Vacation ≠ Time Off

Apologies, apologies…

Vacation season is almost at its end. But don’t be fooled by the concept of “vacation”, it seems to only apply to others (parents with children off school or nursery should know what I’m talking about!).
Now that Karma’s one month vacation is about to end, we are getting ready to take the first step… in the long journey through school years. Karma’s first day at school is next Monday :)

Looks like it is, after all, the season for major changes around here. The commotion is not about to end anytime soon, and I will have to ask for an extension of “blogging vacation” till early October. The reason for this is a very exciting one: we will be moving houses before the end of the month! As there is going to be loads of works, packing, reorganizing, etc… I am sure you’ll all understand that I may not be able to spend much time online. But you can be sure that I’ll be stockpiling material for new posts along the way (especially when you know that we’ll be setting up our new little kitchen, which I love already!!!!).

So expect lot of posts about kitchen planning, organization and space management, but also some book reviews (a couple of must-reads I’m impatient to tell you about), and of course the essential “kitchen buzzes” – I’ve been up to quite some gratifying experimentations lately; recipes to come soon!

I hope september will bring some well-needed freshness to you all, nothing but good changes… and hopefully some settling down by the end of it!

cmd-alt-mehshe: The Unstuffed Shortcut

We all love mehshe (in arabic محشي, to be pronounced me7she). Mehshe koussa, mehshe wara2 3enab, mehshe malfoof,… the list is long! In english, it would translate to stuffed courgettes, stuffed summer squash / marrow, stuffed vine leaves and stuffed cabbage. These are considered standards of our dear Lebanese cuisine, which also includes stuffed aubergines, potatoes, bell pepper, swiss chard,… well, pretty much anything that can be stuffable!

The problem with mehshe is the preparation: not only does it require patience and dexterity (which a lot of people don’t have), but it is, on top, an extremely time-consuming operation which, let’s face it, does not fit in the hectic pace of our lives. If asked, most people would tell you that they would gladly eat mehshe EVERYDAY if they could, but they almost never make it themselves. They usually only eat it  in restaurants or at family gatherings (moms, grandmas and aunties, for some reason, always have the time to make mehshe…). Continue reading

Homemade Goodies Giveaway!

Yes, GIVEAWAYS. From my kitchen to yours!

All you need to do is contact me, either by leaving a comment or sending me a message to let me know what it is that you want from the goodies I’m giving away. We’ll discuss pick-up delivery accordingly. Easy as pie!

Quantities are very limited (as it is my own personal stock we’re talking about here), and most products have a very limited shelf life, so you need to hurry. I’ll have to proceed on “first come, first served” basis, and everything needs to go in less than 2 days!
(In case you’re wondering, I need to free up some shelf space in my fridge…). Continue reading

The Full Story

More and more people have been asking me health related questions lately: either questions about my history with food intolerance or Coeliac disease, questions about the symptoms I experienced and the tests I underwent; questions about the GAPS diet which I’ve been following for nearly 2 months now, its rationale and its actual impact on my condition. Most of the time, these questions seem to arise from people who are suffering “unclassified” yet consuming symptoms, and don’t know to whom to turn anymore, what doctor they should see, or what tests they should do. They simply want to know what could be causing their problem, and do something about it. But this quickly turns out to be an arduous quest, in some cases, a real Sisyphean endeavour.

I feel that these people are becoming more numerous. More and more often, I hear someone complaining about their health: be it gastrointestinal problems, weight issues, skin conditions, sensitivity of sorts, unusual fatigue, migraines, recurrent illness, depression… The list is long, and includes complaints so common that most people relate to at least one. Continue reading

Green Muesli

To tell you the truth, the day right after I published the post about the homemade muesli in May, Karma asked for the “green muesli” I had told you about. I took photos and kept them in my “food photos archive” (which is, in a way, the waiting room for my blog). I think it is about time now to finally fulfill my promise.

This will give me the chance to finish that other (huge) post I’ve been writing and that’s been absorbing me… which explains my silence over the past two weeks… sorry about that!

This recipe I’m about to share here has quite evolved ever since I got the initial idea, a couple of years ago. It all started the day I felt like adding thyme to my bowl of cornflakes (which I always eat dry). The combination struck me right away as full of potential!!!
After a while, I tried to toss in some rolled oats, it gave it a nice body and a richer flavor. Then, I thought of adding cucumber to give it a “refreshing” twist. At that point, the base was established: grains, thyme and cucumber. Simple and tasty. Continue reading

Chocolate-Banana Quinoa Pudding

Here’s a recipe to quench your sweet tooth, because I sense it has been feeling ignored over the past few posts. Bones, avocados and fish are all good, but desserts, for some reason, are always the superstar.

Pudding is a great type of dessert, as it is very versatile. It can be raw or cooked like a custard, it can be smooth or textured (like our local rezz b7aleeb / رزّ بحليب , or rice milk pudding), it can be light and fluffy (on the mousse side), runny, jelly like, or firm as a soft cake.  Ultimately, it can be mixed or topped with a choice of fruits, nuts, cookies,… You can really unleash your creativity in puddings. Continue reading

How murky can fishy be?

It’s been happening more and more recently. Every time we have friends over in the evening, they seem intrigued by the “special” dinner I prepare for myself. Alongside all the dishes we put on the table, there’s always MY tray, with a bowl of soup, some eggs, avocado, weird mushy things, and a suspicious jar. The moment I open the jar, the curiosity in the eyes of our guests is instantly transformed… into horror, shooting thunderbolts that scream “what the f*** is that?!?”. I’m starting to get used to that sequence, yet I’m never bored to see the reaction on people’s faces when the stink trapped inside the jar hits their nostrils. They’re thinking “Is she really gonna eat that?”…

“Would you like to try some?” I backfire. “It’s fermented fish” I answer right before they ask. Continue reading