2 cups yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine yogurt and salt. Pour into a muslin sack, tie up, and suspend over a large bowl. Let drain overnight. The bowl will catch the dripping liquid. In the morning, discard the water. Unwrap the cheese and use as a spread on pita or form into small balls and serve with olive oil and chopped fresh mint or with black olives.

Yields: 1/2 cup

Omani Coffee

4 cups water
1/3 cup freshly ground coffee
4 tablespoons cardamom, ground
4 whole cloves

1. In a 4-quart saucepan bring water to boil, add cardamom and ground coffee. Continue boiling for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the stove and cover the pot. Allow to sit for another 3-4 minutes. Put the whole cloves in the coffee thermos or pitcher. Strain the hot coffee into the coffee thermos or pitcher.

2. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Avoid shaking the thermos, as some coffee grains and the cloves will settle to the bottom and you do not want to pour these grains into the coffee cups.
Variation: Add 3 tablespoons of rose water or a large pinch of saffron threads to the coffee thermos.

Yields: 8 servings

Gulf Biryani

Biryani is a popular dish of India and an all time favorite all over the world. With the Asia and being so close to India you can not help but see why so many Asian and gulf countries have adapted their on version of biryani. I have yet to meet a biryani that I did not like. Here is my version of a gulf style biryani. 2 large chicken breast, skinless 1/3 cup peas 1 tablespoon ginger, grated 1 tablespoon garlic, diced 2 medium red potatoes, diced 1 carrot, diced 2 green chili peppers, diced 1 large zucchini, diced 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 teaspoon coriander 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon amchur 1 teaspoon curry powder Salt and pepper to taste 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/3 cup onions, diced 1/2 cup yogurt 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 juice from 1 lemon 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1/4 mint, chopped 2 cinnamon sticks 4 whole cloves 1 cup basmati rice, cleaned and soaked for 30 minutes 2 cups water 1.Boil potatoes in 4 quart pan on medium for 15 minutes, when done pee and dice. Set aside. In a 10” skillet heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add onions, carrot, zucchini, ginger, garlic, potatoes and peas. Cook vegetables until golden and then lower heat to low-medium. Set aside. 2.In a 10 inch skillet on low-medium heat add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, cumin seeds, coriander, curry powder, chili powder, garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom, amchur, salt and pepper and green chilies. Saute for 2 minutes then raise heat to medium and add chicken breast, cook covered for 15 minutes on each side. After 30 minutes then reduce heat to low-medium adding vegetable mixture then mix parsley, mint, lemon, tomato paste and yogurt, add. Cook mixture on low for 10 minutes. 3.Meanwhile, in a 2 quart saucepan add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 cup of basmati rice and 4 whole cloves with 2 cups water (water should be only about a 1/2 inch above the rice). Boil, and then reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes. 4.In a 4 quart saute pan add rice and chicken mixture, mix. Simmer on low for 15 minutes covered. Yields: 4 servings

Cappuccino at home?

Now that gas is almost $5.00 per gallon it really seems quite silly (GUILTY) to spend that much daily on coffee anymore. As you know I am a coffee enthusiast and love all the varieties that the coffee world has to offer me but one thing that I just can not seem to get away from is a good latte or cappuccino. So it makes perfect sense to me that these drinks I love so much should be made at home.
Every high end store you go to you will find cappuccino makers. Yes, they are all amazing pieces of work but also very pricey. Several months back I got the Senseo one cup coffee maker. This one cup coffee maker is still on the top ten lists but sadly it is towards the bottom ten. I am well aware that the more expensive models do work better but this is great for everyday use, easy clean up, fast coffee and a cheap price.

What I love the most about my Senseo besides all that I previously mentioned is the wide variety of coffee (and tea) that I can make. Just last week I bought the cappuccino and espresso pods. These taste better much better then Starbucks! Now let’s compare the prices.
1 bag of Senseo cappuccino pods (containing 10 pods) cost $ 4.50 which round out to be .45 cents a cup
1 bag of Senseo espresso pods (containing 16 pods) cost $4.50 which rounds out to be around .29 cents a cup
OR you could go to some fancy coffee house and get the same coffee for $5 or more, plus the cost of gas getting there and back and let’s not forget the cups they use that are polluting our planet more and more.

And here is an exquisite cup of my homemade cappuccino.

*Senseo coffee system recieves a B

Egg white and Cheese Frittata

I love making fritattas for a quick snack since they are so easy, you can use practically anything and they taste amazing. Try one for breakfast or brunch. 1 cup egg whites 1/4 cup fresh coriander 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded salt and pepper 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon butter 1. Whisk together egg whites, heavy cream, salt and pepper in small bowl. Heat butter in a 9' skillet, add egg mixture, cheese and coriander. Let bottom of the egg slightly cook. 2. Turn oven onto broil, low. Place skillet in the oven until the top of the frittata is golden. Yields: 2 servings

Egg Drop Soup

If you are in the mood for Asian and do not feel like ordering take out why not make it at home? This is a fun recipe for the whole family to make together. I bet you never realized how easy egg drop soup was before? 4 cups chicken broth or stock 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 green onions, minced 1/4 teaspoon white pepper Salt to taste A few drops of sesame oil (optional) 1. In a wok or saucepan, bring the 4 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add the white pepper and salt, and the sesame oil if using. Cook for about another minute. Very slowly pour in the eggs in a steady stream. To make shreds, stir the egg rapidly in a clockwise direction for one minute. To make thin streams or ribbons, gently stir the eggs in a clockwise direction until they form. Garnish with green onion and serve. Yields: 4 servings

Fennel And Golden Raisin Scones

The theme for this month’s bread baking day event is "breakfast bread". The possibilities’ were just endless with this theme but I quickly decided to go with scones. Scones are just versatile and fun bread that is magnificent for any breakfast and brunch. I chose a fennel seed and raisin scone which is a mouth watering flavor combination to say the least. 2 tablespoons fennel seed, coarsely ground 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and cutting 2 tablespoons baking powder 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces 1 1/2 cups raisins, chopped 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, plus more if needed 1 egg, lightly beaten 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together (by hand or stand mixer) the flour, fennel, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt to combine. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course crumbs, with a few larger clumps remaining. 2. Add the raisins, 1/2 cup olive oil, and the cream; stir until the dough just comes together. If the dough is to dry, add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With lightly floured hands, gently pat the dough into a round about 1 1/2 inches thick. 3. Using a floured 2 3/4 inch cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible, dipping the cutter in flour each time; place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Gently pat the scraps back together and continue cutting out rounds. Cover with plastic and freeze until the dough is firm (at least 2 hours). 4. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Whisk together the egg and remaining tablespoon olive oil, brush over the tops of the rounds. Bake for 20 minutes. Yields: 1 dozen Adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook

Vegetable Samosas

Vegetable Samosas are absolutely favorite food. I could gladly live off of them forever. I have tried and tried to nail the perfect recipe but I just could never get it or how to assemble them correctly. But finally I have mastered the samosa thanks to the video that I posted below. Dough: 1 cup all-purpose flour Water to knead dough 2 tablespoons oil salt (to taste) Stuffing: 3-4 Potatoes, boiled, peeled & mashed 1/2 cup Green Peas, boiled 1-2 Green Chilies, chopped 1/2 teaspoon Ginger 1 tablespoon coriander 1/2 teaspoon Garam masala Salt to taste Red chili powder to taste 1/2 teaspoon amchur Dough: Mix salt and oil, adding a little water at a time. Knead well for several times into soft dough. Cover it with moist cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes. Stuffing: In an 8-inch skillet add oil potatoes, coriander, garam masala, red chili powder, amchur salt, green chills ginger and green peas; mix well. Assembly: Make small rolls of dough and roll it into a 4"-5" diameter circle. Cut it into two parts like semi-circle. Now take one semi circle and fold it like a cone. Use water while doing so. Place a spoon of filling in the cone and seal the third side using a drop of water. Heat oil in a 4-quart sauté pan or electric fryer on medium heat until golden. Yields: 8 servings

Red Velvet Cake

I saw a beautiful cake on TV a few months ago that was made into this half circle. They used a steel bowl to bake it in. I bought Wilton's ball cake pan to achieve this look because it is a lot smaller, when you live in a house of two adults baking a huge cake is just wasteful. I love the idea of making a cake this shape because the decorating you can do is just amazing and unique. For this cake I made a traditional red velvet inside with a cream cheese frosting. I used a star tip to achieve this look. Until next time, happy baking...

Chicken fajitas

Oh my goodness I made these the other night and they were gobbled down about as fast as I set the plate down. I made some home made nachos and wow it was like we were at a restaurant. As you see I like to do my fajitas home style that way everyone can choose their own toppings. 1-1/2 pounds chicken breast (about 8) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon chili powder Coarse salt and ground pepper 3 orange bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 8 flour tortillas (6-inch) Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving Lime wedges, for serving 1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Arrange chicken on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until chicken is opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside. 2. On another rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, toss peppers, garlic, and remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender and slightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, thinly slice chicken crosswise. Stack and wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel; microwave on high until warm, about 1 minute. Transfer chicken and pepper mixture to a platter, and serve with tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges. Yields: 4

G7 3 in 1 coffee

When it comes to coffee I am defiantly what you call optimistic. I just love everything about coffee. I am always in search of a new coffee or some new appliance to make it in. If you know anymore that I should try please let me know!

Today my family and I went to the Asian grocer and when buying tea I noticed their large coffee section (which was very LARGE but all instant). After looking for one to buy I decided upon G7 3 in 1. It is a box that contains coffee packets. You basically put one packet into your cup with 85 ml of boiling water and mix. This coffee is called 3 in 1 because it already has the coffee, sugar and cream. And the price is VERY cheap.

I have tried several instant coffees none being to good but wow I was incredibly amazed when I got home and tried this very coffee. I felt as of though I made a fresh cup with my coffee pot. I am so flabbergasted by this coffee and will be buying much more in the future.

* G7 3 in 1 coffee you get an A


1 can of apple-banana-orange frozen juice
1 bottle of sparkling apple cider
pineapple slices for garnish

1. In a pitcher add 1 can of frozen juice and 1 can of water, stir. Chill at least two hours then pour in sparkling apple cider.

2. Serve cold and garnish glasses with pineapples slices.

Yields: 6 servings

Mocha Frappuccino

3 cups espresso coffee 3/4 cup sugar 4 cups milk 3/4 cup chocolate syrup whipped cream, for topping chocolate syrup, for topping 1. Make coffee, follow directions for your favorite brand of espresso roast coffee. Mix coffee, still hot, and sugar in your mixer until sugar is dissolved. Add milk and chocolate syrup and continue mixing, about one minute. 2. Pour mix into a container for easy storage. Store in fridge until ready to use (Note: Do not store any longer than you would milk). 3.To make drink, combine equal parts mix and ice in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Yields: 4 servings