Lebanese Plate (yum!)

Sometimes I just have to cook for myself. I really do. I cook all day for others and sometimes it just feels food to cook for me. Anyhow, this is what I had for dinner tonight (click any of the highlighted words for recipes)…moudardara with lamb (rice with lentils and vermicelli), hummus, labna (yogurt cheese),Continue reading “Lebanese Plate (yum!)”

Apple (the fruit, not the corporation)

Image found here. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”   ~Hippocrates  I love apples. Well, ok, most fruits. But this wasn’t always the case. It’s something I’ve really grown to enjoy as an adult…these days a meal without a piece of fruit is not complete. Fruit, of course, is good (really good)Continue reading “Apple (the fruit, not the corporation)”

Polpette di ceci (senza carne)

So I’ve mentioned before on this blog that while I am not a vegetarian I do not eat a great deal of meat, and there are plenty of days when I simply do not want any. Today was one of those days. These chickpea balls are definitely not a replacement for meatballs because they tasteContinue reading “Polpette di ceci (senza carne)”

Lentil Soup with Vegetables and Lebanese Spices

This is a variation of my more traditional Lebanese Lentil Soup recipe; in this version I added many more vegetables. This is super easy to make and yes it tastes as good as it looks. The vegetables I added are simply suggestions (it’s what I had on hand), use whatever you like. This is easilyContinue reading “Lentil Soup with Vegetables and Lebanese Spices”

It’s amazing what a little oil and garlic can do…

Okay. So you’re likely wondering what’s with the picture. Right? It’s not much to look at, and what is it anyhow. Simple…spaghetti squash cooked with aglio e olio, or with garlic and oil (and a few other things. As simple as this photo looks the squash is bursting with flavor. It’s amazing what a littleContinue reading “It’s amazing what a little oil and garlic can do…”

Toum! (an interpretation)

So this is a variation of a variation of a variation…but geeze ‘o man is it good. What, you may wonder, am I talking about. Garlic mayonnaise and it’s many variation. The south of France (and Italy and Spain) have Aioli (the French word for garlic is ail), in the Middle East there is theContinue reading “Toum! (an interpretation)”


Pesto is similar to sofrito in that it is both an ingredient and a stand-alone recipe. It can be eaten as is–as a dip or spread–or added to recipes as a flavor enhancer. The word loosely translates from the Italian as “pounded,” because this was originally made with a mortar and pestle. But with theContinue reading “Pesto!”


Sofrito is both an ingredient, a seasoning, and a recipe all by itself. It is a simple method of simmering onion, peppers, garlic, and tomatoes in olive oil. But the flavor it imparts can be transformative to a dish. The key here is long slow cooking…it really brings out the flavors. But is often theContinue reading “Sofrito!”

Pasta d’oro con fagioli

This is an easy and delicious variation on the classic pasta dish, pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans), which is often meatless but when it does contain meat it is usually pork. In this particular recipe I used smoked turkey which offers some of the smokiness of bacon or other pork products. I also addedContinue reading “Pasta d’oro con fagioli”


Ratatouille is the perfect summer vegetable dish. The ingredients are at peak season, and are easily grown in a home victory garden…I in fact grew these. The main ingredients–zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and basil–need very little tending, they almost grow like weeds. With its tongue-twisting title it may come off as a somewhat intimidating recipe,Continue reading “Ratatouille!”

Asparagi aglio e olio (and a few other ingredients)

Olive oil, garlic, hot pepper, and lemon. Brilliant. Yes, I know I’ve posted this recipe before (and those similar to it), but I can’t get enough of it. It is so easy to make and so delicious I’m going to keep posting it/them until you make a variation of it 🙂 Stove-Top Braised Asparagus withContinue reading “Asparagi aglio e olio (and a few other ingredients)”

Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers (yum!)

Crispy and super flavorful. So yes, these are as delicious as they look. They are really easy to make, and can be frozen, too. Eat them on a sandwich, place them on a salad, or nibble them straight from the pan…you won’t be sorry if you make this recipe. For a southwestern black bean-cheddar versionContinue reading “Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers (yum!)”

Rice-and-beans (#1); a few thoughts on a very humble dish…

Rice-and-beans (yum!)…what is not to like about this dish. It’s simple to make, it is made using one single pot, it is really inexpensive to produce even large quantities, variations are seemingly endless, and it is really good for you…some say it carries complete nutrition (this is an interesting but brief article at NPR). ForContinue reading “Rice-and-beans (#1); a few thoughts on a very humble dish…”

Onion, Pepper, and Garlic Confit

This is really a play on the classic confit d’ail, or preserved garlic (find that recipe here). It’s a simple recipe that–especially in the case of these peppers–really packs a punch. What it boils down to (yes, the pun was intended) is that you slowly poach the vegetables in olive oil until soft as butterContinue reading “Onion, Pepper, and Garlic Confit”

Chicken and Vegetable Ragout with Lebanese Seven (or Eight) Spice Seasoning

Okay, so this is good. Really good. Delicious (if I do say so my self). It’s easy to make (about 30 minutes once the vegetables are cut) and it’s likely pretty healthy, too. It’s a basic braised chicken and vegetable dish with Middle Eastern seasoning. This, like most of the recipes on this blog, isContinue reading “Chicken and Vegetable Ragout with Lebanese Seven (or Eight) Spice Seasoning”

This is way more fun than cutting a lawn…

It has been more than ten years since I tore up my teeny front lawn and planted a teeny vegetable garden which yields big results. And over the years it–the garden–has spread to other areas around the house; the side and rear, mainly. But this year–because of various reasons–I have only planted the front yardContinue reading “This is way more fun than cutting a lawn…”

Kibbet Batata with Broccoli Cheddar Hashwa and Lentil Salsah

This is a contemporary version (fusion?) of traditional Lebanese kibbeh (pie or patties made with meat or vegetables and bulgar wheat). Most often this is made with meat (and sometimes eaten raw), but there are plenty of vegetarian versions out there as well, and this is just one of them. The vegetable recipes are usuallyContinue reading “Kibbet Batata with Broccoli Cheddar Hashwa and Lentil Salsah”

Farfalline with Asparagus, Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Saffron, Garlic Confit, and Fontinella

This is a continuation of a previous post regarding garlic confit…here’s an example of a recipe in which I used it. I made this for staff lunch at work yesterday. At first glance this may look complicated but it is really very simple…and really delicious. Other than the chicken broth this recipe is meatless butContinue reading “Farfalline with Asparagus, Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Saffron, Garlic Confit, and Fontinella”

Confit d’ail

The French name for this two-ingredient but flavor-packed recipe translates simply as preserved garlic, but what it is in the literal sense is garlic that has been slowly simmered in olive oil. And this has many great outcomes. The most obvious is that it removes the garlic’s sharpness (but I like that, too). It alsoContinue reading “Confit d’ail”

Put some stuff on it! (or, Pizza: history in every bite)

Pizzas Pictured (from front to back): Za’atar and shanklish; Margherita; boursin cheese with smoked trout and smoked salmon; pesto and portobello mushroom (click the image for a larger view). One of the aspects of food that I have always found interesting—besides cooking and eating it—is its history. And to study food history is in aContinue reading “Put some stuff on it! (or, Pizza: history in every bite)”