Spaghetti With Spicy Shrimp

Spaghetti with spicy shrimp

In my pantry there is always spaghetti because it is  appreciated on our table. Yesterday my son had three of his friends at home and after studying all day, they felt hungry. Having not prepared enough food for everyone and with very short notice, I automatically  decided to prepare spaghetti. Me being who I am, I wasn’t satisfied with making just plain old pasta; luckily I had frozen shrimps in the freezer and I came up this dish with a very large bowl of salad and some appetizers.  There were no leftovers, so I think it turned out alright. Try it yourself 🙂


  • 1 packet spaghetti 500 grams, the thicker the better
  • 1 bag frozen shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 1 can of peeled and crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste, if you like it more spicy you can always add more
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine


  • Boil the spaghetti as per instructed on the box then drain
  • In a saucepan heat the oil and fry the garlic until transluscent
  • Add the shrimp and fry the for few minutes until they change color
  • Put in the tomatoes, salt and chili paste and mix in with the wine; let it boil for about 25 minutes until thick
  • Add the spaghetti to the sauce and mix well while cooking
  • When well cooked, mix in the chopped parsley and serve


Lentil Salad

I mentioned earlier that salad is a free dish; you can mix whatever you like with any kind of vegetables, use the dressing you like and it will be delicious.

Green lentils are very commonly used in our cuisine. It can be made as Mjaddara, Mdardara, Lentil soup or Adas bel Hamod. I always boil lentils in large quantities and keep the remaining lentils in the freezer, to save time when making another dish. The Lentil Salad is a plate that my grand mother used to make always when she invited us for lunch. It is the kind of meal who can be eaten as a side dish, appetizer, or even as a main meal.


  • 2 cups boiled lentils
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) tomato
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 4 radishes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Drain the boiled lentils from any excess water
  • Cut all the vegetables into small cubes and mix with the lentils
  • Season with salt, black pepper, dried mint, lemon juice and olive oil


Kabsse ( Chicken With Rice – Arabian Gulf Way)

After living in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for more then twenty years, I learned a lot about their culture and some of their cuisine. Their food is somehow similar to our Lebanese food, but they use more spices. Kabsse is a very popular dish in Abu Dhabi, and it can be cooked with chicken, meat or even fish. Today I prepared chicken with rice the Arabian Gulf way “Kabsse”.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 large onions, cut in wing shape + one small onion peeled
  • 5  cloves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 large tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • spices: cumin, dried coriander, black pepper, salt, ground cinnamon, lime salt
  • cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups basmati rice ( long grain from pakistan)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cardamon
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped roughly
  • 4 or 5 celery stick, cut into small cubes
  • 2 red tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • pine seeds, handful
  • peeled almonds, handful
  • cashews, handful
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil


  • Wash the chicken and cut into 8 pieces
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of each: salt, cumin, dried coriander, black pepper, ground cinnamon, lime salt and place in a small jar
  • Put the chicken pieces in a bowl and rub with one tablespoon of the spices mixture, soak with the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the half cup of olive oil. Soak overnight
  • Next day, in a large pot heat the 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the wings of onion until light brown, remove half of the fried onions and put aside ( you will use it later for the decoration)
  • Fry the chicken pieces over the remaining onions in the pot, until brown
  • Put the 5 cloves on the small peeled onion and place it over the fried chicken with the cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 2 cardamons
  • Put over the chicken 1 tablespoon of tomato puree, cover the pot and let it cook on a very low fire for about 5 minutes
  • Put the rice over the chicken, cover with about 5 cups of water ( or chicken stock if you prefer), when it start boiling place the pot on a very low heat, cover it and let it cook gently until the rice absorbs all the water
  • In the mean time prepare the sauce : in a small pot, heat the remaining oil, fry the onion, the chopped garlic and the celery sticks  and the tomatoes, add the remaining tablespoon of tomato puree, cover with 3 cups of chicken stock and let it boil gently
  • Add one tablespoon of the spices mixture, one cinnamon stick, 2 cardamon, 2 bay leaves
  • When the vegetables are well cooked remove the cinnamon stick, the bay leaves and cardamon, puree the vegetables with a hand mixer

  • In a small saucepan heat the butter with the oil and fry the pine seeds, almonds and cashew
  • Place the chicken with rice on a serving plate place fried onions on the top and decorate with the pine seeds, almonds and cashew, and few leaves of celery
  • Serve the sauce with the rice and enjoy.


Spaghetti Gratin With Chicken

While I was thinking about Tabkhet el Yom ( what to cook for lunch today), I checked my fridge and I found boiled chicken and chicken stock. And checked the pantry and found spaghetti. And, always there is cooking cheese and tomato in my fridge. Because, I like from time to time try something new, I decided to cook them together in Lasagna way, but by using the cooked chicken instead of minced beef. And the result was really amazing. The recipe turned out Delicious.


  • 1 packet of 500 grams spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon corn oil ( to be added to the water for boiling spahetti)
  • about 2 cups of shredded boiled chicken, skin and bones removed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup powder milk
  • 1 cup and a half shredded cheese ( I mixed parmesan and gruyere)


  • In a large pot, boil water, add the tablespoon of salt with the tablespoon of oil, boil the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than instructed, drain the spaghetti and wash is with cold water
  • I another pot, heat the oil, fry the onions until light golden, then add the chopped tomatoes, and cook with lid on for about 10 minutes
  • Add the shredded chicken to the tomatoes and onions, season with salt, thyme and mixed herbs and the ketchup, cook for another 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • In another pot, boil the chicken stock with the milk powder
  • Dissolve the flour with 1/2 cup of water and add it to the stock, let it boil stirring constantly, reduce the fire and let it cook until it starts thickening, then remove from fire
  • In a tray, place 2 tablespoons from the chicken stock sauce, one layer of spaghetti, half the chicken sauce and cover it with half of the white sauce
  • Repeat the same procedure another time, then top with the shredded cheese and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top becomes golden color
  • Serve it with salad


Sheikh El Mehchi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Hi, I know I have not posted anything in a few days. But believe me, I have been cooking everyday. Now, the summer has started, and my children are coming to Lebanon to spend their vacations, so I am very busy with my children and my grandchildren. Also, I changed the theme of the blog, and I have been trying to choose pictures for the banner 🙂 It hasn’t been so easy.

About the recipe today, Sheikh El Mehchi, it is called so because the eggplants are stuffed without removing their tops, so it looks like the head of Sheikhs.


  • 1 kilo small eggplants
  • 200 grams minced meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt+ 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices+1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 red tomato sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups frying oil


  • Peel the eggplants without removing the heads
  • Heat the frying oil, fry the eggplants until brown color. Place on kitchen towel to remove the excess oil
  • Heat the canola oil and fry the chopped onions until transparent, add the pine seeds and fry for another 2 minutes, then add the meat and fry until well cooked. Season with salt and 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Slice open the eggplant in the middle and place a generous tablespoon of the meat stuffing inside it, press it down gently with the back of spoon
  • Place the stuffed eggplants on a baking tray or dish, cover with the tomato slices
  • Dissolve the tomato paste with 2 cups of water, season with remaining salt and spices and pour over the eggplants
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes
  • Serve with cooked rice


Farfalle Pasta with Meat and Vegetables

Tomorrow is the 21st of June, the official first day of summer and the longest day of the year, or the summer solstice. It is also Father’s day in Lebanon, so make sure to wish your father a good one if you haven’t yet! Its already unbearable to sit in this heat without air conditioning. During this hot weather we eat vegetables, a lot of vegetables, to compensate for the water loss from sweat. This is why I’m making a salad everyday before having the main course. Today, I decided to have a meal which includes vegetables. Using what ingredients I could find in my fridge, I put together this lovely meal.


  • 400 grams beef cubes
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 red tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt + 1 teaspoon for the meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil


  • In a pressure cooker heat the cooking oil, fry the meat cubes,add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, cover with water and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes after it starts whistling
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • Place the oil in a tray, put the half cooked meat over the oil with one cup of the meat stock
  • Time to prepare the vegetables: peel and dice the eggplant, cut the onion in quarters, peel and dice the carrots, slice the tomatoes and put them all over the meat
  • Dilute the tomato paste with a cup of water, add the salt and the seven spices then pour over the vegetables
  • Cover the tray with aluminium foil and bake for about 25 minutes; remove the aluminium foil and keep baking for about ten more minutes
  • Cook the Farfelle pasta as per instructions on the box
  • To serve, place the pasta on a plate and put over the meat with vegetables

Today’s Salad:

  • Mix: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, green pepper, some leaves of purslane and green thyme.
  • For the dressing: salt with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
  • After mixing, place some cherry tomatoes on the top for decoration


Mixed Vegetables with Boiled Chicken

Today is a very special day for me. My son who is living in the United States came yesterday evening for a 10 day vacation in Lebanon. He came with his friend who loves chicken and vegetables, and since they decided at the last minute – as usual – to eat at home instead of going to a restaurant I was pressed to make something  quick, healthy and yummy at the same time for them. Luckily I had plenty of vegetables in my fridge, and boiled chicken in the freezer, so I whipped up this dish and it turned out to be a delicious meal and they enjoyed it. I hope you will too!


  • 500 grams boiled chicken, skin and bones removed
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, cut into wings
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon and a half oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • a handful of halved almonds


  • Heat the oil in a pot, fry the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes, add the sliced carrots, cook for three minutes more until nearly tender
  • Add the green beans, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minute on low fire
  • Put the tomatoes and the peas, add the salt, pepper and oregano, cover the pot again and let it simmer for about 5 minutes
  • Cover it with 1 cup of water, add the zucchini and let it cook on a very low flame, until the vegetables are soft and the water evaporates
  • In another pot, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and gently heat the boiled chicken until the pieces of chicken start coloring
  • In a saucepan heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and fry the almonds until nice golden color
  • For serving, place the vegetables in a plate, then put the chicken pieces, on the top place the fried almonds, and enjoy eating


Grilled Kafta and Potato Salad

Today, the weather is very nice, sunny with a little breeze, just the spring time before the venue of the summer. This is why I decided to make something quick and yummy for lunch today, to have time to enjoy going out on this lovely day. I thought grilled kafta with boiled potato salad and cherry tomato salad would be a perfect combination. In previous posts I cooked the kafta in the oven with potatoes and tomato sauce, and also with tahini. Today is a new way of making the kafta.


  • 500 grams kafta ( 500 grams minced beef mixed with a small onion finely chopped and 1 cup of chopped parsley and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon seven spices)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil
  • 1 kilo boiled potatoes
  • 4 spring onion, sliced
  • 1  red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • a few cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • With a wet hand take a small ball of kafta meat and put it on a wooden skewer, when all the meat is finished place the skewers in a tray, put on the sides the slices of tomato, and teaspoon of corn oil in the tray
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, turning the skewers half way
  • To make the salad, cut the boiled potatoes in cubes, add the chopped parsley, sliced spring onions and the diced red pepper
  • Season with salt, lemon juice and the olive oil and mix well


Endive Salad With Parmesan Cheese And Cheese Dressing

When I used to live in Abu Dhabi, three friends and I would arrange a Scrabble night once a week . We had decided that the host would only make a salad to avoid adding any extra work and also for us to eat less. Since we used to rotate who would host, it quietly became a competition who would make the most delicious salad, each one of us trying to outdo the other. It was a fun time. Tonight, I remembered those days while playing Words With Friends with my daughter and decided to make one of my more flavorful salads made with endives, parmesan cheese and dressing made out of cheese also.


  • 3 endives
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • few leaves of iceberg or lettuce
  • 1 grated carrot
  • few leaves of parsley for decoration
  • 100 grams sliced parmesan cheese

For the dressing:

  • 100 grams cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of black pepper


  • Wash all the vegetables, pluck the endives leaves and spread them out in a serving plate
  • In the center place the iceberg leaves
  • Slice the tomatoes an cucumber and put them over the iceberg
  • Top it off with the slices of cheese, the grated carrot and the leaves of parsley
  • Mix well all the dressing ingredients; adjust the seasoning as you like and keep it in a saucer on the side
  • Invite some friends over and play Scrabble 🙂


Croquettes of Cheese with Salsa Dip

The croquettes of cheese is one of my favorite appetizers. Every time we go out for dinner outside, first thing we check for on the menu is the cheese croquettes to have before the main meal. Believe me, I’ve tries a lot of recipes and the one I am sharing with you today is the more successful one. The good thing about this recipe is that it can be adjusted to your taste. You can use whatever kind of cheese you like and also you can add any kind of flavor like basil, rosemary, thyme, or anything else. Also, It can be baked in the oven or deep fry. Tell me if you like it 🙂


  • 100 grams shredded cheese of your choice (I used Gruyere and Emmental)
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

For the fried croquettes, the extra ingredients you will need:

  • one egg
  • one cup bread crumbs
  • about one liter frying oil

Mix all the ingredients and let it rest in the fridge for about half an hour. You can now prepare the croquettes by either frying them or baking them.

To fry them:

  • Make a small finger shape from the dough
  • Roll them in a slightly beaten egg, then in bread crumbs and deep fry for about 5 minutes untl they turn golden brown color

To bake them:

  • Preheat the oven for 180C
  • On a floured surface board roll the dough and cut into medium sized circles
  • Place them on a tray and bake for about half an hour until the croquettes turn golden color

These croquettes are delicious when accompanied with this salsa dip:

  • Chop one red tomato and one small onion very finely
  • Add one tablespoon of ketchup, a small teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon chili paste and a few leaves of chopped parsley