Libyan shorba- Soup

When we lived in Seattle many years ago, I had friends from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and numerous other countries.  I ate at their homes for dinner parties and breaking fast in Ramadan. I observed the traditions and tried to be a gracious guest, eating what they served and taking in the amazing flavors. Many times I asked for a recipe and a cooking lesson would follow! Soup is something that most people make for breaking fast. This soup was served at several Iftar (Ramadan dinners). I don’t know it’s name except shorba which means “soup”. This is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!


1/2 pound stew beef cut into little pieces

1 small can tomato paste

1 can garbanzo beans-chick peas

1/2 cup orzo noodles


1 tsp. dry mint

1 tsp. dry parsley

1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

salt to taste

pepper- amount desired, I put just a dash

1 onion chopped small

3 garlic cloves sliced

15 cups water


Put a few spoons of olive oil in a large pan and add onion and garlic, saute.

Add beef and water, bring to a boil.

Lower heat and cover, let soup continue to low boil until meat is done.

Add tomato paste and mix in well. Add salt, cumin, cinnamon and pepper.

Continue simmering, add garbanzo beans to soup.

Let this simmer to get the flavors mixed.

Add the orzo and let this cook until done, add parsley and mix in.

When soup is done, turn heat off and sprinkle mint on top.

Let set a few minutes to get this beautiful mint flavor infused into the soup.

Soup is usually eaten with bread, and sprinkled with a little

fresh lemon juice.


Housing in Riyadh

There are many types of housing in Riyadh including, villas, apartments, large Western compounds and these smaller versions of a compound concept. These little “compounds” usually have around 20 villas all together with a large wall around them. This type of housing has a common area outside as in this picture below. Children play and ride their bikes and there is a tiny pool as well as a grassy area at the end of the compound. We lived in this little housing area after we moved from the large,Western compound. We lived here for three years and this picture was taken after a major renovation. Basically it is just like living outside but you have the benefit of neighbors.


The windows you see are the family room that face into the walking area.


Above you can see the end of the compound and the kitchen door of the villa.

Greek bread

This bread is allot like Pita bread and I use the same basic dough. You can find this under my Middle Eastern recipes on my page.

Follow the recipe for Arabic bread dough, knead the dough and cover. Let it double in size. Punch dough down and start making balls. Tuck dough under and pinch to make a ball. Cover balls and let rest for about 20 minutes. Take each ball and flatten out by pushing down with your fingers.


Pick up each piece and move around in a circle to spread and thin it out.


push down on dough making a few small holes throughout bread


Heat a frying pan or griddle and brush lightly with olive oil. When hot, place bread on pan.  The heat should be hot enough to cook bread but not too hot so that it burns without cooking. Repeat brushing pan with olive oil as needed which will probably be after cooking a few batches of bread.


Let bread cook on one side and turn.This process will vary in time depending on how thin your bread is and what type of pan used. Make sure bread is well cooked. Remove from heat and eat with Hummus, Mutabal or anything else you like.


Meet New Bloggers #40

What a nice idea and great way to see wonderful new blogs! thanks


Hi, All!

No, I did not disappear from the earth. And not from this series. I know, I know. Life has been very complicated that my little time management talent has been messed up. Hmm, I am currently on a short time management course where I am the only student and I am the teacher as well. Let’s see how that works. 😀 I’ve been putting schedules on everything – begin a post, but never done. Oh well! You know I am trying guys, right? 🙂

For now, I am so very much happy to say that I am bringing you these set of bloggers for you to visit and show them some love. New blogging friends are fun to have. 😉

Becky Bakes and Bakes 

“My main reason for wanting to start a baking blog was to share my recipes with the world, to document my development as…

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Apple Goodie

This is a delicious apple treat that my Grama Elva made when I was growing up. She passed it on to mom who then passed it to me. It is full of yummy apples and topped with an oatmeal and brown sugar mix. I made it when we lived in Seattle years ago, but have not made it for awhile.

Yesterday the kids and I headed to mom and dad’s and went apple picking at a beautiful and scenic area. It has become our family tradition that started after we moved back to the States. We usually go in late September  and stay with mom and dad for the night. The next morning bright and early we head up to Greenbluff. There are numerous farms where you can pick or just get apples already in the bins. I never knew anything about apples although I grew up in Washington where there are tons of apple orchards. In Saudi I used to feel at home when I saw apples with a “grown in Washington” sticker at the local Tamimi (Safeway). To imagine those apples had been picked near my home town and shipped all the way to Riyadh was quite exciting!

We had a beautiful day picking apples and 6 of my 9 kids were together which was pretty amazing! I think one of my favorite apples is Honey Crisp but I also brought home, Gala, Cameo and Golden delicious. Mom insisted on buying me some Golden delicious for making pies or Apple Goodie. This morning I looked high and low but could not find Elva’s recipe so I made up my own! I hope you like it!



6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground allspice


2 cups brown sugar

3 cups quick oats

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup flour

1 cup butter slightly melted but still firm


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel, wash and slice apples thin. Mix sugar and spices with apples.


Mix all dry topping ingredients except for butter.  Melt butter a little so it is not totally hard but not melted. Add to dry ingredients working it in with a fork. When mixture is crumbly it is done.


Spread apples on a baking pan.


You can use a 9X13 or larger depending on how thick or thin you want your Apple Goodie. The one I made was thin and cooked very nicely.

Sprinkle crumble evenly on top of apples and put into oven.


Bake for 45 minutes or until apples are soft. Remove from oven and let cool until warm. Serve with vanilla ice cream.