Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: foods

The Best Ifthar

I used to complain about having no girlfriends here in Eindhoven. I’m sure I’ve written about this a lot in my blog. During my first one year, most of my friends were guys. I’m fine with having them as friends, of course. But they’re different than girls, especially in terms of “curhat”. Not a lot of guys are good listeners I have to say :P. I also love to have friends to sleep over at my place so we can talk all night long. We can’t do that with guys, can we? 🙂

I basically felt so lonely, especially when I was so used to having housemates and roommates for years! It was not until the second and third year that I had girlfriends. But there’s always a downside: none of my friends were Muslims or practicing Muslims. I felt extremely lonely during Ramadan because I would usually be the only girl out of all men sitting at the Mosque’s dining hall. I didn’t feel comfortable at all.

Jacky's house

This year’s Ramadan is a bit different, though! I met a number of Dutch converts at the Mosque during the ifthar last week. I never met a convert before so it was a great opportunity for me to ask a lot of questions! (it’s so me, right?! LOL. Always curious about stuff). I met one of them again during the taraweeh prayer yesterday and one of the girls invited me to her house for ifthar! I would NEVER say no to that wonderful offer hahaha. A free ifthar and a chance to know them better — a once in a lifetime opportunity, right?! 😉

There were 2 other Dutch converts invited (so there were three converts in total). Most of them just converted to Islam for only 1-3 years and what’s amazing was that they all wore a hijab! I actually thought that they’ve at least been a Muslim for 5 years, because wearing a hijab (especially in the time of Islamophobia) was a big thing! But it turned out that they were “early” converts. What’s also interesting was that, although two of them were married, they came to Islam because they wanted to, not because of love or any other reasons.

I asked them how their family reacted upon knowing that their daughter was a Muslim. Only one of them had told the family and she said it was very hard for them. She hadn’t tell them about the hijab yet — she would do it one step at a time. Please note that Dutch parents are the most “easy going” parents in the world. As long as their children are happy, they’d accept their children’s decision. I have a number of friends whose husband converted to Islam due to marriage and their parents didn’t object both the marriage and conversion. So I was a bit surprised to know that the family of these girls would not accept their conversion to Islam. They told me that their parents were a practicing “hardcore” Christian and perhaps that’s one of the reasons why their parents found it unacceptable. Anyhow…

The host, Jacky, turned out to be a really EXCELLENT chef! She cooked a lot of foods. Not just foods, but DELICIOUS foods. The soup, biryani rice, raita (yum!!!!!), samousa, and some fruit deserts. My stomach were about to explode eating sooooooo much foods!


I had a lot of fun. It was no doubt the best ifthar I ever had in the Netherlands — ever since I arrived here 3 years ago. I start to wonder why all the good things always come during my last year of living here?! But anyhow, we’re planning to meet up again during Eid insya Allah! 🙂

Meeting a Muslim convert makes me feel so grateful and blessed that I’m a born Muslim. Often time we take this for granted, don’t you think? It’s definitely something that we should be grateful about. Having lived in a non-Muslim majority country for more than 7 years, the time has come for me to live in a Muslim-majority country again. Without a doubt, I’ve enjoyed living here or anywhere in the world. In terms of religion-wise, I’ve learnt and known Islam much better than if I’d in a Muslim country. But with Islamophobia sweeping across Europe, it’s time for me to go back to the country where I can practice my religion freely and where I can wear hijab without being the center of attention. It hurts to constantly hear Islam — my faith and my way of life — to be insulted and ridiculed again and again. Do insult my race or my nationality, but not my religion.

Thank you, ya Allah for always giving me reminders, giving me the best experience of my life, and answering my prayers. I cannot be any happier.

Surprise Food Delivery


Recently, my friends said that I’m much skinnier than usual. I admit that I haven’t taken care of myself well these past weeks. I eat bread, chocolate, or noodles the whole time. I don’t feel like cooking anything. I just make sure that my stomach is not empty, but I don’t make it full either. But their comments about my skinny body struck me. I’m not fond of "skinny" body because I’m already skinny. How much skinny I can be before I turn into a scary bone creature? LOL.

So I "bragged" about it on Twitter. The next thing I knew was that: I got a food delivery from my "sister" Mulia who was in UK! It was a total surprise! I didn’t expect it at all!!! (obviously… d’oh) She’s so far away and at the same time so considerate!!! I have known her for about 6 years through online/blogging but we never had a chance to meet! We’ve discussed about a lot of stuff, from politics, religion, to personal issues and I consider her as my older sister. But I never expected that she’d be doing this to me!  I wanted to cry huhuhu. Some people are just so freakin nice, you know. Anyway, I didn’t know that there’s a website where you can order foods online from different restaurants and be delivered wherever you want! Cool stuff!

The food was delivered right before I was about to have my meal after Maghrib prayer. It was just on time haha. It was good and filling — a typical Turkish food. I still had some left for tomorrow 😉 and I also had some foods packed for me from Jessie’s mom (oh, she always does this for me all the time *cry*). I don’t need to cook for the next few days, alhamdulillah.

The wonder of Ramadhan? 🙂

Umm Ali


This is a famous Egyptian bread pudding called Umm Ali (meaning: the mother of Ali). According to this website:

Umm Ali (the dish) dates back to Ottoman era Egypt, when legend has it the sultan stopped in a poor village looking for something to eat and the village’s best cook, named Umm Ali, made something akin to this dish. There are other legends too, about a British nurse named O’Malley who may have invented the recipe.

Whatever the history was, what matters the most is that this desert is SOOOOO delicious! It is usually served during Ramadhan.

I remember when I was in Jeddah last year, I was craving for Umm Ali. So we tried to find it and ask people about it. But somehow we couldn’t locate which restaurant served this delicious dish. So my dad took us to a 4-star hotel. Having worked in a tourism business for more than 10 years, he knew most of the people in that hotel really well. From the manager to the security guy. So he asked the chef to make Umm Ali especially for us! Hahahaha. It was the best Umm Ali I’ve ever had!!! EVER. It wasn’t too sweet. The taste was just right on the spot! And it was for free! What more could I ask for?!

My brother (who also came with us to eat Umm Ali) said: “Malu-maluin aja. Dateng kesini cuma mau makan Umm Ali. Gratis pula!” Basically he said that we should be ashamed of ourselves for coming to the hotel only for the sake of Umm Ali! When we finished eating, he popped up the question “That’s it?! We’re leaving now?” Hahaha. Yep. We left and I didn’t feel ashamed at all LOL.

Now I’m craving for this desert all over again. Somehow, the craving and the homesickness always show up prior to/during Ramadhan. Spending Ramadhan in Saudi Arabia is just the best.

I’m going to try making Umm Ali next time! 🙂 (read: when I’m in the mood of cooking). I’ve got the recipe already. Yay.

Nasi Goreng


When you have a lot of things you want to get rid of (and you’re kinda lazy to cook), it’s best to make nasi goreng (fried rice)! Broccolis, zucchinis, shrimps, and mushrooms 🙂 — everything needs to be gone by next week.


My Own Version of Veggie Lasagna

Veggie Lasagna

I did a bit of experimenting today. I wanted to make an Egyptian macaroni bachamel (a popular lasagna-like food), but it would involve quite a bit of tasks and would require some pans and dishes (I was too lazy to wash them haha). So I thought of making a veggie lasagna. About two years ago, I was invited to a family dinner of my Dutch friend and his mom cooked this type of baked veggie cheese pasta thing. It was delicious! Ever since that dinner, I had been trying to make it my own, but… you know me?! Always not in a mood of cooking.

So today, I took out all of the ingredients and made this veggie lasagna. I’m not a fan of tomato sauce to be honest, so I used a bachamel sauce instead (which was easy to make). I put some broccolis, potatoes, and mushrooms. I’m a cheese lover, so I put lots of cheese on top (I even put two different cheese hahaha… one of them was parmesan cheese).

Alright, the picture doesn’t do it justice. But I assure you, it was delicious! LOL! The broccolis were too overcooked though; because I think I steamed them too long before putting them in the oven. So, next time I’d probably steam them for few minutes. I’d definitely add more varieties of veggies next time… like zucchinis, cauliflowers, etc.

Loving it! 🙂

At Chili’s

Towards the 5th day of Eid, heavy meals were not served anymore. Instead, desserts and some Eid cookies were served. So after doing house-hopping, we were left with an empty stomach. My siblings wanted to eat at Chili’s, so we ended up going there. I wasn’t a big fan of Western foods and one of my purposes of going to Jeddah was to eat Middle Eastern foods! But, oh well, I had to follow the majority vote.

Shrimp & Steak Cajun Steak Fajita

Being with a family is luxury. That’s all I can say 🙂

At The Turkish Mosque

Yummy foods at the Turkish mosque today, alhamdulillah 🙂


And I met a really friendly Turkish girl! I always feel happy to meet fellow Muslims, coz I don’t have that many Muslim girl friends here. I’m not picky when it comes to making friends, but it’d be convenient for me to know them, especially when I have to go to the mosque or Islamic events — I won’t be the only girl around.

Meeting in Delft

Oude Kerk (The Old Church) in Delft

My boss invited me to see his presentation about the NGO he founded. The event was held in Delft and it was presented for the TU Delft students. It was very interesting, I must say. I had been working on developing the website of this organization for few months now, but I hadn’t really understood how they did it until today! The organization currently focuses on getting African people out of darkness and at the same time creating jobs for them. The concept is to have a docking station so that lamps and batteries can be recharged at affordable prices. This docking station uses a solar energy to supply the electricity for recharging. It can be set up in different villages (through franchising) and will be run by the local people. I like how you can get profits, help people through creative innovation, and create jobs at the same! It’s great! The organization itself is going to expand to other countries and continents in the near future once the first implementation is successful.

Delft  Delft

After the presentation, I had a meeting with him and few other people to talk about the improvement of the website that we could make. Then there was lunch, of course! Damn, I envied TU Delft students to be honest! They got sandwiches for their lunch! (TU Eindhoven only gave snacks and snacks) The sandwich looked so delicious with many different types of CHEESE. Damn! I couldn’t eat because of Ramadhan of course!!! I was thinking, hmm… could I take some of them home?? Hahaha. Oh I wish I could. LOL. But the good news was: my boss would pay for my transport cost to Delft! Yay! 🙂

I went around Delft for half an hour before heading back. I always loved Delft. It’s a typical Dutch city. Very medieval. Very “Vermeer”. Too bad I didn’t bring my camera. I took the pictures with my mobile phone, hence the poor quality.

Before reaching home, I went to Den Bosch to pick up my residence permit! 🙂 My old permit is supposed to expired today. I was almost illegal! Hehehe. Going to Den Bosch without buying a bossche bol was definitely not a cool thing. So I decided to buy some :). Bossche bol is an EXTREMELY DELICIOUS dessert ever made! It’s a famous one, only available in Den Bosch. As I’m writing this post, I’ve been waiting the time when I can eat. Seriously, I can’t wait. Haha.


Blessed with Foods

I had one of the best ifthar today at a Turkish mosque. The foods were so delicious! And there were A LOT to choose from! The picture above only shows the appetizers. I didn’t get to take a picture of the main dish (rice with chicken) and the super sweet baklava.

Alhamdulillah! 🙂

The Joy of Being with Others

I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner today, i.e. buka puasa (break the fast) together. I had been thinking, hmm… what food should I bring? Should I just bring the atayef that I made yesterday? Or should I make something else? As I was browsing some recipes, I suddenly craved for mahshi, a delicious Arab dish that my mom used to make. It is a stuffed vegetables — usually zucchini, eggplant, or bell pepper stuffed with rice and ground beef. So yeah, I decided to make it!

A friend of mine, Elva, came over in the afternoon. We did grocery shopping and eventually cook together. She helped me with mahshi, which was surprisingly very easy to make (recipe can be found here). We also spent some time talking in the backyard. It was a really nice day! The weather was just PERFECT! Loved it!

Mahshi that I made :)

After successfully cooking the mahshi, we then went to the friend’s house we were invited to. This was my first time in this year’s Ramadhan breaking my fast together with other people. I had been doing it alone and I didn’t like it to be honest (seriously, stop complaining, Amalia!). And today I felt so happy to be surrounded with friends 🙂

And the mahshi turned out to be delicious! 🙂 Yum!