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Everyone’s on a juice cleanse. I wanted to make a fruit salad this week because it’s fruit, and there’s no reason not to be accommodating (though I’d rather accommodate with real food than liquid). I thought about a Middle Eastern one with a rose water and honey syrup and some thick and creamy Greek yogurt. I even bought a pomegranate and was getting ready to de-seed it and sprinkle the jewels all over the yogurt when I made the huge mistake of cutting myself a piece of sourdough bread. There were some lemon droplets on the cutting board, and that’s when everything went awry.

A couple of hours later, my minimal counter space was adorned with oven-roasted tomatoes and red onions. Chopped lemon bits were sprinkled all over the floor, and a lemon and garlic sauce was simmering on the stove, wafting — well, not really wafting through our apartment because we have relentlessly horrible circulation — but it was definitely filling the kitchen with a spring-time aroma.

I know the threat of summer weather makes us all think twice about the food we put in our mouths. But summer also means hanging out with friends, picnics, beach bags, and outdoor parties. You definitely can’t serve your friends a single glass of orange-kiwi-pineapple-whatever juice at any of the above. Thus, you need a new appetizer, a new party favorite that will have everyone forgetting they’re wearing a bikini and, instead, maybe starting to resent you a bit for having so much spare time to make these snacks (in truth, they take no work at all!). But the key is to make them think you slaved away when all you did was use your time wisely. This is not an appetizer/snack to miss! Keep the tomatoes around to sprinkle in salads, put on sandwiches, or just eat straight! Enjoy!


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Inspired by The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

What You Need:

Lemon & Garlic Sauce

about 1/2 lemon; thinly sliced then chopped (about 2 tblsp of chopped lemon)

2 garlic cloves; chopped

1/2 c olive oil

For the Onion and Tomato

4 tomatoes

1/2 red onion

1 tsp sea salt

a dash of pepper

3 tblsp olive oil


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How To Do It:

For the lemon & garlic sauce: place all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until the oil is hot to the touch (allow it to simmer for about five minutes).

For the tomato and onion: Toss the ingredients together, lay on parchment covered pan, and heat for two hours at 275 degrees F.

Toast some sourdough bread, place tomato/onion, and top with the lemon & garlic sauce. Enjoy!

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There was an article last week in the NY Times called “The ‘Busy’ Trap” that I thought was perfectly insightful.  Now, a week later, it’s just sort of haunting me.  The author wrote: “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”

This clip is how I feel when people tell me they’re busy.

This meme is how I feel when people ask me to do things when I’m busy.

Most of us are operating on the assumption that we will do our work now and live our lives later — when we retire. Why can’t we live our lives right now? Why can’t the work day be shorter and things just move a little slower? I thought someone said there were roses to smell along the way!

When we lived in Jerusalem, I had constant, whiny freak-outs because I wasn’t in school, I didn’t have a “real” job, and I definitely didn’t even own a suit (truth-be-told, I was pretty much wearing pajamas for a straight two years because no one dresses up in Jerusalem). I think my anxiety stemmed from being an “overbooked child/teenager/young adult,” constantly on the move not only between houses but from volleyball to basketball, to Hebrew school, to Sunday school, to piano lessons, to guitar lessons, to volunteering, blah blah blah. And my childhood schedule pales in comparison to my wee brother and sister’s who are not only shuttled among similar activities but who also attend farm camp, robot-building workshops, and will likely be writing computer code before they can legally ditch their bumper seats in the car. They are nine, and they have more “skills” for their resume than I do.

I’m not gonna’ lie: that stresses me out.  But it also worries me. When my little sister was probably six years old or so, she came home from a big day at kindergarten and, when our mom asked if she wanted to do something with her, she replied, “I just want to put my feet up.” I fear that her feeling will remain with her until she retires.

I can hardly recall why I used to wish busy-ness upon myself. Today, I’m in endless classes, reading at all hours of the day, still don’t have a “real job” but I’m certainly “on a track,” and probably should have taken out another loan for the several suits I now own. Although my life is moving forward, happily, my life isn’t necessarily better or more creative or more fulfilling. I really believe it was only during such a “down time” in my life that I found my way to creativity. In the article I mentioned above, the author writes: “The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” I think he is so wise.

Look, this recipe takes time. Making it will force you to “stir continuously,” let things “rest” and not to let things boil too long. Indeed, you have to pay attention and you do need time. You have the time. It might be hidden somewhere, or you might have left it at the park when you were six years old, but you can find it now. It is important for your well-being. If you don’t make the time for this salad, make some time to do nothing, or wait around to do nothing, or take a walk with your kid, or just stare at a wall. Do something that gives you anxiety about everything you’re putting off, smile when it’s over, and you will see, miraculously, that you have somehow survived and your life is still meaningful, if not more. Enjoy!

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What You Need:

Polenta recipe adapted from 101cookbooks

Polenta Croutons (this will make more croutons than you need, but you can just fry them up after and make polenta fries per the recipe linked above)

2 c milk (I used low fat)

2 c water

1 1/2 c polenta

1 tsp salt

oil for frying

For the Salad

4-6 large handfuls of watercress (just put as much as you want!)

Burrata; ripped into golf ball-sized pieces

1 tblsp olive oil

pinch of salt

1 bunch of asparagus; shaved, halved, and blanched

3 tblsp lemon juice (plus a little at the end)

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How To Do It:

Polenta Croutons

Bring the milk and water just to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stream in the polenta while stirring constantly. Stir in the salt and turn down the heat a bit if needed (you don’t want the polenta to scorch). Continue stirring until the polenta thickens up (see picture); this can take anywhere from just a few minutes to much longer depending on your polenta.

Remove from heat and spread out 1/2-inch thick onto a baking sheet using a spatula (I wish I had made thicker ones — give it a try!). Chill in a refrigerator for at least an hour. Cut into 2″ x 2″ squares (or diamonds, or whatever!).

Bake in a 450 degree oven, middle rack, for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.  On the stove, heat a tblsp of olive oil over high heat. Fry polenta squares until brown on all sides.

The Salad

Trim off the bottom 1-2 inches of your asparagus and shave about half of them with a peeler. Keep the remains. Halve the asparagus. In a medium sauce pan, bring salted water to a boil. Once boiling, blanch the asparagus for three minutes. Immediately run under cold water to stop them from cooking. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt to the asparagus. Set in the fridge to get cold.

Layer watercress, “croutons,” asparagus, and more watercress. Top with chunks of burrata mozarella. Drizzle some olive oil, salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon and enjoy!


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Matzo ball soup. Brisket. Four huge glasses of wine. Macaroons. Which of these things is not like the rest?

Macaroons.

I don’t trust any food that can survive a year in a little tin canister without molding. We left Egypt! Our food should expire, stale, lose flavor or, at least, evaporate. We deserve as much.

It feels like everywhere I look these days, people are updating the seder. The haggadot are endlessly accommodating, educational and simplified, and our grandmothers wouldn’t even recognize the recipes on today’s seder plate. People really are willing to leave what doesn’t work in Egypt, and I think this is right. But as I write this, I can hear Tevia in my head, curling his wrists and exclaiming, “Truh-dish-un… TRADITION! Dum DUM!”

These aren’t traditional macaroons. And THANK GOD. These coconut macaroons are crispy around the edges and chewy in the center. They are extraordinarily moist with a fresh and bright orange scent. The chocolate shavings are, well, there because it’s not really dessert without chocolate. And they’re shavings, so they look fancy. Even if you’ve already had your seder, I hope you’ll be able to enjoy these macaroons throughout the week, or even just for non-Jewish culinary pleasure. Enjoy!

Makes about 12 large macaroons

Inspired by this recipe!

What You Need:

3 egg whites

2 c sweetened, shredded coconut

1/2 c white sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1 tblsp orange zest

dark chocolate shavings to garnish (just use a peeler to shave the chocolate)

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How To Do It:

Line a pan with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients (except the orange zest and chocolate) in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel because the mixture will heat faster than in glass. Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (if your bowl bobs in the water, simply pour some out). Stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop. Add the orange zest to the mixture and fully incorporate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using 2 tblsp of batter, make attractive, pointed heaps 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. (You can also make these smaller and bake for less time, in 1-tablespoon heaps.) Sprinkle the chocolate on the tips. Bake for about 5 minutes — just until the visible coconut tips begin to color — and then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a beautiful cream color with golden and brown edges. Set the pan or just the liners on racks to cool. Let cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie. If you are impatient, I removed mine from the parchment early and they were fine. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Note: the macaroons may seem slightly soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up if you just give them 5-10 mins outside the oven.


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I want more.

I know it’s not really “zen” and all, but I do.

An airline carrier that emails me before I arrive for a cancelled flight.
A pedicurist who doesn’t skimp on a firm, long foot massage.
A can opener that works and a shower caddy that doesn’t rust.

One thing’s for sure and that is, these super easy pickled red onions go the distance. With minimal ingredients, these pickled onions pack a big punch. Lip-smacking punch. Like you got punched in the face punch. If you’re like me, and you are resistant to pickling for fear that you’ll give yourself and everyone you love botulism, these pickled onions just go right in the fridge! No boiling, burning, infecting required! Curious how to eat them? Give your turnip soup a face lift, decorate your kinda boring kale salad, and accessorize your cheese sandwich. Let your food live! That’s not wanting more — that’s wanting what you deserve.

By the way, I’m sorry for the delay in posting this week. These last few weeks have been some of the busiest of my life, but I am happy to say that the craze will finally be over in the next couple of weeks. My teammates and I are packing up for New York to compete in a moot court competition, and the first Jewish Food Festival to hit SF arrives this Sunday (I was on the planning committee). I would be honored if you would check out this article I wrote for the Jew and the Carrot about the Festival and my connection to Jewish food. And for those of you in SF, you can learn more about this Sunday’s festival here. Come March 25th, I’ll be a relaxed woman ready to settle into a joyful Passover dinner with my family and breathe a little easier. I won’t be posting next week because I will be out of town, but I wish you all a restful, reflective, and rejuvenating holiday — if you celebrate — and if not, a wonderful week ahead of you.

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What You Need:

2 c white vinegar

1 c sugar

8 alspice berries

1/2 tsp yellow mustard

1 tsp black peppercorns

2 medium onions; as thinly sliced as you can

1 tblsp fresh tarragon; chopped

2 garlic cloves; thinly sliced

one slice of red beet (for color)

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How To Do It:

Put all the ingredients — except the garlic and the beet — into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (a few minutes) but without bringing the mixture to a boil. Set aside and allow to cool (about 15-20 minutes). While that’s all going, thinly slice the onions, thinly slice the garlic, and chop the tarragon. Put the beet in the mason jar for color (it can be chopped, sliced, whatever) and the garlic. Stuff as many onions as you can into the jar (it should be packed). Once the vinegar mixture has cooled, pour it into the jar and tightly seal. Give it a good shake to mix everything up. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least a day before enjoying. These are good for two weeks in the fridge. Enjoy!


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You know how movies that feature a handful of A-list celebrities are almost always a flop? It makes sense – no one can shine when everyone is great. Food really isn’t like that though. I’m not saying that you should add white chocolate to Babaganoush because you love chocolate and you love eggplant and you love lemon (although someone thought it was good because it was featured in Bon Appetit). But I am saying that I would be stunned, shocked, and appalled if you didn’t love this bowl filled with A-list ingredients — leeks, dates, chickpeas, garlic, A TON OF LEMON and salt.

The best thing about this recipe, besides how delicious it is, is that if you make it for lunch on Sunday, you’ll have leftovers until Tuesday. And this isn’t one of those recipes where you push the tupperware farther and farther back into the fridge because you’d rather lick pavement that eat soggy leftovers one more time. Farro is sturdy and it doesn’t get mushy after a few days in your fridge (although if you replace it with quinoa, you’re looking at a problem…). Eat with pride, happiness and enjoy this for days!

Recipe adapted from the NY Times

Serves: 4-5 hungry people as a main dish

What You Need:

4 leeks; halved and thinly sliced

1/3 + 1/4 c olive oil

2 1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 can chickpeas

1/3 c lemon juice (about 3 meyer lemons)

1/4 tsp red chili flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 c dry farro, cooked (if you’re gluten-free, use quinoa!)

2 c celery celery leaves and tender stems (the inner part of the celery)

1/2 c dates

1/2 c raisins

How To Do It: 

Preheat your oven to 425 F degrees. Toss the leeks with 1/4 c oil, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Spread them out in a single layer (use a second baking sheet if necessary) and roast, tossing frequently, until golden brown and crisp at the edges (about 20 minutes). In a large bowl, toss the leeks with the chickpeas, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 1/4 tsp salt, chile flakes and garlic. Stir in 1/3 c oil. Let marinate while you prepare the farro. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the farro until it’s tender. Drain and then toss with chickpea mixture. Stir in the dates, raisins and celery. Season to taste (either more lemon or salt). Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

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Sometimes we all need something bright and sweet and comforting during a hectic week. I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve just been consuming a steady diet of Acme bread… bread with pickled onions, bread with avocado and sea salt, bread with mozarella and rosemary agave nectar.  All you do is toss 2 sprigs worth of rosemary into a small saucepan with 1/4 c agave nectar (you could use honey, too). Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously so it doesn’t come to a boil. Set aside for about 15 minutes. Once you have this on hand, drizzle it over toast for breakfast, over some goat cheese, on pancakes or crepes, use it as a salad dressing, even consider drizzling it onto broiled chicken for some salty sweetness. The combinations are really endless. Enjoy!

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_DSC0454What You Need:

1/4 c agave nectar (or honey)

2 sprigs of rosemary (fresh or dried)

How To Do It:

Put the agave and rosemary into a small sauce pan. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes and don’t let it come to a boil. Set aside for 15 minutes or so. Enjoy!

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I love group efforts.  Whether it’s a fire engine barreling through a busy street after all the cars have dutifully moved aside or its a group of six people squished at a cafe table offering to share computer chargers just to make life easier, I get emotional.  Sometimes I get a little weepy, but I’m not, like, a wreck or anything. I just feel inspired, like, A League of Their Own inspired when Dotti drops the ball for her sister Kit. Small acts inspire me to be a better person.

The Latin meaning of “inspire”, inspirare, is “to breathe life into.” One of the most rewarding aspects of having this blog is the pressure to create something new on a regular basis. I have no idea what kind of person I would be today if I hadn’t found my way to cooking; it’s a hobby that has transformed me. I’m grateful for it, too, because it doesn’t take much not to feel inspired every day. People can be annoying, mean, competitive and hurtful.

My mom always says that you have to make your own luck in this world. It’s completely true. And the best we can all do is to have one corner of our life that is beautiful and bright where we make our own inspiration, too. What inspires you? What do you breathe life into?

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This is a risky statement, but I think this is my favorite dish I’ve posted on this blog. This flatbread is phenomenal, made from the last remnants of refrigerator items. I love how those kinds of dishes are almost always the best ones where you’ve struggled to make the most with what you’ve got. This is a fantastic appetizer, party dish, dinner or lunch. Crack an egg on top, bake in the oven a little longer, and it would make a great breakfast, too. Not only does it look absolutely gorgeous, but it comes together pretty quickly and, well, tastes deceivingly gourmet. Let the dough brown up a bit in the oven while the edges of the potato crisp, the lemon sweetens, and the mozzarella melts and colors this gorgeous flatbread. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh tarragon and you’re on your way! Enjoy!

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Serves: dough recipe makes 2 small pizzas (each serve two people)

Dough recipe from The Kitchn

For the dough:

3/4 c  lukewarm water

1 tsp instant yeast

2 c all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

For the toppings: (I’ve provided proportions, but use any amount of the following vegetables)

1 garlic clove; crushed

1 tblsp olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt (plus a pinch)

1/2 tomato; thinly sliced

1/4 yellow beet; thinly sliced

1/2 meyer lemon; thinly sliced

1/4 potato; thinly sliced

1 radish; thinly sliced

1/2 burrata mozarella ball; dotted all over the flatbread

1 heaping tblsp fresh tarragon; finely chopped


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How To Do It:

For the dough: combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you’ve formed a shaggy dough.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface along with any loose flour still in the bowl. Knead until all the flour is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it’s sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth.

If you have time, you can let the dough rise until you need it or until doubled in bulk (about an hour and a half). After rising, you can use the dough or refrigerate it for up to three days.

Cover the dough with the upside-down mixing bowl or a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the toppings.

For the toppings: Preheat your oven to 375 F. Roll out the flatbread. Brush (with your fingers or brush) the olive oil all over, including on the edges. Rub the crushed garlic all over the dough, allowing pieces to break off randomly. If they seem large, just cut them a bit and place randomly. Sprinkle with the salt (reserving the pinch for later). Lay the toppings, alternating among the vegetables for color and completely covering the dough. Try and place the lemons in different places and same with the tomatoes (just for color, really). Dollop the cheese. When you’re finished, sprinkle with the pinch of salt. Place in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the pizza have browned and the vegetables look fairly crisped. Top with tarragon and serve. Enjoy!

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Chances are you are terrified of making bread. And if you’re not, you are probably completely “over” the no-knead bread craze.

I’m not over it. But I am kinda over the terror I feel every time I reach into a 500 degree oven to pull out my pot (see below), yet no where near over it enough to give it up for another method.

Actually, I did try a while back. I went to a “make your own starter” class, made a starter, diligently fed it twice a day, and I killed it. It was a real life Tamagochi pet disaster. Then I went to Outerlands, tasted their bread, died from pleasure, asked if I could have some of their starter, took some of it home, fed it for a couple weeks, and killed it, too. If anyone has some starter they want to destroy, send it over here!

When I want to make my own bread, I use this recipe, dump all the ingredients in a bowl, let it sit overnight, and put it in the oven 18 hours later. A four-year-old could do this, blindfolded and hungry. If you mess this up, you have bigger problems. The real mastery of no-knead bread comes in picking some cool flours and adding some interesting flavors. Or just sticking with normal white flour and adding some sun-dried tomatoes, or roasted garlic, or olives!

I wish I had used more meyer lemon in this recipe because I think it would have been a really irresistible flavor. Instead, the fennel was front and center, which is no problem for me because I’ll put fennel see in anything (have you ever had fennel ice cream?), but you might want to add more lemon.

Once you cast eyes on your first gorgeous loaf, with a perfect crust (you’ll call it a “crumb” though) and lots of holes, you’ll convince yourself you’re a pro and probably pay some ridiculous amount of money to attend a starter class, and watch & feed your starter like a doting mother. After you do that, you’ll likely make a delicious sourdough bread and forget about the likes of me and my no-knead bread-loving attitude. When that happens, send me a message, tell me how you are keeping your starter alive, and let’s make a sourdough bread recipe together. Enjoy!

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What You Need:

2 1/2 c warm water

1/4 tsp dry, active yeast

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp agave nectar

1 tblsp fennel seeds

2 tsp meyer lemon zest (next time, I would probably use 1 heaping tblsp)

2 3/4 c spelt flour (*you can replace this with whatever kind of flour you want)

2 c all-purpose white flour


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How To Do It:

Place water in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and stir. Add salt, honey, fennel seeds and lemon zest and stir until well-mixed. Add the flour to the water mixture. Mix until all is combined.  It will look shaggy and unimpressive. Cover with kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside for 12-18 hours (try and do the 18).

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When you return to the dough, it will be bubbly and sticky. Flour the kitchen counter, and pour the dough out on the floured surface; dust the dough with flour or it will be too sticky to handle.

Fold it 4 times: take the left side and fold it onto the middle of the dough; take the right side and fold it into the middle of the dough; take the top and fold it down; take the bottom and fold it up (it kind of looks like an envelope, right?).

Dust a non-terry cloth kitchen towel with some flour. Place the dough on the towel folded side down. Fold the kitchen towel over the dough and let rise for 2-3 hours. When there is about 40 minutes left of the rising time, turn on the oven to 500F and place your dutch oven (no greasing needed) with the lid on in the oven. When the oven is ready, the dutch oven will be smokin’ hot, so when you add your dough to the pot, steam will rise and be contained with the pot; this creates a beautiful crust.

CAREFULLY remove the dutch oven from the oven. Unwrap the dough and place/drop it in the dutch oven. Slash the dough with a knife, then cover with the lid and place it back in the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower the to 445F, remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, let cool slightly, turn the dutch oven upside down and place the bread on an oven rack to cool. Enjoy!

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Lace cookies have been a well-loved post at myjerusalemkitchen. Every day, more of you come to my site for the Dark Chocolate, Almond & Orange Lace Cookies than any other recipe, and in 2011 and 2012, it was my top post. It’s no wonder really: these cookies are insanely addictive. Ruin, ruin, ruin your diet addictive.

So, it felt like the right time for a remix. While I was living in Jerusalem, there was nothing I wanted more than the sweet simplicity of a dark chocolate and almond lace cookie from Trader Joe’s. Now, thinking of my time abroad, I’m finding the flavors of Jerusalem slipping into my cooking in surprising ways.

Instead of almond, these cookies are filled with pistachios (the nut of royalty!) and laced with the faintest hint of cardamon. How do you eat these? Take two cookies, smother a mixture of melted dark chocolate and raw tahini between them, sit back, think about happiness.

And many thanks to my fabulous friend Ben Blumenthal for his photo editing guidance.

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Makes about 18 3″ x 3″cookies

What You Need:

1/2 c brown sugar

2 tblsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tblsp cream

1/4 c honey

1/3 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c pistachios; coarsely ground

1/2 tsp cardamon

For Dipping:

1/2 c raw tahini

abour 1/4 c dark chocolate

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How To Do It:

Note: Please check out this post for some important tips on making these cookies and for some creative tips. (summary: do not put batter on a hot/warm pan; you must follow the order of the instructions; if your cookies are weirdly shaped, before they completely cool you can use scissors to cut them into perfect circles.)

Put the sugar, butter, vanilla and honey in a small sauce pan and, while stirring continuously, bring to a boil. Let boil for one minute then remove from the heat.

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In a small bowl, combine the flour, pistachios and cardamon. Mix well. Add this mixture to the the wet mixture in small batches and combine thoroughly. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until the batter is cool enough to be handled (although you won’t be handling it). If the mixture is stiff when you return to it, heat it over a low flame for a minute or two.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 F. Drop teaspoon sized dollops onto parchment paper (not wax paper!), and make sure you give these A LOT of room (about 2-3 inches) to spread out.

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Cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven (check your oven often the for the first batch so you get the hang of it). They are done when they turn a golden-brown color (not dark brown, and not as light as honey).  Immediately take the parchment off the pan (with the cookies on top still) and set aside to cool for a few minutes.

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While the cookies are baking, you can melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Combine with the tahini. Spread, drizzle, dip. Do your thang. Put them all in the fridge for about 20 minutes before eating so they can firm up. Make them ahead, if you want, and store in the freezer. Enjoy!

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This is not a post about blood oranges. And no meyer lemon was harmed in the making of this dish. No bee pollen was purchased, no bizarr-o flour was milled, and no oak-tarnished wooden knives were wielded. This is a recipe for da people! Made with all that normal crap in your fridge and cooked in a regular, run-of-the-mill oven in a pretty averagely-appointed kitchen.

Maybe it’s the recession’s fault, or YouTube’s, or maybe I’m just getting older and this is the natural course of life, but things are getting really … simple. I mean, identity is still a toughie. But, it just costs so much to be plain these days! Food magazines charge $18 for images of a single pine cone, or a bundle of dirty carrots on a picnic bench, or just a bird, sitting there, not even flapping.  The trendiest restaurants offer five items. Girls I know upcycle their grandparents’ sweaters, … “upcycle” became a word…and did you know there’s a store in the Outer Sunset that sells six oz, handleless, plain white mugs for $30?

And then there are some simple things that became really complicated: cleaning up your own mess; putting things back where you found them — husbands and sons everywhere, struggling with this one for eternity. Buying yogurt from the store – really? You’re going to actually make yogurt? It doesn’t … just … come like that? Bottled vinegar — I don’t want to make anything in my kitchen from scratch that requires a “mother,” unless it’s a human baby. Sometimes I Just want to see recipe instructions that are under 15 words: add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir. Bake at 375 F. I wish that worked for everything.

So, look. This recipe is simple. Don’t complicate it. Make the dish and then dip some bread in it. Enjoy!

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Recipe inspired by this

Serves: 3 for lunch or 4-5 as a side/snack

What You Need:

1 tblsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves; crushed

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 large can of diced tomatoes

1 shallot; peeled

1 tsp oregano

1 tblsp butter

salt & pepper to taste

150 g of feta (I used the “feta in brine” from Trader Joe’s)

a handful of green olives

a handful of cherry tomatoes

3 eggs

za’atar spice for garnish (*this is a more unusual and completely optional ingredient – available in Middle Eastern grocery stores)


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How To Do It (an attempt at simplicity – it’s hard!):

Saute the garlic and cumin seeds for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, shallot, butter and cook for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the feta chunks, tomatoes and olives in a dish. Cover with the warm sauce and mix it around so that you can see the chunks of feta and the olives. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Remove from the oven and crack the eggs on top (with a fork, spread the whites of the eggs around so it bakes evenly). Cover with foil, turn the heat up to 400 F, return the dish to the oven and remove when the eggs look cooked (about 10 mins). Serve with a hunk of your favorite bread! Enjoy!

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