March 27, 2006

An Extraordinary Package

Over the weekend I was fretting a bit since I knew to expect a food package from some mysterious person from a land far (or near, it's Europe after all) away. Fretting since the package was likely to arrive on Friday, I was on a plane heading to Spain, and the package content were conceivably perishable. I participated in a second Euro Blog By Post, which had me a bit frazzled since I had SO LITTLE TIME TO THINK LAST WEEK. But all went well in the end.

Upon returning to Amsterdam I headed directly to the post office where I picked up a package from Greece. It's always a treat to head to the post office when you know that at the end of the errand something delightful awaits you.


Shalimar , my secret food sender prepared an excellent package. It was loaded with various (and thankfully not terribly perishable) goodies each ribboned and unique.


A detailed note with ingredient name and directions on how to use was included:

3 sorts of traditional cookies: A savory white knot, a cinnamony round, and an anise/sesame cookie (my favorite of the three). I have been nibbling away at them over the past two days and now remains only one which I will dip into my coffee. The anise/sesame one was my favorite. Similar to a biscotti in texture, rich in uncommon flavor. If I could get the recipe on this one... DSC00815.JPG

A package of organic orzo, pasta shaped rice. It's like my thoughts are out there in the open ready for anyone to read. I mean the ones I haven't written down yet. Growing up we would eat Near East Rice Pilaf a lot, we loved it. Since moving here, every now and again I get these cravings for foods I cannot find, generally some package and some sentiment. The past few months it had been this rice pilaf, so I got it into my head to try to recreate it. Likely with this Greek orzo I can make and even tastier product.

A jar of capers and a sack full of mountain tea, both which grow wildly everywhere along Greece.

Many long sticks of cinnamon, which Shalimar says are often used in Greek sauces. Frankly, I have never seen them so long and look forward to finding various recipes to use them in.

Two sorts of Nougat. The package reads Nougat Pita, which is a pretty good name for it since it's like a delicious Fluffernut filling sandwiched between two very thin wafers. I haven't had nougat like this in the past, I look forward to eating up the second package, perhaps dessert for tonight.

A bit of candy for Easter. Tootsie Rolls being my senders childhood friends

And, delightfully a bottle opening depicting the traditional Greek dress.


A million thanks for this!

To read about the package I sent, go meet Kel. I was half thinking of hand delivering this package since I was in Barcelona over the weekend. I regret doing so since he blog is so great, but I had not time to think or read or coordinate this at all. Another trip there is forthcoming.

Posted by talia at 4:43 PM | Comments (3)

January 19, 2006

Mac and Cheese

mac and cheese.JPG

A classic in every way, delicious the next day too.

Cook al dente:
1 pound elbow macaroni
Drain well, set aside

Grate 12 oz. cheese, I used a combination of Gruyere (5) Gouda (5) and Parmesan (2)
Set aside

In a sauce pan make a roux using:
3T butter
3T flour

When slightly turned color, add and bring to a simmer:
1 c broth
1 c milk
1 T paprika
1 t cayenne pepper

Remove from heat and melt cheese into the sauce. Add:
2 - 3 heaping T minced garlic

Combine well with the pasta, place in baking pan and broil until top has browned.

Serve hot with a nice bottle of white wine. MMMM

Posted by talia at 9:45 PM

December 31, 2005

Recipe Swap Part Two

A few months ago I participated in a recipe swap. It was less than successful yielding far fewer than the "promised" number of new recipes, but I signed up for a second round nonetheless sending it out to different people in hopes of different results.

A few recipes have already started to arrive, and I've posted them below. I'll keep posting as new ones trickle in, and eventually test them all.

Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 40 min

1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
4 scallions, cut crosswise into thirds, then lengthwise into julienne strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Soft-leafed lettuce for serving

Bring 1 1/2 inches water to a boil with ginger in a deep 12-inch skillet and add chicken. Poach at a bare simmer, turning over once, until just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate and when cool enough to handle, finely shred.
Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil in a large bowl to make dressing.

Heat vegetable oil in cleaned skillet until hot but not smoking, then sauté mushrooms over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add scallions, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste and sauté, stirring, until scallions are just softened, about 1 minute.

Add to dressing, then add chicken and cilantro and toss. Serve chicken salad with lettuce.

Makes 4 servings.

Aunt Suzi’s Brisket - One dish wonder…

3/4 cup firmly packed DOMINO Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 cup chili sauce
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 to 3/4 (1.4-ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
1 (3- to 4-pound) BEEF Brisket
15 small red potatoes
1 1/2 pounds baby carrots

Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients; gently stir in beer.

Place brisket, fat side up, in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan; pierce several times with a fork. Arrange potatoes and carrots evenly around brisket; pour beer mixture evenly over brisket, potatoes, and carrots.

Bake, covered, at 325° for 3 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with sauce. Remove from oven, and let brisket stand in pan, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove brisket from pan, and cut into slices. Return slices to pan with potatoes and carrots.

Bake, covered, 30 minutes or until tender.


(made w/mom 2005)
8 servings

- 1 tblspn peanut oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup chopped green onions (about 8 small)
- 1 to 2 tblspn Thai green curry paste
(we used 1 1/2 tsp & it was still spicy)
- 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 3 tblspns Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 2 tspns sugar
- 1 cup diced plum tomatoes
- 2 lbs uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
- chopped fresh cilantro
- lime wedges

heat peanut oil in heavy large skillet over med-high heat. Add sliced onion, stir fry until soft & beginning to brown, about 4 min. Reduce heat to med. Add green onions & curry paste, stir until fragrant, about 1 min. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, & sugar, bring to boil. Add tomatoes & boil 2 min. Add shrimp & cook just until opaque in center, stirring often, about 3 min. Transfer curry to lg shallon bowl. Garnish w/cilantro. Serve passing lime wedges separately.

Serve w/rice.

Posted by talia at 8:36 AM

November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Day Menu

First Fare:
Corn Bisque with Drop Biscuits


Main Event:
6 kg Roasted Turkey
Friedman Family Traditional Cornbread Stuffing
Marshmallow Yams ala Alec
Brussels Sprouts with Chevre and Walnuts
Roasted Root Vegetables with Salt Cured Country Ham
Cranberry Compote
Salad with Persimmons, Pears, and Pomegranate
Shitake Gravy

Jorge's Pumpkin Pie
Michiel's Pecan Pie
Daantje & Fidel's Apple Pie
Cisca's stoofpeertjes

Cheese Course

Posted by talia at 10:57 AM | Comments (1)

November 21, 2005

Sunday Breakfast MeMe

I really went all out this Sunday. Feasting on several courses.

Started out with my usual coffee.
Continued with a piece of cake


Then, and this is where the "all out" comes in, I made Hollandaise sauce, poached three eggs, baked and then toasted two bagels, and fried up some bacon.


To work off some of the calories, I cleaned the kitchen and then took a well earned Sunday nap.

You said you wanted to know.

Posted by talia at 11:45 AM

November 20, 2005

Apple Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping and Brown Sugar Glaze

I added a new cake to my repertoire this week. Easy to make and delicious. I made a few changes to it as the original recipe stuck me as way too sweet. Even with my changes, the cake was quite sweet but the tart apples were just the right contrast.

1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar (I USED “ONLY” 1 CUP)
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples
Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter.
In a large bowl, cream together the remaining stick of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after the addition of each. In a separate bowl or on a piece of parchment, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the apples. Pour into the prepared baking dish, spreading out to the edges.
To make the topping, in a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter, and mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the cake and bake until golden brown and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
To make the glaze, in a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and water and mix until smooth. Drizzle the cake with the glaze and let harden slightly. Serve warm.

Posted by talia at 8:57 AM

November 19, 2005


Preparations for my favorite holiday are in full swing. We are celebrating in Amsterdam this year since we've traveled only very recently to the US and another such trip just doesn't fit into our schedules. The Traditional Holiday Feast will be missed, though we will do our best to recreate it here in our home.

The turkey has been ordered, though I am considering upping the size to 6.5kg. We will be 10 people (and two small babies) around the table and by all measures, I am told that a 6kg will feed us all and give us leftovers. At first I was a bit concerned about such a big bird fitting into my oven, but I know now that it will.

We will be brining.

We will be starting the roasting breast side down.

I am not yet sure if I will go with high heat as has recently been suggested to me, or the tried and true method.

The bird will be stuffed, but I will not cut into the uncooked breast to fill it with herbs as was suggested in the most recent issue of Cook's Illustrated. To me that sounds like the guarantee of a dry bird.

There will be no dry bird.

There will be gravy.

Heck, we even today found large marshmallows.
This entry is the 100th entry of my on-line journal.

Many more to come.

Posted by talia at 4:14 PM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2005


the mayor and us.JPG

I never before today went to a party held in a supermarket and I never after today do I ever want to go to a party not held in a supermarket.

This was a particularly interesting supermarket because a) I've never been to it before and b) it's the supermarkets where restaurants go to shop.

The party was particularly fabulous since a) it was the book opening party for Johannes's newest book, a comprehensive food dictionary - many congratulations Johannes! b) we were greeted not only by Johannes at the door but with a glass of delicious champagne, c) as we strolled the beautifully stocked baskets of produce and lanes of cheeses, meats and other treats, we got to nosh on pates, rare beef, wines, and mussels, and d) we met the mayor!

Posted by talia at 9:40 PM

October 14, 2005

Loobia Polow

Rice with Green Beans

I wanted to try something different from I normally use saffron in. Well, by normally, I mean quite infrequently since it’s not oftern enough I make paella. So I poked around on the internet with two thoughts in mind: 1) use the saffron I received from Christina in a recipe and 2) not have to leave the house to buy more ingredients. The later was indeed a real challenge since the cupboards and fridge were pretty sparse due to the upcoming trip to California.

I came across this website. It focuses on the cuisine of Iran. I altered the recipe in only one, yet conceivable important way: I used pork (I know I know !) instead of ground beef. So not only have a made the dish inedible to Irani Muslims, the dish was missing a key juiciness that had I used ground beef would have solved.

Other than it’s nice color, which could have actually been from the tomato paste, the saffron was not noticeable.

Back to the cutting board. anyone with better suggestions for using saffron, I am all ears.

- 500 g (1 lb) Basmati long grain rice
- 500 g (1 lb) meat, ground or small pieces
- 500 g (1 lb) string beans
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1/3 cup oil
- 1/2 tsp ground saffron
- 2 tbs lime juice
- salt and pepper
1. After washing the rice thoroughly, soak the rice in salted lukewarm water to cover by 2 inches for 3 to 4 hours.
2. String the beans, wash and chop into 1 inch lengths.
3. Slice the onion and fry in a little oil until it turns golden brown. Add the meat and continue to cook until the meat is half done. Add the beans and continue to cook over low heat until all cooked. Add tomato paste, 2 tbs lime juice and 1/4 tsp saffron, salt and pepper and remove from heat after a couple more minutes. Make sure you don't overcook the mixture.
4. In a large saucepan, bring 8 to 12 cups of water to a rapid boil.
5. Pour off excess water from rice and pour into boiling water. Bring back to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Test to see if the rice is ready. The grains should be firm in the center and rather soft on the outside. Strain and rinse with lukewarm water. Toss gently in the colander.
6. Bring 1/4 cup water and 2 to 3 tbs oil to rapid boil. Add layers of rice and the mixture of beans and meat interchangeably building it up to a conical shape.
7. Poke 5 or 6 holes through the rice to the bottom with the handle of a spoon. Close the lid. Keep on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes until rice is steaming.
8. Heat up 1/4 cup of water and 2 tbs oil and pour over the rice. Wrap the saucepan lid in a clean tablecloth and cover the pan firmly. Reduce heat to low for 45 minutes to an hour.
9. After removing from heat, place the saucepan in the sink and run cold water under it to cool down.
10. Add 1/4 tsp saffron to 1 tbs hot water. Lightly mix 2 to 3 tbs of rice with the liquid saffron in a small bowl. Set it aside for garnish.
11. To dish up, gently toss the rice and sprinkle lightly in a dish in a symmetrical mound. Garnish with the saffron rice.
12. Remove the crusty bottom and serve in a separate plate.

Posted by talia at 1:16 PM

October 10, 2005

Bzzz Bzzz Bzzz Bzzzz


The early morning buzzing was initially an unwelcome noise considering the extreme drunkenness I endured through the night until it occurred to me that it might be the postman and that Alec was still home so that he could deal with the door. The delivery had to be either a new modem or my much anticipated food parcel.

I was thrilled it was the food parcel since the thought of setting up a new modem is too much to bare.


The packages included several cookie cutters, two packages of saffron - the cupboard item I will incorporate into several menu items this week, and a pot of cherries which have been sinfully soaking in brandy since last year - the fruity item.


I'd like to thank Christina for the delights and to let you know that her website seems chock full of good looking ideas. Also, to Andrew thank you for organizing this meeting among people who care about food. I hope to participate in another exchange soon.

Posted by talia at 9:17 AM

September 24, 2005

A Damn Fine Cupcake

pre heat oven to 350F
prepare cupcake tin with paper

Melt in a double boiler:
8 T butter, cut into pieces
2 ozs. semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate
1/3 c Dutch-process cocoa

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine:
3/4 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1/2 t baking soda
3/4/t baking powder
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 t salt
1/2 c sour cream

Stir in melted chocolate.
Throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips for good measure.
Bake 18 - 20 minutes at 350 (180 c)
Yields about 12 small cupcakes (I prefer a larger, spilling over cake soi fill the paper to the top and get only 9)

Frosting is only necessary on a bland cake.

Posted by talia at 2:47 PM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2005

Recipe Swap

Recently a lovely little chain come my way ensuring new tastey eats from aaround the globe. I have so far received the following:

1. Download file

2. Baked Chocolate Cake

Serves 6 to 8

12 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the pan
1/3 cup flour, plus flour for dusting the pan
5 1/4 oz. good-quality European semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8 inch square or 9 inch round baking pan.

Combine butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Place over gently simmering water and whish until melted and smooth.

In the work bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar until frothy. Add flour and mix until well combined.

Fold one-third of the chocolate into the egg mixture, using a large rubber spatula, then fold in the remaining chocolate just until incorporated. Take care not to overmix.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, and bake in over until a knife, when inserted, comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.

Invert onto a rack and let cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with creme fraiche or whipped cream and a few fresh berries.

Posted by talia at 9:27 AM

January 28, 2005

Easy Fire Alarm Chili


1 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil (or bacon)
1 medium onions chopped fine
1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon crushed garlic (about three cloves)
1/8 cup chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chocolate powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ kg lean ground beef
2 cans dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 jar tomato sauce, puree tomatoes or can crushed tomatoes
table salt

heat oil then add onion, peppers, garlic, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and cook until softer (I like the peppers to still have a bit of bit and color to them). Add in the chocolate and ground beef and sauté until brown. Add beans and tomatoes sauce and salt (to taste). Bring gently to a boil. Lower heat (all the way down) and simmer for about an hour.

I sometimes add corn at the end. Serve with yogurt, quesadillas, grated cheese or whatever.

The base of the recipe is from Cook's Illustrated.

Posted by talia at 3:43 PM

January 26, 2005


My new favorite food: Cold yogurt soup, Bulgarian Style:

1 large cucumber peeled and diced
500 g plain yogurt, I especially like the Turkish kind, it's thick and nicely sour
2 mashed cloves garlic
1/2 c walnuts crushed fine
2 - 3 T vinegar
2 T olive oil
water or soda to dilute.

stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, serve chilled.

Note: kissing fiancee after eating this soup is allowed.

Posted by talia at 2:37 PM | Comments (1)

January 10, 2005

Recipe Conversions

One stick of butter is 1/4 pound or about 117 grams.
Butter in the US is sold in one pound boxes, each box containing 4 sticks.

Pound, cups, tablespoon and teaspoon conversions assume the base weight-volume of water
1 pound = 2 cups
1 ounce = 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 0.5 oz = 15 grams
1 teaspoon = 0.17 oz = 5 grams
pinch is less than 1/8 teaspoon
dl = deciliter = 1/10 of a liter = 1/2 cup

Weight-volume of:
Flour: 1 pound = 3 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1 pound = 2 1/4 cups

Sugar Substitution Charts

What does it mean?
c = cup
t = tsp = teaspoon
T = tbsp = tablespoon
C = Celsius
F = Fahrenheit
g = gr = gram
kg = kilogram

Metric Conversion Chart

1/4 tsp 1 mL
1/2 tsp 2 mL
1 tsp 5 mL
1 Tbl 15 mL
1/4 cup 50 mL
1/3 cup 75 mL
1/2 cup 125 mL
2/3 cup 150 mL
3/4 cup 175 mL
1 cup 250 mL
1 quart 1 liter

1 ounce 30 grams
2 " 55 "
3 " 85 "
4 " 115 "
8 " 225 "
16 " 455 "

Fahrenheit Celsius
32 degrees 0 degrees
212 " 100 "
250 " 120 "
275 " 140 "
300 " 150 "
325 " 160 "
350 " 180 "
375 " 190 "
400 " 200 "
425 " 220 "
450 " 230 "
475 " 240 "
500 " 260 "

Posted by talia at 9:26 AM

December 23, 2004


French Toast Casserole.JPG

You know it must be winter when nearly all referrers to my site come through a search for French Toast Casserole.

Posted by talia at 5:54 PM

December 3, 2004

Chocolate & Zucchini Cake


This one is an absolute winner.  We liked it when we first cut into it.  We liked it the next day, we then froze half b/c we were going away and when we came back and unfroze it, we still liked it so much. 

The recipe comes from Elsie's Simple Recipes, a website I’m not sure how I encountered but had an immediate sense that, boy, this woman knows what she’s doing.  I have not yet made anything else off the site, but I would not hesitate to try all of them.  The recipe, along with changes I made is as follows:


Chocolate & Zucchini Cake

2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 cup cocoa (this makes for a chocolaty but not over kill flavor, next time around, I might add a bit more, say another ¼ cup)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup soft butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (I added and extra ½ cup, could easily take another 1 cup)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (add many many more walnuts)
Glaze (directions follow)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
1 Combine the four, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
2 With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.
3 Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.
4 Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.
5 Drizzle glaze over cake.
Glaze: Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Posted by talia at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

December 2, 2004



I want to know, why is the pizza in New York City so much better than anywhere else in the world?

Posted by talia at 10:58 AM

November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving Baking

Today I made:

I have a good feeling about all four but am most excited to try the chocolate & zucchini cake since it's a new recipe and the batter tasted great.  Only after eating several spoonfuls of it did I learn that eating batter increases the likelihood of rain on my wedding day.

I am finally finished with a marathon baking day and for that I am thankful.

Posted by talia at 11:06 AM

September 17, 2004





Pickles, spices and silver dollar pita for sale at the main market in Akko.

Posted by talia at 5:31 PM

August 9, 2004

French Toast Casserole

Frence Toast Casserole

The French toast casserole always receives wonderful reviews and everyone always hits me up for both seconds and the recipe. This is how I first experienced French toast casserole. Erica, who at the time was not my brother’s wonderful girlfriend, presented this dish, received rave reviews and requests for seconds and the recipe.

Due to a long battle with technology I have lost the recipe she sent along, an ancient Fox family secret. I have found another, recipe which also tasted delicious. I'm hoping to get the FFFTC recipe again soon. The one I made is no as sweet, it call for adding everybody's favorite syrup at the end. The FFFTC called for making a syrup or sugary topping/filling and baking it right in. That's the good stuff

Here's second best.

1 loaf French bread (13 to 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
3 cups milk and/or half-and-half
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt

Slice French bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. (Use any extra bread for garlic toast or bread crumbs). Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I also found this bit, I didn't use it, but boy, doesn't it sound good?

Praline Topping:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.

Posted by talia at 9:31 AM

July 21, 2004

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake
Quite frequently I get the urge to bake. This is a great thing of course until I am faced with the actual baking. My oven is not really an oven and the food processor does not really process, though it sure takes up a lot of space on the shelf. As my mother often says, I do not have the kitchen I deserve. Nonetheless, I churned out a really delicious carrot cake yesterday. The recipe combines three I've found:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots

10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

For cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Cool cakes completely.

For icing: Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended. Beat in maple syrup. Chill until just firm enough to spread, 30 minutes.

I made one cake in a 9 in spring form pan and three mini one in 8 oz. ramekins.

Posted by talia at 9:35 AM

July 20, 2004

More on Jaime

Okay, I'll admit it. The love hate relationship I had with Jamie Oliver is now all about love. I use his book Jamie's Kitchenall the time.

-Chinese Chicken Parcels
-Warm Salad of Roasted Squash (I used sweet potatoes) Prosciutto and Pecorino
-Roasted Sweet Garlic, Bread and Almond Soup - though I like my recipe from Casablanca in Cambridge more
-The Easiest Lightest and Most Flexible Gnocchi IS AMAZING, though time consuming
-Dark, Sticky Stew is NOT TO BE MISSED
-Tender Braised Leeks - not for the recipe but for the technique
There are many others I want still to try. I wouldn't hesistate about any of these recipes. really. I have not used another book (except for the classics) as much. I get good ideas. I've eaten in his restaurant and Tokyo and am psyched one will be opening in Amsterdam. I want more of his book.

Posted by talia at 9:37 AM

February 10, 2004

Chinese Chicken Parcels

Chinese Chicken Parcels

Jay wrote this (I touched it up)

While Talia and I gagged at the thought of Naked Chef, aka Jamie Oliver, has been knighted we were both impressed with the ease of preparation and flavor of this dish. These little tastey packages would perfect for starters, sides, or the main meal. We still don’t see him as the heart-throb he purports to be.

Serves 4
1 savoy or Chinese cabbage
pinch of sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled (talia liked the ginger pieces But think perhaps juice might be nice too, we’ll let you know if we try that)
2-3 green onions
one handful of fresh coriander
1-2 red fresh chilies
1 T fish sauce
4 trimmed boneless chicken thighs/ skins removed, roughly chopped (we used ground chicken and it saved us a lot of hassle since Talia’s blender is broken)
7 water chestnuts
juice of half a lime (he called for the juice & zest of two limes, but we modified)
1 tsp. sesame seed oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO)

Sweet chili jam
Soy sauce
Rooster sauce

Remove & discard core and outer leaves of cabbage. Place them in pan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes to soften. Cool in bowl of cold water. Drain & put aside.

In food processor (we did all the chopping by hand and it worked fine), whiz the garlic, ginger, onion parsley, chili and fish sauce w/ pinch of salt. Then add remaining ingredients until mince meat consistency is reached.

Place heaping spoonful of mixture and wrap in lettuce. Oil the steamer and steam for 6 minutes with lid. Serve in bamboo steamer with sauce.

Posted by talia at 11:30 AM

January 21, 2004



My Savta Stella is from Bulgaria and makes the best darn burecas in the world...though i learned that in Bulgaria it's not called Burecas, it's called Banitza. I'm not sure why she doesn't call it Banitza, neither does she. Last week when i was visiting with her in Haifa, we spent the morning baking. I was some how able to convince her to not work in a little of this and a little of that but with measuring spoons so that I could get the recipe down. And even though she is very camera shy, i even got some good footage.

Posted by talia at 11:22 AM