Summer Grillin’

Summer is the perfect time to head outdoors and fire up the grill. Check out some great recipes including this one for Grilled Tilapia with Cherry Salsa



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grill grates
  • 1/2 pound (2 cups) Bing cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed), minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tilapia fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)


  1. Heat grill to high; lightly oil grates. In a medium bowl, combine cherries, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; set salsa aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Rub tilapia all over with oil; sprinkle with spice mixture.
  3. Grill tilapia until opaque around the edges and underside loosens easily from grill, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a metal spatula with a thin blade, flip fish; continue to cook until opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve tilapia topped with cherry salsa.

-Recipe and Image from Martha Stewart Online

Jumana Bishara from Tanoreen Restaurant helps Lameece Issaq prepare for the role of cooking maven, Fadwa, by teaching her to make the mouthwatering, Middle Eastern dish called “ful.”

Tilapia Amandine

1 tablespoons sliced almonds
1 Tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cull all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste (I use lemon pepper sometimes)
2 Tilapia fillets ( or other delicate white fish fillets)
¼ cup white wine, 1 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 table spoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced (optional)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Toast the almonds in a skillet for 4 to 5 minutes or until brown.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a sealable bag. Add the fillets and shake to coat. Cook the fillets in the hot butter mixture for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to serving platter. Add the wine, lemon juice, 2 table spoons of butter and the garlic to the skillet. Pour the mixture over the fish. Top with the toasted almonds and parsley.

The recipe came from “Serving San Antonio,” a cookbook from the Assistance League of San Antonio.



No food, no respect. Bad food, bad reputation. You will be the laughing stock of Bethlehem.
Food and Fadwa

Share a glass of wine and some hummus with the ladies of Noor Theatre. Artistic Director Lameece Issaq, Executive Director Maha Chehlaoui and Producing Artistic Director Nancy Vitale chat about creating a theatre company to support Middle Eastern artists with New York Theatre Workshop.

Deb Filler’s Challah Recipe

My father was a Holocaust survivor and the best baker I ever knew. This recipe is a metaphor for the twists and turns of life. I baked it onstage during my solo show, ‘Filler Up!’ where bread was a metaphor for rising up. Enjoy it, it’s delicious.

1 teaspoon Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 cup (8 fl oz.) warm Water
2 free range/organic Eggs
1 envelope of Yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
4 - 5 cups fresh white Flour
1/4 cup (2 fl oz.) vegetable Oil Poppy Seeds
1/3 cup (2.7 oz.) Sugar
1 Egg beaten
1 cup (8 fl oz.) warm Water
2 teaspoons Water

Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl which has first been rinsed with hot water. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve. Combine with oil, water, sugar, salt, 2 eggs and half of flour. Beat well. Stir in remaining flour. Dough should be sticky.

Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for 10 to 20 minutes, adding flour as needed. Round up dough in a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk, about 1-2 hours. Punch down, divide in two. (If not baking both loaves, either refrigerate or freeze second batch until ready to use. Grease top well and cover with wax paper, then a damp cloth. Make sure cloth stays damp. Will keep five days in fridge; freezes well. Note: when using the second loaf, allow to come to room temperature before continuing with following.) Allow loaf to rise again for 45 minutes. (Best place to raise yeast is on top of stove.)

Punch down, divide dough into three equal parts. Shape into tubular shape by hand. Braid loaf together ensuring that the ends are secured and tucked under. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until double (45 minutes approximately). Brush with beaten egg yolk and 2 teaspoons water and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake in a convection or regular oven at 400˚ (200˚C) for 30 minutes, until deep golden brown. The base of the bread will be brown when it is ready. Enjoy!

(makes 2 loaves, one of which can be frozen till ready to bake, or halved.)


FOOD AND FADWA co-authors Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader talk about how they use food as the common thread in their new play at New York Theatre Workshop.

Mung Beans and Rice

Mung Beans and Rice was a staple of my time at St. Agnes Residence, where I lived for four years with Noor co-founder Nancy Vitale and about a hundred other women in a converted hotel behind the Fairway at 74th Street and Broadway. No one had much money, or privacy or space, but we always had something to share. 

This dish came from a list of Ayurvedic foods that is eaten by many yogis!

Mung Beans and Rice
1 c Dried Mung Beans
1 c Jasmine Rice
1/2 a small Ginger Root
2 cloves of Garlic
1 medium of Onion
Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Cumin
2 Tablespoons of Turmeric
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
Lemon to taste

Soak mung beans in water overnight until slightly open, but not sprouting.
Boil in 3-4 cups of water until an opaque white film floats on top. Drain and refill with water. Boil again, and add rice and bay leaf until tender.

Meanwhile, cut up garlic, onions and ginger; sautée in olive oil until tender. Add turmeric and cumin and a little bit of water to make it like a paste. Set aside. 

When rice and beans are done, add the pasty mix and stir well until the whole pot turns an atomic yellow! Add salt and pepper and a little squeeze of lemon to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and serve!

-Lameece Issaq, co-author of Food and Fadwa and Artistic Director of Noor Theatre

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Benjamin Franklin
Family Traditions: 10 Ideas To Get You Started

Traditions. Those little rituals passed down from generation to generation that help shape your family by creating a sense of unity, warmth and closeness. They create memories that fill your mind with peace, love, happiness, and security.

But what do you do if your family doesn’t have many traditions? Well, you create them of course! Somebody has to create all these little rituals, so why not let it be you?

Potluck. This is a great way for extended family members to showcase their culinary talents.  If you decide to do this monthly or bi-monthly, consider themes – make one night Mexican, and the next time Thai, followed by Italian. Theme nights can introduce you to a whole new world of cooking.  Bring print-outs of the recipe so people can take it home with them.

Birthday cakes. Create the birthday boy or girl’s favorite type of cake. Is it cheesecake, devil’s food cake, or black forest cake? Or is it not even cake at all? Do they prefer pies, cookies, or cupcakes? Whatever it is, make their favorite treat an annual tradition for their birthday.

Kick off summer with a BBQ. This is a great way to welcome the beautiful summer weather and BBQ season. Set up outside on the grass or on the deck, and have everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, water, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and ice cream. Have some games ready for kids like water balloon tosses, shoe scramble, and potato sack races.

To learn more about these and other traditions you can start with your family and friends, visit Simple Mom.

Story from Simple Mom by Sherri.