Monthly Archives: September 2014

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!



  • 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.


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. 😉 


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?


  • 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 😉



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


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


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 (Persian Noodle Soup/Porridge)

Crockpot Aasheh Reshteh (Persian Noodle Soup/Porridge)

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.


  • 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


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

Sibling Bullying Linked to Depression

Sibling Bullying Linked to Depression

I came across this article on Facebook: Sibling bullying increases depression riskIn a nutshell, it reports that there was more depression seen amongst children who were constantly bullied by their siblings. The article reports this was more frequent in girls who were bullied by their older brothers.

While I am always skeptical about qualitative research like this that evaluates things from a questionnaire and links adult behavior to childhood experiences without really evaluating the factors in between, and does not have clear controls, it does not dismiss the importance of teaching your children to be kind to one another. It really made me think about this issue.

I think fighting amongst siblings is readily accepted, and quite frankly, within a reasonable limit, it really is a part of growing up and learning to coexist with others.

But to be aware of your children and make sure that they are not constantly upsetting each other and causing angst is important. If you as a parent allow it  to continue, it becomes a bad habit and accepted trend that can possibly lead to  a permanent rift amongst siblings.

So here are 3 ways to teach your children to get along:

1. Help Children Recognize Each Others’ Triggers and Avoid them

Knowing what makes your brother/sister ticked off can be a sibling’s strength. Siblings tend to know each other very well. But allowing them to use that to set each other off can be harmful. Help your children identify what can provoke arguments and fights. Then help teach them how to avoid these situations and not to react.

2. Enforce Repercussions for Bad Behavior

Being clear and persistent about consequences is important. Instilling rules and sticking to them is an important part of parenting. This is especially important when the children hit one another and/or physically or mentally harm each other. Taking away privileges or having time outs or toys taken away are some of the consequences that can be used.

3. Praise Good Behavior

Right on the opposite end of scolding for bad behavior and taking away privileges is making sure you praise good behavior and positively reinforce it when the kids are playing well and behaving properly. Making them aware of what is good and reinforcing it with a positive message, privilege, or prize is important.

Hope this helps and makes your lives and your children’s lives a little easier!

Wishing you all good health,

Persian Momma

First Day of School

First Day of School

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I am no longer a little girl waking up to my first day of school. Wasn’t it yesterday when I had butterflies in my stomach anticipating where I was going to sit, who was going to me my buddy, and how I was going to do in my classes? It all passed by in a blink of an eye. Sounds cliche, but I remember and feel it as if it were not too long ago.

This time the butterflies I have on the first day is for my children. Will they like their class? Will they be safe? How will they do in school? Will they be liked? Will they be happy? And so my mind cycles while I scurry around the kitchen to simultaneously prepare breakfast and get their lunch boxes ready.

To make my children’s day a little sweeter, and while they are still young enough to be openly receptive of my mushiness, I tuck away little love notes in their lunch boxes. For the boys, since they are still not fully reading, it’s more of drawings of hearts and simple words. But I can be a little more expressive for my daughter who is older and is starting to read and write in Persian 🙂


Happy first day of school to all the teachers, students, and parents! It is an exciting day and may it be full of laughter, joy, health, and learning!

And if your kids are already complaining about how hard it is to walk to school, or wait for the bus, you may want to show them a few of these images of children around the world, and their journeys to get their education! It’s a good reminder to count your blessings and have perspective.

Dangerous Journey to School 

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