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Alice's Kitchen; Traditional Lebanese Cooking Paperback – December 1, 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

. . . generous serving of pride, affection, and kitchen wisdom. . .a family cookbook that has evoked heartfelt responses from readers for years. . . --Saudi Aramco World, Sept./Oct. 2005

. . .elegant, utterly delicious tributeto Arabic food, memory, precious family flavors we savor all our lives-I adore Linda's cookbook! --Naomi Shihab Nye, author

. . .Arab-American writers. . . reexamining lives of their remarkably determined ancestors. AK is both cookbook and part of this literature. . . --Charles Perry, LA Times, Aug. 18, 1999

About the Author

Linda Dalal Sawaya is an artist and author who paints and cooks in Portland, Oregon. Her artist mother, Alice, now 95, still cooks Sunday dinner and makes art and jewelry in California. She continues to remind us, "If you make it with love, it will be delicious!", which is the mantra of the cookbook and for a recipe for a life happily lived.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Linda Sawaya Design; Rev Upd edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966049225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966049220
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By D. Heaton on October 4, 2013
Having grown up in a home redolent with the scents of allspice, simmering grape leaf rolls, baking koosa and myriad other Mediterranean wonders (all created by a doting Lebanese grandmother), I find the flavors of Arabic food soul-soothing. It would be blasphemy in my family to hint anyone's cooking is as good as Nana's used to be, but Linda Dalal Sawaya's recipes are pretty darn close. I've tried several; they are just delicious and more like the food I remember than most other cookbooks I've tried. These recipes have a big advantage over my Nana's too - they are actually written down! Oh, and the stories! I will forever be grateful for the glimpse of a Lebanon so different from what I see on the news. Overall, this has become more like a family recipe treasury than just some random cookbook, and for that I owe the author a hearty "Thank you".
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"Having a garden and eating foods in season is our inherited ancestral tradition of living gently on the earth, using its resources respectfully, and preparing and sharing food with love. Food, of course, is a central part of Lebanese culture." ~Linda Dalal Sawaya

Linda Dalal Sawaya presents a cookbook with a beautiful warm personality, filled with recipes for: Appetizers, Cheese, Yogurt, Butter, Sauces, Soups, Salads, Lamb, Chicken, Fish, Vegetarian Entrees, Vegetables, Beans, Grains, Breads, Sweets, Preserves, Beverages, Herbs, Spices and Fragrant Waters.

Sample Recipes:

Fig Jam with Aniseed and Walnuts
Spinach Pies
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Lamb and Rice
Savory Pastry or Meat Pies
Lemony Lentil Soup with Chard
Turkish Coffee
Rose Water Pudding
Filo Cheescake with Orange Blossom Water
Baklava
Sesame Cookies

Alice's Kitchen is a world of Lebanese cooking that gives insight into how life was lived in Lebanon and how a family adapted to buying ingredients in America while living in California. Linda Dalal Sawaya tells the story with humor and we learn about how her family maintained their traditions despite a variety of obstacles.

"Dear, if you make it with love, it will be delicious." ~ Mother Alice

Each recipe is set out in a way that is easy to follow with step-by-step instructions and plenty of pictures throughout to keep you entertained. The pictures and the family stories make this book collectible and the recipes bring the warmth of Lebanese cooking into your home in a way that is very accessible. The ingredients include spices and herbs like parsley, paprika, cinnamon and allspice. Lemon juice and olive oil are used throughout the recipes.
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An accomplished writer and artist, Linda Dalal Sawaya’s family immigrated from Douma, Lebanon to Detroit in 1926; her grandmother Dalal and mother Alice Ganamey Sawaya, mother of five, grandmother of seven, great-grandmother of nine, soon became famous for their cooking, and as the youngest of five daughters, Linda later became their kitchen assistant. In “Alice’s Kitchen” (now in its fourth edition), Linda lovingly collects family portraits, memories, and over 100 traditional Lebanese dishes including mezza, salads, kebabs, stuffed veggies, and delicate desserts that capture the essence of Lebanon’s healthful, veggie-centric cuisine in a simple, easily approachable format. In addition, a portion of the proceeds benefits the children of Lebanon.

Linda, her artwork, and “Alice’s Kitchen” were featured prominently in an issue of the excellent magazine “Aramco World,” and Linda was kind enough to send a copy of the issue “Memories of a Lebanese Garden,” which features stunning cover paintings of the author and her mother in a garden filled with classic Lebanese imagery and produce as well as full-page paintings of scenes from Douma, the author learning to toss bread in the air like her mother and grandmother before her, family portraits, and illustrated ingredients for the featured recipes (‘ihjee, sambusak, mujaddrah, kusah mahshi, salatat bandurah Elis).

Linda’s grandmother Dalal had lived through WWI, rationing, single parenting and a historic earthquake before joining her husband in Detroit; having survived these hardships, she taught her children and grandchildren the art of recycling, conversation and not wasting even a single grain of rice.
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Amazing book! Filled with the best recipes!!! Buy this book and cook some of the healthiest, best tasting recipes I've ever tried. The love her family has brought to the table for generations can now be shared with your family in these dishes that are practical for all occasions. Enjoy!
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Linda Sawaya's book, Alices Kitchen, is warm and wonderful with excellent recipes for all seasons.
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