Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) fellow readers,

Tonight's raw ingredients...has anyone see where our missing cow went?

The weather in Indiana has become a tad bit chilly these past few days. Tonight, our bundled-up young lads strolled into the masjid for what would be a rather exciting evening. Alhamdulillah we officially launched our first-ever event for our ISGL Junior Youth (Muslim male youth ages 5-7)! Salah likes to dub these young guys as “mini-men” since they are well on their way to adulthood (don’t tell their parents that). Occasionally you may see a reference on this blog to our “mini-men” so hopefully you’ll now be able to distinguish between our younger youth and our older youth (termed young men). Enough with the literature lesson; on to the good stuff!

The evening began with our youth taking part in the final congregational prayer of the evening at the masjid (Isha prayer). Afterward, they gleefully ran downstairs to the masjid wudu area. We reminded the young guys to wash their hands before starting work on making food (lesson #1 in youth group!). After the hand-washing, the youth walked with the mentors up to the masjid library. Salah led the youth through a fun game of introductions. Each mini-man had to say his name and an animal that they liked which had the same first letter as the first letter of their name. This was a word association game to help the young’ins learn their new friends names. We had Hasan the Hippo, Murtaza the Mongoose, Yahya the Yak, Hamza the Horse, Ahmed the Alligator, and Mohammed the Monkey.

After the introductions were completed, the true fun began. As the young guys’ eyes scanned the room delightfully looking for what awaited next, our youth mentors walked in armed with 3 items: halal hot dogs, slices of American cheese, and a roll of refrigerated biscuit dough.

What in the world did the young guys end up making with these 3 items you ask? Well, a COW IN A BLANKET!!! In case you’re a little bit lost as to the name for the activity, let us break it down. Our hot dogs were made from beef (taken from a cow). We wrapped them in cheese and dough (kinda like a blanket wraps up an object to keep it warm). When you combine the two things together you get..wait for it…no seriously be patient…okay you’ve waited long enough…a COW IN A BLANKET!!! Don’t you just love how we come up with these cool names? With a hearty “bismillah”(lesson #2 in youth group!) the youth happily devoured their concoctions once they were done baking.

Our cows wrapped tightly in their blankets...don't they look warm and cozy?

This is a great activity you can do with your family at home (particularly if you have young children). Below are the ingredients and the recipe we used for our cooking event:

INGREDIENTS:

The following items make enough for 8 servings (i.e. one wrapped hot dog per person):

1.) 8 hot dogs or frankfurters (you can purchase zabiha/halal hot dogs locally at Khybar Super Market)

2.) 8 slices American cheese (we used Walmart brand) – this ingredient can be left out if you’re not a fan of cheese

3.) 8 ounce can of refrigerated biscuit dough (we used the Pillsbury brand) – you can also switch out the biscuit dough with refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (for thicker, more fluffy bread)

RECIPE:

1.) Thaw out your frozen hot dogs (if stored in a freezer).

2.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

3.) Take a slice of American cheese. Place the hot dog on one end of the cheese. Carefully wrap/roll the slice of cheese around one hot dog.

4.) Take one piece of biscuit dough. Place the cheese-wrapped hot dog on the biscuit dough. Carefully wrap the dough around the cheese-wrapped hot dog (now you have a cow in a blanket).

5.) Take a flat non-stick cookie sheet (or put aluminum foil with a little bit of non-stick grease on a pan to prevent the biscuits from sticking to the pan) and place the wrapped cow in a blanket on the cookie sheet. Evenly space out the hot dog-wrapped-in-cheese-wrapped-in-biscuit -dough around the cookie sheet so they are not touching one another.

6.) Bake the cow in a blanket delicacy in the preheated oven until the biscuits turn golden brown in color. This should take between 10-15 minutes.

7.) Once the items are cooked to your liking, allow items to cool down before eating (so you don’t burn your tongue).

8.) Serve on a plate and enjoy!

Below are a few pictures of our young guys in action during the event:

Our working station for tonight - the masjid library! Ahh the quiet before the storm.

Hasan and Mohammed excitedly await for the grand event to begin!

Look Yahya is missing a tooth! Meanwhile Murtaza gives two thumbs up for...the cheese (who knew cheese could look so good).

 

Salah leads the mini-men through a fun game of introductions.

 

Ahmed and Mohammed playfully twirl around the room as their food bakes in the oven.

 

Young guys work on creative pieces of art as Fahad observes them closely...where is our food they must be wondering?

 

Finally time to EAT! I would give all of these fine dishes 5 stars.

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