Archive for the Food & Recipes Category

Recipe | Mmm …Spicy Moroccan Meatballs

September 19th, 2013

moroccan meatballs recipeIngredients

  • 450g/ minced lamb ( or beef if preferred)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Low calorie cooking spray


1.   Place the mince in a bowl and combine with parsley and half the cumin and paprika, and season well. Using your hands, shape into roughly 16 small meatballs.

2.      Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and brown the meatballs. Set aside.

3.      In the same pan gently sweat the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes before adding the remaining cumin, paprika and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.

4.      Return the meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Stir in the coriander and serve.


Very easy, very inexpensive, and it only takes around half an hour to do. You can also experiment with the amount of spices, if you want to turn the heat up little ….delicious

As extras, I would usually rustle up some cous cous in vegetable stock and simply stir in my favourite herbs, I like to use mint, very aromatic. and/or warm up some flat bread for a feast, it’s great for mopping up the spicy tomato sauce.

kasbah lanternsSet the mood

Set the table – on a low coffee table or  clear some space and lay down a picnic rug , sit amongst friends on the floor with lots of cushions, and some fabby lighting and cue the moroccan bellydance music

Party Time For BDB Girls!

November 23rd, 2012

All BDB girls, past, present & future are invited to join us for a party evening of delicious foods, drinks & of course …bellydancing!

Party Bellydance Theme

This year our festive party fun is being hosted at Empires!

A Turkish & Mediterranean restaurant just off the Royal Mile at 24 St. Mary’s Street, Edinburgh. The food is delicious, drinks are BYOB, decor is like being on holiday and the last time us BDB girls were there we had a truly FABULOUS time!!

Tables are booked from 8.30pm onwards on Friday 14th December 2012

The evening will include a performance set from Bellydancingbarbie and music for us all to enjoy and have a Bellyboogie!

Those who want to can then go for a couple of drinks/dancing afterwards.

Let me know if you wanna join us and they’ll increase the size of our table accordingly!
**RSVP** ASAP to, in class or on Facebook event page: BDB Girls Christmas Party!

Dress code: whatever makes you happy. Pop your hipscarf in your handbag!


  • Empires don’t serve alcohol so instead they offer a “Bring Your Own Bottle” service – corkage/glasses charge is £3 wine bottle, 50p beer bottle
  • They currently can’t take card payments so cash or cheque only on the night please
  • As our group is large & the restaurant is popular they very politely ask for a £10 deposit per person to reserve our seating. Please get your £10 deposit to Lindsey by Monday 10th Dec, either cash in class or via Paypal transfer to: I’ll then go to the restaurant and pay this on everyone’s behalf.

  • UPDATED – IF YOU HAVEN’T MANAGED TO GET A DEPOSIT TO ME YET BUT YOU STILL REALLY DO WANT TO JOIN US, I CAN PAY A DEPOSIT ON YOUR BEHALF, JUST LET ME KNOW …and promise me you’ll be there otherwise it could be a costly night for me haha! ;)

Looking forward to it,
Shimmies Xx.

Free Bellydancing Classes With Danone Activia Yogurts!

April 11th, 2012

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to announce a promotion I’m running with Danone Activia!

Activia yogurts are yummy and contain a live culture which can help boost the good bacteria in your digestive system. In studies these kinds of yogurts can be particularly beneficial to children, older adults and those recovering from illness although with “everything in moderation” everybody’s belly can benefit from a boost …and especially now because…

…If you buy special “TLC Rewards” promotional packs of Activia yogurts you can get a free Bellydancingbarbie Class!

Just key in the on-pack code into their website and it tallies up your points. Collect 500 points and claim your free Bellydancingbarbie class! Any class you fancy, any week of term, providing there is a space available then. Just call or email me to confirm before bringing along your voucher on the day.

Get collecting your yogurt pots, get fitter & get healthier!


Love, BDB♥Xx

BDB Girls Get Together | Friday 16th March 2012

March 9th, 2012

15 of the BellydancingBarbie girls, past, present & future, are getting together for a girls night!
~ This Friday, table booked for 8pm
~ at Hanam’s, 3 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh
~ Kurdish & Middle Eastern food to share
~ BYOB drinks
~ Bellydancing and giggles!
~ Wear anything you fancy and pop you’re hipscarf in your handbag just in case ;)
~ Here’s the Facebook event for the night.
~RSVP ESSENTIAL – spaces are now confirmed with the restaurant.

…At our last meet up, just before Christmas, we literally took over Hanam’s restaurant with dancing round the tables and we even got a table of other ladies up to join us!

It’ll be a fun filled night and a chance to let our hair down outside of class!

Thanks to all who voted for their preferred date. Friday 16th March 2012 was the most preferred by 4 votes.

If you missed your chance this time round don’t worry there’ll be another get together happening in the not too distant future. Keep checking back & be quick to RSVP to avoid missing out.

Looking forward to it!


BDB Girls Xmas Get Together!

December 16th, 2011

A few of us are meeting up this Sunday (18th Dec) for a Christmas girly get together!

If you can make it we have a table booked at Hanam’s (beside the castle) from 7pm. The plan is have a bite to eat there (it’s BYOB) and those who want to can then go for a couple of drinks/dancing afterwards.

and here’s the Facebook event I’ve created

Let me know if you wanna join us and they’ll increase the size of our table accordingly!

Dress code: whatever makes you happy!

Looking forward to it,
Shimmies Xx.

(there’ll be another Belly Dance Night Out in January so if you can’t make this one hopefully you can make that one!)

Egyptian Falafel – Ta’Amia

January 7th, 2011

Egyptian Falafel - Ta'Amia - Bellydancingbarbie ChatFalafel is a small bite size bean pattie eaten in lots of eastern countries. Again, something everyone wants to claim as their own because if done right they are GOOD and even if they turn out a bit bland you can lash on some great dressings and salads to give them oodles of taste!

There are regional differences in the ingredients lists, some call for chickpeas, some fava beans and some half and half. The inclusion of various herbs and spices varies too and families tend to have their own unique blend that they like and stick to. We can follow their lead here and find a recipe to our exact liking!

Excellent things to remember about Falafel are: it’s easy when you know how, it’s remarkably healthy by any recipe, low in fat (if you use good oil) and provides lots of nutrients. They’re satisfying and fill you up without being heavy. It’s handy to keep a little tub of them in the fridge for snaking on or giving to the family in lunchboxes.

Ta’Amia is the Egyptian version of Falafel. This one calls for fava beans. It’s often quite spicy and served in a wholemeal pitta bread with Read more »


November 7th, 2010


Baklava/baklawa, “tomAto/tomato” – so what? Minor variations of spelling and pronunciation of this popular and widely seen desert pastry. When I say “widely seen” I mean they eat it in like Turkey, Egypt, Maghreb, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, China, basically lots of places, particularly wherever you like in Central and Southwest Asia they probably indulge in Baklava.

Tending to take the form of layers of phyllo pastry cut into ‘lozenges’ often soaked in syrup with a chopped nut filling baklava is considered to have been developed during the former Ottoman Empire. Many countries claim it as there own creation, well if somethings popular and really good, everyone wants a bit of the pie right?! !) However, it’s not certain exactly where this tasty bite, loved by those with a self confessed sweet tooth, originates from but then, who cares, just eat it!

For this recipe you will need:

  • Time, say around 2 hours
  • A difficulty capacity of around 2
  • 4-6 persons with a sweet tooth to share it with
  • 160g/8 sheets of phyllo dough (or very fine flake pastry)
  • 350g/13oz shelled and chopped pistachio nuts*
  • 100g/4oz butter

For the syrup:

  • 150g/6oz sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • Orange flower oil

1 | Arrange 4 sheets of dough in a buttered baking dish. Melt 70g/3oz butter and brush it over the dough.

2 | Cover the dough with the chopped pistachio nuts and then put the other sheets of dough on top. Brush with melted butter.

3 | Bake at 170˚C/340˚F for 35 minutes, then raise the temperature to 210˚C/410˚F and continue baking for 10 more minutes.

4 | Dissolve the sugar in 2 glasses of water, add the juice of ½ lemon; simmer until the syrup thickens; add 2 tbsp orange flower oil, cook 2 minutes longer and remove from the heat. Let cool.

5 | When the ‘cake’ is done, pour the syrup over it and cut it into bite size lozenges.


Baklava, DONE!

The best bit is that since Bellydancing involves lots of intense and focussed muscle contractions the body requires refuelling with a small amount of some simple carbohydrates right after dancing so having a piece of this is not only yummy, is also warranted!



* may contain nuts

Eid-Ul-Fitr For “Breakfast”?

September 10th, 2010

Eid-Ul-Fitr is the feast that marks the end of the month of Ramadan & fasting for muslims. This year in the UK it has been announced, as is tradition, on Friday 10th September. It’s a very joyous time and one which brings many families and friends together, congratulating each other on the success of their fast, sharing in food and thoughts to the future.

A good article on Ramadan can be found here and this offers many positive reasons for the fasting. Small things like dates and drinking water at certain times during darkness hours ensure it’s not super dangerous. It’s like a mind and body detox I guess, although at a month long it clearly requires real devotion. If you’ve just completed this fast…

عيد مبارك

Eid Mubarak!

…and even if you haven’t it’s a good time in the year to stop and take stock of things in your life, consider what might strengthen you in your future and how you might better help others along the way.


Come Dine With Me Edinburgh!

September 8th, 2010

I’ve been asked to pass this on to all of you lovelies. Cooking is one of my other passions in life! I really love this show for that reason and for the very human enjoyment there is in watching a group dynamic evolve. I’d TOTALLY go in for this experience if it wasn’t for my current lack of a proper dining area… hmm… if I could store some of these beautiful costumes there… move the massage bed and giant home cinema setup there …et VOILA!! Maybe.

Do you cook? What’s your signature dish? Or is it more can’t cook, won’t cook in your case?

I recently entertained at a Come Dine With Me event my Turkish friend Rose hosted. It was great fun and I had EVERYONE up joining in! You should have seen the guys jaws drop when all the ladies in the room were moving in a “figure 8″ then you should have seen the ladies giggle as the guys tried (rather well) to move in a “camel” I finished my set with a really beautiful piece, improvised of course. It was one of those real personal gigs that warms your heart and leaves you feeling honoured to have shared with people.


p.s. how nice is Ainsley Harriet? Awhhh, nice! where did he go anyways?

Btw more middle eastern recipes coming soon..