Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lemon Layer Cake

I just returned from a relaxing five day trip home to Detroit, Michigan. Okay I lied, I got home Tuesday night and spent the last two nights catching up on Gossip Girl and Real Housewives. Don't judge. But here I am now. I'm all yours. And with this delectable cake to share. Bake it for Mother's Day, your best friend's birthday or any random Tuesday. It's a beautiful and scrumptious cake that's perfect for spring. I won't lie, it's kind of a lot of work. But it's really worth it. Not to mention it's so big you can eat it for every meal for like four days straight. Which is definitely what my mom and I did.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Middle Eastern Spaghetti

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. The past week has been full of happy hours, hamburgers, secondhand cigarette smoke, mussels, laughing, 25 cent margaritas (mistake), sunshine and beautiful friends. All of this has left little time for cooking. Now that my arteries are clogged and my lungs are ashen, I thought it time to make some comfort food. And spaghetti has been on my mind all week.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vegetarian Stuffed Swiss Chard Leaves

When I think of making food with my Teta, this is what I remember. Sitting on the ground for hours (or what seemed) picking through grape leaves. Oh and the rolling. She taught me how to roll the tightest, most perfect grape leaves. Nothing like the sloppy, fat, loose "dolmas" you find at the markets or faux Middle Eastern restaurants. Yes, I am a snob. I learned from the best, what can I say. 

She always used fresh leaves. So fresh that she would wander around the wooded area of our neighborhood and pick them herself. (Oh trees, how I miss you). She even got stopped by a cop, which was hilarious to me since she doesn't speak a lick of English. Although just a couple weeks ago she learned how to ask "Where baby?"

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mediterranean Dumplings with Yogurt & Mint Sauce

This is a dish that you will never find in a Middle Eastern restaurant. It's very special, and very rare to find in recipe form. My Teta ("Grandma" in arabic) didn't make it all that often, so it was a real treat when she did. This is one of those recipes that has been handed down from generation to generation, lost in translation somewhere between my Lebanese Grandmother and American mother, altered between greasy index card to greasy computer print out (wait, is that what that's called?)...tested by me, added to my iPad recipe app...and now to you! And you will probably never make this because it takes a bajillion hours. BUT I promise it will be one of your favorite things you will ever eat. I can just imagine how my Teta felt when I told her this was my favorite thing to eat, and that I wanted to come home to it for every break from college. I love you! (Even though you don't speak English or read this blog, or know what a blog is). 

I will provide you with as many shortcuts as possible along the way. And I recommend making these with a best friend, a bottle of wine and your favorite tunes playing softly in the background. I, however, made these alone, in my kitchen, listening to Fresh Air, but of course with a bottle of wine.

What is your favorite meal your Teta makes?

Monday, April 4, 2011