We had a nice family lunch a few days ago and the table setting looked absolutely fabulous. It encapsulated the multi-cultural world my husband and I live in, with all the colours, motifs, and textures… More
One of the culinary pleasures of traditional Italian food comes in the form of sourdough bread. The first time my husband baked a loaf made from homemade and natural slow yeast (also called mother’s yeast), my taste buds were introduced to a whole new world of textures and flavours. I created this illustration with a minimalist feel to try and capture the essence of artisanal bread and what it stands for.
Food that isn’t over-processed and that keeps the integrity of its ingredients has a distinct taste, as if it belonged to a pristine corner of Heaven!
My husband wrote a post in Italian (with an English translation) for this blog sometime mid last year, to describe his experience in making his first-ever sourdough bread. I have learnt a lot from his approach to food, which is influenced by the fact he is an Italian with a strong interest in the traditional culinary arts of Italy.
Italians believe ingredients play a substantial role in the gastronomic experience of foodies. They cook to maximize the ingredients, not to dilute them under a heavy blanket of spices or harsh cooking methods. They also like fresh, raw, and natural ingredients over canned or processed foods.
I wanted to capture all of this in one illustration that could make the viewer sense the light and breezy essence of Italian artisanal bread, hence the illustration above.
My hope is that one day I will be able to create a whole set of illustrations for an Italian food cookbook maybe, so I can introduce more of this kind of imagery to my portfolio.
I do hope you liked today’s quick post, and I look forward to seeing you again soon in a new illustrated post!
Although it is called “Turkish Pizza,” this delicious pastry dish is popular in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Armenia, and, of course, Turkey. There are so many versions of this boat-shaped pizza, however in this post, I will be sharing with you all, my husband’s signature recipe, and I do hope you will enjoy making it.
Turkish Pizza is better known as “Lahmacun” in Turkey, and as “Sfeeha” or “Lahm bi Ajeen” in Lebanon. Armenians have a spicier version of this dish, while Jordanians like a milder, meatier interpretation.
My husband’s recipe is extremely delicious and kind of light. Although many recipes out there mix olive oil in with the meat, this recipe is actually oil-free. It also depends a lot on one key secret ingredient that gives these meat pies their unique and distinctive taste, and that is “pomegranate molasses.” To my knowledge, the best kind of pomegranate syrup, known for its sweet and sour flavor, is usually produced in Lebanon, and often comes in medium-sized glass bottles with vintage-style labels.
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of warm water
- 10g dried yeast
- A pinch of salt
- 450gm minced (ground) beef (or lamb)
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (aka, Dibs Rummaan, or Debs El-Remman)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Salt and pepper
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Stir in the flour and a pinch of salt, and mix until dough turns into a well-combined ball that is still sticky. Cover the bowl with a moist piece of light-weight cotton cloth, or plastic wrap, and leave for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 240°C (450°F).
Now to the filling. Mix the minced meat with the onions, chopped tomatoes, pomegranate molasses and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands, until dough is smooth and elastic – for about 10 minutes. Roll out into 24 ovals. Spoon some filling into each base, then sprinkle some pine nuts over each piece. Pinch together the two short ends of the dough to form a boat shape. Place the pizzas on a lightly greased baking tray (using olive oil). Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Now, serve with a dab of yogurt, and enjoy these scrumptious pizzas.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s food illustration and recipe… and as the Lebanese would say, “Sahtein o Afyeh” and Bon Appétit!
I’m happy to announce that my personal-size Natural Beauty Planner is finally here and is ready for download at my Etsy shop. This planner has been modified to offer planner addicts the option of double-sided as well as one-sided printing – so that you will still be able to enjoy this planner regardless of the technological limitations of your home printer.
This new Filofax Personal Size planner, which is around 3.7″ x 6.7″ once trimmed, has been requested by some of my shop goers at Etsy. It’s basically a re-sized version of my original A5 planner, which was first launched in November last year.
I did a lot of research and realized that not all printers can print double-sided while perfectly aligning both sides of the paper properly. That’s why instead of offering one printing option, you will find two PDFs in this download (in addition to a 3rd PDF with a standalone insert), with two different printing options in mind. You can find more details on that in this listing:
2016 Personal Size Printable Planner | 3.7×6.7in | Natural Beauty Planner | Pre Dated Monthly Calendar Included | Instant Download | PDF
I share my homemade remedies and secrets in the Natural Beauty section of this blog. Those are mostly inspired by my late Grandmother, who was a nature-loving, kind-hearted woman, with extensive knowledge of folk remedies that you wouldn’t find in books.
It occurred to me the other day that since natural beauty remedies are such an essential part of my life, then why not create a journal/planner to help me stay focused – while providing me with the kind of eye-pleasing stationery needed to carry me through my beauty experiments and routine?!
So, I hope you enjoyed this post and I look forward to seeing you soon in another one!