Mom de Cuisine

No Bake Hot Cocoa Creme Brûlée
December 23, 2014, 11:00 am
Filed under: Main Course

Picture this: me at the checkout getting craft supplies for a Girl Scout meeting
Older cashier who always remembers me: Baby? (Pointing army belly)
Me: no
cashier: oh, I thought I saw a….(uncomfortable silence)
Me: grabs purchases and leaves store, leaving behind some of my pride.
But alas, that nice Cashier’s hadn’t fully deceived him. He had seen a baby. A food baby.
Yes I’ve been in denial that the black leggings and leggings were simply a fashion choice, nothing more. It’s not that my jeans were getting a little tight (I’m still blaming the Spanish dryer for that) or I just enjoy a baggy sweater now and then. Nope, I’m carrying a serious food baby. A food baby that will need to be birthed. After the holidays. After I’ve eaten Mac and cheese for three straight meals in three varieties. After.
So until then you can find me eating Mac and cheese for breakfast, wearing boots, black leggings, leg Warner’s and that cozy and forgiving sweater because after all the best fashions are both stylish and functional. And leave room for food babies.

Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad
January 14, 2012, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Chicken, Salads | Tags: , , ,


When I made my blackening spice blend I had this salad in mind.  I wanted to make a light and healthy salad for dinner that was still tasty and satisfying.  While one might think that I was doing this because it’s just after the New Year when everyone has a diet resolution, but that’s not the case.  I don’t do resolutions, remember?

I wanted a light salad for dinner because my husband and I had plans to go to Friday brunch (without the kids.)  While brunch may seem like no big deal, it is a big to-do here.  There is a list of things you must see or do while in Bahrain:  Visit the Tree of Life (we’ve tried four times but have yet to find it,) go to the souq, see the historical forts, and do  brunch. 

All of the hotels and many restaurants host a Friday brunch, but it isn’t what I would really consider brunch to be.  Every brunch here starts after 12:30, there are no breakfast foods and it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink smorgasbord.  My husband and I ended up deciding on Muju for their jazz brunch.  And although there were no eggs or pancakes to be found, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The drinks were flowing and the desserts were amazing.  To be honest, their food wasn’t the best, but it did have a phenomenal view to make up for it. 

With hindsight being 20/20, I can definitely say that this salad was the perfect light week night meal before a weekend of indulgence 🙂




Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad

*dressing adapted from Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons on



1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ cup blackening seasoning

1 loaf of French bread (stale bread is best)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon salt

½ tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

 1 tablespoonDijonmustard

 11/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped

 Parmesan cheese for serving





Divide the seasoning among the chicken breasts and rub in.  Set aside.

 To make the croutons:  cut the French bread into cubes.  Toss with olive oil, salt and garlic powder and toast in a 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Croutons can be made one day a head of time and stored in an airtight container.

 Heat a vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the chicken breasts 5 minutes per side or until the outside is browned and it is cooked through. 

While the chicken is cooking, combine the anchovy paste, garlic cloves, lemon juice,Dijon, and Worchershire sauce in a bowl.  Slowly whisk in the EVOO. 

 To assemble the salad, toss dressing with the lettuce top with croutons and parmesan cheese. Serve the warm chicken on the side.




Make-Ahead Monday: Four Cheese Spinach Ravioli
January 9, 2012, 9:52 am
Filed under: Main Course, Pasta & Rice | Tags: , ,

My husband and I are old fuddy duddies.  We prefer to stay in on New Years Eve, put the kids to bed, make a nice meal and try desperately to stay up until midnight.  This year, we decided to have another cook-off to bring in the New Year and the challenge was pasta.  My husband thinks he makes the best spaghetti around, and I will admit it is good, but he cheats.  He uses premade meatballs, jarred pasta sauce and dried noodles (sorry to give away your secrets honey, but it’s true.)  I thought I wanted to do ravioli and since he says he hates ravioli (not true) I knew the only way to get him to admit that my pasta was better was to make everything from scratch.

As always, his dish did turn out pretty good (see honey, I can give credit where credit is due) but mine was better.  I mean, I did make everything from scratch.  But I realized the recipe for the dough made a lot of raviolis and I knew I wasn’t going to eat them all that night-after all I had no chance to stay up to midnight if I was totally stuffed.  So I froze half of the batch just to see if it was any good. 

Well it worked.  A few nights later I wanted something quick to make, filled with carbs and loaded with cheese and this hit the spot.  Fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook, and even freezing the fresh stuff only added about another 30 seconds to the cooking time.  I actually really loved this, because after all the prep work was done, fresh pasta on the table in less than 15 minutes is a winner in my book-plus it just looked so pretty!

Spinach Ravioli Stuffed with Four Cheeses

Adapted from Pasta Dough on


1 bunch of fresh spinach, finely chopped (in the end, I probably had about 2 tablespoons after I chopped it all down)

1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large egg yolks

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

 ½ cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup shredded Italian cheese blend (I used parmesan, Asiago, Romano)

1 egg

2-3 basil leaves, finely chopped

Tomato sauce for serving (I added some ground beef because I knew my husband wouldn’t “like” it without meat)



Combine the first seven ingredients in a food processor.  Process until dough just forms into a ball.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, until smooth and elastic, 6 to 8 minutes, adding more flour if needed to keep it from sticking. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

While the dough is resting, combine the cheeses, egg, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Follow directions on your pasta roller to roll out sheets of dough for ravioli.  I used my Kitchen Aid pasta roller attachment and found that the fourth setting was the perfect thickness for the ravioli.

With your sheet of pasta dough laid out on a floured surface, place a teaspoon of filling across the dough, a few inches apart.  Use a pastry brush to brush the other half of the dough with water and fold over the filling.  Press around the filling to seal the edges.  Using a ravioli cutter cut out the ravioli and place on a lined baking sheet. 

At this point, you can freeze the ravioli for 30 minutes on the baking sheet or until it’s set, then place them in an airtight container in the freezer.  I froze mine for a week and they tasted fresh, but I think they may keep for up to a month. 

Alternately, if you are cooking the pasta right away, place individual ravioli into a pot of salted, boiling water, and being careful not to over crowd the pot.  When the ravioli float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with tomato sauce and extra cheese.

p.s. check out my link on this blog hop!

Curried Fish in Banana Leaves
January 7, 2012, 8:39 am
Filed under: Fish, Main Course | Tags: , , ,


I actually made this curried fish a while ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting it, because I was thinking I may make it again tonight for dinner.  When Lulu’s Hypermarket first opened almost two months ago, I was immediately enamored with their produce section.  There is so much exotic produce, sometimes I just walk around in circles trying to decide what I would like to try next.  One of my first “exotic” purchases was these banana leaves.   

I thought they were a great and healthy way to steam fish.  Their flavor is subtle, and to be honest, the curry covered most of it, but it kept the hamour moist and tender. 

Curried Hamour in Banana Leaves


1 kg Fresh firm white fish, such as hamour (that’s about 2lbs)

1 banana leaf for each piece of fish

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoons lemongrass, chopped

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoons red curry paste*

1 cups unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoons sugar

Cilantro for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sautee garlic, lemon grass and ginger in a pot.  Add curry paste and sauté one more minute.  Whisk in coconut milk, chicken stock and fish sauce.  Add sugar and cook 5 minutes.  Divide the sauce.

Place a piece of fish on each banana leaf; pour half of the sauce over the filets.  Wrap up the banana leaf around the fish and place in a baking dish, seam side down. 

Bake 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.  Serve the fish with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with cilantro and white rice.

Make Ahead Monday: New Year Black-Eyed Peas
January 2, 2012, 4:52 am
Filed under: Main Course, Sides | Tags:

We are still enjoying some great family time until my husband has to go back to work, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  We’ve had a great holiday spending time together.  We’ve lounged around the house, enjoyed the beautiful weather at a new playground and went to one ofBahrain’s ubiquitous Friday brunches. 

Every year for as long as I can remember we’ve had black eyed peas New Years day for good luck, so this year was no exception.  This year I didn’t do anything fancy.  Just soaked the beans overnight in water, put them in the pressure cooker, covered with chicken stock and generously sprinkled in garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes and let it go for about an hour.  I usually do them in a slow cooker and let them simmer for a few hours, but this just seemed easier.  I’d also usually throw in a turkey leg for flavor and because I like some meat in my beans, but I didn’t have one, so my husband just ate his with a bit of left over ham from Christmas. 


I’ve got some great recipes planned for the New Year, at least I think so.  I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season and welcome to 2012!

Rose-Balsamic Lamb Chops
December 7, 2011, 10:20 am
Filed under: Lamb, Main Course | Tags: ,


I’ve said before that we never used to eat lamb much because in the States it can be expensive for the chops.  Here inBahrain, however, because lamb is such a large part of local cuisine, it’s very affordable.  We have lamb chops now at least once a week, but we usually order them for delivery.  The place that makes them does such a good job that I’m rarely inspired to make them myself.  Yet, the other day when my husband pulled out the 2kg bag of shrimp, he also pulled lamb chops out of the freezer so I had to do something with them. 

I would have liked to try to make the same lamb chops we have delivered, but I have no idea how they are seasoned.  I do know that they must cook them in over very high heat because they always have a nice crust on the outside, the same way a good steak from a nice steak house would.  So I decided to pull out one of my cookbooks for inspiration for a marinade and try to cook my chops the same way as our favorite ones here.  My husband thought they were too acidic, but I thought the flavor was nice.



Rose-Balsamic Lamb Chops

*adapted from Lavender Balsamic Marinade from The Complete Guide to Making Sauces by Christine France



8 lamb chops

1 shallot, finely chopped

3 tablespoons dried rose petals

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and black pepper, to taste




Place the lamb chops in a bowl and sprinkle on the shallot and rose petals.  Mix the vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Pour over the chops.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat.  Add the chops and cook 4-5 minutes per side.  Garnish with extra rose petals.



Make-Ahead Monday: Shrimp Enchiladas
December 5, 2011, 11:42 am
Filed under: Main Course | Tags: ,


Last week we went grocery shopping and found a huge 2kg bag of large frozen shrimp.  My husband decided over the weekend that he wanted some, so what does he do?  He takes the entire bag out of the freezer to thaw.  We spent the first part of Saturday morning tossing around ideas of what to do with it all.  Pasta? No.  Stir fry?  Nope.  BBQ? Nah.  Then I got an idea!  Shrimp enchiladas!  My husband actually makes pretty good chicken enchiladas, but neither of us had tried a seafood version.   I thought I could whip up a pretty good version and of course my husband, the constant competitor that he is, thought he could do it better.  So we decided Saturday would be a seafood enchilada cook-off.  I took my turn first in the kitchen while “E” watched the kids.  Other than a few trips to the store to get everything I needed, these actually came together pretty quickly.   

Who was the winner of our cook-off?  I was.  After my husband tasted my version, he decided that they were so good that he didn’t want to try to make some himself!

Shrimp Enchiladas


1 12 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

3-4 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce

3 tablespoons cumin

1 large poblano pepper

3 tablespoons butter

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

3 tablespoons flour

3 cups chicken stock (seafood would have been better, but I didn’t have any)

1/2 cup pepper jack cheese

2 cups deveined, uncooked shrimp

1 8oz can sweet corn

1 8oz. can black beans, rinsed

1 package tortillas (corn is best, but I couldn’t find any so I had to use flour)

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese


To make the enchilada sauce:  combine tomatoes, chipotle sauce and cumin and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer while preparing the filling

To make the filling:  Char the poblano pepper under the broiler or over open flame until the skin is black.  Cool and dice, removing the stem and seeds.  In a large, non stick pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the poblano and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook one more minute.  Add the flour and coat the veggies.  Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil until it thickens, about 10 minutes.  Add the pepper jack cheese and stir until melted.  Add the shrimp and corn and cook until the shrimp are pink.  Carefully fold in the black beans.

To assemble the enchiladas:  spread a few tablespoons of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole.  Fill a tortilla with shrimp mixture, roll up and place with the seem-side down into the casserole.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the casserole.* Cover with an even layer of the Mexican blend cheese.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until the casserole is warmed through and the cheese has melted and started to brown over the top.  Allow the enchiladas to rest 10 minutes before serving.

*If doing this as a make-ahead meal, refrigerate or freeze the casserole before adding cheese.  Remove casserole from the fridge/freezer and allow it to come closer to room temperature before putting it in the oven.  Continue with steps above. 


Spicy Curried Turkey Noodle Soup
November 30, 2011, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Main Course, Soups | Tags: , , ,

I usually don’t make anything with Thanksgiving leftovers.  I don’t mean they go in the trash, I mean we eat the same meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until the food is gone (which usually takes a few days around here.)  In years past, it’s been just my husband and I to devour a whole 15 pound turkey (don’t judge.)  This year I was happy that everyone ate turkey, including “C” who never eats meat, but it seemed that after a few days we still had tons of turkey even though all of the side dishes had been eaten.  Well, I went about spending a day making turkey stock, but decided I really wanted to make something right away with the stock as well as with all of the turkey meat still in the fridge.  I’ve wanted to make a curried noodle soup for a long time, but have always been intimidated by curry before.  I thought about just making my Mexican Chicken Noodle Soup but with turkey, but then I thought, no that’s lame.  I didn’t spend a whole day making stock just to make the same old soup (even if it is really good!)  Go big or go home, right?!?!  I knew this soup would probably be an epic failure, or a great success, I suppose there isn’t much in-between when it comes to curry. 

Lucky for my family it was a success.  It was very spicy the first day, even my daughter and husband who like things extra spicy kept reaching for the water, but it did not lack in flavor.  When we had the left over’s the second day, the level of heat had come down, but the entire flavor remained.  I’m still thinking about that soup and wishing I had made a bigger pot.  Even “M” is still asking for more spicy noodles!

Spicy Curried Turkey Noodle  Soup

Adapted from Spicy Curry Noodle Soup with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes at


 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons lemongrass, chopped

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 tablespoons red curry paste*

3 tablespoons spicy curry powder

3 cups unsweetened coconut milk

5 cups turkey stock

2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 pound spaghetti noodles

3 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded or cut into cubes

2 cups fresh spinach leaves.

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced for garnish

3 tablespoons green onion, chopped for garnish

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts for garnish

1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add next 4 ingredients; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste and curry powder. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Stir until thick and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and add the spinach and turkey meat until spinach is wilted and the turkey is warmed through.

 While broth comes to a boil, add spaghetti to a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

 To assemble the soup, put noodles in each bowl, cover with turkey, spinach and broth.  Top with any of the additional garnishes.


Hey!  Hop on over to Melt in Your Mouth Mondays and see some other great recipes!


Make-Ahead Monday: Southwestern Salisbury Steak
November 21, 2011, 11:09 am
Filed under: Beef, Main Course | Tags:


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I’ve been trying to avoid shopping for groceries other than what’s planned for the big meal, and instead making due with what we already have in the freezer.  A while back my husband bought a big bag of premade hamburger patties when he found them on sale.  Back in the States, this is something that we would have never purchased.  I think we each make a pretty decent hamburger, definitely better than the premade variety.  However, the beef here just isn’t the same.  I’m told it tastes different because most of the beef comes fromNew Zealand and the cows eat different grass.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but needless to say, I’m not a fan of the taste of the beef here.  Now, I don’t mean to offend.  I’m sure if this is the kind of beef you’ve been eating and then went to the States and ordered a steak, it would probably taste funny to you too. 

So when my husband saw the American premade patties, he bought them, thinking we might get homesick for a good burger at some point.  Well this big bag of beef patties has been sitting in my freezer for a while.  I’ve thought about trying to do several things with them, but just kept going back to Salisbury steak.  I love onions; my husband loves mushrooms, so easy dinner.  Well as I started to gather the ingredients, I really wasn’t excited about making or eating it for dinner.  I thought well maybe I’ll add some spice, so I grabbed the chipotle hot sauce.  Then if I add the chipotle, I should add some cumin too; but if I add cumin, cilantro needs to go with it.  Before I realized it, I had changed the whole base for Salisbury steak.  Well now I had something for everyone.  “E” likes mushrooms, I like onions, “M” likes spicy.  Oh but then there is “C”….Oh my son doesn’t like anything.  I’m sure he will eat only the garlic toast I made to go with it.  Well three out of four isn’t bad.

I have to say, that although I ended up giving this a Southwestern twist, it still maintained the integrity of Salisbury steak.  It still had the same base of a ground beef patty with onions and mushrooms, it was just so much better.  I feel that if I had been on Top Chef and the challenge was to reinvent Salisbury steak, I probably wouldn’t get sent home for this one 🙂



Southwestern Salisbury Steak



6 premade, uncooked beef patties

2 onions, sliced

1 lb mushrooms, sliced

1 link chorizo sausage, diced

1 4oz can green chilies

1/2 cup cilantro cooking base

4 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce

4 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons lime juice

4 cups beef stock

3 tablespoons corn starch

Fresh cilantro to garnish



Turn on slow cooker on high and add the chorizo, onions and mushrooms.  Allow them to cook until they start to sweat a little.  Add the chilies, hot sauce, cilantro cooking base, cumin, garlic powder and lime juice.  Add cornstarch and put the patties on top.  Pour the beef stock over everything.  Allow steaks to cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 6. 

Serve with mashed potatoes, or on top of garlic toast.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.


Best Delivery Food Ever!
November 18, 2011, 6:48 am
Filed under: Main Course


I haven’t been posting as much lately because a friend and I have taken up a new “venture” so to speak.  One day we both found we make our daughter’s hair accessories and decied to get together to make them.  Well, lately I’ve been up to my elbows in hair bows.  Take a look at “M” in some of them:



Well since I’ve been so busy crafting, I haven’t been spending as much time in the kitchen.  There are just but so many hours in the day.  In fact, last week was our anniversary.  I had a great meal planned.  We were going to make shrimp and grits together and I was going to suprise him with a great dessert.  Well our anniverary happened to be the same day as the market where we were featuring our bows.  I was really craving Kabobs after the market, but I was prepaired to go home and make shrimp and grits. We had already ordered kabobs three times that week so I thought no way would he want to order again.  Much to my pleasure and suprise, as soon as I got home, he said that he didn’t really feel like shrimp and grits and asked if it would be OK if we ordered from Kabobdan again.  Yes! 








Well last night, again neither of us felt like cooking.  It’s just too easy not to when we have this delivered to our door in less than 20 minutes for about four dinars (that’s about $10.)  The pictures really don’t do the food justice, because it is just soooo good!  I had to snap fast, as you can see, my hubby was getting adetated having to wait for his lamb chops 🙂