Monthly Archives: October 2009

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Cake with Turmeric (Sfoof)


When we were youngsters growing up in Beirut we used to go play every day at the one and only “park” in West Beirut. The park boasted one large fountain and many jacaranda and  ancient eucalyptus trees. In front of the gates, there was always a cart vendor selling these cakes, called sfoof. I […]

By |October 29th, 2009|Sweets|30 Comments
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Kibbe Pie with chicken, stuffed with onion jam and nuts


There is one dish that gets my creative juices going and that’s kibbe. I mean Paula Wolfert mentions in her book The cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean that there are 50 types of kibbe. I am willing to bet  that there are more. Kibbe pie with chicken is one I did not grow up […]

By |October 28th, 2009|Salty|17 Comments
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Mung Beans and Bulgur (Mung beans mujaddara)

I was intrigued by this recipe. There are several dishes featuring mung beans in Chef Ramzi’s The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon. All the mung beans recipes are from the North, near Tripoli.  This one is a mujaddara, similar to the one made with lentils. In fact, I found dozens of mujaddara recipes, each made with […]

By |October 27th, 2009|Salty|3 Comments
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Almond Meringue Sticks with Chocolate Sauce


This recipe can be prepared up to 3 weeks ahead, kept in a tight container it stays crispy and fresh, even frozen! Second, the chocolate sauce can be prepared ahead as well and frozen and reheated the day of the party in the microwave. Third, you can make a lot and leftovers can be […]

By |October 27th, 2009|Sweets|8 Comments
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Orange Blossom Water (Mazaher)and Rose Water (Mawared)

Orange blossom water:

It is our foremost flavoring along with rose water in Lebanon when it comes to pastries, puddings or cookies, syrups and jams. We even drink it plain with a bit of water and call it “white coffee”.

Most of the orange blossom water production in Lebanon comes from an area south of the capital […]

By |October 26th, 2009|Tips|24 Comments
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Semolina pudding (Lekmat al Helwa)


How would you like to eat a sort of crème brulée, but without the sinful calories, cream, egg yolks, and such?  This is a simple semolina pudding made up of semolina, milk, a bit of sugar, and flavored with orange blossom. That’s it! You can make it stylish by adding a couple teaspoons of […]

By |October 25th, 2009|Sweets|9 Comments
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Caramelized pumpkin with clotted cream (Kabak tatlisi)


I found out about this event a few days ago. Sounded very interesting especially since Turkey was the first country mentioned and I am going to visit Istanbul for the first time in December!

Prior to this dish, you would have mentioned pumpkin dessert to me, and frankly you would not have gotten a very […]

By |October 25th, 2009|Sweets|11 Comments
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Anise Tea (Yansoon)


I can name two drinks that I was given on a regular basis by my grandmother as a child when I would complain about a tummy ache or just “not feeling well”. Anise tea was one of them, the other was “white coffee”, which I will post about later. I had been reading a […]

By |October 24th, 2009|Drinks|12 Comments
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Pomegranate salad (Khoshaf al-rumman)


My grandmother (God rest her soul) had one habit that I remember. She would take a break every day from her household duties, around four PM, to sit and eat a couple of pomegranates. She would chew the seeds slowly, as if she was meditating. She was a diabetic and hypertensive, so I don’t […]

By |October 23rd, 2009|Salads|10 Comments
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The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean by Paula Wolfert

My first encounter with Paula Wolfert’s work happened 20 years ago  when I bought her cookbook Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. That cookbook did not contain a single color photograph, yet it was engrossing because of the amount of research that went into it.  Mrs Wolfert had  lived in Morocco for […]

By |October 22nd, 2009|Reviews|14 Comments