Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives. And smiles.

Chicken with lemon and olives in a copper baking dish

Braised chicken with lemon and olives is so flexible and fabulous that you can serve the dish on a quiet weeknight, or with fanfare to guests. I had spent the afternoon with Sitto, my grandmother, running errands. Grocery store, drug store, the mall for hosiery. When we landed back at her cozy little apartment, we…

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A Mother’s Day Menu, Lebanese-Style

Grapefruit Mimosa, MaureenAbood.com

Along the book promo trail, someone said to me recently that it’s as though I’ve given birth to my own baby, my book. It’s kind of embarrassing to say it does feel a little that way. A little, it does. I suppose this is true of artists and their creative endeavors. We gestate, we make…

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Cucumber Bites with Labneh and Olives

Cucumber bites with Labneh and Olives, MaureenAbood.com

When Oscar time rolled around back when I was living in Chicago, I took it as a great excuse to eat a bunch of rich food and drink wine, while lounging in sweats, with my favorite pals. I always pulled out the stops not with Lebanese recipes, but what I considered Oscar-worthy guacamole. I like…

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A (simple) New Year’s Menu, and a resolution

Is it just me, or is anyone else kind of worn out right about now? No really good reason for my frayed edges, since the power outage here in Michigan that has kept a lot of families in the cold didn’t, gratefully, hit home. All is well, everyone is well (when they’re not always, you…

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A Father’s Day Cookout Menu, Lebanese-Style

    The weather up north has not been ideal for cooking out, but it’ll do. Considering that I’d cook out in the dead of winter if a path is shoveled (by someone else) to the grill, a little early summer chill isn’t going to stop me. Neither is a Father’s Day without a father.…

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A visit to an olive ranch, and tasting Sonoma County

It was a misty morning, but the big, billowing clouds just made the Sonoma landscape that much more beautiful and moody. Thankfully, living up north in Michigan for the last couple of years have trained me from my city-style inclinations just enough to know to wear boots when headed to an olive ranch on a…

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Two Sisters August Menu

I lived in Chicago with my sissie for a lot of years. And during those years, we cooked a lot of meals for a lot of friends. Don’t get me wrong–there was plenty of eating out. Nothing like single girls with discretionary income to make seeking out and experiencing Chicago’s restaurants a fine obsession. Those…

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Lebanese Olive Salad, and Our Town

I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that olive bars in the supermarket are as typical now as the salad bar once was. The IGA here in Harbor Springs has a great little olive bar that I perused closely the other night. It was a Friday evening, not many people out getting groceries up here…

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Technique: How to pit an olive

I used to try to pit firm olives with a cherry-pitting tool, until I learned a better way in culinary school that makes for a simple, and downright satisfying, process (and it’s the same one used to loosen the skin from a clove of garlic): Rest the olive on a cutting board. Lay a chef’s…

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Ingredient: Olives

One thing I love about being in the first year of this blog is that we get to cover so many essentials of the Lebanese way of eating. Olives rank right up there with flatbread and labne when it comes to staples in the fridge and on the table. Or on the kitchen counter, since…

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