Monthly Archives: December 2012

  • Mushabak-in-a-platter-copy

New Year’s fritters (Mushabbak)

Happy New Year 2013.
Fritters, aka  Mushabbak or Zlabiah

INGREDIENTS: 8 servings

1 cup of flour
1 cup of cornflour
1 Tbsp. of dry instant yeast
1 Tbsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of cardamom (or mahlab)
1 liter (4 cups) of oil
Sugar syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. rose water or a sprig of geranium leaf dipped in the […]

By |December 30th, 2012|Sweets|25 Comments
  • soupe-aux-marrons-copy1

Chestnut soup


This is the soup we ate on Christmas Eve, made by my cousin Nicole who had lived most of her life in Paris (France) and moved back to Lebanon recently. One taste of that soup and I knew I would make it that week, it is that heavenly. 

Read interesting stuff on chestnuts. Apparently North […]

By |December 28th, 2012|Salty|14 Comments
  • eggplant-fritters-copy

Eggplant fritters and dip


Once in a while, it is great to indulge. Eggplant is the one veggie that really gets enhanced by an oil bath. Crunchy crispy on the outside and silky smooth on the inside and dipped in a creamy yogurt and tahini dip. Why not? 

Happy holidays!

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

1 lb eggplant 
Batter: 3/4 cup of flour, 1/2 […]

By |December 26th, 2012|Salty|11 Comments
  • knefeh-ice-cream

Knefeh ice-cream


Rushing to get things done on Christmas Eve and I want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!

This ice-cream came from a deli in Beirut that has been around since 1955 called Aziz. It is called knefeh ice-cream;  had a quick chat with the chef who invented it, Chef Jihad Nohra.

Well I did not […]

By |December 24th, 2012|Sweets|13 Comments
  • garlic-mortar

Garlic paste and a giveaway


This garlic mortar is used daily here in kitchens; years ago I even brought one back with me to California because I missed it and could not find it anywhere; now, these are sold in all Middle-Eastern grocery stores and I have since bought several. 

I want to stress that a garlic press or simply […]

By |December 22nd, 2012|Salty|65 Comments
  • split-casserole

Split-fava bean casserole (Bessara)



I am taking advantage of my stay in Beirut to find out as much as possible about different dishes by asking great cooks around me; I also read cookbooks published in the Arabic language searching for recipes I have never seen before. This one, bessara, was interesting, and nobody around me had heard of it. Then […]

By |December 19th, 2012|Salty|14 Comments
  • crumble-with-fruits

Fruit oatmeal bars


Had to do something with all these fruits! Pears, quince, apples, all stored in the veggie bin and all getting a tad old. The neat thing with this recipe is it will work with any fruit, raw or stewed; so I used some stewed pears and quince and some apple, here and there. 

INGREDIENTS: makes […]

By |December 17th, 2012|Sweets|15 Comments
  • Radish-greens-soup-copy

Peas and radish greens soup


In my (mountain) home town of Deir el-Qamar, radishes are huge. Apparently, these are winter radishes; in the Summer, they switch back to their normal size. 

Radish greens are purported to be super nutritious; there are many ways they can be used (I have made pasta with them, salads, pesto). In a soup instead of, […]

By |December 16th, 2012|Salty|10 Comments
  • shrimp-Brazilian-5-copy

Shrimps in pumpkin (Camarao na moranga)


I mentioned before that millions of Lebanese have immigrated to Brazil; this dish is a specialty of Bahia and reminds me of a childhood friend, Fabienne, who went to Brazil on vacation and decided to settle in Bahia instead of coming back. My daughter came back from college one day ( the American University […]

By |December 13th, 2012|Salty|18 Comments
  • chestnut-brownies-2-copy

Chestnut/chocolate brownie


It is chestnut season! Street cart vendors are roasting them and in our mountain orchard they are all over the ground (unfortunately the kind we have are not edible!). In Beirut, chocolate shops are now offering a big treat this time of year, marrons glacés (glazed chestnuts). 

Did you know chestnuts are extremely nutritious yet […]

By |December 10th, 2012|Sweets|22 Comments