Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Fun Ideas For An All-Adult Party!

Fun Ideas For An All-Adult Party!

If you’re going to be having a party, then you may want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of it. The most important thing is that everyone is going to be able to enjoy themselves, and that’s why you’ve got to think long and hard about some ideas to make your party great. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at what some of these ideas are, so keep reading if you would like to find out more.

Go Do Something Childish

The first thing that we are going to suggest is that you go and do something childish. It’s hard being an adult, and it’s exhausting. It’s for this reason that sometimes we just want to take a step back and do something fun, maybe even a little bit childish. For example, you could all dress up as characters from a film or TV show and have a fancy dress party. Or, you could head out and go bowling, go to a laser quest center, or whatever else you think you might enjoy. The point is for it to be as fun as possible, so something that you used to enjoy when you were a child might be a good idea. Think about the things that you used to love to do, and then choose one for your party.

Hire A Bar

Another thing that we are going to suggest is that you hire a bar. Not everyone drinks alcohol, it’s true, but for those who do, this is going to make the party that little bit better. A company like Party Pony Trailers LLC may be able to help you out here as they have mobile bars! This means that if you want the party to be at your home, but you also want a bar, then something like this is the perfect solution! 

Or, you could simply just have alcohol on the table and allow everyone to mix their own drinks. At least you can be sure they’re going to like what they make for themselves!

Game Night

Finally, have you thought about having a game night? Everyone can get involved, and it can be a super fun idea. Choose a bunch of different games that everyone can play together, and then let the fun begin. Ensure that all the games you’ve got are suitable for the amount of players that you are going to have so that nobody ends up left out. Get some snacks, a few drinks, and this could be the perfect night in for you and your friends. It might not be the same as having an actual party, but it’s just as fun for a small gathering!

We hope that you have found this article helpful and now know some of the fun ideas that we’ve got for an all-adult party. These ideas don’t make up an extensive list, so there are plenty more things that you can do if you would like to. Hopefully, you have a great time, and so does everyone else involved. 

Saving The Memory Of A Lost Loved One

Saving The Memory Of A Lost Loved One

This year has made many of us really reevaluate what is important in life. After almost a year of not being able to spend time with the ones we love, it’s become more and more clear how important loved ones really are. 

But what happens when a loved one is lost? 

Dying is a natural part of life, and sadly we will all eventually have to say goodbye to the people closest to us as they find their final resting place. 

Today we hope to help you understand how to keep the memory of a loved one alive even after they are gone. Here are some of the best ways to allow the legacy of a loved one to go on long after they are back in the earth. 

Silly traditions 

One of the fun ways to honour the memory of a loved one and keep their memory living on is to adopt one of their little quirks or traditions. Everyone has small quirks and if you are able to carry this small action on within family life, it will keep a memory alive for longer. For example, if your loved one had the habit of breaking out into songs that describe what they are doing – you try and do this too! It’s not only a fun activity but it’s something that will make you feel closer to the ones you have lost. 

Decorate the grave 

When remembering a family member after they are gone, one simple way to do this in a physical way is to decorate the grave itself. Using cemetery grave markers and a gravestone is a wonderful thing, and you can also add photo frames, flowers, and more. Decorating the grave with special items and mementos is always a brilliant way to save the legacy of someone you love for years after. 

Invest in an urn 

If you haven’t decided to bury a loved one but instead have decided on cremation – it is a good idea to invest in a beautiful urn to hold the ashes of your loved one. You don’t even have the stop there – you can also consider investing in an urn ornament and plaque which will remind people every time they visit of the person you love.

Create a t shirt cushion 

The worst feeling in the world is losing someone, and one of the hardest parts is knowing you never get to hold them again. This is why it is a great idea for you to create a cushion out of an old t shirt or jumper of your loved one that you can cuddle while you go to sleep as a beautiful reminder. It will make you feel as if you are closer to your loved one and will make you feel as if you are holding a little piece of them even after all this time. 

Ashes to jewellery 

In recent years many jewellery designers have found ways to make family ashes into stunning prices to keep with you at all times. When it comes to turning ashes into stunning jewellery to keep – you can have a necklace, bracelet or even a ring made with the ashes of the person you love. It will be a constant reminder of their importance in life and will allow you to carry a piece of them with you throughout your own life. 

Keep happy photographs 

It is incredibly important when you lose someone you love to keep a memory of their face alive. It is a sad fact that over time you are likely to forget small details of a loved one’s face, but hanging photos of them will allow you to keep their memory alive. There are so many companies who make custom prints, mugs, canvases and more so that you can keep a picture of your loved ones close by always. 

Write in a diary 

One of the fun ways to keep the memory of a loved one alive is actually to write about them in a diary. As you remember small anecdotes and things about a loved one who has passed – you can write these things in a diary and you can pass this down to your children to keep the memory alive. It is a sweet gesture and can be read out on the anniversary of their death or their birthday each year. 

Losing a loved one will never be easy however it is an amazing idea to keep memories through the years after they pass. We hope these ideas will help you move on from the loss and be happy.

4th of July Brie

4th of July Brie

We used a BIG wheel of brie for this video, which can be very expensive. You can get away with something about (or a little over) half the size. A little bit of brie goes a long way.

YIELDS: 8 SERVINGS       PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 15 MINS      TOTAL TIME: 0 HOURS 40 MINS

INGREDIENTS

1 (35-oz.) wheel brie
6 strawberries, tops removed and sliced
1/2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp. honey
Graham crackers, for dipping

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut off the top rind of brie then place brie in a skillet about its same size. Bake until brie is bubbling and totally melted throughout, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place strawberries and blueberries in separate medium bowls. Divide orange juice and honey evenly between each bowl and toss to combine. When brie is ready, arrange fruit in the pattern of the American flag. Serve immediately, with graham crackers for dipping.


4th of July Brie
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Servings
8 SERVINGS
4th of July Brie
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8 SERVINGS
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8 SERVINGS
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Happy 4th of July! 4 Tasty BBQ Recipes for Your Dog

Happy 4th of July! 4 Tasty BBQ Recipes for Your Dog

Happy 4th of July! Today’s the day we celebrate our nation’s independence. Checking out a parade, hanging out by the pool and protecting our dogs from fireworks are the only things on our agenda. Oh, and grilling, of course. BBQ food is an absolute must on the most patriotic day of the year. Because really, is there anything more American than hamburgers and hotdogs? We didn’t think so.

As you prepare to chow down with family and friends this afternoon, why not prepare something special for your dog? She’ll likely be waiting beneath the grill anyhow, hoping for human food to hit the floor. Unfortunately, most traditional BBQ foods are dangerous for dogs and can make them sick. Providing your pup her own tasty meal will keep her out of harm’s way and help her feel like she’s part of the celebration.

Check out a few of our favorite dog-approved Fourth of July recipes below!

Ingredients

1 cup water

8 strawberries

1/4 cup blueberries

Instructions

Rinse strawberries and blueberries.
Mix ½ cup water and strawberries in the blender. Blend until liquefied. Repeat with blueberries.
Pour strawberry mixture into star-shaped ice cube trays. Repeat with blueberry mixture.
Pop them in the freezer for 2-4 hours and serve!


Happy 4th of July! 4 Tasty BBQ Recipes for Your Dog
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4th. of July Craft Ideas – Free Templates & Printables

4th. of July Craft Ideas – Free Templates & Printables

For many of us the 4th. of July means baseball, parades, picnics, barbecues, and other fun family activities.  I’m sure we all have our own special way to celebrate our Nation’s Independence Day.  In our house it’s definitely a backyard barbecue while the kids light up the yard with sparklers.

4th. of July CraftThis year spruce up the house with these 4th. of July Craft Ideas!  You don’t need fancy tools to make them, just red, white, and blue paper, cardstock, paint, scissors, and glue.  If you’re more adventurous wood pallets!

My grandsons and I spent a weekend crafting and come up with these!

I’m excited to share them with you! [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
4th. of July Craft

Dress up the picnic table with these Patriotic Star Straws!  Fun, practical, and super easy and inexpensive to make!

Supplies:

Card stock – red, white, blue, or appropriate prints

Scissors
4th. of July CraftTemplate – click here for the free template/printable

Paste or glue

Straws

Craft knife

How to:4th. of July Craft

  1.  Download template/printable and save to your desktop.  (you can use the images as a printable or you can use them as the template to cut out stars using colored or printed cardstock)
    1. If using as a printable:  Upload it to a photo editor like photoshop or picmonkey.com a free online photo editor and resize the stars to desired size.  Mine are 3″ and 4″.    Print stars on card stock, they will be red and blue stars.
    2. If using as a template:  Resize the stars if needed by uploading to your cutting machine app and resize before cutting – if cutting by hand then upload it to a photo editor and resize if needed, print stars and cut out.
  2. Cut out an even number of stars.
  3. Glue or paste 2 stars together – backsides facing.  Let dry.
  4. 4th. of July CraftUsing a craft knife make 2 horizontal slits in the middle of the star.  Slits should be a bit wider than the straw and about 1/2″ apart.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
  5. 4th. of July CraftInsert straw in the slits.

Use the straws in your favorite iced drinks![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

4th. of July CraftSend friends these patriotic cards!

You can even frame them and use them as decor!  I used my Cricut Explore Air to print and cut the pieces and layered them on to a card base.  I used vellum embossed on my Sizzix Big Kick as a background and I added bows and twine to make them extra cute!

To use the template with a cutting machine just download, save, and upload to the cutting machine app, like Cricut Design Space!  You can resize, print, and cut it according to your machine’s instructions.

If you don’t have a cutting machine, no worries!  I’m sharing the printables! All you have to do is print them out – if you need to resize them just download and save to your desktop.  Pop it into a photo editor to resize, save, and print!

Once you have all the pieces printed and cut out you can layer them on to a card base or a poster board, or whatever media you want.  You can embellish your card or poster with bows, ribbons, twine, glitter, and more!

 

4th of july50 States Flag Printable click here!  [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

4th. of July CraftFire works Printable Click here!

I used this for the inside of my card, but you can use it on the front too![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

4th. of July CraftState of Liberty Printable click here![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

4th. of July CraftInside of card printable click here![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
4th. of July CraftFinally here’s a mini wood pallet I got from the craft store.  With a bit of paint and a stencil I turned it into this Patriotic 50 States Flag wall decor!  I’m sharing the stencil template here!

Supplies:

Wood mini pallet – available at craft store, or upcycle a regular pallet!

Acrylic Paint in red, white, and blue

Paint brush

4th. of July CraftStencil Click here!

Download and save to desktop.  If using a cutting machine upload to machine’s app and resize and cut stencil.

If cutting by hand download, save to desktop.  Resize in a photo editor, print, cut out stars and words with a craft knife.

Stencil brush

Paper Towels

Clear sealer

How To:

  1.  Download, print, cut stencil as instructed above.
  2. Mark off area on pallet to be painted blue.  Paint that section blue.
  3. Paint “stripes” on slats, each slat should be either red or white – Top strip must be red. Alternate red and white as you go.  Allow paint to dry completely.
  4. Place stencil on slats and fill in stars using a stencil brush with white paint.  Fill in state names with blue paint.
  5. Remove stencil by lifting directly off surface to avoid smearing.
  6. Allow to dry overnight.
  7. Spray with 2 coats of clear sealer.  Allow to dry between coats.

4th. of July CraftIf you’re looking for recipes for your July 4th. barbecue try my son’s burger recipe!  It’s the Best Darn Burger Ever![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

 

Paper Crafts Supplies