As a mom of three growing boys, I want to make sure my family is getting the right nutrients and trying new foods. But in this busy house we have to take a practical approach. Here you will find a mix of seasonal recipes, with the trials of a busy cook who has a desire to work from scratch whenever possible, but knows a short cut or two makes life a little more manageable. A Cedar Spoon is the result of the passions in my life; great food from great ingredients, a worldly curiosity from my various travels, and the inspiration of my Mom and our Mediterranean roots. Welcome to A Cedar Spoon, I hope you enjoy this little corner, that it helps you get to the table sooner and feel good about what you are eating.
Not sure where to start? Head over to my recipe index to browse through my collection of recipes. Got the travel bug? Stop over to my travel section and add a few more destinations to your travel itinerary. Or spend some time on my This & That page learning How to Make Almond Butter, Peanut Butter or Granola or explore my round-ups of great recipes from around the web including 60 Delicious Salad Recipes and 40 Smoothie Recipes.
How this blog came to be…
Lets rewind back to my childhood. I am half German and half Lebanese. In my opinion those couldn’t be more different places and cuisines. I am proud of both sides of my ancestry, but in terms of food, I am definitely drawn to the Lebanese cuisine. I grew up with a love for hummus before mainstream Americans knew what it was.
Our family get togethers center around a meal. We are there for the company and to spend quality time together, but that is almost always done around a table of food. My favorite thing about food is that it has a way of drawing us together, and creates a commonality between even the most different of people.
From childhood to adulthood, food and cooking has been my passion. My Mom is a nutritionist by trade and one of the best cooks I know. She tries to always cook from scratch as much as possible and taught me to pay attention to the ingredients in the foods I eat. I credit almost everything I know in the kitchen to my Mom and Grandma. Nothing beats a bowl of my Mom’s hummus or a spoonful of my Grandma’s tabbouleh.
Cooking follows me into every stage of my life. When I started working as grant writer at a nonprofit in Chicago, I met my friend Jess, who now writes the blog Stuck On Sweet. Jess and I would sit over our lunch break and read food blogs. She opened my eyes up to the world of food blogs and I credit her with pushing me to actually start a food blog myself. I remember when we were both ready to push the publish button on our first blog post, feeling scared and excited…the rest is history!
Want more? Here are a few random facts…
- I have called Kalamazoo, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Maine and Cleveland, Ohio home.
- I went to college surrounded by corn fields and loved every second of it. Go Illini!
- My blog name stems from my desire to one day visit Lebanon and see the Cedars of Lebanon.
- I am addicted to Mad Men and Downton Abbey.
- In Chicago I lived with Mike in a studio apartment for two years and a tiny two bedroom house with two kids. I know how to maximize small spaces and sure do appreciate the space I have now!
- In college I minored in Spanish and studied abroad in Costa Rica and Spain. I caught the travel but big time from my time in those countries.
- Chicago will always have a piece of my heart. I lived there for over ten years and miss the great food scene.
- Soup is my thing. Yes, even when it is 90 degrees out.
- Nothing makes me happier then a trip to the farmers market. I wish I lived in a climate that allowed me to go to them year round.
- Mike and I took a whirlwind trip to Europe before having our second son and I fell in love with Switzerland. If I were to recommend one place to visit, Switzerland is it.
- I am outnumbered in my house. I can never seem to drink enough coffee to keep up.
- I was a gymnast through high school. At one point in my life I was flexible enough to do crazy flips around a gym floor. Now I enjoy watching from the sidelines. 🙂
- Some of my favorite foods include grapefruit, cranberries, lemons and olives.
- The beach is my favorite place to relax.
- Yoga is my go-to way to de-stress.
- Red wine and a really good cheese are my weakness.
- I am addicted to Thai food. The spicier, the better.
- Traverse City, Michigan is now a yearly destination for my family. If you live in Midwest you need to check it out for the food, wine, scenery and sunsets.
- Mike convinced me to run the Chicago marathon before we got married. I went from running 3 miles at the most to running 26.2 miles. If I can do it, anyone can!
- I love going to see a good live concert. The two best concerts I have seen are Ben Harper and Ray LaMontagne.
- Nothing beats a good campfire in the summer with friends and a cold beer.
- Keep the giant pretzels away from me. In Germany I ate my weight in pretzels.
- Motherhood has been so rewarding, scary, exciting. It gives me more pleasure and rewards then any other job I could have.
- One of my favorite days ever was when Mike and I spent the day touring wineries in Tuscany, eating olives and crusty bread and getting to sample aged balsamics.
Questions, comments or recipe ideas? I would love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can connect with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google + and follow my behind the scenes, sneak peaks and family photos on Instagram.
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