Cheese Boards and Christmas in the Camp

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Christmas in the camp is different.
We don’t live in tents anymore, but everyone’s roofs and extensions are made of corrugated metal sheets. It’s never a silent night when it’s raining. Every single drip of rain is heard tic-toc-ing on the roofs echoing one another into a deafening harmonious symphony.

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Christmas in the camp is engulfed with church bells jingling at midnight calling for celebratory mass. The Maronite monastery uphill, and our modest Greek Catholic church by the side of the camp both hold masses filled with joyful Christmas chants for believers to have a blessed eve. I lead the choir for a while after being a member for long. Those chants were magical in lyrics and melodies that fill you up with warmth and joy. Continue reading

Red Wine Hot Chocolate and Gratitude

I love new beginning. The thrill of an exciting adventure you know nothing about.

There’s always a challenge we’re trying to finish if you look at it this way. Ever since I graduated, I didn’t find the 8-to-5 job to be satisfying, and it’s as if I felt that I will not be 100% interested and entirely immersed in the challenges the jobs offer. And that’s when I created my first blog, a variety blog before moving into a cooking-only blog three and a half years ago and going into foods lately.

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I have accepted life’s challenges with a smile. Not a direct one, but with a positive attitude that reminds me of character in an old Lebanese series. She always wore a smile on her face despite having a troubled collapsing family. The line she always repeated was “It will be good eventually”. And that’s something I like to live by. It will be good eventually. Continue reading

Wood-Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Freekeh and Lentils

Remember when we were a republic with no president?

Not anymore. Orange is literally the new black. After more than two years with no president finally the Lebanese parties (most of them at least, the ones who got a share of the cake) have agreed to vote for a candidate. Two hours of labor in the parliament proved that we still have a wicked sense of humor despite all, and that keeping the child in you alive is super important even if you’re a member of the parliament. Nothing feels good like re-living classroom fights between the bullies in the back, the nerds in the front, the teacher on the platform by the blackboard, and the supervisor pretending to be monitoring that everything is going as planned. All on live TV

Politics aside, it is purely coincidental that I am posting an orange pumpkin on such a day. This recipe was supposed to go last week as part of Pumpkin Week with the EatTheLebaneseSeason squad, our initiative to give recipes on how to cook and use local seasonal produce. But here it is: a super flavorful salad that can sub for a main meal with all the goodness it is packed with.

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Tomato and Quail Egg Bites

This is not precisly a bruschetta. Technically it is. It is a piece of toasted bread, rubbed with garlic, topped with delicious ingredients. BUT it is certainly not an antipasto for me, excuse me Italians. I love these little filling bites for the limitless options one can layer in such a small bite.

There are still some seasonal tomatoes in produce shops and I LOVE tomatoes; red, ripe, juicy, and super flavourful. Go and grab the last ones out there and treat them well!

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Rose Geranium and Apple Syrup

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In the previous apple post, I asked you to save apple cores for a following recipe. This is it!

On my front porch, I have taken the time in the past few month to grow a small garden formed of small plastic pots. Basil has been growing here for a long time, with seeds going into the ground to fuel the coming year’s plants. The cactus are old, a hearbreak old, the flowering succulent is another. The rest are either bought or planted from seed.

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