Lebanese Bread Pudding

I love pretty much any type of bread pudding…what’s better than bread that’s soaked in sweet goodness? Â Well, the Lebanese version of bread pudding is called Aish el Saraya and it’s full of flavor and is pretty easy to make. Â Toasted bread that’s soaked in a flavorful simple syrup and topped with a thick and creamy custard and an array of toasted nuts. Â Â It’s an easy recipe to prepare in advance for a party or get together. Â Here’s the recipe link:Â https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/aish-el-saraya-bread-pudding/ photo (88)

A nice way to make Cranberry Bread part of your Holiday Season

One of my favorite ingredients during the holiday season is cranberries!!! Now, on their own, they’re a bit tangy and pungent, but combine them with some citrus and sweetener, and you end up with a tasty treat. Â You an use them to make the traditional cranberry sauce, which is great on turkey or chicken, in a sandwich, or even on toast, but I like to make cranberry bread! photo (73) I actually learned this recipe from a book when I was 6 years old. Â Our school librarian, Mrs. Vanderveer, read a book to us called Cranberry Thanksgiving, and at the end of the book was the cranberry bread recipe. Â She photocopied the recipe for all of the students to take home. I remember taking it to my mom and telling her that we HAD to make it for Thanksgiving. Â My mom being the great mom that she is agreed, and it has been a tradition in our family ever since then. Â I even make a few loafs after Thanksgiving because I love having it for breakfast with some cream cheese. Â Here’s the recipe link, I don’t add the raisins, instead I add more cranberries. Â If you like it, just remember you found it here! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmothers-famous-cranberry-bread/

Hummus for the Holidays!!!!

_MG_9639 copy I know it’s so easy to just go to Costco or Trader Joe’s and buy a tub of hummus for your holiday party, especially when your tight on time.  But imagine all the praise and recognition you’ll get if you make your own and take it to a party…believe me, you’ll be the HIT of the party! And best of all, it takes less than 5 minutes to make it, and that’s faster than waiting in lines at the grocery store.  Just make sure to make a lot because it will go fast!  Now, there’s your traditional hummus https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/hummus-recipe/ photo (4) (1) Or you can serve it in a fancier way by piping it into little pie crust or phyllo crusts like this  https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/hummus-appetizers-recipe/ _MG_9625 copy Or you can make it a bit heartier by adding some major protein and flavor to the top of it by adding some ground beef or lamb.  I’ve even see some salads served on a “bed of hummus” and that gets people to buy the darn salad.  It’s super easy to add the meat to the top and it tastes so so so amazing!  https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/hummus-with-meat-recipe/ _MG_9632 copy Or you can even try ALL of the other hummus flavor recipes that are on my site like roasted red pepper hummus, cilantro jalapeno hummus, or white bean hummus https://dedemed.com/search-recipe/ Whatever recipe you choose, it’s sure to be a big hit at your holiday party!!!!

The final phase of PUMPKIN!!!

Now, I’m one of those people that completely stocks up on pumpkin stuff and I have a really hard time of letting go of the autumn season…I actually kinda get depressed when it’s over. Â But thank GOD for pumpkins! Â I purchased so many pumpkins this year and I have a bunch lying around the house, so I decided to bake them and just freeze the pumpkin meat for later use. Â The creative juices started flowing when I smelled the pumpkin baking and I was in the mood for risotto, so what better than to combine pumpkin and risotto! photo (71) So in a large pot, with a little bit of olive oil and butter, I sauteed some chopped onions, carrots, apples, and fresh chopped sage, for about 5 minutes. I then added about 1.5 cups risotto, and sauteed that for another 4 minutes. Â I then added 2 cups of vegetable broth, 1 tsp salt and turned the heat to low and let it simmer for 4 minutes. I added another 2 cups broth and 1.5 cups pureed pumpkin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp ground thyme, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, and stir. Let that all cook for another 5 minutes. Â Lastly, I add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and let that cook for another 4 minutes. Â Separately, I cooked 2 vegetarian breakfast sausage patties in the toaster over and added some maple syrup to them to give them a bit of sweetness, I then crumbled them up and set them aside. Â Pour the risotto into a large serving dish and evenly distribute the veggie sausage on top. photo (53) This makes the most amazing flavored dish. With the earthy pumpkin flavor, the combination of savory and sweet, it arises all of the tastebuds and makes your mouth very happy! Â So next time you think of something crazy to make, go ahead and give it a try, don’t be scared, you could come up with something really amazing!

Prancing around in New York

There’s a few more stops I made while in New York that I wanted to post about. Â I stopped by a wonderful sandwich/coffee place that I originally discovered in London, called Pret a Manger, they sell fresh sandwiches made daily, both hot and cold, and their stuff is organic. I have to say that their hot falafel wrap is pretty darn good! photo 4 (7) Then I had heard that Ralph Lauren opened a coffee shop in his store on 5th Avenue, and being the coffee lover that I am, I had to stop by and check that out too. Â They don’t have your large Starbucks selection of drinks, but they’re coffee is pretty good and they atmosphere is quite cozy. photo 3 (9) And of course when you’re in New York, you gotta have a New York bagel. Â This place had a long line, so you know their bagels had to be good. Â I ordered my favorite lox bagel, it was soooo good, even if they were out of capers. photo 2 (9) Yes, it does seem that I ate a lot while on my trip, but I promise that I walked about 5-7 miles a day while I was there, luckily I DID pack my walking shoes this time!

Zabar’s…My type of Candy Store!

Ok so I don’t know how many of you have heard of Zabar’s but it’s been in New York on the Westside for a very very very long time. Â It’s one of the first places I visit when I get to New York because it’s just that good. Â It’s been in a bunch of movies too, like one of my favorites “You’ve Got Mail”, when she’s in the cash line but doesn’t have cash, yep, that’s at Zabar’s. So there’s a sandwich/bagel place on the corner and then there’s the main store that’s huge! Â photo 2 (16)They have endless olives, hundreds of cheeses…and best of all is they’re coffee. Â It just has that wonderful donut shop feel but a lot stronger. Â They have this amazing bread/roll called babka and I love the cinnamon one, it’s the way to my heart.photo 3 (17) photo 4 (12) photo 1 (10) So give the coffee and babka a try…and explore all their other wonderful treats!

Chelsea Market and All it’s GLORY!!!!

One of my favorite places to visit in New York is Chelsea Market. Â Not only is Food Network located here, but what a great location it is. Across the street from the Google offices, and in Chelsea. Â This little gem hold so many interesting culinary surprises. Â From the specialty ice cream shop, to the pop up shops at the end. Â It’s filled with so many different national foods, tacos, seafood, pasta, donuts, spices, cookies…I mean the list is endless. Â Not to mention the amazing decorations, when I visited it was the week of Halloween so it was super spooky. photo 3 (12) photo 2 (12) photo 5 (3) photo 1 (13) photo 1 (15) photo 4 (8) The first place I decided to try was a place called the Doughnuttery, they have these amazingly flavored bit sized donuts, you have to buy 3 of each flavor (not a big deal because you’ll definitely eat them all), and they are made fresh in front of your eyes with this mini donuts assembly line. photo 2 (14) photo 3 (14) Then we ate at a wonderful restaurant called Rana, they make their own fresh pasta and have a wonderful seasonal menu. photo 1 (14) We ate burrata, kale ceasar salad, squid ink lobster pasta, smashed seasoned potatoes, and a spinach ravioli in a butter sage sauce. photo 5 photo 4 (10) photo 3 (13) We saved the best for last…the fried chocolate ravioli with the berry sauce…OMG is all I can say. photo 2 (13) Make sure to make Chelsea Market one of your main stops in NYC!

Sorry I’ve been AWAY for so LONG!!!

Hey Everyone!!! Â Sorry, I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been busy with some personal stuff. Â But I did want to show you guys my pictures of my recent trip to New York. Â I had a lot of fun food experiences there, so take a look at the pictures below and enjoy!!! Â The next few series of posts will be details pictures of things I ate in New York and wonderful places that I enjoyed! photo 1 (18) So here’s a picture of a plate of “street meat” from one of the most popular food stands in New York City! They’re located on 56th and 6th and they’re called Halal Guys. Â They’re the stand with the very very long line. One good thing about a long line is that that you know the meat has not been sitting there all day. Â And they have 2 stands nearby where they cook the meet and then transfer it to the main stand, just to keep up with the demand. It’s like 5 or 6 guys working 1 little stand. photo 1 (11) But they’re super nice and very generous. Â The plate I got was a mix plate of lamb/beef and chicken with rice and a side of the “tzatziki” sauce, which tasted more like ranch but it’s good. And they’re hot sauce it paralyzing but addictive. Â And this entire meal was for $6, probably the cheapest meal in New York. Below is a picture of the lunch line! photo 3 (11)Â So if you’re going to New York, you must give this stand a try, it’s work the wait, they get my thumbs up!

Hmmm…What to Cook Today?!?!?!

So the other day I told you that I had made my own batch of Greek yogurt, so now that I had all of that yogurt, what should I make for dinner? I could make fatteh, but my husband said he wasn’t in the mood for it, for whatever that means LOL.  So I decided to make Kefta bi Tahini, which is pretty much baked ground beef with potatoes and a tahini sauce, my husband calls this one of my Go-To recipes.  I have a small arsenal of recipes that I Go-To when I don’t know what to cook and I’m limited on time.  This recipe is easy and fast!  First I mixed my ground beef and formed it into finger size patties.photo 1 (8) I threw the beef patties into a casserole dish and into the oven. Next I sliced up my potatoes and tossed them with a little bit of olive oil and salt and threw those in the oven. photo 3 (6) Now both my potatoes and beef were done, so I added the potatoes to the casserole dish. photo 2 (7) photo 4 (4) Now it’s time for the tahini sauce.  I love tahini sauce because if you like lots of garlic you can add more, if you like lots of lemon you can add more of that.  This is were the yogurt comes in, it’s the base for the tahini sauce for this dish.  But make sure to add water to the sauce because it will definitely thicken when you bake it. photo 1 (9) I poured the sauce over the beef and potatoes and threw that into the oven.  While that was baking, I toasted some pine nuts in a little butter and I made my rice on the side.  When the casserole was done, I just sprinkled the pine nuts and butter over the top and voila! A beautiful and hearty dinner in under 30 minutes, and not to mention that my daughter loves this dish too! photo 2 (8) Now most of the time when I make this dish I like to use half ground lamb and half ground beef, but seeing that I only had ground beef on hand, I just used what I had.  This is a quick and easy recipe and it great for a weekday dinner when there’s little time to prepare dinner. Here’s the Recipe: https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/kefta-bi-tahini-meat-potato-and-tahini-casserole/

Why buy Yogurt when you can make your OWN!!!!

Now, I know we all have busy lives, and I definitely am busy. Â So one of the short cuts I usually take is that I buy my Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s. But the other day I had a gallon of milk that was about to expire, so I remembered that whenever that happened to my mom, she would just turn it into yogurt so that it doesn’t go bad. (Greek Yogurt Recipe) Â I poured it into a big pot, brought it up to a boil, added my starter and then set it aside and prayed. Â I hadn’t make yogurt in so long that I was hoping that I didn’t forget anything. Â I put it in the fridge and the next morning…POOF!!!! I had yogurt! photo 1 (7) The whey had nicely separated to the top and the yogurt was nice and thick. Â Now I like my yogurt a bit more sour, so I called my mom up and asked her, how do I get it to have a more sour flavor? She said uncover it for 2 to 3 days and make sure NOT to pour off the whey. Â Now I have a huge tub of amazing yogurt that I can use for so many different recipes or just enjoy as one of my parfaits. Â Not to mention it’ll save me some MONEY! photo 2 (6) Here’s the recipe:Â https://dedemed.com/mediterranean/mediterranean-greek-yogurt-recipe/

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