Chai Tea Spiced Apple Sauce

I love grabbing a latke the moment it is taken from a pan, the oil dripping, the crackling sound of the fried potato, and to pour a large dollop of cold apple sauce on top. I love the hot/cold, sweet/savory combination of the two. I decided to make an applesauce this year that would be a bit more complex in flavors than my usual basic sauce. I think it complements rather than overwhelm or contrast with latkes. Apple sauce is so simple to make and since it’s apple season, it’s fun to make it with a range of different ones. The variation in texture and tartness makes a seemingly basic dish more interesting. The spices I used are the same as those in chai tea. If you’re not familiar with chai tea it’s actually a redundant name for tea and is just called “chai” in India. While the English spelling seemingly is a nice double entrendre to the word for life in Hebrew, the ch is not pronounced gutturally but as “ch-eye” and simply means tea. It’s a milky black tea infused with lots of spices and is and drunk by everyone everywhere (often on the go in little clay cups).  Continue reading

Sukkot & Simchat Torah: Stuffed eggplants

Just a quick post to share a stuffed eggplant recipe that is great for both Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Sukkot, an agricultural holiday (ie farm-to-table holiday) that is an opportunity to use the produce that is in abundance at the farmers markets right now makes it one of my favorite holidays. Lots of eggplants are in season at my local farmers markets and the basil was plucked straight from my plants. The filled eggplants are also symbolic of “stuffed” foods commonly eaten on Simchat Torah to represent the Torah scrolls. Scroll to the bottom for more of my Sukkot, Simchat Torah and even Shmini Atzeret recipes. Chag sameach! Continue reading

Break-Fast Berry Tahini Smoothie

Berry Tahini Break-Fast Smoothie

This is a quick post to share a really easy, nutritious post-fast dish. Personally, I don’t like to go to “all you can eat” break-fast meals filled with bagels, kugel (even if vegan), raw salads, desserts, etc. after a day without food and water. I need easily digestible foods that are nourishing and gentle on my body. I’m sharing a recipe for an easy berry-tahini smoothie that can easily be made within minutes of the fast ending. It is a thick smoothie/bowl that is meant to be eaten with a spoon (again-this is better for digestion). The tahini adds creaminess and fat while the tofu is good for protein. If you’re looking for more break-fast recipes, I included previous years recipes at the bottom. Wishing you an easy and meaningful fast. Continue reading

Rosh Hashana: Beet Carpaccio

I love this beet carpaccio recipe! I first enjoyed it at a serene Shabbat dinner at my relative’s house during a glorious pre-Covid spring in Jerusalem. The flavors of the roasted beets are enough alone but topped with a lot of delicious ingredients that delicately balance both tangy and sweet flavors makes the beets the star of a rich, dramatic dish. It’s also a “one pan” dish that is simple to make. It’s perfect as an appetizer or side dish during a Rosh Hashana meal. Also, check the links below the recipe for more of my sweet and savory Rosh Hashana recipes. Shana tova! Continue reading

Couscous, preserved lemons, with roasted zucchini and tofu

I love the abundance of zucchinis available in the summer–patty pan, crooked neck, endless shades of yellows and greens. They’re so beautiful and I love the range of delicate flavors of them, depending on the variety. I love cooking but have gone through phases during COVID where I’m simply tired of my own food or just don’t have the energy to make much besides a smoothie. I am not a complicated or fussy cook and try to keep the number of ingredients to a minimum. This dish is perfect for a summer Shabbat dinner or lunch. Continue reading

Spring Foraging for Berries

yogurt, granola and foraged berries

While last spring was remarkable because the world had shut down, spring this year is remarkable as parts of the world start to slowly re-emerge. It was a collective, tragic, exhausting hibernation the past 16 months. When things dramatically stopped last year, my senses became more acute to the subtle, beautiful things in my life, such as wild flowers sprouting from sidewalk cracks, the remarkable shades of green leaves in the forest behind my home, and the symphony of birds that awoke me early every morning.

The covid winter was challenging in many ways but I was very fortunate to always be in good health. On the food front, I became uninspired in my daily cooking and my diet devolved into mainly smoothies, popcorn, and salads. My sole cooking inspiration was to bake breads and cakes for friends and family and the ingredients that were exciting were the ones that I foraged.

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Very berry charoset

Very Berry Charoset

I created this charoset recipe to use one of my favorite flavor combinations, along with many of the dried berries and fruits I love, such as goji berries, barberries, cherries, elderberries and raisins. But, you could really use any combination of  your favorite dried fruits. If you can make this in advance and let it soak overnight, the flavors become more pronounced and the berries plump. Continue reading

Purim Treat: Vegan Orange, Tahini, Olive Oil Cake

Orange, tahini, olive oil vegan cake

The best thing I bought during the pandemic was a bright yellow Le Creuset loaf pan. The pan is so versatile and I’ve used it to make bread, cakes, truffles and polenta. I love giving people loaves of cake and bread as Covid gifts. And, with Purim starting in a few days, I think that in addition to hamantaschen, loaf cakes would be a delicious addition to mishloach manot this year. Loaf cakes are a simple, unassuming and easy. I also love using tahini and will find any opportunity to use it in a recipe. I adapted this recipe to make this light, moist, not overly sweet cake. Below the recipe I also included links to my other Purim recipes. Continue reading

Malawach and Jachnun

Malawach with date syrup

I am late to the party but finally joined the Covid baking club. I’ve got my sourdough starter, a fridge filled with a variety of flours, and a lot of time this winter to bake! I recently listened to a podcast interview with Israeli chefs Gil Hovav and Einat Admony (love the food at her veg restaurant Taim) and they talked about so many of the incredible Yemenite foods they grew up eating, which humbly inspired me to try to make some, including two breads, malawach and jachnun. Continue reading

Vegan Malabi with Roasted Fruit

Malabi is an amazing, delicious Middle Eastern dessert that is popular in Israel. I used to go a little cafe with a few wooden tables near Shouk Hacarmel in Tel Aviv for vegan malabi (not sure if the place served anything else besides vegan malabi and coffee. Its malabi was so good that it could perhaps get by with just serving it). It came in a little glass jar topped with a dollop of jam and was a perfect small sweet treat.

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