Suzy Karadsheh from The Mediterranean Dish with freshly picked spearmint

Happy weekend, friends!

This is the first of my "updates and inspirations" posts, which I am hoping will give us the opportunity to get to know one another better. So, as I share more with you about me, the blog, and links that inspire me, I hope you will see this as an invitation to also share your thoughts. Feel free to leave me a comment.

Suzy Karadsheh from The Mediterranean Dish with freshly picked spearmint

The Mediterranean Dish is a young blog. It  is technically only three months old; so I am pausing to share three blogging lessons I learned in the process; these are more or less personal lessons:

1) I love all-things-food; and I am truly happiest when I am creating something new for my family and friends to enjoy. The kitchen is SO my sanctuary. And while I cannot very often follow someone else's recipe, I will delightfully create my own.

2) Blogging is a whole LOT more than I ever thought it would be. It is more work. It is more fun. It is more frustrating.

There is such a thing as "blogger burnout," as described by seasoned bloggers like Mel Ford and articles like this one by The New York Times. I have not hit my blogging sweet spot where I am publishing so frequently; have gained a huge following of folks; or have turned blogging into a profitable adventure. Far from it. But, thankfully, I have not yet experienced blogger burnout where I am bored with my hobby; unbearably stressed out; or plain ready to quit.

This I have experienced, however: It takes a good few days to develop a recipe, cook, test, test again, photograph, write, publish, promote....REPEAT.  And it takes Google so much more time to grant my recipes the privilege of appearing on searches so that folks may find me. But, it takes the smallest comment from a genuine friend or reader, that's YOU, to keep me going!  It is an honor to share my recipes with you. All the hard work is totally worth it because you are here!

3) I am horrible with boundaries. In my past professional life, work took over. And now as a cook and blogger, you guessed it, the blog TOOK OVER! For example, I told myself I would be on the computer only one hour this morning; I even set an alarm! Three hours later, I am still here. Other than cooking and blogging, not much else is getting done.  My family doesn't terribly mind because they get to eat very well as a result of this blog 🙂

Suzy Karadsheh from The Mediterranean Dish with freshly picked spearmint

I may have shared with you that I have an herb garden. I call it an "herb garden," but I am only growing the one herb: mint. This is not any mint though; the original rooted plant came from the Holy Land and was gifted to me by my mother-in-law when we first moved to Iowa. As you may know, mint grows ever so WILDLY! We have mint coming out of EVERYWHERE! So today, me and the kiddos went after harvesting our fresh mint.

Suzy Karadsheh from The Mediterranean Dish with freshly picked spearmint

What do I do with it next?  Remove the stems; lay mint leaves on brown paper bags for a few days until leaves are completely dry; store in airtight containers to be used throughout the year.

And since I have lots of fresh mint, I decided to put some of it to good use in this wonderful brunch dish of Shakshuka. Shakshuka makes a great holiday brunch, by the way. Follow this link to the recipe and test it soon.

Shakshuka Recipe

Inspiring links:

Check out this  fall cocktail guide from Saveur. And if you missed it, you might want to try my easy hot spiked apple cider .

Absolutely amazing Apple Pie Cookies made by my friend Aysegul! Ya just don't mess with perfection!

For some reason, fall just prompts me to do a bit more decorating and cozying of the house. I'll probably be looking through The Inspired Room for ideas!

As far as books, I'm thinking it's time to reread Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Travelers Wife.

From the Heart,

Suzy

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Suzy you write such a wonderful blog. I was watching a long Netflix series called Black Money Love Kara Para Ask and loved the look of the food. Then I found you and I use so many of your recipes.
    So happy to have found out about Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cookery - I've been a French-style cook for years.
    Keep blogging, we love you
    Joni

  2. Suzy, I have made many of your recipes: Moroccan chicken, Mediterranean Fish, Shallots and Mushrooms, Pistachio Cake, and many others. But I've been having difficulty with the cardamom-pistachio biscotti. We love them and I have made them 6 times at least, but they break up. The loaves crack and so they don't hold well when I cut them with the seated knife. I follow your instructions to the letter. I make loaves, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes and directly into the oven as you say to do. The loaves are gorgeous, but they crack.

    Please help!! Thanks so much and keep your wonderful website going.

    1. Hi Michele, thank you for sharing! I am not sure why you are having this particular issue with the biscotti. I will do some research and connect back if I find anything.

      1. Hi Suzy,
        I use the cardamom-pistachio biscotti regularly and I had asked you about it cracking and crumbling. Just to let you know, I made it olive oil and two tsp of cardamom, and they came out beautifully---the best batch yet. The dough came together well, and while the loaf cracked a bit, the cookies sliced well. I baked them a second time for about 40-45 minutes, Turing them over midway.
        So, I little different from your recipe, but delicious.

        I make so many of your fine receipts all the time, usually doubling the amount of spices. Just love most of what you offer. Just fantastic recipes!
        Thanks so much.

  3. I’v been making your Mediterranean Cod recipe for over 2 years. I do double up on the spices as we love our spices. Family LOVES it and friends can’t get enough! It’s so simple and just amazingly delicious. Now that I’ve found you on Insta - I can’t wait to try others. If the cod recipe is indicative of your cooking - I’ll be there!!! Thanks Suzy ?

  4. Hi! I just discovered your wonderful blog a few months ago. I love the recipes!
    I came to you through a search for Zhoug Sauce. It has been one of my favorites.
    I love the salads, and the hummus. The falafel was good, but I baked it, and I wish I had fried it instead.
    Thanks for bringing such great food to a wider audience!

    1. Thanks for sharing your background. I just found your blog about a month ago. I have been searching for good recipes on Google for over the last 10 years. Your blog one of the best. Your recipes are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. I really enjoyed reading your three-month update on blogging, I found many similarities with myself and my blog (which is coming up on three months). The amount of effort that goes into blogging is mind boggling ... but, so well worth it. I am having the time of my life with it, which is what I hear you saying, too.

    Your herb garden looks great and I can't wait to try some of your mediterranean dishes!

    1. Hi Robin! Glad you stopped by. Ya, I know a lot of folks are in the same boat with blogging. I try not to get all wrapped up into all the "must dos" of blogging. It's nice to be able to share with folks and help them enjoy good food at home. The rest will hopefully come. Here is to a great journey! I'll stop by your blog soon. Hugs.

  6. Ahh that shakshuka look so good. How lucky you are to have access to fresh mint. I tried to grow it on the island, but because of the constant wind and hot sun I couldn't keep it alive.
    Also, thank you for the link love!
    Cheers..