Great Big Eid Giveaway

I hope you’re all having an amazing summer. I’ve been busy readjusting to life here in the United States while we’re visiting. The weather is much cooler and my boys are loving lots of open green space to run and play. We’ve had plenty of bike accidents already and K even got to visit a friends house and help out with their chickens! He came home full of stories about how he got the eggs and the families Amish neighbors and their horses. I keep thinking how wonderful it is that my kids will know so many different ways that people live from a young age. Really I am so happy I’m able to give them this life. As we’re away from Morocco, Ramadan has gotten away from us. I’ve had a coming to terms with my feelings about the holiday. I wrote about them on Multicultural Kid Blogs today. It took me a long time and a lot of …

Amanda MouttakiGreat Big Eid Giveaway

Why I Write

My friend Saira at Confessions of a Muslim MOMma-holic recently selected me to participate in a blogger “chain letter” of sorts talking about why we write. This came at an interesting time for me as I just recently have come to terms with identifying myself as a writer. I do a lot of things in my daily and professional life and it can become difficult, and long winded when someone asks “what do you do?” to explain. So now I simply say, “I’m a writer.” Now this label can garner some extra suspicion, especially at the airport in Morocco, and my favorite response so far has been, “oh do you write romance stories?” Of all the things I may potentially write, that is not one of them! But if you’ve ever wondered here’s a little glimpse into my writing life! What am I working on? It feels like I’m always working on something in my head. I have a hard time taking …

Amanda MouttakiWhy I Write
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Make Your Own Pasteis de Nata

There are few things that I enjoy more than dessert when we travel. Ok who am I kidding, I love dessert anytime! In Portugal the one dessert I heard about over and over again was pasteis de nata. These egg tarts are maybe the most famous culinary tradition Portugal has made. One friend described it to me ahead of our visit as “imagine a cupcake meets custard” umm yes! There’s no need to twist my arm.   The most famous bakery making pasteis de nata  is Pasteis de Belem and we of course stopped there (more than once). But if I’m totally honest even when I bought these at the grocery store they were delicious. So the only real problem was that once we left Portugal there would be no more. While you can’t replace the ambiance of walking down the streets of Lisbon while eating a hot pastry, I think you won’t complain when these come out of the …

Amanda MouttakiMake Your Own Pasteis de Nata
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Hijabi Guide to Staying in a Hostel

When we went to Lisbon in May I gained a new Twitter follower who calls the city home. She mentioned in a comment to me “it’s great to meet another hijabi travel freak!” and this got me thinking. Sure it’s less likely to see a covered Muslim woman traveling solo, with a partner, or friend. But surely they do. We face some additional hurdles and considerations but what really made me smile was maybe we’re breaking down some misconceptions too. I mean the typical stereotype is if you’re a covered Muslim woman you’re only traveling if you’re with a spouse and then only where and when he wants to go – you know the submissive female and all that. I pretty much defy every sense of that stereotype. I love traveling and it was me that pushed my husband to go out and see the world. Today he loves it as much as I do but we’re perfectly comfortable traveling …

Amanda MouttakiHijabi Guide to Staying in a Hostel

12 Delicious Couscous Recipe

Couscous is one of the simplest side dishes to cook. Sure the instant couscous sold in store aisles can’t hold a candle to real Moroccan couscous but it can be used in many different ways to create a  light yet hearty pasta that is packed with nutrients and is delicious.   A few things to remember when cooking instant couscous. Add your couscous before your water boils, and when the water starts to boil, promptly remove it from heat, cover, and let sit.  Be sure to fluff your couscous with a fork before removing from the pan.  It helps to break up the clumps and give it  nice light texture.  You can also prepare instant couscous the same way traditional couscous is made – by steaming it. Now that you have your couscous, here are 12 ways to use it!   Jeweled Butternut Couscous Salad from Daily Waffle Lemon and Artichoke Couscous with Shrimp from Foxes Love Lemons Apricot Couscous …

Amanda Mouttaki12 Delicious Couscous Recipe

10 Great Travel Games for Kids

 Nearly 5 months ago we booked our summer tickets to the United States. It seemed so far off at that point. I can remember thinking, “wow that time will never come!” But it has. Tuesday the kids and I will be boarding a flight to Madrid for an overnight layover and continuing to the US on Wednesday. To say they are excited would be understatement! I am certainly looking forward to seeing family and friends but am a little sad MarocBaba will be staying behind. In total we’ll be there almost 2 months with lots, and lots of travel and fun planned. It will be a busy vacation. This weekend I’m packing our bags and making sure everything else is in order. If you aren’t following me on Facebook yet, stop over! I’ve got a few things left that I can ship from the United States on arrival. Take a peek and let me know if there are items you’d …

Amanda Mouttaki10 Great Travel Games for Kids