Category: Shavuous

Amaretto Affogato

What is Affogato? Italian for “drowned”, an affogato is an is an Italian coffee-based dessert. It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped or “drowned” with a shot of hot espresso. If you’re a coffee fan like me, it’s basically a small taste of heaven!

I’ve had affogato many times, but on my recent trip to Antwerp, the local Italian restaurant, Confetti, served it with a splash of amaretto and it was literally NEXT LEVEL amazingness. Like you need to make it. Like NOW. (Is it too early for alchohol?)

Start with some good quality gelato. It melts more slowly than ice cream. But ice cream works too. And you can even experiment with different flavors, but I like vanilla here. My little trick it to scoop the ice cream in advance and freeze them so they’re nice and solid when you serve!


Then pour that beautiful nutmeg-colored golden caffeine syrup, also known as espresso, over the ice cream and watch it do it’s beautiful dance down the sides of your cup. Am I being overly dramatic? Maybe a little, but AFFOGATO. IS. EVERYTHING.

If you’re like me, you might even watch to catch it in slow motion!


YASSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Caffeine addict much?!)

Then pour a generous glug of amaretto over it and enjoy the best drink of life!! Chag Sameach everyone!!

Related Recipes:

tahini frappuccino 
gelt hot chocolate
donut milkshakes

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Camembert en Croûte Salad

People often ask me if I feel deprived as a serious foodie who keeps kosher, and the answer is “no”. As someone who’s been kosher since birth, I don’t crave “treif” simply because I’ve never tried it. And there is really so much available on the kosher market today, that I don’t really feel like I’m missing out.

BUT… (there’s always a but isn’t there?!), traveling as a kosher keeper is hard stuff. Especially when you go places that don’t have much kosher available, and you’ve got to stuff your bag with cans of tuna and crackers. I have to admit that part isn’t easy, and for that reason, I usually choose to travel to places based on the kosher availability there.

Which totally works for me because eating out, I feel, is part and parcel of a vacation. I’m not the sit-by-the-beach and suntan kinda gal, so I’d rather hit the town and see what it has to offer.


I love exploring different food cultures and traveling really opens your eyes to different ingredients and flavor combinations. On my recent trip to Paris, I ordered the camembert salad, which was served simply over a bed of iceberg lettuce, with a drizzle of balsamic and honey and a sprinkling of pine nuts. It really made me rethink the whole camembert thing (I always just wrap it in puff pastry), and I knew I was going to recreate it when I got home,

I took the best of the salad, and paired it with the “en croute” concept, for a deconstructed cheese salad of your dreams. There’s not much else to say about this other than IT’S AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS.

Camembert, if you’re not familiar, is a soft and creamy, surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese. The white bloomy rind is totally edible, with barely any moldy flavor. As someone who is not a fan of moldy cheese, I absolutely love Camembert (and brie!), so I wouldn’t be scared off by it.


If you’re not quite ready for Camembert on it’s own, I recommend wrapping it in puff pastry with some fig jam and candied nuts and baking until puffed and golden. That’s really what got me into this wheel of wonder to begin with and it’s absolutely amazing!


halloumi cheese waffles with tomato jam and balsamic syrup
brie marsala pizza
dried fruit brie bites

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Rosewater Crème Brûlée

Bonjour everyone!! I just got back from an unforgettable trip to Paris by way of Antwerp, where they flew me down for an incredible evening for 800 local women! It was my first Yiddish-speaking demo (although I spoke in English) and I was so worried about the culture-clash. What if they didn’t get my humor? What if my food was too modern for their traditional tastes? Alas, the event was a huge success and I am SO relieved!

In preparation for Shavuot, we made sushi nachos from my cookbook, with a tuna tartare variation, my couscous arancini and my frangipane fruit galette with seasonal plums (almond flavored pastries are always a hit in Belgium!). The local butcher (where they sell pink hotdogs colored with beet juice!) prepped all the tasting samples and the room was beautifully set up by the local volunteers, to benefit the Bikur Cholim organization.

The night before the big event, I held a private cooking class for some event sponsors where we made pho and ramen bowls from scratch. It was a super fun evening with the greatest group of ladies and I had a total blast!

But the food! Lets talk about the FOOD! Flemish asparagus is big in Belgium, and since white asparagus are in season, it was on all the menus. Asparagus are covered in a sauce made of hard boiled eggs, which is not very appealing but it tasted alright.


Real Belgian waffles were at every turn, although not a kosher spot to be found. Lots of traditional Jewish bakeries laced every street, but Kleinblatt was the stand out! Their brioche avec creme and cheese danishes melted on my tongue, and the dairy custard cream made me realize why American bakeries will never measure up. I stuffed my suitcase with pearl sugar and chocolate Dutch sprinkles so we can make the real Belgian waffles I kept smelling along the trip!

Onto Paris, I stuffed myself with foie gras (goose liver) and buttery croissants. Lots of Tunisian tuna dishes, and the best latte I’ve ever had. There was gooey camembert salad and fresh homemade pasta, the most amazing Parisian chocolate and crepes with chestnut cream. TAKE ME BACK!!!

No honestly, don’t take me back because I’m still getting over getting stuck there for Shabbos after my Friday morning flight was canceled and there were no other flights to get me home in time. But alas, I am home safe and sound and sharing the recipe for this amazing rosewater crème brûlée with you all because if my travels taught me anything, it’s that dairy desserts are the very best!!

Related Recipes:

rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
sachlav rosewater pudding

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Orange Cardamom Noodle Kugel

Well hello there blogosphere, it’s been so long, hasn’t it?! Life has been hectic as ever, but I’ve always got my blog on the back of mind, wanting to cook, and photograph, and post and just share with y’all. Pesach (in Beijing, China!) has come and gone. I’ve since been to Ohio, and off to Antwerp tomorrow, and guess how I’m celebrating? By making kugel!

If you know me, I consider myself the Anti-Kugel. Yes, that’s right. I’m Jewish and I don’t like kugel! Why, you ask? Well I believe that instead of boiling up veggies, mashing them, and then mixing them with oil and eggs and who-knows-what-else, why don’t you skip the whole complicated process and JUST. ROAST. VEGGIES. Same goes with potatoes. And noodles? Well you can cook em and eat em JUST. LIKE THAT. But alas, kugel has stood the test of time, and you’ll find the gazillion calorie concoction in most Jewish Ashkenazi houses on Erev Shabbat (my mom included)!

So what, pray tell, is kugel doing HERE? Well in one word: Shtisel. The viral Israeli TV series that was made popular by Netflix has captured my heart, and that of many, Jews and non-Jews alike. It has me craving Israeli salad with tahini, tea, and all sorts of traditional heimish foods that I haven’t looked at in years. In short: If Shtisel has ME making kugel, and you’re not watching it, then you’ve got to GET. ON. IT. Chasdei Hashem I’m here to spread the Shtisel love!

So I’ve been sprinkled with “heimish” dust but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to made traditional kugel, because, well, I’m still ME. And because Shavuos is coming up, what do you think I did? I made dairy lokshin kugel – one that’s lightened up with the refreshing taste of orange, cardamom and vanilla bean + some ricotta for creaminess and yogurt for some tang. All in all, a perfect compliment to your Shavuot menu. B’hechlet!

Related Recipes:

orange cardamom malabi
shavuot menu roundup
rosewater cheesecake mousse parfaits
Bubby’s challah kugel

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Mom’s Potato Knishes

As a recipe developer, it’s not often that I make other peoples recipes, and when I do, it’s often ones that have been in my family for years. I usually find myself cooking my mom’s dishes around the High Holidays – there’s just something about the Days of Awe that makes me want to connect to my roots, and how more so than with food.

Mom’s potato knishes are a staple at every holiday meal, and it has always been my favorite, because, well… potatoes. It’s probably the only time you’ll see me using margarine – EVER – because coconut oil just doesn’t fly here and to keep the knishes pareve, I’ve got no other choice. Plus, puff pastry is basically 80% margarine anyway, so what’s a little more, amiright?

What I love about this recipe is that the filling makes enough to fill 3 whole rolls and they freeze great! And since they’re frozen unbaked, they taste like you just made them when you bake them up before serving. = a perfect recipe for long holidays like Succos coming up! If you have a custom to eat stuffed foods for the Harvest Holiday, I’ve got you covered there too!

Related Recipes:

cabbage bourekas
deli roll
spanakopita bourekas
salmon en croute with creamed leeks

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