Saturday, July 25, 2009

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Nothing in the world like this. You are one of thousands of spectators sitting in the open air amphitheatre at Caesarea. The background is the sea at night and the stage is set for the show.

The entrance to the venue is constructed like a large coffee café, eats, teas and a beer bar. The people come from all over the country and the ambience is one of fun and the magic of a night in the open.

The performance was IDAN RAICHER and his PROJECT. They were sensational. The singing and performance of Idan Raicher on the piano, the group who played a variety of instruments ,sang and danced for hours, thrilled us all.

It is refreshing to look at a group like this. Modesty remains there in spite of the fame they have achieved internationally. Their music is a blend of Ethnic sounds, African, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Caribbean music. The performance of BOEE {Come} and YESH BI OD KOACH were sensational. The audience went wild and we left there knowing we would be back next year.

There are various artists who perform here regularly. It is very creative to use an Amphitheatre in this way and I hope you go there once to a ballet, Opera, Jazz or a musical performance.

Then a few days later we celebrated a special birthday and forgot about calories as we delved into the chocolate emporium of Max Brenner.............. sweet, sweet ,sweet
They serve wicked concoctions of chocolate in very imaginative ways. You can eat a meal there or simply indulge in the real goods, chocolate.
There are some great gift chocolates, specially designed hug mugs for warm drinks, kiddies cups, gift boxes and cubes of chocolates to sample and enjoy at home
Years ago when Max Brenner opened their first store in Tel Aviv, I took a group of ladies there to meet the chocolate maker and try the chocolates. We had a great time. The samples were divine and we left there with our sweet purchase and dedicated to the chocolate cult………………..

Use chocolate to make cold chocolate drinks for hot days. Just add organic agave syrup and a bit of cinnamon. Chill well and serve in tall glasses with a bit of ice cream and grated halva on top. I am not speaking of calories here, as it is impossible calculate them…………………..


These can be made in a glass fruit bowl, individual ones for each person, or in a tall glass with long spoons to serve. Create them neatly and it is a sure winner.
Break up a slab of good chocolate, into pieces and 10 white marshmallows, cut into pieces. Place these in a pot over water to melt. Use strawberries, blackberries and some granadilla pips to cover the bottom of the glass. Choose a chocolate pudding, the yogurt cup size for each person. Alpro is a good choice, as it is soya milk. Whisk this and pour into the melted chocolate and marshmallows and pour into the glass over the fruit. Chill for two hours. Serve with grated chocolate and a few berries on top. I sometimes use vanilla pudding with cut up peaches and pineapple with the same marshmallows and chocolates.


4 ozs butter. 1 cup flour………..1 heaped teaspoon baking powder.
2 ozs sugar………..2 teaspoons cocoa…… I cup coconut.

Cream butter and sugar, add the rest of the ingredients. Press into a tray and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When cold, ice with chocolate icing and cut into fingers.

I always like to have chocolate balls in the freezer. They thaw quickly and can be served with other cookies and desserts.

FOR FURTHER IDEAS WITH CHOCOLATE. GO TO MY ARTICLE "CHOCOLATE" on the 25th August 2008. There is a chocolate cake, muffins and Truffles.

Have a sweet week and enjoy the fun of chocolate. I also have Carob ideas in the article of 25th August 2008.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

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feel good . enjoy your holiday travels


We all have times that the days are long and tedious. The heat is too much and the noise of traffic drives us into a state of exhaustion. It takes very little in a long summer to upset you, but there is an alternate way. CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY WITH WHO YOU ARE AND CREATE A STATE OF WELL BEING AND FEELING GOOD.

I love the idea that people need people. We need the audience for our daily thinking, sharing a little complaint, telling our version of what happened and of course the advice we like giving or receiving. Now and then people pop up in your life and surprise you. They seem to be there just when you needed them, or for no reason they include you in their activities. You find yourself wondering if these co incidences are by sheer chance or a design you cannot really fathom. I had some one pop in last night from the north. She is a beautiful and charming woman, and simply catching up on what was happening in her life, what she is doing, listening to new dreams and hearing her verbalize her inner thoughts ,was special. She was not wearing any masks or pretentions. Speaking to friends and knowing they were listening. We stood in the kitchen and quickly created some oven snacks for other guests and chatted. A well brewed cup of English tea was enjoyed and we relaxed in each others company These moments give life its value. You do not have to go everywhere to be seen, spotted by strangers, impress people who do not matter and never will. Just be you and love your home, give your hospitality and love life that is now.

Last week we toured the country up north and loved the scenery, the trees, forests, the cows and sheep lazing in the sun and miles of vineries preparing for beautiful wines to be created. Manarra, the Meron area, Rosh Pina, Daliet ha Carmel, the Carmel forests, Zichron, Maalot, Carmiel, Moshavim and holiday spots like Kfar Blum and Kibbutzim, are glorious all over the area. We ate all the traditional foods, hummous, techina, falafel, superb olives, pickles, pitot and olive oils. We had delightful pop ins for chocolate milkshakes and smoothies, fruit and cheese treats.
I really recommend a visit to Rosh Pina, where you can visit WOODSONG, and learn about exquisitely crafted Celtic harps and door chimes. Peter is a joy to meet. The area has great eateries, artists to visit and of course fun places to sit in the evenings. Ein Hod is a fabulous artist village
and the Dada Museum and history of Marcel Janco is very interesting. The Gallery has been re revamped has some very interesting art to view..
Nisco Music Museum is a children's delight and the visit is not only the discovery of early musical instruments, but a meeting with a man dedicated to teach you all about them.


I love having pitot, a French loaf and great sliced rye and whole-wheat bread in the house for pop ins. You always need olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, dried tomatoes, onions and baked garlic in the fridge I had prepared eggplant and techina dip and grilled red peppers in olive oil too. Add cheeses, goats cheese and some cottage cheese and your work is done.
We quickly sliced the breads and used olive oil on some, for others cottage cheese,
egg plant dip, red peppers, goats cheese, olives, and cucumbers and dried or fresh tomatoes. Ten minutes in the oven and they were yummy and satisfying with a drink.

I often cut up French loaves and scoop out a little of the bread. I fill them with a mixture of boiled, mashed egg, grated onion, a bit of mustard, chopped parsley and diced cucumber. Spice with vegetable salt and pepper and grill in the oven for five minutes.

For kiddies, I make mini pizza. Simply spread the olive oil on the base, bread or pits. Add tomato paste and grated cheese, olive or diced cucumbers. Grill. For vegetarians I grate zucchini, a grated carrot, spices, olives and cucumbers and bake these too.

Create a jug of Fortune Delight and people love the fresh feeling this drink creates.
For a smoothie use fresh fruits in season and mix with water and ice. Vegetable smoothies are great and you can create your own. Fresh carrots, celery, parsley and a grated apple. There are endless options.

Have a good look at the fridge and fill it with easy to do items. Then you do not need to be in the kitchen when it is hot and tiring. Great preparation makes for easy living.