A Lebanese Political Screw


I feel for our Lebanese politicians. They have needs just like the rest of us. They have urges too. After all they’re human beings born from the same fabric into the same society of which we breathe into and exhale.

To the spouses of the politicians, I address you in particular and I say this unto you: “Our politicians need a good screw. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is the most humane thing you can do.

Please just get a good long sturdy nail & hammer and screw them onto a wall at home, and make sure they never make it to the parliament.”

The way I see it, it’s either the few get screwed one time or an entire population gets screwed possibly forever.

Of course my suggestion is with utmost respect to all.

Raghid Khalil 

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Eggplant Bruschetta Recipe


Here is a fun and easy recipe to do.

Eggplant Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers and sometimes just a good old plain meal.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Eggplant
  •  Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sesame Rye Crisp bread (I love using this healthy option: Ryvita) / Toasted Baguette

The Dressing:

  • Fresh/Dried Basil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Pink Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Olive Oil

Instructions:

Slice the Eggplant as thick or thin as you like. Put them on a tray and sprinkle some salt on them. Leave them for 20 minutes so that the excess water in them comes to the surface. Pat dry.

Cover the Eggplant with a little bit of Olive Oil and some Fresh/Dried Basil. (I used dried basil this time)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake The Eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes or until you see that they are baked thoroughly. (I like to leave the black flesh of the eggplant on. It has so much nutritional value)

While the eggplants are baking prepare the simple tomato salad.

Cut cherry tomatoes into piece. Add juice of 1 lemon, a bottle cap of apple cider vinegar, a dash of cayenne pepper, pink salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add chopped basil or dried basil. Drizzle with olive oil.

Remove the Eggplants when done. Add a handful of mozzarella cheese onto each eggplant and return to the oven. Wait until you see that the cheese has melted.

Remove from oven and put the Eggplant/Mozzarella onto the crisp bread. Add the tomato salad and devour.

Bon appétit

Rasha Nasser Khalil 

Six Great Ideas For Quick and Easy Weeknight Salmon Dinners


2Fish is one of the most versatile and easiest foods that can be prepared and cooked. While it may take a while to learn how to cook salmon if it is not boneless, other fish species, including de-boned salmon, are relatively hassle-free to whip up. Besides being the more heart health-conscious alternative to red meat, cold-water fish species have high content of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, those compounds necessary to keep cholesterol levels down and inflammation at bay.

Two servings of 150 grams each of fish per week are sufficient to maintain cardiovascular health, as well as obtain the other nutritive values of fish. Below are some great ideas on quick and easy-to-prepare fish recipes for weeknight dinners. Whether cooking for a family, for two or one’s self, these “fishy” ideas can turn into delicious and highly nutritious meals.

Salmon: King of Fishdom

Turmeric, sweet green and red bell peppers, grated ginger and honey-mustard sink deep into salmon fillets as a marinade that turns them tender, moist, and fragrantly caramelised when broiled. Try this simple, appetising Spicy Salmon in Mustard Sauce with kale in hoisin sauce, spinach made with red onions and sliced cabbage in vinaigrette or sautéed chard in garlic with fresh ground pepper and a dash of lemon juice.

If you would rather have salmon pan-seared, rub the fillets first with a cayenne pepper, sea salt and brown sugar rub. Pan-searing salmon fillets on high temperature will brown them like Cajun-style “blackening.” Serve them with jalapeño-pineapple-mint relish with a dash of lime juice and a teaspoon of chopped cilantro. This relish can even be an accompaniment to tortilla or sweet potato chips.

Dependable Tuna

Sandwiches are not the only result from tuna. There are also tuna steaks. A dash of low-sodium soy sauce, freshly ground pepper, and some sesame oil give grilled Sesame Tuna and Spicy Coleslaw a strong Asian flavour that’s surprisingly delectable. Remember that fresh tuna should be cooked medium-rare to bring out its sweet, natural flavour. As for the coleslaw, make it Asian as well by combining shredded cabbage with pungent Thai fish sauce, a dash of fiery sriracha and apple cider vinegar. This is one fish dinner that’s high in protein but low in fat and calories.

While you’re on Asian cuisine mode, go Japanese with Tuna Steak Glazed with Ginger and Wasabi. A 5-minute marinade of grated ginger, a pinch of wasabi, some brown sugar, a dash of low-sodium soy sauce, and minced garlic and another 5 minutes to pan-sear the tuna steaks and you have fish with an unbelievable texture that can only be described as “melt-in-your-mouth.” Serve this with soba noodles, some sake, and those finger-licking good mochi balls for dessert.

There’s Something Special About Swordfish

Fish also has “special occasion” moments when species such as swordfish is served. Somehow, it manages to impress guests and family alike. Swordfish ala Siciliana is reminiscent of the traditional home cooking of Sicilian homemakers with its wonderful blend of sweet and savoury sauce made from stewed tomatoes, black and green olives, chopped almonds, raisins, and fresh orange juice. You simply grill swordfish steaks and serve them with the sauce, which could also be delicious served with porkchops, grilled steaks or roast chicken.

Swordfish is an excellent choice for the grill because of its firm flesh. Marinate chopped swordfish pieces in low-sodium soy sauce, rosemary, thyme, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, and minced onions for 30 minutes and then grill them on skewers alternately with sweet green bell peppers, pearl onions, and cherry tomatoes. All you need for this weeknight dinner are a bottle of Chardonnay and some fruit compote as a reward for a hard day’s work.

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My name is Katy Cavallero from Toronto, ON Canada and a part time photographer. Being a good photographer is definitely not easy. I also joined the staff of a business magazine which was based in London and became a corporate photographer. During free time, I create blogs and post contents related to foods. It is my pleasure to share valuable information, knowledge and tips to this blog community.

It All Comes Down To This … Happy New Year


Happy New year everyone.

I don’t fully understand the concept and the excitement over the start of a new year. Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed a full moon. It was always about the full moon which is at its the last stages . Never was I called out to check the birth of a new moon; it was just not as fascinating, “oh look, there is a crescent forming in the sky”. Really? A crescent?

Happy-New-Year1Even in a solar eclipse, where the sun entirely disappears, the climax is during the complete black out. It’s towards the end of the existence of the sun. A few seconds of complete darkness. After that when it’s re-emerging back, it is not as fun anymore.

When people reach the end of their life that is exactly what they call it; The end of their journey. They never say, I will start a new life in Heaven / hell or I will be reincarnated in 10 days.

It is sad in a way that we contemplate on everything and we label them based on their expiry date. But why can’t we do the same with the celebration of the new year? Why can’t we celebrate the end of the existing one instead?

If I had a great year so far, I would like to be warned just like they do in malls, “dear shoppers, we will be closing in 30 minutes”. Maybe not along the same lines, but something like: “Hey, you’ve had a wonderful year so far, but you still have 10-15 days before your luck runs out. Do something about it. Buy a lottery ticket, or do something crazy.”

And if you’ve had a not so great year, you will hear something like: “Hey I know you’ve had a shitty year, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, don’t despair”.

The current year as it stands, is something I am very well experienced with. The one to come is still unknown. I may not be too eager to see the year over yet, but I can only wish this upon everyone: “for those who had a good year, I hope it extends indefinitely. And to those who have experienced sorrow and misery or even consider themselves unlucky, I can only wish them a happier life with more ups than downs.”

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Just like in the movies, it isn’t over until you see the words “the end”.

You know what they also say, “ it’s not the end of the world”.

So Happy End of this Year to all 🙂

Raghid Khalil 

Inkling’s Interactive Cookbook: Modernist Cuisine at Home


As an instructional design specialist I value a well designed website that enhances the users experience. Inkling is just that.

Inkling is an interactive books website/App that is very well organized and user friendly.

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I would like to share with you access to a full preview of the first chapter titled, “A Modernist Meal at Home” by Chefs Nathan Myhrvold & Maxime Bilet. It is such a well written and designed cookbook. The step by step recipes and the perfect images that accompany each are a delight to look at and salivate for.

Access by simply logging into Inkling with your Facebook credentials. You can find the content at the following link: Modernist Cuisine at Home

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I was  also provided a few pieces of content that are currently not accessible from the website. It includes sections on Mac & CheeseGrilled Cheese Sandwiches, and Potato Puree (the best variation on mashed potatoes ever!)
As Ameila Salyers, from inkling suggested: “You and your readers will love the variety of foods and recipes to be discovered!” And I definitively positively truly DO 🙂

Take a few moments of your day and enjoy browsing the website: Inkling
Again here is a direct link to the dedicated book page: Modernist Cuisine at Home.
And here is the: food category page for your eyes to browse through.
Enjoy browsing, saving recipes and trying them out 🙂
Rasha Nasser Khalil

Spying on us U.S.?


So they’re spying … big deal!

ImageLately, that’s all we hear about on the news, how the US is spying on almost everyone on earth, even its closest allies. Well to reassure everyone, the USA just like any other country is also spying on its own people. In other words, they are employing the “equal spying opportunity” and that is something anyone spied on should feel proud of and should take advantage of.

But I am still not happy about that for one main reason. A few days ago I got the flu, and I was shivering in my bed with a high fever. I couldn’t even make it to the kitchen to prepare myself a soup or even get my own medication. Did they check up on me? No. Did they send me any medication? No. Did they at least send me a “get well soon, card”. No, Nothing. I got nothing from anyone. Yet we both know that they know I was sick.

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That same night, my one year old son started crying in the middle of the night, in his own crib. I felt helpless towards him. I wanted to go pick him up, but I couldn’t for two reasons, I was extremely sick, and I didn’t want to spread my virus or whatever I had on to my son; but I expected uncle Sam who spends sleepless nights watching us and over us to at least send in a Nanny to soothe my child back into sleep. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen either.

Now tell me, am I asking for too much here? Isn’t that why they are spying on us? Isn’t it to provide us care when we need it the most?

I am a bit disappointed to be honest with you, but I will keep on giving them another chance since I have no other option. With that being said, I could really use a hand with the laundry. If only someone was listening closely …

 

Raghid Khalil 

 

Hit List


Fotor0524101740If every Lebanese was asked to write down the names of five people he/she would like to see dead before the end of the day, knowing that their request would be granted, I guarantee you that the following morning we will wake up to a country with not one politician left. Now one might think that every Lebanese person hates the entire political crew, but this is where you’d be wrong. They only hate the parties that do not represent their religion and sect in particular. If they have it their way, they would rather eliminate any obstacle or in this case any other party that stands in their affiliation’s way.

Being a Lebanese myself, I think I can somehow project how the majority of Lebanese think.

Here it goes, if I have a list of Five:

To begin with, I will keep two names aside just in case something arises at a later point. Those would be like the Jokers in a deck of cards that I can use whichever way I want and whenever I please.

So now I am left with three names to write down.

I can’t just go ahead and write down the names of the high ranking politicians, because one way or another it would be redundant for I am sure someone else will have them on their list. Why one might ask? Simply because that person might have had a project that was turned down, or was asked for some percentage in return for a simple signature on a form. I guess you get the point; these officials have their own haters.

So those high ranking ones will be cleared out by others, if not, that’s where my two jokers will come into play. I would only need to choose only two names simply because any Lebanese will select only two of the top three but never all three at the same time.

Next we’re left with the parliament members. There are only a few of them compared to the 4 million people in Lebanon and the remaining 6 million outside of Lebanon who have a list of 3 blank names left, which makes up around 30 million variations provided they all keep two names as backup jokers. But we all know that the Lebanese don’t trust each other. So even if you write a name down, another person will definitely write it down too, just because you can’t be too careful and it’s better to be safe than not. It’s like double checking.

Since the Lebanese are known to be very smart, they know better not to waste their time with a name of a politician that represents a section, a city or a village other than theirs because they know for a fact someone from that area will get to the name, so they try to keep it local.

If however, the politician that represents them has won the last election and is currently a parliamentary member, they would then write the names of his 3 top members of the opposing party. If their representative failed in the last election, then it goes without saying that the currently serving will make it to their list.

Fotor0524101536In some cities and villages or sections of Lebanon, there is an overwhelming majority of one party. Of course those choosing the names wouldn’t wish anything bad to their leaders, so they will start writing down the names of the leaders of the opposing parties.

So far, we have the top 3 positions eliminated, then the leaders of all the parties, then all the parliament members as well as their next in line or their competitors. But what about the politicians that still exist, those we barely hear their voices or see their faces, they could very well surface when the dust settles?

Again, the Lebanese have a solution for that. And with that solution comes money. So just like money floats around during the election season, money will start playing an important role. You will see people filling out the list  of five names and will actually buy a couple more lists from people who are financially in need. They would manipulate their cousins and family members to fill out names they haven’t selected themselves. After all it seems like they want to diversify their lists.  That way, they can surely get a goodnight sleep knowing that every name they can think of, gets shot, stabbed, or blown up.

The end result will be a new day with no politicians, but the question remains, how long before we see the same flags being raised again and a new government with new names being formed? If I were to answer that, I would say before sunset of that same day, because our governments are not formed within, they come pre-packaged and poorly wrapped from the different corners of the world.

Raghid Khalil