I’m always interested in ice cream, no matter where it’s from. But probably the most intriguing one I’ve ever come across was booza, an ice cream thickened, not with eggs or cornstarch, but with sahleb and mastic.

Republic of Booza was opened by Jilbert El-Zmetr and Michael Sadler, along with two business partners, in Brooklyn, New York, bringing this ice cream stateside. Jilbert owned a booza company in Sydney, Australia with his sister, and through one of his business partners, met Michael, an Oxford scholar, who studied Arabic and was traveling through the Middle East when he discovered this style of ice cream.

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Some people get irked when they want to make a cocktail recipe, and as they gather the ingredients, they find that some things are hard to get, or too expensive, and before you know it (as I do, very well), you’re doing a scavenger hunt across town, sleuthing out some elusive ingredient. Enter The One-Bottle Cocktail, by Maggie Hoffman. Before I saw the book, from…

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Plum Sorbet

When I wrote the first edition of The Perfect Scoop. I only allowed myself to use the word “refreshing “ once, which I’m pretty sure I did. When you write a book, there’s a tendency to include everything that you possibly can, but a number of things can nudge them out, such as having photos, which everyone loves. So although I included Plum-Blackberry Swirl Ice…

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When Anissa Helou told me she was writing a book on the foods of the Islamic world, I was surprised, and a little curious. I didn’t know much about the food, but I am always drawn to the flavors, and ingredients used: Lots of vegetables, olive oil, pulses, grains, olives, spices, handmade cheeses and flatbreads, fresh fish, and grilled meats. In short, the kind of food…

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Of all the favorite finds I’ve come across in the last few years, one (or two) of my favorites have been these mini sheet pans. Most professional bakers use what are called full sheet pans, or half sheet pans. They’re inexpensive, so there’s always a good-sized stack of them in any restaurant or bakery, and they can pretty much stand up to anything, although in…

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I love a big salad, especially in the summer. Actually, a big bowl of greens, one that includes lots of crunchy things, is one of my favorite things at any time of the year. My default dressing is a French vinaigrette, which is sometimes slightly creamy, courtesy of a large dollop of Dijon mustard, but it’s fun to swap out another dressing from time-to-time for…

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Banana Bread

I’ve been thinking about Banana Bread lately, mostly due to an assortment of bananas that are taking up valuable real estate in my freezer. Another issue that’s taken up (valuable) space in my brain has been trying to understand the difference between Banana Bread and Banana Cake. I’ve been trying to come up with an explanation but just can’t think of one. Could just be the shape? But we don’t…

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We find ourselves eating in, rather than going out, more than not. For one thing, the food is often better, or just simpler. Maybe I’m getting grouchy, but after a recipe trip where I ate out at every meal, all I wanted was a plate of grilled fish or roasted chicken, and some vegetables. Or just a simple salad with some bread and cheese. Another…

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Hawaii

It’s not every day, or every year (or every decade, unfortunately) that I get to spend some time with my family in Los Angeles. So I was excited by the chance to join them, not in L.A., but in Hawaii. Europeans don’t generally go to Hawaii because of the distance, I suspect, and because there are other tropical islands closer to home that don’t require…

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