Seared Pumpkin

This is a really nice recipe for this time of year. Pumpkins are in season so you will find pumpkins at their best right now. This recipe is a very old fashioned recipe that dates back to the early settlers here in America and has been in my family for years. 2 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup water 1 pound pumpkin, cubed 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped 1. Melt butter in large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin and water, cook 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for 1-2 minutes. 2. Cook until water has evaporated and pumpkin is golden. Stir in maple syrup and walnuts cooking for 1 more minute. Yields: 6 servings Do not forget to season your cast iron skillet every now again, you can find the directions that I listed here for you.

My post in Washington Herald-Telegraph

How have you all been? Are you enjoying the chilly weather of Fall? The summer is defiantly gone here in Virginia, its freezing. But the beauty of Fall sure makes you forget that. I just love watching the wind swirl the colorful leaves all over the ground and what about that crisp smell of cold in the air. You have to like that! As you all know I love food and everything to do with it. I have started to get into so many things that I can hardly keep up with myself, wooo. But I sure am enjoying every minute of it especially since things all food seem to be my knack in life. I am really excited to tell you that I have started writing for The Washington Herald-Telegraph. I am of course contributing recipes every month. Go ahead and check out my first post for October.

European Coffee

1 cup coffee 1 egg white 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons half and half 1. Beat egg white until forms soft peaks, gently add vanilla, and continue to beat to stiff peaks are formed. 2. Place into 2 coffee mugs, Pour coffee over egg white. Top with half and half. Yields: 2 servings

Ya Salam Cookings 1st Anniversary

Wow I can hardly believe that I have been blogging for a year now, time really does fly by so fast. I have really enjoyed every moment of this experience so far and can not wait to have many more years with all of you. Having this cooking blog has really helped me in so many ways. And most importantly not only have I been able to share my passion of cooking but I have made so many friends along the way. Thanks to all of you for always supporting Ya Salam Cooking and reading what I have to say. It’s been a fantastic year. “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY YA SALAM COOKING”! I sure wish I had a mesmerizing recipe that I just whipped up to show you but as many of you know my family and I will be moving out of the country here in two weeks so I am not in the kitchen nor do I have my camera cord with me. But, I do have one of the most delicious cakes that I ever tasted and I made this on my husband’s birthday this past year. So I hope that you all enjoy this recipe for “Elegant Chocolate Torte” (again). But hey this recipe is worth repeating!

Recipes and foods to fight that cold

Is everyone sick yet with all the changes of weather? Here in the DC area it is freezing one day and hot the next, I sure wish nature would make her mind up. I always make my family some homemade chicken soup and ginger tea when sick. And they really do work well for us. Here are some great recipes for you all and some great information at the bottom about what foods are great for fighting that cold. We still have a lot to learn about the healing powers of food. But this much we know: Chicken soup does help clear nasal clog. Ginger seems to settle stomachs. Dark greens such as spinach are loaded with vitamins A and C. And salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Quite simply, a well-nourished immune system is better able to ward off infections. Chicken Soup: 1 chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (remove skin, leave bone in) 8 cups of chicken broth 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced 2 celery stalks, sliced 1 cup uncooked long grain rice 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh thyme oil 1. Pat chicken parts dry, season pieces with salt and pepper. Brown chicken parts in stockpot with 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes, turning once. 2. Add chicken broth to the pot, bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover partially and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. 3. Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Cool chicken and broth slightly. Discard bones from chicken. Shred chicken and reserve. Discard chicken fat from atop soup. Return broth to simmer. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Simmer until vegetables soften, 8 minutes. 4. Stir in rice, parsley, and reserved chicken. Simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Ginger Tea: 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger 6 cups water 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar 6 black tea bags or 6 teaspoons loose black tea (or more to taste) Lemon wedges for garnish if desired 1. In a 4-quart saucepan, simmer ginger and water for 20 minutes. Place tea bags/loose tea into water and allow sitting for 5 minutes. Add honey or sugar and strain tea through a sieve if using loose. 7 healing foods to fight colds and flu 1. Chicken soup: it’s been called nature’s penicillin and is at the top of the list for its curative powers. Hot chicken soup helps clear clogged airways, and the nourishing broth will give you more energy. Add plenty of vegetables, including onion and garlic, for extra healing power. 2. Hot and spicy food: some people swear by garlic, horseradish, chilies or spicy sauces to help ease congestion. Cook Indian or other ethnic foods that contain these ingredients, or simply add a spicy sauce to foods for extra zip. 3. Garlic: This fragrant bulb contains a flavoring agent called alliin which acts as a decongestant. Garlic is also believed to act as an antioxidant and destroy free-radicals, the active oxygen molecules that damage cells, so add garlic liberally to your favorite foods. 4. Fluids: stay hydrated with plenty of liquids. Instead of coffee, fizzy or sweetened drinks have plenty of water and pure fruit juices. Hot beverages work better for some people, so consider chamomile or peppermint herbal tea, or sip on hot water with a slice of lemon. 5. Citrus fruits: reach for citrus fruits to increase your vitamin C intake. Drink orange juice for breakfast, snack on half a grapefruit, or add tangerine slices to a lunchtime salad. Getting an increased amount of vitamin C is especially important if you smoke, as smoking increases both your risk of catching a cold and your body's need for this protective vitamin. 6. Vitamin C sources: Citrus fruits aren't the only foods high in vitamin C. Potatoes, green peppers, strawberries and pineapple can help as your daily cold-fighting food arsenal. 7. Ginger: Many people find fresh ginger root helps treat the coughing and fever that often accompany colds and flu. Try making a ginger tea: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. 7 healing foods adapted from iVillage

Knossos Restaurant

401 Maple Ave E Vienna, VA 22180 (703) 281-6242 Knossos Restaurant is a small little Greek Café in Vienna that I could not believe I have ever noticed it or ate at. Next door to Knossos is Amphora (another Greek Diner) and Amphora Bakery (Greek Bakery). I was surprised to learn that they were all owned by the same person. The only difference in Knossos and Amphora is that at Knossos you get more food for less. Wow, now I am really glad we ate there. But I have to tell you that I have eaten at all three now and they are all very good. But Knossos is the best food for the price and size. I ordered the chicken was only one man working in the café and he was extremely nice. The entire place was starting to get souvlaki which is one of my favorite dishes and it was amazing. My husband had the gyro which was beef and lamb mixed and wow it was splendid. Therefilled but yet he was fast and pleasant the entire time, now that is what I call service. Grade: B


I went to a Greek Festival this weekend and came across these. Wow they are almost identical to the recipe I posted just a few days ago which is called Lugiamat in Arabic. Also these are popular in Turkey as well. 2 1/4 ounces active dry yeast (1 packet) 1 tablespoon sugar 2 cups warm water (105-115º) -- divided 1 egg 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Vegetable oil for frying SYRUP: 1 cup honey 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest TOPPINGS: Ground cinnamon to taste 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the yeast and sugar into 1/2 cup of the warm water. When the mixture turns foamy (about 5 minutes), stir in the remaining 1-1/2 cups warm water with the egg, flour salt, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix until the batter is thick but smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot to rise for about an hour. (Don’t stir again or it will deflate.) The result should be a bubbly batter. 2. In a deep fryer or a large heavy pot, heat four inches of oil to 375º F. making sure there are at least 2 inches between the oil surface and the top of the pot. This should take about 20 minutes. 3. While the oil is heating, prepare the syrup by combining the ingredients in a small bowl or a 2-cup measuring cup. 4. Working in batches, slide dollops of the batter (about the size of a heaping tablespoonful each) into the hot oil at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan. The dollops will puff up and float to the top. Turn the puffs occasionally with a slotted spoon until they are a deep golden brown on all sides and very crisp, about 2-4 minutes total. Remove carefully and drain on paper towels. Dust the puffs generously with cinnamon, drizzle with the honey-lemon syrup. And sprinkle with walnuts. Yields: 36 servings