Assalamualaikum and a very good evening to all. Hope life is treating everyone good.
Oman celebrated its 43rd National day last Monday 18th November but the official holiday for the National day will be on this coming Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th November. I am looking forward to this long weekend. No concrete plan has been made but insyaallah we will go somewhere. Oman is too beautiful to be left unexplored furthermore we are receiving guest this Wednesday, the more reason to go out in the sun hehehe.
We have been in Muscat since 28th August and we have been to a couple of places that I find it to be breathtaking. Oman has a very unique landscape; rocky mountains, sandy dunes, amazing beaches and not to forget natural wadis…. what is there not to love!
The first trip that we took was to the Bimmah sink hole and Wadi Al Shab during the eid holidays. Shukri and Anis with their 3 girls came over from Kuwait to spend 5 days in Muscat knowing that we just moved in and eid would be lonely without family and close friends. We really appreciate them coming all the way from Kuwait to our humble home just to keep us company. On the second day of eid holiday we went to Bimmah Sinkhole. Bimmah Sinkhole is located in the fenced and toilet-equipped Hawiyat Najm Park. It is approximately 1.5 hrs drive from Muscat.
Bimmah sinkhole occurred naturally due to limestone erosion. This sinkhole is said to be connected to the sea through an underground tunnel which then explain the unique colour of the water. We have no way of confirming this but my girls did taste the water and they said it taste slightly salted. So, maybe it is true that this sinkhole is connected to the sea which is one or two km away. You can actually swim here, so by all means, please bring your swimming costume people!
After spending about 1 hour here, we proceed to our next destination, Wadi Shab. Wadi Shab is approximately 20 km from Bimmah Sinkhole but since our GPS gave a weird location of this wadi, we kind of wonder off road for a while and go up a mountain hehehe. We then called a friend and she told us that this wadi so near to the road and should you already go up the mountain, you are definitely lost. Almost gave up, we decided to just proceed to Sur and then, suddenly the signboard appeared… what a relieve! It is just by the roadside…. well, at least some part of it. We parked our car and took a boat to the other side. The guy on the boat told us that you need to walk about 1 hour to the waterfall. Since we have children and baby with us, we decided to just walk to the first pool so that the kids could have a dip. The other tourist told us that it is just a 10 minutes walk but the the kids, not suitable foot ware and the heat factor, I swear that it took us almost 20 minutes to the pool. Thank God that the kids had fun in the water.
After Wadi Shab, we drove to Sur for a late lunch and then headed home to Muscat. It was a long day but the scenery was to die for. In the next posting I’ll tell you our next adventure after the sinkhole and Wadi Shab, stay tune!
Okay, now we come to the new recipe for today, cream puff. I seriously do not remember where I got the recipe from but I Have been using this recepi since I first moved to Kuwait. Happy baking guys!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 cup water
- 4 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 2 large yolks – beaten
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (you can reduce this if you do not fancy a sweet pastry cream)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup corn flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 200C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl sift together flour,sugar and salt.
- Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. (Make sure that the butter melts before the water boils to reduce the amount of evaporation.)
- Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined.
- Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball
- Transfer the dough to your electric mixer and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough. Once the dough is lukewarm start adding the lightly beaten eggs and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste.
- Spoon or pipe 24 small mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees C. Continue to bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are almost dry inside. Turn the oven off and with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells completely cool.
- When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with the pastry cream, or use a pastry bag to pipe the pastry cream into the shells.
- Place the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once melted add sugar, salt and corn flour. Mix well.
- Add milk and cook until just about to boil.
- Add the egg slowly, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the mixture become thick.
- Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.
- Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use.