Mamonia (Syrian semolina pudding)

Mamounia (Syrian semolina pudding)

Our Arabic Flavor  recipe for  the month of September was Mamounia, a wonderful Syrian dessert that comes from the city of Aleppo.

Mamounia is a smooth and velvety semolina pudding that is usually topped with cinnamon and nuts and it is served with string cheese, cream and pita bread. I know the idea of combining pudding with bread and cheese may seem odd  at first but keep in mind that this is a breakfast dish in Syria. The mamounia pudding is served early in the morning to provide a sweet start of the day that will  give you rnough energy to sustain you all day long. While the cheese and the bread are added to balance the sweetness of the mamounia.

That being said, I have never eaten mamonia for breakfast. I usually serve it as a dessert topped with chopped pistachio but you can use any nuts you like. You can also add a dusting of cinnamon and a dollop of cream, serve it warm for a wonderfully comforting winter dessert or you can serve it cold out of the fridge in the summer.

Whichever way you decide to serve it, mamounia is definitely a recipe worth trying, I do hope you will give it a try.

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Avocado salad dressing

Avocado salad dressing chef in disguise
The first Monday of the month always brings our secret recipe club reveal and for this month, I was assigned Edesia’s notebook. Lesa, the wonderful lady behind the blog lives in Wisconsin and has two adorable daughters. She loves trying out new recipes and that is why she started her blog in 2007, to keep track of all the recipes she experiments with. It was not easy choosing just one recipe but since It’s been a while since I last posted a salad dressing I ended up making her avocado salad dressing. 
You say avocado and most people would shrink away worried about the fat content but what many don’t know is that avocados are really a power house in nutrition. They are rich in fiber,  healthy fats (monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.),they are also very high in potassium (which should support healthy blood pressure levels). Added to that avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
I modified the recipe a little to fit what I had on hand, I used yogurt instead of butter milk, I added the juice of a lime, a clove of garlic and a touch of oregano and mustard. The result was a creamy velvety dressing that is loaded with flavor. We all loved it so much that I actually made it twice.
This dressing is thick in texture, if you would like your dressing to be a little thinner, you can add a little water or you can leave it thick and serve it as a dip with some vegetables.

Avocado salad dressing



1 cup low fat buttermilk (I used yogurt)
¼ cup of fresh parsley
1 medium avocado
1 green onion, green part only
1 lime juiced
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic (optional)
Salt to taste
Water to thin, if necessary


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. For a thinner dressing add more buttermilk or some water

Moravian Kolaches (Dvojctihodné / Moravské koláče)

kolaches with plum filling

The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!

Kolach are Czech traditional sweet treats. They come in three varieties,Pražský koláč (Prague Kolach),Chodské koláče (Kolache from Chodsko) and Dvojctihodné/Moravské koláče (Two Fillings/Moravian Kolaches).

Prague kolache is basically a cake like loaf filled with a rich pastry cream and topped with streusel. Chodsko kolach on the other hand is pizza like flat bread that is topped with jam, poppy seed and quark filling. Quark is a type of fresh dairy product, commonly used in some Europian cuisines. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of coagulation (denaturation, curdling) of milk proteins is met, and then straining the milk.

Morovian Kolaches are little buns that are filled with quark and are then topped with jam and streusel. I decided to make these because I loved the small portions. The kids loved having these in their lunch boxes or after school for a snack.

When you bite into these Morovian kolaches, you will fall in love with the soft and fluffy bun that is perfectly complimented by the creamy quark filling.The plum jam topping adds a beautiful color and a lot of flavor while the streusel adds a little crunch to make the texture more interesting.

Thank you Lucie for an amazing challenge, I know I will make these again and again

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Maamoul (date stuffed cookies)

date maamoul

You walk into the house and you’re immediately enchanted by the smell coming from the kitchen, you close your eyes and take it in:Gentle spices, orange blossom water, mastic.the scent of maamoul cookies baking!

You hear the familiar sound of the wooden maamoul molds being banged time after time. The sounds of Laughter and chatter draw you to kitchen. There you are greeted by smiling faces and mounds of beautifully decorated cookies waiting for a final dusting of powdered sugar, that will make them almost too pretty to eat. Almost!

You snatch a few ignoring the advice :”don’t ruin your dinner”.No dinner can compete with freshly baked maamoul!

You join in the fun and allow the worries of the day to melt away.

Eid is on the way .


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Think inside the box:10 back to school freezer meals

back to school freezer meals from chef in disguise

I am horribly terribly late in posting my daring cooks and bakers challenges :( I make the challenges in time for the reveal but finding the time to sit down and write the post has proven to be an elusive task.So for this week,  I am trying to catch up on posting my challenges.

This month, the Daring Cooks challenged us to think inside the box – the icebox, that is! Audax taught us some really cool tips and tricks for stocking our freezers with prepare-ahead meals that can keep our taste buds satisfied even during the busiest of times.

This challenge could not have come at a better time, as we head back to school  (I can’t believe how quickly this summer has slipped by) a bit of organization can be  a life saver in those busy first few weeks.

10 great back to school freezer meals from chef in disguise

In this post I will share a collection of my favorite freezer recipes that I usually prepare around the end of summer to help me ease back into the busy school routine.

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