Middle East Meets West

Kevin and I kicked off the Thanksgiving festivities with dinner at his mom’s house on Thursday in San Francisco.  Kevin’s family lives and breathes the “go big or go home” approach…tons of food, a house packed with people, and off the charts hospitality.  I love meals with Kevin’s family because, along with traditional American cuisine like turkey and stuffing, their middle eastern roots shine through with special dishes and traditions of their Jordanian heritage.
{Cousin David carving the turkey}
PS…I made the mashed potatoes in the bottom right-hand corner.  I don’t want to brag…but I’m 
going to because they were the bomb.  If you don’t own a potato ricer, get one now!  So crucial!
{Honey baked ham and Jordanian dish, Malfoof, in the background. Similar
to the Greek dish, dolma, but rolled in cabbage instead with rice and meat inside}
{Cucumber and tomato salad with lemon and olive oil dressing}
{Jordanian dish of rice and toasted nuts, called Hashwa}
{Jordanian favorite to nibble on, peppers.  Traditional cranberry sauce in the background}
{One of my favorites…Turkish Coffee}

{Coma-inducing dessert spread}

{Cousin Danny and his famous Pumpkin Cheesecake…and no, he will not share 
the recipe.  As much as I want to get my hands on it, I can totally respect that}

{Kevin and I in the throes of tryptophan…mmm, and maybe just a little red wine}
{Mother and Son…Auntie Hind and Victor}
{Silly Rami with his Jiddo (grandpa)}

{Mother and daughter…Rania and Raghda}

{The other newlyweds in the family, Saleem and his beautiful wife Mais}

{Kevin and his momma}

{Heartwarming and universal message from Rania}

Thanksgiving dinner #2 with my family coming up tomorrow.  Oh, and voting is still open for the Giada de Laurentis Facebook contest!  Thank you for all the votes…keep ’em coming until noon on December 2nd!


  1. Vic Zeidan says:

    Nicely done Melissa!

  2. Melissa says:

    Thanks Vic! I also have some great pics of you snoozing on the couch, but thought you’d appreciate me not posting those 🙂

  3. S_sahawneh says:

    Very nice Melissa… two thumps up 🙂

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