drinks

Dates and Tahini

dates-and-tahini

I am not sure why I have never shared one of my favorite Saudi snacks with you all, but since it’s almost Ramadan I thought I would share it with you all. Before moving to Saudi I had never tried that many dates little on things that paired well with them. The first time I had the pleasure of trying dates dipped in tahini was at the Jandiriyah festival the first year I was in Saudi. They had an area from the Mecca region with all sorts of dates for sale and a tahini fountain to dip, so you could try before you buy. I was hooked as soon as I bit into it!

Saudi families always serve a small bowl of tahini with a bowl of dates and a dullah of Saudi Qahwa. They use all sorts of dates so go ahead and use your favorite type. For me, it’s sukary of course. You can make my Saudi qahwa recipe here. If you can not find Saudi coffee where you live then you’re in luck and can order from Arabian Coffees or just buy some already made Nescafe Arabiana.

Thinking of Nescafe Arabiana they have a promotion out right now here in Riyadh where you buy a box of the coffee and it comes two cute little fenjans. My son and I thought one looked just like my husband. I hope to collect all of them. Also, I have meant to show you all some gifts that the people from Nescafe sent me after they saw my last post on their coffee. It was such a kind gesture and I really appreciated it.

nescafe-arabiana

By the way, check me out over at Saudi Female Bloggers today!

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup

homemade-vanilla-coffee-syrup-with-vanilla-beans

Back in the day when I first started drinking coffee I would always order one with vanilla or a mocha because I really did not understand what everything else was. I have since abandoned those drinks and moved on to bigger and better ones or so I thought. Until yesterday morning when my husband brought me a vanilla cappuccino home from the shop . I fell in love with an old friend once again and wondered why I had ever stopped drinking it to begin with. Well, you all know me so I had to get in the kitchen and make my own so I can enjoy these.

One of my favorite things about all of these homemade coffee syrups is that they are natural. That being said you will want to use a real vanilla pod with this recipe. I know it does not make the prettiest picture and all that stuff does not look appetizing but real vanilla is like liquid gold and if you get rid of it you’re just crazy. Opening a pod is simple you just carefully make a slit from the top to the bottom and then I always use a chopstick to pull out the stuff from inside. The more of the beans and pod equals more of a taste and that is why you should keep both in your syrup. Regardless of what flavor you make you will always want to give it a light shake before using. And there you have it friends this is what real vanilla syrup looks like.

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 vanilla bean

1. In a small saucepan on high heat add water, sugar and vanilla. Carefully whisk to dissolve sugar. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Allow to cool then pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate.

How to make perfect Turkish Coffee

how-to-make-turkish-coffee

I love Turkish coffee and have been drinking it for years. I usually just drink regular coffee, but every now and again I love to make myself a cup of ‘real coffee’ and it’s also what I serve when I have Saudi guest. For the sake of this post I am going to link to one online store that has everything in the one place. I have not bought from this site and you do not have to but it is just easier for me to look around one place. It takes time to learn how to master making the perfect Turkish coffee but I promise it’s well worth it.

So here is what you will need:
1. Turkish coffee pot I have a few different sizes but the ones with the rim that goes out at the top are the best for getting the ultimate foam.
2. Turkish coffee You can order online if your in an area where you cannot find it, you can also grind it at home. The coffee should be powder like. I buy mine from a local shop and get three beans mixed which is light, medium and dark.
3. Turkish coffee cup You do not have to have a cup from Turkey however, you do need one that is straight. This helps keep the foam. My cup above is from Turkey because I wanted something traditional plus the lids help keep the coffee hot.
4. Spoon You can use any spoon you like, but I prefer a small longer one so that I do not burn my hand since I am using an electric top stove.
5. Water I use bottled water at room temperature. If you use pre-boiled water you will not get any foam.
6. Sugar This is all about what you like. A lot of people put a sugar cube in their mouth before drinking, some on the side or some in the coffee. I add a bit into my coffee before I make it.

Here is how you make it:
1. The coffee is measured per taste as well. I like strong coffee so I always use about 1-1/2 teaspoon per cup. then add sugar. You add these into the coffee pot.

2. Use the coffee cup to measure the water for however many cups you will make. Add a little bit more water per cup for the foam (about 1 teaspoon per cup).

3. Place the coffee pot on high heat and stir to mix everything up. You do not want to get to the boiling point but hot enough to get the froth. When it starts to get a lot of the froth to the point of it going over the pot pull it back from the heat. I usually do this a few times. Then remove the pot from the heat and spoon the foam that formed into the cups. Place the coffee pot back onto the heat and allow another froth to happen then pour the coffee evenly between the cups on top of the foam you already added.

There you go a beautifully foamed perfect cup of Turkish coffee. Serve your guest water and sweets. Give the coffee just a minute so everything can settle and make sure you do not drink all the way to the bottom of the cup or else you will get the coffee gunk.