eat well, travel often, dream big!


 One of my favorite snacks in Morocco are spiced olives with a fresh loaf of bread and some cheese.  I’ve never really cared to figure out how to make said olives because I thought they might lose some of their appeal.  Wrong.  With a little direction from MarocBaba and my mother-in-law I figured out how to make them.  I think that these will become a staple in my fridge and on most every party table.  I think you’ll agree once you give them a try.


  • 1/2 lb green cracked olives with pits
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil


In a saute pan add the olive oil, onions and garlic and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the olives, paprika, and cumin.  Cook for 8 minutes longer.  Finally add the cilantro and parsley, mix well and finish cooking for about 2 minutes longer.  *Note: if your olives are very salty, boil in water for 10 minutes before making this dish.  Drain the water before using – it will help remove some of the salt.

Menu Plan for tomorrow:

Suhoor: I love breads (if you haven’t been able to tell yet).  When I saw this recipe for a peanut butter banana bread on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen I was hooked!

Iftar: I can’t believe that I haven’t posted this recipe yet but since tomorrow is Saturday and most likely we’ll all have a little more time, b’stilla is a must for me during Ramadan.   I promise to take better pictures this time too!

Dinner: I love this recipe for Chicken Tikka that I adapted from Bobby Flay.  My kids love it and I think you will too.

Read more

Have you ever heard of flowering tea?  Several months ago I was at a new sandwich shop in the area and came across Numi tea.  I’d never heard about it but whenever I see Moroccan Mint tea I get intrigued.  I happened to look at the back of the box and saw a halal marker.  Imagine my surprise!  It’s not very often that companies bother to label things halal.  I started looking into the company even more and really loved their commitment to fair trade, ethical labor and organic products.  I should mention too that their tea is really very good.  I knew that I wanted to share this company with you because of all of those reasons.

After talking with the company I really wanted to try out their flowering tea.  I’ve always wanted to see if this tea really flowered or what it was all about and…well just take a look.  The image above was me filling up the tea pot with the tea ball inside.

Beginning to steep


The ball beginning to open


Table piece

Isn’t it beautiful?  Each of the tea balls is hand sewn making them incredibly unique.  I surprised MarocBaba with a breakfast on our patio and made this pot of tea.  He thought it was very cool!  Imagine your next dinner party or tea with your girlfriends serving a pot of flowering tea!  The good news is – one of you is going to win your own set!  This is the Dancing Leaves Flowering Tea set and it comes with 6 balls of flowering tea and the clear glass tea pot.  Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  You will have until August 25th at midnight to get your name in.


<a href=””>You need javascript enabled to see this giveaway</a>.

Meal Plan for tomorrow:

Suhoor: Chances are there are several odds and ends in your fridge.  I like to use up fruit and grains in a Yogurt Parfait.  It’s healthy and filling, fast and easy to put together in the early morning.  In a tall glass or bowl add a layer of your favorite yogurt, a layer of fruit and a layer of grain or cereal.  Repeat.  That’s it!

Iftar:  My freezer has been depleted and so this weekend I will be baking plenty of rghaif, msemmen and batbout to fill it up again.  Since we’re pretty much out of appetizers these Mini Lasagna Cups from Kevin and Amanda look like a great iftar meal!

Dinner:  I created a recipe for Lentil Burgers a few months ago.  I literally pulled the recipe from nowhere and have been surprised at how many comments I’ve had about the recipe.  I think they’re pretty good and our kids like them too.  You probably have some lentils left over from a few nights ago – use them up!

You May Also Like

  • 70
    Thursday afternoon the house became quite all of a sudden, except for the occasional whirl of the food processor I didn't here noise from the kids. As most parents know this is never a good sign. Ever. For a second I assumed they had gone outside to play but every now and then I'd hear…
    Tags: ramadan
  • 63
    I got a message recently asking me if I could share what a day is typically like for us during Ramadan so this post is me making good on my promise to share!  Overall the day is really not that much different from any other day.  Though there are a few exceptions. That's 4am not…
    Tags: ramadan
  • 55
    If you're fasting this month are you making sure to eat enough fruits and vegetables?  Last month American Muslim Mom posted a story that many Muslims actually GAIN weight during Ramadan.  How can that be?  For many after a day of fasting the foods that fill the table are fried or sugar laden.  The recipes…
    Tags: tea, ramadan
Read more

What Summer is Almost Done?!

I’m just getting back from a weekend of traveling and am so tired! I feel like I’m really dragging my tail (as you can tell from this late posting!)  I find that fasting while traveling is also difficult – especially driving several hours with little kids and trying to stay awake while not drinking anything.  I failed…big time.  Before taking this trip my plan was to fast, and keep track of different techniques and strategies for fasting while traveling.  It didn’t work.  Of course, Muslims are not required to fast while traveling but I thought I’d try.  My takeaway from this experience was God knew what he was doing when he excluded those who are traveling from fasting. I’m going to go with that.  Looking forward to a calm week!

Tomorrow’s meals;

Suhoor:  Make your favorite omelet for suhoor.  I like to add in different kinds of cheese and any chopped up leftover vegetables.  Or add some feta and gyro meat for a Greek style omelet.

Iftar: Mix up the briouats with some dim sum potstickers from Flamingo Musings.   I love these things!  This is a vegetarian version but you could cook some ground chicken or even rotisserie chicken to add into the stuffing.  Or you could really make it into a meal using this recipe from Joylicious for Wonton Soup.

Dinner:  This is M’s (see child with head in bucket above) favorite meal.  Quite unexpected for a 7 year old but the kid can’t get enough of Moroccan style lentils.  I keep saying I’ll take a better picture for this post but the food is always gone before I get a chance.  This is another vegetarian meal at it’s base but you can add in beef or lamb stew meat the lentils and add a little more protein.

Don’t forget there’s still a giveaway up for an Argyle tote from Thirty-One!  Stop over and enter.  

How are you doing so far?  Favorite recipe this Ramadan?  I’ll be posting some more with different questions I’ve been asked this month so if you’ve got some please leave a comment or send me an email.

Read more

The One That Got Away

Ramadan August 15, 2011 2

Last week I shared a link to the Cool Noodle Bowl and then realized I left out the image!  I really love this recipe and especially love tossing in Saffron Road chicken nuggets for protein and texture.  I highly recommend you give this dish a shot this summer.  There are so many great vegetables in season right now it’s a shame not to try this when they are at their peak.

I also commented about cooking for your freezer and boy was there a lot of response!  It seems like many people are interested in learning how to do more freezer cooking.  Great!  A huge harvest season this year (at least where we are) means that there will be plenty of food to put up for the winter.  I usually take excess produce from any farmer friends and watch our local farmers’ markets.  For example when cucumbers are in season I can grab a gallon bucket for a steal (like $5).  Tons of tomatoes make a puree and loads of ears of corn are processed down to a great winter treat.  So watch next month as I start posting how-to’s on freezer cooking and preserving summer produce for the winter.  Let me know if there are specific dishes or fruits/vegetables to preserve.

Menu plan for Tuesday:

Suhoor:  One of the most versatile breakfast/lunch/dinner items you can make are muffins.  The best thing is they don’t have to be only the sweet, fruity kind.  They can be savory as well like my tomato parmesan cornbread muffins.  They can be eaten fresh or frozen, and reheated later on.  Make a big batch and keep them on hand for suhoor and iftars.  Like always fruit is a great side dish for the morning!

Iftar: Check out this Mediterranean Platter from my friend Alicia at Weekly Greens.  I love this idea when I’m short on time and feeling a little overwhelmed with too much heavy food. It’s up to you to decide what you want to include but plenty of vegetables, some type cracker or bread and some type of protein round it out.  If this is feeling a little too light for you, add in your favorite soup or something like an Italian Wedding Soup or Minestrone fit nicely.

Dinner:  Stuffed Peppers seem to be a staple dish around the world.  In the Middle East vegetables are stuffed with rice and ground lamb.  Other areas use ground beef or even chicken.  This is my recipe.  Come to think of it we haven’t made this in a long time!

Go Picnic Giveaway

Read more

Friendship is…

Ramadan August 10, 2011 3

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. ~ Khalil Gibran

I wish you all could join me at my table.  But until then here’s some ideas to get you through tomorrow.

Suhoor: I love this recipe from TLC because of how unique it is.  (PS who knew TLC had recipes?)  Mexican Omelet Roll-up with Avocado Sauce will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied.

Iftar: Make it a vegetarian iftar tonight.  I have to admit that since beginning fasting I have lost just about all taste for meat.  Not sure why but it just doesn’t sound good.  B’ssara is a traditional Moroccan street food.  To me it’s a mix between soup and dip. It’s made from fava beans, olive oil and spices – very economical but also tasty.  Serve with some vegetarian samosas.

Dinner:  Keep it all meat free today with Oven Baked Fish with Charmoula  for dinner!

Read more

Two weeks ago  I shared several different olive recipes using Lindsay Olives.  I hope that you liked them as much as I did.  When I sat down to write this post I remembered something I had written a long time ago that I titled A Train and a Tale of Olives.  It’s hard to imagine now but only a few years ago a regular ‘ole black olive was the only kind I was going to try.  Now olives are a staple in my kitchen.  Some of my very favorite are Lindsay Naturals because they have the great flavor of olives but are not nearly as salty as many of  the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern olives.   In case you missed my week of olive posts here’s a recap;

I also created a Pinterest board for all kinds of olive recipes of mine as well as other friends.  If you have a favorite olive recipe to add please leave me a link in the comments!  Not sure what Pinterest is – consider it a virtual catalog.  Users pin items they like to boards to have a visual bookmarking system of favorite things.  Be careful – it can become addicting!

For tomorrow’s meal plan;

Suhoor: Make a big batch of your favorite muffins.  Keep some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest.  To do this, line them up on a baking sheet and flash freeze for 30-45 minutes.  Then toss into a ziploc.  Defrost when ready to use. I think cheese slices are great to eat with muffins.  If you’re looking for a little bit more a boiled egg will round out this meal.

Iftar:  I am not a fan of eating hot soups when the temperature outside is above 60F.  Today how about a cool Gazpacho from Simply Bites for iftar.  Serve it with some crusty bread and the famous Spanish tapas dish of Camerones de Ajo (shrimp with garlic).

Dinner: Put together some Adobo Buttermilk Chicken from Mango & Tomato with Roast Potatoes for dinner.  Seriously satisfying.

Come back tomorrow for a new giveaway!  You’ve got until midnight tonight to get your name in the running for the Kusmi tea!  


You May Also Like

  • 75
       One of my favorite snacks in Morocco are spiced olives with a fresh loaf of bread and some cheese.  I've never really cared to figure out how to make said olives because I thought they might lose some of their appeal.  Wrong.  With a little direction from MarocBaba and my mother-in-law I figured out…
    Tags: olives, olive, ramadan, dinner, iftar, favorite
  • 57
    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…
    Tags: meal, recipes, ramadan
  • 52
    Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. ~ Khalil Gibran I wish you all could join me at my table.  But until then here's some ideas to get you through tomorrow. Suhoor: I love this recipe from TLC because of how unique it is.  (PS who knew TLC had recipes?)  Mexican Omelet Roll-up with…
    Tags: iftar, dinner, olive, recipes, ramadan, meal
Read more

IMG 7579 Guest Post: Amnahs Moroccan Meatball Tagine

On the weekends I usually take a little more time to prepare larger meals and favorite foods.  For me during the week it’s just too hard to keep up and I’m usually too tired for any major cooking after a day at work.  I try and circumvent a lot of this stress by cooking a little more on the weekend and freezing food to use during the week.  If this isn’t a technique you use I highly recommend it.  Just about anything can be frozen from breads to soups, desserts and baked goods.  If you don’t use your freezer but would like to, leave me a comment below.  If there’s interest I’ll do a post about how I cook for my freezer.

The meal plan for tomorrow;

Suhoor: A great high protein breakfast during fasting is oatmeal.  I love baked oatmeal because it has an added flavor that you just can’t get from the instant kind.  I’ve used this recipe for Amish Baked Oatmeal from Taste of Home several times.  You can freeze leftovers in individual portions for re-heating.  When re-heating use whatever toppings appeal to you.  Fruit, nuts, and honey are some great ideas.

Iftar: You probably have a little left over harira.  Heat that up for iftar today and serve with rghaif, MarocBaba’s favorite and a staple I make en mass during Ramadan.  It’s a little time consuming so if you do decide to make it – just make plenty.  To save freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes and slide into a Ziploc bag.  Freezing individually keeps them from sticking together in the bag.

Dinner: From one of my past guest posts Amnah’s Meatball Tajine is a great dinner meal that can be prepared ahead of time and finished when ready to eat.  I think you’ll like it as much as I do!  Serve with a side of roasted baby red tomatoes prepared with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.

Read more

Summer Bounty

Ramadan August 5, 2011 0

Todays’ meal plan is going to be short and sweet.  I have guests coming this weekend and a prep work to do for next week as well as a few new recipes to test out.  How are you doing?  How have you liked the food so far?  In the coming weeks I will be trying to add a few more original recipes in however I don’t experiment too much during Ramadan.  No one wants to fast all day and then end up with food that isn’t so great when you can eat!

For tomorrow;

Suhoor: This is tried and true recipe from King Arthur Flour for Whole Grain Waffles.  You can top with your favorite toppings like maple syrup and butter, or with this hot fruit compote from Taste of Home.  I think waffles taste great with chocolate milk!

Iftar:  Use up some of the leftovers that you inevitable have in your fridge and add on this  Shrimp Bruschetta from Mario Batalli.  It’s MarocBaba’s very favorite appetizer-like recipe.  I omit the limoncello from the recipe to make it halal.

Dinner: This week we got our first tomato of the season in our CSA box and it was amazingly good.  Put together a Greek salad with chunks of fresh tomato, cucumbers, black olives and feta cheese with some torn lettuce.  Top with a drizzle of olive oil and squirt of lemon juice.  For the entree Chicken Kabobs are fast and easy.  Cube chicken breasts and season with salt, pepper, garlic, chopped onions, cumin and fresh chopped parsley.  Use a few tbsp of olive oil to mix everything together and coat the chicken.  Grill until cooked through.

  • I’ll continue posting recipes everyday through Ramadan and have many more giveaways in the coming weeks as well.  Make sure you take time to enter to win the Kusmi Tea giveaway – there’s only a few days left.  

  • Also I’ve got a philanthropic project that I am working on called Mobiles for Morocco – maybe you’ve noticed the button on my sidebar. I will be talking more about this project next week but for now make sure to read about it and please spread the word!


Read more