Book Review: and the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

By | November 13, 2014

I had been fortunate enough to have the chance to reserve and collect this book pre-release back in 2013. However, I always kept it on my shelves as a treat for when I was really down and needed something really good to read, for I knew that whatever is penned by Khaled Hosseini must be worth reading. Last week I realise my stack of good books to read next is dangerously depleted so I’ve decided it was time to read The Mountains Echoed. From the first chapter, from the first page, from the first paragraph, I was hooked. Read more »

My Personalised Ring

By | November 10, 2014

I sat on my dining room table, looking at a beautiful acrylic box with my blog’s name on it surrounded by red and white hearts. The box arrived to me as a gift from a local new business, @Special_2you, who specialise in personalising jewellery and gift boxes with your name or whatever phrase you feel like. Inside the box, personalised with my blog name, was the actual gift… Read more »

Recipe: Baked Eggs in Chapati Bread Cups

By | November 10, 2014

Let me tell you the story of how this recipe came to me: I was watching the Food Network on TV, this amazing South African Chef Siba Mtongana was on cooking brunch for friends and decided to serve something called “Cape Town Tarts”. She lined a muffin tin with slices of parma ham and topped them with cheese and veggies then added eggs, baked them, et voila she had little cups of baked eggs to serve for brunch! It looked so easy breezy, a wonderful way to cook eggs especially for people who didn’t know – like myself- and I thought I could recreate the recipe for my husband using turkey slices instead of parma ham. Then I wished I was able to eat baked eggs like that with chopped mushrooms and coloured capsicums. Then I decided some sort of bread instead of Turkey might work just fan, perhaps some filo pastry, and I got up to the kitchen to experiment. Read more »

James St. Chocolate Cooking Class, Brisbane

By | November 9, 2014

The very last activity in Brisbane on day 6 of our #Room753 Bloggers Trip to Queensland itinerary was to go to a desserts cooking class! Its no secret that I’m a fan of cooking, chocolate, sugar, desserts, and everything related to food that is and a chocolate desserts cooking class would, to me, be one of my ideas of having a good and relaxing time.  We do have cooking schools who give out cooking classes in Kuwait but its different when you are abroad. I remember a coffee preparation class I’ve wanted to go to in Dubai but never had the time, and when in the UK I’m always a bit intimidated and would chicken out at the last minute. Read more »

Dinner at Mado Turkish Restaurant, Brisbane

By | November 9, 2014

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Our very first dinner in Australia while on the #Room753 Bloggers Trip to Queensland was in the Turkish restaurant Mado. I’ve heard a lot about Mado and remembered clearly that when I looked the restaurant up it did state they had a branch in Brisbane, Australia so we knew we wanted to dine there. Read more »

Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

By | November 3, 2014

To be frank I’ve only picked up this book when I knew it was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction 2014. I don’t usually enjoy crime and mystery and when I read the description on the back, with the word “underworld crime scene”, I almost put it back into the shelf but I had to see what made that novel Pulitzer Prize worthy. Since I’ve imposed the rule of giving up on a book after finishing and not liking the first chapter I consoled myself by my very own rule, only one chapter and if I don’t like it I will put it down.  Read more »

Breakfast at Cafe Bazza – Soon in Dubai

By | November 3, 2014

In 2011 a new cafe by the name of Bazza opened up in Kuwait, serving traditional Kuwaiti dishes in a modernised yet still time-time-honored setting and atmosphere. I was a fan of Cafe Bazza from the very start, the attention to detail is evident in everything: the menu, the story on the menu, the sound track, the selection of dishes on the menu, even the art on the walls. I am a particular fan of their breakfast in genera and their meatless maraq bamiya especially. If I had friends visiting from abroad who wanted to have a taste of Kuwait, I’d take them to Bazza, no questions asked. Read more »

Visiting Di Bella’s Coffee Factory, Brisbane

By | October 30, 2014

Australia is simply heaven for coffee-holics and chocoholics and Australians take their coffee pretty seriously and the coffee they have on offer is really good. If you are like me, a person whose backbone of a diet heavily relies on caffeine, then you will never go hungry when visiting Australia. Shaky? Sure by overdosing on caffeine but definitely not hungry. Thankfully, in recognition of the coffee-loving culture of Brisbane, the 6th day of my #Room753 Bloggers Trip to Queensland itinerary started with an early morning visit to Di Bella, a local coffee roasting factory and cafe. Read more »

The Chocolate Bar’s Fondue To Go

By | October 29, 2014

If you live in Kuwait, or have visited in Kuwait, then surely you must know The Chocolate Bar! Open for a decade now and still is the destination for chocoholics -in case you didn’t know already that is-, they have have some of their famous dishes like the pink pasta and the hot chocolate available for online to go orders. Remember when I posted once about the Chocolate Bar hot chocolate and cookies that are delivered right to your step? I recall that I wished for the chocolate fondue to be available for delivery as well and, seems like this is the month were many of my wishes did materialise for the Chocolate Bar did indeed introduce their very own chocolate fondue to go by ordering it online! Read more »

The First Beach Picnic Back

By | October 29, 2014

The time of the good weather in Kuwait is here and that means one thing: its picnic time! Well, picnic and BBQ’s and dining outdoors and all other outdoorsy activities we put on hold during the scorching summer months but what I look forward the most these days are picnics! The first picnic of fall 2014 was an impromptu beach one thrown by my lovely friend PinkGirl and the spot she chose was overlooking Kuwait towers at sunset time. Read more »

My Tickle Me Plant

By | October 28, 2014

Earlier this month I received a video on whatsapp about a tiny little plant that, when someone brushing their fingers gently against its leaves, the leaves would collapse promptly and close up as a reaction to the touch. I’ve played the video several times in disbelief, never in my life have I seen plants react that way when touched. Needless to say I’ve sent the video to almost everyone I know on my whatsapp list. One of my friends even told me that she saw the plant in Asia and it was indeed real and did react that way to touch. I wanted to see the plant for myself, silly you think? Perhaps, but I really, really, really wanted one to interact with!  Read more »

Is it OK to share recipes from cookbooks on your blog?

By | October 28, 2014

I was in a discussion the other day regarding this topic and I thought I would take the discussion to my blog and see what other readers think for I couldn’t exactly see my friend’s reasoning. You see, my friend was baffled when I posted a picture of a luscious chocolate cake I made from a recipe book and when she asked me to photocopy the recipe from the book, I refused because I was breaching the intellectual rights of the book author. She thought I was being a pest and didn’t want anyone to “make the cake” and that’s why I was such a bad person and a bad friend and “who would know?”. Read more »

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

By | October 27, 2014

A while back, and I believe its a year or two back, I’ve come across Gone Girl on my book shopping day in Waterstones UK and because I’ve been aware of the buzz surrounding it at the time I’ve picked it up, half enthusiastic for I wasn’t much drawn to the description on the back, and put it in my basket. Time passed, and I forgot all about the book until I was in the UK again and heard that it was being turned into a movie so I picked up a second copy, again reluctantly, convincing myself that I will be sorry if I saw the movie in the future and then wanted to read the book only to find it banned or unavailable in Kuwait. I forgot I had the first copy gathering dust on my bookshelf all together and when I returned home my two copies kept each other company, gathering dust together, and I told myself I will read one on the very week before the movie’s release in the cinema. Read more »

Stomp the Show Performance in Kuwait

By | October 27, 2014

I’m not sure how long its been since I’ve seen the ads for the show Stomp when travelling abroad, especially in London, but its always been there in the back of my mind and I’ve always, always, wanted to go watch it but never got around to doing so. If you’ve told me that I was destined to watch Stomp in Kuwait I would have laughed at loud and rolled my eyes in disbelief, what would Stomp be doing performing in Kuwait and where? But then dreams apparently do come true, for last week I held in my hand a VIP invitation to go and watch Stomp in Kuwait, yes Kuwait! Read more »

Should Contagious People Go to Crowded Places?

By | October 20, 2014

The other day I was walking down the grand Avenues on a very busy weekend morning. There were about a hundred or so shoppers milling around, enjoying their time dining or shopping, sometimes getting in each other’s path or almost bumping into each other, but as far as I could see every one looked happy to be in the Avenues that morning. Read more »

Mexican Lunch at Adobo Burritos

By | October 20, 2014

A fan of Mexican food? Then you’d be happy to hear that there is a new Burrito place in Kuwait that’s opened  up about a fortnight ago. Last Friday I was at home, a bit restless for the weather was too good to hide inside but not in the mood to go anywhere, on the explore page of Instagram when I saw a picture of a burrito and, intrigued and a bit hungry, I started to browse the burrito restaurant’s account account only to realise it is indeed in Kuwait. Right then and there I knew that I was going to go there for my Friday lunch. Read more »

Dinner at the All New Lenôtre

By | September 24, 2014

If you are a fan of Lenôtre and you’ve tried to dine there recently you might recall that the beach front restaurant was closed for renovations during the summer and the holy month of Ramadan period. Its not news that the main branch of Lenôtre changes its decor and theme every now and then, its been happening over the years and we all thought it was just another decor change. I’ve never been proven so wrong in my life, for when I passed through the doors of the just reopened Lenôtre earlier this September I was in for a totally different experience, decor and every thing else. Read more »

A Visit to Omorfia Salon

By | September 23, 2014

Earlier this month I received quite an intriguing private invitation to visit the just opened Omorfia beauty salon.  I wasn’t sure what to expect really but I liked the distinguished invitation with the pebbly sand, sea shells, and tiny jars of face masks and rose water and even though I haven’t set foot in Jabriya area for a while -I cannot tolerate the traffic!- I braved it that day and arrived almost an hour late to my appointment.  Read more »

Book Review: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

By | September 15, 2014

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Once I put down my copy of “Americanah” by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I didn’t waste anytime reaching for her other best seller now turned into a movie “Half of a Yellow Sun”. I expected nothing less of a novel than Americanah and I was happy, a few days of nesting and not putting the novel down later, to find that Half of a Yellow Sun had exceeded my expectations.  Read more »

Lunch at Eataly Dubai Mall

By | September 15, 2014

On the day I arrived in Dubai on my last trip for the Eid holiday I found myself dashing through Dubai Mall trying to reach Wafi Gourmet before they closed down for the day and while on the go I couldn’t help but notice the newly opened huge new Deli/Restaurant Eataly. At first I thought it was Dean & Deluca but when I passed by again -now well fed and at a much slower pace- I realised it was a similar style place with an entire different look and feel and the name says it all… Eat and Italy really spells out Italian food and there is nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing, that I love more than Italian food, or everything Italian really. Read more »

Recipe: Kuwaiti Cardamom Pancakes with Tea Syrup

By | September 14, 2014

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I woke up on Saturday morning in the mood for pancakes. Its been a while, almost years, since I last woke up on the weekend and bothered to cook something like pancakes. As I shuffled around my kitchen putting together the ingredients I’d need I somehow stumbled upon my “Kuwaiti” ingredients, aka the herbs cardamom and saffron, then one thing led to another and I knew exactly what I wanted to make. Read more »

What do these characters mean è é ë ê?

By | September 4, 2014

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In English its almost always easy, the letters of the alphabet always come in one form and always pronounced the same. In Arabic, the letters are also the same but the way you pronounce them can come in four different ways per letter depending on a little mark that is put on top of the letter.

What I do not get is the special characters from other European language.  Read more »

Eid Lunch and Breakfast at Mado Dubai

By | September 4, 2014

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Ever since the people of Middle East began their obsession with everything Turkish I was hearing and watching people gushing about one Turkish restaurant in particular: Mado! When I was in Brisbane, Australia I found out a Mado and we had our first proper dinner in Australia there but when I posted pictures of the place on instagram my followers informed me that the Mado I was at wasn’t the authentic real Mado everyone is pining for back in Turkey. After numerous pictures and lots of positive adoring accounts from people, I came to know of Mado’s branch in Dubai Mall and you can understand why we chose it to have our second most important meal of the year: the Eid lunch. Read more »

Melange Bakery’s Cookie & Milk Shots

By | September 2, 2014

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If I’m to board a plane to NYC and suffer through the half a day’s worth of travel time, it would be because of Dominique Ansel’s bakery has to offer that gets people to stand in a sneaking line ever day. First it was the cronut, the donut croissant hybrid that took the world by storm and imitations of are available in Kuwait but I suppose do not live up to the real thing. Next came the cookie shot, a chocolate chip cookie moulded like a shot glass and filled up with vanilla infused cold milk. How delicious does that sound? Endless hours of flight time delicious, in my case anyway.
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Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

By | September 1, 2014

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Out of the blue, I received an email from my dear friend and fellow blogger Intlexpatr asking after me and telling me about an intriguing book she had read with the book club she is running called Americanah by a Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The name rang a bell, so I got up from my sofa where I was reading the email towards my library and found the book, alongside another book by Adichie titled “Half a Yellow Sun” that is a best seller and turned into a movie. I remember picking both books up in Waterstones when I was last in the UK and now my friend in the USA was gushing about the writer’s style. I knew it was the book to read for that week.  Read more »