Monday, April 30, 2012

Upper East Side

A few months ago I was watching Gossip Girl. One episode after another, 4 seasons, 87 episodes. I was struggling between the intellectual part of my brain which told me to turn the TV off, and the part of my brain that enjoys watching stupid TV. You can guess which won. But even TV that’s made purely for entertainment purposes can teach you something. 

When I was scheduled to photograph a social event on the Upper East Side, I knew exactly what to expect. I knew that the elevator would open directly into the apartment. I knew that a young guy would open the door and ask for my coat. I knew that a girl would then offer me a drink. I knew that the space would be extremely spacious and well designed. But somehow I didn't imagine the kitchen, and that was a great surprise!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A recipe – Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar

1 Acorn Squash
Little bit of butter
1-2 teaspoon brown sugar

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.     Cut the squash lengthwise in half
3.     Put the 2 halves in a baking pan. Fill the pan halfway with water.
4.     Bake for 15 – 25 minutes (until you can stick a knife into the squash).
5.     Put each half in a plate, add the butter and the sugar.
6.     Let it melt for a few seconds – and eat….

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A recipe – Banana Bread

I was trying to make the right adjustments to this recipe so it would be kosher for Passover, but then I thought, “What’s the point?” First, Passover is over today. Second, this bread is so tasty that it is a sin to change the perfect balance between the ingredients.
I planed to keep my diet Passover kosher this week, but there are habits that I guess are stronger than we realize. The morning after the Passover dinner (The Seder) I woke up and fixed myself breakfast. While I was finishing cleaning the dishes I realized that I ate the same breakfast 
I eat every day: toasted bread with avocado. Well, kosher Passover is officially over.

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter (3 tablespoons)
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
¾ cups of all-purpose flour
¾ cups of whole-wheat flour
Handful of walnuts, roughly chopped

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2.     In a big bowl, mix the mashed bananas with butter.
3.     Stir while adding the sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, salt and flour. Mix all together until completely combined.
4.     Add the walnuts into the mixture.
5.     Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A recipe – Spinach Pie for Passover (and every day!)

The best thing about big Jewish family dinners is that you have leftover food for a week.
I even find myself cooking a bit more of each dish, so I will have leftovers. The problem is that sometimes you get stuck with too much of it, and have no choice but to eat the same food for a week…

This Friday we celebrated Passover dinner. There was a lot of food, much more than guests would normally eat, for sure. And guess what – I am going to eat this pie every day this week. Because, as you know, Jewish people can't throw food away…

3 eggs
16 oz (450 gr.) cottage cheese
8 oz (225 gr.) sour cream
3.5 oz (100 gr.) feta cheese
2 Pounds (1 Kg) fresh spinach leaves
3 tablespoon of matzo flour (matzo meal)
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F.
2.     Wash the spinach leaves and put them in big pot. Fill the pot halfway with water.
3.     Bring to a boil and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure you do not over cook the leaves.
4.     Meanwhile – in a large bowl mix the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, feta cheese, matzo flour, nutmeg and salt & pepper.
5.     Drain the water from the pot then press the spinach between your hands until all water is removed.
6.     Chop the spinach roughly and add to the cheese mixture.
7.     Mix all together and pour into a round pie pan.
8.     Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the pie becomes golden.

* Suggestions:
You can play around with the cheeses – exchange the cottage cheese or the sour cream with yogurt or exchange some of the feta cheese with blue cheese.
If you make this pie not during Passover days, you can change the matzo flour with breadcrumbs, oatmeal or grain wheat.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Expo, Book & Blog Festival 2012

The 2012 Annual Conference of The IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) was held on the last weekend in New York, under the title: The Fashion of Food.

I am not a big fan of fashion, and my understanding in that field is even lower. But hey, I am a big fan of food and quite sure I know something about it…
So I went.

There was no fashion there, also not much food, but lots of cookbooks and cookbook authors.