White Baladi Goat Cheese

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I have never held in my hands the udders of a four-legged mammal before. But it was during our stay in Hardine for the Blooming April events series that Bruno and I decided to go on a little adventure and decided one morning to go to the nearby goat herder and get ourselves some fresh goat milk and attempt to make cheese.

We woke up one Sunday morning and drove to where the goats are. Charbel, the goat herder, gave us the white plastic wide-mouthed gallons and advised us to put on latex gloves because the smell would be hard to get rid of. Charbel got a mother goat out and calmly it obliged and offered her udders for us. We approached and started squeezing to no avail. I was afraid of squeezing wrong or too much and end up hurting the goat. But after being told that I SHOULD squeeze harder, I had no option but to try. Continue reading

Pickled Stuffed Vine Leaves

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If you’re anything like me, it would be the joy of your days to be in the wilds surrounded by nature. One can’t think of being away from nature would create a sense of anxiety that is only cured by total immersion.
This is one of the little things that one finds out about himself gradually as days go by. One goes from despising the idea of camping out there in the wild exposed to wild animals and insects to despising the idea of being in the middle of the concrete jungle exposed to wild humans and insects.

Whatever you do in the mountains feels purposeful. Sometimes you go for a walk in the neighborhood and that feels rewarding, sometimes it’s watering the garden, other times it’s the time take to remove the weeds, or climb up and pick the produce and pluck out the good ones. It feels that whatever you do is rewarding in a sense. Nature is rewarding and with some more time and patience, those rewards get more valuable.

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Spicy Cheese Tripolitan Kaak and Salmon Cream Cheese Kaak

After touring all day with an Irish couple coming for the Taste Lebanon company I am part of and walking for more than 9.2 Kms, my family decided to go to Tripoli to the Ramadan daily special Iftar and sohour (the after midnight meal that should help you sustain an all-day fasting) that spread all over the city

PIN-Spicy Cheese Tripolitan Kaak and Salmon Cream Cheese Kaak - cookin5m2 -2027

After walking around in the old souk and Khan Al Aaskar, I was delighted by the liveliness of the city. Muslims break their fast at around 8 pm and after that, they’re out in the streets shopping and eating and drinking and playing cards in coffee shops and having a good time. Continue reading

Marjoram and Pine Cone Roast Chicken

Marjoram and Pine Cone Roast Chicken - cookin5m2 -iphone

Being up here in the mountains is therapeutic.

Each week, we get all the stuff we need for our weekend event Blooming April and take the one-and-a-half-hour road up on Thursday to start preparing the space and the food before the weekend arrives.

Fridays are busy for us here. We lay out the mats with the tables on top of them, we wash the water and arak pitchers, we fix the garden and the house inside, and we work on the food prep with what we can make a day ahead. Despite the work load we have, I cannot miss the chance at enjoying a delicious lunch. Continue reading