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Foraging with Um Elias

Um Elias and her husband of 50 years, Philippe, are part of a dwindling group of authentic Lebanese farmers. They married when she was 15, an acceptable age to marry off a girl in those days, and have raised six beautiful, intelligent and learned children. Even though Philippe is a sixth-generation Lebanese farmer, none […]

By |June 23rd, 2014|Others, Travel & Tourism|10 Comments
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Empowering Syrian women

Kamal Mouzawak is an internationally known Lebanese food personality. I’ve been many times to his organic farmer’s market, Souk el-Tayeb, the first of its kind in the region (inhaling their fresh zaatar flatbread baked on a saj oven, the best in town). I have savored traditional rural dishes at his eponymous Tawlet restaurant, both […]

By |May 4th, 2014|Others|8 Comments
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Iraqi cuisine (Al-tabekh al-3iraki), a giveaway


This book on Iraqi cuisine is the result of a job assignment I took on last year in Beirut; the publisher’s well-known cooking book (Alef baa’ al-tabekh) became a best-seller (for years) and is an encyclopedic cookbook on  Lebanese cuisine. Incidentally, I met the author (co-author with her mom) of that book and she […]

By |December 3rd, 2013|Others|37 Comments
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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|Others|13 Comments
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Zaatar giveaway


I can safely say that one of the foods that a Lebanese would miss the most when outside of Lebanon is zaatar; not just any zaatar. Zaatar that was foraged by a relative or friend, dried properly for weeks, ground and mixed with the right amount of sumac and sesame and salt. 

Sure, zaatar is […]

By |October 2nd, 2012|Others|165 Comments
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Ultimate Lebanese burger


Everyone these days is at the beach or by a pool; I missed Fourth of July this year and so I was daydreaming about what the Ultimate Lebanese Burger would taste like. 

For one, it would have some m’tabbal aka baba ghannouj aka eggplant caviar in lieu of mayo and mustard. The patty would be some […]

By |July 20th, 2012|Others|11 Comments

Internet Down in Lebanon

There’s been a severe outage in Lebanon and the country is left without Internet. Posts will resume shortly.


By |July 5th, 2012|Others|Comments Off
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Jasmine and Fire by Salma Abdelnour (Giveaway)

This book is an account of American/Lebanese writer Salma Abdelnour’s stay in Beirut  after a life spent in the US. This is a book that hundreds of thousands of Lebanese expats throughout the world could easily relate to. Salma Abdelnour is a gifted writer; she manages to write a 300 page book in which […]

By |June 24th, 2012|Others|61 Comments
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This guacamole is my son Nick’s recipe; after a lifetime spent eating Burger King’s burgers (to my great despair) he is now, at 22, a born-again vegan; could not be happier about the news, actually.

This guacamole is Lebanese-inspired because instead of the usual cilantro, he used purslane (aka bakleh) a much beloved herb here. […]

By |June 15th, 2012|Others|13 Comments
  • eggs-poached-in-tomato-sauce

Eggs poached in tomato sauce (Bayd bel-banadoora)


 Proof that simple is best. Eggs are poached in a tomato sauce made with lots of onions, ripe tomatoes and some garlic; scooped up with pita bread. A mouthwatering luncheon or brunch item from the Lebanese rural cuisine.


 8 eggs, size small (depending on the size of the tomatoes)
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic […]

By |May 8th, 2012|Others|11 Comments