About

 

Baroness because my direct ancestor, Baron Jacob Bassevi von Treuenberg, was an ennobled Jew from Verona, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic. Tapuzina (a variety of Israeli orange and a softdrink) because I used to live in a town in central Israel that still has orange groves in the middle of town. I now live in a small predominately Yemenite farming village in central Israel that is surrounded by citrus groves and plant nurseries.

I am originally from a small town in Alabama, born to an immigrant Jewish-German family. My best friend called my home the “house of weird vegetables”! Weird vegetables were asparagus, artichokes, brussel sprouts, red cabbage….. And then there was matzo sandwiches for Passover.

At seventeen I went to Europe for six weeks and I was never the same. I ended up studying in Germany and Switzerland and now my home is in Israel.

I am an Information Developer by profession and an avid amateur cook. I love cooking challenges. I have taken a French pastry course, Italian cooking course and learned everything about Chinese cooking from my grandmother’s Chinese cook. Now I am experimenting with Middle Eastern cooking.

Israel is a real melting pot and I am really enjoying cooking with all of the wonderful fresh vegetables and herbs.

I have been very fortunate to have travelled a lot. I love to learn and experience different cultures, everything from language to music to food. I speak five languages and understand a few others.

Baroness Tapuzina

avatarMichelle Nordell (aka Baroness Tapuzina) was a foodie from the womb growing up in the House of Weird Vegetables, so named by a family friend because all of the unusual and exotic food cooked and eaten there. She loves to change recipes using herbs from her garden and spices from the spice shops she enjoys visiting.

  40 Responses to “About”

  1. avatar

    Hi,
    I got your link this morning on hasharongourmet yahoo group. I really enjoyed your blog, the photos and family history. Your recipes look delicious! I am not a baker, but I love to cook with fresh herbs and vegetables so I look forward to more posts about “wierd vegetables!”

    I, too am from Alabama -the big cities-Mobile and Birmingham and b”H will me making aliya in about 6 weeks!

    All the best-Renee Chernin

  2. avatar

    HI!
    As a self-declared “foodie” and as a transplanted North American also living in Israel, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your site. I’d also love to hear about restaurants that you enjoy (or don’t enjoy – always more entertaining) in Israel!

    Yossi Weinstock

  3. Hi Yossi,

    I will put some posts on some restaurants here in Israel. We tend to go to casual ethnic restaurants more than fancy ones. In some respects, they are more interesting.

  4. Hi Randi,

    i really enjoyed your blog. I have not been in Israel for a while but I had trouble finding some ingredients. Maybe you could advise. Where can you find really good quality free range beef and meat? Most beef that I had in Israel was not as good quality, leathery and just sub par compared to US. Can you recomend place orr butcher shop in Israel. I will pass on the recomendation to my family there.

  5. Hi Cecilia,

    My name is Michelle. Randi is one of the posters here.

    Free-range is rather new here, so I am not sure where you can buy free-range beef. But, there are a number of very good Kosher and non-Kosher butchers here that sell high quality meat. Where does your family live in Israel and do they keep Kosher?

  6. Yo leo ingles pero no se escribirlo y por eso escribo en Español.
    Me gusto mucho ver una receta Española, la del estofado de carne.
    Si tu quieres podria darte yo mas recetas Españolas, el unico problema, es que yo no se cuales son los productos que vosotros no podeis mezclar en una misma comida.
    Espero que puedas traducir estas palabras.

  7. Hi Amelia,

    Thanks. I would love to see some of your recipes. I do not mix meat and dairy together. And, I cannot eat pork or seafood, such as shrimp, mussels, squid or octupus. Most fish are fine.

    You can send me the recipes in Spanish. I will be able to understand them.

  8. avatar

    Hi…got to your website from my dad. Where in Alabama are you from? I’m from Opelika and consider myself a JAR…Jewish American Redneck. I now live in Charlotte. Would love to email you a story my TV station did on Dad finding a cousin after 60 years. email me and I’ll send you a link for the story.

    Virginia

  9. Is Henry your Grandfather? My heart skipped a beat when I found your blog on Giershagen. That’s where my grandfather’s family came from! I knew there were other Hagedorns in Alabama, but our families lost touch ages ago. I’m descended from the side of the family that settled in West Point. I recently found your Grandfather’s story online and contacted him. Hopefully he can help me piece together some family history. I’d love to find out more about your trip to Giershagen!
    Al

  10. avatar

    Michelle, A cousin sent me your site. What a wonderful job you have done. I understand Congratulations are in store.
    Let me hear from you.

    Henry Stern
    Opelika, Alabama, USA

  11. Michelle, shalom!

    Nice pictures, nice recipes.

    kol hakavod,
    Fesek

  12. Hello,
    Foundout about your blog today from my friend Dov randel, the fountain pen guy. I am from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, and am really enjoying reading your blog!!! I am moreof a coffeegeek than a foodie, and I like cooking Indian food, or foods that are inspired by Indian food. india beingwhere I grew up till Imoved to the USA.
    Keep up the great work.
    regards,
    Sid

  13. avatar

    Baroness:

    I have been surfing the food sites for 3 days now with the goal of getting in the kitchen (a foreign land to me) and changing my food eating patterns to healthier ones.

    I am so excited about the content of your website, shavout meals, your homey details, the pictures, and the “personal tour touch” you give of Israel, I feel like flying there right now! And I’m an African American Christian female.

    You are touching many around the world and from distinctly diferent cultures. Through food, you are an ambassador.

    Well down and God bless.
    Karen

  14. Thanks Karen for your kind words. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.

  15. avatar

    Thank you dear Baroness; your words are prophetic confirmation to me.

    I hope that your site is “practice” for the building of your content for your BOOK. It would sell like wildfire!

    You have added what so many of the other sites have left out____________ yourself.

    This is certainly your calling______and I’d like to see you free from your job to blossom in and get paid for what you do so well and with so much love.

    Thank you for “Holocaust Remembrance Day”. When I make these meals (I’m fasting now) I know that it will be as if I am in communion with you and so many around the world who know that this evil is alive and well and that we must be vigilant and willing to stand up for others.

    Also, I smile at the love between your husband and you, when he says,”this dish is so good it should be in a museum!”

    Shalom
    Karen

  16. avatar

    Alright, not to be pushie like a “groupie” but did you ever connect with the editor of Al Hashulchan, the Israeli food magazine? (I just saw that comment) I hope it was not a prankster.

    I was excited for you to see that post. “You go girl!!!!!!”

    Karen

  17. There is something in the works. I will post more when it is finalized.

  18. Hi,

    We found your blog when googl’ing around for a restaurant in Tel Aviv which has a good mezze, with dozens of little salads, never-ending bread being dropped on the table. (Google showed us your posting about Succah Levana).

    Your site is amazing. For foodies like us living in Israel, it’s nirvana! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures!

    By the way, we never have found mezze style meals in Tel Aviv (or in Jerusalem, either) that have the full works. We’ve been spoiled a lot by incredible restaurants in the North (the best place we’ve found is in Nazareth – great meats, 24 salads served to your table, mouthwatering bread, and very reasonable price). We tried Succah Levana, but it wasn’t up to the same standard. Best we found in Tel Aviv so far is a place in Yafo about 1km south of the clocktower (can get the name if you’re interested), but even that’s not so amazing.

    Any ideas on other places to try in the city for that over-the-top mezze…? ;-)

    Best wishes and thanks again for your great blog!

  19. Thanks Yulia for the compliment. I am glad that you are enjoying my blog.

    I agree with you that it is hard to find restaurants in the center of the country that have great mezzes like in the North. I haven’t been to Abu Ghosh in a while, but the restaurants there used to have very good mezzes.

    I have been trying to find the time to go to a kubbeh restaurant near the airport that is suppose to have good mezze. I will let you know.

  20. Michelle,

    I get zaftig just from reading your site and eyeballing the scrumptious pictures!

    Fresser

  21. hi it is a pleasure to witness the many images of the recipes you generously divulge.
    it is a pleasure to surf and find this oasis amongst the many sites.

  22. I found you in my search for information about Claire Szilard and Peter Rozsa. They were dear friends of my parents. I know that Peter passed away but what about Claire (Klari)?
    Their art was amazing. Where can I find their art. Claire was a very prolific artisit.
    I remember their home in Jafa. The most memorable in home event they held was a concert with many members of the Israeli Phiharmonic Orchestra. They
    had huge hearts and were always feeding and helping people.
    What can you tell me about them and their art?
    Thank you.

    • I was looking for information about Claire Szilard and came upon your inquiry. I have a magnificent drawing of a nude by her, dated 1949. I bought it in a resale shop in Israel. Also, a friend of mine has a lithograph signed by her which she inherited from her in laws in Haifa.

  23. avatar

    Wo genau in der Schweiz hast du gelebt/studiert? Tu habitais/etudiais ou en Suisse? I’m from Basel. Have you been there?

  24. Sorry, I can’t find your e-mail. I just want to thank you for linking to HaKerem: The Israeli Wine Blog and let you know that we’ve changed sites. Newer and better news about the Israeli wine scene can now be found at http://www.israeli-wine.org

  25. avatar

    Shalom!

    We moved to Israel 4 months ago and I am throughly enjoying your blog- I happened upon you one day in Rogov’s Place and I’ve been hooked ever since!

    Christine
    Caesarea

  26. Welcome to Israel, Christine. Thank you for your kind comments. I made aliya almost eight years ago and I haven’t regretted one day. You are living in a beautiful part of Israel.

    Take care,

    Michelle

  27. Shana Tova-a Happy and Sweet New Year. Am heartily enjoying reading your blog.

  28. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you very much.

    Shana Tova to you.

    Michelle

  29. Hi Baroness Tapuzina.

    Chag sameach and hope you are recovering from surgery. I came upon your blog via Mimi at Israeli Kitchen and very much enjoy your recipes and pictures. I just started my own food blog about 2 months ago and having fun navigating this new world. B’tay avon.

    Zahavah

  30. Hi Zahavah,

    You have a very nice blog. I am sure I will find lots of interesting things to cook.

    Chag Sameach,

    Michelle

  31. avatar

    Dear Michelle,
    I love reading your blog from time to time. Today I will recommend it to 3 relatives of ours who love to cook and eat healthy.

    Very best wishes,
    Inge

  32. Hi Baroness,
    I, too, have an expat food blog (new this week!), having moved to London from the US; cooking, eating, and exploring food are good ways to pass the time until I figure out what i want to do with my life. I also lived in Israel for a year, over 20 years ago. I’ll add you to my blogroll.
    L’shalom,
    Emily

  33. Hi, I just stumble upon your blog while looking for a recipe for iraqi date cookies… and what a wonderful surprise! Absolutely love your blog! Adding you to my favs! ^_^

    • avatar

      Thank you Alex! It is wonderful to see another Israeli blogger in English. I am going to add you to my blogger roll.

  34. Hi Michelle,

    I was looking for a greating suitable for Yom Kippur for my Jewish friends and stummbled upon your site. Great Job! And,I have to say, upon reading about you, I immediately related to some of your experiences exploring other languages and cultures and hoped that others too could live life more like you are.

    God bless you and all that is important to you!

  35. avatar

    Loved your site – spent some time here after a tip from Emily. Interestingly, I also moved from an Israeli city known for it’s citrus produce (it’s city flag has two orange trees on it!) and now live a heavily Yemenite former farming cooperative (now more suburban) town. I love to cook, and will be coming back to see what else is up on your site!

  36. Hello Michelle ~ I’ve been connected with David on twitter & facebook for several years and he told me you were a food blogger :-) I’ve just recently decided to indulge my passion for food & food photography ~ glad to meet you here! I’ll have a look though your blog as soo as I can ! Looking forward to discovering and sharing new foodie ideas & recipes

    ~ marie

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