I can’t believe it’s May already. Only two more months and I will leave Dubai for our annual  one- month summer holiday and escape from the heat.

I wonder what have I done in the first four months of 2011? One thing is for sure, I never think that I have been lazy. Having said that it’s easy on my part because I have two kids. Most people with two kids won’t be able to be lazy, even in their faintest dreams.
Apart from looking after my kids, which I do by going non-conventional/alternative routes (at least here in Dubai I seem to be part of a minority), I did all this:
– completing a full marathon and running all available races of 10k and 21k in Dubai
– landing myself a few photo-editing related freelance jobs
– having visitors from overseas for a couple of weeks each in January, February and April
– having great business ideas to follow-up on (well, husband and I think we have the right to get rich one day…. soon….)
– planning our family summer holiday which is equal to a 2-week full time job, as holiday places need to be found and booked, planes, trains, cars, to be hired, and family that we can pester or are entitled to pester us during our well-deserved holiday have to be contacted.
– last but not least: some of you may know how much time it takes to maintain a food blog: all the cooking, photographing,  food writing, etc.

In fact, I wish the day had a few more hours, especially in the evenings, when the kids are asleep. But tiredness is catching up with me after dinner, often sooner than I had wished for. Example: I went for a late afternoon 45-minute run at about 30C outside temperature. Bathed the kids, had dinner, and at 8.30pm I was sitting on the sofa like a vegetable, only able to watch the most mindless crap on TV before I wobbled to bed at 10pm.

I guess, the heat is getting me as it is already pretty hot. But after seven years in Dubai, I got used to it. Or rather, found ways, of making the most of it as long as I can. However, at this time of the year my mind IS preparing for the long, never-ending summer heat. I find myself searching for No Bake desserts. Any raw salad recipe is worth checking out.
I love the crunchiness of cucumbers, their cooling effect in a body. This cucumber salad is spiced up by the Asian dressing: Simple and straight, a no-fuss refreshment. Have it as fresh as you can or keep it in the fridge before serving for a few minutes for extra cooling effect.


1 English cucumber OR 4 Lebanese cucumbers
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 piece of leek (about 1 inch long)
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon clear honey or agave syrup
1 garlic clove, crushed
Serves 4

Finely chop or mince the  leek. In a small bowl, combine the leek with all other dressing ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavors to combine.
In the meantime, finely slice the cucumbers. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for a few minutes, than pat off excess water with paper towels.
In a serving bowl, combine cucumbers and dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Ready to serve.


  1. Wow, what a lovely photograph! I’ve been making some fun cucumber dishes, and it’s amazing to see that somebody on the other side of the world is working with the same ingredients!

    Also, I hear you about there not being enough hours in the day. Good luck with the marathon!


    Domestic Divas
    “Food Is Love”

  2. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in Dubai. I would love to visit Dubai someday
    I bet these are great for hot weather they sound delicious

  3. I know it’s May already .. I woke up with that shock too !! 😀 Your salad looks so simple and healthy and I love cucumber .. so definitely gonna try this.

  4. It’s amazing how a few simple ingredients can come together to make a delicious dish. I love cucumber salad, but never had it with leek before. I’ll have to try it, now. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. you’re so accomplished Anja! i’m hearing you on the heat…so sad that running outdoors season is drawing to a close.

    Love the cooling cucumber recipe…

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