Howdy, I'm Lily! Welcome to The Matbakh, a Mediterranean-ish food blog.
I'm half Lebanese and half American and live on a tiny farm in Texas. The word matbakh means kitchen in Arabic. I chose this name for the food blog because it represents my Mediterranean heritage and cross-cultural background. Growing up, 80% of my meals were Mediterranean-influenced.
Here you will find tasty, easy options for cooking with a Mediterranean or American twist. Everything from Granny’s sweet potato casserole to bulgar wheat tabouli, you will find a variety of flavors behind each dish. Like many of us are a hodgepodge of nationalities and backgrounds, this food blog is a cultural melting pot emphasizing Mediterranean cuisine.
A Little Background About Me
I've been cooking things up since I was a kid. Not much has changed since.
I am one of four children, growing up in an American Lebanese home. My mother is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and my father is from Dhour Shweir, Lebanon. I am also a mother to my daughter, Amina.
I started this food blog because I enjoy eating. The best way to eat good food is to cook good food, so that's how my passion for cooking started. I have been a home cook for over 20 years, with my first cooking lessons beginning as a teenager from my neighbor, Pat (a professional Thai chef).
Little did I know that this little passion of mine would come full circle almost two decades later.
My Food Philosophy
I enjoy eating, and with that comes eating joy (the opposite of eating shame). Eating joy is a term I've coined that relates to a person's ability to enjoy eating. So often, we label foods as "bad and "good" or try restrictive diets that are difficult to adhere to.
Eating joy is the opposite. It's developing eating habits around foods you enjoy that promote healthy living 80% of the time and then YOLOing it the other 20%. This is why my approach to nutrition and food is balanced. I mostly follow the Mediterranean diet and track macros to hit health goals. Also, I move my body every day doing something I enjoy.
What You Can Find
Every single recipe on the blog has been tested before it shows up on the blog. I often re-make recipes for everyday living and come back to tweak things if they aren't perfect.
Delicious recipes. Life's too short for bad-tasting food. The recipes on the blog, at a minimum, must taste great. Leave a comment if you make something- the feedback is helpful!
Recipes suited for various occasions. Some of the recipes on the blog are suited for busy weeknights (like easy garlic butter shrimp), while other recipes are nostalgic and require more time (like Lebanese stuffed grape leaves).
Easy to follow recipes. I try to add recipe videos where needed to explain the recipe. Most all recipes have step-by-step instructions. I recommend reading the recipe post from start to finish, then printing off the recipe card while cooking.
More About Lily and The Matbakh
Yes! You can see the recipe author on each recipe. Each author brings their own unique background and authentic recipe.
I bought the domain in 2019 but didn't start blogging until 2020. I have been blogging on and off as time permits since then.
I worked as a mechanical engineer in the oil and gas industry for ten years. Most of my experience is upstream: working in the field (wireline logging) and designing subsea equipment (tubing hangers) for offshore operations. I have a patent for a subsea landing indicator.
I shoot with a Canon EOS 6D Mark II, 100mm macro lens, and 25-70mm lens. I mostly shoot hands-free with a tripod and c-stand for overhead shots.
I'm half Lebanese and grew up eating a lot of Lebanese food. Coming from a Lebanese emigrant family, the other reason is that food is a way to connect to my heritage.
I've been featured in Healthline, BuzzFeed, MindBodyGreen, Parade, MSN, Tasting Table, Egyptian Streets, and Mediterranean Lifestyle Magazine.
I enjoy working with brands that align with my values. If you want to work with me, please check out my Work with Me page to see ways we can work together!
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Thank you for visiting this little corner of the internet! Your support means a lot, and I'm grateful to have you as part of the tribe. My goal has always been to provide inspiring and helpful content. Thank you for joining me on this journey!
My Top Recipes
These are some of my favorite recipes on the blog. It's so hard to pick!
- The BEST Baked Steelhead Trout with Garlic Butter Sauce
- The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Crispy Pita Bread Pizza (Quick Thin Crust Pizzas)
- Italian Fried Calamari (Calamari Fritti)
- Lebanese Baked Stuffed Kibbeh
- Whole Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch
- Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
- Slow Oven Roasted Lamb Shanks In Foil Packets