Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Soup for Syria - Conditions in Refugee Camps

As I finish up writing the book Soup for Syria , the conditions are not better. You could say the reality is stagnant. Hatred is building up and so many people are caught in this raging war. You can order the book through Interlink Books based in the US. May this book bring a message of hope, of love, of empathy.

This my Aya. I say my Aya because I truly love her.
The war of Syria is written in her eyes, are you sensitive enough to read them. Today was hard. Very hard! People I visited last year are still living in the same misery and heartache. Babies are born, husbands are leaving and not coming back, hygiene is at its worst because of the rain and now the melting of the snow. Mud is everywhere. Humidity, hunger, pain.... I don't think I will sleep tonight.
war in syria in her eyes
A newborn who was born prematurely is in desperate need of help. The mother asked for Nursie 1 and diapers. The baby looks like he will not make it. I have never seen a baby so tiny and so fragile. Her husband left her with the baby and she is squatting with another family now who took pity on her. That family is also living in very difficult conditions but in spite of that , they took in this young desperate mother. If you can help in any way. Doctors who can help!!! Donations to buy milk would also be appreciated. I had to make sure the baby was alive because he looked so frail. It is very disturbing. I chose not to show his face because of mere superstition. I think his little feet show a lot. Help people. 
prenatal baby

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

About Reading / About Writing

When once the itch of literature comes over a man (woman), nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.~Samuel Lover, born today 24 Feb 1797-1868

 photo Pierre Bared

 A proud moment I will never forget, the book signing of Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry at Tawlet, Souk el Tayeb. The setting was beautiful. My family and friends gathered to celebrate the birth of this huge baby which took 5 years to produce. It was worth it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Walk Alone / or Not

“If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.”

Culinary Trip to Kea Island, Greece May 18 - 23 2015

Aglaia's Table
Because we all need a break, I am organizing a culinary trip to Greece in a beautiful romantic island called KEA. I visited last year with my husband Serge Massaad and we want to share our experience with all of you. We were hosted by a wonderful couple who own a culinary school (home) and who really showed us the best of the island. Not your regular couple, Aglaia Kremezi is a famous cookbook author and her husband is her partner who is always ready to help. If you are interested to know more: please inbox me. I will be posting detailed information on my blog this week. The trip will take place in April 2015.Here is a sample 6-day tour. We can work on other recipes too. Aglaia just published a wonderful book called Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts but don't worry she cooks meat too... I am going to post some photos of our trip too... Yalla let's do a cool group and go and cook, eat, drink and soak up the peaceful mood of this beautiful island.

Aglaia and her husband Costas

I posted photos on Facebook!

According to my husband Serge, this is the best fish he has ever had
 The cost for our full 6-day programs (5 nights) is Euro 1555 per person.  This includes all program related activities and transportations on Kea.

The additional hotel cost would be either 400 for a double room with breakfast at the Keos hotel for the total of 5 nights; or 525 or more for a double with breakfast at the Porto Kea Suites (where you stayed last year). Please, note, these hotel prices are for May or September only, they go up in June.  
A happy customer
Depending on how many people you are, you can join in one of our regular programs, May 18-23, June 22-27, or September 21-26; or we can set a special date for you if you are more than 5 people.  The September program coincides with olive picking and pressing at our property.
Aglaia demonstrating her cooking techniques
Here is a brief description of the accommodations we cooperate with (prices are low season, and our discounts can't be combined with other seasonal hotel offers):

1. Porto Kea Suites, at http://www.portokea-suites.com/
RECOMMENDED:  Big luxurious comfortable rooms across from a sandy beach; the only hotel with 24-hour room service, open-air pool, breakfast included, snack bar/cafe, internet.  Special prices for Kea Artisanal guests starting at Euro 105 in May and September 2015.  
2. Keos Hotel, at www.keos.gr.  Nice rooms, overlooking the port from a distance, walking distance from two beaches.  Breakfast included.  Their rooms are great for sharing, usually having two identical beds.  Euro 80 a double; 70 a single; 90 a triple with breakfast.  
For more details about Keartisanal, please visit the website directly at http://www.keartisanal.com.  In particular, I suggest that you check the following links:
For a more concise idea of our activities, please click here.
This is the link for our dates.
Here you will find the information about the cost and what is included in it. 
For information about getting to Kea, please, inquire.
Our resumes, are on the "About Us" page. 
To read what was written in the press about Kea Artisanal, please, click here; and here is the latest post about us.  

Here are a few pictures of our programs, and you will find more here.
Click here for a video from our classes, please, click here.

Here is the link to Aglaia's food blog http://www.aglaiakremezi.com/, and here you will find her contributions to The Atlantic Monthly new food blog; see also, http://www.facebook.com/aglaia.kremezi and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kea-Artisanal/265645943484108.
A friendship for life

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Inspiring Quote for my Daughter

If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. -Toni Morrison (born on this day, 18 Feb 1931)

I dedicate this post to my daughter Mia who inspires me and understands my inner soul who I know one day will write her own book (her life).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Note from a Fan

Through the hardship of writing, researching, photographing, cooking and hearing criticism with endless days of sitting on my computer... Sometimes you receive a beautiful word from a fan and that makes everything worthwhile. So I would like to share this word with you from an adorable person. This gives me energy to go one despite all. 

 Note from fan:

"lets focus on solutions instead of ruminating on the past - let us see where there is hope - let us look at the small efforts - this country needs it more than anything...t embrasse e tjs fan de ton attitude et tes actions ! et pr finir cette belle photo to show how u are affecting this world by your actions (without being affected by people s opinions).