Maple Spice Cake
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

It's definitely time for a recipe.. don't you think! Nothing like some wonderful Maple Spice Cake on a cold, gloomy day.. that was yesterday. And today it's nice and sunny (gotta love Canadian weather, alhumduliLlah).. so I enjoyed it with some Chocolate Cookie Dough ice-cream. Oh it's soooo yummy!.. and who can resist anything with maple syrup in!!

And you don't need a mixer to make it.. how nice is that.

Serves: Me alone.. or 10 people (I suppose)

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch cayenne (yes.. you read right)
2 eggs - lightly beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1/2 cup icing sugar - sifted
1 tblsp maple syrup

:: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
:: Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
:: Sift dry ingredients. Set aside.
:: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, maple syrup, oil, and molasses until well blended... because of the molasses, this may take a little longer.
:: Add egg-mixture to dry ingredients.. I used a whisk to get it all mixed in and smooth.
:: Pour batter into the prepared pan.
:: Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (approximately 30 minutes)
:: Cool in pan, remove and glaze.

:: For Glaze: Add maple syrup to icing sugar, and enough water to make a glaze.

Serve alone, with whipped cream, or with ice-cream.


posted by Sketched Soul at 11:33 AM | Permalink 10 comments
The Book of Assistance
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

Forgive me for the very delayed post on such an excellent book, tabarak'Allah. I actually read it twice.. and I'm sure if I read it again I'll discover new information that I some how missed. AlhumduliLlah, every single sentence has something we can think about, learn and benefit from. I'll give you some examples below.

Title: The Book of Assistance
Author: Imam 'Abdullah Ibn 'Alawi Al-Haddad
Translated by: Dr. Mostafa Badawi
Available: Fons Vitae

Have I learned anything from it, or was it all review? I learned a lot from it, alhumduliLlah. Although the topics seem basic, there is a lot we can reflect on.. and in doing so you come to realize so much more.

Does the author use Qur'anic and authentic hadith texts? Both are used, as well as quotes from different scholars. Unfortunately the hadith are not sourced!!

Is the book easy to understand? AlhumduliLlah easy to read. Chapters (topics) are very short.. like a page or two long, but very, very concise, so you can read a topic and either get a lot out of it, or a little.. it all depends on how much you ponder over what you have read.

Notable pages? I think each topic has something valuable in it, so the whole book. Again, this is one of those books you need to own.. so you can constantly refer to it. Below are sentences just randomly taken out of the book, so it gives you an idea of how concise it is, insha'Allah.
Know that repentance cannot be sound unless the sin itself is renounced, remorse is felt, and there is present a determination never to repeat it for the rest of one's life.
Everything that is forbidden to say is forbidden to listen to.
For everything depends on food which, when licit, had a great illuminating influence on the heart and gives the body energy for worship.
Disloyalty includes withholding from them any good that you are able to bring them, as well as frowning and chiding. (This is in regards to being loyal to your parents.)
Never frighten or alarm a Muslim; never mock, ridicule, or despise him, for these are part of ominous and blameworthy behaviour.
Out of 5: I rate this book 5.

It would be nice to hear from others who have read it, what you thought of it.. or at least what you would rate it.


posted by Sketched Soul at 11:09 AM | Permalink 10 comments
Dear owner of this scarf,
Monday, March 10, 2008
As-salaamu'alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu

It all started November 30th, our launch of Warm The Streets! In a matter of days I already had scarves flowing in... right until the very last day, alhumduliLlah. Subhan'Allah, it never ceases to amaze me how giving some people are. May The Most Merciful reward them all tremendously, and may He continue to bless them with a healthy heart. Ameen.

Ah yes.. the scarves, all the way from Texas, Toronto, Saudi Arabia, Oklahoma, and the list goes on... We had a total of 74 scarves!

Here is a beautiful account of how much love went into just one of the scarves, The Rainbow Scarf, tabarak'Allah. I tried my best to appreciate that love and care, and made sure each scarf was individually wrapped, with a poem/letter added in (if there was no letter provided from the sender to accompany it).

Jazaki'Allahu khair The Stolen Light for composing the lovely poem.

Dearest owner of this scarf,
As you take this scarf and wrap it around your neck,
Know it was given with peace and love, to protect,
Through this small token we hope to touch your heart,
And know as one in humanity we stand together and not apart,
Accept our gift given with sincerity,
From your (Muslim) friends striving to live in harmony.

AlhumduliLlah, the scarves were delivered in February. May thanks to the Meals 4 You group. May Allah reward you for your phenomenal work. Ameen. The scarves were very well received! AlhumduliLlah. Additional feedback received was a request for socks.

Which brings us to next year.. yes.. next year, insha'Allah I pray we are able to run a Warm The Streets 2 - by providing them with socks for this one (in neutral colours). I look forward to having you join us.

May The Majestic keep our intentions pure and guide us to use the infinite blessings He has bestowed upon us in a way that pleases Him. Ameen.

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posted by Sketched Soul at 1:49 PM | Permalink 15 comments
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