Hello! I’m so happy you are here, whether it’s to feast on delicious Lebanese recipes, enjoy photos of our beautiful food and my great state of Michigan, or read the stories about my life and growing up Lebanese…welcome.

I am Maureen Abood. Yes, I have an Irish first name and a Lebanese last name, but ignore the Irish part. That’s just a fluke and has nothing to do with anything other than that it’s a name my mother liked, so she gave it to me.

I am a writer—my work has been published in some special places, including the Washington Post, Saveur, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, NPR’s The Salt, and elsewhere.  I’m also a cook and a photographer.. One of my favorite things to cook and write about and, of course, to eat, is the food of my (very large!) Lebanese American family.

A few years back, after experiencing the sort of life events that give one true pause (death, divorce, rock-bottom moments that leave you nowhere to go but up), I left my job in Chicago and headed west to San Francisco to go to culinary school, simply because I’ve always wanted to. Best thing I ever did. I highly recommend it. Amazing how easy it is to let go of the things that keep you from living your dreams once you … let them go.

Then I moved to Northern Michigan, to the place of my childhood summers in Harbor Springs, to write and cook and launch this blog.  Who says you can’t go home again? The same person who doesn’t want to let go of the things that keep you from living your dreams (I know because I’ve been that person too).

The most recent chapter of my story includes a special man, a special book, and exciting plans to continue to share Lebanese cooking with you in all kinds of ways–including videos and Maureen Abood Market, where you will find the best Lebanese ingredients and tools, and many, many good things like Lebanese olive oils, preserves, candies, dried fruit and nuts, and of course, the finest all-natural flower waters.

When we get together here online, some of the time I’m writing from our happy Lebanese kitchen in East Lansing, Michigan where I live with my husband, and some of the time from a sunny little room with green walls and white trim, perched on Little Traverse Bay. Up North we’re close enough to Mackinac Island to go there for lunch (even though I never do), but far enough away that the waft of horse and fudge is well-dispersed by lake breezes before it can reach us. This is a place where the warmer seasons bring a harvest of incredible abundance from Michigan’s fields and waters, and in winter, a harvest of a different kind.

This blog is a place where we come together to share Lebanese cuisine, which in turn is tied, inextricably, to stories…and family…and love. Our food and culture are delicious and beautiful, as lovely as “Rose Water and Orange Blossoms” suggest.

Thanks so much for being here, and know that just as most every Lebanese woman loves to do, I’m welcoming you with a warm hug and a plate of something good to eat as you walk through my door.

 

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