Algerian Griwech Pastries

These intricate Algerian Griwech pastries are made from contortioned dough into elaborate shapes, then fried and coated by a syrup and sesame seeds.

The word griwech translates to “crunchy” and that is a perfect description of the texture, yet they remain very delicate and are beautifully perfumed with orange blossom water. Algerian Griwech are very popular during religious celebrations, weddings and during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan which is just about to end.

Algerian griwech plate

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Pastizzi a treat from Malta

I have always idolized exotic and historic Malta as a perfect Paradise destination. So it was a real treat to prepare one of it’s most popular snack foods, Pastizzi.

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make. Get your luggage ready as we are exploring Malta this month.


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IIP: Jello and Play Dough

Blue, Red, Yellow, Green

Gray, Orange, Purple

So many choices, so many possibilities! This month,the last of 2010, is an International Incident Colour Party!

Do I choose monochrome, stick to pastels, 2 complimentary colors, psychedelic? Nah, only thing in my head was RAINBOWS, LOUD, SCREAMING, BRIGHT, VIVID. I went hunting the net for the flashiest recipes I could find…while keeping a certain tasteful decorum, ahum. I found 3 recipes and I wanted HAD to do them all. So here we go with no.1

Play Dough Cookies from The Sits Girls

3/4 C butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla extract
2 and 3/4 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
assorted food coloring

1. In a bowl cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir until soft dough forms. Divide dough into Fourths. Tint each with a different food coloring. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut each color into 12 even pieces and shape into balls. For each cookie place one red, one orange, one green, and one blue ball together and roll to make one giant ball. Roll into a 12 inch long snakes, and then starting at one end coil roll to make a cookie. Place cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet to allow for spreading.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

This one really took me back to my childhood and these cookies are massive. You could divide the colors further and make smaller cookies, just reduce the baking time. Very good, very bright. I feel like eating delicious play dough for real. On with recipe no. 2

The Modern Rainbow Jello from Do Better

6oz box of blue jello
6oz box of yellow jello
6oz box of red jello
3 Knox gelatin envelopes

Mix the blue jello with an envelope of the knox gelatin. Pour in two cups of boiling water. Dissolve the gelatin. Add 1/2 cup of ice. Stir until thick. Remove any remaining ice cubes and any bubbles that may have formed. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Let set in the refrigerator 30 min.Repeat with the yellow jello and pour it over the set blue. Repeat with the red jello and pour it over the yellow. Cut into small cubes or slices.

These are SO COOL and I think much more clean and sophisticated then the 7 layer rainbow jello our mom’s might have made. This version is simple, modern, fresh. And yes even if you only used 3 colors you will see five. There is an optical illusion where each colors meet creating a green layer and an orange layer. Sliced or cubed this jello will not be avoided but rather gobbled up in no time.

So pretty and colourful an arrangement

And finally a last quickie 3 Layered Sweet Shooter: In a small glass pour in the following order: 1/3 grenadine syrup, 1/3 half and half cream and 1/3 vodka premixed with a drop or 2 of food coloring. I picked a festive red, white and green for which I want to wish you all a very Happy Holidays IIP style!