With barely any sleep and back to work so soon, I don’t get the chance these days to look back and think (what’s that?) about the past year. And what a year it’s been. So here’s a look:
On the personal front– In February, Danya and I flew to Paris for a cookbook convention. It was freezing and there was no wine or oysters for me (I was in my first trimester), but it was five days of vintage finds, shopping and eating with (one) of my favorite people to be with. Danya went back to work full-time after her youngest son started preschool. And I, after being pregnant for most of the year, gave birth to my second son, Lavi.
On the teaching front– We taught three Food Photography and Styling courses this year, two of which took place in Danya’s studio and one in Nazareth. The Nazareth course took place over one magical weekend, and it was one of those amazing both professional and personal experiences that I will always take with me. Next week were starting our 9th! Food Photography and Styling course, and hopefully soon after that we’ll start planning our next weekend course.
On the collaboration front– this year we did two really significant collaborations. The first was with the Israeli dairy company, Yudvata, which sent us to the four corners of Israel to create, style, and photograph. The coolest part about the project was that we got to seriously dabble in the making of videos, and since then we’ve been investing more time and effort into the genre. The second collaboration we did (only in Hebrew) was with the Israeli food company, Strauss. The coolest part about that project is that it was conceived after Danya wrote a post about a weekly dinner schedule which gots tons of likes and comments. Strauss saw what we had just started as being something even bigger than a blog post. And so it was- our weekly dinner schedule was made into a full blown website, with 20 recipes, videos and stories.
On the social media front– I know, were so 2012 with this, but we finally opened a Matkonation account on Instagram! The support from people all over the world has been overwhelming. Who knew that so many people would want a behind the scenes look at what we do!
My favorite post from 2013 is hands down the Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Cookies. They are my go-to cookie. And because they are made with oatmeal, brown sugar and very little flour, I even kinda feel healthy when I eat them. (yeah right).
Now onto to 2014- I hope this year is even more exciting than last. I wish for us many fruitful collaborations, lots of delicious recipes, and successful courses. For myself I wish for many hours of restful sleep, challenging projects and some great vintage finds. Amen.
We shot this recipe two weeks ago and since then I’ve made it three times and Danya twice. So we decided that we’re calling this recipe our best bet for 2014. It’s Danya’s recipe, and when she told me about it, it didn’t sound amazing. And then I tried it. And since then I’m addicted. There’s something about all the ingredients combined that make this dish the perfect salad to have in your fridge at all times. It can be a meal, it can be a side dish- if it could only babysit- it would really be perfect.
Some tips before getting started:
-You can make the antipasti with any vegetables of your choice. I wouldn’t skip out on the sweet potatoes though, because it gives the salad a really nice sweetness. I’ve added broccoli, beets and carrots and they all work great.
-We used whole wheat couscous but you can use regular.
-Save some of the vinaigrette and use it on any other leafy green salad!
-You can serve this salad hot, cold or at room temperature (I like room temp).
Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
1½ cups whole wheat couscous (prepared according to directions)
1 medium eggplant, cut into small cubes
1 fennel, sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
A handful of cilantro or parsley leaves