Samosa Pinwheels

One of our favorite culinary discoveries in the United Arab Emirates has been Indian food. There's not a lot of that in the southern United States... A particular favorite has been samosas ....more

Kids Unscripted; Chapter 28

Ben: (after Talia played a really good move on a board game) "Oh, it's ON now!" Talia: "Yeah, we turned it back on..." ---(Talia and Elias playing hospital:)Talia: "So what's your problem? Are you too hot?"Elias: "Too cold!"Talia: "Ok" (and apparently he goes in something like a toaster oven because then I hear...)"DING! 9 degrees! ...more

Butterfly Birthday

For her birthday party this year, Talia chose a butterfly theme. She looked through my recipe book and chose a yellow cake recipe and a chocolate whipped cream recipe for the frosting. She also chose a pineapple jam filling ....more

Making Atchara (Pickled Green Papaya)

When a Filipina friend gifted me with a green papaya I had never used one before. She mentioned using it to either make atchara (pickle) or it could also be used as a vegetable in chicken soup. As I had no idea what I was doing, I looked up lots of online versions of atchara and finally decided on this one.The first step, is to peel of the outside ....more

Seen in Abu Dhabi: 27

Grammy has made it across the ocean and the kids are so excited! ...more

Non-birthday cake

I've been wanting to try to make this layered cake since I saw the recipe on, (not an advertisement) but this isn't the kind of thing I would make to have around the house. The way I see it, the more calories something has, the more people it's meant to be shared with; so I had to find a volunteer and an excuse to make it for them. A friend had a birthday coming.. ....more

Lays Flavors in Abu Dhabi

Flavors I've never seen before: Spanish Black Olives, South African Cheese and Mexican Chili Con Carne ....more

Kid's Unscripted: Chapter 27

Elias: "Dancing shoes!" (pointing at some camo-colored Croc-like shoes.)"Belly button dancing! Chin dancing! Head dancing!" Me: "Do they just make everything dance?" Elias: (Nodding head vigorously) "Yes!" --- Elias: "Elias need it!" Talia: (big sigh) "I need to teach you how to use pronouns!" --- Me: "Talia, do you like the name Calliope?" Talia: "It's not my favorite..." Me: "Do you like the name Penelope?" Talia: "Those names sound like geography names!" --- Talia: (about soup she didn't care for) "I'm too full to eat anymore..." Me: "So you don't want fruit with yogurt?" Talia: "I meant.. ....more

Ramadan, Date Harvest and Date Cake

It's Ramadan and summer at the same time. What that means in the produce section of stores is that you will see large crates of dates for sell everywhere. During Ramadan, able-bodied Muslims fast throughout the day and break their fast at night with a few dates, typically ....more

Our Neighbors Have a Mango Tree

Sometimes it's surprising how something so insignificant as our neighbors having a mango tree has several small impacts on our own lives. It's not something I would have even though to consider when moving to this house.The back yards of the villas here are separated by walls about 7 feet tall. The walls have a gap on each end about 4 inches wide, so it isn't exactly private ....more