Ramadan is my favorite month of the year. I recharge my faith, I detox my mind as well as my body from all the toxins that have built up physically and emotionaly through out the year by fasting. It brought me so much joy growing up, it was something my siblings and I always looked forward to as kids.
I always look forward to family and friends gatherings in Ramadan … most of which last very late at night! … We normaly wear caftans in Ramadan which I’m loving at the moment and am having fun creating new looks!
Today I thought I’d share those 2 images below from a photo shoot taken for vogue in the 70s. It is my insperation for my Ramadan waredrope this year! I love her hair and make up and although I wouldn’t nessesarily wear her outfit, I do love it! Those images always remind me of Ramadan for some reason and I just find them so insrpiring!
Talitha Getty, Patrick Lichfield, Vogue, January 15, 1970 … classic!
I have been craving those Parmesan Fennel Shortbreads for a while!…They have a quite complex taste: mildly cheesy, slightly sweet and savoury from the crunch of salt and fennel seeds… It’s my favorite thing to have at tea time!
PARMESAN SHORTBREAD WITH FENNEL AND SEA SALT
Makes: 20 mini shortbreads
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
1/4 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds
1/2 tablespoon Maldon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 F
Cream the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Add the flour and parmesan and mix just until dough comes together.
Shape the dough into a rectangle and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill until firm. When firm, remove from the fridge and let stand for 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4″ thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters or slice into rectangles. Arrange cookies on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush cookies generously with oil and sprinkle with crushed fennel and sea salt.
Bake, rotating halfway through until cookies are golden brown, about 20-24 minutes. Let cool on sheet for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Thought I would share a recipe that I am trying out today for Iftar!… I just love Banoffee Pies and am hoping that this recipe would be the one for me…. and you 😉
9 oz / 280 g graham crackers or Marie or digestive biscuits
1 stick / 150 g butter, melted
½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 14-oz / 395 g can sweetened condensed milk
1 stick / 125 g butter
To make the crust
Line the bottom of a 9-inch / 22-23 cm springform pan with parchment paper.
Chop the graham crackers in a food processor until they are finely ground.
Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and process to blend well. The crumbs should stick together when pressed.
Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and 1½ inches / 3 ½ cm up the sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate.
To make the toffee sauce
Place a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Combine the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a medium heavy saucepan.
Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil without stirring until the color is deep amber, occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down the sides with a pastry brush dipped into water, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and butter. Continue stirring for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
Remove the toffee sauce from the heat and spread 1 cup of the sauce over the prepared crust and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until the toffee is semi-firm.
Keep the remaining toffee sauce at room temperature.
To fill the pie
Using an electric mixer beat the cream in a large bowl until thick and very soft billowy peaks form.
Very thinly slice 3 of the bananas into discs.
Fold the sliced bananas into the softly whipped cream and spoon into the prepared pie crust.
Slice the remaining bananas and arrange them decoratively over the pie.
Re-warm the remaining toffee sauce gently over low heat.
Drizzle some of the sauce decoratively over the pie. If the sauce has thickened too much to drizzle, stir a few tablespoons of milk into the sauce to create a thinner consistency.
Caftans are the definite Ramadan fashion statement… They are our fashion “go to item” in this holy month…..but we all know that caftans are not a new trend… in fact, they have never gone out of fashion…. Here are few of my favorite vintage photos of Caftans:
My idol Maria Callas as Medea in1969 (She had the most beautiful caftan collection!)
Catherine Deneuve in Vogue November 1966 (She always looks beautiful in caftans)
Diane von Furstenberg looked stunning in a caftan
Donna Allegra Carracciolo di Castegnato (No one wore caftans better!)
I rarely watch arabic TV programs …. not only because they are not entertaining like they used to be but also because they don’t provoke any thoughts!!!
Khawater however is the exception!… I wait for this program every ramadan… I really wish that they had it translated or something so that those of you who don’t speak arabic would know what I am Talking about
This year Khawater was better than any year and there were so many episodes that I really liked… I think that a lot of parents will find the following episode interesting
I would like to thank the presenter Ahmad Al-Shuqairi and the whole Khawater team for this informative and thought provoking program… Jazakom Allah Alf Khair.
Though today is Eid in other countries, it is the last day of Ramadan here in Oman and we are still fasting…. To be honest Ramadan passed too quickly for us this year especially that we just felt it 2 days ago when we got back!….
There’s a strong will in Ramadan …a sort of strength in faith and in believing that anything is possible… and that any prayer can be heard… We see Ramadan as an opportunity in getting closer to God, not only through praying and fasting but through good deeds like feeding the poor, donating money or taking part in random acts of kindness…. Ramadan to us (or should I say some of us) is not just a detox for our bodies but it is a spiritual detox as well…. It grounds us and reminds us to be kind to one another and honest with each other.
Goodbye my favorite month of the year you will surely be missed.