Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke is the kind of vegetable you can have fun with.:) Usually we boil it and we strip the leaves one by one and dip it in a mixture of one crushed garlic with a dash of salt, lemon juice and olive oil, it is delicious. Also we can make a stew of artichokes with lamb meat. And like i did it during the family lunch… I stuffed the  artichokes hearts with minced meat, and I assure you that this recipe is healthy, nutritious and very tasty.


  •  8 whole pieces of artichoke
  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 2 medium carrot peeled and cut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Boil the artichokes in salted water until they start to soften. Peel the leaves, cut off the stems, and keep the hearts. Place them in a tray with the carrots
  • Prepare the stuffing by frying in the heated oil the onion, then add the meat and the pine seeds. Season with salt and the seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Place a generous tablespoon of the filling in the heart of artichoke and press gently down
  • Prepare the sauce to cover them , mix the flour with a cup of water then add it to about one liter of water and pour gently over the stuffed hearts
  • Add the lemon juice, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce boils and starts thickening
  • Serve it with cooked rice (if desired)


Stuffed Vine Leaves in Oil ( Warak Inab Bilzeit)

This is a vegetarian recipe, and I must say that Stuffed Vine leaves in Olive Oil is an essential dish from our rich Lebanese Mezze. It is so delicious and light that you can easily eat a small plate alone before having your main meal. Last week when I brought a large quantity of fresh vine leaves to make them stuffed with meat and cooked with lamb cutlets, I  was left with a lot. So I put the remaining in the freezer, where they can usually last up to six months. When we had the family lunch I took a pile from the vine leaves and made them the vegetarian way. And believe me my children made them disappear within just few minutes.


  • 100 grams of vine leaves, blanched and ready to cook ( you can use the preserved ones too)
  • 1/2 cup of short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil+ one extra tablespoon for cooking
  • your choice of thinly sliced vegetable, such as onion, tomato, carrot or even potato (I used sliced onions)


  • Prepare the stuffing by mixing the washed rice with the parsley, onion, tomato, salt, spices lemon juice and the olive oil well
  • Place a vine leave face down and stuff it with one teaspoon of the mixture of rice for filling in the center, fold the two sides toward the center then roll it in a cigar shape
  • When you finish all the quantity of the vine leaves and stuffing, prepare the pot, place the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pot, cover the base of the pot with your choice of sliced vegetable, place all the stuffed vine leaves in the pot
  • Pour water to cover the vine leaves by about one inch, place a plate upside down over them to prevent the vine leaves from opening during cooking. Adjust the salt and lemon as desired
  • Cook on a medium heat and when it starts boiling reduce the fire and let it cook gently for about 25 minutes until the rice is cooked and tender
  • Turn upside down on a plate and it’s ready to serve


Roast Beef with Gravy

Previously I made Roast beef using ground meat, and it was stuffed with pistachios. But, today I used chuck beef. To ensure the meat will be tender and moist, I always bake it with the gravy sauce after cooking, in the oven for about 25 minutes. This way the meat will always turn out juicy and succulent. Here is the recipe.


  • 1000 grams of chuck roast beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • for the gravy: 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon seven spices, 2 bay leaves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 1 medium potato, 1 carrot
  • 1.5 liters water


  • Rub the meat with the salt and spices
  • Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, then brown the meat all over
  • Cover with the water and add all the gravy ingredients
  • Close the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until it steams
  • After the whistle, lower the heat to medium and leave it to cook for about 40 minutes
  • Remove the meat from the water and let it cool completely
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In the meantime drain the gravy from the spices used and mash the vegetables and add them ton the gravy
  • When the meat is completely cold, slice it thinly and place in a tray
  • Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with a half cup of water and add it to the gravy sauce and pour it over the slices of roast beef in the tray
  • Place the tray in the oven for about 25 minutes, then serve with mashed potatoes and mix boiled vegetables


Menu for Special Occasions…

Today I decided to write about what you can serve for a special occasion. Being a mother of four, grandmother of four, I have had the pleasure over the past 30 odd years of entertaining many guests and relatives and it remains a pleasure every time. I love to ponder what recipes would make my guests happy, and always wish that they leave fully satisfied and pleasantly full of good tastes. This particular menu is for my children and grandchildren as they came to have lunch here, so the recipes are aimed to make them happy to eat mama’s cooking. Other occasions I try sophisticated dishes as well as rich deserts. Today my dessert was the Sanniyye bil Tamer ( it means a pastry filled with date stuffing, quite relevant as I am currently in the land of dates! :))

Menu consists of:

Rocca and green vegetable Salad

Stuffed Vine Leaves in oil( warak inab bilzeit)

Stuffed Artichoke hearts

Roast beef with gravy

Potatoe puree

Mixed vegetables

Side dish of rice

Date pastry


Garlic Dip

Garlic is one of the main ingredients in our kitchen,  we use it in a variety of recipes. And I think it is Chicken’s best friend. And the garlic dip is a must have  in any fridge especially to make those delicious sandwiches with boiled chicken and garlic dip, topped with pickles and then toasted.. It is simply delicious. But to make it properly you should have a food processor. I remember when I was in the States in 1990 with my husband and children, I wanted to make this garlic dip but didn’t have  a food processor at home, so I made it by hand using the pestle and mortar, and it took me about half an hour or more to finish it. The result was ok, but not as good as the one made with food processor. I also remember the pain I had  in my hand next day:).


  • 25-30 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  • Place the garlic with salt in a food processor, use the metal blade and mix for about 2 minutes, taking care of pushing the sides always to the bottom to mix well
  • Add the oil in thin stream mixing always until it forms a white smooth paste
  • At the end add the lemon juice. You can keep in the fridge for one month



I got tagged by Letizia of DUTCHGOESITALIAN . Thanks Laetizia for tagging me and for the question!

‘Tag – you’re it!’ – The rules:

  1. You must post these rules.
  2. Answer the question the “tagger” listed for you in their post,
  3. And create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  4. Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post.
  5. Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.

First of all, I will reply to Letizia’s question: “Which of your delicious recipes is a you-must-try-this-one?”

This question is a very tricky one. If I could I would choose them all :), but since I have to choose only one I would recommend Shish Barak if one is not intimidated by the complexity of the effort required as it is definitely worth it.

Now my nominees and the questions for them:

  • Danny’s Kitchen – “Which country did you travel to that most inspired new recipes for you?”
  • Creative Noshing – “At which point of moving to a new home do you feel you are settled?”
  • Chocolates and Raspberries – “What is your favorite outfit for a working woman?”
  • Sugar Dish Me – “What is you all time favorite sweet?”
  • Rock Salt – “What is more interesting for you to write about: a review or a new recipe?”
  • Live 2 Eat Eat 2 Live – “What is your favorite far eastern cuisine?”
  • Cook to Love – “What type of food was the most challenging for you to find a substitute gluten-free recipe for?”
  • The Low Fat Chick – “What is the secret to have a healthy and flavorful meal?”
  • 24/7 in France – “Which  french city you liked most, and why?”
  • Tiny Kitchen Stories – “What’s your favorite organizing trick in your kitchen to come up with these lovely recipes?”
  • The Burlesque Baker – “What is your recipe for hair care?”


Swiss Chard Moutabbal

I posted this recipe previously in Arabic, but today I “re-posted” it in English due to popular demand. Whenever I made Stuffed Swiss chard or Adas bi Hamod, I would keep the stalks and make them this way.


  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stalks
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Wash the stems removing any bad ones, wash and chop into 1inch pieces, place in the pot covered with water with some salt and boil
  • When tender, strain and gently crush them with a pestle and mortar
  • Add the garlic and the lemon juice mixing well together
  • Add the above mixture and the tahini to the stems and mix well
  • Put in a serving plate and top with some extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita bread


Mshabak (Sweet pastry)

Mshabak  is a Lebanese sweet mainly found  during the Holy month of Ramadan or during All Saint’s day or the Virgin Mary’ day. I love to eat this sweet even on regular days and that is why I learnt the recipe from my mother, God rest her soul, who used to make us help her with these sweets we loved so much.

Until today I am still unable to master the shapes they are found in the shops, I am sure this recipe I am sharing with you is just as delicious.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in a half cup of  water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 liter cooking oil


  • Sift the flour with the salt then mix with yeast and cornflour and water until the mixture is as loose as yoghurt
  • Place in a bowl and cover with a tea towel in a warm place for a while till it rises
  • Pour the mixture in a plastic bottle with a narrow dispenser for easier pouring into the oil, or into a plastic bag and cut a corner off
  • Heat the oil in a pot on medium fire, pour the mixture in  circular shapes and fry till golden
  • remove from the oil and place directly into the already prepared sugar syrup
  • Remove from the syrup and place directly into a serving plate

Sugar Syrup Preparation:

  • Boil 4 cups of sugar with 2 cups of water until it starts to thicken then add juice of half a lemon, remove from fire and add 1 tablespoon of Blossom water
This was today’s sweet recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Stuffed Vine Leaves and Lamb Chops

Vine leaves are abundant in Lebanon, and we have a lot of wine products well known internationally. The vine leaves can be stuffed either with minced meat and rice or with rice and vegetable, it can also be eaten raw with our Tabbouleh, instead of lettuce or cabbage.

This meal is very popular also in all the Mediterranean countries, and every country has its own special way of cooking it. Today I prepared it stuffed with minced meat, and cooked it with lamb chops.


  • 300 grams fresh vine leaves ( if not available you can use the preserved ones)
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt, sweet pepper, dash of cinnamon


  • Blanch the vine leaves in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften then drain. If you are using preserved ones just wash in cold water
  • Prepare the stuffing, fry the meat with the oil until brown, then mix with the washed rice and season with 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon sweet pepper and the cinnamon
  • Place one vine leaf on a working board face down, put a teaspoon of the stuffing in the center fold the sides and roll it
  • Rub the lamb chops with salt and pepper ( as desired) and place them in the bottom of a large pot
  • Tightly place the rolls over the lamb chops, then place an upside down plate over them to prevent opening while cooking
  • Add water and cover by an inch, season with salt, cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, when it starts boiling lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes more or until the rice is soft
  • Serve with yogurt


Fettuccine with Spinach and Chicken

Pasta, spinach and chicken are three ingredients that most of people like. So when I wanted to make something healthy, nutritious and full of vitamins I would cook this gratin and my children always loved it. It is inspired from the Italian cuisine that we love. And, feeling nostalgic for when my children were young, and how I made them eat it telling them a lot of fairy tales and stories, they asked me to cook it for their children to see how they would like it. And believe me, THEY JUST LOVED IT…


  • 300 grams fettuccine
  • 750 grams fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 250 grams fresh mushroom, sliced
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 chicken breast boiled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cup cooking fresh cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ( or any other kind of cheese you like)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices


  • Boil the fettuccine pasta with one tablespoon vegetable oil, drain and pour cold water over it
  • Put the butter and olive oil in a saucepan add the onions, the salt and spices, stir for about 5 minutes
  • Add the sliced mushroom, the spinach and the boiled and shredded chicken, cook for another 5 minutes then remove from fire
  • Mix the fresh cream with the chicken stock well then add it to the mixture of spinach and chicken
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degC
  • Put the cooked fettuccine in a baking dish, cover with the cream-spinach mixture and top with the shredded cheese
  • Cook for about 25 minutes or until the color of the cheese turns golden
Makes about 6 servings