Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5 Minute Gazpacho

I've finally found a use for my inordinately long cutting board. Chopping up lots of different vegetables... and arranging them separately.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Magic Ice Cream

I'm going to share a secret ice cream recipe with you.

Okay, it's not really a secret. I found it on a really amazing baking blog who got the idea from here.

Here you go: 2 ingredient ice cream. No ice cream maker. Fluffy, creamy, delicous (and a heart attack in a bowl, but it's worth it on the whole). Condensed milk, whipping cream, and whatever flavors float your boat.

I went with chocolate peanut butter. Never fails.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Soft Pretzels & Chem 101

I've made soft pretzels twice in the past two days, and I'd make more tomorrow if I hadn't run out of flour out here in the middle of nowhere where the local mini-market is open at 6:45 but closed by noon.

But not to worry, these pretzels are so fun to make that I don't even mind being baking handicapped. They are chewy and salty and delicious, and easy enough for a 4-year-old to make

The first thing you do is proof your yeast. This step isn't essential- if you continued and added all the ingredients, the yeast would still multiply and make your dough rise. But it does make sure that you know your yeast works and that you didn't use water that was too hot.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Boy Plum Pie

I love wandering around and exploring all the stores in our new area. Although considering how expensive it was to move, about the only shops I can afford to actually buy from are the vegetable ones. 

Lucky for me, there's a place nearby that sells everything  for 3.80 NIS/kilo. That's $0.49/lb, American people. I sort of went overboard grabbing fruits and veggies and I don't even know what I'm going to do with all of this. 

But it sure is purty, ain't it?

Plum pie, anyone?

Friday, August 19, 2011

The way to a man's heart

I was all ready to write about the amazing fruit store I found nearby, but after today's breakfast I just couldn't help myself.

My family bought me a mini waffle pan when I passed my thesis defense. Kind of a sneaky gift, dontcha think? It's like when I bought my husband an espresso machine... I think I probably end up drinking more coffee than him. And with the waffles, they don't even have to make them!

At first I was skeptical that waffles this small could be satisfying, or that they would even come out of the pan in tact.

Sometimes it's good to be wrong.

So, this morning, instead of our usual Friday morning pancake extravaganza, I whipped up a batch of my favorite waffle recipe from the Settlement Cook Book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake Bliss

I've been planning on making cupcakes for a while. They're perfect for me- cute, don't require great decorating skills, big wow factor. Except now that the closest store sells chocolate chips for 15 shekels a package ($4.25), I've learned that I have to be prepared.

I have to admit, it's getting a bit out of control. And I don't even want to tell you how little butter was left at the end of today. 

So there I was with all the essential food groups and no ideas.

No ideas= make chocolate. Am I right or am I right??

Monday, August 15, 2011

Romantic Dinner for Four

Seven years ago today, I married my college sweetheart. We got married in the downstairs chapel of our synagogue and then had a reception on a floating barge on top of a biker's bar.

I certainly could never have imagined how far life would take us in 7 years.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

When it's late at night and you're home alone after an awful, long, terrible, useless day of work, and you're out of ice for that glass of whiskey you'd really like to have, there's only one thing left to do:

Bake. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Now.

At first I wasn't going to share this recipe with you because, well I spent years trying to come up with the perfect recipe. And I'm selfish like that. But then I figured that the world would be a better, less-alcoholic place if we had these awesome cookies to greet us after a really horribly hard day.

Fruit Orchards

The apartment we rent sits on a lot of 30 dunams of land (7.4 acres) or 300 dunams (74 acres), depending on what time of day you ask my landlady. Either way, that's plenty of space to keep chickens, a dog, and a ton of fruit trees.

The lemons are grown for commercial purposes, but the mangos, passionfruit, carob, and sabras are just for the family. And I think they've sort of adopted us. 

We've been here now a total of 3 days, and so far they've left us a bag of mangos on the stairs and knocked on our door with a bag of gargantuan lemons. And you know what they say, if your neighbor gives you lemons...

Friday, August 12, 2011

A tale of two kitchens

Well, we survived moving. Barely. I would love to complain about all the things that went wrong and people who tried to screw us over, but it would just get ugly. So instead, let's talk about the important things. My new kitchen.

So just for comparison, this is what I have been living with for the past two years:

Note the infinitesimally small counter space (which we had to put in, I might add). And the impossibly moldy nasty uncleanable walls. And general ick. Ick ick ick.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moving Day

Ok, here we go folks. I should be packing and disassembling cabinets and washing the floor, and all of those unpleasant last-minute moving things. 

Instead I've decided to finally start that blog I've been meaning to write. You see, I have this obsession with baking. It's pretty serious. I make all sorts of sugary treats, and then feel compelled to take pictures and share them with the world.

Like this 8-layered chocolate raspberry cake

Or lemon meringue cupcakes

So, now that my kitchen is entirely packed up and even the last bits of sugar have been put away, the question is how long it will take us to go from this:

Back to this: