5-star reviews from Amazon.com buyers of Alice’s Kitchen
From: M.D. Thomas (New London, CT):
“Delightful eat down someone else’s memory lane
Growing up as third generation Lebanese-American, I enjoyed many of the dishes in this book. I have prepared many of the dishes in this book with great success. I enjoy cooking Lebanese food regularly (now if I could just get some help with the language). The recipes are easy to follow and yield marvelous results. I highly recommend the Lentil Soup (Shourbat Addis)and the Lebanese Squash stuffed with lamb and rice (Kousa Mihshi). Reading Ms. Sawaya’s introduction and tips greatly enhanced my enjoyment of using this cookbook. If you are interested in preparing Lebanese foods, or like me, remembering food from your childhood, this book is an excellent place to start. Simple recipes that produce tasty results.”
“Absolutely Excellent book, December 4, 2001
This book has accurate, yummy recipes. A little cultural background and story. The recipes are very traditional and simple. Highly highly recommend it. Many friends have asked for this book for XMAS. Well done.”
From: Sally (Seattle, Washington), August 15, 1999:
“An exquisite, thorough cookbook.
As a 22-year-old Lebanese American, I know that our food is not simply something thrown down your throat. It is love, it is nourishment to our souls as well as to our hearts. It is shared at every event, every home…sometimes when you are not even hungry! Sawaya starts the book with her family’s history, which truly brought tears to my eyes. She explains all the ingredients, even their history. The book includes everything Lebanese I have ever eaten, and those I haven’t. She covers all breads, preserves, herbs, sauces, hors d’oeuvres, salads, lamb, chicken, fish, sweets, beverages, grains, vegetables…It is 216 pages of hard work and lots of love. Family pictures of Sawaya’s abound, and her hand-done illustrations grace the cover. I am moving away from home soon and will take this book with me, to share with all who come into my home, the pleasure and joy of Lebanese cooking.”
Real Lebanese Recipes, April 5, 2014
By vee3 “VeeMA” (Punta Gorda, FL USA)These recipes are wonderful! They are delicious and authentic. They are just the way my “sittu” and mother cooked. What a delightful cookbook and “story”; worth every penny.
Terrific cookbook, wonderful family stories, June 21, 2010
Linda Sawaya’s book, Alice’s Kitchen, is warm and wonderful with excellent recipes for all seasons.
Almost as good as Nana’s
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”.
From: Rebecca Johnson (Washington State):
Traditional Lebanese Cuisine
“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.
Fig Jam with Aniseed and Walnuts
Stuffed Grape Leaves with Lamb and Rice
Savory Pastry or Meat Pies
Lemony Lentil Soup with Chard
Rose Water Pudding
Filo Cheescake with Orange Blossom Water
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. Pomegranate syrup and orange blossom water are very easy to find these days, especially online. Most of the recipes use ingredients you can find at your local grocery store, but you might want to order some “zaatar.”
This book made me long for my childhood overseas when we had Lebanese friends who always made delicious dinners and taught me to make a spinach dish with yogurt and cheese. My dad also used to make fig jam from a tree in our backyard. So, this book was filled with lots of memories and introduced me to a world of treasured memories as shared by Linda Dalal Sawaya.
As you cook from this book your home will be filled with the scents of fragrant spices, warm syrupy baklava, rose, lemon, anise, coffee, doughnuts, buttery cookies, fresh bread, lamb with rice, and of course, garlic! Sufra deimi! ~The Rebecca Review