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Ramadan in Morocco

Preparing for Ramadan in Morocco

Thursday afternoon the house became quite all of a sudden, except for the occasional whirl of the food processor I didn’t here noise from the kids. As most parents know this is never a good sign. Ever. For a second I assumed they had gone outside to play but every now and then I’d hear a phrase spoken.  When I finally got up to look downstairs (we live in a traditional style Moroccan home with 4 floors and an open courtyard in the middle) I saw this; Grandma had gotten the boys to help with Ramadan preparations by shelling kilos of almonds.…

Vegetarian Harira

Vegetarian Moroccan Harira

For Moroccans, harira soup is a Ramadan ritual.  Every evening families sit down to bowls of steaming harira – even when daytime summer temperatures soar about the 100F mark. I love soup, but the last thing I want to do is leave my stove on for hours during the hottest part of summer. Instead, I created this quicker version to satisfy the Ramadan ritual but keep my house at a tolerable temperature. Traditional harira is made with dried lentils, dry chickpeas, rice, vermicelli noodles, a potpurri of herbs and spices, vegetables, and meat – most often lamb. If you’ve ever…

Gluten Free Chebakia

Gluten-Free Chebakia

Chebakia and Ramadan and synonymous in Morocco. You simply can’t have one without the other. This presents a big problem for us. Chebakia are cookies made of flour, spices, honey, and sesame seeds. It’s the flour that is problematic. It’s safe to say that Moroccan families eat dozens and dozens of these cookies every Ramadan.  They are made (or bought) in huge quantities and are time consuming to make – which makes it very clear to me why they’re a special holiday treat.   Last year I decided I would try to make a gluten-free chebakia to serve with harira…

Healthy Ramadan Ideas

5 Tips to Help You Have A Healthy Ramadan

Today is the 4th day of Ramadan in the United States and the hottest Ramadan I’ve experienced – and I’m not fasting!  Unfortunately my surgeon would not clear me to fast, preferring me to wait at least a year after having gastric sleeve surgery to attempt fasting.  Truthfully I’m not sure I would be able to do it even if he were to allow me. We begin fasting at 3:15am and the fasting day ends around 9pm. I simply wouldn’t have the space or ability to eat enough food or drink enough water in 6 hours to be safe.  Right…

Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba

Pistachio Rosewater Ghriba

Before I went to Morocco I had never eaten a pistachio. The closest I had come to a pistachio was in the Jello pudding my dad ate. But, once I ate one, well I was hooked – and a little upset that I had missed out on this delicious nut for the first 20 years of my life. I’m making up for it now. Like the lemon, vanilla, and almond ghriba I shared earlier this week, these ghriba are gluten-free and delicious. Pistachios have a unique flavor that some people really don’t like.  As I began to look for a…

Ramadan Meal Plan 1

I’ve Got Your Ramadan Meal Planning Covered!

Do you struggle to find meal ideas for your family during Ramadan?  Not this year!  Today my first Ramadan meal plan is available to make your Ramadan meal planning easier. One of the biggest complaints I hear from women during Ramadan is, “I have no idea what to make!”  I know meal planning isn’t for everyone. It’s a big process to find meal ideas, create a list, shop, and then either prepare one evening, or nightly meals.  Whew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!  Last year I created a cookbook titled Ramadan Nights, this cookbook is still available but this…

Gluten Free Almond Ghriba

Gluten Free Ghriba for #SundaySupper

Moroccan pastries are small, bite size gems of deliciousness.  Most have nuts, usually almonds, honey, and powdered sugar. Sadly, the majority also have wheat making them off-limits for us.  Ramadan is right around the corner and I have been re-making all of our favorite treats into gluten-free replicas. Are you ready for a ghriba-a-palooza?  I’ve created four new ghriba recipes that I’ll be sharing over the next few days. I think you’ll have a hard time choosing your favorite! What is a ghriba? Ghriba are one of the most well known Moroccan cookies.  They are easily identified because of their…

Msemmen

Moroccan Eid Menu Planning

This year I’ve been seeing so many great posts sharing Eid menu plans, like this one from Holly of Arabic Zeal or this one from Hollie of Common Cents Mom. In the past I have done a post after our big Eid celebration but as I started to plan it made sense to instead share ideas early.  We will only be staying in New York until Sunday afternoon but I still plan to make breakfast and lunch to celebrate.  I am really hoping that this year will be a little more special than years’ past. Just being surrounded by a…