December 31, 2009

Banana Cake

This is the best banana cake recipe.

If you have over ripe bananas that no one wants to eat. (picky kids) this cake is a great idea.

I thought I'd use the silicone bundt pan my mom got me and it worked out ok.

See the bananas aren't gross inside, but soft and easy to mix into the cake batter.

The kids had he small cakes this morning.

I made a simple glaze with confectioners sugar and milk to drizzle on top and put some crushed walnuts too.

Always let cakes cool completely before turning out. I didn't wait long enough and it cracked but it's alright. I had a few neighbors' plates to return so it's all gone now.

December 30, 2009

Kosharee





Kosharee is a traditional Egyptian dish and it is sooo good. Here's how I made it yesterday.

I used this recipe but tweaked it a bit to my liking.

Save the oil to cook the rice and use for the sauce...Gives it great onion flavor.

Brown them but don't burn. It's fine line.

Drain the lentils and mix in with the cooked rice.

I used regular Egyptian rice with vermicelli. The sauce is more authentic when you brown some minced garlic in the onion oil then add a little white vinegar. Then add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer.

Top with the onions and chick peas if you have any. It's good and filling. My kids love it!

December 28, 2009

Cleaning Girl

I've posted before on the topic of maids so you know how I feel about it. That said, this past week my neighbor told me she had a woman come clean her whole apartment for 50LE. She said she did a great job and finished in like 5 hours. I thought hey, that would be great. So I contact the cleaning lady and set up a time and day and right away, I start to regret it.

I kept wondering: What is the protocol here? Do I de-clutter and tidy up first? Do I make small talk? Feed her? I was stressing out. My neighbor made it seem like I had to hide all my stuff and lock it away or any cleaning woman would want it/steal it or just feel bad. I was like, whatever.

The night before the woman who was supposed to come called me and said she had a toothache and couldn't come but she would send her relative and that she was very good and very trustworthy. I was like alright. 8 am? 50LE? Yep? OK.

8 am today rolls around and no cleaning lady.9 am finally the doorbell chirps. I let her in and she looks so young. I told her to sit and rest from the stairs and gave her some water. I asked her how old she was and she said 15. FIFTEEN! I was like. Ummmmm I didn't sign up for this. I told her I thought an older woman was coming. She looked down and said she was very good and that I would like her a lot. I felt so bad for her. She already took public transport to get here and I figured she/they need the money. So I told her the plan and we got to work.

She said she'd start with the kitchen. While she washed dishes for an hour I dusted the whole apartment. Then she moved on to wiping down the cabinets. And I washed the walls and doors. Basically I cleaned the house and she helped out. She was pretty slow and didn't' clean very well. Could I blame her? She's a kid! She was enthralled by the vacuum though.

I really felt bad for this girl. She should be in school but sadly, many poor families have their children work to make money instead of going to school and learning. She asked me twice if I knew anyone who needed housecleaning. I told her I'd call her mom if I did. You see her mom called to check on her when she wasn't back yet at 3. I told her she was just about done and when she asked how she was I said she is very nice but still very young. So she finished up and I paid her and figured she'd be on her way. It was almost 4 pm by now. She didn't want to eat so she just sat there after she finished her sprite. I don't know why she just sat there or what she was waiting for. It was awkward. I asked her if something was wrong. She said no. So I told her not to keep her mom waiting.

NOW, I am totally off the idea of anyone cleaning my apartment but me. I thought the help would be good but I could have done it better and faster. I have a small place so I can handle it, for now.

I gave her an extra 10 LE for helping me wash a rug and I unloaded a bunch of old clothes, shoes and some half empty shampoos/lotions and stuff on her. She seemed pleased. She thought I wanted her to come weekly but I told her that it was just a one time thing and thanked her.

Seriously it was so weird to have this young girl cleaning in my house. I'm old enough to be her mother. I felt so bad.

December 24, 2009

A Day At Jujey's



When I woke up this morning, while having breakfast I checked my email and msn-ed with my friend Jujey, as we do every day. She was like, why don't you guys come over? So I was like, OK! So off we went and got a cab to the boonies, where she resides. We got to play with their cute little kitty and made cupcakes! It took no time at all but we had to shoo 8 kids trying to eat sprinkles. They came out pretty good. The weather was so beautiful today, the kids played outside and we took a short walk to the beach. Pretty soon, going in up to their ankles turned into jeans wet to the waist. Then we collected some flowers from trees that the grounds keeper was trimming and I took some home to make an arrangement. Thanks Juj, we had fun!

Salwa & SuSu

SuSu' so pretty!

Hundreds and Thousands

Safiyah, nom, nom, nom.

Dawood and his faces.



I'm thinking I wish it were summer.



The water is just that inviting.


Drying off.

More pics at Juj's blog. :)

December 23, 2009

Confession:

I buy Happy Meal toys for myself.


When they are Hello Kitty!

They're stamps ♥

December 20, 2009

You Know It...Random Post



My Mom gave me this pin that belonged to my Grandmother, (Allah yerhamha) and I love it so much. I remember her wearing it. It may not have any monetary value as far as heirlooms go but it means a lot to me.

Yesterday Zayneb and I were looking at a stray cat that was creeping around outside and looking at the birds, we were like, aw how cute. Then we witnessed it hunt, and pounce on a bird, grab it in it's mouth and run away to have it for breakfast. It was pretty cool. Zayneb was like "it's like Animal Planet!"

I've been using Crest Whitestrips for 10 days now. 4 Days left. I definitely see a difference. I'll post before and after pics when the 2 weeks are up.

I'm cracking up at Jon Stewart. I love the Daily Show and The Colbert Report. They make me LOL for real.

Last week we had some pretty decent ice cream from Mรถvenpick. As ice cream in Egypt goes it's good stuff. They even have different flavors. You know, besides Mango, Chocolate and Vanilla? I had Espresso Croquant and Caramelita!

Yea that's all I've got.

December 17, 2009

Hey There

Cafe Latte from tonight


Nothing much new around here, so nothing to blog about really. Just little post to say Hey, I'm still here.

December 13, 2009

Granola Mom

Nah, I'm not that crunchy.


I made these Granola Bars last night and they came out so delicous. They are chock full of oats, walnuts, chocolate chips, raisins and sunflower seeds.

Here's the recipe, from good old RecipeZaar. They're called Triple Threat Oatmeal Bars. The recipe called for coconut but I put chocolate chips instead. Healthy, huh? They're still a pretty hearty snack and the kids and my mom loved them!

December 11, 2009

Recent Shopping

I got a few things in Cairo on our trip, Alhamdulillah, check it out...

I got these cute pumps, they're even comfy. I usually wear 38 but these are 37 and fit fine.


and this lovely bag ( both at Club Aldo in Dandy Mall in case anyone was wondering)



and this blue hijab. I love this, it reminds of a sari. I just took a pic after wearing it, sorry it's wrinkled.




and this ring from The Tie Shop.



Like?

December 10, 2009

J's Blogging


So you know my friend J here, who I stalked met on the internet and now we're good buddies? Well Jujey dear has, after much insistence, gone and started a blog! All about her cooking and baking obsession.Everyday she asks me what I'm cooking for dinner. Whatever I'm making always pales in comparison to the culinary adventures she's taking on that day. So go and check her out Here.

December 9, 2009

Last One, Part 5 Going Home



The next day after the campfire, we said goodbye to Bahariya and to Ruby this dog the inn keepers had.

She wanted to play a little too rough and bit my abaya.



By now basically, we were on the way home but it was still a long way to Hurghada. We spent a night in Cairo, had dinner at Fudruckers in City Stars. (I love that California Wrap.)



We were on our way then and I had to snap a pic of Old Glory. I don't usually see it in the group of flags a lot of hotels in Hurghada have.

After that, we made a stop in Alex to visit my dad. We had a nice dinner and visited my 90 year old uncle who taught the kids a few songs, mashaAllah. From there we spent a night in Damanhour where E is from and then drove home.

This trip really made me realize how vast and diverse Egypt is. I encourage everyone to try to explore wherever you are and see what there is to see. Alhamdulillah it was a great time. :)

December 8, 2009

Our Trip, Part Four: Wahat

Next we moved north to Wahat el Baharaiyah. Wahat means Oasis. There was also some great dessert sights.

Our tour guides were great. They were so friendly and hospitable. They took us out in 4x4s and showed us the sights.
First there was the black mountain.
Then Chrystal MountainPretty isn't it? The whole place is like that.

Next was the White Desert. This is where we spend the remainder of the day. It was gorgeous. This was my other favorite part!
The kids had fun climbing.

Dawood posing, It just might roll away.
This one they called the chicken.

Kids goofing it up.
They made a little seating area in the middle of the desert.
Starting a fire for cooking.
The desert sure makes you hungry.
Sunset on the White Desert.
Dawood
They made a delicous dinner IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT! Grilled Chicken, rice and stewed potatoes & carrots. It was seriously good.
More Bedouin tea.
Then we all sat around the fire. it was so cozy!
It was a full moon or almost, I think. It was really a great day we'll remember forever.