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I adapted this recipe from the Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook Frijoles Charros recipe. This cookbook has been a staple in our family for three years now. I bought it during a period of financial difficulty and have not had any regrets. Slow cookers can greatly reduce the weekly grocery budget in addition to allowing you to “set it and forget it” but still have a meal at the end of the day. If you were to flip through my copy of the book, you would find I have

This is refreshing Lebanese drink that’s great for summer and great for the intestine. My cousin drinks a big cup every night to help with an ulcer. It’s served at restaurants in Lebanon or in homes when people visit. Adjust the thickness to your own preference. Serves 6 Ingredients: 3 cups plain yogurt 1 cup small-diced cucumber (1/2 inch) 1 tbsp finely chopped mint 2-3 cups water 1-2 tsp salt Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher and chill. Add more or less water according to your tastes. Serve

I make this because I love my husband. It’s his favorite dish. I also make it because it’s easy, and I can do it dairy-free with no problem at all. Oh yeah. One other reason: I make it because I love myself. Serves 6 Ingredients: 4 cups chicken stock 3 chicken breasts, roasted and diced 1 large onion, diced 3 large carrots, cut 1 inch on the diagonal 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch on the diagonal 1/2 cup frozen peas 1.5 sticks unsalted butter or dairy-free

I had some extra crock-cooked navy beans with oregano. I’ve wanted to try a bean dip for awhile. Nathan said the beans were too plain. I’d made them with my usual sea salt and oregano, and loved them drizzled with a bit of olive oil, but he was right. I’d underseasoned. His admission was the push I needed. Serves 6 Ingredients: 2 cups leftover White Beans with Oregano, drained 1/4 cup olive oil 1-2 cloves garlic or 2 tablespoons toom depending on hhhhhow much you like it 🙂 few grinds black

Sometimes I need a bit of Summer in Winter. A splash of red in my meal can do the trick, especially when it’s not a sauce. Tomato salad is easily my favorite. It’s easy to dress up with fresh herbs and cheeses or lemon juice and/or vinegar, but I like it best at its simplest. Ingredients: 4-5 medium tomatoes cut into wedges or large dice 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp salt few grinds black pepper Directions: Mix together gently and allow to sit for at least fifteen minutes. Serve cold

What do you do with phyllo dough when you’re craving baklawa but you’re allergic to tree nuts? Use peanuts! This is probably my favorite made-up dessert. I had a guest coming and totally pulled it out of my right brain at the last minute. She loved it and so did I. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and peanuts. And it’s really not a difficult dessert. I hope you try it! Ingredients: 1/2 package phyllo dough (abt 25 sheets) 5 tbsps sugar 1.5 cups chocolate chips 1 cup chopped

I learned this on the balcony in Kayfoun. My grandmother sat facing the sun. My aunt came to find me. “Tayta is coring the zucchini. You can learn from her,” she said. Heritage is as much nostalgia as tradition. I sat at one corner of Tayta’s small table and she pointed at the ingredients, naming them one at a time. “Riz, benadoura, cousa, wara’ ‘anab, milleh . . .” We never could communicate in sentences, but we both spoke food in any language. I used to regret that I was unable

This is similar to the Turkish Shells recipe I posted awhile back, but it’s the Lebanese version. I’ve toned down the garlic a bit. In Lebanon, this has a bite that stays with you for days. Pair it will Tabbouleh to help with garlic breath. A nice garlic bread or other toasted bread makes a lovely accompaniment. Also a tasty pairing: roasted chicken. Serves 6 Ingredients: 1 box spaghetti or noodle of your choice 1 large container yogurt, preferably Greek or full fat 4-5 cloves of garlic, finely smashed (get

It took me a long time to get this one right. I had it several times in Lebanon, but could never recreate the tangy taste without sumac, but it is good without the sumac if that’s an ingredient you can’t find. 1 lb fresh spinach 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 tsp minced garlic 1/2 tsp cumin pinch salt 1 tbsp olive oil 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, depending on your tastes 1/2 tsp sumac salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Heat olive oil in sautee pan. Add onions, garlic, and

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