Categories
Food Travel

Beit Sitti: The ultimate cooking/dining experience!

If you’re visiting Amman, then you must, like literally must go to Beit Sitti. If you’re going with a group or just with your partner in crime,  this is a wonderful experience to go through. I had booked a place for 2 (hubby & I) before I went to Amman. Let me tell you that it was one of the most memorable moments I have experienced so far (well bungee jumping is up there too).

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Beit Sitti is cute home in Jabal Al-Weibdeh owned and run by the Haddad family. The sisters wanted their grandmother’s legacy to live on and they wanted to share their passion for food with others…what better way to offer that through the coolest cooking/dining sessions! Hence the name Beit Sitti..which means grandma’s home in Arabic. We also get to learn how to prepare 4 Arabic courses.

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You can go there for either breakfast, lunch or supper. We decided to go to the supper session and we ended up being in a group of 8; an Italian family and an American couple. We had loads of fun sharing our travel sorties and cooking together. You learn how to cook traditional Arabic meals with the help of Um Reem (the chef/cooking teacher). You get to cook with veggies and spices picked and prepared by local women. What I loved about this is that they make their own spices and sell them! All to support women and local farmers and producers.

The decor is to die for! I want to live there! The way it’s set up, the furniture, the ambiance….everything was so vintage and so adorbs!!! It sincerely does give out the vibe of grandma’s home. Hubby and I got the chance to sit down before the cooking class started with Um Reem; she was the kindest, funniest woman I ever met! She even appointed me as her assistant because she loved me so much.

When the group was finally complete, we started the cooking class with a drink. We got to have a homemade lemonade served in a mason jar…omg!!!! YUM! It was so delicious, I couldn’t resist asking for seconds.

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We then started the class with a little introduction and explanation to the idea behind the house. Our first course was to prepare Maqluba; a traditional Middle Eastern dish made with the combination of rice, chicken, eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes. They are all assembled in a way to form a castle in a pot and cooked that way…then when the whole thing is cooked and ready to serve, you flip it onto a plate. Then it comes out so festive and delicious looking, you don’t even have the heart to dig in.

Look at how delish that looks!!!! AHHHH!!! Each of us had a chance to touch the plates and add our own love to it. This was super interactive and entertaining. Watching foreigners love Arabic food is so heart-warming..I can’t help but feel a little proud. Can you see how Um Reem so professionally and casually turned this baby!

Then we had the chance to prepare an authentic gardener’s salad made with fresh locally picked veggies. They smelled so strong and just so real!! I cannot explained how fresh they smelled.

Hubby was so excited and he was in charge of putting in the components of the salad together and mixing it all with the dressing. I was so proud to see him cook! Love you babe (if you’re reading this)!

We then got to make Mtabal (aka Baba Ganoush or at least close to that…there are slight differences but ultimately they’re both dishes prepared with egg plants). I had to whisk the eggplant with yogurt and gosh was that a workout or what?!

I unfortunately could not take pictures of the dessert, because I was appointed  whisker yet again…I don’t know why! It was a Mhalabya. This dessert dish consists of mixing milk powder, starch powder, water, sugar and orange blossom. OMG, it’s so good! Mouth-watering and just ugh! Food porn all over!

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After finally finishing everything, we all sat down around the table and got the chance to eat what we cooked, while talking about our lives. Both families were lovely and made us feel so at ease. Hubby enjoyed their company and it was so cute to see him in a different environment (he’s a lawyer…and he’s always in suits)!

If ever you have the chance to visit Amman, Jordan, you need to make time for Beit Sitti. It’s the ultimate cooking/dining experience. It literally had me smiling so hard the whole time, I had face cramps! Haha! Um Reem was so sweet, I wanted to put her in my pocket. So was the beautiful host, Raya…I couldn’t get a photo with her, le boo!!!

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I think this is the best way to connect with you better half, have fun and meet new people. Make friends and share stories…This place is an absolute must!

 

Categories
Inspiration Travel

Behind the Western Wall: Palestine in 2 weeks.

So I am finally back from vacation..I am not going to lie, it feels so damn good to be sleeping in my bed after a 6 week hiatus. I love traveling because it is the best way to enrich the soul with culture, heritage and history. I love meeting new people, seeing new places and learning new things. Although I had gone to Jordan quite a few times this past few years, I always seem to discover something new. I was also able to pass through Palestine and this was magical. I got to spend time in my ancestors’ country. I spend 2 wonderful weeks there where I got to explore the deepest parts of Nablus, Nazareth, Jaffa and more….In this blog, I will be sharing with you some of Palestine’s highlights. I wish I could have had more pictures..but I was so immersed with my family, that I just kept forgetting to take snaps.

I was super blessed and luck to visit the following cities in Palestine: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Nazareth, Haifa and Jerusalem.

Palestine is basically the most important country in the world…I guess this is war never ends. It is the home of religion and history. The home to Jesus, Prophet Mohammed, the home to Christianity, Judaism, Islam…the beginning and the end of human life. Palestine is where we find the oldest city in the world…a city that was there for a little more than 10 000 year…which is quite fascinating for history buffs. It is also the hottest city in the world…gosh!!! so freaking hot because it has the lowest altitude…humidity level…1000000. I like almost died…but I gotta admit that when there’s a breeze at nighttime; it’s lovely. Oh and also, you’ll find the Dead Sea…the saltiest sea in the world…they call it dead sea because there aren’t any living creatures to be found in it.

Jerusalem of course is an important city for all 3 abrahamic religions. It is the home to faith, belief and conviction. The city is always full of devoted pilgrims that come from all over the world and gather to pray and find peace. I love it so much because it feels familiar and warming. I was able to visit the Church of Resurrection, the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and resurrected. I also visited a Roman Church where I learned so much about Russian Orthodox Tradition. I got to explore the old street of Jerusalem and bought so many souvenirs from the old souks. Something I was excited to see live was the Wailing Wall, a wall  where  Jews practice their faith; weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples. Jerusalem is a must see city and if you ever think of traveling somewhere holy and full of rich history, then you need to put this on your bucket list.

Tel-Aviv, Jaffa and Haifa have beautiful beaches because they border the Mediterranean coast. There are many beautiful sites to see, places to visit and souvenir shops to rampage. So many cool places on the waterfront promenades..just magical. The smell of the cities when you near the ocean..is just inexplicable. It smells like salt, sand, seashells and summer air. It’s a sight to see. I could totes live there. I could totes wake up every morning and just swim in the ocean <3

Nablus is a little meh, although downtown Nablus is amazing, I didn’t quite enjoy it as much…I felt like it was a little boring. There wasn’t much to do except shop and eat (which is totally fine…but I would have wanted more sightseeing).

Ramallah is a beautiful city that kinda reminds me of Montreal. There are plenty of people and plenty of cars. There are loads of important government offices and companies. There are loads of beautiful condos and yummy restaurants. A great place to party at..I went to a graduation party there once and man!! Danced till I couldn’t anymore!

All in all, you get to see a bit of the Byzantine empire, a little bit of the Ottoman empire, a little of Palestine culture, a lot of Israeli touches, loads of Christian symbols and a whole lotta love. What’s wonderful about this country is that you see everything you need to see.

Enjoy the photos…here y’all go:

 

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Hope you guys enjoyed the pictures…I truly wish I had more photos…but I was too busy falling in love with everything.

Cheers xx

Categories
Travel

Vacation time…

So this is my little farewell post…as I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks to visit Palestine again..can’t help it! Totes fell on love there and fell in love with everything I saw…the people, the scents, the ambiance. It’s so relaxing despite what we see on TV.

I won’t deny I was a little scared to go…but my sister pushing me was definitely the best thing she ever did. I get a little anxious and home sick sometimes, so I find it necessary when I get that good ‘ol kick in the arse.

So here I am going for the second time and I will keep you with these 2 little glimpses of it…and will do a nicer photo-heavy blog post about what Palestine really is.

 

So arrivederci people of the internet!

 

Keep it real x