Almond Graybeh

Almond graybeh on a sheet pan

Almond graybeh is a classic Lebanese butter cookie that is delicate, light, and pure white. Almond graybeh is baked especially for Easter and Christmas. The recipe makes so many cookies (4 dozen!) that it’s perfect for weddings, graduation parties, or anytime you want lots of incredibly delicious cookies to share. I’ve always been a huge…

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Drinks with Mulberry and Rose Syrups

Lebanese Mulberry Syrup spritzer over ice in a beautiful glass, by Maureen Abood

Mulberry and Rose syrups are a part of the Lebanese syrup tradition, and boy do they make delicious sips! Syrups dissolve readily in any liquid, making them the perfect way to bring big flavor to your glass. My sister has pointed out to me, more than once, that I have not shared enough beverages, adult…

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Brioche Star with Strawberry Rose Jam

Baked brioche star with strawberry rose jam, Maureen Abood

This gorgeous brioche star with strawberry rose jam is scented with orange zest. A beautiful and delicious way to wake up on a holiday morning. Make the dough for the brioche star up to two days before you want to shape and bake the bread, keeping it chilled in the refrigerator. Also see my Christmas…

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Nut-Free Baklawa

Nut-free baklawa in a pan, Maureen Abood

Your nut-free baklawa recipe is here! A combination of seeds make a filling that competes handily with traditional nut fillings, so anyone with nut allergies or simply avoiding nuts can enjoy this buttery, crisp, fragrant pastry. All of the tips for making traditional baklawa with nuts can be used with this recipe (except…the nuts!). Read…

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Cranberry Sauce with Rose Water & Pistachios

Cranberry sauce with rose water, MaureenAbood.com

Cranberry sauce is such a natural with rose water, which brings out the cran-flavor and balances the sweet-tart beautifully. Be sure to use the rose water with restraint! We had a trial-run of Thanksgiving dinner recently, making good on what we say every year on Thanksgiving—which is: why don’t we eat this delicious meal more…

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts

Roasted brussels sprouts with red onion, toasted hazelnuts, and mulberry syrup, MaureenAbood.com

Roasted Brussels sprouts with mulberry syrup and toasted nuts are a knockout on your holiday menu. Use any toasted nut you like. I love roasted, salted hazelnuts, a great balance with the tangy fruitiness of the mulberry syrup (or pomegranate molasses). I find it shocking when I hear, usually from one of the nieces or…

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Mom’s Special Lebanese Rice

Lebanese rice with pine nuts and mushrooms in a blue bowl

Lebanese rice is such an essential part of our table that I’m sheepish that I haven’t shared it here before…. My mom’s version is so special and delicious that it’s as at home on your weeknight menu as it is the holiday table. The attributes my mom has passed on to me are legion. Among…

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Lebanese Eggplant Boats, another Sheik al Mehsheh

Lebanese eggplant boats in tomato sauce topped with cheese and pine nuts, in a white casserole, Maureen Abood

Lebanese eggplant boats are the traditional way to make Sheik al mehsheh, a meal “fit for a king”! Serve the eggplant over a bed of cinnamon-scented rice with a crisp, lemony romaine salad on the side. This dish is easily made ahead, as well as casserole-style. For some reason, our Lebanese eggplant, or Sheik al…

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Ka’ik Biscuit Cookies

Ka'ik Anise Biscuits, MaureenAbood.com

There are many different versions of Lebanese ka’ik. These biscotti-like crunchy Ka’ik Biscuit Cookies are flavored with anise, rose water and turmeric. There’s a great divide here, as I’m sure there must be where you are, over the flavor of black licorice. This is anise, a flavor that brings intense joy to the face and…

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Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Pine Nuts

Satueed spinach with pine nuts, MaureenAbood.com

Whether I’m baking the baklawa, or browning the butter, or toasting the nuts, the question is always there. That question: how dark should the baklawa/butter/nuts be? Actually, this isn’t my question at all. It’s the question of those around me. (Dan.) For me, Deep Golden Brown (DGB) is a given. It’s a fundamental need that…

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