M’tabbak – Sweet Cheese Pastries

If you have been to Jerusalem’s old city, you may be familiar with m’tabbak, puffed pastries stuffed with sweet cheese and drenched in syrup. The traditional dough used for this recipe is often thinly rolled, filled with an unsalted goat’s cheese, folded into an envelope, brushed with butter, and baked in a hot oven. My…

Lemon, Turmeric, and Semolina Loaf Cake

The inspiration for this lemon, turmeric, and semolina cake comes from the traditional Lebanese ‘sfouf’ cake. The treat, which is traditionally made for holidays or special events in Lebanon, consists of a dense and eggless cake made with semolina flour, turmeric, aniseeds, and pine nuts. Intrigued by the combination of turmeric and semolina, I decided…

Zaa’tar and Cheese Flatbread – Fatayer Zaa’tar

This zaa’tar flatbread is characterized by a rustic combination of olive oil-infused yeast dough, fresh zaa’tar, and goat’s cheese. The herb and cheese are folded into the dough several times in a way that produces layers and layers of goodness. I love baking, almost more than I love cooking. There is something magical about how…

Red Lentil and Rice Porridge

This lentil and rice porridge / soup is one of my favorite dishes at the moment. It is so simple and pure, but incredibly comforting. I discovered it recently through family members and have been making it ever since. Msalwa’a, as some know it by, is one of those humble Palestinian comfort foods meant to…

Irkak – Lentil and Noodle Stew

Irkak ‘addas or ‘rushtayeh’ is a vegan Palestinian and Levantine dish as old as time. It’s a stew made of tender lentils, noodles, plenty of caramelized onion, lots of warm spices, fried garlic, cilantro, lemon, and pomegranate molasses. Wholesome, tangy, and deeply satisfying, it hits all the right spots. The noodles are traditionally homemade, but…

Mahalabia – Levantine Milk Pudding

Dreamy mahalabia, a creamy and aromatic pudding flavored with orange blossom, rose, pistachios, and honey. This was one of my favorite desserts as a child and it always brings back festive memories. Such as many Levantine sweets native to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey, this custard-like pudding is characterized by the combination of dairy and…

The Ultimate Classic Brownies

This classic brownie recipe is anything but modest. With no rising agents to lighten the load, the result is pure, unadulterated, dense, chocolatey indulgence. And that, in my opinion, is the best way to enjoy a brownie. This recipe makes for a deliciously fudgy brownie with a satisfying crackling surface. It’s also one that I…

Spiced Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

This butternut squash and lentil soup is here to remind you that fall is the best season of all. Golden sunsets, crisp air, and the many shades of golds, yellows, and reds show us the beauty of letting things go. They keep us grounded and help us better appreciate the present and all its splendor….

Roasted Eggplants with Green Chili Sauce and Vegetables

These roasted eggplants with a green chili sauce and summer vegetables were nominated by the James Beard Foundation for their summer contest, and I am so excited to finally share the recipe with you all.  This dish is perfect for bringing some freshness into the last days of summer. Satisfying, vibrant, and loaded with character,…

Date, Chocolate, and Rose Water Truffles

Sublime chocolate and rose water truffles. These are made to be consumed slowly and with no regrets. Sweetened with the deep caramel flavor of dates, they melt in your mouth at once. Here is an instant recipe for instant pleasure. INGREDIENTS/ MAKES 8 TRUFFLES 6 medjoul dates, pitted 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus more for…