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Homemade Cheese Raviolis

“Mom, do you know what you should make for dinner?” What buddy? “Cheese ravioli. Do you remember how good those are? With lots of red sauce…no meat..” Yea, you’re right…I’ll make them one day when I have some extra time, ok? *two days later* “Did you have time yet? I’m going to write cheese ravioli on your meal plan, then you’ll have to make them.” Umm, ok sure I’ll make them I promise. *two more days later* “So mom, how about those cheese ravioli?” Me, silently thinking how have you not forgotten about these yet? Did I raise an elephant? *grumble grumble* I’m going to the store today and I’ll get the stuff to make them. #surrender My kids really think I can make anything their little hearts desire, like the lego marshmallows my little one requested a few months ago, or the soft pretzels, and so it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise when M declared he …

Amanda MouttakiHomemade Cheese Raviolis
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TV and the Expat Experience

One day, last fall when I was in the US I was driving down a back country road listening to NPR (my favorite radio station). A story came on about immigrants and TV. I don’t remember the exact details but remember nodding in agreement when they discussed how TV is what gives immigrants a connection to home. When MarocBaba moved to the US I balked at purchasing an Arabic language TV package, way too much money and for what? He needed to learn English! My expat self sees just how ridiculous I was being. I remember the day we had our TV installed and magically English channels were available via satellite. I would turn it on just to have background noise that was familiar, that I didn’t have to work to understand. But, there were no TV series and many of the movies I’d seen before. I wanted more!  Then I also discovered there were websites I couldn’t access from …

Amanda MouttakiTV and the Expat Experience

Month 9 in Marrakech: The Update

You’ve been seeing a little less of me here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping busy! I’m so happy to share our Marrakech Food Tour has been seeing success and I find myself engaging in the day to day dealings of running a business, while balancing my freelance projects, and other client work. I’m now looking forward to spending a week in Portugal with MarocBaba, followed by a week in northern Spain with my best friend before packing up the kidlets for a summer in the US that is packed with fun and travel. A full plate? Yes, but I am loving every minute and feel so happy. That’s my mood right now. I went through the depression period of culture shock a few months ago, and I am so happy to be done with it. Everything is brighter on the other side. Even though I haven’t been writing here as often, it doesn’t mean I’ve been staying …

Amanda MouttakiMonth 9 in Marrakech: The Update
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The Day I Ate Snails in Marrakech

  I love to eat, but the things I like to eat venture on the more “tame” side. I’ve been challenging my tastebuds and my comfort zone a lot this year. There was partridge pate in Spain, smoked reindeer in Finland, and even sheep head here in Morocco. All of which I liked. I’m big on having my kids try at least one bite of new foods so with that in mind I have to set a good example and practice what I preach. MarocBaba and I were out researching some new locations for our “freaky food tour” of Marrakech and the need arose to evaluate snail selling stands. He likes snails, so he was going to be the final judge. I was along to photograph and keep notes. But then he talked me into trying them. I said no but gave in, because why not? It went like this.   There’s two sizes of bowls offered, we had the …

Amanda MouttakiThe Day I Ate Snails in Marrakech
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Making Friends in Morocco

Making friends has never been easy for me. As a young child the friends I had in preschool were largely the same people that complete high school with me. That’s how it is when you live in a small town. When I left the comforts of my hometown, I started to struggle. I was very self conscious and while outspoken in general, when it came to making any serious friendships I struggled. I can say now I really felt that no one would want to seriously be friends with “the fat girl“. I always sat or stood in a way that attempted to physically minimize the space I was taking up. It’s only after losing 100 pounds and catching myself subconsciously engaging in the same behavior that I could even  acknowledge what I had been doing for years – and things began to make sense.  As an adult with children, I wanted to have friends. I made a few very …

Amanda MouttakiMaking Friends in Morocco
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Thai Red Curry Rice Bowl

  The weather here has gone from warm to hot in just a matter of a few days. I feel like we’ve bypassed spring completely and are going to have a long, hot summer. Yesterday, the kids went swimming for the first time this year – and probably the earliest time of the year they’ve been in a pool! I don’t know what it is but as soon as it gets hot my appetite takes a dive. I have no desire to spend time in the kitchen over the stove. It’s been wonderful having a wide variety of produce all year long but there’s even more the warmer it gets. Most vegetables here are eaten cooked but I’ve always preferred them raw – so this creation combines a little bit of everything. If you have leftover rice preparing it will be even easier.   Ingredients 1 package Saffron Road Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce 1 lb beef or veal filet …

Amanda MouttakiThai Red Curry Rice Bowl