Bertie, Tel Aviv.

When I talk about Tel Aviv, my eyes light up. It will always be my first love. It is the place where I worked my first real job, had my first alcoholic drink, my first night club outing  and the place for many other firsts that I just  won’t mention here. There are always people everywhere, the bars are always full , the beaches are crowded with beautiful people and the cafes alive at odd hours of the night.  My favorite thing to do is grab a Tel -O-Fun Bike and cruise through the streets, dropping off the bike at different stops, shopping at my favorite food stores and then ending my ride at a restaurant that looks nice from the outside.

Tel Aviv And Beach Along The Coast


I have to share one of my favorite places in Tel Aviv, it is called Bertie.   Bertie is located in the heart of Tel Aviv, just a couple blocks from Dizengoff on Ha Melekch King George ( Ha Melech King George 88). For some reason, it doesn’t look as busy as  many other restaurants from outside  (on the days that I have been)  but once you go in there, you feel like you have unlocked a hidden treasure. The style is Mediterranean, like a sweet Greek restaurant with a touch of romance, a quiet but classy feel with staff that are genuinely sweet and welcoming.

The food is top notch. Everytime I go I order this dish.

photo (23)This has to be my idea of the perfect Shrimp dish. First of all, nice and large Crystal shrimp,  sitting atop of some roasted eggplant, tahini and just the right amount of cooked tomatoes and some salty feta cheese. It’s the combination of these taste of the sea and the taste of homemade, married in one dish. Bertie ‘s prices are reasonably priced especially for seafood in the area. Some other dishes we ordered and loved were the Fattoush salad, grilled chicken in orange and chili sauce and sea fish ceviche on a salad of cabbage with roasted almonds. If you like seafood, I highly recommend this hidden gem.

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This is a guest post by dietician, Ilanit Fananes.

An Easy Guide to Getting More Iron

Making sure we get enough iron in our diets isn’t always high on our list of priorities. Here is a quick explanation of everything you need to know about iron intake and how to easily incorporate more into your diet.

Why is iron so important? Iron is a component of hemoglobin – a protein which resides inside the red blood cells and carries oxygen to all the cells in the body. We need oxygen to live and so we need iron! Anaemia is classed as a low concentration of hemoglobin in the blood. Signs include feeling weak, tired, dizzy and looking pale. Symptoms won’t show right away…only when our reserves get low. Therefore we want to try to keep ourselves topped up.

Who is at risk?

-Women that menstruate or are pregnant and lose blood or are required to produce a lot more and so need larger reserves.

-Vegans and vegetarians are also at risk because they don’t eat meat – the best supplier of iron.

Diet plays a part in iron levels for everyone, although this isn’t the only factor. It is, however, something that we have control over and can change.

Bowls with tahini paste and roasted sesame seeds

Meat sources

-It is well known that red meat is a very rich source of iron, and also well known that eating too much red meat is unhealthy for your heart. Treating yourself to a steak now and then is fine, but relying on red meat as a main source of iron is not a good idea!

-Other options such as turkey and fish are also high in iron but much healthier. Turkey can be easily added into a stir-fry or curry, and fish is great served simply with spinach and tomatoes.

Non-meat sources

-Vegetarians and vegans are able to receive all the iron that they need from non-meat sources. Legumes are a rich source (beans, lentils, pulses, peas).

-Nuts and seeds are great, although have high levels of fat and shouldn’t be consumed too much. Green leaves such as spinach, green cabbage and parsley are also high in iron. A great idea for vegetarians is to make a salad and mix greens with nuts and beans. Raw tahini is high in iron, low in fat, and great as a salad dressing.


Kitchenbug offers a huge collection of great iron rich recipes. Sign up to Kitchenbug now. You’ll love it. Just type iron in Kitchenbug’s search bar and you will get hundreds of iron rich recipes.

-Increase iron absorbency by ingesting vitamin C at the same time as the iron rich source! Simply add tomatoes or a splash of lemon or orange juice to your dish for a vitamin C boost.

-Ditch the caffeine! Tea, coffee, cocoa, cola….all disrupt the absorption of iron and so are best avoided.

Kitchenbug- unnamed recipes


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November 5, 2014 · 4:28 am

American Lamb Jam

I just wanted to share information about a really fun event happening next week.

photo credit:

photo credit:

From the press release:

American Lamb Jam.

On Sunday, November 2, 16 top Seattle chefs and more than 750 lamb ‘lovers will gather at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center for the Global Flavors Lamb Jam

Tour, the annual multi-city culinary cook-off where the people decide which chefs have earned their
“chops” by voting on inventive American lamb dishes.
Competing for the titles of “Best in Show,” “People’s Choice” and “Best Mediterranean, Asian, Latin and
Middle Eastern inspired dishes,” chefs will prepare and serve their most flavorful American lamb fare to
be voted on by lamb-loving attendees and judged by Seattle’s top food media. The Seattle victor will go
head-to-head with other winners representing cities from coast to coast, vying for the title of “Lamb Jam
Master” at the Lamb Jam finale in New York City in late 2015.
Seattle chefs include Manny Arce of Poquitos, Chris Opsata of Brass Tacks and Mike Wisenhunt of
Brimmer & Heeltap. Last year’s winner, Chef Sarah Lorenzen of Andaluca, took home two trophies,
including “Best in Show” and “Best in Ground” for her dish, Fresh Lamb Sausage Socce with
Pomegranate Tomato Jam and will be back this year to defend her titles.
Attend a “Curriculamb VIP Pre-Jam”
Get early access to the Lamb Jam starting at 1:30 pm with a VIP pass to the Curriculamb Class. Guests
will taste and learn about American lamb from Northwest shepherd Reed Anderson of Anderson
Ranches and Chef Holly Smith of Café Juanita. Together, chef and shepherd will offer a butchery demo,
prepare American lamb appetizers and provide home cooking tips and wine pairing recommendations.
Tickets to the VIP Curriculamb Class are $75 and must be purchased in advance. VIP tickets also provide
entry to the full competitive cook off event, plus an American lamb swag bag.
Join the Flock with a General Admission ticket
Lamb Jam general admission begins at 2:30 – 5 pm. Tickets are $60 and provide an opportunity to
sample 16 globally inspired lamb dishes, taste Washington’s best brews and wine, mingle with local
shepherds, visit the DIY spice rub station to mix a take-home tin of lamb rub, and vote for Lamb Jam
What: Sample globally-inspired lamb dishes from 16 of Seattle’s finest chefs. Visit for the complete lineup and to
purchase VIP and general admission tickets.
When: Sunday, November 2
VIP admission 1:00 – 2:30pm
Main Event 2:30 – 5:00pm
Where: Bell Harbor International Conference Center
2211 Alaskan Way, Pier 66
Seattle, WA 98121
Organized by the American Lamb Board, a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the University District
Food Bank. Visit the Seattle Lamb Jam website and Facebook page for tickets and information. About the American Lamb Board
The American Lamb Board is an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board that
represents all sectors of the American Lamb industry including producers, feeders, seed stock producers
and processors. The Board, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, is focused on increasing demand
by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. The
work of the American Lamb Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the board’s
programs are supported and implemented by the staff in Denver, Colorado.
# # #

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A Trip Through Italy


This is a Guest post by Coral Sisk, author of Curious Appetite  a food blog of Italian travel and enogastronomy. Coral is currently in Seattle starting a business of Italian travel consults and gourmet tours. Thanks to the networking power of Foodportunity, she is now collaborating with the Pike Place Market this fall for a market tour and cooking demo in late October. This culinary event at the Pike Place Market will demonstrate farm-to-table cooking with Tuscan Gnudi while tasting though the Pike Place Market. You can connect with Coral on facebook as Curious Appetite and twitter as “Curious Appetite.”



How to make Italian Gnudi


Part of my job in Italy was to occasionally assist cooks during cooking classes and we made an array of traditional Tuscan recipes. As a result, one of the recipes I mastered was Tuscan Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi dumplings. Let me start by explaining what exactly are Gnudi. In Italian, nudo means naked. And in Tuscan, gnudo (pronounced like gnocchi) means naked as well. Gnudi are what I like to call “naked ravioli,” after all ricotta and spinach are a common filling for ravioli. Essentially- gnudi is a peasant food! Can you believe it? Velvety ricotta, nutty aged sheep’s milk cheese and spinach…poor man’s food? Why yes! Ri-cotta means “re-cooked.” It is the leftover whey from making more noble cheeses like mozzarella and fior di latte. This is part of the reason why the Italians are genius. They found delicious ways to sneak in every part of food so nothing would go to waste.


Gnudi are made by mixing various quantities of ricotta, grated sheep’s milk pecorino, chopped cooked spinach flour, egg (to glue it all together!) plus salt and pepper. The secret ingredient in this is: fresh, ground nutmeg. The mixture is portioned out in small rounds and rolled in flour to give it a protective coating for cooking.


Here are more details for a recipe:


Serves 6-8 people

  • 8oz (1 cup firmly packed) of cooked, chopped spinach
  • 16oz fresh sheep’s ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz (¼ cup) grated pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese
  • fresh, ground nutmeg
  • salt
  • ¼ cup “00” flour for both the mixture and additional for the coating

Gnudi Sage and Butter Sauce:

  • 12 sage leaves
  • 160g (5 3/4 oz)  butter

grated pecorino or parmesan cheese for final topping

How to:

  • Cook the spinach in lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes. OR thaw out some frozen chopped spinach. Drain spinach well and once cooled, chop spinach pretty finely.
  • Prepare a bowl to make the cheese mixture. Combine ricotta, parmesan, chopped (cooled) spinach, sifted “00” flour, eggs and some nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork. The mixture should be pretty smooth.
  • Sprinkle your work surface or a large plate with some flour and start to mold out some gnudi by hand! Make sure the rounds are about 2 tablespoons big- think goldilocks here. Not too big, not too small.
  • Prepare a pot of salted water and bring to boil. Lightly drop the gnudi into your pot. The gnudi need 5 minutes to cook. In the meantime, melt the butter in a small pan with the sage leaves. If overcooked, the butter will turn brown and the sage leaves will burn.
  • When your 5 minutes have passed, toss the cooked gnudi with the melted butter and sage sauce and add some grated pecorino cheese to each plate of gnudi. Gnudi are also tasty with your favorite tomato based sauce.


Gnudi are quite filling- don’t let the portion size mislead you! I would say about 4-6 gnudi a person is a good portion to aim for. Remember- these are pure cheese balls! If you are like me and believe that a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine, I recommend pairing gnudi with a light Tuscan Chianti red wine or a rich, dry Chardonnay, Viognier…otherwise a dry prosecco would also be just fine if you are also like me and look for any reason to sneak in bubbly.


If you will be in Seattle this Fall, I will be offering a Market Tour and cooking demo of Tuscan Gnudi at the Pike Place Market. In Late October, I will be taking folks to taste through the markets and meet its best purveyors of the Pacific Northwest bounty and follow up with a hands-on cooking demo (and light lunch) of these Tuscan Gnudi! Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets here: 10% of the ticket proceeds goes towards the Pike Place Market Foundation. Hope to cook and taste with you this Fall at the market!





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Tejava Ice Tea Now in the Northwest

Last month, I got invited to a dinner at Staple & Fancy in collaboration with Tejava  teas. Yes, I went to two media dinners in one week at Staple &Fancy.  I love Staple & Fancy and love tea. I confess, I am not a big coffee drinker anymore, it just doesn’t do it for me.  But tea, I love tea and just about every time I go to a cafe I order tea so I was eager to taste the Tejava tea and have a full dinner infused with tea.   The event was held in the private dining room hidden downstairs known as ” The Cellar”.   The room is a hidden gem for events or private dinners with a warm, woodsy feel, the perfect atmosphere for a candlelight dinner party.

I got to sit next to the dietician, Jennifer Adler, who was hosting the event. She was just so gracious, ambitious and inspiring and is coming out with a book soon.   I made the mistake of reading an exerpt from her book right when I got home and my kids found me bawling on the stairs,my mascara running down my face.  When you meet Jennifer, all you see is someone who is beautiful and genuinely happy but there is a deeper story behind this. She comes from a background of poverty and neglect, her parents barely called her by her first name, she was just a kid to them. And her story, tells it all about how she battled so many demons and grew into a healthy, beautiful person who didn’t let her past hold her back.  I found myself slowing down as I read it, to make sure I could savor some more of her words, if I had her book in my hands, I would have not put it down until it was done.  Now I can not wait until her book comes out!

The food was incredible, salmon that melts in your mouth, house-made burrata with figs and every dish infused with just a bit of this tea.   I love this product because it has a bold, black tea flavor with no sugar, just the way tea should be. I am hooked! They just moved into the Northwest Market and can be found at Whole Foods.

Tejava atmosphere



dates and cheese





beautiful RF

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Quorn Dinner at Staple & Fancy

A few weeks ago, I was invited to taste Quorn for the first time at a media event at Staple & Fancy.  I am a huge fan of all of Ethan Stowell restaurants, especially Staple & Fancy and How to Cook a Wolf.   It was in the private dining room called The Cellar.

I have to admit, I was really curious about trying Quorn because I eat quite a few meatless meals a week on a daily basis.  I recently found out that Quorn foods just  launched in the US and can be found in many grocery stores.

The product is made of Mycoprotein. Quorn is  known as fungal protein, is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “the albuminoid which is the principal constituent of the protoplasm of the cell.” “Myco” is from the Greek word for “fungus” (from Wikipedia).  To read more about it on Wikipedia, click here.

In most of the dishes, you could not tell it wasn’t actually real meat. The meat sauce actually tastes like ground beef especially alongside the hand-made pasta.  It is actually pretty amazing that you can get this flavor without meat.   There was a also a mock chicken dish that tasted very close to chicken. I have to say that the ground beef was my favorite but the chicken was a nice substitute too. We also tried chicken nuggets and Quorn nuggets and it was hard to differentiate between them ( very close in taste) though I wouldn’t eat chicken nuggets anyway.




quornIt is nice to know that there is an option if you are not eating meat, that has a flavor that is close to meat flavor. As somebody who is lactose-intolerant, I have tried every type of “fake” cheese and I have not found a brand that actually tastes like real cheese, I wish there were other options. I do still eat cheese with a lactose pill but it would be nice to be able to just swap a slice of cheese for something with a good flavor.

The event was orchestrated by  the folks at Quorn along with Traca, from Seattle Tall Poppy, and they brought some amazing people together to break bread and try  Quorn.

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Crave Urban Campfire Party – Aug 21 Giveaway for Tix

Jumping Woman Outlines

I want to tell you about a wonderful event that is coming up  next week called Urban Campfire Party. This event is coordinated by Melody Biringer, one of the most inspiring women around. Melody is known for bringing together the most creative and life-changing people into events and giving you new perspectives on life. She is also the lady behind the Crave books that you see in all the stores, events all over the country, an author and just so much more. 

If you are looking for some inspiration, to connect with smart and interesting women or just to have a good time. You are not going to want to miss this event.  Giveaway: I have two tickets to the event for a lucky winner. To win, just tell me how you like to eat your S’mores in the comments ( Melody loves S’mores). Read her interview here The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, the 19th. Don’t hesitate to purchase tickets because if you win, she will reimburse you.

Buy tickets here

The schedule: 

Urban Campfire is designed to engage women in authentic conversations about business, relationships and life. We are kickin’ it old school with a powerful and time-tested form of connection – storytelling.

August 20th – 7:00pm | Urban Campfire Pre-Funk: The Night Before (Mingling and S’more Making)August 21st – 10:00am-6:00pm | Urban Campfire: The Main Event, Happy Hour and Dance Music

Here’s the down-low on the day’s flow:

10:00am – 11:00am Register and prepare to be inspired – come early to get in on the Girl’s Lounge

10:00am – 10:15am Meditation
10:15am – 11:00am Yoga & Stretching
10:15am – 11:00am Discover Your Confidence Signature

11:00am Melody Biringer kicks off Urban Campfire
By sharing her own story, Melody Biringer invites attendees to get personal. Revealing her own vulnerabilities and desire to be inspired, she spearheads the erasing of barriers that ensures the formation of deep connections. This simple but transformational idea continues to be the trademark of her success.

11:15 – 12:30 Guest Speakers – TED Talk style
Kick the “shoulds” to the curb. Throw the five-year plan out the window. Define your own life and own your style. You too can learn how to thrive in challenging times.

12:30 – 1:30 Campfire Stories and Lunch
Facilitated breakout session on the topic – “What in our lives has influenced us the most? Who and what has made us who we are?”

1:30 – 2:30 Guest Speakers – TED Talk style
Our speakers share their superstar secrets on owning your worth, and following your inner barometer in order to lead a more fulfilling life.

  • Kate Dowling “I Own My Style”
  • Stephanie Johnson – “Exercising Authenticity.”
  • Susan Hyatt – “This Is My Body. Got A Problem With That?”

2:30 – 3:30 Campfire Stories and Dessert
Facilitated breakout session on the topic – What do you CRAVE? We will identify what we love and why, to Own Your Style.

3:30 – 4:30 Guest Speakers – TED Talk style
Our last group of inspiring speakers take the stage.

  • Tory Johnson – “No Pill, Potion or Plan Trumps Patience and Perseverance: Why Giving Yourself The Luxury of Time (in a ‘right now’ world) Can Be The Best Gift”
  • Shasta Nelson – “Reclaiming My Identity Through A Calling from Left-Field”
  • Dondeena Bradley – “#silversurfer”
  • Andrea Scott “I Own My Style”
  • Shelley Zalis  “Confidence is Beautiful”

5:00 – 6:00 Happy Hour, Dance Music and S’mores
Meet and greet speakers, get your hair chalked or braided, join us in the girl’s lounge for meditation, yoga and stretching and discover your confidence signature, enjoy bites from our special kitchen surfing chefs and sample cypress cheese, make a S’more and bust a move.

Join us for making genuine “off line” connections.

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