Nougat with Pistachios and Dried Cherries (low-fat, chewy goodness)

Perhaps it was growing up in Michigan, where billowy, tall drifts of snow surrounded us for several months of the year, that began my intense quest for white, glossy, marshmallow-esque sweets. Perhaps it was the cookbook that shaped so much of my childhood kitchen adventures—the Betty Crocker book, candy and cakes chapters in particular—that at…

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Sitto’s Spanakopita Recipe

Maybe it’s the cold weather hitting that makes me think even more about my Sitto, who grew up on a rugged farm in Nebraska a century ago. This was serious pioneer life, a life she described to us often in captivating stories. She told us how they’d harvest every fall, and how exciting it was…

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Pie, Tart, and Galette recipes for Thanksgiving

Stack of favorite pie plates, Maureen Abood

  I’ve always enjoyed the menu daydream, wherein I allow myself to gaze away from the computer for a moment and construct a luscious meal, soup to nuts. In my Chicago office, that took place out the 8th floor window looking north across Monroe Street. Now, thanks God, the view is out the kitchen window…

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Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Feta

Avocado Tomato Salad with Feta,

This salad makes the most of the season: tomato cucumber with avocado and feta. The bit of saltiness from the feta and creaminess of avocado are the right balance. The changing of the seasons here in Michigan has been doing its thing in recent months without much ado from me. Typically I get all wound…

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Lebanese Meat Pies (fatayer). The raw and the cooked.

Lebanese fatayer triangles on a sheetpan

As I have discovered in the short time I’ve been married, even among the Lebanese there are differences in the ways families make their Lebanese recipes. As my teacher in culinary school used to say: likes and dislikes have a lot to do with expectations. Take the meat fatayar (pronounced fuh-TIE-yuh). The proper preparation of…

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream with Orange Blossom

Caramel Ice Cream with scoop

The ultimate ice cream! This recipe for Salted Caramel Ice Cream is adapted from my favorite ice cream book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. My ice cream maker of choice is this one. The base is made without eggs, but uses cream cheese for flavor and texture. Making the caramel takes close attention; read…

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Dutch Apple Pie with Rosewater

Dutch apple pie on a cooling rack, Maureen Abood

A very favorite way with apple pie: dutch apple pie with rosewater. The nutty crumb topping and a combo of apples make a perfectly balanced pie. I know why you don’t make this. That’s what my sister said when we had just put the finishing touches on a fresh fruit trifle this summer. It’s too…

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Keep moving forward. Plus Watermelon Labneh Bites.

Watermelon bites with labneh and cucumber on a plate, sourrounded by watermelon and a green-trimmed towel, Maureen abood

The watermelon and labneh together with the cucumber in these watermelon labneh bites make a super-pleasurable tidbit, and practically guilt-free! The enterprise of moving—the packing, the unpacking, the where-to-put-it-all—has taken up a good amount of space in my brain the last several years. I just counted out on my fingers (because that somehow makes it…

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Back on the porch, and our wedding

Summers on the porch here on Main Street have always brought visitors by. From the start, my dad would wave them on up to join him on the white wicker chairs for a visit. Before they could hit the top step, he was turning to his daughters to bring out glasses of iced lemonade for…

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