Orange Pineapple Punch

maya-oryan-img_0461Hello beautiful people! Is it summer where you are? I spent my day running from one air-conditioned room to the other, trying to avoid the heat and humidity.

My kiddos spent the day at the pool with the cousins swimming and playing in the sun all afternoon, when they got back I couldn’t but surprise them with this cool refreshing orange pineapple punch.

Add some vodka inside and turn it into an adult party-wide hit punch!!

Decorate with strawberry slices and orange wedges, and serve.

Ingredients

  • 2 parts orange juice
  • 2 parts pineapple juice
  • ½ part lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 parts 7up or Sprite
  • Fresh strawberries and orange wedges, to decorate.

Preparation

Combine well the orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and honey in a pitcher. Taste and adjust sweetness.

Add 7up or Sprite, right before serving and garnish with fresh fruits and paper straw.

P.S Substitute the sprite with rum or vodka for an adults party version

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Pomegranate Moscow Mule

Moscow Mule

Photography Serge Oryan

When I think of a refreshing and light drink to sip while watching the clock countdown to midnight, I make myself a red Moscow Mule.

Pomegranate juice is a brilliant addition to the classic recipe. It’s a fantastic compliment to ginger beer while pomegranate arils make it pop up with Christmas colors. Holiday heaven!

Mules has definitely been my favorite cocktail during 2015, it’s traditionally served in copper mugs, but apparently customers can’t stop snatching them from bars, that a lot of places are replacing their attractive cups with glasses.

Still cool for me:) I love the ginger-spicy and pomegranate-sweet mixture and here I am celebrating tonight in style. Cheers everyone to a fresh beginning!

And this is what to mix
Makes 2 drinks
Ingredients
• ½ cup vodka
• 1½ cup ginger beer
• ½ cup pomegranate juice
• Juice of 1 fresh lime
• Pomegranate arils, to taste
• Fresh mint, for garnish

Directions
Combine vodka, ginger beer, pomegranate and lime juice. Stir. Top with ice cubes or crushed ice if desired. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint and enjoy.

Watermelon Granita and a memory shared from summer

MayaOryan-Watermelon Granita

No matter what, I anticipate the summer’s arrival with equal measures of happiness and zeal. I plan each week significantly making sure not a single journey goes wasted. While filing the past couple of months pictures earlier today, I smiled and thought what a great job I did!!

Pictures of relaxed family meals and get-togethers, cheerful wedding parties, fun-filled friends gathering and beach barbecues, carefree night clubbing, leisurely kids playdates and park visits and lots of family selfies!

Well my favorite album is the one about the road trips we take during the weekends. Lebanon offers much to see. Our culture has been shaped over the years by a strategic location and intense historical events to spread worldwide and inspire so many. I try to show my kids the beauty that their seven thousands years old little country holds.

Sadly, many of my friends and my children’s friends have been to Louvre but never to Beirut National Museum, where visitors can admire a world class collection ranging from Prehistory to the 19th century AD. I sure want to travel the world with my daughters, but I also have a keen desire to show them as well all the Lebanese regions and traditions.

And what is a better way than having this over a fabulous event and lots of traditional food. This year marked the 25th anniversary of Mymoune. Mymoune produces all-natural specialties such as jams, preserves, syrups, seasonings, flower waters and other refined products made the traditional authentic way, in a small village called Ain-El-Kabou, at the foot of Mount Sannine in Lebanon and where the event was held.

The invitation was sent in a beautiful hamper full of goodies from Mymoune and a thyme plant smelling like heaven.

Mymoune Invitation

As soon as we arrived we were overwhelmed with a sumptuous outdoor venue, set in a fragrant garden surrounding an authentic Lebanese mansion where Mymoune has preserved a great history of Lebanese traditions. The stone house has an arch topped by a steep, red tiled roof, overlooking mountains and valleys. Tables were decorated with a centerpiece of seasonal yellow wildflowers (wezzal) and guests, were entertained by a live band playing local music. An array of traditional food was served, from bite size saj manakeesh, to lavish pork shawarma prepared by Michelin-starred chef Greg Malouf using Mymoune products. We drank Mymoune’s Mulberry Syrup & Arak cocktail, and finished it off with Lebanese style areesheh and candied pumpkin.

Our host Amine Ghorayeb made sure we leave with another goody bag from Mymoune products that I placed fondly in my kitchen next to the rest of the range.

The ideal way to beat the heat this week was a watermelon granita using Mymoune orange blossom water. A fresh recipe and a fun bite worthy of most any celebration. I hope you love it!

2015-06-07 12.06.16

Watermelon Granita

Ingredients

  • 6 cups seedless watermelon chunks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tbsp Mymoune Orange Blossom water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Mint, to garnish (optional)

Directions

In a small saucepan, warm water over medium heat, add sugar and whisk until it has completely dissolved. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and wait to cool.

Process watermelon chunks in a blender to a slush. Mix in the sugar syrup and the orange blossom water.

Pour into a shallow or a baking pan and freeze mixture for 1 hour. Rake mixture with fork and freeze for another hour. Repeat the procedure and freeze for one more hour.

Scrape vigorously into icy chunks and serve immediately in individual cups garnished with mint leaves.

Minted Frozen Lemonade or Limonada

Every Lebanese knows that the best lemonade recipes are made the old-fashioned way; where lemon wedges are soaked with sugar and then kneaded instead of squeezed. But on this hot sweltering day, I opted for an easier way that is as refreshing and thirst quenching!

The Lebanese favorite lemonade has orange blossom water and served chilled. I love this frozen version, where the fresh lemon juice and the fresh mint leaves are paired to give a beautiful tangy and refreshing taste!

I’m totally into lemonade and love a strong mixture, when I prepare it for me I double the quantity of the lemon juice. It is perfect for hot weather when they are sipped as the crushed ice melts!

It is so addictive!

Ingredients

  • 1/2cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 4 lemons)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 8 mint leaves, minced
  • 1cup ice cubes

Preparation

Blend all ingredients together until ice cubes are finely crushed and mixture looks like a frozen slush. If you like a sweeter taste add sugar. If you like it semi-frozen add water.