Tag Archives: dream analysis

Muhamarra (Red Pepper, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip)

dip with beerI don’t often remember my dreams, but last night’s was so vivid that I feel compelled to tell you about it. In my dream, I led a protest march at the McGregor sock factory. We all carried signs, designed by me, that read, “We demand equal rights for all toes.” I was so confused when I woke up. I avoid confrontation at all cost, so I can’t for the life of me, figure out how I came to be leading a protest. If anyone is skilled in dream analysis, please enlighten me.

Clearly I don’t have answers to all the world’s injustices, but I can suggest a great new dip for Super Bowl Sunday. Small steps folks!

I first had this dip a few weeks ago at Fairouz, a Lebanese restaurant in Ottawa. When I moved to Ottawa over 25 years ago, it was one of the only great ethnic restaurants in town. We went often, but never on a Saturday night, as that was when they featured live music and belly dancers. Watching them always made me uncomfortable. Sadly, they closed their doors in 2005, and I really missed it.

When I heard that they had reopened, I was thrilled. Fairouz 2.0, as I call it, is just as delicious, but with a fresh modern twist on Middle Eastern food. Luckily we went with a bunch of friends, because we wanted to try almost everything on the grazing section of the menu. Our favourite was the muhamarra dip. Much easier to make than it is to pronounce. I googled the pronunciation and heard it pronounced like this, this and this.

Of course I quizzed our waiter about how to make this dip. All I could get out of him was red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses. I came home, did a little research and got to work creating. Almost all the recipes I found used some sort of binder, usually breadcrumbs. The go-to spices were commonly cumin and some sort of hot red peppers. Since Aleppo pepper is sadly unavailable, I went with a dried Turkish red pepper called Maras (or sometimes Marash).  I buy mine at Damas, a Middle Eastern supermarket in Ottawa. You can easily find it on Amazon as well. Pomegranate molasses (the syrup of boiled pomegranate juice), is also readily available at Middle Eastern supermarkets. Dip ingredientsMost recipes called for roasting and peeling fresh red peppers, but I was feeling a bit lazy, so I just used jarred roasted red peppers. Some brands are heavy on the vinegar, so taste the peppers first and rinse them if they taste too vinegary. Measure out all your ingredients and then start processing.

I garnished the finished dip with extra drizzles of olive oil and pomegranate molasses. A scatter of fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped toasted walnuts add a welcome crunch. Fresh mint sprigs look pretty. You can serve it with pita chips or warmed fresh pita. I used whole wheat mini pitas. on black plate

Click here to print recipe for Muhhammara.

ready to dip



Lemon Poppy Seed Baby Bundts

holding platterThis Spring , Universities and Colleges all around the world, released into the wild the latest crop of new grads. My daughter, newly minted herself in May, is among the hordes. She moved back home with us, just for a few months, while she considers her future. It has been a joy having her home again, although her angst at figuring out what comes next is sometimes painful to witness.

She asked me if having her home again was cramping my newly aquired empty nester status. I had to let her in on the cold hard truth that with her home, I felt like I had to be a responsible adult again and plan a proper nutritious meal. Without her there, I could be quite content with a glass of Prosecco and a bowl of Kettle Brand Sea Salt Baked Chips (my guilty pleasure), and call it dinner.

She was telling me about a dream she had. We were up at our cottage and she was outside. Suddenly, she was being chased by a tiger and a bear. Running into the cottage, she locked the door behind her turned to her parents, pleading for help. My husband, a take charge kind of guy, immediately reached for the phone to call animal control.

As she was relaying the dream to me I started analyzing it in my mind. How sweet, I thought. Even though she’s all grown up, she still needs and counts on her parents for protection and assistance.

Then, she continued on with her dream. The folks at animal control told my husband that there was really nothing they could do. Wild animals were having a rough time making it on their own in their natural habitat, because  humans had wreaked havoc with it . We would just have to learn to live with the animals. My daughter was distraught and asked her dad what his next step would be. He just looked at her and admitted defeat. She looked at him with such fear and sadness. Her protector was no longer able to keep her safe.

My keen analytical mind quickly did a flip as I realized the significance of this dream. The baby bird is about to be turfed from the nest and she’s on her own to make it in this big world. For sure it’s an exciting time, but doubtless, quite scary as well.

These Lemon Poppy Seed Baby Bundts are a perfect metaphor for this story! Tiny in stature but bursting with huge lemon flavour, these baby cakes can hold their own in a world of towering mega cakes. Finely textured, rich, moist and buttery, these minis deliver a puckering burst of fresh lemon flavour.mise en place

lemon juice and zest

scooping batter into pans

glazing Thickly coated with a tart lemon glaze, the inside is vivid yellow from flecks of zest. The tiny  specs of deep indigo blue from the poppy seeds, add a wonderful crunch as you bite into them. Mini things are so adorable and these diminuative cakes are no exception! They keep well, wrapped in an airtight container for up to 5 days, although they didn’t last that long at my house.Take one sq 625

last one

Click here to print recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Baby Bundts.

on stand with lemons at base 1