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by on December 5th, 2018

Amaretto Date Shakes

Shake it up for Christmas with this date shake.

When we were in Israel it took me a while to realize that the row after row, field after field of palm trees were date palms and produced the Medjool date.

I never realized there was more than one kind of date on the market; some others are Barhi, Deglet Noor, Halawy, Khdraw, Medjool, Thoory and Zahidi. In fact there are over 1,500 varieties of dates grown in the world. The Medjool date is know as the Cadillac of dates and originated in Morocco and I love the size of these dates, just big enough for two good bites.

Did you know that dates are a fresh fruit not a dried fruit? I didn’t. The white stuff you sometimes see on the outside of a date is the natural sugar crystallizing and perfectly fine to eat, so don’t throw away your dates if they are white.

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by on November 29th, 2018

Baked Goat Cheese with Tomatoes and Pesto

Sailing, Sailing Over the Bounding Main!

Sailing, sailing we did back in August on a visit to our son’s house. We loaded the kids up and lots of yummy food and headed for the marina in Chicago. A long ride and it proved to be a good ride for grandson Oliver since he usually gets sick.  His mom did give him something so he wouldn’t get sick on the boat. See pictures below and what happened.

My daughter-in-law, Missy and I decided to try a cold version of a goat cheese appetizer we had at dinner one night at The Greenwood American Kitchen in Highwood –goat cheese mixed with pesto and baked until hot and bubbly and then topped with some heirloom tomatoes chopped and mixed with some more pesto and then sprinkled with some pine nuts. I like the hot version better because there is nothing better than hot goat cheese or any kind of bubbly hot cheese smeared on a piece of fresh bread or toasted baguette.

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by on November 23rd, 2018

Potato Cakes & Smoked Salmon

You either like it or you don’t. 

You either love it or hate it. I’m talking about smoked salmon and I’m thinking if you reading this post then you are a fan of the smokey flavored fish.

Smoked salmon in those little 5 oz. packages next to where the fresh fish are sold is one of the easiest, quickest things you can pick up for an appetizer.

There have been quite a few salmon recipes here for you to try. Remember the smoked salmon on a potato chip? Well this is a little more refined than that recipe. Or, how about the smoked salmon stack appetizer; now that one is pretty easy too. And this smoked salmon with boursin cheese recipe is as quick as cutting a cucumber, rolling up the salmon and putting it on top of some cheese.

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by on November 16th, 2018

Brussel Sprout and Date Salad

My Israeli dates made a wonderful salad.

I didn’t expect to see so much agriculture in Israel but we saw field after field of dates, olives, pomergrantes, and limes. All of their fields have drip irrigation; I guess that explains growing in the dessert.

Our first day of our tour (or I guess third if you count the two days getting there), we had rain the night before. It was their first rain in seven months and the morning ride on the bus still had us being sprinkled on — what did we see? The most beautiful, vivid rainbow I have ever seen. It was from end to end and you could see the lines of color so clearly and what happened next took us all by surprise — another rainbow appear on top of the first rainbow. What a way to start our trip.

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by on November 10th, 2018

Rosemary Lafa Bread and Hummus

Homemade Lafa to go with my homemade hummus!

So, one day while touring Tiberius, Israel we stopped at Pagoda restaurant for lunch; and it turned out to be our St. Peter’s fish meal. The lunch that I had been warned about by several people to “not eat the St. Peter’s fish”. However, we found it delicious. The waiters first brought out (family style) platters of hummus (with the hummus swoosh), fresh warm bread, big blocks of onion rings, bowls of slaw and after that came the platters of the St. Peter’s fish (heads and fins on) and chicken schnitzel for those who did not want fish.

While we were eating the owner came out to talk to us. She told us how much the Israeli people love America and what we do to support them and then she sang us a song which definitely brought tears to my eyes. It was the most memorable lunch; one I will long remember.

One of the first things I wanted to make when I returned home was hummus and bread. I chose to make lafa bread to go with my homemade hummus. Lafa bread is a Middle Eastern flatbread; and known in other countries as pita/Greece/Middle East; Roti/India; Tortilla/Mexico; Pizza/Italy; Naan/Iran, India; Lefse/Norway, and Goraasa/Sudan just to name a few.

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