Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garlic Chive Chicken

I found this amazing recipe from It has this cool function where you can type in ingredients and it chugs out recipes you can use!

Anyhow the recipe I found was Garlic Chive Chicken.

Basically I love the sauce thats used for the dish because its infused with garlic, lemon, and chives! mmhmm. You could use the sauce over things like perogies or crab cakes. Check it out!


  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 (8 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Wrap the garlic head in foil, and bake 30 minutes, until cloves are soft. Remove from heat, and cool enough to handle.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3.Slice off the top of the garlic head, and squeeze the softened cloves into a medium bowl. Mix in the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the chicken breast halves with flour, and cook in the skillet about 10 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Set chicken aside, retaining skillet juices. Stir in the garlic mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and return chicken to the skillet. Continue cooking the chicken about 5 minutes on each side, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove chicken, and arrange on plates over the egg noodles.

5. Mix the butter into the garlic sauce mixture in the skillet until melted, and stir in the chives. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and egg noodles to serve.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making Memories

Cooking can be a fun task if done right. I don't like to cook...until I convince myself otherwise.

My mother-in-law LOVES to cook. She literally thinks of what to make, who to feed and when to do it when preparing meals. Some days there will be four dishes, other days add-ons for "if we need an extra dish."

My mother was not like this. My mother is a laid-back person who doesn't cook if she doesn't need to. That means if her kids rather eat something other than rice with curry, she won't complain (unless its a few days in a row). She is also willing and able to eat "American" dishes such as pizza, pastas, baked foods unlike the oily salty spicy Bangladeshi dishes. My mother-in-law cannot eat outside foods. She barely eats anything anyone else makes.

When I was a teenager my mother would not make us cook meals. I could if I wanted to, yet she'd be around to yell if you did the slightest thing wrong. I wasn't responsible for feeding mouths. Usually cooking meant the meats were cut, the onions were chopped and all I had to do was toss food in a pot and stir on the stove.

Now it's different.

I have to cut meats, fishes, vegetables, prepare meals and cook. It's a part of my chores and duties as a wife.

As a teenager my mother prioritized our education, therefore she didn't force us to cook. I can only count a few dishes I knew how to make (enough to survive) before I was married at 20. I'd tell my mom, "I'll hire a chef, who needs to cook?" She would get upset.

I have no chef indeed but I do have a master chef, my mother-in-law, who chooses our meals, and a head chef, my sister-in-law, who cooks most of the food to make sure it comes out perfect. What do I do? I'm the helper. I cut, clean, stir, cook, and do whatever is needed on the side. In the end, we all help each other.

This reminds me of a hadith, a saying of the Prophet Muhammad, about helping people:

“He who removes a burden from a believer in this world will have his burden removed by Allah on the Day of Judgement.Whosoever eases the hardship of another, will be given ease by Allah in this world and in the Everlasting Life.... Allah continues to help a worshiper As long as he continues helping his brother...(Muslim)."

Religion can be a motivation to do good things you don't like, to earn rewards.

My sister-in-law said if a person starts a chore saying, "Bismillah" or "In the Name of God" and ends the task saying, "Alhamdulillah" or "Thanks be to God," the time spent is counted as a good deed.

Every time I think of how much I don't like to cook, I think of the blessings in disguise: my family is happy, I get to eat healthy and I spend my time wisely. Count your blessings.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The problems with seafood and guests

You know there's something that clearly needs to be re-evaluated about your life, when you're a mid-20-something year old crawling around on her hands and feet trying to get to her parents' room unnoticed.

And yes, I'm clearly talking about myself.

My father's extended family was coming over for a visit, and I decided that I rather play as though CC's not home and avoid the whole getting dressed properly, greeting properly, and making small talk when I really should be studying.

My parents were fine with it. So heck with it. I just have stay in my room for a few hours.

Then I heard voices coming upstairs-our guests were tired and wanted to lie down. So they were given my brother's room.

No biggie. I just can't go to the bathroom since that bedroom is right across it.

Then came the unsettling feeling of, "Oh crap, what the hell did I eat for lunch?"

....Then it started getting worse..."Oh man CC, how long do you think you can last?"...Apparently not long.

And there I was unlocking my bedroom door and pulling it open as quietly as humanly possibly. And of course the room they were lying in is wide open. "Well, I won't be running across." Some of the guests were downstairs and it would be awkward if they looked up the stairs and saw my disheveled mess trying to crawl my way to the bathroom.

Ok next best thing, crawl to my parents room, pray no one decides to glance toward that angle, then get in as quietly as possible, go the door that leads to the bathroom from my parents room, and just break it open somehow (its usually kept locked).

And I did exactly just that. And somehow made it back to my room when I realized I had to go back again, "Oh freaking HELL!"

And I'm trying to crawl back out of my room, when I hear voices from one of our guests making their way upstairs, "OH GOD. OH GOD ..CRAWL BACK! CRAWL BACK!"
And I crawled myself backwards, hitting myself in the process. (She was old so I was hoping they couldn't hear any of that suspicious shuffle)
She was talking to the person lying down. And I'm sitting by my door anxiously waiting for a sign to get out. And I think around the time my anxiousness was settling into panic that the voices died down.

Keeping my head shoved to the ground, I peak my head outside my door and glance into my brother's bedroom. As long as they didn't move their head around, I could make it!
And I did, while praying to God and imagining every possible scene from every movie I've ever watched when the hero always, always makes it.

And then on my crawl back I run into my cat. She stares at me very confused, then gets excited thinking we're playing some game and decides to crouch down as well and follow me and then starts meowing at me.

..."Stop that! Go away ! Shhhh!!" Like whispering at her was gonna do anything. At least my cat decided it wasn't.
They started to move.
To hell with it. I made a break for my room, hoping any noise would be attributed to my interfering cat, and the only thing that might be seen is purple wind (my shirt was purple, and I was really relying on every stereotype of old people)

And here I sit, alive to tell the (after reflecting) sad, sad story of the mid-20- something year old who crawled herself to the her own house...because of some seafood pasta that she had for lunch.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tales of a Teacher: The end of the beginning

As the last days of school approached, I got very nostalgic. And when the last day of school finally arrived, I felt sad and nostalgic. And as the day went on, and I thought about the past year, I felt as if everything was bittersweet.

I dont remember how last year's last day of school was, I dont remember feeling this sad and emotional about my kids leaving me. I didnt cry, but I sure did feel an emptiness. You would think I would have felt it more last year. After all that was my first class ever.

But something about this year and the kids of this year was different. And maybe I'll feel this way every year, or every other year. Or maybe never again.

I just know that this was a difficult year in so many ways. And I think part of the struggle of this year, left me clinging on to the students who distracted me from it all.

And as much as I whine and complain about my kids in so many different ways, shape, and form--- this job, this profession, this career and especially these children, are sometimes my secret haven away from the (sometimes harsh) realities of life.

Monday, June 13, 2011

" Get your head out of your a** "

As I was picking up my sister from work yesterday, I failed to check my left hand side's blind spot, and almost collided with an oncoming car. Granted it was my fault, and I'm willing to take the blame for it, such remarks as this are just uncalled for.

And they are much worse when the person saying such things is over the age of 60.

I was extremely embarrassed that I almost ran into this old man. And initially I thought it was amusing that he said what he did but the more I thought about the more upset I got. The fact that he was so rude and displayed such bad manners kind of left me feeling weird.

Shouldn't older people know better then to act this way? Shouldn't they be the ones, as lame as it sounds, be "setting an example"? Aren't they the ones that we're supposed to be learning from?

I just thought it was interesting that this old man reacted this way. And I think it's interesting when "older" people are hypocritical and say that younger people know nothing about life.

And it's not just this old man that I'm talking about. . The ones that are beyond their prime years. The ones that have (or should have) gained a vast amount of knowledge and wisdom through the years.

Yesterday a friend and I were talking about the elders of our community and how some of them are very backwards. When I say this, please understand that I mean that they are backwards in the sense that they think everything that they are not used to, is wrong. And everything that they are used to and acclimated to, is right. And we all know that is a very narrow minded way of thinking.

It's extremely hard to be in a part of a community where the older generation constantly shakes their head at the younger generation. It's very difficult for the younger generation to earn the respect of some of the older people (Notice I said some). What's even harder, I feel like sometimes it's hard for them to accept that we are a part of a different culture that they are from. A different mindset. A different attitude. A different way of life. It's not necessarily a wrong way of life, wrong attitude, or wrong mindset. It's just not what they are used to. And they don't accept it, and even frown upon it. I think if they opened up their minds to it, and gave the younger generation a chance and opportunity and allowed themselves to be open-minded, they would be pleasantly surprised.

It's just something that frustrates me to no end.

But then again, I look at some of the youth of today in my family, my community, at my school, and I can see why the "elders" would think such things and I cant help but utter, "God help us all"..

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why I Love to Pray

There was a time when praying five times a day felt like such a burden in life. The times were so inconvenient to my schedule and my heart was never truly in it. Then I came to know of the following saying of God:

I have divided prayer between Myself and My servant into two halves, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. When the servant says:

All praise belongs to Allaah the Rabb of all the Worlds.
God says: My servant has praised Me. And when he says:

The Most Gracious the Most Merciful
God says: My servant has extolled Me, and when he says:

Master of the Day of Judgement
God says: My servant has glorified Me -and on one occasion He said: My servant has submitted to My power. And when he says:

You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help
God says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for. And when he says:

Guide us to the Straight Path, the Path of those whom you have favored, not of those upon whom is Your anger, nor of those who are astray

God says: This is for My servant, and My servant shall have what he has asked for."

[Narration reported by Muslim, Maalik, at-Tirmidhee, Abu Daawood, an-Nasaaee and Ibn Maajah]

The verses that God responds to in the above narration are the translation of the verses from the Opening Chapter of the Qur'an. It is what Muslims recite in every prayer unit every time they pray.

Prayer to me is my time of solitude with God; one-on-one time with Him. Its the time that I get to talk to God and I know that He is responding and its almost as if I can physically hear it. And most of all it is a time in which God will answer my prayer of seeking guidance directly with no hesitation and no doubt on my part.

I try to surround my day, my activities, my schedule around prayer. When I'm in class I think about where I'll pray after it. When I'm finished with one prayer I'll think about when the next prayer is. When I sleep I think about when I'll wake up for prayer again. Its a cycle that keeps going on without end.

Sometimes people get frustrated with my constant worry about my prayers and not missing them. But I don't care because when you drink from the elixir of God's love who cares about what others think? Its His love thats a necessity for me in life.

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "When anyone of you is engaged in the prayer, he is holding an intimate conversation with his Lord."

May we be amongst those who are intimate with God. Ameen.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The things we should do for L-O-V-E

I love this blog. Not like, but love. And when I feel like I've abandoned it, i.e. not written/commented/checked up on it, I feel so stressed out. I constantly remind myself that I need to do something for it/to it to make sure I'm doing my part. That I'm contributing in SOME way.

It might sound cliche and quite frankly, kinda corny, but I really feel like I'm a part of something since I've joined this blog. Like I'm taking the initiative and trying my damn hardest to make a difference in someones life. I've never been actively involved in any sort of community outreach program except for the rare volunteer opportunities that I partake in. And most of those events I'm present in because my friends do it. Ah yes, peer influence.

When Controlled Chaos created this blog almost three years ago (June 24th is our three year anniversary!) with the intention of making the world a bit more open minded through the views, ideas, opinions, thoughts and anecdotes of your everyday average Muslim American girls, she was not only doing a public service for the misinformed, uneducated and the completely clueless, but she was also opening up a whole new door for me. This blog was/is my stepping stone into doing something humanitarian. Helping society. Educating people. Doing my part as a human being. Even if it seems minuscule.

And yeah, we have our fair share of ups and downs here at Symphonic Discord, with a WHOLE lot more downs then ups. And Controlled Chaos constantly threatens to shut it down cause we suck as writers and aren't doing anything about keeping the blog active.

But it's something I constantly have on my mind. No joke. I've been thinking about potential posts before my work day begins, while teaching, and after I've hightailed out of school. I run through multiple thoughts while showering, driving home, and sitting in the backyard. My thoughts center around enlightening others with random facts about Muslims and Islams. Stupid things I do as a teacher. Silly things my students say. Funny moments with my siblings. Crazy thoughts I share with friends. Anything that I can contribute to anyone that is reading.

For the past month, I've been trying to rejuvenate my thoughts, get out of this writer's rut, and just get back on track and renew my intention for being on this blog. The motto of this blog is something I firmly believe in and I can wholeheartedly say if we(the authors of this blog and anyone else that wants to help) pushed and challenged ourselves, we could do great things.

In the end, when I feel like I've failed this blog and havent done what I should/could do for it and with all the efforts (or lack thereof) put into this blog, I try to remind myself of the wise words of Mother Teresa, when she said, " What we are trying to do may be just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. "

And with that, I log of off Facebook, fix my posture, open up blogger and finally start typing...

Friday, June 3, 2011

My family is We-ird

EVERYONE has embarrassing things happen to them. And at least half of those embarrassments are caused by your parents. If you're one of those people that have parents that "never embarrass" you, well, CONGRATULATIONS! You are pretty much NON-existent.

How does near extinction feel? You're about as rare as Donald Trump's comb's chances of winning the Presidential election. Actually no, I take that back, his comb is pretty popular.

Anyways, my dad has a hearing problem. No, I mean an actual one, not the one where he used to pretend to be deaf when my mom or I ever started asking questions he didn't feel like asking.

And he's pretty much tried everything, and is still trying everything, cuz hearing aids aren't doing the job.

I'm sitting in my room, reading my notes, right next to the bedroom window, and I hear something that makes me reeeeeeeeeel in horror!!

NO it wasn't that crawling of that stupid spider that has been haunting my bedroom corners that I can never seem to fish out and kill.

IT WAS A VOICE. AND it was SINGING . ANDDD it was coming from OUTSIDE!
And it was singing some Indian song that has probably been buried for centuries and for some reason was unearthed.

I'm staring outside the window
Oh God, please tell me that's not my dad. That can't be my dad. Even he wouldn't sing at the top of his voice in front of the neighborhood. No one would do that. NO ONE.

I don't see anything. I don't see my dad. I don't see anything. Just a car in the driveway.
Maybe it's the radio? Yes, that's it, it has to be the radio!! That's like a 1 on the embarrassment scale. That's nothing!

No, but that voice, very suspiciously sounds like my Dad. And OH MY GOD THERE GO OUR NEIGHBORS. OHH MYY GODD THEY'RE STARING AT OUR HOUSE

I run downstairs. I'm yelling at my brother.

"Where is dad?!! WHERE IS DAD?!!!!!"

And then, the voice gets louder. And yes, by this point, it sounded like someone was screaming jibberish in an enthusiastic, happy, chime. And yes, I ran to the front window.

And yes, it was my Dad, working his way out of the car and for some really, really inescapable reason, singing with his lungs.


I start banging at the window.

"DADDD!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD STOP!"

Oh yes, but he can't hear me. He keep singing. And there are another two people across the street, repeatedly glancing and then staring at my Dad.
And he is of course, oblivious to it all, to the people staring at him across the street, and probably his neighbors peaking out from their windows, to his daughter banging on the front window like a mad woman.

He comes inside. And I just stare at him.

"WHYYYYYYY were you singing so loudly outside??!!!!"
"I heard that singing loudly opens up your ears and improves your hearing"
"Yes, but why would you sing so loudly outside. People were staring!"
"Please CC, nobody was staring, it was not loud at all. Stop beings so dramatic"
"Why wouldn't someone sing INSIDE the house! Who would sing outside?! For the neighborhood!!"

And my Dad walked away singing.

For an experience that lasted a few minutes, it sure felt like it would never end.