Lime Corn

4 cups corn kernels zest of 1 lime 1 tablespoon sea salt 4 tablespoons butter 1. In a large mixing bowl add corn. Zest the lime peel over the corn, add sea salt. 2. On a preheated gas grill add 3 tablespoons of butter to an iron skillet, let get hot. Add the corn mixture, stirring well. Cover the grill and allow corn to cook mixing at times for 10 minutes or until well cooked. Yields: 8 servings

Grilled Kicker Mix

This grill mix is a perfect side for almost any dish and by cooking on the side it really helps fussy eaters not have to pick though their food. 1 Orange bell pepper 1 onion 4 green chili's 3 tablespoons olive oil 1. In a vegetable slicer slice the bell pepper, onion and chili's, add olive oil. 2. On a large sheet of foil pour the above mixture in the center, then fold into a packet. Place on the grill, cover and allow to roast on top rack for about 10 minutes or until soft. Yields: 6 servings

Tomato Jam

I love tomato jam and to me its uses are endless. Growing up in the South we always had fresh vegetables from the garden so eating tomatoes here was like eating apples to most. Store bought tomatoes just do not compare to a garden grown tomato, do they? Go ahead and make a batch of this up. Eat it with biscuits or smother it all over your chicken or fish like do. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 Spanish onion, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped Pinch red pepper flakes 4 cups peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped plum tomatoes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have given up most their water and turned a deep orange red, about 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Yields: 6 servings Adapted from The Food Network

Cardamom Biscotti

Every day when I open my mail box I am lucky enough to get a surprise from Martha Stewart. I receive my cookie of the day recipe. If you love to bake like I do or eat sweets "ok, ok like I do as as well" then this is just the thing for you. Today's recipe was special enough to share because it contained cardamom. I am a true sucker for anything containing cardamom. It is just one of those things that make everyone better kind of like your mom when your sick. So get out those supplies its time to get to baking! 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface 2 teaspoons baking powder Salt 3 3/4 ounces blanched almonds, ground (about 1 cup) 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, husks removed, seeds crushed (1/2 teaspoon) 3/4 cup sugar 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place rack in center of oven. 2. Sift flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Mix almonds, cardamom, and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar into flour mixture. Beat eggs and vanilla, then mix into dry ingredients until well combined. 3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into a 9-by-2-inch log. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press gently to flatten top. Bake until pale gold and lightly cracked, about 30 minutes. 4. Lightly beat egg white, then brush onto biscotti. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet on a wire rack. 5. Transfer to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut dough into -inch-thick slices. Place slices, flat sides down, on baking sheet, and bake until golden brown and crisp, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer biscotti to wire rack, and let cool completely. (Biscotti can be stored for up to 3 days.) Yields: 30 Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Ali Baba's Time Out Deli

8361 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone: (865) 693-1446 I have lived in Tennessee most of my life and saw this small little deli on several different occasions but chose to never stop. Just yesterday my family and I grabbed some lunch from Ali Baba's and I was immediately mad at myself for never stopping before. I ordered the falafel pita with spicy fries and a coke. It was so good that I can not wait to go back and grab some more. The owner is an older man from Palastine. The deli has a large variety of food and even a halal meat selection and ethnic grocery store. I would have gave Ali baba's an A while grading but one thing always gets to me when Muslims own business's or sell what they say is halal meat. What is that you ask? SELLING PORK! This is a Muslim owned business. Even on the menu it says "some meat is halal" and that they sell halal meat. How can you sell and serve halal meat if you sell pork? That just does not add up right to me. Grade: C

Plum Jam

My love for plums dates back as far as I can remember. When I was a young girl I loved plums so much that I begged my mom to buy a plum tree so we could always have plums at home. When we got my tree home and planted it I remember how disappointed I felt when she told me it would take years before plums would actually grow on this small tree. Now that I am grown my love for the taste of plums is still with me. While vacationing in Tennessee with my family my mom showed me a magnificent jar of plum jam that my Aunt had made her. “Plum Jam, incredible” was just what I thought, why had I never thought of this before. The first thing I did was eat a big spoonful and yes it was as good as I knew it would be. I just had to share this recipe with all of my loyal readers to try. 3 pounds firm plums, cut into eighths, seeds discarded 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon lemon juice 7-1/2 cups sugar 1 (3-ounce) package commercial pectin 1. Place plums, water, and lemon juice in a large non-aluminum stockpot. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. You should end up with about 4-1/2 cups. 2. Stir in sugar. Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while constantly stirring. Add pectin and return to a boil while stirring. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam. 3. Pour even amounts into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch of space at the top. Wipe rims and seal with sterilized lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool, and label jars. Store plum jam in a cool, dry place. Yields: 4 pints Adapted from About.com Home Cooking

Okra with Tomatoes

1-1/2 pounds okra 6 tablespoons olive oil 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice 2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1. Wash the okra and trim it. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Put in the garlic and onions. Stir and fry until onions turn translucent, turning the heat down if necessary. Put in the okra. Stir and fry for another minute. Place in all the remaining ingredients plus 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook gently for 15 to 20 minutes or until okra is tender. Yields: 6

Watermelon Carriage Fruit Basket

My sons first birthday is this Wednesday and for his party I have decided to make finger foods and a wide variety at that. What better finger food is there then fruit? This carriage fruit basket just fit me perfect when I came across it. Nothing shows the cross over from baby to toddler more then a baby carriage. 1. Almost any shape watermelon will work for this project. Cut a thin slice from the bottom to provide a stable base. 2. Draw the outlines for the carriage as best you can to mirror the image. Use a sharp knife to cut out the section to be used for the handle. Cut all the way through the rind. 3. Use a decorating tool or knife to cut the fancy edges of the carriage. Remove the top section of rind. 4. Hollow the carriage and attach the handle with toothpicks. Attach wheels made from orange slices and hubcaps made from strawberries and kiwis. Fill the carriage with approx. 4 cups of fruit salad. Adapted from National Watermelon Promotion Board

Grilled Sorghum Chicken Breast

The one thing I look forward to all summer is grilling. In this recipe I incorporated several of my favorite things. I am sure you will be extremely pleased with the outcome of this chicken, which will leave you coming back for more and more. 3 large chicken breast 3 shallots, sliced 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon seasoning salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1/3 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons garlic 1/2 cup sorghum molasses, extra for drizzling 1. In a medium mixing bowl add shallots, vinegar, lemon juice, seasoning salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic and sorghum, mix well. 2. In a large plastic bag add Chicken with sauce. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight to marinate. 3. Place marinated chicken onto a hot grill, cover and cook for 5 minutes then turn drizzling a bit of sorghum each time you rotate. Continue cooking covered, rotating and drizzling until chicken is thoroughly cooked and a deep golden color. Yields: 3 servings

Zaxby's Chicken Fingers Dipping Sauce

If you are lucky enough to have a Zaxby's near you then you know just how lucky you are if not hurry and make this recipe so that you understand how incredible this is. 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup ketchup 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce lots of black pepper squirt of lemon 1. Mix together the mayo, ketchup and garlic powder blending well. Add Worcestershire sauce and blend well. Cover surface of sauce with black pepper until just coated. Blend well. Repeat process covering surface of sauce with black pepper and stir until blended well. Refrigerate for at least two hours prior to use to allow the flavors to mingle. Serve with chicken fingers!

Falafel


Falalfels are one of my all-time favorite recipes and one that I could easily eat daily. I love filling a toasted pita with hummus, tomatoes, Arabic pickles, cilantro and then adding a few falafels. That’s the way we eat falafels here in Saudi and the best way as far as I am concerned. Falalfels are served as a brunch dish in the mornings in Riyadh but I am pretty picky about my falafel so I like to make them at home to get that straight from the pan crunch. 

1 can (400 grams) chick-peas, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried hot peppers
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1. Pat the chickpeas dry with kitchen paper. Add into the food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt. Blend until fairly smooth, then shape into four patties with your hands.

2. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the burgers, then quickly fry for 3 minutes on each side until lightly golden. Serve with toasted pittas, tomatoes, cilantro, hummus, cucumbers and onions. 

Yields: 4 servings

Coffee Break Menu

Invite friends and neighbors over for your own unique spin on the classic coffee klatsch((KAH-fee klach): noun (fr. German Kaffee = coffee + Klatch = gossip): a casual gathering for coffee and conversation, usually accompanied by pastry). Brew up a pot of coffee and serve it with something sweet, like a freshly baked coffee cake, a flaky pastry, creamy tart or the classic doughnut. Chocolate Cafe au Lait 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk 2 cups strong coffee 1 rounded tablespoon sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1. Heat half-and-half or whole milk over low heat. Pour coffee into milk. Combine sugar and cocoa in the coffeepot. Pour the hot milk and coffee back into the coffeepot and stir to combine. Serve. Yields: 4 servings Quick Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake Pecan Topping: 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 cup chopped pecans, pulsed in the food processor Pecan Topping: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, pinch the ingredients together into a sandy, crumbly mixture. Add the pecans and mix. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar 3 eggs 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup golden raisins Pecan topping, recipe above 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 by 9-inch cake pan. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth. With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and mix. Add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Working in batches, add them to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with dollops of sour cream. Mix in the raisins. 2. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the cake. Bake until risen and browned, about 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan. Serve in squares. Yield: 1 cake Explore the world of great coffee with Dave Lieberman in Dave Does Coffee Coffee not your thing? Throw a tea party! Adapted from the Food Network

Nunu's Mediterranean Cafe & Market

Nunu's Mediterranean Cafe & Market 3131 B West Memorial Road OKC, OK phone: 405.751.7000 Last week when my family and I were driving home I noticed a sign from the road that said "Nunu's Mediterranean Cafe". I was eager to try it next time we went out well, tonight was that night. I always have my husband go in to restaurants first to check things out before I drag my son and myself out of the car, he knows my taste very well. He came back and told me 'yea, lets go'. He told me it was Lebanese and I was excited to eat Arabic food (some that I do not have to cook). See, this is the first time we have been able to eat Arabic food since leaving DC and we miss it so very bad. As soon as I walked in the door I was amazed at the beautiful decor. Marble tables, a small Arabic/French market in the back, the cleanliness, just everything about it I loved. My husband and I ordered the sampler plate which consisted of a little bit of everything. Ya Allah, it was amazing! Each bite was better then the last. And I even got to get some baklava for dessert (to bad they do not serve Turkish coffee though). And what was really nice was the owner's, they were amazing women. I enjoyed speaking with them. I could not even dare to believe their store was only four months old. I highly recommend anyone who is in the Oklahoma City area to go to Nunu's asap. I just wish they stayed open later (they close at 8 pm on Saturday). That's not good for night owls like my family. I took a few pictures of the food and spice racks with my cell. Sorry the quality does not look that good but my cell does not even have a flash and it was rather dim. Grade: A (good luck and keep up the good work)!

Hashweh

Regardless of this horrid camera phone picture this dish is amazing. Hashweh is a popular Lebanese dish throughout the Arab world. Many Arabs use this basic recipe for stuffing turkeys and chickens. But its great for lunch or even a side dish. 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup pine nuts 1 lb lean ground beef 1 teaspoon salt 1 heaping teaspoon Arabic spice mix salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup long grained white rice 1/4 cup chicken broth Boiling water 1. In a 9-inch skillet on low heat brown nuts lightly in butter, set aside. 2. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat cook beef until thoroughly done. Add onions, cooking until tender. Add Arabic spice mix, salt and pepper. Mix well. 3. Once meat is browned, add long grained rice and stir together. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth and then enough boiling water to just cover the rice mixture. Stir. Cover pot and bring to boiling, then simmer roughly 10 minutes or until rice is cooked. Yields: 6 servings

Butter Cream Vanilla Cupcakes

I have had the book cupcake heaven for several months now and never got a chance to use it. Suddenly this morning I woke up with an awful urge to bake cupcakes using this very book and it just happened to be the Fourth of July so what other option did I have then to do a red, white and blue theme? I finally decided on the ever so good "Butter Cream Vanilla Cupcakes". However, the book does make these very cupcakes with yellow frosting and rainbow sprinkles so as you see I had to change just a few things. Oh and did I mention hands down this is the best cake and frosting I have ever had, a keeper for sure. HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA and to my two brothers that serve in the USA Navy I am so proud of you! 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 cup self-rising flour 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons milk Frosting: 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1-3/4 cups confectioners sugar 1 tablespoon milk 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract optinal: red, white and blue food coloring sprinkles (assorted) 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Beat the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, then beat eggs, one at a time. Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in, then stir in the vanilla extract and milk. 2. Spoon the mixture into the paper liners (1 heaping tablespoon) and bake in the preheated oven for about 18 minutes until golden, risen and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 3. To decorate the cupcakes, put the butter in a medium bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, milk and vanilla extract then beat together until smooth and creamy. Divide frosting evenly into 3 bowls and add a few drops of the food coloring, stir until well mixed and you have achieved your desired color. 4. Swirl the butter cream on top of the cupcakes, then scatter over with sprinkles. Yields: 1 dozen Adapted from Cupcake Heaven

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