Middle Eastern Spice Blends (Baharat)

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Left to Right, Top to Bottom:  Bay Leaves, Whole Black Peppercorns, Ground Red Pepper (Cayenne), Dried Ginger, Dried Ground Coriander, Whole Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks, Dried Limes, Saffron, Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Dried Ground Cumin, and Whole Nutmeg.

Photo (taken by yours truly) of Kebseh Spice Mix from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair.

When you think of the Middle East, exotic flavors and spices are probably high on the list of images that are conjured up. The intoxicating spicy smell of walking through an old market, sampling both sweet treats (like ma’amoul) and savory dishes (like shawarma) that are characterized by the perfect blend of alluring spices. Even enjoying a fresh pot of Turkish coffee you’ll get your fill of spice, in the form of cardamom.

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Date-Filled Cookies (Ma’amoul)

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Photo (taken by yours truly) of Date-Filled Cookies from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I bet your family has a favorite holiday cookie recipe. Maybe it’s Benne Cakes, Speculaas, Vanillekipferl, or Rugelach; no matter what it is, it’s probably very close to your heart. The memories conjured up by baking and eating the cookies are truly cherished. For my hubby’s family (and now for me!), this cookie is Ma’amoul....

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An Edible Mosaic: Virtual Book Launch Party {Giveaway of Over $1300 Worth of Items!}

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I feel so incredibly blessed beyond measure. I have wonderful family and friends, a job I love so much it doesn’t really feel like work, I’m part of an amazingly supportive community of food bloggers, and I have the best readers in the world. And now I have a book that contains a small piece of my heart and soul to hold in my hands and call my own. Truth be told, I’m still pinching myself because the reality of it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I am humbled, truly, more than words can express. All I can say is thank you to those […]...

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An Edible Mosaic Cookbook Launch!

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There’s no way I can sit still right now. I can’t stop jittering (and that’s before any caffeine!). I’m too excited to eat. I actually feel like heading out into our 30-degree-Fahrenheit weather and going for a run…and I am so not a runner, lol. My cookbook is out!!! It has over 100 authentic Middle Eastern recipes (with photos!), mostly taught to me by my wonderful mother-in-law, Sahar, during the time I spent in the Middle East after marrying. If you’re like me and you enjoy Middle Eastern food but didn’t grow up learning how to cook it, I explain things in an approachable way […]...

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Coconut Semolina Cake {A Mid-East Feast}

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Photo (taken by yours truly) of Coconut Semolina Cake from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. This cake is one of my hubby’s favorites, and along with Knafeh bil Jiben (a Middle Eastern sweet cheese pastry), it is something he always seeks out to sample. The cake is made with semolina so it has a very unique, rustic texture. Similar to cornmeal, semolina absorbs a lot of moisture so the cake itself is very dry, and then a simple sugar syrup that’s scented with rose water and/or orange blossom water is poured onto the hot cake once it’s removed from the […]...

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Mujaddara Burghul (And a HUGE Giveaway of My Cookbook + Prize Packs From Bob’s Red Mill!)

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Photo (taken by yours truly) of Mujaddara Burghul from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. If you’re curious about Middle Eastern food and looking for a good recipe to start with, Mujaddara Burghul, otherwise known as Lentil & Bulgur Wheat Pilaf with Caramelized Onion, is the perfect dish. It’s very healthy with lentils and whole-grain bulgur wheat as its main ingredients. (Since it’s a vegetarian meal, it’s easy on the wallet too!) It couldn’t be simpler to make…if making rice intimidates you, know that bulgur is much more forgiving than rice. And with caramelized onion and the perfect blend of spices, it’s […]...

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Fried Eggplant with Garlic and Parsley Dressing (And a Giveaway of My Cookbook!)

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Photo (taken by yours truly) of Fried Eggplant with Garlic and Parsley Dressing from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. Of all the recipes in my cookbook, this one has the most personal story attached to it. The first time I had this dish was in Zabadani, a rural area north of Damascus in Syria. My husband and I were staying with his family in their country home for a few days, and another family had come to visit. Of course a feast was in order....

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Zucchini Fritters {A Mid-East Feast}

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Photo (taken by yours truly) of Zucchini Fritters from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. I have some very exciting news to share! My wonderful friend Brandy (from Nutmeg Nanny) organized a month-long event along with eight other fabulous bloggers called A Mid-East Feast to celebrate my upcoming book release! For the first three weeks they’re sharing recipes from my book. It’s done in dinner party-style, so this week is the appetizer, next week is the main course, and the week after that is the dessert. And the fourth week they’re all giving away a copy of my book!...

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