Homemade Apricot-Lime Fruit Leather

If it still to this day surprises me, it’s got to be surprising to you too: Fruit leather is so Lebanese. I was eating fruit leather long before I’d ever heard that term, and even before we were buying fruit roll-ups at Schmidt’s on Lansing’s west side way back when. The original Lebanese version of…

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Vegetarian Grape Leaves (gluten-free and vegan too…)

Vegetarian Grapeleaves, MaureenAbood.com

Vegetarian grape leaves are stuffed with a delicious mix of rice, onion, chickpeas, and peppers. Simple adjustments make this gluten-free, and vegan. See how to roll grapeleaves here. Learn how to identify the leaves for picking them fresh here. Hello, cousin. That’s just how we say it, the Lebanese. It’s our expression of closeness to…

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How to identify, clean, and store fresh grape leaves

Grape leaves on the vine

[…watch my video on how to roll grapeleaves HERE!…] One of the first, and favorite, things I ever wrote about food was a poem about picking grape leaves. There is, it seems, poetry to be found in the memory of being a child following the ladies out to the edge of a parking lot somewhere…

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White Asparagus with Pistachio Oil & Lemon

When the weather was frigid this past winter, all I could think of was the thick, dark drinking chocolate I drank when I traveled in Spain years ago. But now that it’s spring, and winter is trying (not hard enough) to take her leave, my mind is inspired by another of the Spanish delights I…

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Candied Kumquats Recipe (over ice cream)

It was the word “sheriff” that got him. As in, I hope I don’t get arrested by the sheriff doing this. Call it a cheap trick, but when a kid has his head in the iPad and is so mesmerized he doesn’t noticed that he’s not in Michigan in the middle of winter anymore, that…

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French Lentils with Dijon

The Lebanese, we love our lentils. There is mujadara. There is lentil soup. In some instances (never my own) there are pureed lentils and onions that call themselves mujadara. That about sums up our lentil repertoire, at least from my family kitchen standpoint. And let’s face it, lentils need some help, some gentle prodding, to…

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Tahini and Pine Nuts

In a small village in the northern mountains of Lebanon some 60 years ago, a young girl made her father’s dinner for the first time. Her dish of choice was mujadara, and the caramelized onion and lentils did just what she’d hoped: they won her father’s praise. Nothing like a father’s adoration to get a…

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