Rosemary… known as “2ikleel el Jabal”…

Today’s dish was Beef with Rosemary and Garlic…
mmm… it looked, smelled, and tasted delicious… Looking ever green with its small needle shaped leaves, rosemary was first sautéed with garlic and olive oil, and lastly seated on top of the dish for garnishing…

Rosemary… known as “2ikleel el Jabal” in my country…

Rosemary is a herb having evergreen needle-like leaves and a distinctive woody smell with a bitter and astringent taste. It is widely know in the Mediterranean region.

It is used as fresh or dried frequently in the traditional Mediterranean cuisine specifically in barbecuing.

It is added to oil bottles during storage to flavor the oil. It also helps retard rancidity (oxygen damage of oils that lead to change of odour, taste, and safety), thus improved oil’s shelf life.

Rosemary contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic, disease preventing and health promoting compounds…

How to use:

Wash fresh leaves in cold running water or rinse for few minutes or use it dry; added it in the final steps of your cooking to preserve the distinctive fragrance and flavor…

Sa7tein…

Mango, Lunch and Picky Children…

My colleague “Mango” invited me for lunch…

She has 3 little kids… 1.5 years… 3 years and 5 years of age…

The lunch was great… the food was delicious …
But, “Mango” was frustrated… continously shouting at her kids to eat their food…

You have picky children??? here it goes….

It’s normal to have your children picky with food…

Children between 1 and 3 years of age nudge at their food and this is normal due to growth and development reasons.

They may eat only fruits on Monday and only vegetables on Tuesday. Such eating habits are normal. Thus, it’s important to expect the child to eat well one day and eat nothing the next day.

Children from 1 to 3 years need approximately around 1000 – 1300 Kcal per day. But they might not eat this amount every day.

Accordingly, it is always recommended that children have a balanced diet over the week, not over a single day.

Here are some tips to encourage eating:

1) Give the food some playful names, names that the child is familiar with, for example:

Apples: Moons
Avocado: Boats
Banana: Wheels
Broccoli: Trees

2) Young children love dipping foods. Let them dip slices of apples, colored bell pepper pieces, carrots, broccoli in sauces
for examples:

Cream cheese
Fruit juice
Guacamole
Peanut butter
Pureed fruits or vegetables
Yogurt

3) Show them how to use a knife, a spoon etc. to spread cheese, labneh, peanut butter, fruit concentrates, vegetable concentrate onto toast, or bread; children love playing and spreading their food. The more they play with the unappealing food the more they’ll get to like it.

4) Let them help you prepare the food. Let them cut their sandwiches, vegetables, pizzas, fruits etc. into various shapes using children cookie cutters.

5) Plant a garden with your child: let the children help take care of the vegetables, fruits etc… wash and prepare them.

Important Remarks:

– Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have NO meaning to a child. If your Child wants to eat pizza in the morning or fruit and cereal in the evening let him/her go with it.
– Keep food servings small. A young child’s stomach is approximately the size of his fist.
– A hungry child is NOT a happy kid. Thus, be strict when possible, a hungry child will cry yet, when there’s nothing available he/she will end up eating (so don’t worry).
– A child taste preference depends on exposure. Children will prefer sweet tastes, salty taste, bitter taste etc. depending on what they were mostly exposed to during their first years of life. Thus try as much as possible to expose them to the healthy tastes and keep them away from the sweeties (Don’t add sugars/salts etc. to the food).
– Eat all together, children eat better when they see their parents eating.

Did you know??? Lobsters, Crabs and Shrimps…

Lobsters, Crabs and Shrimps… All turn into Red and Orange when Cooked …

Lobsters, crabs, and shrimp have a variety of different colors present in their shells.
The red color is due to a pigment called “Astaxanthina”.

This pigment lies under the caratenoid family. Caratenoids, are pigments that produce
a reddish orange color (in shells and outer skins like in carrots).

Within the shells of lobsters, crabs and shrimps etc… this pigment is entrapped by protein chains.

The outer layers, of such shells, appear naturally dark colored (black, brown, green etc…).
Yet when they are cooked, the protein chains surrounding the pigment get degraded (denatured)
and so the astaxanthina gets released.

This pigment is naturally heat stable; consequently under heating conditions (cooking)
it doesn’t degrade and remains present within the shells.

As a result, after cooking (boiling) the lobsters, crab and shrimps all appear reddish in color….

See for yourself…

Before…

After…

Pumpkin…The Food Artist

As a child he used to love playing with his food. As he grew up he was inspired to use food as an art subject to create some amazing foodscapes and sculptures.

“Pumpkin” a Food Artists…

He was simply enjoying some fun during lunch break check it out 🙂

*pumpkin by the way is Chef Hadi Massoud

December… Byblos and Peanut Butter…

On a cold December night… having a walk with my friend “Peanut Butter”… next to the wild boiling sea water of Byblos….

“Peanut Butter”
I was eating peanut butter…

“Blue Strawberry”
mmm… I hate peanut butter… unless it’s within a cake or a biscuit or anything…

“Peanut Butter”
Oh come on… I prepare peanut butter myself at home…

“Blue Strawberry”
At Home???? That’s interesting… so tell me…How do you actually do it at home????

Preparing Peanut Butter at Home:

Step1: Roast the peanuts
1.Spread the peanuts on a baking pan.
2.Bake the peanuts in an oven for around 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them.
3.Cool

Step2: In a food processor
1.Pour the peanuts in a food processor with metal blades.
2.Cover the lid and turn on the processor.
3.The peanuts are now being chopped; a powdered mixture will be formed

Step3: Keep on processing
1.Keep on processing until a buttery mixture is formed
2.To get a desirable smooth peanut butter texture a longer processing period might be needed.

Step4: Taste
1.Add salt, sugar, honey etc. depending on your desired peanut butter taste.

Step5: Storage
1.Store in the fridge for around 2 days before consumption, so the mix turns into paste.

Nutrition and Health:

Peanut butter is rich in MUFA (mono-unsaturated fats) that are the good fats and the antioxidant Resveratrol. Thus, it helps protect against heart diseases, if consumed moderately. It is also rich in Vitamin B3, Proteins, Magnesium, Folic Acid, and Dietary Fiber.

Caution:

Some People are “Allergic” to peanuts, thus traces of peanut butter (peanuts) consumption would lead to:

1. Itching, swelling, of the skin, lips, tongue, and throat.
2. Shortness in breathing (the individual can suffocate).
3. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting.
4. Heart attack.
5. Loss of consciousness.

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