Orange Syrup Cake with Candied Oranges

Coming back to this space, to write and share has proven much more difficult than I imagined. I seem to let something, anything, steal my time away from here. It could be in deference to my current reality (houseful of wild children) but I think it's something more. More like that my imperfect perfectionist in me is constantly overcritical in an almost paralyzing way. My images are never quite right, my words don't exactly flow, my recipes probably not the most creative. I know I could do better, yet instead of fueling my desire to improve, these feelings leave me deflated and rather indifferent. Nonsense, you might say, or at least I hope you'd say, because surely it should be. I often lose sight of the value of the process, of the natural progression that inches me closer to my goals each time I cook, write, and photograph. But I'm going to simply disregard it all and just share as much as I can all the recipes and photos that have accumulated in my computer. And I'm sure things will turn out imperfectly perfect.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna

 I suppose we should get reacquainted. I’ve been terrible at blogging the past few months, but I’ve got some good excuses and I’m sure you’ll agree. Well, first there’s the new baby. He’s all of 12 weeks and we’re absolutely smitten. We’ve been too busy eating him up with loads of kisses. I’m amazed anew at the miracle of life and the magic of motherhood and I’ve been trying to be as present and mindful as I can with this little one. Also, I’ve been easing back into my new reality. Other projects’ deadlines became a priority and the real reason I got back into the kitchen to get creative. The good news is that I have so many recipes to share in the coming weeks.

Cherry Tomato, Olive and Artichoke Pasta

There’s only been a (Jewish) new year, a few holidays, the end of summer (though I’m still melting over here in LA), and a slew of other major and minor milestones since the last time I was here. No big deal. I’ve been keeping quite busy with some projects, which I can’t wait to share. But between the whirl of September and the tight deadlines, I feel like I’ve been on a constant sprint to cross things off that bottomless to do list. After holiday cooking, running errands and manning my delicious, rambunctious crew of kids, all I’m looking forward to come Monday is the bliss of routine and the (relative) calm of a regular week.
I made this pasta for my daughter’s sixth (sixth!) birthday a few months ago and it was such a hit, I was secretly wishing there’d be leftovers. And there was; a bowlful, just for me. This dish came together haphazardly in an attempt to use up whatever was in my fridge and pantry. I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome and secretly relieved. I just love it when simple ingredients yield amazing results and in no time, too. I would also a handful of feta cheese for the extra saltiness. This is a pasta dish I’m surely going to revisit, because nothing screams routine more than quick, comfort food. And that’s the direction I’m heading in.

Za'atar Baked Salmon

Though I've always been attracted to simple recipes that yield a lot of flavor, I find myself falling back on even simpler ones; especially in the summer. Maybe it's the unbearable heat that has me looking for ways to get out of the kitchen or the desire to spend more time with my family sitting on the floor building lego forts. I find having these 3-4 ingredient meals that are ready in 15 minutes indispensable. And that's how I've come to include this Za'atar salmon in my repertoire. It's not much of a recipe; some spices and oil and a quick bake yields the perfect results despite the minimal effort.

© the kosher spoon
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