Latest Posts

Qatar Eats Soup Week: #1 Mushroom Soup

Let us all welcome winter in Qatar. Unfortunately, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year with all the people getting sick due weather change.

And because of this, I decided to dedicate this whole week to share my recipes for easy peasy soup recipes. I’ll have a live cooking show in Instagram stories (@qatareats) where you can save the snaps for future use and will also be sharing the recipes here in my blog.

So, soup #1 is mushroom soup! An all-time favorite by many, this is a classic comfort food that has helped cure from a slight sniffle to a major heartbreak. Let’s start!

Easy-peasy creamy mushroom soup

Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings

1 onion, sliced

1 slices ham, chopped

250 grams of sliced mushrooms (can be mixed or just one kind)

3 tbs. butter

125 ml heavy cream

1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock or boiling water

Salt and pepper to taste

parsley for garnish

lemon for seasoning

Directions:

1) Melt butter in medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.

2) Add ham and cook for 1 minute.

3) Add mushroom and make sure they’re all evenly coated with butter. At this point, the mushrooms will release their water, leave until the water is reduced to a third.

4) Add 1/2 of the stock, cover and let it boil.

5) Once it boils, add the cream gradually and stir until the blobs disappear.

6) Add the cream cheese.

7) Bring the soup just to boil then turn of the heat.

8) Blend the soup using a hand blender or a normal blender.

Garnish with nutmeg, paprika and parlsey (of course, these are all optional) and serve with lemon.
Stay safe and healthy!

Advertisements

Patisserie Breakfast at Luxe Lounge- Westin Hotel

Luxe Lounge is one of my go-to places for a long coffee break here in Qatar.  Hush ambiance, comfy seats, good food.  What’s not to like.

Ambiance

Both indoor and outdoor seats are composed of soft, cushy chairs so you can cross out comfort in your list.

The outdoor seating is perfect for the weather these days. Surrounded by lush greenery, I sat for three hours in that area and enjoying my coffee and donuts. Like a police on a stake out.

Food

As it is a patisserie breakfast, don’t expect too much. They have different kinds of croissants, donuts, cookies and bread. That’s about it. Oh, and it includes refillable coffee and/or tea.

Price

QR 59 for the buffet with refillable coffee/tea.

Returning?

Definitely. Is it worth it? It depends on what you’re looking for, really. If you’re looking for a breakfast with the whole shebang then I would suggest a different restaurant for this. But if you eat light in the mornings and/or planning to busily type away on your laptop or read documents while eating, then yes, this place is definitely recommended.

 

Luxe Lounge - The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Breakfast buffet at Al Terrace – Souq Waqif Botique Hotel Al Mirqab

Yesterday was one of those rare days that my schedule was a bit light, so I decided to explore a restaurant that I haven’t been to yet. But with the gazillions of options here in Qatar, I was left scratching my head on where to actually go.

Aimlessly driving, I found myself in the vicinity of Corniche. And as you know, Corniche is more or less synonymous to Souq Waqif. And there I went.

Randomly walking the streets, I checked Zomato for the options and decided on Al Terrace, a Lebanese restaurant at Hotel Al Mirqab which is part of Souq Waqif Botique Hotels.

I initially thought that the restaurant was still closed but lucky me, it was just empty. For QR50 for the buffet, I just went on ahead and braved the unknown.

The place itself has a spacious indoor and outdoor area. The indoor though was too dark for me, it made me feel like it was still 5am. Still the interiors were inviting, showcasing a picture gallery of Qatar’s past.

Cold mezze and history: perfect combination

 

The spread was surprisingly a lot. I initially thought it was just the bread and waffles section but the set up they had was that the food were spread all over the restaurant’s corners.

They have the eggs station, waffles and the likes, foul medames, baleelat, baked beans, etc. It was a typical mixture of Continental and Arabic breakfast.


The service was okay and the food that I had eaten was good for its price. It may not be as grand as the buffets from other hotels but for QR50, it’s good enough.

The breakfast buffet is available all through out the week so if you want to try something new, check this place out.

It’s located opposite of Damasca One.

Enjoy!

Al Terrace - Souq Waqif Boutique Hotel Al Mirqab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Recipe: Tuna salad sticks

Salads can be a bit of a bore and a chore for me. I’ve racked my brains for ways to lessen the chopping, dicing, slicing and whatever -ing you can think of. 

This salad takes the least time of preparation as it only requires two ingredients, aside from the dressing. Fits a lazy person like me! 

Minimal preparation + low maintenance = my dream salad
Tuna salad sticks

Ingredients:

1 can tuna flakes (in oil or water), drained 
1 Romain lettuce head, look for those with tightly folded leaves

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Sriracha (the volume depends on how hot you want it)

Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

1. Separate the leaves from the base. Wash and pat dry

2. Cut the the thinnest part of the leaves, chopped them up and set aside . This will be mixed with the tuna later.

3. Mix the drained tuna, mayonnaise, sriracha and chopped leaves. Add salt and pepper as desired.


4. Lay out the mixed tuna on to the lettuce sticks.


And you’re done! 


Enjoy😊

Gadget Review: Bidafun Self(food)ie Light

Hello there! This post is not about food but if you’re a food blogger (or any blogger for that matter) or you just like taking nice pictures using your phone, I think this may interest you.

I love taking nice pictures but I can’t really be bothered with bringing a DSLR with me all the time. I have much respect for those can do so, it’s a workout on its own! The main problem that I have when taking pictures is that, when it’s night time or when the lighting is very dim, my phone works overtime to get the clearest shot, which ends up with a lot of visual noise. So, I’m left with two options; 1) pray that the restaurant has great lighting or 2) ask my companion to turn on their phone flashlight for me. I’ve been racking my brain on how to go about the lighting aspect when an Amazon shopping spree hit me with the answer: a clip-on selfie light! After a fine-toothed comb search, I found the best one from Bidafun. It’s small, lightweight and comes with a pouch for protection. (More details on the video below).

This is my first video review so I hope you find it okay! 

Now for the sample pictures, I took two batches of pics; the first batch with the room lights on and one with only the selfie light, no other lights whatsoever. The pictures below were never filtered or retouched. They’re as raw as a sashimi can get. 

I used a pot of basil as my subject, because I can’t find anything else, under normal room lighting:


Batch 1 – under normal room lighting

Light strength 1

Under most circumstances, this light for me is enough. It just makes the focal points pop! 


Light strength 2

This is already quite strong, it brings out the bluish tint of the subject. The light is also reflected visibly. 

Light strength 3
Bluish tint is now very obvious and the light is too harsh. 



Batch 2 – light is only coming from the selfie light

Light strength 1

Again, I feel that this level is somewhat enough. 

 


Light strength 2

Too bright.



Light strength 3

Three bright. (Just in case, it’s a pun)

So, there! I hope you found this post as informative as it can be and if you have any questions just post it in the comments section below and I’ll answer it as soon and as best I can. 

Thanks!

*You can check out the product in this link https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01F7PQJX4/ 

Amazon US ships this internationally so there’s no need for you to have those US post box services like Shop n’ Ship or Borderlinx. 

**This is not a sponsored post**

Review – Quick and Cheap Eats: Shades Café and Eatery (Doha Tower, West Bay)


I had a scheduled brunch date with my friend, whom we shall call Miss Independent, and was racking my brain on which restaurant should I bring her to. My criteria were:

  1. Somewhere quiet
  2. Preferably with a view of nature
  3. Somewhere with shaded outdoor seats
  4. Reasonably priced

It was no mean feat, with the multitudes of restaurants that meet most or all of the above. As I was thinking about it, I checked my schedule for the day and saw that I had to meet with Ms. Hala later in the afternoon. Then, I remembered one Zomato Meet-up (in Qatar, Ms. Hala is synonymous to Zomato and vice versa) invite a few months back (which I wasn’t able to attend) at this little place with a garden view called Shades Café and Eatery located at the Doha Tower (you know, that infamous bullet-shaped tower). So off we went.

Parking was a bit of a problem, so we had to leave the car somewhere and walk our way to the café.

We arrived and the place, oh the place.  The only thing missing were the sounds of flowing water and gentle swaying of bamboo leaves in the wind.  So relaxing!

 

Food Ordered

Penne Puttanesca 

This dish was simple and clean.  You know those foods that are cooked with the barest of ingredients but still ends up outshining all the other foods on the table?  This was what this pasta was all about. No frills, just pure goodness. This is one of the best QR30 that I have paid for.

The pasta I seriously considered marrying

Ciabatta Tuna 

I wasn’t able to taste this as I was having a love affair with my pasta but Miss Independent thoroughly enjoyed it.  And I trust her implicitly.

img_5406

Oh, hello there Miss Independent’s arm!

Mille Feuille Vanilla

LUSCIOUS CREAM. Why so good?

The pastry cream was a good balance of delicate and sweet. We were literally groaning with happiness after each bite of the cream. The puff pastry was quite hard but the cream just made up for it.

Divine pastry cream. Puff pastry, not so much.

Tiramisu

If you have been following my blog (first of all, thank you!), you will notice that I have a thing for tiramisu.  Along with French macaron, this is my  most favorite dessert to order. So, of course, we had to have it.  It’s was a just “meh”. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either; texture and presentation-wise it was decent but the deal-breaker was the lady fingers.  It didn’t have that strong kick of coffee flavor.  It was soaked, yes, but it seems that the coffee that they soaked it with was very diluted.

img_5408

Tira-meh-su 😦

 

Customer Service

I saw only three (very friendly) staff at the counter and with the place getting quite t busy, I was expecting that there would be a bit of delay. But our orders were taken and served in 10 minutes tops. Despite the rush of office lunch time, the staff were very calm which went very well with their surroundings. I felt like I was in a spa, was just waiting for a gong sound.

Price

We paid a total of QR159 for food, 2 cappuccino, and fresh orange juice. Not bad, eh?

Returning?

Heck, yes.

Shades Cafe & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Recipe: Chocolate Crinkles

It’s just one of those many days that I want chocolate. Like really want it. But not just any chocolate will do.  I want the soft, sugary and soothing crinkles.  It’s like love when you see it. Smell it.  Taste it. *Drool*

I have found many variations of how to make crinkles but this one that I’m sharing now has been formulated by yours truly (from my old blog) to make it quick and easy. It works, I promise.  The only tricky part here is mixing the dough (that is if you do not have an electric mixer) as it can get very, very sticky.

Chocolate Crinkles

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup sunflower oil or any vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar (for coating)



Directions:

1. Mix the cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge or 50 minutes in the freezer. (The dough must be chilled; otherwise it will be very sticky and hard to work on).


2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with lightly greased parchment paper. Use a teaspoon for measuring and scooping out dough and roll it to a ball. Coat each ball in confectioner’s sugar before placing on the prepared cookie sheets.


3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute then transfer to a cooling rack.


This will certainly not help you in any way in your figure but sometimes, figures and numbers don’t matter when you’re in a happy place. Eating it with milk is my happy place in this world. Sigh.

Enjoy!

Qatar Summer Festival 2016

In the peak of the summer heatwave, everyone is scurrying to leave the GCC for cooler climates. For those of us who have to stay, what is left us to do? Are we destined to while away our life until winter or do some sort of hibernation?

Let the fun begin!

Fret not! This month is the holds the annual summer festival in the state.  They have games, food stalls and fun programs at the Entertainment City to keep you and your loved ones busy and active. Held at the Doha Exhibition Convention Center, just minutes away from malls, hotels, park and the indomitable Doha Corniche, you’ll be sure to have a variety of places to go before and after your fun at the carnivale-like atmosphere of the Entertainment City.

We rock!

Cheeky Minions

“I’m a little teapot short and stout”

Real life Angry Birds game😆

They have awesome rides for children and adults alike, arcade, go kart, karaoke, a multitude of bouncy castles and lots, lots more! I had as much fun as my daughter and niece from roaming around and playing some games. Especially the go kart😊.

Aside from that, QSF has partnered up with the following malls/establishments for a shopping promotion:
Lagoona Mall

Gulf Mall

Ezdan Mall

Al Khor Mall

Hyatt Plaza

City Center

Dar Al Salam Mall and 

The Pearl Qatar

If you shop in these participating malls, you can be a part of a weekly raffle draw which includes prizes of four Jaguar XJ and cash prizes worth QR 800,000!

Not only that, for those of you who would want to travel to Qatar for this month, you can avail the promotion from the 56 hotels an hotel apartments. Just use the code QSF2016 during your booking.  For more details of the participating hotels and the promotions, click here.

You think it’s done? Wait, there’s more!

As part of the QSF, they’re also having the Qatar Comedy Festival from August 18 – 21, with eighteen stand-up comedians from all around the GCC will perform in three days. Imagine having some of the funniest people in the region gather in one place.  Hilarity will ensue. Tickets start from QR 145 up to QR 1,000, available at Virgin Megastores.

So come on now, get up and do some fun activities with your family or friends.  You might even catch a lot of Pokémons in the area😏.

(For more information on the events and schedules, please visit http://qatarsummerfestival.qa)

 

 

Recipe: Easy vanilla-spiced cherry balsamic reduction 

Found my fridge with an over abundance of cherries. Now, what to do with them? As dinner was lamb chops, I decided to make a simple sauce out of it. This cherry sauce is so good with grilled meat as it contrasts its saltiness and smokiness.

I didn’t really have a recipe, just a splash and dash of things that I have in my pantry so you can add more stuff in this sauce as you like!


Ingredients

A handful of cherries

Water

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Used up vanilla pod (or vanilla extract if you don’t have this)

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1) In a heavy bottomed pan, add cherries and just enough water to submerge the cherries. Bring to a boil in high heat.

2) Once it boils, lower the heat to medium low and continue boiling until water is reduced to half its original volume.

3) Add the vanilla pod (extract), balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until the liquid is further reduced to half.

4) Once the sauce slightly thickens, remove from heat and cool until serving.

Glaze it over meats or salads or just about anything you can think of.

Cherry-o!

img_4594-1

Recipe: One-pan Salisbury Steak

This is one recipe that I always have at the back of my mind for those days when I don’t know what to cook anymore and can’t be bothered to think of any. This is my own version of Salisbury steak, with the ingredients simplified to make it easier to cook (if you still have the time!) especially during weeknights. 

Ingredients

For the patties:


1/2 kg. ground beef

1/4 cup bread crumbs (if you don’t have this, just use flour)

1 egg

1 onion, minced

1 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tbs. of cooking oil

For the gravy: 

1/2 cup flour

3 tbs. milk

2 tbs. heavy cream

1 cup water

1 tsp. soy sauce (just for coloring)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1) Mix all the patty ingredients and roll them into a ball.

2) Heat 2 tbs. of oil in a big pan, medium-high heat. 

3) Once hot, place the meatball and flatten them in the pan. Cook for 4 minutes on each side. Set the meat aside. (Do not overcook the meat as you will be cooking it with the gravy later).

4) Lower the heat and add the flour to make a roux. Using a whisk, whisk the flour mixture vigorously and continuously for 5 minutes to make sure it does not stick to the pan.

5) Once the flour mixture turns pasty, add the water and whisk it again until water and flour are thoroughly blended and no lumps appear.

6) Add the mushrooms and whisk in the milk and cream. Add the patties and cover. 

6) Increase the temperature to medium and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and serve. 

Best eaten with rice or mashed potatoes and stir fried veggies.

Enjoy!