The Little Mermaid Now Playing in Raleigh


Disney’s The Little Mermaid is in Raleigh! I attended opening night on July 29th at the Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Enegy Center for the Performing Arts.  This is the final show of the 2013/14 season for North Carolina Theatre (NCT).

I do not think I have to go into the story details with you, right? Ok, just a little refresher. A beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, wants to leave everything she knows about life under the sea. She wants to leave the ocean and move to the world above.

TUTS_LittleMermaidPhoto by Bruce Bennet

I took Maya, my 12 year old daughter, with me. Her favorite character was “Flounder” played by local Joseph Gaitens. That boy is talented! I loved all the characters.

maya little mermaid

Performances will run from Tuesday, July 29th to Sunday, August 3rd, with shows at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are on sale now. You can buy them here.


Food Friday: Pureed Lentil Soup

A staple in many Palestinian homes is lentil soup, also known as shorabit addas majroosh. It is warm, comforting, healthy, and super simple to make. Lentil soup is to Palestinians as mashed potatoes are to Americans. So when I hosted iftar, I went for both comfort foods! Seeing both dishes on my stove top just exemplified who I am as a person, Palestinian-American.

Instead of using my own lentil soup recipe, I decided to try out Rawia Bishara’s recipe from her book Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking.

It did not disappoint.


Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red lentils (3 cups), picked over
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions and garlic and saute until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in 12 -15 cups water (I substituted some of the water with chicken stock) and the lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are easily crushed when pressed against the side of the pot.

Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and remove from the heat. Serve hot as is, or puree to your desired texture (which is what I did) using an immersion blender.

I served this soup with lemons wedges on the side, since we tend to like to squeeze more lemon it. Sorry, no picture of the end result. I got so busy feeding my hungry guests that I forgot to take a picture!


Live + Love Moment – Paris Edition


Hello Wednesday! Still thinking of Paris, and the wonderful time we had on vacation. But back to reality. It is really easy to have live + love moments when you are traveling. You appreciate all the little things in life. It was fun being a tourist, no reason to hide it.

Standing in line at Ladurée was well worth the wait, to get these delicious double-decker macarons.  This French luxury baker and sweets maker house created in 1862. My personal favorite was the buttery salted caramel. Apparently, 15,000 macarons get sold daily. I am not surprised.

I never grew tired of seeing the Eiffel Tower. During the day. At night. This view was taken from the Arc de Triomphe, which was the first place we visited on our first day in Paris.

Montmarte is a tourist trap. You can see it in the picture. But if you can look past the souvenir shops and Disney World type artists sketching tourists, overpriced gelato and crepes…there is some history there. I felt this was a spot that we needed to take the kids. We went into the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur. And yes, we rode the funicular. Next…

Beautiful flower shops were everywhere. Spilling into the streets. Loved seeing this on our walks throughout the city!

Until my next moment…



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