It’s Here!

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The DAY is finally here! After years of exploring, cooking, planning and dreaming – Mideast to Midwest is born! I am so excited to announce the launch of our line of Hand Crafted, Mideast Inspired, Heartland Produced culinary delights! Every week we will offer our classic assortment of  items, as well as selections inspired by the season. A blog post will accompany these items, sharing with you my thoughts, inspiration and even recipes.

Just in time for your High Holiday table, weekend get together or watching a ball game: Hummus, pita, eggplant, challah, apple cake and much, much more!

Using fresh ingredients and mostly Farmers’ Market produce, these items are flavorful and light. We will offer a weekly assortment made to order with a specific pick up day that will accommodate the Holidays and the changing seasons.

Check out our menu under the Pages section on the left hand column of the website for a list of our current offerings, their description and prices. Just click the price to order any item and it will be tallied in the shopping cart in the left side column. We welcome your comments!!


For Rosh Hashanah: Simply fill in the order by 6pm on Thursday, September 18 and come with check in hand on Tuesday, September 23 between 2-6pm and pick up your order at 10900 Greenbrier Road Minnetonka, MN 55305 or contact us at 612-280-6031 to schedule a pick up time.

For Yom Kippur: Order by 6pm on Monday, September 29 and Pick up with your check on Thursday, October 2 between 2-6pm at 10900 Greenbrier Road Minnetonka, MN 55305 or contact us at 612-280-6031 to schedule a pick up time.

Summer Addiction

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Heart soaring, eyes seeking, my summer addiction gets a hold of me. I inhale the fresh cilantro, bite into the crunchy radish I wiped on my sleeve and then leisurely munch on a fragrant mint leaf – filling my mouth with fresh summer flavor. Yes, I am addicted to Farmers’ Markets; their chaotic sounds and robust aromas, their farmers weathered faces, calloused hands and kind voices– I find the markets assault on my senses addicting! I just can’t stay away!

Of course I then end up with loads of produce at home. Feathery dill and crunchy cucumbers and carrots, fuzzy apricots, leafy beets, purple shallots and delicate cilantro all rest on a tray, washed and scrubbed – awaiting their fate…

Four industrious hours later, the production line in my kitchen comes to a halt and I behold my bounty: pickled roasted beets, refrigerator dill pickles, apricot-thyme jam, pickled roasted shallots, crunchy root vegetable salad are all laid out on my counter in their colorful glory. How about that?

Would you care to join my addiction and share the spoils?

Jam Jars2

Apricot -Thyme Jam

Beets jar2

Pickled Roasted beets and Pickled Thyme Roasted Shallots

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Jaffa Flea Market

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If you want to get a sense of Israel in one afternoon, stop at the Jaffa Flea Market: Shuk Ha’Pishpeshim. Jaffa throbs with the heart beat of Israel a mixture of old crumbling buildings and contemporary architecture, sharp, stylish boutiques along with crowded and dusty thrift stores, hoity galleries and schticky shops, fancy, white linen restaurants and falafel stands, synagogues and mosques – need I go on?? Just drive down the Tel Aviv beach promenade, heading south and follow the road to and around the clock tower (See above). Park (good luck!) and walk over to the east where the market awaits.

Clock tower

Jaffa Clock Tower

Side Street

Jaffa side street apartment building with blooming Bougainvillea

My friend Jodi and her Chicago friend Laura came to Israel to volunteer on an IDF base, doing grunt work that I didn’t want to do while I was in mandatory service… Needless to say, they were both looking forward to the weekend and we decided to meet at the Jaffa Flea Market. Despite the throngs of people who filled the streets on Friday morning and the faulty phone service, we managed to find each other and embarked on our adventure. The market offers everything from the antiquated to the modern: copper pots, tarnished silver platters, Rugs from around the world and even – shell casings vases…

Copper Pots

Copper Pots

Shell casing vase

Shell casing vase

 

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A Spicy Life

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No visit home is complete without a visit to my cousin’s Rami’s spice shop. Rami and I go a long way back – Though older than I; we grew up in the same small Yemenite community in Givat Olga. As a teenager I dated one of his closest friends and we spent some memorable time double dating. He went on to marry his girlfriend, Yehudit and I moved on to other boyfriends… Since I moved to Minnesota I look forward to stopping at his store to catch up and stock up on his goodies. This last visit I stopped by with my Mom and found Rami’s son, Hod, manning the store.

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My Mom with Rami

My mother, Orah and Hod: Partners in flavor. Colors and aromas overload my system as I walk in. Everywhere I turn my eyes encounter temptation: crates of plump and juicy dried fruit await tasting, sacks of grains, beans and rice line the wall, their mouths open for touching hands.

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Plump Golden Raisins

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Minhat Ha’aretz – where faith, business and ethics converge

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This trip was to be a culinary adventure to delight the senses and the palate! On the itinerary: Artisanal cheeses and breads, organic produce, French patisseries, gourmet pizzas, boutique wineries, cooking workshops and more.  Surprisingly, my destination is not Tuscany or Provence, but Israel, which provides flavors and experience that are as delicious and authentic as the more famous destinations.

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Every visit to Israel I am delighted by the culinary variety offered wherever I travel. This fall, during my latest visit, I am nibbling my way through the country, focusing on artisanal producers. I know, tough job, right?

On a sunny, warm day, my parents and I set out to find Minhat Ha’aretz; an artisanal flour mill owned by the Nov brothers. Hidden within the dusty and noisy Hadera industrial park, the entrance to the mill is easy to overlook. A narrow door, topped by a modest sign opens into a narrow and long space, where the aroma of fresh wheat is dominant and a film of flour covers all. Roee Nov, one of the brothers, welcomed us with a shy smile, adjusting the kippah on his head. He explained that the 3 brothers, who became orthodox through their own individual journey, share a love of the land of Israel and its produce, as well as a commitment to organic products.

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Nov Brothers

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Food Trucking It!

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It was just a regular, boring Wednesday, but Fran had other plans for Betsy and I. Together, us three hardy Minnesota women braved the misty, chilly and grey day to venture downtown and explore the food truck scene. No sit down restaurant, or table service for us today, not even a bench! When we got there, Nicolette Avenue was lined up with EMT trucks; bomb squad equipment and horse-mounted police officers. Was the food that explosive? Dangerous? And where did the food trucks go?? We found out that Hennepin County emergency services were having an open house that day, so we trudged over to Marquette Avenue and were delighted to find a long line of food trucks, doing brisk business.

With so many trucks, such delicious choices, how are we to satisfy our curiosity and taste buds? So, we made a pact: we order, we bite, we SHARE! Yum!! But first – a strategy: we walk, we scope, we choose then chomp! Half way down our hungry stomachs protested the wait, while the aromas from Get Sauced crumbled the rest of our resolve to stick to the plan. We shared our first selection – an Asian chicken taco with a wasabi sauce, avocado and gingered slaw. The flavors were fresh, full and delicious. Betsy and I added some hot sauce and our mouths were happily burning… Not bad at all for a thrifty $7!

Get Sauced

Taco

Asian Chicken Tacos

Next stop was Hola Arepa, where we shared the Chimichuri Chicken Arepa. A crunchy corn pita-like pocket nestled inside it tender shredded chicken with a zesty chimichuri sauce. We all went through napkins like crazy as the sauce dripped down our chins (and onto Fran’s white shirt… oh, well, got to pay a price for flavor!) The girl at the window had great dimples, warm smiles and was gracious enough to take our garbage, since there was no garbage can in sight – what’s up with that???

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Soups with Soul

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As this winter lengthens and the snow keeps piling on our deck and yard I turn to soups to provide comfort and warmth. In the last month I have made this soup for our family, for a soup exchange party put together by my creative friend, Fran, as well as our family’s annual Super Bowl party. It is always well received and heartily enjoyed.

Hope you like it as well!

Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

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Seattle Reflections

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Children do grow up and leave home… But if you are lucky, they actually invite you to visit and stay with them. Lucky me! Got an invitation from my daughter, Leeyah, to visit her in Seattle. So, I packed my bags and set off for 5 days of college living. Yep. Stayed in her room at the house she shares with 4 other girlfriends!  Like her mother trained her she first fed me, as I left home at 5:30am (crazy, I know, but I wanted all the time I could get with my girl!)

Sandwich

Portage Bay Café here we come! Great coffee (but of course –Seattle!) and incredible pancake/French toast bar (pile it on to your heart’s content!) My heat loving palate went for the Migas: A large flour tortilla stuffed with three chipotle-cumin scrambled eggs, Tillamook medium and sharp white cheddar, fresh basil, homemade salsa and sour cream. Served with fresh avocado salsa, and roasted potatoes.

Next on the agenda, of course, was feeding them! (One good turn deserves another…)Leeyah and I shopped, chopped, diced and cooked and here are the results! (Some recipes below)

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