Lavender Cookies

Anything that comes from my in-laws garden tastes heavenly and is a goodie because it hasn’t been treated with chemicals. Serge was visiting his parents last week and got back with a jar of dried lavender. I love lavenders, they look, smell and taste great, especially in cookies.

I make this recipe very often during spring. The sweet and fragrant flavor pop in these cookies by just adding a handful of dried lavender to my classic recipe. Everyone adores them!

Editor’s note: Your dough should come out firm. If it happens that it’s soft, chill the dough for half an hour before start working with it.


  • 1 cup/200gms room temperature butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp dried edible lavender flowers


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F, and place rack in the center of the oven. Line baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and lavender.
  5. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to an approximate thickness of 1/4 inch (6 mm). Dip cookie cutter in flour before cutting out shapes and transfer to baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 Garnish with additional lavender flowers if desired.

The Authentic Lebanese Fattoosh!

For some it’s Cats or Dogs, for others Rome or Paris, for me it’s Fattoosh or Tabooleh

I love Fattoosh salad, especially on a hot summer day. Last week we were blessed with sunshine and I had this salad for three consecutive days.

Fattoosh is a Lebanese salad, simple comme bonjour, there’s no secret on how to make it. The distinctive ingredients are sumac, purslane and toasted pita, while everything else is usual.

Crunchy and healthy! Enjoy it☺


  • ½ Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 3 Cucumber, diced
  • 3 Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Green Capsicum, seeded and chopped
  • 3 Radishes, sliced
  • 2 sprigs Green Onions / Spring Onions, chopped
  • ½ cup Parsley, leaves picked
  • ½ cup Purslane, leaves picked
  • ¼ cup Mint, leaves picked
  • 2 loaves Lebanese bread / Pitta Bread, toasted or fried


  • 1 tbsp Sumac
  • ½ cup Lemon juice
  • ½ cup Olive oil
  • Salt, to taste


In a large salad bowl, mix together the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, capsicum, radish, green onions, parsley, purslane and mint. Toss with the dressing, and serve with toasted (or fried) bread at the last minute.

Another Lebanese Dessert, the Snayniyeh!

Lebanese are very special when it comes to languages. I, like many Lebanese, speak to my daughter in French, send her to a school where she learns English and Arabic and lives in a country where the spoken language is Lebanese.

Gulf countries have a translation for every foreign word while we Lebanese have our own mishmash of languages, we don’t mind speaking 3 languages in one sentence; if it’s a computer then let’s call it a computer and not “hassoub”, and if French call it Filet, don’t think hard, everybody knows what Filet de boeuf is. I love this! It’s not complicated!

So when Kaia, asks me: “Mom what is cheese in Arabic?”, I proudly answer: “Jibneh”, but if she asks: “What is Cheese Cake?”. I answer: “It’s Cheese Cake!” Who knows what Gateau jibin is!

This morning she asked: “What is Snayniyeh in French?” I said: “It’s Snayniyeh!”. “And in English?” I answered: “Also Snayniyeh!”. She smiled and said: “It’s funny!

Fair enough, no? Italians have Tiramisu and Panna cotta we Lebanese have Snayniyeh and Meghleh. Why try calling it anything else!

Every name hides a little story behind. Snayniyeh is derived from “snan”, which means teeth in Lebanese and this scrumptious dessert is usually prepared to celebrate the appearance of a child’s first tooth. A sure phenomenal event for every mom!

I love our traditions! Meghleh to celebrate the birth of a child, Snayniyeh for teething, Maamoul for Easter and Awwamat for Ghtas (Christ’s baptismal night), isn’t it sweet☺

The name Snayniyeh put a smile on many faces as it brings back sweet memories! It’s simple and healthy and this is how I make it.


  • 1cup hulled wheat, washed and rinsed (in Arabic ameh ma’chour)
  • 1lt water
  • 1 large pomegranate, peeled and seeded
  • 3/4cup icing sugar
  • 1/2cup orange-blossom water
  • 1/2cup pistachios, soaked in water for about 1 hour
  • 1/2cup almonds, soaked in water for about 1 hour
  • 1/2cup walnuts, soaked in water for about 1 hour
  • 1/2cup sugared chick peas


  1. Cook the wheat in boiling water for an hour or until tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in icing sugar and orange-blossom water.
  3. Mix with the pomegranate seeds.
  4. Scatter the rest of the ingredients on the top and serve hot or cold.

Quails With Prunes And Thyme

My friend Ellà is a foodie too, whenever I invite her over, I feel my cooking skills are being tested. I have to admit her food is DELISH! I found out the best way to avoid her comparisons with other recipes was to cook her meals she never had before or at least not common meals, like quails (in Arabic is Ferreh).

I think we all have Ellàs in our lives and wondering how to impress them. This recipe is simple and does the job, but don’t forget to top it with liquor. Only liquors with high alcohol content can be used to flame food. I use cognac, rum or brandy. Wine or beers will not work. Flambé food adds an extravagant touch to the evening, especially if it’s done at the table where it’s served. I usually transfer quails to a serving dish and ignite the brandy. It’s dramatic! And my guests ARE impressed! What kind of show off is this? Trust me the feeling is fabulous! How do I know, you ask? ‘Coz Ellà called the next day I invited her and asked for the recipe:)

Quails flambéed with Prunes and Brandy


  • 6 Quails
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 prunes, pitted
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1/4 cup brandy


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 220°C/400°F.
  2. Rinse inside and outside of quails, and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Add sumac and salt to the melted butter and use this mixture to brush all 6 birds.
  4. Mix sugar and cinnamon and season each of the bird cavities.
  5. Fill each of the cavities with one prune, 1 tablespoon of onion, and little of the bunch thyme. Tie the quail’s legs together with kitchen twine, and set aside.
  6. In the bottom of a large roasting pan, scatter the vegetables; carrots, celery, the remaining onions and thyme. Arrange the quails on the top of the vegetables. Drizzle with stock and bake for 55 minutes or until quails are cooked through.
  7. To make the flambé, pour the brandy over the quails and ignite with a match or a lighter. When flame goes out and liquor has burned off, you are ready to serve.
  8. It’s great with rice, green salad and pitta bread.