site stats
February 7, 2018 |

Archive for » February 7th, 2018«

Israeli Celebrity Chef Brings the Flavor

Israeli celebrity chef Hedai Offaim spoons baba ghanoush. Offaim prepared a meal for 85 guests at a fundraiser for the Israeli nonprofit Shalva. | Photos by Dan Schere

Nothing said mouth-watering like harissa-laced butternut squash spread, eggplant peel dip, chopped olives and sesame-seed challah among other Israeli delicacies atop a three-foot wood board at a suburban Washington, D.C., banquet last week.

Diner Nurit Coombe summed it up with a three-word phrase.

“That was, ‘Oh my God,’ she said after sampling the smorgasbord of 35 items.

Each of the four courses represented an element of nature, as Hedai Offaim titled them “earth,” “water,” ”fire,” “wind.”

The first course represented “earth” because of its vegetable-based dishes.

Coombe was one of 85 guests at a four-course dinner prepared by Israeli celebrity chef Hedai Offaim at the Silver Spring, Md., home of Louis and Manette Mayberg on Jan. 30.

The Maybergs have hosted a dinner prepared by a celebrity chef for the last 10 years to raise funds for the Israeli nonprofit Shalva, which assists individuals with disabilities. They chose an Israeli chef this year to mark both the 10-year anniversary of the fundraiser, and the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation.

Offaim, 39, has become well-known in Israel for the sustainable Ofaimme Farm he and his brother Yinon started on Moshav Idan. They grow crops and raise livestock without using pesticides, genetically modified organisms or other traditional farming practices.

“I wanted to make the best cheese, and I wanted to have the best eggs and the best produce to make the best food,” he said before the meal. “And in order to do that I looked for the right way to grow it. And I discovered that no man’s an island. I cannot just start with a tomato. I need to start in the soil in which it grows and in the water and in the people who grow it, and I need to work the fields. It’s holistic.”

A series of dips, breads and vegetables comprised the first of four courses.

About five years ago, the brothers opened the Ofaimme Café in Jerusalem’s Beit Hakerem neighborhood, which is both a store and a restaurant where farm products are sold. The atmosphere inside, he said, is family-like and informal.

“Israel is a small country, we know everybody,” he said. “When my customers go into my restaurant, I have an open kitchen. The cook looks into the eye of the customer. The food needs to be food that they are proud to give you, and that you would feed your own family.”

Modern Israeli cooking, he explained, is a “revolution” of sorts, where the food often reflects the melting pot of ethnicities. He noted that in the United States, big-name chefs such as Michael Solomonov and Meir Adoni have raised the profile of Middle Eastern food in major cities, such as Philadelphia and New York, where they work.

“What are they doing? They’re bringing what their Moroccan mom took from her grandmother, what their Ashkenazi dad took from his parents and creating something completely new,” he said. “Israel, thank God, is in the Mediterranean. The influences of 70 Diasporas that make Israel what it is, in my eyes, makes it one of the most interesting, dynamic, flavorful places in the world.”

The diversity of the first course continued in the second, which represented “water.” It featured a combination of soups and alcoholic beverages intended to cleanse the palate of the intensity of the first course. It was served on a silver tray and included semolina wheat dumplings with fish in a broth along with the Turkish delicacy shish barak, a yogurt soup containing dumplings stuffed with lentils. The tray also included liqueur and sangria.

During the third course, “fire,” the staff rolled out long pieces of paper on the table and covered it with a bed of lettuce and fruits, seasoned with olive oil and spices. On the lettuce, they placed a series of skillets with various seafood entrees. One featured a white fish topped with roasted red peppers and mushrooms and submerged in a zesty marinade. Other skillets included a potato casserole and tabbouleh.

The third course, representing “fire,” featured skillets with seafood and vegetables atop a bed of lettuce and fruit.

The final course, “wind,” was a light dessert of vanilla ice cream, accompanied by each diner’s choice from 60 toppings, everything from dried apples to pistachios.

Michael Epstein said he was not familiar with all of the foods, and called them “spectacular.”

After the third course, he said, “I’m eating on faith.”

Similarly Cindy Zitelman thought the presentation was “beautiful,” but not what she was used to eating. “I could recognize the cauliflower and the fish dishes,” she said. “The water course was a little creative.”

Dan Schere is a political reporter with Washington Jewish Week, an affiliated publication of the Jewish Exponent.

Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

He did have an opinion about my pot use – Covington

I feel as if my life is in constant flux and I honestly don’t know if it’s just my nature or if it really is the roller coaster ride I make it out to be. Most of the bumps on the ride are simple ideas and happenings that make up life with a few dramatic, complicated events thrown in between.

Right now I speak of needing new pots and pans. There is nothing extreme or unusual about needing new cookware, but why does deciding take so much time? It took me three days to decide what to buy. I previously had a brand sold by a direct sales company that I was really happy with and has lasted for many years. However, all non-stick cookware wears out eventually. The pans had a lifetime warranty and I abused the privilege until the company got the notion that normal wear and tear should not count toward a LIFETIME or they’d be replacing everyone’s pans for, well, everyone’s lifetime. To me lifetime means lifetime, but as my third replaced frying pan wore out and my dealer cut me off, I was on the hunt to replace just that one piece. It was a pricey set, and I wasn’t in the mood to take out a small business loan with so many options available in the regular world.

I went to one of my favorite big box, houseware-selling stores. A couple years ago, measured in how many times I’ve made Almond Roca for Christmas, I bought a 12 quart soup pot there. So I went looking for the same brand. They had a sale for the whole set, which got me wondering if I perhaps needed the whole set. I recalled my sister mentioning one of my pots was getting a bit scratched and worn and that was a couple years ago. After standing rooted in the spot for a half hour, doing the math, ruminating over my options, I only purchased a couple fry pans. I didn’t know if the set was a good deal or not.

On the way home, I stopped at Costco and looked to see what they had. Then I went home looked at all my cookware, determined I did need to replace everything, and spent the rest of the afternoon Googling reviews for all the different brands I had looked at. Frustratingly, I didn’t come up with any solutions, because for every good review, there’s a bad one. I decided to ask my husband. Problem was I couldn’t pin him down that Friday evening, except for him to say, “It’s your decision, you do all the cooking.”

It’s true for the most part, but he makes my breakfast on the weekends and it’s not always McDonald’s. I was pretty sure he’d have something to say about my choice. The next morning, as he cooked my eggs, he harshly judged the frying pan I’d chosen. With his full attention intact, I took him to Costco and he immediately chose the set I saw the previous day. I put my first choice fry pans in the RV, because I believe that if I never am to have a day off of domestic duties, I should at least have the best tools at my disposal. And though he cooks breakfast for me on weekends, for some reason he does not when we’re camping.

I have no cookware review as of this writing. However, I’m satisfied for now knowing, though he claimed not to care, my husband did have an opinion about my pot use.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. You can read more of her writing on her website, on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh,” or twitter @livewithgleigh. Her column is available every week at under the Life section.

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off

You Need This Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Royal Wedding China

With a new royal wedding fast approaching (May 19 is only 4 months, people!) you should expect a mountain of memorabilia and souvenirs to crash down upon us like a tidal wave. I’m not talking about just British flags and keychains—I’m talking cardboard cutouts, coffee mugs, and even a poster that reads, “It should have been me.” Some of it is tacky, some of it is ridiculous, but it’s all meant to celebrate the union of these two unconventional lovebirds: One, Prince Harry, a former bad boy British royal, the other, Meghan Markle, a hard-working American actress who literally met her prince charming. No wonder people are desperate to commemorate this moment—it’s basically a storybook romance. Still, not much to come out of the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle memorabilia train has been what one might call luxury. Until now.

We are so looking forward to the #RoyalWedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 👑 To celebrate, we have created a limited edition commemorative collection of fine #bonechina. Each exquisite item has been skillfully hand-decorated in England and embellished with both platinum and 22 carat gold. Click link in bio to shop 👆🏼

A post shared by William Edwards Home (@williamedwardshome) on Feb 5, 2018 at 9:42am PST

William Edwards is a English manufacturer of bone china. It’s created collections for Michelin star chefs, hotels like the Four Seasons and the Waldorf Astoria, and even for the United Kingdom’s House of Commons. The company is now getting in on the royal wedding frenzy with a new collection of bone china dinnerware dedicated to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The set is the high end tribute to the royal couple you’ve been waiting for. The pieces are soft mint green and white, and are embellished with a classy platinum and 22 carat gold crown. The entire collection includes a pill box, teacup, saucer, plate, and a mug, each with the letters H and M intertwined in the center. The plate reads, “To celebrate the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle – 2018.” According to Hello Magazine, the plate also features another interesting touch, “the National Emblems of the United Kingdom; rose, thistle, shamrock and daffodil.”

The items are all reasonably priced, ranging from £15 for the saucer to £45 for the teacup, so if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the coming royal wedding in style, this is the dinnerware collection for you.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

Small Bites: For Valentine’s, whoopie pies are the icing on the cake

Jennifer Luxmoore, Providence baker and the owner of Sin, shows how to make her red-velvet whoopie pies — and offers a few baker’s tips, too.

What is more perfect for Valentine’s Day than a whoopie pie made with red velvet cake and shaped like a heart?

That’s what Jennifer Luxmoore, Providence baker and the owner of Sin, made for The Journal’s latest Small Bites cooking video.

Luxmoore’s elaborate cakes have made her a smashing success since she opened Sin in 2007 as a custom-cake bakery. Last year she opened her full-service coffee shop with morning pastries, as well as cakes and more. She also serves plated desserts and cocktails in the evening.

Luxmoore recalled that she got her KitchenAid stand mixer in 1993, two years after she moved to Providence from upstate New York. Back then she worked in radio and had an apartment-size stove. It took a while, but she baked for all her co-workers in that tiny oven.

These whoopie pies are easy to make but may require learning some new techniques. The first one is to weigh everything. Bakers are precise in their recipes because it’s chemistry that makes cakes rise. Being exact is vital. Luxmoore would also like home cooks to use a pastry bag to dispense the batter. You can buy the disposable ones and the tip size she suggests for making these little cakes.

Her other tips include:

— Make sure there are no lumps in the sugar.

— Don’t rush the butter and sugar creaming.

— Keep wiping down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula to best incorporate all ingredients.

— Make recipe as-is the first time and then you can adapt to your taste.

She likes to use Domino Sugar, Cabot Butter and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.

For Valentine’s Day, Sin will have three seatings with dessert pairings for $35. The cost for two includes a single shared dessert platter with both a passionfruit tart and chocolate raspberry bombe, and a glass of champagne for each person, plus a four-pack of truffles to take home.

The Journal’s Small Bites videos are created in collaboration with the Providence Warwick Convention Visitors Bureau. They are shot in a demonstration kitchen at Hope Main, the food-business incubator in Warren. Find this video and all cooking videos at


Sin Bakery, 1413 Westminster St., Providence, (401) 369-8427, Open daily at 7 a.m.  Closes Monday and Tuesday at 6 p.m.; Wednesday at 10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday at 11 p.m.; and Sunday at 9 p.m.


Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

For the cakes:

12½ ounces all-purpose flour

2½ ounces Dutch process cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

7 ounces butter

12 ounces brown sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

3 ounces egg (requires weighing, see note)

6 ounces buttermilk

1½ ounces red coloring

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

For the cream cheese filling:

4 ounces butter

12 ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese

7½ ounces confectioners sugar

Equipment needed: pastry bags

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar and salt until light and fluffy, taking several minutes. Add the eggs, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar into creamed butter mixture. Scrape down often during mixing to incorporate all ingredients.

Add flour mixture into butter mixture and mix fully.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a No. 8 or 9 round tip. (If you don’t have pastry bags, you can fill up a plastic bag and cut off the tip, leaving an inch hole.)

Squeeze out batter in the shape of 3-inch hearts or circles on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Leave a few inches between each cake.

Cook for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick; it’s done when it comes out dry. Cool.

To make the cream cheese filling:  Using a mixer, cream butter and cream cheese till smooth. It should be whipped enough to look like frosting. Then, add in confectioner’s sugar and beat till incorporated.

Fill a pastry bag and squeeze out filling on whoopie pie cake. Top with another cake.

Note: Large eggs weigh in the range of 1½-2 ounces each. But it’s best to weigh to get the 3 ounces required by the recipe.

Makes 12 whoopie pies


Category: Kitchenaid  Tags: ,  Comments off

What the fork? Age-defying Madonna, 59, reveals the secret to her youthful appearance as she receives bizarre …

She released her own luxury MDNA Skin line across the pond in America in 2017.

And Madonna, 59, gave her Instagram fans a glimpse of her extensive beauty regime on Tuesday as she treated herself to interesting fork-based facial with the help of her esthetician.

The Like a Prayer songstress opted to capture the age-defying treatment on her social media while using a kooky filter which gave her a brunette fringe, held in place with a blue bow as facialist Tarin Skillets tended to her youthful visage. 

What the fork: Madonna, 59, gave her Instagram fans a glimpse of her extensive beauty regime on Tuesday as she treated herself to interesting fork-based facial with the help of her esthetician

In the clip, Madonna joked about having the fork-inspired facial tools, which are said to tighten the skin, work their magic on her flawless complexion before she bizarrely asked whether her followers have ever stabbed anyone with a fork.

‘I’m just getting a facial right now from an esthetician,’ she began while clad in a towel. ‘OK, her name is skillets and she’s really good at doing facial when I’m wearing my hair in bangs with a bow tie on my head.  

‘I just say, “Work around it Skillets”, and she does. I don’t know how she gets those tools under the hair but she does it.

Adding: ‘It’s amazing, look at this little facial happening with fork. Forks are really good, they tighten the skin. Have you tightened your face with a fork?

May the fork be with you: The Like a Prayer songstress opted to capture the age-defying treatment on her social media while using a kooky filter which gave her a brunette fringe, held in place with a blue bow as facialist Tarin Skillets tended to her youthful visage

‘Have you ever stabbed someone with a fork? I’ve done both. Anyway, it’s crazy.’

Sporting a diamond-encrusted grill, she captioned the snap: ‘Skillets Forks My Face’ alongside the hashtags ‘#skin #facial #esthetician #skillets #mdnaskin #fork#fun’.  

No stranger to showcasing her beauty habits, Madonna previously shared her age-defying routine on social media, donning two under-eye masks from her beauty range. 

A pack of 12 eye masks cost $120 at Barneys New York and are said to leave eyes looking ‘refreshed and rejuvenated’.

In September 2017, the star released her luxury MDNA Skin line in the United States.

Forkever and always: In the clip, Madonna joked about having the fork-inspired facial tools, which are said to tighten the skin, work their magic on her flawless complexion before she bizarrely asked whether her followers have ever stabbed anyone with a fork

Three years after becoming a hit in Asia, the Material Girl’s line of masks, serums and mists is exclusively available at Barneys New York.

The luxe line starts at $15 for blotting papers while a three piece ‘Rejuvenator’ set will cost you $600. 

At a MDNA press event earlier this year Madonna said of aging, ‘I do believe we live in a very ageist society [that’s] particularly unkind towards women. I think it’s ridiculous that we have to hide our age or not be able to embrace it.’ 

During the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event in December last year Madonna said she had faced sexism, misogyny and ‘constant bullying and relentless abuse’ over the more than 30 years of her career in a speech.

No fork given: She began: ‘I’m just getting a facial right now from an esthetician. OK, her name is skillets and she’s really good at doing facial when I’m wearing my hair in bangs with a bow tie on my head’

‘People say that I’m so controversial,’ she said to the crowd. ‘But I think the most controversial thing that I’ve done is to stick around.’ 

In the world of music, ‘to age is a sin’ she said, adding: ‘You will be criticized, you will be vilified, and you will definitely not be played on the radio’.  

Madonna is mother to Lourdes, 21, Rocco, 17, David, 12, Mercy, 11, and five-year-old twins Stelle and Estere.  

Fork it: Sporting a diamond-encrusted grill, she captioned the snap: ‘Skillets Forks My Face’ alongside the hashtags ‘#skin #facial #esthetician #skillets #mdnaskin #fork#fun’

The mother-of-six has been married twice, first to actor Sean Penn from 1985 to 1989.

Her second marriage of eight years was to Guy Ritchie, and they share son Rocco Ritchie, 17.

Madonna shares daughter Lourdes Leon, 21, with her ex-boyfriend Carlos Leon.

Beauty secret: In September 2017, the star released her luxury MDNA Skin line in the United States


Category: Skillets  Tags: ,  Comments off

Changes on Main

Whenever Vicki Hyatt posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

Soap Gets A High-Brow Redesign

But his latest design, while undeniably utilitarian, isn’t meant to last. On the contrary, it’s a bar of soap that, naturally, dissolves with use.

Released this weekend by the young Brooklyn startup Good Thing, said designer soap (simply titled, Soap—go figure), comes in a translucent slab of four bars, perforated to be broken apart by hand, and each engraved with an italic-set “Soap” on its surface. It’s as super normal as soap can get, and as the product copy matter-of-factly states: “Soap is a gentle and effective everyday tool.” 

[Photo: Good Thing]

Morrison’s design is a coup for Jamie Wolfond, the 26-year-old founder of Good Thing, who says he reached Morrison via direct messaging on Instagram after noticing that the famed designer was liking Good Thing’s photos. Since launching in 2014, the company’s winsome, affordable line of everyday, utilitarian objects have quickly become an established platform for emerging designers that take a studious and playful eye to industrial production. Popular items include the kit-of-parts Sticker Clock—which comes with two adhesive strips and a clock face for the user to assemble and stick onto a surface—and ordinary wares like vases, bottle openers, and trivets.

The idea to produce soap was Wolfond’s, who notes that as a design object, it’s “an extremely common product that is still almost impossible to find on the market in its very simplest form,” both in color and scent. Despite the simplicity of the design, he describes a labored production process that involved waiting three months, the length of time required for the soap to solidify, between each trial and test.

Is Soap a subtle joke about minimalism or the beauty industry? Neither, says Wolfond. “The other reason for Soap was to continue exploring the boundaries of Good Thing as a manufacturing company,” he says. “First we made only accessories, then added furniture, which left us with the question of exactly how to define what types of objects we would and wouldn’t make. With the introduction of Soap, it now makes sense to think of Good Thing as neither a furniture nor an accessories brand, but simply a home brand, focusing on the way in which people interact with their most intimate space.”

It’s an earnest and logical strategy—and while the idea of a beauty product designed by an star industrial designer may seem somewhat novel, it wouldn’t be the first (Muji and Tom Dixon make soap, too). And yet, we’re not convinced there isn’t a joke wrapped in a riddle here somewhere. The set of four, $29, is available for preorder at

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off