I know I know it's been a long time and I really missed photographing and writing. I did some photographing actually but not so much the writing. It's been a rough and tough couple of weeks, maybe I'll go into detail next time. Side note, my mom came to visit me from New Jersey and I always have lists upon lists of all these dishes I want to make/learn from her, places I want to take her to, and things I'm going to show her and it never fails that somehow we run out of time before I am even able to pull out my list.
My mom is a funny lady, literally great sense of humor and just one of those moms thats so amazing and always leaves you wondering how she did it all. She came to the US pregnant with my younger sister, I was not even walking and my older sister was still a toddler too. In Syria, almost everyone at the time was educated in French not English so she didn't speak much English. She raised 5 of us, almost all of us are a year or two apart. We always had breakfast, lunch and a full dinner at the table. She managed to always be optimistic, upbeat and happy even through the brutal New Jersey winters! She functioned on little sleep and barely drank coffee. Tea of course is another story, she drinks that several times a day. Now that I have my daughter, I think about how my mom did it, almost on a daily basis. How did she juggle it all. I'm bringing this up now, because when she came here she of course cooked and baked daily. Heaven for me of course because I wanted to soak it all up, photograph everything, write things down. But like a true natural mother, before I even had the chance to grab my laptop or pull out my camera, she already finished the dish and made something extra that she whipped up with some left over ingredients. There was no way she was going to slow down for me to measure her ingredients. Day after day, I would leave to drop my daughter off at preschool and I would come back and 3 dishes were made and I couldn't take step by steps or write down recipes. I was upset but amazed at the same time. Will I ever be that mother that just whips up a few gourmet snacks, dinner, and dessert so effortlessly?? This is starting to sound like a Mothers Day shoutout but I got carried away thinking about the last few weeks. I'll go into detail next time.
Back to the food at hand. Syrian cheese pizza. This cheese combination can be tossed with pasta like I did HERE , made into rolls, made into pizza, baked into savory pies called fatayir. On @sweetpillarfood instagram I asked if anyone can guess what I was making and it was so cool to see all the different responses. People said fatayir, barak, carbonara, cheese rolls, bourek, quiche and so many other things which are essentially the same thing. It really showed me that all across the world our roots are all the same, we enjoy the same things but add our own little twist to it.
Fatayir, the Arab word for it, is something that I like to always have at home for those times when my hubby is hangry and I need to give him something quick, or when Ayla is hangry and I need to give her something quick haha. They are so similar those two. Or if I don't have time to eat anything and I'm on the go I'll grab a few. They make them with a variety of fillings, spinach and cheese are my top favorites but there are meat fillings and zaatar and the list goes on. They're basically the Arab version of empanadas. I plan on making and photographing a variety of them soon (if you follow me on snapchat @nadiahubbi you would've seen that I made the spinach ones today! ) but in the meantime I used store bough pizza dough and this was so easy to put together as a result. The combination of parsley and cheese is just so good I can't even handle it.