Weekly Roundup … Family Visits & Other Stuff …

Well its been another crazy week round our place … but the good kind of crazy … My cousin Mehrzad and her daughter Ghazaleh arrived on Thursday early afternoon … and we spent all weekend together … Ghazaleh had met Perry before when we got engaged in PARIS, she happened to be in Paris the same weekend we were on a last minute trip round Europe … But for Mehrzad it was the first time she was meeting Perry and I’m really glad they got on so well …

I’ve been making some changes to our eating habits over the last few days as well as a couple of other things … We’ve kinda been getting stuck in abit of a food slump lately … the last couple months with Perry being so busy and while I was in Abu Dhabi last month and this month with unexpected visitors and camping trips … our meals at home became boring and repetitive … at least for me anyway … Perry rarely complains … anyway I’ll go into more detail about some of these changes further down the post …

Rewinding back to last Thursday … while driving my family back to our apartment I found out that Mehrzad is rather afraid of heights … I honestly thought she was about to pass out when I told her we were on the 20th floor … lets just say she wouldn’t go near the windows or the balcony …

So after I got them settled I headed back to work and later that evening we went to the Dubai Art Weekend show at the Madinat Jumeirah … One of my cousin’s old family friends was exhibiting there and had invited them along …

photo-1 photo 4-1 photo 5-1 photo 4 (3)-1 photo 3 (3)-1So after saying hello to her we browsed the vast areas with lots of interesting/random and sometimes rather peculiar bits of art … at one point there was a framed black painted canvas … not pattern nothing just solid black … and that is meant to be art? … I’m all for abstract and conceptual styles of art but this was just a bit silly I thought … Having said that there was a very eclectic mix of stuff on show …

photo 3-1 photo 2-1 photo 2 (5)-1 photo 2 (2)-1 photo 1 (2)-1 photo 1-1Anyway once Perry arrived after work we headed to one of the restaurants in the Madinat over looking the waters and with views of the Burj Al Arab too … The next morning we started off with breakfast at Baker and Spice … which has fast become a traditional breakfast outing with all our guests …

_MG_4086-1 _MG_4088-1 _MG_4094-1 _MG_4098-1The food was delicious as always …

_MG_4103-1 _MG_4106-1 _MG_4107-1And we stopped for a couple of pictures along the Marina as we walked back … after this we left Perry to get on with his work for the day and I took the girls to Umm Suqeim Beach for a spot of sunbathing and a swim …

_MG_4144-1 _MG_4169-1 _MG_4162-1It was really rather windy so Mehrzad and I decided not to go in … but Ghazaleh was brave enough to take a dip … all of us managed to catch some sun that afternoon too …

_MG_4181-1 _MG_4200-1After an hour of so at the beach it was getting quite busy … so we decided to go home … once we dropped stuff off home and got ready we headed down to the Dubai Mall … to show them round and so they can make a start on their shopping …

_MG_4227-1Stopped for the obligatory Burj Khalifa vertical panorama …

Mehrzad & Ghazaleh BurjOnce we were done at the Mall … and after hanging around for two fountain shows … we met Perry at Mall of the Emirates to go to the Cheesecake Factory there … another traditional thing to do with guests it appears … although this time it was at Ghazaleh’s request that we went there … she’d heard about it and had wanted to go … And with whatever energy we had left we went for a walk along JBR after dinner for some Ice Cream … although getting Perry and Ghazaleh off the internet took some time …

photo (1)-1As I had mentioned in my post yesterday, on Saturday morning Ghazaleh and i went up the BURJ KHALIFA FOR SUNRISE … which was amazing … although we got home about 7.15am ish and headed straight for bed … and didn’t get up till noon … We all went down for a swim in our pool and after lunch Ghazaleh and I were off again on a Desert Safari … Mehrzad has a bad back and so she decided not to go … instead she went back to the art show to have more of a look around while we were gone … I have a whole separate post for the Desert Safari coming up tomorrow …

That was it for the weekend and the next couple days while Perry and I were both at work the girls busied themselves with shopping at Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates (MOE) … I joined them on the Monday afternoon at MOE … it had been raining in Dubai all afternoon … it was abit crazy really … and totally random for this time of the year … but having said that atleast when it rains here its still pretty warm around 24 degrees Centigrade …

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 20.53.04Ok … so on to some of the stuff I mentioned earlier on in this post … I had kinda felt I had fallen into abit of a cooking slump … not really been too inspired to try new things for a while (other than SWEET TREATS) … but lately I’ve been reading quite a few different food blogs … everything from Bakers, Vegetarians, Vegans, full on Carnivores to even those who advocate a completely Raw diet … basically I’ve been looking for ideas and inspiration of new things to try … and yesterday I compiled a humongous shopping list of spices, seeds, and all sorts of other stuff I wanted to try cooking with …

One meal I did make a couple nights ago and i was surprised it had taken me so long to make this one was Quesadilla’s with homemade Guacamole … Perry and I love our mexican food … I mean we used to make fajitas at home atleast once a week when we were back in London … but for some reason it had never occured to me to try and make a quesadilla … which if anything is easier than fajitas … you just need tortilla wraps, cheese and whatever veg and or meat you want to add to it and your good to go …

As for the Guacamole well I’ve relatively recently (last couple of years) developed a love for avocados … and I do love some guacamole … and everywhere I read that its so easy to make … so I picked up a ripe avocado on my way home and made myself some guacamole to go with the quesadilla’s … Perry doesn’t likes the stuff … but I don’t mind cause it mean’s there is more for me … yum … served it up with some sour cream and a bottle of Corona from a box my brother left with us a couple weeks ago …

Screen Shot 2013-03-26 at 20.51.52I’ve also decided to start making smoothies in the mornings for breakfast for Perry and myself … Perry is terrible at having breakfast … and I have gotten used to having a bowl of cereal before leaving home … but that always ends up making me feel abit queasy for about an hour after (not sure what it is cause I’m ok with milk in any other scenario this just happens with cereal) …

So for the last couple of mornings I’ve been trying out some smoothies … which so far are going down quite well … we’re both getting a bajillion different nutrients we need … a good portion of our daily fruit and veg requirement … and I add in oats or granola to make it abit more filling too … and using frozen fruits in smoothies is great as it helps thicken them … and frozen Blueberries are about 65% cheaper than fresh … which has always been an annoyance for me cause I love Blueberries but they are just so extortionately expensive here (same goes for raspberries or any kind of berry really) …

One final thing which I’ve tried making my own of this week was Humous …  my mum used to make it fresh all the time when I was younger … and it is really simple to make … Perry loves it (but probably not as much as I do) … and its so verstile … the only reason I hadn’t made any before was because I had struggled to find any Tahini in the shops here … which is weird cause you’d think living in the Middle East you’d be able to find the stuff relatively easily … but then again maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong supermarkets … in the end I found some in a health food shop at Dubai Mall … and last night I made my first batch of humous …

photoThat rounds off my cooking adventures for this week … I have something else I’m working towards starting soon but I’ll tell you about that next week …

Till next time …

Mina X

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