My Mom’s Chocolate Buttercream (for brownies)

Chocolate buttercream swirls over brownies.

The simplest, smoothest, most luscious chocolate buttercream you can make or eat is here. Thank you Mom!  My mother is famous for many dishes, for every Lebanese delight from her lemony salad to her eggplant, Sheik al Mehsheh. She is also an expert maker of chocolate buttercream. She uses it to thickly coat a pan…

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Valentine’s Day Recipes. Very sweet.

I’m thinking my inherent tic against all things cliché is owing to having been a lit major, a lit junkie programmed to ruthlessly weed those bad boys out of my writing. Perhaps it started there, but then it creeped into to pretty much every other aspect of life, from spoken word to interior design: no…

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Pie, Tart, and Galette recipes for Thanksgiving

Stack of favorite pie plates, Maureen Abood

  I’ve always enjoyed the menu daydream, wherein I allow myself to gaze away from the computer for a moment and construct a luscious meal, soup to nuts. In my Chicago office, that took place out the 8th floor window looking north across Monroe Street. Now, thanks God, the view is out the kitchen window…

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Dark Chocolate Cake, with Raspberry Rose Cream

This dark chocolate cake is not a typical cake texture—it is fudgy, extremely moist, and brownie-like around the edges. A spoonful of raspberry rose whipped cream on top is luscious. The cake and cream pull together swiftly and ahead of time, and please pretty much everyone who ever comes to your table. The other night…

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Recipes for your (full) holiday cookie plate

  Here’s what goes on in our house right about this time every year: the holiday china and its accessory pieces appear, as do the pretty paper plates for giving some of the bounty away. A plate or two are filled with cookies and candies, and refilled so that the plates are full at all times.…

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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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Favorite Things: A smaller, taller cake pan

While few things say a party, or a birthday, like a layer cake, the ones we always made at home came out on the short and stocky side. I thought the issue was that the cake just didn’t rise like it should have while it baked, but that’s not really it. Cake recipes, and boxed…

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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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Favorite Things: Little Cups

First off, hello and welcome to those of you who are new to Rose Water & Orange Blossoms. I welcome you, we all welcome you! If you were here in my kitchen on Main Street today, up north in Michigan, I would welcome you with something warm to drink. You would not say no, you…

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