Bamia and Beef Stew (this will make your kid eat veggies)

I tried cooking okra (bamia) and beef stew last night and my family loves it. I was craving for some veggies and it was okra I wanted. I had this dish in a Lebanese restaurant before but in that the okra was overcooked and I don't like my veggies soggy.

The only solution to that is to cook this dish my way. I don't have pictures of it though, I do have a habit of not taking photos of the food I cook after a I cook it and then regret it until I want write about it. So anyways, we had a very sumptuous dinner last night, I even get to make my daughter try some okra (for her it is one veggie at a time) and I am happy about it. I want my kids to be veggie eaters like me.

This dish is very easy to cook and use less ingredients too. You will need

500 grams beef
500 grams okra (bamia) cut the heads and tails off
2 cans of tomato puree
1 onion chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
juice of 1 lemon or half if you don't like it very sour
salt and pepper
beef stock or water
olive oil

Procedure

1. In your pressure cooker, add oil, add onion then garlic and suttee
2. Add beef, fry a little until juices are sealed
3. Add in tomato puree and beef stock or water
4. Cover and let it simmer until its tender, follow instructions in cooking with your pressure cooker
5. Stop the heat, release all the steam and open your pressure cooker very carefully
6. Check for the beef tenderness, add your okra and salt and pepper, simmer for 5 minutes on less until your okra is cooked but not overcooked.
7. Add the juice of lemon, stir a little and serve with steamed rice.

It is a bit similar to beef caldareta but not spicy, you can actually make it spicy if you like just add some chili.

To give you a hint how it looks like, here's a photo and another version of it and use turmeric

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NYE 2013 and the lost car key

One week before the new year, we have an on and off plan to be at the Burj Khalifa to watch the fireworks with the kids and some friends. On and off because I have two kids with me and the thought that EMAAR is expecting 2M people to usher 2013 in this venue, it means chaos, traffic jams, over crowding, waiting long hours and coming home after 3 am in the morning.

Then the day came, 31st of December, before I went home, me and my husband already decided to bring the kids there and be with everyone and celebrate the new year with a bang! oh yeah! Then its already time to go home from work, he is late, I wonder where could he be. I ring him and with a weird awful voice he said "hon the car key is missing". The news froze me from where I was standing. We only have one key and no spare so I told him to try to find it and maybe he just misplaced it. In the meantime, I went to the nearest grocers to buy the things for our media noche. Once I'm done, I ring him again, still no luck. I dread to commute with my high heel shoes, two heavy shopper bags, and my handbag, I can see the metro station from where I was standing but it is a few meters away still. I asked for help and help came. I asked to be dropped in a place where there is easy access to taxi, I hailed a cab and went home.

I was hoping that when I reached home, I will be able to help my husband find the key. We searched everywhere. The kids don't know either. We kept searching until all things were turned in the house but there is no clue at all. We were so down and the spirit of the new year's eve celebration is almost leaving our bodies. But it is not the end of the world yet so I tried to uplift our moods and wrapped my arms around my husband. I told him that there is this bigger force upon us who is deciding our fate. We are on and off with our decision and suddenly when we finalized, something came up that would make us stay home. Maybe it means something. I encourage him and the family that we will celebrate the traditional way and we can take the kids to Sharjah waterfront hoping that they have prepared some fireworks too.

Happy with our plan, I change my clothes and start cooking our food. Prepared the table and laid all the food that we cooked. Have dinner at 11 pm and walk our way to Sharjah waterfront by 11:30 pm. Sadly the management did not have any fireworks but just the colorful fountain that we normally see everyday. After the water fountain show we head back home still a bit more disappointed, at least it's the new year they could have made more effort. Few days back there was the Sharjah water festival and in the last three days, there were fireworks display, maybe they finished all the budget for this and forgot about the new year. Its meant to be a joke but maybe it could also be true. I don't know.

Three days after we lost our car key, we are still hoping we will find it but we can't wait for it to come out. We have to make a new key otherwise having a car would be useless without a key right. We have to shell out AED 750 for a new key and thank goodness we got it the same day.

What I have learned from this experience

1. Not everything will go as planned
2. Be careful with your belongings even at home and mind where you keep things
3. That a BMW key or car key is very expensive - AED 750 or $230 is the cheapest we can get it, it can go as high as AED 1200 or $326
4. Have a spare key but that is also AED 400 or $ 108
5. Be content of what is given to you and keep high spirit always
6. Always be on top of the situation
7. Never lose hope

So I haven't seen the majestic fireworks of the Burj Khalifa that night but I saw it online on You Tube
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