Month: March 2014

Humus

HumusOften in this blog, my Lebanese heritage and influence comes through in my recipes. My Dad raised us with respect for world cuisine, with middle eastern cuisine being at the center. Tahini, main humus ingredient, was one of My Dad’s favorite!

In Colombia, tahini was the only name that stuck with my generation, at least. Simple. Great with kibbeh or falafel, simply the best accompaniment for a plain slice of pita bread.

Roots bind us together or sadly pull us apart sometimes. For as far back as I can remember pita bread and humus brought my family together for the longest time. Today, my kids are learning to give generously, to give hospitality to loved ones and to those in need. What a tremendous gift! This humus recipe is simple and yet it fulfills a vital mission in my family history today: To strengthen family ties.

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas, 2 TBSP tahini (sesame paste), 2 cloves of garlic, 1 TBSP olive oil, 2 TBSP lemon juice, salt to taste, parsley and 1/4 white or yellow onion (sliced.)

Blend above ingredients (except parsley and onion) in mixer. Serve and top with Julienne onions, some sprigs of parsley and 1 tsp of olive oil.

 

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Chocolate Nutmeg Cookies

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It has been years since my home-made cookie dough days. Store-bought cookie dough is extremely tempting for me. No demons of laziness here. Just busy. Time has an effect on cooking and baking. Strangely, time also reappears to connect our taste buds to memories every time. Inevitably, fresh batches of home-made warm cookies kept popping out of my head. If not for taste and aroma, then for health. Lack of chemicals and additives in home-made dough will surely please health conscious friends.

Taking it a bit further, home-made cookie dough can feed our imagination and creativity. For example, this is my original recipe. It’s a simple, surprising improvement over good old chocolate chip cookies. The original ingredient: Nutmeg!

Cycling back to taste buds and memories, my Dad was absolutely crazy about nutmeg. He wanted his home-made fruit juices topped with freshly ground nutmeg.  (At the time Cartagena food stores only carried whole nutmeg.) He wanted my Mom to add nutmeg to every home-made cake she made. This small, powerful ingredient can surely turn a boring drink, cake or ice cream into a whimsical event!

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 cup oil; 3/4 cup brown sugar; 3/4 cup white sugar; 2 eggs; 2-1/4 cups sifted flour; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp vanilla; 1 (1-oz) square baking semi-sweet chocolate (shaved); 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the above ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to combine and mix well.

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Form spoonfuls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them at 400(F) degrees , for 10 minutes.

Watch them bake and rise…

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Take them out, let them cool and..

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Enjoy! 🙂

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Generous Brownies!

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This brownie recipe has been with me since I was 12. Nadia, my childhood friend, and her mom shared this recipe with me. As I grew older, I kept making these delicious brownies every time I had the chance. It became a favorite at home. Time has passed and my daughter will be turning 12 in the Spring. Wow! So why not pass the recipe to my daughter? [I thought.] We made it together for this post, and she was thrilled! 🙂

A precious gift and memory from my friend Nadia is now a beautiful long-lasting memory and tradition for my daughter.

Recipe

Ingredients: 2.5 butter sticks, 5 TBSP Cocoa powder, 2.5 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, 1.5 cups flour (sifted), 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla. Nuts (optional.)

Tip: All ingredients get mixed and start cooking on the stove top at very low heat. Once they are all well combined you transfer them to the baking sheet and to the oven.

1. Melt the butter at very low temperature on a pot.

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2. Add the cocoa

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3. Mix and add sugar

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4. Add the eggs one by one

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5. Add the flour and baking soda, and continue to mix

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6. Prepare a pan with butter and flour

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7. Pour the batter into the pan and bake

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8. Optional: Add nuts. My family is divided, some like it with nuts and others don’t. So I add nuts to half of the pan. 🙂

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A generous brownie recipe from a generous friend! 🙂