Jan 122010
 

[Translate] Israeli Hamin, North African Shahina and Dafina, Iraqi Tabit, Yemenite Taris, Hungarian Solet, Kurdish Matfunia, Ladino Haminado, German Shalet and Eastern European Cholent or Chulent are all words for a Shabbat slow-cooked meal that has been made since at least the 12th century and possibly as far back as ancient Egypt in many households except my own. Whatever you choose to call it, hamin originates from the ban on lighting a fire or cooking during Shabbat, since these are considered to be forbidden forms of work. However, it’s permitted to start something cooking before Shabbat starts, so provided the heat is kept low enough, it’s possible to start cooking the hamin on Friday afternoon Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 122009
 

[Translate] I know I should have made something Greek for Hannukah if I wanted to make something from the relevant ancient enemy of the Macabbees, but I couldn’t find anything that sparked my interest. So, I decided to make an Assyrian dish. They did conquer Israel in 772BC and scattered the tribes throughout the Middle East. But don’t worry, I don’t harbor any bad feelings towards the Assyrians. They are our brothers and still speak a variation of the language of my forefathers, Aramaic. The Assyrians have been Christian for almost two thousand years and make up a small, persecuted, minority in Iraq; many of them fled during the period since the fall of Saddam Click here to continue reading this post

Jun 142009
 

[Translate] Georgian food is not widely known, but it has a mixture of Eastern European, Central Asian, and Middle Eastern influences. They make dumplings like you find in Poland and Russian and  Khachapuri, which is similar to Turkish pide with kashkaval cheese. One of their famous dishes is chicken with walnut sauce and you will find numerous different recipes for walnut sauce. Some of them contain garlic and herbs, such as Satsivi,  and others contain red wine vinegar or pomegranate molasses, such as Bazhe. I decided to make a delicious and easy Georgian kebab or meatball recipe. It contains dried sour cherries and walnuts. You can add pinenuts instead of walnuts, but I like the Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 302009
 

[Translate] Even though we have had a few cold and rainy days, it is definitely looking more like spring every day. More people are hanging out at our beautiful beaches. We had some friends visiting from the States and took them on a tour of the North. We went to Caesaria, the Carmel Forest and saw beautiful wild flowers, and then a late lunch at my favourite fish restaurant, Uri Buri , in Acco. I had a whole grilled gilt head sea bream with roasted vegetables and Mr BT had Baramundi with spinach puree and feta (pictured above), served with side dish of mejaddara. The last package of lamb necks was staring at me in Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 182009
 

[Translate] Spring is in the air and that  means it is time to start preparing for Passover, which begins on 8 April. I am not going to be doing a lot of preparation this year, but I have gathered a few interesting recipes for you to consider for your own meal. First, here is a link to all of my Passover recipes from the last couple of years. And, here are some interesting ones for you to try: Italian Passover recipes from Chef Chaim Cohen and Dr. Eli Landau Kodredo Relleno al Forno (Roast stuffed lamb with egg/lemon crust) Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Almond-Mint Pesto (Omit the cheese from the recipe) Syrah-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Olives, Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 072009
 

[Translate] Israel depends on a rainy winter for its water supply for the rest of the year. We have had a serious drought here that no one is taking seriously. However, the last few weekends we have had a significant amount of much needed rain. Rain and cold always demand hot and hearty dishes to keep us warm and cozy inside and out. There is a another sale at our local supermarket on lamb; this time the sale is on lamb neck. I don’t think lamb neck is readily available at supermarkets or butchers in most parts of the US and Canada, but you may be able to find it at a Halal butcher in Click here to continue reading this post

Feb 152009
 

[Translate] Tu Bishvat is a minor Jewish holiday in the Hebrew month of Shevat, usually sometime in late January or early February, that marks the New Year of the Trees (Hebrew: ראש השנה לאילנות, Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot‎) or the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. It is customary to plant trees and eat dried fruits and nuts, especially figs, dates, raisins, carob, and almonds. In Israel, the flowering of the almond tree, which grows wild around the country, coincides with Tu Bishvat. The origin of Tu Bishvat lies in the ancient Jewish taxation system, which was based mainly on the Click here to continue reading this post

Jan 312009
 

[Translate] My father used to sing the Little Lamzy Divey song to us when we went on long driving trips to Florida. I used to love singing that song and it was always one of my requests. The lamb dish I made for Shabbat reminded me of the song. Mr BT surprised me with dried sour apricots that he bought in a spice shop on Levinsky street in Tel Aviv. Levinsky street is filled with spice shops and delicatessens with delights from Turkey, Greece, Romania, etc. I love cooking sweet and savory dishes with sour apricots because they have a much stronger apricot flavour than Mediterranean apricots. I grew up using sour apricots and was Click here to continue reading this post

Jan 042009
 

[Translate] December 30th was my 2nd wedding anniversary and we decided to wait until the weekend to celebrate. I try very hard to keep politics out of my foodblog, but I will say that even though terrible things are happening around us, we still felt we should celebrate our anniversary by making a nice meal. We have postponed birthdays and other special events over the years, but decided that we could have a comforting and quiet meal at home. We hope that the fighting will stop soon and that we can find some way to make peace with our neighbors. The meal that we made had an unintentional color theme of brown. Brown is really Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 152008
 

[Translate] I can’t believe that it has been over a year since our trip to Verona, Tuscany, and Umbria. We are constantly talking about that trip and are longing to go back, so much so, that we hope one day we can buy a vacation home in Italy. I have been meaning to finish blogging about our trip to Italy, but other events have distracted me. So, I am going to try and finally finish writing about our trip in the next few weeks. Mr. BT and I did not spend a lot of time in Tuscany this trip because we concentrated most of the trip on Umbria. However, since neither one of us had Click here to continue reading this post

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