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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lebanese Music and Food

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of this cookbook free of charge for this review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. They also sent me a copy to giveaway! As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation. 

Since July is ending, it seems only fitting to finish our exploration of Lebanon with you. Besides the books and DVD we found at the library we also found some CDs with a few songs from Lebanon. Putumaya Presents Sahara Lounge has four Lebanese songs and the other two CDs each have one. 




Hazel and I both enjoyed listening to the Lebanese songs together. Hazel said many of them made her feel like dancing.

http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/books-by-country/the-complete-middle-east-cookbook-paperback-with-flaps

We also have the pleasure of reviewing The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos.  This book divides the Middle East by countries and regions that have similar foods. It has eleven chapters of regions with recipes as well as other chapters (cooking supplies and introductory, etc.). This month we tried some of the recipes from the Syria, Lebanon and Jordan chapter, so I will share my family's opinions on those recipes. Next month we will be trying some from the Iran chapter and will let you know about them. This book will also be one of the prizes in the Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Blog Series and Giveaway which will start Monday. Stay tuned! We tried three Lebanese recipes: Kousa Mihshi Bi Laban, Khou


I read some of the recipe titles to Hazel and she picked our first recipe. Now it happens we received this book after getting back from Cape Cod where my mother had just made roasted zucchini which Hazel loved (for the first time). Her first choice was Kousa Mihshi Bi Laban or Stuffed Zucchini with Yogurt. I will admit I had a little trouble with some of the instructions in particular with the cooking. The recipe is very similar to this one on Food.com including the instructions. I did not understand the layering and used my large saute pan and put them all in together. It also did not take nearly as long to cook this way though the rice was crunchy, but this may be because I forgot to add the water to the filling. I'm not sure. I also do not think I cored the zucchini correctly, but my apple corer was not cooperating and I did not have the special one mentioned in the recipe.



 Overall they turned out well. Hazel loved the zucchini and in general the whole dish. I decided to use ground beef instead of lamb since we do not really like lamb. Steve said it was all right and edible which is better than some of the recipes we have tried from other countries. 

Next I knew I wanted to try a Lebanese Flat Bread or Khoubiz. We had heard about it on the DVD we watched in particular how they have bread with every meal and use it often like a fork or spoon instead of the utensil. The recipe in the book is very similar or exactly like this one on Food.com. This was the most popular of the three recipes. All three of us loved it. 



 The final recipe we tried was for Tabouleh. (Sorry my picture came out so blurry. I didn't realize it until after we ate it.) I wanted to try to make it since it is a food I enjoy. I use to put some in my wraps with feta and olives for my lunch when I was a teacher. After having some trouble finding the burghul, I finally found some at Whole Foods, but it was not fine. I went with it anyway. I was able to use the mint from our garden, well Steve's garden. It is apparently some mint one of his former neighbors brought back from a trip to Italy. He keeps growing it and having it take over a side garden and we never use it, so it was exciting to get to use it. I could not find a similar recipe on-line to share with you, so you will have to check out the book! Hazel did not like the tabouleh which did not surprise me since she does not like tomatoes or mint. Steve however said it was good, which did surprise me since he does not like tomatoes and barely ever likes something new. Overall we were very happy with the recipes we tried. I had no problems following the bread and tabouleh recipes. Hazel enjoyed calling my parents and telling them we were in Lebanon or at least exploring it. This ends our fun exploration of Lebanon. In August we will be checking out Iran. 

If you want your child to explore the world from home without all the work of gathering the things, make sure to check out Little Passports. My affiliate link is below.
http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/global-learning-for-kids/

If you have any crafts, recipes, books, music, etc. from Lebanon, please share it here! We are hoping to gather as many resources for people as we can! And of course check out all the great resources already shared!