Category: Drinks

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!!

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tahini frappuccino 
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donut milkshakes

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Amba Bloody Harry

When I get into a new ingredient, I really get into it, and amba is my poison these days! It all started when my instafeed went viral for sabich, the Iraqi Jewish dish, on the #celebritychefbirthright trip. There it was – the fried eggplant, hardboiled egg and Israeli salad-stuffed pita sandwich dripping with amba, and I just new, although I had eaten it various times, that it was time to make amba myself.

So I turned to the most trusted source – Mike Solomonov’s new cookbook, Israeli Soul, for the recipe, and I. was. hooked. Sweet, spicy, tangy, earthy – everything you’d want in a condiment. I smothered it over sabich stuffed eggplant, marinated pargiot in all of it’s glory and made amba london broil. And truth be told – I’ve got some in the fridge right now that’s going to be drizzled over my eggs for lunch. But I wanted to take it a step further and deconstruct it, and with Purim pending any day now, a cocktail was born. I took inspiration from the traditional Bloody Mary – subbing mango juice for tomato, harissa paste for Tabasco sauce, fennel for celery and Israeli pickles for olives. I added a touch of the other prominent amba spices and what I can say? It honestly tastes like amba, but you still want to drink it, and it just works! And let me tell you, I’m no mixologist – a testament to the true deliciousness of this unique ingredient.

L’chaim!

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The Hamantini
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Tahini Frappuccino

Living in New York, I feel like we spend all winter counting down the weeks till summer. The bone-chilling days seem to stretch on way past their intended season, and by the time the spring comes, we’re ready to rid our closets of all those layers. Except when spring comes, it’s not quite warm enough to do that. So we spend the season wearing our summer clothes, shivering in the chilly mornings, and then again in the almost-winter-again evenings. By the time summer comes, we’re so happy to let the hot sun warm our bones – for a day. Or two. And then we’re kvetching again, wishing winter would come cool us off!

OK maybe it’s not all New Yorkers, but it’s definitely ME. I cannot tolerate the heat. This week of 90+ degrees has been torture for me – I thought I’d melt onto the sidewalk! My only reprieve from the torturous weather is a giant cup of iced coffee. Iced coffee literally saves my sanity all summer long and it’s not even about the caffeine – I only drink decaf!

My biggest obstacle in my iced coffee making is the sweetener (and the fact that I suck at making coffee, but that’s another story!). I obviously don’t want to sweeten it with real sugar, ‘cuz calories :) And I don’t like using Splenda, because, chemicals. I’m not a fan of the natural stuff like Stevia, and I recently gave Monk fruit sugar a try, but also, gross. So what’s left?

When I did my Whole30 a while back (actually it was three rounds so make that Whole90), I used to sweeten my coffee with a single medjool date. I’d add coffee ice cubes, so they wouldn’t water my coffee down, and creamy full fat coconut milk because the cleanse is dairy-free (otherwise I’m all for half and half!). It was some of the best coffee I’ve ever had and it was Paleo approved.

My date-sweetened coffee got me thinking of how I could turn my favorite summer drink into a healthy frappuccino and of course I went in the tahini direction. I love using tahini in sweet applications – with the addition of silan, cinnamon and vanilla, it tastes like halva without all the added sugar. The result is a smooth and creamy coffee shake that’s refreshing and oh. so. delicious. Perfect for every season – but especially summer.

Stay cool out there!

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tahini date smoothie
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Donut Milkshakes

OMG OMG OMG OMG!! Should I even talk right now or do these insane milk shakes just do it for you?! Chanukah is coming and on Chanukah we DONT. COUNT. CALORIES. Ok????? And because we don’t count calories, I had to put a holiday spin on one of the huge food trends right now – over the top milkshakes! I don’t know if you’ve seen these gazillion-calorie monstrosities but they are insane. Milkshakes topped with pieces of cake and candy, with more candy glued to the glass and just tons of junk everywhere.

It says a lot about the state of our health when restaurants are actually serving that stuff, and when people are actually ordering it, but for these 8 DAYS, we are going to have some crazy fun, donut milkshakes included. Believe me, I would never make this stuff on a regular day. Not even my birthday. But my birthday is on Chanukah so YAAAAYYYY!! I’ve put together two variations, based on the two most popular Chanukah donuts – custard donuts with chocolate glaze and jelly filled donuts with powdered sugar. Of course nowadays you can find a bunch of other flavors, but these are the classics we grew up on. Milkshakes are about nostalgia too, especially for me, as we had a real milkshake machine growing up. Not a blender. A milkshake machine. It came with a stainless steel cup that you hooked onto this machine. A stick with a blade would break up the mixture and you had a real frothy milkshake! My brother would take it out on Saturday nights and make himself a huge shake with his pizza. Memories! And who can forget being young and biting into a huge jelly or custard donut and licking out the filling with your tongue? These shakes mix the best of both worlds and I hope they bring up some fun childhood memories for you too!

 

 

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jelly ring donuts
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Maple Lemonade

I’ve got a budding entrepreneur on my hands! My oldest daughter has been dreaming up business ideas since she was four. At nine, she’s already lined up her classmates to work in her salon (which she named, “Make It Up”) and she’s been saving up her Chanukah gelt for years! Entrepreneurial spirit is definitely in the genes, so it’s no surprise that she’s so business-minded.

When the weather starts to warm up, my little businesswoman starts dreaming up her lemonade-stand strategy. This year, she decided to sell brownies and saltwater taffy in addition to watermelon lemonade. Pink lemonade is always a good seller with the kids, and it’s so much fun to watch their faces when they take their first sip. We’ve done watermelon limeade before, so we went with lemonade this time. I made some chewy brownies with colored sprinkles and we headed to the Bay Parkway waterfront to set up our stand. It was such fun to watch my daughter in action! She would light up with every customer, and she took each sale so seriously. The passersby were so impressed! She netted $30.75 profit, which she put aside with all her savings, after tipping her sister $5 for helping.

My kids are huge lemonade fans, and not just for selling. Our absolute favorite recipe is one that I tasted at one of Levana Kirschenbaum’s cooking demo’s. She actually made it for my kid’s camp last year and I’ve been making it ever since. Traditionally, lemonade is made by making a syrup out of sugar and water, but with Levana’s maple version, there’s no need for that! I also love that the maple syrup is a natural sweetener, so it’s healthier than the traditional. Thanks to Levana for allowing me to share this recipe with you all!


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strawberry limonana
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