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This is another recipe I learned from my local Turkish community. It is very easy and quite tasty. I once served it at a multi-ethnic potluck. I walked away from the table only to return when I noticed a group of Turkish friends hovering around the dish. Apparently, sautéing of the tomato paste is an important aspect of this dish, and I had executed it perfectly. Here I will confess that my sisters are much more talented in the kitchen than I am. My older sister instructed me in the making

This is another straight forward Game Day appetizer. These apple pie puffs are a winner straight off the plate, but without the hassle of an apple pie. They are an excellent sweet option to serve with Hilal’s Potato Boats, especially as they share the same pastry base.  Makes 24 puffs Ingredients: 1 pkg puff pastry shells 3 apples, peeled, cored and diced very small(I used Jonathan) 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp sugar 2 tsp brown sugar 1 tsp lemon juice Directions: Baked pastry shells and remove centers according to package

Oatmeal raisin cookies are a favorite in our household. The standard recipe holds up well to experimentation. The trick is making certain there is enough “glue” in your ingredient mixture to hold the cookie together. Here, ground flax seed takes the place of two large eggs. If you don’t have flax on hand (or maybe you don’t enjoy it as much as I do) use the eggs instead. The same is true in this recipe for wheat flour vs. gluten-free pancake mix. If you don’t care one way or the other

I learned this recipe from Hilal, a beautiful Turkish woman and dear friend to my older sister. These potato boats are a straightforward, delicious appetizer. Ingredients: 2 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled until fork tender 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp black pepper 1/2 tsp red pepper 1/2 tsp dried parsley 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1 package puff pastry Directions: Mix cooked potatoes, spices and cheese. It should look like mashed potatoes. Cut puff pastry into 3 strips, and then cut each strip into four rectangles and fill with 1-2

Lebanese cuisine boasts multiple lentil and rice dishes, ranging from this basic vegan recipe to porridge to dishes containing numerous spices and more than one meat. This dish is simple. Anyone can make it. It is as cost-effective an option as it is filling, works as a side or a main dish, and can be converted from stove top (if you tend to burn rice like me) to rice cooker cooking. This dish always has me in tears for two reasons. The first is that it gives off the comforting aroma

Chocolate and peppermint. What a romantic pairing. And here it is again in yet another delectable form. Really, as long as it’s cold, I love peppermint. And my love of chocolate is neverending. This recipe is a re-share from my gluten-eating days. Makes 2 dozen cookies. My husband and I made these based on this recipe over at 101 Cookbooks. I stumbled upon it while looking for a peppermint bark recipe (posted earlier this Peppermint Week) and thought, “Hey! Why not?” We made them. They were good. Here is the

Nothing else quite says December to me. Whether it’s rainy days, sleet, snow, a fire in the fireplace and some peppermint bark stashed in a secret spot, perfect for discreet nibbling, or sharing if you’re feeling charitable. 😉 And it’s so easy! All you need is a little pent up wrath, some peppermint candy and chocolate chips. Makes enough for you, your family and some dearly loved friends. Ingredients: 3 cups chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Chips with great success, but you can also use white or semi-sweet

Hooray for Winter and all things peppermint! I declare this week Peppermint Week. This is pretty much the only time of year when I enjoy mint anything, unless it’s Summer in Lebanon, but that’s another story. I’ll save it for a Summer day. As for now, here is the first of three peppermint recipes. Serves 2 Ingredients: 1 cup milk if using espresso machine, 1.5 if using microwave (1/2 for each cup) two palmfuls of chocolate chips 1 oz Torani chocolate mint syrup (optional) peppermint extract (optional)–I didn’t try the

I don’t know what the temperature is outside your door, but outside mine it’s just perfect for some ginger molasses cookies fresh from the oven. I love these cookies. I’ve loved them since a friend brought them in to share in a grad class. I craved them all through my first pregnancy. When the cravings reached critical mass, I asked him for the recipe. He gave it to me. I made my own adjustments based on necessity. They got my through a Winter pregnancy. I’ve already made them once this

Shorba Hamra bi Lahmi Serves: 6 Preparation time: 15 min Cooking time: 20 min My dad loves this soup, as do I. There’s something very beautiful about a simple tomato-based soup. I am shocked I do not have an image of this dish. I make it frequently enough that I should have one handy, but as the weather is fine for this particular culinary delight, I will share now and return with an image the next time I prepare it. I learned this recipe from my Aunt Ghada. She used a

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