When Culture Intersects with Reality

When you marry someone from another culture you expect there to be bumps along the way.  There will be language barriers and challenges with finding employment.  You might have different ideas about how to raise children or what to eat for dinner. I never expected there to be issues in the bathroom.  Never.  I promise I’m not going to go TMI on you here but I think this is such an important topic.  I’ve even devoted a whole section in my upcoming book just the bathroom. (Want to be the first to know about the book launch? Sign up for my newsletter now!) I should have known the first time I stared down a Turkish toilet.  Oh you say you don’t know what that is….let me show you. What do you do with that? More importantly what girl is going to ask their boyfriend how to use it?  I didn’t.  I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t!  It was a really long week …

Amanda MouttakiWhen Culture Intersects with Reality

Reflections on Weight Loss 1:6

I’ve been participating in the Shaklee 180 Turnaround challenge with a community of other bloggers for one month now. In the last 30 days I’ve lost 8 pounds and am 11 pounds from reaching my goal weight! Please note that I most likely will lose more weight quicker because my caloric intake is lower than someone who has not had weight loss surgery. Today my video is sharing a bit more about my surgery, what my day looks like, working out, and my favorite shoes! If you didn’t read my earlier post about weight loss surgery, please do!  Thanks for being an amazingly supportive virtual family!  If you have any topics you’d like to see me cover in future videos please let me know! Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post as part of the Shaklee Corporation blogger program. I have received free products, online support, and incentives for participating. My opinions are my 100% own. People following the weight-loss portion …

Amanda MouttakiReflections on Weight Loss 1:6
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Gluten-Free Moroccan Piped Cookies

Do you want to know a food blogger secret?  OK so maybe it’s not so “secret”. We have food.   Lots and lots of it. It may seem like a really great problem to have, and don’t get me wrong it is – most days.  But, for example right now, I’ve got a cake that’s 1/4 eaten, 2 dozen cookies, 1/2 a giant peanut butter egg, some more cookies, and that’s just the sweets.  You can see how this can quickly become troublesome for my waistline. My friend Jen of Savory Simple recently started The Leftovers Club for food bloggers with the same “problem”.  Each month we pair up and swap some of our treats.  Then we’ll share the recipes with our readers! This swap is open just for food bloggers right now (but if you’d like to do something similar try Foodie Penpals!)   So what did I make? I have been wanting to make more Moroccan cookies.  Many …

Amanda MouttakiGluten-Free Moroccan Piped Cookies
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Farro, It’s What’s for Breakfast

I’ve got to be honest I had never tasted farro before finding out about a cooking challenge from Tuscan Fields and Eat Write Retreat.  I knew it was a grain and it reminded me of barley but that’s about it.  A quick google search told me that it’s really common in salads. So when two boxes of farro arrived on my doorstep I racked my brain to create a new recipe.  The grains reminded me so much of hrbil, a Moroccan breakfast made most often during Eid. I love hrbil, and so I was very hopeful that recreating it with farro would be satisfying and take less time to make. I was so happy with the results. Interestingly enough farro is a really common grain in Italy.  Apparently my Italian transplant family didn’t bring over any recipes for farro.  Or it could be they were lost over time and without access to the grain. I toasted the farro first, and …

Amanda MouttakiFarro, It’s What’s for Breakfast

Real Food: Butchering

One of the best ways to save money on real foods, and especially meat, is to buy a whole or half of an animal.  We slaughter a lamb each year for Eid.  Yes, we do it ourselves.  Yes, we cut it and package it ourselves.  I have to say I had never done this before the first Eid we celebrated. But, I had been privy to hunting and the butchering of animals my whole life so it didn’t really seem odd. Ok, when MarocBaba brought home an entire skinned and gutted sheep in a plastic bag and put it on my kitchen counter it got a little odd. But I dug in.  We cut the whole thing up and while it wasn’t pretty the first time it worked.  We had a freezer full of sheep for a fraction of the price it would have been to buy the pieces individually in the store. You might not be ready to take this …

Amanda MouttakiReal Food: Butchering
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Moroccan Preserved Lemons for #SundaySupper

I can’t believe I’ve never shared a how-to post for preserved lemons.  These are THE ingredient that makes Moroccan cuisine what it is.  A Moroccan pantry simply cannot exist without a jar of preserved lemons. Most often they are used in tajines though you will also find them in salads and fish dishes. The reason I’ve never shared a recipe is pretty simple.  I’ve never had to make the lemons.  We usually get a giant jar from my mother-in-law when we’re returning from Morocco and they last me until our next trip.  I know that not everyone is this fortunate so today I’m sharing a very easy way to make preserved lemons.  The hardest part might be the few weeks you have to wait to use them! Really those are all of the ingredients.  Lemons, salt, and a tight sealing glass container.  I recommend using organic lemons and sea salt but you can really use any lemon and any salt …

Amanda MouttakiMoroccan Preserved Lemons for #SundaySupper