Blog

Cilantro Pesto (Aliyyeh)

The Italians have their pesto, the French their pistou and the Lebanese have the cilantro pesto commonly called aliyyeh. It is a simple mixture of fresh garlic, cilantro and olive oil, sauteed for mere seconds till the fragrance is released and the ingredients bond together into a manageable paste. The idea is to barely cook it, then set it aside...
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A Lebanese-American cooks…

  Hi! Kifak? Ça va? Grew up in Beirut. Had a Teta (grand-mother) at home  in charge of the cooking. Family was francophone. Dad had grown up in Egypt, mom was from Beirut and Sidon. I started this blog because even though I have been an American for over  30 years, my passion for my country of origin is unabated. Love...
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Zaatar pizza (manooshe)

For close to twenty years I could not go back to Beirut; I dreamt of this manooshe with zaatar and olive oil and tomatoes and cucumbers…baked fresh in the morning from the corner bakery…this pie encapsulated all of my nostalgic feelings..I still have to wait to get to Beirut to taste a really good manoosheh!..but here is a speedy version....
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How to eat!

I remember being taught how to break the “khoobz”(bread) around 6 or 7 years of age. Very simply, cut a small piece of pita bread, around 2 inches across, and pinch it: the object is to cup it in order to scoop out as much food as possible…at breakfast time we would eat labneh (yogurt cheese) and a bit of zaatar...
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My favorite city

Roaming around Ain Mreisse with my friend Faysal, a budding playwright, chewing on many lahmajoons, and discussing literature and theatre …Sitting with my Teta Nabiha at a small table in Al-Ajami restaurant downtown savoring ever so slowly a rose-flavored booza (ice-cream)…going out to eat chicken shawarma at Marroush near the AUB, feeling all grown-up. At home, watching Teta in our...
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