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Chapstick Cookies

Unappealing title, huh? Luckily, though chapstick is a key ingredient in this cookie recipe, no chapstick actually goes into the cookies. Butter, flour, almond, sugar, and jam make these bite-sized shortbread cookies lip smackingly good.… Read More

Quimper in Stained Glass

Whenever I visit a new city, one of my favorite pastimes is photographing stained glass in every church and cathedral I can find. Not the usual, “this is a really big wall of glass and look at all the beautiful colors” photos, but photos of the intricate details that are easily missed when taking in the window as a whole. Why do I do this? Sometimes to find inspiration for my own illustrations. Sometimes because I love the stories the glass portraits tell. Sometimes because they make me laugh. And sometimes, simply because I like the colors and shapes. Occasionally I neglect to take any photos of the entire window, and only realize this days later when sorting through my photos.… Read More

Infinite Feta Baked Pasta

This all started because I had too much feta. I know, right? Difficult to believe. The thing is, this one package of feta seemed endless. I used it in salad, with potatoes on no fewer than four occasions, I even snacked on bits of it from time to time. The feta continued. I was starting to think that I was at the beginning of a bad horror film: “The Feta that Ate Tangier!”… Read More

Minestrone-y Minestrone

The weather is beginning to turn cold here (in Moroccan terms, that means it rained a little this week) so of course my thoughts turned to soup. (Actually, my thoughts turned to stir-fry first, but broccoli was not to be found for love of money. Since I’d already bought the other ingredients at our delightful Berber Sunday market, I had to rethink my meal plan.) Erm. I mean, I began craving soup.

I have always loved minestrone, but it never made me giggle until I watched Green Wing for the first time.… Read More

Hummus for Hungry Humans (and non-humans)

“I want hummus.” You know how many times I heard this from a friend over the course of a single week? I don’t know either, because I lost count. Neil would be over watching a movie, and suddenly: “I want hummus.” Walking through the medina: “I want hummus.” Discussing time travel: “I want hummus.” Taking self-defense lessons: “I want hummus.”

So do you know what I did? No, I didn’t banish him from my presence, my home, and the whole of Africa. I made hummus.… Read More

Morocco, Week Eleven

Another slow week, which means a short blog post this time. After a long work day on Monday, I took a spontaneous trip to the school swimming pool with a couple kids in tow.

We practiced swimming, splashed, and even had a spirited game of marco polo, then headed to Wafae’s house for soup and Moroccan pastries. (I have been specifying the type of pastry every time because I am aware that you, my readers, are extremely discerning and absolutely need to know whether each pastry is Moroccan-style or French-style.)… Read More

Cookies for Cogdog

This is a special post dedicated to Alyce, the mother of my good friend Alan Levine. Alyce, who passed away unexpectedly two weeks ago, would get up every Sunday morning, bake cookies, and hand them out during the week to anyone who looked like they could use cookie-inspired happiness. A couple of days later, Martha Burtis threw together Cookies for Cogdog, inviting Alan’s friends to bake cookies and share them as a tribute to Alyce.

So last Saturday I got up early and made an enormous batch of sugar cookies, coating myself, my kitchen, and far too many kitchen implements in flour.… Read More

How to Cook a Tagine in the Woods

I suppose this post should, logically, be preceded with another titled “How to Cook a Tagine”. But you know me- I don’t do anything half-assed. I’d never cooked a tagine before, so naturally I made my first one in the woods over twigs and stones. Mustapha and I surprised his sisters by whisking them away last Sunday for a picnic in a forested glen by the ocean. After arriving, we spread out a big carpet to sit on, piled up the containers of ingredients, turned on some music, and got to work. … Read More

Morocco, Week Six

Week six, week six. As everyone gears up for the start of the school year, it’s become increasingly difficult to find that ideal balance between life and work. I spent long hours at school whipping the library into shape, then worked on the aforementioned secret edtech project from home most nights. This was complicated by the fact that Ramadan was followed immediately by Eid, a two-day holiday, on Wednesday and Thursday, so most of the work at school had to be put on hold until Friday.

Still, I managed to get away from my books and my PHP code every once in a while, if only out of a sense of responsibility to my readers. If I didn’t do interesting things each week, there would be nothing to write about. And definitely no photos.… Read More

Heavenly Harira

This post represents an important landmark: my first experience cooking traditional Moroccan food. After nearly three weeks of walking through my apartment building, surrounded by tantalizing smells, I finally learned how to make harira, one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever tasted. And lucky you, I’m going to post the recipe! This soup is usually the first thing served during iftar, and it’s a Moroccan specialty.… Read More

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