Best Breakfast in Jerusalem

Breakfast in Israel is amazing. The Israeli Breakfast is double amazing.

eggs+cheese+bread+spreads+veggies+coffee+juice+other rotating goodies = yum/love

Noah and I have thoroughly enjoyed going out to breakfast at various locations around Jerusalem throughout this year (see here and here and here).

All of these breakfasts are delicious and – let’s face it – pretty similar. Yet, one cafe stands out as my favorite place for breakfast in Jerusalem.

The winner is….

KADOSH!

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Kadosh is located on HaMalka Street, relatively near to Mamilla Mall. It has the standard coffee/juice/bread/spreads/eggs/cheese/salad situation, but there is something about it that is unbearably delicious.

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Like other cafes that serve breakfast, Kadosh serves two eggs (cooked your way) with their Israeli breakfast. In addition to just choosing a simple cooking method though, Kadosh has a collection of egg dishes you can select to fill your egg order, ranging from omelettes to fried eggs within brioche:

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Another great thing about Kadosh is that they serve breakfast all day! I have been there 4 times now, and three of the times I was incapable of getting off the breakfast kick, but on my most recent visit I ordered a salad with poached egg, sweet potato, and tahini (Noah stuck with the breakfast!):

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Noah and I will be going to Kadosh for my birthday dinner next week – I’ll post about whatever our meal ends up being!

If you are in Jerusalem for breakfast – or, really, any time of day – I definitely suggest that you hit up Kadosh for a meal. You won’t be disappointed!

Warmth in Jerusalem

One might think that being in Jerusalem would feel warmer than much of the rest of the world right now…especially other places I might be living:

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Not the case. I think it’s a combination of Jerusalem stone buildings and no insulation, but I honestly think it’s colder in my Jerusalem apartment these days than it ever was in my Minneapolis apartment…yes, even when it was -30º. I am just thankful my apartment has some form of heating – no matter how inadequate – instead of just space heaters like many people use.

In other news, a little Jerusalem humor to brighten up the cold day:

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But, if misdirected text messages aren’t enough to warm you up, check out the joyous gathering that was my Thanksgiving last week.

Thanksgiving in Jerusalem, you say? Well, in a country of immigrants, there are a lot of uprooted Americans, and Thanksgiving makes itself known. Many of the grocery stores (especially those in anglo parts of the city) have pumpkin and cranberry sauce appear on shelves in mid-November. The week of Thanksgiving itself, stores get in turkeys – but do your shopping early or you might have to fight someone for the bird you want!

My Thanksgiving day started with a siyum (closing) in my Chumash (five books of Moses, ie, the Torah) class. We have a siyum every time we finish a parasha (weekly Torah portion). Last week, we finished Parashat Noach – the story of Noah and the ark and the flood…maybe you’ve heard of it? 🙂 Since the timing coincided with Thanksgiving, we decided to have the best of both worlds and make it a ‘Noah on the Mayflower’ party:

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For the big festive meal, I joined together with about 30 others and enjoyed probably my most extravagant Thanksgiving meal to date. I guess if 30 people contribute to a meal, things get reallllll fancy. The table was dressed to impress and there were so many dishes we had to cycle the food through since it couldn’t all fit:

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The hosts cooked a whole turkey…if you dare, locate the neck in the remains below:

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And, in closing, PIES!

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I also brought the applesauce brownies mentioned in this post as my contribution to the meal.

Bloomfield Science Museum and CHALLAH

A couple weeks ago, Noah and I took a trip to the Bloomfield Science Museum.

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We happened to go on the day of Jerusalem’s first big rain, so the trip there and back was a bit wet. When we arrived at the museum, we quickly realized that we were about three-times the age of the typical visitor. But…no bother!

The museum was extremely interactive with exhibits on a range of topics, but we went to the museum particularly for an exhibit called Captcha.

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Captcha is about the history and applications of computer science. I don’t know if Noah learned anything new, but I definitely learned a lot! The exhibit included an interesting theme about what constitutes a computer (hint: a meat grinder is NOT a computer). While a meat grinder has inputs and outputs, the grinder doesn’t adjust its processor to react to particular inputs. The exhibit also posed the question if computers would ever learn to love, and there was an interactive survey for guests to indicate if they thought yes or no (about 1,000 more people thought that computers WILL be able to love in the future).

Although we went to the museum mainly for the Captcha exhibit, we also visited most of the other exhibits. The exhibitions on levers and shadows were especially fun:

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In other news, I made the most amazingly decadent delicious challah recipe! I saw the recipe months ago and had been waiting for the right occasion to make it. The recipe was for a pumpkin chocolate challah (link to recipe), and I essentially followed the recipe as written. Overall, this was quite a process and took about 4 hours between making the dough, letting it rise, and baking. 

The magic of this recipe comes from the combination of two components: pumpkin dough and chocolate filling.

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Before braiding the strands of challah as you normally would, flatten the strand to put chocolate in the center and then roll the strand around the chocolate:

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Once all of the strands are filled with chocolate, braid together and bake as normal:

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Chocolate explosion in the oven!!

Seriously people, this was SO GOOD. Make it for a special occasion…like the next time Halloween coincides with Shabbat. Luckily, that happens more often than Thanksgivukkah. 🙂

 

Home Cooking!

Even though eating out in Jerusalem has been a lot of fun (as evidenced by my several ‘Jerusalem Cafes‘ posts), there’s always something fun about cooking at home. In the past week or so, I’ve had fun turning the contents of my fridge and impulse buys at the fruit-and-vegetable stands into good dinners.

Earlier in the week I made a sweet potato, egg, and cheese melt. I started by roasting slices of sweet potato (about 25 minutes at 450º):

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After roasting, I removed from the oven and added two sliced chopped tomatoes, 6 eggs, and shredded mozzarella cheese:

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I broiled in the oven until the egg whites were completely cooked and the cheese a little browned (it took a little more than 10 minutes in my oven, but my broiler is not very good, so it would probably take a lot less with a better broiler):

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I served with sliced peppers and hummus (in total, this was enough for 3 servings):

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Later in the week, Noah and I made an eggplant tomato sauce to go with goat cheese-filled beet gnocchi. The sauce was extremely easy to make. I finely chopped two shallots, two cloves garlic, and put them to heat in a skillet with a little butter. After just a couple minutes, I added half an eggplant, 1 tomato, and half a can (15 oz) of tomato sauce:

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Noah was on skillet duty:

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The gnocchi was from a nearby bakery and it looked awesome! The beets gave it a purple-ish tint:

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The gnocchi only needed to cook for two minutes, so I waited until the sauce was nearly done (about 10-15 minutes) to put them up. In total, the meal came together in twenty minutes or less.

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Finally, I made beef and parsley burgers for lunch. For the burger patties, I mixed about a 1/2 pound of ground beef with 1 egg, 1 T whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. I mixed everything together and cooked on a skillet for about 3 minutes on each side. We ate the burgers on whole wheat rolls with an assortment of salatim and vegetable toppings:

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It’s amazing how the internet enables everyone to have access to an essentially unlimited collection of recipes and food ideas! Every day I add more recipes to my ‘to cook something like this’ list…so there are a lot more dishes on my mind to make in the upcoming weeks. 🙂

Emek Refaim Food Finds

As mentioned previously, Emek Refaim is the  main road going through the German Colony in Jerusalem. The street is packed with shops, restaurants, cafes, and people from places including – but not limited to – the United States, France, England, Germany, and of course Israel.

Emek Refaim is only about a 10 minute walk from my apartment, and the Ulpan that I’m attending is on Emek, so it’s been easy enough to check out some of the enticing eateries lining the street. Last week, I went to a couple restaurants on Emek with a friend.

Despite the long-standing joke about American Jews loving Chinese food, there are not too many Chinese restaurants here in Jerusalem. There is, however, lots of sushi! An exception to the hard-to-find-Chinese-food rule is Soya, located on the corner of Emek Refaim and Rachel Imenu.

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Many Israeli restaurants have lunch time specials that include salads or other appetizers free with your meal. So, since we were there for lunch time, our meal started with a small salad. We also shared an order of vegetable eggrolls.

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For our meals, we ordered mandarin chicken and a house chicken dish served with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and a honeyed date sauce. Both meals were served with rice that seemed to have been cooked in soy sauce.

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The food was good although there was a lot (especially for lunch!) so we took home leftovers.

At the same intersection of Emek Refaim and Rachel Imenu is also Marvad Haksamim. Marvad Haksamim specializes in traditional Israeli cuisine and soul food: lots of hummus, kubbeh, kebabs, stuffed vegetables, salatim, and pickles (to name a few). After being seated, we were brought a Middle Eastern version of a bread basket:

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Salouf (a Yemenite flat bread) was served warm from the oven with a tomato dip (almost like salsa except not spicy), cucumber pickles, and pickled carrot salad. We also got a side order of hummus because clearly the salouf was in need of a delicious chickpea/tahini mashup…

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For the meal, we ordered chamusta kubbeh soup (ground meat filled dumplings with celery, summer squash, and a flavorful broth) and an appetizer sampler which came with fried kubbeh (balls of dough filled with ground meat and fried), moroccan cigars (ground meat wrapped in phyllo dough), vine leaves stuffed with rice, and something that seemed like a fried wonton but I don’t know exactly what it was! The appetizers were served with a sweet tomato sauce and tahini.

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Every Friday, Marvad does a take-away buffet for Shabbat where people can buy breads, desserts, and all sorts of prepared appetizers and entrees to have and serve over Shabbat. I recently realized that there’s a coupon book in my apartment which includes a 10%-off coupon for Marvad Haksamim Friday take-away…so maybe I’ll have to try it sometime!

 And for coffee…The Coffee Mill is a welcome sight for anyone who likes a plain old cup of coffee. While espresso beverages and cafe culture are in top form, a plain cup of coffee seems to have been left behind in Israel. If you want just a regular, non-espresso coffee beverage, then you’re generally faced with either instant Nescafe of Turkish Coffee which – despite having gone through a more complex roasting process – is extremely similar to Nescafe except with smaller grounds.

The Coffee Mill, however, offers a wide selection of espresso AND coffee beverages. An entire wall of the shop is devoted to beans in multiple flavors and from all across the world for people to buy by the kilo and take home.

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But don’t worry – lest you think plain coffee makes things boring – The Coffee Mill still has a wide selection of exciting espresso beverages and yummy treats.

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And the final stop on the Emek food tour…

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…an impromtu lemonade and popcorn stand set up by some kids in front of a supermarket! I got a lemonade (with mint leaves!) for 2 shekels. Totally worth it. 🙂

The Grand Cafe and Shakshuka

Running at 7:30am in Jerusalem is much better than running at 10:30am in Jerusalem. Holy cow, it’s hot!

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But…sleeping until 9:00 is much nicer than sleeping until 7:00. What’s a girl to do?!

In other news, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week and a half of exploration through my area of Jerusalem. I am living in the Baka neighborhood – southeast of the old city.

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There are a lot of French and American immigrants in Baka, and it is neighbor to another Anglo-area, HaMoshavah HaGermanit (the German Colony). The German Colony has a lot of Americans, Germans, and Europeans in general, and the cafes and languages heard on the street in both areas reflect peoples’ roots.

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Bagel Cafe in the German Colony

Both neighborhoods are fairly upscale and trendy, and the two areas are connected across a pedestrian walking and biking path called the rekevetRekevet means train in Hebrew, and the path is a tracks-to-trails project.

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Derech Beit Lechem is the main road in Baka while Emek Refaim is the primary thoroughfare cutting through the German Colony.

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While both are lined with cafes, restaurants, shops, and falafel joints, Emek Refaim is more bustling and has more establishments lining the road.

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This week, I went for lunch with a couple friends at The Grand Cafe – a lovely spot for any meal of the day. The cafe is right on Derech Beit Lechem in the middle of Baka, only a couple of blocks from my apartment.

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My friends both ordered the green shakshuka.

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Shakshuka is a popular food in Israel and throughout the Middle East. Traditionally, shakshuka is made by poaching eggs in a tomato sauce, often with onions, spices, and perhaps a little cheese on top. There are several variations, however, and this green shakshuka included spinach, leeks, and roasted tomatoes. The meal also came with a heaping basket of bread:

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Everything on the menu looked good, but I went with a fruits and vegetable salad that came with fresh fruit, roasted nuts, fried gnocchi, cheese, and a balsamic drizzle:

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The real reason I didn’t get shakshuka though was because I had plans to cook shakshuka with a friend later that night!

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We made a more traditional version with tomatoes, yellow pepper, and onion. Good food, good friends…yeah, I can get used to living here. 🙂

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Homemade Pizza

Big news from my day…

1. I biked to work because the week of no sunshine finally ended and the weather was A++++ beautiful!

2. I finally severed my relationship with Comcast, effective June 1. They said, “why are you canceling your service.” I said, “Because I’m moving somewhere that doesn’t have Comcast.” In my mind, I said, “Because I hate you with a passion that burns within the deepest parts of my soul and I will do everything in my human ability NEVER to use any Comcast service again.” Ahh…fantasy.

3. I updated my iPhone to the latest operating system. I have a natural skepticism towards upgrades, but my reluctance to do so was interfering with my ability to facetime. Woe is me.

4. I listened to a great radio show by my baby bro (8-10pm EST on Mondays, http://wamh.amherst.edu/)

5. I have now completed a third consecutive day without chewing gum (a record from the last 6 years!!). I wonder how long I need to go before I can say I’ve broken the addiction and am safe to reintroduce the substance in moderation. 🙂

6. I made homemade pizza!

I have had my eye on a yeast-free pizza dough recipe I pinned to my Pinterest board a long time ago. I decided to make the dough recipe and scrounge up whatever toppings I could from what I already had in my kitchen.

Making the dough could not have been easier. You mix everything in one bowl, spread it on a baking tray, and cook for 10 minutes at 400º. so simple

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While the crust baked, I worked on assembling toppings. I identified the following as possible toppings: black beans, tomato, green onions, smoked mozzarella cheese.

I started by making a black bean hummus to use in the traditional role of tomato sauce. I drained and rinsed one can of black beans, combined it with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and then pulverized the whole thing using an immersion blender.

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I chopped the tomato and green onions and grated 6oz of smoked mozzarella cheese (cheese unpictured):

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After the dough baked into a crust (10 minutes), I topped with the black bean spread, then tomatoes and green onions, and finally cheese:

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I put the pizza back in the 400º for fifteen minutes and…

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yumyumyum. I served with mixed greens on the side:

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After dinner, I made a cup of ginger yogi tea and was told these wise words:

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“Live in your strength.” It caught my attention because it made me wonder what my strength to live in is. What’s your strength to live in?