About Linda, Part 2

Picture of Eating Cotton Candy

I always enjoyed eating!

It’s a beautiful sunny day and yet I am voluntarily staying in my house today cooking.  Why cooking you might ask?  Because I found fresh leeks and juicy peaches on this morning’s trip to the local farm market.

I feel compelled to purchase beautiful produce.  Anyone who knows me or has ever been to my home is impressed with the amount and kinds of ingredients and foods ready to be transformed into some wonderful dish in my kitchen,  a dish that in its entirety is more delicious than the sum of its parts.

I am a middle aged, trying very hard to be a little hip and technosavy, Beverly Hills housewife (is that an oxymoron?)-realtor.  I love to dye my hair, keep up the Botox, travel, and eat at great restaurants.  Most of all I love to cook and instruct.  I say this all with a smile on my face since I grew up very poor and still love to eat rice and beans.  My children are out of the house well on their way to being independent adults, my husband is occupied at whatever it is that he does at work and I finally have time to bring my gift of creating food and menus to the blogosphere.

Picture of Linda Capeloto Sendowski and Family

My full name is Linda Louisa Capeloto Sendowski,  an ethnic mouthful.  I am an American Sephardic Jew. My grandparents came from the Greek Island of Rhodes and the turquoise coast of Turkey.  I started cooking in my teens, barbequing on a tiny hibachi in the covered patio in our yard,  pretending we had good weather in Seattle. My favorite food growing up and still today, is a cheese boreka,  crispy dough encasing a cheesy filling of feta and parmesan.  Out of necessity, I learned how to make them and other dishes from my family.

When my children started school, I started teaching cooking at PTA fundraisers and continue until this day for other groups.  I also create recipes, archive recipes  by writing them down, and recreate things I have eaten that intrigue me. I sometimes go to an older person’s home in the Sephardic or Jewish community at large and observe how to make a dish. I actually measure the ingredients, quantify and codify. My husband of the last 31 years is Polish and Czech, a dutiful son of Holocaust survivors. I have learned many wonderful recipes from his side of the family as well.

I believe that a kitchen is the center of a home, and filling it with great food makes people happy.  In my blog, I plan to share recipes, and dinner menus, give helpful hints, talk about seasonal ingredients, countdown for holiday preparation, lighten up some recipes, and make them healthier, and share my restaurant dining with you.  Food is an ever-changing frontier and I will talk about, overlooked humble ingredients, fancy stuff like veal chops, healthy stuff like brown rice or farro.  My emphasis is on American Sephardic recipes like  cheese borekas, or bamya (okra) with koobeh (stuffed dumplings) but also just my favorites regardless of origin.  All my recipes in this blog can be made using kosher ingredients.  I will include a list of kosher sources when I can.

Picture of Linda Capeloto Sendowski Teaching Sephardic Cooking Class

Picture of Father of Linda Capeloto Sendowski

My Dad, My inspiration

This page is the about page from my blog the boreka diary. This is where you can find out more about me and see my family pictures.

Contact Linda

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marilyn February 17, 2010 at 6:15 PM

Hi greekgirl,
Here is the contact info on Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel. Telephone: (310) 475-7000
Fax: (310) 470-9238
e-mail: templeoffice@sephardictemple.org
Hope this helps. I’m not familiar with Joyce Goldstein’s books but I know Faye Levy is great.
PS – Linda thanks for this forum to share our knowledge of these wonderful recipes!
warm regards, Marilyn

greekgirl from queens February 20, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Hi Marilyn – Thanks so much for the e-mail address and phone number tor the Sephardic Temple. I’ll definitely e-mail them in the next day or two.

I’d have called them today, but I’ve been busy helping my husband’ (he’s a wonderful artist, part of an Irish artists group) and the setting up of a new exhibition they hope to be display their latest works at.

Anyway, I will e-mail tthe temple tomorrow or Monday and hopefully will be able to purchase a copy from them. What’s the cookbook like? Are there photos? How many recipes/pages are there? Is kolva and biscotios and borekas and fasulia and tish pisti in there?

greek girl from queens February 21, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Hi Linda, Marilyn, Norma and all the great folks on this great blog!

I was just Googling this afternoon, searching for more Greek/Sephardic cookbooks (my wish list grows by the day), and I’ve come across one just now that sounds absolutely wonderful, and I wondered if anyone on the blog either has heard of it or actually owns a copy.

It’s called ‘From My Grandmother’s Kitchen: A Sephardic Cookbook- An exotic blend of Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian & Spanish Cuisines,’ by Viviane Miner and Linda Krinn (Author). It has recipes for borekas as well as biscotios and tishpisti, too!

Although my funds are very limited (I’m currently unemployed, sadly), I’m extremely tempted to buy this book. I’m going to have a look on ebay right after I post this and see what I come up with in my search.

In the meantime, I’ve e-mailed the Sephardic Temple for their cookbook, and am still researching both Judy Jackson’s Essential Jewish Cookbook (can’t find out what the recipes are…yet) and also doing an ebay search for Faye Levy’s International Jewish Cookbook, which I feel I must own a copy.

Norma February 21, 2010 at 6:06 PM

HI Greek Girl From Queens,

I have both the cookbook from the Sephardic Temple and the Book “from my Grandmother’s Jewish Kitchen.” They are both older type books with no pictures. I love Linda’s blog because it has such great pictures and recipes with extremely clear directions which are backed up by pictures.

For a tishpishti recipe based on the latter book, go to epicurious.com and look up Passover Honey Nut Cake in Soaking Syrup. I made it once and it was good.

Perhaps, Linda will post her recipe for Passover. As far as biscotios, Linda’s recipe is the only one I ever found calling for orange juice and zest. Her recipe beats by far any others that I have tried.

I am not Sephardic, but my husband’s grandparents were from Turkey.

Good luck with your research. Glad if I can help you.

Thanks again Linda for this terrific blog where we can share recipes.


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