#Louz Review

Hey foodies,

If you are following me on instagram, then I am pretty sure that you’ve seen last weekend’s story. I have been lucky enough to receive a box from #Louz. As I explained, #Louz is a pop up store which would be available during Ramadan.

The story of Louz is quite impressing, it rises from the golden ashes of Nina ( which used to mainly serve meatballs). It Connects personally with its customers and provides the ideal environment to create new and memorable experiences.

You might ask yourself about the meaning of Louz, take a closer look and think of a versatile nut from Iran… A dried fruit that is essential for Moroccan pastries? Think in ARABIC and you will figure it out all by yourself.

Yes! Louz is the arabic word  that stands for Almonds… So, obviously, all of the pastries served by this pop up store includes almonds. But the best part of it this that, all of their products are homemade and Lactose free!! ( I knooow, AWESOME)

The mistery box contained 4 “frangipanes briochées”, some Nougat (almond and caramel bars), and Feqas ( the moroccan sweetheart).  But let’s be honest, almonds can be the main ingredient of endless pastries; Thus, their Menu has more recipes than one can imagine.

  • Truffle with almonds and caramel;
  • Massepains ( My fav);
  • Macaroons ( My super fav);
  • Almond-Choco sticks
  • Biscuit ( Salty and sweet)
  • Cat’s tongue cookies ( with chocolate)
  • Butter cookies ( Sablé)
  • Chbakia
  • Ghribas

A wild range of dessert able to bring life to your Ftour Table and perfect to surprise your loved ones with!!

As for me, I have been lucky enough to taste their Homemade “Frangipanes Briochées”. It’s a sort of brioche (the intersection of bread, cake, and pastry) filled with the famous  French Frangipanne (almonds cream). By choosing this product, you may have 4 choices:

-The classic: which only contains Almonds.

-The Choco-Louz: for chocolate lovers.

-The Louz & Lemon: For an edgy taste,

-The Louz & Cinnamon: If you’re looking for a rich flavor ( my number one)

I know, It can be hard to choose … My advice is to get everything labeled #Louz haha

I saved the Nougas and Feqas for later… So after our First Ftour in Morocco, I was craving for a sweet taste ( my everyday situation after drinking Harira…) Lucky me, the Nougas were my savior!!! The sweetness of homemade Caramel doesn’t overpower the almonds… The crunchiness is just perfect and the almonds are fresh ( You could feel it).

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@Louzpopup is very active on Instagram, you might want take a look at it for a foretaste… They have an excellent service, so don’t you hesitate to contact them for a delivery by calling the following number;

0620262150 or 0661296902

Fell, also, free to check into their lovely store in Casablanca!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fruit tartlet featuring”Jben”

Hey food lovers,

I’ve been away lately; some might have thought that I quitted the blogging once for all. But, I’m just dealing with so many issues that I don’t have time for my favorite pastime: Cooking & blogging.

So, the time that I took made me evaluate my work and I realized that I should focus less on food and maybe try a new type of blogging… Don’t worry, I will be still a food blogger but with a different dimension; I mean, the intro part could be dedicated for my recent travels, new experiences or an event or someone’s work that is worth sharing.

Last week, I went to “the Andalusian Gardens” located within “the Oudayas Kasbah” which is one of Rabat’s proudest features. Don’t be misguided by its name, the gardens were actually designed by a French architect in the twentieth century who was influenced by the beauty of Andalucía and the typical fragrances reminiscent of Alhambra.

I have to say that its water features, fountains and gardens make a shady retreat on hot days, besides the tearoom (Café Maure ), next to the gardens, offers a wonderful view off the Bouregrag  river!

What I loved the most is the overall décor and architecture quietly kept intact… But it’s disappointing to witness the deterioration of its plants; it gave me the impression that these gardens were in some way abandoned. The gardens were not taken care of as it’s supposed to be; thus, only the big fruit trees survived the weather!

 

Despite the few critics, I strongly recommend visiting this site after a long day of exploring Rabat! By the way, have you ever visited the Andalusian garden in Rabat or Andalucía? Can you spot the similarities between the the two spots?

Anyway, let’s switch into the food mode…As you know, I am chicken hearted when it comes to baking! I always have this feeling that it won’t worked out as I imagine it to be. But, can you believe that I took so many risks when I made this fruity tart? Today, you’ll get to read how a girl with no experience at baking could make a tart out of scratch!

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Obviously, a “baker” should have a complete set of molds … But that’s not the case for me or for a regular person who doesn’t bake often! I always thought that “need” is a source of miracles, and I needed that tart… So, I couldn’t help myself but think of a substitute!

I used mini Tagines from my mom’s collection to work as molds, as we know, Tagines are made from clay and they can endure high temperatures But the tartelette would stick right? Luckily, the one that I used are made from ceramic, it’s exactly similar to a gratin dish but in a shape of Tagine ( which I don’t mind) haha What I loved about using them, is that it prevents the tart bottom from burning as it equaly and gently spreads the heat all over the tart base.

The second issue was: What would I use to fill the tartelette? Since, I am too lazy to go out and buy fresh cream… I thought about using an available ingredient in our kitchen, which is Jben ( Same as Ricotta cheese). And I did not regret making that choice!!! The mini tarts turn out to be light and consistent in the same time…. With a hint of lemon and mint combined with the sweetness of fresh fruits, the flavors were out of this world!

2 12 cups flour12 cup cocoa powder1 teaspoon baking soda12 teaspoon salt1 cup butter, softened2 cups sugar4 eggs1 cup sour 12 cup 1 bottle Red Food Color2 teaspoons Vanilla E

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A story of bread & love

 

 Friday, 17 Mars 2017

Growing up in a modest family, I surely knew how to apreciate little things… Back then, joy was spreading butter on a piece of bread and drinking mint tea; the only elements that can compete all kind of chocolate and win the battle…Every bite represented an elaborate ritual that engages the five senses, a process of enjoying the soft melting butter, the crispy tosated bread and the sweetness of tea! The smell of aromas, dancing lighltly across the air…

As a child, eating has never been a spiritual moment, it was more of a way to sating a hungry stomach… But, somehow, I’ve never thrown away bread like I used to do with other food; I’ve never left it on the side of a plate or switched it with my father’s… I’ve never felt the rush to finish it; I ate to live but I lived to enjoy eating bread!

 I guess that it’s a Moroccan thing, because we all share a BREAD love story! It’s the tale of millions of Moroccans, a typical love story that stood the test of time… But I’m pretty sure that it’s universal? I would love to hear yours; how do you enjoy eating bread?

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While making this recipe, I felt more nostalgic than ever; This recipe has a modern switch but a depth that cannot be ignored… I made a camembert toast with caramel and walnuts, all inspired from my childhood. I must say that the toast had a vintage style, using caramel on top of camembert wasn’t a random choice; it was a way to find balance between the sour, chalky taste of camembert and the sweetness of caramel and walnuts..

Camembert is one of my favorite types of cheese, it’s a creamy and earthy French cheese with a bloomy rind; A strongly-flavored cheese with a rustic moody vibe! I usually savour it with some pickles, cherry tomatoes and smoked turkey

What I love the most about mixing flavors is combining all kind of tastes to have a unique unexplained one; That’s why I wanted to go for a sweet- sour combo by adding caramel… I could have easily added Honey instead, but I wanted a strong honey flavored caramel that lasts longer… With each single bite, the caramel melts, the sweetness dissolves in one’s mouth and intensifies when you take your time.

I made my caramel by only using sugar and honey, no butter nor water was added… I cooked it on low heat til it was golden brown!

This recipe needed the “WOW” Factor, I imagined a complex taste that is earthy and tart… All that I could think about is adding walnuts, it has a complexity that can be unified in a perfectly balanced dish! It makes everything tasts better than before, it balances out the dish to achieve a more uniform flavor in between two extremes.

I enjoyed my creation, and I think that you might like it too. Try it out and let me know!

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Baked Harsha

This weekend has been a busy one, I’ve made tons of recipes… took so many shots and ate a lot! Luckily, It doesn’t bother me and I’m certain that it won’t bother you either; since you’ll be reading a new article!

Harcha or Harshais a moroccan flatbread made of semolina that is usually pan-fried. Harsha is everyone’s favorite here in Morocco, once you have tried the Moroccan harsha , especially if you dip it in honey or “Jben”, and eat it with a Moroccan mint tea, you might never recover from its amazing taste. I’m practicly eating it three times per week, and feel harsha-sick within 2 minutes after finishing it!

My inspiration for this recipe is my grandma( My mima) who is, actualy, my cooking idol, she introduced me to this easy peasy moroccan recipe that made me feel nostalgic… Grandma is a typical moroccan lady with MANY cooking notebooks where she keeps her old recipes, now that she became an insta addict ( like her granddaughter) she’s holding a virtual notebook since she is collecting screenshots of recipes haha.

You know, I must say that everything she cooks has a different outstanding taste; she has magical hands that can turn a simple dish with few ingredients into a flavoursome and a spellbinding recipe! Whenever I visit her, I don’t miss the chance to taste some of her delcious meals ( Lucky me, she always keeps Tektouka and zaalouk in her fridge)

 

Today, you’ll learn how to make Harsha but not any type of harcha, it’s a sweet baked Harsha that I used to buy from a local shop right after school. This modest biscuit styled Harsha is one of the many wonders of traditional moroccan foods that I can’t wait to share with you.

When I made it at home, my dad was like ” You’re making the cheapest yet the yummiest biscuit ever”. Well, he is right; this biscuit won’t cost you much money nor time! Just follow these steps and you’ll be rewarded!

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Ingredients: 

  • 500 g Fine semolina flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar ( more or less)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk (warm)
  • 1 cup oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 14g baking powder (2 packets)
  • 1 tbs soft butter

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the over at 300° C
  2. Work the dry ( semolina, sugar, salt, baking powder) ingredients  together with the oil, add the milk and butter then combine the whole mixture very well;
  3. Don’t worry, if it looks too watery because it will become more consistant when leaving it to rest for 15 min;
  4. Bake it for 20 min on 250° C.

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Cabbage rolls

Hey foodies,

Cooking is art, it’s a way of life! I’m so proud to say that cooking changed my life and starting this blog has added spices into my boring life. I’ve learned to make “spectacular” and unique dishes from scratch, I mean I’ve never though that a single egg could make miracles…

Spending 4 years alone, almost 200 km away from my parents; Cooking was one of the many things I couldn’t do in the right way, but somehow that’s when my love of food started and that’s how the fridge became my dearest friend… 1 year later my instagram journey began… 2 years later, the blog was born! Now, I’m having friends from all across the globe. I couldn’t express how much I’m glad to know each one of you: If you’re reading this, thank you for all the kind words and the love.

My inspiration for today’s dish is simply my fridge, have you ever experienced this feeling of opening the fridge and then doing instantly a brainstorming? So we had some minced meat Tagine leftover and plenty of cabbages… WHAT TO DO? Make cabbage rolls!

This is perfect for people who don’t like the crunchiness of this veggie but want to eat it for its health benefits ; in fact, the health benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, headaches, skin disorders, eczema, scurvy, rheumatism eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease.

To add a vinegary sweet taste to the rolls, I chose to use my long time jar of pickles and pickled carrots + apples that I brought with me from my last visit to Fez! It tastes amazing and creates a  beautiful storm of tastes to the dish. If you’re vegan, you might want to fill the rolls using pickled veggies + green olives + Vermicelli! It’s a match made in heaven…

Btw, I had red cabbage and I steamed it for the same purpose but it lost its color !! I’m still shocked how it turned from bright purple into a deep blue veins color! I ate it eventually before shooting xd It tasted good of course…

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Green cabbage
  • 500 g Minced meat
  • 1 chopped onion
  • some parsley
  • Pickled ( apples+ carrots)
  • Pickles
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 Garlic clove (or 2)
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. First, heat olive oil into a pan, add 1 onion and garlic and cook for 4 min on low heat!
  2. Add minced meat and parsley, and let it cook for 15 min on low heat. For a better taste; cook it in a tagine.
  3. Meanwhile, peal the cabbage leaves and steam them for 15 min.
  4. Cut the pickles and other pickled veggies ( Apples + carrots).
  5. Stuff the cabbage leaves, fold the edges and roll them!

 

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Green peas soup

Good evening foodies,

After having a tough week, the only thing to comfort me was heading to my favorite corner in the house; I’ve spent the whole weekend making recipes for the blog… I truely enjoyed the time spent in the kitchen especially after seing the results.  I’m trying to step up the game without loosing my signature, that being said, I went again for a fully moody dark feed and kept all my pictures as simple as my recipes.

I’m not an expert in photography so I won’t be able to tell you about the technical stuffs, but if someone asks me why do I choose to shoot like this? I’ll simply say that it makes food shine in the darkness, it makes the dishes look honest and real with a vintage hint! But moreover  It feels nostalgic and warm, you know it’s just beautiful…

The star of the first dish is green peas, this emerald is a versatile veggie and you can make a lot number of recipes with it…I went for a soup ’cause nothing embodies the fresh, light, green-ness of the winter-spring season quite like a simple warm green peas soup with garlic and “Jben”; Jben is a Moroccan fresh cheese, similar to ricotta, but with a smoother creamier texture… I lke to serve it with all  kind of recipes or just spread it on toast.

This is a beautiful vibrant spring soup,  made with those green little powerhouses of nutrition. Green peas are good for weight management,blood sugar regulation and contain countless vitamines…It is soothing both to the eyes, the body and the soul!

Check out this awesome soup preparation with a nice flavor combination, A lovely green peas soup for all green lovers!

Ingredients: 

  • 500g green peas
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 l water
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tbs “jben”
  • salr & pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 2 tbs butter or olive oil

Instructions: 

  1. Heat the butter or olive oil in a pan, add garlic and onion. ( cook for 5 min)
  2. Add green peas and water, season it and let it cook for 15  min on low heat.
  3. When ready, blend the mixture after adding milk and “jben”.

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Spinach & Goat cheese Ravioli

Hey Foodies,

I felt like I just disappeared off the face of the earth, I’ve trying to balance working and blogging but it’s hard; My first 15 days at the internship have been intense, waking up each day at 6 am and having to make lunch and catch the train at 7:20 is pretty tiring… If you were following my instagram story then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Of course, the train is always late and it feels like we’re stuffed into a burning oven…I’ve been wondering if this train situation is the same in other countries? I’m dying to know! They say that japan is the best when it comes to sticking train schedule.

Anyway let’s switch to cooking, last weekend I tried to go for a new thing! YES, I’ve been brave enough to jump into the ocean of Italian cuisine…  What I like about Italians (other than the hand gesture and their accent) is that they believe in simplicity and respect good fresh products, so some of the most beloved dishes of Italians comprise just a few simple ingredients. Homemade Ravioli are one of the easiest dishes to make; ! You just need to know where to start.

 

Do it like the old times, my aunt always tells me that there’s no end to what you can achieve with zero equipment; No need for a ravioli machine nor a pasta maker! Flour, eggs, olive oil and some herbs are your friendly ingredients for a perfect ravioli dough. As for the filling, be creative and use any type of filling or sauces you like, afterall, the filling is the real reason we want to eat ravioli! Just make sure that it’s not gonna wet the dough…We had spinach leftovers at the fridge and some goat cheese, so my choice of filling was pretty normal!

Making Ravioli can be easy, but it also needs a certain technique that you can develop with time. It’s all about the fillings, the sauces and the shapes. Don’t worry if the frst time turns out to be a mess, remember that failures are just the start of success!

These delicate pasta pillows stuffed with goodness can turn you into a chef! Trust me I first tested them at a family gathering; they were so good that I barely had my share… Eventually, I couldn’t take any picture since everyone was rushing to eat it. After the first major success, I had to cook it again and share with you the recipe!

Before starting to cook; Always remember that:

  • You need to make sure your dough is thin!
  • A perfect ravioli dough will bend and expand without cracking or ripping;
  • Watery fillings are to avoid! They can make your dough too sticky to handle;
  • You don’t need an equipment to cook? Just improvise with whatever happens to be in your kitchen.

Ingredients: 

For the dough:

  • 3 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1tbs Thyme
  • pinch of salt

For the filling: 

  • Spinach
  • 1 egg
  • Goat cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • nutmeg
  • Lemon zest

Instructions:

  1. First, mound the flour and fresh thyme and create a wheel in the center where you’ll place the eggs and olive oil. whisk the eggs and oil and then gently knead by hand all the ingredients until having a smooth dough.
  2. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 min.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining all the ingredients. Use as much filling as you like!
  4.  Working with one small piece of dough at a time, lay pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface( so it won’t stick);
  5. Brush one half of the dough with flour and water mixture, then spoon the filling on the wet side of the dough; Remember to leave some space between the mounds. Now cover the filling with the dry side of the dough and press pasta sheets together and seal the edges around the mounds.
  6. The shaping part is the most enjoyable part! A cutter or rolling slicer are the best, but really, you can use whatever gets the job done. A knife, a glass or a cookie cutter for example!
  7.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the raviolis… They are finished cooking when they float to the top. Overcooking will cause your ravioli to break and leak filling.
  8. Drain the raviolis and transfer them to a pan where you’ll gently cook them in a garlicky olive oil sauce or maybe tomato sauce or white sauce …

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Potato Soup

I guess that you figured it by now; I am a HUGE fan of soups… Can you believe it? I’m starting to think about changing the name of the blog into “the soup 0f life” and the logo would be a bowl of steaming hot soup!! Buuut they say don’t rush decisions if you’re angry or very excited and since we’re speaking about soups; I get ants in the pants!

But hey let’s be real; it’s easy, cheap, healthy, yummy and it’s a way to use up all the extra veggies in your fridge!  So, who wouldn’t hit fever pitch on that…

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In the menu; a painless and pleasing creamy potato soup that you can simply master by following 3 easy steps! Whether it’s an appetizer or a main meal this soup suits all your tastes and makes you happy within few sips.

This classic is by far a family’s fav, my dad used to like it creamy and kind of heavy but my mom was always adding extra milk til getting a well mixed Purée with a light texture. No matter how you drink it, nothing is more comforting than a steaming bowl of  Potato soup on a cold winter’s night!

This recipe surely brings me back childhood memories, how about you? Is there any single recipe that makes you all nostalgic and craving for the past? Maybe, a local dish that reminds you of home? (where your heart is: *cliché*)

Let me know in the coments below 😀 I’ll be more than pleased to reply!

I’ll share with you how to make a light and creamy potato soup using a hint of nutmeg and some spices to taste! And always remember:

  • The more milk you add the lighter it is;
  • The more cream you add the thicker it it;
  • If you’re craving for a creamy soup and didn’t have cream, just add 2 tsp of flour into the mixture;
  • If you are lactose intolerant, don’t worry you might use chicken broth instead of milk or cream.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 to 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk (or more)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • Cheese
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions: 

  • First, wash your potatoes thoroughly to remove dirt then add your potatoes to your pot of  boiling water. Cook 20-25 minutes or until tender.
  • Then, peel the potatoes and mash them in a bowl.
  • Beat in milk in small amounts, melted butter and cheese! Don’t forget to season it .

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Moroccan Bissara

Bissara is a Moroccan popular dish prepared from dried and peeled fava-beans or split peas ( for a greener color). This dish  is traditionally served for breakfast, lunch and even dinner…It’s light,creamy and somehow refreshing.

Go back to the roots and nourish your soul with this special Moroccan soup or dip, whether you call it bissara or payssar( the northern way to call it) ! This is by far one of the best soups that will warm the cockles during cold weather…What I mostly love about this soup is its texture and the way tou can easily turn it into a creamy dip by not adding water…

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This hearthy soup reminds me of home, my father makes it a lot and loves to top it with cumin and olive oil. As for me, I used to hate Bissara until the day I tried it on a trip road to Tetouan ( north of Morocco). Appearantly, it was a mixture of both fava-beans and split peas… It had this rich flavor of cumin and the sweetness of olive oil But serving spiced black olives with garlic and herbs as a side dish was pure exquisiteness!

Try it now yourself and get to experience the morrocan cuisine!

Ingredients:

  • 500 g of dried fava beans or split peas.
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs  cumin
  • 1 tbs  paprika
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of Salt
  • Water (enough to cover the beans)

Instruction:

  1. Cook the beans in water with salt and garlic cloves until they are soft. ( for 15 to 20 minutes)
  2. Add the spices and let it simmer for 15 minutes ( add water if needed).
  3. Use a blender to mix it, serve it hot with more cumin, paprika, olive oil and maybe some bread!

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Beetroot soup

What I love the most about beetroot is its color; THE super power that can incredibly transform everything it touches into a work of art! The pink mutation is the perfect illustration of “la vie en rose”, Edith Piaf must have been singing about beetroot all the time!! This purplish-red root somehow manages to make everything marvelous, it has a rustic side, a deep earthy flavor and a fresh colorful look!

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The ruby red perfection is a bless, imagine all you can do with such a simple yet rich veggie!! It helps detoxifies the body, beats constipation and boosts brain powers… After all a super food will surely make of you a super man!

A long time myth speaks about the benefits of beetroot; it says that beetroots treat anemia, the close to red color replaces the lost blood… Well, it is such a crazy way to reason but there is an unspoken truth behind the myth itself. You see, beetroot is loaded with iron which helps the formation of haemagglutinin ( Part of the blood that transports Oxygen)… Thus beetroot helps recovering from anemia!

I enjoyed so much making and shooting this incredible soup, it got me inspired and the results were fantastic! So many followers have been requesting good and nutritious recipes while  on a budget; I’ve been a student myself, so I know exactly the strugle! This beetroot soup isn’t only good looking but economic too since it’s a veggie of the season…

Beetroot might be enough but if you’re looking for complex and rich experience you’ll love this recipe. Potatoes add a tender texture to the soup and goat cheese takes the freshness of beetroot into a whole level.

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Beetroot easily cooks up in a variety of ways. Witness the greatness of beetroot with this all in one soup with goat cheese! Don’t forget to like and share the article if you loved it.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 Beetroots
  • 1 Potatoe
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs or 2 goat cheese (or greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper ( optional thym)

Instructions: 

  1. Steam or boil beetroots and the potato… Steaming preserves its valuable nutrients while boiling is a fast way to cook!
  2. In a pan; heat 1 tbs olive oil in a pan and sweat the onion until soft.
  3. When beetroots and potato are tender: peel,cube and add it to the onion with another 1 tbs of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper ( and thym). Cook it for 5 min. Adjust seasoning to taste
  4. Transfer to a blender and process until completely smooth. you might also add some goat cheese or greek yogurt for taste. 13101191_804837089649063_1199484324_n