For those who have known me for a while now, you know just how far my passion for food and the love for my family and my culture have brought me. Also, thank you for being there for me!
For those of you that just happened to stop by on my blog: I am Rouba, nice to e-meet you!
My story begins with two cultures intertwined. I was born in Sydney, Australia as part of a big family of 7 children, but spent my childhood in Tripoli, Lebanon. I returned to live in Adelaide when I was 11 years old and it’s here where I met Gus (my husband) and we started our little family. I just can’t put into words how much I love my joyful and noisy household – my two boys are everything to me.
If I were to put my mission into one simple phrase, it would look something like this: I try to keep the tradition alive through my cooking (and to feed my growing boys).
WHY I do what I do
I always believed that food has a very special superpower – it just brings people together and revives cherished memories.
For me, family, food, and culture are linked somehow. I feel that when one cooks, all their feelings, passion, and experiences go into that dish – they’re the real secret ingredient.
What started as a personal project to create a cookbook while interviewing and sharing the stories and recipes of Palestinian women turned into much more.
I want to share my story with you: the Middle Eastern traditions, the flavours, and recipes that have been with me all my life, the joy of cooking, the great atmosphere of entertaining guests, and the passion that brought me to where I am today.
Creating magic and happy memories with food are my gift for you!
WHAT I do
I am a food blogger…and a busy mum.
I understand what it’s like to manage a household and cook every day. Also, I know how it feels to have to prepare dinner and still have no idea what to do and where to begin – sitting at the kitchen table and looking for the easiest recipe in your cookbook or on Pinterest that is not going to take too much time or cause much fuss.
That’s why I believe that real home cooking should have simple, easy recipes that anyone can do without being a master chef. I love showing people how easy it can be to whizz up a recipe at home using just a handful of ingredients they already have in the fridge or pantry.
While helping people gain confidence in their cooking skills brings me a lot of joy, organizing grazing tables for special events is also special to me.
Grazing and gatherings go hand in hand, there’s no doubt about that. They both bring people together through conversation, food, and drinks. And there’s something about these events – I love the excitement people show when they walk in, see the food on the table and start wondering which dish to try first.
It’s true that grazing tables are not new, they have always existed but in different ways amongst various cultures. When it comes to the Middle Eastern tradition, we graze, always have. In fact, grazing for us is not just a snack or a starter, it can be the whole meal including dessert.
We often keep eating even after we have had dessert. We call it the snack after dessert. I guess foodies everywhere are already asking themselves how did they not hear about this before.
We almost always find ourselves eating away while chatting and sharing food. This is also one thing I appreciate the most about our tradition – the genuine relationships people build while doing something so simple like eating.
HOW I do it
Becoming a better cook has been an amazing journey.
I am not a chef with a precise technique, I am a home cook. I rely on flavour and have always looked for easy recipes to fit a busy lifestyle.
Most of the time, the recipe ideas for my blog are inspired by my travels, dining out, web, and, most importantly, by my mum and mother-in-law. The recipes I collect have always been my starting point. The first time I make them I’ll follow the instructions as everyone else does, but the next time I cook it I definitely add my twist and remove or add elements until I end up creating my very own recipe.
My staple ingredients in the kitchen are garlic and onion and let’s not forget about good quality olive oil. Also, I always have cans of chickpeas and tomato as well as natural yogurt in the fridge. Nothing can stop me from coming up with a quick delicious recipe when I have these. I advise you to try this too: put together a couple of ingredients to always have around when it comes to preparing lunch or dinner. It takes the stress away.
When creating or posting new recipes, the most important thing for me is that they are easy to follow and reliable. I want people to easily replicate them and enjoy them. As someone who has always been drawn to cookbooks and recipes, there’s nothing worse than a recipe not working. That’s why I always test my recipes to make sure they work and they taste great.
If I’m testing a new recipe, it’s very likely that my family will have that dish a couple of times a week over the next few weeks until I perfect the quantities. That’s why you’ll also usually find me using my website and following my recipes when cooking for my boys.
When I finally write up the recipe on my website, my rule is to keep short and concise. I have always been visual – show me, don’t tell me. This is why I believe in visual recipes with step-by-step photos. They give structure, simple direction, and a visual cue for each step. When you know that you’re on track, it makes the whole cooking experience run smoothly.
Starting your own food journey
I think you can agree with me about how satisfying it is to be able to cook for yourself and for your family and friends. To be able to say “Yes, I cooked this”.
The most important thing when it comes to cooking is to keep learning. Also, cooking is supposed to be fun, so make sure to leave behind your fear of playing with ingredients and flavours.
It’s not going to be easy, at least at first – things are not always going to work out or taste as you expected. However, I’ve been there, and it’s going to get better. You’re going to get better at this.
A new exciting (and delicious) world is awaiting you!
Stay tuned for new recipes every week! And feel free to ask me any questions you might have about cooking or any of my recipes – I am here to help! ?