Monthly Archives: August 2010

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Rice cream and rosewater jelly with nuts (Moubattaneh)


Kamal Mouzawak was describing a dessert his grandmother used to make, a sort of pudding made of rice and covered with walnuts and syrup. He was getting so lyrical about it, I was fascinated. I was picturing a grandma, wearing a  bun and an apron, stirring and stirring rice in a big pot […]

By |August 31st, 2010|Sweets|38 Comments
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Lentil salad with eggplant


“I need a little peace and quiet”, I said  to my daughter  as I drove the 30 kilometers into the Chouf mountains and the village of Deir el Qamar. Enough of the high voltage  hustle and bustle of Beirut.Enough of traffic and cars and noise 24/7.

I am not a fan of team sports; it […]

By |August 30th, 2010|Salads|60 Comments
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Hawthorn Berries (Zaaroor)

Here is a lovely fruit that appears in Lebanon around the month of August; in North America there are apparently more than 800 varieties of this tree (aubépine in French) and yet I have never seen anybody eat the fruit! The hawthorn tree gives out pretty white flowers around May; a few months later […]

By |August 29th, 2010|Tips|38 Comments
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Wines of Lebanon by Michael Karam


I am a wine ignoramus; it just so happened that  I had lunch with Kamal and his guests atTawlet recently; a man with a British accent sitting on my left was introduced to me as  Michael Karam, author of a book on Lebanese wines.

In the course of the following  months, both […]

By |August 28th, 2010|Reviews|14 Comments
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Radish greens salad


This post was originally published on June 7, 2009.

Marie-Therese, who was French and married to a Lebanese,  told me one day (that was probably 35 years ago) that she was helping their family cook, Amira, who was so poor that she had to eat radish greens. I remember this conversation because of […]

By |August 27th, 2010|Salads|41 Comments
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Risotto with tomatoes and cream


This afternoon was earmarked for some shopping in Beirut’s new and glistening souks, a mall reminiscent of the most upscale ones  in the US. Unfortunately, as soon as we got to the garage, a  surprise was in store for us: a vehicle was parked in front of the  garage door, blocking our car. […]

By |August 25th, 2010|Salty|39 Comments
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L’Atelier in Beirut


When my friend Jacqueline mentioned L’Atelier as being the best place to eat in Beirut, I thought to myself “Yeah, whatever…” I had secretly sworn off most eateries as being either too expensive or too disappointing.

Well, serendipitously, I was invited there a couple of days later by a childhood friend I had […]

By |August 24th, 2010|Reviews|25 Comments
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Carrot cake


No question carrot cake is a great American classic now popular all over the globe. I wanted to make an over-the-top carrot cake for my dad’s milestone eighty-years-young birthday tomorrow. Here is what I came up with:

This cake is extra moist.

INGREDIENTS: One 12-inch round cake pan, lined with parchment paper

3 cups of grated carrots
2 […]

By |August 23rd, 2010|Sweets|44 Comments
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Gazpacho with roasted green wheat (freekeh gaspacho)


Hot muggy weather and people are swearing that this summer has been the worst ever; as a result, the streets of Beirut are deserted on the weekend, with Beirutis fleeing en masse to the beach or the mountains for a brief respite.  Well  I am happy I get to drive in the city when […]

By |August 22nd, 2010|Salty|11 Comments
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Couscous salad with dates, oranges, zaatar and chick peas

Daily routine when I want to get the car and go out in Beirut. First, if my daughter is with me, I ask her to kindly swivel the outside  mirrors inwards in order to give me one and a half inch extra space on each side of the car. Then I pull the car […]

By |August 21st, 2010|Salads|23 Comments