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Author Archives: Yvonne

Printable Spice Labels

spice-labels-vertical-with-frame1

It’s always a good move to get things organized in the kitchen and what better time to do it than in the drudgery of winter? If you’re anything like me and love to collect odd shaped bottles and tins and containers of exotic spices and even the more commonly used ones, it can be nice but get messy quickly. Very ... Read More »

How to Reduce the Pungency of Red Onions

soaking onions in water

If you’re anything like me, you don’t mind onions in your salads or even sandwiches, in fact you actually like them very much. Problem is, they can be awfully pungent. I make lots of salads with red onions (there’s even a Sicilian orange and red onion salad that’s one of my absolute favorites), however, when I serve them I notice ... Read More »

Should You Only Use a Wooden Spoon to Make Tomato Sauce?

wood spoon for sauce

It may seem like a strange question, but for serious pasta lovers, or tomato sauce lovers, it’s taken pretty seriously.  Whether it’s just an old wives tale or not, there are many folks who say there is scientific truth to the fact that a metal spoon will impart a metallic taste to the sauce due to the acidity in the ... Read More »

On Being Half Sicilian

box of sicilian tomatoes

It’s so important to appreciate and respect our family roots, no matter how old we are or well-traveled or educated. One always comes full circle in when you’re able to understand at least a little something about our grandparents, great-grandparents and beyond them. What where their struggles? What were their professions? How did they live, what did they eat? What ... Read More »

5 Inexpensive Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without This Winter

Olive Tree Soap Company Organic Argan Oil

We are all pretty well aware that this has been our coldest winter or record. Polar Vortex, ChiBeria, Snowmageddon, whatever you call it, it doesn’t look like we’ll be forgetting this one any time soon.  As we remain warm and comfortable (alhamdullilah) in our homes to ride out the cold wave, each time I look down to my red, dry ... Read More »

Kebsa, a Gulf-Style One Pot Rice & Meat Dish

kebsa january 2014 v. 2 picmonkey

Somehow during this polar vortex we’re having, I keep finding myself craving Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods- perhaps it’s the hefty amounts of meat (with all that ‘good’ fat) involved, or the pungent spices that I crave when it’s cold. For the last two days, I’ve made Kebsa (also spelled “Kepsa” or “Kabsa”), a one-pot Saudi style rice and meat ... Read More »

Surviving Chiberia

tall trees in winter

Most of the world now knows how incredibly and inhumanely cold it is here in Chicagoland and by the time this post is published, there have been countless articles and photos posted around the web about our insanely freezing temperatures. At the time of writing, we are way beyond negative temperatures but the real feel is even more so. I ... Read More »

Mediterranean Couscous with Chicken & Olives

saffron road couscous dish 039

We’re in the thick of winter. It’s cold, icy, slushy, and the snow is absolutely beautiful from indoors, as long as you don’t have to drive in any of it. It’s the time of year when you realize that on any given day, the snow storms could blow in and it’ll be a great opportunity to cook up some favorite ... Read More »

Sweet Giveaway: Amal’s Baklava

amal's baklava 3

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of trying a baklava that is new to me- it’s homemade by a woman named Amal out of her Los Angeles kitchen and it’s delicious in the way that only a  homemade baklava can be. For me, someone who grew up eating baklava from grocery stores that sold the hard but  flaky, almost too hard to ... Read More »

Two (Non-Halal) Things That Could Be On Cheese Rind

Cheese is probably my most favorite food, next to bread. I know, it’s more like an ingredient but I grew up on cheese and carbs, whether it was mac ‘n cheese, cheesy pasta, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches or some other type of sandwich that had meat and cheese- there had to be cheese or it didn’t feel like a complete ... Read More »