• Minted lemonade

Minted Lemonade

What could possibly be better on a hot Summer day? I tried many versions of this minted lemonade, a very popular drink at all the chic cafés in Beirut and finally just thought of making of lemony syrup as a starting point. The great advantage is that is can be prepared ahead of time, […]

By |June 23rd, 2015|Drinks|7 Comments
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Red lentil fritters


The challenge with these fritters is to infuse them with flavor as they tend to be bland on their own; so go ahead and add all the spices that your little heart desires and you will be rewarded with a delicious appetizer. Squeeze some citrus juice on the fritters before inhaling them, it will […]

By |June 22nd, 2011|Salty|21 Comments
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Labneh and herb dip


A fresh dip of labneh, our daily ritual growing up in Beirut. This labneh though is modified: instead of serving it with tomatoes and herbs separately, I am combining them: one scoop with a pita triangle and you will get it all!


12 ounces of full or low-fat yogurt
2 cloves of garlic
salt, to taste
1/4 cup […]

By |March 19th, 2011|Salty|45 Comments
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Winter tabbouleh


After this past National Tabouleh day contest in Beirut’s souk el tayeb, where tabboulehs of all stripes were entered, including a lovely one with pink geranium petals, I thought I would introduce my version of winter tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh is the national salad of Lebanon and our pride and joy; unfortunately most often than […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Salads|38 Comments
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Mint tea with arak

In 1988, the American Red Cross awarded the Lebanese Red Cross with a medal commending it for the best rescue effort internationally. Back then the war was still raging and casualties numbered in the thousands. Volunteers from the Lebanese Red Cross displayed heroic courage in their rescue efforts.

A few years later, when the […]

By |December 31st, 2010|Drinks|33 Comments
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Lentil salad with eggplant


“I need a little peace and quiet”, I said  to my daughter  as I drove the 30 kilometers into the Chouf mountains and the village of Deir el Qamar. Enough of the high voltage  hustle and bustle of Beirut.Enough of traffic and cars and noise 24/7.

I am not a fan of team sports; it […]

By |August 30th, 2010|Salads|60 Comments
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There is a café in the chic ABC mall in Beirut called Casper and Gambini; this is where I tried this mint-lemonade for the first time on a hot sweltering day. It came in semi-frozen form like a margarita and the combined taste of fresh mint and fresh lemons was so cool and tangy […]

By |August 9th, 2010|Drinks|65 Comments
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Potato salad, Southern Lebanese-style (Batata bel-Kammooneh)


Two people in the last 24 hours have had a similar answer to my question: What is the appeal of Lebanon for you?

A  24-year old Dutch man  answered: “I  love the warmth of the people; and I enjoy watching the crazy driving”.

A  50 year-old French man said: ” Beyond the warmth of […]

By |July 29th, 2010|Salty|30 Comments
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National Tabouleh Day


Today was National Tabouleh Day, an event organized by Souk el Tayeb, Lebanon’s first organic farmers market in Beirut and Ricardo Mbarkho.

While the tabouleh is Lebanon’s most famous salad, it has unfortunately been  bastardized elsewhere in the world; it is a rare occurrence to find an authentic tabouleh salad outside of Lebanon!  The […]

By |July 3rd, 2010|Travel & Tourism|62 Comments
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I am spending my days with my English cousin Andrew; when I introduce him to people at parties the first reaction when they see him (he looks 100% English) is: ” How come  you have an English cousin?” (Lebanese people are curious and candid); well his grandmother was my grandfather’s sister.

He brought with him […]

By |July 1st, 2010|Drinks|37 Comments