Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Mercedes, an Acura, and a Lexus. How Arab!

My friend's little sister made that conclusion the other night after observing our 3 cars parked next to each other during a late evening IHOP run.

I'm not sure if this supposed to be a good image or a bad image, but it's interesting how Arabs stereotype Arabs.

Along with sporting luxury cars, other Arab self-stereotypes in my neck of the woods include excessively hyperactive children, and owning a collection of faux (fake) designer purses. What can YOU add to the list?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Confronting the mistress

I told you my friend Randy's story in a 2-part blog post previously. In a nutshell, after her asshole husband told her he wanted a divorce she discovered that he was intimately involved with another woman-a dancer.

A couple of days ago Randy admitted that she called the girl and told us how it went down. She star *69ed the number which was very easy to obtain (along with a plethora of solid proof) and when a girl answered she immediately hung up. She mustered up some courage and dialed again.

The girl: hello
Randy: is this "mistress"(that'll be her pseudoname)
The girl: yea. who are you
Randy: this is :asshole" 's wife
The girl: oh!

She quickly added to not be afraid, that she's not calling her to cuss her out or yell at her; she's just calling because she wants some answers. The girl told her in her defense that asshole had mislead her as well because she believed that they were officially separated when they met. Who knows if that's true or not.

Randy gave the impression that the girl wasn't someone that took asshole seriously, she probably wasn't very smart and just going with the flow in this situation where she's getting attention, adoration, and God knows what other material things from this guy. The mistress made it seem like the whole thing wasn't very emotional for her. Who knows though, maybe this was a front she was putting up to avoid problems with Randy-the wife. She got some answers and she ended the conversation by telling the mistress that by the way, she can have him. She couldn't care less if they wanted to be together.

Of course though as soon as she hung up the mistress immediately called asshole.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ben Affleck defending Arabs

I clearly remember this moment during the campaigning. McCain was praised for dispelling myths about Obama but it was acceptable that the audience member was equating being Arab with being evil....that part needed no dispelling and noone really caught it. Ben Affleck did! Let's all come together and formally forgive him for Jersey Girl! Whadayasay?

Nuggets VS Lakers and whose Michael Jordan?

me: oooooh the game is getting close
abuwalker: yeah
me: I'm cheering for the lakers
abuwalker: i wouldnt even think about marrying you if u were serious
me: whyI'm just creting excitement
abuwalker: thats not creating excitment
thats siding with the enemy
me: calm down drama queen
abuwalker: well cant have any traitors
me: whatever
the lakers wear nicer uniforms anyway
abuwalker: nah
me: white? I've never seen white nuggets
abuwalker: they look gay
me: yea I know the nuggets look gay with their white uniforms

me: ufff there's still one more quarter?
lakers lakers lakers lakers
Oh I kno another basketball player
michael jordan michael jordan michael
what team is he on anyway
Abuwalker: seriously?
me: what
Abuwalker: wow, i thought every person in the world knew what team michael jordan had played for
me: not everyone in the world
I bet you my grandma wouldn't know that
Abuwalker: she might
i would say the majority of people in the world know about michael jordan
people who have never seen a basketball game know of him
me: well I knew OF him
Abuwalker: yes u did

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Randy's Story: Cheated on with a whore (part 2)

After getting married Randy relocated to a different city about an hour away. A year later her and her husband bought a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood. She decorated it very retro-urban and the interior looks like something you might see on MTV’s Cribs. It was very Randy: stylish, stands out, and probably expensive.

Randy used to complain about certain things in her relationship. I never thought it was a big deal or there were serious issues going on. I don’t even think she thought any of it was that serious. To me her complaints were natural obstacles. They were young, spoiled, and stubborn-so maybe they were just learning how to adjust to compromise and selflessness. I mean sure there were things that she told us that would bother me too, but no relationship is perfect and she’s one of those people that’s pretty honest and open and will probably reveal things that most girls won’t.

At some point Randy would make off-handed halfway-joking statements about not knowing how long she’s going to stay married for, or she thinks she wants a divorce. But she’s the type of person that would say things like that when she’s pissed off; she can be pretty dramatic. So I really didn’t think they were having serious issues-I don’t think any of us were.

Amongst the things she complained about was that he was pressuring her into having kids now. She didn’t like her meddling in-laws. He was making plans that didn’t include her, and decisions without consulting her. He was taking on a lot of extracurricular activities, and thus he was gone away from home more and more. Despite that, I don’t really think she was serious about wanting a divorce…but I just think she was really frustrated.

About 3 weeks ago while they were in a car together HE told her calmly that he wasn’t happy and wants a divorce. He had an explanation about her being in the way of the things he wanted to do and bla bla bla. She knew it was final and in the next couple of days she took her things and moved in to her parents’ house. His announcement came right after he came back from a trip with one of his friends and she had a very strong feeling that something must have happened.

At that point she wasn’t interested in trying to work things out with him, but she knew there was something he wasn’t saying and she was interested in knowing the whole truth. She suspected he was probably going to tell his family some bullshit story about her that they would probably spread to remove him from any fault in what’s inevitably going to be a messy split. So she was very determined to find out what was really going on and gather all the ammunition she can.

Sub7anallah her answer came very easily. It was like God really really wanted her to know. A few days ago she found an abundance of solid proof that her asshole husband is intimately involved with another woman. He probably has short-term memory because……..well let’s just say he didn’t do a good job of covering his tracks….AT ALL.

What’s very strange is that the girl he cheated on her with is a girl that’s probably a lot like Randy in terms of her personality. That was the impression Randy got of her from all the evidence that came her way. Why would you cheat on your wife with someone that reminds you of your wife? The biggest difference though is that this girl is a dancer whore. I don’t like to use that word, but for money she entertains strangers by dancing with little clothes on and is having an affair with a man she knows is married. This chick even admitted to him in an email that she was getting cozy with ANOTHER guy because she didn’t think he would mind. So can you think of a better word?

I know this isn’t about me, but I’ve been sad lately. Sometimes when I’m by myself and I reflect on what happened and what she’s going through I just start crying. When she came over for lunch on Friday I asked her to think back during the time when he asked for her or during the engagement. Were there any red flags that she wished she picked up on? She said there was nothing really, at some point in the marriage he just kind of changed. That made me even more depressed to hear. In life you have no real guarantees and no real assurances. You could be doing everything you’re supposed to do and you never know what kind of tragedy is waiting around the corner to blow up in your face. You could be making all the right decisions, yet they could still result in pain and loss.

Life is scary like that.

Randy's Story: Cheated on with a whore (part 1)

One of my close friends who I refer to as Randy on this blog and my old one is going through a tribulation in life that’s been a source of depression for me. About three weeks ago she called me over to come to Suzy’s house one evening. I thought it was unusual she was in town on a weekday since she has classes in the morning and finals were coming up. She was persistent about me coming ASAP which was a bit strange. If it was around my birthday or if I was getting married I would have suspected they were throwing me a surprise; however, the reason why she wanted to meet with me (and other close friends) wasn’t a reason to celebrate.

She didn’t say it to me directly. Shortly after I got there she got on her cell phone with an old friend of ours that was returning her call. She was making small talk “how’s everything? Are you still skinny? How do you like your new place? How’s married life?” After the answer to the last question she stated “Well I’m getting a divorce….....yea it’s pretty much a done deal.” WOW! so this is why she wanted me to come. It also explains why she’s still at her family’s house. I became very sad.

Let me give you a little bit of background. When we were in our young teens me and her weren't the closest of friends; we had somewhat of clashing personalities, but in the past few years we’ve become close and she's one of my best friends. Randy is a gorgeous girl a couple years younger than me. She’s tall, big bright blue eyes, and has a beauty mark in the perfect spot. She’s a natural-born fashionista who prefers designer labels, spoiled by her parents, and has a girly ditziness that a lot of people find cute. She’s also generally viewed as a “good girl”. She has a lot of sisters and an attractive mom and she's the only one out of them to choose to wear hijab.

She used to say she has to marry a guy that has money, and she definitely did that. Almost two years ago Randy got married to the young guy that was chasing after her. As the son of old family friends, she had known him since they were kids. As young adults he and his family were very persistent about their interest in her. He spent some time pursuing her, he was cute, she liked him, and he had a lot of money-a factor she admitted was very important to her. When she accepted, they got engaged.

She had a huge katb ktab party (which I missed), a bridal shower that looked more like a wedding, and her actual wedding was like a fairy tale with a guest list of roughly 1,000. I don’t know if I’ll ever attend a wedding that was that big and that talked about.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pics from my girlfriends' lunch gathering!

I would classify today's girlfriends lunch gathering a success. As I predicted 6 lovely ladies showed up-so with me we were 7. God bless friends like Sam who was the first person to come at 2:15. I was disheveled because the kitchen looked like a food fight had just taken place and half the dishes weren't even ready. She looked perfect as always with her impeccable makeup and accessories but without even asking she rolled up her sleeves and got busy making one of the dishes while instructing her sister to wash the dirty pots.

The shrimp paella salad was a HUGE hit! Although it required a lot of ingredients it actually was pretty simple and definitely worth it. My brother who doesn't like to eat things that aren't either fried or soaked in butter and cream had a bowl and then took another bowl to go on his way out. Everyone loved it including the greatest critic: Randy! When this chick invites people over she actually bakes her own bread and makes things like spring rolls from scratch and salads with 20 ingredients.
The main entree was lemon feta chicken breast. It turned out pretty good.

This is my signature salad that I always make. It's always delicious, salads are kinda my thing.

Thanks to Mab3oos for this appetizer! It must have been good since it was the only thing with nothing left over. All 9 pieces of bread were devoured by 7 girls; and you know girls are kinda afraid of bread. However, if I do this again I'll use a regular white baguette as opposed to a whole wheat one which made it harder and drier.

Thanks to 7aki Fadi for inspiring this baked brie recipe that I surrounded with berries. I went by her recipe but added toasted almonds. Fresh out of the oven it was actually really really really good, but after it sat out for a couple hours it wasn't as appetizing. I guess it's one of those things that need to be eaten right away.

All in all it was really fun. These are dynamic times in our group; everyone has a lot of things going on in their personal lives. For some people they have exciting new developments such as Sam who after going through a bad marriage, divorce, getting remarried and years of fertility treatments she's finally pregnant. Another friend of mine who I once referred to as my "everything-is-haraam" friend is finally engaged to the guy that she's been talking to on and off for years. For some of the other girls life has taken a rather heartbreaking turn; one of my close friends who I mention frequenly on this blog and on my old blog is in the initial stages of seeking a divorce. And for some people, life is still full of so much frustrating uncertainty (moi).

It was nice to have this free time with each other like the good old have a group of girlfriends to vent to or share your good news with that understand where you're coming from. Therefore we just couldn't stop talking and most of the girls didn't leave until my dad came home from work 6 hours later. We decided we'll continue tomorrow with lunch over at Sam's place.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I need your fun easy lunch party recipes

Tomorrow I'm taking advantage of my off day and hosting a lunch for my girlfriends. I invited 10 people, I expect 6 to show up. The most stressful thing right now until tomorrow morning is deciding what to make. My friend Randy really sets the standards with the type of things she prepares at her lunch and dinner parties. So I feel the pressure to raise the bar from my usual Whole Foods pre-prepared bar items. So far I decided I'll make a shrimp paella and a high-quality salad.

SO Bloggers this is where I'm requestiing YOUR assistance. I know a lot of you whose blogs I follow like to post recipes of your experiments and your creations. A lot of people that are into blogging are also into cooking. So give me some ideas. Send me the links, the recipes, the youtube videos. Specifically, I'm looking for something convenient, easy, yet still fun and good. you know, lunch-appropriate. Nothing with a gazillion ingredients or that requires too much time and labor. I'm busy people! it's my one weekday off so I have to do lots of other things on that day. I've already ruled out an awesome desert recipe because it was just a tad bit too complicated.

Uniqueness or creativity will be a plus. I will especially appreciate a drink recipe, a desert, and some cold dishes. You have from now until 12 hours to bring it and if I end up using your recipe I will owe you one forever. Or I can just send you a to-go plate.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TAG: Eights Meme

Jessyz over at Chocolate Mints in a Jar has tagged me. I'm really not into tags, but I also love making lists so I'm submitting to this one.

8 Things I'm looking foward to
  • My mom and sister coming back home from Jordan (10 days)
  • My lunch gathering Friday
  • The girlfriends' summer road trip
  • Moving into my super nice apartment in August
  • Starting school again (believe it or not I can't wait)
  • Meeting Abuwalker's parents
  • Tinkerbella visiting (it's her turn now)
  • Planning an engagement party
8 Things I did yesterday
  • Went to work 5 minutes late
  • Edited new employee contracts and realized how much more money than me they make
  • Got my hair cut and styled for too much money
  • Went to Sam's little sister's graduation party
  • Learned the Bunny Hop
  • Bought wings for the family for dinner cuz they're 40cents on tuesdays
  • Watched episode 2 of Real Housewives of New Jersey
  • Killed a spider

8 Things I wish I could do
  • Sing
  • Make an A in anatomy
  • Make an A in optics
  • Jog a mile in 6 minutes
  • Understand Abuwalker sometimes
  • Cook wara' dawali really good (grape leaves)
  • Cook anything really
  • Understand my dad sometimes
8 Shows I watch
  • The Real Housewivs of New York
  • The Real Housewives of New Orange County
  • The Real Housewives of Atlanta
  • The Real Housewives of New Jersey
  • Millionaire Matchmaker
  • Entourage
  • The Office
  • Judge Judy (don't judge me. this show rocks)
8 Things I love
  • Family
  • Angela & Suzy
  • My promise ring
  • Bethenny Frankel
  • Used book stores
  • Designer Michael Kors
  • Fattoush
  • Warm Vanilla Sugar scent from Bath and Body Works

8 bloggers I tag


Goofy Girl

His Sweetheart


Celebral Seductress

Suha from Susu from wonderland

Sue from always numb

Queenie from the coffehouse


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Introducing Abuwalker

Me: What do you want to name our first born?

Him:Bold You have somethin in mind?

Me: I like francoise, william, gideon, genevieve, gwendolyn, and billy joe

Him: Perfect

Him: Add walker and texas ranger to the list

Me: lol ur so cute. I should start calling you abu walker

Him: haha it was a joke, you didnt see taladega nights: the balad of ricky bobby?

(5 minutes later)

Me: I just had a great idea! Abuwalker is going to be your pseudoname on my blog!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New artist Ena Vie's song on quest for the divine

no box
no book
no word
is big enough
no mosque
no church
and no synagogue

I first fell in love with this song when I heard it on the finale of VH1's Tough Love. I had no clue what the song was called and I had a couple of theories as to who sang it. I was thinking it might be Tracy Chapman or perhaps Sarah McLachlan, or maybe it was Sheryl Crow. The only line I could remember to google later on was "no church and no synagogue" but absolutely nothing came up! Did I mishear those lyrics? The Tough Love website was of no help.

Two weeks later I happened to catch the finale as a rerun and I got hold of a pen and paper. When the song came on I wrote done a solid 4 lines to google. I couldn't find it via google, but what's interesting is that I stumbled upon a site of yahoo answers with someone who had written down some of the lyrics and was also desperate to find out this mystery song. The last answer directed to the blog of the new artist at

Her name is Ena Vie and the song is called "Big Enough"....and she keeps a regularly updated blog on blogspot, how cool is she???? Her song "Big Enough" is a reflection of a personal spiritual journey. Here's the excerpt from her post on the song

have grown up around so much dogma that focused mainly on attempting (and succeeding!) to place god, or the image of a box, a book or limited to a word. throughout my travels, both geographically and spiritually, i have sought to find expressions of god, or the great mystery, in other traditions, religions, ceremonial practices and places of worship... and- what i have found is this...nothing, nothing...can limit the mystery of the divine. how can one limit that which is infinite? these experiences of my life formed the inspiration for the song, "big enough" which is on my newly released album..."from within".

no box
no book
no word
is big enough
no mosque
no church
and no synagogue

so how high can you go?
and how deep is your flow?
and how wide are your dreams, tonight?
and how high can you go?
how deep is your flow?
and how wide are your loving arms tonight?

the moon
the sun
they breathe life to everyone
and the flames of fire
quench my desire
and the stars in the sky
they are bringing me insight
and the waves of water wash me over

so how high can you go?
and how deep is your flow?
and how wide are your dreams, tonight?
and how high can you go?
how deep is your flow?
and how wide are your loving arms tonight?

i am your daughter
i speak the great mother
i live as a woman in humanity
i am your son/sun
and i speak for all the great ones
i live in the center of humanity, yes i do!

so how high can you go?
and how deep is your flow?
and how wide are your dreams, tonight?
and how high can you go?
how deep is your flow?
and how wide are your loving arms tonight?

no box
no book
no word
is big enough
no mosque
no church
and no synagogue

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Expensive Month

May must be for money, cause this month is when I have to spend a lot of money. It's the month of graduations and getting ready for summer vacations.

Thus far there have been SEVEN graduates to get gifts for. Yesterday I went to a triple party, cousins who happened to be grads of my very small private high school out in the boonies. Although I was there on behalf of one of the girls (Suzy's little sister), I still felt compelled to get the other 2 gifts because I'm enjoying the entertainment of the venue, the DJ, the dinner, the cake, and taking home the party favors that all 3 girls' families contributed to despite the fact I don't really know the other 2 girls it would just be plain rude to not acknowledge them.

The next grad party is tomorrow; it's for a girl whose parents got separated not too long ago. The mom and all the kids now live in a small apartment on very modest means; so ya3ni 7araam I have to be a little generous with her. The one after that is going to be a ladies only thing so I called to make a haircut appointment in time for it. All of a sudden only the $70 stylists are available for the times I want. UGHHhhh fine whatever!

If I get one more invite I'm going to fake being sick, I can't afford anymore. Coming up this week there's still a going away party, Suzy's birthday, and I want to invite people over soon for lunch or dinner before everyone goes away for the summer.

Is it just me, or is May truly an expensive month?

My day off

Friday is my day off.

I'm not in the mood to do anything. I feel tired, lazy, exhausted. This week was too long, too many events and appointments. However if I don't do anything productive at the end of the day I'll feel less relaxed than how I started the day. Does that make any sense?

So I guess a true relaxation day would be one in which I do stuff such as run errands, organize bills, call people, laundry, go to the gym, make some dinner THEN AFTER I've completed a significant number of tasks I can feel good about lounging around with my book and some chocolate...but only for a coupl hours before I get anxious and feel like I need to be doing something productive.

Why can't I just feel relaxed about sitting on the couch in my pjs sipping coffee, reading blogs, and watching Real Housewives reruns on my day off? The very thought of doing that stresses me out. It'a a catch-22.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two Weeks To Live

This week I I did a lot of complaining to some people.

I complained about having to clean around the house, I complained about money, I complained about all of the graduation gifts I need to buy, I complained about my work schedule, I complained about not having enough time do things for myself, I complained about my personal life, the lack of interaction recently with my significant other, the inconvenience of my good friend's wedding date, and the junk food I've been eating. I complained about not being able to go to the gym, not having anything to wear that I already haven't worn to work and doesn't need ironing, my lazy brother, and not being able to read as much as I want to.

Yesterday at a dinner party after I complained about my car showing signs of wear and tear I met a precious 2 and a half year old boy. He was a first born and an only child who suffered an infection in his brain after an operation. He doesn't have the capacity to drain the fluid that builds in his skull. I was heart broken to hear his doctor predicted he will have no longer than 14 days to live. This was a couple of days ago.

Alhamdulilah rab al 3alameen for everything.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

JUST library's 70 JD paperback book fine!!!!!!

I packed a couple of books with me for my Irbid visit last summer but I ended up finishing them within a month. I used to randomly drive my cousin to JUST (Jordan University of Science and Technology) where she's a student and one time I coerced her into letting me use her ID to check out library books.

I was pretty disappointed with the selection of leisure books in the English language. In fact, there didn't seem to be much change from the last time I visited the library about 7 years ago when I checked out Lolita and a Jane Austen novel; both were still there amongst a handful of legitimate selections and were probably sitting on those shelves since the year I was born. I found three books that I could possibly read: a paperback The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks, a hardcover of The Hobbit, and one other paperback that completely slipped my memory.

Yesterday during work I get a frantic call from my mother in Jordan asking me if it's true that I checked out 3 books using my cousin's university ID and that I never returned one to her because I couldn't find it and told her I'd look for it but then never did. To my knowledge I returned to her the books before I left Jordan, but I can't be certain this was a year ago and her claim is quite possibly true. I mean I don't think she'd lie about. This is coming up now because a couple of days ago she was told she won't be able to graduate if she doesn't pay the resulting library fee of almost 70 JDs (100 american dollars)!!!!!!!!!!!!

My cousin called my mom twice in less than 24 hours about it asking for the money. My mom feels extremely insulted that they (the family) could even "have the nerve to ask for the money after all we did for them (financially)". For example, as a wedding gift last summer my dad gave her brother, the only son, a car. She's already decided they're not getting a ta3reefa for this as a result of their lack of adab. My father is annoyed, to say the least. Knowing my uncle he's probably huffing and puffing a wind storm all day and night long talking about how they're so broke and so poor (they're not). Now my family is going to have a war of roses all because of a paperback with a torn cover and ink pen leaks.

Ok I realize it's my fault. I'm not going to leave my cousin stuck in mud because she did a favor for me and have her be a victim of her cheapass parents and my proud parents. I'll get in touch with her and see if something can be worked out. I could buy that book brand new and have it shipped to her for way less than that. If she can get a wasta to lower that fee, I'll send her a money gram and make sure my mom doesn't find out about it.

Seriously though, 70 JD, WTF JUST library???? What do they use library fine money for because I really don't think they're putting it into the books!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today I'm so frustrated. Is it time for a total makeover or just a vacation?

Today has been one of those days. I woke up feeling frustrated, annoyed, even angry. These feelings have been brewing when I witnessed really bad and unexpected things happening to some of the people I’m closest to. Earlier when my dad asked me to do a few time-consuming tasks that I really didn’t feel like doing at the moment it brought everything to the surface and I just wanted to either scream or cry. What I did was a little bit of both (poor dad).

I don’t mind being told what to do as much as I mind being told WHEN to do it. I’m most content when I can plan things out and somewhat stick to my schedule; that way I can efficiently juggle the different things I've brought in to my life and it helps me stay sane. So what I dislike even more than being told when to do something is a last minute request where I’m expected to just drop my own plans. It’s inconsiderate!

I’m overwhelmed with this feeling of a lack of control over the circumstances of my life. There’s very little that I know with absolute clarity. I hate uncertainty when it comes to my life. The only things certain to me is time is passing by and God is watching. Sometimes I get angry at people or at situations that I feel like contribute to that uncertainty in my own life. When I accept responsibility for the way things are going and take matters into my own hands, I feels empowered and awesome-but only temporarily. At some point I hit a brick wall when I realize that despite the inspirational speeches, the comforting girlfriend talks, and the widely acclaimed self-help book-I’m not really in control no matter how much responsibility I accept and no matter how many times I take initiative to turn things around. I would be feeling better if I was a passive lazy ass person in the first place who sat around and let things happen then complained about how unfair life is as opposed to being proactive all the time.

So what do I do? Do I eliminate the sources of uncertainty from my life and not invest myself in so many situations? Is that really the wisest thing to do? I really don’t know. I mean sure- I’d be living more on the safe side by allowing less opportunity for bad things to come my way, but at the same time I could also be removing potentially sources of happiness, security, great opportunity, success, excitement, and achievement. I know from experience that living life on the safe side can only take you so far. Your basic desires can be fulfilled and you might be lucky enough to ride on the coattails of others; however, you probably won’t be hitting any jackpots yourself. Is that good enough?

That’s one of life’s great challenges, it’s full of fine lines. Sometimes it’s just one decision or a single spontaneous act that’s between being grateful or being regretful, being in love or being heartbroken, being successful or being broke. I’ve lived most of my life as a risk taker and right now I’m unfulfilled and disappointed. Is it time to stop? Or would a brief vacation be just what I need?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Naturally Thin recipes: A Brief Review

Bethenny Frankel has definitely been put me in the cooking mood. She convinced me preparing meals 3 times a day for yourself is really the way to go-obvious right? In the past 2 days I made a total of 4 recipes that came out of her book. I'm always ambiguous about cook books and recipes-it's such an investment of time, energy, and money and you don't know if it's even going to turn out good. So I'm giving you this brief review of what I think of her food so far. By the way this isn't a cook book, but at the end of each chapter she includes a couple of relevant recipes.

The first one I tried out was goat cheese and sun-dried tomato chicken breast. It's basically a grilled chicken entree stuffed with parsley and goat cheese then sauteed in a soymilk and sun dried tomato sauce. Tastewise I give it 3.5/5, remember this is healthy food here. I'm sure if it was made in butter and cream it would taste so much better but wouldn't be nearly as beneficial.

Last night I tried out her zesty, cheesy healthy mac-n-cheese. She claims it's the best mac-n-cheese you'll ever try, and she may be right because I think I totally botched this one. It's made with whole wheat shells, 3 different cheeses, and butternut squash. It tasted really bland and I'm sure it's not meant to. I didn't put enough salt, pepper, and spices and I think I added too much bread crumbs. I mean it was edible, but I had to make sure I got all the cheesy pieces. I'm not even going to rate it because it wouldn't accurate.

Bethenny is pretty big on appetizers and sides over actual entrees. I am too, I like variety and would rather a little bit of everything over eating a main entree any day. The following is her pureed zucchini soup. This is a recovery food, meaning it's a natural way to flush excess water of your system and make you feel better. It was a bit of a pain because I had to use a blender for the onions and zucchini, but totally worth it. The recipe made a large quantity and soup is one of those things that still taste good as its leftover. I found this soup tasted rather flavorful and it made you feel good to eat too. Tastewise I give it 4/5. I had 4 bowls since I made it and still haven't gotten sick of it.
The following recipe is one that didn't come out of Naturally Thin, it was some health cooking show that I don't recall the name of. I just wanted to include the pictures of it because this was the best eggplant parmesan I ever made. I love variations of eggplant parmesan in restaurants but I've never been able to make a good one myself. This recipe involes dipping the eggplant in an olive oil, lemon juice, and chili peper mix before grilling them. To glue the tomato pieces to the eggplant I used a pesto sauce which also held the cheese on the tomato. It has a good bit of fat in it (although healthy fat) so I didn't eat more than one at time. Delicious, 4.5/5!

The last thing I made was this cool cucumber salad, also a recovery recipe. I'm adopting this as a regular snack I've already decided. I mixed together apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, a bit of honey, and dill and poured over sliced cucumbers. Then I chilled it before consuming. It tasted like it was really good for you however I would say it's not for everyone. The taste was too much to handle for my dad who spit it back out and my brother wouldn't get near it after smelling the vinegar. I thought it was great, 4/5!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Congratulations Graduates! gifts for grads???

Finals are over for most people, and for some of you you're graduating. To those I wish a really big conratulations whatever your stage you're at. I've had a few of them and my graduation days were some of the happiest of my life. It's your day, make sure you enjoy it and take advantage of the fact that everyone knows it's your day ;)

Blogger Heather from Goofy Girl has completed medical school. You can call her Dr.Heather now.

My dear habibi took his last final of law school yesterday and his ceremony is tomorrow. I won't be able to make it but my baby got his gift in the mail from me yesterday. It took a lot of thought to decide on what's appropriate to get him at this stage of the relationship. As the girl it's too early to get something really nice (although it's never too early for the guy to get nice things for the girl), but it should be something he can be proud of having. I went with a few small things with sentimental value like a book on Turkey where he'll be interning for a good bit of the summer. I also got some chocolates from a unique local sweet shop we were at right before he surprised me with going to pick out a promise ring. Then I got him this Kenneth Cole watch but in black:

For some reason there's noone in my family that's graduating, but I've already gotten a couple of invitations for some high school graduation parties from my local community. If you're attending someone's party as an invited guest you of course have to get them a gift. I remember my favorite thing to get for my high school graduation: money and gift cards! Actually I think the gift cards were more exciting than money because with money there's that pressure to save it. With the gift cards there's no guilt in the indulging. So that's probably what we'll be giving. What stores are high school girls into nowadays? Suggestions? So who do you know that's graduating? If it's you:


Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Real Housewives and their books!

So what do the stars of Bravo's Real Housewives do when the show is over? Many of them capitalized on their 15 minutes of fame to market something to the masses. For example, trendy Sheree of the Atlanta cast is developing a clothing line titled She by Sheree, Ramona of New York is releasing a skin care line under the brand Tru Renewal, and Lynn of Orange County is getting attention for her unique jewelry line consisting of really expensive but rather cute arm cuffs.

Living up to the stereotype of New York City women many of them are doing the obvious and writing books! Luann is writing a book about class and etiquette titled Class with the Countess. Apparently Alex and Simon have plans to write a book on raising kids in New York City which is kind of ironic. As fellow cast member Bethenny stated, they should write a book on how to crawl through an air vent to sneak into a good party instead.

My favorite housewife Bethenny Frankel has published a "diet" book titled Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting. The moment I heard about it I knew I was definitely going to pick this one up. Do you watch the show? This chick practices what she preaches!

Bethenny Frankel is a big time chef by trade. She cooks for the stars and built an empire out of nothing called Bethennybakes. Thus she has a passion for great food. At the same time, she's very fit. At almost 40 she's thinner than she ever was in her 20s. I myself have come a long way with the weight loss, but I still haven't quite reached my goal and I appreciate sources of motivation and inspiration. Knowing Bethenny, I'm confident this book will at least serve as some important reminders.

I'm already about 1/3 of the way through and I have to say her philosophies are very similar to my own which took a lot of time and trial and error to develop. My life has served as a weight loss experiment of sorts. The results show the secret to healthy eating is balance! No deprivation, and nothing is off limits. For example, I think skim milk makes my coffee and espresso drinks nasty so I stick with the full-fat versions. I also think diet deserts are inedible. If I'm going to have desert I'm going to have the real thing! no fat-free artificial junk for me. I also like butter and cheeseburgers. But you know what folks? I've lost 46 pounds and counting!

According to Bethenny your diet is a bank account. Just as you balance your spending and savings, you must balance your food choices. This is pretty much how I live now to ensure success in my new found health. She definitely knows what I'm talking about and I totally recommend her book.

The ladies of the original Orange County

Real Housewives of Atlanta Ya'll!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Turning around a bad day

Sorry folks I deleted the contents of this post. I let the issue bother me way too much but I feel better now, it's not that big of a deal. It's all good.

I'm going to love this song forever!

It was a little bit past midnight and we were sitting on the restaurant/bar/cafe's only cozy sofa in the back corner. It was the last day of my friend's visit and we waited about an hour for it to get free after we had dinner; smoking argilleh on the high dinner table didn't feel relaxing enough. We kept making side glances at the lone man to see if he was still sitting there-our sofa dammit!

When the comfy corner was finally free we inconvenienced our new friend, the waiter, to move our the contents of our table to the coffee table by the sofa. He recognized that we were making this place a regular hangout and decided to come over and make some small talk. "Haven't I seen you here before aside from yesterday"...."yes" I replied. "I was here about a month ago with my...ummmmm (what should I call him what should I call him what should I call him) 'fiance'! " He told us he moved here to play in a band and works here at night.

It was a long day full of walking so we kicked our shoes off and felt comfortable enough to fold our legs up and lean back on the giant pillows as we shared a mango hookah and giggled at the shenanigans of drunk tourists.

Then I heard it! There was a sudden switch from the persian music to this song and it got me bobbing my head a little. What is this song? When the chorus played I had to interrupt my friend in mid-sentence.

"wait I'm sorry, do you know what this song is? who sings it?"

"I don't know. It's sounds cool though, I know I've heard this song before"

"Dude this song is awesome I have to know who sings this before I leave."

"let's ask our waiter"

At this point I'm sitting half off of the couch and totally swaying to the beat and my friend has caught on to the chorus."
"Hey who sings this song?"

"ummmmmm damn! I can't remember. Pretty cool though right?"

Ummmm he's in a band and he isn't familiar with the songs his restaurant play???

"alright help me memorize some of these lines to google later on."

Have you ever felt that way? You're out in public a song comes in that has this magnetic effect on you. All of a sudden you just HAVE to know the name of the song. It happens to me at times but by the time I get to computer I just forgot all about it. Days later I remembered it again and miraculously I remembered some lines to google. It was an easy one to find and I've thus far listened to it like ten times tonight. It's called walk into the sun by Dirty Vegas. Apparently what I heard in the restaurant was the remix version, but the original one is really awesome too and I embedded both versions here for you to sample. I will love this song forever!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Skip work and brunch!

I took a day and a half off work to play tour guide to a good friend from school who was visiting. We both love food and it happened to be the day before her birthday. So I took her out to a celebration-appropriate brunch buffet place where a band with actual cellos and violins can play happy birthday, that was the coolest thing!

The second coolest thing was their buffet lineup that included lots of things we've never tried before. I like to try everything at least once, unfortunately my friend isn't as daring and considered duck too weird to eat. Whatever!

I don't know if alcoholic drinks taste way better than their virgin versions cause this one was was basically a V8 but much more expensive.
What does turtle taste like? Well in soup form it's rich, creamy, and spicy. In fact after a few spoons I felt like I couldn't handle anymore.

I'm not sure why I wasted plate space on some cucumbers.

The pecan candied yams were AMAZINGGGGGG. It almost inspired me to want to learn a few recipes to cook myself.....almost.

I believe seafood goes with omelets and other egg products better than any kind of meat does.

You've never had bananas foster until you've had this. The stuff at IHOP, PF changs, and most sushi restaurant desert menus don't even compare!

Missing on the buffet was frog legs! My experience is they tastes like soft spicy chicken. It would have been nice to have some escargot there (yummy snails). I've yet to try snake, alligator, crocodile, or insects. I hear they may be haraam though. So what's the most exotic thing you had? what'd it taste like?