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Baklava Pumpkin Pie

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Oh. Em. Gee. It’s been forever!!!! I can’t remember the last time I took such a long blogging break – I have missed you all!

Of course I haven’t disappeared entirely. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me traveling around the country on my book tour, and it’s been quite a journey. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many of you in person, to share my love of food, family and tradition to a range of audiences, and to be going into the third printing of Millennial Kosher with almost 20,000 copies sold! Pinch me!!

Thanksgiving is all about showing thanks and boy am I grateful. Grateful for this platform. Grateful to see my dreams come true and grateful that somethow, someway, in between all this running around, I still love what I do SO. VERY. MUCH.

Truth be told I hit a bit of a creative slump but I am back and I couldn’t be more excited about it!! This baklava pumpkin pie came to me along with a bunch of other exciting ideas that I can’t wait to share, and I am so glad I was able to get into the kitchen and behind the camera to share it with you all. I thought it might be too complicated to execute but I got so much amazing feedback on it and I’m so pleasantly surprised that y’all are ready to tackle layers and layers of buttered fillo dough – not the easiest feat!

I actually tested this recipe with melted coconut oil and I was so happy to see that I could avoid the dreaded margarine route while still keeping it pareve. Just make sure to go for refined coconut oil otherwise you’ll be left with baklava COCONUT pumpkin pie and no one wants that, amiright?!

The diagonal slits are probably the hardest part about this – and I watched a whole lot of YouTube videos until I figured it out – but you can feel free to make this a la the traditional route in a rectangular dish and forgo the difficulty.

Wishing you a delicious and Happy Thanksgiving. We truly have so much to be thankful for!

Related Recipes:

baklava hamantaschen
mini pumpkin pies for a crowd
Whole30 pumpkin banana souffle’

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Hawaij Honey Cake with Labneh Frosting

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

If you are lucky enough to own a copy of Millennial Kosher, chances are you are one of hundreds who has made my hawaij garlic confit a staple on their Shabbos table. I for one can not get through the weekend without the intoxicating smell of hawaij wafting through my home. And my challah can’t live without dipping into the fragrant oily dip.

I’m proud to have introduced so many people to one of my favorite spice blends – a Yemenite curry that is famous for it’s use in chicken soup. What many don’t know, however, is that there is also a sweet version of hawaij, traditionally used for coffee. Since many honey cakes incorporate coffee into the batter, I figured that spicing up the cake with some hawaij for coffee was the perfect way to introduce the sweet side of the Yemenite spice.

Besides for the fragrant spice blend, I also incorporated one of my favorite Israeli ingredients – silan or date honey. It’s interesting to note that when the Torah speaks of Israel being the “Land that flows with milk and honey”, it is actually referring to date honey. There is nothing quite like dates from the shuk in Israel, and silan has become a much-loved ingredient in my house. It works both in sweet and savory applications (try it over pargiot!) and it’s delicious when paired with tahini.

Now lets talk about the other unique component of this amazing recipe – the frosting! If you’d never tried making labneh before, it’s so much easier than it seems! Labneh is the Israeli cream cheese – light and creamy with a healthy dose of tang. I’m personally not a fan of classic American cream cheese, so it’s all about the labneh for me!

Labneh is extremely versatile – it can be rolled into balls and marinated in olive oil with different spices, drizzled with some olive oil and za’atar for dipping pita, or made into a sweet frosting with some added hawaij to perfectly compliment this breakfast loaf!

I am totally obsessed over how this recipe came together! The cake is crazy moist, nothing like that dry honey cake we all dread. The hawaij adds just enough spice, but nothing over the top, and the creamy frosting adds a nice tang to balance out the sweetness of the cake.

My favorite part about this cake though, was decorating it!! I had a vision for incorporating my favorite seasonal fruit – figs – and I just love how it came out! Feel free to play around with fresh pomegranate, honeycomb, cinnamon sticks and other fun toppings to make the cake your own.

I always say I’m not a baker, but this recipe helped me realize that even though I don’t like the science of baking, there is still so much room for creativity and if I can get around the technicalities, I can create a masterpiece.

Here’s to a New Year of trying new things, delicious eats and sweetness all around!

This post was sponsored by Norman’s. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

parsnip honey cake with cream cheese frosting
honey cake with caramelized apples
bourbon honey cake balls

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Pina Colada Ice Cream

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

I have a love/hate relationship with bananas. I love me some banana cake with frosting, but I’m not a fan of strawberry + banana anything. Banana “nice cream” is a great invention, but sometimes I want some ice cream that’s good for my body that doesn’t taste like, well, bananas.

Enter the humble pineapple. I’ve turned it into a rotisserie stand in my cookbook, Millennial Kosher, and now it’s solving my nice cream problems with it’s unique ability to blend up into a creamy and dreamy dessert.

Like bananas, the pineapple must be frozen before making “nice cream”, and the addition of coconut and rum makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island somewhere. Which is kinda nice considering I haven’t been to one in about 12 years.

So while my Instagram is flooded with photos of Mykonos, I’ll happily enjoy some of this guilt-free ice cream on my porch in Upstate New York, savoring the smell of grass and the breeze sweeping through the mountains. Enjoy the last licks of summer, it’s almost over! (insert sad emoji face here).

Related Recipes:

passion fruit coolada
persimmon coconut ice cream
nutella banana nice cream
orange creamsicle pops

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Tahini Scones

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

I’m fond of calling myself a #bakernonbaker but the truth is, sometimes I surprise myself. These scones were next-level. The crunchiest exterior, pillow-soft interior and crazy flaky – almost like halva! How my little of this and little of that achieved scone-perfection is a mystery even I cannot solve, but I think it has a lot to do with the magic ingredient – tahini.

I’m pretty open about the fact that I’m not into the science of food. I’ve never been a very technical person. Technicalities give me a headache. I don’t find gastronomy intriguing, but one thing I can tell you is that tahini has special powers. Something about it’s fat content makes it bind with other ingredients in a completely different way. Fold it into whipped cream and you’ll get the thickest emulsion that will not deflate – and it will freeze up so smooth and creamy with the texture of ice cream! Mix it with water and you’ve got the silkiest, creamiest dip or stir in some silan and you’ve got a thick fudge. What is it about this magic ingredient that can be used in both sweet or savory applications, mixed into doughs and salad dressings, fudge and candy?

Tahini so fascinates me, I almost want to explore the science of emulsification. Almost. It does something so special to these flaky scones, you’ll never believe they don’t have butter!

Buttery pastries intimidate me. The way you have to get the butter into the perfect pea-size, and you can’t melt it with the heat of your hands. How you have to be careful to handle the dough just-so and not overmix it. How you have to perfect the process to allow for pillows of flakiness in every bite. Too painstaking for this impatient cook.

But cream-based scones? I got this. And so can you. Because it’s just as simple as mixing some ingredients into a bowl and forming them into a disc. And you can thank the magic ingredient, tahini, for doing the work of butter – minus the technicalities.

I thought about glazing the scones (and even posted a poll on my Instagram!), but I decided not to mess with perfection. Sometimes you get something just right and you don’t need to over-complicate things. So I left the scones as-is, allowing the subtle tahini flavor to shine, and served them with a side of dairy whipped cream and fresh berries, ‘cuz really, does it get any better than that?

OK, maybe with a side of a steaming hot cafe hafuch and some fresh figs. (on a porch somewhere in Israel. I’m pushing it now, aren’t I?) The breakfast of my dreams.

Related Recipes:

halva krembos with sesame cookies
halva and ricotta stuffed figs
tahini frappuccino
tahini puppy chow 

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Chunky Monkey Marzipan Nice Cream

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Baby I’m back and it feels SO GOOD!! I finally found my blogging groove again and I’ve been cooking and shooting so much – not because I felt pressured, just for the sheer joy of it. It reminds me why I started the blog in the first place, and made me realize just how much I’ve missed it.

This recipe came to me one night this week, and I literally couldn’t sleep thinking about it! How it would taste, what dish I could use for it and how I would shoot it. It was inspired by one of my first smoothie experiences – back in the days when smoothies weren’t that popular. It was the banana, date, milk and honey smoothie from Bissaleh, the Israeli restaurant that gave me my first taste of Israeli cuisine when I was just a teenager. I’d order the drink – ice cold – whenever I would go, and it was just. so. freakin. good. Come to think of it, it’s the place that got me hooked on dates too. And sachlav. And malawach. And everything in between.

Call it the Middle Eastern take on chunky monkey – a classic banana ice cream filled with chocolate fudge and walnuts. Truth be told I’ve never actually HAD chunky monkey ice cream, and banana flavor wouldn’t normally be my thing. But nice cream is another story. If you’ve never made it, it’s basically the best ice cream hack of all time – blending frozen banana chunks until it’s the consistency of smooth-as-butter soft serve. And it’s pretty darn good too. Add some dates, almonds, marzipan and silan and you’ve got yourself a marriage of flavors that is pretty addictive. The fact that it’s good for you? that’s just a cherry on the top.

Now I know marzipan is one of those love it or hate it ingredients. Personally, I used to hate it growing up, but when I married a rainbow-cookie-lover, it slowly grew on me. My kids are huge fans of rainbow cookies too, so I had to come around.

Normally when I think of marzipan desserts, I imagine using almond extract for that intense flavor, but when Molly Yeh put chunks of store-bought marzipan into her biscotti in her cookbook, Molly on the Range, I started looking at marzipan in a new way. She also got me hooked on using the stuff instead of fondant for easy cake decorating (like in this cake!). Basically the stuff is magic.

Marzipan, like rosewater, is an acquired taste, so if you’re not a fan, no worries, you can just sub chocolate chunks in this recipe. You can also do a lot of other substitutions like candied almonds instead of roasted ones, other nuts of you choice, or figs instead of dates. Basically you can customize this however you like and it’ll still be delicious.

And you know what? If you don’t like bananas, just go ahead and fold the ingredients into some softened vanilla ice cream. How good would that be? Or just stuff some marzipan into a pitted date. Or into your mouth. You can’t really go wrong with that.

Are you a fan of marzipan? What are some of your favorite nice cream flavors? Share them with me in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

marzipan biscotti
marzipan date truffles
nutella banana ice cream
banana nut milk & honey smoothie
date and almond hamantaschen

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Ice Cream Sandwich Birthday Cake

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated my son’s 4th birthday. He suffers from life threatening food allergies, and most of his life he’s been told what he CAN’T have. At every birthday party, family get-together and holiday, you’ll find him sitting at a separate table, with a small plate of allergy-free food that we’ve managed to salvage for him. And he never complains. He’s such a champ, always so understanding and mature about it.

Ice cream is one of his favorite things and each day on his way home from school, he asks me to take him to the ice cream store. I really wanted to get him an ice cream cake for his birthday, but it’s impossible to find an allergy-free one, so I decided to make it. This cake was super easy to put together, but you’d never know from looking at it. Needless to say, he was so ecstatic, and a few minutes into devouring his slice, he unassumingly leaned over and gave me a hug. It was everything.


Related Recipes:

funfetti birthday cake
funfetti rose cake smash
ice cream sundae cookies
3-layer rainbow cookie cake

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Orange Cardamom Malabi with Drunken Figs

Thursday, September 28th, 2017


If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know just how much I love to cook with the seasons. When fruits and vegetables are at their peak, they tend to taste much better and cost much less. It also helps with menu planning because you can scale down the ingredients that you want to incorporate into your menu.

Late summer/Early fall would have to be my favorite of all the seasons, mostly because of the figs. You still get to enjoy the late summer harvest of corn and tomatoes, but you also get to go apple picking with your family, and enjoy the early signs of pomegranates and pumpkins. I love incorporating all the warm autumn flavors of nutmeg and cloves into my food – it’s like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket, especially under the Sukkah, where you get to enjoy that evening chill without having to bundle up.

Sukkot is a great time to experiment with warm spices and seasonal produce and one of the ways I do that is to poach fruits in spiced wine. Poached pears are a classic, but I’ve also done cherries, cranberriesapricots, and of course, just plain old mulled wine, which is one of my favorite drinks of all time. Adding warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, along with orange zest and peppercorns, gives the wine a deep, rich flavor, not to mention that the smell is intoxicating.

Speaking of wines, I’ve never been much of a wine drinker, but recently, we’ve started getting more into it. It’s really fun to try new wines and note the characteristics of the different grapes and how they are aged. We’re even looking into getting a wine cooler, which are surprisingly more affordable than you might think. P.C. Richard & Son has a great selection here, and it looks like they are running a birthday sale so it’s a great time to take advantage.

I was reading up on why wine fridges are important over on The Kitchn, and it looks like storing my wine collection in my hot kitchen cabinet is a bad idea. So I’m thinking this seriously affordable free standing cooler might be a nice Sukkot gift for the hubby this year! And I wouldn’t complain at all if he decided to buy me something in turn from this collection of outdoor furniture to spruce up my Sukkah, especially this low-cost fire pit (can you imagine drinking mulled wine around that?!).

Now if you’re not familiar with this dessert, malabi is a Middle Eastern rosewater pudding that’s traditionally served with pomegranate syrup. The pudding is always finished with some chopped pistachios, and shredded coconut and it’s a decadent, yet light, dessert that’s the perfect finish to a holiday meal.


I’m a huge fan of malabi’s cousin, sachlav, which is basically the unset version of malabi – a pudding that you drink hot instead of cold. Malabi is great to make in advance, because it holds well in the refrigerator. The flavor of the orange and cardamom is so refreshing, and it can be served on it’s own, with some pomegranate seeds, pistachios and shredded coconut, or you can go all out and make the drunken figs for a gorgeous dish that’s worthy of your Sukkah.


I love figs in all shapes and sizes – every variety – raw, cooked or jammed. This beautiful crimson version is poached in red wine with warm spices, and the wine is then reduced into a luscious syrup. The drunken figs can be served over pound cake, ice cream or yogurt, along with a drizzle of the red wine syrup. Whether you choose to serve it with the malabi, or over another dessert, your guests will be wowed!

Wishing you and yours a Chag Sameach!

This post is sponsored by P.C. Richard & Son. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

sachlav rosewater pudding
mulled wine
halva and ricotta stuffed figs
cherries in red wine syrup

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Breakfast Cones

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

I think it’s about time I share my secret to making it through the summer without giving in to my ice cream craving each time the ice cream truck comes around (that’s about 6 times a day here in the bungalow colony!). It’s also how I get my kids to stop asking for money every time they hear “Come and make a bracha, the kosher ice cream truck is here!”. (Who am I kidding? they still ask for money every time they hear it!).

My secret to ice cream without the guilt? BREAKFAST CONES. Yup. Ice cream cones for breakfast. And why do I not feel guilty about this stroke of genius might you ask? Because when I considered the fact that my kids would eat leben (pure sugar), frosted flakes (also pure sugar), pancakes (pure sugar when you count the amount of maple syrup they pour over it) or a chocolate protein bar (pure sugar + bits of protein) for breakfast, I figured a sugar cone filled with fruit and yogurt was just as bad, if not better, than all those options.


Putting all the breakfast things into a sugar cone is also a great way to bribe the kids to get ready for camp every morning. Hurry up and get dressed and I’ll feed you ice cream for breakfast! Does this make me the best mom ever? Or the smartest? I think both!

It all started with my fruity yogurt parfaits that I couldn’t get enough of this summer. The amazing seasonal berries and delicious fruit were so refreshing, especially when topped off with some plain yogurt, a bit of raw farm fresh honey and granola. It was the perfect breakfast, lunch, or light dinner, and I loaded up on it.

When I wanted something a bit more ice-creamy, I’d just stick a yogurt in the freezer for an hour or two, until it got kinda frozen, and load it up with fresh fruit. Once, when I ran out of granola, I crushed up some leftover sugar cones (cuz they are my absolute fave!) and put them on top. And voila! The fruit yogurt cone was born.

When you consider the fact that a single sugar cone has just 50 calories and 3g of sugar, it’s a lot healthier choice than a cup of orange juice (110 calories, 22g sugar per cup) or store bought granola (260 calories, 11g sugar per half cup). And lets not even get started on some of the cereals we are feeding our kids! So, when you do the math…. a sugar cone filled with yogurt, some fresh fruit and a spoonful of cereal is definitely a reasonable breakfast that is great for kids. And you can make it as healthful as you like – go with plain yogurt and nuts and seeds for a healthier version, or fruity yogurt with cereal for a more indulgent one.

Related Recipes:

ice cream sundae cookies
corn flake crunch ice cream
ice cream clowns

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Marzipan Biscotti

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017


I don’t know what took me so long to blog about my love of Molly Yeh’s cookbook, Molly on the Range. Well, actually I do. It’s been a crazy hectic year since baby #5 was born and I’ve been trying to keep my head above water and maintain my sanity while I manage food (blogging) and family. It’s been months since I fangirled Molly at her book release party and I’ve read her book cover to cover and tried quite a number of her cookbook recipes since!
**GIVEAWAY DETAILS BELOW**

Molly’s blog, mynameisyeh, has been a huge inspiration to me as a blogger. First off, her beautiful photography always pushed me to take my own photography to the next level, and the way that she elevates Middle Eastern food is everything to me. We share a love of tahini and marzipan and I secretly dream about the day that I will open a bread and breakfast on my own little farm in Upstate New York (I may have even called a couple of places that had a for sale sign up this summer!).

Every time I think about the urge to redesign my blog (“because that’s what bloggers do”), I’m reminded that Molly became one of the most popular bloggers on the web without ever redesigning hers. You don’t need a fancy lifestyle blog with a gazillion sections to be successful. You just need delicious food, beautiful photography, and a really awesome personality (which is why I actually READ Molly’s entire cookbook cover to cover, instead of just looking at the pictures like I normally do).

I love how Molly on the Range is part autobiography, part cookbook. It’s an awesome and hysterical journey of a true foodie finding love in both the kitchen and her personal life. In true Molly style, she sent out review copies along with her own sprinkle mix, adorable tatoos and a handwritten note. And she put some of that panache in the book too – with a coloring page, shnitzel costume instructions and fun illustrations throughout the book.

The recipes range from Midwestern favorites like hot dishes to popular Middle Eastern foods like bourekas, hummus and malabi. Molly shares recipes from both her Asian and Jewish heritage, including matzo brei, latkes and fusion dishes like shnitzel bao buns and scallion pancake challah. Of course I’ve marked all the Israeli dishes in the book, especially the tahini and marzipan ones, including this delicious biscotti/mandel bread.

The idea of folding in chunks of store bought marzipan is a brilliant one, and not the least bit overwhelming. The almond flavor is surprisingly subtle, and when I served these up for my daughters birthday recently, everyone loved them, marzipan lovers and haters alike.

Speaking of my daughter’s birthday, I attempted my very first marzipan covered cake for her cake smash recently and it was a huge success! I’ve been drooling over Molly’s marzipan coated cakes for the longest time and I was so excited to work with it.  I can’t wait to share the results in an upcoming post.

I’m also super excited to be giving away a copy of Molly on the Range to one lucky reader! To enter to win the giveaway,

1. Leave a comment below letting me know which BIB recipe you’ve been enjoying this summer.
2. For an extra entry, tag a friend on the giveaway post on Facebook or Instagram.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents (for international entries, prize can only be shipped in the U.S.). Winner will be chosen at random at 10:00 AM EST on Sunday, August 13th, 2017.

Other Marzipan Recipes:

marzipan date truffles
marzipan apple crisp
3-layer rainbow cookie cake
date and almond hamantaschen

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Unicorn Cheesecake Mousse

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP. That’s my motto this holiday season! When the internet went gaga over Starbuck’s unicorn frappuccino recently, I knew I had to get in on the unicorn fun – and here. it. is. Feast your eyes on this strawberry cheesecake mousse with a swirl of sour icing – so much yassssss!

To be honest, I haven’t actually tried the unicorn frap, but I watched as my fellow foodies and blogger friends scrambled to get to their nearest Starbucks for a taste. Most of them found the drink underwhelming – but the general consensus was that the elements of sweet and sour were a cool combo for a shake. And I couldn’t agree more!

Figuring out what to use for the sour element in these was the biggest challenge. At first, I wanted to keep things natural, so I tried fresh blueberries and sour cream – too watery and not sour enough. Plus the blueberries were purple and not blue. Then I headed to Target for some freeze dried blueberries, but that worked out purple too. I finally decided to nix the healthy aspect, since this is an indulgent cheesecake mousse after all (and a little blue food coloring won’t kill anyone either) and went the route of white chocolate (a la the original Starbucks version, which was a white chocolate mocha sauce). But that was a mess. G-d was that a mess.

So, many tries later, I finally hit the nail on the head using my friend Shushy’s suggestion  (check her out @cookinginheelss!) of a thick icing made with powdered sugar. It was the perfect consistency for my sour swirl – made using citric acid, aka sour salt, that gives the icing that special pucker.

I’m super proud of these cuties and I think you will be too if you choose to serve them for dessert this Shavuos holiday! Just hush hush on the secret sour sauce and let your guests be surprised when they take their first bite. Serve with a side of fresh berries for a light and healthy(er than cheesecake) dessert!

Related Recipes:

rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
easy no-bake cheesecake
Torah cannoli

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