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Zabeel Stables (and Baked Apple Crisps)

Fri, Jun 24, 2011

Posted in:  dubai things-to-do,snacks

Zabeel Racing Stable, Dubai

Last week, the news that Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had won the first round of Europe’s Endurance Race (held in Verona, Italy) reminded me of some photos that I had forgotten to post.

June 12, 2011: Sheikh Mohammed (right) led the UAE riders to the finish line at the first round of Europe's Endurance Race in Verona, Italy. (photo courtesy of WAM)

Thanks to Mumcierge, Wee Scotch and I visited the Zabeel Racing Stables where some of Sheikh Mohammed’s race horses are trained and stabled. We were told by our guide that 85% of the horses in the stable are owned by the Maktoum family. All proceeds for the stable tour went towards the Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai (RDAD).

Driving into the stables’ parking lot, I almost ran over a peacock with its beautiful tail fully expanded. I wasn’t driving very fast at all and I certainly wasn’t expecting a peacock to be guarding the gate. Good thing that peacock lived to see another day, otherwise I’d for sure have ended up in Dubai jail for killing a royal peacock. Whew.

As this tour was organized by Mumcierge, our group consisted of moms and babes with a few dads. It was a hot May day but low in humidity so not too bad for the kiddies to be out of doors. The stable grounds were so serene, so green, and so immaculately maintained. I felt like I was in some English countryside and it almost seemed surreal to see the backdrop, though stunning, of Jumeirah Emirates Towers and other Sheikh Zayed Road buildings.

Zabeel Stable

Zabeel Stable

We were taken through a few of the stables (air conditioned, might I add) and the children were instantly excited. Wee Scotch had never seen a real horse before so he kept calling them “woo woo!” which is baby babble for puppy as he thought they were larger incarnations of his furry friends. I taught him the Chinese word for horse and by the end of the tour, he was already calling them by their proper names, “mah mah.” What a smart cookie he is. Makes a mom proud :).

Next we watched some of the horses swim the length of the 100-meter equine pool. Wee Scotch experienced a sensitive moment and started to cry when he saw the first horse jump in because he thought it was drowning. Using sign language (hand wiggling up and down), I explained to him that the horsey was just swimming. My son knows two signs: food, and swimming. They apparently come in very handy for us in times like this.

Equine Pool

Equine Pool

Besides the stables and the pool, we also saw the horse treadmill and the state-of-the-art horse spa. Yep, these horses get the royal treatment alright.

Treadmill and Horse Spa

Treadmill and Horse Spa

Finally we arrived at a stable where there were a few horses suitable for petting. The children very much enjoyed stroking the horseys and even Wee Scotch got to pet one called “Winniest Doc,” a Chestnut gelding from the USA. Then our guide showed us that these horses prefer Pepsi over Coke (something I can very much relate to).

Zabeel Stables 2

It was certainly a nice outing for Wee Scotch to see his first horseys. Many thanks to Mumcierge for organizing this.

Mumcierge is a “one stop shop” for mother and baby services in Dubai.  Mumcierge pulls together all the wonderful and exciting things Dubai has to offer its mothers and children and makes them easily available to their members. There are different membership options including pay-as-you-go. Please visit their website for more information.

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When Wee Scotch and I go out, I usually pack him a snack box full of cheerios, raisins, and rice cakes. I always feel guilty because, although organic, they are still processed food. He abhors raw vegetables but loves fruit. So lately, I’ve been making baked apple crisps for him to snack on.

baked apple crisps

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Baked Apple Crisps
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Instead of buying or packing processed foods for day trips, I like to take along these baked apple crisps for my son to snack on as they’re healthy and the baking brings out the sweetness of the apples.
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 1 small bag
Ingredients
  • 2 red apples (Gala and Pink Lady apples are great for making crisps as they are low in moisture to begin with)
  • cinnamon for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 120 C (250 F) and use the fan element if your oven has it. The circulating air will facilitate the drying of the apple slices.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I just lined my oven racks as I didn’t have baking sheets large enough).
  3. Using a mandolin or food processor, slice apples to ⅛-inch thickness (3 mm). If slicing by hand, core the apples to facilitate slicing and slice the apples as thin as you can.
  4. Arrange the apple slices on the parchment paper and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon.
  5. Bake on the lower part of your oven (away from the heating elements) for 20 minutes, then gently turn the apple slices over and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them towards the last 10 minutes or so to make sure they don’t burn.
  6. Remove baking sheet or rack from oven and allow the apple to cool. The apples will come out a bit soft but will crisp up as they cool.
  7. Store in an airtight container or bag.

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baked apple chips

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

abigail June 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

ohhh I can imagine the horror Wee Scotch felt when "mah mah" jump in the water. I too pack easy (aka processed) food for Vierte when going out he's not into raw fruits and prefers anything with chocolate :( I will definitely give this a try.
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ginger June 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

if you make them, do let me know how they turn out so I can keep tweaking the recipe :)

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abigail July 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm

tried to make them last week but I was such a failure. the apples didn't came out crispy :( maybe cause my oven didn't have any fan
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Sally - My Custard P June 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm

I visited this stables 16 years ago on a visit to Dubai and was absolutely blown away at how amazing the facilities are and the beauty of the horses. Great pics.
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ginger June 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm

it was such a lovely facility and the kids enjoyed it immensely.

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Ann @ Running With C June 26, 2011 at 9:10 am

Haha I love the horse treadmill and spa! And apple crisps sound delicious! In a recipe I made a while ago for the blog I sprinkled some lemon juice for a little tartness!
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ginger June 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

would lemon add more moisture to it thus affecting the bake time, I wonder?

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Jennifer June 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Oh these remind me of autumn! Apple and warm spices paired together in a crisp are just divine

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ginger June 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm

it's interesting that despite not liking cinnamon I actually quite liked them in the baked apples.

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lynne June 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Oh these look delicious! I remember buying these on a long drive in oregon past dozens of apple farms! I've been looking for a recipe!!
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ginger June 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

i've never been to apple farms in Oregon…only the wineries :)

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Sarah-Jane June 28, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Apple crisps look great. I'll need to have a go at those for my little boy.

Wow – those stables really are something. My horses live out in the field all the year round. They are hairy beasties and used to roughing it !

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ginger June 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Wee Scotch loves them and I don't feel guilty as a mom since it's all natural with no added sugar, preservatives, etc.

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RetroJetGirl June 30, 2011 at 5:22 am

Wow I had no idea you could actually visit the stables, they look really cool!

I always love seeing HH on tv when he's around horses, he always looks so happy (albeit a lot like my dad, which is kind of strange)
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Sarah@thehedonista October 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Been meaning to get down to those stables for what – 4 years now? Looks like a fun day. Great idea with the apple crisps.
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