Caramel Popcorn Recipe

on Sunday, September 15, 2013

Caramel Popcorn Recipe by

It is funny how some memories are closely tied and linked with specific places! For me, when there is any mention of movie theater, my mind and senses directly wander to caramel popcorn. The sense is so strong that Caramel Popcorn’s lovely smell and aroma fill me up!

Sometimes, I believe that my love for the movie theater stems from my love to caramel popcorn. I cannot remember a single time when I went to the theater without getting some caramel popcorn. And, I think that this love relationship with caramel popcorn is a widely shared love affair, for when I go to the movies I notice that most, if not all, buy it, especially the children.

Two years ago, just before mother’s day, my younger daughter kept telling me that this year she has a very special mother’s day gift! Each day she kept repeating “my gift this year, will blow your mind away! it will just blow it away!!”

On mother’s day she presented me with a cook book they prepared at school. The teacher had asked the kids to bring (from their mother) their favorite recipe. She collected the recipes and printed a cookbook for the kids to present to their mothers. One of the recipes was for caramel popcorn.

The minute I opened my present, my daughter insisted I open a specific page, which was the recipe for caramel popcorn. Before that day,I never thought of preparing caramel popcorn at home, but mother’s day of 2011 was a new start, for starting that day my sweet Mariana will ask me every morning “Mom, when will you prepare caramel popcorn?”

Soon afterwards, I prepared caramel popcorn at home and discovered how easy it was. Now, I prepare it frequently for it is the best movie companion. The only flaw of caramel popcorn……. it is addictive!

Lahm Bi Ajin Recipe (Sfiha Recipe)

on Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lahm Bi Ajin Recipe by

"Lahm Bi Ajin" or Sfiha pastries are among the most loved pastries (Muajanat) in the Middle East. Lahm Bi Ajin is very popular in the whole region from Armenia and Turkey in the north, through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, extending to the Gulf countries in the south, and spreading to north Africa. "Lahm bi Ajin" has many names including “Sfiha", "Lahmajun", "Lahmacun", "Meat Pies", "Meat Pizzas".

Although each country prepares these yummy meat pies in its own way, the basic method is the same: yeast dough with minced meat topping or filling. The difference is in the spices, meat marinade, and crust. Many prepare Lahm Bi Ajin with extra thin crust and the pies prepared that way are called Armenian Sfiha or Armenian Lahmajun. Others prepare it with a somewhat thicker crust; by thicker I don't mean a thick crust, but thick when compared to the paper thin one used in the Armenian version. The most popular way for preparing Lahm Bi Ajin in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria is using the thicker crust.

I remember that before I learnt how to prepare Lam Bi Ajin at home we used to order it from restaurants. We used to order Armenian Lahmajun or Aleppeian Sfeeha. I am not sure how the Aleppian version differs from my Sfiha Recipe. I learned how to prepare Lahm Bi Ajin from my sister-in-law, who helped me overcome my fear of preparing pastries or muajanat at home.

Today's portion is very generous! When I prepare it, I freeze half the amount and when needed, I take them straight out of the freezer and line them on a greased cookie sheet, and bake in a hot oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until hot.

Basic Yeast Dough Recipe

on Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yeast Dough Recipe

The basic yeast dough recipe is prepared using only the basic dough ingredients: water, yeast, flour, salt, sugar and oil. It doesn’t contain any of the extra ingredients that improve the dough’s taste and texture or make it crispier.

You can use today’s basic yeast dough recipe to prepare pizza crust or various middle eastern pastries, know as “Muajanat” or “Fataer”. As I mentioned in my previous posts, over the years I have tried dozens of dough recipes until I finally settled on two favorite ones. Today’s recipe is one of them!

Most of the time I use the Pizza Dough Recipe that I posted previously. I use today’s  basic yeast dough recipe when I want to prepare a vegan dough, or when I want to prepare pastries that are best prepared with a dough that is not very crispy, such as Arabic spinach pastries “Muajanat Sabanekh”.

And, before I forget, to prepare the best dough each and every time, don’t forget to read my two posts on preparing the perfect dough: Great Dough Part 1, and Great Dough Part 2. They include the A, B, Cs of preparing yeast dough!

Today’s recipe portion is enough to prepare the crust for two 36 cm (14 inches) pizzas. Just divide the dough into two parts, and spread each part on the bottom of one 36 cm aluminum tray. When I am preparing mini pizzas or Arabic Muajanat I double the portion.

Pizza Dough Recipe

on Friday, May 3, 2013

Pizza Dough Recipe by

Over the years I have tried dozens of dough recipes to prepare my pizza’s and Arabic pastries “Muajanat”’ until I settled on two favorite ones. Those are now nicely written in my recipe book.

Today’s dough recipe is my all time favorite that I use most of the time. It is an improved dough recipe as it includes powder milk and yogurt which give the dough flavor and make it crispier than the basic dough. This dough recipe is perfect if you are looking to prepare a pizza with a crust that is not thick but not too thin either!

Although the title of the recipe is Pizza Dough Recipe, this dough is perfect for preparing most Arabic pastries “Muajanat” including Sfiha, cheese pastries, spinach pastries, hotdog pastries, and my favorite Manakish. Manakish are popular Middle Eastern thyme pizzas.

Before preparing your dough, spare some time to read my two posts on preparing the perfect dough: Great Dough Part 1, and Great Dough Part 2. They cover the basic information you need to prepare the perfect yeast dough each and every time.

The recipe yields enough dough to prepare the crust for two 36 cm (14 inches) pizzas. I divide the dough into two parts, and spread each part on the bottom of one 36 cm aluminum tray. If I want to prepare mini pizzas or Arabic Muajanat I double the portion.

Tips: Great Dough Part 2

on Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tips for preparing Yeast dough by

First, I want to thank all of you who sent me messages to inquire about my well-being and the reasons for not posting any new articles and recipes on my blog for more than a month! I was very touched by your concern! I am well, and really sorry for being so overdue with today’s post. I was immersed in personal matters as we are moving houses, and I am sure you can guess all the hype around that. But, I promise, I will do my best to find a way to at least publish one post a week until my current hectic schedule ceases by the end of summer!

My previous post was Part 1 of the principles to prepare great yeast dough. It covered the various ingredients used in yeast dough recipes, whether it is a pizza dough or bread dough, as well as the role and importance of each ingredient.

At the time, I promised to cover in part two the different techniques used during the preparation of the dough. These techniques will help you get the perfect dough you are looking for; and this is what today’s post will cover.