Watermelon Splash

Watermelon Splash

Watermelon is my favorite fruit period. So why not blend it and add vodka to it and slurp it all summer long!! This is your refreshing way into summer happiness. Serve it in the watermelon bowl, or in pitcher this is what you need to be making for your next party! 

Happy Summer :)

Now go make a splash!

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 Pitcher

Watermelon Splash:

  • 3 Cups Fresh Watermelon juice
  • 1 Cup Basil simple syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1 cup Vodka or Gin

Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS

Basil Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small pot, combine sugar, water, and basil.
  2. Cook until all the sugar has dissolved about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the syrup in a blender, and blend until green and smooth.
  4. Let cool. 

Fresh Watermelon Juice:

  1. Slice a seedless watermelon in half.  
  2. Scoop out flesh into a food processor, for 2-3 minutes.
    • you can discard the rind, or use it as a serving bowl.
  3. Strain juice, 

Watermelon Splash:

  1. In a pitcher, add the watermelon juice, simple syrup, vodka, and lime juice, stir until well combined. 
  2. Pour into watermelon bowl, or a glass - on ice.
  3. Garnish with edible flowers, or watermelon wedge.

Cheers!

Salted Tahini Chocolate Tart (GF)

Salted Tahini Chocolate Tart (GF)

I spent some time last week in the kitchen with the wonderful Rachel Simons - one of the three brains behind my favorite tahini, Seed and Mill! We used my background as the inspiration for this gluten free dessert. With an oat gluten free crust, tahini, and dried rose petals this is the perfect chocolate bite! We made this tart two ways: a large tart you can serve at your next dinner party, or mini tarts to accompany your coffee. Check out Rachel's amazing work right here!!

Enjoy the recipe - comment below and let me know if you try it out!

Photos by Edouard Massih & Rachel Simons

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 10-12 people

Gluten Free Oat Crust:

  • 1.5 cup old-fashioned oats
  • .75 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Tahini Chocolate Filling:

  • 11.5 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 11.5 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp rosewater

Salted Topping:

  • Flaky sea salt 
  • Any nut & seeds (pistachio, pistachio seeds, almonds, sesame seeds)

INSTRUCTIONS

Crust:

1.    Preheat the oven to 350F. In a food processor, pulse the oats, whole wheat flour, butter, honey, salt, and cinnamon until ground and wet sand like. 

2.   Press the crust mixture into desired tart shell. Bake until golden brown, and crispy about 25-30 minutes (10-15 min for mini).

3.    When ready, transfer to a wired rack and let the crust cool. 

Filling:

1.      Pour the cream into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. 

2.     Place the chocolate into a large bowl, and pour the cream over it. Let it sit for 2 minutes until the chocolate has softened are start mixing the chocolate mixture. 

3.     Add tahini, and rosewater. Mix until chocolate has been fully incorporated, and the chocolate filling is thick and smooth. 

4.     Pour the chocolate filling into the tart crust, tap the tart against the countertop to pop any air bubbles. 

5.     Place the tart in the fridge, and let chill for 1-2 hours. 

6.     To serve: When ready let the tart come to room temperature for 20 minutes. Slice the tart with a warm knife, Finish with sea salt, nuts, and seeds. 

Cheers!

 

Mini Man'oushe

Mini Man'oushe

The traditional and best way to start your morning in the Middle East is with a man'oushe in hand. A man'oushe is a flatbread that is normally made with zaatar, and finished with fresh veggies rolled up and eaten like a sandwich. If you get it at the right place, fresh out of the oven - it is to die for. Crunchy, simple and delicious. I decided to make this breakfast essential into a mini hors d'oeuvre to add to my spring menu! With different toppings and sauces this can be catered for any event or client! 

The dough recipe is from David Lebovitz' website !!

Enjoy the recipe - comment below and let me know if you try it out!

Photos by Edouard Massih

Total Time: 2 - 2.5 hours
Serves: 4-5 people

Dough:

  • 1 cup tepid water (slightly warmer than room temp)
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2.5 cups (350g) AP flour
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt

Za'atar Topping:

  • 1/4 cup za'atar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Pizza Topping:

  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 6-8 sliced mushrooms

INSTRUCTIONS

Dough Making:

1.    In a stand mixer bowl, activate the yeast by sprinkling it over the water along with the sugar. Let sit in a warm place until the yeast starts to bubble, about 10 minutes. 

2.   Using a dough hook attachment, stir in the olive oil, flour and salt. Mix on medium-high speed for 5 minutes - until the dough becomes a smooth ball, but is sticky when touched by your finger. The dough should start pulling off the edges of the mixing bowl.

3.   Cover the dough in the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume - about 1.5 hours. 

4.    When the dough has doubled in volume, roll it out onto a lightly floured countertop, and divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece of dough out, until the dough starts to resist. Cut the dough into small circles with a circle cutter. Then roll again to stretch the mini circles. 

Topping & Baking:

1.      When ready - preheat the oven to 450F. 

2.     Line a sheet tray with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and start lining up the man'oushe circles the parchment paper. 

3.     In a small bowl, mix the za'atar and extra virgin olive oil to make the za'atar spread

4.     Spread the za'atar mixture on half of the man'oushe circles, and spread tomato sauce on the other half.

5.     Finish the pizza man'oushe with a little cheese, and a slice of mushroom. 

6.     Bake the man'oushe for 5-7 minutes or until golden, and crispy. 

7.   Serve warm, or cool down and freeze for later use. 

Cheers!

 

Greek Goddess Sauce

Greek Goddess Sauce

My new favorite sauce/dressing. I put that sh*t on everything! You may know this dressing as Ina Garten's specialty the 'Green Goddess Dressing'. Well I decided to make it a bit healthier and full of flavor to give your next protein entree or salad that extra kick of flavor! 

Photos by Edouard Massih

Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1 quart

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz Greek yogurt, fat free
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch scallion, cleaned
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor. 
2. Pulse on high for 2-3 minutes until well combined.
3. Taste for seasoning.
4. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 9 days.

Chocolate Negroni

Chocolate Negroni

A dark powerful drink to start your night off right! A Negroni is an aperitif that is normally served straight up in a rocks glass. I added some chocolate bitters, and shaved chocolate to garnish the drink and make it sweeter for your loved one this Valentine's Day! Doesn't matter if your going out or staying in this is the exact drink you need to start your night off correctly!

Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz Gin
  • 2 oz Campari
  • 2 oz Vermouth
  • 6 to 8 dashes Chocolate bitters
  • Shaved Chocolate, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large shaker start by adding the ice, then combining the gin, campari, vermouth, and chocolate bitters.
2. Stir until well combined, and chilled. 
3. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. 
4. Garnish with chocolate shaving
5. Cheers!

Zucchini Fetteh a Collaboration with Seed + Mill

Zucchini Fetteh

A traditional Lebanese vegetarian meal taken to the next level!! With extra spices, crunch, and texture this is the perfect side or main dish. Marrying za’atar and tahini to bring you the finest Middle Eastern flavors.

Photos by Seed + Mill

Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 green zucchini, cut into 2-3in’ slices
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Lebanese/Syrian pita bread, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Pita Chips:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. In a small bowl toss the pita bread with salt and olive oil.
3. Place the seasoned pita chips, on a parchment lined sheet tray, and bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.

Zucchini:

1. Heat your grill pan, on high.
2. In a large bowl toss the zucchini with salt and olive oil.
3. When your pan is smoking hot, grill the zucchini for 2 minutes on each side, and let rest.

Sauce:

1. To make the tahini sauce (tarator) start by whisking the lemon juice into the tahini. At this point the tahini will become thick and lumpy. This is the consistency you want.
2. Start adding the water little by little – until fully incorporated. The tahini sauce should become silky smooth.
3. In a separate bowl mix 1 cup of tahini sauce and 1 cup of Greek yogurt with salt to flavor.

Serving:

1. In your serving platter, start off by lining the zucchini into a layer, then topping it with the tahini yogurt sauce, another layer of zucchini, another layer of sauce, and finishing off with the final layer of zucchini.
2. Top off with crunchy pita chips.
3. In a small bowl mix the za’atar with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and drizzle all around the plate.
4. There you have it a delicious fetteh!

P.S. you can make this with any of your favorite vegetables. 

Coconut Curry Seafood Stew

Coconut Curry Seafood Stew

This is not a traditional lebanese dish by any means - but it is a favorite for winter dinner ideas. It's warming, light, and full of flavor. Starting off with a green curry, coconut milk base then adding some of my favorite seafood and letting the flavors grow. I paired it with a side of sticky coconut rice for that intense coconut kick, and garlicky bok choy! This is a healthy alternative to any beef stew you were thinking of making and takes a quarter of the time. Enjoy!!

comment below and let me know if you try it out!

Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-5 people

Coconut Curry Seafood Stew:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and zested
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and zested
  • 2 tbsp green curry paste
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 lb shrimp, cleaned and peeled
  • 2-3 lb mussels, cleaned and bearded 
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro to garnish

Coconut Sticky Rice:

  • 2 cups white long grain rice 
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • salt to taste

Garlicky Bok Choy

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 
  • 4-5 bok choy, cleaned and sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp ponzu, or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

Coconut Curry Seafood Stew:

1.    In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

2.   Add diced onions, cook for 2-3 minutes then add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the onions have are translucent. 

3.   Add curry paste, and mix together until the onions start incorporating the green curry - about 2 minutes. 

4.   Whisk the coconut milk into the onion mixture until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

5.    When the broth comes to a boil, add the shrimp and mussels. Cover and let it cook for 5-6 minutes or until all the mussels have popped open and the shrimp are cooked through. 

6.     Garnish with cilantro - Enjoy!

P.S. you can make this spicy by adding your favorite chili, hot sauce, cayenne, or hot pepper flakes. 

Coconut Sticky Rice:

1.    In a medium size pot, combine the coconut milk and rice over medium-high heat. 

2.    Season with salt, and let it come to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 18-22 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. 

3.    When ready, fluff the rice with a fork - and serve.

Garlicky Bok Choy:

1.    In a large sautée pan, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. 

2.   Add sliced garlic, sautée until you can smell the aromas of the garlic - about 1 minute. Add bok choy flat side down and cook for 2 -3 minutes.

3.   Flip the bok choy, add ponzu or soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Cook for another minute or until the liquid has evaporated.  

4.   Serve this tasty side dish with any asian inspired meal your making - you won't regret it! 

Cranberry Lime Fizz

Cranberry Lime Fizz

Here's a festive drink to help you ring in the New Year! Wishing you a positive and cheerful year from my kitchen to yours! 

Photos by Jessica Marx

Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingridients:

  • 1 cup fresh cranberry
  • 2 lime, wedged
  • 1 btl champagne or prosecco

INSTRUCTIONS

1.    Place a handful of cranberry, and 2 slices of lime in glass. 

2.   Pour champagne, and enjoy!

P.S. Time will macerate the cranberry and lime flavor into the champagne. You can infuse the drink in advance in a pitcher to let the cranberry soak the flavor.