Sunday, September 11, 2011

Patriotism to Our Graeter Nation (nope, that's no typo)

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling the patriotism today.  I must say I am more than proud to be an American when I turn on the television or radio to hear commemoration and memorials for the victims on September 11, 2001. I felt it necessary, as an American, to pay tribute to this memorable yet sorrowful event. If you haven't watched a single commercial or news report today, I suggest you do. The experience was breathtaking and might I add tear-jerking. In fact, I'm posting a few links below to make it easier for you.

With that said, it is impossible to write a post that doesn't pertain to food. So here we go... I'm a HUGE fan of Graeter's Ice Cream.  Yes, I just ate a bowl of black raspberry chip. All you Cincinnatians know what I'm talking about. It is the most delicious, creamy and  flavorful ice cream I've ever eaten.  Yes, yes... I understand I haven't tried authentic Italian gelato, but until I find myself taking a picture next to the Tower of Pisa, this is a pretty safe bet. This ice cream is so hot (ironically enough) that Oprah Winfrey gave it away to her studio audience as one of her many gifts! If you don't live in Cincinnati, OH, as I assume many of you do not, you can have it shipped to you! I understand the idea of having ice cream shipped is an odd idea but if you tried this, you wouldn't regret it. No, I'm not a spokeswoman for Graeter's Ice Cream, I'm just an obsessed foodie spreading the wealth and joys of ice cream.

God Bless America! Happy eating to you on this red, white and blue (sky) day!

The Tragedy
Empire State of Mind

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Epiphany for Lubiyeh (Loob-yeh)

I woke up this morning at the familiar hour of 7am with an epiphany. It was a bit belated considering the epiphany is in regards to a conversation I had with Brian (my fiance for those newbies) five days ago.  The conversation was in regards to him starting a brand new job (which I am very proud of). It wasn't the talk about the job that got me thinking, rather the "staying true to ones roots" mentality...

Two thoughts crossed through my mind. First, I had an unfortunate realization this morning that I was shamefully absent from this beloved channelization for food for over two months. For that, I am greatly apologetic. Second, I have these recipes that I've been recording without actually posting them. How selfish is that? My point about Brian and my conversation comes back to this. Since starting my job, I felt an entitlement to be lazy with my passions.  I reduced my presence in the kitchen, haven't stroked a paintbrush and very rarely play the piano.  If it wasn't for Brian, I would probably not be writing this at this moment. He inspired me to stay true to my roots and not let my job (as fortunate as I am for it) define me- And for that, I'm grateful.

So here we are! The people who know me the best will tell you that if I had to choose a vegetable (which sounds dreadful) I would probably choose the green bean--Arabic translation is Lubiyeh. This delicious, nutritious and versatile little string bean provides for many different recipes.  Nothing is better than having guiltless pleasure in something...yes, I'm still referring to green beans.  Below is a recipe that has been with my family for...Oh gosh I don't know how many years, but it's a sure dish that is fun, easy and positively delicious!

Servings: 1 hungry Lebanese family (7-10)
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

-5 lbs fresh or frozen green beans. DO NOT USE CANNED GREEN BEANS! You will regret it.
-14.5 oz diced tomatoes (canned)
-4 sliced cloves of garlic
-1 med-large onion
-5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
-salt to taste

1. Slice onion in fine slices
2. Drizzle half the olive oil in a pot
3. Toss the onions and garlic in the pot. Cook on medium heat

4. Stir frequently allowing the garlic and onions to slightly caramelize
5.  Add the tomatoes and green beans and stir carefully to cook evenly
6. Once green beans are cooked, drizzle the rest of the olive oil and stir the green beans

7. Season with salt
Serve chilled -- if it's too hot, the flavors won't have a presence.

Bon Appetit!