#Cooking

Fish Biriyani

blog biriyani 2

We invited a few friends over two weeks ago, but forgot that it was Ramadan. For those of you who are not from Kuwait, this means no restaurants will deliver food until after 3 PM.

So time to figure out what to make! One of our friends only eats fish so I had to figure out a dish that he would also be able to enjoy. As I looked through my freezer I had some cut pieces of fish and had an idea of a fish biriyani. A biryani is a mixed rice dish with spiced chicken, fish, or mutton added to it. My favorite is Mutton Biriyani. I love eating that spicy mutton that has been slow cooked in the gravy and then layered onto the rice. Just describing this is making my mouth water! I have been thinking of making this for a while, but then always passed up on the idea because a biriyani seems intimidating. Since we had some time and also the friends that were coming were of the forgiving kind if the food didn’t taste well, I thought I’d give it a try!

I started looking up different recipes, and found one through the website Kurry Leaves.

I pretty much did what the steps asked, but I used about 5 sliced onions, 1 head of garlic , ginger that was around 3 inches long, and 2 tomatoes.  Also I added more spices since I had more onions and used around 12 sliced fish pieces. Since I had a bigger onion masala mixture, I also ended up using 1 whole can of coconut milk. I added the fish and covered it with the onion mixture.

Then I took my rice that was already prepared and cooled and put half of the rice at the bottom of a Pyrex casserole dish (I think it was the 3 quart size), Added the fish with masala, some chopped mint and cilantro leaves, and a little bit of melted butter. Then I topped it off with the remaining rice, added some more mint and cilantro leaves and finished it off with some more melted butter. I covered this with foil and baked it at 350°F for 20 minutes. I did not add any of the nuts, raisins or friend onions because I’m not a fan of that, but if you would like you can add that!

You can serve this with some raita (yogurt salad), papadum, and some spicy pickle if you like!

Blog Biriyani

#Momlife

Coping..

Everyone has different experiences, but having a miscarriage is one of most devastating things to have to go through. My emotions were all over the place, and I was feeling alone and at times the feeling of grief was inconsolable and overwhelming!

I think it is assumed by many that once you have a child after your miscarriage, you forget. I wrote this title as “Coping”, because in reality I don’t think you ever get over our miscarriage.

How did I cope and handle my miscarriage? Initially I had a hard time, and as usual closed off all my emotions and wasn’t able to deal well with what happened. Even though I knew in my head that it wasn’t our fault, my heart could not accept it. I just kept going over and over about what happened. Asking myself, did I do something wrong? Is something wrong with me? My body?  I think it was worse for me because I didn’t speak to anyone about it or acknowledge what happened – but kept asking myself these questions and crying through the night. This went on for a few months.   I just couldn’t deal with the situation, and it was like I was expected to forget and start trying to have another baby immediately.

So how did I cope and learn to deal with the miscarriage?

  1. I finally acknowledged that what happened was not my fault and there was nothing that I could have done to prevented it.
  2. I spoke to people about how I was feeling and realized that so many others have gone through the same thing I did.
  3. I started speaking to The Husband about my feelings.

I just wanted to use this platform and speak to those who are going through this situation right now. The most important thing is TALK to somebody about your feelings. Don’t be scared or feel like something is wrong with you if this has happened to you. I haven’t ever forgotten and I don’t think I ever will. I might not think about it everyday, but I still have moments of sadness, but then I look at my baby girl and immediately a smile comes to my face. I can’t help but be thankful and praise God every single day for the little miracle that was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Cooking

Copycat – PF Changs Mongolian Beef

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After coming to Kuwait, I’ve realized finding decent Chinese food is difficult. Most Chinese takeouts add way too much sauce and it’s like you’re having to dig out the meat. One of my go to places in Kuwait if I want decent Chinese food is PF Changs. Before you start, I know PF Changs is no where close to being authentic…but it’s the only place I can get anything that taste halfway there! One of  the reasons I hesitate going to PF Changs is it can get pricey and add up if you go often. A few appetizers and main dishes can go to around KD 30. That’s about 100 bucks! I don’t mind spending money at restaurants for special occasions, but not at a place like PF Changs!

I started searching for Chinese food recipes and came across a few for different copycat PF Changs recipes. I’ve never made anything beyond stir-frys and fried rice when it comes to Chinese food – so I was a bit nervous to try it out.

Usually when I want to make something new, I’ll find 3 or 4 different recipes and read through them and combine them all together. For Mongolian Beef, I merged the following two:

http://thewoksoflife.com/2015/07/mongolian-beef-recipe/

http://dinnerthendessert.com/mongolian-beef/

What I ended up doing was marinating the beef with soy sauce, sambal, and dredged it in cornstarch. Then I refrigerated it for 2 hours to set the meat. Then I took it out and brought it to room temperature before frying the beef.  Then I followed “The Woks of Life” recipe. This was a great recipe with easy directions to follow!

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#Ramblings

I’m Sorry,but….

Maya Aneglou

I’m Sorry, but Your Fetus is not Viable…. 

The one sentence no pregnant person wants to hear. It was like all the joy and happiness was drained out of me and turned into sorrow.

When we first found out that I was expecting, the thought of a miscarriage never even entered our heads. We were so excited and I being the planner that I am, started thinking of fun ways to tell our parents.

Flash forward to three weeks and we are at the doctors office. I had a notebook full of questions and concerns, but first the ultrasound…. We were smiling nervously at each other with anticipation and excitement as we awaited to hear the heartbeat. In Kuwait, the doctor is the one who does the ultrasound, so you don’t need to wait to hear the results as in the States.

So I am laying on the couch with the ultrasound wand pushing against my stomach as the doctor is trying to find the baby and heartbeat. I started getting nervous because we were not able to hear the heartbeat. The doctor wasn’t able to get the heartbeat either, and had this frown on his face. He then told us at this time the “fetus was not viable”, but we can wait another week just to make sure. We both gripped each other’s hand and agreed with the doctor. Still with some hope and a positive attitude, made an appointment for the following week.

The following week came and we did another ultrasound, the doctor again was not able to hear the heartbeat and the fetus did not grow from the previous ultrasound. Again he  repeated “I’m sorry, but the fetus is not viable” and told us what our options were. He also said we can get a second opinion. We said thank you and left his office. As we were walking out of  to the elevator and going down, I tried to stay as stoic and emotionless as possible. I didn’t speak because I knew if I spoke at that moment I would break down.

Through some connections, we were able to get a second opinion the following day with another doctor at a different hospital. We went to the hospital and the doctor there told us the same thing. She told us take another week to wrap our head around the whole situation, but she didn’t recommend more than that to do the D&C.

Another issue we were facing was in three weeks we were supposed to travel to Canada for a friends wedding, and I was in the bridal party. I had no idea how I would travel and wanted to cancel the trip. I could not deal with seeing people and having to fake happiness when all I was feeling was devastation and heartbreak. We were planning on telling all our friends that we were going to have a baby and celebrate during our upcoming trip.

Then to top it all off I received a letter regarding my oath date for Canadian citizenship. This was another ordeal that we were dealing with for the previous year and wasn’t expecting this to happen so fast. We had to report on a certain day for the oath and there was no way around it. Our tickets were already booked for the week after the pre-selected oath day, so all this happening at once.  There was no way to cancel our trip now! We ended up scheduling the procedure for a Monday and thQuote 2en traveled to Canada on Thursday. There was too many things going on and I was trying to hold onto my sanity and stay strong.

 

 

#Cooking

Spiced Salmon with Cauliflower Rice

I’ve always had a love hate relationship with cauliflower! Some days I can eat it and other days it makes me want to puke! Lately the love for cauliflower has been going on. I’ve made a couple of different dishes and they’ve all turned outJim Carey Cauliflower rice well.

While perusing through my Instagram and Pinterest I have been seeing many people post pictures and recipes for cauliflower rice. This has always fascinated me, but I’ve shied away from it because A.) I don’t have a food processor B.) Cauliflower Rice? Would I even like it?

While trying to plan a healthy side to make with my spiced salmon, I remembered that I had some cauliflower sitting inside my fridge. I thought, “what the heck let’s just try and make this so-called amazing cauliflower rice…” First thing I did was google alternatives to a food processor because I do not own one in Kuwait. My handy dandy Kitchen Aid is sitting in my in-laws basement waiting for me to move back! I read that a grater in the place of a food processor, but it gets messy and might be dangerous..

I then took out a big bowl to keep the grater in and also to make sure that I as “riced” the cauliflower, there would not be a big mess around me.  I did half and my fingers started feeling a bit numb (Dang you carpal tunnel and improper posture!) so my husband took over and did the rest. This took us about 20 minutes, one chipped nail and one grated finger that thankfully did not bleed! (Yes I know, I’m such a clutz… but remember, I am embracing the glorious mess that I am!)

While my husband was grating the cauliflower I chopped up 5 cloves of garlic. Then I added that into the grated cauliflower along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a bit of salt. Then I used my hands to mix it. Next I put foil on a baking pan and sprayed some oil on it. Then I spread out the riced cauliflower mixture as a thin layer and baked it for 15 minutes, mixed and cooked another 10-15 minutes.  Then I repeated with the left over mixture. I couldn’t wait to taste it so as soon as it was ready I tried it and it was absolutely delicious! I loved the taste of the garlic and the nuttiness of the cauliflower.

Does it replace rice? I don’t think so, but it is a great side dish.

Salmon 2

#Momlife

We’re Having a Baby!

Around this time last year we found out that I was pregnant! This was one of the most joyous moments of our lives! Feelings of nervousness, happiness, excitement, and fear all wrapped into one.  I’ve never felt so many emotions all at once. Nervousness while waiting for the pregnancy test to show two lines! Then taking 2 other tests just to make sure! The feelings of joy and happiness from being able to conceive! Fear resonating in me from the previous years miscarriage and praying to God for this baby to stay alive! With all these feelings and emotions I couldn’t keep quiet and started screaming to my husband as he was getting ready to go to work that we were going to have a baby!!
Forward to today, my baby is 16 weeks old and I’m watching her as she sits in her bouncer and I can’t help but think of how much my life has changed in the last year.
In the next couple of weeks, I’d like to go through and share my pregnancy journey and what a journey it was!