Main Dishes/ Quick & easy

Mom’s Sheet Pan Sea Bass with Lemon Salsa

A bright & fresh oven roasted sheet pan sea bass with lemon salsa that is an absolute joy to the whole family! Incredibly flavorful! Ready in an hour! This no-fuss recipe is healthy, quick and easy & will be everyone’s favorite!

Sheet Pan Oven Roasted Sea Bass

One of my ABSOLUTE favorite things is EASY, TASTY, QUICK and most of the times HEALTHY recipes that you can prepare in the kitchen. If it needed little to no cleanup time that’s even a BIG bonus! I feel I’m speaking on behalf of most of us with this order of priorities for a good meal that you can enjoy over breakfast, lunch or dinner (though some might disagree with the way I ordered this). That definitely does not mean that I don’t prepare anything that takes more than 30 minutes. No! I mean I DO bake as you know, but for every day life, I tend to prefer quick meals more often.

Now let me introduce you to a new obsession of mine: SHEET PAN recipes! If you my friends haven’t met sheet pan meals, I am telling you that you’re missing out ALOTTT!! They are the key for staying healthy when you work 9-10 hours a day and need a good home cooked meal. I promise you will LOVE them like I do! No wonder why they’re so hot on Pinterest right now (I have a whole board dedicated for this).

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Salad/ Winter Recipes

Kale & Kumquats Salad with Molasses Dressing

A nutritious Winter-y kale kumquats salad! Topped with crunchy walnuts, pomegranate aerials and drizzled with pomegranate molasses vinaigrette. A little “something green” to start the new year right!

kale, kumquats and Quinoa salad

Happy New Year Y’all!!

I’m a pretty big fan of colorful salads. I believe that they make the world a better place, and I’ve been waiting for the Holidays to get close to share this recipe with you, I’m pretty sure it’ll be the “healthy star” on your table, since our menus during this time is all butter, sugar and cream, lol! This is the harsh truth! This is also a great and quick plant-based dish for your vegan guests and yourself.

One year has come to an end and a new year has just started, I know how some people hang so many resolutions, hopes and dreams at the beginning of every year. Most of the time they represent something we want to perceive so hard over and over again but probably fail to achieve. For those of you who are trying to follow a healthy lifestyle this year (my-every-year-resolution), let me introduce you to this recipe over here. It’s full of all the good nutrients your body needs, and the great news is that it tastes PHENOMENAL!

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Desserts/ Fall Recipes

Iron-Skillet Cinnamon Rolls

These skillet cinnamon rolls are the BEST! They are fluffy, chubby and delicious! They are great for breakfast, brunch and the holidays. You’ll never go back to any recipe once you try this one.

“Good things happen when there are cinnamon rolls involved!” – Says ME!

Hello and welcome to the pretty wide world of cinnamon rolls love!

Say hello to fluffy skillet cinnamon rolls, packed with a buttery cinnamon brown sugar filling and smeared with cream cheese glaze that drips of your roll with every bite you take! They melt in your mouth while they’re still warm. Yumm!!

I was craving the other day, as the weather is getting chilly here, some hot cinnamon rolls drizzled with a creamy frosting, to indulge in with my morning coffee on a Saturday morning. I was wondering why people don’t make them that often. Then it hit me. It’s because they’re complicated, time consuming and done with difficult methods.

Well, not anymore my friends! This recipe is easy, foolproof, and takes no time to be prepared! The only bigger amount of time is consumed for waiting for the dough to rise. You can even prepare your dough and refrigerate it overnight to enjoy them warm on a Sunday morning (check tips & tricks below the photo)! DAA Bum! All problems are solved! When you see the results and these fluffy cinnamon rolls, you’ll thank me for introducing you to the recipe.

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Desserts/ Fall Recipes

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

These flavorful citrus-y five-ingredient earl grey shortbread cookies are phenomenal! They are crisp, buttery and perfect for the Downton Abbey marathon that i have started!

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

It’s that time of the year! November is the month that I start looking forward to a stay-at-home week night where I get in a really warm cozy PJs and thick fuzzy socks and watch a movie while drinking some delicious soup, a hearty cup of hot chocolate or munching on some freshly baked goods coming right from the oven. It just gets me in the spirit of fall and the approaching holidays! So, this month I decided to start watching the famous series Downton Abbey. My sister kept telling me about it and many friends of mine recommended it so I thought why not! Alright, I must admit that I wasn’t very intrigued by the first episode but everyone kept telling me that after a couple of episodes I’ll get hooked on it..and that’s what happened! If you like watching series happening in the beginning of the 1900s in England, like Pride an Prejudice for example, then I definitely recommend you watch it.

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Fall Recipes/ Main Dishes

Fall-Off-The-Bone Oven Short Ribs

Baking low & slow is the reason behind this delicious oven short ribs recipe. It’s easy, it’s delicious and it only needs time! The slow cooking is what makes these ribs so flavorful and fall-off-the-bone tender. Don’t expect leftovers!

Oven Short Ribs

We’re in the middle of October and I still can’t believe that fall is already here and we’re approaching to the end of the year. This year was amazing: it was fast, good achievements and goals were approached and full of happy occasions, my favorite of them all was getting engaged to my favorite man!

I don’t know how the Fall months are wherever you are, but here in Jordan, they’re unpredictable. Some days are windy and dusty, other days are rainy, and sometimes the weather is hot during the day and freezing cold during the night which makes having weekend barbecues almost impossible. BUUUT … not as long as you have my oven cooked short ribs recipe!

Oven Short Ribs

Making these fall-off-the-bone oven short ribs from my warm and cozy kitchen seem a wonderful idea in the fall & winter months. This makes them a perfect dish during the holidays! These ribs turn out so juicy and just fall off the bone tender especially after you finish baking them, you pile on some of your favorite barbecue sauce and broil them in the oven for 5 minutes. Baking these ribs slowly on low heat inside tin foil packs is the secret behind this deliciousness! This allows them to caramelize and get all of the smoked flavor, I really enjoy the mess that barbecue sauce creates when you start digging into the ribs, but that’s ok because I think the messier the better they taste!

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Desserts/ Fall Recipes

Classic Apple Crisp

Warm soft baked apples blanketed with crisps of caramelized streusel topping with a scoop of ice cream on the side. This classic apple crisp recipe is the perfect dessert on a brisk fall day!

Classic Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is by far the most recipe that screams FALL. It’s one of those recipes that most people probably have all of its ingredients on hand. If you’re not familiar with it I advice you to try it because you’re missing a lot. It is so easy to make with so few ingredients and the flavors are A-Mazing!

This is the perfect classic apple crisp recipe you can find! I have a discerning palette when it comes to dessert, trust me when I tell you that after one taste you’ll want to make it again and again. If you have an abundance of apples staring back at you, this is the best way to use them. This is probably not the healthiest dessert but it’s one of those recipes that contain healthy ingredients and the rest of them can be altered into a healthier option. For one, it can be butter-free with the substitution of butter to coconut oil.  It can be naturally sweetened using honey or coconut sugar.

Classic Apple CrispSide note: If you prefer using white and brown sugar, feel free to adjust the sugar in this recipe to the sweetness of the apples. If you’re using very tart apples and want to make them sweeter without piling on the sugar, simply sprinkle your apples first with a teaspoon of baking soda before coating them with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Baking soda will help to minimize the tart flavor! Continue Reading…

Fall Recipes/ Quick & easy

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is the best pumpkin spice latte recipe ever! It’s rich, creamy, frothy and aromatic. It’s easy, simple, non-dairy and contains REAL pumpkins! Become your own barista and make your PSL at home! The best way to celebrate fall!

pumpkin spice latte

Hello my beautiful food lovers! This is the first weekend of October, and you all know what does that mean, don’t you? Yes! You guessed it! It’s the beginning of the PUMPKIN SEASON which means that pumpkin mania is in full force! Also mean that we can start enjoying the now-classic fall drink, the obsession of millions, the queen of lattes: The Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I bet you that there’s nothing better than making yourself a hot frothy cup of pumpkin spice latte on a crisp fall morning!

Although I’m a fan of the Summer months, I can not wait until fall hits to enjoy a cup of PSL! I start counting down to get to October 1st. But four years ago I started to notice that dairy make my stomach sick so later on I had a lactose test and knew that I’m lactose intolerant. I used to keep drinking the Starbucks version of PSL anyway until I couldn’t enjoy it anymore. I love this drink so much that I took it upon myself to become my own barista and make it at home. My own version of non-dairy pumpkin spice latte that I can enjoy without any guilt or sickness.

pumpkin spice latte

This drink is cheaper than those coffee shop drinks. You can save money AND enjoy your PSL at home, especially on those lazy days when you don’t feel like getting out of your house to grab a drink from a coffee house, or for those of you who don’t have a place close that serves PSLs. Continue Reading…


The Blogger Recognition Award + My 15 Nominations!

Blogger Recognition Award

Hello my food lovers! I hope the past weekend was lovely for everyone. I spent mine running some errands and trying to fix some bugs in my blog and preparing a new content for the month of October! yay! I’m excited to share with you what I have prepared and I hope that this month would be a good one and I can balance between my full time job and my blog. (fingers-crossed!)

So let’s go back to this post’s title and chat about the lovely Elizabeth Wangare and her blog, Cent Buzz, and Paul Albert and his blog, Daddy Goes Bananas, who graciously nominated me TWICE for the Blogger Recognition Award!

First of all, I just want to take a moment and thank them both for nominating my blog. Let me tell you briefly about these amazing two! Elizabeth Wangare is a finance blog writer who helps people save and manage their money. Paul Albert is a children’s entertainer, a husband and a father for two cute girls. He blogs about parenting and life lessons that he shares with his audience. I love his posts and his sense of humor in writing. If you haven’t already checked Elizabeth and Paul’s blogs please do! They’re both amazing!

What is the Blogger Recognition Award?

The Blogger Recognition Award is given to bloggers by bloggers who appreciate the hard work, dedication and vast amount of hours we all put into each and every post, as well as keeping the website current and updated. It’s also a great way to read other blogs and to find new readers for your own blog! The guidelines are as follows:

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  4. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  5. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How My Blog Got Started

I started Dates with Lara last December. The main intent behind it was that through this blog I can mix my two favorite things: Cooking and Photography. Since I was a kid I had a passion for cooking and creating new recipes or editing classic ones, and for years I wanted to start a blog. So last year I finally decided to take that step and have my own blog where I share either my own recipes or inspired ones. The name behind my blog was to represent what I do and the kind of experience I wanted to share with my audience. A name that would show that I come from the middle east and would draw some kind of a one-to-one experience where you give me your time and attention and I give you the secrets behind these mouthwatering photos.

Two Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers

  1. Be Consistent. This can be achieved by setting yourself a schedule. Figure out how much time you can commit to writing, and commit to it. Whether posting 3 times a week or once a week, inorder to be able to keep posting each week you should stay consist. Find yourself a routine and be fully committed.
  2. Strive for excellence. Present your best content; best photos and great ideas. Your audience still don’t know who you are. Your readers only know what you show them, so show them your best! And consequently, you’ll start seeing results.

My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award

You should definitely check out these bloggers!

  1. Heart and Stripes
  2. Baking You Happier
  3. Hint of Lavender
  4. Life with Clarity
  5. Mxcareyes
  6. Natalie Journeys
  7. J’adore Le Decor
  8. HL Social Media
  9. Kori Evans Photography
  10. Crazy Mommy
  11. Framing my Adventures
  12. Maggie A La Mode
  13. PUSH25
  14. Sol Salute
  15. Simple Living Nursing Mama

Keep up the good work everyone!




Desserts/ Summer Recipes

Knafeh Cupcakes

Rich & creamy keshta with molten mozzarella sandwiched in a sweet and crunchy knafeh pastry topped with pistachio chunks and drizzled with simple syrup. This single serving knafeh cupcakes is out of this world.

knafeh cupcakes

Hello my beautiful food lovers! I’m sorry I haven’t been consistent with my posts but I had so much going on and couldn’t manage to share with you delicious and exiting recipes. But I’m back and ready to have a one-to-one date with you guys so we can enjoy great food together.

If you’ve ever been to the middle east, specifically to Jordan and Palestine, it’s more likely that you’re familiar with knafeh and tried it at the very beginning of your trip! Knafeh is the most iconic and traditional dessert in both Jordan and Palestine although it was first originated in the cit of Nablus. It made of shredded kataifi pastry (knafeh dough) with a molten cheese layer underneath, sprinkled with fresh chopped pistachios and drizzled with sweet simple syrup. So let me introduce you properly to knafeh and how I twisted the recipe into a modernized version that can be served for single servings.

The main ingredient in knafeh is sweet unsalted cheese and if you can’t seem to find that then fresh mozzarella is the best substitute. I wanted to take these cupcakes to the next level by adding some keshta along with the cheese to give it this extra creaminess.

P.S: if you’re using fresh mozerella cheese, make sure that it’s salt-free or soak it in water for some time to make sure that you got rid of the salt in it.

knafeh cupcakes

The recipe is easy to follow with simple ingredients and take so little time to get these molten knafeh cupcakes!

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Quick & easy/ Summer Recipes

Watermelon Mint Lemonade

So refreshing, so delicious and so easy to whip up in under 5 minutes! Your not-so-ordinary lemonade go to drink! The perfect way to cool down through a heat wave!

When life gives you make watermelon mint lemonade! Mmm..

Last week here in Amman was unbelievably hot with a few humid days. People in Amman are used to beautiful summer days, the weather would be usually hot during the day and at night you can enjoy a wonderful evening outdoors that is a little bit chilly. Last week was different! Even at night the weather was still hot and humid. Thank God this is over and this week we’re enjoying a much better weather.

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