Eid Mubarak loves! It was a crazy month of fasting, and now it’s time to celebrate! As you may or may not know, Muslims all around the world spent the last 30ish days fasting from sunrise to sunset. Here in the US that’s more than 15 hours of fasting, in the middle of Summer. I had been dreading it honestly. Crazy NYC summers, feeling stifled by the humidity and the heat that seems to ooze through the very concrete of this damn city. Not being able come out from the under the weight of it all with a freezing cold glass of iced coffee or chocolate milk. Dread. But it wasn’t too bad! The weather has been mild to say the least, and I feel truly blessed. I know this season could have been so much worse, but through the mercy of Mother Nature / God, I made it through and I feel invigorated. I was taking time to reflect, taking time to prepare food at home, and spending more time with family again. Not just, “Hey did you do the dishes? Is time to feed Razia? Ugh, more bills??” But real time with real conversations. I was spending my lunch breaks thinking about the blog and where I want it to go, or taking walks and exploring the neighborhood. There were more connections with friends, and visiting people within the community. All in all I was taking time to just make things better. I was exhausted by the end of the night, but my head felt clearer. Hah, maybe it was just the lack of caffeine 🙂
That brings me to one of my big updates – the new blog design. What do you guys think? I know I’ve been wanting to expand, but I hadn’t figured out what direction I really wanted to into. I actually still haven’t, but I’ve got some new types of posts coming to experiment. No matter what though, I wanted something cleaner, something more minimalist without feeling empty or sacrificing character. The typography and lines is what drew me into this look, along with the small pops of color. I wanted to force myself to work on my photography knowing it would be the standout piece. Ramadan was forcing me to simplify and reflect, and I hope those changes are also reflected in the blog. This is my creative space, my online journal, my little escape, and I want it to evolve as I do. I haven’t been posting much lately and I’ll go into why a bit more in the coming weeks, but there has been a common theme – minimize, let go, and be happy.
This icebox cake is actually the first kitchen project I took on in quite a few months. I was inspired by my friend Farhana ‘Biny’ who made one for her daughter’s birthday a few months ago. A simple concoction of chocolate cookies, whipped cream, and my own touch of strawberries, this honestly couldn’t get any simpler. It was a great way to ease myself back into the kitchen, and I loved the therapeutic repetition of the layers. A great project for those without an oven, or something you can do with the kids in your life. Just try it out. As for the taste. Well. The only way to describe it is chocolate cookies and cream. So light and satisfying. It’s what you dream Oreos would taste like. The strawberries give it that little something extra. Strawberries and chocolate go perfectly well, as do strawberries and cream. Why not combine all three?
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
- 1 lb strawberries (approximately)
- In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Be sure not to over beat.
- Cut strawberries into thin slices.
- On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center.
- Spread with about 1/2 cup whipped cream onto the cookies, making a 7-inch circle.
- Layer some strawberries over the cream.
- Repeat with remaining cookies, cream, and strawberries, making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (there will be a few cookies left over).
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.