Archive | April, 2011

Burghul Balls or Zenkoul

27 Apr

This dish is made on Good Friday only, because it is not supposed to eat fancy food on that day. It is a simple “poor” dish, using few basic ingredients, yet it is nourishing. In other regions, it is called Monk’s Kebbeh. We call it “zenkoul” in Arabic, I think it means, mini balls, and also “Za’aleet”  in Arabic. The recipe differ, from region to another, by few ingredients. In this recipe below, we use chickpeas, but in our village they omit it.


– 1 cup boiled chickpeas

– garlic, finely chopped ( 2-3 cloves)

– small onion, finely chopped


– vegetable oil

For the balls:

– 1 cup whole wheat flour

– 1 cup burghul

– 1 onion, finely minced

– 1 tsp marjoram, dried

– 1 tsp mint, dried

– salt

– 1/2 cup water

Mix all the dough balls ingredients together and form with your hand palms small balls. In a large skilet, fry the onion and garlic together for a couple of minutes, then add the chickpeas then the dough balls and some water to cover it and let it boil for a while until the sauce is thick. Season. At the end, sprinkle some sumac.




21 Apr

Maamoul with dates, pistachios and walnuts

Happy Easter. Joyeuses Pâques. Buona Pasqua.

 I love this time of year, I love all the holidays. Easter has a great meaning to us. So to celebrate this holiday, we bake maamoul. An excellent Lebanese sweet. An unbeatable, irresistible dessert for me.

Both shapes dates maamoul, made with a mold or with a tool

Those bite-sized treats made out of semolina and filled with different mixtures. Either dates paste, pistachios or walnuts. Helping with molding and unmolding is a very amusing thing to do.

Dates Maamoul

Pistachios maamouls designed by hand

Usually when I treat myself with a maamoul, I never stop at one only. I have to eat one of each kind, and that is a small problem since I have to watch my waistline. Trying to resist those maamouls is quite hard for me. Un délice. Usually wooden shaped molds are used for maamouls but we use another tool to design it by hand, the one pictured below.

The tool we use to design the maamouls

What I love the most, other than eating those maamouls, is the smell of the house when baking. It is one of the greatest, beautiful cooking smells. It is very hard for me to explain how scrumptious, mouthwatering, agreeable smell it is.

Walnuts maamouls

Making maamoul requires some patience and time. It has different steps to follow, prepare the dough and let it rest for overnight, grind the nuts and slightly cook the date paste.


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Strawberry Cake

18 Apr

Happy Palm Sunday to everyone.

This strawberry cake suits very well the hot days we’re having now. It is light, nice, and I like the sourness of the strawberries combined with the sweetness of the cake.

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Blooming Spring

4 Apr

This blue flower plant is a kind of peas, its common name is silvery lupine

Beautiful coquelicots..

In this post, there won’t be any recipe but I just want to share with you some pictures of nature, the nature glowing and blooming during the Spring. The last weekend I was at the village, I miss my village, I miss my home and I miss the trees and nature surrounding my lovely home.

It is a great feeling to be in nature, surrounded by green living creatures. The smooth, gentle breeze, the amazing, gorgeous smell of the orange trees flowering, great way to enjoy any sunny day of Spring. Enjoy the pictures.

A yellow flowers bush, a Forsythia

Pear blossom tree

Tina, the cedar I planted 4 years ago, look how beautiful its foliage is. Blooming.

The wood sorrel, its stick is edible and citrusy, and its flowers are so cute, they close in the afternoon.

This is the first time I see this plant flowering, how amazing...

My Tuna Pasta

4 Apr

I made this dish one night I was really hungry, and I had a desire to eat some pasta, as I do all the time, and adding tuna to the pasta was something appetizing for me, and makes me unpatient to finish preparing the dish so I can start eating.

It is a nourishing, delicious, easy dish to make. Usually I add some capers and asparagus but I didn’t have them in the pantry.

The recipe requires:

– 300 g whole wheat fusilli pasta, cooked and drained

– 200 g tuna can

– 200 g corn can, unsweetened

– few leaves of arugula and red lettuce

–  handful of black olives, pitted and halved

 For the sauce:

– 1 tbsp mustard

– 1 tbsp dijon mustard

– one small lemon juice

– a couple of tbsp olive oil

– a couple of tbsp vinegar

– salt and pepper

– sprinkle of chili flakes

– one large green onion, chopped

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and adjust to your taste in a large bowl, then add to them the tuna, combining. Following by the corn, black olives. Add the cooked and drained fusilli and toss together. Serve with some fresh arugula and red lettuce.