325. Iced Coffee

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Coffee shops can easily turn our favorite coffee fix into an expensive habit.
With a little know-how and creativity, we can concoct our favorite brew from the comfort of our own home.
I have made no secret of my delight in the wonderfulness coming from a can or sweetened condensed milk.
Here is yet another situation where its magical properties make everything better (after banoffee, cake, and dulce de leche). It is much better than trying to figure out the correct amount of coffee creamer and sugar to add, and then the dull task of dissolving them in… With sweetened condensed milk, just stir and go.
I also highly recommend making ice cubes from coffee instead of water, because this way your drink will not get diluted as the ice melts. Continue reading “325. Iced Coffee”

324. Mint Tea

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Having mastered the regular istikan of tea, a whole world of flavored tea opens up before your eyes.
One of the most popular is mint tea. There are also sage tea, as well as lemon tea, but mint is far more popular.
I don’t know why people associate mint tea so much with Morocco, when it is in fact an Arab infusion which has been inherited by Morocco. Continue reading “324. Mint Tea”

323. Green Monster Smoothie

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This is not your average diet-slash-detox smoothie.
This is your breakfast buddy for life. Take it form a converted skeptic.
First off, it tastes good. Even better than good.
Second, it is so filling and satisfying that you will not even be remotely hungry for a good five to six hours.
Third (which should probably have been first), it is uber healthy and absolutely packed with fiber and nutrients. Continue reading “323. Green Monster Smoothie”

322. Shineena: Yogurt Drink

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Shineena (شنينة) is a very popular yogurt drink in Iraq. It is also known as ayran (عيران) in Turkey.
It is delicious and refreshing, and usually we make an entire jug, refrigerate it, and drink from it throughout the day.
If the shineena is not served right away, the water will separate from the yogurt, but this is easily solved by giving it a stir. Continue reading “322. Shineena: Yogurt Drink”

321. Orange-Pomegranate Juice

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Have you ever tasted something and were so impressed by it that you just had to ask the person how they made it? And after they tell you, you think “really? That’s so easy!”
I get that alot, and it’s not nice.
I suppose that’s what appreciation really is, be it simple or not.
Learning is wonderful, especially from the most unexpected of circumstances when you’re not looking for it.
Because in reality, simple things can be truly magnificent and utterly unexpected. Continue reading “321. Orange-Pomegranate Juice”

319. Swiss Roll Cake

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This swiss roll cake recipe is so basic that it’s the epitome of simplicity.
The original recipe called for three (three!) ingredients for the sponge, plus jam for the filling.
Eggs, sugar, and self-rising flour. I added a bit of vanilla and baking powder, since I only had regular flour on hand. My advice is that since the recipe is so simple, use only the best jam available (home-made is usually best). The flavor of the jam is purely up to you. Continue reading “319. Swiss Roll Cake”

318. Cold Stuffed Vineleaf Appetizer

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I am almost sure that every culture existing and has ever existed has some form of stuffed food in their repertoire.
Italian stuffed calzone. French stuffed mussels. British stuffed leg of lamb. Chinese stuffed springrolls.
Japanese stuffed sushi. Mexican stuffed jalapenos.
Arabic stuffed dolmades, pigeon, cabbage, courgettes, aubergineswhole lamb, vineleaves, potatoes, kubba, and even cucumbers, among many others (including dessert, like maamoul).
People have an undeniable favor towards stuffed foods.
Nawal Nasrallah was perfectly correct when she included a chapter in her encyclopedia-cookbook especially for stuffed foods. Continue reading “318. Cold Stuffed Vineleaf Appetizer”

317. Tarte au Citron

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Organization, method, and order are supreme.
Applying organization to even the most mundane of things, and method to the most trivial of tasks, and order to seemingly unimportant matters, makes life so much more pleasant to live.
I suppose this is something the French take to heart (mostly).
I happened to be grocery shopping some years ago while visiting in France, and like any mundane task of a grocery shopper, I bought a bag of lemons. This bag of lemon (and all the others as well), had a tag with printed suggested recipes to do with its contents. I got the tarte au citron (lemon tart) recipe. So I clipped it and saved it, not really believing in its authenticity or accuracy because it’s so simple… until I tried it.
Can I say I prefer tarte au citron to lemon meringue pie? I do. Continue reading “317. Tarte au Citron”

316. Dill-Cheese Flatbreads

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Herbs and cheese are a classic combination.
Mint and feta. Rosemary and Parmesan. Sage and goat cheese. Thyme and gorgonzola.
Dill and emmental?
Definitely.
Dill flat breads (خفيفي الشبنت) are an Iraqi favorite since almost forever.
Having tasted it made with the addition of cheese while at my cousin’s, I decided follow suite. Continue reading “316. Dill-Cheese Flatbreads”