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Iced Turkish Café au Lait (with Vegan Alternatives)
Iced Turkish coffee has been my go-to coffee recipe for the past few months now. I spent a majority of my 20s working behind the counter at Starbucks, and ever since I've been having to brew coffee at home again, I've found myself getting a little too creative with what I can do with my coffee knowledge. I love Turkish coffee. I love the punch it packs, I love the smell of it boiling over my stove, and making it is so much fun. Different from your standard Mr. Coffee machine, it really feels like you're an active and important part of the brewing process, even moreso than with a French Press. If you don't want to have to get a brass coffee pot to enjoy the taste of an iced Turkish latte, you really don't have to! Follow this recipe, and you'll be enjoying a nice and refreshing (and incredibly aromatic) iced latte inspired by the flavors of the Middle East. ------------------------------------ Iced Turkish Café au Lait 1/2 cup milk (or any non-dairy milk. I usually use Silk soy milk, unsweetened.) 1/2 cup half-and-half (or any non-dairy creamer. I usually use Trader Joe's Organic Soy Milk Creamer.) 1 tablespoon sugar 6 whole cardamom pods, crushed 1 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled (I prefer using the Turkish coffee brewing method, which I described in this card: http://www.vingle.net/posts/522373-Making-Arabic-Coffee-Kahwa-at-Home-Bonus-Fortune-Telling-Video -- However, any brewing method of your preference should work for this recipe.) 1. In a small saucepan stir together the milk, the half-and-half, the sugar, and the cardamom pods, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and let it cool. 2. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a small pitcher, stir in the coffee, and chill the mixture, covered, for 20 minutes, or until it is cold. 3. Divide the iced café au lait between 2 stemmed glasses filled with ice cubes.
The Gaza's Only Ballet School is Teaching Young Girls Order and Peace
Ballet - an artistic dance form performed to music using precise and highly formalized set steps and gestures. Classical ballet, which originated in Renaissance Italy and established its present form during the 19th century, is characterized by light, graceful, fluid movements and the use of pointe shoes. (Merriam Webster) Now, definition aside; Ballet requires practice, structure, and calm. It requires focus and work. All things are helpful in child development and growth. That's why so many parent in role their kids in dance classes right? Now, remove structure from your environment. Say you were born in the Gaza, an area known for destruction and change. You miss those pieces of development that allows you to grow as a child. Now, bring a dance school into the community. A place where you can bring back consistency and order. And that's exactly what Tamara, a Ukrainian that married to a Palestinian and living in Gaza, decided to do. Over 50 children are enrolled in her classes ages 5 to 8. “She had been suffering since the 2012 war and her condition got worse after last year’s war,” said Manal Abu Muamar, a mother describing her daughters nightmares and a fear of going to sleep. “After the first ballet class, she came home as happy as a bird. She did the moves she had learned and she was going around the house like a butterfly.” In a world of sad news and change, I hope this provided a little light in your day. @ButterflyBlu is smiling right now :) Anyone else think this is the cutest dance class ever?
Halawet El-Jibn (حلاوة الجبن), Dessert Rolls of Sweet Syrian Cheese
I love any Middle Eastern dessert that is made with sweet cheese and semolina, and this one is definitely high on the must-make list for all of you who might just be starting out making and learning about the desserts of the region. I love the little pockets filled with sweet Syrian cheese and just enough syrup to make this a very decadent dessert. If you don't live in close proximity to a Middle Eastern market, I will make sure to point out where you can make easy (and really common!) substitutions with ingredients from your local grocery store in the ingredients section. Halawet El-Jibn, Syrian Cheese Dessert Rolls (Makes around 12 rolls) INGREDIENTS: 1/3 cup butter 1/2 cup semolina 1/2 cup farina (Farina is the same thing as Cream of Wheat.) 1 pound fresh Syrian (Akkawi) or mozzarella cheese, sliced (You could also do a mix of mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.) 2 cups ashta custard (or marscapone cheese) 2 tablespoons pistachios, ground To make Attar (thin Arabic simple syrup) - 2 cups sugar 1 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon orange blossom water (or rose water), optional DIRECTIONS: 1) Start by making the simple syrup (also known as 'attar'). Mix the sugar and water and bring it to a boil. Add lemon juice and boil for 7 more minutes. When cool, add orange blossom water. 2) In a large pot over medium heat, cook butter, semolina, and farina for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of attar to the pot, stir, and cook for 3 minutes. 3) Add mozzarella to the pot, and cook, stirring vigorously, for about 3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Pour 1/2 cup attar onto a baking sheet and spread out to coat all sides. 4) Pour cheese mixture onto the baking sheet, and using the back of a wooden spoon, spread out to the size of the baking sheet. Cool for 15 minutes. 5) Run a knife down the baking sheet lengthwise, making two cuts in the sheet and forming three columns. Then make three more cuts width-wise, so you have 12 equal-size pieces. 6) Place 3 tablespoons ashta custard or marscapone at one end of each piece, roll, place seam side down on a plate.To serve, sprinkle each piece with ground pistachios and a drizzle of the remaining attar syrup.
Five Dishes From The Middle East That Foodies HAVE TO Try
Have you ever tried Middle Eastern food before? Maybe you've had some lamb kebabs or some turmeric yellow rice pilaf. Maybe you've tried dips like hummus or baba ganoush or tasty pita sandwiches like falafel and koufta. If you have, you probably noticed how flavorful and healthy Middle Eastern food is. Implementing fresh staple ingredients like mint, lemon, olive, and parsley, it's a cuisine that truly makes the most of the food available in the region. If you haven't, don't worry. I've decided to throw together a list of my five favorite dishes - with links to my Palestinian grandmother's REAL recipes if you want to try making them yourself! Musakhan Sumac-seasoned chicken roasted over a bed of caramelized onion and pita bread My favorite part of this dish is the fact the bread and onion is thrown into the oven WITH the chicken, which results in an incredibly flavorful combination with a texture that's truly unique to the dish. You can check out my recipe for it here. Warak Enab Rolled grapeleaves filled with ground meat, rice, and seasonings and steamed in a tomato broth Okay, if you've never had a Greek dolma or Vietnamese bò lá lốt before, the idea of eating a leaf might be a little weird to you, but grapeleaves are so delectably tender, they make the perfect wrap for this savory dish. Eat it with some plain yogurt for a little extra 'yum'! You can check out my recipe for it here. Mujaddara Lentil-based rice pilaf topped with caramelized onions While usually paired with grilled meat and vegetables of some sort, this rice is so hearty that it could easy be made an entree of its own. The best part about mujaddara is that all of its ingredients are pretty easy to find without having to locate a local ethnic market. You can check out my recipe for it here. Kofta Pita Grilled lamb or beef, ground and mixed with parsley, onion, and mint and served in a sandwich with assorted vegetables and tahini dressing As it's probably the closest Middle Eastern cuisine gets to hamburgers, you can commonly see these being served up with fries at your local halal shop. However, I personally like pairing it with a freshly prepared fattoush or tabouli salad. You can check out my recipe for it here. Maftoul Acini-de-pepe pasta prepared in a spiced chicken broth and served with chickpeas Yes, chickpeas can be used for a whole lot more than your usual bowl of hummus. Plus the beans provide a punch of fiber and protein to the dish, making it far more balanced than your usual pasta bowl. You can check out my recipe for it here. So what's your favorite kind of Mediterranean food? Do you live next to any good Middle Eastern restaurants? Let me know what you love about Arabic food in the comments below, and for more tasty recipes from the region, follow my Traditional Middle Eastern Recipes collection.
Shakar Lama (شكرلمة‬‎), Cardamom & Almond Tea Cookies from Iraq
If it hasn't been completely obvious by what kind of recipes I tend to post, I am completely in love with desserts and other sweet flavors that incorporate very tea-inspired ingredients. Whether it's lavender, orange blossom, bergamot, or cardamom, I love the unique fragrance it gives recipes and the subtle nod it sends to some of my favorites in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine. These cookies, simple butter cookies enhanced with the flavor of cardamom, are called quite a few names in the Middle East. In Iraq, they are called Shakar Lama and topped with a slivered almond or a roasted pistachio. In Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon, they are referred to as Hab-El-Hal and sometimes the nut is exchanged for powdered sugar or toasted sesame seeds. Whatever you call it or however you decide to garnish it, you will still end up with a completely satisfying plate of cookies that makes a perfect partner for your favorite cup of tea du jour! (I highly recommend serving it alongside a pot of this Lebanese cinnamon-anise tea.) INGREDIENTS: 1 cup rendered (clarified) butter or ghee (You should be able to find clarified butter at a grocery store like Trader Joe's, but check out this video if you want to clarify the butter you might already have at home.) 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 eggs 4 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 teaspoons cardamom powder Roasted pistachios or almonds for garnish, optional 2 tablespoons powdered sugar for garnish, optional DIRECTIONS: 1) Cream butter, eggs, and sugar. 2) Mix flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Add gradually to the butter mixture. 3) Add milk or water if needed to form dough (consistency of bread dough). Roll dough 1/2" thick and cut with cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. 4) If garnishing with nuts, press one slivered almond or one pistachio to the center of each cookie halfway through baking. If garnishing with powdered sugar, sprinkle it on top of each cookie once they have fully cooled.
Hindbeh bi Zeit (هندبة بالزيت), Lebanese Endive Salad (Vegan)
First off, I just wanted to thank you all for all of the positive feedback I've been getting from my Traditional Recipe collections. If you have a bit of a wanderlust spirit, but you can't really afford to get out there and travel, I think being able to cook the traditional foods of different regions is a fun and challenging way to feel a little bit more connected to these cultures. For those of you who don't know, I actually have two different Traditional Recipe collections, one for Middle Eastern Recipes (like the one you see here) and one for Asian Recipes, which includes cuisines that span from India to Japan to Malaysia. (For those of you who are looking for Vegan or Vegetarian content, all of my vegan recipes in these collections are labeled appropriately, so feel free to dig in with the rest of us!) The following recipe, as well as much of the other recipes in this collection, is from a small cookbook of recipes that has stayed within my family for many generations. Hindbeh bi Zeit literally translates to "Dandelion Leaves with Olive Oil", but for this recipe (and for your ingredient hunting sake), we are going to be working with endive, which is from the same family and shares that same bitter flavor that pairs extremely well with lemon and oil. This salad is so beloved in the Middle East that it is often pitted against other salads like tabbouleh and fattoush for the title of the region's favorite. Try this recipe as a healthy side to your usual dinner. You can even skip the cooking part entirely and eat this as a very light endive salad. Whichever works for you! Hindbeh bi Zeit, Lebanese Endive Salad (Serves 4) INGREDIENTS: 2 bunches of endive 1 large onion, chopped Juice of 2 lemons 1/4 cup of olive oil Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: 1) Wash endive well. Drain and chop. 2) Place in saucepan and cover with water. Let it boil for 2 minutes. 3) Drain in a colander and squeeze all water out. 4) Saute chopped onions in the olive oil. Add endive and saute for 3 minutes. 5. When cool, add salt, pepper, and lemon juice.