When I shared my tips on how to create a middle eastern antipasto platter I got quite a few questions about the crackers in the background. There were two types of crackers, the first is the  raincoast cracker and the other small square shaped ones are actually my favorite way to use up almond pulp. 

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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Bruschetta “pronounced bru’sketta” is a wonderful antipasto (starter dish) from Italy. Grilled bread is rubbed with garlic, drizzled with olive oil and topped with a variety of toppings that range from humble to luxurious: tomatoes, herbs, cheeses, flaked meat, marinated vegetables, it is really up to your taste and imagination. The only rule is, use something fresh, in season and have fun!

Since I often write about Arabic and middle eastern recipes and try to explain the link between the name and the actual recipe, I have developed the habit of looking up word roots! The noun bruschetta comes from the Roman dialect verb bruscare, meaning ‘to roast over coals’. It is believed that the dish probably originated in ancient Rome, when olive growers bringing their olives to the local olive press would toast slices of bread to sample their fresh-pressed oil.

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The most popular form of bruschetta uses a topping of tomatoes, basil and occasionally mozzarella cheese and though this is a heavenly combination, in my book the ultimate tomato-herb combo is tomato, mint and a touch of lemon juice.

As a kid this was THE salad on my mum’s Ramadan table. Fresh juicy tomatoes, loads of fresh fragrant mint, lemon juice, a dash of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. It does not get any simpler than that but try scooping some with a piece of warm pita bread ,the flavors are mind blowing.

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In the Middle East, breakfast is a big deal, especially on the weekend. Trust me, we take the most important meal of the day to a whole new level. It is almost a fiesta of flavors, colors and textures. If you have never started your day, Middle Eastern style, you are in for a treat!