Monthly Archives: June 2009

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Cardamom and farina pudding (Khabeesa)



The day I made khabeesa,  we enjoyed the fragrance of Arabia in our house. The cardamom and saffron permeated the kitchen and living room and it was intoxicating. I LOVED this dish! I found myself eating it for breakfast, then a bite after lunch, then a sliver in the afternoon and by dinner time, it […]

By |June 30th, 2009|Others|3 Comments
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Anne-Marie Bassoul, Artisan Pastry Chef


If you are in Beirut and happen to be in the mood for handmade and mouthwatering French pastries, look no further. Anne-Marie Bassoul, a Beirut native, has trained at various prestigious pastry shops in Paris for many years and decided to grace the locals with her creations. I tasted her mille-feuilles aux pralines and […]

By |June 29th, 2009|Others|1 Comment
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Shish Barak(meat dumplings in yogurt sauce)


My friend Hoda Soueid had graciously offered to show me how to make sheesh barak, the dish I remember most fondly from my grandmother’s. Tiny little dumplings made in a soft and very thin dough smothered in a yoghurt sauce and served over rice. Comfort food Lebanese-style! So good you can’t stop eating them!

We […]

By |June 27th, 2009|Others|25 Comments
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Clotted cream, homemade (Ashta bayteeyeh)


Nothing equals the sheer ecstasy in savoring a full cream ashta. I had the absolute best ashta of my life in Baghdad in the early seventies , at the home of Dr El-Khalidi who ordered it and had it served for us with fresh eggs in the morning. In those days in Irak they […]

By |June 24th, 2009|Others|28 Comments
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Pasta with zaatar pesto ( Zaatar akhdar pasta)


I discovered this recipe here in Beirut. The chef who created it is a woman, Marlene Mattar, who was in charge of a cooking segment in the Lebanese TV channel NBN. It is basically a pesto sauce but uses fresh zaatar called zaatar akhdar here as well as flat leaved parsley  instead of basil. […]

By |June 21st, 2009|Others|5 Comments
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Bohsali (Arabic Sweets artisan bakers)

My daughter wanted to visit the campus of  the Lebanese American University (LAU) and I thought ” and I want to visit Bohsali”. This place is an institution here in Beirut. It had been around forever! How many people can remember going there on sundays for knefe bel-jebn and devouring it at home a […]

By |June 20th, 2009|Others|1 Comment
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Cherries from Lebanon


It is my  contention that we only end up overdosing on desserts when we are deprived of delicious fruits. I can’t tell you how it feels to be able to eat cherries right now in Beirut!

When you can enjoy this heavenly treat, who needs candy or cake?

By |June 18th, 2009|Others|1 Comment
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I am in Beirut for a few weeks and it is the season now for toot. Juicy and sweet! What a delight!

In addition, we are going to be drinking sharab el-toot (mulberry juice), homemade by various friends and relatives. Can’t wait!

By |June 17th, 2009|Others|6 Comments
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Lebanese Cuisine by Anissa Helou


I met Anissa Helou about 2 years ago. I found out she was going to be in Dallas to do  a baking demonstration based on her latest book Savory Baking from the Mediterranean at the Central Market store. I drove 45 minutes to meet her. I found her there, tall and regal, calm and […]

By |June 6th, 2009|Others|7 Comments
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Tomatoes stuffed with bulgur and fava beans


I wanted to make a vegetarian dish for my son.

INGREDIENTS: Quantity will feed up to 6 people

1 cup of coarse burghul #4, rinsed and soaked in 2 cups of tap water for 15 minutes
3 cups of broth (can be  vegetable or chicken)
1 medium onion (5 oz), chopped
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of cilantro […]

By |June 3rd, 2009|Others|8 Comments