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Savory Sweet Potato Bread Pudding #SundaySupper

If you’re in the United States then you would have to be living under a rock to not know Thanksgiving is next week. If you’re not aware of this food heavy holiday then  you’re missing out.  Through the following week most of my posts will be revolving around Thanksgiving food and the holiday itself. There is a bit of a sordid history surrounding this event, but because of the intention of the holiday, to give thanks for what we have and share a meal with family and friends, we continue to celebrate. Personally, I also like the holiday because there’s no religious hang-ups in celebrating. There’s no contradiction in sharing a meal with family or making donations to those less fortunate.

This week’s Sunday Supper theme is Thanksgiving leftovers, of which there is generally many.  If I haven’t shared in the past. #SundaySupper was started by Isabel of FamilyFoodie to help bring families together Around the Family Table. I love this week’s theme because I think everyone struggles to find ways to use leftovers. This recipe, along with the recipes shared by the other #SundaySupper bloggers will be of great use long after Thanksgiving has passed. On a completely unrelated note – I hate winter.  I apologize for the dim lighting in the pictures but with daylight fading earlier and earlier I have to learn to start cooking earlier!

Savory Sweet Potato Bread Pudding


  • 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes
  • 2 shallots chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5-6 bread rolls, torn biscuits, or bread (enough to equal 2-4 cups)


  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a small saute pan, heat up the olive oil on medium heat and add the shallots to begin caramelizing. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and ginger once the shallots are translucent. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Next, add the mustard and cumin seeds.  They will begin to toast. You will be able to smell the scent releasing and the mustard seeds will start to pop.  Remove from heat at this point.
  • In a large bowl, add your leftover sweet potatoes. Mix the onion mixture into the sweet potatoes and spread the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish.

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding Base

  • In another bowl (or the same large bowl) break 6 eggs and pour in the heavy cream.  Whisk together.
  • Break up or cut up the bread pieces you will be using and add to the egg/cream mixture. Push down with a spoon if needed to soak up the liquid.  The bread will work a bit better if it’s dry to begin with, you may choose to toast a little before adding to this recipe.
  • Scoop the bread onto the top of the sweet potatoes and spread evenly.
  • Cut the 1/2 stick of butter into several pieces and put around the top of the bread in the baking dish.
  • Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the bread is crisp on top and the liquid is cooked through.
  • Eat hot!

Now onto the other posts for this week! Special thanks to Nicole of Daily Dish Recipes for hosting this week.  Make sure to check out these other fantastic recipes to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Wine Pairings for the Recipes Featured

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on November 18.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.

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Savory Chickpea Snack Mix for the Holidays

During this time of year there is never a shortage of house guests, parties to attend, or events to host. Not to mention the snack requests from the kids school. It also feels like I continually am getting updates on dietary restrictions. Whatever happened to a good old chocolate chip cookie as a snack? Thankfully this recipe is easier than chocolate chip cookies and much better for you too.  This is a go to recipe when you need a snack-type food as an appetizer and don’t have time to run to the store. Nearly every ingredient can be swapped for something else you have on hand in your pantry.



This is the fun part.  Start with the base of the Bombay Spice chickpeas and then begin adding the other ingredients.  The items I listed are suggestions but feel free to experiment. I tried to balance the spicy/savory chickpeas with a little bit of sweetness. When you’ve added everything mix well to combine.  There is enough seasoning on the chickpeas that you won’t need to add additional. Serve in a big bowl or in small bowls scattered around the party for guests to nibble on!

I can’t help but thinking this would make a great hostess gift (or really gift for anyone!).  Simply fill up a large glass jar with snack mix, tie on a cute ribbon and ta-da!

Saffron Road also carries Wasabi and Falafel flavored chickpeas that would also be excellent in snack mixes! Saffron Road is also working on developing some new flavors for chickpeas.

You can now find Saffron Road crunchy chickpeas at Whole Foods Markets around the country!  While you’re there you may also want to pick up the Whole Foods Foundation 2013 calendar. It’s $3 with all proceeds to benefit poverty alleviation around the world. Inside you’ll find $40 worth of coupons including one for Saffron Road!

What new flavor of crunchy chickpeas would you love to taste?


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Thoughts on the Recent Moroccan Adoption Decree

Sofian, a little boy who captured my heart – I hope he was able to be united with his forever family.

Maybe you have seen the news of late that there was a ban placed by the Moroccan ministry of Justice and Liberties on adoptions from Morocco to those living outside of the country. There has been little news to further clarify or explain the position that has been taken aside from the initial circular. The decree does state that only those who have permanent residency in Morocco will be eligible to file for the kefala, similar to custodianship in the US system. The reasoning behind this has been stated as,  “the adoption judges are unable to overhaul the ability of adoptive parents to cater for the child’s needs according to the Islamic principles in the case of non residents parents.” Currently this means the judge must determine if the applicants are financially secure and takes into account age, moral integrity and health condition as well as overseeing the parents to maintain that this is being fulfilled.

I get it. I get what the intentions are behind this and frankly it doesn’t surprise me.  The Justice Ministry is headed up by Mustafa Ramid, a member of the PJD or Justice and Development party, the Islamist party who has the majority rule in Morocco’s government. It’s therefore no surprise that much of the precedence for this decree comes from the fact they believe children should not go to homes that are not Islamic. Morocco’s adoption regulations have long insisted that adopting parents be Muslim. I am not nieve enough, nor am I foolish to think that many parents wishing to adopt Moroccan children become Muslim in name only to placate the system.  But here’s the bottom line.

Moroccans aren’t adopting children.

There are between 5000-6000 children abandoned each year in Morocco, for various reasons.  Only half of those children are adopted, either in country or outside the country. There is a HUGE stigma attached to adoption in Morocco. Some people don’t feel that it’s Islamic under any circumstance to adopt someone else’s child.  Others “take in” children but especially when it comes to little girls, end up turning them into servants. Then there’s the tiny percentage that truly want to take in a child and give them a home. Previous to this decree there were only a few orphanages in Morocco that would allow children to be adopted to American or European families.  Although I’ve been unable to find evidence, it seems that priority was given to prospective parents (PAP’s) from Islamic nations. It’s equally as difficult to find any information about the total number of children that were actually adopted by Moroccans, living in Morocco. My best guess is that they are a minority of PAP’s.

I recently commented on a post by the Moroccan American Forum for Relief and Development;

It strikes me that so much of the weight of this argument is placed on a fear of child trafficking and even that some claim that no Moroccan wants to see this happen.  I would argue no person period wants to see this happen to any child.  That being said, the reason the majority of these children are placed up for adoption is because they were born to single mothers, or to couples who couldn’t afford to care for them.  That’s the real travesty.  The implementation of this decree won’t make any changes in society, it won’t shift attitudes or make these children accepted as a part of Moroccan society.

So what will this decree do?


Hurt Moroccan Children

Moroccan orphanages are chronically understaffed and underfunded.  Even the best private orphanages struggle to meet the needs of the children. At the orphanage we went to in Marrakech we were told that as soon as children are adopted there is another child to take their place. The degree of care varies by facility but most children, especially those who are still babies and toddlers spend a good portion of their day in their beds. The staff has everything they can do to meet the basic needs of their charges, let alone spend quality time, organize activities, or provide one-to-one affection and care. There are also many special needs children, who under previous circumstances faced an uphill battle to be adopted. I would argue this new decree makes their chance of finding a forever home, virtually impossible. There is so much stigma attached to adoption in general in Morocco, the adoption of a special needs child would truly take a remarkable family. Sadly, even this lacks a silver lining as Moroccan medical and educational infrastructure is not able to or prepared to handle special needs children. Their ability to survive and thrive is exponentially greater outside of Morocco.

There are so many questions that have not been answered.  Some of them include the fact that there is no provision or information offered to PAP’s who were already in the adoption process.  What about bi-national couples, such as my husband and myself? We live in the US but have Moroccan residency.  Would we be eligible to adopt? How does the ministry and the PJD in general propose to help create a life for these children who, without adoptive parents, will remain in orphanages until they age out? Do they intend to fund them better? Provide a foster care system? How exactly do these changes benefit the children?

To me, at the end of the day, this decree was political posturing that lacked any foresight.  The party has failed to truly realize what the best interest of these children are and instead take a “moral and religious” stand based on feelings instead of critically assessing the issue and making the best decision for Moroccan children.  Moroccan families are not banging down the doors to adopt orphans, and in many cases these children are a little secret that likes to be swept under the rug and forgotten.  I truly hope that the PJD leadership has time to reflect on the ramifications of their posturing and reconsider this decree to better serve the interests of the children they aim to protect.

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Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes

One of my favorite holidays has always been Thanksgiving. For as long as I can remember all of my family would get together at my grandma’s house for a huge meal.  It was  always a fun time for my cousins and I to get together and usually get in some type of trouble. The meal was always traditional; turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, small soft rolls, and plenty of dessert.  When MarocBaba first came to America I couldn’t wait to share this holiday with him. His second year here we were not near any family and it was up to me to make a Thanksgiving dinner.  I was afraid the whole thing would be a flop but we ended up having a delicious meal – even if it was just our little family. This year Thanksgiving will be different because of his diagnosed celiac disease.  I’ve already started re-creating some of the staples in a gluten-free version to make sure he doesn’t miss out. Two of the dishes I’ve re-created are a baked corn pudding and a crouton to be used for stuffing.  They’ve both passed the kid test and I think they may be better than the original versions!

Gluten-Free Italian Croutons

To make this recipe, I whipped up a batch of cornbread, let it cool and then cubed it.  I toasted it again to make them crunchy.  Alternately you could leave the cornbread out overnight to “dry up” and then finish them in the oven the next day.


  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil chopped finely
  • 1/4 grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Brummel and Brown Spread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Brummel and Brown Spread reserved


  • Preheat your oven to 400F
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, parmesan cheese, salt, basil, onion and garlic powders.  Mix together.
  • Melt the Brummel and Brown and add to the flour mixture along with the egg, and milk.
  • Use a whisk to combine all of the ingredients and remove as many of the lumps as possible.
  • Grease an 8×8 baking pan and pour in the mixture.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes until the bread is cooked through and a fork comes out clean.

  • Allow the corn bread to cool and then cut into 1/2″ strips and then cubes.
  • Lay out the cubes on a large baking sheet.  Melt the 2nd 1/4 cup of Brummel and Brown and drizzle on top of the corn bread cubes. Toss gently and place back into a 400F degree oven.  After 8-10 minutes mix the cubes and bake until they have browned and dried out.

Baked Corn Pudding

I’ve made this dish for several years and have often been asked for the recipe.  It’s a hit with adults and especially with kids.  I’ve altered this version to omit any gluten.


  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Brummel and Brown spread
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the eggs and cream and whip together with a whisk.
  • Melt the Brummel and Brown spread and add to the egg mixture along with sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and add the creamed corn, frozen corn and cornstarch. Fold together everything.
  • Grease an 8×8 baking pan and pour the mixture in. Place in the oven.
  • Bake the pudding for 20-25 minutes until the edges are brown.  This is a pudding so it will not become firm. It should not be runny but don’t be alarmed if it is soft.
  • Serve hot.  You can also garnish this with chopped parsley, cilantro, onions, or even shredded cheese!

I hope that these recipe ideas help you have a great Thanksgiving whether you’re gluten intolerant or not!

Thank you to Good to Know & Unilever Spreads for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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Manti for New York #FBS4Sandy

Last week I saw a post on Barbs’ blog Creative Culinary about a food blogger event to help raise money for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. I love the idea of sharing a recipe that brings comfort. I love even more the idea of doing something, even if it’s small to bring a little more awareness and maybe raise a little bit of money to help those in need. When I started to think about what I would make to share, the first thing that came to mind was manti.  Manti are a Turkish style dumpling.  They’re a bit like ravioli but are topped with a yogurt- chili sauce. It’s not exactly North American comfort food but here’s why I chose it.

This summer when we went to New York I was able to get together for dinner with my friend Kathy of The Experimental Gourmand who calls New York home. We went to Sip-Sap a Turkish restaurant on 2nd Ave one night for dinner. Kathy also had a friend from Australia who was visiting and joined us. Now I was ready to pig out (ps she doesn’t know this part of the story!) but I followed suit when our guest expressed she wasn’t very hungry. My initial plan was to order a big plate of manti for myself and appetizers but not wanting to look ridiculous instead opted to share a few smaller plates.  Ever since then I’ve been dreaming about manti. When Sandy hit New York I began to think about all my friends in the area and manti came back to my mind. With no Turkish restaurants for miles and miles, I had to make it myself.


Manti for New York #FB4Sandy


    For the Dough
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • For the Filling
  • 1/2 lb ground meat (beef, lamb, turkey, chicken)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • palmful chopped parsley
  • For the Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • handful of pine nuts
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt


    Making the Dough
  • Mix together the flour, salt and eggs using your hand and slowly stream water until a slightly sticky dough has been formed. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • The Filling
  • Combine all of the ingredients for the filling, mixing well so the spices are incorporated.
  • To Assemble
  • After the dough has rested, dust a work space with flour. There are two ways to make the dumplings.
  • The first way is to break off pieces of the dough, the size of a large gumball and roll out as thinly as possible. Add half as much filling to the middle and bring up the edges to pinch it like a small purse.
  • The second way is to divide the dough into fourths. Roll each segment out as thinly as possible. Use a pastry cutter to make 1-2" squares. Fill each square with half as much filling and pinch the edges to make a small purse shape.
  • Place the assembled dumplings on a floured plate.
  • Continue until all of the dough has been used.
  • To cook and serve
  • Boil a large pan of salted water.
  • Add dumplings once the water is boiling, taking care not to overfill the pan.
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes to ensure the meat is cooked through.
  • Drain the water well before serving.
  • Serving
  • In a saute pan add the olive oil, sprinkle in the chili pepper and turn to medium high heat.
  • When the oil starts to take on a reddish hue, add the pine nuts and toast until browned.
  • Remove the oil from heat and slowly stream into a bowl with the Greek yogurt. You must do this slowly or the hot oil could separate the yogurt.
  • Arrange the manti on a plate and top with the Greek yogurt.
  • Sprinkle pine nuts over the top.

 How can you help?

If you haven’t already, consider making a donation.  Here are a few suggestions;

  • American Red Cross is providing food, shelter, and other forms of support to hurricane victims. You can donate directly to the Red Cross or  you can also text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • The Salvation Army is also focused on providing food, shelter, and support to victims, and takes donations for storm relief.
  • Feeding America is providing food, water and supplies to those who need it as part of their disaster relief program.
  • Islamic Relief is working with the American Red Cross to provide financial help and physical volunteers to help with the recovery effort.

Be sure to stop by Creative Culinary and Jenn Cuisine (the event organizers) to see the other dishes that are being shared.

What dish would you share with a friend in need?


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Finding Morocco at the International Folk Festival

When I moved to our hometown it was mostly in haste and my mom’s comment that “we have a university here.”  She had just relocated after my high school graduation to get re-married and I had yet to visit the area. My college career sent me to lower Michigan (Michigan State) but when life stepped in I needed to be closer to family. My plan was to transfer for a single semester and then head back to East Lansing. I ended up staying the next two and a half years and walking away with my undergraduate degree. We’ve since lived in Washington DC but found our way back here because both MarocBaba and I knew what a nice community it was to raise our children. One of the comforts is that our university takes international experiences very seriously.  It helps that the community is largely supportive as well. Every fall they host an International Folk Festival where students and community members from around the world have tables showcasing their food, culture and traditions.  There are live dancing and musical presentations and much much more.  I was really looking forward to bring the kids this year because of our new friends who are students from Tunisia and Morocco.

There were more than forty countries represented but of course this was our favorite booth. It was even more exciting for me to see a roomful of people learning about Muslim countries (Pakistan was also in the room). They were eating food, asking questions and learning. What more can you really ask for? As a part of the Midwest Savvy Gourmet program I have been working on with Verizon I recently received an LG Intuition phone and this was a great opportunity to test it out.  The picture quality of the camera is awesome!  I’ve been using an iPhone for awhile now but I really love some of the apps for photo editing like Muzy and Pixlr-o-matic. I filtered the two images above with Muzy.

K wanted to see the China display and was sad that they didn’t have a panda on display. He was confused how they could possibly be from China and not have pandas somewhere – we convinced him the school wouldn’t allow pandas and that seemed to do the trick.  The boys also visited the Serbia booth and walked away with their names written in Serbian.  Our last stop was the Israel table.  We talked about how Hebrew is written in the same direction as Arabic and when they went to get their names written in Hebrew they were surprised when the young man wrote their names in both Arabic and Hebrew.  This led to a good conversation about Israel and Palestine and the people that make up this region of the world. My kids are very aware of the world, the people in it and their difference so this was  a very fun but educational experience for them.

  I couldn’t help but feel happiness when I saw small kids visiting the booths and trying new foods. It gave me so much hope that my children’s generation will grow up more tolerant, understanding and interested in the world.  One bite at a time.

Special thanks to my friend and fabulous photographer Fatima al -Qubaity for allowing me to use the first and last image.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I am a part of Verizon’s Midwest Savvy Gourmet program and am receiving complimentary product and services.

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Chicken and Walnut Tajine with Quince Paste

MarocBaba and I always come to a head when I start “playing” with a tajine.  To him there’s no messing with an original.  When I started to put this tajine together he thought it was another attempt on my part to make something new. But, I first saw this tajine in Paula Wolfert’s Food of Morocco.  The original calls for cut up quinces. I’ve never seen a quince in our markets and am sure they simply are not in demand here.  I did however have some quince paste from another recipe I had made.  The quince paste really worked beautifully.

I prepared this tajine in an unglazed clay tajine and think that it truly made the flavor that much deeper.  I’m not saying you couldn’t try this in a glazed tajine or even in a heavy pot but I just don’t think it will taste the same.  Be sure to cook this over low heat and watch a little more closely than other tajines.  The quince paste can dry up quickly.

Chicken and Walnut Tajine


  • 1 lb of chicken pieces
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of crumbled saffron threads
  • small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp butter cubed
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 tsp quince paste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts


  • In the bottom of an unglazed clay tajine add the vegetable oil and turn heat to medium.
  • Finely chop the onion and crush 2 teaspoons of garlic (2-3 cloves). Add these to the tajine.
  • In a bowl mix together the salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, saffron threads, parsley and quince paste with enough water to create a paste.
  • Rinse the chicken and place in the spice paste, taking care that the chicken is coated.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the tajine along with any remaining marinade.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of cubed butter.
  • Cover the tajine and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Allow to cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check at the 1 hour, 1.5 hour and 2 hour mark and add a little more water if necessary.
  • The tajine is ready when the chicken is tender to the touch. There should still be liquid in the tajine.
  • Toasting Walnuts
  • In a skillet, add the walnuts and turn heat to medium-high.
  • When the walnuts begin to toast you will be able to smell the oils being released.
  • Stir the walnuts to make sure they don't burn.
  • Remove from the heat as soon as the walnuts begin to brown.
  • Top the tajine with toasted walnuts and serve immediately. This dish is traditionally eaten with crusty bread but could also be served on top of rice, barley or couscous.


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Marrakech; Lights, Camera, Sand and Sun! {Guest Post}

Today’s post is a guest post from my friends at Thomson, a pre-eminent travel company based in the UK.  Readers know Marrakech is our home base in Morocco and it’s a must stop city on anyone’s travel itinerary.  But did you know Marrakech is also a hot spot on Hollywood’s radar? From movie stars seeking a luxurious getaway to directors looking to capture the right scene Marrakech is the place to be! Now you don’t have to just take my word for it!

Marrakech medina

The ‘Ochre City’ lies in the far North-West of Africa, beautifully offset by the snow-capped Atlas mountain range while the Sahara desert lies south of the city, offering a stunning comparison between the icy heights and burning wind-blown sands. Where better to set a movie or piece of art than this lovely area of the world? It has already featured in scenes from such films as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’; Orson Welles’ ‘Othello’ was filmed in Marrakech and last, but certainly not least the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock filmed The ‘Man Who Knew Too Much’ on location in Marrakech.

Follow in the steps of these masters of their trade on your Marrakech holidays by Thomson and immerse yourself to the full in this wonderful place. The semi-arid climate which consists of wet, mild winters and hot, dry summers, means you will not be too cold and your filming or art-work is unlikely to be ruined by inclement weather.

Marrakech offers delights for the film-maker or tourist alike, be sure to take in the wonders of the Koutoubia Mosque; a recognised symbol for Marrakech. Including this in your footage will give great authenticity to your work. Soak in the ambiance of the souk, glorying in all the marvellous colours, textures and scents that abound, or reflect quietly in the peaceful air of the Saadian Tombs. The ruined Badii Palace should also form part of your itinerary offering a spectacular glimpse into the past.

If possible, take a meal at the wonderful Pavilion and be inspired by the massive tree that bestows shade upon the diners.

Bahia Palace

Marrakech offers a wealth of beauty, both architectural and natural, be sure to allow its spirit to influence your creativity.

If you crave the company of other artists and filmographers, Marrakech—with its rapidly growing artistic culture—can help there too! In July there is the National Festival of Popular Arts and in December it plays host to the Marrakech International Film Festival.

Whether you’re an amateur or professional, grab your cameras and prepare for a photographic holiday you won’t forget!

Do you have pictures from a visit to Marrakech? I’d love to see them!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  I am receiving compensation in exchange for sharing this.  As always I would never share material from a company that I didn’t believe in or found misleading.  

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