• Olives Season

    Olives Season

  • Grapes Season

    Grapes Season

Passiflora edulis

Passiflora edulis

The passion fruit pictures you’ll be seeing below are taken in my own garden, Mount Lebanon, Lebanon. My tree usually blossoms end of June to mid July, after which egg shaped green eggs begin to show, end of July throughout August the green unripe fruit...
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Apricot Jam

Apricot Jam

Apricots are eaten fresh in their season and then made into jams! Want to know how to prepare apricot jam at home? It's just a click away!
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Green Pine Cones

Green Pine Cones

In the old days, those green small young pine cones, used to be collected (while still freshly greenish) and barbecued over charcoal, cut and enjoyed as an appetizing treat. Have you ever tasted them?
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Asian Baked Salmon

Asian Baked Salmon

For a quick, easy and delicious dinner, check out this salmon recipe. It will only need 20 minutes!
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The Make Over: Enjoy the Holidays Without the Weight Gain

Tis the season

December is here and it’s the time of year to enjoy the season’s best delights! Yet, it’s also that time of year when we all indulge in some extra calories and gain weight.

So I thought it would be interesting to share with you a couple of tips that will help you enjoy all the holiday yumminess without the guilt.

I wrote a detailed article about this topic on “The Make Over” website! Just click on >> Enjoy the Holidays without the Weight Gain!

I don’t know if you’re familiar with this site www.makeover.me, but it is a community website created by Kotex Lebanon, sharing lots of interesting and beneficial topics, tips and more about the menstrual cycle, health, healthy eating, beauty, relationships & fashion. The website also contains a movie guide to the latest movies in town.

What’s even more interesting is that they have a mobile application. So you can have all this content in hand at any time. You can download it from the App Store or via Google Play. It’s a very fresh and fun app, where you can check:
•    Your profile
•    Your menstrual calendar
•    Ask Kay
•    Daily blog posts
•    Valuable gifts
•    Your achievements

Don’t miss the article! Check it out and let me know what you think!

*Picture Source: Shutterstock.

Customized Chocolate Gifts at Le Vendome Festive Market!

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Did you start your gifts shopping for the season or not yet? Well if you want some incredible and delicious gifts don’t miss the festive season at Le Vendome.

I was invited to the grand opening on Saturday and got the chance to see the atelier and taste the mouthwatering chocolate.

How does it work?

You can prepare “customized” arrangement from all the choices available:

-              Chocodome chocolate

-              Wine

-              Silver or crystal ornaments

-              Decorative items

-              Packages includes: plates, wooden boxes, baskets and more

The Festive Market opens between December 6th and January 6th, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Here are some pictures from the opening:

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Christmas Cake in the making!

Well this recipe can’t get easier!
I tried last week the recipe posted on Al Wadi Al Akhdar Website and it turned excellent! So I went and did another batch yesterday.

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I also tried the homemade marzipan recipe at home!I got it from a baking recipe book I’ve bought a couple of years ago.
It was super easy and delicious.

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I’ll post how I’ll cover the cake with marzipan and icing soon, as I can’t do it now. I’ve to wait 4 weeks!!!

Can’t wait :)

Cheeses to Avoid During Pregnancy

MAIN-pregnant-cheeseI got a call last week from my sister-in-law, who happens to be almost 5 months pregnant, asking what type of cheeses are not allowed during pregnancy.

I thought it would be interesting to share this with you!

Cheese products that can lead to food-borne illness are not allowed during pregnancy. The list includes:

-              All unpasteurized dairy products (“raw” milk and cheeses)

-              Soft cheeses such as brie, Camembert, feta and blue cheese

They can only be consumed if they are clearly “labeled” as being pasteurized or made with pasteurized milk.

You can check the article shared on May Clinic and on the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for more foods that are not allowed during pregnancy.

The picture used in this blog, is taken from >> Eating cheese ‘could turn expectant mothers into CRIMINALS’

Recipe Trials on a Rainy Day!

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Well on a rainy weekend I mostly spend my time at home!

Nothing much to do, so why not get the cooking rolling. I’ve been wanting to try a couple of cookie recipes that might work for Christmas.

I tried one on Saturday and one today; check them out. Do you like them?

Mature Christmas Cake

Every Christmas my mother prepares what she calls the “Christmas Cake”, as she always used to narrate; it’s an English cake that’s been there for hundreds of years. Prepared weeks ahead and served for guests during the season.

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I checked a couple of books and recipe websites maybe I find the secrets of this cake, and here what I found:
o    This fruitcake recipe is over 100 years old.
o    It’s a rich, dark and a moist fruit cake.
o    It requires 2 days to make.
o    It requires 3 weeks to ripen; where the cake is moistened with orange juice or rum for almost 3 to 4 weeks. *the rum helps preserve it and ripen it.
o    It’s usually decorated with marzipan (almond base) and a thick sugary frosting.
o    It’s usually prepared by end of November, but some even prepare it in October.

As interesting as it can be, I found a good recipe on one of the Lebanese Brands “Recipe Section” that I’ll be trying out this year >> Dark Fruit Cake!
I found the picture on BBC Good Foods website, you can check their recipe via this link >> Make & Mature Christmas Cake.

Will let you know how it goes ;)

“Recette de Vie” in London!

There is nothing better than old home cooking!

I’ve participated in “Recette de Vie” recipe book, which was launched earlier this month in Lebanon.

I shared two dessert recipes:
1.    Charlotte Cake with Fruits
2.    Sable with Chocolate and Halawa

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Recette de Vie is a Lebanese recipe book with a collection of more than 200 original recipes from the friends and family of Authors Maissa Abou Adal Ghanem and Ghia Khayat Hawari, all of whom share culinary secrets and tasty treats.
… and that’s the best part!!! All proceeds will be distributed to charities that defend the rights of women and children :)

The book is available in two languages: English and French and can be found at the below bookstores – Lebanon:

•    Librairie Stephan, Achrafieh
•    Librairie Orientale, Achrafieh
•    L’Artisan du Liban, Saifi
•    L’Artisan du Liban, Clemenceau
•    Sel & Poivre, Sofil
•    Librairie Alphabet, Jounieh and
•    Librairie Maliks, all point of sales
•    Orthopedic and Sport Clinic (OSC), Aantari
•    Aziz, Aantari
•    Aziz, Zalka
•    Les Caves de TAillevent, Jardins de Tabaris, Achrafieh
•    AUB museum Shop, bliss street
•    Bulthaup store
•    The studio, Beit Mery

Maissa and Ghia will be launching the book in “London”; check the link for more details.

Keep up the great work and best of luck to Maissa and Ghia. Show them the support and add this amazing book to your library.

Charlotte Cake with Fruits

When we were kids, my mom used to prepare layered Charlotte Cake with jello and cream. As time passed by I started searching for varied recipes of Charlotte Cake as I loved “Ladyfingers” including fruits, cheese, cream etc. and so I reached the best, easiest and most delicious Charlotte cake recipe with fruits.

Preparation mode: No Bake Cake
Preparation time: 20 Minutes
Number of people: 15 people

Charlotte Cake with Fruits
Ingredients

•    850 can Fruit Salad (Chopped Fruits in Juice)
•    400g (4 packets) Ladyfingers
•    250 ml Pineapple Juice
•    1 Sheet Gelatin
•    1 tsp cognac
•    1 L Whipping Cream (liquid)
•    3/4  cup Sugar
•    1 tsp Vanilla

Preparation method

1-    The cream: Add the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in a mixer and mix until a fluffy cream is formed. Fridge.
2-    Drain the fruits from the juice.
3-    Take the fruit juice and add to it the pineapple juice in a separate bowel with a teaspoon of cognac
4-    Add the gelatine sheet in cold water for few minutes, then microwave until the gelatine melts.
5-    Add the gelatine to the juice and mix to homogenize
6-    Use a cheesecake pan to prepare the Charlotte Cake
7-    Dip the ladyfingers in the juice and stack one after the other on the sides of the pan, then fill in the bottom.
Ie. All the ladyfingers used in the cake are dipped in juice.
8-    The add 3 layer of ladyfingers > cream > fruits; until the tip of the sides
9-    Fridge for 30 minutes.
10-    To prepare the topping: mix ¼ cup jello with 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam and add on the top.
11-    Decorate to taste with cream.
12-    Fridge for few hours then remove the sides of the cheesecake pan and serve cold.

Personal tips: Add 1 sheet of gelatine to the dipping juice as it will keep the cake together.
This recipe appeared in the book “Recette De Vie”, which was launched to 2014 to support women and children charities.

Sable with Chocolate and Halawa

I love to prepare sable at home. One day I had leftovers of chocolate and halawa in my fridge. So the idea crossed my mind! Why not prepare Sable with a Lebanese twist using our artistic halawa, and it turned out to be the best combination ever.

Sable with Halva

Preparation mode: Baking
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Number of people: 70 pieces

Sable with halawa
Ingredients

750g Sable Dough
200g Halawa, cut into small cubes
200g Dark Chocolate Chips
100g Pistachio, crushed

Preparation method

1-    From the dough into round sable cookies and bake for 10 minutes
2-    Meanwhile, cut the halawa into small cubes and melt the chocolate chips in bain marie or in the microwave.
3-    As soon as the sable dough are ready, remove and press in the halawa cubes (the halawa will stick on the hot dough)
4-    Keep to cool for 5 minutes
5-    Cover each sable with melted dark chocolate
6-    Decorate with crushed pistachio nuts
7-    Cool and serve.
Personal tips: Add the halawa cubes directly after the sable cookies are removed from the oven. The sable needs to be hot so the halawa can stick well.

This recipe appeared in the book “Recette De Vie”, which was launched to 2014 to support women and children charities.

Take Your Summer BBQ to the Next Level with These Great Apps

You’re probably more grateful for your phone in the short moments that you find yourself idle, like when you’re riding public transportation, waiting for the bus, or, well, standing in front of the grill while waiting for your barbeque to finish. But did you know that your phone could actually help you throw the perfect summer BBQ?

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise. Around this time last year, Google announced that they finally hit 1 million apps in the Play Store, and Apple soon followed suit. Gaming Realms, who won Best Boutique Bingo Site for their mobile gaming website Iceland Bingo in 2013, also estimates that by 2015, the mobile market will be worth upwards of $4 billion. There are apps for everything out there, and even the most experienced pit master will find a useful app that can help them turn out beautifully grilled or barbequed steaks every time.

1. Weber’s On the Grill App

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People often have their own specialties on the grill, but you can have too much of a good thing. If you often end up making the same thing at your barbeques, then the On the Grill app just might help you. With over 250 recipes for full meals and even rubs, sauces and marinades, an ingredient check-list, and a timer, the On the Grill app has just about everything.

2. The Pit Pal BBQ App

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Dubbed by the USA Today as “one of the 10 best apps for Dad”, Pit Pal BBQ has everything anyone working with a grill could ever need. By tracking different variables from each cook, the app lets experienced grillers adjust these variables in order to come up with the best results. The best part? It’s also compatible with the BBQ Guru CyberQ Wifi and Stoker WiFi, so you can monitor your temperatures and smoke levels on your phone too!

3. iGrill

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Although not an app per se, the iGrill is perhaps the key to handless grilling. Just insert the probe into the steak you’re grilling, allow the device to connect to your iPhone, and let your phone tell you when you steak is done. You’re then free to enjoy the rest of your party, talk to your guests, and maybe enjoy a few beers! The app is also available on Android devices!

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