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