Lockdown Chocolate & Beetroot Cake

If you’re first-time visitor to my blog, this is where I keep sort of a journal to document what goes inside my brain and what is cooked in the kitchen.

In this time of instability –we’ve been living this in Lebanon since August/September 2019, don’t let anyone convince you the instability was caused by the October 17 Revolution. The movement was caused by the greed and constant incompetence and failures of the government and ever-reigning politicians– we are trying to find comfort in anything that reminded us of a good time, a good memory, a joyful moment, a pleasant smell, or a comforting flavor.
Everyone and their mother (literally) is making cinnamon rolls and banana bread and starting a sourdough starter. I am guilty of the last two. I had to… A boy needed his good loaf of bread so I started the starter on March 27, but only now I got a good loaf. I’ll leave that for a future post. But now, I MADE CAKE!!!

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Tortilla de Patatas

2020
It’s 4 months into the new year, and some of us already wish it would be over.
I hope we make it out alive. Eight months to go.

None of us imagined this would happen. A few months ago, the world was unstoppable, and even 40 days ago, life still continued even with the rise of the pandemic previously known as epidemic. Most of us are now either isolated, quarantined, working from home, out of jobs, or whatever situation this virus and its repercussions put us in.

It hasn’t been easy the past few months in Lebanon especially. With the financial crisis beginning to loom since last summer, (not caused by the Revolution of October 17, as politicians, analysts, and the media are brainwashing people to believe) and the government that is failing to take responsibility for the mess they are involved in, it has been very stressful to cope. Focus shifted from being creative and productive to ending the day safely and looking for ways to secure an income to pay dues. I am not here to go into details or talk about this now.

Let’s try and focus on things that take our mind off for a little while.

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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

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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.

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Tagliatelle al Limone with Jumbo Shrimps

Here we are again. Meeting over a recipe. I’m behind a screen drooling over a dish I prepared some time ago between the past two weeks and five years.

Kidding!

I will be using, though, some recipes I shot in the past few year, and in love with, yet I never shared. But I will try to get this “blogger” thing going by shooting, editing, writing, AND publishing as soon as possible.

I don’t know how they do it.

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Grilled Vegetables and Halloumi Salad

I go back to the archive and see what recipes should I make and add to keep a variety. I find that I should no longer post any salad recipe. But HOW CAN I? I LOVE SALADS

Mind you, when I say SALAD, I don’t mean lettuce and tomato and cucumber. This is a plain old [BORING] salad.

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My salads are usually fun and exciting as I use ingredients that are not typical in restaurants. I love mixing between grains like lentils and freekeh, and big filling vegetables like zucchinis, carrots, peppers, and radishes, and leafy greens like the superfood spinach and rockets leaves and chards. All those are things you can easily get in the produce shops with an average price tag.

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