Kafta is a Lebanese staple for a reason. Beyond being extremely delicious, it’s also extremely easy to make and extremely versatile. It comes together quickly and only requires a few ingredients. Oh yeah and the added bonus…it’s very healthy! Earlier in my blogging days, I shared our kafta recipe, but it was for kafta in pita. This is yet another way you can make kafta. It’s sauteed or pan-fried in olive oil until seared and cooked through. We then turn the heat off and add in lemon juice so an olive oil-lemon sauce forms. It’s beyond delicious and the kafta ends up being tangy, juicy, and tender. Just one of the many ways you can make and serve kafta.
We all love cinnamon rolls, but from time to time we all like a change. With Summer being practically here, I decided to use my cinnamon roll dough recipe for these homemade orange rolls. I’m using the same dough, because I love how they come out soft, fluffy and not sweet. The filling is buttery, citrusy and so good. The topping is more of the same. The thing I really love about these rolls, besides their summer flavor and the texture is that they maintain that texture over a couple of days. That’s all due to our starter. I love this variation of rolls and I’m sure you will too.
Everyone’s grandma has a specialty cake. Like many out there, my grandma’s specialty cake came from a box. Her specialty cake was the Betty Crocker marble cake. Yes, it’s true. It came straight up from a box. There was no doctored version, it was just the regular recipe made with love. We loved it, of course. Give us a piece of that cake with some ice cold milk and we were happy and quiet for a while. We’ve spent many Saturdays eating that cake, so when I think of marble cake today, it’s really nostalgic for me.
As amazing as that cake was when I was a kid, I think we can do better now. I’m not a huge boxed cake mix fan to be honest. I mean, I’m all for boxed cake in a pinch. I’m no snob here. But, when I have the time and the ingredients, I’d much rather have a made from scratch cake. The challenge is making a good homemade marble cake. Many have tried, but it presents more challenges than you’d think.
Cheesecakes are easy, but at the same time, they take just a bit of work. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s not. Stay with me for a bit here. So, cheesecakes aren’t complicated. They involve ingredients we typically have on hand. Graham cracker crumbs, cream cheese, eggs, sugar, heavy cream, etc. Cream the ingredients in a pan and bake them off. However, they are also a bit of work. Some people bake their cheesecakes in a water bath. I’m not saying a water bath is difficult to set-up, but anyone who’s done it will attest to its awkward set-up. On top of that, it’s not like you can just dive-in once it’s baked. You have to wait for the next day for the cheesecake to set-up before doing that. That’s probably the hardest part of it all. Well, sometimes you’re just not feeling it. Sometimes you want to cut the ingredients, time, and effort in half. This recipe for no-bake mini cheesecakes will fill your cheesecake sweet tooth and it’s so easy and quick to put together. No baking, no crust, no water bath, just easy mixing.
If I said “Lebanese food” to you, what is the first thought that comes to mind? Lebanese food is known as a flavorful, yet very healthy cuisine. I know I’m biased, but it’s my favorite cuisine, with Italian being not too far behind. One of our most well-known dishes is chicken shawarma. Both beef and chicken shawarma have become trendy food items over the last few years. Their popularities have grown exponentially, especially in the U.S. during this past decade. They’re tasty, widely accessible, and a great on-the-go snack.
Many of you have probably had a shawarma at your local restaurant. Let’s admit it, some have been better than others. So, why leave it to chance, when you can just make it at home? This is my mom’s recipe for authentic Lebanese chicken shawarma. It’s much easier to make than you think and it’s beyond tasty. Juicy and tender flavorful chicken wrapped in pita slathered with garlic sauce. It’s the way to go moving forward.
Smoothies are like the *it* thing right now. Smoothie shops are popping up on every corner in every shopping plaza across the country. A smoothie is such a wonderful concept. Fruit, milk, a thickener, and delicious flavorings. Blend it all together and you get your healthy, yet flavorful drink. You also get your natural vitamins for the day. It sure as heck beats shoving broccoli down your throat. As you guys know, smoothies come in many different flavors and they’re incredibly easy to make. A lot of times, you can just blend up what you have on hand and voila, you have a smoothie! In my case, I have lots and lots of berries on hand at the moment. So, I figured it’s my perfect chance to share my version of a triple-berry smoothie.
Cinnamon rolls are one of the most popular brunch items across this country and for good reason. When done right, they’re light, fluffy, gooey and perfectly full of cinnamon flavor. A couple of months ago, I finally shared my version of a traditional overnight yeasted cinnamon roll, which you can find here.
A great yeasted cinnamon roll is and should be the standard. But, let’s face it. Sometimes we’re just not in the mood to go through the yeast process. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. Sometimes we just want to get our fix without the hassle. And sometimes, like more recently, we’re just out of the ingredients required to make traditional cinnamon rolls. That’s where this amazing cake comes in. It’s a light, fluffy and moist cake. That’s first and foremost. We utilize the reverse-creaming method, which yields a wonderfully light and tender cake. Along with it being amazingly moist and fluffy, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s full of cinnamon flavor, the sides get gooey and it’s topped with homemade cream cheese frosting. It actually tastes like a cinnamon roll! It’s pretty trippy actually. For way less work, we’re able to get full-on cinnamon roll flavor. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
Chicken wings are the ultimate comfort food. They’re crispy, flavorful, juicy and easy to make. Fresh from the fryer, there is nothing better. This is not up for debate. Wings come in many varieties, but a heavy favorite for most are the buffalo wings. They have just enough spice to give your tastebuds a workout. My buffalo wings are not traditional in that they’re breaded. I prefer breaded wings, so that’s why I do it. However, I know there are many traditionalists out there. That’s why I’m sharing two versions of my hot wings recipe. One that will be breaded and fried and another that is without the breading and is roasted in the oven. Why am I offering that alternative option? Well, mainly because we’re having a national shortage on flour right now and the non-breaded option doesn’t require flour. Also, it’s considerably a healthier option, since we’re roasting instead of frying. Whatever option you choose, understand you can’t go wrong. Both recipes produce flavorful and amazingly juicy buffalo wings.
One of my favorite movies of all time is The Sandlot. Real renegade, I know. I know it’s a super popular and mainstream movie, but for me, it’s a part of my childhood. I’m an early ’90s baby, so it was literally everywhere when I was growing up. I’m pretty sure my first crush ever was Benny Rodriguez and I mean, who can blame me? And of course, it’s just a really funny and fun movie. So, that’s why I couldn’t and can’t resist the pull of The Sandlot. Pretty much every scene in the movie is my favorite and is super quotable, but one of most iconic in the movie is when Scotty aka “Smalls”, is in the treehouse for a campout and is called out by “Ham” for not knowing what a s’more was. “I haven’t had anything yet…so how can I have some more of nothing?” Ah, Smalls you fool. Your naiveté is quite hilarious. Regardless, The Sandlot is no doubt an All-American movie and the S’more is no doubt an All-American snack. Thus, to honor both one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite snacks, I’ve decided to share this full-proof recipe for delicious homemade s’ mores ice cream.