Tabouleh Salad

There is nothing like buying a little bit of fresh herbs to give humph and a clean flavor to a dish. Sometimes all you need is a couple of tablespoons. And then you are left with a bunch of herbs without planned use. In comes the bunch of parsley I purchased for the Tyrolean Knodel I made again last week. I only needed a little and I had so much left.

I often freeze my fresh herbs but they tend to be left forgotten. Parsley is not a herb I use a lot so I wanted to make something different while still fresh. There is only one recipe that I know of that requires parsley in large quantity, the Tabouleh Salad.

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I would have to say Tabouleh is probably one of the first Middle Eastern foods I have ever eaten, it acompanied a Lebanese fast food dish. Tabouleh claims its origins in Syria and Lebanon but it became quickly popular all over the Middle East, each country putting a twist on it.

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I have consumed countless Tabouleh versions since my first one.  Some were an eye opener and many were a huge disappointment. I believe this recipe below is the best Tabouleh I have ever tasted. I really like the texture of the Israeli couscous in here, a nice variation but a similar size on the traditional bulgur. The seasoning is so simple but full of taste. The parsley is not overbearing in this recipe either. I highly recommend you give this one a try.

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I have you seen these nifty herb scissors? I got them for Christmas after I exclaimed jealousy to my mom who had gotten a pair as a hostess gift a couple of year’s back. Five blades easily chop up fresh herbs without bruising the leaves too much. A little plastic comb gets the herbs in the blades out. It’s my new favorite gadget.


Tabouleh Salad

Recipe Type: Salads & Soups
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley stems removed, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry Israeli cousous, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well.
  2. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.
Feel free to substitute the Israeli couscous with a regular couscous or the traditional bulgur.


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Firnee: Afghan Cardamom Pudding and a Sofa Makeover

Have you ever ordered a pudding for dessert in a Persian, Middle Eastern or Indian restaurant? I bet if you have you were quite surprised the first time. It is nothing like the thick, very sweet, creamy pudding we are familiar with. It is much lighter in the creamy department, usually a lot less sweet, it may have a stiffer consistency and flavors can include rose water (Gulabjal ), pistachio or saffron. To the North American palette it is usually a big hit or a big miss. These puddings take on a perfumed quality. Personally I love it and it has way less calories the instant pudding.

I came across this Cardamom flavored pudding on a site that associated it with Indian cuisine. Actually this particular recipe is referred to as an Afghan recipe, called Firnee, but you will find very similar versions in the Indian cuisine (called Phirni or Kheer, made with added rice), Pakistani, Persian or the various Arab cuisines.

Traditionally Firnee is topped wit pistachios but let’s throw caution to the wind and top it with fruit, in this case strawberries.

Ξ Firnee – Cardamom Pudding Ξ
adapted from Sunset


5 cardamom pods
4 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
10 strawberries
lemon juice and a bit of sugar


Crack cardamom pods gently with a rolling pin. Combine with 4 cups milk in a pan; stir occasionally over medium-high heat until milk is boiling, 9 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix sugar, the cornstarch, and the ground cardamom. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup milk. When the milk in pan is boiling, remove from heat and gradually whisk in cornstarch mixture. Return to medium-low heat and stir just until mixture comes to a boil, 3 to 7 minutes.

Pour through a fine strainer set over a bowl; discard residue. Ladle pudding into 6 small bowls or ramekins. Let cool about 10 minutes, then cover and chill until cold and set, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Chop strawberries into small pieces. Place strawberries in a bowl and add a bit of lemon and sugar to them. Mix, cover and chill. Drain the strawberries  if there is liquid. Just before serving, spoon strawberries evenly over puddings.


And see how the strawberries match my new couch slipcover? I know very weird segway! But I was asked by the fabulous people at Wayfair to pick an item for review. And they sell everything…and I mean EVERYTHING, yes they even sell kitchen sinks.

So usually I would pick something kitchen related like a small appliance or something but I opted for a sofa slipcover because my 14 year old couch is in a pathetic state. Well the cushions are as I would need to replace the seating foam and have them upholstered in a different material since the current material is ripped.

Partial view of my couch with a young Sati - pic is 3-4 years old

A new couch is not in the financial cards right now and this couch has a lot of significance for me: it is the first big piece of furniture I ever bought as I was planing to move out of my parent’s house. This couch represents my independence. Yeah yeah I am being to sentimental. Anyways I decided to get the  Sure Fit Stretch Sullivan Sofa Slipcover T-Cushion to give my sofa a revamped look for the next little bit it still has to live out.

The product advert pic but same shape as my couch

Now I knew this was going to be a bit of a challenge because I have what is called a T-cushion couch and the back support is pillows which I move all the time. I thought this model would mold well enough to my couch and I could stuff away the extra back material easy enough. It was a bit of a puzzle to put on but eventually I got it. I really like the claret color and the pattern, a real instant decor makeover for the living room. It’s like a stretch velour.

Now that I have been using the slip cover for a while I have mixed feeling about it. This is really not a big deal but every so often you do have to readjust the seems and bit. Overall I am really happy with the functionality. My big problem – and this is not the product’s fault – is that the cover is a cat hair magnet and the hairs gets really tangled up in the weave of the cover making hard to keep fur free. So if you have been on the fence about getting a sofa slipcover I say go for it with the Sure Fit collection…unless you have a furry pet that goes on your furniture.

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