Hi! I just wanted everyone to know that Mia Mangos has officially moved and changed its name! Come check out Mia & Pup! See you there!
As I mentioned during Coffee Breaks, Arabic coffee has a taste all its own. It is one of those tastes that builds on you until you have acquired quite a love for it. I don’t know what I loved about it more, the taste or the history. While we were sitting under the stars during a special trip to a bedouin camp just outside Abu Dhabi, I watched closely as our hosts followed the ancient recipe. It seemed something out of a fairy tale for me. I have always had an intense interest in the Middle East and its culture, so this was a definite high point for me. As we listened to the stories of a life that seems so distant to the glittering lifestyle Abu Dhabi exhibits today, I could feel a connection to that past. We enjoyed the coffee and conversation, and I wrote it all down as my dear friend told me the process of making Arabic coffee-UAE style.
Only in complete silence, you will hear the desert. – Bedouin Proverb
Recipe | Arabic Coffee (UAE Style)
You will need:
- Dallah (Arabic coffee pot) — Or use your own coffee pot
- Finjaan (Arabic coffee cup) — Or use your own espresso cups
- 3/4 cup Arabica beans (ground)
- 1/3 cup cardamom (ground)
- 1/2 liter of water
- Optional seasonings: saffron, cloves, rose water, etc.
- Serve with: Dates
- Boil your water on the stove in a saucepan.
- Add the ground beans straight into the boiling water.
- Boil for about 10-15 minutes. You should start seeing small bubbles on the top.
- Add the cardamom directly into the mixture. Let this boil for another 5-8 minutes. This is also when you can add your other optional flavorings.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour your mixture through a sieve into your dallah (or coffee pot).
- Serve your coffee in the finjaan to your guests (or use a small espresso cup) with dates on the side for a sweet treat.
Let me know how your recipes turned out.
This weekend was beautiful and full of birthday activities. My friend and I planned an afternoon of girly glory. We hit the floral stands, picked out a few blooms, made some lunch, poured some wine, and created our own floral arrangements. **Please note: I am not a professional florist, and this was just for fun!**
What You Need:
- Little Blooms
- Big Blooms
- Garden shears (or scissors)–Cut all at an angle before using!
- A beautiful vessel
- Wine (optional)
I must have flowers always and always. – Claude Monet
Step One: Mix and Match
Go to your local flower stands or shops, and just pick what catches your eye. Check around on Pinterest to see what kinds of arrangements and flowers you like. You can ask them for help as well for a good combination. You need to get some greenery, small flowers, and larger ones. Hold them together to see if you like the combinations. I always like to get some buds and some open flowers as well, because I think it makes for a more garden fresh look. When you bring them home, make sure you cut the stems at an angle and remove all leaves that fall below the water line (about half of your vessel).
Step Two: A Base of Greenery
Make your base of greenery. You may notice different lengths, because I prefer an airy and asymmetrical arrangement. The evergreen look stood out to me this time, but there are so many more options based on the season! I want to try something with succulents and sword fern next!
Step Three: Add the Small Blooms
A mix of smaller flowers with larger ones always gives a fresher feeling. It also helps to fill in dead space. I always thought you needed to start with the larger flowers and fill in, but that isn’t the case. For my arrangement, I chose small berries and gypsophila (baby’s breath). These can be stuck inside the greenery and poke a few around the outsides as well for an airy look.
Step Four: The Big Boys
Once you have your greenery and small flowers in place, it is time to add some more texture with the big flowers. We really needed some color in our white apartment, so I went for colorful ranunculus and white roses. To add a bit more visual interest, choose some buds and some open flowers. This allows your arrangement to change over time. Fill these flowers in the dead spaces as the main attraction. I added the water last, because I didn’t want it to be too high. Using a funnel or watering can makes this really easy.
Step Five: Find the Perfect Place
This is the easy part. After your arrangement is complete, all you need to do is find the perfect placement. (After a few photos of course!) To make the flowers last longer, you can add more water and cut the stems.
Flowers add such a whimsical feeling to any room. They bring smiles and color! Share your creations with me on Instagram with the hashtag #miamangos! Happy arranging!
With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy? – Oscar Wilde
Otherwise called bottle bricks, eco-bricks are something I am extremely excited to show you. I had never heard of this before coming to South America, but creating them is a global trend! It is no secret that the world and its inhabitants are having difficulty with the trash problem. The problem being there is just too much of it and nowhere for it to go. There is a solution! I am going to show you how to make eco-bricks and how these bricks can help sustain our future.
How to Create Bottle Bricks
- Enjoy a beverage from a plastic bottle, and save that bottle.
- Separate your trash. (This is much easier if you just set up a recycling station in your home, because no one really wants to sort through trash.) Read below for what can and cannot be used for bottle bricks!
- Stuff the can items into the plastic bottle. (It is best to use a stick or dowel to pack the items in densely.)
- Fill in the extra space with sand, dry clay, or any other earthy material.
- Screw on the lid.
- Presto! You have created a bottle brick. Now you can create something from them or donate them! You rule, you friend of the environment, you! (Oh, and go wash your hands! hehe)
What Can and Cannot Be Used:
You can use any non-biodegradable trash in your eco brick (plastic, etc.). You cannot include anything that is biodegradable (paper, food waste, etc.). Have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments, or check out this site.
This is a great activity to do with kids as well. It teaches them about the importance of creating a sustainable lifestyle, while being fun. There are so many things that can be created from these eco-bricks from a simple garden benches and walls to an entire house. I love the idea of adding mosaic tiles to fit your own design aesthetic and make it unique! Here are a few ideas I loved from around the interwebs.
Harness your creativity, or feel free to donate your eco-bricks to local schools that are creating their own bottle brick benches! What would you make with eco-bricks? Share your ideas and photos in the comments!
As a vegetarian, it can be difficult to find meals that work for us both (Derek is not vegetarian). I don’t cook meat, and, even if I did, I would have no clue if it was something that would need a warning before serving. Therefore, I stick to meals I can taste test. This first recipe was a bit of an experiment, but it turned out to be delicious! These patties are yummy as typical “burgers” or on salads. Be creative! In the future, I want to try these on a creamy polenta, but I need to up my skills before attempting that.
Recipe | Black Bean + Sweet Potato Patties
- 2 sweet potatoes, cubed and peeled
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (I usually add more, but I’m a garlic fiend.)
- 3/4 cup corn
- 1 1/2 cup black beans
- 1 cup quinoa (cooked) or oats
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (Substitute 2 diced jalapenos if you are feeling spicy!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Boil the sweet potatoes until soft.
- Mash the potatoes in a large bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.
- Form the patties.
- Bake the patties for 20-30 minutes. (Flip once)
- Serve as you prefer and enjoy!
My favorite additions:
- Sliced Avocado
- Red Onions
- Hot sauce