Braiding Challahs: Three Strand Crown & Round & The Best Honey Challah Recipe

As you all know, I am really obsessed about challahs. It's a bit of a surprise I am not all challah'd out considering how many loaves I've baked in the last couple of weeks or so. I baked these stuffed challahs that were published in The Washington Post last week, all three, twice. The second batch which I baked at home went to our lucky neighbors, since I can't keep anything tree nuts in the house. I shouldn't have baked anything with tree nuts at home to begin with. I was so paranoid about tree nut contamination that I got rid of the half opened flours, leftover nuts and anything remotely in the vicinity, even the working surfaces. Yikes.  

Milk Halwa; An Indian Jewish Rosh HaShanah

When I started the blog in 2009, one of the motivations was telling the stories behind the recipes and preserving my family's history, culture and recipes. Especially since the community from which I come from, the Bnai Israel (Sons of Israel) Jewish Indian community, is dwindling. It's not only dwindling in numbers but also in preservation. Just to illustrate, I am the only one, out of the six kids, cooking the entire spectrum of Indian food just as my mom did while we were growing up. Some of the dishes are super complex in technique. To understand the complexity and de-mystify the dishes takes interest and practice. Documenting it hopefully for others to pick up the "habit."

Date Walnut & Silan, Fig & Spelt & Marzipan Almond (Crown) Challahs

We will be welcoming the Jewish New Year at sundown this coming Sunday, September 13, 2015. It will be the year 5776 in the Hebrew calendar. I half asked/half stated to Jonathan, that's since creation, right?! His response, we need to look at the earliest fossil records?! So irreverent, I smiled.

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Wasabi Roe

This Blistered Shishito Peppers with Wasabi Roe appetizer was inspired by my recent visit to NYC. Bruised shishitos show up on a myriad of tapas menus but the dish at Upland NYC was served with what's called bottarga, which I completely had to look up, BTW.

Centrolina

I had a quiet lunch with a friend at Centrolina two weeks after it opened. Just before it became the hottest ticket in town following a positive first look by The Washington Post’s restaurant critic. 

National Geographic's The Plate: Israeli Sweets and Snacks

Photo courtesy of A-Atias Sweets Photographer: Eyal Keren
Super excited for my piece on childhood snacks and sweets in Israel appearing on National Geographic's The Plate's website. I am currently on a diet, a whole entire week (whoa!), but if you put any of the sweets and snacks in that post in front of me, there are no guarantees! Just sayin'! Head over for some more pics and the full, fun post. Yes, it took some international back and forth to write it. People in Israel have a different rhythm and do not quickly respond. Enjoy and have a great weekend. TGIF you all!

Dough Doughnuts

All photos in this post were taken on the iPhone VI
Just when I think, "been there, done that" and "it's impossible for me to fall in-love with yet another doughnuts shop," Fany Gerson the owner of Dough makes me do exactly that, fall in-love with her charming shop and her artisanal doughnuts in the Flatiron district in Manhattan. The original Dough outpost is in Brooklyn.

Star & Shamrock; A Jewish Deli & An Irish Tavern

I was having a blast while shooting at Star and Shamrock on H St. for my gig at the Jewish Food Experience. This time it's Corned Beef, Cabbage and Knishes; Six pointed Stars + Four-leaf clovers = one tasty combination. The owners are the nicest and kindest bunch. Read about the trio here and their unique Irish Tavern meets a Jewish Deli on H St. Enjoy the photo journal in my post and click the related links at the bottom. If you head over to Star and Shamrock for a rueben and a pint, say hi for me to these great fellows.

Gluten Free Quark & Sour Cream Baked Cheesecake

Shavuot, the holiday that marks the giving of the Torah (The Pentateuch) on Mt. Sinai, has come and gone, and I hadn't made the traditional cheesecake to celebrate the occasion until a week later. Truth be told the holiday is rather unremarkable. As soon as I "utter" the word "unremarkable," I choke on my words when I remember my post from last year No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake about Shavuot. A year ago I wrote about an unorthodox practice during Shavuot which includes my mom's mischievous behavior and its origin.

DC Eats & Food: My Lunches with Jeanne: Maketto

Not often do we say, "this is a great addition to the DC food scene," but with the much anticipated opening of Maketto, we can safely say so. Maketto instantly became (yes already) an iconic DC establishment and it's barely opened. Together with Busboys and Poets, Meskerem that is now gone, Ben's Chili Bowl and Pho 75 (among others), the new millennial Maketto will quickly become quintessential DC just like its older counterparts.

Poppy Seed Lemon Chiffon Cake Revisited!

April 10, 2010 didn't even mark the six month anniversary of my writing and photographing here. That is when I first shared this Poppy Seed Lemon Chiffon cake. I found the recipe in a cookbook Jonathan possessed, when I met him when he was only twenty while studying in Israel. The cookbook was one of his very few belongings. I have baked this cake ever since. It's now a part of our twenty-two year old son's canvas of childhood memories.

Garlic

Happy Weekend!

Honeyed & Spiced Dried Fruit Compote; A Tu B'Shvat Seder Sweet & Significant

"My mom is inviting you for a Tu B'Shvat Seder."

I had neither heard nor experienced a Tu B'Shvat Seder while growing up in Israel, until my boyfriend at the time when I was 17, extended the invitation. I was perplexed at the custom as well as his parents' gesture.

Akko (Acre), Israel Food & Travel; Photographic Tour & Some Words

El Babor Restaurant, Akko (Acre), Israel
While we were visiting Israel at the end of the summer last year we went on a short weekend getaway up north. We stayed in Haifa.

Tel Aviv & Southern Israel Food & Travel; Photographic Tour & Some Words

My 24 year old niece with her favorite Strawberry Banana Date Pri (fruit) shake, Shenkin St., Tel Aviv/Nikon
Our last trip to Israel end of August 2014 (already seems so long ago) inspired me to write this and this story. Please click, I am very proud of both writings.  The ten days we spent in Israel were so much more than I have shared yet. This is the third out of four installments. Fruit shakes (above) and pure ruby red pomegranate juice, among other freshly squeezed juices, are very popular stands, strewn throughout Israel.

'Oven Fried' Panko Crusted Chicken Schnitzel

You might find it surprising that this quintessential Viennese schnitzel is probably the most commonly made lunch or dinner, without fail, at every household in Israel. While falafel and schawarma are consumed out at the fast food hole in the wall, schnitzel is usually made at home.