'Addie's Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother'

Using his mother's unfinished memoir as his foundation and adding his own thoughts and memories, Michael Shaheen retells a familiar and touching immigrant's story.

Perhaps one of the more interesting trends in publishing lately has been the replacement of the more conventional cookbook format (i.e. to simply compile recipes) with something a bit more personal: a food memoir of sorts.

Addie's Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother by Michael Shaheen, a Duquesne University grad and native of eastern Ohio, is just such a book.

Using his mother's unfinished memoir (she died before its completion) as his foundation and adding his own thoughts and memories, Shaheen retells a familiar and touching immigrant's story, one of a single mother in a small coal mining town working her tail off to raise, to care for and to feed two boys.

And she managed to do a pretty good job of all three—especially the feeding part.

Central throughout every recounted tale and anecdote in the first 30 pages of Addie's Way is the food, so it should come as no surprise that the family history serves merely as an appetizer to the main course—100 pages of striking food photography and classic Middle Eastern recipes.

From homemade yogurt and pickled turnips to hummus and stuffed lamb, every dish is simultaneously mouthwatering, uncomplicated and inexpensive.

In the words of Addie herself, this is "an essential book for people who love good food and must economize-as most people must, at least some of the time."

In tough economic times like these, who could argue with that?


Addie's Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother by Michael Shaheen; Shaheen Enterprises LLC; $24.95.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Your 10 best bets for October.
Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Comic-book artist Ed Piskor continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with his “Hip Hop Family Tree” series of graphic novels.
Review: Istanbul Sofra

Review: Istanbul Sofra

Head to Istanbul Sofra, one of Regent Square’s new additions, for assorted lamb dishes, vegetarian starters and well-executed desserts.

The 412

Pittsburgher Ali Spagnola Releases an App Version of Her 'Power Hour' Album

Pittsburgher Ali Spagnola Releases an App Version of Her 'Power Hour' Album

The creator of the app — which takes any playlist on your smartphone or tablet and plays it in one-minute pieces — reminds users to please drink responsibly.
NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

NPR Blog Team Tries, Critiques Primanti Bros. Sandwich

The group behind the station's Sandwich Monday blog series orders the iconic sandwich and writes a review.
Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

Pittsburgh Has 'America's Ugliest Accent'

The results of the Gawker poll are in: We’re No. 1.
'Yinzer Goosebumps' Series Parodies the Horrors of 'Burgh Life

'Yinzer Goosebumps' Series Parodies the Horrors of 'Burgh Life

The great Benstonium is at again with this set of faux book covers.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Your 10 best bets for October.
Made in Pittsburgh

Made in Pittsburgh

The city of steel always has been known for its industry – what we make. Today, that defining characteristic expands beyond manufacturing into every aspect of modern life.
Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Ed Piskor is Pittsburgh's Hip-Hop Historian

Comic-book artist Ed Piskor continues to win critical acclaim and international fame with his “Hip Hop Family Tree” series of graphic novels.
Review: Istanbul Sofra

Review: Istanbul Sofra

Head to Istanbul Sofra, one of Regent Square’s new additions, for assorted lamb dishes, vegetarian starters and well-executed desserts.
Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.