Marzipan for a Happy New Year

fine dining

Danya and I have different world views when it comes to recipes. I love the classics and she’s really into twisting, tweaking and changing recipes until they are hers. So when we sat down to brainstorm about what we wanted to post for the upcoming Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), I came out and said it- “Why don’t we do a recipe for a delicious honey cake”. She gave me one look and if I had to translate it in my own tongue it would have said- “Seriously!”. So instead of going for the super traditional route (apple cake is like the pecan-pie of Thanksgiving), I decided to let her take this holiday. (Don’t worry classic lovers, I’ll get the next holiday). We teamed up this year with one of the best bakeries in Tel Aviv, Margoza bakery. It’s tiny and family run, and it’s Danya’s and my favorite spot for coffee before a shoot, for a lunch meeting and even for an afternoon baked snack. So when we sat with Michal, the owner of Margoza, we picked her brain for an untraditional... 
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Pasta Salad and a Pray for Peace

Its really hard to write in days like this. The reality that we live in here in Israel is really absurd. This blog has never been a political one, and will not be one, but to ignore the current situation is impossible. I hope for peace and quiet for all. After getting that off my chest, I can now introduce you to the best pasta salad you've never had! Actually some of you may have had it because since I made the first time over a month ago, I’ve made it at least 6 times, and every time I get the same reaction: “This is the best pasta salad I’ve ever had”. It started off just before the Israeli holiday of Shavuot, when I was invited to a friends house for a potluck meal. I was given the task of bringing pasta salad, and during one of my several phone calls to Danya that week I asked if she had any interesting suggestions to jazz up the typical Greek cherry tomato/red pepper/olive and feta pasta salad. She threw out the suggestion of oven-roasting the tomatoes and adding balsamic... 
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Five Minute Coffee Ice Cream

Somewhere towards the end of June I begin to realize what the near future has in store for me. My pants starts sticking to my legs, I sweat in the morning when putting on my make-up and I go to sleep wondering if the ceiling fan is really going to be enough or I need to turn on the A/C. Yes friends, I begin to realize its the summer. Oh and not just any summer. Its a Middle East summer. The kind that hits you unexpectedly and lasts longer than you can imagine (a good four months!). In this current situation you can either fight it or go with it, and I’m the type to go with it. (Fighting it means you are literally indoors all day with the A/C blasting). I try to relieve the heat by finding creative ways to cool off. I’m super lucky to have a pool in my backyard and thats my first stop to chill. But when I need to really find a way to cool off from the insides I turn to cold foods, freezing ones for the matter: Popsicles, smoothies, ice cream, frozen fruits, etc. When we were asked by... 
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Apple and Calvados Upside Down Cake

In the spirit of keeping my promise from the last post- here it is- An Apple and Calvados Cake. This is a cake made from inspiration and love. Inspiration from that dreamy trip to Normandy, where I bought the Calvados. A little more French inspiration from their beloved cake, the Tarte Tatin. Combine that with my love of cakes, and ever more so, of upside-down cakes, and so this cake was born. Made with caramelized apples, pure vanilla extract and Calvados, this cake is almost as heavenly as my time in Normandy. After we photographed this beauty I took it to my sons graduation party at school. Within just a few minutes the cake was long gone and I was immediately bombarded with the demand “Recipe, NOW!”.   So here you go: Apple and Calvados Upside-Down Cake After a few trials I realized that could shorten the baking time if I didn't cook the apples ahead of time, and the cake actually came out better. The liquids from the apples actually softened the caramel and created a really... 
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Oh, Normandy...

By: Danya Weiner Vacation in Fance. Just saying those words makes me happy. Two weeks ago I got back from just that. This was the kind of vacation I’ll remember forever. 5 days- my father, my brother and me. Driving, talking, eating. I photographed for five days straight, trying to capture the colors, the smells, and the richness France has to offer. For five days I felt like a little girl again despite my dad being 66, and me almost 38. With no kids around to call me mommy, no husband and no work, I was just Danya.  Like a child I got excited from everything and walked around with the biggest grin on my face wishing it would never end. Now I am back in Israel, a mother again, a wife again and a full time photographer. But...something has changed, this experience put me in touch with the child in me and it’s that feeling i want to bring into my real life at home. So why was it so good? It was a dream vacation. The highlight of the trip was the weekend we spent with my brother’s... 
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