I love bread. After all it is the staff of life, as I always say to my fiancée’ as she lovingly mocks my addiction to good fresh bread! I especially love Khubz, the bread my Tateh (grandmother) made her entire life. It is a style of bread that comes from Palestine and the Middle East. A type of Pita bread, there are several types of Khubz, this version is the Taboon style bread baked over small hot stones. My memories of my childhood and into adulthood are of her waking up in the morning getting out her trusty giant metal bowl, carefully placing it between her knee’s on a chair and vigorously kneading dough to make freshly baked khubz. She had these round river stones in her oven and she would place the fresh dough on the stones and bake the dough into a puffed, bubbly browned pillow of deliciousness! Hot fresh and stacked high for all of my large extended family to devour in one day! Well, I decided in all my years of culinary adventures to attempt to make khubz for the first time! I found a lot of stones in a nearby park. “Wild ones” as my Aunt Mary curiously noted, because the store-bought ones tend to explode more in the oven. I laughed at the thought of “wild stones”.  I washed them 3 times and then boiled them for 15 minutes to disinfect them. I then tested them in the oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, no explosions! I was free to bake, and excited to taste my newly created masterpieces. I think I may have a new addiction, ha!

My wok doubling as a mixing bowl.

I made 10 smaller loaves out of that big pile of dough. Six cups of flour made 8-10 loaves just depends on your preference.

My shapes were very rustic and they varied greatly, I do believe Tateh’s shapes were more round and consistent, but who’s knocking rustic!

Carefully placed 2 at a time, if I had a bigger oven it would go faster, some day.

Through the glass of my oven. A beautiful golden color developing.

Crusty, fresh and hot outta the oven, the best way to enjoy freshly baked Khubz,  yum and double yum!

Look who popped up, he couldn’t wait to take a BIG bite.

Stacked high and ready to devour.  I love rustic and these loaves live up to that, for sure. I believe Tateh would’ve loved them too. I will keep perfecting and experimenting with baking khubz (Taboon style) and look out for my future posts about the uses of this versatile and ancient style of  bread.

Costumes, characters and ceremonies, etc. Vill...

Costumes, characters and ceremonies, etc. Village oven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

© [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Inside the Artist's Mind

Khubz! The Staff of Life.

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These are the the veggie’s I had in the fridge this time around and I also had some beautiful bright mustard greens as well.

Together with some select spices and flavorings I whipped up a bountiful dish that fed me quite well.

Allspice and cinnamon  pairs well with the apple, carrot and onion. Both of these spices are also used often in Middle Eastern dishes which I grew up eating. The apple cider vinegar enhances the apple flavor and produces a nice tangy taste that adds to the sweet spiciness of  this meal. I chopped the trio of carrot, onion and apple and sautéed with spices first, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Then I incorporated the greens into the saute’, carefully adding the cider vinegar and some Tamari.

I then put on some millet to boil to go with the veggie’s. Millet is a great grain that is quick and very good for you, it has a nutty flavor and good protein. It is also a budget friendly grain that packs a punch of nutrients instead of white rice which is cheap but lackluster in the health department. I’m not totally knocking white rice, I love me some good Jasmine and Basmati rice, but millet is healthier and delicious. I always boost my grains by adding some type of seasoning. I put in some cumin seeds, salt and white pepper.

I packed the millet in a measuring cup, 1/2 cup, and spooned the veggie saute’ around the mound of millet. Beautiful, but I didn’t hesitate to devour it!

I then had seconds, always!

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!

© [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Artist, Food, writer

A Few Veggies A Meal Makes

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Food

Gourmet homestyle on the cheap

Lately I have had to tighten the budget and count my pennies, however I haven’t tightened the belt much!  Forced to create my meals with budget-minded resourcefulness lends itself to some pretty tasty and unique dishes. Pretty much it’s open the fridge,see what’s left , and then how can I create the most tasteful punch with the least amount of effort and waste. It is a challenge for sure , but an exercise in culinary cleverness that sometimes fails yet often times leaves me with a tasty new recipe! This is a flatbread recipe that I created  from a few chickpeas, tomatoe slices, a carrot and half an avocado as the base ingredients. Luckily my spice pantry never fails me!

This dish is a culinary call- out to the Catalonian dishes of Spain. Hearty, robust, smokey tomatoe-ee , vegetarian entrees that celebrate the unique simplicity of that region.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy gave it rave reviews (lol), my dinner companion.

I gave it two thumbs up and cleaned my plate!  I was not feeling the penny-pinching,  just  the belly busting!! Good stuff.

Recipe  :

1/2-3/4 cup cooked millet

1 garlic clove minced

1 small carrot sliced

1/4-1/3 cup cooked chick pea‘s

2-3 slices of tomatoes, chopped

1/4 teaspoon cumin seed

dash of dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

dash of cayenne (optional)

1/2 an avocado

In heavy skillet with cover, toast til fragrant cumin seeds. Saute’ garlic, carrot slices and tomatoes slices in pan until caramelized, about 10 minutes. I didn’t use oil or butter, just the liquid from the tomatoes was all it needed. add paprika, oregano and salt/pepper and cayenne (I used it) half way through the sauté process. After it gets nice and caramelized and smoky, add the chick pea’s and lower the heat a bit to a low simmer and cover for 5 minutes, then toss in the cooked millet to warm through and marry all the delicious flavors.

Take a small loaf of good flatbread ( I used whole wheat Greek style flatbread) Toast it in toaster oven or regular oven, then dump all the delicious  ingredients in the skillet on top of the flatbread to cover, like a mound. Top it off with slices of the avocado and there you have it, a fantastic meal for Pennie’s!!

Yum Food!! Yum Art!!

 

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I know my posts have been few lately, as I have recently moved to a new state and have been out of touch a bit. Hope to post a bit more now. Stay tuned.

A couple of friends of mine and I went to a very interesting and cool art installation designed to bring recognition to farms and food co-ops that are rapidly growing. ( pun intended, sort of) this was held at the Weavers Way farm in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pa.   An artist by the name of  Meei- Ling Ng put together an inspirational art installation using recycled farm materials such as chicken coop wiring, irrigation tubes etc. here is the link  to her show Multi-Media Art Installation by Meei-Ling Ng and Farm Festival. Below are some pics I took on my old iphone (apologies on poor quality) it was cold and rainy and dark,  but it was still very cool to walk around and experience the art,  and the farm.

This farmer greeted us upon our entry to the farm. Everything was lit by “Jackson” the lighting designer with LED and solar lighting.

This is a Beekeeper, which brought attention to the plight of bees and their scary demise due to pesticides! Very sad. She piped in a documentary on this topic by an award-winning director ( sorry can’t remember the name) in the beekeepers head. Nice touch!

I can’t recall the name of this piece, but I do know it lit up the crops in a very cool looking way drawing attention to the field. Reminiscent of Christo‘s artwork http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christo_and_Jeanne-Claude

And this is what she called “The Balloon Chicken” I loved this piece!! Great installation, and her other work included paintings and wood sculptures throughout the farm like the cool woodpecker sculptures that became suddenly exposed by the solar light that was on a motion detector!! Nice touch by Jackson the lighting designer. Kudos !!

© [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jeanette Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Inside the Artist's Mind

Art installation- Down on the Farm!

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