Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book Club Success...

I hosted the Book Club today. It was great to see my friends after the long summer break! I was such a nervous and stressed out wreck preparing though! I have to make a really special dinner for my babies as they got the brunt of it this morning! Here is my awful attempt at photography again! Here I laid out the cupcake, I made those. The Chocolate Meringue Kisses my Amal made! That is Cool Whip in between them and yes, SOUTH BEACH approved! Then, we have two different types of Marks and Spencers (British store) 'biscuits' or cookies as we Yanks call them! Yummy!!

Here is a close up of the Chocolate Meringue Kisses. Want the recipe??


2 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar substitute (we use Splenda)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, lumps removed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Light whipped topping (we used Cool Whip and only use up to 1 Tbsp. per sandwich)

Preheat oven to 250*F. Whip together egg whites and cream of tartar until foam forms softf peaks.

Whisk sugar substitute, 1 tablespoon at a time until it forms stiff peaks.

Whisk cocoa and vanilla until blended.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Fit a large star nozzle to a pastry bag.

Fill the bag with the meringue.

Pipe 20 meringue kisses onto the parchment paper.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and dry.

Turn the oven off and let them sit for 30 minutes.

19 calories per each sandwich!

Here is a close up of the cookies. They are rich and just the right amount of chocolate!

Another shot of the kisses....

Amal also made the Hummus. I cut up the veggies and the plate is actually white!! I need to figure this lighting thing out!! Here is the South Beach Hummus recipe:


1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste) (we omit this!!)
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground red peper
1/2 tsp. salt
Chopped fresh parsley (optional and we don't use this!)

Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the liquid.

Combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, onion, garlic, oil, cumin, pepper and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, adding the chickpea liquid if needed to thin the puree.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving to blend the flavors. Garnish with parsley, if using.

Serves 5

Ah, a good cup of tea...

Contemplating the next book read. This one is my choice! Why? Simply because Toni is the only African American author that I know of so I recognized the name.

Did I mention that the food was yum???

Going, going...

All gone! Well, today is my last day of not fasting. I've been on 'holiday' as they say in these here parts around here! A Muslim woman is exempt from fasting if she um, has her monthly visitor. My visitor will be leaving me tomorrow!

Tomorrow?! I am off to learn how to make HAREES. This is a wheat porridge sorta. My SIL will be teaching me as it has been years since I have had any and with Indian cooking; it is complicated and intricate! So, we will have cut up limes (from my garden), cilantro chopped fine, fried red onions, green chilis all served on the side. I like a little harees with my onions! We cook it with mutton! The Zanzibari's here in Muscat cook it with chicken. I like ours better. It just seems to have more flavor.

Stay tuned for pics on this!! AND!! If you use these recipes, let me know what you think of them!

Thanks for stopping by! Next week, my friend and I are going to meet after the long summer and crochet together! Can't wait to photograph all that loveliness for you all!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cupcakes for my friends!

Hi. Been makin' cupcakes from scratch. OMG. So worth it! I got this little container to put one cupcake in for school lunches. Or, to just sit on my desk, next to me, calling me, enticing me...

Amal took these photos as I can't seem to take any decent ones! She is going for the Photography club and I am sure she will learn a lot and enjoy it immensely! I, however, edited this photo with color and what not. See the little guy on top eyeballin' me?????

Here is the whole cool thing with the cupcake holder thingy!

See, all those little guys are calling me!!!!!!!! I guess you'll have to come on over and help me eat them up! Then, we can walk on my treadmill for a while!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shopping for Cheese in Muscat!

"Oooh, Kraft Singles Fat Free Sharp Cheddar, whoa! expensive!.. 2.790 OR (Omani Rials) = $7.24"

"Kraft Singles Fat Free SWISS! for 2.490 OR ($6.50).....CHEAPER!"

"Almarai Fat Free at .900 basia ($2.33)....CHEAPEST!!" (local-ish item) {from Saudi}

Then a hearty laugh from me and I look over and Amal is just shaking her head!

So, can anyone tell me if this is all that expensive compared to American prices???? Thanks!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have a thing for round spoons!

This is my favorite Arab dessert! It is called UMALI or OMALI. I named my son Ali so the Arabs would call me 'Um (mother of) Ali (son's name and usually the eldest one at that!). There were other, more intelligent reasons that we named our son Ali. I won't bore you with those details though! So, I took the kids to a restaurant for Iftar and it was ok! This, however, was the highlight for me. Traditionally, and I still need to master this dish; it is made with filo dough or croissants. There is cream and sugar and sultanas (golden raisins), and nuts. Can't remember which ones though. I just love it. You know, I would say it is like an American bread pudding. I have never had that though so can't fairly compare! I think my British buddies have mentioned that their bread pudding is drier than this Umali. I believe the origins date back to Egypt. I love the stuff! Especially the corners and the top where it is crusted over.

Here I am taking a bite. I had to pose for this. There is my little man whom is almost taller than I!

I have always had a thing for round spoons. I think they are called soup spoons. I don't care! I like them!

Here is my Lulu. She actually broke out of her diet and ate. This was like the fourth time around! We were miserable afterwards and couldn't make the movie. We were planning on seeing 'Inception' but ended up not going. We went home and moaned in front of the TV! We did, however, make it to see the movie a couple of nights ago. Anyone wanna go again with me?I need to see it again!

Thanks for stopping by. Tonight I made spaghetti off diet. I used Olive oil and whole wheat pasta and lots of veggies. It was ok. I think it needed more salt but I had already put sooooo much in!

Again, thanks for dropping by and I hope to be up and running next week with some projects!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramadan Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem to all my Muslim friends. Today is the first day here in Oman. This is the holy month of Islam.

I'm almost over jet lag and the kids have less than two weeks before school starts. I have lots a projects that I am going to get organized here...

Stay tuned and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer vacation!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back in Oman!

It has been a wonderful six weeks in the States with my family and best friend and her family. We are back in Oman now and I have serious jet lag! Hope to come back with all kinds of news soon!

Thanks for stopping by!!