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5 Tips for Handling Long Layovers with Kids

If you fly with your kids, and you prefer not to pay out the nose for airfare, chances are you will experience a long layover at some point.  Sometimes this is scheduled and sometimes it’s due to circumstances out of your control like weather or plane troubles.  A long layover can strike panic in the heart of a parent but it doesn’t have to.  We are budget flyers, meaning I almost always will purchase the cheapest ticket even if it means a layover, or flying out of the direct flight path.  To me the journey is just as much fun as the destination, most of the time.  We have gotten to see Paris, London, and Madrid thanks to long layovers. This also means that we have experienced many planned and unplanned layovers.  If you’re facing this situation here are some ideas to help you. Get a Hotel I am adding this tip first because I think it’s really important. We’ve …

Amanda Mouttaki5 Tips for Handling Long Layovers with Kids
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#WeekdaySupper Coke Chicken and Twice Baked Potatoes #FamilyDinnerTable

Not only did I get to participate in a very cheesy #SundaySupper yesterday, but I’m also joining #WeekdaySupper this week! The theme we’re tackling this week is SUPER quick meals.  When we lived in the US I was the queen of quick lunches and dinners, but here in Morocco it takes a little more time and planning to make a meal. There aren’t the numbers of canned or boxed convenience items (let alone full meals) to shortcut steps.  I’ve managed to “speed prep” by doing a few things.  I like to cut and chop my produce as much as possible ahead of time. This saves a lot of time. Also when recipes call for baking, I convert them to the stove-top. Part of this is out of necessity as our oven isn’t really made for baking things a real long time. The third tip, is to use a slow cooker.  That’s what I did with this recipe. This recipe was …

Amanda Mouttaki#WeekdaySupper Coke Chicken and Twice Baked Potatoes #FamilyDinnerTable
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#SundaySupper Cheddar Popcorn Soup for the #FamilyDinnerTable

This week is the third in a series of events that has Sunday Supper joining up with American Family Insurance to gather around the #FamilyDinnerTable.  Today’s theme centers around our favorite food group – cheese! It wasn’t until we moved to Morocco that my boys and I realized just how deep the love of cheese ran in our veins. I grew up in Wisconsin, where we’re very proud of our dairy heritage. Did you know that Wisconsin is the only place in the United States that has a Master Cheesemaker certification? The University of Wisconsin-Madison operates this program for veteran cheesemakers who have at least 10 years of experience in the field and then must complete the 3 year program. We take cheese seriously! When you see the Wisconsin Cheese seal you know you’re getting a high quality product.  There are few meals that cheese doesn’t pair with (well at least that’s my opinion!) Here are some of my tips for buying and using cheese …

Amanda Mouttaki#SundaySupper Cheddar Popcorn Soup for the #FamilyDinnerTable
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29 Birthday Cakes for My 29th Birthday

Some years I’m counting down the days until my birthday, it can’t come soon enough. Other years the day creeps up from behind me and then it’s here. My mom always made a big deal out of our birthdays.  She had a different theme every year, making food and snacks that matched. We got plenty of gifts and always had two parties; one for our friends and one for our family. Having these memories has really been a very treasured part of my childhood and always made me feel special and loved. This year, I’m away from my husband and kids so there’s something a little bittersweet about my big day (it’s on Sunday).  I’m also entering the last year of my 20′s. Wow. I just need to sit on that for a little while.  There are so many days I feel like I’m still just a child.  There’s something about leaving this decade of life that I know I …

Amanda Mouttaki29 Birthday Cakes for My 29th Birthday
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22 Hours in Madrid

It wasn’t long ago that I shared about some health problems I was having.  Don’t worry, I’ve been in the US for a week now have had my gallbladder removed, and am feeling much better! My trip back to the States was quite an adventure.  There are very few flights from Marrakech to the US that do not have an overnight layover.  My flight was no different.  I had a 22 hour layover in Madrid and was torn with how I should spend the time.  The first choice was to spend the night in the airport, camped out on a bench or the floor. Considering I had been in quite a bit of pain and knowing the Barjas airport isn’t “sleepover” friendly, I opted for option two – get a hotel.  I’ve recently started to pay attention to gathering frequent flyer miles, and other rewards programs, and luckily had a $45 credit in Orbucks (Orbitz rewards program) so I was …

Amanda Mouttaki22 Hours in Madrid
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Quick Persian Rice and Spiced Beef for a Middle Eastern #SundaySupper

I have loved participating in #SundaySupper over the last year and have made so many awesome new blogging friends. Now, it’s finally my time to host this event.  What better topic for me than the theme of Middle Eastern food?  If you’ve followed my journey, you’ll know that before I met my husband I could barely cook American food let alone anything else.  Over time and exposure I have become adept at adapting traditional Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes for an American kitchen. There are so many delicious Middle Eastern foods but I feel a lot of people are overwhelmed by the use of spices and different cooking techniques. One of the biggest reasons I love serving my guests Middle Eastern meals is because I believe food is the best form of diplomacy.  #SundaySupper is about bringing families to the dinner table.  I take it one step further and invite friends and neighbors to our Middle Eastern table. This invariably …

Amanda MouttakiQuick Persian Rice and Spiced Beef for a Middle Eastern #SundaySupper