Thursday, September 14, 2006 it!!

I was reading some posts online about Egypt... once again driving comes up...these two quotes from visitiors to Egypt made me laugh .... I just can't tell you enough how CRAZY and INSANE the driving is here....

"I will say one thing, do not even contemplate driving in Egypt. They make the Romans look like safe cautious drivers. "

"The advising on not driving in Egypt, is definately true. It's Nascar driving. So if you want to live, don't try it.

Some words of inspiration

A shy failure is nobler than an immodest success. - Khalil Gibran

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. - Khalil Gibran

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. - Thomas Jefferson

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is: Try to please everybody. - Herbert Bayard Swope

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose--a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. - Mary Shelley

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The More Things End

I like this poem...strange and maybe a bit somber...but I found it very comforting somehow?

THE MORE THINGS END - By Richard Grove

The earth goes round and round
The sun rises and then it falls
All will be the same in the morning
The more things end
The more we find ourselves at the start
The sun rises and then it falls
The clouds fill the lakes
The lakes the rivers
The rivers run forever in one direction
All will be the same in the morning
The more things end
The more we find ourselves at the start
As one breath leaves our body
One more is on its way in
The earth goes round and round
The sun rises and then it falls
All will be the same in the morning
The more things end
The more we find ourselves at the start
Never ending
Never starting
All will be the same
Until things change

Monday, September 4, 2006

Egyptian Faatah

This is a great simple dish! I like to fix it in Ramadan (while we are fasting all day long, smile. Which by the way starts very soon, Sept 24th or so...) Its super simple, very delicious and makes a nice presentation too. If you make it, let me know what you think.....

Egyptian Faatah
(Rice and Meat Dish with crispy bread on bottom)


- Stew meat, about 1-1/2 lbs or so
- 1 onion
- 1 Chicken bouillon
- 1 or 2 fresh tomatoes blended in blender to make smooth
- Fresh garlic crushed
- Tomato paste
- 2 cups white short grain rice (Egyptian rice)
- Shareya, (fideo noodles) a handful or so
- Butter and/or oil
- 1-2 white pita breads (you could use wheat if you prefer)
- Cumin
- Salt & pepper
- Vinegar


Take pita bread and rip into bite size pieces. In a frying pan, put some butter, add bread pieces and fry until golden brown and crisp. Put these pieces in a glass baking dish, preferably a square sized dish. Set aside. Let bread pieces cool.

Then add to a pan, a little butter, salt, approx. 2 tablespoons or so of crushed fresh garlic, and a teaspoon or so of cumin stir around a bit until you can smell aroma, then add fried bread pieces to this mixture, stir to coat bread and put back into glass baking dish. Set aside.

To prepare meat- put some butter in a pot, stir fry meat until brown, add 1 onion quartered, salt & pepper, 1 cube of chicken bouillon and water to cover meat. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer, cover and cook until tender, approx. 2 hours.
After meat has cooled, take out chunks of meat and put in a bowl, set aside. Reserve soup from the meat separately.

To prepare the rice- put some butter into a pot, add shareya (fideo noodles), keep stirring until golden brown, not too dark, but very golden…then add two cups of rice, stir a little bit until some of the rice turns an opaque white. Add 2-1/2 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to simmer, cook until tender. Test the rice tenderness after about 35 minutes.

Take some of the soup from meat and add to the top of the bread pieces in baking dish to saturate. Then add cooked rice on top of bread pieces. Slowly spoon remainder of soup onto rice, looking at glass dish sides to see level of soup, should reach just to top of rice, don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be exact.

Now you’re ready to make the sauce and fry the meat to put on top.

To prepare red sauce
- in a pan, add a little oil or butter, crushed tomato, a half teaspoon of tomato paste, salt & pepper, 2 tablespoons of fresh crushed garlic and cumin. Add also approx. 3 tablespoons of vinegar, stir this until you smell aroma and it is a bit smooth. It should be a bit thick, not watery, but if too thick you can add a bit of water. Spread with a wooden spoon atop the rice to cover.

To fry meat- in a pan add a bit of butter or oil, the meat, just a touch of tomato paste, about a tablespoon of fresh crushed garlic, salt & pepper, a half teaspoon of cumin. Cook until meat is golden fried. Spoon this atop the rice and serve. Enjoy!

Friday, September 1, 2006

Egyptian Style Stuffed Cabbage

Egyptian style stuffed cabbage leaves


- Large head of green cabbage
- 2 cups short grain white rice
- onion grated to almost liquid
- 1 bunch each of fresh parsley, cilantro, dill- finely chopped, including some of the stems
- 2 large tomatoes blended and reduced
- 1 large onion chopped.
- tomato paste
- canola oil
- pinch of crushed garlic
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons dry mint
- Arabic 7 Spice ***
- canola oil
- juice of half lemon

*** Arabic 7 spice (baharat) is mixture of spices you can ready at any Middle Eastern grocery. If you don't have one where you live, you can make using the following:

Quick Baharat Recipe

2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Mix well and store in an airtight container or in freezer.


Rice stuffing mixture

On top of stove, put a good amount oil or butter; add onion and sauté. Add garlic when onions almost finished not to burn.
Add a spoon of tomato paste and stir around until all coated.
Add pureed tomato, a few drops of water and cook until liquid is almost gone. It should be a little thick, not too watery. You can add some salt to taste to this too.
Set aside.

Put washed rice in mixing bowl.
Add the above tomato mixture.
Add raw, chopped greens- parsley, dill and cilantro. Its okay to chop some of their stems, gives the mixture more flavor.
Add a little canola oil.
Add all spices and dry mint.
Take 1 chicken bouillon cube and crush it, add to rice.
Mix all ingredients until well blended set aside. Try to taste, will be raw I know, but you can taste and not swallow rice. Adjust seasonings. Salt is most important, if too salty, don’t worry, once cooked it will lessen.

Cooking Cabbage

This is the trickiest part. I have not yet found the perfect way, but my way has been working alright…here it goes.

Wash the head of cabbage well.
With a paring knife, gently cut around core, loosening it a bit. Try to cup deep, but try not to cut leaves, or separate at this point.

Using a large pot, fill with water, and a few dashes of cumin.
Once boiling, add the head of cabbage, with core facing up.

As the cabbage starts to cook, with a knife, gently pull away leaves from core and cook until a bit soft, but not translucent.
So you will have the large head of cabbage in pot and you will be cutting leaves and letting them boil alone aside the head. (Hope this makes sense.)

When the leaves are a bit soft, tender not translucent, remove to a large tray.
Continue this until all cabbage is cooked.

You will have the very small leaves towards inside core, you will be able to use some of these, but some maybe too small. I usually make a cabbage salad with these.

Once the leaves are cool, you will begin to stuff.

Rolling/stuffing the cabbage

Prepare a large pot, put some oil in bottom of pot to coat.
Slice 1 large tomato thinly and place on bottom of pot. You will arrange cabbage in this pot as you roll.

Take a cabbage leaf and cut from the bottom, where core starts.
Cut away the hard core and reserve the two sides from leaf making a pile.
Save a few of the cores stems as well.
Tricky but you are trying to get a pliable leaf for rolling.

You want to make the leaf small, cutting a half of the leaf in half. The end result should be size of small cigar.

Don't worry about how they look, they will not be real tight and they may seem like the rice will come out, just close as best you can, they will be fine.

So with leaf laying flat, spoon a small amount of rice onto leaf, fold up bottom and roll like a cigar. Don't worry the ends will be open, but cook ok. Some rice may boil out but not much trust me.

Roll all until leaves are finished.

Once all rolled and arranged in pot, add a crushed chicken bouillon cube. As you are arranging in pot, you can put a few of the core stems in between layers to help stay in place.

Take approx. 3 cups water and mix with tomato paste, pour over cabbage. Water should reach just above cabbage. If not enough, add more water.

Take an old plate, invert it over cabbage to keep from moving too much.

Put on high, bring to a boil, cook for about 10 minutes, then turn to a lower simmer and cover.

Should cook for approximately an hour or so, you can check it periodically by tasting to see if rice is cooked inside.

Once cooked let sit for a little to cool a bit before removing from pot.

When ready to remove, take a large serving platter, put over top of pot, then flip pot to empty onto platter. Be careful and do over sink if you are unsure. Its easy but take s a little practice.

Remove core stems, fix tomatoes that are on top, to look presentable.

That’s it…sounds hard and maybe a bit complicated, but once you make you will LOVE! It gets easier with time too.

Enjoy and let me know how it worked for you, eh hum...FS!!!!

Words of Wisdom

As I was reading the Quran just now I thought I would share these words of wisdom with you all. No matter what your religion they certainly apply to all of us.

I know so many of us around here want children, believe me, I want nothing else more than this. But again we have to remember there is a reason we are going through this infertility journey... anyway these words below comforted me so much I hope they do you too.....

I ask God to forgive us all and grant us peace and happiness in this world and the next, Amen.

"Wealth and children are the adornment of life of this world. But the good righteous deeds, that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope."- 18:46

" And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us, but only he who believes and does righteous deeds, as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in high dwellings in peace and security." - 22: 37

"Whatever of mercy (of good) God may grant to mankind, none can withhold it; and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise."- 35:2

nothing too exciting

Just wanted to check in and say "hey".... hey!

The humidity is decreasing here which is great, it actually gets a bit cooler at night and in the early morning now, a welcome respite indeed.

Nothing too exciting here, still at home, not working and no plans to in the immediate future anyway. I keep busy though, and the time passes surprisingly very quickly always.

I just finished reading my favorite fellow Blogger, shes awesome! You know who you are and I wish you the best of everything always, whatever it may be. You are so strong and so filled with so much great wisdom, I know God will Guide you in the right direction....hugs to you my dear sister...

Well guys, off to bed now, 1:30AM....will check in again real soon. xoxoxooxxox