Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blueberry Lemonade to beat the heat...ليموناضة بالبلوبري

Hot hot hot!!! This is how hot it is here in Amman, Jordan...never experienced this weather before...I am not complaining at all as I am typing this while sipping my coffee (YES...coffee is my always my drink) and enjoying the lovely air condition breeze...my heart goes out to all who don't have such a luxury ...seriously...it is very hot and I can't imagine how hard it can be to walk in the street (many if not most people do here in Jordan...we are not like the gulf states...not every one has a car)...weather walking or waiting for a bus or a cab...my heart is with you people...

So to beat the heat I had a small pack of blueberries...I was so excited to find them at a local super market and at a very good price... 1.99 JDs...which is equivilant to a bit over 3 USD...expensive for people in the US as I know that blueberries do get down to .99 for a full pack when in season...no complaints here as the usual price for these runs up to 4.99 JDs at most supermarkets that carry it and they'd rather for it to go bad than to sell it at a lower price...go figure!!! This is just to explain how happy I was to find these...hehehe..

So now it was time to figure out what to do with such a small amount...it is not enough for a dessert for sure...muffins?!! Not enough either..so this lemonade came to mind and it is just perfect for this weather...Blueberry Lemonade...it is very simple... creating a blueberry flavored simple syrup and adding it to lemonade...and the color was so lovely...

..The great part is that I used up the left overs of the cooked blueberries to make a quick dessert which I will be sharing with you tomorrow...so stay tuned...

So the idea is to make a simple syrup...equal amounts of sugar and water...add the blueberries...you can use strawberries and raspberries very easily as a substitute.

Blueberry lemonade
Lemonade (make your own the way you like it or buy an already made lemonade drink)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup blueberries

In a pan mix sugar, water and blueberries. Bring to a boil and let it simmer over med heat for 10 minutes till blueberries burst and start to release their lovely color.
Let it cool completely and strain the syrup squeezing the goodness out of the berries. (don't through the left overs...wait for my quick recipe tomorrow... :)
Now use this mixture as you like over lemonade..and now that I am thinking about it ..you can use it over pancakes too...YUM!!!

نار يا حبيبي نار...بالزبط هيك الوضع حاليا بعمان...طبعا انا عيب اتشكون ابدا وانا قاعدة بشرب قهوة (معش هي المشروب الوطنب عندي بالصيف والشتاء) وتحت الكونديشن...اللع يعين اللي ماشيين بالشارع واللي بيستنوا باص ولا تكسي يحن عليهم..جد شو قصة التكاسي بعمان هالايام...والله يعين اللي ما عندهم مراوح واللي ساكنين بالغور...جد احنا مش زي الخليج ...مش مهيئين لهيك جو...الحمد لله على كل حال اكيد...

ولهاد السبب اليوم الوصفة هي لنوع ليموناضة لونه حلو كتير لاني ضفت عليه شراب البلوبري....هلا مشان ما تفكروني بتفلسف...انا مش من الناس اللي بتشتري بلوبري طازج بعمان...يمكن هاي اول مرة...لانه حقة قد بقرة جحا ههههههه يعني علبة مفعوصة ب 5 دنانير تقريبا ...ان شاء الله ما انجاب....هاي هي الفكرة اللي براسي لما امر عليه ببعض السوبرماركتات...بس هديك اليوم كنت بالسي تاون وجايبين..اةل مرة بشوفهم جايبينه...سالت طلعت العلب ب 2 دينار...قات طيب ماشي معقول شوي....بس فعليا ما بعيدها لانه مش اشي اساسي وخاصة انه الكمية صغيرة لا بتزبط لاشي حلو ولا ما يحزنون فاذا ولا بد بجيب المفرز...

بوصفة اليوم ممكن استخدام المفرز بس اكيد مش المعلب...ما بيزبط (اللي بينحط بالباي)...فما تقولولي بيصير...لا ما بيصير...ههههه
بس ممكن استخدام نفس الطريقة مع الفراولة ومع الرازبري (بس الثاني غالي زي البلوبري)

ليموناضة بالبلوبري
ليموناضة محضرة بطريقتم المفضلة
كوب سكر
كوب ماء
كوب بلوبري

توضع كل المقادير ما عدا الليموناضة بقدر على النار وعندما تغلي تخفض الحرارة وتترك لتطبخ على نار متوسطة  دقائق...
تترك لتبرد وتصفى ويضغط على حبات البلوبري لتنزل كل العصير...

هلأ الحلو بالموضوع وعشان ما ازعل على الدينارين قررت اعمل اشي حلو بالبلوبري اللي ضل...وهيك بكون فظعت....ومطيت فلوسي لاكبر قدر ممكن..بكرة ان شاء الله بشارككم الوصفة

Sunday, August 16, 2015

"Green Kishkeh" a Nut free appetizer with a gluten free twist and my nomination for the "Premio Dardos" award الكشكة الخضراء

It has been extremely hot here in Jordan and cooking is becoming mission impossible. Now try giving cooking classes in this hot weather with no air condition on?!!! Now that was a night mare few days ago though I did put up two fans in the kitchen to beat the heat with minimum luck unfortunately..I am seriously thinking of putting an air condition in the kitchen..does that sound crazy?!!! Maybe ...but it is an idea to consider seriously as this hot weather is just well ...HOT!!!

At the family level and since almost all family members are back to their countries (we miss them greatly) but life has to go on, I am trying to minimize my cooking as much as I can..today's dish is a very nice appetizer from the Middle East...its called Kishkeh Khadra..."Green Kishkeh" ...what is Kishkeh? Its a very famous Lebanese dish that is served as Mezza with grilled lamb and kufta...it is made out of strained yogurt cheese "Labaneh" mixed with other ingredients...there is a version with Bulgar and walnuts but is not the one I will be sharing the recipe of today....the Green Kishkeh has no nuts in it...so cheaper and nut free for those who have allergies...for a gluten free twist...use quinoa instead of Bulgar...

But before I start with the recipe, I am so honored and totally thrilled with my first award nomination ever...What award?!! It is the Premio Dardos which is the Spanish for  Prize Darts. The Premio Dardos is given from one blogger to another, in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values that are transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. I have never been nominated to any awards before and I have a new friend and follow blogger to thank for such an honor, thank you Madiha Nawaz from Cook Unleashed for such a privilege. According to Madiha's post "These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web". 
 I love to cook and I am very passionate about our Middle Eastern Cuisine..its is so tasty, healthy and uses easy accessible ingredients (well most of the times :) )

According to most bloggers who are awarded this owner, upon being nominated, the rules that I need to follow are:

- Thank the giver and link their blog to your post. (That was Madiha...many thanks again and please do check her lovely blog out, the link is aforementioned)
- Pass the award on to other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.
- An additional request which Madiha asked is to say 3 things about myself...well...
First, I am an obsessed foodie?!! Can you tell already...I have been cooking since I was 15 and now I am 39 .. :) I left my well paid job to follow my dream and share what I love with people like you my fellow readers and bloggers.  
Second, I do a lot of things related to food like participating in live TV cooking shows, give cooking classes, have a catering line including wedding cakes, my love to food led to love of food photography so now I am working on my food photography skills, I have joint forces with two fellow bloggers whom I am nominating today for this award and started an electronic magazine called Darna to document Arabic and Middle Eastern food and culture and to show how beautiful it is to the world.
The third thing I would like to share about myself is that I have so many dreams to take this passion further and I hope that one day I will get there...there is so much to do and to share. 
So now to whom am I nominating for this award...
My dearest friends and fellow bloggers Sawsan Abu Farha from the Chef in disguise.... a great blog that is full of easy authentic Middle Eastern recipes and much more. She is a dentist originally who has a big passion for cooking and food photography. She is also one of the admins who run the Daring kitchen; a great site for bloggers to exchange recipes from around the world by participating in cooking challenges. I am honored to be working with her on Darna and to call her my friend.
My second nomination is for my other partner in crime..hehehe...the lovely Nisreen Shawwa from the Monsters call me mama. A blogger, a food photographer and a passionate Middle Eastern food cook. She shares part of her life and her adventures with her 3 monsters in addition to her delicious food and exquisite photography. 
My third nomination is for a friend whom I have never met, a great blogger and photographer who happen to be a Dr. too...what is it with being a doctor and the love of food? hehehe I don't know...but she is the passionate Ola AbdelMonem who blogs all the way from Germany and in three languages...Arabic, English and German..now that I find amazing... Her beautiful blog is full of Authentic Egyptian and Middle Eastern recipes with beautiful photos and great food photography tips and tricks...please check out her blog Dr Ola's Kitchen
Please do check their blogs out they are truly a treat.
Now back to today's recipe which I am thrilled about as it is so easy ...and used the famous labaneh (yogurt cheese which is very popular in this part of the world). If you want to make it at home, please check out this post on how to make it at home.  Homemade Labaneh

Green Kishkeh
 1/2 cup fine Bulgar, soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained
1 cup Labaneh
1 Tbsp yogurt
1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
Extra virgin olive oil for serving
Squeeze the water out of the Bulgar totally so there is no longer any water left. Mix all the ingredients and garnish with some chopped tomatoes, olives and extra virgin olive oil. 
Note: Mine didn't turn out very greenish as I didn't have enough parsley on hand 
مع موجة الحر الشديد هالايام الواحد مش قادر يشغل لا فرن ولا غار وعم بيحاول يختصر طبخ قد ما بيقدر...المنيح انها فترة الصيف كانت فترة زيارات الاهل والقرايب من خارج الاردن...انا شخصيا قضيتها معزومة بعد رمضان لاني عملت حصتي من العزايم قبل وخلال رمضان والحمد لله كان الطقس منيح للطبخ هههههه. فهالايام عم بحاول اعمل اشياء خفيفة لطيفة وسريعة كمان هاد غير انشغالي بالتحضير للعدد الجديد من مجلة دارنا واللي ان شاء الله رح يكون بشهر 9 فاستنونا انا وصاحباتي سوسن ونسرين.
اصعب ما في موجة الحر حاليا هو دروس الطبخ...ركبت مروحة بالطبخة وكمان عم بحط مروحة على جنب ومع ذلك بتكون شوب..المشكلة انه ما عم بقدر احصل وقت افكر بتركيب مكيف بس شكله بدها والله....مع انه بيحس الواحد انه مكيف بالمطبخ اشي مش كتير مهم بس الحقيقة هالايام ومع تغير الطقس عم بيكون مهم...
وصفة اليوم هي لطبق بيتقدم جنب المشاوي عادة كنوع مقبلات....وهو الكشكة....بس وصفة اليوم مش كشكة الجوز المشهورة...لا...كشكة تانية اسمها الكشكة الخضراء....ما فيها جوز او اي مكسرات...يعني اوفر واللي عنده حساسية بيقدر يستمتع فيها واللي عمده حساسية قمح ممكن يستبدل البرغل اللي فيها بالكينوا...
وللي حابب يعمل اللبنة بالبيت هي وصفتي لللبنة المنزلية

الكشكة الخضراء
1/2 كوب برغل ابيض ناعم منقوع 5 دقائق بالماء ومعصر من الماء جيدا
كوب لبنة
ملعقة طعام لبن
1/2 ضمة بقدونس مفرومة ناعم
1/2 كوب نعنع اخضر مفروم ناعم وممكن استخدام ملعقة طعام نعنع ناشف
بصلة صغيرة مفرومة ناعم
1/2 ملعقة طعام كمون
ملعقة صغيرة بابريكا
تخلط كل المقادير ةتزين بالبندورة والزيتون وتقدم مع رشة زيت ويتون على الوجه مع الخبز الساخن كصحن جانبي
ملاحظة: ما كان عندي بقدونس كتير وعشان هيك ما كانت خضراء مثل ما بدي

Monday, July 27, 2015

Yafawi Sfeeha ..hosting the Daring Bakers Challenge for July 2015الصفيحة اليافاوية الملفوفة

It has been a pleasure to be part of the daring kitchen...I truly enjoy every month challenge in both groups...the cooks and the bakers. This month, I was very fortunate to host my first Daring Bakers challenge where I challenged the members to make Yafawi Sfeeha

This dish brings back great memories from my childhood. My mom comes from a big family of 8 sisters and 3 brothers. I remember my Grandmother having all of us over for lunch (the main meal in this part of the world) and making these with all her daughter helping while the grand children are running around and waiting for the fresh pies to come out of the oven. I hope you will try these and will enjoy them as much as I did and still do.

So here it goes...

Yafawi Sfeeha

To make the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp powdered milk(you can substitute this with a warm milk for kneading and omit water)
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup of warm water for kneading (you might need more depending on where you live and the kind of flour you are using).
½ cup Melted Ghee to stretch the dough or olive oil (ghee gives a great texture and flavor).

Mix flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and vegetable oil then start adding warm water until you get a tender and a bit of a sticky dough. Kneading will take about 8 min on a standup mixture or 12 min by hand.
Cut the dough into circles (the size of a small golf ball). Put on a baking sheet that is very well greased with ghee or olive oil and pour some more over dough. Cover and let rest at room temp for few hours. Prepare fillings in the meantime.

After you have your filling ready, use some of the ghee to brush a round tray (the surface that you will be working one). Take one piece of dough and using your hands, gently start spreading it as thinly and evenly as possible.

 Once that is done fold the upper side to the middle (see pictures) then fold the opposite side to the middle too. Spread your filling in a long line across the dough. Roll like a long tight rope making sure that it is tight enough to ensure not filling escapes. Then taking one end start rolling the rope towards the inside in a spiral shape (see photo). Put some more ghee in your baking sheet and place the done Sfeeha. Continue making the rest of your Sfeeha using ghee to keep it nice and moist.

Heat oven to 200 C  or around 400 F and bake Sfeeha for around 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Serve hot or room temp with a bowl of soup during winter or a salad and Greek yogurt in summer time.

Meat filling
1 pound (500 grams) ground beef, lamb or a mix of both
1 med size onion, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp Middle Easter 7 spice blend (this was covered in the daring cooks challenge). If you don’t have this blend on hand just use ½ tsp all spice and ½ tsp ground cinnamon.
1 tsp sumaq (A Middle Eastern deep red colored and sour flavored spice)
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)

In a skillet over medium heat, cook meat until no longer pink and water has evaporated, add onion and cook till it becomes tender (around 3 minutes). Season the mixture and add spices; it will be very fragrant now. Remove off heat and add sumaq and pomegranate molasses. Add toasted pine nuts if using. Let the filling cool completely before stuffing Sfeeha.

Cheese filling
3-4 cups Nabulsi cheese, crumbled (You can use feta or Halloumi if you like but you need a reasonably hard and salty white cheese)
½ cup Italian parsley, minced (you can use fresh mint or fresh za’tar
1 egg, beaten
Black pepper
You can use fresh mint if you like

Mix all and your cheese filling is ready

Walnuts sweet filling
Note: You can use any kind of nuts you like

2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
½ Tbsp orange blossom water
½ Tbsp rose water

For serving: Powdered sugar or sugar syrup

Mix all ingredients together and your filling is done.

Sugar Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cup water
Juice of half a lemon
½ Tbsp orange blossom water (optional)

Mix sugar and water over high heat in a stainless steel pot. Don’t stir. Once it comes to a boil stir with a wooden spoon to ensure all sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Remove off heat and add orange blossom water if using.

Note: Once you have the sweet ones baked and hot pour some cold sugar syrup over them or let them cool off and dust with powdered sugar. I decided to make mine into pouches instead of spirals.

كان من دواعي سروري اني اكون المضيفة لنادي الخبز بمطبخ التحديات واتحديت الستات يعملوا طبق فلسطيني قح من يافا وهو الصفيحة الملفوفة او الملوية زي ما بيحب البعض يسميها. ستي الله يرحمها ام امي كان عندها 8 بنات وكانت تقعد هي واياهم ويعملوا الكل اشكال والوان ومنها هالصفيحة اللي كن ناكلها مع لين وسلطة وشوربة كاحلى غدا ولمة للعيلة...الله يرحمك يا ستي...

العجينة سهلة ونفسها ممكن تستعملوها لتعملوا المطبق بالجوز...

الصفيحة الملفوفة
3 كوب طحين
ملعقو صغيرة ملح
ملعقو كبيرة سكر
3 ملاعق طعام حليب بودرة
3 ملعقة طعام زيت
كوب ماء دافئ للعجن
1/2 كوب سمنة مذابة


تخلط المواد الجافة ويضاف الزيت ثم الماء الدافئ بالتدريج لتتكون عجينة طرية وتلصق قليلا.
تعجن حوالي 8 دقائق على العجانة او 12 دقيقة باليد
تقطع لدوائر من 14-16 واحدة بحجم طابة الجولف
توضع في صينية مدهونة بالسمنة ويدهن وجهها بالسمنة المذابة وتغطى وتررك لترتاح عدة ساعات بحرارة الغرفة

في صينية مدهونة نبدأ برق العجينة وفردها بالاصابع لتصبح شفافة...تحشى مثل الصور اعلاه وتلف
تخبز في فرن حامي لتصبح ذهبية

لحشوة اللحمة

هلا لانه الستات اللي معي بالنادي في منهم نباتيين فقررت اني احط خيار الجبنة البيضاء كحشوة وكمان الجوز كنوع حلو

1/2 كيلو لحمة مفرومة
بصلة متوسطة مفرومة
ملح، فلفل اسود
ملعقة صغيرة بهارات مشكلة
ملعقة صغيرة سماق
ملعقة طعام دبس رمان
1/2 كوب صنوبر اختياري

تقلب اللحمة لتنضج
تضاف البصلة وتقلب لتصبح طرية
تضاف البهارات والملح
يضاف الصنوبر ودبس الرمان
تترك لتبرد قبل الحشو

لحشوة الجبنة

3-4 اكواب جبنة نابلسية مبشورة وممكن حلوم وممكن فتة
1/2 كوب بقدونس مفروم
فلفل اسود

تخلط معا وتحشى حسب الصور

لحشوة الجوز
2 كوب جوز مفروم خشن
ملعقة صغيرة قرفة
3 ملعقة طعام سكر
رشة جوزة الطيب
1/2 ملعقة طعام ماء زهر
1/2 ملعقة طعام ماء ورد

تخلط مكونات الحشو معا

2 كوب سكر
1/2 1 كوب ماء
عصير 1/2 ليمونة
1/2 ملعقة طعام ماء زهر

يخلط السكر والماء ليغلي ويذوب وتضاف بقية المواد ويرفع

بعد خبز مطبق الجوز يسقى بالقطر

بالمناسبة هدول الايدين الحلوين اللي فوق ايدين ست الحبايب....كان لازم اصور انا وحد يعمل...الله يسعدها ام علي :)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shushbarak (Step by step recipe)

This summer is officially the wedding season in this family....everybody is getting married...hehehehe...I am glad I am getting invited but boy this is getting to be overwhelming especially that you end up seeing the same people in each wedding....hehehe...Don't get me wrong, that is a good thing to keep seeing family members but how much can you stretch a few outfits in so many weddings!!!! hehehe..I mean I needed a special budget this summer just for wedding dresses and I was lucky I took advantage of sales season and bought some dresses with the justification of "Hey, you never know when you will be invited to a wedding!" And boy was I right!!!! So this is my advice to you in general...

"Buy it when its on sale, don't go over board but do stock up if you have a big family" :) This rule of thumb for me applies on food (I did 5 huge family dinners in one month) and I am so thankful for my well stalked pantry and freezer. And as mentioned, I did buy few dresses on sale in case of need in wedding season, and yesterday was the fourth wedding this summer....4 more to come :) Mashallah...so from my stand here I congratulate all you brides and grooms out there and wish you happiness ever after...

Speaking of weddings...I did this cake for a customer for her SIL shower party...it was chocolate filled with Nutella...mmmmm

Today's recipe is one of my recipes in Darna Magazine which is Shushbarak ...a classic Palestinian dumpling dish filled with minced meat and cooked in a tangy yogurt, garlic and coriander sauce.

So here is the recipe with step by step instructions

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp powdered milk
1/4 tsp salt
Warm water for kneading
Extra flour to roll the dough

For the filling:

1/2 kg ( one pound)of ground beef or lamb or a mixture of both

2 small onions, minced

3 Tbsp ghee or butter, divided

1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
Salt an pepper to taste
3/4 cup Pine nuts (optional)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

For sauce:
2 kilo Greek tangy yogurt
3-4 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
2 tsp salt
6 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup cilantro, minced 
2 Tbsp ghee


To make the dough: Mix dry ingredient then add warm water gradually an knead well to get a nice dough that is not sticky; it should be elastic and hard a bit.
Leave the dough to rest in a warm dry area covered in a damp towel or plastic wrap for an hour or two. 

In the mean time prepare the filling . Sauté onion with two table spoon of ghee or butter till tender, add meat and cook till cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and add spices. Take off heat.

In another small pan fry pine nuts if using and drain. Add 1/2 the amount to meat mixture. The rest will be used as garnish.

Let the meat mixture cool off completely before adding parsley and stuffing the dough.

To make the dumplings, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Start working with one while keeping the rest covered. You can roll the dough the traditional way using a rolling pin on a well floured surface till you have a very thin dough.

The non-traditional way in rolling the dough is using a pasta machine.

 Using a rebound cutter (the size you like bit it is nice to have small circles).

 Put about tsp of filling in the center.

 Fold circle in half and close well by pressing the edge together. Take one end of the half circle and fold it to attach to the other end. (See pictures).

 Have a floured baking sheet on the side and arrange pieces of shushbarak to bake later.Continue till you are done. 

Heat oven to 150 c (300 F) and bake shushbarak for 5 min only. You don't want to brown it, you only want to sort of dry the dough so it won't stick together and to prevent a doughy taste when cooking.
At this stage you can freeze shushbarak in freezer bags or containers separating the layers with wax or parchment paper to prevent sticking. 

To make the sauce, place yogurt in a large pot.
Make a slurry of corn starch and water. Add to yogurt and start cooking over med high heat while stirring non-stop. Once it comes to a boil add salt and start dropping shushbarak. Stir gingerly and let it cook for 5 min while you prepare the last step.

In a small frying pan sauté ghee and garlic till fragrant, add cilantro and add immediately to the shushbarak pot. Turn the heat off and pour shushbarak into a big serving platter or individual ones. Garnish with fried pine nuts. You can serve white rice in the side.

للنسخة العربية من الوصفة...زوروا مدونة دارنا للوصفة والتفاصيل

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Peach& Feta salad with Balsamic reductionسلطة الدراق والفتة بصوص البلسامك

This is going to be a very quick post because I am running around literally like a chicken with her head cut off trying to juggle all duties and summer social responsibilities without dropping off my work responsibilities...its crazy time people...this is the busiest summer I can ever recall...I thank Allah every day that it is all in happy mode .... now that is a relief...

Yesterday our beautiful bride with her groom head to Canada, where they will be living...I wish her all the best in the new phase of her life...the wedding was absolutely beautiful Luma; in case you read this :)
And since food is served in weddings, and I am all into anything related to food, the food was wonderful...great variety and soooo tasty...

So after all of the food we had in Ramadan and still are having in dinners, weddings and family lunches, I just love this Peach Feta salad which is summary and unusual yet soooo good; trust me even if you are not very familiar with the ingredients..it is delicious...

Peach  Feta salad with balsamic reduction
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 ripe and sweet peaches
2-3 red firm tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves chopped roughly
1/2 cup firm feta cheese, cubed or crumbled.

In a small sauce pan, pour vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and let it simmer to reduce for 20 min. Remove off heat and let it cool.
Chop peaches, tomatoes and sprinkle with basil and top with feta.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction..
Enjoy...soooo good

Note: Feel free to add toasted walnuts or pecans for a crunch

الحمد لله على العجقة بالمناسبات الحلوة....عم بقول اني زي الجاجة المقطوع راسها عم بفطفط وين مكان وبحاول اني الحق على كل اشي من غير ما اوقع ولا بطيخة بالطريق على الاقل هالفترة...الله بيعين...

المهم عروستنا الحلوة كانت بتجنن وعرسها بياخد العقل وعريسها امور ومحترم جدا..الله يوفقهم ويسعدهم وامبارح سافروا على كندا وين بدهم يستقروا ان شاء الله...

ومع ميمعة الصيف وطالعين من رمضان وعزايم الواحد بده شوية اكل خفيف خاصة بهالشوب...
سلطة اليوم لزيزة وسهلة وصيفية وخفيفة وغريبة بس كتير زاكية

سلطة الدراق والفتة بصوص البلسامك
1/2 كوب خل بلسامك
2-3 حبات دراق حلو ويابس
2-3 حبات بندورة حمراء ويابسة
1/2 كوب اوراق بيزل او ريحان مفروم خشن
1/2 كوب جبنة فتة مقطعة

يوضع الخل بطنجرة على النار ويغلى ثم تخفض الحرارة ويترك على نار منخفضة حوالي 20 دقيقة ليصبح اسمك ويترك ليبرد
تقطع بقية المواد وينزل عليها الصوص

منعشة جدا جدا

ملاحظة: ممكن تضيفوا جوز او جوز اميريكي محمص اذا بدكم

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ka'ek Hal'a... Eid date cookies كعك الحلق او الكعك المصري

Eid is a couple of days away, so is my nieces wedding ...exciting times indeed with all family members from around the world, US, Canada, KSA, UAE here in Amman. Lots of family gatherings and Iftar meals...a true spirit of Ramadan...it will be missed. Not that I am complaining...hahaha...a little peace and quite is highly missed as well and I am so looking forward to going back to work again. I miss this blog, we are preparing for the next issue of DARNA magazine so a lot is going on and I need to gather my focus and well...FOCUS!!!

So did you make Ma'moul or Ka'ek (Eid date and nuts cookies)? These very special cookies are made from either Semolina, or flour, or a mix of both. They are filled with either dates, pistachios, walnuts or even chocolate, apricots or Turkish delight as a new twist.  If you still haven't done your batch yet, you can try out my recipes here on the blog for Semoline Ka'ek 

These lovely date goodies are usually made with special molds usually and originally wooden ones, now a days you can find plastic ones with different designs.
For me, Eid is about these memories making these specialties with my mom and late grand mother. The smell of the baking is phenomenal and usually you can smell it as you walk into a building..then you know that some Ka'ek is prepared.

If you prefer making this with flour only...here is my recipe on Sayidaty.net for my flour ka'ek.

This post, I will be sharing another form of Ka'ek which is called "Ka'ek Masri or Hala'a" it looks like this

I recall my grandmother making only these for Eid...they where made off of Semolina and olive oil. They where good but now I don't think they where the best....hehehe..Sorry grandma but I think Ghee or butter do a much better job when it comes to the texture and taste; this is my personal experience and I am not judging but this is how I think of the old recipe. So here is my twist on it as I added flour and some semolina to get a chewy and tender Ka'ek Hala'a compared to the older version.

Ka'ek Hala'a (Masri Ka'ek)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 cup butter or ghee, melted
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp Ka'ek spice (you can substitute with ground fennel and anise)
1 tsp ground Mehlab (a Middle Eastern special spice that is used in many Arabic desserts)
3 Tbsp powdered milk
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup warm water (you might need more or less depending on the weather and the kind of flour and semolina you are using)
750 grams of pitted and ground dates
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 Tbsp butter, room temp to knead the dates.

To knead the dates, you need to mix all ingredients together until you have a nice smooth paste. Start making it into strands or ropes as it will be the filling of the ka'ek.
To make the dough, mix flour and semolina. Add butter and oil while warm and mix well with your hands. Add the rest of your ingredients except for the water. Start adding the water gradually until you have a nice smooth dough. Cover and start working in batches.

To make the shaped cookie, take a small amount of dough and roll into a small rope. Using the tips of your fingers, make a channel in the middle of the rope. Add a dates rope. Roll the dough around the dates so they won't be visible. Roll again into rope and make a circle over lapping one side on top of the other and press the ends together with an indentation with your pinkie.
Here are some photos to explain

Bake Ka'ek in a preheated oven at 200 c till golden in color. Let them cool in the pan till warm before moving them out.
These keep very well for a long time in an air tight container.
This beautiful dish is from SDH...how lovely!!

قرب العيد وكل سنة وانتو سالمين وبالرغم من رغبتي باني اشارككم الوصفات قبل بوقت الا انه الوقت سرقني فعذرا بس وصفة الكعك المصري او الحلق زي ما تعودنا نسميها سهلة وسريعة وبتنعمل بنفس اللحظة...لا فيها بس ولا غيره لانه اغلبها طحين؟؟؟ فاذا شاطرين بتعملوها ...ههههه لسة في وقت...طبعا ستي الله يرحمها كانت تعمله بزيت الزيتون والسميد صافي بس بكذب اذا بقول اني كنت احبه كثير....الكل كان يمدح فيه بس انا ما كنت شايفة هاد الجانب عشان هيك حسيت بانه الافضل انه ينعمل بزبدة او سمنة وفعلا الطعم بيفرق مع كل احترامي لستي ولزيت الزيتون وانه اغلبه طحين ساعد باختصار الوقت وكمان الطعم فيه قرشة لانه في شوية سميد

كعك الحلق (المصري)
1/2 2 كوب طحين
1/2 كوب سميد ناعم
1/2 كوب زبدة مذابة او سمنة ويفضل نوع سمنة حيوانية
3/4 كوب زيت نباتي
2 ملعقة طعام مسطحة كلفة كعك وممكن استبدالها بشومر ويانسون مطحون 
ملعقة صغيرة محلب
2 ملعقة صغيرة بيكنج باودر
كوب ماء فاتر للعجن

لحشوة التمر:
750 غم تمر معجون
1/2 1 ملعقة صغيرة قرفة
1/2 ملعقة صغيرة هيل مطحون
2 ملعقة طعام زبدة

خطوات تشكيل الكعك بالاعلى بالصور
تحضر الحشوة بعجن المواد معا وتشكيل حبال من التمر
تحضر العجينة بخلط المواد معا ما عدا الماء وفرك السمن والزيت بالمواد الجافة ثم يضاف الماء الدافئ بالتدريج لنحصل على عجينة طرية ومتماسكة (في حال البدء بالتشكيل ووجدت انها لا تتشكل وتتقطع اضيفي القليل من الماء 
رتبي الكعك بالصينية واخبزيه على حرارة عالية بفرن حامي ليصبح ذهبي واشوي الوجه قليلا> اتركيه يبرد على الصينية ويرتب باوعية محكمة الاغلاق بعد ان يبرد.
وكل عام وانتم بخير

Friday, July 10, 2015

Baklava Two ways

A while back I saw a video showing a very skilled Turkish baklava maker making, of course, a huge tray of baklava...unrolling the phyllo dough so professionally in the tray, layering a heavy ..and I mean a heavy amount of ground nuts, mainly pistachios as I could tell from the video then topping it with more layers of dough. Using a sharp knife he made the diamond cuts, then poured the melted ghee on top and in the oven it went. Once golden brown, he took it out of the oven and poured honey simple syrup on top or what we call "Ater" here in this part of the world. Now that was a something to feast my eyes on.

So since I couldn't take that view off of my head, and since its Ramadan, I decided to make my baklava...I wanted to do two versions...a classic diamond shaped one and a funky cup like ones...

Here is my adventure making these..

2 packs phyllo dough, thawed in the fridge over night. (of course in the video they used fresh dough but it is not the easiest dough to make so store bought will do.
Note: I also decided to use 2 packs because I frankly wanted many layers of flaky crust.
2 cups ground pistachios (you can use any nuts you like but I wanted to be like this baklava man :)
1 cup of butter, melted (get rid of the white residue left at the bottom and only use the clarified part). If you have access to ghee then the better. I actually ended up mixing butter and ghee.

Honey simple syrup
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey

Prepare Honey simple syrup by mixing sugar, honey and water on high heat. Do not stir and it is better if you use a stainless steel pot as it is a heat conductor kind of pot. Once it comes to a boil stir with a wooden spoon to ensure that there are no sugar crystals in the mix. Add lemon juice and let it boil for few minutes. Take off heat and let it cool completely.
In a rectangular pan (to make it easier to cut), lay one piece of dough after the other (How many layers you put will affect the size of your baklava. Once done with half the amount of dough, spread the pistachios generously. (Some recipes call for sugar and cinnamon mixed with the nuts, I don't like using cinnamon as it is not a traditional taste we are used to in baklava in Amman and I also decided not to add sugar as there is sugar syrup.

Add the other layer of dough. Now using a very sharp knife cut the dough into squares or diamonds by making crossing line diagonally in the pan. Pour the melted cooled ghee and bake in the oven at  200 c until golden brown. Once it is out of the oven, pour cold syrup gently and enjoy.

To make the mini baklava cups, just cut the dough into small squares, spread some ghee or butter on each sheet and line your cups (you might need around 5 layers) put a 3/4 Tbsp of filling, bake till golden brown and drizzle with cold syrup while hot.

The beautiful plate is from SDH

من فترة حد عمل شير لفيديو واحد بيعمل بقلاوة (حلونجي تركي) اشي خرافي من الاخر.....ههههه يعني صرت بدي امد ايدي من خلال شاشة الكومبيوتر واطول شقفة ومن وقتها صممت بدي اعمل بقلاوة بنفس الطريقة...زمان كنت ادهن العجينة واحدة واحدة واحطها بالصينية بس طريقته اسهل والنتيجة كانت اشي دسم وزااااكي ههههه

وكمان حبيت اعمل شكل تاني بالميني مفن

نبدأ بالطريقة:

البقلاوة بالفستق
2 علبة عجينة كلاج او فيلو او رقائق مذابة بالثلاجة قبل بيوم من العمل (طبعا ممكن تستخدمي واحدة بس انا حبيت يكون في كتير طبقات عجينة
2 كوب فستق حلبي مفروم خشن
 1 كوب سمنة مذابة  او زبدة واستخدمي الجزء الاصفر بس والابيض تخلصي منه
قطر بالعسل
3 كوب سكر
1/2 1 كوب ماء
2 ملعقة طعام عسل
ملعقة طعام عصير ليمون

اعملي القطر وذلك بخلط السكر والماء والعسل في طنجرة ستانلس ستيل وبدون تحريك فوق حرارة عالية ليذوب السكروتغلي
يضاف الليمون وتترك لتغلي عدة دقائق ويبرد
تفرد 1/2 كمية العجينة بصينية مستطيلة
يوزع الفتسق
تفرد نصف الكمية الثانية من العجينة
باستخدام سكين حادة قومي بعمل خطوط متقاطعة بالورب
وزعي السمن المذاب والبارد 
ادخليها فرن حار على 200 مئوي
تحرك اتدور اثناء الخبز لتحمر من كل الجهات
ننزل عليها كمية من القطرالبارد لتشربه
تترك لتبرد قبل التقطيع مرة ثانية وترتب

لعمل الاكواب بالميني مفن
تقص مربعات من العجينة وتبطن بعد دهنها بالزبدة داخل قوالب الميني مفن  (حوالي 5 ورقات بكل كب)
توضع الحشوة وتشوى لتحمر ويصب عليها القطر البارد وهي ساخنة بخفة