Saturday, December 31, 2016

Great Meal at "La Boca"

During Chanukah, my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a special meal out and had dinner at La Boca, a well-known South American style kosher meat restaurant in Jerusalem. Now to be perfectly honest, I must admit that we had a "gift card" that could be used at a number of restaurants, and we chose La Boca, even though we realized that the bill may be higher than the value of the card. But it certainly was worth it.

We called for a reservation for the same night and ended up having to sit "at the bar," but it was fine. And we ate two wonderful meals for what a couple of cheap shawarmas would have cost us.

While we were waiting for our orders, we were brought focaccias and dips, which my husband said was great. And then another treat, which I couldn't resist. I don't know if they add food for everyone or were we just lucky. Or did they feel sorry for us sitting at the bar. Or was it because we had ordered expensive main courses. It has happened to me before at "better" restaurants. And, yes, La Boca is considered one of Jerusalem's best.
setting up for a large group

Apparently, it's a favorite for groups and parties. There's space upstairs, besides the street level. Even when there was a group eating, the noise level was fine, and I have problems in noisy places.

And I had a steak. It came with potatoes, but they agreed to give me a salad instead.

Yes, we do recommend La Boca!
La Boca

‎שלומציון המלכה 8, SHLOMZION HAMALKA 8‎
Jerusalem, Israel

‎La Boca Restaurant- מסעדת לה בוקה‎

Call 02-563-5577

Friday, December 30, 2016

Perfect Pea Soup in Piccolino

My husband and I were in Jerusalem for a few days on vacation. On the first day we walked around the Old City looking at the neighborhood we had lived in from 1970-71. Then we went to the Kotel, the Western Wall, to pray, and after that we wanted a nice warm, rich soup.

So, we took a bus to the center of town and went to Piccolino! I had their "Soup of The Day," which was Pea Soup, and it was just perfect! It tasted like the best homemade soup one could find. And I'm a maivin, as you know. I make a mean bowl of Vegetable Pea Soup when I can, but I wasn't home. And I wanted soup immediately. The soups regularly on the menu are Minestrone, which my husband had and praised, and also their famous Onion Soup Served in a Loaf of Bread. Now, that's a full meal and very special.

Besides the soup they served us some nice bread and Foccacia. And since we were on vacation and had been walking a lot, we shared some dessert.

Yes, it's no secret that Piccolino is my home away from home when I want a special meal or even a light one.

I'm always happy with their food and service.

Piccolino, Yoel Moshe Solomon Street No.12 Jerusalem,, 02:6244186

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jerusalem of Gold

I was walking in Jerusalem the other night and decided to see how nicely my new smartphone camera works.

Jerusalem definitely has a golden hue to it, and I didn't edit these at all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Old City Jerusalem, Israeli Flag

Polling for Perked or French Press Coffee- Vote Please

Which do you prefer? 

A percolator or a French Press? 

Here's my stovetop percolator and larger, just 6 cup French Press. When this one hits the dust, I'm getting an 8 cup one, Gd willing.

This is my small, unbreakable plastic French Press. 
Please vote in the comments, thanks.

Monday, December 26, 2016

I Need Sunshine!

I'm just not a winter person, not at all.

When I take a picture of what should be the bright sunrise and I get just white, I'm miserable.

Rain's predicted both today and tomorrow. Why can't it just rain at night, so we can wake up to a clean world and bright sunshine?

I tried editing the picture taken this morning, but it ended up looking like a sandstorm was coming from the east.

So I added a bit of color. Like it?

Here are some great sunrise pictures I've taken from my house on other winter days. It's sometimes glorious!!

Yes, I know that in a few months I'll complain about the heat, but I won't complain about the gorgeous sunrise!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sufganiyot Made Easy! No Yeast!

This is my latest version of the Israeli fried doughnuts aka Sufganiyot, a favorite food for Chanukah. Our homemade version is absolutely nothing like the ones you can buy. I love the flavor of ours, and so do my children and grandchildren. For sure they are healthier, too. We make a batch every year at our Family Chanukah Party. This year the party was Friday lunch before Chanukah, since we're such a busy family, we couldn't find any other time to meet.

The Sufganiyot are dairy, made with a plain yogurt, Eshel-which has 4.5% fat. Of course you can use a lower-fat yogurt, but make sure it's pure yogurt and not adulterated with fillers to make it creamy. I've discovered some awful things about the American yogurts, which rarely have more than a symbolic 1/2 % fat. Check ingredients. You may be eating extra sugars and starches. This container has 200ml, just under a cup.

My basic recipe is derived from  one what used to be -is it still?- on packages of Israeli self-rising (white) flour. I first started preparing these Sufganiyot in the early 1970's.

Ingredients for a family-sized batch when you really don't want everyone to "pig-out." Of course they can all be doubled, tripled etc:

  • bottle of vegetable (soy or canola) oil
  • 1 2/3 cups of fine whole-wheat flour or 2 cups of white
  • or if you have self-rising flour, then don't use the baking powder
  • packet of baking powder, or recommended quantity according to the baking powder you have
  • 1 Eshel 200ml, or 2/3 of a cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 large eggs or 3 small/medium eggs
  • a spoon of sugar and a dash of vanilla
  • powdered sugar for decoration
  • pour the oil into a small deep pot and bring to a boil
  • mix the dry ingredients
  • add the eggs, yogurt and vanilla
  • The batter should be thicker than for pancakes/waffles.
  • Test if oil is ready, by "double-spoon*" dropping a bit into the oil. If it gets all bubbly and the dough rounds and rises to the top, you can begin the cooking/deep-frying.
  • Use less than a teaspoon for each, so they won't be too large, which can make it hard to cook thoroughly. 
  • Don't overfill the pot.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, or a tea "filter," like the one I found in my gadget drawer.
  • Place them on a plate or large bowl covered with white napkins or paper towels to absorb the oil.
  • Open up one from the first batch to make sure it's fully cooked. You may have to recook it, adjust the flame etc. until you get the cooked/ready color right. It always happens to me!
  • And then sprinkle powdered sugar! We give that job to the kids, since deep-frying has its dangers.

*Watch my instructional video, double-spoon drop. It's the same technique as used for Kneidlach, Gefilte Fish etc.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Super Easy and Tasty Homemade Applesauce

We had all of the Israeli based descendants over for Friday pre-Chanukah lunch, since there wasn't a single evening during Chanukah when everyone was free to get together. And since this was the family Chanukah party gifts and all, so too was the menu. I fried your classic potato latkes, and one of my daughters brought over a half a dozen other sorts of "latkes" of all different vegetables. And since there was a vegan in attendance, she used mashed potatoes as a binder instead of eggs.

I made applesauce for the latkes. Here are the instructions:

Peel and cut up apples in a pot. Then add lots of cinnamon and some sugar, preferably brown. But white is OK if that's what you're used to. Then add some water and cook until soft.

Let it cool a bit and then mash it.

And you have the most delicious applesauce. 

ENJOY!! It's good on latkes or all by itself.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Movie-Like Win for the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions

After trailing "Team Eastman*," which is what I call the Petah Tikva Troopers - פתח תקווה טרופרס, pretty much the entire game, the Jerusalem "Big Blue" Lions managed a movie-finish touchdown to win the game  22:20.

And in all honesty, if you'd seen it in the movies, you'd say that it doesn't happen in real life. Right?

But honestly, now that you've seen the pictures and the video, you know that it did and does happen. The team did not give up, even when it looked like the game had been lost, and in that very last second before the final whistle could be blown, they got that touchdown!

And as is the custom, the players thanked the fans, and we thanked them!

*The coach and top players are from the very football-talented Eastman family, formerly Judean Rebels.