Thursday, September 30, 2010

Saltine, Caramel and Chocolate

I posted this about 1 year back.   I made it again recently and it's just darn good. It's so easy but good.


  • 4 ounces saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
  3. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread t cover crackers completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All the ladies now.....

On September 18, we hosted a Women's Dinner for local ladies who come to the hospital or who have been friends of the hospital for a long time.  This event was part of our 50th Anniversary series of events.  We have our big 50th Anniversary Party coming up in November.  We're gearing up for that now.

Something different here for me was planning the event in Arabic and English.  We needed to plan everything with the local ladies in mind.  So our emcee needed to speak in Arabic and English.  Our invitations, programs and other such things were all in English and Arabic.   

Rocky Mountain Chocolate (yes, we have those in the US) made chocolate spoons for us and wrapped up a hospital mug with chocolate spoons as the gift for each lady.  Also, we were able to get some donated gifts from local places to give out to the women for different awards (such as the attendee with the most sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren, daughter, educational degrees, etc). 

It turned out to be a great evening.  We didn't get a ton of pictures as local ladies don't like their picture taken we had to find a few who were willing and we snapped away!

 We had a local artist come to display her art.

 We were having a hard time finding women who were willing to get their picture taken so we had a few people "set a scene" for us but they couldn't stop laughing. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Give it up for my shorty.......

We wanted some blinds in our house for the windows.  A man came to measure last week and we had pretty fast service.  We got home one day and most of the windows were finished.  Not exactly how we planned, but they were done.  Then today they came to finish the last window because he had "measured wrong".  Just wait.

So this is the window he came back for since he "measured wrong".

I think we don't agree on what the right measurement might be!
They're a tad bit too short.  







Presenting the worlds largest mini blinds......

duh duh duh........

 You can even lay on the bed, hold the plastic twisty thing and close your blinds all at the same time!

I hope it's as amusing to you as it was to us the day the three of us (Trey, Min and myself) came home from work to this. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Lately we've been BUSY!   Every weekend doesn't even feel like a weekend.  I want  a break.  Since we got back from vacation, we hit the ground running and it just has not stopped.  Really, not stopped. Our weekend is over already and Trey, Min and I all just said that it doesn't even feel like we had a weekend. I think the Friday/Saturday thing still plays tricks on our mind, too.

I had a Women's Event that I was planning.  It was last weekend and all went well.  We had 3 dedication services this week for work stuff --1) new housing, 2) our new church renovations, 3) our surgery center to our first surgeon who worked here back in the 70's and 80's.   In the middle of all of the events (last week), Trey's sister arrived.  Oh man, I wish we weren't so busy so that we could help her settle in properly. 

We went shopping for mattresses on Friday so that she can get her room set up.  Oh boy, those suckers are expensive. We decided to ditch the regular stores and hit Ikea next weekend to find a cheaper one that will do the job. 

I used to think busy was fun. Mmmm...not anymore. I enjoy a good night at home, making my house all clean and neat or just walking around the mall for a bit or going to the gym or making a nice dinner.  I actually really am wishing for a Barnes and Noble right now.  I want to go, get a good coffee, sit down and read some fun decorating books or flip through travel books to find out what a fun trip would be. 

We really need to work on protecting our time or at least carving out some "us" time. Otherwise, easily I could see how life will only become about work and nothing else.  Already, there isn't a ton to do in Al Ain so it's easy to let work activities take up your time, but we need to get out and do some fun stuff.  The nice weather is coming so I'm pretty pumped about that.

We have our big 50th Anniversary party coming up....we're gearing up for that now. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cover Up.....

In B-town, it was easy to make friends.  Our friends there were so welcoming, friendly and we felt instantly like family with many of them.  Here, not so much.  I specifically mean the nationals...not the expats.  Our friends who are Indian, Filipino or other Americans have been very warm and welcoming.  I'm not saying the others AREN't welcoming, they are just a bit more closed and harder to get to know.

We've been working on a few friends.  Gradually we meet a new member of the family each time.  We had lunch with 2 one time, then 3, then 4 and this past time there were 5 of them!  This feels like success.   And for this place that is a miracle.  So we're thankful.

They aren't big on showing their face in we told them to COVER UP....and since Min and I are SOOO culturally sensitve, we covered up, too:)

They left me with a few house warming gifts which was so sweet.  I'm being a little silly in this photo....or maybe I was really THAT excited.  The tea cups are rather cute and I used them tonight for guests.

We had some other friends over tonight.  We're starting a tradition of dinners weekly with friends........I'm going to try to get them all to play BUNCO together in a few weeks.  If you haven't played with a group of friends, do will become a monthly activity with friends.  There are women who play this game with friends for YEARS and YEARS.......maybe this is the start of something big in the UAE.  C'mon dice rolling can cross all sorts of cultural and language barriers. 

I have been working on this Women's Event that we held for local ladies for a while now. It was a good amount of work but rewarding and all went well.  I'll post pictures soon.    I feel like I haven't had a chance to breath in the past week.  I think once next Sunday comes, maybe life will get less busy or at least that is my hope.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


She's here. Min arrived.

She came to the hospital today to fill out some paper work and then go on the awkward hospital tour where you meet EVERYONE and you hear 8 million names that you can't even understand.    Then to top it off, she was introduce as Trey's sister. Ha....the reactions were hilarious .....but a blank stare to an out loud laugh.  There's a reputation you want to follow.  Just kidding. 

She's working hard at keeping in touch with everyone. 

We're bad, though.  It's Thursday night, the end of the week. We're just sitting here on our computers. I'm writing a blog about Min typing her computer. LAME. But it's okay.  We'll get more fun from here on out.  Promise.   Our goal is to make her STAY, not run away.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

She'll be comin' round the mountain when she comes.....

Trey's sister arrives today!  Woo hoo.  She'll be staying with us for a bit until she gets a bed, etc. 

We're excited to see her and experience life together here. It will be nice to live near a family member again! I haven't had that in a while.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Banana Bread....

I had rotten bananas and so decided to make banana bread.  I always have like banana bread...some recipes more than others.  I tried a new one last night and loved it!  I wanted to pass it on. I got it from this website

Anyway, the recipe is as follows:

Banana Bread Recipe


  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lend me a hand.....

I'm am in a total rut regarding dinner.  When I get home from work, I don't want to cook but get sick of eating cheese and crackers or going out to grab a schwarma.  I usually love cooking but not when I'm in a rush or am hungry or tired after work.  Whatever.  I know, tough life.

Please give me some ideas.  We go to the grocery store a lot....and we get stuff.....but then I get home and don't know if I bought anything....ever happen to you?!

Anyway, I would really welcome your dinner suggestions. 

A girl who wishes she had all day to cook and that was her day job, but it's not, so help me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eid Mubarak.....

So Ramadan has ended and now it is the Eid celebration!  It's been fun as the hospital has close friends and so we go around visiting different families....some long time friends and others from the Ruling Family of the Emirates and their cousins, etc.  (Some of the palaces are like small cities.)  Anyway, it's been good...and we hope that we continue to build on these relationships throughout the year and not just at Eid time.  Some homes were so so welcoming.  They all give you juice and fruit and dried fruit and coffee and coffee and more coffee.  Some gave us a traditional Ramadan food which is a meat dish with potatoes and veggies with bread in or on it.  It's pretty good actually.  Anyway, we've been busy all weekend doing that.  Trey goes to see the big people--Sheikh Mohammed who is the Crown Prince and some other Shiekh's.   It's good for them to see us and for us to chat about the hospital....but building the relationship is the part that feels important to me, so I'm excited to get to know some of these women that we can visit time and again and hopefully become friends with. 

It's an interesting life we live many ways.  Boy, B-town was pretty different but I loved Ramadan and Eid there.  I miss it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

So you saw the clocks before on my blog...but now I got the words and we pasted them on.  
We did three cities--Boston, Bethlehem and here....since we've lived in all those places.  We could have put PA or NC but I love Boston so that's all.
I'm wondering if it looks as good in the picture as it does in real life. I love the font that was chosen by the woman who made them.  If you're interested, let me know!  I found her on
We also got one of the decals for over our guest bedroom bed.  These big ones were harder to hang. 
But we made it through and used a little blow dryer action to get some bubbles out. 
We also got one for over our bed.....I sort of wish it was bigger now, but it's not so I can't complain.  If my room was neater, I would show you the whole room, but it's not, so YOU CAN'T SEE IT!  Anyway, this looks crooked but it's not.  I think it was the angle at which I took the photo.
And then we got this other guy on (can you tell I love it) to make this canvas with all the places we loved going in New England.  Can you tell that I still love New England?  Our college, the beach, little towns I like to shop in, our favorite restaurant and on and on.  I love how it turned out.

We also hung real pictures but those are boring, so I won't show them. 

If you're interested in the decals, let me know and I'll be happy to put you in contact with the seller. She was super quick and reliable!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Make this before the summer ends....

 PEACH AND BLUEBERRY CRUMBLES by the Barefoot Contessa

Summer is not over yet. So you should try to make this recipe while there is still time and you can still get peaches and blueberries.  The crumb topping is heavenly.  My dad made these about 3 times while we were home and boy are they good.  It recommends making them in ramekins.  They turned out great that way. If not, you could probably make it in an 8 x 8, I guess.


For the fruit:

  • 2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)

For the crumble:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it's in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles in the refrigerator and bake before dinner.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We are family.....

A) Happy Labor Day to everyone at home.

B) Here are some shots of the Hulsey Family Photo Shoot while we were home. 

This was the full family. It included Trey's Aunt Louyse who came to visit and Marisol and Miguel (who is Jessica, Trey's sisters in-laws). 
The Hulsey clan
The original kiddos
Then you add the in-laws and you have 6
Trey's brother, Jared is now a SENIOR!  I can't believe it. Before Trey and I were dating, Jared came to the house where my sister and I were living in Beverly and hung out one day--I still have a picture of it.  He did a car wash in our driveway and people really stopped.  It was hilarious.  I just found the picture the other day. He was 10's he a senior in high school.
And here he is again.  He started his senior year football season while we were home.  He's their kicker.  I hope they have a winning season.  Go Putnam!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

America, America.......

Okay, Part 3 of vacation.  What else did we do?
 We went bike riding and walking at a park/pond near the house

It was a nice view for exercising.
Bike helmets are always so flattering.....
We sat by the pond and watched the Pop-Pop loves doing that.
We had some of this White Sangria....mmmm.....nothing
like good Sangria on a hot summer day.
Trey keeping his hobby alive.....really he's getting better each time he plays.
I played Domino's with my Pop-Pop--this man is 92 and still sharp as ever.
Here are Nana and Pop-- 85 and 92--they loved posing for me:)
  Some cigar smoking to be had....Trey got his dad this cool pipe thing. 
I can't explain how it works exactly but sort of like a pipe......I promise, it's tobacco.
And we took a day trip to Princeton, NJ to shop and then to this very odd sculpture garden. We only stayed long enough to get this picture--the rest of the time we spent giggling about the fact that we were there.  We left and went to another little town then.
Trey saw his cat Benny.  Benny was thrilled to see Trey, too. Can you tell?!

Friday, September 3, 2010

We gather together......

I feel like it's Thanksgiving with that song title!

So what else did we do on vacation?

This was our 6th Annual G-Crew Reunion.
You ask What is G-Crew?  Well, I'll be happy to tell you because I think you all should do it, too.
Each summer for one weekend, we get together with some of our greatest college buds. 
Each year we grow and grow and grow.  Spouses and kids keep comin' on board.
With these people we don't even need to do anything.....we enjoy just catching up on the last year. 
We were at our friend Tim's parents cabin for the day on Saturday but slept at a hotel this year.
Again, we're growing so it's hard to find a place for 12-14 adults and about 8 kids....we added triplets to the mix this year, but the family wasn't able to travel this year. Hopefully next year!
And here we are.  We're not all here. Sometimes we can't all make it but we do it no matter what. 
It's a priority and important or it would be too easy to let the years go by without seeing one another.  So here is our 6 annual G-Crew group. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

God Bless America, land that I love.......

We had a great time while we were home in August.  America is so nice. 
So many great things but I'll share a few.

Good food is always key
and seems to be a theme with both of our families
Quality. Good. Food. 
And we went to Vermont for a day trip with Trey's family
and saw some beautiful scenery. Man, America is green.  Stare at it and 
try to remind yourself to appreciate it.
We went to a great hand blow glass company in Vermont called
Simon Pearce.  Fabulous.   It was so cool to watch them do it. 
The guys who were actually making the glass were so kind and let us ask
all kinds of questions and they offered a lot of information, too.
He's making a water or wine glass here......he's dropping the glass on to make the stem next
We went to visit a working farm in Vermont.  It was a pretty day outside...the farm was nice but would be better if you had kids.  But we still found ways to have fun. Trey takes crazy pictures of us in front of the butts of cows and....
sitting in front of a horse pasture pretending to act all natural but somehow we always
end up like this and it feels so much better.....
A little bit half wacky.  It's better that way.
Then we took real family photos that I think turned out really well. I didn't download the rest yet or I would show you more because really the photographer did a great job.  If you live in Massachusetts and want a great price on an hour long shoot and you get a full cd and can do whatever you want with them, email me. I'll tell you about Mr. Tim our photographer.   This is Trey's family in case you don't know our extended families too well.

I'll tell you more later this week.