Thank you everyone for your get well wishes. It was a slow cooking/blogging week. Perfect opportunity to tell you about a project I was thrilled to be part of earlier last year. Along with some pretty awesome authors, photographers, bloggers, crafters, I was asked by the magazine Where Women Cook, to be part of their book project, "Where Women Cook: Celebrate!". The book is a collection of women’s stories on how they celebrate and gather the people they love around them.
The instant I read the first lines of the project, I knew I wanted to tell the story of how my grandmother used to celebrate. Above all the traits I inherited from her, this is by far the strongest one. The project was easy: tell with pictures and a few recipes your favorite way to celebrate, how you gather the people you love ad create lasting memories.
Tthe theme I chose to feature and photograph was the same one my grandmother would pick for family gathering: a Berber Couscous with merguez sausages, stewed veggies, chicken and mutton. Plenty of couscous and harissa to go around too. Both my grandparents were in Morocco for a extensive period of time, ten years apart, both my parents were born there, ten years apart. Moroccan cuisine is very much part of my family coding. It’s celebration food for us.
My friend John at Lana Restaurant provided all the bistro bowls, silverware and napkins I needed. We set out a pretty table with flowers in mason jars and lots of natural twine.
We strung some lights across the trees and all over the yard.
The girls got busy making pretty flower arrangements while I was finishing cooking and John was grilling. The other guys in the group got busy with quality control and opening wine bottles.
We sat down by the water and cheered, laughed, ate well, raised our glasses and polished off many servings of couscous. My grandmother would have been proud of us!
We took a break, played some silly games and found some room for Honey Saffron Ice Cream and Cardamon Shortbread Cookies.
Fanny and Patrick from Bin 152 provided much of the wines and we lingered at the dinner table and watched the sun set over the water. We talked for hours and I completely forgot to serve a family favorite palate cleanser, a Citrus Mint Salad.
So here it is. The one recipe that never made it into the cookbook, my grandmother’s super easy refreshing Citrus Mint Salad (check at the end of the post).
For the Berber Couscous and the Honey Saffron Ice Cream & Cardamom Cookies recipes, I encourage you to check out the book, "Where Woman Cook: Celebrate!". You will also be able to discover some of the amazing women who participated in the project such as Ree of Pioneer Woman, Angie of Bakerella, and Molly of Orangette.
You could also…enter a giveaway to win a copy of the book, right?! Well, here it is! I am indeed giving away one copy of "Where Women Cook: Celebrate!". All you have to do to enter is leave a comment to this post, between Friday March 30th and Monday April 2nd, midnight Eastern Standard time when a winner will be picked at random. And yes, I will ship overseas.
Just a few guidelines: no anonymous comments, one comment per person and prize must be claimed within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.
Citrus And Mint Salad:
1 pink grapefruit
1 white grapefruit
1 large orange
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 tablespoons honey
Supreme the pink and white grapefruit as well as the orange. (here are great instructions on how to supreme citrus)
Place the fruit segments with the mint and honey in a non reactive bowl and let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Divide among bowls or ramekins, adding some of the natural juices over the fruit.