Happy Valentine’s Day

St. Paul said it right in a letter to his friends: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” Do you have sweet Valentine memories? Mine include little boxes that my father placed on the dining room table for his three Valentines, who he always remembered on…

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Strawberry Rose Valentine Dream

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a dear friend who taught me a lot about enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Cindy comes from a long line of simple-pleasure-seekers, people of the land who had an apple orchard downstate and who have property that they call “the woods,” just to hike and camp there and…

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Favorite Things: Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop

Growing up in Lansing, Michigan may not have provided gustatory excellence where restaurants were concerned, but when it came to ice cream, that town has always served it up. Barn Hills, where every kid wanted to have a birthday party, had a candy counter that rivaled its ice cream. The showstoppers were huge jawbreakers in…

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Pita Crisps with Labne & Za’atar

You’d think I’d have appetizers on the brain like all of the other food writers because of the Super Bowl this weekend. While what we’re making certainly qualifies as game-day delicious, I’m thinking of them for other reasons entirely. Instead, I’ve got wedding on the brain. Brother Tom and the lovely Amara will marry this…

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Ingredient: Pita Bread

I don’t know that I have adequately stressed one critical essential to the Lebanese style of eating: whether it’s kibbeh, tabbouleh, hummus or just olives and labne on your plate, the thin, soft piece of bread in hand to scoop up your bite is just as important to making the party in your mouth as…

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Taking stock (chicken, that is)

When I stepped through the doors of Tante Marie’s Cooking School to begin the full-time culinary program in the fall of 2010, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first order of business was to suit up. That meant changing from street clothes into black and white checkered pants, white chef’s coat, white apron, and…

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Lebanese Café Blanc with Honey. Plus snack.

The root cause may be stress, a.k.a. my personality, or my genetic cocktail, or a combination of the two, but the bottom line is: my constitution can be, well, sensitive. Took me a while to figure out that a change in diet can do a body good, and once I got on board with that,…

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Ingredient: Honey

It’s not so much that we use honey all of the time in our Lebanese cuisine. It’s that I have had this friendly feeling for honey that began with my affection for Winnie the Pooh when I was very small, a feeling that has surpassed friendly and become so strong that I can now say…

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Technique: Baking basics

I’m reminded all of the time how important the little things are in life. Last week at a funeral, I observed the loving touch of the family who lost their mother and grandmother, husbands gently rubbing their wives’ shoulders and wives rubbing their childrens’ shoulders in turn. It was like watching the sign-language of love.…

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