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When I first heard that Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi were coming out with Jerusalem, I pre-ordered it, watched all the YouTube videos from Jerusalem On A Plate, and waited eagerly for two months. When my book finally arrived, I tore open the packaging and scanned every single page with a crazed grin on my face half hoping I might find a few inches of my cheek next to an apple stand and then surprisingly rejected when I didn’t.  Then I became overwhelmed with sadness, put the book on the shelf beside my other neglected Israeli cookbooks (The Book of New Israel Food, Orna & Ella – The Cookbook, Jerusalem – A Culinary Adventureand didn’t open it up again until last week.

For Yotam and Sammi, Jerusalem is where it all began, and their book is an attempt to recreate the flavors and smells from their childhood. For me, Jerusalem is really where my life started. 

Some of my closest friends today are from that trip, and Jerusalem is where I met and fell in love with my husband. Jerusalem is where I discovered my love of cooking, realized that I wanted to become a lawyer, and where I dream of returning every time I find myself in the library at odd hours. It’s impossible to describe the homesickness I feel when I think of our life in Jerusalem: the relief of cold tile under my feet; the look of soapy streams flowing from ground-floor apartments after a good “sponga”; the smell of caramelizing onions on Shilo St., children’s voices… everywhere; ice-cold canteloupe-flavored popsicles on the beach in Tel Aviv; bright colors; loud noises; hot days. 

I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Leah Goldberg said that “only birds know, suspended between Heaven and Earth, the pain having two homelands.” I read this line years ago and it has never left me because no matter what, I’ll never fully “fit in” in Jerusalem. But my identity has been so shaped and affected by my life there that “home” doesn’t really fit anymore either…

I started this blog to keep “Jerusalem” in my every day life, that is, the feelings, inspiration, creativity, and joy that I experienced there. My nostalgia and longing have really prevented me, though, from keeping that purpose alive. Because I don’t foresee getting back to Jerusalem for any significant amount of time in the near future, I have resolved to actually open up those Israeli cookbooks on my shelf, starting with this one.

This soup is slightly tweaked from Jerusalem – not because I know better – but because my friends Anna & Molly might (this is their version). My favorite aspect of this recipe is that you don’t have to chop, dice, mince or do anything to the garlic other than crush the hell out of it. The roasted flavor is strong but brightened up by the sweetness of the tomatoes and freshness of the lemon. I made it twice last week, and by day four, I made it into breakfast shakshuka (see below) – very hip.

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Recipe slightly adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Jerusalem

Makes about 4 servings for hungry, hungry people

What You Need:

1 onion; diced

1 tblsp cumin seeds

1 tblsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp tomato paste

3 medium-sized tomatoes; peeled (you can just use a peeler if the tomatoes are firm enough) and diced

4 big garlic gloves; crushed

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tblsp sugar

2 tblsp lemon juice

1 2/3 c water

2 c vegetable broth

1/2 c quinoa

1 eggplant; roasted

2 tblsp dill; finely chopped

Note: If you double this recipe, which I recommend, add slightly more tomato paste.

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How to do it:

Roast the eggplant over a medium flame on top of your burner. If you have a gas range, place some foil under the burner to keep the area clean (keeping the actual burner uncovered). Set aside until it cools and then remove the burnt flesh and stem. Set aside.

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Sautee the onions and cumin seeds for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and saute for another minute. Add the diced+peeled tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, garlic, vegetable broth, water, salt, pepper and eggplant. Cook on a simmer for about 15 minutes.

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While that’s simmering, cook the quinoa in a separate pot.

After the 15 minutes of simmering, use a standing mixer or blender to blend the soup until all the eggplant is blended. Garnish with dill and enjoy! Taste, taste, taste. It’s friggin’ delish.

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Leftover soup? Tear a handful of spinach and crack a couple of eggs. Salt & pepper, cover with foil, cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Makes for a delicious breakfast! 

(Check this out for a more traditional shakshuka recipe.)

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Enough with the rules. Enough with order. Enough with predictability. Sometimes, you have to shout out to the world, “I’m gonna put sour cream in my chocolate cake! I’m gonna put fennel in my ice cream! And I’m gonna make some damn mini frittatas in a damn mini muffin tin and they’re gonna be cute and delicious as hell, world!”

Don’t you feel better?

If the name didn’t give it away, these frittata cups are irresistible. I popped one in my mouth … then three more … then I shoved one in Adam’s mouth while he was in the shower. I brought them to school to share with my friends, but then I ate them all. The real secret here is that the mushrooms soak up a lot of the lemon and develop a really sweet and subtly tart, fresh flavor. They are the perfect size to toss into the ol’ hole like popcorn – or you can take bites to “enjoy it longer,” as Adam said last night.

These would be a fantastic appetizer for a dinner party, go wonderful for brunch, or serve as a quick on-the-go breakfast; just pop a few in a ziplock and head out! Although I’m keen on this recipe, use this as a foundation for other wild and crazy combinations.

Make these now, and let me know how much you loved them. And if you don’t have a mini muffin tin, a normal, boring muffin tin will work just fine.

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Makes 24 mini frittata cups

What You Need

1 tblsp olive oil

10 crimini mushrooms; sliced

1 onion; chopped

4 tblsp fresh parsley; chopped

3 tblsp sun-dried tomatoes; chopped

2 garlic cloves; minced

juice from 1 meyer lemon (when in doubt, use more lemon)

2 handfulls of spinach

4 eggs

salt & pepper to taste (when in doubt, use more salt)

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How To Do It

Preheat oven to 375 F. Saute the mushrooms and onion in the oil, over medium heat. When they’ve begun to soften, add the garlic and continue sauteeing for another few minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and – once the whole dish has been cooking for about 10 minutes – add the lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper. Taste and adjust if need be. Taste again because you know you’re dying to. Turn off the heat, add the spinach and mix it all around till it wilts.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add a few shakes of salt & pepper. Add the sauteed mixture to the eggs. Spoon the mixture into the cups of a mini muffin tin. Fill all the way. Cook for 20 minutes. These are best warm but still delicious cold. Enjoy!

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It was clockwork. January 1st hit and my spam transformed from SF deals to 7-day detox diets, 2-day slim down plans, and instructions for “clean eating” in 2013.

But this is not a post about New Years Resolutions. This salad doesn’t have anything to do with the frozen fudge squares on my lap or the remnants of a sourdough loaf on my car seat. This is simply a salad I ate somewhere in Seattle sometime last week and had to eat again because it made me feel good. But minus the parmesan cheese. Because parmesan makes me feel sick.

2012 was a big year for my little Jerusalem kitchen blog, which is what I should have named this blog because I can’t believe the kitchen I was cooking out of when this all began. Thanks to all of you though, this little blog of mine is getting bigger.

For a very brief recap, in 2012, you guys visited me from more than 125 countries and you all were most interested in these recipes:

1.  Dark Chocolate, Almond and Orange Lace Cookies (Trader Joe’s Lacey Cookies)

2. Homemade Lara Bars: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips and Dates

3. Roni’s Israeli-Style Hamutzim (pickled vegetables)

4. Hummus with Mushroom and Onion and Israeli Salad

5. Quick Preserved Lemons

6. Tunisian Harissa 

I’m excited for another year of cooking, eating, and writing with all of you and thank you so much for reading my blog. Enjoy this recipe!

 

Serves 2 hungry people as an entree or 4 as a side dish

What You Need:

About 4 cups of kale

1/2 fennel bulb; shaved or finely sliced

1/2 c cooked farro (I used 1 c of uncooked farro and had some left over)

1 tblsp olive oil

3 tblsp + 1 tsp of lemon juice

1/2 tsp of agave nectar

salt & pepper to taste

garnish with those leaves on your fennel bulb

How To Do It:

Cook your farro according to the instructions on the bag. You’ll know they’re done by the taste though, not the time. The grains should be soft but a little firm in the center. FYI: Trader Joe’s now sells 10-minute farro (SO worth it). While that’s cooking, “massage” the kale with olive oil (rub the oil into the leaves so they soften and are easier to digest). Add the fennel, agave and lemon juice (reserve 1 tsp) and then toss well. Add salt & pepper to taste. When the farro is done, run it under cold water and pop it into the fridge to get it nice and cold (this step is a must!). Add it on top of the kale, squeeze the remaining lemon juice on the farro and garnish with the fennel leaves. Enjoy!

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If these were my grandma’s latkes, they would be cooked in butter, stuffed with raisins, sprinkled with saffron, and actually made out of rice.

They would be hard and crunchy and she wouldn’t call them “latkes”, she would call them “tah-diq” (meaning, “bottom of the pot” and referring to the unbearably addictive mold of intentionally burned rice that is the sign of a masterful Persian chef).

If these were my mom’s latkes, they would be cooked in a roasting pan, stuffed with sweet potato and onion, and actually made out of chicken. She’d let them cook unattended for hours while she made trips back and forth from Safeway and CVS.

Having never made a latke before, I had

nowhere

to

turn.

But boy, what I have learned. Did you know the original Hannukah latke was made from curd cheese? Did you know that there are songs about latkes? Yiddish: “Fun a proste buble kumt aroys di geshmakste lakte” (From the lowly potato you get the tastiest pancake). True indeed.

And my interest has been piqued. I want to make a Persian latke with grated apple and eggplant dipped in yogurt; I want to make an Italian latke with basil, mozzarella, tomatoes and potato; and I want to make a Tunisian latke and just dump a bunch of cumin and harissa in it! But for my dear, darling husband who wanted something Hannukah-esque to eat on the first night of this wonderful holiday, I stuck with something normal, well, if you can call parsnips normal.

Making the latkes was not as scary as I thought, until I perused some recipes and saw the amount of oil people were using. It’s a latke, not a falafel, people! And the methods! Oh, the methods! I have to believe that poor, 19th century arthritic grandmothers all over the world were not wringing these grated vegetables in dishtowels. Buy a cheese cloth (kitchen lesson learned)!

I love this recipe, and hopefully my family will now have a latke recipe we can call our own when Hannukah rolls around. Or breakfast…

For other “latke-esque” ideas, check out these posts: Sweet Potato Pancakes and Chickpea Pancakes.

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Makes: 17 medium-sized latkes

What you need:

1 large russet potato

2 medium sized parsnips

a little less than 1/4 cup green onion; diced (you can skip this, Aunt Amy – try dill?)

1 tblsp lemon juice

1/4 c whole wheat flour (you can use whatever flour you want; gluten-free folks can use chickpea/rice flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp table salt

1/4 tsp black pepper; freshly grated (this step actually makes a difference)

2 eggs; lightly beaten

Vegetable oil for frying

To Serve

Serve with sour cream and apple sauce because everyone else does and it’s fantastic. Greek yogurt is also good instead of sour cream. For the sour cream, add a little lemon juice (1 tsp per 1/4 c sour cream), a pinch of salt, a dazzle of green onion and you’re good to go!

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How to do it:

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees so you can serve these babies warm.

Peel and grate the potato and parsnips, or peel and whir them around in your food processor using the shredding blade. If you didn’t know you had this feature on your food processor, you can thank me later (my life is forever changed). Place the grated vegetables in a cheese cloth or a dish towel (if you must, but you’ll be sorry), and squeeze out the liquid. Set aside for a couple of minutes. Squeeze again! Wetness = not crunchy latkes. Put the vegetables into a small bowl and mix with lemon juice.

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In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, green onions, and any other seasonings you want to “make this your own.” Lightly beat the eggs and mix into the vegetables so they’re all covered. Combine the two bowls, mix very well.

Over a medium-low flame, heat 2 tblsp of vegetable oil until it starts freaking out. Add one of the gratings and when the pan starts shouting at you with spurts and hisses, IT IS TIME!

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With a fork, drop the mixture onto the pan. You can shape them messily or mold them into round, perfect patties. Cook for between 4 and 6 minutes (depending upon how dark you like them), and flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside on paper towel to soak up the oil. Taste one of them because no one’s looking! Replenish the oil as needed. Enjoy!

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Wow! What a whirlwind month it has been! Adam and I got married almost a month ago exactly, school and work (for Adam) began two weeks ago, and my poor little blog has truly seen busier days. For our wedding, we gave out party favors of my favorite spice mix: Baharat. After making 150+ jars of it, it took about a month to warm up to the spice again. For those of you out there who received one, this is a fantastic way to get acquainted with the spice!

This recipe comes from an incredible cookbook we were given as a present: The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. WOWZER. I love it! This recipe requires such few ingredients, albeit saffron isn’t always just…layin’ around, is really easy to prepare, and when you pull it out of the oven and the honey is just slightly sizzling the tops of the chicken breasts it’s truly divine. This recipe called for rosewater, but alas, no one in my life is much of a fan of it. I think it’d be incredible in this dish, but I’ll have to pull out the rosewater for guests, I suppose, since my *husband* doesn’t like it. Definitely give this recipe a shot! It’s even better reheated the next day!

Lovingly adapted from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

What you need:

1 large onion; chopped

2 lbs chicken breasts

2 tblsp vegetable oil + a tiny bit more

1 heaping tsp baharat spice

salt & pepper

juice of 1/2 a lemon

pretty good pinch of saffron threads

3/4 c salted almonds; chopped

3 tblsp honey

3-4 small golden potatoes; quartered (*For Rosh HaShanah cooking, try apple slices instead!)

How to do it:

*Note: my oven isn’t fantastic. I think for most of you, cooking the chicken with the potatoes will work out and the potatoes won’t be hard. I had to cook my chicken + potatoes covered for an additional 15 minutes to really get through the potatoes. Make a judgment call. You can cook the potatoes first while the chicken is in the pan and then just add the chicken to that dish and throw it into the oven. I’m going to do that next time.

If you are making this recipe for Rosh HaShanah, I suggest trying apple slices instead of potatoes (I haven’t done this, but it sounds delicious, right?). I’d add them during the last 10 minutes or so of baking so they don’t become apple-saucey.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a large pan, saute the onions over low heat, stirring occasionally. When they soften and become translucent, add the baharat and mix well so there are no clumps. Add the chicken. Add water until the chicken is just covered. Add the salt, pepper, saffron, and lemon juice and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

While that is simmering, chop your almonds and combine with the honey. Set aside.

Lift the chicken pieces out and arrange them in a large shallow baking dish. Quickly toss your potatoes with oil, salt and pepper and then fit them into the spaces. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken and potatoes. Spread the honey + almond mixture over the chicken pieces as best you can. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Enjoy!

3 things that make my life easier:

1. Pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s

2. Having a favorite dressing on hand at all times (mine is the lemon & garlic dressing from Sol Food in San Rafael)

3. Adam

Everyone should get an Adam. No really though, everyone should get a favorite dressing that is light and goes with most things to toss on salads,  over quinoa w/veggies, or to throw on top of lentils w/tomatoes. Since becoming completely overwhelmed by wedding details since school ended in May, I have had zero time to cook and even less time to put together anything delicious. This is where having “an Adam” comes in handy. For my bridal shower, my amazing Aunt Amy got me a subscription to Bon Apetit magazine. In this month’s issue, Adam found an incredibly delicious salad that he made for dinner the other night, which brings me to today’s post.

This salad was SO good. I made a few minor tweaks, not because I think I know better, but because I don’t have a grill, didn’t have honey on hand, am on a diet, and really like lemon. It’s the perfect salad for summer or if you’re in the mood for something light. It took, max, 20 minutes. This probably isn’t kid friendly since there are a lot of “weird” ingredients, but it’s definitely the right thing to cook up for some girlfriends or if you’re trying to win over the guy you’re dating and want him to officially become your boyfriend. Also pictured below are some really adorable items my step-mom canned for my bridal shower as a nod to myjerusalemkitchen. Hope you enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here

Serves: 1 hungry person

What you need:

About 2 tblsp olive oil

1 heaping tsp fresh thyme; chopped

1 heaping tsp lemon; zested

2 huge handfuls of kale; chopped

2 juicy, red and ready to be eaten plums; sliced into moons

1 tbslp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp agave nectar

2 tblsp of ricotta cheese (we had low-fat, but the fattier the tastier)

salt & pepper to taste

Turn on the oven to 450 F. Coat chopped kale with oil and a pinch or two of salt. Roast until slightly crispy but still a little soft (about 12 minutes in my crappy oven). Combine the oil, balsamic, agave, thyme, lemon zest and plums. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the plums and set aside on a plate. Keep remaining vinaigrette. Place ricotta on a plate slightly crumbled and in no particular design. Remove the kale from the oven and add to the vinaigrette mixture. Toss. Lay the kale over the ricotta and then add the plums on top. Enjoy!!

Just for fun:

Sometimes we need a break from the things we love so that when we come back to them we remember how amazing they make us feel (#soclicheithurts). Since finishing my first year of law school, entering hardcore wedding planning mode, and “enjoying” my bridal diet, I have really neglected my blog. But really, who wants to see pictures of what someone on a bridal diet is eating? Nobody. Nobody wants to see that. So you should really be thanking me. But I have become excruciatingly bored with my fridge. So enough about that. I’m back. Below is the perfect summer salad for those of you living in cities where you are actually experiencing a summer. I guess I’ll be eating this again in October. Also, I just walked to the kitchen and saw Adam stuffing the leftovers into a taco shell. Not a bad idea, my friend. And because I HAVE left you for so long, I thought I might show you some of my epic failures over the last couple of months.

We all have some really bad ideas every now and then. Here are some of my bad ideas:

Have you ever seen such sad eyes? Baked avocados with eggs in the hole. Warm avocado? Only belongs on my pores.

Polenta rounds with parmesan and basil. Sounds good. NO flavor.

Ground up dried apricots covered in shredded coconut. Tastes like? Dried apricot. Not worth the effort of lifting my food processor.

I should have thought twice when this recipe for a saffron potato quiche called for 2 tablespoons of ground pepper. Forced myself to eat this for a week. Heartburn.

This was actually delicious. Sourdough flatbread I made with a homemade starter!

This was totally cool. Cauliflower pizza. Will come back with a better recipe for this though because I didn’t like that I had to eat it with a fork. And parmesan cheese = stomach ache.

Makes about 7 servings

What you need:

5 cups chickpeas (this is the amount after they’ve soaked overnight)

1 can of black beans; really rinse those suckers

1/2 c fresh flat parsley; chopped

1/2 small onion; finely minced

1 cup heirloom/red tomatoes; chopped

2 tblsp olive oil

3 tsp distilled vinegar

2 tsp sumac

1/8 tsp lemon salt (you can skip this and just use more lemon juice, if you want)

juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 tsp sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper

How to do it:

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Boil them for about 20 minutes, or until soft but NOT smushy. Mix all ingredients together, let sit for 10 minutes in fridge. Think about summer and smile. Enjoy!

I apologize in advance for ruining your diet. I made these for a “healthy” dessert last night when I was craving something chocolatey. Coconut’s a fruit, right?  Although individually they are not enough to ruin your diet, not being able to control yourself after eating just one might be. Ice cold balls of chewy coconut sweetened by agave nectar and cocoa powder and health food-ified by creamy peanut butter and rolled oats just in time for summer? No thank you, but YES PLEASE! There are just over 120 calories in each ball, so eat accordingly. But MAKE these. Recipe below.

Secondly, I want to send a HUGE thank you to Gabriella, a London blogger who writes Indulge and Devour, for nominating my little blog for the LIEBSTER  BLOG AWARD. Thank you so much, Gabriella; I’m honored! If you guys have a chance to hop over to her blog and peek at her delicious looking recipes and photos, you will NOT be sorry. In Liebster Award fashion, I’m going to nominate 5 other blogs that I enjoy reading as a way for bloggers to “pay it forward” and get new ideas floating around. Many of my favorite blogs are already quite famous, so I hope you guys get a chance to check out these slightly smaller but no less incredible blogs, too. To see other larger blogs that I often read, check out section called “Blogs I’m Reading” on the homepage. Thanks!

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Corrie’s Blog– My pal Corrie has an incredibly vast repository of recipes for only having her blog for a year or so. I go to her for desserts, breads and general friendly spunk.

Desert Candy – Mercedes writes about her kitchen adventures as an American who loves the Middle East. Her recipes are authentic, interesting and a great way to discover new grains or ways to stuff a vegetable.

KShar – KShar’s blog is all about cooking Persian food through instructional videos. The truth is, most Persian recipes are much more about taste, smell and the way the food looks on the plate, and it can be hard to get that from a recipe. Instruction is the best way to learn, so please enjoy!

Shrinking the World – My pal Amalia, an incredible flutist living in Jerusalem, shares her favorite music from all over the world.

Cafe Liz – Liz blogs about Kosher vegetarian recipes from her apartment in Tel Aviv. Her recipes are fresh, personal and vast. Most importantly, they draw on traditional Middle Eastern flavors that you can’t miss.

Makes 16 balls; recipe adapted from here.

What you need:

1 1/2 c dried, unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 c agave nectar (*next time I might try a little less because although they are deliciously sweet, they would still be good with slightly less sweetener)

1/3 c rolled oats

1/4 c coconut oil; melted

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tblsp crunchy natural peanut butter

How to do it:

Mix the coconut and cocoa powder together. Then add the agave nectar, oats, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Mix well until the mixture looks somewhat wet. Then add the peanut butter and fully incorporate everything. Place into the fridge for 20 minutes. Use a teaspoon size to make the balls and place on parchment paper. Place in freezer for 20 minutes or until hard. Stuff them in your face and enjoy!

They were right: it’s a small world, after all (minus all those creepy doll faces with the eyes following you back and forth).

Katherine and I met last year at a restaurant in Jerusalem when I was celebrating my 24th birthday. Unfortunately, she was at the other end of the bar, and I didn’t realize until months after following her food blog that the girl I had partly shared my birthday with was actually her!

Why is this great news for you? Because Katherine is a phenomenal cook, photographer and travel & food writer, and her blog is only a small indication of her enormous talent. You can only imagine how thrilled and incredibly honored I am that she agreed to do a guest post here this week – particularly because I haven’t been able to post (read: cook or eat) anything delicious in the last 10 days because of finals, so I figured we were all due for something extra-special!

Katherine agreed to come up with a recipe for something I would normally not be able to bring to you: fish, which I am deathly allergic to. Her fish tacos look gorgeous – colorful, adaptable and refreshing, especially on these warm days we’ve been enjoying here in San Francisco (excluding today).

I hope you enjoy them! And please check out Katherine’s incredible food, photos and writing HERE.

Serves: 4 people

What you need:

¼ C all purpose flour
1 Tblsp corn starch
Salt and pepper
1 lb tilapia filets, sliced (or other mild white fish)
Vegetable oil
2 limes
Salt and pepper
12 (7-inch) tortillas, warmed
1 C shredded white or red cabbage
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Sour cream

How to do it:

Combine the flour and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Add the sliced tilapia and toss to coat. Add a bit of vegetable oil to a large skillet, enough to evenly coat the entire bottom. Heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the fish in an even layer (do not crowd the pan, and work in layers if you must).

Cook until the bottom is starting to become crispy and flip. Cook until, well, cooked through, then remove from the heat. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the fish. Take a warmed tortilla and lay a few pieces of fish in the middle. Top with shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, sour cream, and your favorite salsa (Katherine recommends a black bean and corn mix). Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Serve about three per person with a wedge of lime. Enjoy!

My friends introduced me to Lara. Well, to her bars at least. While I was getting stomach aches between classes from my Cliff bars (a personal issue, not trying to defame Cliff bars here), I never could have imagined a health bar with only natural ingredients (a personal preference, this is NOT a Lara Bar advertisement). But they are real! They exist! And WOW are they expensive! So, here’s a quick and easy way to made THE most delicious on-the-go bars that taste IDENTICAL to the bars you’ve come to know and love with…..HALF THE CALORIES! Sorry I’m yelling so much. This is just really exciting. These bars weigh in at about 105 calories if you stick to making about 15 bars out of this recipe. And calories saved are money saved. Who doesn’t love that? Rich, skinny people probably. But really, these taste fantastic. And I don’t know if it would work, but this would make a delicious bottom to a lemony cheesecake.

Just a warning: when you blitz these guys in your food processor, it WILL sound like a machine gun and you WILL think that the blade on your processor will fly off and cut your throat. Just stand back and count to 10. It’s worth it.

Makes about 14-15 bars

What you need:

1 pound or about 25 dates; pitted

3/4 c chocolate chips

3 heaping tblsp natural crunchy peanut butter

How to do it:

Put the dates into the food processor and pulse until they are totally chopped up. Add the peanut butter & the chocolate. Pulse to oblivion.

Turn the mixture onto parchment paper and spend some time folding the parchment over the mixture, flattening it out and rolling the mixture flat into a fairly thick square (you can do this to your desired size).

Place in the fridge for about 2 hours. Slice into the size you want and store in the fridge between sheets of wax paper! They won’t last long (because you’ll eat them, that is). Enjoy!

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