Posted in food

Better than Bushra’s Chickpea Salad

From Book 4: Swiss Cheese & Sibling Rivalry

First, a quick explanation for anyone not yet familiar with my cozy mystery series. While it’s not a recipe book, each book does have about 8-10 recipes. Most (though not all) involve either cheese, salami or bread, keeping in mind the Whine & Cheese bistro theme.

Click here to order the book!

For a quick little back-story on how the recipe came about, scroll on down to the bottom. Otherwise, let’s get to it!

For our first official summer weekend, this is a great accompaniment to any BBQ. It pretty much goes with everything.

You will need:

  • 1 large can chickpeas, drain and rinse well
  • 1/4 cup good quality, light-tasting olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon lemon juice (the juice from those plastic lemons works fine)
  • 1/2 of a large, firm tomato or 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 green onion (white and green parts), diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro (a must- don’t skip this ingredient and it must be fresh, not dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin (also a must)
  • a few shakes of dried dill weed (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsly
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh chives
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chunks of feta cheese (optional)


Combine all ingredients, mix and enjoy. Keeps well in the fridge for a few days, if you don’t eat it before then. To take it over the top, if you are familiar with a good quality feta cheese, it’ll make the salad to die for.

Note: if you are adding cheese to this dish, it should be eaten the same day.Don’t be afraid to experiment. I often put a diced radish in this salad too.


Here’s a story about a girl named Bushra. She was 16 at the time that I wrote this, and made the best damn chickpea salad that she sold at her Syrian food stall at the local farmers market. Well, second best. Smirk.

I didn’t want to ask her for the recipe: a magician never reveals their tricks, right? So, I set out to re-create it myself. I have a pretty good palate and can pick out a lot of flavours. That, combined with some internet searches for somewhat similar recipes, gave me a good base to start with.

I like to take what appeals to me from each recipe, combine it all together, and add my own “bit of this and a bit of that.”

The end product (in my totally un-biased opinion, of course), was simply Wow. Now you be the judge! Let me know if you’v e tried it and added anything different so that I can try it, too! This time, I added in some celery and green peppers and probably put double the cilantro. Yum.

Posted in pets

Furtastic Friday

Photo credit: Jenn Van Dusen

Let’s wish Bobby-Ryan happy birthday! He turns five on June 22nd.

He’s adopted from the Humane Society. Bobby-Ryan loves to bird watch, suntan, roll around on the deck and get belly rubs. Sounds like my soulmate!

He’s chatty in the mornings and loves baked goods- especially fruit explosion and carrot muffins.

From his parents, Jenn and Jamie Van Dusen, myself and of course, Bobby-Ryan, have a furtastic Friday!

If you’d like your special pet featured on a future Furtastic Friday post, please contact me.