Rainbow Stuffed Peppers

My mother swears by these for parties.  And she is right. They are delicious and no matter how many you make, they all get eaten.  They also look fabulous and can be prepped well ahead of time and put in the oven as your guests arrive.  We also have them for weeknight suppers served with rice or some grilled chicken.  This is also a colourful and fun way to get veggies into your little ones.

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Mshat

‘you shouldn’t want him to stay young, it’s a blessing that he grows up’ Mama says to me over a giggle as we eat our lunch.  She reaches over to squeeze my arm and then quickly refocuses on the mshat on her plate, pushing one into the yoghurt dip and rolls her eyes at me.

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Feta and Halloumi Pastries

Growing up in the Middle East in the 80s and 90s there wasn’t really a wide selection of cheeses.  It was really just goat and sheep cheese.  Wonderful, salty, white cheeses that just begged for nigella seeds and warm bread to be eaten with.  That is why this recipe is so delicious, it has them all in one perfect mouthful.  This recipe is my favourite to eat and also my favourite to make for parties as people always gasp when they see them and say ‘wow!’ when they eat them which is the exact reaction you want from your party guests.

I especially like to make these in advent when having guests over to celebrate Christmas.   Read More




Ijah

‘Anything you can do, I can do better.  I can do anything better than you’ my mother would say encouraging me to repeat after her.  She would do this if I exhibited any self-doubt or when I felt excluded by my brothers or my classmates.  It’s not surprising that she would insist on me being confident and self-assured when she herself had to be, especially as she had to go against the grain so often in her life to do what she wanted to do.

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Vegetable Broth

Growing up in the middle east, you become very familiar with the small bowl of vegetable broth that comes out with most meals to accompany your rice or maftool or freekah.  My work has seen me manage humanitarian and development programmes across the middle east, and I have been lucky enough to be invited to eat with many communities we have worked with.  Whether a small farm in Iraq, a priest’s house in Egypt or a refugee camp in Gaza you always get a lovely bowl of broth, called mara’ in Arabic.  It’s usually the juices that the meat has been cooked in with vegetables added to it.  If you are making maftool, you would use the chicken juices for this.  However, if you don’t eat meat or you are taking a shortcut you can use vegetable stock, which is the recipe I am sharing here.

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