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Cheddar Garlic Goat Cheese-Its

Here’s the funny thing about recipe writing for me lately. I learned how to cook using American measurements. I had very little contact with the metric system before moving here. 50 grams of butter, what? What is that? I had absolutely no way to visualize what metric measurements equaled. I still couldn’t tell you when I’ve driven a kilometer but certainly know how far a mile is. It’s one of those things that you just don’t think a lot before you move to a new country. I take that back, I did think about it a little so I made sure to bring my food scale, my cup measures and measuring cups. As I sat down to review my recipe notes for these I realized I had started to transition. Half the measurements were in metric and the other half in American measures. I had somewhat subconsciously done this. I’ve learned that 500 grams is roughly a pound for many …

Amanda MouttakiCheddar Garlic Goat Cheese-Its
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What to Eat and What to Avoid in Marrakech

Living in a city that gets more than double the number of tourists as residents yearly, there’s a big industry that caters to tourists. It makes sense. Whenever we’re out we see hundreds of them walking, eating, and enjoying the city. But, sometimes – ok lots of times – we cringe when we see what they’re buying and eating. This post isn’t meant to say the people here who sell somewhat sketchy edibles are bad people, no they’re not. Nor, is it to scare tourists visiting – don’t be. But after saying too many times in my head “oh, you really don’t want to eat that,” I knew we had to do something! People walk away from Morocco and think one of two things about the food. If they’re like my dad they say, “no way, I never want to see another tajine in my life.” If they’re like my mom they say, “when’s the next meal ready?” Besides palates what …

Amanda MouttakiWhat to Eat and What to Avoid in Marrakech
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Helping Morocco’s Orphans: SOS Children’s Villages

Some time ago I wrote about a small project we conducted to deliver some mobiles and baby clothes to an orphanage in Marrakech. I’ve gotten so many responses from this post, to which I am always happy. The more interest there is, the better chances there are for these children to find a home. Some time later I wrote about the change in Morocco’s foreign adoption policy and what that meant for the children stuck in limbo. I truly believe that every child needs and deserves to find a loving, supportive home. But, the reality is that adoption isn’t an option for all children. In a perfect world it would be but we know that  this is not a perfect world. In Morocco about 6000-7000 children are abandoned at birth each year, primarily by single women (according to UNICEF). This remains a problem and with tightening grips on international adoption, programs need to be in place to support these children. In …

Amanda MouttakiHelping Morocco’s Orphans: SOS Children’s Villages
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16 Technology-Free Activities to Keep Traveling Kids Busy

When we visited the Sahara Desert in February I knew that my kids technology devices (Kindle, Nintendo DS, and my iPhone) were not going to hold their charge the entire trip. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit my youngest son is addicted to technology. It’s something we’re trying to work on and it’s hard! The kids knew we were going, they knew how much driving was involved , and how long we would be gone. As always, I allow them to pack their own bags. I knew the little one was going to rely on his Kindle and I fretted a little wondering just how bad his meltdown would be when the power went off. I don’t advise this. Even though it really was refreshing to not be on the grid towards the end frustration and boredom began to set in.   Instead, prepare yourself and your kids for their technology free reality. I asked some of the experienced family travel …

Amanda Mouttaki16 Technology-Free Activities to Keep Traveling Kids Busy
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Crunchy Cauliflower Goat Cheese Hummus

Have you ever loved a food so much but your partner/child/parent/special someone didn’t share that same love? It stinks! We share so much of ourselves and our lives through the food we make and share. Sure you can always avoid it and look for a mutually favorite food or you can be like me and repeatedly beat your head against the wall trying to come up with a way to make the ingredient enjoyable. That’s my cauliflower story. MarocBaba hates cauliflower. I tried making it the way my mom always got us to eat it, with cheese melted all over the top. No. Then I tried making cauliflower pizza crust. No. Then I made this. He insisted he didn’t want to try it (before he knew it had cauliflower). I shoved a loaded cracker in his mouth. And he liked it! He even recognized it had cauliflower and still liked it! I could hardly believe it. Really this was a …

Amanda MouttakiCrunchy Cauliflower Goat Cheese Hummus
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What to Pack for Kids: Morocco

I’ve posted previously on what to pack for women visiting Morocco, and what to pack for men, so that leaves just one group to discuss – children! I’ve found many people don’t think “family destination” when they think of Morocco but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Morocco is a country that not only is welcoming of children, they embrace them! Traveling with kids requires a bit of additional preparation but don’t let that scare you away.   Packing List Suggestions Clothing that can be layered. Daytime temperatures can get quite hot, even in the spring but drop 30-40 degrees (farenheit) once the sun sets. A t-shirt or tank top might be perfectly comfortable at mid-day but a cardigan or light jacket may be needed by evening. For Boys: A baseball hat or sun hat. t-shirts, 1-2 light weight long sleeve shirts or button up shirts, a medium weight hoodie or sweatshirt, a heavier jacket – weight depending on …

Amanda MouttakiWhat to Pack for Kids: Morocco