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The weather is amazing. And when the weather is amazing in Bahrain, people jump at the chance for al fresco dining. A place that I’ve been gradually hearing more buzz about is the newly opened Ritz Gourmet Lobby Lounge outdoor terrace. The setting is beautiful, with comfortable chairs on a patio overlooking the manicured grounds and swimming pool of one of the swankiest hotels in Bahrain. Sheesha is available, with a multitude of flavor combinations, which for many will be a huge drawing point. Indoors, the decor is very reminiscent of London afternoon tea parlors, and is elegant and luxurious without being overdone. I was most excited about their dessert sundaes, since I feel there is a real lack of sundae places in Bahrain. We ordered saffron tea, american coffee, tiramisu sundaes, oreo brownie sundaes, and the lobster mac and cheese to try. The saffron tea was delicious, it had an exotic undertone of flavor without being overpowering. The lounge also has an extensive tea cocktail menu, which is cold blended tea drinks that I still haven’t tried. Next came the lobster mac and cheese.
It was good, but nothing that I’d really crave again. The sauce was mild and creamy, the lobster pieces were good sized but the whole combination seemed to lack a little flavor. A few bites, and I was bored of the dish and ready for dessert. And dessert came looking very good.
The portion size was good, filling without being excessive, and surprisingly I liked the tiramisu sundae more. The coffee poured over it gave the ladyfingers a nice moistness and the white chocolate whipped cream gave the needed sweetness. The oreo and brownie sundae was good, but nothing amazing. The brownie bits were a little dry and the oreos being present in their whole form instead of crumbled also made the sundae a little dry and hard to eat.
What redeems the Ritz’s lounge for its exorbitant prices (3.300 BD for coffee, 4 BD for each sundae) and slightly above average food is the beautiful ambiance and the setting in which you eat. I felt like I was somewhere other than Bahrain, the pleasing views, comfortable chairs and attentive service made this a place I know I’ll go again and again. Only next time, I think I’ll stick to drinks and dessert maybe choosing something from their exquisite looking pastry display case. Check out the full menu here!
I love spinach artichoke dip and I love grilled cheese sandwiches. So this recipe instantly got me salivating and ready to go. It’s a great quick lunch or dinner and is pretty healthy especially if you use low fat cheese and yogurt in place of the sour cream. It’s also really, really good. REALLY good. The key is getting the bread golden brown and crispy while allowing the cheese time to melt so that the inside is a creamy, gooey melty mix. Could it be any easier to put together a crowd pleasing dinner? After making this last minute for a couple friends and getting really good feedback, I think the answer is no. Make this (frequently!) and enjoy.
Spinach Artichoke Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (adapted from A Couple Cooks)
Makes 2 sandwiches (scale up according to how many you need)
Fresh spinach – enough for about 3 cups chopped
Canned artichoke hearts – about 3 (around 6 ounces)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sour cream
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozarella, use any blend you like)
4 pieces bread (I used a white crusty bread, I think sourdough would work great)
Butter or more olive oil
1 Dice the 2 cloves garlic. Chop the artichokes. Wash and stem the
spinach, then chop it coarsely.
2 Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and
saute for 30 seconds. Then add the spinach and a pinch of kosher salt,
and saute for a few minutes until just limp. Add the artichokes and
red pepper flakes (if you want a tiny bit of spiciness) and saute for
another minute or so, until heated through. Drain off any liquid from
the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons sour cream and another pinch of kosher salt.
4 Spread butter (or olive oil) on one side of each of the 4 bread
pieces. Heat a griddle pan to medium high heat. Place 2 pieces of
bread on the griddle, buttered side down. On each piece, spread some
shredded cheese, the spinach artichoke filling, some more cheese (1/2
cup cheese per sandwich), and the other piece of bread. When the
bottom bread is browned, flip the sandwich and cook until the bread is
toasted and the cheese is melted. Or, if you have a panini maker,
just assemble the sandwiches, butter or oil the maker on both sides
and toast the sandwiches in the maker until golden brown and cheese
looks enticingly melty.
I mean is there really such a thing as too much chocolate? The title does say it all though… this cake pushes the boundaries of chocolateyness and it is decadent. This is literally the easiest cake you can throw together. And it is
DELICIOUS. This is one of my most repeated recipes especially when I need to make something insanely fast and with all the staple ingredients already at home. I don’t usually like cooking with cake mix, but this is such a good doctored cake mix recipe that it throws all my elitism out the window. One of my favorite recipes from Allrecipes, I present to you the deliciously, incredibley moist and chocolatey too much chocolate cake. The addition of the bag of chocolate chips and chocolate pudding mix is genius!
Too Much Chocolate Cake (adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 package devils food cake mix (if you can’t find it, just use dark chocolate)
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups (1 bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
We hosted a big neighborhood barbeque and needed a kid friendly, easy dessert to make. What’s easier then rice krispie treats? Of course, it’s hard to resist the urge to glam up such a basic dessert, so the following recipe resulted from my much beloved Joy the Baker cookbook, the jar of biscoff spread sitting in my pantry, and my current browned butter kick. The result is the traditional taste of rice krispie treats with an edge-something kids and adults alike devoured. Enjoy! Feel free to substitute the biscoff spread with peanut butter as the original recipe calls for if you don’t have any biscoff on hand.
Ingredients (adapted from Joy the Baker):
1 stick unsalted butter (113g)
1 (10 ounce) bag marshmallows
½ cup biscoff spread (or peanut butter)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups crispy rice cereal
Grease an 8-inch baking dish and set aside. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat until it starts to brown. (Remember how to do it from this post?) Add marshmallows, biscoff spread, and salt.Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until smooth.
In separate bowl, measure out the rice cereal. Pour butter mixture over cereal and quickly stir to evenly coat the cereal. Press into pan with wooden spoon. Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
As you can probably tell by the recipes on this blog, I really like roasted/grilled eggplants. It just so happens we got a crate of fresh eggplants just waiting for me to use them up in delicious recipes. I wanted to make a hearty and filling salad that was also really healthy and tasty. This is what came to mind! The combination of the grilled sweet peppers and the smokey eggplant with the saltiness of the feta cheese and the bite that comes from the rocca resulted in one of my favorite salads that I’ve made or tried. Use whatever ingredients you have, experiment, and enjoy!
Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Rocca Salad (everylittlecrumb original)
3 large eggplants
2 each of red, yellow, and green bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 cups rocca (jarjeer)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and set aside. Quarter all of the bell peppers, or cut them into 1/8ths if you want a less chunky salad. Toss all the above vegetables with the olive oil in a bowl, salt and pepper then using a large grill pan, grill eggplants first about 8 minutes each side or until golden brown and grilled throughout. Repeat with the bell peppers in batches until all the vegetables are grilled. As an alternative, you can roast all the vegetables on a baking tray in the oven at 400 degrees F (200 C) until golden brown and roasted, about 15 minutes a side. When grilled/roasted vegetables have cooled, put all the washed rocca in the salad bowl you’ll be serving in, then scatter the vegetables on top. Crumble the feta cheese on top, and top with the toasted pine nuts. To make the dressing, add the olive oil gradually to the vinegar while whisking. Whisk in the honey, and season with salt and pepper. Top the salad with the dressing and toss to distribute.