Apricot malabi and my disabled Adsense account

by Sarah on May 19, 2012

milk pudding, malabi, Middle Eastern milk pudding, apricots

It’s not June 21st yet, but summer is already here. En route to Palmach Beach, out favorite hot weather destination, there are vendors selling an eclectic array of Middle Eastern street foods- cold malabi with wickedly sweet red syrup, slow baked Yemenite jachnoon and lemonade in crinkly plastic cups. These foods symbolize the hot days of summer along with the ice cream man that roams the beach with a Styrofoam cooler strapped across his chest. “Artic! Artic! Chocolate banana! Lemon! Watermelon!” he hawks as little kids scramble to get their parents’ attention.

the artic man, ice cream vendor on tel aviv beach

Ice cream vendor on Tel Aviv beach

apricots and ground pistachios

As a toast to summer I made my first malabi of the season, this time with an apricot twist. We were left with way too many dried fruits after our Israel Trail Hike and this was a great way to use them up. The recipe was inspired by Joumana’s fabulous blog, Taste of Beirut.

Malabi with apricots

 

Malabi-Homestyle Milk Pudding

Milk pudding is known as malabi in Israel. In other Arab countries it is called muhallabia and is traditionally made with ground rice instead of corn starch.

2 cups milk

1 cup heavy cream (38% fat)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon orange blossom water (vanilla or rose water can also be used if preferred)

1 tablespoon butter

In a small pot combine all the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla, milk and cream. Cook on low while constantly stirring so lumps do not form. The mixture will combine and thicken. Continue to cook until it is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat and add the butter, mixing well. Pour into small bowls so it comes half way up, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Apricot topping

The apricots I used were super sweet so I didn’t add additional sugar.

250 grams dried apricots (about two cups)

3 tablespoons corn starch

1 teaspoon orange blossom water

Juice of one lemon

Rinse the dried apricots to clean them. Place them in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for three or four hours in the refrigerator. As the apricots swell more water may be needed to keep them submerged. The next day pour the contents, including the liquid in a food processor and grind the apricots into a puree. Strain through a mesh sieve to produce a smoother dessert. Add the apricot puree, cornstarch, lemon juice and orange blossom water into the pot and bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer until it thickens. Depending on the consistency of the apricots, more cornstarch may be needed. Remove from heat

Assembly

Carefully spoon the apricot mixture onto the chilled malabi pudding. Cover with saran wrap and let set in the refrigerator.

Serve with ground pistachios or almonds

How I got my Adsense account revoked

On a completely different subject, I managed to get my Adsense account suspended. A few days ago I received a formal email from Google and my first reaction was to snort. How ridiculous. Apparently a robot named retard suspected unusual clicking activity and shut my system down automatically (no I didn’t click on my own ads).  With no warning.  They also took off with all my money (they said they would give it back to the advertisers but who knows). My grandmother Toby would have called this chutzpah, more fitting for a military government with no accountability. Am I going to appeal? No way! It was nice to be able to defray the cost of my blog but Google’s management is ludicrous. Apparently, I am not the only one this has happened to.

If Google’s algorithms are not sophisticated enough to detect fake from genuine clicks it isn’t the fault of the publisher.  I don’t appreciate being penalized for something I didn’t do (and if I did, tell me before slamming the door in my face). It is simple etiquette to be given notice if a problem arises and if possible, find a solution (ads not based on clicks perhaps).

What are my other options? I can try finding my own sponsors but don’t have the time. Meanwhile I will continue with Blogherads advertising, a network that has living, breathing people behind their name.  Another great advantage with Blogherads is that I no longer have to worry about extremists and weirdos pinpointing my blog for their propaganda. It’s just not funny.

If you’ve had a similar incident happen to you I would be happy to hear what you did about it.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

foodwanderings May 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Love you first malabi of the season Sarah. & I don’t reacall selling malawach on the beach in Israel but between you and I, it’s been awhile! :) Love Artik Limon! BTW, it might bring you some comfort but I disabled google ads as it took such a long while to defray a small fraction of any of my costs, meanwhile I was enabling free advertising!

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Yael May 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The malabi looks beautiful and tempting even for me that usually can’t stomach these milky drinks.
I will talk to our friend in Google, he’ll be landing in Israel next week. I don’t know what he can do but it’s worth trying.
Have a wonderful week. Only health :)

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Katherine Martinelli May 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

This malabi looks amazing!! I have a whole pile of dried apricots so will be making this soon. Sorry to hear about adsense. I never gave it a go and now I’m glad I didn’t! I’ve heard good things about BlogHer, although none of the networks seem to pay much.

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Sarah May 20, 2012 at 5:23 am

Katherine, True about network payout, not much but it helps. My traffic is very broad, coming from many different countries. It’s harder to find an agency that supports this range as most networks focus on specific regions. Adsense was supposed to overcome that problem but there are too many unresolved issues for publisher and advertizer. It’s hard to predict where ads end up, for example. I wouldn’t want my name/brand to be associated with an unsavory website. On the otherhand publishers have to deal with tasteless ads all the time.

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Rosa May 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

That looks delicious! A refined tasting dessert. I love dried apricots.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Chez Loulou May 20, 2012 at 2:51 am

This dessert looks so delicious. I’m intrigued…

I had my adsense account revoked too, about 2 years ago. They kept over $300 I had earned because their system is screwed up and they claimed I had been fraudulent or something, I don’t even remember anymore. An appeal letter got me nowhere. In the end I just let it go, but it still makes me angry.
I’m sorry to hear that this has happened to you too. It is frustrating!

Glad you’re enjoying summer-like weather!

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Sarah May 20, 2012 at 5:28 am

Thanks Chez Loulou, I am so surprised how many others had to deal with revoked accounts. I read of a fellow who sued google after his account was suspended and his money taken. He won.

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Yael the Finn May 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

Beautiful pictures ! Too bad what happened to your account.I am nearing the first 100 dollars so I hope I will not experience the same…

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Thyme (Sarah) May 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

This is what I love about blogging. I’ve already met Katherine from Israel and now I can see interesting foods and destinations from your blog as well. I’ve never heard nor tasted Malabi so the food world has been bridged for sure.

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Sarah May 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

Nice to meet you! That’s what I love about blogging, I’ve met so many interesting people through it, both online and off.

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Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) May 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

Wow! I’ve been on that beach for.. it’s so pretty.

Regarding adsense, I used to have an online marketing site where I would make my revenue from people clicking on ads. Some people like to take sites down by clicking on the same ad again and again. Google sometimes does not realize this, and instead thinks it’s suspicious (and shut you down). It sucks.

Ilan

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Sarah May 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

Ilan, Thanks, I’ve read about click bombs as you decribed. It seems all too easy to target adsense blogs and not a very ethical business model.

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Rachael@SimplyFreshCooking May 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

Wow that recipe is so different and unique. Sounds so good, and love the photos! Sorry to hear about Google Adsense. I was thinking about trying them out, although I don’t even know if I’d be able to figure out how to put it on my site… (lol), newbie here, but I may just not even bother with it now!

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Sarah May 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Thanks Rachael, Adding adsense is very easy to do, just a matter of placing the code in the right place. Hope you have better luck than I did.

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Turkey's For Life May 22, 2012 at 2:05 am

Never heard of malibi before but it looks like something to eat as a treat, judging by those ingredients. You deserve the treat though after your Adsense experience. ;)
Julia

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Jamie May 24, 2012 at 3:10 am

I always discover such amazing new foods on both your blog and Joumana’s! I’ve never heard of Malabi but I can see that I’ll have to try one this summer. And I keep saying this to you, but your photos and descriptions always make me miss Israel so much!

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Sarah May 24, 2012 at 3:14 am

Thanks Jamie, Israel is not too far away, maybe you can have a plate to page workshop here one year ;-)

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Javelin Warrior May 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Every Friday, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday. I love this post so much I’m featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution) and I hope you have no objections. It’s a pleasure following your creations…

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AdsenseGetBack August 12, 2012 at 3:48 am

Disabling of Adsense accounts is something not uncommon today. No doubt that Adsense is the best program for monetizing websites but unfortunately, Google is quick enough in disabling Adsense accounts. Adsense accounts are not disabled by humans. They have software that takes all such actions.
Now here is the point: There are many out there who are with families and live their lives on Adsense, so do you think they will quit, after being banned from the Adsense program? Given the fact, there are many who really didn’t carry out invalid clicks! A few of them have 50-100 or more Adsense monetized websites! Certainly they will not stop! So what do they do? They just Reinstate their Adsense accounts or open new Adsense accounts!

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