Kitchen Destination: Morocco

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I grew up in a mixed home. My mother was born in Casablanca, Morocco and my father in Brooklyn, New York. Anyone that has parents with that type of combination knows it make for very lively and exciting family gatherings. Aside from all the fun, it also meant that we grew up eating the most delicious food!

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Pan-fried dumplings

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I LOVE chinese food. Not a little bit. A lot. And I don’t mean, real food, made with real ingredients that actually resemble food eaten in China. I’m talking about American Chinese food. Greasy, salty, sticky, sweet, sour, and spicy. I would eat for lunch and dinner everyday for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. Living in Israel though, it has been really difficult to fill the chinese food void in my soul.

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Overtime, I’ve had to get resourcful when it comes to filling my cravings. These dumplings, although not as dough-y as their “authentic” restaurant equivalents, really come pretty close, taste wise.

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They’re easy to make, and yield a big amount. They freeze really  well also, so, if you don’t need them all right away, before you boil them, freeze a bunch.

To freeze them, put them in a tupperware with a layer of parchment paper in between each layer. Defrost as needed.

Dumpling and dipping sauce recipe

Peas & Love

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PSA: Make it your own!

This is not going to be a regular post about my life with a  yummy recipe thrown in. This is about something that I think everyone needs to know.

RECIPES COME OUT BETTER WHEN YOU DON’T FOLLOW THEM!

What? That’s crazy!

No, it’s really not, and I’ll tell you why.

When I make up a recipe, it is made to please my family, friends, or whoever I am feeding. That means that the ingredients and amounts I use are reflective of their likes and dislikes.

It means that if I am making a salad that I want to eat, it won’t have tomatoes in it. If I’m making a stir-fry for my father it won’t have peppers in it, and, if I’m making a lemon cake for someone that doesn’t like lemons, I’ll use orange juice instead.

So, what does that mean for you?

Basically, it means, if there is something you see in one of my recipes, or any recipe for that matter, that you don’t like, just leave it out or swap it for something you like better.

You can even take things a step further by taking a recipe and instead of looking at it as exact instructions, using it as a jumping off point. Get inspired by the ingredients, flavors and techniques in the recipe. Then add in ingredients you like, or think would work well to enhance the final product.

Whatever happens, don’t be afraid experiment. Worst case, you learned what not to do next time. Best case, you made awesome food that hopefully made you and the people around you happy!

Bottom line, MAKE IT YOUR OWN and peas out!

 

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Kitchen Destination: Israel

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Once upon a time, when I was a little girl playing house, I would day dream about all the fun things I would do with/for my children. Have a room where they could color and paint the walls, make jello and let them drink the hot “jello juice” like tea, bring them to different parks all the time, let them miss school as they needed and allow them to explore and learn about our amazing world in any way they wanted.

IMG_3523Then I had kids.

I don’t have a room, or even a wall for that matter, where they can color or paint on. I let them each have a spoon (or two if I’m feeling it) of the yummy “jello juice”. We go to different parks IF the weather permits, no one is sick, we have time, the baby is not cranky, the food shopping is done, and mostly, if I’m in the mood. They are allowed to miss school only once in a while (and I need at least two weeks to recover from having “nobody home besides me” taken away!). The one thing that I was able to follow through on was letting them explore our world.

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The beginning…

 

Eight years ago, motzei Rosh Hashanna, my husband and I moved to Israel. I was seven months pregnant with Little pea #1 and only slightly smaller than the largest whale in existence. With in a few days of settling in, it was time for me to head out to the supermarket to stock our fridge. By the grace of G-d, I didn’t have to worry about cooking for Succos because my parents and my n’laws were coming for the holiday. Hashem, I still thank you everyday for sending me both sets of parents at the same time(and anyone that has moved to Israel knows that by thank you what i really mean is “AAAAAAAH”).

Now I’m standing in a supermarket in a foreign country and I feel completely lost. I don’t understand half the labels, the way the aisles are set up doesn’t make any sense and a huge wave of anxiety washes over me. I don’t feel comfortable enough in my hebrew to ask for help so I basically wander around for half an hour and then go home with the few basic items that I could figure out how to buy.

Standing in front of the refrigerator I put away my 1% milk (because I couldn’t find any skim and didn’t realize at the time that there is NO SKIM MILK here!?!?!), some yogurts that have the fruit on top instead of on the bottom, instant coffee and some crackers when I realize that I must do something about this. If I’m going to live here and build a Jewish home I need to understand hebrew, or at the very least, the hebrew words that relate to food. So, that night I got work.

I began my epic journey of compiling all the food and food related words I could think of into list and started translating them. So, in honor of my first post, here is a gift to the world, my extensive hebrew/english culinary dictionary.

To see the dictionary translate from English to Hebrew click here

To see the dictionary translate from Hebrew to English click here

To all those out there who are moving here, I hope it helps, and to those who have not yet come…well, it’s one less thing stopping you!

Peas out,

Danielle

 

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