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Chicken Korma Pizza

Cheese. I really miss delicious, melty, gooey, cheesy goodness. The kind that tops pizza or a casserole. Enough to get a big bite and taste the salty, creamy goodness. When you order a pizza in Morocco it’s got just barely enough cheese on top to be recognizable and a really good mozzerella is hard to come by. Cheese isn’t eaten that much here and who knew this girl from the Dairy State would miss cheese so much? You can find some varieties to be sure. It’s mostly imported from Europe. I’ve had brie, gouda, and Emmentaler cheese. Some good jibli, a traditional cheese from northern Morocco. Goat and sheep soft cheese can be found. As for bubbling, melting mozzerellas or cheddar – they’re just not the same. A waxy texture to the mozzerella and cheddar that crumbles in the hand instead of remaining firm just fails to impress. But, you have to make do with what you have, so I …

Amanda MouttakiChicken Korma Pizza
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Tackling Morocco’s Movie Set at Ait Ben Haddou

  What’s your favorite set-in-the-”desert” movie?   Prince of Persia?   The Wind and The Lion? (yea I didn’t know this one either)     Gladiator?     Lawrence of Arabia? Chances are good that it was in part filmed in Morocco, and more specifically Ait Ben Haddou, an ancient city en route to the Sahara Desert. More than fifteen Hollywood movies have been filmed here and portions of the hit show Game of Thrones also take place in the fortification. This is an old city, but only a handful of families live here today. Instead they have built modern homes on the other side of the river. There are very few places remaining in Morocco today that are built in this style and are still preserved. The walls are made of a mud mixture called kla’a that has to be reapplied regularly. Every rainfall takes away bits of the wall. Ait ben Haddou sits on the caravan route that …

Amanda MouttakiTackling Morocco’s Movie Set at Ait Ben Haddou
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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