Coconut & Pistachio Bites

Coconut & Pistachio Bites

Years ago I often made these coconut balls using shredded coconut and a tin of condensed milk. You couldn’t get simpler than that when it came to ingredients. Just mix together and roll into bite size balls. It was a yummy little treat to put together when you had guests coming around or to take with you when visiting friends or family. Recently I remembered these and thought I had not made them in a while. Of course this time I thought I’d up the ante and ‘Lebanese-ify’ them! I know you’ll love these! My family did! RECIPE is below & here on my You Tube channel… What you’ll need: 1 pack arrowroot/milk coffee biscuit 395g tin sweetened condensed milk 2 cups shredded coconut 3/4 cup shredded coconut (extra) 1/4 cup crushed pistachio 1 teaspoons Rosewater 1 teaspoon Orange Blossom Method: Using a food processor, whiz up biscuits to a fine crumb. Place biscuit crumb with all remaining dry ingredients, orange blossom & rosewater (excluding extra coconut). Stir together. Add condensed milk, ensuring you mix through well so it coats all dry ingredients. Dab the palm of your hands with water. Take one tablespoon of the mixture. Bring together to create a dough like consistency and then roll into a ball. (Note: Having wet hands makes this process a lot easier!) As the ball is still moist, roll through to coat with the extra shredded coconut. Chill in refrigerator until needed. (Makes approximately 38 – 40 balls if using a tablespoon measure.)...
Chai Poached Pears, Mouhalabia & Crunchy Almonds

Chai Poached Pears, Mouhalabia & Crunchy Almonds

Recently, I visited a Lebanese sweets shop with my husband and kids (I won’t name the place simply because this post isn’t about naming and shaming anyone). This wasn’t a place where I usually buy my Lebanese sweets but I’d heard about it. It seemed quite popular and was pretty busy for a Saturday night so I assumed it would be a good place to check out whilst in that area. To put it mildly, I wasn’t overly impressed. The shop itself needed a serious make over. The tables were wobbly and the chairs were those uncomfortable plastic ones that all Arab families buy at a bargain price from Bunnings for their outdoor ‘bbq areas’ (no offence to all owners of those plastic chairs, my parents included haha). And then they had displays where they sold little Minion toys and another with deodorant gift packs. So completely random! I mean when have you ever gone out for dessert and thought, ‘I wish I’d remembered to buy deodorant!’ Back to the sweets. The kids didn’t really know what they wanted. I, on the other hand, was craving everything! So we eventually decided on a plate which had a variety of desserts to share. Perfect, I thought. Well, no, not really. The sweets themselves tasted okay but nothing to write home about. Which brings me to my biggest disappointment of the evening…the way they just threw the sweets onto the plate with neither love nor attention. Why I ask? Why? Everyone knows that you eat with your eyes first. I’m a firm believer in presentation and the role it plays in...
Pistachio & Rosewater Shortbreads

Pistachio & Rosewater Shortbreads

It’s been too long between posts, I know! Things have just been really hectic as we come up to the end of another year. Finalising photo shoots, the kid’s school functions, my little baby boy getting bigger and more demanding…and so the list goes on! Anyway, the timing of today’s post really couldn’t be any better as my Instagram has just (over the last day) moved into the 10k mark, which is very exciting! When I first started on Instagram, I really did so with no expectations. All I had in mind was wanting to be able to share my food photography, styling and my growing passion for cooking. It’s been just over 8 months since that first post and I still can’t believe how much it has grown and the opportunities that have come my way due to it. I am ever so grateful for all those who have been following, liking and giving such lovely feedback. Thank you all so much!! Recently, I have been experimenting with the Lebanese shortbread cookie (called ‘ghoraybeh’ in Arabic). They are sweet and soft and so ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ yummy! I have loved making & gifting them, every time adding twists to see what flavour combo would taste best. So here I have the recipe for you & for the first time I have also taken it to my You Tube channel The Lebanese Plate. It is my first cooking video and I have to admit I am not the best at moving image but if you bare with me, hopefully with time I’ll get better! Please go on over, check it out and subscribe! I hope...
What childhood memories are made of

What childhood memories are made of

Unearthing memories from long ago I find dollops of family, friends, school, playfulness, off the wall laughing and sometimes crying. There were mostly good times, which were of course, like anybody else, trumped at times with a sprinkling of sad moments. From time to time I remember specific events but truthfully, the older I get the harder I find I need to dig into that memory bank. Not surprisingly, what I do recall easily are so many memories of food. My childhood was full of food. Lots of food. I’m guessing this may have something to do with my Mother whose philosophy was ‘if you have a meal and I wasn’t around to see it, did you really eat?’ Even now, the first thing she’ll ask my kids is ‘have you eaten?’ And of course she’ll insist that they have something regardless of their response. My Mother also had quite a sweet tooth, which I’ve definitely inherited from her. We always had Turkish delights lying around which she would squish and sandwich between two milk coffee or arrowroot biscuits. And then there were the bowls of sweet and creamy rice pudding, the dish that now holds a special place in my heart. Thinking about these I feel a great sense of comfort. In my moments of nostalgia I tell my kids about my past ‘foodie’ thoughts and experiences. I wasn’t much into cooking back then but I was always a sucker for good food. One time I told my girls about how I wished I could ‘download’ food from my TV, during my favourite ads! ‘Omg, Mum! Where did you even get your ideas?’...
Apple Tarts & Baklawa Crumble

Apple Tarts & Baklawa Crumble

Saturday mornings during (what we call) our ‘pre-child’ era often meant long sleep-ins followed by a simple breakfast that was lazily mustered together with one eye closed; at a time that technically would be considered lunch. Fifteen plus years & 4 kids later, Saturday mornings are now quite different! They are much busier and of course long sleep ins are completely out of the question. In fact, it’s almost impossible when you have an ever growing ‘to-do’ list you’re trying to catch up on.Add that to the kids in your bed, ‘too loud for that time of day’, full of energy shenanigans, whining over trivial things & the many cries of hunger as though the kids haven’t been fed in weeks. And we can’t forget soccer, lost shin pads, shoes & jerseys! In light of all that, we really have grown to love Saturdays. Look, it certainly wasn’t one of those ‘love at first sight’ kinda things. We’ve just, somewhat, become increasingly acquainted through acceptance & a familiarity of sorts. Once we get over that initial morning bump, the weekend is the only oppurtunity we get to have some quality family time. And that’s special. From a big leisurely breakfast, outings, board games or movies or (what we’re really loving of late) cooking up a storm in the kitchen. My older three are not so little anymore (13, 11 & 9) so cooking together has become a lot more fun. They’re yet to master the ‘cleaning up’ stage but otherwise it’s great to see them come up with their own ideas (mostly sweet!) and enjoy going out and shopping for what’s...
Mouhalabia ~ Lebanese Milk Pudding

Mouhalabia ~ Lebanese Milk Pudding

Those of you who follow me on Instagram would probably think my family and I are forever making and eating desserts! Well, reality is we don’t. No, really, we don’t! We do try our best to stick to a ‘everything in moderation diet’. And then there’s the whole time thing…who ever has enough of it! Usually weekends are left for the fancier stuff, for experimenting and desserts that require a lot of time and effort. During the week, on the other hand (if there ever is dessert on the menu) it needs to be quick and simple. This here is one of my favourites. If you love Rice Pudding (like I do), you will be sure to love Mohalabia. Mohalabia is a popular Lebanese dessert that can be best described as a Milk Pudding, to those not familiar with it. It really is so easy and so quick to make. You can have it as is or add your favourite fruits and/or nuts. What I love about this simple dessert is, for a special occasion, you could easily jazz it up. Try pouring it into pre-made tart cases & once set top with slices of fresh fruit. Yum! Ingredients 2 2/3 cups milk 2 1/2 tablespoons cornflour 3 tablespoons white sugar 1 tablespoon orange blossom water 1 tablespoon rose water Method Use 2 tablespoons of milk  and combine this with the cornflour. Mix to form a paste and add to a saucepan with remainder of milk and sugar. Simply bring to the boil, reduce heat and continue whisking for approximately 10 – 15 minutes or until mixture begins to...
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