Saturday, December 31, 2011

12-31-2011 The 11 Best of 2011

Here is a list of my top 2011 moments (good and bad)

1. Potty training Prince Hock #2, before he turned 2.  I wouldn't of done it so early, but he was potty training himself at 15 months. Lots and lots of accidents...

2. Going to Disney World, Prince Hock #1 wanting to ride every ride including Tower of Terror, and being too short by 1/4 inch, and then that same brave little boy was petrified off the costumed characters.

3. Accidentally submerging my iPhone in water (2 seperate occasions), drying it out with rice, and it actually somewhat functioning afterwards.

4. Getting bows in our boy dog Charlie's hair was adorable! King Hock coming home and flipping out, had to remove them immediately.

5. King Hock falling through the roof in the attic. Enough said.

6. Going to Europe: having tea at Fortnum and Masons in London, seeing Budapest on a Segway, Walking the Charles Bridge in Prague at night, and eating Sacher Torte at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna

7.  Having a raspberry souffle on our wedding Anniversary, the best!

8. Hosting my first ever cooking demonstration, so fun!

9. Playing in the snow in a city that rarely snows in February.

10.  King Hock having knee surgery not 1, but 2 times. Now both his knees are working good.

11. Cherishing every moment spent cooking for and entertaining our family and friends.

Here are 11 of your and my favorite recipes from 2011. Enjoy!

Meat Lasagna

1 ½ lbs ground beef
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1-28 oz. can chopped tomatoes, Italian Style
2 cans tomato paste
1 t. salt
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. onion powder
½ t. pepper
1 package Barilla no boil lasagna noodles
Brown meat with onion and garlic. Mix in tomatoes and paste. Add seasonings. Cook sauce covered anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours on a low simmer, stir every so often  to make sure bottom of pot isnt burning . Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Layer in a baking pan (I use one a 2.5 qt., but a medium pyrex will do): layer sauce, noodles, sauce, noodles…until you use up all the noodles and the pan looks ful, ending with sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for an hour. Remove from oven and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Remove Foil and serve.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 C. all purpose flour
1 C. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
2 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin cup with muffin papers.
In a large bowl mix together all of the above ingredients, until combined. Pour muffin batter into the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until when you press the middle of one of the muffins, it springs back.

Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms

3 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into strips
1-2 T. olive oil
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove, garlic
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. salt, or to taste
1/4 t. pepper, or to taste

In a large skillet, pour in the olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and turn heat onto medium. Add the onion and sautee 2-4 minutes, until starting to soften, add the garlic, and cook another 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms, balsamic, basil, salt and pepper. Lower heat and cook for 7-12 minutes, until the mushrooms are completely cooked.

Feta Crusted Salmon

1 (2 pound) salmon fillet, bones removed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup light mayonnaise, or regular
1 tablespoon regular or light cream cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika, ground
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or regular dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly oil, or parchment paper. Place salmon onto foil and set aside.

Mix together feta cheese, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder in a bowl until smooth. Spread mixture over salmon, then sprinkle panko over top, covering completely.

Bake in preheated oven until easily flaked with a fork, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Caesar Salad Perfected

Dressing: Makes enough for 2 large salads

1 C. Mayo
3 T. water
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2-3 cloves garlic, depending on how garlicky you like it
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dried parsley
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1 T. dijon mustard
1 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. onion powder

2 heads of hearts of Romaine, washed, dried, and cut in small pieces

1 recipe croutons:

5 slices, day old bread, I used challah, great way to use up leftover challah
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 c. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the bread into cubes. Toss in a large bowl with all of the ingredient.

Place on a sheet pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Let croutons cool at room temp before using

Place the lettuce and croutons in a large bowl. Pour some of the dressing over, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Arroz Con Pollo

1 (3 to 4-pound) chicken, cut in 8 serving pieces
1 medium yellow onion, quartered, plus 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium broth (can use veggie broth)
1 cup light beer, such as lager
3 tablespoons Adobo Seasoning, (I found it at Whole Foods, prob have it at Fiesta too)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ( if you don't have parve use 1 T. soy sauce instead)
1 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 cups white rice
1 cup frozen peas
2 medium carrots, finely diced
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and quartered
1 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons margarine
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced
1 cup pimento stuffed olives

Place the chicken, quartered onions, 1 cup of chicken broth, beer,  adobo, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 of the cilantro, and garlic in a large pot or skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool; once cool shred and set aside. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve discarding the onion pieces.

Pour the broth into a measuring cup and add water to make 4 cups of liquid. Return it to the pot or skillet and add the rice, peas, carrots, green beans, ketchup, and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Let the liquid evaporate to just below the level of the rice, about 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and fully cooked, 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and the remaining sliced onions and cook until they're tender, 8 minutes. Shred the cooked chicken meat discarding the skin and bones, and add the chicken to the vegetables. Cook until it is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and add the chicken and vegetables to the rice mixture. Stir in the olives, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro and serve.
Best Ever Carrot Cake

3/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. soy milk mixed with 2 t. lemon juice
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. white sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
2 C. shredded carrots
1 C.sweetened flaked coconut
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 C. raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray.

In a large bowl mix together the oil, soy milk mixed with lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix until well combined. Add the shredded carrots, coconut, pineapple, and raisins. Stir to mix together well.

Pour the cake batter into the pan and place into the oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Let cool and frost with white icing:

White Icing
4 oz. (1/2 container) Tofutti Cream Cheese
4 T. margarine
1/2 t. almond extract
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 C. powdered sugar

Using a hand mixer whip the cream cheese and margarine together. Add the extracts, and mix. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix until smooth. Spread over the top of the cake.

Meatball Subs

4 mini French Bread loaves, or 1 large loaf cut into 4 rolls

1- 1.5 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1/4 C. plain soymilk, unsweetened preferable
1/2 C. bread crumbs, I used Italian flavored
1 clove garlic
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried parsley
1 jar Marinara, I used Emerils which I highly recommend for this recipe
1/2 C. water

Mix together the meat, egg, soymilk, bread crumbs,  garlic, black pepper, salt, oregano, and parsley.

Pour the marinara sauce and water into a large pot. Make golf ball or smaller sized meatballs.  Place the meatballs into the sauce. Place over the stove and bring to a simmer, lower heat to lowest setting, but still simmering gently. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 2-3 hours. Stirring every so often making sure the sauce isn't burning.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the bread in half, but not all the way through. Place meatballs with sauce inside. Place the filled rolls on a sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes or until nicely toasted.


Carrot Souffle

2 lb. bag baby carrots
1/2 C. melted margarine
1/2 C. white sugar (can use up to 1 C. of sugar if you like it very sweet)
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and use an immersion blender to puree, you can leave some texture if you that's how you like it. Can also mash by hand, but won't be as smooth.

To the carrots add melted margarine, white sugar, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract and eggs. Mix well and transfer to a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 45-60 minutes until set and slightly carmelized on top.


1/2 C. raw spaghetti, broken into 1 inch pieces
3/4 C. raw white rice
14.5 oz broth (I use Imagine Vegetable)
2 T. margarine

In a medium pot, melt the margarine. Add the spaghetti pieces, and stir until they start to brown. Add the rice, and continue stirring until the pasta has browned a bit more. Add the broth and  lower heat to simmer, cover with lid, and cook until the liquid is absorbed.


Artichoke Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
¼ cup lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
1 T tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t ground cumin
1/3 - ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 t salt

Place all of the above ingredients into a Cuisinart or Food processor. Run the machine for a few minutes until you have a smooth and creamy mixture. Stop the machine every so often to scrape down the sides. Taste and adjust seasoning, might want to add more salt or lemon juice.

HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!! 2012!! Pin It

Friday, December 23, 2011

12-23-2011 Sufganiyot (Doughnuts!)

We are already knee deep in Hanukkah, lighting menorahs, celebrating with family and friends, and of course can't forget the presents. Ughhh the presents, the kids are driving me crazy. Yesterday they both got new shoes (ugly light up ones they picked out), you should of seen them when I tried to tell them that was their Hanukkah present. Who gets shoes for Hanukkah?

On Hanukah, we customarily eat foods fried in oil to commerate the miracle of the holiday (basically one week a year I have a fried food binge, there's no telling the total number of latkes I have already consumed). Tonight will be my first taste of sufganiyot, so I am super excited.

Attention: if you own a bread machine, you are in luck because I am about to share with you an outrageously easy and delicious way to make sufganiyot. If you don't own a mixer, you could make this dough in a Kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook, then let it rise and double in size one time before shaping into doughnuts. Also, I make mine parve so they can be served with a meat meal, feel free to sub the soy milk for regular milk if it doesn't make a difference to you.

Here is the recipe:

Bread Machine Doughnuts

I got this recipe from, and this is the 3rd year I've made it.

1 1/4 C. soy milk
1 egg
1/4 C. shortening, I used crisco
1 t. salt
1/4 C. sugar
3 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. dried yeast

Raspberry Jam (seedless)
Powdered Sugar

Place the above ingredients in the order listed above starting with the soy milk, or according to your bread maker's instructions.

Turn on the dough cycle. When dough cycle is over, remove the dough from the pan, and roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2 inch circles, using a round glass, cookie cutter, or a doughnut cutter.

Cover, and let rise for 30 minutes until doubled.

Fill a soup pot 4 inches high with oil, I find peanut oil to be the best. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Gently place the doughnuts in batches into the oil, flip when they float to the surface and one side is golden brown, fry until the other side is brown.

Remove from the oil to drain on paper towels. Let cool.

To fill the doughnuts with jam, you will need a hard icing tip, I have one that is extra long I found in the cake decorating area of a craft store. Put the tip into a ziploc or pastry bag and fill with the raspberry jam. Poke a hole in the side of the doughnut with a straw and pipe until filled to your liking. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve as soon as possible. The fresher the better.

The piping bag and tip:


I hope you have a Happy Hanukkah or whatever holiday your celebrate.

P.S. here is a peak at the doughnuts I made with icing and sprinkles:
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12-14-2011 Hanukkah Cookies

Hanukkah is less than a week away, and the excitement over here in the Hock house is escalating. I'm excited to make the treats I only make once a year: latkes, sufiganyot (doughnuts), homemade applesauce, and of course decorated Hanukkah cookies.

This afternoon Prince Hock #1 and 2 helped me make the Hanukkah Cookies. What a fun project. The recipe I used for the sugar cookies are perfect to make with kids because there is no refrigeration time, so you can go straight from mixing the dough to rolling and cutting out shapes.

I used canned frosting to decorate them, which by the way, I just found out that Pillsbury frosting is parve! I divided it into seperate bowls and colored each one a different color. You could also buy cookie icing which dries much quicker. I have had good luck finding many colors of cookie icing at Wal Mart on the baking aisle.

Here is the recipe for the cookies:

No Refrigerate Cut Out Cookies

1 C. margarine
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
2 3/4 C. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

In a mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer like a Kitchenaid) cream the margarine with the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until dough comes together and is no longer crumbly.

Take half of the dough and roll out with a rolling pin to 1/8 inch on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and place the cut out cookies on the baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until edges just begin to lightly brown. Repeat with remaining dough. Also, the scraps can be formed into a ball an rerolled out several times, until all of the dough has been used.

Remove cookies from the oven and let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Decorate to your liking.


Have a good night! Pin It

Monday, December 12, 2011

12-12-2011 Pumpkin Ravioli and Crispy Chicken

I will admit it, I am a bookworm. I could sit 24 hours straight reading a book, and I have done it a time or two. My favorite types of book are fiction, and cookbooks. Some of my all time favorite books are: Memoirs of a Geisha, Secret Daughter, The Red Tent, The Tea Rose, Alicia, The Covenant, The Borgia Bride, Snowflower and the Secret Fan, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and City of Thieves.

Anyways the reason I'm telling you this is because I am in the middle of an amazing book right now. It is consuming my mind, I am having trouble concentrating on things because all I can think about is reading this book. I'm thinking about it now, so I need to hurry up and tell you about my dinner so I can get on with my reading.

For dinner I made a super easy pumpkin ravioli in which I loved. I am from the camp where it wouldn't be a proper meal without adequate protein, therefore I made a crispy chicken with it. We also had a spinach salad and steamed brocolli.

The inspiration for the pumpkin ravioli came from a dish I enjoyed recently at a restaurant. I took a shortcut and used wonton skins to make them.

The crispy chicken was very tasty and I ate way more than my fair share, I just couldn't stop. I got the recipe from my sister after she made it a few times and was raving about it. She got the recipe from the magazine Cuisine at Home.

Here are the recipes/pics:

Pumpkin Ravioli

1 shallot, finely diced
1 T. margarine
1 T. sherry wine
1 C. pumpkin puree from a can (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 C. parve cream cheese, I used Tofutti
1 egg
salt and pepper
1/4 t. dried sage, I used rubbed Dalmation Sage
1/4 t. nutmeg
44 wonton skins, usually found in produce refrigerated section at grocery stores

6 T. margarine, melted
1/4 C. pecans, toasted
dried sage

In a medium skillet, melt the 1 T. margarine over medium heat, add the shallot, and cook until translucent, being careful not to brown. Turn off the heat and add the sherry. Mix in the pumpkin, and cream cheese. Stir until combined. Stir in the egg. Add 1/2 t. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Add the sage and nutmeg. Stir until all combined.

On a sheet pan lay out 22 wonton skins, top each with 1 T. of the pumpkin mixture. Use your finger and dip in water and wet the edges of the skin. Top each with the remaining 22 skins. Seal the edges, pressing out the extra air. I would wet and seal one ravioli at a time.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, drop the ravioli into the boiling water. The ravioli is done when it is floating, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

To serve, pour the melted margarine over the raviolis. Top with the toasted pecans and sprinkle with sage.


Crispy Chicken

2 chicken breast, cut in half and pounded thin
2 egg whites
2 t. cornstarch
juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 C. panko bread crumbs
zest of 1 lemon
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

3 T. olive or vegetable oil

To pound the chicken breasts, place in a large ziploc bag with a few drops of water. Use a meat mallet to pound to an even thickness.

Whisk together the egg whites, corn starch, and lemon juice. Mix together the bread crumbs, lemon zest, dried parsley, salt, and pepper.

Dip the chicken into the egg white mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place on a rack (like a baker's cooling rack) and place into the refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes, to dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat 3 T. oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove to a sheet pan. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the center is cooked through.


Yay! Now I can go read my book, I am definitely going to have to set a bedtime tonight, so I don't stay up all night.

Have a good night. Pin It

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12-7-2011 Apple Rum Croustade

Sorry guys, the blog has taken a back seat to about a million other things going on in my life right now. From the never ending to do lists and Hanukkah shopping, to Shabbat coming in at 5:00 p.m., things have been crazy around here. We've had more than our share of viruses, split chins, doctors visits and rounds of antibiotics lately. So as you can see cooking has not been my #1 priority.

Last Friday night, I made a beautiful Shabbat dinner, and I tried a few new recipes. Everything was good, but the dessert, Apple Rum Croustade, was by the far the best part of our meal. It was served warm out of the oven, oh my gosh just talking about it right now is making me want a piece. Sorry I don't have a picture for you to get a visual, you will just have to make it.

Apple Rum Croustade

I got this recipe from Kosher By Design Lightens Up, (thanks Colette for letting me borrow it.) I know this recipe looks semi hard, but don't fret, it is easier than you would think.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 T. margarine
2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 large McIntosh, Braeburn, or Gala Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 T. orange juice
1/2 t. vanilla
3 T. dark brown sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. rum (preferably dark)
12-14 sheets Phyllo Dough, sold in a box in the freezer section near puff pastry, defrost overnight in the refrigerator
1/2 C. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heavily spray a 9" spring form pan with non stick spray, or alternately line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

Melt the margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, vanilla, and orange juice, and saute for 3 minutes, then add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and stir. Cook for 4 minutes until the apples are softened, you do not want them to get mushy though.

In a small bowl use a fork and whisk together the cornstarch and rum. Carefully add this mixture to the apples, then cook until the apple mixture has thickened and looks carmelized. Remove from the heat.
(If the rum ingnites when you add it to the pan, don't worry, it will quickly die down.)

Unwrap the phyllo dough. Fold a sheet in half lengthwise. Spray with nonstick spray and lay in the prepared pan so one end touches the middle and the other end comes up the side and hangs over the edge of the pan. Repeat this with a second sheet and overlap the first sheet by 1 inch. Repat with remaining phyllo sheets all the way around in a spoke-like fashion. You want the pan to be completely covered.

Now pour the apples into the center of the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the apples.
Starting with the last sheet of phyllo you placed in the pan, lift the end and twist it towards the center of the filling. Repeat all the way around (the original recipe leaves the center peeking through, although I closed mine up completely).

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Remove the sides of the springform pan, or slide out of the cake pan. Serve warm in slices. Would be good with parve ice cream.


I hope you have a nice day! Pin It

Monday, November 28, 2011

11-28-2011 Hamburger Vegetable Soup and Oat Cloverleaf Rolls

Oh my gosh I am so full right now, I must admit I'm a little bit mad at myself for eating so much. I I think I ate too much hamburger vegetable soup, and I know I ate too many oat cloverleaf rolls. Ughhhh, help!

I have a weak spot for fresh baked bread, I would pick it any day over ice cream or other baked goods. There was a point in my life when I would chose which restaurant I wanted to go to by their bread, some of the best breads in my opinion are: Papadeaux's Sour Dough, Macaroni Grill's Rosemary, Celebration's whole bread basket, particularly their blueberry muffins, and Luby's Cloverleaf Rolls (where I got tonight's inspiration).

I used my bread machine to make the rolls, and if you don't already own one, I highly suggest it. Treat yourself for Hanukah, Xmas, etc. $60, you will not be sorry.

As for the hamburger vegetable soup, I got the idea to make it after I looked around the kitchen and used things I already had. I quickly threw it all together, and was very happy with the end result.

Here are the recipes:

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

This hearty soup is perfect for a cold night.

2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-4 carrots, peeled and diced or sliced
2-4 stalks of celery including leaves, sliced
1.5 lbs. ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C. potatoes, chopped
1 C. green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes, 14.5 oz
1/2 C. frozen peas
1.5 qt. (48 oz) vegetable broth, I used Pacific low sodium, I also like Imagine
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt, or to taste
1/4 C. ketchup

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Saute over medium high until the onions are translucent. Add the ground beef and garlic, and cook until the meat is brown and cooked through. Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir until combined. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, until the potatoes are tender.


Oat Cloverleaf Rolls (Bread Machine)

These are so delish, they are hard to stop eating.

1 1/4 C. water
2 T. margarine cut into cubes
1 t. salt
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 C. rolled oats
3 C. all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. active dry yeast

Place the above ingredients into the bowl of your bread machine, and turn on the dough cycle. Once the cycle finishes, remove the dough. Cut into 12 equal size pieces. Cut each of these pieces into 3. Spray a muffin tin with non stick spray. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, and place 3 balls in each muffin cup.

Cover with a dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour in a warm draft free place, until doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned on top and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.


Please excuse me while I try to get comfortable, after overeating.

Have a good night! Pin It

Friday, November 25, 2011

11-25-2011 Shabbat with King Hock's fam

I spent a few hours in the kitchen last night cooking for Shabbat. I didn't want to be stuck in there cooking all day today. I had big plans to do some very important Black Friday shopping, and I also had plans to see the Muppets movie.

I had my Black Friday hopes up sky high, all night I dreamt about all the amazing deals I would get today. What a disappointment, the best deal I got was at Walmart on 4 undershirts for 5 dollars. I was pumped to go there because they had adverstised a $2 waffle iron, but there were none to be had.

We are having King Hock's family over for Shabbat dinner tonight. There is going to be 13 mouths to feed in total.

Here is the menu:

1. Challah
2. Mixed Greens Salad
3. Brushetta
4. Tomato Gefilte Fish
5. Herb Baked Whole Chicken
6. Meat Lasagna
7. Roasted Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
8. Steamed Green Beans
9. Cranberry Orange Cake, recipe below

Cranberry Orange Cake

Here is an easyand festive cake that tastes delish. The cran orange combo is classic, and personally I love it.

1 yellow cake mix
1 box Jello vanilla instant pudding (3.4 oz)
1 orange, zested
juice of 1 orange plus water to equal 1 cup
4 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.

Mix together the cake mix, pudding, orange zest, orange juice and water, eggs, and oil. Use a hand mixer and mix for 30 seconds until moistened. Then beat on medium high for 2 minutes. Pour into the cake pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.


Have a good Shabbat! Pin It

Thursday, November 24, 2011

11-24-2011 Bananas Foster French Toast and Pumpkin Roulade

Dearest blog readers I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I am finally sitting down for the first time today. My day has been filled with cooking, eating, and more cooking.

We started our morning off with a scrumptious breakfast of Bananas Foster French Toast, it was divine, see the recipe below. I then made the dishes I would be bringing to the various Thanksgiving celebrations we were attending.

I've been having pumpkin cravings lately, so I can't tell you how happy I am to get my fill of pumpkin desserts. Last night I had a cone of pumpkin ice cream, yum! Then today, I made a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin roulade (recipe below).


Bananas Foster French Toast

Sorry there is no picture, we ate it up too quickly!

3 eggs
1/4 C. milk or soy milk
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
6 slices bread, any kind (I used whole wheat)
2 T. butter or margarine
1/4 C. corn syrup, dark or light
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup, no substitutes
1 T. rum, could use 1 t. rum extract instead
3-4 ripe bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Dip the bread into the egg mixture. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat, add the butter. Once the butter has melted cook the egg dipped slices of bread until nicely browned on each side, you may have to do this in batches. Remove to a baking dish, and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

For the bananas foster:  in a small sauce pan over medium whisk together the corn syrup, and brown sugar, bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and pour in the maple syrup, and the rum. Gently stir in the bananas.

To serve, place the french toast on serving plate and ladle on the bananas foster.


Pumpkin Roulade

This is my rendition of Ina Garten's 5 star recipe. I've included the recipe for a cream cheese filling, I didn't have all of the ingredient, so I improvised with marshmallow cream.

3/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground dried ginger
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1/4 C. confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper on both sides.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar evenly over it. (This will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper. With a light touch, roll the warm cake and the towel together (don't press!) starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling parve or dairy:

1 (8oz. package) cream cheese, use tofutti better than cream cheese for parve
1 C. powdered sugar
6 T. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla

Mix together the above ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth.
Unroll the cooled cake and spread the filling all over the surface of the cake. Reroll the cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before serving. Before serving, dust the top with powdered sugar if desired.
To serve: slice into several slices.


Enjoy! Pin It

Monday, November 21, 2011

11-21-2011 Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

King Hock's dad (A.K.A. Opa) joined us for dinner tonight. It was a special treat having him, as we hadn't seen him in a long time. The Princes were ecstatic, they couldn't stop asking Opa to make his trademark horse sound effects "NEIGHHHH" and to roar so they could run away screaming.

Opa has a hearty appetite, and always appreciates my meals. Shortly after I met him, we were all out at a restaurant having dinner, when he proclaimed the key to losing weight is volume control. After he said that, I couldn't help but break out into uncontrollable laughter because I had just witnessed him eat 2 appetizers, a ginormous main course, and the scraps left on my plate as well as King Hock's. To this day we still give him a hard for his volume control statement.

I can't complain though because it gives me great satisfaction when anyone comes over and eats copious amounts of my food. Tonight, I was especially satisfied with how extremely delicious my dinner was. King Hock and Opa were raving.

I made Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries, Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts, Rice Pilaf, and a Parve Key Lime Pie.

First of all, the chicken was extraordinary. The flavor was downright heavenly, and the chicken was so tender it fell off the bone.

Second of all, the brussel sprouts were a little different from my usual recipe, but were so good, that now they will be my usual recipe.

Third of all, I cannot believe I was able to create a Parve Key Lime Pie recipe. It was insanely luscious, and pretty easy to make.

Here are the recipes and pics:

Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash and Cranberries

The butternut squash soaks up the yummy juices, and is such a treat. I found this recipe in the magazine Everyday Food, and changed it to my liking.

2 T. olive oil
4 chicken leg quaters (thighs and drumsticks)
salt and pepper
1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 T. fresh sage, chopped (very important to use fresh here)
4 T. all purpose flour
2 t. ground coriander
1 t. nutmeg
2 C. chicken broth or vegetable broth
3/4 C. dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 T. of the oil in a large pot, add the chicken and cook skin side down until skin is golden and crisp, you may have to do this in batches. Transfer to a plate. Pour off the fat and oil from the pot.

Add the remaining 1 T. of olive oil to the pot and cook the butternut squash and red onion, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Add the sage, flour, coriander, and nutmeg, stir constantly and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and stir using a spoon to scrape up any brown bits. Pour this vegetable and liquid into a large baking dish. Place the chicken ontop skin side up, and sprinkle on the cranberries.

Cover with foil, and bake for 1 and 1/2 hours (90 mins.). Remove from the oven, remove the foil, and plate the chicken with plenty of squash, sauce, and cranberries.


Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts

These were a breeze to make. Can't wait to make them again.

1 lb. brussel sprouts, ends trimmed, and large ones cut in half
1 1/2 t. dijon mustard
1 T. maple syrup
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment, spray with non stick spray.
Mix together the dijon mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Place the brussel sprouts on the baking sheet and pour over the sauce. Toss to coat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes until carmelized.


Parve Key Lime Pie

Serving Key Lime Pie is a refreshing way to end any meal. I've always wondered how I could make a parve version, well I did it, and it rocks!

2 1/4 C. soy milk
1 C. sugar
4 T. cornstarch

1/2 C. sugar
1/2 t. salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 C. key lime juice (I bought this at the grocery store)
grated zest of 1 small lime
1 9 inch premade graham cracker pie crust

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan combine 2 C. soy milk and sugar, bring to a boil stirring every so often. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 C. soy milk making sure there are no lumps., Pour cornstarch mixture into the boiling milk and sugar whisking constantly, until a smooth and thick mixture is created. Remove from the heat. Let cool at least 15 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk together the 1/2 C. sugar, salt, egg yolks, key lime juice, and lime zest. Once the soy milk mixture has cooled (so you don't cook the eggs) whisk into the egg yolk mixture, and whisk until smooth. Pour this into the graham cracker pie crust. 

Bake the pie for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit until it is pretty much cooled. Place into the refrigerator, and chill a few hours before serving.


I hope you have a great night! Pin It

Sunday, November 20, 2011

11-20-2011 Chicken Pot Pie

Excellent night. The princes rented Cars 2 and invited the neighbor kids to watch it with them. Lee Hock made a chicken pot pie and invited the neighbor parents to join her and King Hock to eat it.

So while the kids watched the movie, the adults sat around having a delicious dinner and nice adult conversations. We did have one interruption when Prince Hock #2 came running to the table completely naked. I'm sure our dinner guests were slightly apalled, I explained that he is going through a phase where he just won't leave his clothes on.

Ok, enough about nudity, on to the chicken pot pie. This recipe was rather easy to make, especially considering the dish itself can be a complete meal. I did serve a salad with mine, but it's not a must. If you have never made or had chicken pot pie, I highly suggest it, especially now that the weather is cooling off.

Here is the recipe:

Chicken Pot Pie

1- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 C. sliced carrots
1/2 C. sliced celery
1 C. frozen peas
1/3 C. margarine
1/3 C. onion, chopped
1/3 C. all purpose flour
2 C. chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 C. unsweetened plain soy milk
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. celery seeds
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
2 frozen unbaked pie crusts (9 inches), I used Safeway brand from Tom Thumb (they are parve)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the chicken, carrots, celery, and peas into a medium or large pot and cover with water. Put on the stove and bring to a boil, boil for 15 minutes, and then drain the water over sink with a colander.

While the chicken is boiling, melt the margarine in a medium or large pot, add the onion and cook until translucent. Stir in the flour. Slowly stir in the chicken or vegetable broth and soy milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth. Mix in the salt, pepper, celery seeds, onion powder, and garlic powder. Taste to check if it needs more salt and or pepper.

Put the chicken and veggies into the bottom of one of the pie crust, pour over the liquid sauce. Place the second pie crust ontop, and seal the edges by pinching, and then using fork tines all the way around. Use a paring knife and cut some slits ontop. Bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Have a great night!
____________________________________________________________________________ Pin It

11-20-2011 Perfect Waffles

We just finished our breakfast of perfect waffles, and I am so excited to share my new waffle recipe with you. These waffles were crisp, light, and delicious. Making them was a little more time consuming then the previous recipes I have blogged, but well worth the extra work.

Here is the recipe:

Perfect Waffles

1 3/4 C. all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 3/4 C. milk, or soy milk (or any non dairy milk of your choice)
2 egg whites

Plug in your waffle iron to preheat.

You will need 3 medium bowls. In the first bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In the second bowl whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, vegetable oil, and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and and stir until just combined, the mixture will be a bit lumpy.

In the third bowl, use an electric mixer and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Fold the whites into the batter, until just combined, there should still be bits of white not mixed in.

Make according to your waffle iron's directions.


Happy Sunday! Pin It

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11-17-2011 Thanksgiving Recipes

We will be spending Thanksgiving this year with both my family and King Hock's. I am not hosting my own shebang, although I am contributing some dishes to the ones we will be attending.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, I particularly love the food, and I also love the family time. I have great memories of celebrating Thanksgiving as a kid at my grandparent's who lived out of town. Our whole family would drive in from different cities and all stay under one roof.

I am blessed to have a cousin the exact same age as me, as children it was always exciting seeing each other, and we were very mischievious together. One year, as we were nearing the end of our Thanksgiving stays, we were sad to go home and part to different cities. We decided to secretly hide my cousin in the trunk (we had a suburban) so she could come home with us.

Everything was going according to plan, we were almost on the highway out of town (I might be embellishing that part a bit), when she started laughing. Oops! We were caught, we had to turn around and take her back.  Oh, those were good times.

I also have memories of the amazing Thanksgiving meals my grandparents would put together. It was a fancy affair, my grandmother would set the most beautiful Thanksgiving themed table, and everyone would get dressed up. The food was delicious, there was always turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and many other dishes.

Here are some of my recipes that would be great for your Thanksgiving meal (full recipes below):

Appetizers: Deviled Eggs, Hot Artichoke Dip, Brushetta, and Spicy Pecans

Side Dishes: Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce, Cornbread Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole w/toasted marshmallows, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Desserts: Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie in Graham Cracker Crust


Nean's Deviled Eggs

Corrine "Nean" worked for my mom's family for like a 100 years. Think of the book The Help, but she was treated much nicer. She was the most amazing cook. She would cook dinner for my mom's family almost everyday.  She loved to bake anything from cakes to cookies to pies. Everything she made was fabulous. According to my mom, this is how she made deviled eggs. She didn't really use a recipe, so this is just an estimation.
I could go on and on about Nean, I'll do it soon in another blog post.
Also, I must mention the paprika is just for looks, my mom said Nean would only use it when she wanted to be fancy.

6 eggs
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (YES MIRACLE WHIP!, my mom is from the South!)
1 T. sweet pickle relish
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
paprika, for garnish

Place the eggs in a small pot, and cover with cold water. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and run under cold water for a few minutes.

Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter.

Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add the miracle whip, relish, salt, and pepper.

Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.


Hot Artichoke Dip

This is a very addictive recipe my sister makes all the time. Watch out, I can eat the entire dish myself.

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3/4 C. Mayo
1/2 C. shredded parmesan cheese, optional
dash worcestershire sauce
dash of lemon juice
1/4 t. garlic powder, or freshly minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the above ingredients, and put into a 9 inch round or square baking dish. Sprinkle top with a handful more of grated parmesan, or a sprinkle of paprika. If you are leaving out the parmesan altogether, sprinkle the top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes, serve hot with assorted crackers.



This is one of my all time favorite recipes.

1 small loaf French bread, sliced into 1 inch slices
olive oil
4 large roma tomatoes, chopped
2-3 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. olive oil
1/4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the French bread slices with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet.

Place the bread in the oven until toasted, about 10 minutes, keep an eye.

In a large bowl mix together the tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, pepper,and salt. Let rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. Spoon over toasted slices of French bread.


Spicy Pecans

1 egg white
3/4 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 t. worcestershire sauce
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne
3 C. pecan halves
2 T. butter or margarine, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Whip egg white with a whisk until it is foamy. Add the salt, sugar, worcestershire sauce, paprika, cayenne, and mix together. Toss the pecans in the egg white spice mixture until completely coated.
Place pecans on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

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.

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 Bread- from 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.


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.


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


Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1.5 pounds Brussel Sprouts
3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. lemon pepper seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cut the ends off of each brussel sprout, and cut large ones in half. Toss with oil, salt, and lemon pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, shaking the pan periodically to cook evenly. They are done when the outside is crisp and a little bit browned and inside is soft


Mom's Secret Pecan Pie

To be honest, I am suprised my mom agreed to let me post this recipe. She is famous for it.

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.


Pumpkin Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust

It is so easy to whip this up, serve it with parve whipped cream if you want.

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.


Just writing this blog post is making me impatient for Thanksgiving, I can't wait to stuff my face! Pin It

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11-9-2011 Barbecue Chicken Wraps

Hi guys, I actually made this dinner last week, and life has just been too crazy to post this/anything. This is an easy and delicious meal to add to your repertoire.

I originally planned on making the barbecue chicken in the crockpot which would of been even easier. Here is a link to a similar and highly rated recipe to make it in your crockpot:

Here are the recipes and pics:

Barbecue Chicken Wraps

Don't mind the green tortilla wraps I used, they were spinach (hopefully a little healthier than the standard) feel free to use whatever flavor you want.

Shredded Barbecue Chicken:
3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 bottle your favorite bbq sauce
Tortillas in larger wrap size

Place the chicken breasts in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and boil until cooked through 20-30 minutes. Remove cooked breasts to a cutting board, and use 2 forks to shred the chicken. Can also use your fingers.

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat and add the onion. Saute until translucent. Add the shredded chicken and bottle of barbecue sauce. Turn heat to low, and leave over low heat stirring occasionally until ready to serve. Make sure the bottom doesn't burn.

Heat/soften the tortilla according to package. Lay out the tortilla and fill with chicken. Fold over opposite sides and then the top and bottom, then roll up. Serve immediately.


Cole Slaw

This is a classic sweet coleslaw, it goes perfectly with the above recipe.
1 16 oz. bag coleslaw cabbage mix
1 T. grated onion
1/3 C. Miracle Whip
1 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 t. vingear
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. poppy seeds

Place the coleslaw mix in a salad bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the grated onion, Miracle Whip, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and poppy seeds. Pour over the coleslaw and mix thoroughly (may seem a bit dry, but won't be after it sits). Cover with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.


Crispy Baked French Fries

I know it seems weird to put sugar on potatoes, but it helps them to get crisp, and they taste great!

2 1/2 lbs. baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin sticks
1 t. vegetable oil
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray.

Toss together the potatoes, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Arrange on the baking sheet in one layer.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve with ketchup or whatever dipping sauce you prefer.


Have a great day!! Pin It

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11-7-2011 King Hock's Favorite, an Argentinean Feast

When we were in Disney World 2 weeks ago, we got to eat a lot of great food. Sadly, there was a bunch of amazing food we didn't get to eat because it wasn't kosher. I eyed every corny dog stand we walked by, and King Hock's suffering was a story of it's own.

We happened to be in Disney World during Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.  For those of you who have never been there, Epcot has a World Showcase which is a collection of pavilions showcasing 11 different countries. During the Food and Wine Festival there are dozens of temporary food stands representing many more countries.

One of the stands happened to be Argentina. The first time we neared the stand, we could smell the fragrant chimichurri sauce, and as we got closer King Hock got very excited. They were serving meat emapanadas and skewers of grilled meat with chimichurri sauce, none of which we eat. What a bummer. The closest taste we could get was watching everyone else savor their Argentinean specialties.

We walked by on a few other occasions, and King Hock had the same reaction each time. I promptly promised him a similar meal when we got home.

I decided to go all out, this is what I made:
1. Empanadas (dough and everything, the most time consuming thing I have ever attempted) I will give you a shortcut recipe below
2. Typical Argentinean Salad with beets, and hearts of palm
3. Grilled Steaks
4. Grilled Chicken- see below for a simple recipe
5. Chimichurri Sauce
6. Salsa Golf, the real deal
7. French Fries

Here are some of the recipes:


Meat Filling

1 T. olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
1 T. smoked paprika, must be SMOKED paprika (I found this at Central Market)
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 C. pitted green olives, sliced

1 beaten egg, to glaze the top

I made mine from scratch, which was way way way too much work, and do not suggest it.
You can use defrosted Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, or if you don't keep kosher Goya makes one specifically for empanadas found in the freezer section.

Heat the oil over medium high heat, and add the onion. Cook until translucent and then add the ground beef. Once the beef is browned, add the cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out each parchment sheet and cut into 9 squares. (you will have 18 altogether). Roll each square with a rolling pin so they are larger, about 6 inches. Place 1-2 tablespoons of meat mixture in the center of each square, sprinkle a few olive slices ontop of the meat.  Fold dough over pinch to seal edges. Fold edges to form half moon shaped empanadas.

Place empanadas on a baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Brush the tops with egg.

Bake for 25-40 minutes until it is puffed and golden.
Argentinean Ensalada
In Argentina, they don't use the typical type of American salad dressings, they just use oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Beets and hearts of palm are typical ingredients they use, you can also add sliced hard boiled eggs if you want.
5 oz. mixed greens
1 can sliced beets, drained (can also make your own by boiling fresh beets until tender, then peeling and slicing)
1 can hearts of palm, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 C. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. dijon mustard
1/4 t. salt, or to taste
1/4 t. black pepper, freshly ground
Place the greens, beets, hearts of palm, and tomato in a large salad bowl. Toss with the dressing, and serve.
Argentinean Grilled Chicken
4 chicken breasts, pounded thin to an even thickness
1 large lemon
olive oil
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
Place the pounded chicken breast on a large cutting board. Squeeze 1/2 the lemon evenly over the chicken. Next drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the breasts over and wash your hands. Do the same thing on the other side.
Preheat the grill. When the grill is ready, grill the chicken until the center is no longer pink.
Chimichurri Sauce
This recipe comes from the cookbook Seven Fires written by Francis Mallman, the most famous chef in Argentina. It is great on grilled meats.
1/2 C. water
1/2 T. salt

4 cloves garlic
1/2 C. fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 C. fresh oregano
1 t. crushed red pepper flake
1/8 C. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil

Crush the garlic into a medium sized bowl. Mince the parsley and oregano, very finely. Add to the bowl. Add the crushed red pepper. Whisk in the vinegar, then the oil. Then the salamuera. Place into a jar with a lid. Let sit for at least an hour before serving, the longer the better to let the flavors develop. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Real Deal Salsa Golf

This sauce goes with empanadas or any grilled meat.

I found this recipe on

If you are worried about using raw egg yolk, you can find pasteurized eggs. I found them at Central Market.

2 egg yolks
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dijon mustard
2 T. ketchup

Using an electric stand mixer with the whip attachment, whip the yolks on high for a minute. Add the oil drop by drop making sure it is completely incorporated before adding the next drop. If the mixture looks too thick add a few drops of the lemon juice. Once the mixture has made a thick mayonaise, add the rest of the lemon juice, salt, dijon, and ketchup. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


King Hock was feliz after eating this meal, it definitely made up not getting to eat it in Epcot.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

11-4-2011 Mini Thanksgiving Shabbat for 2

The Hock house has been super crazy this week. We have had some bouts of stomach virus, I won't gross you out with details, they are not too pretty. I am looking forward to a relaxing shabbat and weekend.

On another note, I am so excited that my favorite holiday,Thanksgiving, is only a few weeks away. I wait for it all year. Every so often throughout the year, I indulge my year round Thanksgiving cravings and make my favorite components (turkey, cornbread dressing, and cranberry sauce). Perfection is a combo of those three things in one bite, yum!

I had actually planned a different menu for tonight, but as I was shopping in the produce area at the supermarket I saw fresh cranberries, my mouth watered with anticipation (decided I couldn't wait another 3 weeks) and then I had a complete menu change.

Kosher and Thanksgiving pose many challenges, as the traditional meal invloves mixing a lot of meat and dairy. Over the years I have come up with some great kosher recipes for this holiday, and I can't wait to share them with you, which I will do as we get a little closer to Thanksgiving. Tonight, I'm going to give you the recipe for homemade cranberry sauce, if you have never made it before, it is beyond easy, and of course way better than the canned variety.

Here is the menu:

1. Challah
2. Spinach Salad with dried cranberries and apples
3. Salmon Cakes
4. Roasted Chicken Breasts (in place on turkey)
5. Cornbread dressing, recipe coming soon!!
6. Cranberry Sauce
7. Squash Casserole
8. Cupcakes

Cranberry Sauce

1 bag cranberries (3 C.)
1 C. sugar
1 C. water

Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries, stirring occasionally, simmer until the cranberries burst. Turn off the heat, and the sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.


I hope you (and I) have a relaxing Shabbat and weekend! Pin It

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11-1-2011 Apple Muffins

My kids have no idea how good they got it. In the mornings I ask them what they want for breakfast, and then I make them whatever their hearts desire, like if they say they want waffles, I whip out the waffle iron (they don't even know about Eggos). So, this afternoon when Prince Hock #2 requested muffins, we made muffins.

I decided to make apple muffins since I had plent of apples on hand. Before I made them, I hit the internet looking for a healthier recipe. These muffins are somewhat healthier because they have part whole wheat flour, apples, applesauce, and less oil. They don't taste as much like cake as some recipes, but they are delish.

On a side note, make these muffins and your house will smell absolutely wonderful.

Here is the recipe:

Apple Muffins

Adapted from a recipe by Elie Krieger.

2 T. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. chopped pecans
1/2 t. cinnamon

muffin batter:
1 C. whole wheat pastry flour, (I found this at Whole Foods)
1 C. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 C. apple sauce
2 eggs
3/4 C. plain soy milk
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla
1 apple (Golden Delicious or Honey Crisp), peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners.

In a small bow mix together the topping ingredients, set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Add the oil, apple sauce, eggs, soy milk, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until just combined. Fold in the apple pieces.

Scoop out batter into the muffin tin, filling 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with the topping. Place in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes or until done.


Have a good night! Pin It

Monday, October 31, 2011

10-31-2011 Sheperd's Pie

We are back after a fun filled week in the dizzying Disney World. We managed to ride, see, and eat everything possible. We had our fill of Mickey Mouse shaped ice cream bars, ice cream sandwiches, pancakes and waffles. I looked everywhere to bring home my own Mickey Mouse waffle iron, but had no luck.

Now it's back to real life, back to the kitchen. I'm not sure if I was happier in the happiest place on earth, or when I was moseying around the grocery store today deciding what to make for dinner. One thing is for sure though, it was nice to have a home cooked meal.

I was really in the mood for some comfort food, which led me to make Sheperd's Pie, Rolls, and a Romaine Salad with French Dressing.

Here are the recipes:

Sheperd's Pie

This is a hodge podge of a few different recipes tailored to my liking. You can totally get away with making only this for your meal.

Potato Layer

1.5 lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 C. unsweetened plain soy milk
2 T. margarine, I used tub Smart Balance Light
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Place the peeled and cut potatoes in a medium pot, and cover with cold water. Put the pot onto the stove and bring the water to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are tender (test by piercing with a fork). Drain over sink into a colander. Place cooked potatoes back into pot, add the soy milk, margarine, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher, and mash until smooth.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat layer.

Meat Layer

2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 large (or 2 small) carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 lbs. ground beef
1/2-1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 T. flour
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. ketchup
1 C. vegetable or chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 pinch dried rosemary
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 C. frozen corn kernels
1/2 C. frozen peas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, and cook another few minutes. Add the ground beef and garlic. Cook stirring every so often, until the meat is browned. Add the salt, and pepper, and flour. Stir until combined. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly.

Stir in the tomato paste, ketchup, broth, diced tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the corn and peas.Taste to check for seasoning, may need more salt or pepper.

Place in a large baking dish, I used a round dutch oven. Place dollops of the mashed potatoes ontop, and then gently spread so the entire meat layer is covered with mashed potatoes. Feel free to sprinkle the top with paprika and pepper.

Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove, and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.


French Salad Dressing

This is a favorite in my house. Goes great on any type of lettuce, with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, etc.

3/8 C. vegetable oil
1/4 C. ketchup
2 1/2 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1-2 T. chopped onion
a few drops fresh lemon juice
1/4 t. paprika
pinch of salt

Place all of the above ingredients in a container. Use an immersion blender to blend until the onion is grated and the dressing thick and emulsified, about 1 minute. Taste to check if it needs more salt. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


I hope you have a great night! Pin It