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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Toddler and baby asleep. House reasonably tidy (just ignore the kitchen). Husband out. Several options lie before me. A glass of wine. Paperwork. TV. Sleep calls but it’s almost not worth it. I’ll be up again in a few hours. And there’s something I’ve been itching to do for a while now…

Hello world. Did you miss me?

Before I escape to slumber, let me share this quick and clever recipe with you. Next time you entertain – consider ending your meal with an elegant platter of dried fruits, nuts, and some home-made chocolate mint slices. Dark chocolate, cool, crisp mint, and a trace of salt. If you’re anything like me,  it is dangerous to have these lounging about your freezer. Best finish them while you still have company …

Chocolate Mint Slices

Base and Top (use half for each)

300 gr bittersweet chocolate, melted
1.5 tbs oil
pinch salt

Filling

300 fr powdered sugar
3/4 tsp mint essence
1 Tbs oil
2 Tbs milk or water (you might need a little more)

1. Line a pan with baking paper (9″ x 13″)
2. Mix the chocolate ingredients. Pour half into pan until surface is covered. Refrigerate until sold.
3. Mix filling. Press into flat layer to cover chocolate.
4. Put chocolate on top and refrigerate until solid. Cut into squares.

Store in freezer.

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Just because I write a food blog, do not be fooled into thinking I actually know what I am doing in the kitchen. Oh, how I dream of being one of those elegant Bree Van de Kamp types, who effortlessly breezes through the kitchen, leaving behind her nothing but sparkling work surfaces and delicious simple French desserts. Alas, this is not what our creator had in store for me. I am one of those ‘bull in a china shop’ type of cooks (and people generally). It is rare that I make it through a recipe without breaking, spilling or burning something. As I crunch sugar across the kitchen floor, sweep up broken glass, or try to render a burned cake edible, I sometimes find it amusing that I write a food blog, and some people seem to think that I’m a whizz in the kitchen.

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‘Tis the season to be jolly….yes, even in Israel, wintry festiveness has settled upon us (in the form of Channukah, festival of lights) and we are indulging in donuts, latkes, and other seasonal delights. Personally, I find myself missing the mince pies…

Happily, these pears went some way towards fulfilling that craving. Warm, spicy, rich and comforting, a perfect dessert for a chilly winter’s evening. Suprisingly easy to prepare, the best thing about them is the steaming mulled wine left over once you have served the pears.
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challot

Every Friday, Ninja and I bake bread (and break bread) together. Not just any old bread, but delicious challah,  plaited bread traditionally eaten by Jews on shabbat.

We have a nice routine worked out. I go to aerobics at 08:30am, usually leaving Ninja still in bed, and by the time I get back, he has done all the hard work, and there is a bowl of dough rising. By the time I have showered, it is ready to plait, which we do side-by-side, on a floured counter. We each make three small loaves, and I try my best not to prod and poke Ninja’s and just focus on my own.  Anyway, he is very good and certainly chief  bread baker in our house.

After making the challot this Friday, I spent a few more hours in the kitchen pre-preparing various delicacies (we had guests for dinner) including perfect tiny pears sautéed in brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom, to be served in a salad with baby greens, Roquefort and walnuts;  berry and  mango coulis, for drizzling over home-made meringue nests filled with a light whipped fromage frais; and last but not least, sangria made with fresh fruit, ginger ale and red wine, which tasted like a balmy evening somewhere in Spain.
Mouth-watering pictures below…

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peach frozen yoghurt

The shops and markets are full of summer fruits; succulent peaches, nectarines and apricots; firm green grapes;  fragrant cantaloupe melons and crisp, crunchy watermelons. This week I wanted to make a dairy dessert which was reasonably healthy and had a light and summery flavour. This recipe for Frozen Peach Yoghurt seemed simple and fun (and low-fat!)

Either fresh or canned peaches can be used to make this frozen yoghurt, and although I had planned to use fresh, the peaches Ninja  bought in the supermarket weren’t quite ripe enough. I was worried they wouldn’t have a strong enough flavour, so I used canned peaches instead, being careful to rinse off the overly-sweet syrup.

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Deliciousness in a bowl

Deliciousness in a bowl

Friday was a busy day. We hopped from parental visits  to a birthday brunch and back home again to prepare our shabbat evening meal. My parents took us out for coffee to a local park, where we stumbled across a farmer’s market. We happily sampled sweet little cherry tomatoes, crusty bread and tempting home-made cheeses (where Ninja lingered longingly but didn’t buy), luscious figs, crisp apples, lovely thick celery and cherries that were too expensive for the likes of us. We restrained ourselves and left with some organic cucumbers, a tub of pickles for Ninja (Me: “Pickles are cucumber’s evil cousin”), a few bunches of pink and white lisianthus and a huge punnet of fresh apricots.

Apricots from the Farmer's Market

Apricots from the Farmer's Market

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Like little Sea shells

Its 01:42am – I have just finished doing my homework for the night. Instead of having my nose buried in an American Jewish History book, as is my official homework pastime, I have been jumping around, composing two short Aerobics routines due for class on Monday. This reminds me that I haven’t yet shared with you (those readers who don’t know me – and I hope that there are some) what it is that I do in life.

I actually do several things: I work (around 60% of the time) in an Institute for Educational Leadership; I am nearing the end of an MA in Contemporary Jewry (the degree has taken me three years and I can literally smell freedom around the corner…its driving me insane); and I recently began a six-month course (10 hours per week) to become an Instructor of Aerobics, Strengthening and Toning. Hence the JUMP in EatLoveJump. The course involves both practice and theory: anatomy, physiology, sports injuries, nutrition and kinesiology. Yes, I am a very busy girl at the moment but I feel blessed to be stimulated in so many different ways.

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