Strawberry Rose Cheesecake Recipe, with labneh

I was on the hunt for strawberries for all kinds of reasons. Number one: the presence of strawberries at the farmer’s market Up North would mean that the soil, the air, the sun and sky were, at long long last, generous enough to give us a taste of summer. Secondly, last Friday was the first…

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Michigan’s Smoked Whitefish Dip Recipe

Everyone has their own. It’s like Lebanese seven-spice mix: which seven depends on who is doing the mixing, but the mix is happening, everywhere you go there. And for the record, it’s not always seven. I grew up on three (salt+pepper+cinnamon). Here in Michigan, where whitefish dinners reign supreme (and lunches too–I ate the finest…

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Melon with Fresh Mint Syrup, a thank-you note

Ripe honeydew melon with a cup of fresh mint syrup and lemon wedges, on a white plate, Maureen

Melon with fresh mint syrup makes a beautiful and delicious morning! The fresh mint syrup is a simple way to make your melon special. Add lemon or lime wedges for that all-important squeeze of tartness. My parents were always big proponents of the thank-you note. My dad would say you don’t need fancy stationery; his…

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Basil Zucchini Soup

Basil Zucchini soup in a blue and white bowl

Basil zucchini soup is a favorite all year. Yes, we go off-seasonal on this one–so delicious and cheerful, a beautiful soup perfect for casual weeknight meals or elegant company dinners. I get the chance to get to know some of you through your comments and emails, and sometimes when I run into you in person.…

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

Quinoia tabbouleh with mint, onion, tomato, and parsley on a white platter,

I’ve been so offended by so many tabboulehs over the years, that I must be the de facto tabbouleh police by now. I know you know what I’m talking about: those grain-heavy salads that offer a fleck of parsley here, a precious leaf of mint there. Is it laziness that has prompted the phenomenon? It…

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Homemade Power Bars Recipe: Apricot Almond

Power bars, energy bars, call them what you will: they’ve long been a fixture in my gym bag, my handbag, or any bag toting my essentials. I considered them essentials primarily because round about 4 p.m., just before an evening run or workout, I’d be crashing hungry from not having eaten an adequate breakfast (or…

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Lebanese-inspired, protein-rich breakfasts

I’ve waxed, and then waned, on the subject of breakfast more than once here (like this), and a lot more than once over the course of…well, a lifetime. Breakfast has ruled me the way the croissant dough wants to rule the rolling pin. At a certain point you have to shake the big pin in…

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Triple-Layer Coconut Cake Recipe

Triple layer coconut cake slice with a fork

I’ve had cake on the brain lately. Maybe that’s because I’ve been trying not to eat cake, and so all I can think about is eating cake. But also, around here it’s cake season (to everything there is a season). There are First Communions in spring, which my grandmother Alice Abowd always graced with her…

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Za’atar Croissant Recipe, a worthy project

The first morning of my first visit to Lebanon, two years ago now!, a beautiful platter of pastries was presented at our table for breakfast. I wasn’t surprised to see French pastry in Lebanon—because the country was a French protectorate for so many years, French culture and language are part of who we are. And…

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