A nutritious and festive Arabic dish; a low-key live music option; everything you didn't know you needed to know, and affordable, practical cookbooks.
What We're Loving: Karawya, acoustic music night and UberFacts
I was visiting a colleague and her new baby girl when I was pleasantly surprised by an Arabic dish her mother prepared. Traditionally served to celebrate the birth of a child, Karawya is a sort of pudding made with caraway seeds, garnished with coconut, pine nuts, pistachios and almonds. It managed to be delicious, nutritious and festive, all at the same time.
* Ann Marie McQueen
Acoustic music night
If you love listening to live music, head down to the recently launched acoustic sessions featuring the inimitable International Playboys at Heroes in the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi every Tuesday. A more intimate affair than the band's usual party nights, the lighting is low with lava lamps and disco balls, the tables are close to the stage and the band will take requests, throwing in some jokes and witticisms throughout the night. Between sets, DJ Sneaky Pete plays chilled-out tunes while you think up your next song request. With Charlie, Sam, Jo and Nicola performing music from The Beatles to Adele and everything in between, it all adds up to a relaxed evening of great music and entertainment.
From 8.30pm, every Tuesday at Heroes, Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ipboys
* Sarah Ferguson
I've long believed Twitter to be completely futile. After being swayed by all the hype a couple of years ago I signed up for an account.
But I soon concluded that the social media website was just a forum for people to spread mostly fictitious celebrity gossip, or a place for those with too much time on their hands to share the minutiae of their humdrum lives. Hence, my account has pretty much lain dormant. Until, that is, a friend recommended I follow a feed called UberFacts.
As the name suggests, it's basically a stream of useless but fascinating trivia. For example, recently I learnt that a fear of opinions is known as alloxodoxaphobia, or the dot over the letter i is called a tittle. Now, I for one can't recall how I survived without knowledge of factoids such as these.
* Hugo Berger
Women's Weekly cookbooks
Sometimes after a long day, the last thing we want to do is think about what to make for dinner. But it helps to regularly browse online or simply keep a few recipe books on your kitchen counter for a dash of inspiration. It need not necessarily mean spending hundreds of dirhams on the latest book by the most talked-about celebrity chefs.
Even simple recipe books such as the Women's Weekly (yup) cookbooks can work a little magic on to your plate. I purchased three from their mini format series: Veggie Main Meals, Thai Favourites and After Work Healthy, from Borders bookshop in Dubai. Using these books made me remember how much fun it is to try new recipes for the first time. They also open the reader up to countless cooking traditions from around the world – the kind that guests will no doubt be much impressed by.
The books cost Dh22 each and can also be found at Jashanmal Bookstores and Kinokuniya in The Dubai Mall. Don't miss the dessert series, with recipes for anything from baking cakes to mixing fruit smoothies.
* Maey El Shoush