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July 16, 2016 at 10:47 am

Spanish Alum Publishes ‘My Halal Kitchen’ Cookbook

Epicurious interviewed Ohio University alum Yvonne Maffei ’97, ’00M on “How to Make Anything and Everything (Bolognese! BLTs!) Halal.”

Yvonne Maffei

Yvonne Maffei

Maffei is the author of the “wildly popular blog-turned cookbook, My Halal Hitchen.” She earned degrees in Spanish and Global Studies-Latin American from the College of Arts & Sciences and a master’s in Development Studies from the Center for International Studies at Ohio University.

The Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and—importantly for Yvonne Maffei, the proprietor of the enormously popular blog My Halal Kitchen—the beginning of several days of feasting. “Everybody’s got their thing that they do on their Eid,” Maffei told me recently, shortly after the holiday began. On her blog she suggested a cheese platter, advising her followers on how to find halal-appropriate cheeses and suggesting a garnish of edible flowers. Maffei herself, following the Prophet Muhammad, likes to break the fast with dates. But after that, “for me it’s always going to be some kind of Italian,” she said. “This year I did a simple Sicilian sauce with meat in it, because that’s what I remember my grandmother making in the summertime—the smell of fresh tomatoes cooking.”

Yvonne Maffei's My Halal Kitchen book coverThere’s a bolognese sauce in Maffei’s new cookbook, also called My Halal Kitchen, as well as “penne without the vodka,” boeuf bourguignon without the red wine, shrimp pad thai, and lamb carnitas. The book is a compendium of modern global classics, rendered halal through Maffei’s creative substitutions and described with the same cheery enthusiasm telegraphed in conversation by their author. This energy, as well as those Muslim-friendly recipes, has gained Maffei an enormous fan base on the internet, including more than 1.2 million followers on Facebook.

Read more at “How to Make Anything and Everything (Bolognese! BLTs!) Halal.”

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