The Brookie


You may ask, what is a brookie? A brookie or a brownie cookie is the newest trend in fun desserts. Watch out Baked By Melissa and every other cupcake store, Brookies are coming. I’m excited, one decision is not so tough anymore, a delicious classic chocolate chip cookie, or a rich and chocolaty brownie. Here is a classic Brookie recipe. Feel free to get creative, add a bit of mint extract to the brownie batter, or almond extract to the cookie batter. I sometimes add coconut and pecans or macadamia nuts to the cookie batter and raspberry jam to the brownie batter, or the berry jam to the chocolate, and some peanut butter to the cookie batter and make a PB&J Brookie. Some many options, email me your favorites!

Makes 18 standard size muffin cups
Cookie Layer: 

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 

1/2 cup light brown sugar 

1/4 cup white sugar 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 egg

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Brownie Layer: 

1 cup white sugar 

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

2 eggs 

1/3 cup cocoa powder 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease standard muffin cups (this will make about 18, so use 2 trays or 1 tray of 12 and 6 others).

Beat softened butter/margarine, light brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract together in a large bowl until creamy. Add 1 egg; beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Whisk 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter/margarine mixture until dough is combined. Stir chocolate chips into dough. Pour 2 tablespoons of the cookie batter in muffin tins.

Stir 1 cup white sugar, melted butter/margarine, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract together in a bowl; add 2 eggs and beat well. Mix cocoa powder into butter mixture until well-combined. Stir 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt into cocoa mixture until batter is combined. Pour another 2 tablespoons of brownie batter over cookie dough and spread to cover completely.

Bake 16-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brookies come out with moist crumbs.

A few notes:
These can be made with the brownie on the bottom as pictured, but I like to make them with the cookie on the bottom to use the same pan for the batters so I always make the cookie on the bottom. Either way is fine and the recipe will work.

Also, these can be made in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Grease the dish. Spread the batters, again cookie or brownie on bottom and the other on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 18 - 25 minutes.

For minis, use 1 tablespoon of each batter and cook for 14 - 17 minutes.

Fruit Juice/Mint Infused Ice Cubes

If you love fruit, summer is the time to take advantage.

For Fruit- Freeze your juice of choice and add a slice of your favorite fruit-then add the cubes to a glass of seltzer, water or a fruity cocktail.
For Mint- Add one or more mint leaf (depending on how minty you like it) and fill the rest of the cube with water, seltzer or any beverage you want to add a minty flavor.

Thank You to the food network for the inspiration on these ice cube recipes.

Coffee Ice Cubes

If you’ve ever taken more than 20 minutes to finish your iced coffee, you understand the struggle of melted ice and watered down coffee. Behold, the coffee ice cube: an ingenious way to keep your coffee cool and strong till the very last sip.

Just pour some leftover coffee into an ice tray, pop it in the freezer, and let it chill for 3-4 hours.

Salmon with Scallions and Sesame

Sweet and spicy and super quick. Omit the jalapeno for no heat at all.

Serves 4

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for serving
4 6-ounce skin-on center-cut salmon fillets
Kosher salt
1 bunch scallions
1 jalapeno chile, thinly sliced

Whisk garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, 1 Tbsp. oil, and ½ tsp. sesame seeds in a small bowl. Season salmon fillets with salt and place in a resealable plastic bag; add half of marinade. Seal bag, pressing out air, and let salmon sit 30 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade.

Preheat broiler. Toss scallions with remaining 2 teaspoons oil in an oven-safe dish or cast iron pan; broil until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Remove salmon from marinade and set on top of scallions. Spoon some reserved marinade over and broil until salmon is charred around edges, about 6 minutes (watch closely to keep from burning). Spoon more marinade over; top with jalapeno. Broil until salmon is charred and medium-rare at thickest part, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with more sesame seeds.

Red Snapper with Tahini Sauce and Nut Gremolata

Serves 6

For the tahini sauce
6 tablespoons tahini
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt

For the nut gremolata
1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped almonds
1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespons finely chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fish
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4 6-oz. red snapper fillets (you can also use flounder, sole, tilapia, are another light white fish)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses, silan or honey

Make the tahini sauce
Process the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 5 tablespoons water in a food processor until smooth, about 1 minute.

Make the nut-herb topping
In a medium bowl, gently toss the almonds, walnuts, cilantro, onion, olive oil, parsley, mint, and pepper flakes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well combined. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Cook the fish

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Put the fish in the skillet and cook, undisturbed, until golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until barely opaque in the center (use a paring knife to check), about 1 minute more.
Transfer the fish to a serving plate. Spread the tahini sauce over the top of the fillets, then sprinkle with the nut-herb topping and the pomegranate seeds. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of the pomegranate molasses over each, and serve.

Grilled Asparagus and Onions with Lemon Dressing

Serves 6

Meyer lemons are in season and available. I picked up a big bag at Costco this week and I can’t wait to use them on everything from roasted chicken, this asparagus dish and for Shavuos when I make limoncello tiramisu.

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
¼ cup olive oil, plus more
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 large bunches thick asparagus, trimmed
2 bunches scallions or leeks, halved if large

Prepare grill for medium-high. Whisk lemon zest, Meyer lemon zest, lemon juice, Meyer lemon juice, mustard, and ¼ cup oil in a medium bowl to combine; season dressing with salt and pepper (if you don’t have Meyer lemons, use regular lemons in their place)..

Place asparagus and spring onions on a rimmed baking sheet and lightly drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Grill, turning once, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Serve drizzled with dressing.

Alternatively, do this in a 425°F oven until roasted, about 11 minutes

Scrumptious Basic Blondies

Makes 20 blondies

My friend Yael sent me this recipe. She apparently got it from her friend Abbey. All I know is that she makes it for guests, and people lick the pan clean. The key is a bit of an ooey gooey, just cooked center. The first time I made them, they came out over-done, so start checking them at about 15 minutes. Sometimes I add crumbled toffee, toasted pecans and coconut, or a variety of chips but they are great basic or with any additional filling you like.

¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixer or by hand, mix the oil and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix again. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9 x13 pan. (the batter is pretty thick, so you have to kind of press it in, helps if your hands are a bit wet).

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 16-19 minutes. If you leave it in too long, it will not have that great gooey, just cooked but super moist consistency. Remove from the oven promptly, and cut when cool. These freeze well.

Sweet and Zesty Twice Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Amazing sweet and savory in each bite.

Serves 4
3 medium sweet potatoes or garnet yams, scrubbed (about 3 pounds)
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (remove seeds and membrane for less heat)
¼ cup honey
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350°. Poke holes all over sweet potatoes and wrap each in foil. Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast until potatoes are tender, 60–70 minutes. Unwrap and let sit until cool enough to handle. Increase oven temperature to 450°. Meanwhile, combine jalapeno, honey, and margarine in a small saucepan; season with salt. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

Smash sweet potatoes with your palm, then tear into bite-sized pieces (including skin), the more irregular, the better. Place in a large bowl and add half of hot honey (reserve the jalapeño to use at the end because it will burn in the oven). Season with salt. Arrange pieces, skin side down, in a single layer on an unlined rimmed baking sheet and roast until browned and crisp around the edges, 20–25 minutes. Drizzle with remaining honey and Jalapeño.

Serve warm.

Palm Springs Date Shake

When I was growing up in California we used to travel to Palm Springs for some sunshine on holidays. I know, that’s funny already, looking for more sunshine. We loved going though, nice hotels, fancy pools, great golf and tennis and their infamous date shakes. Doesn’t sound like a milkshake any kid would like, right? and honestly, until I tried it, I would agree….no thanks, but once you taste them, the super sweet, rich, and creamy delight, you will become hooked.

I haven’t thought of this treat in years. Palm Springs has changed so much since those days that I haven’t been back to that memorable Marriott in many many years. But this month, Bon Appetit magazine featured the Palm Springs Date Shake, and WOW!, memories of teenage vacation time fun came flooding back. I made them as an after-school treat and now my kids are hooked too.

Palm Springs Date Shake
Serves 2
¼ cup walnuts
½ cup dates, pitted
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
½ cup Deglet Noor or Medjool dates, pitted
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened in color and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, place dates in a small bowl and add ½ cup hot water to cover; soak 10 minutes to soften.

Blend walnuts, dates with their soaking liquid, cinnamon, and salt in a blender until a coarse paste forms. Add ice cream and ¾ cup cracked ice and blend until smooth. Divide shake between 2 glasses.

Gluten Free Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen Almond Flour

Recipe by Orly Gottesman, creator of Blends by Orly

Yields about 20 small or 15 larger hamantaschen. Recipe may be doubled. For a healthier option, substitute the Crisco with coconut oil.

3/4 cup (150 grams) white granulated sugar (or a bit less sugar if you prefer a less sweet dough)
11 tablespoons (150 grams) Crisco (use Crisco for crispier texture) or margarine/butter
1 egg
3 tablespoons orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (345 grams) Blends by Orly London Blend

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F and coat a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix sugar, margarine, egg, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla extract together for 1 minute on low setting until well blended.
Add Blends by Orly London Blend and mix for 2 more minutes on medium speed until a smooth and slightly thick dough is formed.
Remove the dough from your bowl and form it into a ball. Place the ball on a large piece of cling wrap and flatten the ball out with your hand into a disc. Cover the disc with cling wrap and refrigerate wrapped dough for at least 15 minutes to harden the dough. This will make it less sticky and easier to roll out.
On either a floured surface (or to save time, directly on the parchment lined cookie sheet) roll the dough into a flat circle about 2cm thick with a rolling pin. Continue to flour your surface with London Blend to prevent the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.
Use round dough cutters or the rim of a drinking glass to stencil out uniform round cut-outs of dough. Make as many round cut-outs as you can and set aside. Gather the excess dough into a ball and re-roll out. Repeat the process.
Fill center of dough circle with good quality preserves, jam, chocolate chips, peanut butter or other fillings of choice (get wild and crazy!) and fold the dough into a triangle by sticking the three corners together.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dough appears a very light brown in color.

Recipe by Orly Gottesman,

orlyOrly Gottesman discovered her passion for baking while living in Paris. She apprenticed for a French pastry chef at a patisserie in the 5th Arrondissement. Orly received her formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. She pioneered an independent study on gluten free product development and her research was published in the student curriculum. She was then hired to develop a line of gluten free favorite pastries and breads under the brand "Orly the Baker" for Chompies, an iconic restaurant chain in Phoenix, Arizona. Orly spent over three years developing and perfecting a range of gluten free flour blends and recipes. Her innovation is motivated by her culinary discoveries during her travels around the globe.

Orly's mission is to allow people on a gluten free diet to make any recipe without sacrificing taste, texture and quality. Blends by Orly, her line of five uniquely formulated gluten-free flours has been received with enthusiasm as a long-sought solution for the gluten-free consumer. Her drive to make delicious gluten free products is inspired by her husband, a wold class foodie, who was diagnosed with celiac disease. Orly has a B.S from NYU and is a trained vocalist and pianist.

Thai Lemonade


Makes 3 cups
Amped up lemonade with chile, mint and lime. Fun and yum.

2 limes
3 cups ice cubes
2/3 cup lemonade concentrate
½ cup cold simple syrup (heat 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar over medium heat until sugar dissolves – refrigerate)
6 fresh mint leaves
½ - 1 jalapeno, optional (chopped, remove seeds and membranes or leave them for extra heat)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Garnish: extra mint and lime

Quarter one lime with the peel on. Juice the second lime.

In a blender, puree lime with peel, lime juice, lemonade concentrate, simple syrup, mint, jalapeno, and sea salt until slushy. Serve in chilled glasses with mint sprigs and lime slices.

Tiramisu Parfaits

Makes 12 – 18 servings

1 Store bought or homemade pound cake, cut into 1-inch pieces
Espresso Syrup
1 cup hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Tiramisu Cream
6 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cup pareve whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups Tofutti cream cheese
3 tablespoons dark rum

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup shaved chocolate

12 – 18 shot glasses or small glass demitasse cups

Make the espresso syrup: In a small bowl, combine the espresso and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla and set the syrup aside.

Make the tiramisu cream: In a medium bowl over low heat, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and water. Whisk constantly until mixture thickens and is hot, about 7 minutes. Immediately scrape mixture into a cold bowl. Cover and cool in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

In an electric mixer, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add in vanilla extract until blended. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.

Using the same bowl of an electric mixer (use the paddle attachment now), beat cream cheese until creamy. Gradually beat in cooled egg yolk mixture and rum and mix until blended. Fold in whipped cream.

Assemble parfaits: Place one piece of poundcake in the bottom of each shot glass. Brush generously with espresso syrup. Top with a layer of cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and shaved chocolate. Repeat with a second layer of poundcake, brush with syrup and top with cream, cinnamon and chocolate.

Pastrami on Rye Hamantaschen


I've seen some creative hamantaschen recipes on pintrist and instagram (send me your fave at, crazy combos that sound both weird and totally awesome all at the same time. My friend, Alex, from came up with this super interesting and savory hamantaschen recipe. I think I'd serve this with the meal.
Pastrami on Rye Hamantaschen (btw if you like this one, maybe try Easy Pulled BBQ Brisket Hamantaschen)

I posted Chani Apfelbaum's (from funtastic version, on facebook last week. If you did not see it, here it is, Corndog Hamantaschen
I think I'll have these out for people stopping by with mishloach manot.

Rye Dough
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Rye Flour
1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups beer (at room temperature)
1/4 cup Caraway Seeds, +more for topping

3/4 pound Beef Pastrami
2 large or 4 medium Yellow Onions
Oil, for caramelizing
Your favorite Mustard

Read the complete recipes

Moroccan Spiced Turkey


Serves 8
One 12-pound turkey, patted dry
Kosher salt
1 lemon, quartered
4 sage sprigs, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped sage leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
1/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons ras el hanout (spice blend available at national markets)
Homemade Chutney or Store bought Chutney or onion jam, for serving

Put the turkey on the rack of a roasting pan. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper and stuff the lemon quarters and sage sprigs inside. Season the turkey all over with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast for 1 hour, until very tender. Let cool completely, then squeeze the cloves into a medium bowl. Whisk in the citrus juices along with the ras el hanout and chopped sage.
Brush the turkey all over with the citrus-garlic mixture. Roast in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, then baste with the citrus-garlic mixture. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and continue to roast, basting every 30 minutes, for 2 hours and 15 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°. Transfer the turkey to a board; let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Carve the turkey, drizzle with any pan juices and serve with chutney.

Creamy Parsnip Soup with Pear and Walnuts


Serves 8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-3/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped (6 cups)
3/4 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 teaspoons garam masala (spice blend available at national supermarkets)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
4 cups water
3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups pareve cream or soymilk or non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon walnut oil
1 small Bosc or d’Anjou pear, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
Kosher salt

For the soup: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the parsnips, potatoes and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, 5 minutes. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, turmeric and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the water, chicken stock and pareve cream. Bring to a simmer; cook until the vegetables are soft, 25 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup in a until very smooth. Add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
For the topping: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the walnuts and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until golden, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic and lemon juice. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and toss with the walnut oil. Cool to room temperature, then stir in the pear, parsley and tarragon; season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup sprinkled with the topping.
The soup can be refrigerated for 3 days and reheated gently before serving.

Sweet-And-Spicy Mixed Nuts


1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup walnuts
¼ cup shelled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Toss almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, oil, rosemary, red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt in a medium bowl to evenly coat nuts. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet or a large cast-iron pan and roast, tossing occasionally, until nuts are toasted and maple syrup caramelizes, 20–25 minutes.

Transfer to a sheet of parchment and spread out in an even layer, breaking up to prevent clusters from forming. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Nuts can be candied 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Nutty Chocolate Toffee Bark


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
½ cup unsalted, roasted nuts (such as almonds, pecans, and/or pistachios), chopped
¼ cup seeds (such as flax, sesame, and/or sunflower)
½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Special Equipment
A candy thermometer

Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine butter, granulated and brown sugars, kosher salt, and 2 Tbsp. water in a large heavy saucepan fitted with candy thermometer. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally, until thermometer registers 300° (toffee should be a deep golden brown), 7–9 minutes.

Remove toffee from heat and carefully stir in vanilla. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over surface and stir just until incorporated (be careful not to overmix). Quickly scrape mixture onto prepared baking sheet and tilt from side to side to spread mixture slightly; let cool 10 minutes.

Drizzle chocolate over toffee and spread evenly with an offset spatula or large metal spoon. Scatter nuts and seeds over top, then sprinkle with sea salt. Let sit until chocolate is firm, at least 2 hours. Break into large shards.

Do Ahead: Toffee can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Lamb and Apricot Tagine with Almond Couscous

Serves 8

2 pounds tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 pounds lamb shanks or lamb stew meat, cut in half crosswise
Kosher salt
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 cups dry red wine
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
3/4 pound dried apricots
1/4 cup honey
One 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained

2 cups couscous
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Kosher salt
2/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

For the tagine: Score an X on the bottom of each tomato. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the tomatoes just until the skins shrivel, about 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and let cool slightly, then peel and finely chop.

In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a baking sheet.

Add the onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon sticks to the pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is golden and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the lamb shanks and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, parsley and cilantro and return to a simmer. Cover and cook gently until the lamb is almost tender, about 1½ hours (approximately 1 hour for lamb stew meat). Add the apricots and honey to the tagine and cook until the lamb is very 
tender, about 30 minutes longer. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Stir in the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper.
For the couscous: 
Put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Pour the hot stock over the couscous and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand until all the stock has been absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 30 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork 
and stir in the almonds and parsley.

Sprinkle the lamb tagine with cilantro and serve with the couscous.

The lamb tagine and couscous can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days. Stir the almonds and parsley into the couscous just before serving

Sticky Drunken Pears

Serves 8

8 firm Bosc pears, stems attached
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups sweet wine
Strips of zest from 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium cinnamon stick
1 cup turbinado sugar or ¾ cup sugar
Pareve Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a 9-inch-square baking dish, arrange the pears stem end 
up, leaving space between them. Mix the lemon juice with the sweet wine and pour over the pears. Add the lemon zest, vanilla bean and seeds and cinnamon stick to the baking dish and sprinkle the sugar over the pears. Bake, basting every 15 minutes, until the pears are softened and starting to burst slightly, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pears to a serving dish. Pour the syrup into a small saucepan. Cook over moderately high heat until reduced by one-third, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour the syrup over the pears; serve with whipped cream.

Quinoa Mold


Recipe by Orly Gottesman,

This recipe makes a beautiful and impressive side dish for a Shabbat meal. Although it’s incredibly easy to make, your guests will think you are an artistic genius!

½ cup uncooked white quinoa
½ cup uncooked red quinoa
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water or chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced

Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.

Heat olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Sautee onion, garlic and red pepper for 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to toast the quinoa and combine it with the flavors of the onion and peppers. Stir in 2 cups of water or broth and the salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.

Spray the sides and bottom a small spring form bunt pan with oil and press the quinoa hard into the mold. When ready to serve, turn the pan upside down onto a serving platter and remove the sides of the pan.

Recipe by Orly Gottesman,

orlyOrly Gottesman discovered her passion for baking while living in Paris. She apprenticed for a French pastry chef at a patisserie in the 5th Arrondissement. Orly received her formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. She pioneered an independent study on gluten free product development and her research was published in the student curriculum. She was then hired to develop a line of gluten free favorite pastries and breads under the brand "Orly the Baker" for Chompies, an iconic restaurant chain in Phoenix, Arizona. Orly spent over three years developing and perfecting a range of gluten free flour blends and recipes. Her innovation is motivated by her culinary discoveries during her travels around the globe.

Orly's mission is to allow people on a gluten free diet to make any recipe without sacrificing taste, texture and quality. Blends by Orly, her line of five uniquely formulated gluten-free flours has been received with enthusiasm as a long-sought solution for the gluten-free consumer. Her drive to make delicious gluten free products is inspired by her husband, a wold class foodie, who was diagnosed with celiac disease. Orly has a B.S from NYU and is a trained vocalist and pianist.

Black Bean Chickpea & Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Recipe by Orly Gottesman,

Most veggie burgers in supermarkets either contain gluten, are solely made of vegetables and don’t have enough protein, or are soy based. As I like to minimize the soy in my diet, I wanted to create a high protein veggie burger that is also gluten free, hardy and delicious! This recipe is packed with multiple sources of protein, fiber, fresh vegetables, spices and herbs. So delicious that you can enjoy without a bun!

Recipe yields 15 patties
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 ½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 ½ cups chickpeas or 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp salt

Stir together 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups water in small saucepan, and season with salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.

Mix together the black beans and chickpeas in a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, place onion, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat. (The oil left on the tomatoes should be enough to sauté the onion.) Cook 5 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in 1.5 cups black beans/chickpea mixture, 1 ¼ cup cooked quinoa, cilantro, cumin and salt. Stir all ingredients together for 2 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups water and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

Transfer mixture to food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining ¾ cup quinoa and remaining 1.5 cups black bean/chickpea mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and set in the fridge to cool.

Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop with lever, shape bean mixture into 15 patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown. Serve on gluten free bun or between two pieces of romaine lettuce.

Recipe by Orly Gottesman,

orlyOrly Gottesman discovered her passion for baking while living in Paris. She apprenticed for a French pastry chef at a patisserie in the 5th Arrondissement. Orly received her formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. She pioneered an independent study on gluten free product development and her research was published in the student curriculum. She was then hired to develop a line of gluten free favorite pastries and breads under the brand "Orly the Baker" for Chompies, an iconic restaurant chain in Phoenix, Arizona. Orly spent over three years developing and perfecting a range of gluten free flour blends and recipes. Her innovation is motivated by her culinary discoveries during her travels around the globe.

Orly's mission is to allow people on a gluten free diet to make any recipe without sacrificing taste, texture and quality. Blends by Orly, her line of five uniquely formulated gluten-free flours has been received with enthusiasm as a long-sought solution for the gluten-free consumer. Her drive to make delicious gluten free products is inspired by her husband, a wold class foodie, who was diagnosed with celiac disease. Orly has a B.S from NYU and is a trained vocalist and pianist.

Eggplant Dip in Raw Tahini and Pomegranate Syrup


1 eggplant
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw tahini
2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup, silan, or honey
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoons chopped parsley

Roast medium sized eggplants on open flame or grill, until blackened all around. Let cool and peel to remove skin.
Lay on serving dish, season with salt and a little lemon juice, cover with raw tahini, and then drizzle with aged pomegranate syrup (you can also reduce pomegranate juice with sugar for the same effect)
Decorate with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

Stuffed Figs


20 large fresh or dried figs

For the filling:
1 medium onions, chopped finely
olive oil for frying
1 whole chicken breast, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
salt to taste

For the sauce:
100 grams (3-1/2 oz.) tamarind* paste (can be purchased in health-food or Middle-Eastern store)
2 fresh or dried figs
1 liter/quart water
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of cinnamon

*Tamarind comes from the Hebrew word: ~tamar hindi~, meaning Indian date.
1. To prepare the filling:
Fry the onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add the cubed chicken and
spices. Stir until the chicken turns white. Adjust seasonings. Remove
from heat. Cool.
2. To prepare the sauce:
Dilute the tamarind paste in a saucepan with a little hot water. Chop the
figs and add them. Add the water cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil. Cook until reduced and all flavors have melded. Remove from heat. If using fresh figs, open the tops and hollow them out with a little spoon, taking care not to rip the edges or bottom. If using dried figs, simply massage the fig with you r fingers to soften and cut a little slit at one end (no need to remove anything). Fill with stuffing mixture. Fresh figs: Add to the pot only for the last 10 minutes of cooking the sauce.
Dried figs: cook for 15-20 minutes, taking care not to let the sauce burn or dry out.
Sauce should be thick like syrup. You can take out the figs and reduce the sauce to the desired consistency before serving. Add sugar if the sauce is to tart for you.
To serve:
Place 6 figs on each plate. Spoon heated sauce over them and decorate with pomegranate see

Chicken Ma’aluba


Serves: 6
3 medium onions, sliced
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 threads saffron
1 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste
3 medium potatoes, sliced
1 small head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 medium eggplant, quartered and cut into 1/2" thick slices
6 drumsticks and chicken thighs
Dash of paprika
2-1/2 cups brown Basmati rice, uncooked

Sauté potatoes in 1 tablespoon of oil in non-stick pan until lightly golden, but not cooked through. Set aside.
Sauté cauliflower in remaining oil. Set aside. In the same pan, sauté eggplant until lightly browned.
Place chicken in pot and Add saffron, turmeric, thyme, nutmeg and pepper to taste. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour, then remove chicken and save the liquid.
In large Dutch oven pot, spread tomato and onion along the bottom and arrange chicken over onion layer. Place eggplant slices between chicken pieces. Distribute cauliflower over the top, and then repeat with potato slices.
Spread uncooked rice over potatoes. Add broth to cover by a sentimemter. Place pot, uncovered, over a medium flame and let liquid simmer 15 minutes. Then cover pot, reduce heat and cook on low for 30 to 45 minutes to cook rice. Add more liquid if needed to keep mixture moist, but be careful not to add so much that rice becomes sticky or risotto-like.
Test for doneness by removing the cover and sniffing; when it smells a little burned, it's ready.
Take a round metal tray and place on top of pot. Turn pot over onto tray, patting the top to release chicken. Remove pot or use a large spoon to transfer rice, vegetables and chicken to a platter.

Palmiers Filled with Tahini, Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomato Spread, Olive Tapenade


Makes 2 dozen
These are delicious Kiddush treats, snacking crackers, elegant hostess gifts or a gorgeous garnish for soup.

1 pound store-bought puff pastry
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten

Put the puff pastry on a well-floured counter roll into a large rectangle, about 12 by 14 inches and about 1/8 inch thick. Spread the filling (see below for choices) over the puff pastry and sprinkle over the rosemary.

With the shortest end facing you, take both long edges of the pastry and roll them toward each other to meet in the middle. Brush a little egg down the center to stick the two halves together. Carefully lift onto a large baking sheet, making sure it will fit in your refrigerator first, and put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill and harden.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the roll from the refrigerator and, using a very sharp knife, slice it into ½-inch thick pieces. Lay each piece on the baking sheet and brush well with the beaten egg, then bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until puffed up, crisp, and golden.

Remove the palmiers from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. To serve, pile them high on a plate. These are great little canapes for waiting guests.


1 cup tahini
1/3 cup honey
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup halvah

In a medium bowl, stir tahini with honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt (if too thick add 1 tablespoon water).

Recipe here

Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
Recipe here

Olive Tapenade
Recipe here