A Special Palestinian Brunch and Delicious Labneh with Vegetables

Palestinian brunch at motto-me In case you have been following my Facebook page (which you should –> www.fb.com/cookin5m2) you might have known about my new big announcement. Cookin5m2 was cooking in another kitchen and making food for people other than my family. My mom and I were cooking at Mòtto and had prepared a special Palestinian brunch with exceptional recipes that wowed everyone. THE PLACE WAS FULLY, if not over, BOOKED!

Palestinian brunch at motto
Kaak asfar, Labneh with vegetables and tomato salad

image It all started when I accidentally had dinner, one of many, at Mòtto and fell in love with this small and cosy Mar Mkhayel restaurant. I bumped into a dear friend, whom I owed a basil plant, and we decided to sit down for dinner and an emotionally intense conversation that ended with me chatting with the cook, Lara, who suggested I talk to the owners and maybe I can get a feature night of my own. She typed her number on my phone and I left, only to know that an extra number was typed on the screen and I lost track of Lara. It was’t until I passed by Mòtto a few months later and talked to Tony, the owner and got things worked out. I sat down with my dear friend and sorted out a menu option for the brunch. I created the event on Facebook once the menu was approved and sent out the invitations. A couple of days later and the place was FULLY BOOKED. Many of my friends had to wait until it was decided to start another shift to serve all those wanting to attend. Other reservations had to be declined and wait next time. This was sort of expected and not expected at the same time. The event was featured on Lebtivity, RPN Lebanon and Beirut.com (links below): http://www.lebtivity.com/event/palestinian-brunch-at-motto http://rpnlebanon.com/site/palestinian-brunch-at-motto/ http://www.beirut.com/l/38987 Brunch at motto by Hisham Mom and I prepared the ingredients a few days before. We baked the Kaak Asfar on Friday at the local baker while it was stormy and crazy outside and warm and fragrant inside with my hands covered in olive oil shaping the yellow disks of dough and pushing them into the molds before baking. Mom baked the anise cookies earlier and the vegetables and herbs were picked and cleaned. We hit it off Saturday morning and started chopping, mixing, and baking until the first customers got to their tables. Crowds flooded and they were ALL satisfied and leaving with full tummies and happy faces making us happier and more satisfied. Friends and colleagues passed by and were overwhelmed as well as other who joined after seeing the event’s ads all over the internet. I was running between the counter, the tables, the kitchen 2 floors up across the street where my mom was preparing everything behind the scenes and back to the counter to serve the dishes along with Karim and Kanty who have helped me a lot, maybe more than they are used to (which I’m thankful for). The brunch shift that usually ends at 4, happily ended with us at 5 with a meal of what we’ve been serving all afternoon.


Fennel Omelet and Soujok with Pomegranate Molases
Fennel Omelet and Soujok with Pomegranate Molases
Kaak Asfar
Kaak Asfar
Malateet; anise cookies, mom's apricot jam, and my peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut butter
Malateet; anise cookies, mom’s apricot jam, and my peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut butter

Happy faces, happy tummies and a very fine day after a week of storms and cold weather. I am thankful for this opportunity. I want to thank my mother. Without her help, none of this would have taken place this fast and in such a flawless shape. I thank Tony for giving me this opportunity, Karim who made the cooking and serving process work as smooth as possible, and those who worked behind the scenes. Wow, this feels like the Oscars acceptance speech. LOL. I’ll shut up here I did not have time to take photos, so all photos (unless stated otherwise) are by Lynn from Breadonbutter.com. Thank you Lynn One more thing, posts on Cookin5m2 don’t work unless there’s a recipe, so here is one from the brunch that people LOVED!

My colleagues from work
My colleagues from work

Labneh with Finely Chopped Vegetables Dip

Ingredients (this is just a guideline, adjust the vegetables to labneh proportions to your taste)

  • 1/2 kg Labneh (strained yogurt)
  • 2 stalks spring onions
  • 3-4 cucumbers
  • 3 tomatoes
  • Salt (optional, to taste)
  • Olive oil


  • Finely chop the tomatoes and cucumbers into small squares
  • Slice the spring onions into thin slices
  • Mix all the ingredients and season with salt if you want
  • Scoop in a plate topped generous amounts of olive oil
  • Serve with regular or toasted flat bread or pita, or Kaak asfar

Palestinian brunch at motto

16 thoughts on “A Special Palestinian Brunch and Delicious Labneh with Vegetables

  1. I had reserved and called when I found out I could not bring my friends and my daughter. And the owner told me not to worry, it was fully booked and he said “we will be doing it again”. Relief! Hope I can get in next time, with more people. Great idea and so glad it was a hit! Bravo to you and your mom. Where is her pic????


    1. Thank you Joumana. I hope to see you next time.
      I was not able to take a pic of mom and she refused to go down from the kitchen to the restaurant. So no one took a photo of her.


  2. The Anise cookies with the hazelnut chocolate butter looks especially appealing! I’ve never heard of this combination, but I definitely have to try them now! 😛


    1. Actually the cookies are good on their own (I’m posting the recipe soon) but it’s wonderful how people can perceive things in a way you never thought of. They dipped the cookies in the jam, sometimes in the peanut butter and the hazelnut spread.

      Liked by 1 person

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