The first time I tried cardamom tea was seven years ago on the first day of my Arabic lesson at a Yemeni woman’s house whom I had found through the local mosque. This was also the first time that I had tried cardamom and the beginning of my love for the fragrant spice. Green cardamoms are popular throughout the Middle East and are even used as medical aides throughout Saudi Arabia. Cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world due to the fact that each individual fruit pod containing the seed spice must be harvested from its flower stalks by hand. I remember in the states it cost $20 for a bottle of cardamom at Wal-Mart (that would be sr75 wow) but thank goodness its much cheaper here.
4 cups water
2 teaspoons loose black tea (or 4 tea bags)
4 green cardamom pods
1. Using a mortar and pestle lightly crush the cardamom pods. Place loose tea in a heat proof tea pot and add water. Add the cardamom and bring water to boil.
2. Remove from heat and allow to steep for at least 5 minutes. Bring mixture to boil again then strain and serve.
Late at night when everyone has gone to bed and I have completely finished my day I like to curl up in bed and read on my IPad and also get on Pinterest. I came across a batch of pretzel rolls last night and just knew that I had to make them today. We love big soft pretzels so this seemed like a recipe we may love as well.
The recipe was pretty straight forward and simple to do however I ended up cutting it in half because all of the recipes I came across was for 18 plus rolls and that’s way too much for my small family. I got 7 out of my recipe which was just perfect. I was so happy as I went through the steps because every bit of the process was going smoothly and perfect. I loved how you pre-boiled them for a bit like bagels to get that chewy exterior and soft inside and that pretty much had me knowing how lovely they would end up becoming. After they cooled a bit Talal and I wanted to try one to see if they were anything like our beloved pretzels are just soft rolls (either way I would have liked them) but I could not believe that they tasted exactly like soft pretzels and actually even much better. Sea salt is defiantly a must for this one and when I use it I prefer to add some in my hand and sprinkle it with my fingers.
1/2 cup Warm Water (110°F)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons baking soda
6 cups water
1 egg, Lightly Beaten
oil for hands
1. In a small bowl and yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
2. In a large bowl add flour and salt, mix. Make a well in the center add butter and yeast mixture. Add water a little at a time until a dough like consistency has formed. Knead for a few minutes. Place the ball back into the bowl and lightly cover the top with oil (not working into dough). Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm area for at least one hour.
3. Punch dough down and mix for about 30 seconds with your hands. Cut the dough into 7 pieces (2 ounces each). To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.
4. Place the ball on the baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.
5. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large saucepan, water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
6. With a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the lightly beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely. With a sharp straight edged knife, cut an x in the top of each roll. Top each roll with a sprinkle of sea salt.
7. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
I have had my DSLR (Canon eos 55d) for a while now and my pictures on here have became relativity better. For those of you who have followed me for a while now I am sure you remember my pictures before with my point and shoot (holds head in shame). Yes, you can still see many of those images on here. As much as I tried to make the pictures pretty there was just no way to do so with the camera I had. The quality of my images has greatly improved but I still have a long way to go to the place I would actually want to be. I absolutely adore going through foodgawker and looking at the beautiful food and when I am looking for a recipe I always go to the sites with the beautiful images.
A DSLR has so much to it and it can be a bit overwhelming at times. I have always wanted to take some sort of class for hands on experience but lets get real I live in Saudi Arabia. This morning I was browsing through skill shares which is a great site to take online courses from and came across a food photography week long course for only $15. I immediately signed up and came here to tell you all about it because so many of you write me asking about food photography or my camera and so on. Practice makes perfect and if you own a DSLR then you should take this course with it, lets see we improve shall we.
What You’ll Learn
Food is notoriously difficult to photograph. Fail to use some basic techniques and that mouth watering dish you’re trying to capture might not look so appetizing. If you want your food to look as good as it tastes, this class is for you! Whether you’re a general food lover, avid home cook, or aspiring food blogger, you’ll gain useful skills and valuable information. This class promises to be a real treat!
Playing with Your Food is perfect for DSLR beginners. You’ll find out tips and tricks for taking better food photos. You’ll learn about composition, light, texture, and color. I’ll guide you through:
- The main elements of a good food photograph
- The importance of angles and natural light
- A few plating techniques
- How to use and where to get props
- How to edit and enhance the basic quality of your image
Enroll and your food photographs will be better than ever! For a project you’ll say something beautiful with your food, using red as your theme for an added challenge. When you’re done, share your photos with the rest of us! Upload them to the Project Gallery on Skillshare and share on Twitter, Instagram or other social media platforms using the hashtag #WithFoodinMind.
This class was organized by With Food in Mind, a nomadic not-for-profit working at the intersection of food, visual culture, and social change. Because food is relevant to every living person, we believe that it is uniquely capable of engaging many different audiences in learning about the arts. This class is part of our ever-growing series of adult workshops.
Sign Up Here
* I am in no way affiliated through this I just want you all to learn along with me.
I have been wanting to make kesra for several years now but for some reason or another I just never got around to it. Kesra is a country bread found in Berber villages. This bread can be served with a delicious tangine or a soup. The kesra is used as the utensil when eating being scooped in and out of the food. This recipe makes one loaf and was perfect for small family and sadly was gone in about 2 minutes.
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cornmeal (I used half white and half yellow) plus more for dusting (yellow)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water (I never end up using this much so be careful)
sesame seeds, for topping
1. In a small bowl add yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy.
2. In a mixing bowl add flour, cornmeal, salt, butter and yeast mixture, mix. Add a little bit of warm water at a time until a dough like consistency is formed. Knead for 5 minutes then shape into an 8 inch round.
3. In a non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet sprinkle a bit of cornmeal. Place kesra on top and sprinkle with cornmeal and sesame seeds. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. Pre-heat oven to 425F. Prick the top of the dough with a fork. And place into oven for 15 minutes then reduce to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes.
Yields: 1 loaf