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Meet Our Newest Tastemaker: Maureen Abood

14 Feb

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest Tastemaker, Maureen Abood. Maureen is an award-winning blogger and author of the award-winning cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen. Her recipes, stories, and products have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, Saveur, Food & Wine, among many others.  We fell in love with not only her recipes, but her eye for details.

We asked Maureen to share one of her favorite recipes and she was quick to suggest her popular lebanese fattoush salad.

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

LEBANESE FATTOUSH SALAD

The recipe is printed with permission from Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh and Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen (Running Press 2015)

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 20 MINUTES
SERVINGS: 8
RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD

I could eat this salad every single day and still want more! See how it’s done in my video, right here! Get the Fattoush Kit for the vinaigrette here! Find the recipe for the pita chips here. You can add cucumbers and any other vegetables you have on hand to this salad. The more the merrier!

Print

INGREDIENTS

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. For the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk the lemon, pomegranate molasses, garlic, salt, 1 teaspoon of the Garlic Mint Salt, 1 teaspoon of the sumac, and olive oil until it is thoroughly combined.
  2. In your big salad bowl, combine the romaine, tomatoes, onion, radishes, and pita chips. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette, tossing it to evenly coat everything. Dust the fattoush with the remaining Garlic Mint Salt and sumac, fresh mint, and serve immediately.

Photo credit: Maureen Abood

You can find all of her recipes in her award-winning cookbook, Rose Water & Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen.

While Maureen is known for her cooking, we also think she has excellent taste in details.  As our Tastemaker, she has chosen classic, elegant personalized items that reflect her sense of style.  You can see all of her Tastemaker picks on our site and let them inspire you to create your own.

“I love to treat myself to personalized stationery every year for my birthday in February. The fun is spending some time selecting the style, fonts, paper and the ink colors, and then the little surprise when I receive them of how beautifully they turned out. This year I designed a heavy-weight letterpress flat card with a contrasting lined, addressed envelope. One of my favorite color combinations is green and blue, so when the set I ordered arrived in such happy colors with the artisan beauty of the letterpress and substantial weight of the card in hand . . . well, I can’t decide what’s better: getting to be the one to write on these stunning cards, or being a recipient of such a beautiful piece of stationery. It will be a pleasure to write my birthday thank-you notes, and the many lovely sentiments my people deserve in the year ahead.” ~ Maureen

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little about Maureen!  You can learn more about all of our Tastemakers on our site and their personalized picks.

XO,

Jennifer

 

Q & A with Tastemaker Elizabeth Mayhew

31 Aug

Elizabeth Mayhew

Meet our Tastemaker Elizabeth Mayhew!

Photo: Elizabeth Mayhew Instagram

Elizabeth Mayhew is currently the Brand Editor for Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-inspired brand, Draper James, a contributing editor at NBC’s Today Show and a monthly columnist for The Washington Post. She also is the author of FLIP! for Decorating (Ballantine). She has worked for a number of publications including REAL SIMPLE, House Beautiful, Southern Living, and Woman’s Day.

We are inspired by her Instagram posts which usually involve beautiful scenery shots and gorgeous baked goods. She has a keen eye for unique {and memorable} hostess gifts. We hope you enjoy getting to know her!

Q.

What is your favorite thing about being the brand editor for Draper James?

A.

I love working with the dynamic and very talented staff of Draper James. From the design team to the store associates, everyone who works at the company embodies the positive Southern values that Reese Witherspoon, the company’s founder, established from the beginning. It’s a happy brand, where grace, charm, kindness, and good manners are prized. Plus I love the clothes!

Q.

What is one thing anyone can do to update their home?

A.

Install dimmers on all of your light switches! The proper lighting can easily transform a room from looking like an overlit hospital waiting room to a warm and inviting sitting room.

Q.

We know you love to bake. What is your favorite dessert to bring to a get together?

A.

I bake every weekend and post images on Instagram, so my friends who follow me usually call to put in an order. My go-to dessert to bring to a party is some sort of pie, mostly because pies transport easily. The variety I make depends on the season—fruit pies for summer, cream pies for spring, and nut pies for fall and winter. I get the most requests for my lime pie (you could use key limes too, but they are harder to find).

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Mayhew

Q.

You are the queen of an amazing hostess gift. What is your one go-to that’s always a hit?

A.

I have three go-to hostess gifts: if I plan well ahead, I like to order personalized guest towels from The Stationery Studio. If I have time the day or night before a party, I will bake a sweet bread, like banana bread and wrap it up in a dish towel so that the host has breakfast the next morning. If I have no time, I draw from my stash of Draper James Orange Blossom Special Candles—it’s my favorite scent!

Banana Bread

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Mayhew

Q.

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?

A.

I love to bake of course (see above!), but I also am a big reader. A few of my recent favorites are: A Gentleman from Moscow by Amor Towles, The Art of Rivalry by Sebastian Smee, What She Ate by Laura Shapiro, and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. And if you haven’t read the Neopolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, you should!

Book images: Amazon

5 Ideas for Giving Back This Holiday Season

7 Dec

The holidays are fast approaching and everyone is so busy getting ready.  Holiday cards, presents, parties, baking (need I go on?).  The holiday season is also about giving back to those who may not be so lucky to be “busy” with all the things so many of us take for granted.  If you’re feeling inspired to give back but not sure where to start, here are a few ideas that may inspire you:

  • Host a food drive where you work.  You can set up a collection box or site and have employees deliver the items to your local food pantry.  Be sure to contact your local food pantry ahead of time to see what they are in most need of.
  • Host a blood drive where you work.  There is almost always a blood shortage and most blood centers offer mobile services.
  • Sign up to help with your local soup kitchen.  Helping those in need where you live is a great way to connect with your community.
  • Call your local pet shelter and see what supplies they might need (they often are in need of newspapers, blankets and towels).  You can clean out your linen closets and help a charity at the same time (win win!).
  • Donate your gently used coats to those who don’t have any.  Many churches and local food pantries accept donations.  You can always find a drop off center at One Warm Coat.

carts vernon

I hope these ideas inspire you to give back this year!  The Stationery Studio hosted a food drive for our local food pantry this year for #GivingTuesday.  We were honored to help those in our community where we work and many of us live.  Along with the food donated, TheStationeryStudio.com gave a monetary donation to help with items they need to stock their shelves.