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.
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.
Evil Eye Cookies
This week we celebrated my dad’s 68th birthday… almost 70! (tfu tfu tfu, against the evil eye). To celebrate it I made him a small birthday cake plus special cookies decorated with royal icing to keep away any bad luck from him this year: cookies against the evil eye, a concept deeply rooted in my family.
Recently I discovered that the Argentinian cookies Alfajores have Middle Eastern roots with origins from an ancient cooking book from Baghdad of the Middle Ages, just a little over 1000 years ago. (I know, sounds like One Thousand and One Recipes.) The origin of the name in Arabic is al-fakher (الفَاخِر), which means “fine” or “quality” or maybe “praised”.
Linzer Cookies with Maple Cream
A while ago, I stumbled upon a magical video that shows how to make maple cream from maple syrup. In one sentence, you heat the syrup, let it cool and then stir, for about an hour! That’s it. In the video, they take pride in stirring by hand using a wooden spoon. Not me. I take pride in my standing mixer, capable doing the same thing while I drink a cup of coffee and prepare the dough for the cookies.
Pistachio Tart with Poached Pears
I love tarts. I make them all the time and write about them here. Once I managed to figure out how to make the crust properly, I fell in love with them even more. For Betty and David’s goodbye party I made two tarts. One was an excellent lemon berry tart that I wrote about the day after. The second was a pistachio tart with poached pears that made me proud. I consider it a little win over a similar tart that I made with mediocre results for a semi-final exam at my pastry school.
Apple Tart for Daniella
A while ago, Daniella, a dear friend and former neighbor, sent me an image of a fancy apple tart. Below the image she wrote: “Please make this for me”. Daniella now lives in Washington D.C., so of course she was just joking. I took it a little more seriously.
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