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Salam Alaikum (Peace be upon you).

My name is Taiyyaba.

I’m Muslim by blessing, American by birth, Pakistani by blood, and Syrian by b’marriage. (sorry, I needed the symmetry). I live in North Carolina with my prince charming, Ameir. My family and friends are a beautiful mix of cultures and experiences, and I’m blessed to have them in my life.

My Ameir is a phenomenal iPhone programmer, MashAllah. See his work at Batoul Apps.

I’m a newly-minted attorney, and I can’t wait to use my powers for good. I’m currently on the hunt for a job. Let’s not talk about how frustrating that is. But, I’m confident that God will put me where He wants me to be, just as He got me through law school!

I like to cook, when I get the time for it. If it comes out well, I blog about it here.

I cook realistically. I’m a busy woman who has to manage family, work, volunteering, and my own sanity. I do take some shortcuts, but I try to avoid processed foods and take-out if I can do the same thing myself without much trouble. And even though cooking is not hard for me, and though I usually enjoy cooking after a long day, I realize that it does not come so naturally to everyone. I do think, however, that all it takes to become a talented home chef is a little confidence and a willingness to practice and make mistakes. I make a TON of mistakes (and I’ve got the burns and scars to prove it)…they just don’t turn up here!

I’m not sure what a “foodie” is or if I am one, but I don’t have the energy (and money, in many cases) to experiment with fancy ingredients. I just cook for real, and I’m happy to share it with you.

My two biggest cultural influences are from Pakistan and Syria, and they both influence my cooking. See the Pakistani and Arab (mostly Syrian, because all Arab cuisines are different!) food I’ve made.

I love photography, but I’m still learning the ins and outs of my camera. My photographer friends are teaching me how to work ISO, exposure, white balance, and a bunch of other things I can’t remember the names for. I’ll get around to figuring it all out soon enough, InshAllah (God Willing!) If you’re wondering, I have a Canon Eos Rebel XT with a 50mm portrait lens.

Some notes on some of my posts, specifically the tags and categories used to describe them:

{foodshot}: These posts are made mainly for the food and food culture photography they feature. All of these pictures are taken by me, unless otherwise noted.

My Big Fat Pakistani Syrian Life: As explained above, I come from a multicultural background. These posts feature a story, a memory, or some other aspect of my own life and the food cultures I live with. Molly, my mackeral tabbycat, has her own category tag.

Low Carb: Recently, Ameir and I have tried to focus more on healthy eating and have tried to stay low(er) carb (with difficulty, since we grew up in such rice and bread heavy food cultures). The recipes marked “Low Carb” are are actually developed to be low carb or can easily be adjusted to be low carb (eat them without the rice/bread in the picture).

Gift Ideas: Both Arab and Pakistani cultures say that you should never arrive at a friend’s house for dinner empty-handed. I try to bring easy homemade treats to my friends that they can enjoy later, while they’re relaxing after all the guests have gone home.

I’m not on Facebook (long story) but you can find me on Twitter @CupsOfChai. Thanks for visiting! If you try any of these recipes, I’d love to know how they turn out. Please leave comments.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010

    “I’m Muslim by blessing, American by birth, Pakistani by blood, and Syrian by b’marriage ” How cool to have such diversity in cultures! It makes u many more dimensional person. Best of Luck with your blog 🙂 God Bless!

  2. Imogen B. permalink
    October 8, 2010

    Taiyyaba – I stumbled across your blog via Sarah Long’s facebook and just had to drop you a note to tell you how much I love it! I know we only crossed paths a few times in law school (I think we had trademark together?) but since I’m creeping on your blog I thought I’d at least let you know how great I think it is! Love the photography, stories, and interesting blend of recipes. Can’t wait to try some of these – keep it up!!

  3. admin permalink*
    October 11, 2010

    Thanks Kulsum, and Imogen!

    Imogen – welcome – please do stay in touch. And congrats, Counselor, on being done with all that jazz!

  4. October 23, 2010

    Thanks to suggestions by Twitter, I landed here.
    Thts such an interesting intro.Looks like you ve seen it all 🙂
    Loved the clicks, recipes and beautiful write ups in your blog!
    Glad to have found it…escpecially when I am a big fan of chai cups while browsing blogs
    Smiles 🙂

  5. Natasha permalink
    October 27, 2010

    i love the mix of topics/genres you cover with one blog–creates a sense of home in a website that i think random readers will be able to connect to (if they haven’t already!). i’m a big fan of the gratuitous kitty pictures, too.

    best of luck!!

    ps for what it’s worth whenever i cook something i want to run and tell you, so you’ll, like, be proud of me, or something, hehe.

  6. November 8, 2010

    Taiyyaba, I didn’t realize you had a blog until I finally updated my Twitter account for the first time in, hmm, years? And there you were! I love your blog and am looking forward to following along for cooking tips!

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