I will keep this post short and sweet (or actually savory!)

Shawarma has got to be one of the most popular middle eastern sandwiches, right next to falafel and arayes . Yet so many people seem to be intimidated by it! They are convinced that you can’t make great shawarma at home!

They couldn’t be more wrong
Today’s recipe is here to prove it!

There is nothing intimidating about making shawarma, it is actually one of the simplest and easiest Middle Eastern recipes in my book. It requires very little active working time. All you have to do is prepare the marinade, toss the chicken in it and leave it in the fridge. and you’re done! All you have to do the next day is cook it.

making-chicken-shawarma-at-home-is-so-easy-and-with-this-recipe-the-taste-is-amazing

Simple as it may be, this recipe has 3 secrets that will guarantee that you’ll get an amazing,  authentic , and juicy shawarma every time and these three secrets are:

Before getting to today’s recipe, please allow me to thank you …

After last week’s post I received so many  comments, messages and emails and I am truly at a loss for words. The kindness, concern and compassion that you have all showed was heartwarming and I deeply appreciate it. I am fine. I know so many of you were concerned that I sounded depressed or worse yet, desperate but I really wasn’t. I was just venting and I really appreciate the fact that you listened. Thank you.

I have been trying to write this post for a week! I was determined to finish it tonight, yet I have been staring at my screen for a couple of hours trying to figure out how to put into words the feelings that have overwhelmed me ever since the 9th of Nov.

I usually pride myself in my ability to use the English language to express myself despite the fact that it is not my mother language but for the first time in my life, I find myself at a loss for words. Unable to translate my thoughts and emotions into meaningful sentences! Cecilia so eloquently expressed in her post” I am an immigrant” how anyone who has lived through the experience of being an immigrant or an expat can relate to the deep rooted feelings of fear that the results of the American elections have stirred.

Roasted caulifower and pumpkin with spicy yogurt sauce.jpg

Growing up,the only association between pumpkins and desserts for me was  in the form of the traditional candied pumpkin that is usually served in the winter as a filling for a special kind of Palestinian bread called zalabia. You see, pumpkin in my book was associated with savory recipes like pumpkins and lentils in tomato sauce,and pumpkin frittata.It wasn’t until I started blogging that I was blown away by all the sweet possibilities!

Spiced espresso pumpkin bread.jpg

Lately my news feed has been flooded with cheese boards and antipasto platters! There seems to be a memo that I had somehow missed saying that Sept was the month for cheese boards!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love cheese boards and antipasto platters, there is so much room for creativity in terms of color combinations, flavors, and presentation and I am all for anything that allows creativity to run wild. Added to that, cheese platters and antipasto platters allow you to enjoy a little bit of everything without going overboard! A win win situation in my book.

So in the spirit of joining the fun, I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips and ideas on how to prepare the perfect Middle Eastern antipasto platter but before I do, I think I need to explain the last word in my post’s title: “Mezze”

In the middle east, breakfast and dinner (remember,Lunch is the main meal here) are usually served in a style called mezze which means a selection of small dishes that are meant for sharing.The word  mezze actually comes from the Turkish meze “taste, flavour, snack, relish”, borrowed from Persian مزه (mazze “taste, snack” < mazīdan “to taste”)

middle-eastern-anti-pasto

Isn’t it funny how a certain smell, flavor or image can conjure up a world of memories?

Somehow it is never the elaborate recipes or the fancy meals, it is a bowl of soup in your mum’s kitchen on a cold day, a cup of peach icetea across the table from a dear friend, a fresh loaf of bread from your grandmother’s oven, the cookies you made for your kids’ class and stayed up till 2 in the morning decorating and packing them, the salad you made for your best friend and forgot the parsley.
Kaek-tita.jpg

Despite the fact that there is no such thing as Autumn here in the UAE (the temperature is still dancing around 40C and the humidity is still brutal), when October rolls around, it flips a switch inside of me. I start to crave the smell of warm spices and things in brown and red hues!

You see, in my book , fall is almost as magical as spring! I know this may sound crazy but think of it this way: spring carries the hope and  promise of new beginnings while fall tries to teach you time and time again that sometimes you have to let go in order to grow and start over when your spring comes around.Letting go is not easy but even endings can be beautiful if you believe deep down that you have the potential to bloom again in spring