Food and fashion delights

A follow-up to the previous Alexandria post. things I forgot to mention.

I had been craving raspberry or what used to be called port wine (a deep red) jelly since moving here. This was odd as I hadn’t eaten it since before Mum died, so probably for about 25 years. She used to make jelly with canned fruit set in the bottom of it.

Thought I had no chance of getting it here, and put it on my ever changing list Things To Bring Back When I Travel Outside Egypt. But there is was in Carrefour – strawberry jelly crystals, smelling highly strawberry so probably stuffed with nasty chemical flavours and colours and basically just sugar, but I bought six packs. I carted with me from Australia some little heart shaped silicon moulds, bought to make muffins with my nieces there, which I never got around to doing, so I will now make some heart shaped jellies for the neighbourhood children for the feast at end of Ramadan.

The mall also contained a Cinnabon store. I got my Cinnabon addiction years ago when visiting my sister, who was living in Canada, and later they opened stores in Australia. Didn’t have one in Alex this time as there were other treats ie gelati beckoning. But I susbsequently found a recipe for Cinnabon tasting cupcakes, which sound perfect. It was on a website to do with Ramadan of all things, found while I was researching fasting and Eid (feast) foods.

Recipe follows; I don’t have an oven yet so someone make these please and let me know if they are as good as they sound…

Cinnabon Cupcakes

Ingredients
• 125g butter
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 3 eggs
• 1 tsp bicarb
• 1 cup plain yoghurt
• 1 and half cups flour
• 1/2 cup self raising flour

Filling:
• 1 cup chopped pecans
• 100g grated dairy milk
• 3/4 cup brown sugar
• 2 tsp cinnamon

Topping:
• 1/2 tub cream cheese
• 3/4 cup icing sugar
• 120g butter

Method
1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time.
3. Then add yoghurt and dry ingredients.
4. Fill muffin tins 1/4 way with batter then sprinkle filling,
5. Then fill more batter and sprinkle more of the filling.
6. Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
7. Beat topping ingredients until light.
8. Spread onto cakes.drizzle choc syrup and sprinkle cinnamon over.

And on the fashion front, a boutique offering exquisite jalabiyas and abayas. Take a look at http://www.almotahajiba.com/intro.html
I am surprised I haven’t found them before. This Qatar based company was stablished in 1983 and has stores across the Middle East, including several in Egypt. I now suspect one of the abaya stores I previously admired when racing around Cairo was one of theirs. Now they even offer airport kiosks at duty free areas in some airports.

I was hesitant to ask could I take photos, here are a couple taken discreetly on the phone camera but you should really see the website for good images. The blue gown is typical of their special event styles, the other examples are more daywear. Further into the store they had the most stunning emerald green chiffon gown, lightly scattered with crystals.

These are so elegant, vibrant but not too elaborate for my taste, which much fashion here unfortunately tends to be. I did not dare look at price tags, but if I ever had the money and a very special event to attend, this is where I would go. They have an online store opening soon, so then I will take a peek at the prices. Inspirational for those of us who do not want to, or cannot because of religious or social beliefs show much skin. No need for stockings and no hitching and fidgetting with multiple layers, just beautiful, elegant style that would suit a woman of any age. And more fashion companies should share their philosophy – when talking about awards the company has received they say “But the best possible award for us is the satisfaction of our customers at all times.” That magnificent green gown would satisfy my wardrobe for life, I would never need to buy another dress again.

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