Apple Jam

In the old days in Lebanon, people used to store their food in what we call in Arabic, a “Mouneh” or another term for the Lebanese Pantry. In the villages, these pantries were made usually under brick structures –  prove the equivalent of today’s fridges. Since fruits are not all available all year around we used to make jams from all kinds of fruits to enjoy them even out of season.

Today I made apple jam. Apple, known for its vitamins and minerals is an ideal jam for the cold winters in the mountains in Lebanon, and since some would grow apples near their homes, it was common to find them in the Mouneh of people’s village homes.

I would like to share with you my mother’s recipe for apple jam, which my mother herself took from her mother.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of yellow apple
  • one  lemon
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Preparation:

  • Wash the apples, peel them, remover the seeds and cut into quarters
  • Cut the lemon and rub the apples so they wont turn black color
  • Put the apples in a casserole, cover it with 3 cups of water and boil until it becomes tender
  • Remove the apples and put aside. Add the sugar to the boiling water with the cinnamon stick and let it boil for 5 minutes
  • Put the apples back to the water and let it boil on a medium heat fire
  • Reduce the heat and and let it simmer on a very low fire until the color of the apples turn like honey color and it thickens also like honey consistance
  • If the apples get dry before it reaches the desired color, you can add a little bit of water.
  • Put the apple jam in a jar, when it becomes cold close the jar tightly.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT.

Potato Salad with Eggs

Vegetables, potatoes and eggs. All children need their greens, but they never eat them! Because they’re stubborn and don’t know what’s good for them. But momma knows best 🙂

Use this for a side dish with steak or chicken.Personally I just have it as a light dinner, like I did tonight. You’re probably going to have these ingredients lying around in your kitchen so there’s no complication, and it won’t take you any longer than twenty minutes to prepare. Great for a lazy night in front of the TV.

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • some leaves of lettuce and Iceberg
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 green pepper

Preparation:

  • Peel the potatoes, cut them in medium size cubes and boil with salted water
  • Boil the eggs
  • In the meantime wash the vegetables and cut them and put in a big serving bowl
  • Prepare the dressing for the salad by mixing one teaspoon of salt, a tbsp of mayonnaise, juice of one lemon and three tbsp of olive oil
  • When the potatoes and the boiled eggs  are cooked add them to the vegetables
  • Put the dressing and mix well.

ET VOILA C’EST TOUT…:)

BON APPETIT

White Beans with Meat and Rice (Fasoulya)

This stew is a traditional Lebanese dish. When my youngest brother went to a boarding school in Lebanon for a few years, they used to serve it to the students with white beans, meat and rice every Wednesday, and as he got homesick sometimes, this dish made him remember his home and made him feel good.

He’s a lot bigger than he used to be then, but even now when he knows I have it for lunch, he gladly invites himself over to eat. But I have to make bigger portions. A lot bigger.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dried white beans
  • 300 gs of beef meat cut into large cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Cooking oil

Preparation:

  • Soak the white beans with the bicarbonate of soda and cover with water, overnight
  • The next day the beans double in volume – drain them form the water and wash them
  • In a casserole put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and fry the meat then cover it with water, cook for about one hour until the meat is tender (to save time you can use the pressure cooker)
  • In another casserole boil the beans until it is almost tender, then drain again the water
  • Put the beans over the meat, add the tomato paste, salt and pepper, cover with water and let it boil on low heat in the covered casserole
  • Crush the garlic with salt, add the fresh and dried coriander and mix all the ingredients well
  • In a small saucepan, heat some oil and fry the mixture of garlic and coriander then add it to the casserole of beans with meat
  • Finally, you can put the lemon juice
  • Serve this delicious food with cooked rice.

ET VOILA ..C’EST TOUT:)

Lasagna

The first time I ate lasagna was 20 years ago when I was still living in Abu Dhabi, and my friend invited me to her palce to have lasagna for lunch.  I thought at the time that making lasagna was complicated so I asked her for the recipe and, and she explained to me the way she did it. Since then, I have made some modifications to her recipe, and my children just love  lasagna I make. I am glad to share it with you today:)

Ingredients: The meat sauce

  • 200 gs of minced meat
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil

The white sauce:

  • 100 gs of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • about 4 cups of milk
  • salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of shredded emmental cheese, and 1/2 cup of mozzarella

Preparation:

  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion chopped finely
  • Add the minced meat to the onion and fry until the meat is cooked
  • Cut the red tomatoes in small pieces and add it to the meat with the tomato paste
  • Season with salt and pepper and put the sauce aside

Now prepare the white sauce:

  • In another casserole melt the butter and add the flour, mix well
  • Pour the milk gradually and keep mixing with a whisk
  • When the sauce thickens put the fire off and put the salt and the nutmeg

Finally:

  • In a deep oven tray, put a large tablespoon of white sauce to cover the bottom of the tray
  • Put one layer of lasagna, cover it with meat sauce and then put the white sauce, repeat this until the tray is 3/4 full
  • On the top after the last layer of the white sauce sprinkle the cheese and put in hot oven for about 30 minutes

My son was with me in the kitchen while preparing the lasagna, and he came up with the idea to put the lasagna in a aluminium foil cup cake, he did, and it turn out to be beautiful. I think it is a good idea to make a “cup cake lasagna” if you have a party.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT. BON APPETIT!

Spaghetti with Meat Escalope

Who doesn’t like spaghetti??

This is the most popular meal in the world and everybody loves it: children, young people and even the elderly. This is a meal I keep as a backup, because I have the ingredients always ready in my kitchen. When I don’t have escalope, I just use minced meat in the pasta sauce to make it bolognese sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gs of spaghetti
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 red tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, basil
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 2 pieces of meat escalope

Preparation:

  • In a casserole, boil water with a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of cooking oil
  • When the water is boiled, put the spaghetti and boil it. When it is cooked drain it from the water
  • In another casserole, heat the olive oil, chop the onion and fry it, then add the crushed cloves of garlic
  • Put the tomatoes in boiling water for few seconds to peel them and chop into medium size cubes (if you want you can use a small  can of crushed tomatoes)
  • Add the tomatoes to the mixture of onion and garlic and let it boil on low heat
  • Season the tomato sauce with salt, pepper, and a small teaspoon of each of: thyme, oregano, basil
  • Now add ketchup and a half cup of water, cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes on low heat
  • Fry the escalope until the meat is well cooked
  • To serve, put the spaghetti in a plate, cover it with the tomato sauce and place the escalope alongside
  • You can serve it with a vegetable salad

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT:)

Strawberry Tart

Happy Valentine’s day to all of you! I wish each and every one of you love that encompasses your hearts beyond only this obscurely invented holiday 🙂

Strawberry Tart

As you may have noticed in the gift stores in your neighborhoods, LOVE is highly associated with the color red, the color of fire, passion, and STRAWBERRIES! The delicious strawberry resembling the kiss of a loved one. My gift to you this valentine’s day is to share with you a recipe for a strawberry tart, which I hope will ignite your taste buds and will make your kisses with your loved ones sweeter.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gs of all purpose flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 100 gs of butter
  • 1  coffee spoon of sugar
  • 500 gs of fresh strawberry

Preparation:

  • Mix the flour with salt and the sugar
  • Rub it with the soft butter until the flour becomes granulated
  • Put the water and knead the mixture with the fingers quickly, when the dough is soft wrap it in a plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to rest for about one hour
  • Preheat the oven on 200C
  • Roll the dough and put it in a greased  tart mold with loose buttom
  • Cover the top with waxing paper and put dried beans
  • Put in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes

In the meantime make the “creme patissiere”

Ingredients for the cream:

  • 1 liter of milk (about 4 cups)
  • 100 gs of sugar
  • 4egg yolk
  • 60 gs of corn starch (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

  • Boil the milk with the vanilla on low fire
  • In a bowl mix with the electric beater the egg yolk with the sugar until the sugar dissolve and the mixture becomes yellow pale color
  • Add the corn starch gradually to the egg mixture and whisk slowly, when  it becomes homogenous pour half of the boiled milk, mix slowly at the beginning, when the cream is soft mix faster
  • Put the cream mixture in the casserole of the milk on very low heat, always mixing, until the cream thickens
  • Put the fire off and don’t stop mixing to allow the cream to cool quickly
  • Put it in a plate and cover it with plastic wrap until needed
  • When the tart is cold remove it from the mold,cover it with the “creme patissiere”
  • Decorate with the strawberries
  • As a final touch, dissolve one bag of jello (strawberry flavor) with one cup of hot water and pour half of it over the strawberry

ET VOILA. C’EST TOUT:)

ENJOY VALENTINE’S ❤

Maaloube Batenjein (upside down eggplant with meat and rice)

This is a lebanese main dish, made from eggplant, minced meat and rice. I remember the first time I tasted it was at my in-laws house. I asked my mother-in-law how she made it, and she told me “the most important thing is not to stir it, so when you turn it looks neat like a piece of cake”.  It is a nice dish, and today I would like to share my mother-in-law’s recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gs of large eggplant
  • 200 gs of minced meat
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 cups of long grain rice ( or basmati rice if you prefer)
  •  frying oil, cooking oil, salt and seven spices
  • pine seeds fried with a small spoon of butter

Preparation:

  • Peel the eggplant and cut it into thin slices, fry them in a frying pan with the frying oil until they become brown then drain them
  • In a medium size pot, heat the cooking oil and fry the onion, add the minced meat and fry it with the onion until is well cooked then season it with salt and seven spices
  • Put 2 cups of rice in 2 cups of boiling water for about half an hour in a bowl until the rice absorbs all the water
  • In the pot keep the fried meat with the onion, and take care that you press them in the bottom of the pot with the back of a spoon
  • Put over the meat, the fried eggplant, and then the rice
  • Cover with 2 cups of water and cook on a very low heat, WITHOUT STIRRING
  • When the rice is completely dry, put the fire off, and let it set in the pot for few minutes
  • Turn it upside down in a serving plate and decorate it with the pine seeds fried
  • Serve it with yogurt mixed with cucumber and garlic, with a pinch of dried mint

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT:)

Chicken with Cream and Vegetables

It is Sunday and the sun is high in the sky, the snow is clear white and shining like crystals under the sunlight. It got me in the mood for white cream, so I decided to get playful with some chicken and vegetables, using what I could find in my fridge, with boiled pasta on the side. It turned out to be very yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 500 gs of fillet chicken
  • 1 onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic(optional)
  • 1 green pepper, 1 red capsicum, both cut into fine strips
  • 1 can of mushroom sliced
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper, cooking oil
  • 250ml of fresh and thick cream

Preparation:

  • Cut the chicken filet into medium size cubes and fry it in a casserole, until light brown
  • Remove the chicken and put aside on a plate, then fry the onion in the same oil, with the garlic if used
  • Add the carrots and fry for few minutes, then the mushroom
  • Put the fried chicken back, season now with the salt and pepper, cover with a small cup of water and let it boil, then cover the casserole and lower the heat and let chicken cook gently with the vegetables
  • When the chicken is tender, put the fresh cream , the green pepper and the capsicum, let it cook for 5 minutes, and it is ready
  • Serve it with cooked pasta

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT 🙂

Madeleine with Pistachios

I love to have always some desserts ready at home to have them with tea or coffee, especially when I receive friends. Of course, my favorites desserts are home made. The madeleines  are easy and quick to prepare, within half an hour they are ready; this is why I use to make them when I invite my friends over. One good  friend of mine who lives now in another country recently told that she misses the madeleines I made and asked me for the recipe. So I decided to make her happy, and to share this recipe with you today. I hope you will enjoy it as well.

It is recommended that you have the special mold for this shape of madeleine.

Ingredients: for about 14 pieces

  • 2 eggs
  • 70 gs of butter+ one tablespoon soft butter
  • 3/4cup of icing sugar
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1and a half teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons of roughly chopped pistachios
  • a pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven on 200C, and grease the madeleine’s mold with the soft butter
  • In a bowl mix the eggs with the sugar
  • Melt the butter in the microwave and add it to the mixture
  • Add the flour and the baking powder and mix well, and at the end put the pistachios
  • Fill each of the molds with some batter, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Don’t let the madeleines be over cooked
  • Remove  from the oven, and let it set for a few minutes in the molds, then remove it and let it cool on a wire rack.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT:)

Orange Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Lucky you, I am posting double today 🙂

This recipe for the cake is very malleable for variations. Instead orange juice, you can use milk or lemon juice or even yogurt. Also, instead of making white cake like the one I made today, you can replace 3 tablespoons of flour with the same amount of cacao, and you will have a chocolate cake… BE CREATIVE and EXPERIMENT.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla  essence
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven at 180C.
  • Grease a cake round tin, then sprinkle it with flour
  • In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla until pale
  • Add the the sugar and mix until completely dissolve
  • Now put the soft butter
  • Alternate the flour and the orange juice, mix well until the batter is soft and creamy, at the end add the baking powder and the chocolate chips
  • Put the mix in a cake tin and bake in the oven about 40 minutes. You know the cake is done when you insert a wood stick in it and it comes out dry
  • After its done, remove it and leave it in the tin few minutes to settle and then turn it onto a rack to cool completely

In the meantime prepare the chocolate frosting.

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup of icing sugar
  • 1 small teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of cacao

Preparation:

  • Mix all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy, and spread it all over the cake

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT