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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When I posted the batheeth recipe, I promised you more recipes from the UAE and the Arabic peninsula and this is the first in a series coming your way over the next few weeks.

I have to admit that the popular Emirati recipes are growing on me, be it batheeth, Masoub, karrak tea or the long list of rice and spice dishes that are so popular here.

Today’s recipe is one that my kids got me to try. After a cultural day at school they came home super excited about masoub, logaimat and khameer bread (I know this sounds like gibberish now but I promise to dedicate a post to each and every one of these recipes)

Masoob by chef in disguise

Knafeh has got to be the recipe I get the most questions about and requests for! and that’s no wonder because  it is one of the most addictive Arabic and middle eastern desserts.

What I try to explain to most people when they ask me is that knafeh is not a single dessert. It is actually a broad category of desserts. There is knafeh naameh (which means smooth knafeh and that refers to the texture of the dough used to make the crust), knafeh khisneh (rough knafeh)-both the naameh and khisneh are filled with cheese-, knafeh othmanieh (Ottomali Knafeh) which is filled with ashta or cream, knafeh asabe3: rough knafeh dough  formed into mini logs filled with cheese or cream ,and last but not least,today’s recipe: Arabic knafeh or Gazan knafeh which is filled with walnuts and spices.

Knafeh ghazawieh (Arabic knafeh)

For the July daring cooks challenge, Kouky from “Cuisine à 4 mains“,challenged us to make Griwech, a popular Algerian dessert that is a full flavoured delicacy that has both a melt-in-the-mouth and a crispy texture

“Griwech” in Algerian Arabic means” crunchy”. These beautifully shaped pastries are made from a yeasted dough that is shaped, fried and then sweetened with orange blossom water flavored honey. The golden exterior is crunchy but the center is soft and chewy. .They are kind of similar to awameh if you have ever tried it.You bite into them, the crunchy outside crackles and you get a little burst of orange blossom honey perfectly balanced by the light and fluffy cooked dough. Simply addictive!

For the past 4 months I have been keeping a secret from you but now is finally the time to share it. If you follow me on facebook you probably already know  🙂 Two of my dear friends and I  have been working on an e-magazine: Darna magazine. The first issue was published on June 10th and you can read it on issuu.com