Author Archives: Belle
Author Archives: Belle
Are you considering purchasing a grill?
Then, you might realize that there are different grills that you can choose from. The problem is that you need to make sure that you know the different type of grills and you should make sure that you know which one is going to be best for you. This is the full guide about the different types of grills. So that you can make sure that you choose the right one.
This is the most popular backyard grill. This is mostly because it is easy to use. These gas grills run on propane gas or natural gas. The gas isn’t that expensive to refill.
It is great for those people that are looking for a grill that you can set up and use immediately. No more waiting for the charcoal to heat up and no more charcoal clean up afterward. Maintenance is a bit more expensive, because of all the valves and gas that needs to be refilled and maintain. The taste of the meat isn’t like the normal BBQ smokey taste, because there isn’t any smoke involved. You can choose between different sizes and different quality. Some are really expensive, while other gas grillers are more affordable.
Charcoal grills are those grills that are the traditional way of Barbequing. It gives the great smoking taste, is great to enjoy family time while you are preparing the grill for the BBQ. Maintenance is really cheap, but cleanup will take a bit longer than with the gas grill.
This is a great grill for those that are looking for the traditional BBQ. The smell of charcoal and the taste of the BBQ meat. The thing that people don’t like about the charcoal grill is the fact that you always need to have charcoal at hand. And, it can take a bit longer to start grilling the meat. Cleaning the grill afterward is also taking a bit longer than with the gas and electric grill. Buying the charcoal grill is cheaper than with the gas grill and the electric grill. But, you need to remember the added costs of the charcoal every time you are barbequing.
If you are looking for an electric grill, you need to make sure that you know that you are getting an indoor and outdoor grill. With this grill, you don’t need to have gas or charcoal to be able to BBQ. However, electricity can be costly if you are barbequing a lot.
This is a great option if you are living in an area where you are prohibited from grilling on gas or charcoal. It is safer and easier to use as well. When you are using an electric grill, you should know that the smokey taste will be lost. This is because electricity can’t produce smoke and fire. It is easier and faster to clean, and maintenance is a lot cheaper. The thing that you should know is that it is more expensive and you are able to purchase cheaper and more expensive versions.
There are a couple of things that you should consider when you are choosing your grill. What taste do you want at the end of the day? Do you want the smokey taste or just want to BBQ with friends and family, and doesn’t mind the smokey-less meat?
The maintenance cost is also really important to consider. With the gas grill, the maintenance costs are the highest. The charcoal grill takes a longer time to clean and the electric grill can give you high utility bills. The price is also really important to consider. You want to take your budget into consideration, but you want to have a grill that is going to last and that will be value for money. The cheaper the grill, the lower the quality will be.
The last thing that you should consider is if you are looking for a portable grill that you can take with you when you are going on holiday. Or, if you are looking for a grill that you can only use at home. Gas grills are hard to transport, because of the different equipment that you need to take with you.
With this guide to the different types of grills, it will be easier to decide which one you should consider. And, you will know the benefits and problems that you can expect with each grill. This guide is making it easier to know the maintenance costs, what the meat can taste like and what experience you want from the grill.
Do you want to have a quick BBQ, or are you looking to spend some time with family while you are barbequing? It is a lot easier to choose your grill if you know the different types of grills.
Recently, as some of you may know, I’ve been staying at an ashram in southern India. Kerala to be exact. And while I had my Julia Roberts fantasy of eating, praying and loving going into the experience- I didn’t quite come out of it with enlightenment (or a crazy Texan friend that was way too up in my business).
Despite these setbacks, I did come out of it with some awesome traditional Keralan recipes and increased flexibility (four hours of yoga a day does have some benefits, and being able to bend in weird positions is one of them).
The rules of the ashram were pretty intense (read: get your ass out of bed at 5:30am every morning) and the diet certainly matched this strict and regimented atmosphere. I’m talking no alcohol (fine), no drugs (that’s legit), only vegetarian food (no harm there), and no garlic or onions (wait *record stops* WTF?!).
Yup, no garlic. No onions. What else is there to eat you may ask? I don’t know. But I was not happy about it. According to some yogic principles of belief, onions and garlic fire up your system too much, whereas a yogi lifestyle should be more calm and relaxed. I think I would have been more relaxed had I not had to praise elephant and monkey gods every evening, but whatevs. I rolled with it.
What I found really interesting was the incorporation of coconuts into literally everything. Coconut chutney, coconut curry, coconut oil (amazing for your hair by the way), coconut juice, coconut gumbo (just kidding), and of course- coconuts! As a (coco)nut myself, I was loving it.
Me being very happy about this coconut
Keralan food is certainly delicious and the coconut is just one example of its unique flavor. Another traditional dish is the dosa, which is kind of like a crepe that you eat with other curries and vegetables. Idlis are spongy rice cake/dumpling things, and they’re also pretty good. We often had pineapple curry, red rice, and cabbage salad- though I’m not sure if that’s cheap ashram food or staples in Kerala- anyone any ideas?
Keralan Thali, served on banana leaf
All in all it was a nice experience. Different, but nice. I entered the ashram very tense, very hard and very angry from dealing with all that India is, and I left surprisingly refreshed, with a new attitude and reinvigorated for the last leg of my trip. Yes I could have woken up more for morning meditation, or learned the Sanskrit prayers, but I did what I could. And so I give myself an A for effort.
And a B for Biryani.
Last Friday I experienced something that I never thought would happen to me so early in life- a private chef came to my house and cooked an entire Shabbat meal for me and 10 guests. Is this a joke? No. This is reality, people.
Thanks to Jerusalem Village, an organization based in Jerusalem that helps young people connect to each other through interesting events and groups, I was able to invite 4 friends and 6 strangers into my house for a night of food, drinks and many laughs. The concept behind it is to get new “olim” (immigrants) and native Israelis to meet over a shared Shabbat experience in an intimate atmosphere.
When I heard this- I jumped on the offer. Jerusalem Village provides the ingredients, the chef, and even a portable kosher kitchen- great for me since the kitchen I have now isn’t kosher and I always want to invite my more religious friends, but can’t. Thursday night the food was delivered, and early Friday morning we got to cooking. For 6 hours. Naturally, we started drinking early.
the menu for the evening- drum roll please…
And while I’m looking forward to hearing from Orit Bon Apetite (the chef who graciously came over and planned an exquisite meal) about the specific recipes, I can’t actually speak to them right now as I was strictly the sous chef. It was so nice not having to worry, but just be a helping hand. And so while I can now roll grape leaves like a mother fucker, I can’t really say what the exact recipe is- yet.
In the meantime, here’s a classic recipe for an Israeli night cap, or as one Israeli guest described it as: Israeli water!
Viola- you’re now Israeli!
**If you or someone you know is looking for an unforgettable experience, I would highly recommend both Jerusalem Village as well as Orit Bon Apetite for a more private or intimate occasion. Seriously people, she makes miracles happen in the kitchen.
Remember that time I spent New Years Eve rocking out in the middle of nowhere Connecticut at a Jewish food conference? Oh yeah., that happened. Since 2010, I’ve been attending the annual Hazon Food Conference, and this year was no different than the rest- simply incredible. One of the many sessions I was able to attend was about making beer at home. And while I’m still working up the courage to make my home-brew dreams a reality, for now I thought I would share this interview with Baruch Rock, who taught a session on home-brewing during the conference.
When I was sixteen, I was a member of 6 person team who spent five weeks with the student conservation association in Clearwater National Forest, Idaho. At the end of our stay, as we were preparing to leave the wilderness, I recall our team leader talking to a ranger about some home-brews that he had left for the ranger in the fridge at the station. Curious, I inquired as to what that meant, and that’s how I learned about the freedom to create tasty beverages in one’s home was a possibility. Alcohol had nothing to do with it, the freedom of my wilderness experience was palpable and this seemed like another way to express the identity I was forging for myself at that time in my life.
For me, taste is more than just what the sensory areas of my tongue and the interpretive centers in my brain tell. Taste derives from the wholeness of any beer, where were the ingredients sourced? Are they local? Are they organic? For me, taste is also about associations, memories, experiences, surrounding the beer experience. I say this humbly, but the best beer I ever tasted was an all-organic porter that a friend and I brewed up in his kitchen in Alfred, New York when I was a Sophomore in college. It was delicious, refreshing, everything I knew home-brewing could be.
As Charlie Pappazan teaches in his home-brewing guide: “Relax, don’t worry- have a home-brew.” This advice is essential, have fun while you are brewing and brew with friends. I would also say, be clean, be clean, be clean- make sure your brewing materials are properly sanitized, it is time consuming, but worth it!
My house on Shabbat!!! Blue Mountain Brewery in Virginia, Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California and Brooklyn Brewery in New York. ~Thank you Baruch for sharing your wisdom with us and letting us get a glimpse into the life of a home-brewer. Baruch’s message regarding taste is so beautiful, and a great reminder to all of us when indulging in the small pleasures of life! Enjoy, y’all!
Malabi is a Middle Eastern pudding traditionally made with orchid root and milk and topped with shredded coconut, cinnamon, nuts or in this case- goji berries. It is basically sahlav, cold and turned into pudding format.
What you really need to know is that once you make the magical drink of sahlav, you can stick the leftovers in the fridge (preferably in adorable tiny teacups) and have pudding for breakfast the next morning.
“In Jerusalem, before the days of coke and lattes, tamarind drink and soos (made from licorice twig) were the typical refreshing summer beverages; their winter counterpart was sachlav”
I got this recipe, like most other things I’m cooking up these days from the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sammi Tamimi- if I haven’t said it yet: go out and get this cookbook. It’s been on countless gift guides across the web, and really, what foodie wouldn’t want such a gorgeous cookbook?
Whisk cornflour together with 100 ml of the milk to make a paste. Pour the remaining milk, water, and sugar into a saucepan and heat so that the sugar dissolves. When the mixture begins to release steam, whisk in the cornflour paste. Continue to whisk until it turns into a thick custard. Remove from heat and pour into your holder of choice: wine or champagne glasses make for a classy dessert. For a more homey feel pour into tea cups like above. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with coconut/ nuts/ cinnamon/ berries- whatever you like!
January 2013 has been quite the roller coaster ride. I started three (yes, you read that correctly) new jobs, I’m moving apartments, my website re-design launched, and I’m still trying to keep this little ol’ blog running smoothly. While I’m definitely counting my blessings, I’ve also had zero time to myself.
And so, on Tuesday, when the elections were happening in this country, and I found myself with a day off from work- I knew it was time to bake. I’ve been doing pretty well on my resolutions list – listening to episodes of This American Life and The Moth, are pretty easy- getting my finances in order is a slower process, but with the help of Ramit, I’m on my way.
I read about this recipe for olive oil cake from Kim Boyle’s Good to the Grain cookbook via Heidi awhile back. It intrigued me so much- olive oil? In a cake? As you know by now, I’m a huge fan of olive oil– I wrote my freakin senior thesis about it.
So as the gods has aligned it to be, I was set up with some time to myself to finally breathe, beautiful weather (which, by the way, totally affects my mood), and all of the right ingredients. Rosemary from my container garden, Trader Joes dark chocolate brought from my lovely boyfriend on his recent trip back home, and even artisan olive oil from a farm in the North. It was time.
I hope this cake makes you as happy as it has made me. The rosemary gives it a really nice subtle flavor, and with big chunks of quality chocolate, as well as smaller shavings- the chocolate permeates throughout the cake. Bring it to a potluck or savor it for a few days in the morning with a cup of tea. I wish you all a relaxing weekend- take some time for yourself, and if you can, try an olive oil cake to match your happy mood.
3/4 cup spelt flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup olive oil (the better quality olive oil you have, the more of that flavor will come out in the cake)
3/4 cup milk (I used organic soy milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped – give or take, I think a bit more next time would be lovely
5 ounceschocolate (70% cacao), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar for top crunch
Serves 8 -12.
Prep time: 15 min – Cook time: 50 min
In case you have some spare time whilst awaiting impending doom a la the Sandy variety – here’s a list of 13 reasons why you should eat local. This list comes from the book, The 100 Mile Diet, which I read this past summer.
If you’re looking for an interesting read about one couple’s journey into eating local food (within a 100-mile radius of their home in British Columbia, Canada) for an entire year- definitely check out this book. Thoroughly enjoyable, and not pretentious at all. They ate potatoes for like, months. That’s commitment right there.
Do you have any more reasons to add? Please share your tips on why eating local is great in the comments!
As mentioned earlier this week, I had a ridiculously wonderful time exploring the ancient city of Tzfat and northern Israel. Below is a picture diary, and a glimpse into my week in the mystical Tzfat. Enjoy!
Part of a treasure hunt activity- I got pretty into it
3 Cheese Lachooch- A Yemenite “Crepe”
Tzfat Cheese- the Kadosh family has been making this cheese in Tzfat for SEVEN generations: that’s a lot of cheese!
Street Art all over the city
The Lachooch Man at Work
The Old City of Tzfat is all cobblestones- reminded me of Jerusalem, actually!
The organization I volunteered with (Livnot) rebuilds much of the city of Tzfat. Buildings with this emblem on them say that Livnot volunteers helped to restore it.
The best Sabich in Tzfat- no question. These guys will hook it up.
Cheese tasting at a goat farm in Rosh Pina- a small village in the north, close to Tzfat
This is actually in Neve Tzedek- Tel Aviv- but it needed to be included
Today we have a guest post from Lisa over at Wine Telegraph to give us an education about wine. Hope you enjoy!
The role of wine merchants is rarely confined just to providing an avenue for the purchase and consumption of wine. Modern wine merchants are about enabling the whole experience – from widening choice in wine buying to finding the foods and equipment that make the experience of enjoying fine eating and drinking complete.
There are plenty of reasons to shop with a local wine merchant – here are seven of the best.
Wine merchants offer expertise you can’t get in a supermarket. This is as much a function of the purpose of each establishment as it is of the specific knowledge of individual shop assistants. A wine merchant is there to give information and expertise in addition to product – while a supermarket is there simply to offer choice on a shelf.
While a supermarket wine department may aim to direct the customer using shelf tags, a merchant is there to deliver in depth recommendations after consultation and exploration.
No shop that sells lots of other things can hope to match the variety of wine and wine-related accoutrements in the merchant’s emporium. No supermarket, for example, can offer the range of independent alternatives in lower price brackets that the merchant provides.
A wine merchant often sells wine by the case only – so the minimum purchase is usually either six or twelve bottles. In either case, there’s often a price break when bottles are purchased according to specific rules – for example, if six or more of the same wine is bought then the merchant may sell each bottle for less than if the case is made up of six different wines.
The merchant is usually happy to deliver, because he or she is selling wine by the case rather than by the bottle. Larger merchants usually have a weekly delivery day for individual towns or postal areas. In city areas, a merchant may even operate daily deliveries. As a result, it’s possible to go in and shop in person for large quantities of wine without having to worry about getting it all home again.
The merchant is there to make the customer’s experience of good wine better. To this end, he or she may either directly sell, or facilitate the sale of, food that complements the wine in question. During specific seasons, these services often extend to the creation nor ordering of hampers; or the facilitation of ordering festive boards and festive meats, which will go well with the festive wines being sold.
A merchant may also directly sell a number of snack foods designed to complement his or her selections of wine. If a customer is having a party, he or she may therefore be able to offer all drinks and nibble scattering from under a single roof.
There’s a difference between expertise and information – expertise allows the customer to be guided directly to wines that will serve a required purpose, while information helps the customer to expand his or her palate through his or her own journey of discovery. Again, the merchant is much better placed to deliver this kind of information – which may range from simple inquiries about wines from specified regions of the world; to more complex requests for information about whether any animal products or animal related products have been used in the creation of each wine.
A merchant may also supply the wine furniture required for the storage and enjoyment of the wines he or she sells. Wine furniture isn’t just a wine rack or cabinet – the term also refers to bottle openers and serving receptacles.
Given the sad state of affairs today (read: the government not getting its act together and shutting down (?!?)) I wanted to share some love from my camping trip this past weekend at Zion National Park. Considering national park employees are not going into work today, I’d say I had pretty good timing.
I’m not going to get into the ridiculousness of this situation right now, but rather share some of the beauty that I found in Utah. Zion, the Hebrew word for redemption, is exactly that. In Jewish mysticism, Zion is interpreted as the spiritual point at which reality emerges.
And since I’m reading this book and just watched this movie– I’d say the gigantic sandstone cliffs parted by rough waters forming the largest slot canyon in the world were certainly a good dose of reality in the most natural form.
I was lucky enough to go to Zion with three wonderful women from my fellowship, one of whom used to work at the park and was able to give us the local insider information- like where to find a secluded swimming hole in the dry heat of Utah.
The weekend at Zion was simply incredible. And as I hiked around, first to Angel’s Landing- a steep 1400 ft. cliff that juts into the middle of the canyon and as the park described “unsuitable for those fearful of heights“, and then through the Narrows, I felt a sense of serenity that was missing for a long time. Its just incredible how being in the vastness of nature can make you feel so small.
When thinking about what to eat on this glorious trip, I admit, I had little input. One thing I did know was that of a recent package I received from Peanut Butter & Co, I would have to bring along a jar of peanut bar. I decided on Mighty Maple, and so glad I did.
We ended up finishing the entire jar in the first day by adding it to our morning oatmeal, making copious amounts of PB&J sandwiches, and just straight up eating it out of the jar. I met one of PB+Co’s reps at the Blog Her Food Conference this past summer and was so happy when they reached out to me about trying some of their vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO peanut butter.
While PB was HUGE when I was living in Nepal, I haven’t really eaten much of it in the past year. Let’s face it, Israeli’s love Bamba, but they don’t love Peanut Butter. It’s one of those paradoxes that we may never solve.
In any case, the peanut butter was a huge success and definitely a new staple for any camping trips. If you find yourself going on a trip, I would definitely suggest bringing along a jar of one these really delicious jars of peanut butter. Then again, that trip may have to wait awhile…