Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eid Mubarak!

It is 10:38pm and when midnight strikes, Ramadan will be over for another year.  Yay!  Then, tomorrow, will be Eid and lots of celebrations for the next three days!  Then, I have to scramble and get the kids ready for school as that starts the 5th.

Thank you to all my new friends in Kuwait and the Gulf and where ever you are from, also from the States, that have made my Ramadan that little bit more special this year!

Last night Karen came over and while we have been MSN'ing each other, it was great to see her in my home.  I am buying myself a gift and that is to the gym for one year!  That is my Eid present to myself.  I'm stoked!  I have lost about 15 pounds this Ramadan.  Usually, people gain!

Keep your fingers crossed because I may just have a job.  A really COOL job that I think will suit me just fine and will bring in some much sought after FALOOS, DINERO, PLATA, MONEY, LINEN; whatever you want to call it!  Wish me luck and if you pray, please pray for me that it works out.

So, in ending this, Wendy, I have not forgotten your request and I am so sorry that I did not get to it sooner and I won't be as the next three days will be crazy busy.  I will post those photos for you though! Thank you for your patience!

Whomever out there celebrates Eid, may you and your family have a wonderful Eid holiday.  For everyone else, I hope you find Peace in your lives and hearts and Prosperity and please hug your loved ones!

My husband ordered Chinese food for our dinner so I'm off to eat and then cook for tomorrow.  I'm making Tandoori Chicken!  Yummy!

A little taste of Colombia

My cousin posted these photos of some event that took place in Colombia in mid August.  I don't know if this girl is my cousin (:-)) but I KNOW that is my aunt on the left.  She is the spitting image of my Mom but a blue eyed blonde version of my dark Mom!  I want you to see the clothes.  It is so interesting.

I think one of these or more are related to me.  Just look at their clothes.  They are a musical group.

Another girl in the mix.

The rest of these pictures are taken by my other cousin.  Same family.  He and his wife went to visit.  Out of 16 kids, my Mom and her older brother are the only ones that settled in America.  The rest are in Colombia.

This is a typical meal.

Fish with rice and platanos or green bananas and yes they sell this here!

This is a staple of the Colombian diet.  Chicharron.  It is fried pork skins.  I know, 7aram!!

Here is a typical house.

Another popular meal.  We like our avocados, rice and arepas!

That is my cuz Andre so his wifey took this.

Another view..

I think I will be making an art quilt using this picture.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing a little bit of my birthplace.  It is a beautiful country.

edited to add one more picture:

This building is so charming and in such a pretty shade of yellow!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Congratulations to.....AMU from Kuwait!

I posted a few posts ago about my Hardanger and at the very bottom posed a little contest for anyone to guess which stitches I had missed.  No one played except my new friend Amu from Kuwait!

So, you are right and the winner and I have been working on a little EID MUBARAK banner!  I wanted to wait to post this but can't!  I will show the process as I have made a 'process pledge'.

I used some of my prized Pellon from America that I have been sitting on for years.  I finally got it out and the plan was to make 9 of these banners for the different families' houses and for my winner!

I screwed it up when tracing the words and letters as I get easily confused and then found a way to not waste all that Pellon.  You can see the lighter side of the letters or words in Arabic and then you will see little diamond shaped shapes that are more white.  These still have the paper on them and all of it should look like this.  But, a little bit of ingenuity and Parchment Paper (for baking) works a charm!

Once cut out, I ironed it onto the background fabric.  I again screwed up the parchment paper by getting it all sticky and interchanging each side until I wrote on my paper This Side Up!  Then, it worked, you guessed it, a charm!

Once the letters/words were ironed on properly in place, I had to sew around the letters.  I chose to do a straight stitch versus a zig zag.  BIG job!

The threads should be secured so I pulled all the threads to the back of the fabric and began tying them into knots by hand.  You can see some interfacing which allowed me to sew the letters without the fabric bunching up.  This is very important!

Then Ms. Uki came in to help me.  She did not stay long as I know Amu doesn't care for animals!  Yikes!

Once the letters/words were ironed in place, I needed to decide what to use for the back ground fabric.

I then sewed the backing on without raw edges and began to stipple quilt it in beige thread.  Stippling is an all over pattern that should NEVER cross lines.  You can do it tightly, which is stippling or loosely and that is called meandering.  There is a difference.

I then needed a binding.  I don't have ready made binding so got shopping in my stash of fabric to make my own.  I bought this nifty little tool in Dubai a few trips ago and it worked so well!

Once the right amount was made, I began to sew it onto the banner.

I then decided it was too plain.  I went to the shop and bought Swarvoski crystals in light blue and started to strategically place them.  It is still very plain though!

I hung it on our wall and my husband was so excited; he loved it.  He placed his 'orders' of what he wants me to make for the house.  Sweet.

I chose these yellow-ish and blue fabrics as Amu has mentioned that he likes these two colors.  I hope you like this!



Funniest Memories of Ramadan...

I know what Ramadan means and what it is all about but as an expat convert to Islam; it is a learning curve.  I think for most Muslims, we are constantly learning.  At least, I hope so.  I answered a comment from C and she made me remember about some funny incidents that happened in my 16 Ramadans.

So, before I share, I would love it if you all would post your funny memories of Ramadan.

Funny Story 1

My very first year I was alone, or without my husband.  My husband was working in the interior.  My SIL was staying with me as a young woman must NEVER live alone over here, and I had Shaboo, my cat of 7 years at the time and Tweety, my canary. I had only been here 4 months.

My other SIL called me at Suhoor time, like EARLY in the morning and was telling me how to cook something.  I started the oil heating up when somehow I left to wake my SIL up and by the time I got back to the kitchen, it was blazin'.  I did not know how to cook well at that time and certainly did not know how to put out a grease fire.  I exacerbated the situation and it was a real mess.  Finally, my FIL, my sweet FIL, called me and told me how to put it out.  Imagine.  A few minutes is a long time in a situation like this!  He sent his houseboy the next day to wipe down my brand new kitchen in my brand new apartment.  It was now a grey color.

The funniest thing was I met a bunch of Latina ladies and they came over and one of them commented on my cool paint job.  They asked me how I got this intricate design and the color of light grey on the walls.  I told them, "Oh, easy, just catch your kitchen on fire and the smoke damage will give you that effect!".  I laughed so hard and they just kept looking at me.  They must have thought that by me growing up in the States sullied my humor or something!

Funny Story 2

Ali was about 3 years old and I had just picked him up from his nursery school.  I stopped at the gas station to buy him a little CapriSun Orange drink that he asked for.  When I got back in the car, I proceeded to open it.  You know, it has that little orange straw and if you don't prick it just right with the beveled edge it can be a huge mess?  Well, I got the straw in fine and proceeded to take a sip so it would not splash out on him when he received it from me.  Right, so I turned to hand it to him and when I turned back around, there were TWO Omani men staring at me with their jaws agape!  When I realized that I broke my fast and felt the judgment of these two men whom were still standing with their mouths open like I killed somebody; I got so flustered.  What did I do next?  Oh my, I made the sign of the cross on my body like the good Catholic girl I was for all my life save a few years!!  The men then got angry and were insolent towards me so I put the car in reverse and shot out of that area so fast!  I had to pull over because I started laughing my butt off!  

I had only been a Muslim for about 5 years but still, the Catholic in me came out in a moment of sheer distress.  I never, to this day, have told my husband because, bless him, he would not find the humor in this little story!  

I innocently broke my fast and Allah ta'allah forgives these transgressions.  I'm sure he did not mind my sign of the cross either as my intentions were pure and good.

So, what is your funny story or two??

3rd week of Ramadan outing...

Last week sometime we went and met with Amal's friends and went to La Mer but it was fully booked so we ended up at Cafe Barbera.  It was a disappointment but nonetheless, we ate.  Here is a picture of my appetizers.  I love buffets!!

This is called Kibbe.  It is what I know as being Lebanese in origin but popular in all of Arabia.  I don't know how they make it but it is goooood!  I decided to learn how to make them as we all really liked them.

The plates were all gone and so I ended up with a salad plate for my main course.  I really, really liked the chicken on the left with the rice.  The beef with the grilled eggplant was tough and the noodles were nice.

This was Amal and my favorite thing!  It is lemon mint juice and very refreshing and sweet and tart!

The desserts.  Of course, if there isn't Umali/Omali, then it is not a 'good' dessert buffet in my humble opinion.  The chocolate things were what Ali went on about at La Mer at the company outing.  These two restaurants are affiliated with eachother and so they had SOME of the same items.  I did not like it.  Too chocolately but I am glad Ali liked them so much!

Gotta try a bite of everything!

Here is Amal on the left with two of her Omani friends.  I am so glad that she keeps in touch with them as she has no other way to meet local girls anymore being in the International school.  Thanks Rayyan for reading my blog too!  I like how the girls call me Khalti (Auntie with respect).

We are now in the final stretch of Ramadan with lots of preparations for Eid on Wednesday.  We are going to attempt to go out with these same girls to La Mer this week and well, lots is going on in this last week.  Hair apointments, mani/pedi's, school shopping, food shopping and preparations to come, gifts to buy for Eid, cleaning the house, saying goodbye to the part time Ramadan maid (boohoo!) and now the kids are sick!  Wabooyeh!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I've been featured!!

The lovely and sweet Angela over at Cut to Pieces has done a really interesting series on her blog called Quilting Around the World!

She posted on my blog and we have conversed via email before several times and she is featuring me!

Please go take a few minutes to read up on this!  So far, Ayumi, a very talented and interesting gal from Japan is the first one and I am the 2nd one featured!  

What a thrill Angela!  Thank you!

Kitchen Hazards....

Working in the kitchen can be dangerous, just take a look at the photos below!

I was washing dishes the other day and broke a glass and cut myself pretty good.  It hurt this time too!

This was the worst cut.

I nicked my thumb...

and on top of my hand...

My pinky kept bleeding so much!

The color of blood is so pretty though!

The three spots...

Then, I made pancakes or was it before?  I had a cup of tea too and yes, I am not fasting.

Today I was making my sister's recipe of Parisian Chicken.  I was trying to make a dish that I had the other night at Cafe Barbera that I have yet to post about.  It was so nice.  I looked on the net but couldn't find anything then remembered this recipe and made this.  I added potatoes.

It is a whole chicken with some chicken breasts (for Amal) that have been coated with flour and spices and then browned in BUTTER and then put aside and then, how about I post the recipe!!??

As I was adding the broth, I got burned by the steam.  My daughter came in just then and gave me the Flamazine.  This is a wonderful product.

I slathered all the affected areas which is basically the top of my hand.  It hurts and I am here now posting about it and Amal is making the rice for me.

I still have time to make a dessert but what???


1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt to taste
1 whole chicken or 6 chicken breasts
8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup water + 1 cup white wine (or 3/4 cup chicken broth)
2 tsp. chicken bullion
2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. Thyme

I don't use wine to cook so I used two Maggie stock cubes in a cup of boiling water.  I did not have parsley as I don't like it and put the Thyme in the stock.

Combine flour, paprika and pepper, garlic powder and salt in a plastic bag.  Add a few chicken pieces at a time and shake until well coated.  Place the chicken in a skillet with the butter to brown.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add remaining ingredients to the skillet.  Simmer 3 minutes.  I added the sliced potatoes at this point cut at 1/4" thick and round.  Add the chicken and simmer an additional 20 minutes.

Serve over butter noodles or rice.

I am using rice this time but like it more with noodles.

Please remember that this is a recipe using all American measurements.

Please don't hurt yourself in the kitchen!

Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you made this and liked it!