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The #Fit14 Challenge

Wednesday was my last day working with Sarah my most awesome personal trainer.  It was so bittersweet.  She’s taking 6 weeks off and when she gets back we’ll be in the final weeks before our move.  Surgery and diet have helped me get part of the way on my fitness journey but, Sarah has been the person who inspired me to go the rest of the way. I can remember one of my first workouts when I was frustrated and almost in tears because it was so hard. I. HATED. IT.  Even though I was paying to work with her, every morning I would think of things that I could say or do to get out of my workout.  That’s been my way of dealing with things my entire life – especially when it comes to exercise.  After the almost tear session she told me “I know this is not fun right now, but it will be eventually – I …

Amanda MouttakiThe #Fit14 Challenge

Korean Stirfry Chicken Wings

MarocBaba LOVES chicken wings. Whenever we go out somewhere, he often orders them and I cringe at the price. In most places, the price breaks down to about $1 a piece. Chicken wings are some of the cheapest cuts of meat out there! So, instead of paying through the nose, I decided to make them at home. It’s completely possible find organic chicken wings for around $3 a pound (about 8 wings).  It’s intimidating for a lot of people to think about making chicken wings, how do you do it anyway?  Guess what, it’s so easy! Some people prefer to bake their chicken wings which is totally fine and it’s healthier, but let’s face it, the best part of chicken wings is the crunchy skin and really, there’s no way to “healthi-fy” that! So why not just embrace chicken wings for what they are, an ocassional indulgence. I made my chicken wings even easier to make.  Everyone has a favorite …

Amanda MouttakiKorean Stirfry Chicken Wings
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5 Tips to Organize for an International Move

There are few things in life more stressful than moving internationally.  In fact, right now I am chest deep in the process and I can’t think of anything that has been more stressful.  Just the logistics of this kind of move are enough to make even the most placid individual begin to shred their hair. I’ve done a lot of research to find out how others have done this, and I haven’t found anyone who is in a similar situation. So here are my 5 tips to organize for an international move. I’m not sure if I’ve shared this but my background is in Project Management, I even have an MBA in this exact subject area.  For me, tackling such a monstrous “project” as moving four people, 5000 miles requires management. When we first started, I thought we would sell everything, pack our suitcases, and go.  You see it’s just not that simple.  We have a decade of accumulated belongings, …

Amanda Mouttaki5 Tips to Organize for an International Move
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Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba

Before I went to Morocco I had never eaten a pistachio. The closest I had come to a pistachio was in the Jello pudding my dad ate. But, once I ate one, well I was hooked – and a little upset that I had missed out on this delicious nut for the first 20 years of my life. I’m making up for it now. Like the lemon, vanilla, and almond ghriba I shared earlier this week, these ghriba are gluten-free and delicious. Pistachios have a unique flavor that some people really don’t like.  As I began to look for a good flavor to pair them with I struggled.  What I remembered about the pudding my dad loved was that the pistachio pieces were a strange consistency.  They weren’t crunchy and they weren’t soft – they were something in the middle.  I hated that texture.  I succeeded with these cookies.  The outsides have just a little crunch, while the insides are …

Amanda MouttakiPistachio Rosewater Ghriba
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I’ve Got Your Ramadan Meal Planning Covered!

Do you struggle to find meal ideas for your family during Ramadan?  Not this year!  Today my first Ramadan meal plan is available to make your Ramadan meal planning easier. One of the biggest complaints I hear from women during Ramadan is, “I have no idea what to make!”  I know meal planning isn’t for everyone. It’s a big process to find meal ideas, create a list, shop, and then either prepare one evening, or nightly meals.  Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  Last year I created a cookbook titled Ramadan Nights, this cookbook is still available but this year I wanted to take it a step further. This meal plan has 6 recipes for suhoor, iftar, and dinner.  Several of the meals have multiple variations for more than 25 recipes. I have also created a shopping list that covers the basics.  I think you’ll like that many recipes can be customized for your taste.  Perhaps the other most …

Amanda MouttakiI’ve Got Your Ramadan Meal Planning Covered!
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Gluten Free Ghriba for #SundaySupper

Moroccan pastries are small, bite size gems of deliciousness.  Most have nuts, usually almonds, honey, and powdered sugar. Sadly, the majority also have wheat making them off-limits for us.  Ramadan is right around the corner and I have been re-making all of our favorite treats into gluten-free replicas. Are you ready for a ghriba-a-palooza?  I’ve created four new ghriba recipes that I’ll be sharing over the next few days. I think you’ll have a hard time choosing your favorite! What is a ghriba? Ghriba are one of the most well known Moroccan cookies.  They are easily identified because of their cracked surface – a must in ghriba making. They tend to be a bit crunchy on the outside but chewy inside. Most of the time they’re made with almonds, but can be made with walnuts, peanuts, really any kind of nut. When I started developing a recipe for gluten-free ghriba I first looked to traditional recipes. There are some gluten-free recipes …

Amanda MouttakiGluten Free Ghriba for #SundaySupper