I am sorry for not posting on Tuesday last week and yesterday. There is so much that has been happening on so many levels and I needed some time to step back and think.

I was going to write about all the things that have been weighing on my mind, the news and terrible images from Aleppo, the news from Jordan, some personal defeats and betrayals that hurt..But since the world seems to have so much hate and ugliness at the moment, I have decided to shift my attention and focus on the beauty around me instead of feeding the ugliness. It seems that the need to slow down and focus on the full half of the cup increases with every passing day and in that spirit, I am sharing a few pictures I took over the past week of things that brought me joy. I do hope that you’ll take a moment to slow down and enjoy them and if you have an extra minute, share a beautiful moment that you have experienced this past week with me in the comments. I really can’t tell you how much joy your comments and support mean to me.

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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.

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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.

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”)

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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.
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I came across this video last night and it really got me thinking. If I could go back in time to give my younger self some advice, what would I tell her?

Before watching the video, I think I would have handed my younger self a looooong list of “mistakes” to avoid and people to steer completely clear of . There was so much in my past that I wished I could change.(Something I think most of my readers can relate to)

The kid in video, when faced with the list of mistakes, crumbles it and asks his older self a few questions that completely change his perspective.I decided to use the kid’s reasoning, and ask myself the same questions

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Ftoot is a type of bread popular in Palestine. The name ftoot means crumbled and it refers to the crumbled cheese infused through out the bread.

Last year, when I shared the Nabulsi recipe for ftoot ,I promised that I’d share my mum’s recipe for ftoot which is my go to recipe for this bread and it is a little different from the Nabulsi version. Well I’m finally doing that today 🙂 but before I do, allow me to take you on a little trip

I told you in my previous post that we were planning a road trip. Since Eid was on Wednesday we had a long weekend and we decided to take the kids on a road trip to Abu Dhabi the capital of the UAE.

Abu Dhabi is about 270 km from Ras Al Khaima and since the kids and I  have never been to it during our 2 year stay in the UAE, we were really looking forward to the trip.

Abu Dhabi -like Dubai and most major cities in the UAE- is famous for its modern sky scrappers ,shopping mega-centers  and themed amusement parks and though all of that was fun to visit, the part I enjoyed the most in our 3 day trip was our visit to  the city of masdar (the eco friendly city of the future) and our tour in the Sheikh Zayed grand mosque which is a true architectural master piece.

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