A busy week

First, I just posted two new recipes, so check them out. I was supposed to post them last week, but I was too busy that I couldn't. I have some more recipes to post, and I will do as soon as I can.

One of those recipes is my younger daughter (Lily)'s birthday cake. She turned 4 on April 14th. I made her a fondant cake, and this by the way is my second fondant cake.

She wanted a pink cake. She also wanted a cat or a horse on the top, and wanted the cake to be decorated with different cool colors. I tried to add everything she wanted to the cake, and it was not bad. My two girls enjoyed watching me making it. Lily felt so special that day :)

I'm planning to clean my house today. I have tons of things to do. Monday is always a cleaning day for me but today it's going to be Spring cleaning. It's good because the weather is so bad outside that I have no desire to go out. It has been raining all night and it's going to continue all day today. I need to finish all cleaning today because I have to go back to my research work tomorrow. I'm also invited to ladies' lunch at my neighbor's house tomorrow. She is a nice lady from Afghanistan. I like such gatherings where I get the chance to meet other ladies.

last Thursday, I had a very nice day with one of my best friends. We spent the whole day together. What was special about that day that we were kids-free. It was a "bring your child to work" day, so her kids went with their dad to work. My husband also took my older daughter with him. My younger one went to school and I was able to leave her for extra couple of hours.

We met at 9:00 am before heading to NJ. We stopped at a small bakery
on the way and ate breakfast. We were heading to a nice mall that is 45 minutes away from my place. As soon as we arrived we got some coffee before starting shopping. I guess we did too much shopping and talking that it was not that long before we felt hungry again! We ate our lunch at a very nice Italian restaurant. We then did more shopping, and more talking, before heading back to Easton. It was an unforgettable day.

Chunky potato soup

I have been lately craving for Atlanta Bread Company's chunky potato soup. The last time I ate this soup was about two years ago when I was still in AR. We don't have any Atlanta Bread Company restaurants here in our area, and most of the other restaurants cook this soup with bacon, so I thought about making it myself! I looked online for the recipe, and then made my own recipe from four different sources in attempt to conjure my potato soup. My ingredients were as follows:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoon heavy cream mixed with 1 cup of water
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 pinch of cumin
1 pinch of chili powder
Sliced green onion

  • In saucepan, combine the potatoes, onion, and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Then lightly mash.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add olive oil or butter, stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Stir into potato mixture. Cook and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper, and some sliced onions. Remove from the heat, and stir in cheese until melted.
  • Serve the soup garnished with cumin, chili powder, and sliced green onion.
Enjoy it :)

Kabseh (كبسة)

Kabseh is a dish from The Arabian Gulf. It's so popular in Saudi Arabia. My Saudi friends told me that people in Saudi Arabia cook Kabseh in many different ways. For example, Southern Kabseh is different than the Middle or Northern ones. My friends used to cook a white Kabseh. The recipe here is for a red Kabseh. This is the one that is popular in Jordan. I hope you all like it.

You will need:

2 lb lamb meat (or you can use 1 whole chicken cut in 4 pieces)
3 cups Basmati rice
3 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 finely chopped big onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
Spices (ground coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric powder)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
olive oil (about 3 tablespoons)
4 black dried lime
pine nuts and/or almonds (I used cashews as well)


  • Add enough water to the pot so that it covers the meat, bring to a boil then cook gently over medium heat for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until tender. Reserve stock & set meat aside.
  • Soak rice for 15 minutes. Drain, rinse, and then drain well.
  • Add olive oil to a large stock pot or casserole, fry garlic and onion until gold. Add tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes. Add salt, spices, and dried limes. Add some stock (about 2 cups). Add tomato paste and let it boil for few minutes. Add the meat and let it boil for another few minutes until the meat takes all the sauce taste. Set the meat aside.
  • Add rice to the pot. Add more meat stock until stock covers rice (approx 1.5″ above rice). Cover pot. Let it boils and then lower the heat and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Broil the meat in the oven until it has a pleasant brown color.
  • Serve the rice in a large dish. Place the rice first, top with meat and garnish with pine nuts.



I have been having bad dreams that wake me up in the middle of the night for a week now. Last night was the second night in a row. I had a bad one that woke me up at 5:00 am today, but I guess it was a good timing to pray Fajr, so I was not that mad. But the night before, I woke up at 2:00 am and I was really upset from the dream and I couldn't go back to bed. I think what makes my nights worse is the bad allergy I'm having now which makes sleeping, even without nightmares, a challenge.

As soon as I wake up, I try to forget about the dream. I keep telling my self it's nothing and that dreams just reflect some of the worries, stress, and mixed thoughts I have during the day. Therefore, no need to think about any dream interpretation.

I admit I have been recently emotionally imbalanced and I have too many things to blame. At least it feels good when you have something to blame. My biggest "daymare" nowadays is finishing my dissertation. I have been working on it for a while, and I can't wait till I finish it. I know I'm getting too close but I won't feel relieved until I'm DONE. No need to talk about having a family and studying at the same time, I guess all of you know how hard it is! Despite all that, I always try to be optimistic and positive :)

Positively talking, I feel happy today. The bad dream woke me up at 5:00 am, but I was not upset at all. I prayed Fajr, read some Quran, and then woke up my husband to pray. We both were so awake and HUNGRY, so we went downstairs and fixed some cereal for a very early breakfast. Our day was absolutely off to a good start, and I hope yours too. It didn't take too long for my daughters to wake up too with all the noise we were making downstairs :)

My husband and my older daughter just left to work and school. Now I need to get ready to drop off my younger one at school on my way to meet my girlfriends. We are having breakfast at Panera.

I think that's it for today. I might come back later today with some recipes. I have some recipes that I wanted to post for a while now, but I didn't have time or mood to do so. So check later if you're interested in some recipes.

Take care,


Lately purchased...

Last week I went shopping for some new makeup items. I needed a new concealer, and by the way this was the only thing I really needed, but ofcourse as soon as I made it to Macy's, I found myself looking for new foundation and eyeliner :) For makeup, I always like to try new stuff and I don't stick to any kind even if it is really good on me. Weird, I know, but this is me!!

I got my makeup from Estee lauder this time. A friend of mine recommended their Double Wear concealer, and that's why I decided to give it a try. I also purchased Double Wear foundation and Double Wear eyeliner. Check the picture below.

The foundation is really good. It gives a good coverage and feels really light. I really like it! The concealer is OK. Since I don't have dark circles or puffiness, it gives me the coverage I need. For the eyeliner, I was looking for a good one that won't smudge. I always have a problem of eyeliners smudging all around my eyes. So far this eyeliner is staying good, but I have not been using it heavily to confirm that.
I also recently bought a bronzing powder from Clarins. I like the glowing tan look it gives in summer.

Now talking about makeup, you can obviously tell how much I love makeup. However, I don't wear makeup everyday. Most of the time, I just put my face moisturizer, eye concealer, lip palm or gloss and that's it. I like to be makeup-free sometimes, and I feel comfortable with that.

On my next shopping trip I plan to get some new scarves. I love those ones sold in big department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's. I sometimes get them from TJMaxx and Marshalls as well. I even find them better in quality than the scarves I get from Amman, and that's why I didn't really do that much shopping for scarves when I was in Jordan last winter. The only stuff that I make sure to get enough of whenever I'm in Amman are Ameera hijabs.

Here I want to share
with you some of my favorite face creams and perfumes. I have been using Youthtopia face creams from Origins for about 5 months, and I really like them. They are REALLY good, so if you need new face creams, consider buying them. In the following picture is the set I'm using everyday. The serum, eye cream, and moisturizer.

My favorite perfume is Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I really like this perfume and can't get enough of it :)

That's it. Hope you all had a good weekend!


Spring break and more!

Spring is finally here! It's really warm and nice these days. It hit 85 degrees yesterday!! I was desperately looking for spring after that LONG winter. We were lucky to have a warm spring break last week. The spring break started on Wednesday. My older daughter went back to school yesterday. It was really nice to have a break, and to have extra sleep in the morning :)

During the spring break, the girls and I had a full schedule. It was a good chance to hang out with our friends. The girls had so much fun with the other kids and I had the chance to sit and chat with my friends. I have been busy for the last couple of months that I barely was able to meet with them, so it was a nice reunion.

On Friday, my husband took a one day vacation, and we all went on a road trip to DC. It's a bout 4 hours away from our place. It was one of the places on my list to visit since we have moved to PA two years ago. One of my favorite things about living here is that we have a variety of options of things to do, and too many close places to visit by car. Before moving to PA, I used to live in AR. I lived there for 6.5 years. Living in AR was like living in the middle of no where! I can't deny that I loved Fayetteville, and that I had great times there. Still, the nearest place to go was 5+ hours by car, and the choices were not that fascinating.

Anyway, we had too much fun in DC. It was so busy though because of the Cherry Blossom Festival. We went early in the morning Friday, spent the night, and came back late Saturday. Here are some pictures from our trip to DC.

Talking about Fayetteville brought some nice memories. One of the things I miss there is the Masjid (Mosque). We used to meet every Friday in the Masjid for a Dars. For me, it was like a girls night out (oh yeah, in the Masjid:)). But it was really one of my favorite things to do every week. After the Dars, we used to have fun talking about different subjects while eating some good food. Also some of the friends I really miss there are my Saudi friends. I got to meet some awesome Saudi ladies who I really enjoyed. I enjoyed everything about them, i.e. the coffee they drink all the time, the gathering in the middle of the night, etc.

I think that's it for now. I have a facial appointment in 15 minutes and I need to get ready!

Take care

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