Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah

Honey Cake Recipe for Rosh Hashanah

I’ve barely touched my blog since moving home from Israel to New York – it’s so easy to get swept up in life here! But Rosh Hashanah, which is early this year, is fast approaching and so I’m snapping out of my summer blog hiatus to bring you this incredible honey cake recipe from Cook in Israel: Home Cooking with Orly Ziv (the cookbook that I photographed). Honey is traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah to signify a sweet new year, and honey cake can commonly be found on Jewish tables around the world this time of year. I’m not always a huge fan of honey cake, which can be quite dense, but Orly’s version is light and spongy with lots of wonderful honey flavor that’s not overly sweet. Continue reading “Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah”

Helba (Semolina + Fenugreek Cake) and a Bethlehem Cooking Class

Bethlehem Cooking Class
Banksy graffiti near the refugee camp; Islam and Ahmad’s daughter

After three years of living in Israel, my husband and I are moving back to New York in just a few days. Everyone thought we were crazy to move here, giving up our comfortable lives to venture off to a place we’d never even visited. But I knew it was the chance of a lifetime, and while there have certainly been challenges overall it’s been an amazing experience. The final item on my bucket list of things to do here was to visit the Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem and attend a cooking class through an amazing organization called Noor Women Empowerment Group. I finally had the opportunity last weekend, and it was one of the most worthwhile, inspiring experiences in my time here. Continue reading “Helba (Semolina + Fenugreek Cake) and a Bethlehem Cooking Class”

Arrested Development Frozen Bananas

Arrested Development Frozen Bananas

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the rebooted fourth season of Arrested Development, seven years after it was canceled. I’m a little late to the viewing party game since it aired earlier this week, but watching the show left me wanting one of their signature snacks – chocolate covered frozen bananas, a la the Banana Stand run by the Bluth family (“There’s always money in the banana stand!”). And it occurred to me that not only would they be easy to make, but they’d be a delicious (and fairly healthy!) summertime treat.


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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 (idityatzkan@gmail.com) to create exactly the cookbook she’d dreamed of producing.


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Strawberry Crisp

Strawberry Crisp

As opposed to the American Northeast, where summer is prime berry season, in Israel strawberries are abundant in winter. I love it. Right now the shuks are overflowing with fresh, ripe, vibrant strawberries to be purchased by the kilo. Which I do. So, while it was difficult to choose this month’s Secret Recipe Club recipe from my assigned blog, Cupcake Muffin, as soon as I saw this strawberry crisp recipe I knew I had to make it. And I’m so glad I did! It’s my perfect dessert – fruity with great textures and just the right amount of sweetness. Continue reading “Strawberry Crisp”

Salted Caramels and a Christmas Blog Hop

Homemade salted caramels

This will be the first Christmas that I’m not spending at home, the only winter that I haven’t been in New York. The sandstorm we just had in the desert doesn’t quite take the place of snowflakes, and the warm weather is at odds with traditional Christmas carols. But, I’ll be in Bethlehem, which is pretty neat. And I have plenty of salted caramels to fill my stocking. Continue reading “Salted Caramels and a Christmas Blog Hop”

Cranberry Sauce Upside Down Cake and a Thanksgiving Leftovers Blog Hop

Cranberry Upside Down Cake and More Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas

Guys, it’s been a long week. The stress of the most recent Israel-Gaza conflict, which went on for eight loud days and sleepless days, was starting to get to me. The uncertainty – and intractability – of the situation was exhausting. But as of Wednesday night, just in time for Thanksgiving, they reached a ceasefire. For that I am beyond thankful. And while I probably won’t have any Thanksgiving leftovers to eat, I came up with this delicious cranberry sauce upside down cake for those of you who will have a few extra cans lying around.

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups and a Halloween Blog Hop

Peanut Butter Cup ingredients

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of October. Living in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween, it’s easy to forget that it’s approaching without the sensory overload of decorations, costumes, scary music and candy. The leaves here aren’t changing color and it’s still a balmy 83F outside. But ever the consummate expat, I refuse to let go of the traditions of home and so got myself in the trick-or-treating spirit by doing something that’s been on my cooking bucket list for a while – I made peanut butter cups. That’s right. Today I’ve got a recipe for peanut butter cups for you. As in Reese’s peanut butter cups, but homemade.

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Sugar Free Sugar Cookies and a Cookie Blog Hop

I know it sounds crazy even to say – sugar free sugar cookies? It’s a total oxymoron. But when planning a baby shower for a woman with gestational diabetes the usual sweet buffet just won’t do. Beth cut most normal carbs and processed sugars out of her diet, and took regular blood sugar tests so knew that she reacted well to spelt flour and agave nectar. My mission: To make something akin to sugar cookies without all the sugar. I found these healthy sugar cookies, swapped the almond flour for whole wheat spelt flour, and was in business. With only four ingredients and no butter, I knew that these would be about as healthy as cookies could get – but how would they taste?

(Almost) Sugar Free Sugar Cookies {KatherineMartinelli.com}

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How to Make a Watermelon Baby Carriage

While this post is uncharacteristic of me and this blog, baby fever has taken over my life. My Facebook feed is overrun with babies these days, and in real life it’s time for my first close friend to have a child. My very best friend in Israel Beth is due any day (hour?! minute?!) now and so a few weeks ago I had the fun of planning my first baby shower. I needed baby shower food ideas, and as usual Pinterest came to the rescue. This watermelon baby carriage was perfect because not only does it look cute and create an interactive centerpiece, but since Beth has gestational diabetes it also fit my sugar-free rule. Yup, the whole baby shower was outfitted with snacks made entirely (ok, mostly) with natural sugars.

How to Make a Watermelon Baby Carriage {KatherineMartinelli.com}

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