In the Middle East, meals are very important. It is a time for the family to come together and enjoy good food and conversation. It is very high praise to compliment a man on his coffee. A variety of food is common at the Arab table. Hospitality is one of the most respected ways to judge a person in the Arab world. Most Arab hosts feel they have failed if a guest has not only eaten all courses of a meal, but has eaten more than normal. Arabic meals are often a more warm, casual experience than a Western meal. Meals are often made to feed an entire extended family. Arabs also wear loose, relaxed clothes at the table. The basis of Arab hospitality is to feed your guests before feeding yourself, and to feed them much more than they can possibly take. It is also considered the height of bad manners to turn someone away from your table. Arabs cannot consume alcohol, so during celebrations they do not toast. Animals that live on land are considered halal (acceptable) only if they are slaughtered in they way prescribed by the Koran( Muslim holy book). Arabs are completely forbidden to eat the meat of carnivores or omnivores, like pork, monkey, or dog. Bread, fruit, veggies, and some types of fish are acceptable. Beef and veal are, however, halal. For the first meal of the day, Arabs usually eat bread, fruit, and sometimes sweet foods like baklava, spelled baklawa in the Arab world. For lunch, most Middle Easterners eat protien like eggplant, cheese, and some meat stuffed in a loaf of pita bread. Pita is also a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, with two variants, the Iraqi pita and the "regular" pita which can be opened and stuffed with meat, cheese, and veggies for a kind of Arabian sandwich. Iraqi pita is usually just wrapped around a filling and taken "on-the-go".

My recipe is Turkish Eyes Cookies.

Recipe: 1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
.5 cup apricot jam

Directions: preheat oven to 350 degrees, then lightly grease cookie sheet. Next, cream the butter. Mix sugar and cream until smooth. Add salt and vanilla. Then stir in flour and knead until smooth. Roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper until 1/4 inch in thickness. Carefully remove top sheet of wax paper. Then, cut out equal numbers of 3'' and 1'' circles. Place on cookie sheet about 1'' apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. when done, transfer to wire racks to cool. Spread the jam on 3'' circles, leaving 1/2 inch border around. Dust the 1'' cookies with powdered sugar. Place 1'' cookies on the 3'' cookies. Leave to set. Makes 24 servings. Nutrition information is found on the table to the left.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 (39g)
Recipe makes 24 servings
Calories 153

Calories from Fat 70
Amount Per Serving

Total Fat 7.8g

Saturated Fat 4.9g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g

Trans Fat 0.0g

Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 63mg
Potassium 22mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.0g

Dietary Fiber 0.4g

Sugars 8.1g

Protein 1.5g