The December 2016 Daring kitchen challenge was to make Dutch Oliebollen (commonly called Dutch Donuts). Traditionally, these little sugar dusted apple and raisin studded spheres of bliss are  eaten throughout the winter months in the Netherlands but particularly on new year’s eve.

I have missed so many daring kitchen challenges this year. I was determined not to miss this final challenge! But more importantly, a very dear friend of mine is from the Netherlands. When I saw the title of this challenge I just knew I had to make it, for her, so Margret if you are reading this, this post goes out to you.

Dutch donuts.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

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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The part I love the most about exploring any cuisine is trying recipes that I would have never tried or would have never associated with that particular cuisine had it not been for this whole blogging adventure.

Today’s recipe is a great example of that.

Some call it Saudi Pizza, others called aysh abu laham (which literally means meat bread,you see, aysh is bread in the Saudi dialect and laham means meat). A recipe popular in the Hijaz area of Saudi Arabia, particularly in Mecca. This recipe was our Arabic flavor assignment for the month of June.

When Salma (this month’s  host ) revealed the recipe, I honestly had my doubts. Pizza and the traditional Saudi cuisine seemed like an odd mix (I expected a rice based main meal or a date based dessert or a cardamom scented drink) But it turns out that there is so much more to the Saudi cuisine than that just like there is so much more than pizza and pasta in the Italian cuisine

Saudi pizza (meat, tahini and chives galette)