Cheesecake + Cook in Israel Cookbook Announcement

Cook in Israel Cheesecake

As a freelance writer and photographer, I’m always juggling various projects and assignments of differing scopes. I’m very excited to announce one with which I have a great personal connection at this point, one that took up a lot of my time and creative energy in the past year, and one that I am very, very proud of. Cook in Israel: Home Cooking Inspiration with Orly Ziv is a collection of 100 recipes, each with a color photo and many with step-by-step photos. I edited the book and took all the photographs, working closely with Orly and our talented designer Idit Yatzkan ( to create exactly the cookbook she’d dreamed of producing.


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Homemade Paneer and Ricotta, and an Indian Food Blog Hop

Homemade Paneer and Ricotta

If I had realized how easy it is to make paneer at home, I would have started doing it long ago. I’d made ricotta (or, technically, farmer’s cheese) many times and loved the simple process and fresh taste. Turns out homemade paneer is just an extra step away. Two ingredients and minimal equipment – does it get any easier than that? Continue reading “Homemade Paneer and Ricotta, and an Indian Food Blog Hop”

Leek, Potato, and Feta Pancakes and a Fried Food Blog Hop

Leek, Potato, and Feta Pancakes

I still can’t get over the fact that it’s December. But here it is, and Hanukkah (Chanukah) starts tomorrow evening, in all it’s fried glory. Being in Israel for the holiday means sufginyot (jelly donuts) everywhere, latkes on the cover of every food magazine, and huge menorahs around town. My favorite, though, is sticking my head out the window on the first night of Hanukkah and smelling the frying oil in the thick, greasy air. It’s fried food heaven, and it’s glorious. Continue reading “Leek, Potato, and Feta Pancakes and a Fried Food Blog Hop”

Guest Post: Orecchiette with Leeks and a Leek Blog Hop

Orecchiette with Leeks and Ricotta and a Leek Blog Hop

Today I’m doing a guest post over at Shut Up and Cook: The Attainable Gourmet, and I hope you’ll stop by and check it out. Besides the recipe for orecchiette with leeks and ricotta (yes, it’s as good as it sounds and easy as can be!), Erina’s blog is just a joy to explore. I’ve known Erina since college, when she was one of the stars of the all female a cappella group, The Accents. After graduation she moved out West to Seattle, where she’s been ever since, making her mark on the city. Last time I was in town (it’s been a few years now…) we met up for happy hour wine and appetizers and had a blast. We’ve since become cross-continental pen pals, sharing scores of emails back and forth about food, blogging, and careers in food. Continue reading “Guest Post: Orecchiette with Leeks and a Leek Blog Hop”

Easy Homemade Pizza and a Pizza Blog Hop

As soon as I saw this no rise, practically no knead pizza dough recipe on the web I knew I had to try it out (you’ve probably seen it too – it’s got over 84,000 pins on Pinterest!). This easy pizza seemed too good to be true and had an intriguing secret ingredient: Yogurt. I love adding yogurt to everything from baked goods to pasta dishes, and from salad dressings to sauces to make them creamier, healthier, and tastier. But in pizza crust? But wait. It gets better. Besides the yogurt there’s only one other ingredient: Self-rising flour. Two ingredients and five minutes. I had to make it to believe it.

Easy Homemade Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potatoes

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Pasta with Ricotta and Brussels Sprouts

Although I didn’t grow up eating Brussels sprouts, as an adult I’ve fallen in love with them. And, while I make them often, I’ve only posted one Brussels sprouts recipe on the blog. I knew I had to change that. Fortunately I came across this easy and delicious pasta with ricotta and Brussels sprouts recipe from Culinary Adventures with Camilla, my assigned blog for this month’s Secret Recipe Club.

When I first got my SRC assignment, I spent a long time going through Camilla’s posts and quickly became enamored with her creative recipes. I love that she includes her two adorable sons in the cooking process, and isn’t afraid to introduce them to new foods. I especially like her international series, Cooking Around the World with Camilla, in which she and her boys are cooking their way through all the countries of the world from A to Z. It’s an amazing way to learn about the world, and is a practice I hope to borrow in the future.

Pasta with Ricotta and Brussels Sprouts

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Manchego and Fig Panini and a Fig Blog Hop

It’s fig season in Israel and it is glorious. I’ve never before lived somewhere with such a wealth of gorgeous fresh figs. Seeing them piled high at the shuk just makes me smile. There are few fruits as pretty as figs, and their subtly sweet flavor makes them a perfect foil to savory dishes – and in particular cheese. I love to stuff figs with goat cheese or ricotta and drizzle with balsamic or honey, baked or raw. I’ve been making crostini out the wazoo featuring figs, paired with toasted bread and brie or salty white cheese. And for a special lunch treat, panini. My favorite combination is this manchego and fig panini.

Fig season in Israel - Mahane Yehuda Market

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Marinated Kale Salad and a Leafy Green Blog Hop

I know I’m a grown-up because one of my favorite parts about being home in New York for the summer was kale. I’ve yet to find this vitamin-rich leafy green in Israel, and I get envious every time I read a blog post or article about kale chips or sautéed kale. But in New York, it’s everywhere now and of course nowhere is it better than at the farmer’s market. My kale variety of choice is lacinato, perhaps because it also goes by the equally fun names of Tuscan, cavalo nero, and dinasaur kale. It’s recognizable by its rich green color and bumpy skin, and is just as good raw in salads as it is cooked any which way.

Lacinato kale

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Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

The theme for this month’s World on a Plate is stuffed vegetables and I couldn’t be more excited. I considered classic stuffed peppers (I found a recipe in an American cookbook from the early 1900s) but then I decided on one of my favorite summer favorites: Stuffed squash blossoms. Squash blossoms are the pretty yellow-hued edible flowers that grow along with zucchini and other summer squash. They have a subtle flavor on their own but make the perfect vehicle for delicious fillings. Squash blossoms are also a gorgeous addition to pastas, pizzas, and salads.

Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

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Ricotta Gnocchi and a Cheese Blog Hop

If you’ve ever been too intimidated to make your own pasta, gnocchi is a great place to start. And if regular potato gnocchi seems like too much work, well ricotta gnocchi is the way to go. This Italian pasta dumpling has three – yes just THREE! – ingredients and doesn’t require the use of a pasta maker. You just mix together ricotta, flour, and an egg and gently knead it until it comes together. After a brief rest in the fridge, you roll the dough into snakes and cut into gnocchi of whatever size you like. Cook in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes and you’re done.

Homemade ricotta gnocchi ~

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