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Ode to the Middleeast (aka Detroit)

Sunday I was back to cooking dinner for my friends for Mad Men night and I had so much fun.  I LOVEEEEEEEEE Lebanese food.  I love eating it of course but I have found since moving to Seattle that I absolutely love cooking it too.  I have learned a lot about the different ingredients that go into Lebanese recipes, where to get them, and learned even new dishes.  It makes me feel so at home when I eat good Lebanese food and it brings me home when I am cooking it too.  And believe it or not, my cooking of Lebanese food, in my opinion, exceeds most Seattle restaurants.  It might just be the taste I have for good Lebanese is different than those here, but I truly believe that it is better.  Cheaper too (and I don’t think I would be able to make it cheaper in Michigan)!  Here is a look at my menu and the outcome.  By the way…I wasn’t the only one that liked the food, all of my friends were stuff and super complimentary of it.

Menu:

Chicken Shwarama

Shwarama presliced.
Shwarama presliced.

Rice Pilaf

Fattoush Salad

I love this salad so much.  I made a huge one so I have a ton leftover.  Cheated by using Stacy's pita chips.
I love this salad so much. I made a huge one so I have a ton leftover. Cheated by using Stacy’s pita chips.
Homemade Lebanese dressing I think is the best dressing and most simple:  equal parts fresh lemon juice and EVOO, salt and pepper...that's it.  So fresh!!!
Homemade Lebanese dressing I think is the best dressing and most simple: equal parts fresh lemon juice and EVOO, salt and pepper…that’s it. So fresh!!!

Falafel Patties

I baked my falafel to save mess and room on the stove.
I baked my falafel to save mess and room on the stove.

Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce

Roasted cauliflower with Tahini was surprisingly the hit of the dinner party.  I love it but was surprised how much my friends loved it...and there were two at the table that apparently hate cauliflower.
Roasted cauliflower with Tahini was surprisingly the hit of the dinner party. I love it but was surprised how much my friends loved it…and there were two at the table that apparently hate cauliflower.

Homemade Hummus and pita (made by Mikayla)

Homemade Baba Ghanoush and pita (made by Philipp)

Muhallabia Pudding (made by Polly and myself)

Muhallabia pudding is a spiced pudding/custard that came out really well.  Basically just milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom.
Muhallabia pudding is a spiced pudding/custard that came out really well. Basically just milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom.

Complete meal:

My first plate.
My first plate.

I have a lot leftover (except cauliflower) which makes me very happy.  Though I also used up all of our lemons, olive oil, and turmeric.  I also was close to trying to bake my own fluffy pita like Sultans.  I found a recipe and it seems really quite easy.  Next time!  We had eight people which seated comfortably around the table.  Philipp, Mark, David, Tina, Polly, Mikayla, Bryan and myself.  Along with the homemade dips my friends graciously brought we also had store bought peach and raspberry cobbler and berry pound cake and homemade rice pudding made by Tina for a full selection of tasty desserts.  Mad Men was great too!  We still have much to catch up on.

Chelsea

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