Hanukkah Food Hacks

standard Friday December 1st, 2017 1 response
Photo by Zlatko Unger https://www.flickr.com/photos/zlatko/

What can be more festive than delicious holiday specialties made from scratch? For many of us, that is a voyeuristic pleasure, to be enjoyed in a magazine. Real life does not play out that way. Lack of time or attention span is no reason not to enjoy preparing your own Hanukkah treats. Here are some easy shortcuts that will help you fill your home with the aromas and flavors of homemade delicacies.

Photo: Jacob Kaplan-Moss.

Latkes

An easy shortcut to fresh homemade latkes is purchasing frozen shredded potatoes, or hash browns, and frozen diced onions.

Potato-Onion Latkes

  • 4 cups frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion, defrosted
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, onions, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Heat some oil in a heavy skillet.
  3. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter to form each latke.
  4. Lower the flame to medium, and fry the latkes until they are golden-brown on each side.
  5. Place the latkes in a casserole dish lined with paper towels.
  6. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or sugar.

Photo: Noam Furer.

Sufganiyot

Sufganiyot are the jelly-filled doughnuts enjoyed all over Israel for Hanukkah. A wonderful shortcut to preparing these yeasty delights is frozen challah dough. Purchase some frozen challah dough. Leave it out in advance in a warm corner to let it thaw and rise.

Sufganiyot

  • Challah dough
  • Vegetable oil
  • Strawberry jelly
  • Powdered sugar
  1. Heat some vegetable oil over a medium flame in a large pot.
  2. Pinch out a walnut sized piece of dough.
  3. Roll it into a ball.
  4. Drop into the oil to fry.
  5. When the dough is golden-brown on all sides, remove it from the oil with a slotted spoon.
  6. Place the sufganiyah on a plate covered with a paper towel.
  7. Using a pastry bag, jelly injector, squeeze bottle, or spoon, insert some jelly into the doughnut.
  8. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Photo: Ms Abc Mom.

Hanukkah Cookies

Hanukkah cookies are so easy, and so much fun! Purchase some refrigerated sugar cookie dough, icing, sprinkles, colored sugar, chocolate, and anything else you fancy. Express your creativity by cutting out the shapes you desire with cookie cutters or a knife. Bake the cookies, and when they have cooled, have fun decorating and eating them!

Hanukkah Cookies

  • Refrigerated cookie dough
  • 1/2 cup flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the cookie dough in a large bowl.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of flour.
  4. Knead the flour into the dough.
  5. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface.
  6. Roll out the dough.
  7. Cut out the shapes you desire with cookie cutters or a knife.
  8. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, until light brown.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating them.

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Armenian Thanksgiving Pumpkin

standard Friday November 17th, 2017 Leave a response
Photo by Raffi

What should you prepare with all those apples and pumpkins? Many people confront this question after the celebratory hayride and apple and pumpkin-picking excursion. I love to try exotic recipes with my pumpkins. This year I am making a fall dish from Armenia called Ghapama. This vegan dish, dramatically presented inside a whole roasted pumpkin, can be the star of your Thanksgiving table.

Ghapama is a harvest dish with its own special rituals. First, a fresh pumpkin is picked. Then the whole family helps to clean the pumpkin, stuff it with rice, fresh apples, dry fruits, and nuts. Then they enjoy each other’s company while the pumpkin bakes. When it is ready, everyone eats it straight out of the oven while it is piping hot.

Ghapama
Adapted from Arusyak Mirzakhanyan

  • 1 7 Lb. pumpkin
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 cups diced apples
  • 1/4 cup minced dry apricots
  • 1/4 cup minced dry plums
  • 1/4 cup minced dry peaches
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup dry cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the rice in a pot.
  3. Add 3 cups of cold water and salt.
  4. Cook the rice on high heat for 15 minutes, then strain. It should not be fully cooked.
  5. Place the rice back in the pot, and add the coconut oil.
  6. Add the nuts and dried fruits.
  7. Mix in 6 tbsp. of agave nectar and 2 tsp. of cinnamon.
  8. Set the rice mixture aside.
  9. Wash the pumpkin.
  10. Open the pumpkin by cutting off the top.
  11. Reserve the top of the pumpkin to make a lid.
  12. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  13. Spread the rest of the agave nectar on the interior walls and floor of the pumpkin.
  14. Pour the rice mixture into the pumpkin.
  15. Cover the pumpkin with its lid.
  16. Place the pumpkin on a baking pan.
  17. Put the pumpkin in the oven.
  18. Cook for 60 minutes.
  19. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  20. Check if the pumpkin is ready by poking it with a fork.
  21. When the pumpkin is soft and easily pierced, it is ready.
  22. Cut slices of pumpkin, and serve with the rice filling.
  23. Eat immediately!

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Forbidden Foods of the Spanish Inquisition

standard Monday October 16th, 2017 Leave a response

Did you know that eating a lunch of eggplants, chickpeas, and a green salad could get you burned at the stake during the Middle Ages? This information was concealed in the archives of the Spanish Inquisition. In 1991, access to some of the records was granted to scholars for the first time. David Gitlitz and Linda Davidson were given the opportunity to examine some of these documents. They co-wrote A Drizzle of Honey based on the information they uncovered in the chronicles of the Inquisition trials. It is a scholarly masterpiece and a cookbook that reveals the customs and prejudices of medieval Spain.

The book describes the types of foods that aroused suspicion mentioned in the archives of the Spanish Inquisition. According to Dr. Gitlitz, the Inquisitors looked for Jewish ritual foods, such as matza (unleavened bread) and haroset (a mixture of nuts and dry fruits), which would be prepared for Passover. They also examined the ways in which these foods were prepared, such as not cooking on Saturday (the Sabbath). The authors extracted this information from accusations and confessions recorded by the Inquisitors.

In order to figure out what the recipes may have been, Gitlitz and Davidson referred to medieval cookbooks, translating from Catalan, Portuguese, Castilian, and Arabic. Only six cookbooks written before 1492 in the Iberian Peninsula survive to the present. The ingredients described depended on the region and the season. Since the Inquisition lasted seven hundred years, the time period during which each book was written was also relevant. Some telltale ingredients and cooking techniques flagged by the Inquisition included frying in olive oil, butchering one’s own meat and soaking it in salt water, and serving foods at room temperature.

Every recipe is accompanied by a narrative of what the accused had done to arouse suspicion, and to be reported to the Inquisitors. Bathing, wearing clean clothes, and enjoying food with friends were all actionable wrongs, used to accuse people of observing Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. Some recent converts to Catholicism got in trouble for not knowing when to abstain from certain foods, according to the Catholic tradition. In one case, Aldonza Lainez served a cheese casserole to some workers during Lent. She was reported to the Inquisition, and had to explain this oversight.

Some people who descend from Crypto-Jewish families have shared with me that their families never eat chickpeas, eggplants, or green salads to this day. You may try some of these forbidden recipes to recreate Jewish and Crypto-Jewish life in the Iberian Peninsula.

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

The Yom Kippur Meal of Cessation

standard Wednesday September 27th, 2017 Leave a response
Photo: Christine Hung. Licensed by Creative Commons.

The seudat mafseket, or meal of cessation, is the meal we eat before the onset of the Yom Kippur fast. A good strategy for success is to drink lots of water, and eat a dinner that includes lean proteins and whole grains. The recipes in this article provide for a complete seudat mafseket, from main course to side dish to dessert.

The versatile recipe below for the main course works equally well for chicken, fish or lentils. Please use the salt judiciously — you don’t want to get thirsty right after dinner.

Photo: Alexa. Licensed by Creative Commons.

Baked Chicken, Fish or Lentils With Vegetables

  • Cut-up chicken, fish fillets or 1 cup lentils.
  • Your choice of chopped carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers, green onions, mushrooms, etc.
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ℉.
  2. Place the vegetables at the bottom of a casserole dish.
  3. Arrange the chicken or fish on top of the vegetables, or mix in the lentils.
  4. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and garlic over the ingredients.
  5. Pour the water into the casserole dish.
  6. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  7. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes.

Accompany the casserole with a side of whole grains, like the one described in the recipe below. The combination of whole grains and protein will help you feel satiated for much longer.

Photo: Charley. Licensed by Creative Commons.

Whole Grain Pilaf

  • 1 cup blend of brown rice, whole oats, barley, buckwheat groats and wheat berries.
  • 2 cups vegetal broth
  1. Boil the vegetal broth.
  2. Add the whole grain mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

End your meal with this delicious fall fruit crisp.

Photo: Christine Hung. Licensed by Creative Commons.

Whole Grain Fall Fruit Crisp

Filling:

  • 2 tart baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl, and set aside.
  3. Mix all the ingredients of the filling, and pour into a casserole dish.
  4. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture.
  5. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Tropical Rosh Hashanah Chicken

standard Tuesday September 26th, 2017 Leave a response

As members of the Mexican Jewish community begin to plan their Rosh Hashanah menus, they discuss recipes for dishes such as gefilte fish and keftes de prasas (leek fritters). Most families preserve the Ashkenazi or Sephardic recipes they brought with them to Mexico. They also incorporate some local exotic ingredients to enhance the celebration. One dish that has made its way to many Rosh Hashanah tables is chicken cooked in a tamarind sauce. Tamarind chicken blends the sour flavors of the tamarind fruit with the complex sweetness of sugarcane and the smoke-dried spiciness of the chipotle pepper. The combination of these ingredients makes for a fun and interesting new year: a little bit tart, a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy.

Tamarinds. Photo: Mlvalentin.

Tamarind chicken is a Mexican dish that was made possible by the Spanish colonists. Tamarind is a very tart fruit encased in a leathery brown pod. Originally from Africa, it was nicknamed the “Indian date” because it has grown in India for so long. The tamarind was brought to America by the Spanish conquistadors. Its acid notes are tempered in tamarind chicken with sweetness from the sugarcane.

Christopher Columbus was the first to import sugarcane to America, planting it in Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Once the colony of New

Piloncillo. Photo: Camilo Sanchez.

Spain was founded, which included what is now the country of Mexico, sugarcane plantations were established. The Spanish colonists learned to tame the tartness of the tamarind with the smoky, caramelly sweetness of the piloncilloPiloncillo is made from crushed sugarcane. The sugarcane is pressed and its juice is collected in a pot. Then it is boiled and poured into a mold. When the juice dries, it hardens into a cake. Piloncillo has a stronger and richer flavor than brown sugar. For tamarind chicken, the tartness of the tamarind and the sweetness of the piloncillo are accentuated with the smoky heat of the chipotle pepper.

When the Spaniards arrived, the Nahuatl tribe lived in the area that is now Mexico. They introduced the colonists to the chipotle, a jalapeño pepper that is preserved by drying in smoke. Jalapeños are native to Mexico, and the name

Chipotle. Photo: User:Carstor.

chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, which means smoked chili. Chipotle peppers had been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years before the Spaniards arrived in Mexico. Newcomers to Mexico, including the Jews, have incorporated them into their cuisines. Chipotle peppers add subtle heat to the tamarind chicken.

Chicken in Tamarind Sauce

  • 1 cut-up chicken
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup grated piloncillo or brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dried chipotle chile
  1. Place the water, tamarind paste and piloncillo in a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then turn off the flame.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  4. Pour the tamarind mixture into a blender. Add the garlic, balsamic vinegar, and chipotle pepper. Process until smooth.
  5. Place the chicken in a large glass bowl, and pour the tamarind marinade over it. Mix it well, so the chicken is coated on all sides.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  7. Pour the chicken and marinade into a casserole dish. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 °F for 30 minutes.
  8. Take the foil off, and allow to bake for 10 more minutes.

Adapted from Sonia Ortiz.

Rhubarb: The Savory Vegetable of the Jews of the East

standard Saturday August 5th, 2017 Leave a response
Photo by Mariam

Most Philadelphians associate rhubarb with pie. Rhubarb is a vegetable, yet it is treated as a fruit in our cuisine. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews cook rhubarb as a vegetable, adding a sour note to fish and lamb dishes. The first local crops of rhubarb are ripening now, so it is a good time to experiment with someone else’s grandmother’s recipe.

Rhubarb originated in China over 3,000 years ago. The Chinese used it as a medicine to treat constipation. Islamic traders brought it west over the Silk Road beginning in the 8th Century. In the 14th Century, Rhubarb traveled to the ports of Aleppo and Smyrna, and from there it was exported to Europe. It was so highly prized that it was much more expensive than saffron, cinnamon, and opium. The first place where rhubarb was cultivated in the United States was Philadelphia, in John Bartram’s garden. It was nicknamed the “pie plant” since the most common method of preparation was to mix it with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and flour and bake it in a piecrust.

One of the more ancient savory recipes for rhubarb is from Persia. In Farsi rhubarb is called reevas. Here is a recipe for a lamb stew with rhubarb that was served to cleanse the blood and purify the body.

Khoresht-E-Reevas: Rhubarb Stew
Adapted from Middle Eastern Kitchen by Ghillie Basan

  • 1 lb. cubed lamb
  • 2 lb. rhubarb, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  1. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a heavy pot.
  2. Add the onions, stirring until they are golden-brown.
  3. Stir in the meat.
  4. When the meat is brown, pour in enough water to cover it.
  5. Cover the pot and simmer the meat for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a frying pan.
  7. Saute the mint and parsley.
  8. Add the sauteed herbs to the meat.
  9. Cook for 50 minutes.
  10. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  11. Add the rhubarb slices.
  12. Cook for about 10 minutes, until heated through.
  13. Serve with rice.

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

 

Encuentre el Amor con una Torta de Esponja Israelí

standard Saturday August 5th, 2017 Leave a response
Sponge cake. Photo by Kelly Hunter

¿Qué se necesita para encontrar un amor duradero? Tu B’Av, el 15 del mes de Av (las 24 horas siguientes a la noche del 6 de agosto de 2017) es la fiesta judía del amor, un día auspicioso para los solteros judíos para reunirse con su bashert o alma gemela. Resistencia, flexibilidad y firmeza son tres atributos de las personas que mantienen matrimonios exitosos. El lekaj o torta de esponja es como un matrimonio largo. Se ha horneado en Israel desde antes de la fundación del estado moderno en 1948. Este simple y honesto pastel refleja lo que debe ser un amor verdadero y duradero.

Tu B’Av es una antigua fiesta judía para arreglar casamientos. Durante el período del Segundo Templo (530 AEC – 70 DEC) las mujeres solteras vestían de blanco y bailaban en los viñedos. Esperaban atraer a un marido. Esta tradición ha sido revivida en la Israel moderna. Muchas mujeres visten de blanco, y algunas todavía bailan en viñedos. También utilizan las tentaciones de la cocina para encontrar el amor.

Wonder Pot. Photo by Yoninah

Nada dice “amor” como un pastel hecho en casa, recién salido del horno. Una torta de esponja israelí es la elección perfecta. Se ha horneado en Israel a pesar de todas las dificultades. Durante el período de austeridad de los años cincuenta, los suministros de alimentos eran escasos y la mayoría de la gente no tenía hornos. El problema del horno se resolvió con el Sir Pele o Pote de Maravilla. Un pote de maravilla era una cacerola de Bundt adaptada. Podría cocer sobre un quemador. Otro reto era el racionamiento de los alimentos, lo que significaba que todos los ingredientes para el pastel no estaban disponibles. Las amas de casa israelíes inventivas descubrieron una manera de sustituir cosas que no podían obtener, como huevos, y servir su torta de austeridad y café de todos modos.

La torta de esponja es una parte tan integral de la vida en Israel que una receta fue publicada por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. Puede servirla llana o con crema batida y fresas en rodajas.

Torta de Esponja Israelí

Adaptado de Israeli Missions Around the World

  • 1 1/2 tazas de harina
  • 1 1/4 tazas de azúcar
  • 1 cucharada de levadura en polvo
  • 1/4  cucharada de sal
  • 1 cucharada de limón rallado
  • 1 cucharada de zumo de limón
  • 6 huevos, con las yemas y claras separadas
  1. Precalente el horno a 350 ° F (170 C).
  2. Bate las yemas de huevo, el azúcar, la cáscara de limón y el jugo de limón.
  3. En un tazón separado, bate las claras con la sal.
  4. Vierta las claras de huevo batidas en la mezcla de yema de huevo.
  5. Mezcle la harina y el azúcar.
  6. Vierta la masa en un molde Bundt de 10 pulgadas (25 centímetros).
  7. Hornee durante 50 minutos.

Publicado en The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

 

Find Love With Israeli Sponge Cake

standard Thursday August 3rd, 2017 Leave a response
Sponge cake. Photo by Kelly Hunter

What does it take to find lasting love? Tu B’Av, the 15th of the month of Av (the 24 hours following the evening of Aug. 6, 2017) is the Jewish holiday of love, an auspicious day for single Jews to meet their bashert or soulmate. Resilience, flexibility, and steadfastness are three attributes of people who maintain successful marriages. The lekach or sponge cake is like a long marriage. It has been baked in Israel since before the foundation of the modern state in 1948. This simple, honest pastry reflects what a true and lasting love should be.

Tu B’Av is an ancient Jewish holiday for matchmaking. During the period of the Second Temple (530 BCE – 70 CE) unmarried women would dress in white, and dance in the vineyards. They were hoping to attract a husband. This tradition has been revived in modern Israel. Many women wear white, and some still dance in vineyards. They also use the temptations of the kitchen to find love.

Wonder Pot. Photo by Yoninah

Nothing says “love” like a home-baked cake, fresh out of the oven. An Israeli sponge cake is the perfect choice. It has been baked in Israel despite every hardship. During the period of austerity of the 1950s, food supplies were short and most people did not have ovens. The oven problem was solved with the Seer Pele or Wonder Pot. A Wonder Pot was a retrofitted Bundt pan. It could bake over a burner. Another challenge was food rationing, which meant that all the ingredients for the cake were not available. Inventive Israeli housewives figured out a way to substitute things they could not get, like eggs,and serve their austerity torte and coffee anyway.

Sponge cake is such an integral part of life in Israel that a recipe was published by the Foreign Ministry. You may serve it plain or with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

Israeli Sponge Cake
Adapted from Israeli Missions Around the World

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 6 eggs, separated
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with the salt.
  4. Pour the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Mix in the flour and sugar.
  6. Pour the dough into a 10-inch Bundt pan.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes.

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Lag B’Omer Hot Dog Bar

standard Saturday May 13th, 2017 Leave a response
Photo by PROJazz Guy

Lag B’Omer marks the end of the 49-day period of counting the days between Passover and Shavuot. Historically, the counting begins on the day an omer (unit of measure) of barley was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem and ends on the day before an omer of wheat was brought to the Temple. In Israel, it is celebrated with picnics, bonfires, and barbecues. How can you combine the ancient Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer with an all American twist? Throw a hot dog bar party!

Whether you are lighting a bonfire or cooking on your grill, here is your game plan. Set up a buffet, and let your guests express their creativity. Mix and match rolls, sausages, condiments, and crunchy chips.

Sausages:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Fish
  • Vegetarian

Bread:

  • Rolls
  • An assortment of sliced breads
  • Pitas
  • Tortillas

Photo by Ms. Phoenix

Fixings:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Potato chips
  • Corn chips
  • Chili
  • Guacamole
  • Pickles
  • Hot peppers
  • Sweet peppers
  • Diced onions
  • Coleslaw
  • Hummus

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.

Limonana: The Accidental Summer Treat

standard Wednesday May 10th, 2017 Leave a response
Photo by Bernard Gagnon

“Did you drink limonana when you were a kid?” people ask me. The answer is no. Lemonade with mint (nana in Arabic) was popular in Syria and Turkey. Israel discovered limonana serendipitously, as a byproduct of an experimental advertising campaign.

Advertisements were not placed on the sides of buses until the 1990s in Israel. The first experimental ads were for a soft drink that did not exist. The advertising agency named it Limonana. After two weeks, customers and stores started demanding the Limonana. The company had to admit that the Limonana was just a made up product.

Several enterprising restaurant proprietors identified an opportunity, and created a slushy lemonade with fresh mint. The soft drink manufacturers took notice, and started bottling limonana. Now, it is possible to find lemonade with mint, limonana slush, smoothies, yogurts, and sorbets. My favorite way to enjoy limonana is to make a slush. Nothing will cool you down faster on a hot day!

Limonana Slush

  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 bunch (one handful) fresh mint sprigs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  1. Prepare a simple syrup by cooking the sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  3. Place the simple syrup, lemon juice, ice cubes, and mint leaves in a blender.
  4. Process until you have a smooth, slushy concoction.

Published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice.