Plum Crumb Cake

September 9, 2012

It happens every time I go to the market. I walk in with a mental checklist of things I need, and I walk out with many things I don't need. It's the produce's fault. I get mesmerized by beautiful, blemish-free, ripe, sweet-smelling, juicy fruit. And since summer is slipping by, I'm holding onto the last inkling of perfect stone fruit by buying the prettiest ones I can find.

So naturally, I came home last week with fresh, firm, tangy red plums. I introduced them to their cousin, organic black plums, that were already sitting in my fridge, which I had two bags of. (I should start looking at what I have in the fridge before I go to the market.) So, what's a girl to do with too many plums?

Luckily, Jess from Sweet Amandine posted a marvelous recipe the very same day. Divine providence, I tell you. She made Plum Crumb Bars and convinced me to make them too. Check out her blog and you'll see how her effortless writing, which is humorous and witty, has a power to get you to make what she's cooking. She describes fruits and spices like characters in a novel. Love that.

So with my abundance of plums and her ginger-is-so-fall message, I set out to make her Plum Crumb Bars, which I turned into a Plum Crumb Cake. The smell, taste, and warmth of Fall in a nutshell. 

(my daughter is being the perfect assistant: tasting the subject)

The cake came out perfect: not too sweet, moist but firm, and smelling like the aroma of fall. I'll definitely be coming back to this recipe, especially since it was so effortless to make. I didn't even need to bring out my mixer. I used my hand to combine all the ingredients, put it in a pan and placed it in the oven.

There are endless variations you can come up with, as well. You can try apples, and add chopped pecans to the topping. Or even venture to make it with figs, or blueberries. Whatever you overbought at the market, of course.

This would also be lovely served warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream and berries on top. Enjoy this versatile recipe and let it bring you into the feeling of fall.

oh and if you haven't entered yet, you can leave a comment here to win a cookbook!

Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous

September 4, 2012

Yey, there's another food bloggers party. And of course, I joined. It's a lot of fun uniting with the many, many other food bloggers to post recipes that have a shared theme. You witness and explore the unique ideas and original interpretations fellow foodies have on various dishes.

So when Jessie of Taste and Miriam of Overtime Cook mentioned a Jewish Holiday Blog Party, sponsored by Kitchen Aid no less, I was excited. It is the perfect way to ease into the Rosh Hashanah spirit and get inspired by the recipes. (Yes, many involve Apples and Pomegranate. Mine included.)

Rosh Hashanah is one of my favorite holidays, even though it comes with conflicting emotions: excitement and trepidation. Excitement to get back into the rhythm of Yom Tov, which means cooking, eating, spending quality family time, reading, praying, and more. Yet trepidation because of the significance of the day, it is after all called Judgement day. Dramatic, I know, but true nonetheless.

So for now, ill just focus on the fun part: the food.

I chose a twist on the classic Moroccan couscous. I wanted it to be sweet, yet savory. A perfect side dish, a complement to any main course you choose to make. And most importantly, an easy one, since time is precious when multiple meals need to be made.

Meet your new favorite side dish: Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous.

The couscous is dressed up in sweetened raisins, golden almonds, and bejeweled with red, tart pomegranate seeds. It's sure to please the eye, as well as the palate.

 So as the pomegranate start rolling into the market, and you crowd them into your overfilled shopping cart, until they spill out of their bag and onto your counters,  remember to lovingly adorn your food with its seeds. For a fruitful year. Plentiful, and sweet.

Pomegranate, Almond, and Raisin Couscous

½ cup of sliced almonds
½ cup of raisins
¼ cup of pomegranate seeds 
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1 ½ cups of packaged couscous
1 ½ cups of boiling water water

In a large bowl, place the uncooked couscous, season with salt and pour the 1 ½ cups of water. Stir, cover, and set aside.
In skillet, heat the oil on medium heat. Sautee the almonds and raisins. Dissolve the sugar in 2 tablespoons of water and pour over mixture. Stir constantly, until the almonds are golden. Remove from heat; transfer onto a plate.
Before serving, assemble fluff the couscous, add the raisins and almonds, and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds. Garnish with parsley.

{Happy New Year}

Challah and Bread: 
Marlene of The Jewish Hostess made Apple Challah
Amanda of The Challah Blog made Pomegranate Challah
Shelly of The Kosher Home made Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!

Sides, Salads and Starters: 
Sarah of Food, Words, Photos made Tzimmes (Rosh Hashanah Carrots)
Tali of More Quiche, Please made Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Roberta and Lois of Kosher Eye made Simanim Salad
Chanie of Busy In Brooklyn made Pomegranate Coleslaw
Rivki of Life in the Married Lane made Super Salad
Hannah of Cooking Manager made Beets Marinated with Ginger and Garlic
Sina of The Kosher Spoon made Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous 
Shulie of Food Wanderings made Rosh Hashanah Salad
Hindy of Confident Cook-Hesitant Baker made Warm Roasted Beets with Farro
Sarah of Kosher Street made Sweet Potato Apple Tzimmes

Main Dishes
Jessie of Taste made Smoked Salmon
Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Chicken with Dates
Michele of Kosher Treif Cooking made Coconut Chicken Strips with two dipping sauces
Melinda of Kitchen Tested made Key Lime Glazed Duck
Stephanie and Jessica of The Kosher Foodies made Chicken Braised in Pomegranate 
Liz of The Lemon Bowl made Beef Brisket
Estee of Anyone Interested? made Easy Breazy 5 Minute Brisket

Desserts and Drinks
Miriam of Overtime Cook made Mini Apples and Honey Tarts
Laura of Pragmatic Attic made Fresh Ginger Honey Cake
Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Honey Caramel Apple Galette
Danielle of Hugs and Cookies xoxo made The World's Best Rugelach
Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat made an Apple and Honey Cocktail
Nick of The Baking Process made Apple and Date Honey Squares
Lisa of The Monday Morning Cooking Club made Honey Chiffon Cake and Traditional Honey Cake
Leah of Cook Kosher made Pomegranate Ice Cream
Nossi of The Kosher Gastronome made Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel

And of course it's always fun to begin a new year with new things. Levana Kirschenbaum is giving away a copy of her fabulous new book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen to three lucky winners.

To enter, leave a comment on this post. You can say anything you want, but if you need help, tell me what your favorite holiday recipe is or what your new year's resolution is.
Limit one entry per reader per blog so click over to the other participating blogs for your chance at additional entries! Giveaway ends 5 am eastern time on September 11th, 2012. Prize is sponsored by Levana and available to readers from all blogs participating in the Rosh Hashanah Blog Party. Prize can only be shipped within the US. 

This is the first of hopefully many exciting Holiday Blog Parties, so if you would like to join in the fun, please email

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