Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Ships landed in Egypt this month. Walima July Challenge

the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa , with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Western Asia. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in
Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 76 million[1] live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable agricultural land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely-populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Egypt is famous for its
ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx. The southern city of Luxor contains numerous ancient artifacts, such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural nation of the Middle East.
Egypt possesses one of the most developed economies in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal rates in national production.[
citation needed] Consequently, the Egyptian economy is rapidly developing, due in part to legislation aimed at luring investments, coupled with both internal and political stability, along with recent trade and market liberalization.

the July Challenge is brought to us by Chahira Daoud, from Chahirakitchen.blogspot.com, she choose two recipes Koushari as the savoury dish, and the Basboussa for dessert.


Is not just one of the most delicious dishes in Egypt but it is also one of the cheapest meals in Egypt. housewives make it at home because it is cheap and it is much cleaner than the ordered koshary. Our challenge this time is about Egypt as all of you knows, so I wanted this time to present to you the main recipe for our Egyptian Koshary dish, please follow the recipe but I need from you different ideas in presenting this dish, it is up to your imagination, change in the presentation of the dish or add for it a side dish, it is you choice now !!First,


-1 cup brown lentils
1 cup rice (Egyptian rice)
1/8 kg ditalini pasta

For the fried onions :

2 big onions and some oil for frying it.
About a 1/4 cup of vegetable oil.

For the salsa or tomatoes sauce:-

2 cups tomato juice.
1good onion chopped very finely.
2 garlic cloves, finely crushed.
2 TBS vinegar (white vinegar).
vegetable oil, salt, pepper, cumin, hot chili.

For Dakka:-

a cumin, vinegar, garlic sauce2 TBS cumin seeds crashedHalf a cup of vinegarHalf a cup of hot water1tsp of hot chili- salt and pepper 4 garlic cloves


Cook lentils in salted water until tender. Strain.In a rice pan stir the washed rice in a tablespoon of vegetable oil then cover it with water put some salt and let it cooked till boiling then Cook it on a very low flame until tender.Cook macaroni, strain, rinse, and strain again.Place these three ingredients in a cooking pot. Fry onions (in a separate pan) to a brown , then remove the onions onto absorbent paper and strain the oil into the lentil /rice/pasta mixture. Return the pot to the flame and cook for 7-10 minutes, keep the flame always low.

To prepare tomato sauce:-Saute onions until soft, then add garlic and fry to a pale brown. Add tomato juice and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce is cooked and becomes thick . Add vinegar and seasonings and cook 2-3 minutes longer.

To prepare Dakka:-Take garlic cloves and hit them with the end of the knife, but don't break them up. Add into white vinegar and water mix. Add some cumin and coriander into the vinegar as well as salt and pepper and hot chili. Stir and let it aside.Serve the dish by topping each individual plate "rice/pasta/lentil" with tomato sauce and fried onions. Sprinkle it with some whole cooked chickpeas.Serve it with a bowl full of Dakka so you can add from it the quantity you need in your plate.

For more photos about this recipe please check the rest of the Walima members for their posting.


One of the most famous dessert dishes in Egypt, you can find it in other Arabic countries but with different tastes and different flavors as well as different names.I am presenting to you this time the Egyptian basbouussa

The ingredients:-

2 and half cups of fine Semolina flour

A half cup of all purpose flour

1 and half TBLSof baking powder

.A half cup of coconut

A 3/4 cup of ghee " natural ghee" or you can use butter instead of it but you have to make it one full cup "softened at room temperature"

1tsp of vanilla.

One cup of yogurt.

Half cup of sugar.

For the syrup:

-2 and half cups of sugar

2 and half cups of water

1 tbls of lemon juice.


Tahini and some butter to grease the baking tray.


Mix the semolina- flour- baking powder- coconut- sugar- butter or ghee- yogurt- vanilla, mix it well with your hands, don't be afraid it will not bite you….LOLJust to feel the batter and to enjoy it as I always do.Grease very well your baking tray with a mix of butter and tahini, you can use just Tahini.Pour your basbouusa dough and spread it using your hand to cover and fit your baking tray.Garnish it with nuts and candied cherries, it is up to you, I love it with walnuts, hazelnuts and candied cherries. Take care and insert your nuts or fruits very well by pushing it down.Keep your basbouusa tray for 6 or 7 hours before baking it.

To prepare the syrup:-In a pan put the sugar with the water , on the stove stir it until the sugar crystals dissappear then let the spoon and add the lemon juice, let it boil till it reaches the thread point stage , add some

vanilla . Keep it warm when pouring it over the basbouusa tray, it should be hot too.Bake basboussa in a preheated oven on 230C or from middle to middle high temp.Pour the warm or hot syrup over the hot basbouusa tray, and Enjoooooooooooy !!!But you have to wait or you'll burn your tongue dear ;))))Decorating and serving your dish is the subject of our challenge so please do your best to add to the dish some about you, the story you had while preparing the dish, and even if you did not like it, tell us or send it to me I would be soooo grateful.Thanks fellows and hope you'll enjoy my egyptian dishes.

*** I prepared two tray of the Basboussah, one mixed with the Yogurt and the second one I used a whole can of Coconut Milk instead to balance the flavour of the coconut inside the dessert.... I leave you with the photos....

Awesome in both flavours..... Ginan Kawi Kawi - as the Egyptian will say....

It's cookie time - July Daring Bakers Challenge

This was a true fun challenge, when you get to play with your food, if you have children , this will be a nice project to do with them... what can be better than digging your fingers in chocolates,
and licking them one by one...... of course the Mallow Cookies...

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil
1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water. Milan Cookies Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

I doubled the recipe as I wanted to experiment with different flavours...
My husband told me that he used to eat them stuffed with strawberry jam...
To be honest with you, I never tasted these cookies before and its was all new flavours to me..

1- For the first flavour I used peanut butter with chopped roasted caramel peanuts, mixed together , then covered the top of the cookies... then I added the marshmallows, which was very tricky to use when it was warm, it melted the peanut butter and both started to drip , I had to redo couple of cookies.... after the stuffing cooled completely I dipped them in dark and semi sweet chocolate then topped them with Roasted Peanuts.

2 - the second flavour I made chocolate ganache and added some mint liqueur to it to get the chocolate mint flavour, I wanted to add the mint to the marshmallow but I wasn't sure if it will be easy , so I choose to use it in the chocolate instead... after the chocolate set in the freezer for a while, I added the marshmallows and let it cool before dipping them in semi sweet and milk chocolates....

3- I still have another batch of cookies in the freezer, I want to try the Dulce DE Leche flavour with the marshmallow , and maybe some with strawberry jam...
I am running out of time and my husband is waiting for me to clean the chocolate bowl (upppppssssss) I cannot keep him waiting all night....

Sorry I cannot show you the inside.. the chocolate is still warm ..................but we couldn't wait any longer, its 11.00 pm, but we had to try one and another and another before the chocolate set...who cares if its messy.........

its good and its fun, and I wish I have more time to play with my food......but I do two farmer's markets and I take private orders.... I will try to prepare the other batch soon and share with you ...Promise.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Healthy information for the body & Soul

... DRINK WATER ON EMPTY STOMACH It is popular in Japan today to drink water immediately after waking up every morning. Furthermore, scientific tests have proven a its value. We publish below a description of use of water for our readers. For old and serious diseases as well as modern illnesses the water treatment had been found successful by a Japanese med ical society as a 100% cure for the following diseases: Headache, body ache, heart system, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fatness, bronchitis asthma, TB, meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, ga str itis, diarrhea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer and ear nose and throat diseases.

1. As you wake up in the morning before brushing teeth, drink 4 x 160ml glasses of water .....interesting
2. Brush and clean the mouth but do not eat or drink anything for 45 minutes
3. After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.
4. After 15 minutes of breakfast, lunch and dinner do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours
5. Those who are old or sick and are unable to drink 4 glasses of water at the beginning may commence by taking little water and gradually increase it to 4 glasses per day.
6. The above method of treatment will cure diseases of the sick and others can enjoy a healthy life.

The following list gives the number of days of treatment required to cure/control/reduce main diseases:
1. High Blood Pressure - 30 days
2. Ga str ic - 10 days
3. Diabetes - 30 days
4. Constipation - 10 days
5. Cancer - 180 days
6. TB - 90 days
7. Arthritis patients should follow the above treatment only for 3 days in the 1st week, and from 2nd week onward s - daily. This treatment method has no side effects, however at the commencement of treatment you may have to urinate a few times. It is better if we continue this and make this procedure as a routine work in our life. Drink Water and Stay healthy and Active. This makes sense .. The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals ..not cold water. Maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating!!! Nothing to lose, everything to gain... For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed . It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks: Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive...

Healthy Fruits for the Body & Soul


Apples protects your heart, Prevents constipation, Block diarrhea, proves capacity joints, lung cushions
Apricots Combats cancer, Controls blood pressure, Saves ur eyesight, Shields against alzheimer's , Slow aging process
Artichokes Aids digestion,Lower cholesterol, Protects your heart, Stabilizes blood sugar, Guards against Liver disease
Avocados Battles diabetes, Lowers cholesterol, Helps stops strokes, Controls blood pressure, Smoothes skin
Bananas Protects heart, Quiets a cough, Strengthens bones, Controls blood pressure, Blocks diarrhea
Beans Prevents constipation, Helps Hemorrhoids, Lowers cholesterol, Combats cancer,Stabilizes blood sugar
Beets Controls blood pressure, Combats cancer, Strengthens bones, Protects your heart, Aids
weight loss
Blueberries Combats cancer, Protects your heart, Stabilizes blood sugar, Boosts memory,Prevents constipation
Broccoli Strengthens bones,Saves eyesight,Combats cancer, Protects your heart, Controls
Blood Pressure
Cabbage Combats cancer, Prevents constipation, Promotes weight loss, Protects your heart, Helps hemorrhoids
Cantaloupe Saves eyesight, Controls blood pressure,Lowers cholesterol, Combats cancer, Supports immune system

Healthy Juices - are good for the Body and Soul

Here are some healthy , delicious Juice recipes for your smartness & physical fitness.
Prevention is better than cure.

Carrot + Ginger + Apple - Boost and cleanse our system.
Apple + Cucumber + Celery - Prevent cancer, reduce cholesterol, and eliminate stomach upset and headache.
Tomato + Carrot + Apple - Improve skin complexion and eliminate bad breath.
Bitter gourd + Apple + Milk - Avoid bad breath and reduce internal body heat.
Orange + Ginger + Cucumber - Improve Skin texture and moisture and reduce body heat. Pineapple + Apple + Watermelon - To dispel excess salts, nourishes the bladder and kidney.
Apple + Cucumber + Kiwi - To improve skin complexion.
Pear & Banana - regulates sugar content.
Carrot + Apple + Pear + Mango - Clear body heat, counteracts toxicity, decreased blood pressure and fight oxidization .
Honeydew + Grape + Watermelon + Milk - Rich in vitamin C + Vitamin B2 that increase cell activity and strengthen body immunity.
Papaya + Pineapple + Milk - Rich in vitamin C, E, Iron. Improve skin complexion and metabolism.
Banana + Pineapple + Milk - Rich in vitamin with nutritious and prevent constipation