Menu: Oman (& Giveaway)

I love a good surprise. Today our Omani menu is full of hidden, sneaky treats. The ice cream? Laced with frankincense oil. The lemonade? As good as a garden of roses bathed in summer love. And the kofta are juicy and fragrant, hiding cinnamon and cumin, lounging on a bed of zucchini tomato sauce with a slightly cooling, sneaky handful of mint.

And then there’s this kind of surprise:

This represents a portion of packages that came in the mail from my mom yesterday. They are binders. These binders contain every post I’ve ever written on the blog.

Every. Single. Post.

Every recipe. Every photo. Almost every comment.

Ever since the first week, she’s been printing out my posts. Dutifully and unbeknownst to me.

If that ain’t a mother’s love, I don’t know what is.

I’m completely floored.

Grilled Kofta with Zucchini Sauce [Recipe]
Hand rolled beef seasoned with earthy cinnamon, wild cumin, and coriander seed. Served with a quick tomato and zucchini sauce laced with parsley and a smattering of mint, the perfect way to use up your garden goods.

Frankincense Ice Cream [Recipe]
I’m not convinced this is legal. That being said, what could go wrong with creamy ice cream that tastes like exotic pine and heady frankincense? This is a show stopper and a conversation piece.

Rosewater Lemonade [Recipe]
A simple way to dress up lemonade. Each glass tastes like a thousand roses bathing in fresh squeezed sunlight. It’s what lemonade should wear to black tie affairs.


Today, because I want you all to know the joy of making frankincense ice cream (or blueberry cardamom, or nutmeg), I am giving away one Cuisinart Ice Cream maker. You can choose whatever color you want, including white.

But how could you pick white when there’s colors like plum and berry blue? It’s a tough call.




*Winner from this week’s Omani Menu Giveaway was selected at random by There were lots of great guesses as to how many binders my mom filled with printoffs of every single post on this blog. We had several who guessed the correct number, which I find amazing! There were 15 binders … from those who guessed correctly, we selected a random winner.  Congratulations to Mary who said:

“My aunt did this for a blog I kept while traveling, though she chose only a selection of entries and pictures and created a scrapbook for me. It was one of the best surprise gifts I’ve ever received.

My guess: 15 binders.”

To Enter:

The above binder photo contains a sampling of the binders my mom sent me. To win the cuisinart, I’d like you to guess how many binders my mom filled with my writing from Afghanistan through Norway. As I mentioned above, she included every recipe, most comments, and all photos.

Bonus entries will be provided for those that tweet this giveaway with hashtag #globalgiveaway and/or share it on Pinterest and Facebook.

To Win:

The first person to correctly guess the number of binders will win the Cuisinart Ice Cream maker. If there are multiple correct guesses, one of the correct guesses will be chosen at random. If no one guesses correctly, one winner will be chosen at random.

Winner will be announced in the Monday Meal Review.  Contest closes Monday morning 8/13/12. There are no sponsors for this giveaway. I just wanted to share some Omani ice cream love, from me to you. Enjoy!

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  1. What a lovely surprise! What a lovely Mom. In the mail! That must have been a whomping big box. I can’t even begin to figure out how many binders, so wild guess: eight.

    Can’t wait to find out what frankincense tastes like – I never knew it was used as a flavoring.

  2. My guess is 9

  3. Leslie Litz Ryan says:

    My guess is 21 binders ( I know sounds like alot, however I know that you have gotten many comments and you have posted many many many awesome and inspiring recipes.) Thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through you and your family. Leslie

  4. My guessing is 6 or 7 binders. Your mom is great!

  5. 7…. a good-luck number and a really good mama to print them all for you! (Think of the ink cartridges she had to purchase! Wowza!)

  6. meganleiann says:

    My guess is 11.

  7. annaclarice says:

    What a great thing to be able to pass down to Ava. Someday she will LOVE having these to go through with her kids and tell them tales of all the fun and wonderous food her mom made for her. I’m going to guess that your mom sent you 12 binders so far. Keep them safe!

  8. I am going with 8. Those are pretty big binders!

  9. Rebecca D says:

    Wow. That must’ve cost a lot to ship! What a demonstration of her love for you & your passion. Go mom of Sasha! :) My guess is…13.

  10. Fran Craig says:

    Loving your blog… heard about it through my daughter. I’ll guess 14 binders.

  11. Stephanie says:

    Hmm. I’ve been a reader since you posted Afghanistan and love the recipes and pictures! I’m going to guess 11. How sweet of your mom to send you this!

  12. My guess is 11 binders.

  13. Allison Smith says:

    I think its about a minder per month, and you have been blogging for three years? So I say 36 binders.

  14. My aunt did this for a blog I kept while traveling, though she chose only a selection of entries and pictures and created a scrapbook for me. It was one of the best surprise gifts I’ve ever received.

    My guess: 15 binders.

  15. I’m going to guess 10. Those are big binders, and very full, but I’m willing to bet she printed everything double-sided.

  16. Lindsey A. says:

    I am guessing 12 binders

  17. 17 is my guess. What a beautiful relationship you & your Mom have.

  18. Jessica Bennett says:

    Wow, that is a wonderful gift from mom! I will guess 12 binders. The meal sounds delicious, by the way. Can’t wait for the recipes :)

  19. That’s a wonderful surprise – my guess is 18 binders!

  20. I’ll guess 15.

  21. What a great way to treasure memories! My guess is 17.

  22. I’m going to say 16. That red one is divine!

  23. I’m going to guess 25 binders. What a lovely thing for your mom to do!

  24. 13 binders!

  25. My guess is 12. Your mom is awesome and that frankincense oil ice cream had really got me curious about how it tastes!

  26. tweeted the giveaway

  27. My guess is 25 binders…

  28. Hannah Ruhl says:

    I guess 11 Binders…Pinned and Shared on Facebook!

  29. By my highly scientific calculations of guesstimating, based on what little knowledge I’ve accumulated concerning reams of paper, I am going to guess that your mother sent you 9 binders full of blog posts. Which is an incredibly sweet thing for her to do. Moms are great. (I’ve also pinned and facebooked the post.)

  30. 14?

  31. I don’t have a binder guess… Okay, I guess I’ll go with lucky 13!

    But the real reason I’m commenting is to say that I want that Kofta recipe nooooow! I have so much zucchini that’s just on the edge of going bad. This sounds like a perfect recipe to use it up! Thanks for your incredible ideas and recipes. They are so inspiring!

  32. I think she send you 13 binders. Somehow I think that 10 countries might fit into one binder. :)

  33. Margaret says:

    Total guess = 5!

  34. dutchgirl says:

    My guess is 16 binders

  35. Kremena Tobin says:

    I just came upon your wonderful blog!What a great idea to cook indigenous meals from countries around the world!This is brilliant!Congratulations!

    Let me not forget the guess number for the folders your awesome Mom printed!I think 12.

    Good luck to everyone and may the one that really needs the ice cream machine wins it!

  36. I’m going to guess 20 binders.

  37. I’m guessing 7… what a great surprise!!! Love it!
    Will share on fb :)

  38. Hi Sasha:

    I came to see the preview of the kofta – they look beautiful – and I stayed to calculate binders and pages. My guess is 33 binders. (10,000 pages at 300 pages per binder).

    I love the giveaway idea – I may have to borrow it later on . . .


  39. I’m going to guess 21 bingers

  40. I’d guess 13, a stab in the dark, so to speak.

  41. I’m guessing 7 or 8. I actually calculated a rough estimate. Does that still count as guessing? It’s off obviously because every post is probably more/less than the page count I had PLUS the fact that I don’t know if the pages are double-printed OR how many pages fit in each of those binders. So…. blurgh. I’m guessing 7. Final answer.

  42. I’m going to guess 8

  43. Hmmm… let’s say 14.

    And BTW, your guinness cake with bailey’s buttercream is AWESOME. Next thing I try will be the coconut jelly dessert. Or maybe the lamb and fig tagine. Or maybe the chicken peanut soup.

  44. 22 binders.

  45. I say 8

  46. Five binders

  47. 15, if it’s one sided.

    8 if it’s double sided

  48. I’m going to say 23 binders. What a beautiful gift!

  49. 21 Binders!

    What an awesome surprise and accomplishment! WOW! MOM!

  50. 12 binders. I would love the sage colored maker :)

  51. Karen Kozelko says:


  52. My guess is 8. That just sounds about right. That was an awesome thing for her to do.

  53. I’m guessing 13!

  54. Gwen Larsen says:

    A generous gift from mom to her generous daughter, Sasha! It seems that character quality has been passed down thru her values to you! And no doubt Ava will observe that thru your giveaways & pass it forward, too…

    I’ve never owned an electric ice cream maker and would love to have one…and having lived in the middle East (Saudi, Kuwait & Oman) I would definitely make your recipes with it & tell my guests about your fascinating blog! I also posted this on Facebook as you requested. “Shukran” (thank you) & “ma’a salama” (goodbye). Gwen

  55. I’m going to have to guess 17 binders . Enjoying the blog. Plan to make the meat dish from Oman This Sunday for company . Thanks!

  56. I think every realistic number has been guessed! I’m guessing by the time you’re done with the blog there will be 42 binders, but yeah, I know that’s not what we’re guessing on.

  57. My guess is 8. I posted on Facebook and Twitter as well.

  58. Krisztina says:

    My guess is 24 binders, pinned & shared on FB :-)

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