Empowering Our Children to Avoid the Point of No Return

Empowering Our Children to Avoid the Point of No Return

I am beyond thrilled to bring you this helpful and constructive article written by Yalda Modabber, Golestan’s Executive Director, upon my request (and perhaps pestering) on how we can help our children learn their mother tongue, and do it before it’s too late. It’s not easy, but it can be done and Yalda and her sons are proof of that. Through her persistence and accepting the sacrifices it takes, she has empowered her own children to speak Persian, despite them being a multicultural family. I admire Yalda, not only for succeeding in her own personal mission, but her willingness to always help others with theirs. Thank you for being such a gem in our community!

Empowering Our Children to Avoid the Point of No Return

I wanted to emphasize a few points from the article that really stood out to me, but honestly ALL the recommendations are on point! I hope you found it useful, and if so, please share with your friends.

Battle of the Moms

Battle of the Moms

Unfortunately the battle between stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) and working moms is a real thing. Whether it’s an internal conflict of having to choose one over the other or having someone say something insensitive to you, it’s a true struggle for many. Here’s my 2 cents and some posts of a few things you should not say to a working mom or a stay-at-home mom.

We should all learn to respect each others’ choices. Does that mean I will always agree with someone’s choice? No! But it’s not mine to agree with. If they ASK my opinion, then as a friend I will share it. But if you haven’t been asked, do yourself the liberty of keeping your opinion to yourself if it’s not something nice.

For me the whole “work-life balance” term is misleading. The balance does not come from being able to do everything and necessarily balancing everything. It’s definitely more a juggling act than balancing. Because you can’t be at two places at one time. When you’re working, you are spending less hours with your children, and when you’re at home with the kids you are spending less hours building your career. The balance comes from being HAPPY and CONTENT with your choice and making the most of it. Be happy with your decision and the balance will come as a result.

Would love to hear from all your mommas out there on your personal experiences!

#StayAtHomeMom #WorkingMom #Balance #Choice #Happiness

http://mom.me/pregnancy/15408-10-things-not-say-working-mom/

http://nypost.com/2014/07/10/7-things-you-should-never-say-to-a-stay-at-home-mom/

Aasheh Anaar – Persian Momma’s Pomegranate Soup

Aasheh Anaar – Persian Momma’s Pomegranate Soup

Yesterday was a rainy, windy autumn day. And the only thing it was missing was some warm yummy ash (herb soup) to complement it. So I gathered my ingredients and made me some wheat bulgur soup with a twist, a pomegranate twist that is! I’m calling this aash (soup) Persian Momma’s because it really is a made up version of a few soups together. I hope you like it.

Asheh anar

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 tablespoons Fried Onions (Piaz Daagh) پياز داغ
  • 3-4 tablespoons Whey (Kashk) كشك
  • 1 cup of mixed legumes (usually kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas)
    • I use the 13-bean mix and add more lentils to the mix
  • 1 cup dried Aash herbs
    • Instead of using fresh herbs (which would involve buying, washing, and de-stemming Leek Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Spinach) I just buy a bag of ready-to-use spinach and use a cup of dried herbs specifically packaged for Aash. You can buy these at Persian grocery stores.
  • 1 cup of Wheat Bulgur
    • I use the Trader Joe’s quick-cook kind. *If you are using the regular kind, you will want to add it at the beginning with the legumes.
  • 1/2 cup of Pomegranate paste
  • 1/4 cup of rinsed quinoa (optional)
  • 1 small bag of fresh spinach – chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper (I add a dash of Cayenne pepper  for a bit of kick)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons of gharreh ghoroot (this is fermented yogurt and you would have to buy it from a Persian Grocery)
  • Fried Dried Mint (Na’na Daagh) نعنا داغ

 

DIRECTIONS:

Put legumes, water, spices (turmeric, garlic powder, salt, pepper) and half of your fried onions in the slow cooker and cook on high until the beans are almost fully cooked (this took about 4 hours for me). Then add the dried herbs, chopped spinach, and half your whey and cook for another hour. Add your wheat bulgur and quinoa to the crockpot. Add half the fried dried mint and let it cook on high for 1/2 hour on high or an hour on low and voila, you’ve got Aash anar. Noosheh jaan konid.

Once you are ready to serve your Aash, you can garnish it with the remaining piaaz dagh, na’na daagh, kashk, and pomegranate paste. I like to also add some walnuts for crunch and garnish. Share it with a friend and/or neighbor and it will bring you even more delight!

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Thanks to one of my fellow momma friends, Beyoona D. from California, for sharing her amazing recipe. Beyoona is a beautiful momma to 2 handsome boys and married to her Persian husband. This impressive and intelligent momma is always conjuring up delicious and nutritious dishes for her family and has me oohing and aahing over the internet. Here’s is a recipe she has kindly shared:

Chicken Parmesan with Eggplant

Chicken ParmigianaIngredients:

  • chicken tender or chicken fillet
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Italian herbs (sold in a spice container at Ralph’s or any grocery)
  • Olive oil
  • Basil
  • Mozzarella cheese (shredded) or balls
  • Parmesan cheese
  • A jar of marinara sauce
  • Eggplant (optional)

Instructions:
Bread the chicken by, dipping it in flour first (add salt, pepper and Italian herbs in the flour), then in egg mixture (mix the eggs together in a bowl) then in bread crumbs.

After your done, fry them in shallow vegetable oil.
Cut the egg plants half circles fry them too.

In a oven safe plate put marinara sauce at the bottom. ( I like the RAO sauce brand) they sell it in whole foods or Ralph’s)

I lay down the chicken and egg plants. I shred basil leaves, top it with parmissian and mozzarella cheese.

In the over for half an hour to 40 min Max. 350 F

It’s good to prepare it a head of time. And place it in oven half an hour before serving. Serve with rice, pasta or salad on the side.

Thank you Beyoona!

Gluten-free Persian Dessert (Fereny)

Gluten-free Persian Dessert (Fereny)

Fereny فرنى (Persian Rice-Flour Creamy Pudding)

Looking for a tasty gluten-free Persian dessert for your kids and family? Well fereny is the perfect treat!

fereny

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup rice flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • cinnamon for topping

Place the rice flour and milk in a pot and stir over medium-low heat. Add the sugar. Continually stir until the mixture is smooth and the milk starts to thicken. It is very important to keep stirring to avoid clumping. Once you have reached the desired consistency, add your rose water and turn the heat off while still stirring. Pour your ferenny into a bowl and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Noosheh jan konid!

Lentil Butternut Squash Soup

Lentil Butternut Squash Soup

 

 

With Fall here and the weather getting chillier, nothing like a bowl of soup and some sabzi polo mahi to warm the soul. My soup is a made-up concoction inspired by the internet, and nothing I claim to be Persian, but I promise you it’s super healthy and oh so delicious! You can even make it fully vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

sabzipoloMahi

Lentil Butternut Squash Soup

  1. 1 cup lentils
  2. 1 qt of chicken broth or vegetable broth
  3. 1/2 cup of quinoa, oats and a little flax
  4. 3-4 cups of peeled, cut-up butternut squash (I buy up cut up packages from Costco because I’m too lazy to chop it up myself)
  5. a handful of spinach
  6. diced onions, celery, and carrots for the mirepoix
  7. 1 tsp Cumin
  8. Salt & Pepper as desired
  9. 1/4 tsp of ginger
  10. 1 lemon (optional)

 

Saute the mirepoix (celery, carrots, and onions) in cooking oil (I use grape seed or Avocado oil) until onions become translucent. Add all the other ingredients and let simmer until the lentils are fully cooked (usually 1/2 hour). If the soup is too thick, add some water. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup to desired texture. I don’t fully puree it because I like a little texture to my soup. Drizzle some freshly squeezed lemon juice on each plate of soup and noosheh jan konid! Let me know how you like it :-)

Persian Momma’s Top 3 Tips to Tame the Toys

Persian Momma’s Top 3 Tips to Tame the Toys

A good portion of my week has been spent (wasted?) organizing toys. Ugh. I hate toys! I had to dump all their toys out of their bins because they had been mixed in altogether, print labels (with both words and pictures so they couldn’t use their illiteracy as an excuse), and get working! But I’m happy to report that it’s finally organized. Now, I just need to keep the kids and their friends out of the house. ;-) 

cleaningRoom

Here are a few questions I got about this:

1. Where did you buy the labels from?

  • I bought blank labels (name-tag size) from Target. Then I used  Microsoft Word and used their Avery templates to make the kind of label I wanted. I downloaded images from google to match the categories.

2. How long can you keep it like this and what are your strategies to keep it tidy?

cleaningthehousewithkids

  • Number 1 proven strategy to keep your house tidy is to duct tape your kids to a seat. It works like a charm! LOL. (I crack myself up). Joking aside, my number 1 strategy has been to lower my standards of clean and let loose (a little). After all, time spent cleaning could be used at the gym, reading a book, sipping a cup of coffee, and of course blogging and a million other fun things! So, the answer simply put is that it won’t stay this tidy for long. But the kids know that when I have spent so much time and effort into this, that I truly expect it to stay this way, and for a while it works.

But to really tackle the question here are Persian Momma’s top 3 tips on taming the toys:

1. Designate a play room. If you can, designate a room to be a play room. If house size doesn’t permit this, then designate a certain space or at least tell your children where toys should not be taken. For instance, when we were in a smaller space, I would ask my children not to take toys to the living room and to keep it in the family room. Did it always work? No. But for the most part, they kept the majority of their belongings in the designated area.

2. Out of sight, out of mind. Something I did that worked well was to hide some of the toys.  I literally swept up a bunch of their toys that had not been played with for a while, and stuffed them into a bin and hid them in the garage. After a few months, I would bring those toys back in and all of a sudden their faces would beam with excitement for finding a toy they never looked for! It was a mini Christmas really.

3. Organize into bins. I have learned to organize toys in large plastic bins with lids. I stow away some of the bins (like lego bins, art bins, or train bins which are especially hard to clean up). If they want a new bin, they have to clean up the old bin in exchange for the new one. This way you are not dealing with music toys, cars, dolls, etc. all at the same time. It also helps them to focus on one thing, and finish a task before moving on to another one. Rotating toys out this way also make it fun for the kids to explore their older toys again.

Hope this helps! And all that said, if you ever come over to my house unexpectedly expect to see the BEFORE picture. The AFTER picture only happens when I am super motivated and/or am expecting guests ;-)

morecleaningin10mins

 

And if none of this works, well then resort to this:

getwellcards

Motherly Advice

Motherly Advice

Hey Mommas, I want to hear some advice you give your children. Whether it’s casual, funny, clever, straight forward, or thought-provoking, I want to hear it all!

I will begin with one I tell my children. It is inspired from a poem that I surprisingly remember from ages ago:

كم گوي و گزيده گوي چون در // تا زاندك تو جهان شود پر

Kam gooy va gozideh gooy chon dor //
Ta zeandakeh to jahaan shavad por

Translation:

Speak little and choose your words wisely, like a rare pearl
So that from the little you have spoken the world can benefit

The way I relay this to my children is by telling them that: You have two ears and one mouth, and that they should be used in that ratio.

I will add more to this list soon!

 

Crockpot Aasheh Reshteh

Crockpot Aasheh Reshteh

Here’s asheh reshteh (Persian noodle porridge) made easy using simpler ingredients and a crockpot (slow cooker) :

Just a note that the amounts may not be accurate because I measure with my eyes and don’t really properly measure things out when cooking. If you have never cooked asheh reshteh, there are recipes online for exact amounts. Mine are more suggestions to be tweaked for the more advanced Persian cook.

aashINGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 tablespoons Fried Onions (Piaz Daagh) پياز داغ
    • I always have piaaz daagh in my freezer. It’s so much easier to make it in batches and just freeze it and use as needed.
  • 1-2 tablespoons Whey (Kashk) كشك
  • 1 cup of mixed legumes (usually kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas)
    • I use the 13-bean mix and add more lentils to the mix
  • 1 cup dried Aash herbs
    • Instead of using fresh herbs (which would involve buying, washing, and de-stemming Leek Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Parsley, Spinach) I just buy a bag of ready-to-use spinach and use a cup of dried herbs specifically packaged for Aash. You can buy these at Persian grocery stores.
  • 1 small bag of fresh spinach – chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Turmeric
  • Salt and Pepper (I add a dash of Cayenne pepper  for a bit of kick)
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 package of Noodles (Reshteh) رشته
    • I use the NC brand
  • Optional (secret, not-so-secret anymore ingredient ;-) ):  2 tablespoons of gharreh ghoroot (this is fermented yogurt and you would have to buy it from a Persian Grocery)
  • Optional: Fried Dried Mint (Na’na Daagh) نعنا داغ

DIRECTIONS:

Put legumes, water, spices (turmeric, garlic powder, salt, pepper) and half of your fried onions in the slow cooker and cook on high until the beans are almost fully cooked (this took about 4 hours for me). Then add the dried herbs, chopped spinach, and half your whey and cook for another hour. Break your noodles (reshteh) into halves or thirds and add it to the crockpot. Add half the fried dried mint and let it cook on high for 1/2 hour on high or an hour on low and voila, you’ve got Aash reshteh without the headache. Noosheh jaan konid.

Once you are ready to serve your Aash, you can garnish it with the remaining piaaz dagh, na’na daagh, and kashk.IMG_3122