We’re Moving!

Within Doha, that isย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Dave and I currently live in the West Bay, which is a very up and coming area in the city of Doha.ย  We are surrounded by new, vacant office buildings and other buildings still in process. We’re also across the street from a five story mall, and we have a nice view of the Gulf.

However, we are also about 15-20 minutes away from Education City. This does not seem like much in the scheme of things I am sure, but when we are at campus almost 7 days a week, it adds up. Also, we’re currently in a high rise apartment building, which is nice, but we would love to have more space.

So we decided to put in a request for a move to Education City Community housing (ECCH).ย  We were told we were 8th on the list, and not many people were moving out, so we did not expect to move any time soon. (I figured we would wait a few years).

The other day, the head of Facilities Management stopped in to Dave’s office to say that they actually had space for us in ECCH. Hooray! So instead of our apartment, we’ll have a proper house, with a bigger kitchen ( for my cooking/baking obsession), outdoor space, and 3 bedrooms (so we can have more visitors!).ย  Also, our friends who live downstairs are moving too!

We’ll be moving at the end of May, and hope to get settled before we leave for Pittsburgh mid-June.ย  I will take pictures and update once we get settled! ๐Ÿ™‚

Logos, Part 2

I apologize for my lack of blogging recently! Our good friend Disco came to visit at the beginning of April, so we got to show him all around our new city, and we had a blast! And in general, with the semester winding down, its just been busy!ย  My schedule should free up soon so I can post a lot more often! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a fun and easy post for me to start up again! More Arabic/English logos! This first one is a favorite of mine.ย  I think you can still tell what it is, just because of a certain signature blue box.ย  Any guesses?

Here’s the McDonald’s logo in Arabic.ย  Pretty cool huh?ย  I love that there is a still a yellow M next to it!

This is one of the stores I am most excited about having in Doha! Unfortunately, its STILL not open. It was supposed to open March 25th, and now we’re hearing May 25th! The shelves are stocked, so I don’t know what the delay is.ย  I have never actually been to the Dean and Deluca, so I will post a review someday when it does actually open.

And this….well this is an advertisement for Pizza Hut’s new pizza. It’s apparently called the Crown Crust, and the ad says the crust that rules.ย ย  Yes, those little balls of things in the crust are balls of cream cheese and some sort of meat.ย  Dave and I won’t be trying this any time soon! Please note the ketchup next to the ad.ย  If you order pizza here, expect to get ketchup packets with it.ย  I have no idea why…it’s just the Doha way ๐Ÿ˜›

I have a few more logos I will be posting soon from my iPhone, and I also took a bunch on my Canon, so I will upload those soon and post a few more logos, as well as a few more recipes I have! So keep checking backย  ๐Ÿ™‚

My first attempt at Indian cooking…

When Dave and I first started dating, he lived next door to a great little Mexican place that we frequented all the time. A little further down the street was an Indian restaurant that we decided to try one night, even though I had never had Indian before and was not sure what I would order.

The first dish I ever selected there ended up being my favorite! Matar Paneer (or Mutter Paneer if you prefer) is such a classic, basic dish, but its so delicious. The paneer is a firmer cheese so it doesn’t melt, and itsย  mixed with peas in a rich, creamy tomato sauce.ย  Served over rice, with some garlic naan – this is heaven.ย  I fell in love with Indian food that night, we went a lot more often after that! (The place we went to was India Garden on Atwood Street in Oakland – if you are in Pittsburgh and like Indian, I recommend trying it out!)

Now that we are in the Middle East, we have plenty of access to Indian restaurants, and Indian cooking ingredients (like ghee and paneer)! While we have a favorite vegetarian Indian restaurant here, its not the most convenient to get to, and delivery can be difficult since there are no street addresses here. So I decided to attempt to make some authentic Indian food at home for dinner!

I initially wanted to make every thing from scratch – matar paneer, rice, and garlic naan. However, I ended up doing this late one evening, and just ran out of time for the naan (Like all breads, it needs time to rise!). That will be a project soon though ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a few recipes saved for Matar Paneer, and decided to use one I found on this blog called Edible Symphony, most likely from tastespotting – its where I find the majority of my recipes! Check out her blog – she has much better pictures of it than I do! It is a Nigella Lawson recipe, so I had a feeling it was going to be pretty good.

I have tried numerous times to cook rice, and it just never seems to taste like it does in Indian restaurants when we order it. I had seen a lot of people talk about a blog called Manjula’s Kitchen, that features all sorts of Indian food. If you want to make any Indian food – this blog is an amazing resource! Check out her blog for the rice recipe – it was the basic recipe for basmati rice. Simple and delicious!

So I watched some videos and learned a LOT about rice. First, you have to soak it before you cook it. Next, don’t stir it or mess with it while its cooking. Leave it alone. (This is hard for me, lol).ย  She just added some oil, salt, and water and let it absorb all the liquid til it was nice and fluffy. I thought it was the best rice I had ever made!

It was a really delicious dinner, and Dave loved it too, so its definitely going to be added into the rotation! I think next time, I might try some channa masala, and possibly with some homemade naan. (It will definitely be a weekend project).

Matar Paneer (from Nigella Feasts) Serves 6

3 Tbsp Oil

8-12 oz Paneer (cut into 1/2 cubes)*

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used a garlic press)

1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon tumeric

1/2 tsp chili powder (more if you like things spicy)

1/2 tsp garam masala (I omitted this since I thought I had some, but didn’t)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (I added this after reading Manjula’s Matar Paneer recipe)

1 10-ounce package of frozen peas

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

2 hot green chilies (I omitted this)

up to 1/4 cup of pouring cream (I used heavy cream – I think its the same)

Cilantro, optional for garnish (I omitted this)

Method:
1. Heat a large non-stick skillet and add the paneer cubes, in two batches, and fry until they are golden. Remove the cubes and keep them aside.
2. In the same pan heat up the oil on medium heat. Saute the onions till transparent, then add the ginger-garlic and cook for another 2 mins.
3. Stir in the salt, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and green chillies (I added the cinnamon here too). Then put in all the frozen peas.
4. Dissolve the 1 tbsp of tomato paste in the vegetable stock then add this mixture to the onions and spices.
5. Mix well, turn the heat up and once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium again, cover with a lid and let the whole thing simmer for 15 mins.
6. Once all the peas are really tender (don’t forget to check!), put the paneer cubes back in and warm them through.
7. Finally, pour in the cream to thicken the sauce, then turn off the heat. Garnish with lots of fresh cilantro.
8. Serve warm with rice and naan, if you have it! Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€
* In the US, I could usually find paneer at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or a local Indian grocer if you have one of those!

The finished product!

Logos, Part One

So as promised, I have been taking more pictures of logos with my iPhone, to show you the English/Arabic version! This is just a few I took, and I will post a few more soon! I took a lot of pictures on a recent trip to the Villago, which is a fancy mall here – it is based on Bellagio in Vegas, and it has a gondola in the middle of it. I’ll take a picture of that soon!

We noticed that on the store fronts, the Arabic font usually looks like its trying to mimic the English font. It’s pretty neat to see! I will have better examples of that in my next post ๐Ÿ™‚

So first up, here is Haagden Dazs ice cream! They have a sit down restaurant in the majority of the malls here. I have never had fresh Haagen Dazs – its delicious!

Next up isย  the shoe company, Geox.ย  I am actually excited they are here – Dave bought me a pair of Geox flats for Xmas one year, and I love them. I might be buying a few more ๐Ÿ™‚

Ah yes, Perrier sparkling water! I used to think sparkling water was for hoity toity people. Now I love it and we drink it all the time ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the best! Here’s a bottle – where it’s labeled in both languages.

Here’s a familiar one – Diet Pepsi! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  (Oh, and those are Dave’s books behind it! I just happened to be in his office when I took the picture, lol).

Hope you enjoyed this post….more to come! ๐Ÿ™‚