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levantine za’atar bites

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For those familiar with this traditional Levantine speciality, it is well known that these bites come in different sizes and can be prepared using different types of doughs and za’atar mixtures depending on regional and even personal taste preferences. But this beautiful treat will rarely disappoint you.

The recipe I’m sharing today in this post will yield in beautiful little za’atar bites that are incredibly crunchy and delicious and which will literally melt in your mouth. The dough is amazing and versatile (more recipes to follow soon), and can be prepared in no time (well almost, we are talking doughs here;)). I have no doubt that once you try this recipe, you would want to make it every time.

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wild thyme

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زعتر [zaatar]: one of the dearest Arabic words to my heart that refers to either 1) thyme which is a very aromatic and rich herb widely used, fresh or dried, in the Levantine cuisine or 2) a beautiful blend made of dried zaatar, sumac, salt, and sesame seeds as main components yet with different recipes varying from one kitchen or cook to another. You will find zaatar almost in every Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese and Syrian household and it is usually, and proudly, served with the finest of olive oil for fresh bread to be dipped into both for breakfast or at anytime of the day, really.

God knows, I love soup! And the fact that I live in a country where it is rarely cold never stops me from enjoying a nice bowl of hot soup (thanks to A/C on the inside I can always pretend it is cold on the outside).

And now, with the different kinds of pumpkin starting pile up in the markets, I can hardly resist making another creamy pumpkin soup.

pumpkin-soup

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forget about calories…let’s talk cheese!

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A very important staple in the cuisine of many nations around the world, cheese most probably is as old as history. It most probably came as a result of the man’s desire to preserve milk for long periods of time even if in a form different from its original liquid one.

And there are hundreds of different kinds of cheese (with different shape, texture, flavours) around the world. For it not only differs from one country, region or land to another, but cheese various kinds depend on the milk, mold, and fat used (among other factors) in the making of cheese. And the techniques applied in the processing, production, aging, and fermenting of the cheese all result in endless kinds of cheese.

Cheese is simply amazing in so many ways, and mostly because it is delicious and can easily be turned into a comfort food!

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Among many many other cheeses produced in le pays de fromages, and originating in Normandy (in northern France), Camembert is a delicious cheese that is rather creamy and salty, and rich in flavour.

Dedicated to all the cheese lovers out there, this melted Camembert recipe looks sophisticated even though it is a very easy way to prepare and serve cheese in a most impressive fashion.

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Recipe

Ingredients

1 camembert cheese packed in its wooden case
a few green thyme springs
2 garlic cloves
sliced country bread, or any bread of your choice

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Unpack the camembert cheese by removing its plastic wrap and put the cheese back in its wooden case, uncovered.
Chop the thyme springs and one garlic cloves and use them to flavour the cheese.
with a sharp knife cut small cuts onto the top of the cheese and fill with themy springs and garlic. Wrap an oven-proof ribbon around the wooden case to prevent it from breaking open while cheese is baking (optional). Place the cheese on a baking tray covered with baking paper
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, it really depends on how ripe your cheese is.
meanwhile, toast the bread slices and wrap them with one garlic clove.                              Once the cheese is melted on the inside (it becomes really soft to the finger touch/ it gives to the finger pressure), remove from oven and serve right away with the garlic breads.

Bon Appétit!

labneh with green herbs for a perfect breakfast…

Nothing beats a lazy day at home. And a happy day I wish you all! And so, I thought of sharing with you this simple and- delicious recipe that can add a magical touch to your breakfast on any day.

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A good sour Labneh (strained yogurt) is delicious as is, there is no denying that. But sometimes we feel like we need to add that little touch that would give it another dimension of freshness. That is why I chose to go back to a traditional levantine practice of adding some fresh herbs to the Labneh equation. Served with some Arabic pita bread, this breakfast dish will sure make your day.
For the Recipe

Ingredients

300 g Labneh
A handful of fresh thymes
A handful of fresh dill
A handful of fresh mint
2 spring onions
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper
Olive oil for serving

Coarsely chop the thyme, dill, mint, and spring onions. Crush the garlic.
Add the herbs, onions and garlic to the Labneh and mix well.
Pour the Labneh in the serving plate. Sprinkle with good quality olive oil and season with salt & pepper.
Serve it with Arabic pita and indulge!
Bon Appétit!