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

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 

Kaikat Al Khaleej

I love having this aroma filled cake for
brunch or with tea, it’s perfect. All of the amazing flavors of the Gulf are
packed into this small package for a beautiful burst of flavors. I prefer
sukary dates which are soft however if you live in the West where good dates
are hard to come by you should soak your dates to become soft before baking for
about 5 minutes in boiling water.

1 cup dates, cut up
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 pinch saffron threads soaked in 1
teaspoon rose water
Pinch salt
Sesame seeds
oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl add sugar and butter. With a hand mixer
beat until fluffy. Add egg, mix well.
vanilla, baking powder, cardamom, salt, rose water and saffron, mix then add
flour and water. Mix well. Fold in dates.
Grease a
loaf pan then sprinkle sides and bottom with sesame seeds. Carefully pour
batter into pan. Place into oven cooking for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick
comes out clean.
empty pan onto a serving plate, slice and serve.
Yields: 1 loaf cake