Tu B’Shvat: A Holiday for Cookie Eaters

Tu B’Shvat: A Holiday for Cookie Eaters

From Special Correspondent Dena, here is the Tu B’Shvat Cookies recipe that can’t be beat. You will have to use your judgement regarding exactly how much of each ingredient use, since Dena doesn’t feel bound by recipes. Oh, and she also add chopped dates and/or figs to these. Moral to the story: go to town with the seven species and you probably won’t go wrong.

 

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Subterfuge Isn’t My Forte: Mandelbroit

Subterfuge Isn’t My Forte: Mandelbroit

I came with an agenda, but I needn’t have bothered. Innocently, I glanced at Bubby’s bookshelves and remarked “Oh, is that New Kosher Cuisine?” As the conversation had been tangentially related to food, the comment wasn’t totally off the mark. Though the reason I asked was because I intended to leave with her copy of the cookbook in my possession.

“Yes,” said Bubby, “Do you want it?” No beating around the bush needed.

Possibly because she hasn’t used the book in my lifetime.

There was just one condition – Bubby – who claimed she’d never met a mandelbroit recipe she couldn’t ruin and who hadn’t cooked with sugar in decades, wanted that recipe copied out before she handed over the book.

Here’s the secret: bake the mandelbroit loaves at 350 for 20 minutes, then remove them from the oven, slice them up, and broil on each side for 30 seconds. Or more, if you prefer your mandel burnt. And since you have that, there’s no need for you to walk off with my copy of New Kosher Cuisine.

Mediterranean Meal

Mediterranean Meal

I have as much storage space in my apartment as a midshipman at sea: lucky if I can smuggle some granola bars and a bottle of whiskey on board. If you don’t pack in enough food, you may go hungry late one night. But bring on board too much and you may get court-martialed – or your food disposed of. While none of my roommates have had the ability to court martial me, some have made me wish I’d been dishonorably discharged from our lease agreement. So, rather than anger anyone I limit my food purchasing. Since it’s vital to always be stocked for a natural or national disaster, that means I’ve cut corners. For example, I only have one type of grain at a time in my kitchen. If I already have rice, I’m not buying millet. If I have groats, barley won’t make it on the shopping list.

As with every rule, to this one there is an exception. That exception is Smitten Kitchen’s Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad. The food on that site is reliable and tasty and they only promise what they can deliver. So, when this recipe promised “..if I had more of this Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad right now, I’d eat it for lunch and then dinner again,” and, “I have done you a disservice by not mentioning this for two weeks, as you could have have already eaten it twice! Maybe even four times!” I went out and bought all the ingredients – even though I was only half-way through a bag of rice. And it was worth it the lose of storage space to have this salad on hand.

It was so good that it made me reckless and I decided that any recipe labeled Mediterranean had to be good. So I let the internet lead me away to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It took me straight to The Mediterranean Dish’s Za’atar Roasted Chicken Breast.

While I trust Smitten Kitchen to know what’s best for me, I don’t know The Mediterranean Dish from a hole in a wall. So, rather than follow the recipe, I adapted and adjusted and the result is:

Mediterranean Sumac Chicken, based on a true recipe

3-4 lbs chicken

1/2 c lemon juice

1 c olive oil

2 tbsp sumac

2 tbsp allspice

2 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp za’atar

2 tsp paprika

10 cloves of garlic, minced

1 onion, sliced

1 lemon, sliced.

Marinate chicken in all ingredients. If you have the time, combine the oil and spices into a marinade and let sit overnight. Otherwise, the add the oil and spices to the chicken already in the pan, coating evenly. Add in garlic, onion, and lemon. Roast at 400F for 45-60 minutes – for the first 30 minutes, cover the pan.

Next up on my Mediterranean menu: baklava?

Even the Best Investigators Miss Things

Even the Best Investigators Miss Things

Detective Sergeant Hayes reached Fleet Street at half past eleven and decided to ask at the offices of The Times. The young receptionist was reading a paperback Christie and biting her nails.

“Detective Sergeant Hayes. Metropolitan Police. I do’t know if you remember – I was here earlier with James Wingate.”

“Different shift I’m afraid, sir. I would have been older and more of a man, probably.”

from Miss Treadway and the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson