Lebanese cooking class with ME at The Kitchen Conservatory!

Join me on March 26th for my first cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory! We will be cooking all things Lebanese. We will be making laban, shish barak over rice , fatoush, hummus  b’thini and baklava! For more information click HERE!

Rendering beef fat to soothe the sad heart

If you follow me on Twitter, you most likely are aware that my Grandmother died on Christmas Eve. She was 100 years old and the most magnificent woman in the world. And that is not an exaggeration. She was truly amazing. She was the first person I remember telling me how important it was to get an education and engage in a fulfilling career. She was the person who taught me to cook, taught me to pray and taught me to be proud of my Lebanese heritage. She taught me to be progressive, never stagnant. Despite her age, she never rested on her laurels. Always moving with the times, trying new thing and embracing change….all the while holding on to her faith, heritage and traditions passed down from her parents. She was the youngest of four sisters, daughter of Lebanese immigrants and a pioneer in this city. She and two of her sisters owned and operated a restaurant and tavern in North St. Louis at a time where not only women didn’t own business but rarely worked and had just earned the right to vote. She was generous and philanthropic, continually giving to charities close to her heart such as St. Jude’s Hospital and American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities. She was a devout Maronite Catholic and a champion for her parish, St. Raymond’s Church. But above all, she was most proud of her family and harbored a love for us that saw no end. It was a love that I will cherish until the day I die…and one that I hope to shower upon my children and grandchildren someday. Continue reading

Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

I am so making this tonight and giving it to the kids before they go to bed (wink).

Seriously….This is going in the ice cream maker tonight. I cannot wait.


Courtesy of one of my favorite ice cream books: Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. I love beer…and ice cream. I am going to eat this ice cream while drinking beer….I might even make a float. There is also a recipe for Guinness Cupcakes as well….STEPH!!!

American Artisanal


We have a growing hunger to know where our food comes from. Organics is booming, and the number of farmers markets has doubled in the past ten years. In our increasingly corporatized world, we are looking to get back in touch with the land. American Artisanal feeds this hunger as no book has before.The book celebrates twenty-five of America’s leading food artisans˜from Wood Prairie Farms potatoes in Maine to Leavins Seafood in Florida, from Reed’s Ginger Brew in California to Earthy Delights mushrooms in Michigan. These producers return to the basics of sustainable, small-scale, and just plain high quality-control food. Woven throughout each chapter is the engaging history behind our foods—their natural origins and long journeys to cultivation. Each chapter concludes with recipes, and ordering information is provided so you can enjoy these culinary delights at home.

I pre-ordered this on Amazon this week. I am so very excited to get my hands on this little gem. I already have devoured the Atlas of Artisanal American Cheese…this will just put fuel to the fire!

So what if I picked my bones clean at Niche the other night…

…..the lamb was the most delicious I had EVER had in a local restaurant….I wanted every morsel of it….and we were seated at the table in the back. Strangely, I didn’t even order the lamb…I plucked it from Simon’s plate. I doubt if anyone saw….well, except for the kitchen staff who thought it was awesome that I didn’t a hoot about what I looked like…those bones were bare when I got done with them!!


“You don’t collect and cook recipes, or compile dining experiences like a butterfly collector,” taunts Anthony Bourdain in the introduction to his new book, Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. “You must enjoy what you’re doing. If there is any real sin in the culinary universe, it is the sin of snobbery. If you’re afraid of a little grease on your chin, of eating with your hands, are squeamish about bones, fish heads, guts, are ambivalent about garlic, are too precious with your food, then buy another cookbook.”

10 January 2007

I have just concluded my first reading of ‘My Life in France’. I am suprised by my feelings of sadness. I have always seen Julia Child as one of the founding fathers of cooking shows, but had no idea what her life entailed. I was unaware of the fact that she was 37 years of age when she began her cooking instruction at Le Cordon Blue, Paris. 37 years old! That is wonderful! I’m just 30….there is hope for me yet! Oh my stars! But the sadness is there….sad that there will be no more auto-biographies. I could read, read, read and read stories about her life. She was an amazing woman. How lucky her nephew was to have her.

Sidenote: I have just purchased Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vols. 1 & 2. I am going to start on page one and not stop until I am finished. Unlike the Julia/Julie project…I will not post my experiement. I will keep you all abreast of how it’s going…but only when it turns out edible.

My obsession with France continues. Next on my nightstand: The French Menu Cookbook by Richard Olney. Makes me want to call in sick to work.