Coconut Curry Chicken with Potatoes and Peas

I know it has been forever since I’ve posted a recipe, but I promise we’ve been cooking up lots of goodness here in Dubai. With some much needed down time during my Spring Break this week, I thought it was high time I posted something we were cooking at home. This recipe comes from a combination of two coconut curry chicken recipes I found online. It’s so easy to get good spices here that I really wanted to try making my own masala, but also really wanted something with potatoes and peas. So this is what I’ve come up with thanks to the Balleau Kitchen and the Fine Cooking website.

The Cove Rotana Resort – Ras Al Khaimah

We had a relaxing weekend at the Cove Rotana Resort a few weeks ago for a friends birthday celebration. Just a short 2-hour drive from Dubai, the resort is located on a water inlet on the Ras Al Khaimah beachfront and overlooks the Arabian Gulf. We shared a Villa with two other couples and loved how the resort embraced the uniqueness of the surrounding Arabian culture. The traditional charm was matched by the lovely Spring weather – gorgeous, right?
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Doha! Qatar

It’s been 3 years since I was last in Doha and it was more beautiful than ever! Jordon and I visited Qatar this past weekend for the Tasmeem Conference held in Education City. It’s only a short 1 hour trip from Dubai and the flight on flyDubai was very affordable. We loved the slower pace of the cosmopolitan urban environment and that the city seemed to seamlessly integrate people together in wonderfully unique ways.
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SIKKA 2013

We had a great time at the opening of the 2013 SIKKA Art Fair held in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood (formerly known as Bastakiya). The Art Fair showcases Emirati and Dubai-based artistic talent with special events including outdoor film screenings, live music and entertainment, cultural walks, artist led talks, workshops and educational activities. I’ve included a few shots from each of these activities below to give you a small taste of the week long event.

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Bilingual Pepsi Cola Glass Bottles

We found these glass bottles while hiking through the abandoned village of Jazeerat Al Hamra in the UAE. The classic styling of the lettering is not only beautiful, but the inclusion of bilingual (Arabic) typography stopped me in my tracks. Isn’t it funny how discarded trash can feel like a treasure depending on the context? Notice the shift from the first bottle to the second, where the designers are starting to more distinctly echo the American branding. Continue reading “Bilingual Pepsi Cola Glass Bottles”

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the UAE and the most beautiful building I’ve had the opportunity to visit while living here. To reflect the spirit of Islam, a religion of peace, education and tolerance, the mosque is open to visitors of all nationalities for educational tours. To enter the mosque, women are required to wear an abaya and a sheila, while men are required to wear a kandora if they are wearing shorts.
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High Tea at the Burj Khalifa in At.mosphere

Last month we had our first “High Tea” in Dubai served at the tallest tower in the world, the Burj Khalifa. I made reservations a week in advance and didn’t have any trouble getting a table since it was on a Tuesday. The afternoon tea included a selection of scones, sandwiches, quiches and desserts with obligatory mocktails, juices, tea, and coffee.
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SIKKA 2012

Sikka what, Sikka who? This week I had the opportunity to visit “Sikka” at Al Bastakiya during the Art Week of Dubai. Sikka was named after the alleyways in the neighborhood and showcased emerging Emirati talent from the UAE. Historic buildings throughout Al Bastakiya were home to small exhibitions, while participating artists stayed on-site to support educational activities for the public.
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Design Days Dubai

March in Dubai has been filled with exhibitions, international artists, and art-fairs all coming together for the umbrella initiative “Art Week.” Faculty, students, and art lovers toured galleries, non-commercial spaces, and fair-grounds filled with regional and international art throughout the jam packed week. The annual Art Week positions the Gulf as a place of artistic production in numerous cultural centers including Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai, and Sikka.
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Elephanta Caves

Luckily, our first full day in Mubai was a “free-day” and a great opportunity to explore the city. After some extensive internet research for the “best tourist attraction in Mubai,” we decided to visit the Elephanta Caves, a world heritage monument. Interestingly enough, very little is known about the history of the caves and precise dating is controversial. Most people seem to agree that the magnificent sculptures inside the caves were probably finished some time between 450 and 750 AD (!!).
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Mumbai, India

Jordon and I had short and wonderful trip to Mumbai, India during the first week of March. The purpose of the trip was for me to present my recent research (and paper) at the Typography Day Conference (held at IDC, ITT, India). Preparation for the conference has been a pain-stacking process and is a huge reason I have not been updating this blog as often as I would like (sorry!).
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Camping in Oman

Last weekend we went camping in Oman for the first time and had an absolutely amazing experience! Since this was our first camping trip in the UAE, we didn’t have any gear to call our own besides a newly purchased tent and set of chair(s) from Carefour. Luckily our friends had all the camping equipment, a great jeep for trekking across the rough terrain, and knew the perfect beach to set up camp for the weekend.
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New Years Fireworks at the Burj Khalifa

We just watched a spectacular fireworks show welcoming in 2012 at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai!! The traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road was absolutely insane and I felt lucky to ring in the new year from the top of our apartment building in Business Bay. Happy New Year to all you wonderful friends and family. Wishing you joy, peace, and prosperity this year and beyond!
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The High Life in Bangkok

Our last full day in Thailand started out in Kanchanaburi and ended at the 4.5 star Suvarnabhumi Suite in Bangkok. We were both starting to feel the exhaustion from the non-stop activity and after the 4 hour drive to the city through terrible traffic, we planned a low-key day for ourselves. We visited the well-known Sky Bar at The Dome Bangkok and took care of some last minute shopping for gifts for friends & family back home.
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Erawan Trekking Adventure

Well rested and excited to start the day, we enjoyed an early breakfast at the resort before our 8am pickup for the Erawan Trekking Adventure. During the tour we hiked the Erawan Falls, swam in 2 of the tiers, rode an elephant, traveled the River Kwai on a bamboo raft, visited the Krasae Cave, took a trip on the Death railway, and stood on the famous bridge over the River Kwai. Talk about a memorable (and exhausting) day!
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Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai

Today was an exhausting day starting the moment we woke up. We rushed to pack and leave the hotel in record speed with the looming feeling we might forget something. Luckily we didn’t leave anything behind, except our energy. Our three hour drive to Kanchanaburi was smooth but neither of us were able to recover from our lost sleep the night before. Thankfully our spirits quickly lifted as we entered the driveway of The Royal River Kwai Spa and Resort and we caught a glimpse of the picturesque location.
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Christmas in Bangkok

Our Christmas Day in Bangkok was jam packed with activity. We visited the floating market, shopped at the Chatuchak Market, sampled a 5-course Thai dinner, took a private night tour of the historic side of Bangkok, watched a Thai play, visited the Royal Palace, and walked along the infamous Khao San Road. We finished the busy day by calling home and spending time wishing our family a Merry Christmas with the help of Skype.
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Christmas Eve in Bangkok

We had a slow and relaxing morning before checking out of the Old Palace Resort today. With a cool breeze in our hair we sat on the porch reminiscing on our trip while drinking tea (me) and coffee (Jordon). We said our good-byes to the outstanding little bed & breakfast and made sure to thank our hosts for their generous hospitality. In Thai, you thank someone by saying Krab Kun Kha (if you are a female) or Krab Kun Khap (if you are male).
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Ayutthaya River Tour

The city of Ayutthaya was more than we could have imagined with glittering golden towers and ancient stone temples on every city block. Late in the afternoon of our first day we took a beautiful boat trip around the city’s perimeter with a soft breeze gently cooling us off from the hot day. During the tour we stopped to venture inside Wat Panan Choeng and Wat Phutthaisawan. Both were absolutely amazing in their own right.
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Deira Main Post Office

You wouldn’t think it would be difficult to find the post-office, but today we learned that it’s all about finding the “right” post office. Let me back up a bit. Up until now, I haven’t had any problems with my mail or packages being delivered directly to campus. But for some odd reason, a package from home (that Jordon has been impatiently waiting on) was delivered to the Deira Main Post Office this week. Apparently this happens occasionally and there is no telling why.
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Arabic Tea

I have had far less Arabic tea while living and working in Dubai than I would have ever expected after visiting Qatar last Summer. In each and every place we visited in Doha we were offered Arabic tea and coffee along with delicious sweet dates. It seemed like a natural component of the home & workplace and I fell in love with the flavors of the experience. In Dubai on the other hand, there are so many Westernized areas you can easily miss this Middle Eastern hospitality. Continue reading “Arabic Tea”

Can you add bananas to that?

This December we’re on to our next baking obsession – which seems to be centered around bananas. Banana bread, banana oat muffins, banana pancakes, and more. Want to cook along with us? If so, here’s our favorite recipes this month. Do you have any yummy baking obsessions to share? I would love if you would send them my way since we’re always looking for something new to try.
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National Day

2011 marks the 40th year of the formation of the Emirtes and decorations have popped up all across the city to commemorate the occasion. Lights sparkle in green, red, white and sometimes blue (since black isn’t available in string-lights) while HUGE flags drape across buildings, houses, Universities, and even cars. To mark the occasion, the University celebrated the 40th National Day with performances, food, and events before sending us off on a 3-day weekend.
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Happy Thanksgiving!

We were suppose to spend this Thanksgiving with my friend Brandee in Al Ain yesterday, but with a last minute change of plans we decided to stay home and try and cook our own meal. I’m sure everyone back home had a similar feast, but in Dubai this is considered a truly unique meal. In the end, we were pretty proud of our final spread and felt closer to home by actually cooking the dinner from scratch ourselves. Here’s what we cooked:
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Thankful

We are celebrating Thanksgiving a day later this year (at least food wise) because Thursday is a workday in Dubai. Not much of surprise considering it is an American holiday – but it didn’t stop me from thinking about all of the things I’m grateful for. I could go on-and-on about thankfulness – especially considering all the recent changes in my life – but here’s a few thoughts I wanted to share for those of you who follow this blog regularly: Continue reading “Thankful”