Nutty,  crunchy, slightly floral and not overly sweet. An irresistible combination that makes stopping at just one of these Babouches or blighate nearly impossible!

For the July Muslim food bloggers challenge, we were asked to make a recipe in which honey is one of the key players in terms of flavor. I have already missed the past 2 MFB challenges and was determined not to miss this one!
At first I was going to make a kale salad with a honey mustard dressing (my go to lunch lately in our 44 C summer) but the bag of sesame seeds that my mum sent me a few months ago to make karakeesh was never put to good use and we’re leaving for a vacation in three weeks, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use it up.

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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.

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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!

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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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By the time you read this, I will be in Amman. We’re finally going home for a 3 week visit. To say that I have been counting down the seconds is such an understatement. It’s been a whole year since I have last seen my friends and family and I miss them all terribly .As an added bonus the weather forecast predicts 46 C in the UAE while it Amman it will be 27C in the day and 19C at night! Yay!

I will be posting pictures of my trip on Instagram and I will share pictures and tidbits in my upcoming posts, do stay tuned.

Milk

Since it is the first Monday of the month, that means it is time for our secret recipe club reveal.My assignment for this month was Thyme for cooking by the lovely Katie. I loved going through Katie’s blog. She spent 1 year in Ireland,  7 years in Andorra  and 8 years in France. Her travels gave her a unique outlook on food and life in general .

When I was a kid, before globalization and the internet (yes , that statement does make my kids giggle and makes me feel old) whenever we had a special occasion and  we wanted to  buy desserts for it, the options were simple: Baklava, muhalabia, layali lobnana, eish al saraya , awwameh or another item from a long list of traditional Arabic desserts. These desserts were sold by specialty stores who displayed them in the most tempting ways. Sure they sold the occasional cake and some cookies  but these were never that fancy nor tempting when compared to the extravaganza of Arabic delicacies on display.

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Image from Hebron times

My favorite dessert, as a child was these little white rolls you see in the next picture. They are , velvety and almost melt in your mouth. Delicately flavored with orange blossom water, the creaminess from the filling is beautifully balanced by the nuttiness of the pistachios. They are  little clouds of bless. There weren’t that many places that sold these little beauties, so whenever we passed by one of the stores that did, my dad would buy me some

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