New this week

June 24, 2012

Pizza Day: Apple-Apricot Pizza, Pizza with Za’atar, Nettle Pizza, Roasted Pepper Pizza

So, today is pizza day. This morning I woke up in the mood for making a few little pizzas to enjoy throughout the day. It’s raining and gray, the perfect kind of day to work with dough and let the aroma of cooked pizza, sweet and savoury, float throughout the house.  I often make my own dough because it is so easy but I prefer to make it a day or two in advance to let... View Article

June 21, 2012

Two-Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have to confess that I have been on a cookie baking binge lately. I wonder what got me started? Probably my outing with my friend Anne who celebrates her wedding anniversary every year by donning her original wedding gown and going out in a “chauffeur” driven luxury car, dressed as a bride, delivering cookies (aha) to un-expecting and bewildered friends . I went with her dressed as the “bride’s maid” but more on that... View Article

June 20, 2012

Fried Ravioli Appetizers with Dip

When I have company over I like to have a few appetizers set out usually on one end of the long kitchen counter (island) as my kitchen is large and central and people like to gather here. This way I don’t feel left out of the early conversation. I don’t mind if my guests watch me put together the last few touches on the upcoming dinner, although I don’t often let (or make) anyone help... View Article

June 19, 2012

Fresh Spring Peas with Butter-Lettuce and Dill

Peas are considered “common”  because they are so easily available frozen but really, fresh peas in the spring is a special treat that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you go to the market, pick up fresh peas in their pods and shell them yourself. You will be rewarded with a special spring culinary experience. I anticipate their arrival at the market and shell them happily all through spring and summer until the last of the peas... View Article

June 17, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese

I am going to post a few recipes for baked pasta and might as well start with the most popular baked pasta, Mac and Cheese. I like my mac and cheese not too wet with a crisp top layer. Sometimes I layer a few slices of tomatoes in the middle and always sprinkle bread crumbs on top before baking for an extra crispy topping. The sauce is a basic béchamel with butter, flour and milk... View Article

June 16, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Cookie lovers come in two camps: those who love their cookies crisp and those who love them chewy and soft (I belong to the latter), but the melt-in-you-mouth cookies are universally liked.  These is what these cookies are about and I think they may please both camps. They are meltingly soft yet have some crispness to the texture. Who said you cannot please EVERYONE? These cookies hold their shape and don’t spread much during baking... View Article

June 16, 2012

Chickpea Dip (Hummus) and Olives Crostinis

A Mediterranean staple, hummus makes a lovey appetizer, snack or part of a salad selction anytime. You can make it from scratch by soaking dried chickpeas and then cooking them until soft, or you can use this quick version using canned organic chickpeas. If you cook the chickpeas from scratch be sure to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the soaking liquid. The chickpeas have a tough outer layer and the soda helps soften... View Article

June 15, 2012

Vanilla Cheesecake

I worked at baking cheesecakes for quite a while before I finally achieved the kind of cake that I like. A lot of cream cheese and eggs went in and out of my kitchen without leaving a mark. I finally came up with a method that works for me and hopefully for you as well. This cake is made with cream cheese and sour cream  and produces a lovely cake that holds it shape and... View Article

June 13, 2012

Beluga Lentils with Spinach and Feta

Beluga lentils have middle east origin and have been an integral part of mediterranean cuisine for centuries. When cooked, the small black legumes become glossy and resemble the black caviar of the Beluga whales, hence their name. They cook perfectly, holding their shape and retaining a nice texture, not becoming a mush like their brown relatives. For this reason they work particularly well in salads, when you want to retain the texture. In terms of... View Article

June 12, 2012

Rice and Noodles with Pistachios

You would usually think of rice and noodles as an Asian dish but not this time. Here is a mediterranean version of combining these two ingredients for the starch component of your dinner. There is something about this dish that is very satisfying (probably the starch factor). I use the thin soup noodles that are sold rolled up in little “nests”, broken up for the occasion, and cook them in olive oil until nice and... View Article

June 10, 2012

Pasta with Creamy Goat Cheese and Thyme

Love goat cheese? Here is a simple and quick sauce to make with the subtle but distinct flavour of goat cheese. A few toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top add buttery flavour and a bit of texture. Thyme goes nicely with this flavour palette. Serve with a glass of white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Their crisp acidity will balance the creamy sauce. Ingredients 1/2 lb pasta (spaghetti, linguine, spaghettini etc.) 1 ... View Article

June 9, 2012

Spicy Carrots with Harissa

Have you ever used harissa in your cooking? It’s a Northern African (Tunisia, Morocco) spicy condiment or spice blend that migrated to neighbouring middle east countries and has become an integral part of middle east cuisine. There are various ways of making it and the basic ingredients are chili peppers, garlic, coriander, cumin, carraway, sometimes cinnamon and maybe even fennel and lemon. You would need to add olive oil to make it into a paste.... View Article