Apr 152011
 

[Translate] Spring arrived here about two weeks ago and the country is in full bloom. The photos in this post were taken around my moshav. As we do every year, we are going to a relative’s house for the seder. Mr BT is bringing his world famous haroset and I am going to bring a tray of biscuits. This year I am making the following: François Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies Ka’ik ib’Fis’dok (Syrian-style Pistachio cookies) I will also be making some interesting dishes during Hol Hamoed with the following ingredients: Ground rice Ground lamb Lamb shoulder Lamb neck Mint Chickpeas and I am also making a family Passover dessert I haven’t made in years: Matza Click here to continue reading this post

Apr 112011
 

[Translate] This post is from last year. This year’s festival will be on Friday, 29 April from 1000 – 1600. Don’ t miss it. Soreq Winery, one of the first boutique wineries in Israel, is situated between the Ayalon and Soreq valleys, in a region where wine was produced as early as 3,000 years ago. The Shacham family founded the Soreq winery in 1994. Nir Shaham is the vintner and his parents, Heli and Yossi, are the proprietors. They now produce 10,000 bottles a year from a 30-year-old vineyard as well as a younger vineyard planted on the nearby slopes of the Judean Hills. The winery produces wine from Merlot, Grenache, Petit Verdoux, and Cabernet Click here to continue reading this post

Apr 092011
 

[Translate]   The tradition of an Israeli breakfast, which is similar to the Arab breakfast, began in the early days of the 20th century on the kibbutz. Kibbutzniks would go out to the fields at the crack of dawn to work before the heat of the day, and they’d return home at 9AM to eat a giant breakfast consisting of fluffy omelettes, fresh salads made with cucumbers and sweet tomatoes, hummus, eggplant salad, pita and other breads, and homemade jams. This hearty breakfast spilled over into hotels starting in the 1930s, and now you can have an Israeli breakfast at most cafes and restaurants. This Israeli tradition has become a weekend ritual in my home, Click here to continue reading this post

Mar 122011
 

[Translate] A couple of weeks ago, I attended a discussion at the annual Jerusalem International Book Fair entitled, The Changing Jewish Kitchen – Is Jewish food still Jewish food and what is it?. The panel consisted of cookbook author Joan Nathan, Israeli chef, TV personality and food writer Israel Aharoni, Israeli chef Ezra Kedem (Arcadia Restaurant in Jerusalem), and the moderator, baker, chef and restaurant consultant Mark Furstenberg. I have been a fan of Joan Nathan’s since my mother gave me one of her cookbooks, Jewish Holiday Kitchen, almost 25 years ago. The first two recipes I made from that cookbook were for Passover: Seven-Fruit Haroset From Surinam and Larry Bain’s Bubie’s Haroset. They were Click here to continue reading this post

Feb 192011
 

[Translate] Mr BT was away for Valentine’s Day, so as a consolation, he sent me to a chocolate workshop at Sarina Chocolates in Ein Vered, one of my favorite villages, which is mere a hop, skip, and a jump from my house. I was already familiar with Sarina’s chocolates because they sold their chocolates for Pesach at my office. Sarina’s chocolates are divine and come in all sorts of interesting flavours, such as anise and honey, passion fruit, rosemary, and chili-orange to name a few. The Association for Americans and Canadians in Israel (AACI) in Netanya organised this event, and apart from the pleasure of the event itself, I must say I had a lot Click here to continue reading this post

Jan 202011
 

[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. Even though it is considered a minor festival, the commandment to plant trees in the Land of Israel is so important in Jewish tradition that there is even an ancient Rabbinical saying that if you Click here to continue reading this post

Jan 022011
 

[Translate] New Year’s Eve, Mr BT and I celebrated our anniversary and 2011 with a gourmet romantic dinner. Our anniversary was actually the day before, but I had more time to prepare a lovely meal on Friday, so we had an anniversary/Shabbat/2011 special meal. Last week, I found two beautiful goose breast fillets and some very large bright yellow quinces. I thought these would be two perfect ingredients for a romantic anniversary dinner. I made goose breast with a quince and red currant sauce, roasted butternut squash, Jerusalem artichokes and potato, and steamed broccoli. For dessert, I made a luscious quince tarte tatin. All washed down with the perfect anniversary wine: Saslove Winery’s Marriage 2009 Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 182010
 

[Translate] A few months after my husband met his business partner, Silvano, who is originally from Venice, he told him about my family connection to Italy. Silvano’s eyes got big and he said, I think your wife and I might be related. After checking with his mother and an aunt, sure enough we are related by marriage. Shift to six years later, and Silvano came and ate with Mr BT and me during the shiva of my mother-in-law. Silvano and I started talking about Italian Jewish holiday dishes and got to the subject of Pesach and matza balls. I told him that my family made unusual matza balls,  and I haven’t met a lot of Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 072010
 

[Translate] The holidays always make me think of the fun family gatherings we used to have. With most of the older generation no longer with us, it makes me think even more about the holiday foods I used to watch my paternal grandmother make. Before Hannukah, my grandmother was busy making her famous square chocolate cake, butter cookies, candied almonds, Butter-Mandel Kuchen, which she called Hefeteig (yeast dough) and Schnecken. But one of the treats that we all looked forward to were the fresh apple fritters she would make. The house would smell of sweet oil, apples, cinnamon and powdered sugar. I can smell them now as I am writing this post. I decided to Click here to continue reading this post

Nov 272010
 

[Translate] It is hard to believe that Mr BT and I were in Italy almost two months ago. We had planned a beautiful two week vacation, but sadly we had to leave five days into the trip due to my mother-in-law taking a turn for the worse. As I took the photos in Bologna of the beautiful food market and food shops, I was so looking forward to the numerous posts I planned for the blog. However, when I looked back at pictures this past week, I realized our hearts weren’t really in it. Mr BT and I were constantly worried: had we made the right decision to listen to the doctor and go ahead Click here to continue reading this post

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