Monday, March 2, 2015

A Week Filled With Jewish Bread, Rolls and Cookies

This week Jews all over the world will celebrate and retell the story of Purim. In it Queen Esther foils a plot by the King's prime minister, Haman, to exterminate the Jews of Persia. Similar to the audience participation at a midnight viewing of "Rocky Horror Picture Show", it's a rowdy event. Loud boos & noise makers are the audience's response every time Haman's name is mentioned. For several years I was cast as Queen Esther in our Hebrew school's annual play. I was very shy (I know, I've obviously outgrown that) and it was painfully embarrassing to be on stage, but I got through it by thinking about the party that followed. Food is a critical part of any Jewish celebration, happy or sad. The showstoppers of Purim are hamantaschen, triangle shaped shortbread cookies with rich prune or apricot fillings. You'll have your chance to celebrate with my hamantaschen this week.

More important, this week is my daughter Abby's birthday. Even as a baby she weighed her options carefully before making decisions. She climbed to the top of the monkey bars by herself at 2; slid under the fence in Vermont to be with the llamas at 2 1/2, and took NYC buses alone to elementary school. And that was all before she was 7. As an adult Abby has turned out to be as smart as she is beautiful, generous, loving and playful. I can't be with you on this birthday but we'll be neighbors pretty soon. As a gift I promise not to call you & sing "Happy Birthday" off key. Love & Hugs, Mom

The Village of the Arts has just published a new free map of the area.

It opens to reveal a large map in the centerfold showing where all of your favorite places are. 

I've put a rack of maps within my new BONNI BAKES little orange house out front. You can pick-up maps 24/7. You'll also find a copy of the current week's MENU. If the little door is closed (to keep out the weather), just open it and help yourself. 

Recently I came across some beautiful Florida wild-caught shrimp. I used them to recreate a delicious dish that we first enjoyed at Wolfgang Puck's Ma Maison in Hollywood over 30 years ago. It's quick, delicious and still holds up after all these years

Wolfgang’s Shrimp With Chardonnay-Dijon Cream Sauce
Yield: Serves 4
1 pound medium or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Chardonnay or dry sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Pat the shrimp dry, put them on a plate, and sprinkle lightly with salt & white pepper. Heat a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the oil. When the oil is hot enough to swirl easily in the pan, carefully add the shrimp, placing them evenly in the pan. Without disturbing them, cook the shrimp for 2 minutes on one side. Flip the shrimp over and cook until uniformly pink and beginning to curl, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
Raise the heat under the pan to high. Add the wine and, with a wooden spoon, stir and scrape to dissolve the pan deposits. Let the liquid simmer until it has reduced in volume by half, 4 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the cream. Reduce slightly and stir in the mustard. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes more. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the shrimp and parsley to the sauce and simmer briefly to heat up the shrimp. Works great over angel hair pasta, but you might want to make more sauce.
Come along for the ride as I bake items from my Brooklyn childhood. 
THIS WEEK'S MENU     Pick-up  Fri  March 6   1-5 pm
The marvelous combination of whole wheat, carrots, nuts, coconut, pineapple, apple and orange in a single muffin. Whole grain + fruit + veggie = perfect & filling for breakfast or a snack anytime.

Each cookie has its own personality & unique flavor profile. Some are seductive, using the allure of Belgium chocolate to get your attention. Others invoke memories of childhood or a less complicated time. Find your match amongst Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin WalnutOrange Walnut Belgium Bittersweet Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip,SnickerdoodlePecan Coconut Belgium Milk Chocolate. 

My legendary chocolate delivery system made with melted Belgium bittersweet chocolate throughout, toasted fresh almonds, chocolate chips & very little flour. Sold in packages of 4 because you must have more than one.

HAMANTASCHEN     $ 2.50 
No Purim celebration is complete without enjoying this classic Jewish Pastry. With their crumbly shortbread base and smooth prune or apricot filling, they're too good to enjoy just once a year.

There is only one cookie that everyone associates with NYC, including a starring role on an episode of "Seinfeld". Do you eat the chocolate or vanilla side first, or a bit of both? Great debates have lingered for years. Now it's your turn to vote. How do you eat a Black & White?

NEW YORK CHALLAH     $4.50/loaf
The classic bread used by Jews to celebrate Sabbath all over the world. A golden crust with soft interior; made with eggs and a second cousin to brioche. Use leftovers for the best French toast ever!

RATNER'S ONION POCKETS     $3.50/pkg of 4
Ratner's was a landmark Jewish dairy restaurant which operated for a century on the Lower East Side of New York. They baked more than 1500 onion pockets each day to serve alongside every meal. No wonder tasting these delicious rolls triggers such nostalgic memories.

JAM or CHUTNEY  $4/jar
We're down to four flavors that I've made in small batches with locally available fruit, including Keitt mangoes & Meyer lemons from my own pesticide-free trees. Choose from:Mango Chutney, Ginger Pear Chutney, Mango Meyer Lemon Jam (only 1 jar left), Simply Strawberry Jam.

No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives EVER!!


all items in limited supply... first come, first served

PICK UP FRIDAY 1-5 pm at Bonni's Treehouse

in the Village of the Arts

   932 12th Street West 

(down the driveway thru the white wrought iron gate) 


or call me at (941) 746-6647 


 Hugs from my kitchen,


1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog while looking for Poppyseed Bars - to satisfy my German-Polish-Czech roots. You have photos of mouth-watering Mohn Bars, and your main pic is some fabulous-looking walnut+fruit concoction (babka?) that seems unnamed. I have FRANTICALLY searched your blog and can't find the recipes. Might you share those 2 recipes? (forgive me if they are here somewhere and I wasn't savvy enough to find...). Joni P