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All-Time Greats Cristiano Ronaldo and Pelé for Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines Newest Global Ambassador

Thursday BBQ Nights at Gozo Garden Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai

Begin your weekend with a sumptuous BBQ dinner at The Terrace only at Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai

Anil Kapoor Inaugurates Concept Big Brands Carnival

5 Day Shopping Spree in Dubai

The Dubai Mall Dino

Real dinosaur fossil on display at the biggest mall in the world

Easy Apple Tart Recipe

Allow your kids to enjoy baking with this easy apple tart recipe

Monday, April 14, 2014

Caprese Salad with Fresh Home Grown Tomatoes

Would you believe that the tomatoes and basil in this Caprese Salad recipe are home grown in our apartment balcony garden in Sharjah? For the second time around, I decided to go ahead with my balcony gardening and it was successful this time.

The tomatoes are super fresh I tell you, if only I can grow tomatoes all year round in my balcony here in the desert, I will do it.

With my first tomato harvest, I made some Caprese salad, it is an easy no cook recipe.

I used 4 tomatoes, few basil leaves, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, salt and black pepper and a very little amount of apple cider vinegar.

I cut the tomatoes in wedges, and halve the mozzarella, I use latbri mozzarelline, their small balls of mozzarella cheese

I toss them in a bowl, add some basil leaf, drizzle with olive oil and less than 1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar as alternative to balsamic vinegar, add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, mix and you are done.

Serve it with some fresh bread and enjoy.

Balcony Gardening Project Update

My plants did not die on me this time instead they grew healthily and yielded fruits. I planted tomatoes and chili pepper, the easiest to grow and good for beginners. I sowed the seeds sometime in December and you can see here how small and delicate they are. This is how they look like after a few months

I also have a herb planter that contains mint, basil, thyme and rosemary. They all smell divine and I have been snipping off a few leaves and twigs for my cooking.

Here is a good looking proud chili pepper (while typing this, I imagined it wearing a mexican hat and dancing)

A plump red tomato waiting to be picked.

Just after a few more weeks, here is a good tomato harvest, their juicy, crunchy, tasted better than store bought and smells so good too. I am excited to make something out of these homegrown babies.

I have another favorite, my basil plant had lots of leaves and I have used them in salads, pasta recipes and even in fried rice. The basil is the one on the right and the herb planter is on the left. I started the basil from seeds even the ones on the planter, the mint and thyme was from a plant nursery (total cost was 25 dirhams) and the rosemary was from the supermarket which I got for 10 dirhams, the good things is until their alive I am never buying fresh herbs again, I'll just go out in my balcony and snipped off some leaves. Talk about savings here :)

The only thing that I have to take down was the pumpkin plant, it kept on flowering but no success in growing any pumpkin at all, I knew that it needed a bigger planter and more soil which I cannot accommodate in my small balcony.

It is getting hotter by the day and the plant leaves are drying out. The sun in my balcony is only until noon time but still too hot for them. I must start to acclimate them indoors soon.

I am a very happy balcony gardener even I have only a few variety and it is a good start.

Here are a few things I've learned from balcony gardening.

1. Never give up and be patient
2. Learn about your plant type and its needs
3. It is not impossible to grow vegetables in a limited space like in container in the balcony and most especially it is not impossible to grow vegetables in the desert
4. Use natural fertilizer like coffee grounds and pesticides made from chili pepper, garlic, water and a small drop of dish washing liquid
5. Water them regularly and keep the soil moist to avoid fruit end rot.
6. Enjoy, it is a good hobby

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finger Lickin' at Seafood in a Bucket

In a rush to fill our tummy after a long day of hopping from one government office to another, I ask my colleague if he would like to try a seafood restaurant which I recently discovered, a Filipino owned and managed seafood restaurant called Seafood in a Bucket - a unique and new concept in Dubai offering it's Filipino patrons tasty and delectable seafood dishes that is easy on the budget.

It opened about six months ago in Al Attar Business Center building just next to Karama metro station. It was a hit and due to high demand, it is opening its second branch soon in Ansar Gallery building opposite Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We were told that we have been lucky to easily get a table because normally people would queue for long hours outside just to get one. It was almost three in the afternoon and seats were available when we arrived, but just after we were seated and gave our orders, the place was again packed.

I was quick to give our order choosing from the menu with 8 easy steps and food arrived in less than 10 minutes. I was told that it will take about 15 to 20 minutes but food was on our table in a flash thank goodness coz we were really starving.

The tables are lined with butter paper ready for a boodle fight, there are readily available plastic bibs and gloves on the table for the diner to wear.

Boodle fight is a military style of eating where long tables are prepared and food are on top of the banana leaves. Viands and rice ready to eat using your bare hands, jugs of water are prepared on the side to wash hands before the "eating combat". With the signal to start the boodle fight, everyone aims for his/her position 

We started our meal with some freshly cook crackers in a bucket

But it did not take long for us to charge on the mains, we ordered prawns in BBQ sauce and crispy fried tilapia fillets with garlic-butter sauce, onion rings on the side and steamed rice is unlimited.

Our coolers came in huge jars, these are watermelon and green apple mojito.

Seafood in a bucket was a good option for lunch for the two hungry field workers that day and it did not disappoint. I highly recommend the place if you are on the hunt for good Filipino seafood restaurant in Dubai.

You can visit their facebook page for more info.

Until our next food adventures

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Prince Turns 4!

Prince birthday celebration is a series of blowing candles on birthday cakes he received on his special day

Prince Birthday Cake on Make A Gif

Wish Granted! TGIF

Finally wish granted, hubby's Friday off is baccccccckkkk!!!

But it wasn't easy to get it back, he needed to insist on it and thankfully the people around him in his new workplace are kind and helpful. I am not sure though if it will last longer than three months, I am just keeping my fingers crossed for now.

I was rambling about it three months ago and finally he is off this coming Friday. You can't imagine how the change on his schedule disrupts ours but of course I do understand that the husbands new job has its requirements.

You must be wondering why this day is so important to us. Well here in the sandpit generally our weekend is Friday and Saturday and it is so important if you have your family living with you in Dubai. He used to work from Sunday to Thursday just like me and the kids school is the same but then it all changed after 6 years when he move to another employer. Just a quick note, not everyone in the UAE has off days like ours, many of those who work in the mall and commercial establishments have their off in some other days.

But for us...

Weekend is our time to unwind and rejuvenate after a long work week, take the kids out and have plenty and quality time with them, reconnect with friends and family or do the house work, the laundry, or just laze around the house and do a movie marathon but most importantly is our time for our creator, it is only on Friday as a family, that we are able to go to church to attend the holy mass and say our prayers and thank you's for all His graces.

I am so looking forward to each and every Friday for the next three months. Yipiyayow!!!!