Video: berry crumble in a cast iron skillet

When my brother-in-law a.k.a. the technology king said to me “let’s do a food video, you know…just for fun,” flashbacks of my traumatizing first video came through my mind. Eventually I said why not and we put together a very spur of the moment and unplanned video, you know…just for fun. Lo and behold I was beyond happy with the results. The lighting was crisp and it turned out very nicely considering how little we had prepared for it.

I made one of my favorite g0-to desserts: berry crumble. I’ve made this dessert with almost every kind of fruit: apples, pears, nectarines, plums, peaches, etc. It’s so simple and perfect for a dinner party. It can be made ahead and baked right before guests arrive, which makes the rest of your meal much less stressful. I decided to make this version in a cast iron skillet (my new obsession), I just love how everything tastes better when made in one. The recipe instructions are on the video. I hope you enjoy watching it!

Berry Crumble in a Cast Iron Skillet from noreen wasti on Vimeo.

 Videography & Editing by: Dev Shahani 

  • Share on Tumblr

Summer Table Setting: Whimsical Place Cards

IMG_1283

Whenever I am entertaining I like to add a personalized touch. I think guests always appreciate a little personalization whether it be in a place card, goody bag or menu card. I wanted to share one of my favorite ideas that I like to do when having a sit-down dinner: hand-written place cards. It isn’t much work at all and there are so many different ways to execute place cards. I recently did a piece for Good Taste magazine on entertaining for a summer soiree, which included a whimsical approach to place cards (to read the full article, just click here).

IMG_1287

Lemon and lime citrus fruits served as the “place card holders.” And these were just leftover in my pantry! I like to use things that might be laying around the house before going out and buying something. You never know what sort of random objects could work in a beautiful tablescape. I wrote each guests’ name on a piece of square card stock and punched a hole in the corner. Using satin twine (you could use ribbon, string, anything) I tied the place card around each citrus fruit. It really creates a bright, summery feel and that extra personal touch for your guests. I hope you try this for your next party!

IMG_1280

IMG_1276

IMG_1270

  • Share on Tumblr

How I Spent My Summer

I love the last few days of August. Temperatures cool down and you can feel autumn slowly making its presence known. The crisp air creeps in and even some leaves start changing color. Summer is winding down. Not for me though, I am headed back to Dubai on September 1st after what’s been a wonderful summer back home. I know I will be greeted with hot temperatures without any sign of cool air besides the blasting air conditioning everywhere, so I better savor these last moments before I head back. I have spent the past two months spending time in Rhode Island with my parents in the home I grew up in. I also spent a couple of days in DC celebrating a dear friends wedding. I flew up to Toronto to visit my sister and brother-in-law and they even came back to Rhode Island for a week as well. My husband flew stateside and we spent a lovely week at home and had an unforgettable trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles. All in all it has been a wonderful summer, full of farmers markets, beautiful meals, stops at amazing coffee shops and summers bounty at its best. Spending time with friends and family as well as hitting the gym and being active. Endless trips to Target, Whole Foods, TJ Maxx, Trader Joe’s, J. Crew, Home Goods, Williams Sonoma, the list goes on. I’ve shopped, I’ve eaten, I’ve relaxed, I’ve travelled. Summer has been good.

To be honest, I haven’t been cooking all that much besides a couple of dinner parties at home. I have fully taken advantage of being home and being fed by my mother. It’s been such a nice relaxing break not having to worry about cleaning the kitchen, making lunch, or doing the groceries. I am ready to get back into the kitchen and back into blogging once I am back in Dubai. After being California surrounded by so much amazing food and produce, it was so inspiring. I hope I will be able to recreate some of the many delicious meals we had. We also visited so many eclectic and funky boutiques full of whimsical home goods, artisanal products and apparel. If you follow me on Instagram I am sure your newsfeed was flooded with photos of my every step. My apologies for that.

On that note, I just wanted to share some of my favorite moments from this past summer:

IMG_6464

beautiful walks in my home town

IMG_6413

mixed berry spoon bread

IMG_6264

a lovely weekend spent in DC

Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset

sharing a latte and blondie with my sister in Toronto at Dineen Coffee Co.

IMG_6519

baking with my sister

IMG_6433

oysters all day everyday

IMG_6381

farm stand in Smithfield, RI

IMG_6549

love thy neighbor. Our wonderful neighbor delivered a basket full of goodies from his garden

Processed with VSCOcam with k3 preset

IMG_6685

IMG_6639

IMG_1558

an afternoon at Sakonnet Vineyard

IMG_6803

the best calamari in the world: Matunuck Oyster Bar

IMG_6821

#famjam

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

discovering Providence flea and enjoying some food truck ahi tuna tacos

IMG_6795

the farmers market at Harvard Square, Boston

IMG_6756

this American life, s’mores roasting

Processed with VSCOcam with k3 preset

my favorite new coffee shop in Rhode Island: Dave’s Coffee

Processed with VSCOcam with k3 preset

dinner parties

IMG_6732

the appetizer spread made by my sister and I

IMG_6590

working it out in the lawn

IMG_6812

oyster shucking in South County

Processed with VSCOcam with k3 preset

our first stop in San Francisco: Tartine Bakery

IMG_6858

the most beautiful produce I’ve seen: Ferry Building Farmers Market San Fransisco

IMG_6869

perfect lattes at the Blue Bottle Company

IMG_7015

stunning Stinson Beach – Bay Area San Francisco

IMG_6980

Mexican lunch at Nopolita San Francisco

IMG_7042

the arts district LA

IMG_7032

LOVED this place: Urth Caffe LA

IMG_7141

exploring the whimsical shops on Abbott Kinney, Venice Beach LA

IMG_7091

beautiful palms LA

IMG_7138

Grant Central Market LA

IMG_7163

the best meal of our trip: Trois Mec LA

IMG_7188

savoring my last few weeks in RI, walking down Benefit Street

 

 

 

 

  • Share on Tumblr

Sister Baking: Stone Fruit Galette

IMG_1506

It’s been absolutely lovely being home in Rhode Island. My older sister Nadia is also home for a couple of weeks and we have been having such a wonderful time doing what we do best: non-stop shopping  and discovering new coffee shops in Providence. We have also enjoyed many days at home cooking. I have mentioned in my previous posts that she is a blogger as well specializing in beautiful recipes, photos and stories in her blog seen here. I like to think that we complement each other when cooking. She has her strengths and I have mine, but they always seem to come together harmoniously. I love the tedious work especially baking, while she is amazing at flavor combinations in savory dishes. It’s really a wonderful discovery process, I just wish we lived in the same city so we could do something together!

The other day we both had an itch to bake something. The pantry was minimal except for some beautiful stone fruit we had picked up at the farmers market the day before. I’m talking plump cherries, beautiful plums and ripe nectarines…oh the joy of summer produce. I got to work on the pate brisee, while she handled the flavors of the fruit combining lemon, vanilla, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.

IMG_1416

IMG_1417

IMG_1419

 

IMG_1441

IMG_1442

The result was a gorgeous stone fruit galette. The crust turned a golden brown, crisp from the sugar crystals and inside the fruit melted together into a tangy and almost jammy filling.

IMG_1458

IMG_1487

Recipe

Your favorite pate brisee recipe (I use this)

1 cup cherries pitted

2 ripe nectarines sliced

3 ripe plums sliced

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

egg wash for brushing

1 tsp white sugar for sprinkling after the egg wash

confectioners sugar for finishing

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a bowl combine all the fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, salt and vanilla extract. Let sit for 10 minutes. Roll out the pate brisee into a 12 inch wide round and place on a baking sheet. Arrange the fruit in the center of the pastry dough to your liking. I piled the cherries in the middle and circled the nectarines and plum around in a fan formation. Fold up the sides of the pastry into the middle in a rustic manner and pinch to secure. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Finish with confectioners sugar.

IMG_1510

IMG_1503

all photos and styling assisted by Nadia Wasti – http://fortheloveofyum.wordpress.com

  • Share on Tumblr

My Piece for The Carton Magazine

The Carton is a wonderfully unique and eclectic independent publication exploring the culture of the Middle East through food. Each page is a beautiful portrayal of recipes and stories that weave culinary traditions of the region. To learn more about The Carton browse on to http://www.artandthensome.com.

The latest issue of The Carton covers the concept of “asrouniyeh” or afternoon food culture of different regions in the Middle East.All across the Middle East are different versions of “afternoon tea” involving unique dishes and refreshments. I was given  the opportunity to explore the Turkish experience based on a lovely summer spent with family in Antalya. Turkish afternoon tea will usually involve a savory pastry known as borek that is usually filled with spinach and cheese or meat. Alongside the borek will always be traditional Turkish tea and lokum (also known as Turkish delight). I wrote a memoir of that summer and the food that brought us all together during those afternoons. I also prepared, styled and photographed my own version of the Turkish afternoon meal inspired by my travels.

I have uploaded my piece here (I promise to upload a more readable version soon) http://www.nonisplace.com/press/ ‎

I just wanted to share a few of my favorite shots I had prepared and photographed for the piece:

IMG_1008

IMG_1011

IMG_1026

IMG_1030

IMG_1039

IMG_1087

IMG_1064

  • Share on Tumblr