14 posts from month 11/2017

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Amazing Chocolate Chunk Cookies

An old classic with a few added ingredients to make them more healthful and more tasty!  When I need a crowd pleaser for the kids, this is my go-to cookie.  And when my teenagers needed to raise some money for charity at a bake sale, this is what they decided to make.  These cookies are so easy to make and definitely swoon-worthy.  The chunks of chocolate melt in your mouth.   Soooo ooey-gooey good. Also, just a little note about baking.  If you like to bake, and have children, this is ... Continue Reading
Muhammara: Red Pepper Dip

Easy Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip (Muhammara)

This dip, called Muhammara, which means "reddened" in Arabic, can be found throughout the Levant in different versions, but all versions are some combination of red peppers and walnuts with spices.  It's so easy to prepare and is incredibly tasty.  The pomegranate molasses is the star of the recipe.  It lends an amazing tart sweetness to the dish that complements the caramel flavor of the roasted peppers and the nutty aroma of the walnuts.  This dip does not last 5 minutes in our ... Continue Reading
Za'atar with Labneh

Za’atar: Wild Thyme & other spices

This Middle Eastern spice mix is so simple and bursting with flavor.  It can be eaten sprinkled over yogurt or labneh, mixed with some olive oil as a dip for bread, used as a rub for grilled chicken, sprinkle on an avocado, or in many other endlessly interesting ways.  It is normally bought ready-made in a store, but I highly recommend trying the homemade version.  The difference is like night and day and the flavor of this version is phenomenal.  Seriously. The history of Za'atar is ... Continue Reading
Hummus four ways

Hummus Four Delicious Ways

How do you like your hummus? Hummus is a perfect healthful way to keep people happy when waiting for dinner.  Also great to just keep in the fridge and get out as a snack, or use as a sandwich spread.  This fall I decided to get colorful and add some fun ingredients, like beets, pumpkin, and peppers to the traditional recipe.  The results were beyond my expectations and looked amazing. There are lots of little steps, but nothing complicated and doesn't take much time, except for one ... Continue Reading
Caramel Cinnamon Bakes Apples

Caramel Cinnamon Baked Apples

Mmmmm....the smell of cinnamon and apples wafting through the kitchen and into the rest of the house is the coziest most wonderful way to greet the day.  I love to make these plump apples in the morning and just let them sit out for anyone to grab during the day if they get hungry.  I usually can't resist and have mine warm right away with a little bit of cream drizzled on top.  The kids enjoy these apples as an afternoon snack or as dessert after dinner with vanilla ice-cream.  They ... Continue Reading
Girls picking olives

A Weekend of Olive Picking with Friends

The olive harvest...what an amazingly bountiful year. When I'm among the olive trees in the orchard, I feel like there is no place I'd rather be.  I love the sound of the dry earth crunching under my boots as I walk among the silvery trees dripping with ripe olives.  I love the the autumn sun bathing the fields from dawn to sunset.  I love the distant sound of a dog barking, a goat bleating, or a tractor in a nearby field rolling along.  I adore hearing my kids laugh and joke as they pick ... Continue Reading
Mediterranean Style beans

Mediterranean Style Cranberry Beans

This Turkish dish is a staple.  Prepared in a traditional Mediterranean style with lots of onions, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil, it tastes fantastic, requires little effort, and is gobbled up by all.  Cranberry Beans, also known as Borlotti beans in Italy, are close relatives to the kidney and pinto bean.  They are called barbunya in Turkish.  For this recipe, you can use pinto beans, as a dear friend of mine does, or if you like, try cannellini beans, which work beautifully as well. ... Continue Reading
Mushroom, Oregano, and Garlic Pasta

Mushroom, Oregano, and Garlic Pasta

So delicious and so easy!   It's a weeknight and everyone is home.  The kids are finishing up their homework.  Ned is watching a soccer game on television.  I'm editing a blog post and at the same time, cleaning up my daughter's speech analyzing how language is used to strengthen the argument for gender equality in two different speeches.  And everyone is very very hungry.  In other words, I need a meal that I can whip up in a few minutes that everyone will enjoy and feel satisfied with. ... Continue Reading