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Happy Easter Everyone

21 Apr

Maamoul

Today is a great day, may this day bring you joy and a fresh new beginning of sharing and exploring and I want to wish you all a Happy Easter.

In Lebanon we have a tradition that comes along during this miraculous holiday, baking holiday sweets,  “Maamoul” a recipe I have posted a couple of years ago. The difference this year is that, I used to help mom preparing the maamoul, this time I did it myself, of course with the help of my husband in moulding and shaping the maamoul. And they turned out to be just amazing, delicious and easy to prepare. What about you, what did you bake this Easter?

As we were invited for lunch today, I prepared this strawberry tart, since I prefer, and like, the home-made desserts. The crust is more like a crostata with crème patissière. I loved it.

Happy Holidays

 

Blueberry Muffins

29 Jan

When you’re home on a Saturday evening, it’s cold outside, snowing and you feel warm and cosy to stay home, what would you do? I, personally think of cooking a meal or baking something sweet. The heated oven, the good smell that enrich the house. We had some blueberries, so I thought, instead of eating them plain, which is also very delicious, I try them in a baked sweet. I looked up the net and found that amazing recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s website. The muffins turned out having the exact fluffiness and tenderness I wanted them to be. I adapted a little bit the recipe, which calls for a certain topping or just a sprinkle of sugar and mace; I opted for the sprinkle to which I added some cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg instead of the mace. And that sprinkle gave a certain crust to the muffin which was perfect, delicious and added a flavour to the blueberries. Try it out and tell me what you think. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or an infusion of fresh ginger, cinnamon stick and anise seeds.

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Summer Fruits

30 Jun

 

at the sunrise..

at the sunrise..

These summary days are the best now to enjoy nature in the village. Early wake-ups gives you a fresh mornings and you see the nature with a different sparkle and shine. A mounted feeling of energy and beaming glimpses. The reflection of the sun’s rays on the fruits urge me to just reach out, sntach it from the tree and devour it….I can gladly say mission accomplished.

physalis

a nest..

a nest..

Orange Cake

7 Dec

Yesterday I was home, so I took the opportunity to use the oranges we got from our tree in the backyard at the village… I’ve been wondering how to enjoy these oranges other than as a drink. I just came up with the recipe, I didn’t open any book or the internet. And it turned out to be a very delicious cake, moist, tender and citrusy. The cake has a strong orange flavour. I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee.

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Quince Pate de fruit

17 Nov

 

 We had a bag full of quinces, left aside in the kitchen, that my aunt gave us few weeks ago. She has a quince tree next to her house in the village. A quince tree, one of many other fruits trees. 

  

I told mom that I want to try a new recipe that we didn’t do before, the pate de fruits. I love pate de fruits, I have tasted at some restaurant few flavors, like strawberry. I love the fact that a very small piece of dessert holds such a strong concentrated taste of fruit. And it’s coated with sugar. I love jelly candies.

And we had never tried quinces as pate de fruits. Usually the quince is cooked, in my family, as jam and marmelade.

The recipe calls for quinces, water and sugar and some squeezing. We used an average of 3 kilos,  we cut the fruits into big chunks, put in a large stainless steel pot, without the lid on, covered with water over high heat for almost 1 – 2 hours until the quince are soft. Leave that to cool. Don’t discard the water. Puree the quinces. Then the fruits is put in a cloth and squeezed and squeezed until all the water comes out. Both the water, of the boiling and the squeezed water are put back in the pot with 600 g of sugar, and boiled for at least one hour until the water is reduced to the three quarters and the pink color becomes darker and darker. Stiring with a wooden spoon from time to time. Add a little lemon juice. If you lift the wooden spoon, and the water seems coherent and in some sort sticky then the pate de fruit is ready.

Pour in a non-stick square pan and let it sit for some time to cool down until it has hardened. Cut into small square or whatever shape you like and coat in caster sugar.

Enjoy.

Fruits from our garden

4 Oct

It is amazing how Nature can be so generous, so wonderful when it comes to giving us what we need to continue breathing and growing, and to improve our lifestyle. I cherish every moment spent in nature, every beautiful scene, every breeze, every sunlight, every tree. Ohh, how I love trees!. How I love the small cedar I planted in our home garden 3 years ago and that is growing splendidly.

It is the sweetest persimmon I have ever taste... so delicious...

We’ve been spending almost every weekend in the village. And lately, I’ve been feeling a little more nostalgic and emotional when it comes to my home village, especially when the weekend ends and we have to go back to our routinely daily life in the city. I think, these emotions are a result to the major life change that’s gonna occur in my life, hopefully, soon. Yes, I said hopefully, because it’s the kind of shift that we need, to experience more opportunities, more potentials in our life.

That what leaves me with a tear in my eye, every time I leave my home village. Is it a fear of not returning there for a long period of time, or is it something else, well I’m not sure!!

Looks like jewels, their sourish, sweet taste combined is so delicious, I just can't have enough.

A crowned fruit...!!

Fall is here. And our days spent at the village are almost over. Winter days are a bit harsh there. Some seasonal fruits, persimmon, pomegranates, are ripened now. So I took the advantage to take some pictures and share them with you in this post. No recipes, just photos. Hope you enjoy them.

Pear Cake

4 Sep

A relative gave me a cake book she has and that she’s not using anymore, since she knows my passion for baking. The other night we were invited at her house, so I decided to choose a recipe from that book and surprise her. I chose to use pears because it’s still the season, and because the cake contains cinnamon, and me love cinnamon, specially added on the pancakes with some drizzled honey.

Pear Cake

– 4 pears, peeled and cored

– 2 tbsp water

– 200g flour

– 2 tsp baking powder

– 100 g brown sugar

– 4 tbsp milk

– 2 tbsp honey

– 2 tsp ground cinnamon

– 2 egg whites

Preheat the oven at 150C and grease a 20 cm cake tin. Put 1 pear in a food processor with the water and blend until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Sieve the flour and baking powder. Beat in the sugar, milk, honey, cinnamon. Mix well. Chop 2 pears and add to the mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until peaks form, and gently fold into the mixture till blended.

Slice the remaining pear and arrange the slices on the base tin. Spoon the cake in the tin and bake for 45- 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before unmolding and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Enjoy

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.