All posts by ursnicole

I am a British citizen living in Downtown Dubai for the last 2 years. I have one daughter, Amelia, who is 5 years old and it is because of her that I started cooking. She missed all the dishes back home and so I started recreating them at home and was soon hooked. Once I had made all her favourites (Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Cake and so on), I turned my attention to the local cuisine. Surprisingly, I have become a pretty decent Arabian cook. My local friends love my Falafel and Baklava and I am proud to say that my Zeinabs Fingers have become Amelia’a favourite. I hope you enjoy cooking these dishes as much as I did.

Basbousa

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When I was growing up, our neighbours up the street were Middle Eastern. Every Ramadan season, they would invite our family for an Iftar feast. Most of the dishes they served were not familiar to me, but the one dish that stood out from the rest was the basbousa. It had a subtle sweetness that was not overpowering and was the perfect finish to a meal or as a teatime snack.

Continue reading Basbousa

Christmas Cake

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Tis the season to be jolly….

Christmas- It that time of the year when one yearns for the comforts of home. A flurry of snow flakes, a warm cocoa and crackling fire…

Since all these things are not available in Dubai, the best way to assuage my yearning for home with a good old Christmas fruit cake.

My Christmas cake recipe comes from my grandmother, but I have made addition to it over the years. The cake is basically an equal weight pound cake, with additions of fruit, caramel and spices.

Also I prefer to soak my cake in wine rather than rum or brandy, since I am more of a wine drinker. All you teetotallers out there can even use non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice. But be advised that if you use juice, the cake will not keep that long and has be finished quickly (not a problem in my house) or refrigerated.

So here goes.           Continue reading Christmas Cake

Beef Stroganoff

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When I think of Beef Stroganoff, the first thing that comes to my mind is our old neighbour back in Edmonton, London. She came to England from Russia as a young girl and carried along many favourite recipes from her homeland. I don’t remember her name, but what I remember is her Beef Stroganoff.

I was a skinny child with a large appetite and my mother often complained she never knew where the food disappeared (probably into the year 2010). So whenever our Russian neighbour made Beef Stroganoff, she would bring a big bowl over for us. “It’ll put some meat on her bones”, she would say. Continue reading Beef Stroganoff