• fruit cocktail
    Dessert,  Snacks

    Fruit Cocktail with Ashta

    This summer my parents went overseas to Palestine and Jordan to visit our extended family. On one occasion, my parents were downtown enjoying a fruit cocktail. This is a treat that I almost always purchased when I would go out to the city at a cafe. I know you may think cocktail and automatically figure it is some sort of a drink but no, it is just like a fruit parfait. Think of all fresh seasonal fruits layered with creamy Ashta infused with orange blossom water then topped with nutty pistachios and a drizzle of honey or syrup. My summer nights overseas consisted of these. Last night, we had friends…

  • summer corn salad
    Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Side Dishes,  Vegan

    Summer Corn Salad

    The other day I stopped by a local farmers market on my way home and saw these beautiful corn husks. I couldn’t help myself and bought a few without even knowing what I would make with them; I just couldn’t resist their beauty. They stayed in the fridge for a few days before I realized that they would make for a deliciously refreshing salad near a seafood dish. Yesterday, I whipped up some blackened salmon steaks and made this beautiful summer corn salad to accompany it and boy was it amazing. I am going back today to get more corn; let’s just say that! This would also be amazing as…

  • knafeh with nuts
    Dessert,  Ramadan

    Knafeh with Nuts

    There is nothing traditional about the recipe I am about to share with you guys but is it good? Heck yes! It isn’t the typical knafeh we all know and love that is tinted orange with melted cheese in the center and garnished with pistachios. This variation is one my mom started making a few years ago with the extra nuts she had in her pantry and my family really enjoys it! It’s a lighter alternative and can be easily dairy free if using vegan butter. For even more decadence or if you are missing that creaminess in a traditional Nabulsi knafeh then top it off with a scoop of…

  • strawberry banana muffins
    Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free

    Strawberry Banana Muffins

    Who doesn’t love the combination of strawberry and banana? It is heavenly! Now, imagine that in your morning muffin with a cup of coffee. Sounds good right? What if I told you this was super easy to put together and everyone from children to adults would enjoy? Even those with dietary restrictions will appreciate this recipe. It is a great way to utilize both bananas and strawberries that are on the verge of going bad and making something amazing out of them. Check out the recipe below! Servings: approx. 16 muffins Total Time: approx. 45 min Ingredients 2 cups Gluten Free Flour (Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour 1:1) (This may…

  • Chocolate Almond Date balls
    Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Ramadan,  Snacks,  Vegan

    Chocolate Almond Date Balls

    I have so many dates left from Ramadan that I wanted to create some date balls which are super popular nowadays. This flavor combo however is heavenly! It almost reminds me of an almond version of Ferrera Roche but healthier! Let’s just say these are addicting and you will probably want to make 2 servings of it! Servings: approx. 16 Total Time: approx. 15 min Ingredients 14 Mejdool dates 1/3 cup creamy almond butter 3/4 cup raw almonds 1 tsp vanilla Sprinkle of salt 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1-2 tbsp water Instructions Submerge the dates in water for 15 minutes to soften them. In a food…

  • no bake knafeh cheesecake
    Dessert,  Ramadan

    No bake Knafeh Cheesecake

    I have been thinking about recipe developing this cheesecake for a long time! I have had so much love with my Nescafe cake which requires no baking whatsoever that I decided to make another Middle Eastern dessert with a modern twist that requires no baking. Knafeh is a very popular dessert with many variations across the Middle East but the most popular would be the one with cheese which Nablus, Palestine is known for. I actually have that variation on my blog posts already. This is my take on an American cheesecake but using the shredded phyllo dough for the crust and topping. I hope you enjoy it! Servings: 8-12…

  • makrouta
    Dessert,  Ramadan

    Makrouta

    I would love to introduce you guys to Makuta, a delicious date filled cookie known for its aromatic anise flavor and delicious sesame topping. This cookie is very similar to Ma’amoul which is a very popular Middle Eastern date filled cookie often served around Eid for Muslims. While Ma’amoul is more delicate and intricate to make, Makrouta is sturdier, less sweet, and easier to produce. It makes for a mouthwatering treat with a warm cup of tea or coffee. I will be sharing with you a recipe that my mom once shared with me for these beautiful and flavorful Makrouta cookies using some of the best products from Ziyad Brand.…

  • coconut nut bars
    Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Snacks,  Vegan

    Coconut Nut Bars

    Servings: 24 pieces Total time: approx. 2 hours (20 min to make the rest is freezer time) Ingredients 4 cups fine coconut (more of a coconut powder as opposed to shreds) 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup water Squeeze of lemon juice 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter 2 cups roasted assorted nuts (pistachios, pine nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts) Instructions In a small pot, mix together the sugar, water, and fresh lemon juice. Keep on medium to high heat. Stir for a minute then allow for sugar to come to a boil and start to thicken. This takes 5-8 minutes. Make sure to not leave the sugar alone because it can…

  • pistachio nice cream
    Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Ramadan,  Vegan

    Pistachio Nice Cream

    You may be thinking what in the world is Nice Cream? Well, its basically ice cream made out of strictly ripe frozen bananas blended to silky perfection. Of course, the Middle Eastern in me chose pistachios as the flavor profile for this particular nice cream. Pistachios are used predominantly overseas. Booza Arabia (Arabic Icecream) is actually made out of smooth yet sticky vanilla based ice cream with loads of crushed pistachios. This is reminiscent of that but much healthier and easier to make. Ingredients 6 frozen ripe bananas peeled and sliced 1-2 tbsp rose water 1 tsp vanilla 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup 1/3 cup pistachio butter 2 tbsp…

  • barazek
    Dessert

    Barazek (Sesame Seed Cookies)

    Walking down the bazaar (souk) in the Middle East, your eyes will light up with joy. There is just something about the marketplace and how lively it is. One of my favorite memories is stopping by a stand stacked with these thin, crisp, and slightly sweet sesame seed cookies with pistachios. I never was one to like sweets so I assumed that I wouldn’t like these cookies but it was love at first bite. The nuttiness of the pistachios and sesame seeds with the slight hint of sweetness was just perfect for me. I have been wanting to make these for so long but always hesitate thinking no way I…