Apple Chips, and an aunt learns how to field trip

I had just driven downstate from Up North, and my nephew came in the door from school. I started pinging him with my usual questions, had it been a music day or phys ed, Spanish or library? Any field trips coming up? Yes, tomorrow! he said. The apple orchard! I launched into how I’d just…

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Blackberry Lavender Sugar Buns

Quiet is here. There recently were days, weeks really, of constant motion, our early July tradition in Harbor Springs. Everyone in the family comes for a long, but short, gathering that we take pleasure in knowing is there for us all year long. And then you hit this week, the week after, and it can’t…

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Kishk Soup with Garlic

Kishk Soup with green herbs

There were so many striking things about the day I ate kishk for the first time. As I mentioned, kishk is not something I’d ever heard of, let alone eaten, until recently. I tasted a steaming bowlful after a winter morning’s baking lesson in Lebanese flatbread last year; my teacher, Naemi, walked us up the…

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Ruby Red Grapefruit-St. Germain Mimosa

By now it’s crystal clear that St. Germain tastes good with just about anything you can think of to pair it with. If you ask my brothers, it’s even better on its own, on the rocks, when late evening comes and something more is called for. The affinity we all have over here for St.…

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Double Chocolate Cake with Fluffy Pink Icing

Chocolate cake with meringue icing

This double chocolate cake is a beautiful occasion cake, just like one my mother made for my birthdays growing up. The fluffy pink icing is Italian Meringue and should be made the day the cake is served. Given that my birthday falls near Valentine’s Day, I am into a layer cake for a Valentine dessert.…

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A Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu

I like to go out on Valentine’s Day for dinner about as much as I like to stay out all night on New Year’s Eve. You’ve got double the number of tables in the house, and “Prix Fixe,” overpriced, molten-chocolate-blah menus churned out one after another, along with the embarrassing sense you are a cliché…

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Thick Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon, a quiet triumph

Thick hot chocolate,

There are certain things we have eaten in their very finest forms that stay with us, that won’t leave us alone until we eat them again. My list of such finery does not include chicken wings, devotees of which seem to be abounding this week in preparation for the Super Bowl. I admit that I…

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Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies with Royal Icing

Chocolate cut out cookies on a plate

I had never really imagined a Christmas cut-out cookie in chocolate until last year at this time, when Cindy gave me a little bag of them. Instead of saving the cookies and taking them home to share, I ate every last deep-dark one while we chatted over a cup of tea. They were almost as…

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Date-Crisp Balls

Date-Crisp Balls, Maureen Abood

Date-Crisp Balls are simple to make, on the stove top with no baking, and the dates impart a luscious caramel flavor. And a bonus: they’re gluten-free! Is this a cookie? Or a candy? How about simply: a treat. An incredibly good treat that comes down to us from my grandmother, Alice Abowd (wife of Richard,…

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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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