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February 2010

birds-nests-cafe-liz

Purim special: Hamentaschen-shaped bird’s nest baklava

Purim is approaching, and while I haven’t decided on a costume, I did decide to dress up my hamentaschen in Middle Eastern outfits. Hamentaschen are traditional Ashkenazi Jewish cookies notable for their three-pointed form, which according to tradition resembles the three-cornered hat of Haman, the holiday’s antagonist. (In Hebrew, for …

stuffed-eggplant-cafe-liz

Eggplants stuffed with herbs and rice

Here in the Levant we like to stuff things. It’s a habit picked up by all the places that used to be part of the Ottoman empire and its neighbors. Because rice is never so good as when it’s cooked packed inside a vegetable, and picks up its flavors and …

cabbage-soy-salad-cafe-liz

Cabbage salad with soy sauce and raisins

This cabbage salad is simple, quick and generally popular — as are most sweet, salty things. As the cabbage absorbs the soy sauce and vinegar, it wilts and softens. As a bonus, this is one salad that can be left in the fridge for a few days, to no ill …

spiced-wine-cafe-liz

Spiced wine with quince and roses

People, believe it or not, I've found a use for kiddush wine. For those who have never had it, it's a traditionally sweet wine to represent the sweetness of blessings, but there's just so much sweetness a person can handle until terms like cloying and sickly come to mind. But …

bean-citrus-soup-cafe-liz

Black bean soup with citrus

It’s a simple black bean soup, but with a citrus tang — from oranges, kumquats or both. I first encountered a similar recipe about 10 years ago, and while I’ve long since forgotten which cookbook it was in, the mix of flavors has etched itself a place in my mind. …