Monthly Archives: July 2011

Saung Kuring

Saung Kuring is an authentic Indonesian restaurant, this particular one is located at Ancol beach in Jakarta. I ordered a fresh coconut with sugar and ice as soon as we were seated; the perfect drink for an afternoon in the sun. Unfortunately I can not remember the name of the platter I ordered but it was amazing and my husband went on about his prawn meal as well. Overall, this was a great experience with good food and service.

Sour Sally

I have found not only the most cute little spot here in Indonesia but also the tastiest. Its called Sour Sally and has this ultra awesome doll house theme to it. You can find them all over Indonesia at the malls and such. They have plain or berry frozen yogurt and they are sour of course with your choice of fresh fruit. I am just in love with this little place. The character Sally is so nifty and you can buy buy various things like a doll from the shop.


Balila is one of Saudis most sought after snacks. You will find balila stands practically everywhere in Saudi from the malls to the parks. Tabasco sauce on top is the natural choice for most. You can choose to soak dried chickpeas overnight in water and baking soda or go the easy route like I have using canned. The bouillon cube is not usually used however it is something I use when using canned chickpeas.

Balila is popular all around the Middle East yet all countries make it differently. For example in Lebanon the sauce is made of garlic cloves, olive oil, cumin and salt. The Lebanese drain the chickpeas after they have cooked while the Saudis typically do not. Yet, I do!

1 (400 gram) can chickpeas
1/2 bullion vegetable cube
Water to cover (2-3 cups)

2-1/2 tablespoons vinegar
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumbers, diced
Salt to taste

1. On high heat in a 4-quart saucepan add chickpeas, water and bouillon cube. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl add vinegar, cumin and salt. Mix well.

3. Drain chickpeas and place into a small bowl. Pour sauce on top of chickpeas, place into small serving bowls and sprinkle tops with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Yields: 4 servings

Chocolate Biscotti

I love having a crunchy biscotti along side my espresso. They are most defiantly the perfect pair. This recipe does take a bit longer than the traditional cookie but they are well worth it and ironically they last for quite awhile. You can easily substitute your favorite nuts or even dried fruits in this recipe.

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup almonds
12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg white
 Sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F.Line two large baking sheet with non-stick baking mats. Set aside.

2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, cocoa,baking soda,salt, 1 cup of chocolate chunks and almonds, until chocolate chunks and almonds are the size of peas. Coarsely chop nuts, chocolate and sieve the flour.

3. In a large mixing bowl beat with a hand mixer the eggs, and granulated sugar until the mixture holds a ribbon-like trail on the surface for a few seconds when you raise the whisk.

4. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture. When it’s well combined, add in the nuts and chocolate and stir by hand, using a large spatula.

5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide into 3 equal pieces. Shape each pieces into an 18 inch log. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. With the palm of your hand, gently press the logs to flatten slighlt. Brush egg wash over logs. Sprinkle with sanding sugar if using.

6. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until logs are just firm to the touch, 20-24 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes. When the logs are cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to cut biscotti log on the diagonal, into 1/4-inch thick.

7. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down on the rack.Bake until biscottis are firm to the touch and completely dry. 10 to 12 minutes.Remove pans from the oven;Let biscottis cool completely on the rack.

Yields: 3 dozen