Pancake Week 2017, Day 3


img_20170222_164113-2On the menu today: Baghrir – crepes with a thousand wholes – Moroccan delight

What are you having?


Peach Cobbler or so it seems


I feel it’s mauvais ton to post a recipe that I am not making from scratch. It’s like cheating, you know? It’s not in my background not is it in Love’s culture to use pre-made ingredients in cooking, especially when it’s a dessert.

This time, however, the dish was such a success with both of us that I have already cooked it 3 times. Oh, we did test it on a couple we know and they seem to be as hooked 🙂


  • 4 peaches

  • 1 cup water

  • 1-2 Tb sp sugar / brown sugar / agave syrup / honey – any sweetener you prefer

  • 1/2 t sp lemon juice 

  • 1/4 – 1/2 t sp nutmeg – optional 

  • Cinnamon rolls dough 

  • Optional: icing and 2 Tb sp of butter 



Peel and cut peaches into however you feel like. I like inch size pieces.

Put them into a pan, cover with 1 cup of water, add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice and  let simmer on med-low heat for about 15 min. Or less. Peaches should become soft and the syrup should turn caramel color, but PLEASE don’t over-cook as the syrup will burn. 

When the water begins to boil, add the sweetener. I add brown sugar, but feel free to use any of your choice and as much or as little as you like. 

Add the nutmeg – again to your taste. 


Cut each cinnamon roll into 4 or 6 pieces(depending on the rolls you are using). Spread half of those pieces on a baking pan. No need for any sprays, butter or parchment paper. 

Pour the peaches with the syrup over the cinnamon rolls. Cover with the remaining pieces of rolls. Bake anywhere between 12 to 18 minutes (mine usually take 15) at 400 degrees – I strongly recommend follow the instructions on the packaging of your rolls. Mind not to over-bake! 

When done, spread the icing over hot cobbler and put 1/4 inch cubes of butter all around. 


We eat it in 2 settings – one at evening tea time, the rest is for breakfast.

Now, to be fair, I am not entirely sure this is a cobbler. From what I’ve heard, it is not. But we still think it’s delicious, I love making it as it takes 30 minutes from start to finish, easy to make and hard to screw up. In my opinion, that combination is hard to beat!

Let me know what you think and please do share yours if you make it!


7 Years and Counting


Moroccan Chicken Bastilla

   I met Love 7 years ago today. And we have been together ever since. More together than many never are in their lifetimes.

   From this – one of the very first pictures he took of me – a tiny train station somewhere in the Crimea, Spring 2008:

CIMG0137And this – hosting our first party – Odessa, Ukraine, summer 2008:


 To this – Las Vegas, Nevada, New Year 2015:


   By the way, notice that backpack in the right corner in first picture? Well, it moved with us to the USA and is still a favorite when we go hiking!

   So, what does that strange pie in the beginning of the post have to do with our anniversary? – you ask. That’s elementary!   For one, It’s a most traditional and favorite Moroccan dish for celebration. For two, it’s one of the most taste -full and tastefully diverse dish one can encounter: cinnamon, almonds, chicken, and eggs, layered with paper-thin dough. Which brings me to the conclusion: my Love has made my life as complete, diverse and taste-full as a Moroccan Bastilla.

Pancake Week – You Have Not Tasted This One Before

Home That We Built - msemmen

Home That We Built – msemmen

Not pancakes, not even crepes, though sometimes referred as such, MSEMMEN are a favorite Moroccan treat. These fried envelopes of puff dough are to die for! Traditionally served all deep-dipped in honey-butter sauce with Moroccan mint tea, they are the best for afternoon tea (or my all time favorite late night late night ceremony).

   They are also frequently stuffed with ground meat, sauteed veggies or fruit. (My personal “thing” is banana, cut into circles and sprinkled with cinnamon).

   To celebrate the Pancake Week, I decided to do msemmen justice and treat Love on such a Morocco-UN-related occasion 🙂

Home That We Built

Home That We Built

   Stage 1: Oil the work surface. That’s right, fight that instinctive motion to sprinkle flour!

  Stage 2: Use your hands to flatten the dough ball into a very thin circle. Forget the dough roller – Moroccans are magicians when it comes to using hands in the kitchen! 20150218_210152

   Stage 3:  Put a table spoon full of filling in the middle. I used chicken liver, cut into tiny pieces, sauteed with onions, tomatoes, spices and cilantro. Love suggested sprinkling it with fresh onions – surely he is the Highest Authority here.


   Stage 4: Fold it like an envelope.. Sprinkle some semolina flour on each fold.


Fold to top over the filling. Sprinkle semolina.


Fold to bottom like so. Sprinkle semolina.


Flip it over and fold the edges onto the back side of the envelope (the side it was lying on a minute ago), one by one. Step back and admire your cute envelope.

   Stage 5. This is the funny part. Flatten the envelope. It will get messy. There will be holes and the filling will try to escape. That is why you needed to fold the edges backwards – to provide extra support to the base on this stage. Keep your calm and gently but persistently press your palm over the envelope to flatten it as reasonably possible. The idea here is to flatten and spread the folds of the dough so it is is nice and light when fried. Like so:


   Stage 6.  Melt couple table spoon fulls of butter. Use your fingers to sprinkle couple drops of melted butter onto a pre-heated frying pan.  Turn the heat to low. Fry msemmen on both sides until the dough is cooked. It’ll be easy to tell, honest. Like so:

20150218_211036   Stage 7. This one is just for lucky count 🙂 Eat the msemmen!

Have a tasty Pancake Week, guys!

Pancake Week – Hand-Written Recipe

In response to the “Write Now… Yes, Right Now!” challenge from PhoTrabloggeer and inspired by Amy from The World is a Book.

Home That We Built - old recipe book

Home That We Built – old recipe book

Home That We Built - recipe book

Home That We Built – recipe book

One of my most valued possessions is a very old recipe book. It’s an old notebook, a calendar diary of 1966, to be exact, with yellow pages and torn cover. It’s filled with recipes, most of which are pre-1917 recipes of marvelous cakes, French pastries, various types of dough and jams. The bulk of the recipes, however, are not written on the pages of the notebook, but tucked in- between. The recipes from before the Revolution of 1917 are my great-grandmother’s and those that “native” to the 1966 notebook are my grandmother’s. Today I have added one of my own.

Pancake Week on my mind, I added a favorite recipe for pancakes, Russian style, but with no yeast.

Home That We Built - Pancake recipe

Home That We Built – Pancake recipe

    And here are two recipes of pancakes written by my grandmother. Both are Russian style pancakes, i.e. the size of the frying pan, soft, flexible, easy to wrap around any kind of stuffing, be it mushrooms, ground meat or cherries. The difference between the two recipes is that the first is the traditional kind, “sour” as my gran used to say, made with yeast, while the second, at the bottom, is the easier, modern way to cook the same pancakes substituting yeast with baking soda.

Home That We Built - pancakes by my grandmother

Home That We Built – pancakes by my grandmother

The language is Russian throughout the notebook.

Belated Marvel

I cannot believe that I did not share my Eid delight!

For reference: Eid is the celebration when the holy month of Ramadan ends.

As you know, I am attached to traditions. Some, like the Pancake Week and Easter have been observed in my family for generations. Others are as old historically, but fresh for me as I quickly and easily pick up tasty traditions 🙂  

This swirly deliciousness you see is my humble take on the mouth-watering, head-spinning delights one finds at an Eid table. A soft and moist marble cake on a hamsa plate:  

20140709_07063320140709_070752 20140709_070923Joining Wow us Wednesdays