Archive for May, 2009

Potato Zuchini salad

Posted in Food (vegan) with tags , , on 31,May,2009 by Mia

 

Potato-Zuchini salad/Kahliya-logue

Heavy heat prevails again in our region leading us to tag along like battered mosquitos,making the mere idea of a wholesome cooked meal quite difficult to digest..sollution? Salads!

Be it sauted;chopped;tossed;pureed ;mixed and mingled..just as long as its nice, cool and light!

So,I came up with what will probably be just a beginning of a long line of  experimental toss and turn adventures this long summer season(NOT complaining-I love the summer! 🙂 ).

Nothing very fancy but definitely does the trick,as it is very tasty,cool and light,not to mention healthy all the same!

Note:In the seasoning I have used Sumac which I have brought back with me from my trip to Jordan.we have it here too but it is very difficult to find a freshly ground pure Sumac.It is only when it is very fresh that you can enjoy that lovely flavour which is a blend of tanginess with what I personally find as a “Tomatoey” flavor.It has to be a vibrant Burgundy-Reddish color and when it ages it turns into a darker dull brown.Some Spice dealers mix it with Lemon salt to revive the lemony taste as they keep it on the shelf longer.Sometimes it can easily be detected as you can see the small white specks.I absolutely Love Sumac.It has a beautiful decorative aspect with its unique color as you sprinkle it on food,and that special delicate nuance of a flavour is just magnificent especially on salads in the summer.

Ingredients:

a few Potatoes (cooked and cooled)(I keep the skin on,but peeled if you prefer)-chopped

1-2 Zuchini sliced and sauted lightly in Olive oil

1 Tomato-chopped

1 Red Bell pepper-chopped

Black Olives

Fresh Champignon mushrooms chopped coarsely

1 medium sized ripe Avocado cut into chunks

Olive oil

freshly squeezed Lemon

dried Thyme

dried Sage

Sumac

Salt /pepper

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Chop Potatoes,Tomato,Bell pepper and Mushrooms and place in a bowl,and mix.

Add sauted Zuchinis,Olives and Chopped or sliced) Avocado

Sprinkle Olive oil,freshly squeezed Lemon and spices and delicately toss the salad and serve.

*I like to sprinkle the Sumac at the end for a decorative touch.

Enjoy!

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The Lip-pouch

Posted in my handcraft, Recycling with tags , , , , , , , , , on 22,May,2009 by Mia

Pink n` Purple lippouch/Kahliyapink n purple lippouch/kahliyalogue

 

Lemon Raspberry lippouch/kahliyalemon raspberry lippouch/kahliyalogue

I have mentioned that I have returned from my recent travels with renewed energy,inspiration and material,and I am actually working on several new ideas for this summer which excite me very much.

One of the concepts is working with recycled plastic bags,something Ive learned from a dear friend who is also very creative,and I am very grateful to her.I have written about Cristen and her initiative here.

As you may know by now,those innocent looking plastic bags we still recieve upon many of our purchases,once we dispose of them ,we actually never ”get rid of them” as they are not biodegradable,simply meaning their structure is unable to dissolve ,resulting in creating a major toxic waste ,endangering the earth aswell as many animals .

Hopefully more and more people will understand this very  important point and seriously find alternative ways to carry their purchases back home with them.I also hope the distribution of these bags will finally be completely banned,aswell as their production which is equally problematic!

In the meantime,in an effort to keep them from polluting the earth ,scattered all over the place and creating real danger,there are many creative people who came up with the idea to do something useful with them,forming them into new products to be used in daily life.

I have decided to “join the club” and I too am collecting them  to create cool accessories .

One of my latest creations is the “LIP POUCH”, a pouch created to hold a lip balm or a lipstick in wonderful refreshing colors for the summer,hanging on a necklace enabling to carry the lipbalm/lipstick on you wherever you go,especially to the beach/poolside,as a chic fashionable accesorry.

Apple Semolina bake

Posted in sweets with tags , , , , , on 22,May,2009 by Mia

 Apple -Semolina bake/Kahliyalogue

Once again Im in the mood for something pampering and sweet.The weather is warmer,and I`d like a  naturally mild sweet  refreshing snack .So I set my sights again on finding a sollution for something health friendly yet soul soothing..and I found it!

Back in the days when I used to prepare Natural baked goods and delicacies for a living,one of my popular cakes was an Apple coffee cake,topped with Apple slices in Cinnamon.It was a real hit.In those days although I would use whole wheat flour,I still used eggs and did not really economise on the use of sugar or oil even if they were the healthier kinds.

This time,I felt like using the basic idea but exploring a lighter version,without eggs,using very little oil,Coconut oil in this case,aswell as very little Brown Sugar,though I would of even preferred to use Jaggery(which I wrote about here)I just didnt happen to have any at the moment.For the base I used Semolina instead of flour,turning it into a mold since semolina tends to just stick together ,so the Apples and Cinnamon create the flavor and the moisture.

Semolina cake is a very typical traditional cake in many Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cultures slightly varying in preparation and usually very rich ,and quite delicious.I guess these cakes like “Basboussa” for example are another origin of inspiration here,though obviously the outcome is something much lighter.

You are welcome to regard this as a base adding more oil/sugar if you please,I just wanted to see how little I actually need to make it satisfyingly tasty and healthy,while at the same time it is very possible to actually totally delete the use of sugar and oil if you wish.For me personally the flavor of the Apples and cinnamon was refreshingly pleasing.

 

Apple Semolina bake/Kahliyalogue

Since this bake is quite dense ,I used a small baking dish of 12cm x 16 cm,and cut small square servings.

Ingredients:

For topping:

1 large Apple

Cinnamon

Brown Sugar

For base:

1 cup Semolina(1.5)approx.

1 tbs Coconut oil + 1 tsp(for oiling the dish)

Cinnamon

Brown sugar

1 cup(approx) boiled water

1 cup (approx)Soy milk

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Peel Apple,cut in quarters,then slice medium thin slices

mix in a bowl with some sprinkled cinnamon,and brown sugar(I used about 1-1.5 tbs)

Mix together ,then neatly place in an oven dish,slightly oiled with coconut oil(or any other)

Keep in mind that the end result is served reversing the dish,so place the slices with their wider side facing down.

 

In a frying pan put coconut oil,and as it heats up pour in 1 cup of Semolina,sprinkle some Cinnamon and quickly toss around the semolina allowing it to toast slightly as the grains get covered with the oil.

This is a very short process as you should not allow it to burn,lower heat and pour in about 1 cup boiled water mixed with a bit of brown sugar( I used 1-1.5 tbs),mix thoroughly and quickly as the blend insatntly becomes lumpy,keep mixing while you add another 1 cup of Soy milk,making sure you maintain a smooth blend.Your end result should be a moist thick blend which you then pour over the arranged Apple slices,flattening the top surface.

Bake in a preheated oven 200 for 20-30 min.

Beware of the top drying out,when it does sprinkle some boiled water,allowing the cake to retain its moisture and continue to bake covered.

Remove from oven,with a sharp knife cut through the inner sides of the dish,place a dish over its top,hold firmly and quickly reverse the bake onto the plate.

You may then sprinkle some more Cinnamon to decorate,slice and serve!

There is another way!

Posted in humanitarian, music, Spirituality with tags , , , , on 16,May,2009 by Mia

…”and when I cry I cry for both of us,my pain has no name..there must be another way..”

Singers Noa and Mira Awad represent Israel tonight on the Eurovision song contest,regardless if they win the actual contest..in my eyes they have already WON! They won over the pessimism,the anger ,the resentment and the fear,they won with the most powerful weapon,with the power of LOVE.

The same power that does not neglect  nor deny the pain and the damages done,but opens a gate to change an ongoing destructive pattern,that knows not anymore how to stop.A change fueled by courage and not by fear,the courage to open one`s heart even to who has done you wrong;the courage to accept the other,as he has the right to be here just like you..and if you look closely enough you will see..that he is actually not that different than you as you thought..and hey..he might even add more  color to your life,living his life next to you,you might even have some things to exchange..

Unfortunately it is not our current political leaders who have the courage to lead us to the light,but if you ask me,I would vote for these two ladies as our ambassadresses anyday!I hope with all my heart that their bold honest open hearts and strong will for change will deliver a message of hope;inspire and influence to stop, think and change route..at the very least I sincerely wish they are able to convey the fact that they represent a voice of many who do not have the chance to be heard,trapped in the workings of larger groups and their leaders…like myself..! 🙂

This is not the first time they collaborate together,I have written about them before  as they began this journey of delivering a message of light .I am delighted to see them continue,I feel ever so inspired,empowered,grateful and for the first time in a long long time..full of hope!

SHUKRAN VE TODA RABA NOA VE MIRA AWAD,THANK YOU!

I believe that each and every small gesture of kindness and openness to one another,removes a brick from this huge wall that divides between us,making way to a ray of light,creating the path…to that ”other way” …

Whole wheat pasta in Tomatoes and Olives

Posted in Food (vegan) with tags , , , , , , on 9,May,2009 by Mia

Whole wheat pasta in Tomatoes and olives/Kahliya-logue

Tony killed me with the fabulous scent of the Tomato dish he prepared..so I had to come up with something ‘Tomatoey’ presto!

A while ago I was very impressed by a dish prepared by the Israeli chef-Haim Cohen,and on the spot I just knew I had to try it..and yes..it was about Tomatoes..and it had such an authentic homey feel to it.The idea was large  ‘slices’ of handmade pasta,cooked in quartered Tomatoes and cracked Olives,originally topped with Sardines,but as you can guess I skipped that part,and I used whole wheat flour for the pasta.The base of the Tomatoes was so simple as was the pasta,even though handmade,don`t let that scare you!No spices,no super duper luxury here,just another way to enjoy the pure Tomato flavor.I guess you can say the ‘punch’ here would be the Olives,as they were Cracked Green olives,what is called here ‘Syrian Olives’,or ‘Cracked olives’,and as I look them up,I find them under the title Kura olives,which are Green Olives that are picked before totally ripe,cracked with a stone or a hammer to trigger fermentation,and cured in salt,a method that results in a mild bitter taste.I personally love these olives,though I admit, I adore almost all olives.The thing is, these are normally served added to Middle-Eastern salads,and I kind of liked the refreshing idea of it being combined in a “Middle -Eastern” pasta dish.Of course,you can always try this with any kind of Olive you may prefer.

Shall we..?

 

Ingredients:

for pasta dough:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1.5 tsp Olive oil

1/3 cup water

for sauce:

4-5 tomatoes quartered

olive oil

salt(preferably coarse sea salt)

Pepper

Pitted green Olives(syrian)

*    *    *    *    *

prepare dough by mixing ingredients

Set aside for 30 min.

Meantime in a large frying pan,place quartered Tomatoes in little olive oil,sprinkling with sea salt and cover pan,allowing to keep moisture in while tomatoes become somewhat ‘poached’,add pitted olives and pepper,mixing and taking care tomatoes soften and transform to chunky (there I go again..)sauce.Make sure you don`t overcook the tomatoes as I might of done.I think the idea is more of a freshly poached tomato mixture other than a classic pureed sauce.Also,if you are using Coarse Sea-Salt,take care as you may not realise things get saltier quicker,if you know what I mean..!

 

Returning to your dough,roll it  out to a surface ,cutting un-uniformed large flat pieces.

gently throw them into a large pot of boiling water and remove them after they have surfaced.

add them to the pan with the tomatoes allowing them to blend with the sauce.

That`s it,hope you enjoy!

Dreams..

Posted in Spirituality with tags on 4,May,2009 by Mia

The issue of Dreams has come up quite a lot this week,in my life aswell as in the life of friends..and I feel like giving it a moment of thought,of honor.

What did you dream of when you were a child? What did you want to be when you were to grow up?

Where are you now? Anywhere near..? At all…?

Does it strike you as odd? Or do you put it down to the naivite  in childhood,the only time we are allowed to dream..not realising what “REAL” life demands of us..?

Does it not strike you as odd..at all??

Yes,I know..the twists and turns of life itself are very overwhelming and sooo unpredictable indeed,believe me do I know..

But still..how much did we really honestly give ourselves a chance to visit those dreams ,even for a brief moment;a taste;a weekly,monthly class?

Is it Really that so far fetched and difficult to tap into our dreams?revisit them? Or has it just become so comfortable/organised/settled without disrupting our lives by suddenly connecting with our true innerselves?To enable us to LIVE more fully,more LIVELY,more HAPPY??Is it just easier to close the lid,then to deal with that essential part of us ,and work on how to introduce it to the world?

Isnt Life just hard enough without having to deal with THAT?The courage to take it out of the box..to deal with the reactions of our surroundings,their possible lack of encouragement,the fear of failure,the economic risks..whew..back in the box,presto!Sigh,relief..back to “normal”… Werent we all educated,trained not to take ‘risks’,not to be ‘unique’,not to ‘dream’…but to be ‘practical’..?

I actually believe that EACH and everyone of us is UNIQUE and has a DREAM.I also believe that we are put here on Earth to LIVE our DREAM and therefore fully equiped to do so. For those who say: I wish I could be____ but Im just not talented..I dont believe that to be true! If one has the LOVE for something,then he can do it,maybe in a totally different way then it is being done!

Maybe it takes time,maybe it takes a lot of courage,confrontation,struggle,frustration,negativity from others,social and economical risks..but its worth every teeny weeny effort,because it`s the dedication of the person to his TRUE self.It is in actualising your true self that everything else falls rightly into place.

Mevlana Rumi says:”There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do.Human beings come into this world to do a particular work.That work is their purpose,and each is specific to the person.If you forget everything else and not this,there`s nothing to worry about.If you remember everything else and not your true work,then you will have done nothing with your life.”

and Kahlil Gibran in his book “The Prophet” says:”Work is Love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.For if you bake bread with indifference,you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man`s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes,your grudge distills a poison in the wine…”

Maybe you dont even know what your dream is,having had it burried for so long,so well,you have managed to even hide it from “yourself”.Thats ok.Just start with tiny dips into things that bring joy,to slowly rediscover what it is.And oh,have I mentioned saying “it`s too late” is not an option anymore..? People have long proved by now they have transformed their lives at stages once thought of as “old”.Ever hear of the saying “better late than never” ?

So..Tap into yourself today,pay yourself a visit.See what you can do to coax your true innerself out to play even for just an hour.Do something you truly LOVE ,even for just a brief moment,and make some room for it in your weekly routine..and then..watch it grow.. 🙂

Many of you have probably already seen Susan Boyle,she is for me a symbol of DREAMS that CAN,SHOULD and WILL come true at the end..if we only do our part in enabling them..