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Our Life in Marrakech: 6 Month Update

It’s been six months now since we moved to Morocco full-time. Some days it feels a lot longer. Some days it seems like no time has passed. So many things are different but as the weeks pass I see less and less of those differences. It takes the eyes of someone whose never been here to bring them up. I think that means that I’ve made the switch from tourist to resident.   Some Observations: The other night we had dinner with some work colleagues and two clients. They were two older ladies who were spending time (their second trip) in Morocco. The conversation was simply wonderful and I laughed more that night than I think I have in the time we’ve been here. Life can be frustrating and tedious when you’re absorbed in the daily grind of work, raising a family, and trying to adjust to a new culture and language. There were so many insightful comments made but …

Amanda MouttakiOur Life in Marrakech: 6 Month Update
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Moroccan Harissa Spiked Chili for #SundaySupper

When the temperatures begin to dip the first thing people reach for are soups and stews. But, by this time of winter the novelty of those hearty, warming foods has worn off. Where is spring, already?!? Here in Morocco, winter is nothing like the upper Midwest. Our day time temperatures rarely go below 60F, and generally are in the 70′s and sunny. But nighttime temperatures drop fast to the 40′s and 50′s. Without indoor heat, it is very cold! I love making stews and welcome any chance to try something new. This week for #SundaySupper we’re having a virtual chili cook-off! I’ve never entered a cooking competition but with the prize of a chance to attend the Food and Wine Conference in Florida this summer it’s worth it! You can see all of the chili entries at the bottom of this post, and then please head over to the Sunday Supper website and cast a vote for your favorite (*fingers …

Amanda MouttakiMoroccan Harissa Spiked Chili for #SundaySupper
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{Guest Post} Dar Zitoun, Azemmour

When I check my email I often am wading through dozens of junk emails. Then sometimes in the midst of a massive deleting spree I find one that catches my attention, and I’m never sure if it’s real, or if it’s an email from someone posing as someone else. That’s the story of this post. I woke up and scrolled through the emails in my phone that came in overnight (I know what a bad habit!) and I saw “Kitty Morse” in the subject line. “No,” I thought, “that’s not really an email from Kitty Morse contacting me,” and I almost hit delete. But curiosity got the best of me and I opened it. Low and behold – I was wrong – it really was Kitty Morse writing to me! I’ve written about my Paula Wolfert cookbooks, and I know I’ve mentioned Kitty a time or two but let’s recap. Kitty was born in Morocco to a French mom and …

Amanda Mouttaki{Guest Post} Dar Zitoun, Azemmour
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Visiting the Sahara Desert with Kids

Earlier this month my mom and stepdad came to visit. As all good children do we jam-packed the schedule to squeeze every ounce out of their visit as possible. With our children being in school during their visit, illnesses, and a small rash of bad weather we didn’t even come close to doing everything we had hoped. But, we did get in some of the big experiences we were hoping for. This included a visit to the Sahara desert. Believe it or not, I was the only one who had ever been – even though MarocBaba has lived here his entire life he’d never gone. It took some persuading to get him on board. The question came up, should we take the kids or not? I said yes, he said no – I won! I knew this was one experience that had to happen.  There are a lot of people who have asked if they should do this with their …

Amanda MouttakiVisiting the Sahara Desert with Kids
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Would You Let Your Boys…MKB Telephone Tag

My fellow Multicultural Kid Bloggers and I are doing a fun and interactive blog post today that is reminiscent of telephone tag. Here’s how it works. Each blogger asks another a question – this time we’re focusing on travel with kids – and that blogger answers in a video and asks the next person a question. No matter where you start, you’ll be able to find a link to the video asking the question and responding. Sounds fun right? Best part for me?  I get to see the lovely faces and voices behind my blogger friends. Mari of Inspired by Family asked me a question – here’s my answer! Now it’s my turn. Click over to Cordelia of Multilingual Mama to find out how she answered my question!

Amanda MouttakiWould You Let Your Boys…MKB Telephone Tag
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From the UP to Porvoo – My Finnish American Connection

The melting pot of America is home to people from every country on Earth. Where I grew up, Italian, English, and Finnish immigrants made up the majority of the population. I can remember a billboard that was up every year before Christmas. It read; Merry Christmas Buon Natale (Italian) Hyvää Joulua (Finnish) Yes, the Upper Peninsula was lacking in diversity when it came to people of color but it didn’t lack ethnic diversity. In the early 1960′s a census record indicated that more than 25% of the population was either first or second generation Finnish immigrants. It is the one area of the US that has the largest concentration of Finns outside of Finland. And, they are proud. Being Finnish is a badge of honor. I am not Finnish but growing up in this environment, some of it just seeps into your skin. When MarocBaba and I went to Finland last month I was anxious to see what all the fuss …

Amanda MouttakiFrom the UP to Porvoo – My Finnish American Connection