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International/Multicultural Day at Schools

International/Multicultural Day at Schools

Often schools have a “Multicultural Day” or “International Day” of some sorts where children are encouraged to present their culture and heritage through dance, music, food, posters, and such. Here you can enjoy the creations of fans and friends of Persian Momma that have kindly shared their projects. Great job to the families for carrying on the importance of keeping with tradition and keeping it alive and a big round of applause to the children who proudly share their heritage and help their parents represent our beautiful culture.

Aiden from Dubai (age 7) and his mom did an amazing job with the collaborative efforts of other Persian families from the school presenting the culture through the colors of the flag, pictures of the variety of different climates of Iran, the delicious food, and desserts, the hand-woven rugs, replicas of ancient Persian artifacts, handcrafts, earthenware, and the traditional Samovar. I love that they even have a traditional Persian instrument, the Sitar.They borrowed some of the decorations from local stores (which is a fabulous idea!) and catered some of the food and desserts for the event. Overall, this was meticulously done and I can’t believe it was their first year doing it!

10488131_10153032232748632_6824335472799191670_n 10991332_10153032233508632_2353605739462782830_n 10997774_10153032232578632_3293117290673733484_n 11001844_10153032232783632_3547667973643456500_n 11001895_10153032233308632_7298390623074206515_nAnd here is handsome Aiden himself who is already a well-traveled and international child at the age of 7! Thank you Aiden and Nazli for sharing your beautiful spread with us!

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From WA state in the USA, we have Keeyan (age 9) and his parents who had the difficult job of representing Iran all alone to the school while many other nationalities were represented by larger groups. WIth their beautiful spread, abundance of food and thoughtful decorations one would definitely think there were at least a few more families involved.  I love that they had “lebasseh mahalli” (traditional clothes) and the Sofreh Haft Seen to include in their display. Thank you for sharing with us!

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All the way from snowy MA, USA we have a beautiful poster board made by 8 year old twins, Ariana and Ryan. They did a great job summarizing their rich heritage through a  well-thought out poster board showing the pre-revolution flag of Iran, the geographic location, and facts about well-known landmarks such as Persepolis, and Chehel Sotoun and artifacts like the Cyrus Cylinder. Wonderful poster!Poster

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Do you have any pictures to share from your multi-cultural/international night? Would you like to show off your child’s or children’s proud display of culture on Persian Momma? Please send me a comment or message through the blog or the Persian Momma Facebook page. As always, thanks for reading! Ba Tashakkor 🙂

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So here are some pictures from our Multicultural night. We only have two families that are Persian at our school (one being my own) and the other being our neighbor, whose beautiful table was featured above. However, since two Persian Mommas are even better than one, I think we did a beautiful job presenting this year to show true Persian hospitality. I made the desserts and my neighbor made the food and brought the poster and decorations. Together we pulled off what friends thought was a beautiful ensemble. Enjoy!

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Here is our most recent 2017 table spread from our cultural night:

Some tips:

  • Offer bite size samples
  • Make sure to have labels for each food with the name of the food/dessert.
  • Write the ingredients of the food/dessert with extra attention to allergies kids may have.
  • Make the posters fun and easy to read. No one wants to read a whole essay while standing up!
    • Suggestions:
      • Make it in the format of a fun trivia.
      • Make it age-appropriate. This was for an elementary school so the questions were made for such.
      • Add lots of pictures.
      • Make it colorful
      • Have a picture of the flag
  • Have an actual flag of your country.
  • Go to the dollar store for pretty plates and a small poster board!

 

Planking Challenge

Planking Challenge

While I consider myself strong, planking is definitely not my forte. However I did the #PlankForEmpowering and #PlankForEmpowerment challenge (which was started by Raw Coco’s CEO, Niki Amini-Naini) to encourage others to also challenge themselves.
This has gotten my kids excited as well. My daughter, who is featured beside me in the second picture is trying to beat her record of over 1 minute!
Read more here:
http://rawcoco.weebly.com/…/sanaz-z-takes-on-the-planking-c…
Also make sure to explore her blog and read about Niki’s amazing planking story and how she almost broke the world record! This bright and super strong young lady can hold a plank for 2 hours 40 minutes!!!

 

Oven Baked Chicken Recipe

Oven Baked Chicken Recipe

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Here is an easy lunch/dinner recipe to go to when you want something healthy and easy. You can serve it with salad or Zereshk polo (barberry rice) or plain rice or anything really!

Evenly spread a layer of drumsticks, alternating so that you can fit in as many as possible into your oven-safe dish. I use a big-size Pyrex. Season with salt, pepper, fried onions, turmeric, ginger, saffron, and lime juice. Then cover with foil and bake in the oven at 325 degrees Farenheit for 1.5-2.5 hours. Make sure to check on your chicken half-way and spread the juices onto the chicken. It’s that simple 🙂 Noosheh jan konid! (Bon a petit!)

 

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Mankind versus Gorilla

Mankind versus Gorilla

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I can’t keep silent anymore! Ok, who am I kidding. I have never been silent. But I can’t watch the epidemic spread of hate over an accident that was unfortunate. I really despise all the judgement and hate towards the parent and innocent child. It’s what’s wrong with our society. We are quick to hide behind our screens and point fingers at others. I agree that we should all watch our children. I also believe that accidents happen. Don’t forget that we are also responsible as a society and as a whole. Where were all the other adults who were quick to videotape the incident? Could they have not prevented this? Could they not have helped a mother who may have not had her eyes on one of her children for a moment. It’s unfortunate that a gorilla, and an endangered species at that, was hurt and killed. But it was to prevent the death of a child. You have to put yourself in the mother’s shoes. If God forbid your child was the one who fell in or climbed in and fell in, what would you want done? Would you want your child sacrificed for the gorilla’s sake?
They say that we are the best parents until we actually become one. It is true! For those who don’t have children, I can understand how they are quick to jump the gun, no pun intended, and point at the mother. But once you become a mother I would have expected empathy and understanding for the mother and child in this situation.
I will never understand people who fight for animal rights but are quick to step on human rights.
Another issue this brings up is the old saying, “it takes a village to raise children”. It really does take a village and other people caring and watching out. We no longer have that village in our busy and self-loving and self-righteous society. We are too busy taking selfies, trolling our messages of hate on the internet, and judging to lend a helping hand. In this scenario, the bystanders should have also meddled. We love to meddle when it causes trouble, but what about meddling for a good cause?
Let’s think about this a little and please feel free to voice your opinion and thoughts and keep it civil please.
‪#‎CincinnatiZoo‬ ‪#‎Gorilla‬

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/29/us/cincinnati-zoo-gorilla-shot/index.html

‪#‎WhatHappenedToHumanity‬ ‪#‎WhatHappenedToHavingAVillag‬e

 

Humility

Humility

I will be using this as an opener in my math class to review inverse proportions and to simultaneously teach them a lesson in life that sadly many adults today seemed to have missed. Ego and knowledge have an inverse relationship. Often you will find that the most arrogant and egotistic people are the ones who have the least to offer everybody. Therefore one must not be annoyed by such arrogance but use it to detect the shortcomings of such a person. We have a beautiful saying in Persian that is synonymous with this: “derakht har cheh por baar tar, oftaadeh tar” درخت هر چه پربارتر، افتاده تر. Loosely translated it means that the more fruitful a tree, the more down-to-earth it is. ‪#‎PersianMomma‬ ‪#‎LifeLessons‬ ‪#‎MathLessons‬ ‪#‎Humility‬

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Persian Momma balls

Persian Momma balls

Ever wondered how you can be more ballsy? Well, Well, look no further, all you need are the following ingredients:

  1. Pitted Medjool Dates (about 10 pitted dates)
  2. 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut (optional)
  3. 2 Tbsp of hemp seed
  4. a handful of walnuts
  5. 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. 1 Tbsp of oats (mine also have flax seed in them)

PMBalls

Put all the ingredients into a food processor, process away, and make into bite-sized energy balls 🙂 Noosheh jan konid 🙂 These stay well in the fridge and in the freezer. So you could make a big batch or just a few to satisfy your sweet tooth.

 

Koofteh (Persian Herb Meatballs)

Koofteh (Persian Herb Meatballs)

Koofteh, in my opinion, is of the healthiest protein-packed Persian dishes that is both satisfying and good for you. It can be enjoyed with a side of fresh herbs, bread, and plain yogurt.

Ingredients:
2 lbs Ground Beef (I always use Organic) گوشت چرخ کرده
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour آرد نخودچی
1/4 cup Barberries زرشک
2 Eggs تخم مرغ
1 cup Dried Koofteh Herbs سبزی خشک کوفته
1/2 cup Rice برنج
1/2 cup Split yellow peas لپه
Persian Golden Prunes آلو
Salt and Pepper to taste نمک و فلفل
1 Tbsp Cinnamon دار چین
1 Tbsp Turmeric زرد چوبه
1/2 cup Fried Onions پیاز داغ
1 sheet of Prune Fruit Leather (Lavashak) لواشک آلو – this is optional but it’s what makes my sauce so delicious!
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste رب گوجه

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PREP:

Soak and rinse the rice and split yellow peas, then cook them in a pot together with some salt and turmeric. Once they are fully cook, drain the excess water and allow to fully cool. You are going to add this to the meat mixture and need it to be fully cooled down.

Meanwhile, remove any stems or rocks from the barberries and wash and rinse them thoroughly and drain them from any excess water.

Wash and rinse your golden prunes. These often have dirt and particles in them so washing them will be important. I soak mine for about 5 mins.

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FOR THE SAUCE:
In a big pot, add 3 cups of water, the tomato paste, the rinsed prunes, the lavashak (fruit leather), fried onions and bring to a boil. Season with a generous amount of salt.

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MEAT MIXTURE:
In a mixing bowl, mix the meat, chickpea flour, raw eggs, herbs, barberries, and the cooked rice and split peas mixture. Season with some salt, pepper and cinnamon and roll them into palm-sized meatballs.

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Allow them to fully cook and simmer in the sauce for about an hour or until the meat is fully cooked and enjoy!

Persian Rose Water Roulade رولت

Persian Rose Water Roulade رولت

This Persian roulade is one of my favorite desserts and this specific recipe is from a dear and talented friend who graciously let me share her mouth watering delicacy with you all. Thank you Janny!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 eggs
  • 8 Tbs flour
  • 8 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

WHIP CREAM:

  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp rose water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Separate the egg whites and the yolks. Beat the yolks with sugar till the  mixture becomes white. Add the flour to mixture of yolks and sugar and mix well.

Separately beat the whites till they are puffy and stiff. Fold the egg whites into your mixture. It is important to use a spatula and use the proper folding technique.

Pour the batter in a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes.

After it has cooled down a bit, sprinkle a little bit of powdered sugar to your cake and roll your roulade to it’s desired shape and tightness and let it cool further. The powdered sugar will prevent the cake from sticking to itself. While it is cooling prepare your whip cream by beating the whip cream and powdered sugar and rose water. You can adjust the rose water and sugar to match your desired level of sweetness and aroma.

Unwrap your roulade, making sure it has fully cooled down (you can even transfer it to the fridge to expedite the cooling) and add the whip cream and re-roll the roulade.

You can then use the remaining whip cream to decorate the outside of the roulade and sprinkle cocoa powder or powdered sugar for a beautiful effect. You can even top it off with a beautiful strawberry garnish.

!نوش جان کنید. Noosheh jan konid! Enjoy! #PersianRoulade #RoseWater #PersianMomma

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Friends and Friendship

Friends and Friendship
Friends play such an important role in our lives. They say that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Lucky for me this is my family and truly good friends who I look up to and value deeply.
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The role of friendship is even more important for children. Friends help shape their personality and future. It directs their choices. It also helps them deal with social challenges and learn to grow from it. Be aware of the friends your children choose and also set a good example. I have seen ever so often “friends” who sit and talk behind each others’ backs. This is not friendship and should not be something your endorse, tolerate, or surround yourself or your children with. So if you need to tighten your circle to ensure quality over quantity, make sure you do!
 
Each friend fulfills a certain part of us. One friend may be the one we feel most comfortable opening up to, while another may be one that we look to for fun, and another for inspiration and a role model figure in our life. We all have our short comings as human beings. No one is perfect. Striving for perfection can be a goal, but I have yet to meet someone who is perfect. In fact our beauties lie in our slight imperfections, our faults, and how we try to fix them.
A true friend overlooks your shortcomings. They favor your positives over your negatives. Therefore lesson number 1 in friendship is to reciprocate this favor. That being said, obviously when the faults and negatives start over powering the positives, one must reevaluate the friendship and relationship.
 
Life is too short to waste on people who don’t complete or complement you and don’t provide anything positive to you. So choose wisely and lead your children by example. Don’t spend time with people you don’t really want to spend time with. 
#friendship #دوستی‌