Category Archives: Festive

Walnut Katayef from Scratch

Katayef and boiled wheat are the staples of St Barbara Day in Lebanon. I have written a post about the tradition already, but this time the difference is I am not in Lebanon anymore and I am trying to share this staple with Clint and the kids.

So I did my research and found a recipe for Katayef from scratch (as you can imagine they are not readily found in pastry shops in California as they would be found in Lebanon). I made them a day later than the actual St Barbara which falls on December 4th, but hey it is the thought that counts!

Continue reading


Happy 4th of July with Four Cheese Star Ravioli

I want to wish everyone in the USA a happy 4th of July with cute photos from our lunch today.

Last week, Costco had these star shaped ravioli, colored with red, white and blue. They were so cute that we decided to grab some. We also thought that they would be a fun way to start today’s celebrations or at least add our own touch to them.

Continue reading

Quick Glance at what We Ate over the Holidays

I know, I know… I abandoned things here since a while ago and I have not even posted a thing about the holidays. Things have been a little hectic on one side, on the other I was a bit lazy. I did not do any cooking worth really sharing with you. It was mostly a risotto here or a pasta there, but all in the standard realm.

But I will share the food we ate over the holidays with you still. I took pictures of most if not all.

Continue reading

Saying “Thank You” with Cup Cakes

As I have mentioned in the challenge entry, I had made the cup cakes as gifts for my colleagues at work. The cup cakes were easy and quick to make and I made them a day in advance and kept them in the fridge.

Continue reading

Challenge 11: Cup Cake King!

I have thought a long time about what the next challenge should be for my Taste Buds. With the end of the year festivities, and my work having all sorts of end of year functions, I had decided that this year I was not going to buy gifts, but make them. I then decided to make cupcakes. It dawned on me that cupcakes would be a wonderful challenge because it is so versatile and you can be as simplistic or creative as you want!

Continue reading

Caramelized Pecan Pumpkin Pie

I was experimenting with a few pumpkin pie recipes prior to Thanksgiving this year and managed to assemble a “best tasting” recipe as a result. The basis for it came from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe book I had in my kitchen, but I made a few slight modifications to it. This pie as is here came out absolutely delicious when I made it for Thanksgiving and so I thought it was a must to share it on the blog. Enjoy and happy holidays to everyone!

Continue reading

The Taste-Buds Blow their First Candle!

Today, The Taste-Buds blog blows its first candle. I seriously cannot believe a year has passed since that first post.

A lot has happened in the meantime too and it all brought me closer to my co-bloggers and friends. After all I got to meet one in person, since Clint got to visit me last summer and you can read all about it here and here.

A special occasion calls for a special recipe, don’t you agree? I have been meaning to make Panna Cotta for a while now. I have made it a couple of days ago actually, but decided to leave the actual posting for the blog-anniversary.

Continue reading

Finding the Passion…

I haven’t written for the blog in a long time, or managed to do the challenge. I have finally mustered up the courage to write an entry.

I still haven’t done the challenge, and here is why.

Continue reading

A Challenge for a Birthday Treat

I meant to write this entry days ago, but had some trouble with my health. However, I am more or less back to normal and finally feel up to writing the entry.

I celebrated my birthday on the 6 January, and decided that instead of the usual family-over-for-cake-and-tea, I would throw a party for my 8 nephews and 2 nieces (actually cousin’s children, but they are like my own nephews and nieces). They are all under the age of 6 and most of them have not had their own big birthday parties. So, I set out to throw a party that they (and I secretly) would enjoy. I planned my guest list, my menu and hired a jumping castle and a water slide.

After discussing my arrangements with Viviane, she suggested that since I would be cooking, I could prepare the challenge as one of my dishes. This turned out to be an excellent idea. I had to prepare all the food the day before, since I had planned the party for on the day of my birthday and invited everyone for lunch. Continue reading

Epiphany in Lebanon

I know I should have made this post earlier, but I was mostly going out with my friends who are visiting for the holidays.

Epiphany in Lebanon marks the end of the holidays’ season. Usually on the 5th of January (Epiphany eve) people tend to make special kinds of sweets and I don’t know if I can call them cookies. They are available in pastry shops and some bakeries all around the year, but people make them at home mostly on Epiphany.

Another tradition is making yeast and hanging it on a plant or a tree outside in a cloth bag: careful though it has to be hanged on a non cursed tree, so no yeast hanging on fig trees and there is another one which I forgot. There is a belief (not sure where it really came from or if it has any theological origins) that Christ will be passing at midnight to bless homes and the hanging yeast balls. Some even leave a light on for this purpose. I don’t know if these traditions are carried on by younger generations. Continue reading