Lottie + Doof + A COLLECTION OF =

[What better day to share something I love? A COLLECTION OF (ACO) is one of the most beautiful, creative, and inspiring sites on the web. It is produced by two very special artists, Stefani Greenwood and Gilda Davidian, who live in Southern California. I am one of their biggest fans and am so glad they agreed to be guests here. And I am also super excited for the giveaway that they are offering!]

Hello, friends! We are so very excited to be guests on Lottie + Doof. We have been fans since the start of the blog and when we started A COLLECTION OF, Tim was one of the first people we interviewed (see it/read it HERE). Today we are making muhammara, a middle eastern dip with walnuts, bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses and red peppers. I learned to make this dip from my grandmother who lived in Lebanon for most of her life, and learned it from her mom when she was young. The dip is complex – a bit nutty and chock full of flavor. The pomegranate molasses is the only tricky ingredient. You can find it at your local middle eastern store or order it online. One bottle goes a long way, so don’t let it keep you from trying it out. The dip is really easy to make and can be served with pita bread, crackers, cucumbers (or whatever you’d like, really).

[I couldn’t have Stefani and Gilda here without asking them to respond to the L + D food quiz….]


Sweet or salty?
S: Definitely salty (and then sweet and then salty…)
G: Sweet! Oh how I love sweets.

Chocolate or vanilla?
S: Chocolate
G: Chocolate, most definitely.

Hot or mild?
S: H O T !
G: Somewhere in between.

What won’t you eat?
S: I will try anything once which may in turn be the last. I recently just tried mắm nêm for the first and last time. (Side note: I will try anything again with Bourdain if the occasion ever arises.)
G: I’m a pescitarian/vegetarian, so you won’t find me eating anything that falls off of that umbrella. Otherwise, I’m not a picky eater and love to try new things.

Most memorable meal?
S: Fresh, just caught, grilled squid with lemon on the island of Pantelleria during my honeymoon.
G: I traveled through Lebanon and into Cyprus by myself for a month after graduating high school to visit family. I had lunch at the house of a childhood friend of my mother’s one Sunday afternoon. There were platters of tiny fried fish and mezzes of all kinds. It was beautiful and delicious. I remember thinking the fruit we ate after lunch tasted like the full potential of every fruit I had had before that. The flavors were incredible.

Favorite object in your kitchen?
S: My porcelain glove mold that holds the dish towel.
G: My one and only Kitchenaid. Cleaning off my KitchenAid after a bout of baking makes me think of every movie I’ve seen in which a girl lovingly grooms her beloved horse.

What are you scared of in the kitchen?

S: Forgetting to put the timer on.
G: Burnt baked goods… there is something so tragic about burnt desserts.

Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
S: With others and for others! Oh those others.
G: It depends on my mood. I do like cooking by myself because it affords a freedom for experimentation that I don’t exercise with others. But I also love cooking with friends! On regular weeknights, my husband and I team-cook our dinners: I start the dish (prepping, sauteing base ingredients) and he finishes the process (sauces, seasoning, finishing touches).

What country would you move to for the food?

S: Northern India with a rail pass.
G: Send me to the Middle East, please!

What’s for dinner?
S: I just got the pasta attachment for my mixer and I want to make homemade rigatoni tonight with a classic tomato sauce accompanied by the celery and fennel salad I got from Mark BIttman’s NY Times feature. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/dining/26mini.html)
G: We’ve been making loads of greens (tis the season!) and experimenting with various kinds of tahini sauces. I find that they complement each other well. But tonight… cupcakes and champagne!

Muhammara Recipe

  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4-5 tablespoons red pepper paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste

Place walnuts, bread crumbs, olive oil, onion, pomegranate molasses, cumin, red pepper paste, sugar and salt in food processor. Turn on-off to mix well, but do not puree. It should have a coarse texture.

Spread on serving plate. Sprinkle lightly with extra oil, if desired. Serve with crunchy cucumber slices, bread, crackers or crudites.

************************************GIVEAWAY ALERT!

We asked our friends and favorite bloggers to contribute their favorite starter recipes for a booklet that Stefani designed for this guest post. We have 25 copies ready to go so please leave a comment below and email us your address at contact@collectionof.org so we can send you one. We will be mailing the booklets out to the first 25 people whose address we receive.

Thanks for having us, Tim, and happy making!

*************************************FREE + AMAZING!

[Thanks, you two! So happy to have you here. Readers, get to commenting! Remember, ACO wants you to comment here and then (if your comment was in the top 25) to email them with your mailing address. So excited to check out their recipe booklets. And remember to bookmark A COLLECTION OF!]

50 comments to “Lottie + Doof + A COLLECTION OF =”

  1. this recipe sounds delicious!

  2. awesome work!

  3. This looks so awesome! I love the idea and I’d love a copy!

  4. Sounds yummy can’t wait to try it. Thanks

  5. Ooh, me! Sounds delicious!

  6. This looks so great! The book sounds awesome as well

  7. I doubt I’ll be able to find pomegranate mollasses anywhere in the prairies but that’s what the internet is for. Thanks ladies!

  8. Looks fantastic!! Love the colors.

  9. Wow, sounds amazing. I think my friends have made something like Muhammara for me before. Can’t believe you are giving those booklets away!

  10. I would love one! I just sent you my address!

  11. You guys are so nice. Thank you Stefani and Gilda and Lottie + Doof!

  12. love the colors of all those ingredients. way to go making food artful!

  13. This recipe looks really good…can’t wait to experiment with the pomegranate molasses!

  14. oh, such good flavors. i have eaten but have not made muhammara; i’ll have to add it to my list. and i wasn’t familiar with aco before–lovely site!

  15. Lizanne Eastwood says:

    February 14th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Pomegranate molasses, I must find some. Heading to the big city of Vancourver next month and that is at the top of my to-do list. Great post!

  16. this is such a great idea! beautiful post, as always.

  17. This sounds delightful! And LOVE the color palette up above.

  18. I love the color bar/ingredient list at the beginning of the post–it really suits the aesthetic of this blog. I’m curious to see the recipe brochure and to try making the unusual dip above! Thanks–

  19. Love to try new things! Pom molasses sounds dreamy!

  20. What a great sounding dip! I’m going to have to get some of that pomegranate molasses. Thanks for the giveaway, loved reading your interview!

  21. That sounds delicious. I sent you my address!

  22. Cynthia Winter says:

    February 14th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Looks awesome!

  23. Absolutely love the idea. Happy V-Day!

  24. The Muhammara sounds amazing, can’t wait to try it! would love to get the booklet :)

  25. Thank you so much for having such and inspiring blog. I cook for a school and have used many of your ideas. I also so love the book selection and have passed them along as well.
    Good work!

  26. i’ll be back up number one just in case:)

  27. I love Muhammara. Will try this recipe. Thanks for the amazing blog.

  28. Wonderful, amazing, can’t wait to see more!

  29. What a gorgeous recipe! Some pomegranate molasses has been languishing in my cupboard for months and now I know what to do. :-)

  30. Thanks for checking in, everyone! And happy v-day! xo

  31. Muhammara is delicious. I think I’ve finally been inspired to try making some at home. Thanks so much! Glad to have discovered “A Collection Of.” The concept reminds me a bit of Five Books which is one of my favorite websites.

  32. Fariba Kerendi says:

    February 14th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Sounds wonderful! Happy Valentine’s Day to us!

  33. It looks amazing. Can’t wait to try the recipes. OH…looks like I missed the cut off :(.

  34. Am I too late? *sound of heart breaking* ;)

  35. great, great post…& happy v.day!

  36. I’d love a copy! Thank you for offering!

  37. A Collection Of is great. This dish sounds lovely and the post looks just beautiful!

  38. Yum, yum!

  39. I look forward to trying this recipe ~ thanks.
    Before buying pomegranate molasses online, I suggest checking with local grocery stores. Surprisingly enough, Hannaford’s in southern Maine carries it, along with orange and rose waters, for less than $3 per bottle.

  40. delicious!

  41. if you haaaappen to find a 41st copy of the recipe booklet, i’d love one. but i’ll be making this dip regardless!

  42. This sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it.

  43. Whole Foods often carries pomegranate molasses.

  44. sounds delicious!

  45. This looks like one fantastic book, I would love a copy

  46. Interesting recipe. I’m not sure if I’d find pomegranate molasses here to replicate this.

    Also, the dinner party looked lovely. I wish I were in Chicago.

  47. I love this, start to finish. A little bummed that I missed the boat on what looks to be an awesome collection – perhaps the sore losers can be comforted with a little online sneak peak?

  48. Did anyone receive the collection of book yet? I am anxiously waiting. An word?

  49. Love your recipes, they are so different. But I have a question, I have attempted to make canolli shells, but it seems that when I fry them up, they do not come out crispy, as I have been used to having. What do you think could be the problem? Perhaps not thin enough, not enough water? Could use your expertise. Thanks Linda

  50. Hi Linda- I’ve never made cannoli shells, so I’m not sure. My guess would be not think enough OR the oil wasn’t hot enough/they weren’t cooked long enough. If I ever try, I’ll let you know.

What do you think?