Za’atar Fried Chicken and my cookbook photo shoot

When I take photos for Rose Water and Orange Blossoms, there are so many things to consider: the light, the lens, the plate, the background surface and the backdrop. And of course, the food itself. I run around the kitchen and down the stairs to get it all together, then hope the sun doesn’t fall…

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Hummus with Lamb and Sumac.

Hummus with lamb, hummus kwarma on a blue plate

Hummus with lamb and sumac is a luscious, healthy way to change-up your hummus fix by adding marinated, sauteed lamb atop smooth hummus. For some, texture is important because it bothers them. They say of their aversion to eating raw oysters that “it’s a texture thing.” For me, I love eating raw oysters, and yes…

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Kofta Burgers

Kofta burgers are a version of the classic spiced Lebanese kofta–highly seasoned ground lamb (beef works too!), char-grilled. Typically kofta is served in the shape of a log, pressed to a skewer to hold its shape. Don’t get scared off of these burgers thinking that “kofta” (also: kefta, also: kafta) can’t mean burger. Traditionally the…

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Kishk Soup with Garlic

Kishk Soup with green herbs

There were so many striking things about the day I ate kishk for the first time. As I mentioned, kishk is not something I’d ever heard of, let alone eaten, until recently. I tasted a steaming bowlful after a winter morning’s baking lesson in Lebanese flatbread last year; my teacher, Naemi, walked us up the…

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Fragrant Lebanese Chicken Soup Recipe

Fragrant Chicken Soup in a deruta pottery bowl

I know this is a food blog and that I’m a food person and that we all agree on how much we love to cook and eat. But I’ve got to admit: I haven’t been feeling great lately, and it has to do with food. Can’t eat much, don’t feel like eating much, and when…

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Kibbeh Footballs, Arras Kibbeh

Kibbeh Footballs, MaureenAbood.com

Kibbeh footballs, or “arras kibbeh” is an incredibly delicious and beautiful way to prepare classic Lebanese kibbeh. The balls are shaped with the kibbeh and stuffed with househ, a lemony meat/onion/pine nut mixture. Read more about kibbeh meat here, and kibbeh recipes here and here. Try poaching uncooked arras in laban, comfort food at it’s best.…

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Fall Football Tailgate: Mom’s Oven-Fried Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken, MaureenAbood.com

The fried chicken for our family football tailgaters has come from some auspicious places over the years. A big bucket of extra-crispy from KFC was not beneath us (my dad liked going to pick it up, because he could have an appetizer piece or two on the way home. I could tell he’d been eating…

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A Fall Football Menu: Tailgating, Abood-style

When you grow up in a college town like I did, you end up spending all of your fall Saturdays in the stadium watching football games. That was fun…but let’s face it, the tailgate party before the game has always been the bigger attraction for me. I loved going to Spartan stadium with the whole…

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Michigan’s Whitefish Dinner: the fish

Michigan's Whitefish dinner

Fresh from the pristine waters of Lake Superior is Michigan’s whitefish dinner. Restaurants often serve whitefish planked with duchess potatoes piped beautiful around the fish. At home we bake whitefish with a fabulous topping. The key to excellent whitefish is not overcooking it—this seems to be our theme this week, from the new potatoes to…

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Whitefish dinner: Green beans, corn and good bread

We all know that one of the great pleasures of the bounty of summer is that it tastes so good you don’t need, or want, to do much beyond getting it to the table. But as with writing, and perhaps as with anything, restraint in cooking has its challenges. Restraint requires attention to detail so…

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