How to cut an onion without crying!


drum roll please....

And yes this does work. I was amazed when I tried it and did not cry bc they always make me cry like crazy. The only bad thing is that after you remove the bulb you still must be careful when you slice to not touch anymore of it that may be left and guess what somehow I still always do that and still end up crying but not as much as usual at least. I will get better with time I am assuming.

Using a knife, cut a cone out of the bottom of the onion (where the roots come out). The diameter of this cone should be about a third of the diameter of the onion, and about 1/3 deep. Take this piece and throw it away (don't put it down the disposal!). This piece contains the part/gland that makes you cry when you're chopping it up. Once you've gotten that piece out, chop off the top, peel, and slice the onion.

This works because the gas in an onion is in the bulb so when you do not mess with that you will not cry! Also, you can place vinegar on the cutting board and the acid will absorb this gas.

Sweet-Tart Lemonade


This is the recipe I was telling you all before that goes great with tea cakes.

3 c cold water
2 c sugar syrup (see recipe below)
1 3/4 fresh lemon juice

stir together all ingredients until well blended, serve over ice.

Sugar syrup

2 c sugar
1 c water
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice

stir together all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to boil over med heat, stirring often. reduce heat and allow to simmer until sugar dissolves.

Tea cakes


This recipe really brings me back to my childhood. When I was a young girl I remember my grandmother who's mother who's mother had taught her this very recipe. I loved the fact that it was so old and that made me interested in it from the start. My cousin and I used to make hundreds of these very cookies every winter break we got from school and would dress them up in pretty tins and give them to everyone who was anything to us. So now of course I still have to make these for my sweet memories. These tea cakes originate from England and as you guessed it are served with tea but in the south where I was raised we like to have it with a cold glass of lemonade.

1 c butter, softened
2 c sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy, add sugar. Add eggs, vanilla until all blended. Combine flour, soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low. Divide your dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour. After dough has chilled roll half of dough to 1/4 inch thick on parchment paper. Cut cookies into a 2 1/2 inch diameter and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheets, bake on 350 f for 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Ranginak

Want to try a not so typical fudge? Then why not make Iranian date fudge. This is a no bake, no mess, sweet wonder. 3 cups dates, pitted 1 cup walnuts, chopped Dough: 1 cup unsalted butter 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 1 cup ground unsalted pistachio nuts or shredded coconut 1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat toast walnuts in skillet for five minutes. Set aside to cool. Place a few walnut pieces inside each date. Arrange dates, packed next to each other in flat 9 inch serving dish. 2. In a saute pan, sauté flour in butter over high heat, stirring constantly for about 15 to 20 minutes, toasting until it is golden caramel color. Spread hot dough over dates; pack and smooth it with back of a spoon. 3. Combine cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom and sprinkle evenly over fudge. Sprinkle with ground pistachios or shredded coconut all over. Cool. Cut in small square pieces. Yields: 12 servings Adapted from The Middle Eastern Cookbook

Rosemary Focaccia

This is my version of Macaroni Grills rosemary bread. This is a very easy to make bread that has brought me rave reviews with anyone who has made or tasted it. The secret is the sea salt and garlic powder mixture. Dipping the fresh hot bread in a good olive oil is a must. 1 cup water 1/2 cup olive oil 4 cup white bread flour 1-1/2 tsp salt 1-1/2 tsp sugar 1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary 2-1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped topping: fresh rosemary, sea salt, garlic salt 1. Pour water into bread machine pan add oil, flour, salt, sugar, rosemary and on top place a hole with your finger and add yeast. 2. Place pan into machine and place on dough setting. After this take dough and place onto parchment paper, knead into ball, make into a 9 diameter round. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes. 3. Preheat oven to 400 F. With fork handle make indention's in the top of bread, place rosemary into these holes. Sprinkle top with sea salt and garlic salt. Bake on greased pan for at least 30 minutes or until top of bread is golden. Drizzle baked bread with olive oil. Yields: 1 loaf

Cabbage & Potato Soup

I love potato and cabbage so this soup was perfect for me. This is a great way to use your gardens vegetables or to get your family to eat extra vegetables. This can be your main dish or a perfect side dish. 2 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, diced 1 teaspoon garlic, diced 3 potatoes, diced 1-1/2 stalks of celery, chopped finely 1-1/2 cups of cabbage, sliced and chopped 4 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup milk 1 tablespoon flour 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon salt or to taste 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper 1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat add butter. Saute onion and garlic on low heat until transparent and fragrant. Add red pepper flakes, saute an additional 1 minute . 2. Add potatoes, celery, cabbage, broth and simmer 15 minutes. 3. Remove 2 cups of the vegetables from the pot and place in blender or food processor with milk, sour cream and flour- puree until smooth. Stir back into soup and reheat. Yields: 8 servings

Egg and Potato Curry

The combination of eggs and potatoes make this vegetarian meal a great main course. This dish is delicious served with fresh warm bread and a soup on the side. 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 8 eggs, boiled 3 tablespoons oil 1 onion, chopped 1 tablespoon ginger-paste 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon red chili powder 1 teaspoon garam masala salt, to taste 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1. In a saucepan on high heat boil potatoes until done. In a large pan or wok add oil and onions, cook until onions are tender. Add spices and potatoes, mix. Add eggs. Cook covered on low for 15 minutes. Yields: 3 servings

Kouzi Ala Timman

Kouzi Al Timman is a popular Iraqi recipe. The lamb is so tender that the meat actually falls off the bones. You know you have made perfect lamb when it falls from the bone. The Middle Eastern spices and tomato go wonderfully well with lamb.Serve this dish with rice and vegetables for a authentic dinner. 6 small lamb shanks 1 onion, diced 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon baharat spice 1/2 teaspoon  turmeric 2 large tomatoes, diced 1/2 cup of water 1 tablespoon  tomato paste 1 bay leaf 1 dried lime salt and pepper, to taste 1. Rinse the lamb shanks in cold water, dry and place in oven proof dish. In a pan, fry onions in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, baharat and turmeric. Fry for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water, tomato paste, bay leaf, dried lime, salt and pepper. 2. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 F, pour sauce over shanks, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 3 hours (make sure liquid covers lamb, if not add more water). Yields: 3-4 servings

Macarona Bechamel

A great pasta dish with the famous French Béchamel sauce is a true Arab favorite. This filling dish will satisfy any family. This meal freezes well if you freeze only the pasta and prepare the béchamel after cooking. 1 bag of macaroni pasta(500 grams)cooked and drained Filling: 1-1/2 pounds of ground meat 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce 3 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt pinch of cayenne pepper 1/3 cup water For be'chamel recipe click here 1. In a large skillet on medium heat add meat, onion and garlic until meat is brown and the onion is tender. Drain fat. Stir in tomato sauce, parsley, oregano, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and 1/3 cup water. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside. 2. Set aside 1/3 of the sauce. Mix the rest of the sauce with the cooked macaroni. Spread half of the macaroni mixture into a 9" x 13" baking pan. Spread the meat mixture over it evenly. Spread the rest of the macaroni mixture over the meat. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top. 3. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Let sit for five minutes. Then serve. Yields: 12 servings

Ouzi

This is truly a delightful yet traditional Arabic meal. The spices and the soft lamb will send you straight to your own private bliss. The long cooking of the lamb is truly the secret to perfect lamb. 2 shoulder's of lamb, cubed 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon cardamom salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons oil 1 onion, quartered 1 tablespoon garlic RICE: 2-1/2 cups basmati rice 1 onion, chopped 1 tablespoon oil 1/2 pound ground beef salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 4-1/4 cups lamb or chicken stock 1/3 cup almonds, sliced 1/3 cup pine nuts 1. Preheat oven to 425F. Rub cinnamon, allspice, cumin, cardamom, salt and pepper all over lamb with the oil. Place in a roasting pan and place into oven. After 20 minutes remove pan from oven and cover lamb with water, add onion and garlic. Cover the top with foil and place back into the oven reducing oven to 300F. Allow to cook for 3-1/2 hours. 2. RICE: In a 9 inch skillet add ground beef and onions, cook until no longer pink. In a 4-quart sauce pan add oil, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add rice and pour in boiling stock so that 1 inch of stock covers top of rice. Raise rice to a full boil then reduce to low for 10 minutes. Do not remove lid. 3. In a small skillet on medium heat add pine nuts and almonds until golden. Set aside. 4. In a large serving platter add rice, lamb and decorate top with nuts. Yields: 12 servings