Tuna and Prawn Kebabs

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We are having fish and other seafood for almost two weeks now. Mica was already asking why we are having fish almost every day. I simply replied to her that it is healthy to eat fish. Why? because we get addicted to it, not because we just feel like it.


I try to make the most out of the seafood and create some delicious Pinoy recipes not limited to frying. On the first week, we bought about a kilo of squid, shrimp, hasa-hasa, tambakol and tuna from Sharjah fish market where it is cheaper and fresh (I will tell you about Sharjah fish market in my next post and why having a suki is good). I cooked adobong pusit, sinigang na hipon, sweet chili shrimps, fried hasa-hasa with matching sauteed tomato with egg and chili tambakol with coconut milk while the tuna was intended for grilling. I found a good recipe for tuna marinade.

For 1 1/2 kilo of Tuna
2 tbsp of onions
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
dried or fresh rosemary herb
olive oil

Pureed the ingredients above in a blender pouring the olive oil as you do it. Add it to evenly cut cubes of tuna meat and vegetables including green capsicum, tomatoes, onions and button mushroom, refrigerate for an hour or overnight before grilling

Grill until cooked and serve with rice and chili lemon/calamansi soy sauce.

On the second week, we bought a kilo of medium-sized prawn, tilapia, one big size milkfish, squid, and galunggong. I stuff the tilapia with tomatoes, onions and fresh parsley, salt, and pepper and grilled it. The milkfish became (daing na bangus) butterfly fish marinated in garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper and fried later on. The medium sized prawn was our dinner last night which was also grilled. I don't have a photo of it though.

To prepare the prawn, remove the heads and skin leaving just the tail, slit and remove the abdominal segment.

In the marinade goes paprika, salt and pepper, dried rosemary herb, and Worcestershire sauce. If you have time, refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Since we are so hungry when we reached home yesterday I immediately put the skewers on the grill.

Thread in the skewer with tomatoes and green capsicum ( you can also add button mushrooms and sweet onions), grill both sides for total of 10-15 minutes until done, don't overcook to keep prawn tender and succulent.

Serve with rice and chili lemon/calamansi soy sauce or with Maggi savor.

These recipes are good for grilling and you can take to the park for celebrating Eid with your friends and family.
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Scrapbooking Dubai Summer 2011

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Summer in Dubai is almost over, shops in the malls are already on back to school promotions and kids are gearing up for the term 2011-2012 starting September 14. My daughter will be in Grade III this year and can't wait to see her classmates, teachers and friends again. But before that let's first enjoy the upcoming Eid holiday as it marks the end of Ramadan. Where will you be this Eid al Fitr and oh don't forget your Henna OK, I mean for ladies only.

Summer 2011 was a not-so-boring-summer at all, summer here was actually the time when a lot of expats go for vacation in their home country while those that remain to spend their summer here benefited to less traffic, not so crowded parks and malls, not much queueing at the supermarket, easy to find a parking spot and most especially I need not wake up very early to prepare Mica for school .

We had loads of fun indeed but we also had our share of bad times like when Mica had an accident before the school closes , she hurt her ankle while taking the bus to school and my mom was recently hospitalized. I really hope and pray that her health will improve fast. 

A visit at the Dubai Dolphinarium to watch the Dolphin and Seal Show was the first thing we did this summer. The well trained seal and dolphins are awesome and the almost one hour show was amazing. Me and Ferald enjoyed it as much as our kids.

We also enjoyed our annual summer getaway in Abu Dhabi while checking in at Rotana Yas Island with its two free adult tickets to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi-home to the worlds fastest roller coaster. Mica learned traffic signals at junior GT and drove a Formula 1 mini. The all for free dining experience at Mazina The Address Dubai Marina, Essence Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi and an iftar dinner at Al Ameera Ballroom-Grand Hyatt Dubai all courtesy of 104.4 Virgin Radio Dubai was enjoyed by the whole family and shared a bonding moment.

More often Mica and my son stays home during weekdays while me and Ferald goes to work, She spends her time playing, drawing, reading, watching television, playing games on the PC or chatting with her classmates on facebook etc. During our bonding moments after I arrive from work, we squeeze our creative juices to make some Popsicle fairies, paint wooden dolls, origami, sewing bead jewelries, story telling and sometimes a puppet show. Growing some flowering plants was another idea she had and the zinia and sunflower seeds are now seedlings, sometimes she gets board waiting for it to grow and have its bloom and so am I. I told her to keep watering the plant and we will soon see its flowers. Here are some of Mica's crafty ideas . The real scrapbook project is still waiting for us, we have 3-4 days holiday so we might finished it this time.

We also went around Dubai to our favorites spots such as Dubai ZooAl Nasr Skating and the Fruit Park.

The Flea4Charity event which I featured here was also a success-once again the people of UAE, locals and expats alike prove how generous they are in helping the needy with raising some funds to help the famine stricken Horn of Africa. Also, MYB supports Illustrado and the Filipino community in its campaign Pinays Take Charge - uplifting the image of Pinays in the UAE and the world.

I am happy that this summer was fruitful, not just for family bonding but a learning experience for Mica and Prince. Education is not only obtained from school, another form of learning is outsourced out of the four corners of the classroom, education starts from home and then from the community. Mica will soon start her catechism class and religion is another important thing she should learn, her school does not provide catechism lessons and the community church here in Dubai is where I see that my daughter can obtained knowledge and wisdom about religion and God apart from the things I already taught her and we are looking forward to that.

Today maybe is the last day of Ramadan and we get to spend the rest of the week on holidays so stay safe and share the blessings, lets be thankful to a wonderful month that pass. Happy Eid everyone.
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Essence - Day In, Day Out

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When we went to Abu Dhabi last July, we went to eat dinner at Essence at Beach Rotana.

We hardly knew back then that Yas Island and Abu Dhabi town proper is now connected by another Island called Saadiyat.

At first we thought that we were lost. The road has no U-turns, no sign boards and it stretched  miles away. We continued driving trying to find some directions to know exactly where we were. Slowly Ferald grew familiar with the place. That road which we're driving into ends us finding Abu Dhabi corniche road ahead of us. So we're not lost after all. We actually discovered this new road and we even had a short cut which is better than driving from Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway just to get to the town proper.

We arrived just in time for the dinner service. Beach Rotana is adjacent to Abu Dhabi Mall so it did not take too long for us to find it however finding a parking space was challenging.


We begin our dinner withsome warm soup. Mica had some pepper lemon fish with rice while I had some California roll and smoked salmon, some cold mezze and prawn salad before I had the main course. Ferald had some turkey carvings and grilled meats. Unfortunately I couldn't take any photos as I don't want to be seen rude.

What impressed us most was the dessert spread for the ample options plus the luscious chocolate fountain with fresh fruit and marshmallows to dip-Micas favorite. The over all dining experience was good, the restaurant was family friendly and the wait staff are fast and very helpful.


These gorgeous lantern like lamps above accentuate the restaurants entrance



In some reviews I have read, the brunch offers a bigger variety of sushi and German meats coming from other Beach Rotana's resident reataurant like Brauhaus and Benihana.

I am giving Essence ★★★★★★★★ out of 10
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Mazina The Address Dubai Marina

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Me and my husband has a favorite morning radio show here in Dubai. It keeps us up-to-date and in-the-know of the latest music, news, gossip, events and traffic updates and whatever is happening in Dubai. A lot has been given away in the show and I got lucky to win a voucher for a family brunch at Mazina restaurant - The Address Dubai Marina before Ramadan.

We dined on a Friday but surprisingly the restaurant wasn't so crowded, I wonder if it is always like this. It is buffet so we just first run through what is on the spread of Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and European cuisine.


It is always hard for me to chose what to eat when in a buffet style dining except for handaang Pinoy, so I go first with the ones I love - Japanese food. Although choices are limited but as long as the maki rolls and smoked salmon are available I am satisfied. I tried some sushi and it is tender and fresh.


Arabic mezze such as hummus and moutabal and some cold seafood salad are very mouth watering.


The Chinese section has the widest food selection my husband can indulge into, my daughter also love dumplings and they have many variety but she and her friend were so busy with gaming after just having little food, they only came back for some ice cream afterwards.



After having some Chinese food, I am almost full. I barely have the appetite to eat some from the European food, Ferald brought in the table some roasted beef but unfortunately, it was medium rare and I can hardly chew it because of my newly fixed braces so I content myself with taking some more photos of the place. But I will not pass the chance to have something for dessert, they do have a huge selection



European food looks so delicious but I am too full to have some more.


The wait staff are polite and fast in attending to our request, Mazina is indeed a kid friendly restaurant with its gaming area, soft play area and bouncy castles. The total ambiance of the place would have been more refreshed and with airy feel if the three huge pillars in the middle of the restaurant is not there.


I cannot comment on the price since I am not in the position to.
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Mica gets crafty

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If you are a regular reader of this blog, you probably know by now my seven year old daughter Mica. She is every bit of me and like me she has an inclination to arts. Summer is one of her most boring days so to combat that I keep her busy and entertained with art stuff aside from weekend getaways and trips to the mall and parks.

In previous summers, she gets to create her own bead jewelries for her own use.

Another crafty idea was to teach her Origami, the dog and the cat are the only ones left from the four animal origami that we did. She use these animal origami in her own puppet shows with the script she wrote herself.




We made these popsicle fairies together using the materials we bought from Borders for 10 AED. They are also casts of her puppet show.


These two wooden dolls are the newest of her crafty ideas also from Borders.


You can also read about dads day art craft and our christmas ornaments. For more reading about being creative in this blog you can visit MYB's arts and craft page which you will find on top of this blog.
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Fruit Park at Al Nasr Leisureland

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Fruit Park is an almost hidden play area for kids which can be found in the enclosures of Al Nasr Leisureland. My kids like to play in here whenever possible, the giant fruits are amazing and extraordinaire. I find it attractive for photo ops too. These photos were taken when Mica was just five years old while some are during our recent visit.





 
The park is situated outside so it gets dusty in summer and there is an arid feel too, it is a bit old now but still entertaining because of the giant fruits.



This carousels needs some paint, it seems to have faded due to heat and sunlight


There is a hanging bridge too that connects one fruit to the other


The park has a train ride, a bumper car and small rides for toddlers. Entrance fee at Al Nasr is 10 AED and fruit park is accessible without any fees but the kiddie rides will require you to use coins or purchase tokens



This is just one of Al Nasr Leisureland's facilities, they have an ice skating rink, squash courts, bowling alley and a lot more.

Meet my sweet little ogre

We get lucky to photograph this bird as he chirps next to his nest. Quite a few old trees surrounds the park and give shade to its visitors

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GO Pinay!

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Maraming napapariwarang mga Filipina dito sa UAE, nakakaalarma ang tumataas na bilang ng mga nabubuntis at nakukulong dahil sa pakikipagrelasyon ng walang kasal at nang mga inaabuso. Maaring kulang sa kaalaman sa batas o di kaya nama'y kulang ang pagpapahalaga sa sarili bilang isang babae. Meron na mang inosente kaya inaabuso o di kaya'y nahuhumaling at napapagaya lang sa mga kaibigan. Malaki kasi ang pagkakaiba ng kulturang Pinoy sa kulturang Arabo ayon sa Editor-in-Chief ng Illustrado Magazine na si Lalaine Chu-Benitez. Sabi pa nya " maaaring ang katanggap-tangap sa Pilipinas ay labag dito sa UAE. Madalas na ang pagiging masyadong palakaibigan nating mga Pinay ay nabibigyan ng ibang kahulugan ng mga ibang lahing nakakasalamuha natin araw araw. Sa totoo lang masyadong nakakababa ng moral para sa iba sa atin na tumatahak ng tamang daan habang naririto sa ibang bansa. Nangyari na iyan sa isang kaibigan ko na minsan nang napagkamalan bilang isang bayaran habang naglalakad pauwi ng bahay galing sa trabaho. Sa takot nya ay kumaripas na lng takbo.

Kaya nararapat lang na pag-ibayuhin nating maitayo ang karangalan ng mga Pinay dito sa UAE. Isa sa mga gumawa ng aksyon ngayon ay ang Illustrado. Nag-organisa sila ng kapanya na kung tawagin ay "Pinays Take Charge." Isa itong kampanya na pag-ibayuhin at pataasin ang pagtingin ng mga Pinay sa kanilang sarili at pagandahin ang anyo ng Pinay sa mga banyaga. Matulungan tayong makaiwas sa mga di kanais-nais na pangyayari kung saan sangkot tayong mga kababaihan.Naririto sa ibaba ang "Pinay Take Charge Pledge". Mga paalala ito sa mga Pinay kung gaano tayo kahalaga bilang isang babae sa ating lipunang ginagalawan. 


Mga apat na libo na ang naki-isa sa kampanyang ito ng Illustrado, para sa mas mga mahahalagang impormasyon at kung nais ninyong maging bahagi maaari nyong bisitahin ang kanilang facebook page or di kaya ay ang kanilang pahina.

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Ice Skating in Dubai

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Ice skating is definitely not a leisure activity for me. I am scared to give it another try after so many mishaps on the ice rink so its either Mica goes by herself or with her Ate Lean or her dad, they work well with balancing on skates.  I on the other hand chose to stay safe and dry on the bench happy taking some snaps and babysitting Prince.


Before Dubai Mall was built and the Olympic size Dubai Ice Rink was opened to the public which is now very crowded all the time, another ice skating arena was very popular among Dubai residents. Al Nasr Leisure Land is the home to Dubai's first Olympic size ice rink. It used to be crowded on weekends and it is where Mica first learned gliding on ice. Al Nasr is in Oud Metha Road in Oud Metha. Entrance fee is 10 AED for 10 years and above, 5 AED for 3-9 years and 25 AED two hour skate hire and only 20 AED if you have your own skates.


X-port as we call the man in red was the first ice skating instructor of my daughter, we have seen him several times during our visits and he was willing to teach and assist Mica. My daughter easily gets the hang of it and soon she was on her own.

Another ice skating rink in Dubai is located at Hyatt Regency called Galleria Ice Rink, it is smaller than the one in Al Nasr, we've been here only twice. No entrance fee but skate hire range from 15-45 AED.


We haven't tried the Dubai Mall ice skating rink but what is so nice about it is the disco on ice priced at AED 75, skate hire for two hours is AED 50.
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Dubai Zoo

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My seven year old daughter Mica is very fond of animals, when she was younger, it was the animals names and sounds she learned first not to mention that she watches the movie of Jim Carey's Ace Ventura Pet Detective over and over again.There was a time when she keeps on insisting to become a Vet when she grows up. She also loves to visit the zoo, we have been in Dubai Zoo and Al Ain Zoo several times but whenever we think of going in Al Ain, the zoo must be the first stop or whenever she wants to see live animals, Dubai zoo is the nearest destination.

Curbing the cravings to see wild beasts, we head again in Dubai Zoo. I gave in to the request so we can open the window to the animal world for our new child as well, it will help stimulate the my sons imagination and he will get to be familiar with animals too. 

Dubai Zoo is located in Jumeirah. It spans to two kilometer stretch land housing approximately 230 animal species. Among these are around 248 mammal specimens, including foxes, hyenas, pumas, lions, jaguars, chimpanzees, baboons, monkeys, deer, bears, porcupines, giraffes and Barbary sheep. Endangered species include Socotra shag or cormorant, Bengal tiger, gorilla, subspecies of grey wolf and Arabian wolf, Siberian tiger, and the indigenous Gordon's wildcat. Bird include ostrich, golden eagle and parrots. Reptiles are represented by around 400 specimens. It is open 10am to 6 pm daily  and entrance is 2 AED.

In my opinion, 5 AED entrance fee will be fine for the improvement of the zoo and for enhanced animal conditions. News of relocation to a bigger place and redevelopment has been published (can't wait for that to happen, I am sure it is going to be big knowing Dubai). But for now comparing it to Al Ain Zoo, I guess the animals there are a lot happier with bigger cages and better habitat. But to sum it up, we still enjoyed the visit. Here are some photos to share.












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Link Love: Flea4Charity

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Hi guys, do you have unwanted stuff that are in good condition? You might want to donate them for a good cause.

A small group of people, founder and volunteers called Flea4Charity is conducting a collection drive tomorrow August 17 at the Pavilion Downtown Dubai from 8pm to 11pm. The items donated will then be for sale at the night flea market in Stargate Zabeel Park on Saturday August 20. This initiative is for raising funds for drought and famine stricken Somalia and threatening the lives of about 12 million people especailly babies and children.

Let's help them spread the word.
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Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

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This ride took only 00:57 seconds to finish, but imagine staying in the queue for like an hour fifteen minutes. But still it was worth the wait, the adrenalin kick was worthy of the Grand Prix. Formula Rossa is the worlds fastest roller coaster found at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. This ride was so amazing I could only scream over 2.07 km track at 52 meters above the ground as many times as its descends. You gotta strap yourself tight into the F1 cockpit and hold on to your soul as it blast away into a 240km/hr speed.


Famous Ferrari logo and the largest ever created on the roof of the theme park



Areal view of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi - this iconic sleek red roof was inspired by the classic double curve side profile of the Ferrari GT body

Gateway to our Ferrari adventure

The theme park is fully air conditioned while some rides like Formula Rossa, Fiorano GT Challenge and G-Force goes out on track and/or high up in the open air. Unfortunately, G-Force is under maintenance while Mica did not meet the height requirement for the other two so I went to take the ride alone at Formula Rossa while Ferald watch the kids. It would have been more fun and exciting if all four of us can enjoy the thrilling rides together :( (mommy can't wait for the kids to grow and dad to overcome his fear of heights) Having been said that, it doesn't mean we did not enjoy ourselves together. One of our favorite was Speed of Magic- a highly sophisticated 4-D simulator that will take you in the bottom of the ocean, at the heart of the jungle, inside the volcano and makes you feel like running while an avalanche chases you. The ride was so good Mica went in four times with me and her dad alternately.

Made in Maranello is a tour in the historic Ferrari factory to see how a Ferrari is born. The interactive media explains the intricate step and highly craftsmanship that goes into making the worlds most prestigious cars

Suddenly Mica and I are lost in Bell'Italia-a miniature Italy while driving a Ferrari 250 California Circa 1958.



After falling in love with Italy, Mica's passion for cars was growing, we enrolled her at Junior GT to get the license before allowing her hit the race track at the Junior Grand Prix



Here's Mica at Junior GT learning her signals and applying them


And then on the race track. Go! Go! Go!



While his sister enjoys driving the small cars - Prince wants the real thing! hmmm :)



But I guess he will never pass the chance :D



An then he wanted this afterwards

The big guy was posing for something else, he even tried the Scuderia Challenge and won first place. Scuderia Chanllenge is the same simulator used by Scuderia drivers in training. It offers a level of realism far beyond the arcade game.



While mom gets contented ordering some frap at Espresso Rosso for some caffeine reload, I was tired and feeling frumpy after spending a fun filled day in this gargantuan theme park, imagine a seven football field that's about 86,000 sqm is the size of this place. But we just can't get enough, my kids keep on playing at the Junior Training Camp


and we continue to take loads of photos in the red rich background




Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the worlds largest indoor theme park of its kind, was built for three years and opened to the public in October 2010. But it is not just a theme park, it is a place where guests and fans can immerse oneself into everything Ferrari, where you become a part of the Ferrari story and as they say in all its passion, thrill and glory.
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