Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Savory-crumble-with-veggies-and-bacon-3

Crumble with potatoes, bacon and squash


One thing I admire about French (and American) chefs: They have no qualms taking specialties from around the world and modifying them with the utmost confidence; now I don’t know who came up with the idea of a savory crumble but I see it on French cooking sites a lot.

This is inspired by […]

By |February 28th, 2011|Salty|34 Comments
  • Lybian-stew

Bazin (Libya)


Feeling compassion and a heavy heart for folks who have to endure a tragic and nightmarish situation  in Libya, I escaped  into the kitchen and made a very ancient and traditional Libyan dish, bazin.

Libya is an extraordinary country with a wide coastline of beautiful beaches and a rich history replete with Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans […]

By |February 27th, 2011|Salty|43 Comments
  • salmon-ceviche-2

Salmon ceviche


My beautiful cousin Isabelle had invited me to one of her parties and being the hostess with the mostest, it was as usual a glorious spread of platters holding the most tantalizing foods, Lebanese, Italian, French, even sushi.  However, I kept filling my plate with just one dish: A salmon ceviche.

Even though salmon […]

By |February 26th, 2011|Salty|21 Comments
  • choco-tahini-rice-bars-3

Choco-tahini rice bars


What happens when hunger pangs start manifesting themselves and it is 4 PM? I propose grabbing (just) one of these and having a cup of (decaf) coffee. Made of dark chocolate (good for you), tahini (great for you), peanut butter (great for you) and puffed rice (protein).

If you like the taste of halva, […]

By |February 25th, 2011|Sweets|40 Comments
  • Breadsticks-with-dip-2

Dukkah sticks


These days I am obsessively reading  Al-Jazeera and thinking more than ever about all these tragic yet exhilarating events unfolding in the Middle East.

According to my Egyptian friend Phoebe, dukkah was originally  a poor man’s snack, widespread in the Coptic community. People did not have much (still the case) and would eat […]

By |February 24th, 2011|Salty|37 Comments
  • Okra-stew-vegan

Okra stew (vegan)


In Texas, okra is practically a state vegetable,  offered fried at every BBQ joint and road stand. Well, okra aka bamieh is also beloved in the Eastern mediterranean shores, especially in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

Now that Easter is fast approaching and people will be fasting, this dish will  appear with regularity. Okra, stir-fried in […]

By |February 23rd, 2011|Salty|49 Comments
  • Chicken-muhammara-2

Chicken muhammara (Djej muhammara)


Cannot get any more down home than this! I had this dish very often one  summer while  in the mountains  preparing for my Arabic high school diploma exams. It was a welcome respite from studying; and with the tomato sauce, there is no need to add ketchup!

A traditional and rural  dish, revisited […]

By |February 21st, 2011|Salty|34 Comments
  • cream-of-butternut-soup-2

Cream of Butternut soup


Egyptians are famous throughout the Middle East for their irrepressible sense of humor; during these momentous events of the past few weeks, jokes fused from the Egyptian street, one after the other.

Here is one:

Mubarak goes to heaven where he meets former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar El-Sadat. (The first was killed […]

By |February 20th, 2011|Salty|39 Comments
  • pineapple-cake-2

Fresh pineapple cake


I had a French storybook growing up that had about 600 pages; the book was divided into sections: ” To read while eating a tartine (sandwich)”, “To read while having a picnic”, “To read before going to bed”, etc… It was one of my favorite books because the stories were only about three pages […]

By |February 19th, 2011|Sweets|70 Comments
  • Making-your-own-cold-cut

Chicken cold cut


I don’t set foot in  fast-food sandwich places. I hate cold cuts. Too salty, no flavor.

That being said, I still love a good club sandwich.

So I made the cold cuts myself. I got the idea from Eric Bernardin, a wine expert from Bordeaux (France) who has strokes of genius. He took a […]

By |February 18th, 2011|Others|20 Comments