apple cake

2 eggs, beaten
2 cups diced, raw apples (500 ml)

Add & mix:
2 cups* sugar (500 ml) (I used 1.5 cups and it was still sweet, you can also substitute some honey for sugar)
2 tsp cinnamon (10 ml)
1/2 cup oil (120 ml)

Add & mix well:
1 cup nuts, optional (250 ml)
2 cups flour (500 ml)
2 tsp baking soda (10 ml)
1 tsp salt (5 ml)
2 tsp vanilla (10 ml)

Bake in a greased 9x13 pan (23x32 cm) 40-50 minutes at 350 F (180 C).
Top with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, whipped cream, powdered sugar or Caramel Topping. Yum!
glory to Wycliffe International cookbook!

wheat bread rolls

This batch of rolls wasn't as "wheaty" as I would have liked - but wheat flour here in China changes each time I buy it. My next purchase of wheat flour was much darker. Oh well!

1 ¼ cup water (warm)
2 ½ T oil
2 tsp salt
3 T + 1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup wheat flour (I think you can increase this amount & decrease the amount of white flour)
4 cups white flour
2 tsp yeast

Add wet ingredients first, and then sift dry ingredients together, slowly adding to wet mixture - knead well. Or you can add all ingredients (in this order) into a bread machine (on the dough cycle). Remove dough and shape into small oval-sized rolls. Bake at 375F on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes depending on desired crustiness. Makes about 10 rolls.
glory to the Avera girls - Vanessa & Scout

pita bread

Soft round bread with a pocket inside! Makes 16 pita pockets! (cut in half)1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Combine first 4 ingredients, then add 1 cup flour + yeast. Mix well. Add 2 cups flour and knead into a soft dough. You can also use a bread machine for this step! Then, Oil the top of the dough & cover while it rises for 1 hour (in a warm place). With a knife cut into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. On a floured surface, roll into 7+ inch flat circles (not too thin). Set aside & cover with a towel. They will continue to rise! Bake (1-2 at a time) on a wire rack in the middle of the oven (500 degrees) for 3-4 minutes, until puffy and slightly browned. You want to take them out before they get too dry/browned. Remove & cover to soften & cool. Cut in half & fill as desired! (fill with any combo of: meat, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, hummus)

Mrouziya (honey spiced lamb)

2 pounds of lamb, in chunks
2 cups water
2 tsp *Ras El Hanout spice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T smen (aged butter**)
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
1/4 cup raisins

Heat oven to 325F. With your hands, coat the lamb with *Ras El Hanout spice. Place spiced lamb in a 5-quart pot (or deep casserole dish) with a lid. Add water, honey & olive oil, **smen and cover well. Bake until the meat falls off the bones (2-4 hours!) You can't hurry this dish!! Transfer the meat into a new dish and keep warm. Place the casserole dish over med-high heat and skim any fat, then add your raisins. Boil until the raisins are fully cooked (10-12 min). Return the lamb to the stew. Boil for about 2 minutes, until heated thru and sauce is thickened. Serve on a shallow platter, garnished with toasted almonds. Serve with extra sauce on the side, along with warm naan bread, and cooked Saffron rice.
Typically served on Eid - the celebration following Ramadan

*Ras El Hanout
(spice blend)
The name means "top of the shop" or the best combination of spices/dried roots, ground into one powder. You can also toast each ingredient before grinding for a finer texture. If you have a hard time finding any of these ingredients, try searching for a Middle Eastern market. :) Makes about 1/4 cup.

1 tsp Allspice berries, or 1 1/4 tsp ground Allspice
1 whole Nutmeg, or 2 tsp ground Nutmeg
20 threads Spanish Saffron
2 tsp black Peppercorns, or 1 1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 tsp Blade Mace or ground Mace
1 3-inch Cinnamon stick, or 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 tsp Cardamom seeds, or 1 1/2 tsp ground Cardamom
2 two-inch dried Ginger, or 2 tsp ground Ginger

2 tsp Salt
1 two-inch peice dried Tumeric, or 1 tsp ground Tumeric

If using whole spices, put all the ingredients in a non-stick pan over med-high heat and toast, stirring constantly until the mixture emits a pleasant aroma (3-5 min). Remove from heat and cool. This first step is not necessary if using commercially ground spices. Using a mortar & pestle or a spice grinder, grind into a find powder. Sift to remove larger chunks and place in a tightly sealed container for later use.

**Smen (aged butter)
This is similar to Asian ghee: a prized flavoring in Central Asian dishes. It is made from clarified butter, dried herbs and salt. It is placed in small earthenware pots in a cool, dry place until it acquires the smell & consistency of Roquefort cheese. Berber farmers in southern Morocco bury a tightly sealed pot of Smen on the day of a daughter's birth, unearthing it years later to flavor couscous on her wedding day. I have heard you should use it within 6 months tho. You can substitute equal parts of butter & olive oil in place of Smen in a recipe if you prefer. Makes 1+1/2 cups.

1 pound unsalted butter
2 tsp dried oregano
1 T sea salt

In a med saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Wrap the oregano leaves in a square of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine. Set the sachet in the butter. Simmer until butter turns clear golden, and white sediment settles to the bottom (25-30 min). Skim off foam. Discard the oregano sachet. Strain the butter thru fine muslin/cheesecloth once or twice until clear. Transfer to a sterilized jar. Add the salt & mix well. Let stand in a cool place until the butter becomes pungent, 1-2 weeks. Refrigerate after opening.


1/2lb small elbow macaroni (or whatever you can find, in our case!)
3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheddar cheese (extra-sharp is our fave)
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
*1/8 tsp nutmeg
*1 clove garlic, crushed & minced
1+ cup milk

I boil broccoli flowerets with the pasta for the final 4-5 minutes, and add to the casserole for a healthy addition. You can also top with bread crumbs, or crumbled crackers for a crunchy top.

Cook your macaroni according to the package directions, and drain. In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients, and mix well. Pour it all into a greased baking dish (8-9 inch). Cover and bake at 325F for 80 minutes. Uncover, stir & return to over for another 20 minutes until macaroni & cheese is thick. Stir again if desired.

If using a crockpot, cook for 4 hours on low.
For stovetop, pour prepared mixture into a large non-stick skillet and cook (covered) on med heat for 20-30 minutes. Reduce heat to med-low until sauce thickens.
glory to Tammy @ Tammy's Recipes, with some minor additions!