Category: Posts

Rosemary Green and Black Olive Bread

Rosemary Green and Black Olive bread

I love olives.

As a matter of fact, I find it downright offensive that restaurants want to charge you upwards of $5 for a small bowl (bowl is a generous description, it’s more like a soy sauce-sized bowl) of olives. Crazy right? I mean olives are such a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diets. We have at least two massive jars full of green and black olives. And I frequent Wegman’s olive bar at least once a month. They have these green olives stuffed with all sorts of things. I’m talking cheese, garlic, almonds (those are my fave).

Rosemary Green and Black Olive bread

So my neighbor, Mr. A, who is this amazing older gentleman who basically owns our neighborhood, moved out a few years ago and held a yard sale of sorts with all the things he wouldn’t be able to take with him to his new, smaller, home. Mr. A’s wife was an amazing cook (god rest her soul) and a lot of the things Mr. A was getting rid of were Mrs. A’s kitchen gadgets and appliances. My mom got her hands on their 1960s Dutch oven and it’s gotta be one of the best things we’ve gotten (Etsy is currently selling the “vintage” model for a lot more than we got ours for).

Super convenient because I woke up one day thinking “I have to make Rosemary Green and Black Olive Bread, ” oh yea! And I want it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. After much research, I found that crispy bread can be accomplished with lots of wait time and baking it in the Dutch oven. You’ll notice that you have to wait at least 10 hours for the dough to rise. This is essential. Literally every Dutch oven recipe out there makes you wait. Which is fine … I’m sure you have plenty of other things to do. The wait is well worth it, because this Rosemary Green and Black Olive Bread is to-die-for. Perfect with some Labaneh or dipped in olive oil.

Rosemary Green and Black Olive bread

Rosemary Green and Black Olive Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 3/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (room temperature) water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped black Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cups chopped green olives
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix together water and dry yeast. Cover and let stand for 10-15 minutes (it’ll get really bubbly)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt
  3. Add the water and yeast mixture to the flour mixture
  4. Using a wooden spoon, mix until well incorporated (or you can use the knead attachment on your stand mixer to knead on low until a shaggy dough forms. See notes.)
  5. Coat your hands in flour and shape into an oval
  6. Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and put in a warm draft-free place (usually an un-warmed oven works) and wait 10-18 hours (or overnight) until the dough rises.
  7. In a medium bowl, toss together the olives and rosemary
  8. Heat oven to 450 F. Place your Dutch oven in the oven uncovered and heat for 30 minutes (see notes)
  9. Meanwhile, place the dough on a floured surface and press the dough flat. Sprinkle about 1/3 of the mixture, and fold the sides over the dough to hide the mixture, press again to flatten, add another 1/3 and fold the sides over again. Do this until you've used all the mixture. Then continue to knead until the olives are incorporated, add more flour to your hands if needed.
  10. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes, until doubled
  11. Place the dough in the heated Dutch oven and cover with the lid
  12. Bake for 30 minutes
  13. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes until browned
  14. Remove from Dutch oven and place on a cooling rack
  15. Cool completely before slicing

Notes

*Shaggy Dough is when the dough is formed, but still very floured and looks a little bit like a shaggy dog (that's where the name comes from) **If you don't have a Dutch Oven, you can use a deep oven-proof skillet or an oven-proof soup pot

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/09/20/rosemary-green-black-olive-bread/

Spiced Cardamom Cake

Cardamom Cake

I just can’t believe summer has come to an end already! It seems like it just wasn’t long enough this year. I mean, really … where did summer go? We’ve just crossed the Labor Day Weekend threshold (the Official End of Summer, at least that’s when all the swimming pools close), and my tan game slowly degraded as summer went on. In my defense, that’s because I was busing filling my weekends up with adventures of the non-culinary type. I had my fair share of BBQs, laying by the pool, and sitting outdoors basking the summer evenings, shisha in hand.

So for summer to end so abruptly (and yes, I will say abruptly since even Labor Day Weekend was rainy and cooled off so much it was almost too cold to swim) was such a disappointment.

To transition, albeit with difficulty, to pre-fall I baked up mini Spiced Cardamom cakes in my With a Spin cake molds. I learned some valuable lessons about silicone cake molds, most importantly that you have to wait until the cakes completely cool before taking them out of the molds, otherwise you’ll end up with a crumbled mess. Not to worry! I used those Spiced Cardamom Cake scraps to make Spiced Cardamom Cake pops covered in pink, white and semi-sweet chocolate. So in reality, they didn’t go to complete waste.

Spiced Cardamom Cake is best enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee (or tea).

Cardamom Cake

Incase you were interested in my fun-packed summer, here’s a recap of some of the summer adventures:

Strawberry Picking
I kicked off the summer strawberry picking with my close friend, lulu and her kiddos. We picked enough strawberries to feed a small town. The best part? Using some of the strawberries for my Strawberry Eshta Cream Tarts.
Biking Sunset
I signed up for a new gym… that I went to for like 3 weeks, and then that kind of fell off, as most of my attempts to go to the gym do. But I went on this gorgeous bike ride up the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into National Harbor where I stopped just in time to catch a few photos at sunset. These photos just don’t do it justice.
Harpers Ferry Tubing
One weekend, we made the trek up to Harper’s Ferry, where we packed a cooler with ice cold diet coke (I’m not much a beer drinker) and all sorts of snacks, and strapped it into a tube for white water tubing down the Potomac river. It was a gorgeous day, and aside from missing our get-off point and having to be towed by a kayak back on the first run, and then tumbling into the water on the second run, it was a fabulous experience.

 

Artechouse
While we had plenty of sunny days, D.C. does not disappoint when it comes to summer rain. We were forced to do indoor activities. So we decided to check out the latest ArTecHouse. We also hit up the National Building Museum which houses different exhibits throughout the year.
Beach Day
My favorite part of summer is spending the day on the beach. Soaking up the sun, getting beaten down by Atlantic waves and leaving sufficiently burnt with traces of sand everywhere and completely wiped out. I added a little adventure by doing end-of-day parasailing at 800 ft! It was awesome!
Painting
You know when you try to take on a new activity, something creative meant to be fun and relaxing? You know, like painting? Yea … me either. Painting had to be one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I probably should have gone with the sip option, but I was already stuffed from a bachelorette brunch (not mine, obviously). The 2 hour session resulted in a gorgeous painting. How? I have no idea.
Eclipse 2017
I got to experience one of the coolest scientific phenomenons, and partial solar eclipse. Unfortunately, since the eclipse took place on a Monday, I wasn’t able to plan a weekend getaway to one of the areas with a total eclipse. But it was pretty cool nonetheless. Yes, I pulled an elementary school science fair project stunt and made a little peep hole through which to see the eclipse. I met with a couple friends and some really nice people let us use their eclipse glasses to sneak a peak of the real deal.
Zip Lining
I didn’t think I was that outdoorsy, until I started doing outdoor activities. You’ll still never find me willingly sleeping outside. That’s just way too outdoorsy for me. But The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring was one of the most fun experiences of the summer. It really tests your ability to problem solve (how am I going to get across this to the other side despite these obstacles?) and your ability to balance, be flexible and catch yourself from falling. The cool thing is that you feel like a monkey climbing and zip lining through trees.
Roller Coaster
I finally wrapped up the summer with a day at Kings Dominion where, despite it being a little chilly, I rode almost every ride in the water park .. and I rode some rollercoasters too!

 

Cardamom Cake

Spiced Cardamom Cake

Yield: About 24 cupcake-sized cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon powder
  • 2 tablespoons Cardamom powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom until combined
  2. Add in the eggs, butter and buttermilk
  3. Whisk using a hand mixer on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until the lumps in the mixture dissolve
  4. Grease 2 cupcake pans and pour the batter about 3/4 full
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, to check use the toothpick test (insert a toothpick into the middle and remove. If batter doesn't stick to the cupcakes, the cakes are done).
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/09/09/spiced-cardamom-cake/

Mediterranean Kafta Burgers

Mediterranean Kafta Burgers

It’s a little later than midsummer and my tan game has been going strong. Okay, it’s actually been fairly weak in comparison to past years, but with Ramadan falling smack-dab in the middle of summer it really put a dent in my tanning plans. Not to mention, it’s been pretty rainy overall. Not ideal for catching those much sought after rays. I still have another solid month before I declare summer officially over and I’m going to take full advantage with pool and beach time, and BBQs, of course.

 

Mediterranean Kafta Burgers

Speaking of BBQs … I’m a pretty traditional girl when it comes to BBQs. I love burgers, hotdogs, the occasional T Bone steak and on special occasions grilled fish. I’m not a grill master myself. I leave that job to my brother. He has a handle on it, and not to mention he rarely lets anyone else get involved when he’s manning the grill. It must be a guy thing. Manning the BBQ used to be my dad’s thing. It was pretty much the only kind of “cooking” he could do. That was before my brothers grew to be two times his size, and he passed it on to them, with just a little micromanaging. He is the dad after all. Now, he just sits back, snacks on chips and dip and waits for his sons to do all the work while he enjoys the fruits of his labor — raising them to be solid men. As for me, I’m in charge of prep work – also a duty I’ve inherited from my mom. Aside from marinating chicken and forming burgers, I like to make Arabic Potato Salad. It’s a delicious no-mayo alternative to (what we call) American Potato Salad. 

 

Mediterranean Kafta Burgers

 

Mediterranean Kafta Burgers

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 packed cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Seven Spice
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the ground beef into a large bowl
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, process red onion, parsley and spices until minced
  3. Add the minced onion and parsley to the ground beef and mix well
  4. Using your hands, form burger patties (about 4) and set aside
  5. Grill on charcoal grill until cooked through (10 or so minutes)
  6. Serve in a traditional burger bun
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/08/12/mediterranean-kafta-burgers/

Lemon Spiced Middle Eastern Style Popcorn

Lemon Spiced Middle Eastern Style Popcorn_

I have this obsession with popcorn. This wasn’t always the case, but over the years, I’ve developed this serious obsession with light, crunchy, slightly salty (usually white cheddar flavored) popcorn. My mom used to make popcorn almost weekly. She’d mix some dry corn kernels with vegetable oil  in a pot over the oven and I’d wait around the kitchen listening to the kernels popping against the sides of the pot. Sometimes, the popcorn would overflow onto the stove. She’d toss the popcorn with salt, and I’d run off to watch my favorite TV show with a bowl of mom’s simple stovetop popcorn.

Lemon Spiced Middle Eastern Style Popcorn_

Over the years, my mom stopped making stovetop popcorn. Mostly because it was a lot easier to just buy a bag of microwave popcorn. It wasn’t until a few years ago I discovered SkinnyPop popcorn. Aside from the fact that  it’s low calorie — major selling point for me — it’s also made with simple ingredients. It tastes like my mom’s stovetop popcorn, without all the work. I was sold! Not to mention, it also comes in my favorite flavor … white cheddar. I could have cheddar popcorn every day and be the happiest person in the world. Some days, I even forego a nutritious lunch for a whole bag of low calorie cheddar popcorn. Don’t tell my mom …

 

Lemon Spiced Middle Eastern Style Popcorn_

 

Lemon Spiced Middle Eastern Style Popcorn

Yield: About 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • [Alternative: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, cover and leave on heat until most of the kernels have popped]
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Salt (citric acid)
  • 2 tablespoons Sumac
  • 2 tablespoons Onion Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Seven Spice
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix popped popcorn with olive oil until coated
  2. Add Sumac, Onion powder, Garlic powder and seven spice and continue stirring until completely coated
  3. Serve warm
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/07/28/lemon-spiced-middle-eastern-style-popcorn/

Grilled Peaches and Cream with Orange Blossom Syrup

Grilled Peaches and Cream with Orange Blossom Syrup

Guys! It’s summer time, which means lots of free time, friends, family, BBQs and tons of summer fruit. This month, I’m super excited to announce that I’m collaborating with some fabulous food bloggers and food-stagramers to bring you recipes inspired by our favorite summer fruit, Peaches!

If you haven’t tried grilled peaches, you’re in for a real treat! They’re perfectly warm and sweet. Add a touch of sweet eshta cream and top with orange blossom syrup for sweet Middle Eastern inspired goodness. You can swap out the sweet eshta cream for your favorite ice cream (I recommend vanilla) and top with cinnamon and walnuts. I’ve used eshta before in a strawberry eshta cream tart. The trick to the thicker consistency, is heating it up with some corn starch, whisking and then refrigerating to harden a bit. If you don’t follow these steps, you’ll be left with a thinner liquid … which isn’t necessarily bad, depending on what you’re using eshta for. 

So fire up the grill this summer, and add Grilled Peaches and Cream with Orange Blossom Syrup to your cookout menu. I promise this dessert will not disappoint. 

Grilled Peaches and Cream with Orange Blossom Syrup

Don’t forget to look at other peach recipes from these fabulous food bloggers, and check #summerlovespeaches on instagram.

Grilled Peaches and Cream with Orange Blossom Syrup

Grilled Peaches and Cream with Orange Blossom Syrup

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 can Eshta cream
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Starch
  • 2 teaspoons Orange Blossom Water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

    For the Peaches
  1. Half the peaches, and remove the pit
  2. Brush the peaches with butter and place on the grill, cut side down
  3. Cook until charred and softened (about 4 to 5 minutes), flip the peaches over and grill on indirect heat for another 5 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and set aside
  5. For the Cream
  6. In a small saucepan, mix together the eshta, orange blossom water and cornstarch until combined.
  7. Heat over low-medium heat and stir constantly until the eshta thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  9. For the Syrup
  10. In a small heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water and lemon juice
  11. Bring to a boil over medium high heat
  12. Reduce heat to low, add 1 teaspoons orange blossom water and simmer for 10 minutes (until the syrup thickens. You can test this by dipping the end of a spoon. If it coats the end of the spoon, it's ready)
  13. Assembly
  14. Scoop the chilled cream into each half of the peaches. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and chopped walnuts (optional), then drizzle with orange blossom syrup
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/06/29/grilled-peaches-cream-orange-blossom-syrup/

Arabic Potato Salad

I don’t have anything against mayo. I just really don’t like store bought potato salad. I think it’s more about the fact that despite potato salad being a savory food, the store bought kind is just too sweet. I just can’t understand it. I’m telling you, my taste buds get confused. Does anyone else find it odd that a lot of foods in America, as compared to Europe and the Middle East tend to be on the sweeter side. It’s like they add sugar to everything. Have you ever had store bought three-bean salad? It’s sweet! Completely mind-boggling to me. That’s why I prefer that homemade too. Europe and the Middle East do it right. They keep savory foods savory and completely separate from any sweetness. That’s the way I think it should be.

One of my favorite family BBQ is staples is Arabic Potato Salad. Yea, that’s what we call it. The recipe is something my Tayta taught my mom and it’s just kind of stuck. It’s a no-mayo alternative and has no sweetness included.

Summer Sundays were the best when I was in elementary and middle school. After an Arabic tutoring session with my aunt, we’d either have a huge Arabic-style brunch, or a family BBQ. Dad was master of the BBQ. Since then, my brothers have taken over. It was the best! Mom would prep the meats, usually marinated chicken, or steaks and some sides. Green salad, Arabic Potato Salad and corn on the cob. Everyone got together including my aunt and Tayta.

Arabic Potato Salad

Side note: Another favorite fan favorite is the Brazilian Potato Salad.

Arabic Potato Salad

 

Arabic Potato Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped Parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into cubes
  2. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with lightly salted water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Check for tenderness by piercing a cube with a fork.
  4. Drain the potatoes and place into a large bowl
  5. Mix in the chopped parsley, garlic and green onions
  6. Mix well, then add olive oil, vinegar and salt
  7. Toss to coat
  8. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.measuringcupsoptional.com/2017/06/20/arabic-potato-salad/

logo
Food Advertising by