Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's so hard to say goodbye....

Our sweet friends Fazila and Saleem are moving to the US.  They leave while I'm home for vacation.  They'll be moving to California and I"m excited for them but sad to see them go. They have been our friends since we first arrived and we love doing "nothing" with them. It's good to have friends like that.  Fazila is also my office mate so she is always just "there".  I can just turn around and say whatever I want to her.   Fazila is an amazing cook and Saleem is hilarious with his funny sayings.  They are both Afghani but Fazila moved to the US when she was in her early teenage years and then grew up in California.  Today when I said goodbye to Saleem, he hugged me which might not happen that often with an Afghani man. He said "You are like our family.  We'll miss seeing your face."  But we know we'll see them again back in the least we hope!  They better come to Boston to visit next summer.

Here are some pictures from their party this past weekend. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I see trees of green......

We had some plants on our patio that were getting too big for their pots.  We have a brick patio, so we thought it wouldn't be too easy to pick up any of the bricks. Pots just seemed easier.  Then the plants started getting bigger and a couple weekends ago, Trey picked up some bricks and planted the bushes in the ground. I'm excited to see if they grow a bunch.   We'll keep you posted.  We were both dripping sweat when trying to pick up the bricks with a few tools.....dripping.  It's like working inside a sauna.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's gettin' hot in here......

I could post about this EVERY DAY!!!  The heat will never feel normal to me....NEVER.  Bring me back to the northeast.  We had record breaking temperatures for May on the weekend....ringing in at a nice 122 degrees.  It was gross.  I'm not telling you this so that you can think "Oh, man, that's hot. They're suffering."  Nope, we chose this. I know.  But I just need to whine and complain.

But even today at like 115 with a bit of humidity just didn't feel nice.  It just drains you.  You want to go to sleep.  I actually just want to be crabby about it.  I thought Trey would have a much harder time with this than I do...but I was wrong....he wins on this one!  He's out playing soccer tonight.  It doesn't cool down much at night so he has to fill up on water and gatorade before and after the game.

I think we all just need to become a bit southern.  Min has said the past few days that we just need to realize that we can't do as much as we did before.  So if we thought we could get 4 things done before, 2 is doing well!  Tonight we came home from kick boxing and Min said to me, "Sit down, don't even try to be productive right now." 

Anyway, you'll hear about 7 or 107 more posts about this between now and September because I have a feeling I might not make it through the summer without moaning. 

America--HERE I COME!  It's hard to pack for a trip when it's 120.  All I'm packing is skirts and sun dresses-things we don't get to wear here.  Then I just looked on  All temperatures for the next 10 days are below 80 and rainy, which I'm THRILLED for, but just not sure how to pack.  I forgot what that feels like. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pizza Pie.....

Last week for Trey's Birthday we made pizza.  Min's friend Kendra gave us a great and easy recipe for pizza dough.  You can find it below. 

Once you made the dough and par-bake it, you can make many kinds.  Our favorites are:
  1. B-B-Q Pizza -- use b-b-q sauce as the actual sauce, then put chicken and red onion and cheese.  
  2. Buffalo Chicken Pizza -- use a mix of blue cheese and buffalo sauce as the actual sauce, then put chicken, celery and onion and cheese.
Kendra's Pizza Dough

2 packages yeast (2 TBSP)
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
3 cups of luke warm water
2 tsp oil
61/2-7 cups flour

mix salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl
add the water... make sure water is not hot or cold. if too hot or cold it will kill the yeast. 
whisk the above together (should look a little funny)
add the oil 
add flour
mix the flour into the liquids by folding the mixture into its self. (i start with a spoon, but as it gets thicker I switch to my hands and kneed it with my hands). The more you kneed the better. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes. add flour as you need. depending on the weather you will need between 6 1/2 to 8 cups - should not be too sticky. 

after you knead leave in the bowl to rise for a 1/2 hour. put a slightly wet towel over the bowl. 

the dough should have doubled in size. pound the dough down to get the air out and cut into thirds. 

take one third of the dough and roll out onto pizza pan. may need extra flour.

put cornmeal on the pan so dough does not stick

heat oven to 450 and bake crust for 4 minutes--I do longer than 4 minutes.

take out, put on toppings, sauce and cheese and put back into oven until cheese is melted and slightly brown.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Butter Crumb Topping.....

I made this the other day for Trey's birthday.  It was WONDERFUL!

You can start by making a pie crust.  Don't bake it. Then follow the directions below.


  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb (1/2 inch slices)

  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup oats (quick cooking or rolled)

  • 1/2 cup butter

    1. Preheat oven to 400F.

    2. Place pie shell in a 9 inch pie pan, fold under excess and flute edge.

    3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg. Beat in the sugar, flour and vanilla. Fold in the sliced rhubarb and strawberries. Pour this filling into pie shell.

    4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and oats. Cut the butter in until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the pie filling.

    5. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 35 minutes longer. Top should be brown and bubbly.

    6. Cool a bit before serving with whipped cream or ice cream.

    7. Store cooled pie in the refrigerator.

  •  Then I had a little dough left over from the pie crust so I made two little apple tartlets.  I took the crust and put it in the little dish. Cut up some apple. Sprinkled cinnamon and added butter on top. 

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Today is your birthday......

    Trey celebrates 31 years today! It's been a pretty good day.  Our friends Fazila and Saleem came over and they brought him a Kafia from Afghanistan (Saleem was back home visiting last week) and a Farsi Dictionary. Trey's been wanting to learn Farsi for a while. I'll write more about his day as the week goes on. I have some recipes to share from today along with another project Trey was working on.

    Our good friends. They are moving to the US in June and we'll be sooo sad to see them go!

    Our friend Abeer dropped off nice chocolates for Trey for him.

    The best thing about the weekend was Trey's surprise to me on Friday morning.  Trey woke before me (I think because he was so excited and it's hard for him to keep a secret when he's really excited).  At about 8:30am on Friday morning (the start to our weekend), Trey and Min come in and are both quiet. I just look at them and wonder what they are up to.   I could tell that they were up to something!

    Trey says "I know that it's my birthday tomorrow, but I have a surprise for you today."  He drops a clue in my hands that is written on a  yellow scrap paper and there my scavenger hunt begins.  I go from clue to clue around the house.  It was a pretty creative and fun way to get a gift!

    The last clue was "I get a lot of reading done here, and maybe now you will, too."  I knew right away. Head to the bathroom. (Sorry, maybe too much information) I look around, don't see any clue and have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking for.  Trey says "Keep looking."  I finally see a thin book-like thing between bigger books on the cabinet.  Immediately I knew what it was.

    Sorry, you're going to have to deal with our morning beauty in the pictures.  Does everyone look busted in the morning like we do?

    The I-PAD!  What a great gift.  I have wanted one for a while but we talked about waiting to look at them again when we go home this summer. Trey knew that I would enjoy having it on the plane for the long trip.  So he surprised me and got it for me early!  Really, I know this is both of our birthday presents to one another but it was such a sweet surprise.  It's been so fun to play with over the last day.  I downloaded my first issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food.  I think I'm going to like this thing.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Happy Mother's Day.....

    Happy Mother's Day to a great group of women.
    My Nana

    My mom
    Trey's Granny
    Trey's Mom

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Lunch Box Peanut Butter Cookies....

    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup flour 
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oven rack just above oven center. 
    2. In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar.  Beat well.  Then add egg and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Stir into butter mixture until well blended.
    3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. If you'd like, gently flatten each ball with fork in a criss-cross pattern.
    4. Bake at 350°F until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove cookies from sheets; cool on wire racks.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    New hospital update.....

    Our new hospital is coming along!  We are so excited for next spring when the doors will open. It will be beautiful. I'm sure of it.

    I had to go to a training so that I could walk around the site.  Then last week I was able to  walk around the construction site with some other staff.  It was pretty cool to will be much easier to imagine once the walls are up, etc....but some of the outside walls are going up now.

    See the outside wall going up? Pretty exciting.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    In your easter bonnet......

    So we gave a good attempt at making an Easter Bunny cake.  It was a sad attempt since we didn't have any candy to decorate the face with.  Trey decided it needed buttons....the problem is that we only make a face with a bow tie.   There's not need for buttons on our bunny cake...but he put them'll see them as 3 brown dots (he colored coconut) on the face.  We could call them pimples, I guess.

    one of our guests decided to add their wedding ring as the mouth.  see the buttons by the whiskers?

    but it was good!  we made a fresh coconut cake and even put the fresh coconut on the outside. i made home made frosting and it tasted D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!  Everyone said so.  Not just me.