Sep 102010
 

[Translate] Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, is a holiday for starting anew. So for this year’s holiday I decided to create my own signature honey cake, something special to welcome the new promise of a sweet year to come. What would be better than to take a honey cake and top it with thinly sliced apples that were poached in white wine, and top it with a luscious 72% dark chocolate glaze. Actually, it is so delicious as to be positively sinful. Fortunately, we have just over a week to enjoy it, confident in the knowledge that on Yom Kippur we will be able to atone for this sin. This year, as in every Click here to continue reading this post

Aug 162010
 

[Translate] I wanted to make a traditional Ramadan dessert this month, a recipe that called for mahleb, which is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of the St Lucie Cherry (Prunus mahaleb). The stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel, which is ground to a powder before it is used. It adds a lovely flavor of bitter almond and cherry to breads, cakes and biscuits. I found a perfect date and sesame biscuit recipe called Makroud that is made by Israeli Muslims and Palestinians. There are several variations of Makroud that are also made in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, but this version is not as sweet. Mr BT and I would like to Click here to continue reading this post

Jun 162010
 

[Translate] I used to love to go to the train station in my hometown. My father would take us there every once in a while to see the trains and we would always try to get there early so he could put a penny on the rails and have the train run over them. As soon as the train was safely out of harm’s way, he would retrieve the misshapen pennies for us to take home as souvenirs of our adventure. So when I found out that the Tel Aviv municipality had painstakingly renovated an Ottoman-era train station, now unoriginally called HaTahana (The Station) near Neve Tzedek, I couldn’t wait to go and see it. Click here to continue reading this post

May 292010
 

[Translate] As the weather get warmer here, I like to start lightening up the dishes. My husband just returned from a two week trip where he only had fish, so I had to make a chicken dish before he started growing scales and gills. After the first successful attempt at making a hamin, I decided to try a summer recipe from Sherry Ansky’s Hamin cookbook. This recipe just calls for chicken legs, israeli couscous, onions, and water, which sounded too bland for our taste, so I kicked it up a notch and added garlic, slices of butternut squash, Hungarian paprika, and ras el hanut. The dish was delicious and the sweetness of the butternut squash Click here to continue reading this post

May 162010
 

[Translate] Chocolate is most people’s guilty pleasure, but my guilty pleasure is ice cream. And not just any ice cream, but luscious Italian gelato, preferably eaten in Italy at one of my favorite gelateria, Perche No!, in Firenze, or in Israel at Gelateria Siciliana on Ibn Givrol in Tel Aviv. I also enjoy making my own ice cream and sorbet at home, which I have blogged in several posts here. The final course for the dinner party last week was a recipe for semifreddo that intrigued me from the moment I saw it on the Food52 website. Semifreddo literally means “half-frozen” and is a frozen dessert that has a mousse-like texture from equal parts of Click here to continue reading this post

May 142010
 

[Translate] Planning a dinner party can be quite daunting, but it helps if you are the “planning type” like I am. I was a meeting planner, by profession when I lived in the States and was responsible for planning meetings, conferences, and special events for anywhere from 10 to 10,000 attendees. My parents and grandparents also entertained a lot, so I learned everything I know about dinner party planning from my Dad and paternal grandmother who both loved to host grand gourmet dinner parties. So, planning this dinner for 11 was not a problem for me.  Here are a few good tips: Plan the menu before anything else and try to make sure that each Click here to continue reading this post

May 142010
 

[Translate] We served this salad between the amuse bouche and main course as a light refresher, but you can also serve this before the dessert course. Irene chose Dalton Winery, Fume Blanc, 2008 to serve with the salad. This wine is aged in oak barrels and was a lovely crisp wine that I have also served with a fish course. PrintBaby Lettuce Salad with Pears, Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts Serving Size: 6 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 1 teaspoon minced shallot 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons walnut oil or avocado oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 bag assorted baby lettuce 1 bunch of arugula (rocket), trimmed 1/2 cup whole walnuts 2 Click here to continue reading this post

May 092010
 

[Translate] Mimi of Israeli Kitchen and I gave a dinner party for a few Israeli bloggers this past Thursday. It was a lovely event which included a wine tasting given by Irene, who happens to be a wine steward for two well known Israeli wineries, Golan Heights and Galil Mountain. The next several posts will feature some (in italics) of the recipes and wines that were served at the dinner. The dishes we served at this dinner would be perfect for an elegant Shavuot meal. The menu was as follows: Amuse Bouche Grilled Baby Portobello Mushroom with Tomato Sauce and a Mini Potato Pancake Salad Baby lettuce leaves and rocket with Blue Cheese and Silan Click here to continue reading this post

Apr 042010
 

[Translate] We have had a lovely Pesach with family and friends. We went to a powerful and moving play at the Susan Dellal Center for Dance and Theatre in Neve Tzedek, called Silver Spoons. It is performed by members of non-profit group called Knafayim (‘Wings’). This organization provides an opportunity for artistically talented people with special needs to train to be actors, dancers, musicians and artists. The play is about a group of actors who are mentally disabled, mainly with Down’s Syndrome. Each actor tells a true story about themselves, some of them quite disturbing, such as the women who spoke about being raped. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for their courage and Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 312010
 

[Translate] I hope everyone that had or went to a seder last night enjoyed themselves. My macaroons and Mr. BT’s haroset were a hit at our family seder. Tonight I made matza balls and a Sephardic meat pie that is found in Egyptian, Turkish, Balkan, and Italian Jewish homes. One of my colleagues suggested that I make a Mina for Passover. I had never heard of it and when he sent me the recipe I knew I had to try it. It is not difficult to make and I made it this evening, but you can make it ahead and heat in the oven before serving. I slightly adapted a recipe from Janna Gur’s  The Click here to continue reading this post

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