It’s been a while, so you may be wondering what we’ve been up to! Life’s been busy lately, in large part to the fact that we have just moved – yes, moved, for the 3rd time this year! Whew!
We are now living in a new neighborhood of Casablanca called Gauthier. It’s a neighborhood where many ex-pats live and, as such, has a much more Western/European feel than where we were in the Maarif (a neighborhood of locals). And while we will miss some of the Moroccans we befriended in our old ‘quartier,’ we definitely do not miss being awoken by the daily 5 am call to prayer from the mosque next door and we are excited to share some pictures of the amazing view we have from our new 5th floor apartment.
Yep, so here are the highlights of our new place:
- Our apartment view of Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque (the largest mosque in Morocco, and 7th largest in the world), just a daily reminder that we do, in fact, live in Morocco. And when we do hear the call to prayer, it’s now more of a distant echo, which is actually quite soothing and, again, reminds us, as I said the other day, that we’re not in Kansas any more!
- A big outdoor terrace that we enjoy for daily workouts and to make up for the lack of greenery here in Casa, we hope to fill it with plants, plants, and more plants!
- And finally, speaking of greenery, we live in one of the only streets in Casablanca we’ve ever seen with trees! Which makes my mid-west, country, Ohio heart happy. 🙂
We’re very thankful for our new home and maybe even more thankful that the 3-month process of finding an apartment and moving here in Morocco has almost, almost come to an end. We’re still dealing with complications, the most inconvenient being the fact that our refrigerator has not been working for the past week. We were told someone would come to fix it on Monday – today’s Saturday and it’s still not fixed. At this point we don’t expect anything really to function efficiently and we’re learning to use the Moroccan term “inshallah” (God-willing) almost as often as the Moroccan people do.
But to leave you on a happier note, we were able to travel to Paris for Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with Marc’s family and it was wonderful. We spent relaxed, quality time together, I went for a much anticipated run in the countryside, and even got to go to a local Christmas Market where we ate crepes and hot wine. It was lovely and just what we needed!
Here are some of the recipes I made for Thanksgiving that I’ve been meaning to share – including one from a London chef whose recipes I’ve been exploring lately: Yotam Ottolenghi, www.ottolenghi.co.uk His recipes can be a bit complicated, but are Mediterranean-inspired which I love, so I’m taking the time to test out the ones that are somewhat feasible in the home and will post those that I liked. In addition to the traditional turkey, this was our Thanksgiving menu!
Smoked Aubergine & Goat’s Milk Yogurt Bruschetta – For this recipe, I assembled the smoked aubergine, goat’s milk, and pomegranate seeds (from Morocco!), and then put it on top of this toasted life-changing loaf of bread for a bruschetta-like appetizer.
Wondering why I choose goat’s milk over cow’s? Check this out!
Black Quinoa Corn Muffins – I didn’t have black quinoa, so I used millet instead. Still tasted good, but I think that if black quinoa is available to you it definitely wins in making a muffin that is both impressive to eat and look at!
Sweet Potato, Carrot, & Coconut Soup – Instead of tomatoes, I used sweet potatoes in this recipe for a Thanksgiving twist. It was delicious! Definitely a hit.
Mashed Potatoes – No written recipe, but basically I boiled peeled potatoes, then mashed them together with goat’s milk Greek yogurt and some coconut milk, salt, and pepper. Lighter than traditional mashed potatoes for sure, and by combining the yogurt and coconut milk it made creamy mashed potatoes without an overwhelming flavor of coconut.
Apple Crumble – This crumble turned out amazingly well considering it is free of butter, flour, and sugar. I used apples instead of the blueberries and blackberries and spiced them with cinnamon.
We are off to travel to the United States, New York City and Ohio, in just a few days and are so excited! It’s a celebration of my (Andrea’s) 30th birthday, our 4th wedding anniversary, Christmas ,and New Year’s all in 2 weeks time. Happy holidays to everyone we will not be able to see this year, you are in our thoughts and, inshallah, we will see each other sometime in 2016.
Marc & Andrea