15 posts from month 12/2017



Baklava is such an amazing sweet.  Served throughout the Middle East and Greece, the sweet syrupy flaky pastry is such a delight as an afternoon snack with tea or coffee, or after a lovely meal.  This homemade version is perfect and much lighter than what you normally can buy or find in term of recipes.  I love this version.  So what's the difference, you might ask?  Normally baklava is made with melted butter, and you have to brush each layer of the dough with butter.  Here, we ... Continue Reading

Risalamande (Rice Pudding Topped with Cherry Sauce)

I absolutely adore this Danish version of Rice Pudding.  I'm pretty much in rapture with any rice pudding, but this, along with the Turkish version that has a beautifully "burnt" top, are my favorites.  The name is obviously very sophisticated, since it's adopted from French (riz a l'amande).   :) But seriously, it's a deliciously creamy sweet dessert with so much flavor and just the right amount of tartness.  If you haven't tried it before, this holiday season is your chance! ... Continue Reading
Jam Jollies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies (Jam Jollies!)

Every year when the winter holidays roll around, I make a double batch of these lovelies.  I know they are traditionally called Thumbprint Cookies, but our family has always called them Jam Jollies.  I think my mother started calling them this when we were kids and the name stuck.  I usually end up making two more batches, because they disappear so fast!  They are only a few bites each and go down very easy, perfect for serving with a cup of tea or coffee to friends and family that ... Continue Reading
Pumpkin Garlic Dip

Roasted Pumpkin Garlic Dip

Pumpkin is more versatile that you think! Try this DELICIOUS dip.  It's so simple, but amazing and will really add dimension to your meal.  Use it as an appetizer or as a side dish for grilled meat.  It's perfect. The Recipe    Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Yields: 6-8 servings Ingredients 2 cups roasted pumpkin puree 1/2 cup thick creamy plain yogurt 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 bulb of garlic, roasted a  handful of chopped walnuts Sage ... Continue Reading
Three Cheese Poppers

Three Cheese Pastry Appetizer with Spicy Mayo Dip

These delicious pastries take only a few minutes to throw together and taste so light and wonderful.  Even though they are fried, they don't feel heavy at all.  I love to serve them as a snack with drinks before dinner.  It's my version of the Turkish Sigara Boregi.  Everyone always loves them!  Look at that melty cheese! The Recipe    Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 10 Yields:  24 pastries Ingredients for the patries: 1 1/2 cups grated mozarella cheese 1 1/2 ... Continue Reading
Pear and Blackberry Cobbler

Pear and Blackberry Cobbler

Pear and Blackberry Cobbler is a beautiful dessert to make this time of year, with all the wonderful pears available.  The cinnamony, vanilla, orange flavor sings of a cozy warm winter dessert.  And with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream?  Heaven. I love how ice-cream just begins to melt slightly when it's placed on top of a warm cobbler.  That's the moment when I love to dip my spoon into it and have my first taste.  Oh oh yum.  And you can basically put this together in 20 minutes and ... Continue Reading


There seem to be many versions of this delicious salad, with varying proportions of parsley and bulgur wheat.  This recipe is the one I grew up with, which is a traditional Lebanese version.  I love the Turkish version as well, called kisir, but it's a bit different, with more bulgur and spicier.  I'll put up this recipe soon. I like to double the recipe for tabbouleh when I make it so that I can have extra to keep in the fridge for snacking.  I think it always tastes better the ... Continue Reading
Timman Jizzar

Aromatic Rice Pilaf with Carrots and Tender Beef

As the weather turns colder, this aromatic rice and meat dish is a perfect family dinner, real comfort food.  And it is very convenient and easy to prepare.  In Arabic, it's called Timman Jizzar, literally Carrot Rice. First you brown the meat, and then add the onions: Next, add the broth and simmer until the meat is cooked: In a different pot, cook the carrots and rice in some of the broth: Until the rice is steaming and fluffy and the carrots are tender: ... Continue Reading