• Starting a Garden Journal

    Pandemic life has me concentrating on my hobbies right now. With the businesses on hold, I have time to work on my hobbies more. It no longer feels like I have to get them done and out of the way so I can tackle the mountain of emails or the unending task list related to running events & photoshoots. It's not that I don't love those things - I definitely do! - it's just that if there had to be a positive outcome in all this, reconnecting with my hobbies is something I'm grateful for. It makes me think long and hard about work/life balance and what I want to…

  • Za’atar

    Like many of you, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately. Pandemic life has me playing with my hobbies again and that’s not a bad thing. Hobbies are saving lives right now, which is great. My friend Stephanie suggested I start a recipe blog, but I promised that if I did it, I’d make sure my recipes weren’t prefaced with pages upon pages of nonsense before you get the instructions. So, here’s my most-requested recipe: za’atar.

  • Homemade Herbal Simple Syrups

    Sometimes you just want to liven up your morning coffee with something different! In Jordan, coffee is often flavoured with cardamom pods, usually ground right along with the beans. There’s a really satisfying balance between the two flavours, with the cardamom adding just a hint of an herbal caramel flavour. Not too long ago, Starbucks offered a drink called the Vanilla Spice Latte. I tried it on a whim and there it was, that beautiful cardamom flavour. They quickly discontinued it, so I figured FINE, I’ll just make my own!

  • Homemade Cherry Liqueur

    Every summer, I keep a close eye on my mother’s Nanking cherry trees. When the bright red berries have finally soaked up enough sun, I pick the trees clean and either eat them all or force my mother confect them into Nanking jelly. This year, there weren’t many cherries on offer. The trees had been struggling to grow and when I had picked what was suitable, there was only about a cup of cherries in a bowl. The local magpies nattered at me the whole time, clearly claiming ownership of the tree’s fruits, but I’m a people and I wanted them, even if there were only a few. After listening…