Ghammé; Fweregh & Kroush

Ghammé; Fweregh & Kroush recipe - cookin5m2-9968.jpg

Keeping up with my brand and my blog, I am mixing things up and posting things late.
Last week we celebrated the start of a great initiative started by two awesome ladies, Nadia and Mai. We celebrated on April 2nd, along with all the participants by hosting a gathering with my foodie friends at a local restaurant that I LOVE for its food, atmosphere, and simple feel.

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Yesterday we celebrated the start of #aprilisforarabfood, an initiative to share our beautiful diverse cuisine and tell the world where hummus and shawarma come from, for example (you hear that, culture robbers?) . ☠️☣️ . We feasted on some of the delicious creations of @kahwetalfranj from this kibbeh and labneh that I licked every thing off the plate, to the cheese kaaké, and amazing salads. . 🥙🥖🥗 We had a special guest and awesome cook and author: @bethanykehdy. She blessed us with her creative creation, kishk akhdar mtabbal that got almost wiped out before the food got to the table 😂 . 🥘🌾 If you're interested in taking part in this initiative, we'll be releasing a weekly these of posts. All you have to do is use the hashtag and enrich us with your mouthwatering creations. . It was lovely catching up with these kick-ass ladies @ptitnfit @bethanykehdy @revivebyrania @healthyliciousbysara . Initiative by @sweetpillarfood and @almondandfig . . . #food #foodie #foodphotography #lebanesefoodstylist #canon #lebanesefood #levant #foodblogger #meetup #middleeast #middleeasternfood

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The initiative is called April Is For Arab Food, and it is to celebrate our heritage recipes and bring exposure to it. To me, most importantly, this is so important in the west where our food is being appropriated and promoted as Israeli food. I live online and I SEE!
My friend, blogger and cookbook author, Bethany Kehdy said it best in her book and shared it on instagram. I could not have said it any better Continue reading

Blood Orange Dark Chocolate Cake with Blood Orange Glaze

I’ve been obsessing over winter’s best fruits.

Citrus

PIN-blood orange dark chocolate cake food photography recipe - cookin5m2-0029.jpg

I’ve had crates over crates of different citrus fruits that I could lay my hands on.
It is fascinating how life gives us these fruits on the days we need them the most; gloomy, grey, dark, and rainy. Nature gives us these colorful fruits hanging from brown and green trees with leaves glistening with winter rain waiting to be harvested.

The colors fascinate me. I would only like the gloomy rainy days when I don’t make any plans and stay in bed. Or when it stops raining at the moment I’m stepping out of the house. The sight of bitter oranges on the branches of the line of trees in Monot street makes my day. It makes me dance with joy when now in March, those branches carry small yellowish white buds instead of the fruits and the scent of orange blossom fills the streets with a beautiful fragrance that covers up the recent smell of trash that is occasionally looming over Beirut.

My latest obsession was with blood orange. Continue reading

The Spill

The spill hisham assaad - cookin5m2.jpg

  • It is a late spill today because my body is trying to procrastinate and prevent me from writing the spill I want to share.
    So I am obliging and listening to my body and postponing the heavy spill for next week where I’ll hopefully have more time to write it properly.
  • Speaking of procrastination, do you also feel that you leave important things till the last minute and only do it because you have to?
    I do. I did almost all my life. Continue reading

Scrambled Eggs with Desert Truffles

I remember one time walking out of Hamra street, a once vibrant street in Beirut, during the last days of winter and seeing a vendor with styrofoam boxes overflowing with lump-like things held together with clear tape.
The first time I saw these sandy-stone-like produce I thought they were the world prized truffles with the amazing flavor and the unique aroma. I made risotto and shaved* some of those on top. I even buried one in a jar of short grain rice to fragrance it for risotto.

*shaved, more like crumbled it on the box grater’s slicer side only to get grains of sand later with every bite because I didn’t clean them well

PIN- Desert truffle kema kama with eggs recipe - cookin5m2-0010

Only later did I learn that these truffles are not the same thing.
These beautiful spores are called Desert Truffles. They are harvested not using dogs or pigs like western truffles but by roaming the desert landscapes (not desert dunes, but bare lands with rare vegetation) looking for bumps and cracks in the land. They dig their hands down and pull out the sand hoping there’s a something worthy in there.

Desert truffle kema kama food photography - cookin5m2-0012 Continue reading

The Spill

WARNING: This week’s spill is serious.
It is something from a list of things I want to address and an incident happened online and I felt I should be writing something.

This post is against bullying.
Bear with me

I believe bullying is unacceptable.
We should teach those we have an influence on to be kind and not to be bullies. At the same time, we have to teach them to grow thick skin to face the remaining bullies in this world.
The world will not be bullying-free (I don’t think it will happen soon), but at least we can be prepared to face it and keep going. That’s what we get from stories from successful people who faced bullies at some point in their life.
This isn’t addressed at children only. The online community (of adults) can be pretty savage sometimes. We have to learn to let it slide like water off a duck’s back than get the best of us.

I think a lot of us have been bullied while growing up.
I have.

  • I’ve been called names on several occasions.
    I was told by the kids at school I would die of cancer if I drink the same juice box as theirs because I was a heretic/Kafer (because I am from a different religion than theirs)
  • I’ve been laughed at because of my thin mustache I had when i was around 13
  • I was called Father/Priest in a negative approach by the (Christian) kids in the neighborhood because I spent too much time in church and doing church work and activities
  • I was called FAG loudly and in front of everyone (I was already in my already-frustrating late teenage years) by one of the kids at the neighborhood day camps I used to lead
  • I don’t remember being laughed at or bullied because of my weight, but I was a chubby kid. I feel more threatened now when I compare myself to others whether on Instagram or in person. Worst of all is when someone who used to be fat starts preaching me about my weight. (Gonna get into that topic in a later Spill)

Back then, I didn’t get proper support to face such behavior. But I learned it along the way. Made me that much stronger, made my skin a little bit thicker (Thanks Xtina). I now don’t really mind what people would say about me, and I have done and would do some crazy stuff. I know myself well not to be shaken by words. And that’s what we need to equip those who are under our care with, children or siblings or friends.

We might not live in an age where bullying and harassment are nonexistent, but until then, we need to teach and learn that such behavior should not be tolerated and should be confronted.

While we’re at it, let’s talk about cyber bullying.

A couple of weeks ago, a lot of support was given to a guy who posts popular videos with a voiceover narrating, commenting, and making fun of the video content. The guy got massively popular over the past couple of years. Recently, that guy “made fun” of someone and it felt more like bullying (by what I’ve heard).
Having watched few of his previous videos, especially one where he was laughing at and calling names to a guy “feeling his oats” (enjoying his dancing self) in a club, I can say that his so-called-comedy and sense of humor is more on the bullying side. There is a difference between comedy, shade, and bullying/harassment.
After a while this guy released an heartfelt apology video and it received support even from those who don’t enjoy his humor. In the video he states that the video doesn’t represent him and he doesn’t support bullying and the issue has been consuming him so he had to share this public apology.
I applaud his courage for stepping up and admitting his mistake. It takes a great deal of effort to do so.
But it was cringy to watch. It felt (to me at least) as authentic as watching Laura Lee’s apology or the explanation video from Elle Derby and her White Moose Cafe drama!

To start with, I don’t know how these people film themselves and listen to themselves over and over in the editing process. And I don’t meant the regular videos. I mean the apology/crying videos.
Second, I find these videos less genuine and more to appeal to the public conscience in a move to be accepted in the normal behavior division. Example, Logan Paul who filmed and EDITED and prepared his problematic video and had to suffer the backlash and release an apology video later on.

But the damage is done.
The words said/written can’t be unheard/unwritten.
The victims had to suffer with the bullying and the public humiliation, especially if it’s online.

For now there is no prevention for bullying but to ask people to be kind to one another.

Until then, let’s be strong and fight against bullying for a more tolerant world ❤️