Posts Tagged With: food

Garlic awesomeness!

I had a great night’s sleep and I suspect it is largely due to the incredible “Garlic themed” dinner Megan and I hosted lady night. Eleven friends stopped by to partake in the collection of garlic dishes (everyone had to bring something), and supplemented by green tea, imported Tazo chai from Canada (mmmmmm) and good conversation, it was a great night had by all.
I made a garlic dip, which I thought I would share because it was delicious!!!! My friend Jessica makes a great one, and I sort of used that as a jumping point, but because the ingredients were not available (I had to use marinated artichokes for example, instead of just regular canned ones), and because I wanted to be a bit healthier (there’s a lot of cheese and mayo in the I finial recipe), I changed it up a bit. Enjoy, D I did, with my Lebanese, Iraqi, Kiwi, Persian, and Canadian friends!!!

Garlic dip:
4 entire heads of garlic
One whole yellow onion
One small container of ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh cream (or sour cream for Canadians)
1 1/5 cups of spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Slit a hole in the onion and drizzle in some olive oil. Leave skin on. Cut the heads of the garlic off and drizzle oil on them, too.
Roast the garlic and the onion (in its skin) together in a Pyrex dish until browned (about 35-40 minutes). Usually at 350-375 in the oven.
When done, remove skins and put them both in a blender or food processor. Then, toss the fresh spinach in some water and roast in the same pan as the onion and garlic until wilted. Add to the blender.
Add the ricotta cheese and blend until everything is at a dip-like consistency. Add only enough fresh cream to make it smooth. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!!!!! 🙂

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A day in Arab luxury!

I had….the BEST day on Sunday. The BEST day.

I have many students from Saudi, and although some of them have already gone back to Canada for university, some have stayed behind and are leaving later. One such student is Mohammed, or ‘Mo,’ a student I’ve had twice: once for level 30 and once for level 50. He’s a shy boy who showed up on time for class and worked very hard, so I was delighted when I found out he wanted to come see me!

He came last night, and met Megan and I at Avenues Mall, a mall that successfully exhibits Arab extravagance at every turn. We had a wonderful day here. There are more Dior shops per square km than anywhere else in the world. Children’s stores abound so that the adorable little long-lashed beauties can dazzle everyone in their pretty garb. Megan and I had spent hours here yesterday, and one of the things we did was indulge in a beautiful pedicure. You have to understand how bashed up your feet get as a teacher, and that is compounded once you’re a traveler. For instance, my two front toenails have been torn and bruised because of bonking into luggage and tripping on the stupid concrete in this city. So, to treat ourselves, we went in search of a place to get a pedicure. We ended up in front of two places that were side by side, and looked, to be honest, brutallllllllllyyyyyy out of our price range. We don’t get paid until the end of September, so for now, we are trying to be sensible. We share mayonnaise, soy sauce, and one pot. That species of sensible. It can also be interpreted as ‘frugal.’

So anyway, this one place looks too expensive, so we go to the other gold and marble structure with Joury written in gold letters. We walk up the silver-flecked black marble steps fully aware we will be walking them again in a few moments when we find out a pedicure costs about as much as a small home in BC.
Surprisingly, they don’t. The nice ladies at reception told us it was KD7, which is like $24. Megan and I were whisked through glass doors and into comfortable seats which delightfully massaged your back, shoulders and bottom. We drank orange juice out of delicate fluted glasses and tried to envision our lives in a month, when we would be able to do this kind of thing every month. It was amazing. Pictures below:


 Lap of luxury


It was such a beautiful day. We left with sparkly new toes and slipped out feet into our sparkly new sandals! Then we went to meet Mohammed, his brother, and cousin, who took us on a tour of the city. We first went to dinner, which I have to say, was also amazing. If that luxury spa had been a restaurant, it would have been this place. It was right out on a pier so we were on the water. You could see the dazzle of city lights all around you, and the service was exquisite. We were waited on like royalty, with the friendly servers delivering plate after plate of succulent hummus, olives, fresh pita, salads, and an array of meats for the boys. Everything was fabulous, but there was something in the hummus that was out of this world. That stuff was addictive. It was topped with pomegranate beads and olive oil. Amazing.
After dinner, I ordered a hot chocolate and shared it with Megan, and we drank it alongside our coconut and rosewater almond pudding. Have I said the word amazing yet? Wow. I can’t even describe the size of the complementary fruit bowl they bring you, so here’s a picture:

Then the boys did shisha. I told Mohammed I wanted Megs to try it, because it’s very traditional, and I think it looks cool (caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, anyone?) and it smells nice.
So we ordered some shisha and it was fun to watch everyone having a good time.


To top off this evening, the boys paid, which was unbelievably sweet. I haven’t seen Mo in a while, and I’d never met his brother or cousin before yesterday night, so for them to take us to a ritzy restaurant and take care of it was very sweet! They only added to the sweetness by taking us around the city, going first to the Kuwait towers, which were closed, sadly, and then to places along the beach, where we got to enjoy some true Kuwaiti nightlife. Kuwait is super hot, so people typically sleep until the early afternoon, and then go out at night if they don’t work during the day. It’s cooler at night, even though ‘cooler’ is still hotter than the hottest day at home, but it was nice to walk around and not feel like dying. We took pictures and just enjoyed having a few hosts to show us around. I am grateful to the boys for coming to do this for us. I can’t wait until they come again! I am grateful to Megan for bringing up the pedicure idea, because it was a great way to treat ourselves to a wonderful day. What has your Kuwait done for you, lately???? 🙂


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