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!


  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.

    • I’m going to guess 10. Unless everything was printed double-sided. Sounds like some fun flavours!

  2. 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

  3. Nicole says

    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!)

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. Fran Craig says

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

  7. 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!

  8. Allison Smith says

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

  9. Mary says

    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.

  10. Allene says

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

  11. Eileen says

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

  12. 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 🙂

    • Suzanne says

      well shoot, i saw someone else guessed 17….i hereby change my answer to 19…if that is allowed 🙂

  13. Kathryn says

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

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

  15. Caroline says

    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.)

  16. Ashley says

    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!

  17. Aga says

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

  18. 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!

  19. Simone says

    I’m guessing 7… what a great surprise!!! Love it!
    Will share on fb 🙂

  20. 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 . . .


  21. Beth says

    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.

  22. amanda says

    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.

  23. Pingback: Global Table Adventure | Recipe: Frankincense Ice Cream

  24. Keith says

    21 Binders!

    What an awesome surprise and accomplishment! WOW! MOM!

  25. Lemons says

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

  26. 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

    • Gwen Larsen says

      Whoops, I forgot to include my guesstimate: 7 binders total if double sided, 14 if not?

  27. Leslie says

    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!

  28. Tina says

    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.

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  31. Lupita says

    Hallo everyone:

    I was very curious about the taste of “Frankincense” and it is not easy to find it here (Germany)
    I do it exactly like the recipe and I was really happy surprised for the taste. Very special and I can say a happy taste for me and I feel very good. Then I was researching more about it and the info says that it can drink in tea, in butter or Vodka.
    The test with milk rice is really good 🙂 and cold is better and for some problems in skin like wrinkles and pain is wonderful. I am happy to find this page and you can find more info about the other uses in internet and the most interesting for me is for hair too. It is a good oil and only I am confused for the prices from 9.00€ – 95.00 € But now I am trying in all ways I can and I am sure all are extraordinary good.
    Dear Sasha, thanks a lot for this lovely and tasty recipe. I LOVE IT! yam…yam…yam


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