Homemade Italian seasoning and a trip to Dubai miracle garden

After writing my post about the things I could not have prepared for when I moved the UAE a while back a major sandstorm hit the whole Gulf area. Heat and humidity can be annoying but a sandstorm is a completely different ball game!

For you to appreciate the magnitude of what has happened, here is a picture of the jogging trail across the street from my house on a normal day

jogging trail RAK

and this is the same view during the sand storm!!!

UAE sandstorm

The bright blue sky turned into deep shades of yellow and orange and with allergies the mere idea of stepping outside or breathing for that matter seemed like an adventure!

Blissfully, it happened during the school spring break, so I did not have to worry about driving the kids to school (yes, work and school do continue on days like this!)

After being locked up in the house for two days until the weather cleared up, we decided to take the kids to Dubai miracle garden.You need nature and a lot of green to make up for all that yellow and all that sand.

As the name implies, the mere existence of this place in the middle of the desert is nothing short of extraordinary and it takes your breath away the minute you walk into it.

dubai flower garden

Dubai miracle garden (2)

flower lady


flower Burj khalifa

Flower gate


flower house

The place is home to 45 million flowers!(you do need that many flowers to make up for the vast desert outside lol). The flowers give color to a variety of sculptures and patterns and walking through the garden feels like you have somehow passed through a magic mirror to a different dimension!

Flowers at Dubai miracle garden

Garden trash cans

Dubai miracle garden clock

Dubai miracle garden fountain

Yes that is Tinkerbell down there
Yes that is Tinkerbell down there

I am sure you are wondering, how on earth does such a place exist in the middle of the desert?! The answer is water and lots of it!! Maintaining this flower wonderland requires a jaw dropping 200,000 gallons (757,082 Liters) of water PER DAY!

Flour train at Dubai miracle garden

cars at dubai miracle garden

Umbrella lane Dubai miracle garden

As part of our visit, we stopped by the Dubai butterfly garden and I have to say that the miracle garden is amazing in its own right but the butterfly garden is nothing short of enchanting.

Three domes with an atmosphere that is specifically calibrated to suit the gentle creatures are home to thousands of butterflies from 24 varieties in different colors and sizes.

butterfly garden

When you walk into the Dubai butterfly garden, you can ask for special butterfly attracting scents, they spray some on your cloths and hands and…

Dubai miracle garden

butterfly garden2

It is an experience unlike anything I have ever tried. The colors,the delicate elegance of the butterflies, being able to experience nature first hand with the kids.It is definitely a day I will not soon forget.

orange butterfly

Dubai butterfly garden

Butterfly at Dubai garden
Some butterflies were huge!

butterflies at dubai garden


Butterfly garden Dubai

Dubai Miracle

After a trip in wonderland 🙂 we can now get back to our homemade spice and herb blends, today’s blend is one of my favorites: Italian seasoning

You don’t have to be an Italian food fanatic to love this.  Apart from many Italian recipes (like this heavenly Cannelloni) Italian seasoning is great as a marinade or dry rub for roast chicken, fish, and vegetables. It is also wonderful in dips,salad dressings and pizza sauces or added to pasta. Mix some with your bread crumbs and add a little Romano cheese for a delicious twist, you can give your croutons the same treatment to take your salad or soup to a completely new level

Still not feeling inspired?

Try using it in my zucchini corn fritters, Feta sundried tomatoes scones, or  four cheese lasagna

or my oregano cheese bread

What are you still doing here, March to the kitchen and make some

homemade Italian seasoning, why buy it when you can make it?!

 Italian seasoning

Yield: Makes 11 tablespoons

Italian seasoning : food.com


3 tablespoons (45ml) (9 grams)dried basil
3 tablespoons (45ml) (9 grams)dried oregano
3 tablespoons (45ml) (9 grams) dried parsley
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 gm) onion powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 grams)dried thyme
1 teaspoon (5ml) (3 grams) dried rosemary
1⁄4 teaspoon (0.75 ml) (1/2 gram) black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon (0.75 ml) (1/2 grams) red pepper flakes


Mix all ingredients in a spice grinder. Process until everything is finely ground


Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

Keep your spice blends in a cool dry place, preferably in a glass jar.

If you have a large quantity, it would be better to freeze the spice blends in order to preserve their flavor and keep them from spoiling

قبل وصفه البهارات الايطاليه احببت ان اشارككم مجموعه صور. بعد عاصفه رمليه رهيبه ضربت منطقه الخليج بكاملها. ذهبنا لزياره حديقه دبي للازهار و حديقه دبي للفراشات لجرعه مضاعفه من الطبيعه لتخفيف اثار كل ذلك الغبار والرمل 🙂 الصور من تلك الحديقه

بهارات ايطاليه من مدونه chef in disguise