Dates and almond squares … مربعات التمر و اللوز

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dates pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (14 oz.) can  Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 1/3 cup shaved almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a (13×9) baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. In a small bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and butter.
  4.  Press the mixture into bottom of prepared pan. 
  5. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. 
  6. Layer evenly with chopped dates. 
  7. Sprinkle the almonds on top and press down firmly with fork.
  8. Bake it in the middle rack of the preheated  oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9.  lift up with edges of the parchment paper to remove from pan and place it on a wire rack to cool down. 
  10. Cut into squares or bars 

Enjoy!!

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Banana chocolate chip bread … خبز الموز و الشوكولاتة

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Ingredients:

  • 3 medium size ripe bananas mashed
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • ١ cup chocolate chip
  • 1 banana sliced and some walnuts for decoration 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. In a big bowl, Add all ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the loaf pan.
  5. Arrange the banana slices and walnuts on top of the batter.
  6. Bake the loaf until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean about 60 minutes. 

Slice and enjoy with a cup of tea!😊

Chicken piccata …. بيكاتا الدجاج

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This mouthwatering chicken and pasta dish is very easy and quick recipe to make, it won’t take more than 20 minutes.  

Ingredients: 

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  •  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  •  6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  •  1/2 cup chicken stock
  •  1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
 

For garnishing :

  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon slices

Method:

  1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and thyme. 
  2.  Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
  3. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.


5.  Meanwhile prepare pasta according to box directions

6.  Into the pan add garlic and sauté for a minute. 


7.  Add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. 

8.  Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. 

9.  Remove chicken to platter over pasta. 

10.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and pasta and garnish with parsley and lemon slices. 

Enjoy!!!

Chicken enchiladas … انشيلادا الدجاج

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Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken 
  •  1 small onion, diced
  •  1 clove garlic, mashed 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  •  1 3/4 enchiladas sauce (recipe follows)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or Mexican blend for topping and filling
  • Chopped lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapeño pepper and sour cream for garnishing 

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  2. Prepare enchiladas sauce ( recipe follows).
  3.  In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Drain excess fat. Cube the chicken and return it to the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and sauté until onion softened. 
  4. Add chili powder, cumin powder, oregano, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. 
  5. Stir in sour cream and 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese and set aside. ( be sure not to season with a lot of salt because the cheese and the enchiladas sauce are salty).

   6.  Add 3/4 cup of the enchiladas sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex dish.    

                                      

7.  Roll even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas. 
 
5. Arrange in the baking dish. Cover with the rest of the enchilada’s sauce and 1/2 cup of the cheese. 

                                    


     

6. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper and sour cream.

To make enchiladas sauce:

  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1.  Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.
  2. Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and onion salt into the flour and chili powder until smooth, and continue cooking over medium heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt. 

Blueberry muffins with crump topping … مافن التوت الأزرق 

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These muffins are easy to make: Simply mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine them. You can easily replace the blueberries with other kinds of fresh fruit, such as raspberries or peaches.
Ingredients:

For crump topping:

  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  •  2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For batter:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  •  2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  •  3/4 cup whole milk
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Method:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line 18 muffin cups with paper or foil liners or spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2.  To make the crimps, in a medium bowl, combine the flour with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter, then pinch the mixture until it forms pea-size clumps. Set aside.
  3. To make the muffin batter, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and canola oil and beat with a handheld electric mixer at low speed until combined. Beat in the whole milk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and beat at low speed until the batter is smooth. Stir in the blueberries.
  5. Spoon the batter into 18 of the cups, filling them about three-quarters full. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of each one and bake for about 30 minutes or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the blueberry muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Turkish Gözleme.. المطبق التركي باللحمة و الخضرة

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Gözleme is a traditional savory Turkish flatbread,  made of hand-rolled  dough that are filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a griddle. The name derives from the Turkish word göz, meaning “compartment”, in reference to the pocket of dough.
Ingredients:
For the dough:

  •  2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  1/2 cup plain yogurt room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For Filling

  •  1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  •  1/2 lb ground beef
  •  1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  •  1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper شطة مجروشة
  •  2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  •  1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
  •  1/2 red bell pepper chopped
  •  1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1 medium tomato seeded and chopped
  •  lemon wedges and olives to serve

Method:
For the dough:

  1.  In a large bowl combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and stir in the yogurt and water. Continue mixing with a spoon until everything is well combined. If the dough is too dry adjust by adding a bit more water, start with a tablespoon at a time.
  2. Flour your work surface and knead the dough for about 3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside.
  3.  To make the filling, in a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, sauté onion until translucent.
  4.  Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the bell peppers, parsley, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir everything together and cook for another 2 minutes. 
  5.  Transfer the meat mixture to a wide dish and let cool slightly.
  6.  Meanwhile, divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each piece into a rectangle that’s about 12×10 inches.
  7. Spoon about 3 tbsp of the lamb mixture in the middle of the rectangle and spread it out a bit. Add some of the crumbled feta. Fold over the edges of the dough to seal. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
  8. Heat a large nonstick griddle over medium heat. Depending on the size of your griddle, add 1 or 2 of the gozleme and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  9.  Cut each gozleme in half diagonally and serve with lemon wedges.                                  Enjoy!

Zaatar (thyme) bread … مطبق الزعتر

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Zaatar bread … مطبق الزعتر . Is a Palestinian pastry mostly made in spring, which is the season of collecting fresh wild thyme. It is a flat bread stuffed with sautéed fresh zaatar leaves, onions and sumac and I like to add crumbled white cheese to mine. When baking these pastries my house smells phenomenal.

مطبق الزعتر الاخضر الفلسطيني

  • 2 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole weat flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbs powdered milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lukewarm water
  • More olive oil for brushing 

For filling

  • 3 cups fresh green thyme (zaatar)
  • 1 medium size onion diced 
  • 2 tbs sumac 
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • White cheese crumbled (optional) 

Method:

  1. To make the dough: in the mixer bowl add flour, salt, powdered milk and mix to combine.Make a well in the middle and stir in the yeast and honey and 1/4 cup of the luke warm water. 
  2. Let rest 5 minutes until the yeast mixture is frothy. Add the rest of the water with the olive oil and with the paddle hook attached to the mixer, mix for a minute.
  3. Replace the paddle hook with the dough hook and start kneading until a soft dough ball is obtained and the sides of the bowl are clean.
  4. Brush some olive oil on top of the dough and cover to rest for about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile start preparing the Zaatar filling.
  6. Take off the Zaatar out of the branches and wash it for 3 times by changing the water each time until the water comes out clean. 
  7. Get rid of excess water by squeezing the zaatar leaves between your hands.
  8. In a medium sized frying pan and on medium heat on the stove add olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. 
  9. Stir in salt, black pepper, sumac, and Zaatar .
  10. Sauté for a minute and transfer the Zaatar mixture to a plate to cool down.
  11. In a big tray that is brushed with olive oil, divide the dough into 8 equal sized balls.
  12. Brush a little olive oil on top of a clean surface and start rolling out each ball into very thin squares.
  13. Brush some olive oil on top of each square to help rolling out.
  14. Spread a table spoon of the thyme ( Zaatar ) mixture in the middle and top it with a tablespoon of the cheese.
  15. Fold dough the same way as in the picture.
  16. Keep repeating the same procedure with all the balls.
  17. Leave them aside to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
  18. With the roller pin flatten each square to make it bigger (as shown in picture).
  19. In a oven tray covered with parchment paper arrange the Zaatar squares and brush the top with olive oil.
  20. Bake in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  21. Arrange the Zaatar pastries in the serving plate and brush with more olive oil.

Enjoy!