Monthly Archives: April 2014

So many ingredients, which to use first?

While visiting my daughter, who has been doing graduate studies in ecology in the Negev Desert, we traveled around the country visiting other family members in the north and generally exploring. After 7 months of Arielle being away, it was great to have my oldest and youngest children together again.


We hiked in the desert, explored a cave, played in the Mediterranean and Red Seas, and generally saw the sights…


An early morning hike in the Negev with Arielle’s friends


Incredibly clear water in Eilat


Digging colored sands in the Ramon Crater


The Bahai Temple in Haifa


Beach in Netanya


Stalactite Cave


Arava Institute for Environmental Studies

So, when you are traveling around a country, where do you go when you have a few extra hours and are in love with local foods?… the local markets, or shouks as they are called in Israel.

First there was the shouk in the Old City in Jerusalem…with its wonderful displays of za’atar and other spices.


Then Mehane Yehuda, also in Jerusalem…with more varieties of halvah and tahini than one could imagine




Not to mention its varieties of dates and other dried fruits…


Then, with a few hours to spare before our plane, we stopped at the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv…



The result of visiting the markets and even a supermarket or two …suitcases filled with foods and ingredients to use at home…


Dates, figs, almonds, almond-cranberry mix, spices to add to rice and a flavorful topping for salads and other dishes


Dark chocolate hazelnut spread, milk chocolate and plain hazelnut spread, more dates, more spices – including za’atar, and a date spread.

Where do I start?  Breakfast!


Categories: General | 1 Comment

Farfalle with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

Mario Batali’s recipe and my home-grown sun-dried tomatoes and garlic – a very happy combination.


I am on the plane coming home today, so here is another dish I made before I left. As always with Mario Batali’s recipes, this has great flavor. An added plus is that the whole dish came together in the time it took to boil the water and cook the pasta.


I am usually not a big arugula fan, but it works so well in this dish. Our only addition was the sprinkling of parmigiano reggiano on the finished dish.  In our house, it seems that pasta is not pasta until it gets a sprinkling of either parmigiano reggiano or feta.

Farfalle with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

By Mario Batali

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (from the garden)

10 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, thinly sliced (from the garden)

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons salt

1 1/2 pounds farfalle pasta 

4 cups (about 5 ounces) baby arugula, trimmed


Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot.

While the water is heating, heat the olive oil in a 14-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until light golden brown. Add the sun-dried tomato pieces and the wine, bring to a boil, and remove from the heat.


Add the salt to the boiling water. Drop the farfalle into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute less than the package instructions indicate. Just before the pasta is done, carefully ladle 1/4 cup of the cooking water into the pan containing the sun-dried tomatoes.

Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the pan containing the sauce. Add the arugula and toss well. Toss over medium heat for 30 seconds, until the pasta is nicely coated.



Pour into a warmed serving bowl. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serves 8 – 10 as a first course or 6 as a main course.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Roasted Chickpeas and Spinach

I am still in Israel, so I will share a post I wrote about a dinner I made a couple of weeks ago…

After I made roasted chickpeas and spinach for dinner, we went out to my son’s art show. When we returned, our house was filled with such wonderful smells. Roasted cumin, coriander, onion and garlic, it was great!


The original recipe from uses canned diced tomatoes,  I adapted it to use the tomatoes from my garden that I cut up and froze in the fall.


It gave it a different texture than using canned chopped tomatoes, but we really liked it.



The recipe can be doubled to serve more people.  I made a small amount since there are only 3 of us at home.

Roasted Chickpeas and Spinach 

adapted from

1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, garbanzo beans, drained and


1 tablespoon oil, divided

1 teaspoon whole Coriander Seed

1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seed

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 cups frozen tomatoes (from the garden)

3 cups baby baby spinach leaves (from Highland Orchards)


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Toss chickpeas with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil. Spread in single layer on large shallow baking pan. Roast 15 minutes or until golden brown.


Meanwhile, heat small skillet on medium heat. Add coriander and cumin seeds; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Immediately pour out of hot skillet to avoid over-toasting. 


Finely crush using a mortar and pestle, small food processor, clean coffee grinder or a rolling pin.


Heat remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add salt and crushed seed mixture; cook and stir 1 minute.


Stir in tomatoes. 


Simmer 5 – 8 minutes or until liquid is thick. 


Add spinach; cook and stir 30 seconds or just until wilted. 


Stir in chickpeas until heated through.


Serve over rice.  Enjoy!


Serves 3.



Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Spinach, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Creamed Spinach Matzo Brei with Fried Onions

A couple of years ago, I found a recipe for Matzo Brei with Creamed Spinach and Crispy Onions on Food.Com.  I made it and was wowed by it.  It has become a necessary part of our Passover meal plan ever since!

Creamed Spinach Matzoh Brei!

The only change I have made to the recipe is to use fresh spinach rather than frozen.  The pictures are of a half recipe, this is easily halved when you just need 2 servings.

Creamed Spinach Matzo Brei with Fried Onions

Slightly adapted from Food.Com

3 Tbsp canola or safflower oil

1 lb fresh spinach (local, if possible)

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 whole matzos

6 eggs, lightly beaten (from Farmer Kim)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 (5.2 oz) package herb flavored spreadable cheese or 2/3 cup cream cheese


Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the spinach until just wilted, set aside.

Creamed Spinach Matzo Brei1

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in a medium skillet over high heat until hot.  Reduce the heat to medium; add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally,  until golden,about 8minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.  Reserve the skillet and oil.

Creamed Spinach Matzoh Brei2

Break up the matzos into about 2 inch pieces and soak in a bowl of cold water for 3 minutes.  Drain the matzohs and fold them into the eggs, 3/4 tsp salt and1/4 tsp pepper.

Creamed Spinach Matzoh Brei3

Reheat the skillet and add the butter over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the matzo mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the eggs are scrambles and the matzo has begun to crisp, about 5 minutes.

Creamed Spinach Matzoh Brei4

Stir in the spinach and cheese and cook until just heated through.

Creamed Spinach Matzoh Brei6

Top each portion with a mound of onions.  Enjoy!

Creamed Spinach Matzoh Brei

Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Passover, Spinach | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Raisin Farfel Kugel

Although I am now in Israel celebrating Passover with my daughter in the Negev, I wanted to leave you with a few recipes for the holiday.  This first one is a traditional raisin farfel kugel by Chef Ceasar.  I was drawn to it because it reminded me very much of my mothers noodle kugel.  I think the only difference is the matzoh farfel instead of the noodles.


When I took this out of the oven, my little one came in asking for a piece of the “cake” because it “smelled so yummy!” This is a dairy version, nice as a snack or as dessert for a dairy meal.  I also like it for breakfast.


Enjoy!  I hope to return from my trip with pictures, stories and perhaps some recipes from my new-found relatives (now THAT is a great story).

Raisin Farfel Kugel

By Chef Ceasar

2 cups Farfel
6 Eggs, beaten
½ cup Raisins
A dash of Salt
1 cup Sugar
2 tbs. ground Cinnamon
4 tbs. Butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.

Soak farfel in water 10 minutes. Drain.


Add beaten eggs into the bowl of farfel and let stand 10 minutes.


Stir in raisins, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and butter.


Transfer mixture to prepared dish.


Bake at 50 to 60 minutes.


Cut into squares and enjoy!


Serves 8 – 12 depending upon the size of the pieces.

Categories: Kosher, Passover, Recipe | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Pasta with Asparagus and Eggs

My husband and I really enjoy fresh asparagus, so asparagus season (aka early Spring) is very much enjoyed in our house.  But I fear that I will be traveling for a good part of this asparagus season, so I am rushing to fit in as many asparagus dishes as I can before I leave.


We were in Philadelphia for the Hot Chocolate 15K last weekend, and stopped at the farm store on the way home for some fresh asparagus.  Pasta with Asparagus and Eggs was a great post race dinner for me – replenished both my carbs with a good splash of protein.


I made some very slight adaptations from Penne with Asparagus and Eggs in Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman, just simply to meet our taste preferences.  We also used eggs from Farmer Kim and garlic from our garden.


Pasta with Asparagus and Eggs

Very slightly adapted from Penne with Asparagus and Eggs in Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman

Kosher Salt

1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths (locally grown)

2 Tbps olive oil

2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed (from the garden)

1 14-oz can tomatoes, crushed

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

3/4  lb shaped pasta, such as penne or wheels

Crushed red pepper


Bringa large pot of water to a boil and add a generous amount of salt.  Add the asparagus and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, until tender.  Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Cool, then drain and set aside.


Cover the pot and bring the water back to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic together in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until the garlic begins to color.  Remove the garlic and add the tomatoes.  Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked down slightly and fragrant, about 10 minutes.


While the tomatoes cook, cook the pasta according to package directions.

Also, beat the eggs in a large pasta bowl and add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, stir in half the cheese.


When the tomatoes are finished cooking, stir in the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.


When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and toss immediately with the eggs.



Add the hot tomato sauce and toss again.



Serve at once, passing the remaining cheese and crushed red pepper.  Enjoy!


Serves 4



Categories: Asparagus, Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes and Lemon

Spring has sprung here in Dover!  We even have enough daffodils blooming that I can start having fresh flowers in the house again.


I went out to Farmer Kim to pick up some freshly dug Jerusalem artichokes.  Getting fresh veggies again is making me so happy!


I have been waiting all winter for the Jerusalem artichokes to be ready so I could try Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes and Lemon. Lemon, saffron, herbs, garlic…mmmm! It was worth the wait!


We ate this with a light salad made with some of my home-grown mushrooms.  I love the flavor of my own mushrooms, I just never seem to get enough mushrooms to justify the cost of the mushroom kit. But check out the size of that mushroom, it is almost as big as the chicken thigh!


I do want to point out the other star of this dish – the shallots. Don’t skimp on the shallots, they are a real treat roasted in the lemon and seasonings.


I had to make a couple of adaptations due to my inability to get a few of the ingredients (Sadly, there was no tarragon to be found and I did not have pink peppercorns). I am including his full recipe here. This would work quite nicely for a Passover dinner.

Roasted Chicken with Jerusalem Artichokes and Lemon

from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem Cookbook

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, cut into 2/3″ thick wedges (from Farmer Kim)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
8 chicken thighs, on the bone with skin on
12 banana or other large shallots, peeled, halved lengthways
12 large garlic cloves, sliced (from the garden)
1 medium lemon, cut in half lengthways and then into very thin slices
1 tsp saffron threads
3 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup cold water
1 tbsp pink peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp tarragon leaves, chopped
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper


Put the Jerusalem artichokes in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of water and add half the lemon juice.


Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10–20 minutes, until tender but not soft. Drain and leave to cool.

Place the Jerusalem artichokes and all the remaining ingredients, excluding the remaining lemon juice and half of the tarragon, in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to mix everything together well.


Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Arrange the chicken pieces, skin-side up, in the centre of a roasting tin and spread the remaining ingredients around the chicken. (I split mine into 2 roasting pans so as not to overcrowd the chicken)


Roast for 30 minutes.


Cover the tin with foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. At this point, the chicken should be completely cooked.


Remove from the oven and add the reserved tarragon and lemon juice. Stir well, taste and add more salt if needed. Serve at once, enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Banana-Chocolate Chip Mini Donuts

Eggs from Farmer Kim!  So happy to be getting Farmer Kim eggs again, time to start baking!



I have been promising Cam some banana-chocolate chip mini donuts for a few months.  Now that I have Farmer Kim eggs it is time to make some!


We made some coated with sugar and some with sprinkles.


They were pretty wonderful – banana bread meets donuts.


Not much more to say but…Yum!!


Banana-Chocolate Chip Mini Donuts

From Food Network Magazine

Cooking spray

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 bananas)

1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously coat a mini doughnut pan with cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and the salt in a large bowl.


Whisk the mashed bananas, yogurt, vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl.


Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.


Stir in the chocolate chips.


Transfer the batter to a large resealable plastic bag and snip off one corner. Pipe the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup almost all the way.


Bake until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool in the pan2 to 3 minutes; remove the doughnuts to a rack to cool completely.


Let the pan cool, then coat with more cooking spray and repeat with the remaining batter.

Put the melted butter in a shallow bowl. Mix the granulated sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in another shallow bowl. Dip one side of each doughnut in the butter, letting the excess drip off, then immediately dip it in the cinnamon sugar.


Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.


Makes 3 -4 dozen



Categories: Dessert, Recipe | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cabbage Steaks

A secret – I love cabbage.

I have loved cabbage since I was a little girl.  My father used to make coleslaw (which I was not interested in); I would hover while he shredded the cabbage, waiting for him to offer me a chunk to munch on.  It was sweet and crisp and wonderful.

But with a meal, I can’t just put a chunk of cabbage on each plate, my family would look at me with horror. So when I saw the recipe for cabbage steaks in Cooking Light, I just had to try it.  I got to put a big piece of cabbage on the plate, but in a way that was hard to resist.  Isn’t it pretty?



It is amazingly simple to make.  Nothing is added except the oil and butter used to cook it in.  I thought it would need seasoning, but surprisingly, it had plenty of flavor all on its own.

Cabbage Steaks

from Cooking Light

1 large cabbage

2 – 4 tsp canola oil

2 tsp butter


Heat the oven to 425F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the cabbage vertically into 1″ thick slices.



Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tsp oil and 1 tsp butter and heat until bubbly.  Add 1 or 2 slices of cabbage.



Cook 4 to 6 minutes, until starting to brown on the underside.


Repeat with the remaining slices, adding oil and butter as necessary.



Bake for 20 minutes.




Using a spatula, carefully transfer to plates.  Enjoy!



Serves 2 – 4.

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 8 Comments

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