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Update

It looks like my switch over will take about a week – I hope that you can bear with me while MarocMama innovates. I won’t be posting any new content in this interim but will be ushering in the new phase soon! I will be drawing for the tea set as one of the very first posts on the new platform!!

Bear with me please!

I’m currently in the process of upgrading and updating my blog. ¬†Hopefully this will be done soon! ¬†I am looking forward to sharing the new design and features with you soon!

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It didn’t break!!  I’ve blogged a few times about my bad luck with cracking tajines.  The most recent tajine that I’ve gotten I didn’t take any chances with – doing lots of prepping before actually using it.  I very timidly decided to try it out, cooking a chicken tajine on very low temperatures and only slowly increasing the heat.  I felt like a new mom.  You know the mom I’m talking about – the one who spends the first 2 weeks with a newborn at home sneaking up to the crib and checking to make sure the baby is still breathing.  Gingerly placing their hand close to the babies mouth, making sure there were little air puffs…oh no you didn’t do that?  Never mind then…..Let’s just say I checked on it a lot.


It paid off because it didn’t break and the dish turned out great.  I was attempting to make Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Eggs from Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share by Paula Wolfert (on page 94).  It was a tough recipe and in the end my broken leg won because I just couldn’t stand long enough to pull this off.  Half way through I gave up and just made a few changes.  I’ll give Paula’s recipe a shot when I’m healed.


The original recipe is tricky – I used almost all the same ingredients but left out the eggs and lemon juice.  It still turned out to be a great dish.  Today’s Food of the Sun entry is for poultry main dishes – so here we go!


Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
1 onion grated and excess water removed
2 tbsp crushed garlic
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of saffron threads
1 tsp ginger
salt and pepper
1/2 preserved lemon cleaned 
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
handful of green olives 
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp smen (you can make this without smen just add 1 more tbsp regular butter)


Directions


Clean the chicken and remove any excess fat.  In 1/2c warm water soak the saffron threads.  With a mortar and pestle pound the garlic with 1 tsp salt.  Add in the ginger, 1/2 tsp black pepper, cinnamon and 2 tbsp softened butter and smen.  Gradually stir in the hot saffron water.  *Note do this very slowly and with a little water at a time – too much water and it will not come together*  Mix with half of the grated onion and pour into the tajine.   Add in the chicken pieces skin side up on top.  Place the lemon, olives, parsley and cilantro on top of the tajine.  


Cover the tajine and cook on low heat 275F in the oven.  Cook until the chicken is tender.  This will take at least an hour.  Avoid opening the tajine as much as possible, as opening it breaks the seal and the steam.  The meat should be tender.  Remove form oven at this point and transfer pieces to a plate.   


In a medium bowl mix lemon, olives, cilantro and parsley.  Using a spoon remove any fat that has gathered at the top.  In a saute pan cook the chicken on medium high heat to achieve a crispy skin.  


The resulting flavor is very unique, it’s unlike any tajine I’ve tasted.  Smen has a very distinct taste and is something you either love or hate.  I’ve never “loved” it but in this dish it works.  I’m really looking forward to trying this again and making changes in hopes it turns out like Paula’s!  

I wanted to update everyone – I have not yet picked a winner for the tea set giveaway.  I’m going to give everyone one more week to register.  Deadline is February 11th!  I hope that you will link up your poultry main dishes to this post (you’ll get an entry in the giveaway!) There are other ways to win too.  Check out the ways to enter and make sure you leave a separate comment on this post for each entry.  


Also I want to encourage you all to stop by and visit American Muslim Mom.  They are relaunching their site with a new design.  I was fortunate enough to get an early copy of Ponn Sabra’s ebook and was very happy to read and review.  It’s fantastic.  Stop by and check out the site, and make sure that you enter to win some of the items in the super big giveaway!  There are over $500 in prizes including my tajine spice trio!

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Particularly appetizers that involve creamy mozzerella cheese and buttery puff pastry.  Not that I discriminate but these are good.  They’re fast and easy and you’ll be popping one after another – no lie.

I scooped up some puff pastry to make these appetizers in honor of the NFC Championship game two weeks ago.  They were fabulous and a great choice if you’re having a party this weekend for the Superbowl!  This is a very basic recipe.


Ingredients:
1 package puff pastry
fresh mozzerella cheese (enough to fill each puff)
Cherry tomatoes halved (enough for each puff)
2 parts Olive oil 
1 part Balsalmic vinegar
salt and pepper


Directions
In the picture above you can see me putting pieces of thawed puff pastry into a mini muffin tin.  The puff pastry I had came as 1 large sheet that was folded into thirds, like a letter.  I opened this up and cut each 1/3 into 4 pieces.  I then pushed one piece each into a mini muffin pan.  Place in a 375F oven for about 8 minutes.  You want the puff to cook part way but not all the way.  Remove and place a piece of cheese in each puff and continue baking about 4-5 minutes more.  


Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Top each puff with 1/2 cherry tomato.  Sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper and then drizzle with the balsalmic/olive oil mixture.  You could chop up some fresh basil to sprinkle on top too.  



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My youngest son is a very picky eater and even a little small for his age.  Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to increase his calorie intake without it being in wasted calories and junk food.  We’re basically at a point where we let the kid eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I came up with this recipe because he loves bananas and peanut butter is a good way to get some calories in that are fairly good for him.  I am not a baker, I’ve said it before and I say it again!  These however were my first baking success from a recipe I tweeked myself!  I’m a little proud.  I don’t even feel guilty eating them.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) at room temperature
  • 1 over-ripe banana 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Directions:
  • In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar, white sugar, butter.  Cream.  Next add peanut butter and continue to cream.  Add vanilla and banana, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add in flour to bring all together.  If making drop cookies simply spoon onto baking sheet.  To make formed cookies (like mine)
  • Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Take a small amount of dough, about the size of ping-pong ball and shape into a ball.  Place on a cookie sheet.  You should be able to fit 12 on a large sheet.  Press a peanut into the center slightly.  Bake for approximately 8 minutes.  The cookies should be a light brown.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool for a 2-3 minutes and carefully transfer to a cooling rack.  
  • Your cookies will be moist and delicious!  If you prefer a crunchier cookie, bake a little bit longer.  This recipe made 4 dozen cookies for me.  

>Stylish Blogger Award

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So fun!  I got a message that Allison at French Whisk and Teresa at One Wet Foot nominated me for a Stylish Blogger award!  Thank you so much ladies!  I’ve gotten to know their blogs from French Fridays with Dorie (along with tons of others!)  Seeing this little message was a little boost that I needed!  


Now to play! 


1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award. 

Thank you Allison and Teresa!  I’ve been really happy to discover your blogs and read your writing!  

2. Share seven things about yourself. 
1) I love to read; especially really long historical fiction 
2) When I was growing up I wanted to be an EMT, except I hate blood.
3) I hate onions, like really if I bite one it makes me sick.
4) My first car was a 1984 Chevy S-10
5) If I could eat only one thing it would be bread.
6) I dream of moving to Morocco and opening a women’s shelter and development center
7) I’m a news and politics junkie, really I get enjoyment from watching CSPAN

3. Award fifteen recently discovered bloggers.
1) Rambling Spoon

2) Simplicty’s table by the Sea
3) Chefdruck’s Musings
4) Cookin’ Canuck
5) Food Bridge
6) Gherkins $ Tomatoes
7) La Pomme de Portland

8) One Tribe Gourmet
9) Syrian Foodie in London
10) Taste of Beirut

11) The Colors of Indian Cooking
12) The CSA Files 
13) Gingerbread Bagels
14) Cake Duchess

15) Frosting for the Cause (so this one isn’t really a blog but I’ll be posting here in March – great cause)
 
4. Contact these bloggers let them know about this award.

It was fun to hop around and leave comments!  


I hope you’ll stop by and visit some of these blogs – they are some of my very favorites! A few I’ve followed for a long time and some are brand new discoveries.  Hope you enjoy!


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