Culinary Memories: Cooking for Others

Foodie Mania Meets Social Media!

By Family Flavours

World Food Day (16 October) inspired our taste buds to experience some of Jordan’s best culinary experiences without even having to get into our car. Here are our favourite foodie influences on social media.

Rawd Halawani

Rawd To Healthy Living

As a health and fitness enthusiast, you won’t find junk food or fatty comfort foods on Halawani’s blog, that’s for sure! However, she helps us see that raw and healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and bland. Take her dinner, for instance, “Lemon tahini massaged kale with roasted grapes and some steamed broccoli, snap peas and carrots with jacket sweet potato as the main.” There’s never a dull moment in her day as Halawani wakes up to the ultimate power breakfast: “Two boiled eggs seasoned with thyme, salt and pepper with 1/4 avocado sprinkled with pumpkin and sunflower seeds!” Now that she’s joined Family Flavours’ team, we hope she’ll have us over to sample a batch of her wholesome goodness!

What to Cook Today?

Banan Gharaibeh

Gharaibeh’s culinary calling was so strong that she abandoned her profession as a pharmacist. She’s passionate about food and now you can follow her recipes or simplify your life by ordering directly from her. We especially love her cakes, like the lemon velvet with vanilla cream cheese frosting decorated with fresh flowers and our choice for birthdays that kids and adults absolutely love – Gharabieh’s chocolate Nutella cake topped with cream, chocolate ganache and doughnuts. “I’m using new styles like brushstrokes, fresh flower and Momofuku-inspired recipes,” says Gharabieh, who’s taken quite the liking to making speciality cakes. The home-based caterer also contributed to some of Al Marji’ Publications’ events, with elegant platters of mini savoury pies, puffs and wraps and live demonstrations. Check out her monthly “A Taste Of…” corner on page xx.

Carla D’abis

Memoirs of a Taste Bud

For D’abis, who’s based in Dubai with roots in both Jordan and the United States, Memoirs of a Taste Bud is her “first small step toward the all-you-can-eat globetrotting adventure” she dreams of. The published author (Dabis’ culinary features appear in Huffington Post Travel and Lifestyle) describes her writing genre and style as “storytelling, one restaurant or one city at a time”. Her social media platforms cover the region’s flourishing restaurant scene, her recipes (try Dabis’ nutritious and delicious raw vegan fudge), travel and lifestyle diaries and guides and interviews.

Majida’s Recipes for Better Home Cooking

Majida Makhamreh Nasrawi

In addition to her “Pasta Perfect” recipes in Family Flavours (see page xx) and her Instagram collection of recipes in English and Arabic, Nasrawi offers private and group cooking classes. Her hands-on sushi-making classes are quite the sensation! Her Instagram page consists of unique combinations like baked eggs made with kofta meat, onions and parsley and served with gravy. We’re also fans of her spinach feta rolls and homemade bread – our favourite is her sesame and nigella seed crusted cheese and thyme bread! Nasrawi is now dabbling in food styling and photography.

A Life on a Plate

Lara Darwazah

Darwazah is an education specialist but has made a name for herself in the world of culinary writing, photography and documentary film. In 2016, she partnered with the World Food Programme to “photo document and write stories about vulnerable Jordanian beneficiaries and Syrian refugees, on how they use the ingredients available to them and what changed in their lives in the way they cook and eat,” as she describes on her blog. Darwazah has a tab on her blog devoted entirely to her Jordanian recipes, all complete with fascinating background info, helpful tips, easy-to-follow recipes and enticing photos that are fit for a professional cookbook! She also dabbles in worldly treats like pumpkin flan, Dutch apple pie and our favourite, peanut butter cups. With flakes of sea salt on top, Rice Krispies in sugarless peanut butter, milk and dark chocolate melted in a bain-marie), they’re not only delicious, but, as she shows us, are perfect for elegant yet easy gift giving. You can catch her latest food and travel stories (including one about Jordan’s vibrant food market) on her Instagram page.

Lara’s Cooking Journeya

Lara ‘Abdulhadi

‘Abdulhadi’s blog of recipe collections is professionally organized with easy-to-read text, photos of each dish and categories to quickly spot whatever you’re after, from appetizer, main course, dessert recipes to drinks and slow cookers recipes. She serves up international dishes like Indian Coconut Shrimp and Asian Kung Pao Chicken as well as regional flavours, such as the Saudi Arabian specialty, Bukhari rice. Our favourites? Try her Avocado Baked Egg “omega-3 powered breakfast” and check out her monthly “Quick & Easy” corner in Family Flavours on page xx.

Feed On Food

Mayada Ghussein

Motivating this foodie is her “passion to spread travel experiences and mouth-watering visuals that take us to hidden corners where unexposed, down to earth and pure food cultures lurk.” You won’t find staged and photo shopped food pics on her Instagram page as it’s all about capturing authentic food experiences from “the jewel in the crown, my pomegranate tree” in her garden and “third generation Abu Hatem’s butchery cum grill house serving downtown Amman since 1942”. Ghussein’s culinary adventures have taken her everywhere; most recently, Casablanca’s seafood market to a flower market in Nice.

Two Can Dine

Dina Toukan

You will enjoy following Toukan’s food and travel experiences because her photos of Jordan’s foodie hotspots will drive you out the door to get a bite of the mouth-watering dishes she posts about! She spices up her page with cute captions like: twocandine: What friends (who have their nails done) are for! #burgerwednesday’s madness goes to the one and only @heroesburgersandwings (see corresponding photo!). Our recent fave discovery came from her recommendation of best seafood Paella – and the winner is Arriba – Latino Pub & Restaurant (check out this photo of the colourful dish).

Skaba

Jude Kaddoura

Kaddoura is a certified pastry chef from Le Cordon Blue (the largest network of culinary and hospitality schools in the world) and the founder of Skaba, a home-based food business. Her SKABA: Butterfly of Change blog (her logo is a butterfly) is unlike anything you’ll find on the gram as it features “sweet and savoury treats with a nutritious edge”. Photographs of her healthy desserts will surely tempt your taste buds whether you are health conscious or just a regular foodie! Our personal favourites are the “Chocodonuts” and “Vegan Gansta Cookie” which you can order. The best part is that you will not feel guilty about indulging in these desserts as they are all refined sugar-free, wheat-free and dairy-free. Why a butterfly logo for a food blog? “We learn from the butterfly to let go of the past, break out of our own cocoons and transform into better versions of ourselves,” says Kaddoura. “At SKABA, we believe in “The Butterfly Effect” based on the scientific theory that minute changes can hugely impact events in the long run.”

Raya’s Spoon

Raya Qaraeen

Qaraeen says she “indulges in flavours one spoon at a time”. You’ll spot her around town with her hands, manicured to perfection, cupping a mug of upscale coffee or a cup of fresh fruity frozen yoghurt. One sweet that especially caught our eye is this colourful mini homemade ice cream macron with fruity pebbles by Sally’s!

La Dolce Vita

Nataliya Madadha

Just glance at Madadha’s Instagram page and you won’t believe the maker is a mother of three boys who bakes from her home kitchen. The self-proclaimed “cake and sugar artist” specializes in themed-cakes – whatever you or your child dream up, she can whip up! She even won competitions at renowned exhibitions for her edible art novelty cakes. Madadha’s customers tell us that her creations taste as delicious as they look. We love her female footballer cake complete with a set design of a football field and goal post. And check out this “all hobbies in one cake” masterpiece – yes, the swordsman and laptop are edible too!