Archive | August, 2010


23 Aug

This soft tender yellow cake is called Sfouf, it is a Lebanese traditional sweet. It is a simple easy cake to prepare. The recipe calls for semolina and turmeric, an asian spice that gives that beautiful yellow color and a unique flavor.

We add some ground anise to the batter. It is an aromatic plant, its flavor resembles liquorice, and its seeds are used either whole or ground in many dishes and desserts and in liquor like the middle eastern Arak.

The sfouf is one of the cakes that are favoured during Easter fasting because it doesn’t contain any eggs or any dairy products. Here I chose to use both milk and oil.The texture is so nice and I could eat more than a piece, of course, at once.

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Pizza Al Pesto Con Funghi E Pomodorini

12 Aug

Last night I was preparing some basil pesto to freeze for later use, so whenever I want to eat spaghetti al pesto, I have some ready pesto. But when I found some whole-wheat dough leftover in the fridge that my mom did the other day, I immediately thought of baking a pizza.

It was late and we were hungry. The pizza was so delicious, crispy, and light. Different than the tomato sauce with some prosciutto and mozzarella cheese.

So I spread 2 tablespoons of basil pesto on a 9 inch round dough, then distribute 2 thinly-sliced mushrooms (funghi) and 2 thinly-sliced tomatoes (pomodorini) then season with some salt and pepper and in the end scatter some grated Parmeggiano Reggiano. And to the oven……until golden crispy.

So go to your kitchen now, knead some dough and bake a greenish yummiii pizza.

Buon Appetito.

Figs & Prickly Pears

3 Aug

These two summer fruits are my favourite. Figs and Prickly pears. The most awaited seasonal fruits to me. I enjoy having them on breakfast, they are fresh, cold and sweet specially the white figs, which I love more than the red ones. And they both are extremely healthy.

I impatiently wait for the begining of the season, end of July, to enjoy the first bites. I also love going to the bushes, holding a basket in my hand, and picking the figs. The very ripe figs are sun-dried for few days and are eaten on winter, cold days. They are very delicious.

I haven’t tried baking figs in desserts because I enjoy eating them plain, since the season is short. But I was thinking of an easy recipe where I can use the very ripe, soft figs (teein in arabic), that can be very sweet. I’ll search for a recipe and if any of you have one easy recipe please share it with me.

The prickly pears (sobeir in arabic) are best eaten plain and cold. Maybe it adds a delicious flavor if mixed in a smoothie. The fruit is full of small round pips that need to be swallow and not chewed, because sometimes they stick to the teeth. For that reason some people do not eat the prickly pears.

I posted below few pictures of how to peel a prickly pear. The skin of the prickly pears are full of spines, so you must be very careful. Before peeling and cutting them, they need to be washed and cleaned very good so you get rid of the spines, my dad rub them in the soil to remove the spines off the skin before starting.

First step, hold the fruit with a big tweezer and cut both edges.

Cut the skin from the center

Take the skin off the fruit, holding one side with a knife.

Hold the other side with your finger, remove the fruit off the skin and put them in a bowl to be refrigerated.

Two containers of peeled and unpeeled prickly pears

Since we’re talking about seasonal fruits, I’m gonna share with you in this post a couple of photos of a yellow watermelon, that my dad planted in our small garden, and that is quite phenomenal and unique to us, since we’re used to the red watermelons. Probably this yellow watermelon is common abroad, but not in Lebanon, here we can’t find this kind in the markets.

My uncle bought the seeds last summer without knowing that they belong to yellow watermelons. And when we opened a ripe one, we were so surprised and delightful, we have never saw such beautiful, bright color.