Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The return of the blogger.....

After having neglected my blog for about 2 years I am going to try to return to it. Since then a lot has happened.

We moved to a bigger house which has given the kids space to play outside and in. I had a baby in February of this year. My mom was here for the birth which was really nice.

Also we spent our summer in Mauritania which included Ramadan. It was a really great experience and the kids really enjoyed themselves. I hope to talk more about our time in Mauritania soon.

Abdellah started 4th grade this year and he is enjoying it. Khadija is in 1st grade she has mixed feelings about it but overall it's been fine. Yusuf started pre-K and attended 3 days of school after which he refused to continue since he prefers to be at home so we will wait till next year to enroll him.

Thats about the gist of what has been going on in our life. Keep tuned for more.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mauritania Boy reciting Quran


Now let me explain what has surprised me... Well my in-laws always have long-term guests in their home here in Jeddah. The majority are from Mauritania, these are people who need a place to stay while they are here for whatever reason that may be. They go and go as they want and have a special room for guys and one for the girls that they can stay in as long as they want. Anyways as Hajj has just finished there are still lots of Mauritanian pilgrims who have not yet left. About 10 ten people are staying with my in-laws as of now.

Tonight my husband brought over the son of one of them. I opened the door when they came home and found my kids with a boy. He was small I guessed that he was about 5 years old maybe 6. wearing a torn and dirty thobe with the shoes we usually refer to as bathroom slippers. I told them to come inside, I didn't know who he was but my husband was close behind. The boy, Muhammad is his name has this amazing contagious smile, he was shy and didn't want to come in but in the end we were able to persuade him. After my husband came in and sat down he told me that this boy has memorized the ENTIRE Quran! I was shocked I came to find out that he is 9 years old. I immediately went to find and thobe of my son's and asked if he would like to change, he did. When he came back we asked him to recite some verses for us and I recorded them to share with all of you.

It was so moving his voice beautiful and he was completely undistracted by the kids and us watching him. Towards the end you notice him focusing on something, the tv was on and he was watching cartoons and reciting at he same time.

When he was leaving we gave him some of aboodis sandals and I gave him a big hug and kiss. He's such a sweet boy, my husband tells me he is from a very poor family, may allah make things easy on them.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yay! Cream Puffs!

Well I tried something new and it seems to have been worth the effort. My husband loves cream puffs you know the kind drizzled with chocolate sauce, so I decided to try to make them at home. They took a few tries to get them right but I succeded alhamdullilah. So let me share the recipe with you.

Cream Puffs

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1 cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

Heat oven to 220 C. Boil the water and flour in a medium sized saucepan until boiling and the butter has melted. add the flour and salt mix with a wooden spoon constantly until it all sticks together like a ball. Place in mixer with the paddle attachment and beat for a couple of minute until there is no more steam. Add eggs one at a time making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Fill cup with water and take a tablespoon and dip it in, shake off a little of the water and scoop up a spoon full of the batter slide onto baking sheet should be roundish. Space about a centimeter apart. Bake for 20-25 min it should be golden brown and sound completely hallow when tapped at the bottom. remove from the oven and quickly poke a hole in the top or side with a toothpick and let cool. If they were left long enough in the oven they should be perfect, however if they were removed early they will fall.

Pastry Cream

2 cups of whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

3 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened

In a 2 quart heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk and 1/4 cup of the sugar to a boil.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, eggs, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture whisking continuously until well combined.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and just comes to a boil, cook for one minute more.

Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl and stir in the butter. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

Pipe into hole made in the bottoms of puffs until heavy.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

Cook together until chocolate is completely melted.

I know it looks like a lot of work but it goes by quickly and is soooooo worth it everyone loves them! Give it a try.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Eid!

I Hope everyone out there had a wonderful Eid. Ours was nice mashallah but as always this time of year a bit hectic mashallah. I want to share this cute pic of the kids from Eid, I hope you enjoy it as much as me. As you can tell they are looking right past me, who cares about mom when the tv is on after all! These are my little angels!!!! I know I am a crazy proud mom but who cares. Tomorrow we are having a congressman from the states over for dinner at my FIL house so I am starting the desserts tonight which are: sweet potato pie, lemon meringue pie, cream puffs with chocolate sauce and fruit pudding. How does that sound? The next night we are having a US senator now mind you they are both muslim so its really cool. Followed by a night of oh let me remeber yes thats right 50 guests god help me get through these next few days!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

English Muffins

I don't know if anyone out there is as crazy about English muffins as I am, but I was very dissapointed when I couldn't find them out here. Lucky for me I found a recipe for them, you may know them as crumpets. Anyways I had everything I needed already except for the instant mashed potatoes which I found at Panda they are also available at Danube (along with everything else!). You can freeze them for later use or store them in an airtight container for up to a week. Enjoy!

English Muffins

1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) lukewarm milk

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) melted butter

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

semolina, for dry frying

Combine all of the ingredients except the semolina in a mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix till everything is combined, then beat at high speed (using the flat beater paddle, if you’re using a stand mixer) for 5 minutes. The dough will be soft, sticky, and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover it, and allow the dough to rise for about 90 minutes, till it’s just about doubled in bulk.

Heat an ungreased frying pan or griddle over very low heat; a griddle with a thermostat should be set at 300°F. You may want to make one test muffin first, as follows:When the griddle or pan is up to heat, place one well greased 3 3/4” English muffin ring in the pan, and sprinkle a little semolina inside the ring.

If you don’t have muffin rings, fashion them from tuna cans, top and bottom removed, washed, and greased. Scoop a scant 1/2 cup (2 3/4 ounces) of sticky dough out of the bowl; it’s easiest if you rinse your measuring cup and wet your fingers before adding the dough to the cup. Use your wet fingers to shape the dough into a circle about the size of the ring (don’t stress about being too exact), lay it into the ring, and sprinkle the top lightly with semolina. After 7 minutes, check the bottom of the muffin; it should be a medium-golden brown. If it’s not, turn up the heat; if it’s too brown, turn down the heat. Cook for another 10 minutes, then use a pair of tongs to grab each side of the ring. It might lift right off; if it does, lift it off, set it aside, and use a spatula to gently turn the muffin over. If it doesn’t, flip the muffin over, ring and all; then gently wiggle the ring around till it comes off. Cook the second side for about 15 to 18 minutes, till it’s a deep golden brown. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the interior temperature will be about 200°F. Remove the muffin from the griddle, and gently split it open. If it appears to be done inside, cook the remaining muffins the same way. If it’s still gummy or wet, turn the heat down a bit and cook the remaining muffins a bit longer on each side.When the muffins are brown on both sides, transfer them to a rack to cool. When completely cool, store in a plastic bag.

Yield: about a dozen muffins.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independent days...

I've noticed something with the children here, they are very independant. The other day I was watching a father walk with his son...they were walking outside some outdoor shops at night the stores are lined along the street so you can get the picture. Well dad was walking in front of his son a good yard or so between them he didn't even look to make sure his son was still there he just knew he was and the little soldier was marching right along never detouring along the way ok so maybe this doesnt seem like that big of a deal, but the boy must have been like 1 1/2 years old he was TINY! I was really in shock the way he just stayed with his dad I know my 2 1/2 year old would have been long gone if tried that heck even my 6 year old would have left.

I wonder how the parents raise them in this way my kids don't listen to me when we are out! I also see many young boys maybe 8-14 who accompany mom when shes shopping; yes sometimes he is driving her but thats something else. They are really responsible with their moms, walking with them, helping them carry stuff, paying once they get to the cashier. It makes me wonder if we baby our kids too much? Is that why they aren't able to take on bigger responsibilies as they grow. Or is it better that way?

I went out the other day and my 6 year old was playing with his friends outside he wanted to go with me but I was running late and he was a mess. So I said no. He started whining a bit and the little 3 year old brother of his friend told him Khaleek rajul! Be a man! It was so funny. This little boy saying that and he was dead serious.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Well I went the other day to buy some furniture for the spare bedroom at Ikea. Everytime I come back I remember why I don't go often. Sure the prices are good and there are some cute things but the customer service is NON EXISTANT! I know this is how they "keep their low prices"but come on does it really cost that much just be courteous with customers?

I guess we have it a little better off here because in the states they dont even bag your purchases here, and you can also have someone push your stuff down to the car and load it up for you. The problem I have is when I am trying to find my selections upstairs the tag says one thing and when you go to the coresponding aisle and section big surprise! Its not there.

So it makes sense to go to the guys working at the counters right? Wrong! It takes like 5 minutes to get their attention once you do you dont get more than a nod to the general location of what you are looking for.
And God forbid you actually ask someone to help load something heavy into the cart they look at you like, you dare to ask me to help YOU? and walk away. Thanks to this mindset I dropped this incredibly heavy but deceivingly small box on my foot I was sure that my big toe would fall off due to lack of blood circulation!

At least I had the driver to help with the loading of the carts, yes carts I ended up pushing a full size mattress on one of those stupid carts it was incredibly akward especially in this society where just walking normally elicites stares from everyone imagine the american girl trying to manuever a huge mattress through the maze to get to the checkout.

Another nice thing here is that instead of hiring the ridiculously priced in house deliveryis that there are guys outside with trucks who deliver for about $30 to your home and load everything into the house, they will also put things together for you but I was like I am notforking over $100 for that even though the driver was like WHAT? you are going to put everything together yourself????? I was like ya dats right!