Monthly Archives: April 2010

Spaghetti cake with Kashkaval cheese (Macaroni bel-furn)

“AAh...Fotini’s macaroni…” This is what my dad  says  every time a plate of baked pasta is  set in front of him. I have heard this woman mentioned throughout my childhood, and even now, her name still  pops up every  time. (Then he lets out a sigh) My mom  would remain  placid and the meal would […]

Loquat (Akedenya)

The highlight of this month of April in Lebanon for us kids  was getting a crate of loquats; they would be gone in a couple of days! When I moved to Southern California in the eighties,  I used to see these loquat trees everywhere; yet nobody seemed to care and the fruits would fall on […]

Strawberry and Raspberry jam with agar-agar in 10 minutes

Agar-agar is the latest darling of French chefs; chef  Stéphane Bour was doing a demo on a tarte and he said this about agar-agar: it allows you to make a very speedy jam that will retain the flavor of the fruit, so you won’t get that cooked taste. That’s all I needed to know. What […]

Frog legs with garlic and cilantro

Yesterday, I had a vision of my grandmother and I sitting down in her favorite hotel in Chtaura, a town in the Bekaa Valley, eating frog legs with garlic and cilantro. I wanted to relive that moment; what better way than  to find some frog legs and prepare them? In Beirut, one can go down […]

Eggplant dip (Baba Ghannouj)

I attended a French high school in Lebanon, Lycée Franco-Libanais and in France as well. Literature was an important portion of the curriculum and we studied all the French authors, from Rabelais to Molière (every single play) to Balzac and Zola and Flaubert; we did’n’t bother with Shakespeare. However, we did touch on the Russian […]