Outback Steak I mean Pasta House

My family and I are addicted to Outback Steakhouse. I actually was long before I even knew my husband. My mammaw and I used to be frequent visitors at the one in Chattanooga. It’s funny though when I think about it because of all the times I have gone I have never ordered anything but steak. I mean what else would one order from a steakhouse other than the obvious anyway right. About a month or so ago I decided to order some shrimp alfredo pasta and wow I was in love. No joke this is one of the best pastas if not the best I have ever had. My husband has even gone crazy over it and now when we go this is what we order. You all just have to try it.

Arabesq Sweets

Arabesq Sweets is the most divine Arabic sweet shop you will come across and is placed inside The Dubai Mall, my favorite mall. What I love about this sweet shop compared to others is that they focus on all of the regions throughout the Middle East. They have even have sections throughout the store where you can buy products (like serving trays, plates and such) from countries such as Oman. I love how they do this and you see people from all regions happy to find products are recipes they have not enjoyed since being back in their home country. If you find yourself in Dubai please do stop by you will not be disappointed. 

*Sorry for the picture quality they were taken with the IPhone.

Bukhari Roz

This recipe is one of my most prized possessions and has been one of those secret recipes for years that I could not bear to share with the world. I get tons of emails from my readers all asking the same thing “tell us more about rice”. You all want to know how to cook rice and more recipes including it and well I love you all so I have to help out I mean that’s the entire point of Ya Salam Cooking. So throughout the next few weeks I will be sharing with you tons of my rice recipes and tips inshAllah. Anyway, Ramadan is right around the corner can you even believe it? I have so many things in store for you all.

I am not even kidding when I say this is the best rice you will ever have and now you can make it to and get all the rave reviews that you deserve. This is a popular recipe here in Saudi and you can take a look at my older recipe which is different and includes chicken. Today I made this for my son for lunch. He loves his roz such a Saudi, right?

1 cup basmati rice, cleaned
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 small white onion, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Arabic Gulf spice
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Dash pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
6 green cardamoms
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped carrots (I used baby carrots)
1 small tomato, diced
1-1/2 cups water

In a 1-quart saucepan on medium heat add sunflower oil, onion and carrots. Cook until tender about 3 minutes. Add tomato and raisins, cooking for another 3 minutes.

Add sultanas, salt, Arabic Gulf spice, turmeric, pepper, red pepper flakes, cardamoms, cloves and bay leaf, stir. Add rice and mix well. Allow to cook for 2 minutes then add water, mix well.

Bring to a full boil then cover top with a cloth then a lid. Reduce heat to low and allow cooking for 25 minutes (never opening lid). Fluff with a fork and serve.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Arabic Gulf Rice

This recipe is pretty much the standard recipe served throughout Gulf homes for dinner. The light flavors of popular Arabic spices mixed with a bit of tomato make for a perfect fragrant rice. During Ramadan rice is often ate for suhoor. I have found that most Muslims in the West tend to eat breakfast foods at that time while Muslims in the Middle East rely on foods that one eat for dinner such as rice, soups and samboosas to make sure everyone is full for the entire day.

 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 white onion, diced
3/4 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup basmati rice, washed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 chicken bouillon cube
pinch ground cardamom
pinch ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
1/2 garlic clove, smashed

1. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat add oil, onion and garlic. Allow to cook until tender about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add tomato paste, salt, rice, cardamom, cumin and cinnamon. Stir allow to cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add water and chicken cube. Stir well making sure chicken cube is dissolved. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes then take off heat and allow to steam for a remaining 10 minutes. (never remove lid).

4. Fluff with a fork and place into a serving plate.

Yields: 3 servings

Lemon Meringue Pie

A few of my girlfriends were talking about this recipe last month and finally I could not take it anymore and a few weeks ago I finally made it. Growing up in the South this is a common dessert that we serve although oddly enough this was the first time I had ever made it. I love the sweet yet tart filling with piled high meringue. Nothing tastes better on a hot Summer day especially with an ice cold glass of lemonade.

Pie Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4" cubes and chilled
4 tablespoons cold water

1. Combine the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter, and then cut in using two forks, a pastry blender, or your hands. Continue working in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add just enough water to bring the dough together and knead a few times to ensure that the flour is evenly moistened. Press into a 1" thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to two days.

2. When ready to roll, dust your counter with flour. Remove the dough from the fridge and let rest on the counter for 5 minutes to allow warming slightly and becoming more workable. Roll the dough into a circle large enough to fit a 9" pie dish and transfer to the pan by rolling the dough around your pin and draping it over the top. Roll up the edge of the dough and use your fingers or a fork to create a decorative edge. Prick with a fork and place in the freezer.

3. Heat oven to 425F. When it comes to temperature, line the prepared pie crust with parchment, aluminum foil or coffee filters and fill it with dry rice or beans. Bake 20 minutes, then remove the foil/parchment/filters along with the beans/rice and bake 5-10 minutes longer until nicely brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Lemon Filling and Meringue:
 4 egg yolks, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter, room temp
Baked pie crust
4 egg whites, room temp
6 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).

2. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof bowl. Beat them briefly, and then set aside.

3. Combine the cup of sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in the water, lemon juice and lemon zest, and then turn the burner on to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in the butter. Remove the pan from heat and pour about 1/2 c of the hot sugar mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking immediately after the addition. Pour the egg yolks into the sugar mixture and return the pan to the heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until very thick. Remove from heat and Pour filling into the prepared pie crust.

4. In a large and very clean glass or metal bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until you have stiff peaks. Spread the meringue over the hot filling, sealing the edges at the crust.

5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown. Place briefly under the broiler or use a kitchen torch if more browning is desired.

Yields: 8 servings 

adapted from allrecipes

This & That

Hey everyone! I hope you’re having a good weekend or week wherever you may be in the world. Things have been kind of crazy in my life but a good kind of crazy. I am the type of person that likes to have a lot going on than the alternative nothing so it’s all good. My husband and I are in the process of opening our fist business it’s exciting yet scary at the same time. I cannot wait to show you all pictures at a later date. Things are in shambles now with the new designs. I have been working like a maniac on all the blog designs I have been doing over on my Etsy shop Blog MePretty. I love designing it’s like my therapy. When I am behind Photoshop it’s like my head just clears.

I have a few new ventures that I have been dabbling into such as the new food editor over at Jeddah Beauty as you all know I am also the food editor of Saudi Life. When I get some more time I plan to also do some work for Khaleejesue all of these are amazing sites that I truly believe in so I hope you take a look and enjoy them as well. I have some more news of other endeavors that I will share at a later date so watch out.

Yesterday evening my husband, son and I went to grab some dinner at Najd Village a little traditional place we sometimes eat at. We ordered the chicken badya which came with rice, jareesh and goursan. They always have the best bread too. Its already crazy hot here in Riyadh but funny enough when your inside a mud house (like Najd Village) its so much cooler. 

I hope that each one of you all are having a great Summer as well. By the way I just noticed today that I am about to embark on 700 recipes, wow and thanks to all of you who have gave me the confidence to put all the work on this blog that I have for the past 5 years.


Thamool is one of my favorite snacks to make and serve with afternoon tea. This golden disc is buttery bread like snack filled with black seeds. Black seeds also called black cumin are an important part of a Muslim diet and we like to add it things when we can and of course breads are perfect since the pair are a perfect taste in palate heaven. The amount of water really depends on where you live so be careful when adding it. I am in a dry climate and usually end up using about 1/4 cup.

 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups flour
2 eggs (white and yolks separated)
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons chilled butter
Dash salt
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. In a small bowl add yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water; sit aside for 5 minutes until frothy.

2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, egg yolks, yeast mixture, milk, melted butter and salt. Mix well. Add a little water at a time until dough consistency is formed. Knead for 5 minutes and form into a ball. Add olive oil onto hands and cover outside of dough. Place in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

3. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Add black seed and chilled butter into dough. Knead into dough and divide into 5 even balls. Cover with the damp cloth and allow resting for 10 minutes.

4. Shape each piece of dough into rounds the size of a tea saucer. Place onto non-stick baking pan or mat on a baking sheet. Brush eggs whites on dough tops. Place into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Yields: 5

Almond Butter

I love almonds so for a while now I have wanted to make homemade almond butter as well as almond milk, which I hope to try sometime in the near future. I love having this with apples or my personal favorite a piece of dark chocolate for a healthier alternative to a Reese Cup (my favorite). Almonds are so good for you and this recipe alone has tons of antioxidants, helps with weight management, controls blood sugar, lowers blood pressure and is good for your heart. Now do you want to whip a batch of this up?

I have saw in the past that a lot of people add extra oil to make this but there is no need. I mean who needs the fat and almonds have natural oils after all. You can use your favorite kind of almonds for this recipe for this one I have used smoked almonds. I also used my food processor which I would imagine is the easiest tool to use. However, you do want to give it a little break every now and again so your motor holds up.

2 cups roasted almonds

1. Place almonds in a food processor. Almonds will go through different stages but you will want to let your food processor run until the oil has released and almond butter has smoothed out (it will ball up right before this happens.) Turn off food processor and transfer to a jar.

2. Cover with an air tight lid and keep in the refrigerator.

Yields: 1 jar