Purim is just around the corner, beginning Saturday, March 19th, and some of us are already daydreaming about hamentashen; kreplach; sufganiyot; and other bizarre-sounding foods. Tori Avey, also known as Shiksa in the Kitchen, is loosening her belt this year while celebrating Purim with lemon poppy seed cake and kosher cosmos.
A recent convert, Avey gave up a career as a screenwriter to teach Jewish cooking classes, blog, and write a cookbook with about 100 recipes. "I've been interested in Judaism since before I was conceived. My mom and dad walked down aisle to 'Sunrise, Sunset,'" Avey said. Growing up on country-style meals, Avey abandoned foods such as bacon, tuna casserole, and fried chicken to test her hand at baking challah, brisket, and sambusak. "I started the blog and was shocked at the response I got. After a while I thought, 'I'll do this full time,'" she said.
Purim is a Jewish Halloween of sorts, except temple-goers dress up as Biblical figures such as Mordechai and Esther, instead of slutty Santa or naughty Hermione. Thankfully, clothes worn during the Persian Empire are a bit more forgiving. And as with most Jewish holidays, drinking booze is highly encouraged.
Read on for a Shiksa's Guide to Cake Baking and Martini Shaking...
Note: (from Shiksa in the Kitchen) Using rich pomegranate juice (POM Wonderful or fresh is best) with orange-flavored vodka and other flavors.
Serves: 1 drink
¼ cup pomegranate juice
1 ¼ oz orange vodka
½ oz triple sec
¼ oz sweetened lime juice
8 ice cubes
Pomegranate seeds (optional - for garnish)
Kosher Liquor and Mixer Suggestions:
POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
Absolut Mandarin Vodka
Leroux Triple Sec
Rose's Sweetened Lime Juice
1. Place all ingredients except for pomegranate seeds into a cocktail shaker along with ice cubes.
2. Shake vigorously for a few seconds until well chilled.
3. Drop about 10 pomegranate seeds into the bottom of the martini glass.
4. Strain cocktail into the martini glass and serve.
Turn the page for Avey's poppy seed cake recipe: