This time, three weeks ago, I would have landed in Qatar (Doha) and would have already started eating Soraya and Che out of house and home…
You may be wondering; Qatar of all places?! Well that’s where my “best-friend-sister-by-adoption” and “brother-in-law” now live. Both Che and I had been plotting this surprise trip since June. I can’t believe I managed to keep this fun secret for so long, especially when Soraya and I chat nearly every day. Soraya and Che have lived in Dubai for quite a few years and have now moved to Qatar to set up home. Can you imagine how many years she has tried to get me over there? I am surprised both her and Che did not confiscate my passport and keep me hostage.
The morning I arrived, Che picked me up and we ran through all the possible scenarios that could play out. We snuck in the house and found Soraya still in bed. Che prompted me to go in the room, so I went in. While trying to adjust from light to dark and finding Soraya bundled in a dark duvet wasn’t easy… but when I said hello, in the mist of the darkness, Soraya’s head popped right up and shrieks of screaming came out. Needless to say Soraya couldn’t stop hugging me and saying “I can’t believe you are here”, while hugging Che saying “Thank you, thank you” and then dancing around while it all sunk in… This carried on for most of the first day…
Knowing I was going to be in Soraya’s home, I had to make note of all the food I wanted her to make for me. I mean if you follow Soraya on Instagram (@butterflyadolph), you would know! Being besties, I get daily pics of the creations… they are all drool worthy! So I made Soraya cook her socks off.
On the last day in Qatar, Soraya and I decided to go to the Aspire Park and have a picnic. This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. It was a girlie afternoon, set in a beautiful well-kept park and the weather really played the part. Soraya and I woke up kind of early (for a holiday) and started cooking. Soraya made her lovely chicken pasta salad (the recipe is below), we put out heads and talents together and tried out a frangipani (which turned out really well), and to drink Soraya made a very berry smoothie.
There were so many things I took from this first part of my trip to the Middle East… and although there isn’t very much to do in Qatar (like Dubai), I still managed to see a lot of the culture, arts and way of life. Most of all I got to spend some quality time with Soraya and Che; after all, those are the real memories!
Here is a sneak peak of most of the food Soraya made for me… We really ate a lot… but my next food travel diary from Dubai might shock you…
Chicken Pasta Salad
2 Chicken Breast, with skin and bone
3 Cups Fusilli Pasta
1/2 Red onion
½ Red Pepper
½ Green Pepper
½ Yellow Pepper
1 Punnet of small cocktail tomatoes
1 Tin Sweetcorn
1 Tablespoon French/Italian dressing
1 Cup Mayo
Salt & pepper
Chicken spice seasoning
- Preheat the oven to 180˚. Wash and season the chicken pieces with chicken spice and salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast the chicken pieces for 30 – 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
- In a pot, fill with water and add a bit of salt. Bring to the boil and add in the 3 cups of pasta. Cook to time the packet instructions give.
- Once the chicken is cooked, set aside to cool down.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain out the water, rinse under cold water in a colander for a minute. Once the pasta is drained, place in a bowl.
- Chop up the onion and peppers, and slice up the baby tomatoes. Open the sweetcorn tin and mix in with the pasta, along with the peppers and tomatoes.
- Add the Italian/French dressing and mayo to the pasta and mix in. (Mix the mayo in gradually, as you might not need it all or might need more).
- Once the chicken has cooled down, chop up the chicken fillets (with the skin, discard the bone) and add in the pasta dish. Mix well.
- Top with fresh parsley and refridgerate.
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