Birthday Surprise {08.20.15}

Hello Mi Amores!

Even though it has been 4 days, but Haaaappppyyyyy Bbbbiiiirrrrtttthhhhddddaaayyyyy to me! A huge thanks for those who emailed me and sent me messages on Instagram (@fashion.with.nelo) for the birthday wishes ❤

For those of you who know me VERY well, I absolutely love throwing any sort of party or get-together for my family and loved ones. I don’t know what it is, but I usually make a big deal out of birthdays for those who I love. Just seeing them happy on the day they were born, gives me so much happiness to see them happy and surprised I feel as if I have accomplished something very special for them.

Now moving onto myself I could careless about my birthday (sounds odd right?). The last time I ever put the effort to throw a birthday party was when I turned 18 (a VERY long time ago). Which was a wonderful party and blessed to have it. After that, now this is funny Ramadan ended up being on my birthday for the next few years (LOL). Even though I did try to have a gathering, it never worked. So I guess thats what just stopped me from caring (not complaining!).

So, I love surprises. In my life I have been surprised very little here and there, but never on my birthday which I have always wanted haha. So last year I was surprised for the very FIRST time on the day of my birthday (finally right? jk). I really, had no idea what was going on because at the same time (I wont say friend because she isn’t) it was my sisters wedding week and I was a bridesmaid.

So we were all focused on the wedding, running here and there you know the drill. It was a normal day for me, that whole week we met at her house to finish last minute things. That day she had decided to make it a “fun” day and go to a trampoline park. She also had messaged me to bring an “extra pair of clothes” because afterwards we were going to go out for a “girls night” dinner.

We had a great time at the trampoline park, and that day my sisters didn’t wish me so I was kind of upset (I am emotional like that). We all came back to her place, freshened up and left for dinner. For some odd reason my friend forced me to go with her sister (it was part of the plan which later made sense). As we made it to dinner, her sister kept stalling and making us go the longest way to the restaurant (later I found out because my friend was in front of us with massive balloons so she had to stall and I can’t believe I didn’t notice)

We walk in to a very elegant Italian restaurant, lights were very dim so could barely see anyone or anything. As the waitress is about to take us to our seats, all of a sudden I hear “SURPRIIIIIIIIIIISE”. I got SO confused, and reacted very slowly (LOL). The table was filled my dear friends, and my sisters! I looked at my sisters and said “this is why you didn’t say anything to me! I was so pissed at you guys!”. Then of course, I got emotional and shed some tears because it was the BEST birthday surprise ever. It was all planned by my sisters and friend who was getting married, even though she was so stressed she took the time to plan this together.

It was such an amazing evening, a moment that will never ever leave my heart. Now this year, AGAIN as I planned to have a gathering it did not work out…eh. So what happens? I get a birthday call from my sister (same friend) saying “be ready at 12pm tomorrow I am going to pick you up!”. Of course I said no, but again I had no choice. So she comes and “kidnaps” me and literally SPOILED the hell out of me (I freaking love you). We had an amazing lunch by the waterfront, in which we both tried fresh, organic sea food. It was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.

The weather was beautiful so we spent half of the day walking around and chit chatting about the most weirdest things (as always). There was a “Mr.GoodHumor” who went all out with his look and gave us free ice-cream ❤ Later on in the evening she then took me to a sophisticated place for dessert, her sister and another friend we both know joined (she informed them) she knows how much I love crepes and they had the best.

Her being the sneaky girl she is, told the staff it was my birthday so they came out singing with a delicious strawberry cheesecake. So we ate, talked, laughed, throughout the night. I kept telling her how thankful I am to have her in my life and vice versa. And thanks to her I have a birthday post to share with you all! I kept wondering what I would post for my birthday, and boom! I always pray this bond stays close, forever Inshallah (God Willing). Thank you for such a memorable day mi amore.

I never share personal things, but this post had to be shared. Having a special bond with someone needs to last a lifetime, and I am sure many of us have a few or have lost a few. A relationship works both ways, not one. Always be humble, you never know how a small act of kindness can give so much happiness to someone. Now I have a second birthday surprise to remember. I was having too much fun, that I barely focused on my ootd images! I just wanted to be comfy ❤

Much, Much Love!

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #7

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe # 7 }

This recipe is going to basically have the same steps as Recipe # 1! The only difference is I have added… Pumpkin! As mentioned in Recipe # 1, there are many ways to cook this. How to fill these photos are listed in Recipe #1 as well. Many of you loved this recipe, so heres another way to cook it!

Pirakee (pir-a-kee)

In prep for Iftar: Make sure you begin early! If you are new to cooking, have a helping hand.

Ingredients:
-Egg Roll Skin (rectangular)
-Pumpkin
-1 to 2 batches of Cilantro
-Jalapeno (or any green chili of your choice)
– Green Spring Onions
-Fresh Garlic (as many as you like) 5-6 max.
-Black Pepper
-Salt
-Olive Oil
-Bowl of Water

Instructions:
-Chop Pumpkin, Cilantro, Jalapeno, and Spring Onions.
-Mash Garlic
-Place all into mixing bowl.
-Add all spices ( it all depends on how spicy/mild you want it)
– Mix
-Heat Olive Oil (VERY LITTLE) in another pan, on low heat.
-Add all into the heated pan, cook for ONLY 10 mins.
-Stir occasionally.
-After cooked, place filling and let it cool.

-Once cooled, prepare the egg roll skin.
-Lay egg roll skin in place, only get a spoon and a half and spread the filling leaving the corners empty.
-Once spread, take index finger dip into the water and go around the egg skin (all 4 corners). Remember NOT too soggy.
-Then fold into either a hotdog or triangular shape.
-Press well, not too hard or else the filling will come out.
-Repeat steps, until it is completed.

-In another flat pan, heat Olive Oil.
-Once heated, place 2 at a time and cook until golden brown.

-Ready to be served!

These photos are a bit larger because I took them with my IPhone, not my camera! Remember to follow me on Instagram (@fashion.with.nelo) and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo.

❤ Nelo .A.


  
  
  

Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #6

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe # 6 }

Since my last posts have been more of Ramadan Iftar appetizers, this post is going to be a Ramadan Meal! A lot of families have 2 rounds when it comes to breaking the fast, 1) Appetizers and 2) Full course meal. I give you props, how can you do that?! My family on the other hand, if we make a meal there are no appetizers and if there are any they are very light like a salad or soup. Let’s get cooking shall we? Im already getting hungry…

Chicken Quesadillas

Ingredients:

-Chicken Breast (this depends on your family, I used 3 chicken breast pieces)
-Garlic
-Ginger
-1 Green bell pepper
-Half of a onion or full your choice
-Cooking spray
-Salt
-Pepper
-Olive Oil
-Tortilla bread
-Shredded mexican cheese
-Sour Cream
-Salasa

Instructions:

-Chop chicken breast in long strips, not too thick and then cut those in half (in photo)
– Peel garlic, ginger and onions.
-Mince garlic and ginger VERY well with a grater.
– Slice onions and green peppers
-Add all into a mixing bowl EXCEPT onions and bell peppers. Add salt, pepper, and 1-2 spoons of olive oil.
-Mix well, set aside for 20 mins.
– Use a grill, heat it up spray some cooking spray on it.
-Start placing chicken strips and cook until golden brown (I like it a bit crispy)
-In a pan, heat it up. Add in bell peppers, onions, salt, pepper and cooking spray.
-Cook half way, not full. Set aside.
– Once everything is cooked, you are ready to eat!

What I do is, my family some like everything in the quesadillas and some like it plain with just cheese. So I heat up the tortillas, and place everything in small bowls and we all just make our own! A good meal for Iftar not too heavy and not too light.

If you have another way of making Quesadillas please share!

Don’t forget to follow my Instagram page @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo ❤

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #5

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #5 }

This is going to be a SUPER easy and QUICK recipe for you all! With all the delicious foods cooked during Ramadan, homemade dipping sauce is always a must. With many of you asking me how I always make it, in this recipe I will show you 2 ways in one, lets get started!

Chutney (chut-nee)
Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

– A whole batch of fresh Cilantro (3-4 is good enough for a month)
-1 Jalapeno (depends on your taste of spice, I add 2) OR Green Chillies
-5 Fresh Peeled Garlic
-Lemon Juice
-Salt
-Yogurt

Instructions:

– In a huge bowl, separate and place cilantro in cold water to be cleaned well. Leave for 10 minutes.
– Then wash well, and place into blender.
-Add in peeled garlic, peppers.
-Blend (If issues blending, add 1/4 cup water NO more than that, if more is needed add 1/3 more. Make sure it is thick not watery).
-Place into a container (glass is preferred best, I used plastic because I was lazy)
-1 spoon of salt to taste (all depends on your tastebuds)
-2-3 spoons of lemon juice.
-Mix

OPTION 1:
Keep the Chutney the way it is, and use it for egg rolls, pirakee, cholay, and other foods.

OPTION 2:
-Get some yogurt, mix well, add some water but keep the yogurt thick.
-Add in Chutney with a CLEAN spoon. You may add 2-3 spoons (the greener, the more chutney-er)
-Mix
-And serve the same way!

The Chutney will last you the whole month, and it’ll be right in the fridge when you need it. How simple and quick was this recipe? Do not forget to share your comments and follow me on Instagram (@fashion.with.nelo), and tag “RamadanCookBookWithNelo” on your Instagram posts!

Your welcome ❤

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #4

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe # 4 }

This should have been my FIRST Ramadan Cook Book post, seriously. How could I forget?!

It honestly, is NOT Ramadan when there is no Rooh-Afza! It’s basically “our” version of “strawberry syrup” but its not strawberry (its way better). It has a delicious rose water taste to it, and it is a bit more sweeter. There are many ways to make this drink. I will list below the three different ways you can make this drink! Give it a try if you have not, trust me you will not regret it! Best thing is, takes less than 5 mins to make!

Ingredients:

ROOH-AFZA #1

-Milk
-Rooh-Afza (Found in any Asian Store)
-Ispaghol (Found in any Asian Store)

Instructions:

-Its just like making strawberry milk! Haha.
-Mix it all together in a Jug.
-The more pink it is, the sweeter!
– Add 1 to 2 spoons of Ispaghol
-Mix well
-Leave in the refrigerator until Iftar time, so it can be nice and cold.

ROOH-AFZA #2

-Milk
-Sprite or 7UP
-Rooh-Afza
-Ispaghol

Instructions:
-The same as ROOH-AFZA #1, except you add about a half cup of either Sprite or 7UP to give a good tingly feeling!

ROOH-AFZA #3

-Water
-Lime
-Rooh-Afza
-Ispaghol

Instructions:

-Fill jug with water
-Add Rooh-Afza (as much as you like)
-Squeeze a whole or half Lime (your choice)
-Add Ispaghol (1-2 spoons)
-Mix well
-Leave in the refrigerator until Iftar time, so it can be nice and cold.

If you are trying this for the first time, I would love to know what you thought of it! Do not forget to follow me on Instagram: @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo

Enjoy!

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #3

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #3 }

Who’s ready for a new recipe? I know you all are ❤ Today is the second week of Ramadan! Seriously… it’s going by WAY too fast this year. I hope everyones first week went great, and the remaining weeks to be even better Inshallah (God Willing).

When I take photos of these foods, please take note that I am fasting and I may forget to take a picture of a vegetable or spice haha. So bare that with me! So from the feedback I have received on the last recipe, you all were very pleased! Thank you ❤

Here is another light recipe for your Iftar!

Cholay (Chickpeas) Chaat
(Choow-lay Ch-aa-t)

Ingredients:
-2 canned Chickpeas
-1 onion
-1 Jalaepno
-2/3 Garlic (your choice to add, I did not)
-1 or 2 potatoes
– Fresh mint leaves
-Salt
-Black Pepper
-Chaat Masala
-Red Chili Powder
-Imli (Tamarind) Chutney (Found in any Asian Store)
-Lemon Juice (not in photos)
-Cilantro (not in photos)

Instructions:

-Drain and wash canned Chickpeas
-Chop onions, Jalapenos, Tomatoes, Mint Leaves, Cilantro
-Place all into bowl
-Bake or put potatoes into microwave and warm up. Set aside to cool (last thing to add)
-In a small cup take about 2-3 spoons of Tamarind and add VERY LITTLE water and mix. Set aside.
-Add all spices, as much as you want for taste.
-5 full spoons of Lemon Juice
-Add Tarmarind
-Mix
-Chop potatoes, in a medium size and add and mix.

Your Cholay (Chickpeas) Chaat is ready to be served!

Another very light-weight Iftar appetizer, usually made during Ramadan. Do not forget to leave your feedback, I love reading them! I am so glad this cook book is helping many around the globe, means so much!

Do not forget to follow me on Instagram: @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo so I can see how everything turns out!

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book- Recipe #2

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #2 }

Before I begin this post, I just want to say THANK YOU to all the love and support from family, friends and amazing bloggers. You have given me so much love and positivity that I am glad I have started this. I am also so happy all of you are finding the Cook Book so helpful. Thank you. For those who have messaged me for “special” requests, I got you 😉

Ahhh! I do not know about you all, but is this Ramadan going by WAY too fast? I mean, it always does but this year its just flying by. It’s already the 5th fast! And soon it’ll be a week… ;-( I always get so emotional. I hope everyone’s Ramadan around the world is going good Inshallah (God Willing).

Ramadan is such a blessing that some foods are just meant to be made during this month! I find that so beautiful. As many of you have asked, besides all the “fat food” that is prepared and served during Ramadan, which is so unhealthy (trust me I already have heart burns) we still try to keep it healthy at the same time. But then again, cravings occur… With that said, here’s another simple, yet healthy recipe for your Iftar, which many of you love that I make ❤

Fruit Chaat (ch-aa-t)
(Fruit Salad…yummy yummy)

Ingredients:
NOTE: You can add as much fruit/salt/seasoning as you like it all depends on your taste.

-2 Bananas
-2 Kiwis
-Handful or more strawberries
-Handful or more blueberries
-Green/Purple grapes
-Pear
-Apple
-Baby Guavas
– Guava Juice (Any type of fruit juice is great! I prefer Orange Juice, but I used Guava this time)
-Pomegranate (not in the photos but you may add)
-Melon (which I added later)
-Chaat Masala (available in any Desi/Asian Super market) This is more of a combination of spices, so it adds the perfect taste to the fruit salad (why it’s called Fruit “Chaat”).
-Salt
-Again you may add ANY fruit ❤

Instructions:

-Peel: Kiwi, Apple, Bannana
-Chop all fruits EXCEPT blueberries and grapes.
-Grapes slice into 2 pieces.
-Add all into bowl.
-Add in Chaat Masala (I say about 2 spoons is good, again choice is yours)
-Salt is your choice to add or not
-1/3 cup of Juice.
-Mix
-Ready to be served!

This is also great for a “after Tarawih Prayer” snack before Suhoor (the early breakfast before the Sunrise). A very light-weight snack, that you wish you had made extra.

Hope you ladies enjoyed this post, I would love to hear feed back! Don’t forget to follow my Instagram page @fashion.with.nelo and hashtag RamadanCookBookWithNelo ❤ ❤ ❤

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Cook Book-Recipe #1

Ramadan Cook Book { Recipe #1 }

I hope everyone’s “First” fast went amazing! To those who are new, during Ramadan every year I post 30 days of foods that I cook for Iftar (breaking the fast) on my Instagram account (@fashion.with.nelo).

After MUCH demand for the last 2 years, this year instead of posting what I cook I am going to share with you all how I cook it. Yayyy! I know, finally right?! I will be sharing my home recipes with you all so you can have a taste of it as well ❤ Much love and thanks to my mother who taught me well, and I just picked up from there!

I always get questions on how I cooked what, and here you are! I will post 2 times a week for my “Ramadan Cook Book”. I will be sharing special Ramadan cultural dishes. If there are ANY special requests do let me know, and I will gladly teach you.

One of the complicated (not really) things is, during Ramadan you don’t eat (duh). So when it comes to preparing Iftar (breaking the fast) not knowing the taste of your food can get a little tricky. The secret to that is… PUT A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY SALT. You can always add more later, after you have broken your fast. In all of my cooking I use Olive Oil. With that said… here is the first recipe!

Pirakee (pi-ra-kee)

In prep for Iftar: Make sure you begin early! If you are new to cooking, have a helping hand.

Ingredients:
-Egg Roll Skin (rectangular)
-Cabbage
-1 to 2 batches of Cilantro
-Jalapeno (or any green chili of your choice)
– Green Spring Onions
-Fresh Garlic (as many as you like) 5-6 max.
-Turmeric Powder
-Red Chili Powder
-Black Pepper
-Papprika
-Salt
-Olive Oil
-Bowl of Water

Cooking Instructions:
-Chop Cabbage, Cilantro, Jalapeno, and Spring Onions.
-Mash Garlic
-Place all into mixing bowl.
-Add all spices ( it all depends on how spicy/mild you want it)
– Mix
-Heat Olive Oil (VERY LITTLE) in another pan, on low heat.
-Add all into the heated pan, cook for ONLY 10 mins.
-Stir occasionally.
-After cooked, place filling and let it cool.

-Once cooled, prepare the egg roll skin.
-Lay egg roll skin in place, only get a spoon and a half and spread the filling leaving the corners empty.
-Once spread, take index finger dip into the water and go around the egg skin (all 4 corners). Remember NOT too soggy.
-Then fold into either a hotdog or triangular shape (pay close attention to the photos on the layout of the filling for each shape).
-Press well, not too hard or else the filling will come out.
-Repeat steps, until it is completed.

-In another flat pan, heat Olive Oil.
-Once heated, place 2 at a time and cook until golden brown.
– Ready to be served!

Note: You can also serve with a side of yogurt.

I hope you ladies enjoyed this recipe! Do comment below and do share on how it turned out, I would love to know!

Much Love,

Nelo .A.

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Ramadan Mubarak!

RAMADAN MUBARAK!

Our awaited guest is finally here! I would like to begin this post by wishing all of my Muslim and Non-Muslim followers a very blessed Ramadan. May God accept all of your fasts, prayers and every act of worship during this month. And may He grant ease to those in any difficulty Inshallah (God Willing) Ameen. In this post I will be explaining the purpose and importance of the month of Ramadan, and why Muslims wait anxiously for it all year.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, the scholars with high education in the religion observe the moon and declare when it is time to fast. Ramadan is not only to avoid eating, drinking, and other needs during the day-time hours. During this month, Muslims all around the world prepare themselves as one to purify their souls, grow closer to God, get rid of any bad habits, extra time in worship, to make peace with one another, give charity, feed the hungry, control thoughts, and most importantly to ask forgiveness from their Lord. These habits, then remain with us to remind ourselves what we really need to do in this World. That is the beauty of Ramadan.

The arabic word of “fasting” which is “sawm” means to “refrain”. It’s a whole new transformation to oneself. To be careful in what you say, hear, do, see, and touch. You must be very cautious of your acts, otherwise your fast will be broken. The fast is done from Sunrise to Sunset, which is from the Morning prayer until the Evening prayer for the entire month. One cannot eat nor drink, yes “not even water”.

Around the world, it is different timings but here in the USA its about 17-18 hrs of fasting. The fast is continued all year round, so right now the fast is during the Summer, which is going backwards towards the winter/fall and repeats itself. That way the fast is experienced through all the seasons. Best thing about fasting in the Winter, is the fast breaks around 4-5pm! Whereas right now, the fast breaks around 8:30-8:40pm. See the difference?

The Holy Quran, is recited fully in all of the Masjids known as the “Tarawih Prayer” a special prayer which is only done during Ramadan. The Quran was completed during this month, and the Masjids complete it as well in the 30 days given. The Quran is recited daily in the prayers, and finish whenever. But during this month, it is a blessing to be done and for it to be accepted as an act of worship.

Now as for the “Iftar” (Breaking the fast), is a whole feast. Mothers, daughters, wives, fathers, basically anyone prepare food for their loved ones to break their fast all together. Some have a variety of meals, whereas some have a decent portion. Whatever it may be, always be thankful. We break our fasts with “dates” it is not a must but its preferred. There are so many varieties of dates, I will post a link below.

Muslims find it a blessing to make it to this month with health and happiness, because it is such an amazing feeling of spirituality, love, worship, and feelings that you really cannot put into words. After this month is completed, we are rewarded with the holiday Eid-Ul-Fitr, which will be a different post ❤

I always get so overwhelmed as Ramadan approaches, and always brainstorm for new decorating ideas. This year I did something a little more different, and calming.

Here are the DIY details:

Ombre Mason Jar,Chalk-Board, Pin-Cushion Frame, Mini yellow Doilies, Plastic Electric Puff Balls, Ouud (arab perfume), Tasbeeh (praying beads), Bath & Body Works 3-wick candle, Black and Gold Lamp and Black and Gold Arabian Thermos.

Dates link: http://tomoori.com/index.php/en/

I would love to know where are you from and how long are your fasting hours? I pray we all see the next Ramadan as well Inshallah (God Willing).

Love,

Nelo .A.

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