‘Tis the Season: Gifts from the Desert

Neot Smadar

For young lovers and their parents, ‘tis the season of gift giving as summer weddings approach and engagements are announced.

How about considering unique, edible gifts?

I ran across information about Negev Nectars and was taken by their mission “to support small- scale, sustainable agriculture in Israel, and to provide a market for these farmers.” All products sold through this American company come from Israeli farms located in the Negev desert. Continue reading

Show Off Those Farm Fresh Eggs

 

Farm fresh eggs have been getting a lot of press lately. And all the buzz is not for naught.

The simple pleasure of  eating a fresh egg is distinctly different from eating one from a store. The charmingly bumpy shapes, the pleasing range of hues from lavender to pale blue to snow white, all point to a more, well, organic experience. Continue reading

Celebrating with Simmons Family Farm Yogurt

Sometimes there’s an unexpected confluence of circumstance that makes writing about holiday foods a real thrill. Maybe it’s the adventure of discovering a new product that I suddenly feel I must have in my ‘fridge at all times.

In my perennial search for traditional foods with a twist, it was a great coincidence when the CT. farmers Robin and Ron Simmons contacted me about trying their organic, local, low fat and kosher yogurt .

Simmons Family Farm Yogurt almost sounded too good to be true. I shared with family and friends and began tasting the product over a period of a couple of weeks, just in time to make the connection between dairy and Shavuot. Continue reading

“Fresh and Easy” with Cookbook Author, Leah Schapira

I met Leah Schapira one evening this past fall. We were at an intimate gathering of food writers and magazine editors in NYC.  It was a convivial group, focused on networking and learning about each other.

We were asked to give an elevator speech to introduce our own projects and platforms. Continue reading

Don’t Want to Cook for Passover?

 

TO COOK OR NOT TO COOK?  That is the question!

Not everyone has the inclination or the time to prepare holiday meals, especially those that require a lot of sorting through recipes we may use only once a year.

Here are some ideas for resources if you would like to order items for your Passover Seder on April 6 or the week of Passover April 7-14. It is far from comprehensive, rather an overview of some great choices in both CT. and NYC.

I provide both strictly kosher choices and some that are not, with an understanding that my readers come from a wide range of lifestyles and viewpoints on this issue. Continue reading

Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride

Reyna Simnegar, author of Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride, will demo dishes unique to Persian cuisine at an evening of tasting and culture presented by Chabad of Westport, CT. on Thursday, March 29 at 7 PM.

A total of seven dishes will be sampled and discussed as Simnegar shares her riveting story of growing up Catholic in Venezuela, discovering that she was a descendent of Conversos from Spain, and converting to Judaism. Her journey continued when she met her husband, Sammy Simnegar, who was born in Shiraz, Iran and came from a traditional Jewish family where Persian kosher delights are prized and at the center of every family gathering. Continue reading

Dining at Balaboosta with an Expert

Last week, I received an invitation from Naama Shefi, Israeli food specialist and past Director of Public Programs and Events at the Consulate General of Israel in NYC. She asked me to join her at Balaboosta in Nolita, NYC, for lunch with a dozen strangers who had signed up to eat with her and learn more about Israeli cuisine.

Through a program called I Want More Food, founded by Jeff Orlick,  these food adventure seekers were scheduled to meet and eat with Shefi as their insider guide. Continue reading

Cooking Heart Healthy Foods with Jennifer Abadi at the JCC in Manhattan

Invite me to a cooking class?  I am in!
 I love them all: demos, hands on, famous chefs, home-style cooks … I am eager to be inspired by some unfamiliar flavor or technique.
But with the steep cost of these classes,  I need to choose carefully.
For me that means honing in on classes that focus on using health conscious, vegetarian or kosher ingredients. While perusing the online schedule for the JCC in Manhattan, I ran into a class being taught by Jennifer Abadi called Delicious Heart-Healthy Foods.
When I saw the menu, I knew I needed to attend.