----------------------ABU DHABI----------------------

Wednesday, November 28

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Sesame Crisp Flakes from:


For dinner tonight we had this chili above. Ive never had any chili other than the ground meat or sausage ones so chicken chili is a BIG change for me. It was delicious, BUT, not the same as the chili's I grew up on. This chili would be very good paired with crusty french bread or jalapeno cornbread. We had it with fresh labneh,coriander, and cheddar cheese, because Monterrey Jack is no wheres to be found here!

Don't get me wrong, this chili is well worth it! The only things I adjusted were the chili powder to half a tbsp and the cumin to 1 heaping tsp and the white beans to 2 cans...It would have been TOO HOT if I had added 1 tbs chili powder...

You could really splurge on high quality ingredients in this recipe because it only calls for a little bit, not alot, of everything. Like the stock, for example, could be of a superior quality to a maggi cube like I used, as well as the beans and fresh sour cream.

The recipe is here:


Fresh Ginger Milk

Zan-ja-beel ma haleeb~ Milk with Ginger

A must during the winter months throughout the UAE. A favourite amongst the Arab men in the rural and remote areas, as well as the most modern home today. Usually made just after sunset in the winter months, it is kept warm in a thermos flask until consumed.

5 cups fresh milk
2 tbs sugar-and extra when serving, if needed
1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger or a bit less if you dont like it to "spicy hot"(finely grated)

Place the ginger and sugar into a pot, stir for a bit over heat and then pour milk onto it. Slowly bring to the boil to prevent burning. Once it has reached the boiling stage, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a thermos until ready to serve.

Tuesday, November 27

My Old and Dusty Recipe Photos

Date Cake
Crepes with Fresh Cream and Melted Chocolate
Double Chocolate and Orange Cake
Keema with Chapati and Tea
Stir Fried Cabbage, Carrots and Lentils
I will post the recipes for these as i find them!
Breakfast Crepes (courtesy of Epicurious.com)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Scant 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Additional butter for cooking
Additional sugar or clear jelly such as apple or apricot for serving

Special equipment:Iron skillet or crêpe pan Flexible metal or plastic spatula

In a blender, combine milk and eggs. Mix on medium-high speed until foamy, about 10 seconds. Turn blender to low speed and remove feed top. With blender going, add sugar and salt. Replace feed top and blend on high speed for a few seconds, then turn blender back to low. In the same manner, add butter, brandy, and vanilla, replacing feed top and blending for several seconds after each addition. Turn blender off. Add flour all at once and blend until just combined.
Place crêpe pan over moderately high heat. With flexible spatula, spread a tiny amount of butter in pan (an alternative method is to brush the pan with melted butter using a pastry brush) and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into the pan. As you pour, quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread a thin layer of batter across the bottom. Pour in just enough batter to cover the pan.

Cook crêpe over moderately high heat until bubbles just begin to form on the exposed surface, about one to two minutes. Lift up the edge to check the cooking process — if the crêpe starts to burn before it is cooked through, turn down the heat. If it is not nicely browned after two minutes, turn up the heat.

When underside of crêpe is browned, flip and cook another minute or less, until other side is browned. Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven, loosely covered with foil.
Grease pan with a very small amount of butter and repeat process. Continue until all batter is used, stacking cooked crêpes on a plate in the oven. To serve, sprinkle each crêpe with sugar or spread with jelly and fold or roll up.

Note:Making the batter for these crêpes is relatively easy, but cooking them can be laborious. Once you have a gotten a feel for the procedure (you will probably have to tinker with the heat and cooking time, since every pan behaves slightly differently), you can save time by using two pans at once. Stagger the process so you are pouring the batter into one pan while a crêpe is cooking in the other. This way, you will be able to closely attend to both but will finish in half the time.

Stir-Fried Cabbage and Carrots

by Madhur Jaffrey


In the Indian household, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, consisting of at least four courses. This is one of the popular recipes used for the rice and vegetable course.

3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1⁄2 tsp. chana dal
1 1⁄2 tsp. urad dal
1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
20 fresh curry leaves (optional)
2–4 fresh hot green chiles, slivered
1⁄2 lb. green cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, finely julienned
3⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 cup grated fresh coconut (or 1 oz. unsweetened dried coconut, reconstituted in warm water for 1 hour, and then thoroughly drained)

1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add dals and mustard seeds. Stir until seeds pop and dals begin to turn red, a few seconds.

2. Stir in curry leaves (if using), chiles, cabbage, and carrots. Add salt and stir. Cover, reduce heat, and cook until cabbage is tender. Add coconut and stir for 1 minute more.

Keema by Nigella

As featured on the ITV Nigella show.
From Nigella's book Feast.

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced, grated or finely chopped
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 and half centimetre piece of ginger, finely grated or chopped
1 red birds eye chilli, finely chopped with seeds
1 and a half teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 handfuls chopped coriander
750g lamb mince
250g frozen peas
250ml boiling water
Juice half a lime, or to taste

Heat the oil in a wide saucepan – one big enough to take everything comfortably later - and add the onion and garlic. Cook on a high heat until they become golden brown. Turn the heat down, and add the can of tomatoes, ginger, chilli, salt, garam masala and a handful of the chopped coriander.Stir until the mixture becomes shiny, and then add the mince breaking it up with a fork in the sauce.
Add the frozen peas stirring everything together for a few minutes, and then add 250ml of boiling water. Bring the pan to the boil and then turn it down to a very gentle simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, by which time most of the water should have evaporated and the lamb will be tender and the peas cooked through. Squeeze in some lime juice to taste and sprinkle the remaining chopped coriander over the finished dish, or into individual bowls as you serve.
I love warmed thick flat breads – and most supermarkets sell naans or rotis now - with this, but even without the added carb, just spooned straight into my mouth, it does the trick.
Serves 4
For Chapati recipe go to this site:http://www.indianfoodsco.com/Recipes/breads.htm

Friday, November 23

FeeBi Cat and Fly conversation this morning....

Sorry people, i know this is not food related except for the fact that this happened in the kitchen....BUT, I had to share this beyond ADORABLE (mashAllah) video of my Feebi Cat talking to a Fly!

Monday, November 19

Universal Children's Day 2007

Crucial Advice to Parents on Raising Children

Note: this advice has Islamic ideals written into it. Everything written below is MY own personal opinion from experience as a kindergarden teacher and my own personal life.

“A child’s viewpoint of their future and the way they handle it is created and formed by the life experiences they are subjected to as children. This can be negative or positive experiences. They choose, as adults, how to utilize those experiences to either improve themselves and their life or to plunge into negative conflicts and fail in life. It is our job as parents to provide our children with the foundation of stability, security and loving encouragement to nurture this growth of their personalities and to provide positive loving experiences to them to propel them into successful futures as self-confident and well-rounded individuals who contribute positively to society.”

1) Lead by example. This is the most important advice I could possibly give anyone. In all aspects of life, if we want people to change we have to make ourselves the best examples to learn from! If we make a conscious effort to remember that our children are watching us, it will keep us in check. We will mind our manners, we will speak more soothingly, we will control our emotions, and ultimately we will see that, by our kids watching us, we are beginning to behave the way we want them to behave. In other words, it is a cycle that eventually trains parents and their children towards better behaviour and emotional restraint. If we know that our kids are watching our every move, we will be mindful of our behaviour and set an example with that behaviour. Then, our kids will model that good behaviour and essentially everyone wins.

2) Have great patience with your children and their annoyances. Laugh and find ease in their childishness. There is nothing more blissful than baby’s belly laughs or their ridiculously funny little questions that we stumble to answer at times. They are, after all, children. They are still learning the ways of life, from you. They won’t stay children forever!

3) Don’t EVER tell your children that “children are to be seen and not heard”. They just might grow up to take that advice and completely break away from you, emotionally, forever.

4) Give your children the greatest childhoods’ you can. Remember what yours was like and make it 100 times better for your own children. We remember our childhood as the crucial defining time of our lives. Let their defining time be recollected as one of immense joy and contentment.

5) Never use your children as your best friend. Mothers and Fathers are there to be Mothers and Fathers, not best friends! Your children don’t need your adult problems weighing on their shoulders, not to mention the emotional and psychological consequences of doing so are devastatingly destructive on a child’s personality and emotions. You don’t have to act as a best friend for your child to come to you with their problems and you, as an adult, should be able to handle your own without including your children in them!

6) Keep your promises to your children. A child promised a coveted prize/toy/trip will never forget that promise and will never let you forget it. Actually, quite sadly, many children roll their eyes when they hear their parents say "Inshallah" for fear that Inshallah really means "maybe" or "yeah, right" or a plain "no." A dishonest promise might grant you a few minutes of quiet shopping time, but in the end it will lead you further into the depths of your child's distrust

7) Listen and Respond to your children’s feelings. Let them express their feelings and listen to them, give them advice, and comfort them, even if it is childish, they are after all, children, but to them, their problem is just as important and real as you think yours are. This will encourage your children to come to you for advice and help when they are teenagers and as adults.

8) Make the family relationship between the children and their relatives strong. Encourage children and their cousins to play, pray, and visit together regularly. This will strengthen the relationship and bond between siblings and their cousins throughout childhood and into adulthood. They will then, as adults, protect, help and strengthen each other throughout life because of this bond.

9) Be active in your children’s education and school. Show interest in their academic accomplishments and go to school for meetings and open houses. This will give the children a sense of security at school as well as motivation to do well in school because they know it will make their parents proud and happy. Tell them you are proud of them!

10) Show your children physical affection. If you’re not the “touchy feely type”, go out of your own comfort zone to comfort your children. You’d be surprised at how many children “violently act out” only because they wanted affection from their mothers and fathers! This DAILY type of affection eases the heart and strengthens the bond of love between parents and their children.

11) Teach your children their culture and traditions. Make them proud of it and teach them to respect it. This leads to pride in their identity as citizens and pride in knowing their country’s and people’s history. This knowledge and respect fosters love for their country and their people. It persuades them to serve their country well as adults contributing to their society and helping their people progress for the good.

12) Don’t spoil your children. Teach them the value of money and “things”. Never replace love with “things”. This leads to unhappy shallow adults whose only happiness is found in how much they can buy and how much stuff they have! Giving a child everything they want, when they want it, and how they want it, just so they will be quiet and happy only makes them greedy adults who will never want to work hard for what they desire in life. Find a balance in this very significant aspect of parenthood.

13) Be equal in love and attention among all of your children. Don’t play each child off of the other. (ex. “Look at your brother, he’s being good. Why can’t you be good like him?”) This leads to hatred and jealousy between siblings, this also doesn’t solve the child’s behavior in the first place! Giving one child favoritism over another will crumble the self-esteem and self-worth of the child who you don’t give attention to and only make them envious of their siblings. This loss of self-esteem and self-worth in the child can lead to difficulty in future relationships and development throughout life when the child was not given love and attention from the parents when he needed it the most.

13) Teach them the Honor in helping others and giving charity. This is self explanatory really. Show your children how morally responsible and honorable it can be to help others in need. Teach them that helping others is one of the most dignified qualities a human being can have. Teach them that having mercy and giving kindness to all living creatures and humans is a noble quality for a person to possess.

Wednesday, November 14

Sick AGAIN...

So Sorry to all of my family and friends who read this blog daily for updates only to find that theres nothing new....Im sick again and cant do anything right! I couldnt even find the "S" for "sick" in my soup I slurped this morning to sooth my fire crusted throat, so I had to use a "5"...
Anyway, right now Im just grateful for one working nostril...

Sunday, November 11

Stuffed Grape Leaves and Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

This is a VERY typical Middle Eastern dish. Stuffed Veggies and leaves are constantly consumed for lunch, dinner, snacks, etc...They are not very fattening besides the rice and everyone has their own "secret" recipe for them :) I like mine with lemon...I will not post the recipe because really, it is easy to find delicious recipes on the net to satisfy your taste for this dish. There are many different ways to make it!

Thursday, November 8

Labneh with Zaatar and Banana Pepper Snack

Labneh with Zaatar
Labneh with Zaatar Inside

Banana Peppers fried with Egyptian Farm Cheese

Raggag Bread-thin and crispy

Strained yoghurt or labneh is popular in the Levant. Besides being used fresh, labneh is also dried then formed into balls, sometimes covered with herbs or spices, and stored in olive oil. Labneh is a popular mezze dish and sandwhich ingredient. The flavour depends largely on the sort of milk used: labneh from cows milk has a rather milder flavour.
The Banana peppers were fried in a bit of olive oil and when soft white farm cheese was added to it over low heat and taken off fire when melted a bit. This recipe was inspired by:http://almostturkish.blogspot.com/
Raggag bread was used for soup and the recipe can be found in my recipe collection.

Wednesday, November 7

Quick Chickpea Salad

This is a quick and nutritious salad you can make on a busy lunch break...I make this salad and different variations of it regularly for my family. You can add anything you like to it to "jazz" it up...
The basic mix is:
danish white cheese or feta
canned chickpeas
dried mint
garlicky vinegar salad dressing
I must add that I am soon to be on a "seriously strenuous" gym routine to lose a bit of weight, so you will be seeing alot more salads here soon!

Monday, November 5

Pataata! Pataata! Frittata! Frittata!

First of all, YES, I cooked breakfast...For those of you reading this entry who know me well, please applaud for me :)


Second, this is a quick recipe for a busy morning, and Yes its a bit burnt and crispy because I like it like that :)

Here's what you need:

1 potato grated thin
half onion sliced thin
olive oil for frying
butter for frying
4 eggs
salt and pepper
parsley or any other fresh herb you like(optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato sliced thin

Fry onion in a splash of olive oil, when browning add potato, cook till softened and browned a bit. In a medium skillet melt butter, and transfer potato mix to this then pour in the whisked eggs, and cook like an omelet, at this point you can add the herbs if you wanted them. Cook till done. Serve with sliced tomato and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Russian Cabbage with Veggies and Kidney Beans

This is Russian Style Cabbage and Veggies with Kidney Beans. We had this for dinner yesterday evening with Tuna and Corn Stuffed Jacket Potatoes. Strangley though, the site from which I was taking these recipes has now refused me entry to it, even though I gave the site credit for the dish and not myself. Im not sure why this is, so I will not be able to give you the recipe, but I can roughly tell you what is inside it and how to make it from what I remember.

you will need:

400g cabbage shredded
1 can kidney beans
3 carrots shredded
2 onions chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
2 1/2 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
some dill and parsley for seasoning
salt and pepper

Fry the onion in olive oil, add bell pepper, fry a bit, add carrot, fry a bit, then add tomato paste, stir. Add cabbage and stir fry till softened. Add kidney beans and add herbs and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes then serve.

Saturday, November 3

Recipe for Uzbek Samboosa Bread

Sorry it took me so long for those of you who requested it! I had to request the exact ingrediants from my friend who actually is the one who made these...I just just sat watching and snapped pics to be honest!

so she says:

For about 15 med samboosas youll need:

2 cups flour
2 tbs salt dissolved in enough water to make a soft dough
1 egg

mix it all together and knead it, let it rest to minutes covered, then seperate in half and make each round and flat with a LONG stick...AHEM, we used a mop handle...then follow the steps in the pics I had posted for the Uzbek samboosas found here:

For anything else I KNOW I have forgotten to write about the recipe please check the questions below. Im really sorry for not writing these things down before!

I have a couple of follow-up questions. Based on the pics with the demo. When the dough is then cut into small pieces, is it then rolled out again and curled into a spiral as shown in the pic with the bowl? When the dough is cut into small pieces it is then twisted into spirals and then immedialtey flattened into small circles:one twisted piece = one flat circle. There is no need to let the dough rest at this point, if you like to, you can.

Once rolled and the suffing placed in the center, how is the dough encased? In other words, so I just fold over? or what? Once the filling is placed inside you can fold it anyway you like to be honest. We made triangles and squares so we would know which was meat and which was pumpkin filling.

Is it the egg that she brushes the finished Samboosas with? and are the samboosas baked or fried and at what temperature? and for how long? Firstly I just want to say I feel like such an Idiot for forgetting to write this in my post! I think its the long hours I have in "school" that are getting to me! There are 2 eggs. The first is for the dough as stated in the recipe, and the second is only the yolk for brushing over the samboosas. These samboosas are baked until they turn brown on top. Im not sure about the temp because I have an electric oven and I had to fluctuate the temperature btwn 160c and 200c, and 200 was a bit to hot...You can use your judgement on this part, and just bake till browned on top.

What is it that is rubbed on the dough after the first rolling (the big circle?) and is anything rubbed again, when the little cut pieces are rolled out flat and the spiralled? A mixture of butter and ghee was rubbed into each rounded piece only before rolling it into the long thin piece...You only need about 1 tbs of this mixture for each round.

Jacket Potato,Steak and Salad

I wouldn't really call this Steak, because it was VERY thin and and not juicy like a REAL steak...I do know what a REAL steak tastes like and this poor strip of meat is NOT it...BUT, it was nevertheless good for dinner...Not very imaginative. but hey, today was not a good day for my imagination. Im just to tired to think!
All I did was marinate the meat overnight in a bottle of Italian Dressing, and grilled it the next day. The Jacket potato is just baked at 175c for 1.4 hours, and filled with what you like. The salad is cucumber,tomato,dried mint and vegetable seasoning mixed with a herb vinaigrette dressing. That's all!