Tori Avey http://toriavey.com Recipes & History - Inspired by our Delicious Past Wed, 18 Jan 2017 01:15:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.1 Easy, Healthy Recipes for the New Year http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2017/01/easy-healthy-recipes-new-year/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2017/01/easy-healthy-recipes-new-year/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:06:04 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39961 Quick and tasty recipes for a healthy start to the New Year. Includes salads, bowls, low calorie entrees, vegetarian mains and more!... Read More]]>

 

Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year

Easy Healthy Recipes for January – Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year

It’s a New Year, and for most of us that includes at least a few goals for the months to come. One of the most popular resolutions is to start eating more mindfully, incorporating healthy ingredients into our daily meals. Below is a list of some of my healthiest recipes that are also fairly quick and easy to make. Happy eating!

Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
 Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
Easy Healthy Recipes for January - Quick, Tasty and Nutritious Cooking for the New Year
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Date Truffles http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/date-truffles/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/date-truffles/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 06:07:56 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=32792 These simple sweet snacks are made with all-natural vegan ingredients - dates, almonds and toasted coconut, scented with orange blossom water.... Read More]]>

Date Truffles - All Natural Bite-Sized Treats with Toasted Coconut, Almonds and Orange Blossom Water

Date Truffles – All Natural Bite-Sized Treats with Toasted Coconut, Almonds and Orange Blossom Water

Dates have been enjoyed in the Middle East for over 5,000 years. In the Book of Exodus, Israel is referred to as a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Historians believe that the honey referenced in the Torah was not made by bees… it was, in fact, date honey. According to The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks, dates were likely an important part of the patriarch Abraham’s diet. In ancient Sumeria, dates were used to flavor beer. They are one of the Seven Species celebrated in the Bible. The Islamic prophet Muhammad is also said to have enjoyed dates; he would often fast for a few days at a time, then break his fast by eating dates.

These sweet, natural Date Truffles are made by processing dates, almonds and shredded coconut into a thick, moldable paste. Orange blossom water adds a lovely perfume. A coating of toasted coconut adds flavor and texture while keeping the truffles from sticking to your fingers. They’re all natural, bite-sized vegan treats that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. No processed sugar here!

Attending a New Year’s Eve soiree? Whip these up in no time flat and bring them along. Your host will thank you, and so will the guests– just be sure to let everybody know they contain nuts, in case anybody is nut allergic. They go great with a hot glass of Moroccan mint tea – or ice cold vodka, if that’s you’re thing!

Date Truffles - All Natural Bite-Sized Treats with Toasted Coconut, Almonds and Orange Blossom Water

Date Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried flaked or shredded coconut (unsweetened), divided
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1 tbsp date honey, date syrup or maple syrup (if not vegan, you can also use honey)
  • 1 tbsp orange blossom water (optional - recommended)
  • 3/4 tsp orange zest
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • Pinch of cloves

You will also need

  • food processor, cookie sheet
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 15-20 truffles
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 3/4 cup of the shredded coconut on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Place coconut inside the oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the coconut is lightly toasted and golden brown. Remove coconut from the oven and carefully pour the toasted coconut into a food processor. Process it for 10-20 seconds until the shreds become very small. Pour into a bowl and reserve.
  • Place pitted dates, almond slivers, date honey or syrup, orange blossom water, orange zest, cardamom, cloves, and the remaining ¾ cup of sweetened coconut (untoasted) into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture turns into a crumbled, sticky dough – it will become a moldable paste, but should still have texture. Roll the nutty paste into 1-inch diameter balls. Roll each truffle ball into the bowl of toasted coconut to coat. Serve.

 

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Vintage Poker Night http://toriavey.com/home-garden/2016/12/vintage-poker-night/ http://toriavey.com/home-garden/2016/12/vintage-poker-night/#respond Tue, 27 Dec 2016 13:37:08 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39486 Tips for hosting a vintage-inspired dress-up poker party, complete with antique decor, dishes and snacks.... Read More]]>

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

Vintage Poker Night – a fabulous evening of fun from ToriAvey.com contributor Brenda Ponnay

When Tori asked me to contribute some posts to her site focused on vintage-inspired entertaining, my creative mind wandered to throwing all kinds of exciting soirees. With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, what better way to celebrate than a fun themed party– like an all girls vintage poker night?! Why should the men have all the gambling fun? The only problem is, I don’t actually have much interest in learning how to play poker. But what the heck — I’ll take any excuse to break out the fancy crystal and dress up in vintage attire! 

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

The idea to host a girls poker night started with this glass decanter. Whenever I run errands in the next town over I make a point to stop by my favorite thrift store. It’s right on the main boulevard, close to everything, and always has the best treasures. I spotted this decanter in the curiosities section right away. I know decanters have fallen out of favor since we’ve learned that lead glass can cause poisoning if liquids are kept in them for too long, but I was a sucker for it anyway. The clear round top called out to me. I imagined the decanter sitting in a pretty bar cart. I would take pictures through that round sphere, distorting everything delightfully and maybe I would even peer through it to take a selfie. I love funny old things like this. And don’t worry! I didn’t keep whiskey in it for longer than one night.

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

Next I spotted the short, silver-rimmed champagne coupes and knew exactly what I needed to do.  What would New Year’s Eve be without a bubbly toast at midnight? These glasses would be perfect for sipping and toasting my favorite sparkling Italian wine.  I did a little research on the champagne coupes and found a similar style by Dorothy Thorpe. Thorpe was a mid-century American artist who began decorating existing glass pieces after her husband lost his job during the Depression. Her designs were so popular that she started her own shop, which came to be known as Dorothy Thorpe Inc. We now recognize her iconic whiskey tumblers that were popularized by the first two seasons of Mad Men. I’m not getting my hopes that these are the real thing (they only cost me $3 each) but they sure do look like them!

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

It turns out that a few of my girlfriends actually do play poker, so I found some poker chips on eBay and dug out my boyfriend’s collection of old playing cards. I wanted to spring for some vintage pin-up girl cards but decided against it, in case any of my guests found them inappropriate.

Did you know there is a difference between poker chips and the chips used in a casino? Poker chips are mass-produced for home use and are made in a variety of materials, including clay and plastic. Casino chips are are manufactured by the casinos themselves and are actually used as currency when you are inside the casino. They are custom to the casino and may even include serial numbers and microchips to avoid counterfeiting. I chose these small poker chips because I liked the colors. They seemed dainty and fitting. When they arrived I was so happy with how smooth they felt in my hands. My boyfriend, who prefers the big, brightly-colored chips instead, thought I was crazy. But I had a vision.

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

When setting the table, I opted to skip the traditional green felt cloth and round table.  We aren’t that serious about playing cards by the rules. Instead I dug out my collection of saris, pinned one on the wall behind my side table and spread another across the card table. Then I placed some Middle Eastern-style doilies on top of the sari to add more texture.

I brought out every cut glass item and silver tray I had in the house and set up my buffet table with fruit, cheese, crackers and chocolate. For my fruit and cheese platter I decided to use an oversized cutting board, because it can hold more. You can never go wrong with fresh and dried fruit, cheese, crackers and nuts at a party.

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

Then I whipped up some of Tori’s famous stuffed figs with goat cheese and drizzled them with honey. I set them on a pretty plate on top of an elevated cake plate to give my dishes some height.

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

Figs and dried fruit always make such beautiful, rich additions to any appetizing platter.

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

For something sweet I chose macarons (my favorite treat!) and chocolate covered almonds. Since we’re not serious poker players we can set the snacks right on the table where we play cards. If you were following the rules you probably wouldn’t want to do that. I’ve heard that reaching for food can be a “tell” and reveals if a player is nervous or has a particularly good hand. Good to know!

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

My girlfriends and I take themes seriously and always dress to the nines, which makes these events so fun! Our get-togethers turn into a something of a fashion show, as we share the stories behind our jewelry and outfits. In fact, when I send out the invitations to my friends, I like to include pictures of women in theme-appropriate get-ups for inspiration. There is nothing like a theme to get everyone excited and involved.

Vintage Poker Night - A Themed Dress-Up Soiree

I love when everyone has a chance to wear the vintage pieces passed down from their mothers and grandmothers and this party finally gives us the perfect reason to wear them! I cannot think of a better way to ring in 2017 than with my close friends; sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company. With a fun poker night like this, the odds are in our favor for a fantastic new year!

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New Year’s Recipe Roundup http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/new-years-recipe-roundup/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/new-years-recipe-roundup/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:50:45 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=38280 Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com... Read More]]>

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year

New Year’s Recipe Roundup – Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year

We’re in the home stretch! 2016 was a doozy. As our family lights the Hanukkah candles this week, we pray for peace, love and abundant blessings in 2017.

Celebrating the secular new year? Here are some tasty and creative ideas for a fête to remember! From appetizers to cocktails to tasty mocktails, I’ve got you covered. Diet starts January 1… before that, all bets are off!

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Challah Bruschetta with Lemon Ricotta and Honey

White Bean Basil Pesto Hummus - Healthy and Delicious Mediterranean-Inspired Recipe

White Bean Basil Pesto Hummus

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail - Sweet Refreshing Party Cocktail

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

Vegan Hoppin' John Recipe - Meatless Version of a Southern Classic for the New Year, Rosh Hashanah on ToriAvey.com

Vegan Hoppin’ John

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year

Dark Chocolate Fruit Candies

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com
New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

 

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

 

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Roasted Eggplant Matbucha

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Strawberry Basil Martini

 

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

 

Aunt Carol’s Spinach Dip

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Orange Creamsicle

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Classic Hummus

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Baked Pita Chips

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Chocolate Cheesecake Parfaits

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

 Blackberry Vanilla Bourbon Lemonade

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com
New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Blood Orange and Rosemary Cocktail

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Shortcut Mojito

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Spicy Middle Eastern Chicken Wings

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Rhubarb Rosewater Margarita

Eggplant Tahini Basil Crostini #healthy #appetizer #recipe

Eggplant Tahini Basil Crostini

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

New Year's Recipe Roundup - Delicious Ideas to Help You Ring in the New Year on ToriAvey.com

Cherry Cheesecake Shooters

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Latke Waffles http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/latke-waffles/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/latke-waffles/#comments Fri, 23 Dec 2016 01:25:06 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39849 Make potato pancakes in a waffle iron! Hot crispy hash brown waffles for breakfast or brunch. Hanukkah breakfast or brunch recipe.... Read More]]>

Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle Recipe

Latke Waffles – Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle Recipe

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, is eight crazy nights of holiday fun. That also means eight crazy holiday breakfasts and brunches. What better way to celebrate than latke waffles? Oh yeah, I went there, and the result is glorious. Combining the flavor of a potato pancake with the ease of a waffle iron, these tasty waffle-fritter hybrids are totally addictive. Using a waffle iron results in lighter latkes; you only need a little spray oil for these bad boys, no deep frying required. Latkes, or deep fried potato pancakes, are traditionally made to celebrate the miracle of the Hanukkah oil— deep frying is a natural part of the holiday. But there is no rule that says we need to deep fry, and those who are watching their waistlines might welcome a lighter option. In this recipe, a thin layer of nonstick spray oil will “fry” these potato shred waffles to perfection. All the flavor, less greasy mess and less cleanup. No hot splatters or heavy tummies from all of that excess oil. Latke waffles are my new favorite holiday food!

I’ve made plenty of latkes over the years. Sweet, savory, gluten free, cheesytraditional and the unexpected… you name it, I’ve tried it. It was only a matter of time before I asked myself a very important question… “Will it waffle?” Boy, will it! Using my basic classic latke recipe as a base, I experimented until I came up with a technique that produces amazing potato waffles every time. Bonus– they’re gluten free! The best part is how versatile they are. Serve them on their own, with traditional toppings like applesauce and sour cream, or as the perfect brunchy base for poached eggs. Or use your creativity… breakfast sandwiches, waffle eggs benedict… the sky’s the limit!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in my kitchen waffling my way through the holidays. Chag Sameach!

Recommended Products:

Food Processor

Waffle Iron

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Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle Recipe

Latke Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray

You will also need

  • hand grater or food processor with shredding disc attachment, clean tea towel or layers of cheesecloth, colander, large mixing bowl, waffle iron, broiler (optional)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: 12-13 latke waffles (if using a 4-waffle iron)
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Cut the potatoes into large chunks and shred using a hand grater or food processor shredding attachment with large holes (large shreds). I really recommend using the food processor, it saves a ton of time and will help you avoid onion tears when grating the onion.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipePlace grated potato into a bowl and immediately cover with cold water. Let soak for a few minutes.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeMeanwhile, grate the onion using the grater or food processor attachment with fine holes (small shreds).
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeDrain the potato shreds in a colander. Rinse and dry the bowl used to soak the shreds and set aside.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipePlace drained potato shreds and grated onion in the center of a clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeWrap the shreds up in the cloth, twisting the cloth to secure the bundle, and squeeze firmly to remove excess liquid from the shreds. Pour potato and onion into the clean dry bowl.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipePreheat the waffle iron. If there are multiple heat settings available, use the medium setting. I have a four-waffle iron which make multiple waffles at once. You could also use a single or double waffle maker to make bigger waffles. I prefer smaller waffles, which have more nice crispy edges.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeWhile iron is heating, beat the eggs together with the salt and pepper. I usually add about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper; use less salt if you’re salt-sensitive, you can always add more later.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeUse a fork or clean hands to mix the beaten eggs, salt and pepper into the potato and onion shreds. Take care to make sure the eggs and onion are fully mixed throughout the potato shreds.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeWhen iron is heated, spray generously with nonstick cooking oil spray on both sides. Scoop up 1/4 cup of the potato mixture and squeeze gently to drain off excess liquid. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to keep the waffles evenly sized. It may feel like you're losing too much liquid, but don't worry; if you don't squeeze them, you'll end up with waffles that are too eggy. The egg is there to bind them together, it's not the main attraction.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipePlace the 1/4 cup of potato mixture onto the center of each waffle area. Alternatively, if using a single or double waffle maker, squeeze the liquid from about 3/4 cup of potato mixture, then add it to the center of the waffle iron. Spread out the latke mixture into a pancake-like circle, in a thin but solid circular layer. No need to spread it all the way to the edge, if it’s kept in the center in a more circular shape it will be easier to remove after cooking.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeClose the iron and let the waffles cook for 6-10 minutes, or until fully cooked and browned. One side will likely be more browned than the other.
  • Carefully remove the waffles from the iron. If you’re making multiple batches, continue cooking while keeping the finished waffles on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree F oven.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeIf waffles are not crispy enough for your liking, you can place them under a broiler for a minute or two to crisp them up. Careful, don’t let them burn!
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeServe hot. These can be enjoyed like latkes, or like savory waffles.
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle RecipeI like them served with sour cream and applesauce, latke-style.
  • They are also amazing topped with a poached egg for breakfast or brunch. Delicious!
  • Latke Waffles - Crispy Shredded Potato Waffle Recipe
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Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/lentil-spinach-soup-with-lemon/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/lentil-spinach-soup-with-lemon/#comments Sun, 18 Dec 2016 19:42:11 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39628 A light, healthy and flavorful take on lentil soup, with spices, wilted greens, and fresh lemon juice. ... Read More]]>

Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon

The winter holidays are loaded with culinary temptations. From party cocktails to comfort food to dessert platters, there is no lack opportunity to indulge. Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to put the brakes on and clean up my diet a bit. My energy level was low; I felt sluggish. In perfect timing, I came across Melissa Clark’s recipe for Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, and it seemed just the ticket. Using the ingredients I had on hand, I made my own version of this popular soup. The following week I made it again, refining it to suit my taste– using brown lentils, less stock for a thicker soup, and wilting in lots of healthy greens. The result is a simple soup, richly flavored. The lemon gives it an unexpected brightness that just sings. My husband, who tends to think lentil soup is boring, was pleasantly surprised. “So much flavor! And it tastes healthy, in a good way.”

Suffice it to say, I’ll be enjoying this soup throughout the holiday season. It’s so easy to throw together. I’ve thickened the broth so it’s halfway between a soup and a stew; pour it over white or brown rice for a complete protein and a heartier meal. Enjoy!

Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon

Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 quart vegetable stock (if not vegetarian, you can substitute chicken stock)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups brown, green or red lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves (you can substitute kale, swiss chard, or another favorite green)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (you can substitute parsley-- I prefer the flavor of cilantro here)
  • 1 lemon

You will also need

  • Soup pot, immersion blender, lemon squeezer
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 4-6
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Heat up the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and carrot. Sauté until the onion softens and starts to turn golden. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes longer until fragrant.
  • Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon - Healthy RecipeAdd the tomato paste, cumin, cayenne, salt and black pepper. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
  • Add the vegetable stock, water, lentils and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer then cover the pot, slightly vented. Let the soup cook for about 30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  • Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon - Healthy RecipeRemove soup from heat, remove the bay leaf and discard. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup halfway, so that it thickens but still has texture.
  • Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon - Healthy RecipePut soup over medium heat again. Add the fresh spinach leaves and cilantro. Stir the greens into the soup for 1-2 minutes until just wilted (covering the pot will wilt them faster).
  • Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon - Healthy RecipeTurn off the heat and stir in fresh lemon juice to taste. Adjust seasonings if desired, and serve.
  • Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon
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Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Kitchen Gifts http://toriavey.com/toris-corner/2016/12/holiday-gift-guide-2016-kitchen-gifts/ http://toriavey.com/toris-corner/2016/12/holiday-gift-guide-2016-kitchen-gifts/#comments Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:31:53 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39645 Tori's guide to holiday kitchen giving - interesting gifts for food lovers at every price point... Read More]]>

Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point

Tori’s Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving – Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point

I get a lot of requests at this time of year, with people asking what kitchen items I’d recommend for gift-giving. To make the holiday shopping season a little easier, I’ve gathered together some of my most beloved kitchen items at every price point. Most of these I own and some I would love to add to my collection. If you have a cook in your friend or family circle, look no further than this list for something they’ll really love. Happy shopping!

Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price PointI’ve had this OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowl Set in my kitchen for a few years now and I use them nearly every day. They’re durable, easy to wash and nest inside each other, so you don’t lose much storage or counter space.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
KitchenAid Mixer is an iconic kitchen appliance. I’ve heard many baker friends say they felt they’d really “made it” once they were able to add one of these to their arsenal. They come in a countless variety of colors to fit every kitchen style. I like to think of mine as a piece of art on my counter.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Cakes are a lot of work and deserve to be beautifully displayed. This Jadeite Milk Glass Cake Stand is simple, elegant and the perfect resting place for your baked masterpiece.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
When I first saw a Metric Wonder Cup, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it, but quickly learned that it’s one of the most handy kitchen gadgets on the market. The plunger-style cup is great for measuring sticky ingredients like honey and molasses and makes cleanup much easier. Everyone needs one of these!
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Microplane Zester is the best zester out there. I’ve tried many and I’m very confident in saying that. If you, or someone you know, like to cook with citrus zest, this is the tool for you.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I’ve experimented with replacing caffeine with tea and matcha, but sometimes I really just need that extra boost. This KitchenAid Nespresso Machine with Milk Frother is a welcome sight when I start to feel that late afternoon drop in energy. It also looks really sleek.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Le Creuset enamel gadgets are beautiful and functional. Give your peppercorns a lovely new home with a Le Creuset Ceramic Pepper Mill.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I love my Le Creuset Signature Enamel Cast Iron French Oven. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s incredibly well made and just the thing for one pot meals like stews and roasts.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Anyone who spends time in the kitchen knows the value of a cast iron pan. Lodge Cast Iron Skillets are classic and this one features a handy removable silicone handle that protects your hands from the heat of the hot pan.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Vitamix Blender is a real investment item, but there’s no denying how useful it is. I’ve used mine for everything from hummus to smoothies to dressing for my favorite Garlicky Kale Salad.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
For smoothies, you can’t go wrong with a Ninja Professional Blender. They’re powerful and come at a very reasonable price.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
My husband and I both love Organic Matcha Powder. This is the same powder we use at home for matcha lattes. It’s also great for adding to baked goods.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
For traditionalists, this pretty Matcha Whisk and Spoon is exactly what you need to serve up a frothy, lump free matcha latte.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Add a little color to your utensil drawer with this Rainbow Kitchen Utensil Set.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
How can you look at these Ceramic Animal Mug with Matching Spoons and not smile? Such a cute place to pour your morning cup of coffee or tea.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
This Classic Cutting Board with Removable Mats helps to avoid cross contamination between meat, dairy and vegetables and saves on counter space.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I love my durable stainless steel measuring cups and spoons. These Stainless Steel Colorful Measuring Cups and Spoons add a little flair to an otherwise ordinary, but useful, kitchen item.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I’m sure you’re all aware of the frustration that comes with plastic honey bottles. When the honey begins to crystallize, forget trying to use it again. This Le Creuset Enamel Honey Pot with Dipper is a great solution. Plus how cute is it?
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I love vintage flour sack towels. These Vegetable Seed Flour Sack Kitchen Towel Set have an adorable seed packet design, perfect for gifting.
 
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I am often fascinated by videos of people decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. It’s truly an art form. Kids and adults alike can find their inner artist with this Animal Cookie Cutter Set.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
This Crystal Wine Decanter is made from led-free crystal. For those of you who have a fondness for red wine, I highly suggest purchasing a decanter.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Another favorite of mine, the Cuisinart 14 Cup Food Processor is the secret to super creamy and smooth hummus and nut butters. The extra blades also make grating cheese and vegetables a breeze.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
Chalkboard Cheese Markers are such a fun addition to holiday parties. They give a rustic, handmade flare to your cheese while helping to identify between the gorgonzola and the stilton.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I hate cutting herbs! Silly I know, but it’s just one of those things. These Stainless Steel 5-Blade Herb Scissors simplify chopping fresh herbs, so you can garnish your lovely dishes that much faster.
Tori's Guide to Holiday Kitchen Giving - Great Gifts for Food Lovers at Every Price Point
All of my non-stick pans are PFOA-free and dishwasher safe. This  Scanpan Classic 11 Piece Cookware Set is a perfect starter for those starting their own kitchen collection.
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Citrus Vanilla Blintzes http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/citrus-vanilla-blintzes/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/citrus-vanilla-blintzes/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 18:16:09 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39753 Scrumptious recipe and holiday giveaway for California residents from Clover Organic Dairy Products! #clovercooks... Read More]]>

Citrus Vanilla Blintzes – Celebrate Hanukkah with Blintzes Made With Clover Organic Dairy Products #clovercooks

Citrus Vanilla Blintzes – Celebrate Hanukkah with Blintzes Made With Clover Organic Dairy Products #clovercooks

Sponsored By Clover Organic Farms 

Previously I’ve spoken about switching over to organic dairy products, particularly milk, and why it’s important to me. When Clover reached out and asked me to partner with them on developing a Hanukkah recipe using their organic dairy line, I knew it was the perfect fit. I love Clover and had already been using their organic dairy products at home, so creating a yummy recipe to share with all of you seemed only natural.

Citrus Vanilla Blintzes – Celebrate Hanukkah with Blintzes Made With Clover Organic Dairy Products #clovercooks

The Petaluma Cooperative Creamery began distributing Clover Brand products throughout Petaluma, CA during the early 1900s. In 1975, a disastrous fire broke out in Petaluma, destroying the Co-op’s operating and bottling operations. Clover Stornetta Farms, Inc purchased the wholesale distribution business from the Co-op and started anew in 1977. In the years since, Clover has made more renovations to not only improve the quality of the processing facility, but to also make advancements toward doing things “greener.” During the 1990s, Clover furthered this endeavor by adding organic products to their impressive dairy line. Clover believes that being a sustainable business is the only way to do business, and I couldn’t agree more.

Hanukkah is right around the corner, and you know what that means—tasty fried things! With a fridge full of Clover products, my mind naturally wandered to dairy blintzes. Blintzes are fried, which makes them a great choice for a Hanukkah breakfast treat. I gave them a wintery touch by adding fresh orange juice and zest. It’s easy to find a variety of big, beautiful citrus at the market this time of year. Feel free change it up with tangerines or cara cara oranges. The touch of citrus adds something really special to the blintzes and fills the kitchen with a warm, sweet scent that reminds me of the winter holiday season. Adding a dollop of Clover Cream on Top Vanilla Yogurt adds a touch of aromatic tang, making them extra indulgent. Enjoy!

Clover Organic Farms is hosting a holiday giveaway of $100 in Clover Cash! To enter the contest, comment on this post and let me know what your favorite holiday recipe is. Include a link to a photo of your favorite holiday recipe with the hashtag #CloverCooks on any social media outlet for an additional entry! Please note: this giveaway is only open to people who live in California.

Follow Clover on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Clover dairy products are primarily available on the West Coast. Click here to find out where you can purchase Clover dairy products.

Citrus Vanilla Blintzes – Celebrate Hanukkah with Blintzes Made With Clover Organic Dairy Products #clovercooks

Sponsored by Clover Organic Farms. Thank you for supporting my sponsors, they allow me to share more free recipes, cooking tutorials, holiday crafts and food history with you!

Citrus Vanilla Blintzes

Blintz Batter Ingredients

  • 4 Clover Large Brown Eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup Clover 2% Reduced Fat Milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • Nonstick oil cooking spray
  • Cooking oil with a high smoke point for frying (grapeseed or peanut oil works best)
  • Clover Cream on Top Vanilla Yogurt (optional topping)

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup Clover Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1 package (8 oz.) Clover Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • Pinch of salt

You will also need

  • Cheese cloth, strainer, mixing bowls, food processor, nonstick skillet, parchment
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 8-9 blintzes
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • If starting the night before… place the Clover Low Fat Cottage Cheese from the filling ingredients into a strainer lined with cheesecloth placed on top of a bowl. Let the cottage cheese drain in the refrigerator overnight to remove excess liquid.
  • If starting the same day… place the Clover Low Fat Cottage Cheese from the filling ingredients into a double-layer piece of cheesecloth. Gather the cheesecloth into a bundle around the cottage cheese and squeeze gently and repeatedly to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Blend all of the blintz batter ingredients together using a food processor, blender, immersion blender or electric hand mixer. Consistency of the batter should be smooth (no lumps).
  • Warm up a nonstick skillet on medium heat until hot. The skillet is ready when a drop of water sizzles on the surface of the pan. If the water pops or jumps out of the pan, the skillet is too hot—let it cool slightly before starting. If the water sizzles, it’s at the perfect temperature. Grease the entire surface of the hot pan generously with nonstick cooking oil spray (keep the oil spray away from gas stovetop flame).
  • Pour the blintz batter by 1/3 cupfuls into the pan, then tilt the pan in a circular motion till the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan in a large, thin circular shape.
  • Let each blintz cook for 60-75 seconds until the edges of the blintz brown and the bottom of the blintz is lightly golden. You can tell it's ready by touching the center of the pancake's surface-- it should be dry and slightly tacky to the touch. Do not flip the blintz to cook the other side. Use a spatula to take the blintz out of the pan and place it on a plate.
  • Keep the blintzes separated by pieces of parchment paper, wax paper, or paper towels. This will help keep them from sticking together.
  • When all of the blintzes are cooked, create your filling. Put all of the filling ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a fork to mix all ingredients together.
  • Now you’re going to stuff and wrap up your blintzes! Place a blintz browned-side facing upward. Put 3 tbsp of filling on the lower part of the browned blintz, about an inch from the edge.
  • Fold the lower edge of the blintz up over the filling.
  • Fold the sides of the blintz inward, as though you’re folding an envelope.
  • Roll the blintz up and over the filling like a burrito, tucking the edges in as you roll.
  • When the blintzes are stuffed and rolled, the less cooked side will be showing outside. Now you are ready to fry them. Pour 1/2 cup of frying oil into the skillet and heat over medium until hot. Do not let the oil turn brown or start smoking—if this happens, discard the oil and try again. Cook the blintzes in batches of 3--this will give you space to turn them easily in the pan. Carefully place the stuffed blintzes flap-side down into the hot oil. The blintzes should fry for 1 to 2 minutes until they’re brown and crispy.
  • Turn the blintzes carefully using a spatula and/or tongs, then fry for an additional 1 - 2 minutes. Blintzes should be evenly browned on both sides.
  • Serve blintzes warm. They can be served as-is or made extra special by topping with a dollop of Clover Cream on Top Vanilla Yogurt.
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Kobete – Sephardic Savory Meat Pie http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/kobete-sephardic-savory-meat-pie/ http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2016/12/kobete-sephardic-savory-meat-pie/#comments Sun, 11 Dec 2016 19:23:47 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39755 A recipe from our Israeli family. Similar to Turkish kobete, but made with a filling of meat, tomatoes, potatoes and pine nuts.... Read More]]>

Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.com

 

On our recent trip to Israel, my husband took a walk on the street where he grew up– Ness Ziona, which translates to Miracle of Zion. It’s a cute little street in Tel Aviv, not far from our hotel on the edge of the Mediterranean sea. As he neared the apartment building where he was born, he was flooded with memories of his mom’s cooking. She was Sephardic, seventh generation Israeli from Haifa, so many recipes my husband grew up with had a distinctly Sephardic influence. None of her home-cooked recipes made him happier than kobete.

Kobete is a meat-filled savory pie, a filling and hearty entree for a cold winter day. Nobody in our family is sure of the origins of this particular recipe. Similar kobete meat pies are made in Turkey with seasoned chicken as a filling. My husband’s mom’s version is quite different, featuring seasoned ground beef, potatoes, tomatoes and pine nuts. She is no longer with us, so sadly I can’t ask her about the dish. My best guess is that they had a friend, or neighbor, who shared the Turkish version of this recipe. Then my husband’s mom, a very creative cook, developed her own version. However it came to be, it is very tasty. Every winter, without fail, my husband requests it. As soon as we got back from Israel, I knew I had to make it for him.

This is a heavy entree, so best reserved for colder weather. The savory spiced meat, tomato and potato filling is hearty and full of flavor. A flaky, golden, sesame-coated crust bakes around the filling. I think this may very well be my husband’s all-time favorite dish. If he is having a rough week, a warm batch of kobete never fails to cheer him up. It’s cozy comfort food, just right for a chilly evening.

Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.com

Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes (2 large baking potatoes), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground lamb, or a mixture
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds

You will also need

  • 9x13 inch glass baking dish, baking sheet, nonstick skillet, large mixing bowl, clean kitchen towel, pastry brush.
Total Time: 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Defrost puff pastry. Place a rack in the lower part of the oven and place baking sheet on it. Preheat oven and baking sheet to 425 degrees F.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze them firmly over the sink to remove excess juice. Dice the tomatoes, place them in a colander, and sprinkle them with 2 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp salt. Let them sit while you prepare your other ingredients.
  • Warm 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute until aromatic. Mix in the diced potatoes. Cover the pan and let the potatoes cook for 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until the potatoes start to get tender. If the potatoes begin to stick, add a little water to the skillet and continue stirring to loosen them.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comAfter 8 minutes, pour the potatoes and onion mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add your ground meat, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste (I usually use ¾ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp of pepper). Sauté the meat for a few minutes, breaking apart the meat with a metal spatula, until it is half-cooked—half pink, half browned, and well mixed with the seasonings.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comDrain off the excess liquid from the tomatoes in the colander, then gather the tomatoes in a clean kitchen towel, wrapping it up in a bundle. Squeeze the kitchen towel firmly to remove excess moisture from the tomatoes. Reserve.
  • If you’re using pine nuts, toast them for a few minutes in a small skillet.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comPour the ground meat into the mixing bowl with the potatoes, then add the chopped parsley, the drained tomatoes and the pine nuts. Stir to blend all ingredients.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comRoll out your two puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface to rough 11x15 inch rectangles. Lightly grease the baking dish. Gently spread one piece of puff pastry over the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comPour the meat mixture into the puff pastry in an even layer.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comLay the second piece of puff pastry over the top of the dish. Trim off the excess dough.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comFold the edges over to make a ridge and seal using the tines of a fork.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comWhisk together the egg yolk with 2 tsp of water. Brush the top of the pie with a thin layer of the egg yolk.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comSprinkle with sesame seeds. Pierce the top of the pie a few times to vent.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.comPlace the assembled pie onto the preheated baking sheet in the bottom of the oven. Bake the kobete for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for 30-40 minutes longer until the crust is golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow pie to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.
  • Kobete - Sephardic Savory Meat Pie on ToriAvey.com
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Holiday Gift Guide 2016: Books http://toriavey.com/toris-corner/2016/12/holiday-gift-guide-2016-books/ http://toriavey.com/toris-corner/2016/12/holiday-gift-guide-2016-books/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2016 21:07:58 +0000 http://toriavey.com/?p=39595 Tori's guide to holiday book-giving - cookbooks, novels, food history, biographies and more!... Read More]]>

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Tori’s Guide to Holiday Book-Giving – Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

The holidays are upon us! This year I’m trying not to overdo the whole gift-giving thing in favor of embracing the holiday spirit and giving to charitable causes. That said, there are some people on my list that I always give to, even if it’s something small and from the heart. Books are some of my favorite gift items. They’re thoughtful, personal and spread knowledge… plus they are usually somewhat reasonable for a holiday budget.

Looking for some ideas of your own? Below is a mix of cookbooks, history books and few novels that I enjoy and will likely be giving as gifts this year. I hope my list sparks some ideas for you. Happy shopping!

A note to my kosher readers – not all of these cookbooks work within the kosher dietary restrictions. Please read the descriptions of the books carefully to determine if they are the right choice for you and your family.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Irvin Lin: Marbled, Swirled and Layered

I adore Irvin, and his cookbook is at the top of my gift-giving list. While I haven’t had time to blog about it yet this season, I highly recommend Irvin’s work – he’s an artist, a gifted baker and an all-around amazing guy.


Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

This book has been around for a while, but I can’t remember if I’ve ever recommended it here on the blog. It’s a fascinating read, full of little-known American food history.

 

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

 Tracy Chevalier – At the Edge of the Orchard

I haven’t had a chance to read this novel yet, but the premise intrigues me with its connection to the history of Johnny Appleseed. I will likely gift this one to myself!

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Maria Speck is a treasure, and this cookbook is her crown jewel. Filled with innovative and delicious ways to incorporate a variety of grains into your diet, it also features some fascinating grain history. Believe it or not, she also offers gluten free substitutions for most of the recipes– so even those who are grain-free can enjoy!

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Jane Ziegelman – 97 Orchard

Jane Ziegelman’s 97 Orchard is a must-have for any history buff with a culinary interest. If you already own it, Ziegelman and co-author Andrew Coe came out with a new one this year – A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Various Authors – The Puffin in Bloom Collection (Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Little Women, A Little Princess)

 This gorgeous collection pairs the beautiful artwork of Anna Bond with some of my favorite classic titles, including my very favorite Anne of Green Gables. This is an exquisite set for the feminine literary person in your life.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Rawia Bishara – Olives, Lemons and Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking

I haven’t had a chance to cook from this book yet, but the title alone has me excited to check it out!

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

My friends Julie and Lisa have put together a terrific collection of easy recipes for the home cook. Great for busy families or cooks who are just starting out, the recipes are non-intimidating and the writing is fun, light and funny. Here’s a more detailed post about the book if you’re curious and want to learn more!

The vegan lifestyle is gaining popularity globally for its health benefits, environmental sustainability, and for helping to preserve animal lives. Angela Liddon is a popular vegan blogger, and her new book is sure to please anybody on your list who follows a vegan diet. (Also, just FYI, I have a vegan category on my website filled with creative and tasty plant-based recipes!)

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

For the Jewish foodie, there is no greater gift than the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by my late friend Gil Marks. Gil was a regular contributor to my website who had a wealth of knowledge about the history of Jewish cuisine. I learn something new every time I return to this book, and I truly miss Gil’s influence on our culinary culture.

 —
Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Maureen Abood – Rose Water and Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from my Lebanese Kitchen

This is another cookbook that I am excited to try! While I haven’t cooked from it yet, the title doesn’t disappoint. My family loves Lebanese cuisine!

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

The consummate gift for anybody who loves to cook, Julia’s master volume of French recipes is an important part of our culinary history. I’ve cooked many recipes from it, and I love channeling Julia in the kitchen. She’s a true inspiration.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Walter Isaacson – Einstein: His Life and Universe

This incredible biography of Albert Einstein sheds light on the man, the myth, and the mystery of his genius. Isaacson’s work is especially meaningful to me now, as I have recently started working with the Albert Einstein Foundation to help honor Einstein’s legacy and inspire the geniuses of tomorrow.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

I’ve recently gotten back into Persian cooking; my good friend took me to a Persian market, and the plethora of colorful ingredients proved wildly inspirational. This gorgeous book looks like the perfect way to deepen our understanding of the cuisine.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!
 

Pie lovers, take note! Kate McDermott’s Art of Pie is a wondrous journey into the delectable world of crusts and fillings. That photo makes me want to grab a slice right off the cover!

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!
Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus
I really enjoyed this novel, which follows a fantastical journey into the dueling worlds of two magicians. A fun and imaginative read.

We eat vegetarian most of the time. I’m looking forward to exploring this book to see what new ideas it might spark for our family meals.

 

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!
I’ll admit to being more than a little obsessed with the writings of Jane Austen. This beautifully bound set of her classics would make a lovely gift for any Jane-ophile in your circle.

Tori's Guide to Holiday Book-Giving - Cookbooks, Novels, History, Biographies and More!

Yotam Ottolenghi – Jerusalem: A Cookbook

 Anybody who loves Israeli cooking must check out Jerusalem, which chronicles the complex food story of this charged, energetic, spiritually diverse part of our world.

 Affiliate links help to support my website and the free recipe content I provide. A percentage of any purchase you make via these links will go towards buying ingredients, photography supplies and server space, as well as all the other expenses involved in running a large cooking website. Thank you very much for browsing!

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