Chocolate & Chestnut Pots de Crème
Last week I got a pretty awesome gift, a pastry cookbook from close, yet ever so far, Lebanon. In her book, Sweet Levantine, Lara Ariss writes about baking with an emphasis on local ingredients, like olive oil, halva and mastic, which she combines in both her Middle Eastern recipes and her classic European recipes.
Madeleines in Provence
A little more than a year ago, good friends of mine, Yuval and Elisha, packed their belongings, said goodbye to crowded Tel Aviv and moved to France to build a new home with their baby girl Akko. Since then, they host family and friends non-stop in their beautiful house in the village of Lauris in southern France. It was only a matter of time before I would find myself there, between lavender fields and endless vineyards, raising a glass to a simpler, more charming life.
Knafeh in Nablus
Until a few years ago, I never tasted knafeh. Something about that fluorescent orange color on top of the sweet cheese pastry didn’t pull me in. When I fell in love with baking I became more daring and decided to try anything sweet. And what’s sweeter than knafeh? (Well, other than the cup of tea full of sugar served alongside.)
In the past few weeks I’ve been going through krembo fever like it’s the middle of winter. Since I started making krembo (crembo) from Swiss meringue instead of Italian meringue, it became more fun to make them and safely serve them to the people I love. Like my sister, who didn’t feel well last week and was stuck at home. I made her a ruby krembo from lemon and raspberry, so pink and sweet and fruity.
Not every nephew or niece of mine gets an elaborate birthday cake. Sometimes there are constraints, and sometimes I’m just too tired. If I don’t make them a cake, their grandma usually does. But if I don’t make them a cake, I make them something else. This year for my eldest nephew’s birthday, I made mocha-vanilla krembo.
Last month, Noam came to visit Jerusalem from San Francisco. On his way here he made a stop in Sweden for a quick family visit. While he was there, he wrote me the following word: “Kardemummabullar”. A Google search taught me it wasn’t a curse, but a yeast pastry baked and coated with cardamom. In fact, it’s the Swedish brother of the American cinnamon roll.
Every weekend ends and every week starts, but not easily. Not for me at least. Sunday is my longest workday. My week starts with a boom. Recently I traveled to Provence where I discovered that their week starts differently, and not just because it starts on Monday.
Coffee / Peanut Butter & Chocolate / Cinnamon-Banana Smoothie
Last summer I got a new blender as a gift from my parents, and since then I use it non-stop. Although I already managed to drop it and nick a corner, I can still use it. Until I get around to replacing the broken part, I had to post my favorite smoothie mixes inspired by Jerusalem’s Muffin Boutique, where I also happened to discover the yummiest pumpkin cream cheese muffin in town.
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