Olive Oil Baklawa with Pistachios

Pistachio baklawa made with olive oil, cut in pieces in the pan

Olive oil baklawa is a fabulous alternative to classic baklawa, or baklava — the Mediterranean pastry traditionally drenched in butter and flower water syrup. How exciting to have a vegan baklawa (vegan baklava) option that tastes so very good! I won’t say that olive oil baklawa tastes exactly the same as if you’ve made your…

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Burnt Sugar Apricots with Labneh, and a must-have book

Broiled Apricots with Labneh, MaureenAbood.com

I’ve written a bit here about the Lebanese love of all things apricot (do you a-pricot or ay-pricot?), and I do wait with baited breath every year for these precious darlings to show their faces. Which is why I’m surprised I never thought of this special, light-touch treatment of them: halve, sprinkle with a pinch…

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Nougat with Pistachios and Dried Cherries (low-fat, chewy goodness)

Perhaps it was growing up in Michigan, where billowy, tall drifts of snow surrounded us for several months of the year, that began my intense quest for white, glossy, marshmallow-esque sweets. Perhaps it was the cookbook that shaped so much of my childhood kitchen adventures—the Betty Crocker book, candy and cakes chapters in particular—that at…

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Citrus Salad Recipe, and a new Middle Eastern cookbook

  Holiday gatherings of our family have always included my mom’s special touches at breakfast. Her favorite of all the citrus fruits is grapefruit, and she painstakingly segments pink grapefruit after pink grapefruit to yield her big bowl of glistening fruit to make our breakfast table a celebration. Only someone (Mom. Me. Peg. If any…

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Lebanese Knafeh Jibneh with Orange Blossom Syrup

Knafeh on a plate with pistachios

One of the greatest of all Lebanese pastries is knafeh jibneh with orange blossom syrup. Knafeh is shredded phyllo dough (find it in Middle Eastern markets) which is filled here with a wonderful cheese blend for a melty, salty-sweet (mostly sweet . . . ) pastry. The Lebanese eat knafeh traditionally for breakfast in a…

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White Asparagus with Pistachio Oil & Lemon

When the weather was frigid this past winter, all I could think of was the thick, dark drinking chocolate I drank when I traveled in Spain years ago. But now that it’s spring, and winter is trying (not hard enough) to take her leave, my mind is inspired by another of the Spanish delights I…

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Lebanese Café Blanc with Honey. Plus snack.

The root cause may be stress, a.k.a. my personality, or my genetic cocktail, or a combination of the two, but the bottom line is: my constitution can be, well, sensitive. Took me a while to figure out that a change in diet can do a body good, and once I got on board with that,…

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