Strawberry Cake with Whipped Cream

Strawberry Cake with Whipped Cream on a cake stand

A 4th of July treasure! For the Strawberry Cake with Whipped Cream, white cake is topped with fresh strawberry puree, then frosted with stabilized whipped cream. Gelatin is the key for the puree and the cream. I’ll get it out there right now: this was supposed to be a post about a strawberry marble cake.…

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Crunchy Cucumber Salad

Crunchy Cucumber Salad is made creamy–yet still healthy–with labneh, and the cukes hold their crunch with a quick drain after they are sliced. I consider this crunchy, creamy salad one of the greatest in my summer repertoire for three reasons: I always have cucumbers, labneh, and herbs. A creamy (yet healthy) salad that can be…

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Garlicky Sumac Shrimp Grill

Garlicky Sumac Shrimp skewers on a blue plate

Garlicky Sumac Shrimp Grill is ON for summer dinners alfresco. Everything about this gluten-free recipe is quick: a fast 30-minute marinade, and just 6 minutes on the grill will get you an incredibly delicious, healthy, party-worthy dish. “Nothing says a party like shrimp!” That’s my brother Tom’s line, circa a good many years ago, in…

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Rhubarb Pistachio Tart

Rhubarb tart with pistachios on a sheet pan

A simple—gorgeous and delicious—Rhubarb Pistachio Tart using frozen puff pastry, a few stalks of rhubarb, and bright green ground pistachio. The recipe goes easily vegan by leaving out the labneh and egg (and being sure to purchase oil-based puff pastry). Lily of the Valley. Pink Peony. Rhubarb. These first flavors of late spring are the…

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Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Skewers with red onion on a sheet pan

Grilled chicken shawarma is the perfect recipe for summer cookouts: easy, healthy, and incredibly flavorful. You’ll put this one on repeat performance all season long. Steak. Shish Kebab. BBQ Chicken. Steak. Shish Kebab. BBQ Chicken. It’s a kind of grilling rut I’ve noticed in recent summers. Granted, this is a “rut” of delicious dinners, but…

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Koosa Core Saute

Sauteed squash cores in a little bowl

What to do with koosa cores, the centers of summer squash scraped out when you maked stuffed koosa? There are a few great ways to put the cores to use; my favorite is a quick koosa core saute over high heat, with plenty of aromatics for flavor. It’s like winning a little victory in the…

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Fresh Mint Slushie

Fresh Mint Slushie with fresh mint and cucumbers on the counter

This fresh mint slushie, given some body with a hit of cucumber, is great with or without alcohol (bourbon, vodka, gin, arak or ouzo–any of these are great). Serve the mint slushie for a twist on the mint julep for the Kentucky Derby, and then all summer long for a fabulous barbecue party drink. Admittedly,…

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Pistachio Baklawa Nests

Pistachio baklava nests on a sheet pan

Pistachio Baklawa Nests are light, crisp little phyllo nests drenched in orange blossom syrup. The nests are shaped using a narrow dowel, rolled with lightly buttered phyllo, and topped with orange blossom syrup and raw ground pistachios. Find the pistachios orange blossom water here, at I took the first one in two bites. The…

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Pastel Dipped Shortbread (Graybeh)

Shortbread dipped in white chocolate flavored with freeze dried fruit

Pastel dipped shortbread are melt-away Lebanese butter cookies, dressed up in a dip of white chocolate, naturally flavored and colored with freeze-dried fruit–blueberry for lavender and strawberry for pink. Try my other graybeh recipes: orange blossom-lavendar graybeh, classic graybeh, and almond graybeh. Find orange blossom water here. I’ve been searching for a whole lotta years…

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Tips for a Better Lebanese Ka’ik Recipe

Lebanese Easter Ka'ik with glaze on a rack

Tips for baking better Lebanese Ka’ik, a traditional yeasted Easter bread/cookie that is soft, flavorful, and sweet. For the beautiful molds made of solid walnut, and the Mymoune Rose Water, visit I’ve shared with you before some of the confounding aspects of our beloved Lebanese ka’ik. I have asked (and continue to ask): is…

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