Cooking Halal 101 by Yvonne Maffei

Chocolate 101

Last year I had the great pleasure of meeting Chicago-based chocolatier, Uzma Sharif, and tasting her truly exotic and unique chocolates.  She describes herself as "carrying on a tradition that began with her grandfather’s career as a renowned pastry chef in...
One Saturday morning last month I conducted a cooking class for the winners of an auction at the Stars for Hope event back in January of this year. The auction item they bid for and won was a basket...
I've wanted to come to this restaurant ever since I first heard of its opening a while ago. It's local (to me) here in Chicago and now considered a gem of a restaurant in our city. An addtiion to...
'Eid Mubarak to all of you and your families! What are you doing to celebrate 'Eid? What have you given as gifts to your family, friends and neighbors? What have you eaten and shared with those you love?  I...
I had the great fortune of being able to do a little baking for a local school bazaar this past weekend. Teachers were raising money to fund the children's Hajj re-enactment program where the kids learn how to properly...
This week I've been testing recipes for good old-fashioned (halal) southern food. It's a fun and tasty job, but not always so easy. This cake, for example, was almost eaten up entirely before a single photo was taken! I devoured the cookbook, Screen...
One of the first pages I opened in the book Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, written by Dorie Greenspan, was a recipe for Hot Chocolate with Coffee. On a cold early morning when you need caffeine, but also realize...
Several weeks ago I took a chocolate tasting class taught by my friend, chocolatier and author, Annmarie Kostyk. I didn't really know what to expect exactly, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I actually learned about...
Yes! Chocolate is very healthy, according to author Annmarie Kostyk who recently published a book to that same end. The information below comes from a recent press release about Chocolate is Healthy!, a book I'm very excited to get a...

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