Shishbarak ( ground beef stuffed dumplings in yogurt sauce ) شيشبرك



Shishbarak (Arabic: ششبرك‎, also known as Manti in Turkey, gulf countries and Iraq . It is a pasta made in Palestine, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq that has been described as a kind of local variation on ravioli or Perogies . After being stuffed with ground beef and spices, thin dough parcels or hats are cooked in yogurt and served hot in this sauce.
Making Shishbarak can easily be done . Assembling the dish is easy once the dumplings are ready, because the yogurt sauce and the rice can be prepared at the last minute.


For filling

  • 1/2 lb ground beef or lamb.
  • 1/8 grated onions and parsley.
  • salt, pepper and a dash of allspice and cinnamon .

For dumplings dough :

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4cup warm water
  • 1 egg

For the garlic coriander topping:

  • Coriander powder
  • Butter or oil
  • Dried mint
  • Garlic cloves mashed

Plain Yogurt and chicken or vegetable broth for the sauce


  1. Sift flour and salt over a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and the egg mixing with either hands or a wooden spoon.
  3. Keep kneading until sift dough obtained
  4. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two balls.
  5. On a working surface, sprinkle some flour and roll out the first ball as thin as 1 mm. in thickness (1/16 inch, if possible). Cut into rounds with a 1 inch cutter or a glass. ( see pictures down ) .
  6. Place 1/2 teaspoon of beef filling in center of each circle.
  7. Fold the dumpling into a half circle, pinching the outside edges delicately. Grab the two ends and pinch them shut towards the back of the dumpling. Place the dumpling on a greased cookie sheet.
  8. On a medium size pot, boil 2 cups of chicken or vegetable both.
  9. Add dumplings to the broth one by one, in a small quantities, so they would not stick to each other.
  10. Let cook for 10  minutes. 
  11. by using a big spoon with holes in it, take out dumplings from the pot and set aside.
  12. Reserve a portion for immediate consumption and freeze the rest in freezer bags. 
  13. Reserve broth.
  14. Place the yogurt in a large saucepan and add one tablespoon of cornstarch per pound and an egg.
  15. Place on low to medium heat and with a wooden spoon stir the yogurt in the same direction until it starts steaming and a bubble or two escapes.
  16. Add reserved broth and stir until combine .Turn off the heat and keep aside.

To make the garlic Coriander topping :

Heat a couple tablespoons of butter and olive oil and fry some mashed garlic cloves and some Coriander . When the fragrance of the mixture starts to rise, turn off the heat and set it aside. It should not take longer than 2 minutes.

Serving time! 

Heat the yogurt sauce very slowly, and swirl the garlic Coriander pesto. Throw the dumplings and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve over the cooked rice. And sprinkle some dried mint on top ….. Expect seconds and thirds! Enjoy !

Some people like to cook their filling mixture before stuffing, by browning the meat with the onion . and some like to bake their dumplings before cooking them in the sauce ( where I grew up, my mom used to add tomato sauce to the yogurt during cooking … Some times I cook Shishbarak her way, but I like it better with just yogurt sauce .


Buttermilk pie … فطيرة اللبن المخيض



    1 1/4 cups sugar
    1 cup buttermilk
    1/2 cup biscuit mix (recommended: Bisquick)
    1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter, melted
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    3 eggs
    Assorted berries or any other kind of fruit for decoration


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan.
    Put all ingredients in a bowl and blend for 1 minute with a handheld electric mixer.
    Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes.
    Decorate with fruits .

Lemon blueberry cake


What a cake!! DELICIOUS! Not too sweet – not too heavy – just perfect for Summer! And the glaze is to die for!! Can’t wait to make it again!


  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups blueberries, tossed with
  • 1 tbs flour


  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 -10 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • lemon zest (to garnish)


  1.  Heat oven to 350°F Butter a bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3.  In a stand mixer bowl with a wire whisk attached, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. 
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in flour in three additions, alternating with buttermilk and sour cream And beat for 2 minutes. 
  5. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into prepared pan.
  6. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of the pan. Turn out and cool completely.

Glaze: in a small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and corn syrup until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake and let it roll down the sides.

Tip: you do not have to buy a carton of butter milk just to use for this cake, you can just bring  a 1/2 cup of milk and mix it with 1 tsp. Of white distilled vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes. And you will have a homemade buttermilk instead .


Eggplant Parmesan



  • Oil
  • 2 large eggplants
  • All-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 quart marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces sliced dry mozzarella
  • 4 ounces grated Romano


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and heat oil in a large pan, Dutch oven or deep-fryer.
  2. Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Coat each side of the eggplant with the flour.
  3. In a separate bowl beat 4 eggs and dip the eggplant into the egg to coat both sides. Then take your bread crumbs and do the same to coat each side.
  4. Once the oil is hot, put the eggplant in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You can also use a deep-fryer and leave in for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Once all of the eggplant has been fried, get a rectangular baking pan and start the layering by adding the marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan, then the eggplant, more sauce, fresh mozzarella, Romano cheese, and continue to layer until you have reached the top of the pan. Top off with sauce, mozzarella, and grated Romano 


Place the eggplant into the oven and cook for 45 minutes.Enjoy with Garlic bread and a salad !


Mango pudding


This simple dessert captures the glorious flavor of mango like no other. Its texture is silky rich, and its flavor, simply wonderful.
Ingredients :

  • 2 envelops mango or orange jello
  • 1 tup 8 oz. Whip cream
  • 3 ripe mangos peeled and diced
  • 2 cups boiling water

Method :

  1. In the blender purée 2 mangos and leave the third one aside
  2. In a big bowl Add 2 jello envelops and 2 cups of boiling water . Stir until jello dissolve completely
  3. Add jello and whip cream to the puréed mango
  4. Mix until combine and no cream lumps
  5. Cut the third mango into small chunks and add to mixture
  6. Pour mango pudding in the serving dish and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving 

You can use puréed canned mangos, but I always prefer to use fresh


Sicilian style sardine pasta with bread crumbs



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb long pasta
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp drained capers
  • 2 cans sardines in oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley


  1. Bring large pot of water to boil and salt it. 
  2. Put half the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add garlic and then add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently,until golden and fragrant, less than 5 minutes, then remove.
  3.  Add remaining oil and onion to pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.Meanwhile, add pasta to boiling water and cook until just tender; drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Turn the heat under the onions to medium high and add lemon zest, capers and sardines and lemon juice . cook, stirring occasionally, until just heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add pasta to sardine mixture and toss well. Add parsley, most of the bread crumbs and some reserved water, if necessary, to moisten. 
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnishing with more parsley and bread crumbs.
  6. Enjoy!

Basbousa ( بسبوسة )



This is a very delicious dessert with a rich taste of butter and syrup . Long time ago an old friend gave me this recipe, and after that I tried a lot of recipes for this dish but non of them tasted the same.Once you start eating it, you can’t stop .

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 ¾ cup Semolina​​​-
  • ½ cup Sugar​​​​-
  • 2 sticks Butter​​ melted
  • ¾ cups Plain Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Syrup ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Method:
    1. Cook syrup on stove top for 10 min.

    1. Mix dry ingredients and pre-heat oven to 375 F°

    2. Add yogurt and mix until all combined, make sure there are no lumps.

    3. Use non-stick spray or 2 tsp Tahini to cover a 9” x 13” Pyrex pan

    4. Pour mixture into Pyrex pan and with the knife make lines on top of the batter to form diamond/square shapes

    5. Let rest for 45 minutes and bake until golden brown.

    6. Cut on lines and drizzle with the melted butter and then with syrup .

    Let stand 30 minutes and serve .


    Mille feuille




    • 1 1/2 box puff pastry
    • 1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoon cocoa

    Basic pastry cream


    1. Make the pastry cream and set aside to cool. Roll out each one of the three sheets of puff pastry . Meanwhile, line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place one sheet on the tray and Chill for 30 minutes.
    2. Preheat oven to 400F or 200C. Top the pastry with another sheet of baking paper and another baking tray and bake for 16-18 minutes . Set aside for 30 minutes to cool. Repeat until done with three sheets .
    3. In a bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, butter and milk to make the glaze. Once you have reached a spreadable but firm consistency, remove 1/4 of the glaze to a separate bowl. To that, add the cocoa powder. Add a drop more milk if necessary. Transfer the cocoa glaze to a small piping bag.
    4. Spread the white glaze on top of one of the cooled pastry strips. Spread evenly . Then pipe the chocolate across gently from side to side. Lightly drag a wooden toothpick down the length of the pastry, in alternating directions, to create the pattern.
    5. Spread the pastry cream over the remaining two pastry strips, creating layers of pastry, pastry and then glaze. Chill for 30 minutes. Use a large serrated knife cut the pastry into portions and then serve immediately.

    Serves 5-6

     Basic Pastry Cream 


    • 1 1/4 cups milk
    • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornflour


    1. In a medium-sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon. (Never let the mixture sit too long or you will get pieces of egg forming.) Add the cornflour to the egg mixture until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
    2. Meanwhile in a saucepan add milk on medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. Add Vanilla .
    3. Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30 – 60 seconds until it becomes very thick and it is hard to stir.
    4. Remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool. If not using right away refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days. Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.  

    Chicken pot pie



    Everyone thinks that “Chicken Pot Pie” is a meal that is served in a pie crust of some sort. This is not true. Those are “meat pies”. Chicken pot pie is actually a Pennsylvania Dutch dish and is more of a soup or stew. It is a little time consuming to prepare, but you make your own noodles, and in the end, talk about comfort food….


    • 4-5 chicken breasts or thighs if you prefer
    • 1 c chopped onion
    • 1 tsp celery seed
    • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
    • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or dried parsley flakes
    • 5 chicken bouillon cubes
    • 2 1/2 c flour
    • 3/4 stick butter, softened
    • 1/3 c (approximately) milk
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 egg


    1 For the stock:

    1. Fill a large dutch oven with about 2 quarts of water. Add the chopped onion, celery seed, garlic powder, parsley, bouillon cubes and the chicken. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and then turn down to simmer for about an hour, or until chicken can be easily removed from the bones.
    2. When chicken is done, remove from the pot, reserving all of the stock.
    3. Remove chicken from bones and cut into small chunks and set aside.

    2 For the noodles:

    1. Pour flour into a good sized mixing bowl and add softened butter and egg. Add about ½ teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste). Begin mixing using your hands, and then add milk.
    2. Completely mix dough with your hands until you reach desired consistency (you may need to add a little flour or a little more milk, depending…dough should not be sticky to the touch. If too sticky, add a little flour until just right.
    3. Flour your surface, then roll out dough with rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut slices the entire way across, and then the other direction, to form square noodles about 1-1/2″ square.
    4. Bring stock to a rolling boil, add potatoes and carrots, and a handful of the noodles at a time. Stir soup after each addition of noodles to help keep them from sticking together.
    5. Cover again with lid, and let cook for about a half hour to 45 minutes, or until noodles are cooked completely through and the vegetables are done.
    6. When all is finished, add the chicken once again, to heat through, and serve.
    7. Your broth will thicken up a little after you add your noodles.
    8. Enjoy!

    Chocolate cupcake with Raspberry butter cream icing




    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sour cream, or yogurt, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 tsp of instant Coffee granules, it adds depth to the flavor .

    Raspberry Buttercream

    • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons raspberry puree
    • 12 fresh raspberries


    1. To prepare cupcake, preheat over to 350F. Grease muffin tin or line with muffin liners.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    3. Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the oil and the vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
    4. Pour in the boiling water slowly. (Be careful not to add all the hot water at once or you will end up with scrambled eggs in the cake batter ) . mix until smooth and liquidy.
    5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, about halfway full. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely.
    6. To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla, heavy cream and raspberry puree, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.
    7. Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and Top with fresh raspberry.
    8. Enjoy!!😊