Slada Bil Bortokal

This is a simple yet satisfying way to end a meal and the way many Moroccans around the world do. I love the satisfying taste of this light and refreshing dessert. 1 orange 1 tablespoon orange blossom water 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground 1. Peel orange, removing all white. Slice thinly then divide into small pieces. Drizzle orange blossom water over oranges, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. Finley cut peel into slices or other shapes for decoration. Yields: 2 servings I am also a featured publisher at Meccapress.com. You all should check it out. It is cram packed with ethnic food, videos included. Their having a cooking contest so you should get involved.

Morrocan Chicken

I was so excited to use my new clay baking dish. It is pretty much a tangine without the top. When we bought it, we were told to soak it in water for 48 hours to soften it for cooking. After that was complete, I got it ready to use. What better way to put it to use then by cooking a Moroccan dish. If you do not have any earth ware or a tangine just use a regular baking dish. When I popped this out of the oven and lifted the foil it smelt amazing, I had not even saw it yet. However, when I did wow, it was beautiful. Each piece was enough to make you close your eyes and say ‘mmm’ it was filled with so many flavors. 1 chicken cup into 8 pieces 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, diced 1 (1 inch) piece of ginger, diced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1/2 tablespoon sea salt 2 teaspoons black pepper 1 tablespoon za’tar 1 teaspoon sumac 1/2 lemon, finely sliced 1 pinch saffron threads 1. In a clay or 12-inch round baking pan, drizzle olive oil. Add chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper, za’tar, sumac and saffron evenly. Add lemon slices atop chicken. Cover with foil tightly. 2. In a pre-heated 350 F oven, cook chicken for 1 hour. Yields: 3 servings

Welcome to Riyadh

I cannot believe that I have not posted pictures of Riyadh earlier for you all to see. I took some nice pictures this weekend. Well, nice to me since I do like rather odd things. Have a look at where I love, enjoy. This is the pretty basket I chose for my fruit bowl. This is a clay pan to cook with I bought from the shop below. This is an Eastern tradition that makes the food taste amazing. (I can not wait to cook in this baby) Boat rides at Salam Park Clay Shop filled with items for baking and drinking Welcome to Salam Park A mosque at night Baskets for sale Starbucks AppleBees This way to Mecca A beautiful mosque Caffe my favorite place to grab coffee

Hot Chocolate




My brothers and I always loved a hot cup of cocoa in the wintertime growing up. Usually we just had a cup of Swiss Miss but it was a real treat when our momma would make us the homemade version. We loved to plop several big marshmallows on top or a dollop of whip cream. I adapted this recipe straight from Hershey and it’s just one of those things that need no change. I love the perfect creamy and chocolate texture of it. You can even add a dash of cinnamon which is delicious in hot chocolate.

2 cups milk ( I use whole)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder (non sweet)

1. In a small saucepan on medium heat, add milk, vanilla, sugar and cocoa. Beat with a whisk until smooth. Allow to cook until thoroughly heated, about 1 minute.

Yields: 3 servings

* try my homemade marshmallows for a real treat here

Chocolate Meringue Cake

Cake Batter: 3 large egg yolks 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 1 cup all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 1/2 white sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup milk Meringue Layer: 3 large egg whites 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar 2/3 cup granulated white sugar Topping: 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar 1/4 cup shredded coconut 1/4 cup finely grated semi-sweet chocolate Garnish: Fresh Strawberries 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Butter and line the bottoms of two - 8 x 1-1/2 inches (20 x 3.75 cm) round cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside. 2. Separate the eggs while they are still cold, placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another bowl. Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes). 3. In a large bowl, sift cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, or hand mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the vanilla extract. 4. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Batter will seem thin but spread all over pan with a spatula. Set aside while you make the meringue layer. 5. Using a clean bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Evenly divide the meringue and place on top of the cake batter in the two pans, gently smoothing the tops with an offset spatula. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The meringue layers will have turned a light brown and will be crisp to the touch but soft inside. Place the pans on a wire rack to cool. When completely cooled, gently remove from pans. 6. For the whipped cream: In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. Fold in the coconut and chocolate. To Assemble Cake: Place one of the cake layers, meringue side down, on a serving platter. Spread with the whipping cream. Gently place the second cake layer, cake side down so the meringue layer is facing up, onto the first layer. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Can garnish with fresh strawberries. If not eating immediately, place in the refrigerator until serving time. However, make sure to bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Yields: 10 servings Adapted from Joy of Baking

Mixed Lentils

This beautiful mixture of spices will leave a tantalizing taste in your mouth. If you do not have more than one type of lentil go ahead and use what you have. 1/2 cup red lentils, picked over for stones 1/2 cup brown lentils, picked over for stones 1 small onion, chopped 1 (2 inch) piece of ginger 2 garlic cloves, 1 green chili, cut lengthwise (do not remove seeds) 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 tomato, chopped 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1. In a large bowl add lentils, fill with water and rinse several times until water is not cloudy, drain. In a medium saucepan on medium heat add 3 cups water and lentils then bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan and allow simmering 15 minutes. 2. While the lentils are cooking, add onion, ginger in garlic into food processor. Pulse until mixed. Heat 3. In a sauté pan on low-medium heat, add oil. Add chili’s, sauté for30 seconds. Add onion mix, sauté for 5 minutes. Add salt, turmeric, tomato and 2 cups water. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. (If lentils are tender reduce heat to low and keep covered) Stir sauce into cooked lentils, add cilantro. Yields: 4 servings

Simple Chicken Curry

This simple curry is perfect for a busy mom who wants a fast meal but does not want to compromise taste with time. This is one of the better curries with the perfect blend of just the right amount of spices. 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 1 clove garlic, diced 1 teaspoon ginger, diced 1 green chili, finely chopped 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 tomato, chopped 4 chicken breast Salt 2/3 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup hot water 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 1. In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add oil. Add garlic and ginger, sauté for 1 minute, add tomato. Reduce heat to low add chili, salt and garam masala. Quickly add chicken, turn heat to high. Cook and seal chicken well on each side, until golden. Add 2/3 cup water reduce heat to low, cook until chicken is done, about 30 minutes. Add more water if necessary. 2. Stir in cream, mix thoroughly. Sprinkle cilantro over top. Yields: 4 servings

Little French Breads

I cannot figure out what I like more the smell of baking bread in my house or the actual bread. What about you, what is your favorite? This a smaller version to the classic French bread, great for a small family. 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon active dry yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup warm water (may need 1/2 cup more, add small amount at time) Cornmeal 1 egg white 1 tablespoon water 1. In a medium sized bowl, add flour, yeast and water. With an electric mixer on low, blend well. Add more water if needed until dough is smooth. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Shape dough into ball and lightly grease bowl, turning dough making sure coated in oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. 2. Punch dough down and divide dough into 4 even balls. Let rest covered 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet by sprinkling lightly with cornmeal. Roll each dough ball into a rectangle (10 inches long). Carefully roll dough up, long side. Carefully seal ends with your fingers. Place sealed sides down on baking sheet. In a small bowl, add egg white and water, mix well. With a pastry brush paint mixture all over top of dough. Place remaining mixture in refrigerator. Set dough aside, cover and allow rising 45 minutes. 3. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Using a sharp knife make small diagonal cuts into dough. Bake 20 minutes. Brush bread with egg mixture again then continue baking 8-10 minutes, bread should sound hallow when tapped. Yields: 4 10 inch loaves

Pickled Lemons/Garlic

Many people love pickled vegetables but hey I am not one of those people. I actually despise pickled foods. It is somewhat funny though because I can not seem to get away from it. Back home in Tennessee people pickle anything and then I come here to Saudi Arabia, and they do the same thing. Therefore, I am sure your wondering why I made this recipe if I hate it so much. This recipe is not like any other pickling you will ever taste. And no I do not eat these lemons and garlic straight up, who knows maybe someone out there does. This little mix I made is for cooking purposes only. I use a lot of garlic and lemons in my cooking, so this is perfect for all of us. I have to admit I could not stop sniffing the jar, it smells so amazing. I can not wait until it is ready for me to use. I will let you know how it turned out. 3 large lemons 6 garlic cloves, split in half 1 teaspoon nigella (black seeds) 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 2 teaspoons salt 4 cups water, boiled and cooled 1. Boil water, and allow cooling. Split lemons at bottom into a cross, leave top intact. In a small bowl, add turmeric and salt, mix well. Place 1/2 teaspoon of salt mixture inside each lemon. Place lemons in jar (I use an old pasta sauce jar) adding garlic pieces in between lemons. Pour remaining salt mixture and nigella over lemon mixture. Pour water all the way to top. Tightly close jar, leave lemon mixture in a cool dark place for 45 days.

Cream Kunafa

There are many different kunafa recipes all over the Middle East. They range from banana, cream, cheese and nut, just to name a few. I really love this combination, its sweet and savory just like a good dessert should be. Check out my cheese kunafa recipe for another delicious treat. Syrup: 2-1/2 cups sugar 1-1/4 cups water 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons orange blossom water Cream filling: 1/2 cup rice flour 4 cups milk 1/2 cup heavy cream 4 tablespoons sugar Pastry: 1 pound Kataifi pastry, defrosted 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, melted Garnish: 2/3 cup pistachios, chopped 1. Syrup: In a small saucepan on high heat add water, sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil then reduce to low, cook for 5 minutes. Cook until thick, like a syrup (if it becomes to thick add a small amount of water). Add orange blossom water, cool then chill. 2. In a medium saucepan on high heat, add milk. Have a whisk and gently pour rice flour into milk, whisk vigorously until there are no lumps what so ever. Add cream, mix well. Reduce heat to low and allow simmering 10 minutes, whisking through out every minute. Add sugar, set aside. 3. In an extra large bowl, add Kataifi pastry, breaking all strings apart with hands. Add melted butter over pastry mixing well with hands, until covered. In an 11-12 inch pie pan, add half of Kataifi pastry, press down. Add cream filling, smoothing out then add other half of Kataifi pastry, press down. Bake in a pre-heated 350 F oven for 45 minutes. 4. Take a sharp knife and run along pastry sides. Cover pan with plate and gently flip. Pour half of sugar syrup over pastry; reserve other half to serve at table. Garnish with pistachios. Yields: 10 servings Adapted from Arabesque

Meat Loaf

Meat loaf is a great comfort food that always seems to please any family. This is a pretty simple recipe with gratifying results. 2 eggs 3/4 cup milk 2/3 cup oats 1/2 cup onions, diced 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon sage 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds 1-1/2 pound lean ground beef 1 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, oats, salt, pepper, sage, celery seeds and onion. Add beef, mix well with hands. Shape into an 8-1/2 inch by 4-1/2 inch un-greased baking pan. 2. In a small bowl, add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar, mix well. Spread 3/4 cups of mixture over meatloaf and bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Serve with remaining sauce. Yields: 6 servings

Chocolate Chai

I have never been too much of an Indian chai drinker; I always have my tea black with mint. I saw this recipe and thought I would try it and I was extremely happy with it. This was an amazing cup of chai with nothing to overpowering. I know it may sound like a weird combination but something about all of this just works. 1/2 cup water 1 bag black tea 1 3-inch piece stick cinnamon 2 cups milk 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 1. In a small saucepan, combine water, tea bag and cinnamon. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Discard tea bag and cinnamon stick. Stir milk, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, ginger and cardamom into tea. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture is heated (do not boil). Yields: 2 servings Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

Plum/Nectarine Coffee Cake Muffins

We had an insane sand storm here in Saudi yesterday. It was quite scary. Everywhere was bright orange. People could not see what so ever, not even out the window, just orange. I cracked the window to try to get a picture and it was as if someone dumped a bucket of sand in my face. The airports were closed and everything. My husband said that we are supposed to get another one again here soon. This global warming is scary, weird things happening all over. Anyway, I will leave you on a better note some yummy, fluffy and sweet muffins. This recipe is easy; it made me wonder why I have never made homemade muffins before. I always thought why bother the box is so easy. However, the box is nothing now that I have had these. Simply divine I tell you. 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted plus more for pan 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder Pinch of ground nutmeg 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup milk 2 plums, pitted and diced 1 nectarine, pitted and diced 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Generously butter 10 cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin, set aside. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside. 2. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk, Whisk in melted butter. Using a spatula, fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Dividing evenly, fill each of the 10 muffin cups halfway with batter. Smooth the batter with a spatula. 3. Distribute the fruit pieces evenly among the cups. Spoon remaining batter on top, dicing evenly. Sprinkle tops with reserved sugar and cinnamon mixture. 4. Bake, rotating pan half way through until the muffins are puffed and golden, about 18 minutes. Check centers with a toothpick, to ensure it comes out clean. Yields: 10 muffins Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

Rose Laban

The first time I made this it was a hit with my husband and I have been making them ever since. When I have roses on hand I like to add some petals to the cup for decoration it looks absolutely gorgeous. 2 cups of plain yogurt 2 tablespoons rose water 1/2 cup water 3 teaspoons sugar 1 drop red food coloring 1. In a blender add yogurt, rose water, water, sugar, and dye, mix well. Refrigerate at least 10 minutes. Yields: 1 serving

Breadsticks

Why buy frozen bread sticks when you can make your on at home? This recipe is very fast and simple. My husband does not ask for much when it comes to dinner so when he does ask me to make something I like to. I was happy to get the results I did on my very first attempt and they were so amazing, I just wish I could give you all one. Next time, I will come up with a yummy dipping sauce. 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided 2-1/2 teaspoons dry yeast 1 tablespoon sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1-1/4 cups warm water 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon rosemary, dried 1/2 tablespoon parsley, dried Olive oil 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1. In a large mixing bowl combine half of flour, yeast, sugar and salt; add warm water then sunflower oil; beat on medium speed with electric mixer until smooth, 1 minute. Add Parmesan cheese, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and remaining flour to make dough. 2. Place dough out onto a floured surface or non-stick baking mat, kneading until smooth. Divide dough into 10 portions. Shape each portion into an 8-inch rope then twist. 3. Drizzle olive oil all over bread sticks then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place ropes 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake until lightly browned, 15 minutes.

Cappuccino/Latte

I have a friend Zelia who is visiting her family in Morocco right now. She saw one of her family members making this and just had to ask what it was, come to find out it was a Moroccans very way to make lattes at home. Zelia was nice enough to share this amazing recipe with me because she knows I love coffee. This latte is good; you just have to try it. I am sure that you will enjoy it more than the ones you get from coffee shops, it taste a lot better. You may think that you can do easily by just adding the hot milk then the coffee and sugar, I tried it and it did not come out as well. Therefore, they know what their doing and lets stick with that. I have been making these lattes for myself everyday since she gave me the recipe. Cappuccino: 2 cups milk 1-1/2 tablespoons instant coffee (divided) 4 teaspoons sugar (divided) 1. In a small saucepan on medium heat add milk, cook until hot about 2 minutes. Meanwhile add half of sugar and half of coffee into one coffee cup, and the other half in another. Place about 1/2 tablespoon milk into each cup. Mix constantly to form a paste in each cup, about 1 minute. 2. Carefully pour hot milk over coffee paste, gently stir. Variations: Vanilla: Add 1 tablespoon vanilla into milk when it is heating. Mocha: Add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder into milk when it is heating and increase sugar to 5 teaspoons. Latte: Same method as above except after milk heats froth milk with hand blender. Yields: 2 servings

Baraazak

Baraazak is a beautiful light, delicate and deliciously sweet cookie found in Lebanon and Syria. These golden beauties are a a great holiday treat with tea or coffee. Also they make a fabulous gift for family and friends. 3/4 cup sesame seeds 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pistachios 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups butter 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 2 cups semolina 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1. In three small bowls individually place sesame seeds, honey, and pistachios. 2. Meanwhile in a processor add eggs, butter, and sugar pulsing until a paste forms. Add mix into large mixing bowl; then add flour, semolina, baking powder, and salt. Knead into dough, adding a little water if necessary. 3. Form into golf balls sized shapes. Dip balls, one at a time, into the pistachios and flatten with fingers on a greased baking sheet. Continue until all the balls are used. You may make a small hole in the middle of each cookie or leave whole. Brush cookies with honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 4. Bake in a 350 F pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until cookies turn golden brown. Remove and allow to cool. Yields: 30 cookies

Stovetop Apples

This is one of those perfect recipes when you have too many apples are your afraid some may spoil. You can enjoy these alone or have them as I do, with ice-cream. 4 apples, peeled and sliced 1 tablespoon sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon allspice Dash nutmeg 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1. In a large saucepan on high heat, add apples, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, water and butter, cover. As soon as ingredients begin to boil, lower heat to a simmer. Simmer apples, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let apples stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving. Yields: 2 servings

Beef Stir Fry

This is a simple and fast recipe, perfect for those nights that you do not feel like cooking or cleaning up much. However, the simplicity does not affect the taste what so ever. 1 pound sliced beef (in long strips) 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 carrot, sliced 1/2 cup peas 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced 1 onion, diced 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1. In a large skillet on medium heat, add oil. Add pepper and onion, cook until tender. Add carrots and peas, cook 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low Add beef sauté for 2 minutes, add tomato sauce, salt, pepper and mix well. Add cornstarch, mixing well. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Serve with white rice. Yields: 4 servings

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