This past week, Marnina and I went on a Turkish kick. We literally ate and prepared all things Turkish for lunch and dinner. Marnina’s mother recently bought and sent us a signed copy of The Ottoman Turk and the Pretty Jewish Girl. It is a wonderful cookbook that should be on every foodie’s shelf (especially if you love Mediterranean cuisine!). The pictures reminded us of our culinary journey through Turkey this past summer and left us yearning to recreate some of those memories in our kitchen. While the recipes are simple and involve few and easy-to-find ingredients, most are not quick to prepare. We had taken a cooking class in Istanbul and afterwards we had still not fully understood how many steps were involved in most of the dishes we had prepared.
Archive for the ‘Garlic’ Category
We recently returned home from our global travels, and in many ways our trip was a gastronomic tour of Turkish and Israeli cuisine. We tried our best to sample as many mezes, main dishes, desserts, and other foods that we could fit into our stomachs within a 3-week time span. We were able to stay relatively svelte and fit thanks to walking an average of 8 miles each day. Our goal during the trip was to try all the authentic cultural foods that these two countries offer, and of course, to stay healthy. At times, Marnina was forced to expand her diet either because: 1) a Crohn’s-friendly dish was not available; 2) the language barrier caused confusion that led to Marnina biting into a food stuffed with seeds; or 3) she could not resist the temptation of ordering an authentic dish that contained some form of food that might upset her GI tract. However, thanks to proper plannning (over-the-counter medications, antibiotics, flushable wipes), Marnina was prepared for the worst. Luckily, neither of us got sick from the food and water in either country. It turns out that the water is unsafe to drink in Turkey (even for natives) so bottled water was incredibly cheap. (more…)
On a recent visit to our local supermarket, Marnina and I came to the conclusion that we were spending too much money for subpar produce and seafood. For months we had been bemoaning the produce and fish section of the supermarket (as well as the entire store in general), but for some reason we could not muster up the courage to switch our allegiance to a new supermarket. Every now and then we would supplement our shopping trips with some tastier-looking food stores such as Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, but we would do the bulk of our shopping at the less-than-appetizing local grocery store. We thought we were getting a better deal on our produce and other foods, but in reality, we were paying slightly lower prices for mediocre (and sometimes rotten) food. (more…)
One of the (many) blessings of Passover is that we see some delicious dishes that are traditionally made only once a year….not from a lack of access to particular ingredients (who doesn’t keep matzah in their pantry year-round??), but because the dietary restrictions of Passover require us to utilize ingredients that we don’t generally use year-round. For many, this means the holiday is the one time a year we see the Passover dishes that we remember our parents making since we were children. This year, Marnina made her mom’s peach kugel that was so good that we were scraping the sides of the 9 x 13 baking dish to salvage all of the caked-on pieces. And for the Seder, my mom made a flanken tzimmes with carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes – the meat and veggies are slow-cooked with honey and sugar to the point where they are so tender and sweet that they just instantly melt in your mouth (don’t worry, we avoided the prunes at all costs). (more…)
In a previous salad post, Marnina lamented about how she had not eaten a real salad in many years. For the most part, the only salads that she can eat must consist of cooked veggies and a bit of iceberg lettuce if she feels like her intestines are up to the task. She gets overwhelmingly excited when she finds a salad recipe she can eat, which is exactly what happened when we found a pasta salad made of zucchini instead of real pasta. Zucchini is one of Marnina’s safer veggies, especially because of its soft outer layer and its low-residue nature. Marnina aims for an intake of less than 3 grams of fiber per food item, which is generally considered a low residue/low fiber diet. (more…)
Parsnips are an anomaly. When roasted, they are sweet and slightly spicy. They are just as versatile as carrots. And after comparing their nutritional makeup using nutritiondata.com, they are richer in vitamins and minerals than carrots. So why aren’t they as ubiqutous as their close relative, the carrot? We have no idea, and unfortunately, parsnips often languish in produce sections in favor of their more popular and brighter relative.
Last weekend, Marnina and I wanted to go apple-picking with some friends from Brandeis University. When we arrived, we were told that the apple-picking season was over at this particular orchard due to the substantial amount of rain. Therefore, we ended up going ‘pumpkin-picking’ instead. At first, we were disappointed. But then Marnina mentioned that she had a pumpkin stuffing recipe back home that sounded delicious. I was suspicious at first, mainly because the recipe called for baking an intact pumpkin in our smaller-than-small oven. However, as our neighbors (and our taste buds) can attest, the pumpkin smelled (and tasted) like a slice of heaven. We wandered around the pumpkin patch for about 20 minutes, took some awesome pictures (see below), and painstakingly picked out the smallest pumpkin we could find (6 lbs!).