I’m starting to believe these boxes of cake mix have legs and just jump off the shelves into her trolley. So family member who shall remain nameless, this gift is for you and inspired by you. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some other handy homemade mixes coming your way.
You can find the recipe to these brownies below. I just layered the ingredients into the jar. The chocolate or nuts is completely optional and these brownies don’t need them, but who doesn’t love a bit of crunch and chocolate?
Brownie Mix: Eid Gift Jars
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 150g melted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup nuts or 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 170c. Grease and line a 20cm square pan. Combine the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Beat your eggs and add this to the mixture as well. Mix until everything is combined. Throw in your chocolate chips or nuts if using them and fold through the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until the centre seems set. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Like those tags? Yes, I made a printable, and yes, it’s free. Gosh I really need to start charging for these things. The printable comes in two parts the Eid Mubarak Tag and a second tag which includes the instructions for the brownie mix.
Click below for the printables:
Eid Mubarak Tag Download
Brownie Mix Instructions Download
I realise the brownie mix label is worded with metric measurements, I’m Australian, that’s what we use. If you want a printable with imperial measurements, let me know, I’ll see what I can do. I kept the two labels in separate printables so you can easily use the ‘Eid Mubarak’ tags on their own for any Eid Gift. If you’re looking for a homemade/handmade kid’s gift idea, be sure to check out my Playdough for Eid gifts post.