Coffee Ice Cream

What triggered this post was a couple of things, first was Annapet's Mocharon guest post, I've been craving coffee ice cream ever since. Second was my Lemondrop Melon Limonana Sorbet which brought to mind, although universal, an Israeli cafe past time, chilled coffee or milk poured over a few scoops of vanilla or coffee ice cream, and whipped cream. Served in a tall clear glass with a handle and a straw in it!

Nazareth, Holy Sites and Tasty Bites a Guest Post by Food Bridge

If you wonder why I share so many guest posts recently?! First, I was very excited to launch the tree nut free macaron series for people living with tree nut allergies. The second one in the series is both tree nut and peanut free mac. Stay tuned for more delicious mac features in the future. Second, I am now hard at work putting together a few of my original recipes and photographs for a couple of professional opportunities with deadlines nearing fast. Third, am happy to launch, what will hopefully be, another series of snippets of food and travel from Israel by me and others. Also roam around my site for Indian and Indian inspired recipes to round up what Food Wanderings essence and what my background are all about.

I am happy to present to you outdoors and nature enthusiast Sarah who you can find at her site Food Bridge. Sarah is not only a very talented food blogger and photographer, but also one of the faces that is weaving the fabric of Israeli society. I can imagine her in Teva sandals (Teva טבע means nature in Hebrew), hiking in the Judean mountains, watching sea turtles in hatching season and walking through the Druze village shuks (outdoor markets) in the Carmel mountains near Haifa. Throughout, enjoying the food at every crevice and alley she finds herself wandering into. Sarah and her site encapsulate the best that Israel has to offer. A bridge of food, culture and history. Sarah, a mom of three, an American living in Israel, was raised by an American father and an Israeli mother of Kurdish descent, mostly in New York State. Now married to an Israeli guy of Polish and Egyptian descent. Israel, a melting pot of cultures and foods.

Go show Sarah some love and follow her on @FoodBridge visit Food Bridge site and submit your Farmers Markets photos at her newly launched Exotic Markets. Here is Sarah:

Nazareth, Holy Sites and Tasty Bites by Sarah/Food Bridge:
If man could choose to be any Greek god I think Dionysus would top the list. Better known as Bacchus to the Romans, he was the deity of winemaking and ritual madness, a freshman party boy of mythological proportions. These were my thoughts as I gazed at the mosaics of Tzipori National Park in Israel, where his likeness decorated an entire floor.  Tired and hungry from a day of exploration, his lifestyle of hedonism seemed rather appealing. The closest option for us was Nazareth, a ten minute drive away to find something to eat.

Cocoa Nib Macarons with Peanut Butter Ganache by

I know you've been waiting with much anticipation to see who will be the next guest in the tree nut free macaron series. Most importantly what creative substitute to almond flour and flavor combination they will come up with. I introduce to you the very talented Mardi of I always had reverence for the calm, collected, self assured confidence she exudes. Maybe it's just the way Australians who circled the globe and settled in Canada are.

I absolutely love her photography, recipes and site, but what really sparked me is her Les Petit Chefs series, which sets her apart. I was in awe at the invaluable, inspired work she does fostering an outside the box, creative learning environment for kids. Please make sure to check the Les Petit Chefs series.

Mardi, a teacher of French to elementary school boys also working on obtaining her certificate in Food and Media. Clearly a cerebral overachiever and I am super excited to have her as my third guest. A perfectionist of sorts that is why I approached her, I trusted she would approach this project head on. She chose the most challenging (of course!) of ingredients, cocoa nibs, to work with, instead of the almond flour. In a conversation on twitter as Mardi tweetpic'd a sneak peek of her Cocoa Nib Shells with Peanut Butter Ganache, Stella, who Mardi introduced me to, tweeted 'cocoa nib macarons are exquisite, chocolate-ier than a brownie, amazing.' So here is Mardi with her cocoa nib journey:
When Shulie asked me if I might like to work on a tree nut-free macaron, of course I jumped at the opportunity. Especially when I saw the gorgeous company I would be keeping – Annapet with her Mocharons and Stella’s Pumpkin Seed and Matcha Macarons – but those are big shoes to fill, right? No matter, I am always up for a challenge…

Lemondrop Melon Limonana Sorbet

While I wanted to share a classic thirst quenching, refreshing Israeli drink for the summer, I wanted to give it a further twist, to shy away from the obvious. In fact you can find Limonana year round in Israel whether you are at a poolside hotel bar at the Red Sea, at the beach side cafes along the Mediterranean or at a bed and breakfast up north in the Galilee. Limonana and wedges of watermelon and feta, two Israeli summer's musts!

Limonana, Limon - Lemon  לימון and nana - mint נענע = Limonana לימונענע. Here comes the interesting part, while I was at Wegmans, I saw some Lemondrop melons that reminded me of Israel. So I bought two. They were 2/$5. Quite by chance I came by these relatively compact jewels. I meant to post a recipe for Limonana for awhile now but something held me back. Once I bought the melons I had a premonition that the flavors will mesh well and I had  a crystal clear sensation of the texture and taste that will emerge. I all along intended to present this revitalizing concoction in a form of sorbet, as I am in summer mode putting to good use my ice cream maker.

Pumpkin Seed & Matcha Macarons with Coconut, Dark Chocolate Ganache by Brave Tart

Ever since Stella of BraveTart (@TheBraveTart) said yes, I've been racking my brain on how to put into words the enormity of her talent. Clearly an overachiever, CIA graduate working as a pastry chef 24/7 at Table 310, teaming up with an equally brilliant photographer, Rosco, for postings on her site and graciously finding time to guest without flinching.

Once in awhile when I am bound to quit my addictive twitter 'habit' I come across a compelling reason why not to. Thanks to Mardi, of Eat. Live. Travel. Write., introduction to BraveTart I am still here. Not only Stella's creativity is exponential, but she is not only a brave but also a smart tart!:)  Mad scientist meets an edgy girl with heightened intuition for flavor, ratio combinations and best kitchen practices and techniques. In a sea of exceptional talents she sets herself apart just by being her genuine, original self! So it won't come to you as a surprise to hear that she is the go to source for advice and tips for many inexperienced and experienced twitter friends alike.

Off-the-cuff she had a million  (well many) brilliant ideas. Quite coincidentally she seamlessly combined three cultures in one, Matcha from her experiences in Japan, pumpkin seeds are as big in Israel and coconut milk in ganache of course represents India. Stella's compiled macaron tablets The Ten Commandments ...of macarons. So here is Stella:

Macarons have a reputation as culinary troublemakers, but in the restaurant where I work, they've saved my butt time and again. Most nights, they just do their job. Tasty little cookies that march out of the kitchen one dessert plate at a time. Just plain ole' macarons. But at the Zero Hour when a last minute reservations flagged, "celiac; lactose intolerant; nut allergy" pops up on our books, I don't bat an eyelash. My macarons take off their Clark Kent glasses to reveal themselves as Super Macarons: nut free, dairy free, dye free, gluten free and, of course, ridiculously delicious.
Photo  by Rosco Weber, sideshowphoto
Even more super, you don't have to work in a restaurant kitchen to make them for yourself. The hardest part of making nut free macarons at home? Writing, "pumpkin seeds" on your grocery list.

Mocharons, Chocolate-Coffee Macarons with White Chocolate Ganache by The Daily Palette

One trend intrigued me most when I started blogging, after a brief period of dismissing it as a glorified cookie, I came to respect and appreciate these little finicky beauties, the macarons. Only thing this is a tree nut free blog and the basis to all macarons is almond flour. So from a distance I was ogling my friends' beautiful creations until one day I set myself to make some with peanut and coconut flours. Half of the third batch was a huge success, you had to see how proud I was, the other half, no feet in sight, only a mother could love.

Therefore I launched this series approaching trusted new and old friends that in my opinion are experts and presented them with a challenge. Could you create tree nut free macarons with peanut or other flours? The initial trio stepped up to the plate and I hope some of my other friends who make macarons would also participate as my guests. 

Inaugurating this series is my very talented and zen like, Northern California friend, Annapet of The Daily Palette (@thedailypalette). She paints, she organically gardens and she bakes glorious macarons. I consider her a dear friend and love her wit, Mocha-rons! She's been getting unsolicited requests and orders for baby and bridal showers, engagement parties and looking at a commercial kitchen site. I can see her in Northern California opening a bakery cafe and a flower shop combined with her painting hung on the walls. Annapet was one of my honorable mentions in my Blog Awards and Happy Year of the Rabbit post. So here is Annapet:

Fluffy Semolina Dumpling Soup from Domenica Marchetti's The Glorious Pasta of Italy

Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books
I received the preview copy of Domenica's new cookbook The Glorious Pasta of Italy couple of weeks ago, but since we were in and out of town it was only today, Friday, with my tea this evening, I had a chance to leisurely open and explore it.

Soon after I opened the book jacket, I came across the recipe I wished to highlight. The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Chronicle Books) rustic feel just proved my mantra of old world sophistication. This Fluffy Semolina Dumpling Soup recipe encompasses the essence of artisanship, like many recipes I encountered, and yet to share of my mom's Indian kitchen, only in this case it's from Domenica's Italian heritage. I can see why Domenica categorized it in the Pasta in Soup section as a wintry comforting dish, but I can see myself making it year round, besides, I am a rebel that way. Not only did it remind me of my mom's unique dishes but also a spectacular twist to the Jewish Matzo Ball Soup, again, only Italian. Even Jonathan was taken with the photograph as I showed it to him while leafing through the pages. Only thing there was a tad of a glitch!