Sunday, February 26, 2017

Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake PARVE!



!Warning!
This cake is not for the faint of heart bakers. 
This cake will take over your life. 
This cake will invade your every thought. 
This cake is out of this world.


Have you ever been to Momofuku Milk Bar? 
I was in New York City late last summer with my sister and she was adamant we pay a visit to this place. She wanted some Cereal Milk Soft Serve Ice Cream. So, we went and all I can say is whoa. Cereal milk flavor is all the rage right now, it's the milk leftover after you eat a bowl of cereal. 
Unfortunately, I couldn't partake in the Cereal Milk flavor because I have to eat gluten free. I was diagnosed with Celiac a year ago, which I could talk about for hours on end, but for right now I'll save it for another time. I had the cola flavored soft serve, I still can't wait to return to this place.

Last week, a friend of mine posted that she attempted this cake. All I know is I saw it and knew I had to make it, and luckily I had a reason, my Liam's 5th birthday!

I made 2 versions, parve and gluten free parve. 
If you would like to make it with dairy here is the original recipe:
http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/momofuku-milk-bars-birthday-layer-cake

To make Gluten Free, I substitued the flour with this flour, which I highly recommend! I got it from Amazon:
Blends By Orly Sydney Blend - Gluten-free Baking Flour for Cakes, Muffins, Brownies, and Pies, 20oz Bag

It's a good idea to watch this video before you attempt this cake, I must of watched it 4 times!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EuESxt1gPE


Parve Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Cake:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray, like Pam

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles, divided
  • ½ cup parve buttermilk- place 1 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar in a 1/2 cup measuring cup and fill to the top with regular soy milk 
  • ⅓ cup grapeseed oil, do not substitute
  • 2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract, preferably McCormick brand - VERY IMPORTANT DO NOT SUBSTITUTE for the entire recipe
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable shortening, I used Crisco
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted margarine, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Crumbs:

  • ¾ cup cake or all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract

For The Frosting And Assembly:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted margarine, room temperature, I actually used Earth Balance Sticks, so I omitted the salt from the recipe
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening, I use crisco
  • 2 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, room temperature (1/4 of the container)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon citric acid (or ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice) I found this on amazon
  • For the Cake Soak:
1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup soy milk 

Special Equipment: I bought both of these from Amazon, you can click the link

  • 6" cake ring or springform mold
  • 2 strips acetate (flexible plastic paper), each 3" wide and 20" long

Directions:

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13x9" rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray; set aside. I sprayed the whole pan first, then added the parchment, and then sprayed the parchment.
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and ¼ cup sprinkles in a large bowl. Combine parve buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat granulated sugar, shortening, butter, and light brown sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Continue to beat mixture, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until almost doubled in volume and very light, airy, and pale yellow, about 4 minutes.
With mixer on low, add buttermilk mixture until incorporated. Add dry ingredients, beating until just combined, about 1 minute.
Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. sprinkles. Bake until cake is light golden brown, the center springs back when gently pressed, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30–35 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Do ahead: Store cooled cake wrapped in plastic in fridge up to 5 days.

Crumbs:

Preheat oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, sprinkles, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add oil and vanilla, and using your hands, mix until no dry spots remain and large clumps form when mixture is pressed together. As though you were making a crumble topping, break mixture up into clusters (some small, some large) and spread onto prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until crumble is light golden brown and crunchy, 10–12 minutes (it will firm up as it cools). Let cool completely.
Do ahead: Wrap crumbs tightly in plastic and store at room temperature up to 5 days.

Frosting and assembly:

Combine margarine, shortening, and Tofutti cream cheese in large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high until mixture is smooth and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and slowly stream in corn syrup and 1 Tbsp. vanilla. Beat until mixture is silky smooth and glossy white, about 3 minutes.
Scrape down sides of bowl and, with mixer on low, add powdered sugar, baking powder, and citric acid until just combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until it's completely smooth.

For the assembly:

Place a piece of parchment on a counter. Invert cake onto parchment, then peel parchment off of the cake. Use cake ring to punch out two 6" rounds from cake (or, using a springform pan as a guide, cut out 2 rounds using a paring knife). These are your top 2 cake layers (the remaining cake scraps will form the bottom layer of the cake).
Line a sheet pan with a clean piece of parchment. Clean cake ring and place it in center of the pan. Use 1 acetate strip to line inside of cake ring. Place cake scraps inside ring and use the back of your hand to press scraps together into a flat, even layer (you never see this layer, so it’s okay that it’s messy—but since it’s the base of the cake, it needs to be flat).
Combine soy milk and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla in a small bowl. Spoon soymilk mixture and use half of it to generously moisten the base layer.
Use the back of a spoon to spread about 3 Tbsp. frosting evenly over cake. Sprinkle ⅔ cup birthday crumbs evenly over frosting. Use the back of your hand to press them in place. Use the back of a spoon to spread another 3 Tbsp. frosting as evenly as possible over crumbs.
With your index finger, gently tuck second acetate strip between cake ring and the top ¼" of the first acetate strip, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5–6" tall—high enough to support the height of the finished cake. Top with a cake round (if 1 of your 2 cake rounds is less pretty than the other, use it for the middle layer and save the most perfect one for the top). Brush layer with remaining milk mixture. Repeat frosting-crumb layering process.
Nestle remaining cake round into frosting. Cover top of cake with remaining frosting. Use an offset spatula to form decorative swirls, or do as they do at Milk Bar and shape it into a perfectly flat top. Top with remaining birthday crumbs.
Transfer cake to freezer and freeze at least 3 hours to set cake and filling.
At least 3 hours before serving the cake, pull sheet pan out of freezer and, using your fingers and thumbs, pop cake out of cake ring. Gently peel off acetate and transfer cake to a platter or cake stand. Defrost in fridge at least 3 hours. Store cake in the refrigerator.
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All I can say is go for it and good luck!!!



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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Challah- Liam's 5th Birthday Shabbat Dinner

It's no secret I love celebrating birthdays. Birthdays in our family usually are celebrated a few times, at least! We always make a Shabbat birthday celebration around whoever's birthday it is. Well, this week it was Liam's 5th birthday shabbat dinner, and I really wanted to make it extra sprecial. He loves trolls, so we went to town with troll decor.

After seeing a video on Cinnamon Roll Challah, I had to try it. The results were phenomenal, you must make this.
I kept the meal simple, he had requested spaghetti, and he loves caesar salad.

Here's our menu:

Cinnamon Roll Challah- see recipe below
Spaghetti 
Meat Balls
Homemade Bolognaise- recipe below
Caesar Salad 
Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake (Parve!)- will be my next post



Cinnamon Roll Challah- bread machine, makes 2 large loaves
Everyone went CRAZY!

This is my go to bread machine Challah recipe, get ready because this is the first time I've shared this on here

2 eggs
1 1/4 C. water
1/2 C. oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 C. heaping white sugar
4 2/3 and 1 T. flour you can use all purpose or bread
1 packet of active dry yeast

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 T. honey

Directions-
Place the challah dough ingredients into bread machine bowl with paddle attached in the order listed above. Make a small well in the flour and add the yeast. Put machine on dough cycle. 
When the dough cycle is over, my machine is 90 minutes, remove the dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cut the dough into 6 equal parts.
Roll each part into thin rectangle about 4 inches by 6 inches
Evenly spread the cinnamon filling over all of the rectangles. 
Roll each rectangle up longwise, to create a rope, pinch and seal the seam.
Take 3 of the pieces and braid. Place the to challahs on the prepared sheet pan.
Cover with a dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Place in the oven. I did not use an egg wash, but if you are making regular challah you need to crack an egg into a bowl, beat it, and brush it over the top of the challahs before putting in the oven. 
Bake for 30 minutes. 


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The Best Bolognaise Sauce

1 ½ lbs ground beef
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-28 oz. can diced tomatoes, Italian Style, Muir Glen or Hunts
2 cans tomato paste, I used hunts
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes, I used organic Muir Glen brand 
1 t. salt
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. onion powder

Brown the ground beef in a large pot with the oil, garlic, and onion. 
When the meat is completely browned add the rest of the ingredients. Stir thoroughly to combine.
Let mixture bubble and then turn heat to low and cook for at least an hour on low. 
Serve over pasta.
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Can't wait to hear how y'all like these recipes!








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Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Hi! Lee Hock here, and I know it has been a long long time since I last blogged.

Life has changed and stayed the same. We added a princess to our crew in 2015, she is now 20 months. Our newest little turkey-



I am still doing the things I love, being a mom, and of course COOKING! Life is busy, and I have not been blogging, but there has been so many times I have cooked good dinners and thought I need to blog this. One day when things aren't quite so crazy, I'll be back!

Well last night in the middle of the night the 3 boys came down at 2 AM for various reasons. As always, I had a hard time going back to sleep, thoughts were swirling in my head a million miles an hour. One of those thoughts was I need to do a Thanksgiving post. So here I am.

Here's lots of Thanksgiving ideas, recipes below the list:

Thanksgiving Baked Chicken
Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry Sauce
Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
Salad
Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Winter Veggies
Sweet Potato Casserole
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Oreo Turkeys
Turkey Crudite
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Thanksgiving Baked Chicken
If for any reason you are not up for making a whole turkey, this is so so so easy and soooooo good!

1 Chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Olive oil
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blend Poultry Magic

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken in a baking dish in a single layer, drizzle the top with a little bit of olive oil, sprinkle the top of the chicken with the Magic seasoning.
Bake uncovered for 1.5 hrs
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Cornbread Dressing

This was a Thanksgiving staple at my grandparents house, I can't imagine having Thanksgiving without it.

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup (1/2 stick)stick margarine, fleishmans unsalted or earth balance
1 pan golden corn bread, recipe below
2 C. vegetable broth such as Imagine Brand
1 egg, beaten
2 to 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. In medium fry pan, melt the margarine, saute celery and onion until tender, about 5 minutes.
In large bowl, combine celery mixture with corn bread, broth, egg, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss lightly until bread is completely moistened. Place in well-greased or sprayed 1-1/2 quart casserole or 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.Bake 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes longer or until golden on top

Golden Corn Breadfrom the side of Aunt Jemima Brand Cornmeal Package, this is the recipe I always make

1 C. cornmeal
1 C. all purpose flour
2-4 T. sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 C. soy milk, I use plain unsweetened
1 egg
1/4 C. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8 inch square baking dish with non stick spray.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the soy milk, egg, and oil. Mix until combined. Pour into the baking dish. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until done.
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Cranberry Jalapeno Sauce

This is a great alternative to your standard cranberry sauce. It is so good on sandwiches too!

2 fresh jalapenos
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 C. sugar
1 C. water
Mince the jalapeno. For mild heat, discard the seeds, for medium heat leave the seeds in. Place the jalapenos, cranberries, sugar, and water in a small sauce pan, and put on the stove over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and cool to room temperature, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Can also be served warmed if desired.

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Cranberry Sauce

This is by far my favorite part of the Thanksgiving plate.

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. orange juice

Place all of the above ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil until the cranberries start to pop, probably about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and the sauce will thicken as it cools.
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Thanksgiving Salad 

This recipe is inspired by a salad our friends brought last friday.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds- can buy already toasted, or toast at 350, until a little bit browned, must watch carefully so they don't get burnt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 hearts of romaine, cut into small pieces
  • 2 C. Baby bok choy 
  • 1 C. Napa Cabbage
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1 handful of Pomegranate seeds
  • Handful of Candied Pecans, Trader Joes has good ones
  • 1 pear, peeled and diced, I would use an Asian Pear if you can, could also use apple

In a blender (can use immersion blender) Put sugar, onion, paprika, vinegars, and oil. Blend until emulsified. Stir in poppy seeds and sesame seeds.
In a large salad bowl, put lettuce, bok choy, cabbage, cranberries, pear, pomegranate seeds, candied pecans.Toss with dressing to coat. Serve immeadiately.
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Sweet Potato Casserole

5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/4 C. margarine
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
3 T. orange juice
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 (10.5 ounce) package miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and mash. 

Place mashed sweet potatoes in large bowl, and use an electric mixer to blend with the margarine, brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. Spread evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with miniature marshmallows. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through, and marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.

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Green Bean Casserole 

Green bean casserole is a classic American recipe, and it is usually made with canned condensed mushroom soup, which isn't kosher. Here is the kosher parve version I created. Feel free to substitute the canned green beans with fresh steamed green beans.
  
3 T. margarine
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 T. flour
1 C. soymilk, unsweetened and unflavored, can also use non dairy creamer
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 pinch salt (more to taste)
1 pinch pepper
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained or 1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans steamed
1 C. French-fried onions

Melt margarine over medium heat. add onion and sauté until translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Stir in flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add the soy milk or non dairy creamer little by little, letting the flour-mushroom mixture absorb it. You should now have what looks similar to a creamy mushroom soup.

 Remove from heat and mix in garlic, salt, pepper, and green beans (be sure and taste it to check the seasoning, you want it to be tasty). Place green beans in a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Pour over the mushroom mixture. Mix to combine a little bit. Top with French fried onions. Bake at 350 uncovered for 30 minutes, watch to make sure the onions on top don’t burn

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Roasted Winter Veggies
This is Ina Garten's recipe with the addition of Brussels Sprouts.

1 pound carrots, peeled
1 pound parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 C. brussels sprouts cut in half

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1 to 1 1/4-inch cubes, add the cut brussels sprouts. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don't cut them too small.
Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.



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Mom's Secret Pecan Pie

My mom is famous for this recipe, it's super easy! This could easily be made gluten free if necessary, just use a gluten free pie crust.

2 T. margarine
1 C. sugar
1 C. dark corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. pecans
1 (9 inch) unbaked frozen pie crust, such as Mrs. Smith's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Melt the margarine in a small sauce pan, remove from the heat and add the sugar, and corn syrup, stir until combined. Let cool for 10-15 minutes until cool enough to add the eggs without cooking them, add the vanilla and the eggs, stir until combined, then add the pecans. Pour this mixture into the frozen pie crust. Place on a baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake for 60 minutes until center reached 200 degrees. If the crust starts to brown too much, cover edges with foil.

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Pumpkin Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust

It is so easy to whip this up, for gluten free if you want to use a gluten free crust this will work well, I have even made it with no crust.

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin Puree, (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 C. sugar
1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. soy milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl using a whisk, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, eggs, and soy milk until smooth. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees. Bake for another 40-50 minutes until when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on the counter for 2 hours and serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

Grandma Ople is not my grandma. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, it got an average of 5 stars by 3,825 people, which is unbelievable. This is no ordinary apple pie recipe.

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie, I used a store bought one
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. 

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. 

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

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Oreo Turkeys
We have a tradition to make these every year, the kids love it! Jelly Belly makes kosher candy corns, you can usually find them in the Jelly Belly stand in the grocery store or at TJ Maxx. The picture above is missing the red part that hangs down under the beak. 

  • 24Oreo Double Stuff cookies
  • 12miniature peanut butter cups
  • 12malted milk balls
  • 1cup candy corn
  • 4ounces chocolate frosting
  • 4ounces white frosting
  • red food coloring
  1. Place one Oreo cookie as the base. Put one teaspoon of chocolate frosting on top.
  2. Place one small peanut butter cup on it's side so that the top and bottom are perpendicular to the base -- and stuck in the frosting. Place a teaspoon of chocolate frosting on the top(widest part) of the p-butter cup.
  3. For the second cookie. Stick some candy corn into the Oreo 'stuff' along one edge for the feathers -- pointy side down. They should fan out around the edge. If you have trouble doing this, you can help them stick with some white frosting.
  4. Place this second Oreo cookie (the tail) on it's edge and sticking to a dab of brown frosting on the back of the peanut butter cup.
  5. Place a dab of chocolate frosting on top of the peanut butter up (for the head). Place a malted milk ball on top for the head.
  6. Take a small amount of the white frosting in a separate dish. Mix in red food coloring.
  7. Use a toothpick with the white and red colors to place eyes, and wattle. You can pinch off the small pointy top of a candy corn and dip it in brown frosting for the beak.
  8. ______________________________________________________________________
Turkey Crudite
Straight from Pinterest and so cute! This is self explanatory.
Image result for turkey crudite
Image result for turkey crudite
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Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Houston's Grilled Chicken Salad

An abundance of ailments have swept through the Hock household in the past few weeks. There have been fevers (JR and CJ), colds (everyone), stomach aches, ear infections (CJ), and even a torn ear drum (King Hock, poor poor King Hock). The most recent ailment happened to CJ, my 3 year old, aka Prince Hock #2.

Yesterday afternoon, I went through the carpool line as usual to pick him up from camp, and instead of him walking out to my car, his counselor carried him. She explained that he hurt his arm, and wouldn't move it. Well, me being the doctor that I am, I took one look and knew it was out of socket. It had happened to JR one time.

We hurried over to the pediatrician, and he popped it back in to place. CJ was so brave, I was very proud. I told him I would reward him by taking him to pick out a toy, and he decided we should go to Wal Mart.

So, here we are moseying around the toy aisles of Wal Mart for what seemed like an hour. This was a tough decision picking out a toy. CJ finally settled on a Power Ranger, but he wanted to have just one more look up and down each of the aisles. That's when the $40 Barbie Pool set caught his eye. I tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn't budge. Finally, we settled on a Ken wearing a bathing suit and a smaller pool.

He proudly carried the Ken and pool around the store, and was very excited. Then, out of nowhere he spots a picture of Captain America. "Mommmmmyyyyy, loooooook! I want a Captain America costume!" Since, Wal Mart doesn't carry costumes year round, I stood there and ordered it from Amazon on my phone. "Ok, it's coming in 2 days," I told him.

I felt bad that he just went through this whole ordeal and would have to wait 2 days for a reward, so I still bought him the Ken just without the pool.

As we drove home from Wal Mart, we had an in depth conversation about his new toy. When I referred to it as his Barbie, I corrected myself and called it his Ken Doll, and he goes, "Mommy, I have a swim teacher at camp named Kendall."

I said, "Her name is Kendall like your Barbie?" He said, "Yes like my Barnie!"

So, I guess that's where he came up with the name Barnie Kendall because from then on he referred to his new toy as Barnie Kendall. He loved it so much, that he decided to sleep with it in his bed.

Last night at 3 A.M. I hear screaming, "Daddy, Mommy, I can't find Barnie Kendall." I sent King Hock up to help him. We were just about to fall back asleep, and then there was more screaming, "Daddy, Mommy, I can't find Barnie Kendall's sunglasses."

Normally, King Hock and I get irritated when he wakes us up in the middle of the night (which happens very often), but last night we were laughing hysterically.

CJ comes down stairs this morning carrying his Barbie and says, "Good morning Mommy, I told you I shouldn't sleep with Barnie Kendall, his bathing suit keeps falling off, can you put it back on please?"

Now, CJ is tucked all nicely in his bed with Barnie Kendall, let's hope we don't have a repeat of last night.

Now onto our dinner. I offered King Hock to make whatever he wanted for dinner tonight, and challenged me to make the Grilled Chicken Salad from Houston's. He used to adore it in his pre kosher days.

The recipe I came up with was spot on, it was unbelievable.

Here it is:


Houston's Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken, marinated and grilled to your liking, then very thinly sliced
Tortilla Strips, recipe below
Honey Dijon Dressing, recipe below
Peanut Sauce, recipe below
1 package Mixed Greens
Carrots, cut into matchsticks (I used precut bagged type)
1 ear fresh corn, shucked
6 leaves Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced

To prepare the salad:

Place the mixed greens, carrots, corn, Napa cabbage, grilled chicken, and tortilla strips in a large bowl. Toss with the Honey Dijon Dressing. Place on your serving plate, and drizzle with the peanut sauce. Alternately place the peanut sauce in a large ziploc, snip off a very small part of the corner and squeeze out over the salad.

Tortilla Strips

6 corn tortillas
2 t. vegetable oil
Kosher Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment. Brush the tortillas with oil. Stack them, and cut into very thin long strips. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crisp and starting to brown.

Honey Dijon Dressing

1/4 C. red wine vinegar
1/3 C. vegetable oil
2 T. dijon mustard
1/2 fresh small lime, juiced
1 t. sesame oil
1/4 C. honey
1 t. dried minced onion
1/4 t. pepper
pinch salt
1-2 T. fresh cilantro chopped
1-2 T. red bell pepper, very finely diced

In a bowl use an immersion blender and blend together all of the above except for the cilantro and red bell pepper, blend until emulsified. Add the cilantro and red bell pepper, and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Peanut Sauce

1/4 C. peanut butter
1 t. garlic powder
4 t. soy sauce
4 t. rice wine vinegar
4 t. brown sugar, packed
2 t. sesame oil

Use an immersion blender and mix together the above ingredients until smooth.


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Hopefully Barnie Kendall won't pull that Toy Story stunt on us tonight, and go playing in the middle of the night, or lose his sunglasses.

Have a great night!
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lee Likes


Oh hi! Yes, it's been almost 2 weeks since my last blog post. Things around here have been crazy as always, especially the afternoons. From about 5-7 P.M. some demons take over my children's bodies.

The chaos is chaotic.

 Prince Hock #1 and #2 know karate (self taught), and love to practice it on each other.  It's awesome to watch them morph into real ninjas. HI-YA! Someone, usually both, inevitably get hurts.

Baby Hock insists on being held, there is no putting him down, he is happy as long as I'm holding him. You can imagine how strong my arm muscles are getting. One arm stirring a pot, the other arm holding a baby.

The best is when all three cry at the same time, I just join in, or I laugh.

I've tried some new recipes, none that were worth sharing, but I do want to share with you my favorite things right now:

1. Rada Knives

These are seriously the sharpest knives I have ever used. They are inexpensive and have consistently gotten 5 star reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/Rada-Cutlery-Starter-Aluminum-S38/dp/B000FZ223I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342056960&sr=8-2&keywords=rada+knives
Rada Cutlery Starter Set, 7 Pc Boxed Gift Set, Made in USA
2. 365 Early Grain Bread (Whole Foods Brand)

Healthy- Check, Organic- Check, Delicious- Check
This super seedy bread is yummy toasted. I look forward to eating it every morning for breakfast. It makes great grilled cheeses, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

3. Nature Valley Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Protein Bars

I feel like I am eating a candy bar. These make a great snack, they are low in sugar and high in protein, which is ideal for diabetics, and really anyone.

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Flavored Protein Bar

4. Michael's Children's Vitamins

First of all, kosher vitamins for kids are hard to come by. Second of all, I'm very happy that the lid is child-proof because my kids want to eat these all the time. I highly recommend these.

Michael's Children's Chewables

5. Nespresso Aeroccino

My favorite coffee drink is lattes, so I was so excited to get this milk steamer/foamer for my birthday. I still haven't perfected making lattes with it yet, but I'm working on it.



6. Alba Passion Fruit Body Wash

LOVE this! It smells amazing, and I feel like I'm in Hawaii everytime I take a shower. It also has a pump, which is amazing.



7. Escada Sexy Graffiti perfume

Every summer Escada puts out a different limited edition scent that I buy every year. Sexy Graffiti came out about 10 years ago, and I fell in love with it, it was my all time favorite. I was stoked when I saw that they brought it back this year. It smells like summer.

Escada Sexy Graffiti Eau de Toilette, 1.6 oz

8. Talenti Gelato

I might be a little biased...this is the best ice cream in the whole wide world! All of the flavors are incredible, I would have a hard time picking my favorite. Give it a try.

http://talentigelato.com/

Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip New

9. Popcorners Chips

These freaking chips are addictive.



9.  Sugar Cookie Bars

No, I'm not pregnant again, it's just all of the sugar cookie bars I've been eating lately. I need to stop making these bars, but I just can't because they are that good. I like them right from the freezer too.

I've revised the recipe, see below.

These are the best if you make them in a 9 x 9 silicone baking pan, bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.




Sugar Cookie Bars

1 stick margarine or butter, I used an Earth Balance Stick
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda

1 can Pillsbury vanilla frosting
food coloring- your choice of color (optional)
sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 7x11 or 9x9 with non stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until combined. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix until dough comes together.
Put the dough into the baking pan and use your hand to pat evenly to fill the inside.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, 15 minutes for a silicone baking pan. If you use a pyrex pan, you might have to bake a little bit longer, unless you like it really doughy.

Once the cookie has cooled, mix a few drops of food coloring into the icing. Spread the icing on top of the cookie, I only used half of the can. Then sprinkle with sprinkles. To serve, cut into squares.

10. Electric Salt and Pepper Shakers

I got these as a gift, they are awesome!



11. Fresh and Easy Cookbook

by Leah Schapira

A friend of mine recommended this cookbook. It's published by ArtScroll, the same company that did the whole Kosher by Design series. I haven't made anything from it yet because I literally just got it today. I'm excited to try some new recipes, and there are a bunch in this book that I want to try.

Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking: Ordinary Ingredients -Extraordinary Meals

http://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Easy-Kosher-Cooking--Extraordinary/dp/1422611442/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342059776&sr=8-1&keywords=fresh+and+easy+kosher+cooking


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I hope to get you some new recipes very soon. Have a good night!


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