Croissant French Toast


We love having big American breakfasts in my house so French toast is something I make quiet often. This version is my favorite because of the buttery croissants. I like to sprinkle powdered sugar all over the top and serve fresh fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice for a complete breakfast.

By the way have you ever wondered if French toast is really from France? I have because although the name implies that it’s a very traditional American breakfast food. I am still not sure if France is where it hails from but it seems that everyone all over the world has a version. You can check it out here.

Also check out a few new post I have talking about my new French Press and spices of Saudi Arabia.

3 croissants, torn into chunks
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1. In a small sauté pan on medium heat add oil, allow to become hot.

2. In a medium sized bowl add eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla, with a hand blender mix well.

3. Add bread chunks into eggs mixture allowing marinating fully, about 20 seconds. Carefully add pieces into hot pan allowing to brown on each side.

4. Place French Toast on a paper towel to drain oil, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh fruit.

Yields: 2 servings

Broiled Grapefruit


Growing up I always remember opening the refrigerator and seeing mommas grapefruit sprinkled with sugar all over the top waiting until morning so the sweetness could soak down for her breakfast. I always loved to share them with her.  In my family we always loved the bitterness of grapefruits. I grew up drinking unsweetened grapefruit juice and still do this day you will find it in my fridge and a bowl filled with plump pink and orange grapefruits on the counter. I just so happened to see this recipe floating around Pinterest and knew I had to try it, I am glad I did its delicious. However if you do this mixture overnight and sit them in the fridge it will taste just as great and cold.

1 grapefruit
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Pre-heat the ovens broiler. Carefully cut the grapefruit in half and then go around the edges and seams of wedges making grapefruit easier to remove.

2. In a small bowl add sugars and cinnamon, mix well and sprinkle all over top of grapefruits.

3. Place on a baking sheet and broil about 3 minutes until sugar starts to brown.

Yields: 1

Spaghetti with Potatoes


I am a huge fan of potato and pasta mixes, they are just perfect match in carb heaven. And with added freshly green arugula added onto anything I surely cannot resist. Seriously, I love arugula so much I would eat it on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (okay maybe not but you get the point I love the stuff).  I love making vegetarian dishes in the hot months and try to add them in rotation as much as possible all that meat daily is not always the best idea. I always wonder when people thought a meal was not complete with a hunk of meat.

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup arugula, torn into small pieces
5-6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 scallions, diced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spaghetti, cooked

1. In a non-stick sauté pan on medium heat add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add potatoes, cover and allow cooking until tender, mixing from time to time.  About 5-10 minutes.

2. Add sea salt, arugula, garlic, tomatoes and basil, mix, cover and allow cooking for a remaining 5 minutes, mixing well.

3. In a large serving bowl drain add pasta. Add remaining olive oil, mixing well. Add potatoes mixture onto top. Garnish top with scallions. 

Yields: 6 servings 

Fattoush



Fattoush has been a long time favorite of mine especially in the Summer months. When it’s hot I just love eating small and cool meals. Forget all that heavy rice and large dinners. This colorful Lebanese salad is made up of the perfect fresh ingredients and topped with a light dressing that I use for almost all my salads, I love it that much.

1 head lettuce, washed and chopped
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch mint leaves, washed and drained
3 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
7 radishes, peeled and sliced
2 shallots, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sumac
Salt to taste
2 pita breads, cut up and fried

In a large salad bowl add lettuce, parsley, mint, cucumbers, radishes and shallots.

In a small bowl add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, salt and sumac, mix well and pour over salad, mixing well.

Top with fried pita bread and serve.

Yields: 6 servings

Arabic Pita Bread


 Over the years I have had so many requests for Arabic pita bread but never got around to posting the recipe. My mammaw gave me a homemade cookbook when I got married and it contained this recipe and has since been the only pita bread recipe that I have ever used. Why change a good thing right? Since moving to the Middle East I have not made homemade pita bread. Its freshly made here at all times and even hot when you get it and did I mention dirt cheap. It’s about 1 riyal for a big pack which is around a quarter and if you order food from anywhere they just give you packs for free.

However, I have to admit that today when I made this and tasted it I hated that I stopped making it for my family, it taste so much better. Usually when I bake bread I always tell you all to use as little extra flour as possible after you make your dough however do not go by that when making pita bread just remember that flour is your friend. You need extra when rolling it out, kneading and shaping. Also allowing your dough to rest in between each move is something that I have found is a must so that the gluten does not get over excited and works to your advantage. Also make sure your water is not to hot or you will kill the yeast yet not cold or it will not grow.

3 cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups warm water

1. In a small bowl add yeast, pinch of sugar and 1/4 cup of the warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.

2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, remaining sugar, 1 tablespoons of the olive oil and yeast mixture, mix well. Add warm water a little bit at a time mixing until a dough consistency has formed. Knead for 10 minutes.

3. In a medium sized bowl add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brush all over sides and bottom of bowl. Add dough and brushing remaining oil on top. With your fingers lightly poke all over the tops and side of the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a double folded kitchen towel. Place in a warm place (like a microwave) for an hour.

4. On a floured surface add dough and knead for 10 minutes working extra flour (about 1/3 cup) into dough. Break off 8 even pieces and roll into a bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

5. Pre-heat oven to 500F placing baking stone inside to heat up. On a floured surface shape ball into a circle with your hands then carefully flatten until 4-5 inch circles are formed. Add two pitas at a time to bake. Bake for a few minutes on each side flipping with metal tongs. Bust any puffy bubbles with a fork to allow steam out.

6. Cover with a towel to keep warm until serving time and store inside a plastic bag.

Yields: 8 servings

Chicken Soup for the Flu


For at least 900 years, the healing properties of chicken soup have been noted and regarded as weird by the medical community. For years studies have been conducted to try to figure out just why chicken soup does make us feel better. It seems too been left at that it’s simply magic. Studies have shown that chicken soup does in fact contain certain ‘drug like’ agents that minimize inflammation. Apparently, the soup inhibits the tendency of certain white cells to congregate. The reasons why are still a mystery and in one study, the soup was diluted 200 times and still produced the same result. So with that being said can soup is as good for you as the homemade stuff but of course homemade taste much better.  

We have been having crazy weather here in Riyadh all month, nothing that I have ever seen especially at this time of year. One day it’s pouring and the next a major sandstorm then cold and hot. With that kind of weather it seems to be the perfect recipe for the flu. This past weekend my husband starting showing the first symptoms of the flu so I quickly whipped up my fast yet healing chicken soup. I love this soup during anytime, it taste great.

4 cups water
1/2 rotisserie chicken, cooked and shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons fresh diced ginger
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat add water, chicken, salt, curry powder, ginger, garlic, carrot, potato, onion and pepper, stir well.

2. Add lid, reduce heat to low and allow cooking for 30 minutes.

Yields: 4 servings

Shrimp Cakes


While vacationing in Southeast Asia I tried some of the most appealing shrimp cakes and have wanted to try to recreate them since we have been home.  You could easily add whatever flavorings you like into this dish I myself just made them very simple and served them with a side of soy as well as fish sauce. Remember that shrimp should not cooked very long or it will get a tough and plastic like texture.

2 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons flour
1 white onion, quartered
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup breadcrumbs (finely ground)
Sunflower oil for frying

1. In a food processor add shrimp, garlic and onion, pulse until everything is ground. Pour into a large bowl then add flour, paprika and salt. Mix well.

2. In a sauté pan on medium heat add enough oil for lightly frying cakes. Add breadcrumbs into a medium sized bowl. Make medium sized patties with hand and lightly coat each side in the breadcrumbs. Place in the shallow oil for frying. Allow each side to lightly brown about 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towel and serve.

Yields: 8 servings

Strawberries

 

Strawberries have always been my favorite in fact they are a huge deal back home in the small east Tennessee town I am from. Every May our strawberry fields grow in abundance and they are the sweetest most large and fresh berries you will ever try. To celebrate our fresh crops we have a yearly festival at the end of May called The Strawberry Festival. We have a week long carnival and that following Saturday a massive parade with all kinds of crafts and foods on the courthouse lawn. You can find strawberry crafts and desserts of every kind, it’s pretty amazing.

My grandfather used to grow strawberries for me in the backyard but the deer would always seem to get to them before we did. He would always joke with me and take my berries saying that I did not like them anyway (I sure do miss him). My love for strawberries is even why I chose the name of my personal blog Little Pink Strawberries.

Here in Riyadh we still get strawberries but they are imported and pretty expensive. I am just glad it’s finally Spring so we can get the really sweet ones. Look at this massive fatty I got, 3 inches wow. 

Arabian Gulf Pudding


Arabian Gulf Pudding is a tantalizing dessert served throughout the Gulf Countries. Plump sukary dates, freshly ground cardamom and fragrant rosewater make this little dish burst with traditional flavors. 

4 cups water
1 can (397 grams) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup diced dates
1 tablespoon rose water
Whole dates for topping

1.      Add water, condensed milk, sugar and cardamom in a 1-quart saucepan on full heat. Bring to a full boil.

2.      Add oats and stir. Simmer on low continuously stirring for 5 minutes. Add dates, stir for 1 minute add rose water and stir.

3.      Add pudding into serving dishes, add a date then cover and place into refrigerator until serving time.

Yields: 8 servings

Caramel Latte


I love making delicious coffee drinks like you can grab from a coffee shop in mid-afternoon while I am working. This treat is easy and just as perfect as the shops. You can use fresh coffee in this recipe or instant like I do in my coffee recipes to save time. You can also buy ice-cream toppings in your grocer which serve as many other uses such as this one.

 1 heaping teaspoon instant coffee
4 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon caramel ice-cream topping
1 cup milk
Sugar to taste

1.      In a small bowl add coffee and hot water, allow coffee to dissolve. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat milk on low thoroughly. In a coffee mug add coffee, sugar, caramel and milk.

2.      Add a dollop of whip cream and drizzle caramel on top.

Yields: 1 cup