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18 Oct

It’s been a long time since my last post. I had a great time at my village, Deirmimas, enjoyed the family time. Back to Toronto, two great news, first, we moved to a new place, a very nice cosy, bright place; the second news is that I’m enrolled now in a baking and pastry program. Yes, I’m back to school, and finally doing what I wanted, learning and baking. It’s a very energetic, fun place to be. School is taking up most of my time so I haven’t been able to cook or bake at home. But I’ve been meaning to cook a Lebanese dish called Shawarma, a recipe I got from mom. It ‘s a beef strips marinated in wine and spices, served with Lebanese bread and a tahini dip. It’s a very rich, aromatic, flavourful dish. So delicious. I hope you try it and tell me what you think.

Cloves, mastic, black peppers, cardamom


– 1 kilo lean beef strips

– 1 cup red wine

– whole black pepper, cardamom, cloves, mastic, crushed and mixed in a mortar

– ground cinnamon, salt

– half cup olive oil

– half cup red vinegar

– 1-2 onions, cut in quarters

– 2-3 tomatoes, cut in quarters

Tahini sauce

-2 small garlic cloves, crushed

– juice of a lemon

– salt

– 1 cup sesame paste

-a little water

Mix the garlic, lemon and salt, then stir in the tahini and some water to loosen it a bit.


In a big bowl, mix the beef with the spices, oil, vinegar and wine. Then toss in the onions and tomatoes, cover and refrigerate over night or a day ahead.

Preheat the oven to 200 C, cook the beef for around 40-50 minutes. Serve with Lebanese pita bread and dip in tahini sauce. Enjoy.






Marinated Chicken with Potatoes and Mushrooms

9 Mar

A very rich, flavourful and delicious dish, these marinated chicken breasts with cilantro and garlic are very easy to prepare. And they’re done in no time. The combination of cilantro and garlic is amazing. Cut two chicken breasts into cubes, add 4 crushed garlic cloves, half bunch cilantro, finely chopped, good olive oil, salt and pepper, chili pepper and a dash of lemon juice and throw in 2 small quarter of that lemon. Mix well to combine. As accompaniment, I added 2 sliced potatoes and a big handful of quartered cremini and white mushrooms. In a 350 heated oven, first bake the potato coated with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt for 10 minutes, stir so they won’t stick. Then add the marinated chicken and the mushrooms over the potatoes and bake for about 40 minutes, stirring few times until the potatoes are soft and the chicken well cooked. Enjoy.

Cooked Romano Beans, with Garlic and Cilantro

9 Feb

I love this bean dish, it’s warm, soft plus I like the combination of cilantro and garlic. It is also a popular dish in the Lebanese cuisine. There are different kind of beans, for this dish we use the Romano Beans, also known as Borlotti Beans or Cranberry Beans; it’s streaked with red. This dish is eaten with pita bread. The recipe calls for:

  • 1 cup of Romano Beans, soaked in water overnight
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed with a garlic presser
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • half bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Get rid of the soaking water; put the beans in a large pan to boil, with enough water to cover the beans; When the beans are almost done, over a medium-heat, in another sauce-pan, drizzle the oil, add the garlic, stirring for a minute then add the cilantro and let them cook a bit, lowering the heat. Then add the tomato paste, and let them cook. Taste the beans, they should be soft, well cooked; reduce a cup of the water if it’s a lot then add the garlic-cilantro sauce, stir and let simmer like 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Serve the dish with spring onions, green bell pepper, radish, and pita bread. Enjoy.

Celery & Blue Cheese Soup

21 Nov

A warm hearty soup is what we need and desire in a cold rainy night. The other night , I went through a book I have about soups, and I chose a creamy rich one. Never tried celery in soups. That was the time to try it. So I went to the market and got the ingredients I need to make this celery and blue cheese soup and afterwards, headed to the kitchen.

The recipe calls for Stilton cheese but I couldn’t find it so I got another kind of blue cheese. I like this spotted blue cheese, I find it exquisite, original. I added some croutons to the soup, yummiii.

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Tomato, Basil & Goat’s Cheese Loaf

19 Oct

Last Friday, my cousins came over for dinner, it has been a while since we gathered around food. My favourite kind of gathering. So along with few cheeses, wine and snacks, I baked this cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, basil loaf. I love the taste of cheese, melted in a dough. The basil gave it a great fragrance, and the cherry tomatoes, a juicy bite.

The loaf was so yummii, I loved it, so did my guests. And the recipe is very easy to make. Great party food.

morning dew. lovely.

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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.


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.


Spaghetti Alle Verdure

21 Feb

Having a pasta dish for dinner is always a pleasure for me. Without following a recipe, mixing new ingredients is a nice culinary adventure for me. The other night, I told my husband, I’m thinking of throwing all these vegetables in one pan, served with some whole-wheat spaghetti… Carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, black olives; I happen to have them in the fridge…

The result was so good, I loved our new spaghetti alle verdure, rich in flavours. What we did is that we heated -2 tbsp olive oil in a pan, added -1 chopped onion, stiring for a couple of minutes, then we added -2 thinly sliced carrots, leave it to cook for few minutes, to soften, then add a -handful of cauliflower buds, stiring all together for few minutes. Then pull aside the content to the back of the pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and add about -200 g sliced mushrooms, let them cook a little to browned then stir altogether with the other ingredients. -Season with salt and pepper. Pour over a -can of 400g plum tomatoes. Let simmer for a 10 minutes, sprinkle some -dried basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add about -50g halved black olives. In the meantime, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti to al dente. Serve the spaghetti with the sauce. And enjoy.

Chicken & Potatoes With Rosemary

28 Jan

After two hard hours at the gym, I only think of a nourishing meal. My friend Confettina has inspired me to cook some chicken. It is a very easy meal to prepare. And it is delicious, specially with the baked potatoes.

I happened to have some garlic spread leftovers which I love alot, specially accompanied with the chicken, so delicious. The pairing of the chicken and garlic (or Toum, in Arabic) is the best. Isn’t it right Confettina!

All you have to do is cut the chicken breasts into cubes or chunks, I used 500 g and season them with 2 tbsp salt and ground pepper, some dried rosemary and thyme, as much as you like, a squeeze of lemon, few whole peeled garlic cloves and good lug of olive oil. Mix all together. Heat a frypan then add the marinated chicken, cook until golden brown.

Now the potatoes. Wash about 250 g of small potatoes, dry them and put them on a sheet pan, season with salt and pepper, rosemary and some olive oil, rub them all together and bake in a preheated 200C oven for about 40 minutes or until a fork is easily inserted in a potato.

Serve the chicken and potatoes with some pickles and garlic spread.

Bon Appétit. Enjoy.

Broccoli Soup

8 Jan

It’s been very cold these days, raining, thunders. But I adore this refreshing, sharp cold, greyish sky, sun’s rays cutting through the clouds, glittering raindrops, rainbows. What could make these cold days, warmer, cosy, homey? a hot soup. I had in the fridge a medium head of broccoli and some blue cheese leftover.

I didn’t expect it would be so delicious, it made my body warm. Plus it’s so easy to prepare and it takes no time at all. Here’s a warm comfy recipe for your cold nights.

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