Monthly Archives: September 2010

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Red Lentils with quince and caramelized onions


Certain events only happen in Lebanon.

Case in point:

Yesterday, the ministry of interior authorized a local company to shut down a major bridge connecting Beirut to a big suburb, for the sake of running a  fashion runway show, causing hours and hours of logged traffic jams.

So while people were in their cars wasting […]

By |September 29th, 2010|Salty|38 Comments
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Candied dates with cardamom


What does one ask of a coffee shop?  Free wi-fi, outdoor seating with shade, really good coffee drinks and pastries, friendly staff and animation. In Beirut, there is Café Younès, which fills these requirements. Walking home after  some leisurely time spent there, I saw these fresh dates, (guess it must be the season), and […]

By |September 27th, 2010|Sweets|40 Comments
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White lasagne with vegetables


One who reads guidebooks about Lebanon will no doubt be informed of all the civilizations that the country has experienced:  Phoenicians, Greeks,  Romans ( hundreds of temples left behind) to name but a few; and of course the Ottoman presence which lasted a few centuries.

However, there is no mention of the more recent Italian […]

By |September 25th, 2010|Salty|28 Comments
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Lebanese granola

It is a fact that American food products have become so prevalent  in Lebanon that one can find the same boxes of cereals, cake mixes and jello as in the US. The shelves of the  supermarket near my apartment in Beirut are  filled with every  cereal imaginable. Lebanese don’t like to feel left out, […]

By |September 23rd, 2010|Sweets|44 Comments
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Fattet Hummus


This is a traditional dish and I believe it is specific to the Sunni communities in Beirut.

While living in California, I became friends with  a Lebanese man. He and I  worked in the same building. His relatives threw a dinner party and invited me. This is the dish I remembered from dozens on […]

By |September 22nd, 2010|Others|36 Comments
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Chocolate bars (or tarte)


If there is one habit I have remained faithful to my entire life, it is that of eating chocolate. Every single day.

The only thing that has changed is the type of chocolate.

So when I saw a one-pound bar of Callebaut here at the local supermarket in Beirut, it was  a no-brainer. Out […]

By |September 21st, 2010|Sweets|37 Comments
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Eggplant rollups


A couple of weeks ago, I attended a book signing event for a childhood friend. I met a charming and friendly lady there and we exchanged phone numbers. A week later, I was invited to her house for dinner and we were served a feast, one dish after another was laid out on the […]

By |September 20th, 2010|Others|41 Comments
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Bulgur in yogurt sauce (Labaniyet al-burghul)


Grand opening festivities of theBeirut Souks, starting with an Elie Saabrunway fashion show (Lebanese designer of the Hollywoood stars), an exhibit  featuring young and hip Lebanese designers and closing  tonight with  a Jean-Michel Jarre concert. As well as a  fireworks extravaganza (we are in Lebanon after all!).

The Beirut Souks and the entire renovation […]

By |September 18th, 2010|Salty|37 Comments
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Preserved olives


I have a passion for olives; ever since my arrival in Beirut, I have been eating so many every day that I decided to limit my intake to twenty a day.

Um Elias, a seasoned farmer from the Chouf mountains, told me I could pick them early and pickle them; after trying hers, I […]

By |September 16th, 2010|Salty|39 Comments
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Whole fig preserve


One feature of life in Lebanon that is a big positive is the abundance of fruit trees that seem to grow everywhere; figs and olives being a prime example.

We had a large bucket of figs; they were not the best figs of the season but they were still sweet. Here is a traditional […]

By |September 15th, 2010|Sweets|46 Comments