Monday, August 31, 2009

Low Fat Kebba bel Laban

Low Fat Kebba bel Laben
I was looking for a recipe of Kebba, the ones I found were too long and a bit complicated. So I came up with this one, fast and easy.
A box of frozen beef Kebba
Low fat cooking oil (I used O Lite oil)
2 1/2 cups of low fat Leban
2Tbs of low fat Labna
1 1/2 Tbs of corn starch
1 tsp of dried mint
1 cube low salt chicken cube
1 crushed garlic
A dash of black pepper
- Fry the Kebba with oil and put it aside.
- Mix the Liban, the labna and the corn starch and put on low heat.
- Add the mint, the cube, the garlic and peppers. Cook the mixture until it thickens and boils slightly.
- Add the Kebba and cook for another 10 min.
- Serve and Bon appetite!
Rice is from Bird Eye Steamed Fresh Healthy and Lite ;)

A Discussion about Tunis

I met with a friend few days ago who happened to be in Tunis at the same time I was there. She asked me how I found the country. I told her I love it. It is my fourth trip to it. She made a face of disgust, "I hated it! There wasn't anything to do, and the food is awful and there isn't much to eat." I shook my head very puzzled, in Tunis I had the best food ever because it is all local produce, seasonal, and very clean. Even the seediest of street vendors sell clean delicious food. "Have you ever heard of a country where they don't have Rocket!" She exclaimed. Now I think her very shallow. She left all the good products sold there and concentrated on Rockets! It isn't the end of the world if she doesn't eat Rocket for a short period of time. "And the restaurants! Very awful. Their food isn't good." She continues. "Now come on! I had the best food ever, maybe the people you were with don't know the good places." I protested. "I was with the wives of ministers and dignitaries." She argued, "Who were you with?" Ah…it has become into 'My horse is faster than your horse'. "I was with my brother in law and my brother, with Fahad and the kids." I replied. "Unfortunately my friend Um Talal, she is Tunisian married to a Kuwaiti, left on the day after we arrived, I always eat the best Tunisian food when I visit her." She gives me this look that my brother and brother in law are nothing compared to the people she was with, and my Tunisian friend is insignificant(If she only knew). "My brother has been living in Tunis for the past nine years, and my brother in law for the past two years. They know the country better than anyone." I elaborated. "Yes, but it is boring there isn't anything to do there." She tells me. "Well, it depends on why you went there in the first place. There isn't much shopping there unless you are looking for artifacts, or handmade objects and traditional items. Tunis during summer is time spent relaxing at the beach, and the weather is spring compared to Kuwait. I guess wherever you go around the world you have to keep an open mind about it." "Why did you go?" "To have fun, of course. I had the kids with me. We spent most of our time at the beach. We went sightseeing here and there. It is fun to do something different and let the kids learn new things. One day we went Harrissa hunting in Nabul, searching for a certain store which sells the best Harrissa. It was fun for them." I explained. Since she felt I will not agree with her, she changed subjects and we drifted into other topics. I always tell my friends who ask me about Tunis, you should at least know someone there, who knows the right places to go. For example, Ghar El Melh, travel agencies wouldn't know about it, only the locals. I'm not only defending Tunis, I'm talking about anywhere you travel around the world. It is a blessing which sometimes we take for granted. Travel isn't all about shopping or raza bel gahawi, a6al3ek oo et6ale3nee. You should keep an open mind when you travel to new places and go with the flow. You'll have more fun like this. You should break your normal routine and ready to try and experience new things. Coming soon, Sidi Bou Sied. So Stay Tuned.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gifts from France

My friend Dalila arrived few nights ago from France. She is French of Algerian origins. A very intelcutual lady whom I adore and respect very very much. Of course when Dalila comes from a trip she always brings with her a treasure. When she called this morning asking me for Azoz to visit them and play with her sons, I was glad to send him and have few hours of peace and quiet. I had a long nap without hearing the war of the puppets on the other side of the hall (3asa allah ya7fetha). When he got back half a sleep. Thank you Dalila!!! She let them play at the pool, then with playmobiles until her kids and mine were exhausted. With him she sent her gifts from France. Enjoy the pictures.
Does any of you remember Zorro? The old series, not
the Antonio Banderes movie.
A small note for Azoz from his friends Ilyes & Sofian A small note for me from Dalila.
I enjoy books as gifts more than anything.
A coffee table book of photography by Sebastiao Salgado.
Some cook books and CDs.
Tunisian cook books.
A box with a football uniform of Le Coq Francais
A knife for Fahad, which I kept for myself.
Mmmm... a bag of goodies from the country side!
A hand made cooking apron.
The goodies, from left to right, Marron Glacee spread,
Mountain Apples Juice, Chestnut Pasta, Honey and Nougats
A Picture of the farm where the got all those goodies.
It is called the Region of D'Ardeche
I really enjoyed what she told me about her trip, I am tempted to spend my next summer there
if God is willing, in the country side and with nature.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gelato Italiano Ramadan Flavors 2

From rigt to left Rangeena, Chocolate Rahash, Kunafa
Last night I didn't have any kind of dessert after futoor. So I asked Fahad to get me some Gelato on his way home. I finished the Kanafa all by myself ;p I love the curnchiness of the nuts and the Kanafa dough mixed with syrup and the ishta Gelato. Then comes the big teaser, Chocolate Rahash. I was digging into the Gelato Italiano searching for Rahash pieces. And the same thing with the Rangeena. It was all soooo YUMMY!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tunis 5 - The Quest for Harrissa

Harrissa or what we call here ma3booch is my second purpose for this trip. Since deciding to come to Tunis I've told Fahad I wanted to get Harrissa. The most famous Harrissa in Tunis is Harrissat Nabul. It is freshly made smoky and hot. I just love it. it goes with everything. Since Nabul is only a couple of minutes away from Hamamat, on the day we checked out we headed that way. Nabul my favorite town in Tunis, it is small and crowded, but I love this town. The last time I was there, I was with an employee from the embassy, Bin Mahmoud, who took me to a place in Nabul which is famous for its Harrissa. It is what they call Harrissa Diyar (Homemade Harrissa). We drove into Nabul, and into its main street. I can't remember where exactly is the store but I do remember it was a small store on the right handside. "Ok, Bin Mahmoud told me it is at Duwar Al Burtaqala." Fawaz, my brother in law said as he drove into the main street of Nabul. "Where is Duwar Al Burtaqala?" I ask. "Just ahead." He points in front of him. But then, I spot a small store with herbs and dried red peppers hanging out. "Here! Here! I think that is it." I say. Fawaz takes a U-turn and park the car in front of the store. We go in and we find out it is a small store but not like the one I've been to before. This store looks clean and new. There were canned goods on shelves, and large glass jars filled with herbs and spices. On the side was a disply for pickled vegetables, lemons and peppers, and olives. We asked the store keeper and he showed us the Harrissa but it wasn't like the one I remembered. His Harrissa is fresh and homemade, but it was filled in a large bucket instead of jars. But because he was welcoming we bought few of the herbs and spices at his store. We told him that we will go look for jars and come back to him. We continued on our way and reach Dawar Al Burtaqala (I still can't believe I didn't take a picture of it!) and we saw the store there nestled between equally small stores. We got in and it was a big difference from the one we just been to. It was old and looked very dirty and flies were flying everywhere. Fawaz asked the shopkeeper, who looked harassed and out of patience about something, about the Harrissa. The shopkeeper pointed at huge buckets in the corner, some were dripping with oil. I shook my head to Fawaz. The previous shop looks cleaner and fresher. Even the herbs and spices smelled better. So we returned to the previous shop and bought a bucket from him. The shopkeeper asked us if we found any jars, but Fawaz was quick enough to tell him that we decided to fill it ourselves back home. On the way out of Nabul, we made several stops. First at a ceramic factory we bought several pieces from there. Second, we passed by farms and some farmers had their goods displayed out of the farm. We bought amazing grapes and figs! Tastes like honey! Third we stopped at a distillery, where they make fresh rosewater, blossom water & spearmint water. I bought a bottle of blossom water which they call 'Athrachia'. Our last and fourth stop was before we reached home, was at Monoprix a mini market. Fawaz got fresh chicken and cream to make us a lunch/dinner of pasta with chicken & mushrooms Alfredo sauce. It was a YUM. Teslam eedick Chef Fawaz. Enjoy the pictures!
The famous Harrissa, tastes a lot better than it looks
Ceramic wear displayed on the street
The Harrissa Shop
A veiw from the inside
Jars filled with spices and herbs
Fragnant dried rosebuds.
Spice called Fa7, very nice.
Pickled vegetabes and olives
The enterance of the old Souq of Nabul
A buliding decorated with Nabuls famous ceramic
hand painting.
At a ceramic factory. Ya 7alathom 3yal Al Khaled! 3amo Fawaz, Ahmed and Azoz
A colorful carmic Tagine
Another angle of the factory
Olive grove
Grapes displayed in front of the farms we got us a
couple of buckts. Very fresh and delicious!
At the distillery I got me Atrachia water.
Veiw as we drove back to Tunis
Finallay home and Pasta with Chicken & Mushroom Alfredo
made Chef Fawaz!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tunis 4 - Hamamat

We left around noon for the resort town of Hamamat. The drive was pleasant and we passed by beautiful scenery. Ahmedi napped through all the drive and Azoz… well I just have to be thankful he didn't jump from the window. The town of Hamamat, is filled with hotel resorts, parks, cafes, restaurants and night clubs. It all depends on how you want to spend your time there. On a previous trip few years ago, we did a lot of things. This trip I have the children with me so some entertainment areas were off limits. My brother in law booked us in Abou Nawas Hamamat. A resort build in the late sixties, I think, and it stayed just as it is since then. It was like walking into the past. It wasn't that bad I kept an open mind and tried not to compare it to other resorts I've been to in the past. As long as the kids were having fun nothing really mattered. My friends ask me about the weather, and I told them it was around 31c but a beautiful cool breeze blew from the sea, and it is like spring compared to our weather. We divided our time between the beach and the pool, we'd order pizza for lunch, then I let them get out of the pool for snacks and a short nap, and in the evening we'd go out sightseeing and to dinner. The first evening we went to Al Madina. It is a mini fortress with a mini bazaar, cafes, restaurants and a casino inside of it. It was really crowded and there were a lot of tourists from Libya and Algeria, but I really liked it there. We had a light dinner of Corque Monsieur Sandwiches and ice cream for dessert. Since Hamada was already sleeping, Azoz and I walked around shopping in the mini bazaar. The next evening we went to Al Yasmine Marina, filled with restaurants and cafes, the weather was pleasant enough as long as I had my fan. We had dinner at Pomodoro, not the original one. I liked the way how they were all crowded next to one another. We had gelato after that and it was very good. The third evening we were too tired to go anywhere. I ordered pasta for the boys from room service for the kids and went to bed after that and I was looking forward for the next day. So stay tuned.
Abou Nawas Hotel & Resort part of the Kuwaiti
Investments in Tunis
I just don't have any idea why Ahmedi is crying
Azoz making one of his funny faces!
The Coffee Shop by the pool
Ahmad enjoying the cold water
Done for the day!
A wedding at Abou Nawas.
The entrace of Al Medina Fortress
an image from the bazaar
I liked this ceramic handiwork
A love affair with ice cream
Azoz and his funny faces
Azoz and the lobsteres
Sea bass in wine and herbs. Very delicious!
Steak in pepper sauce
Steak in Mushroom sauce
All from Pomodoro restaurant.
What I loved about Tunis is the food.
All delicious and fresh! you can taste the difference.
Again, the family clown and his funny faces
Ahmedi is self -concious about protection against
the sun! ;p