Sunday, February 27, 2011

2-27-2011 Sunday Funday

For dinner tonight we decided to go to a very family friendly restaurant, Chili's. The kids love that place. I would love it too, but everytime I go there I eat a week's worth of french fries. Ughhhh, I am feeling pretty greased out right about now.

After dinner and putting the kids to bed, I started brainstorming what I am going to be making this week. I also made my grocery lists. I only have 3 or 4 grocery stores to go to this week. It would be a miracle if I could go to just one grocery store.

Here are a few of the things to look for in upcoming posts this week:
Chicken with Peach Bourbon Glaze
Coconut Crusted Tilapia with Pineapple Chutney
Golden Beet Salad

Also, Hubby's birthday is this weekend, there will be a lot of cooking going on. I'm planning on making all of his favorite foods: (recipes to come)
Mushroom Soup
Moroccan Salmon
Meat Empanadas with Salsa Golf
Chocolate Birthday Cake with cupcake cones
Mixed Green and Apple Salad with candied walnuts

Hopefully, Hubby won't read this, because I want to suprise him with his birthday cake. For the cake, I am going to make cupcake cones (ice cream cones with cake baked inside) and decorate a round cake with these. I will post a picture of the finished cake.

If you are wondering why I am doing cupcake cones, it is because Hubby is the creator and owner of an amazing gelato company, Talenti Gelato. I can't believe this is the first time I am mentioning this. Talenti, is the best ice cream you will ever have. There is not a flavor that I don't love. You can buy it at most grocery stores, including, Whole Foods, Tom Thumb, Kroger, Albertson's, Super Target, and Sprouts. If you have never tried it, you must! Here is a link to his website:
The double dark chocolate, pistachio, and Sea Salt Caramel are my favorite flavors.

Here is the recipe for Cupcake Cones:

Cupcake Cones
These cute cones are perfect for children. They will adore these.

1 box cake mix any flavor, I prefer Duncan Hines
30 flat bottom ice cream cones
1 can Duncan Hines frosting, can use any brand any flavor
Red Dots candies, or cherry sours

Preheat oven to 350 F
Make cake mix batter according to package direction. Fill 12 cones half full with batter. Stand cones in a 12 cup muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Repeat until all the batter is used, refrigerate batter when not using.
Once cone has cooled, frost each one, sprinkle on the sprinkles.  Place a red Dot, or cherry sour in the middle of each one. So cute! Pin It

Friday, February 25, 2011

2-25-2011 Dahlia Day

This morning my friend Dahlia made a delicious brunch for me and a few friends. She packed it up and brought it to the mall, where we picniced outside Starbucks. Dahila is an amazing cook. Everytime I eat her food, I ask her for the recipes. Today she made these awesome mini cheese quiches. Of course I asked her for the recipe. I will post it when here when I get it. She also brought her homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread (yum!), berries, yogurt, and granola. The whole spread was exquisite. I  love to cook, but I also really love to eat other people's cooking. Dahlia, you rock! Below is a dessert recipe she gave me, she warns it is extremely rich, it's a chocolate lovers dream come true.

Chocolate Pie- Parve


  • 2 cups chocolate chips,
  • 1/3 cup coffee liqueur - can substitute with espresso
  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 prepared chocolate wafer crust or a  graham cracker crust


Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl over simmering water, could use a double boiler. Stir in vanilla.
Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the jar of a blender. Liquefy until smooth.
Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set.
Here is one other recipe I got from Dahlia. She made this for a playgroup at her house once. It was beautiful, and delicious as well. The original recipe is from Ina Garten.

Roasted Vegetable Torte


  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, halved, cored, and seeded
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, halved, cored, and seeded
  • 1 eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 -inch slices (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2 Cook the zucchini, onions, garlic, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat for 10 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

3 Brush the red and yellow peppers and eggplant with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes, until soft but not browned.

4 In a 6-inch round cake pan, place each vegetable in a single, overlapping layer, sprinkling Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste between each of the layers of vegetables.

5 Begin with half of the eggplant, then layer half of the zucchini and onions, then all of the red peppers, then all of the yellow peppers, then the rest of the zucchini and onions, and finally the rest of the eggplant.

6 Cover the top of the vegetables with a 6-inch round of parchment paper or waxed paper. Place a 6-inch flat disk (another cake pan or the bottom of a false-bottom tart pan) on top and weight it with a heavy jar. Place on a plate or baking sheet (it will leak) and chill completely.

7 Drain the liquids, place on a platter, and serve at room temperature.

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

2-24-2011 Fancy Din-Din and Salad Recipes

I am going to keep this post on the short side because it is late and I am tired and stuffed. We just returned from having a lovely dinner at a nice fancy restaurant. We were there to celebrate my husband's birthday with his mother.
This restaurant has a cool atmosphere, you will feel like you just stepped in to a restaurant in New York City. We started our night at the bar, it has live music every night. The music has a jazzy feel to it, perfect for winding down after a long day.
We then made our way to our table to have dinner. They brought us hot crusty bread immediately, love it! Then we started with a tuna tartare with citrus fruits, it was great. Next, hubby and I split a salad that had warm goat cheese, mushrooms, and arugula. The salad was ok, not my favorite. I will post some good salad recipes below. After that we had a Hawaiian sea bass, that had been seared. It was light and very good. After that, we had a parmesan crusted lemon sole, this was extremly rich, but delicious. We all shared sides which included roasted beets and truffled macaroni and cheese, also good. Finally, we ended the meal with a spectacular bananas foster cake. The cake was a dense almost underbaked carmelized rum pound cake, covered in bananas foster, served with whipped cream and praline ice cream. When they brought it to the table they lit it on fire. Here is a picture of it:

I am a true salad lover. I'm always looking for great salad recipes. When I find a good one, it permanently becomes part of my repetoire.
Here are some salad recipes I have made a time or 2 (really many times):

Spinach Salad with almonds and apples
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1/2 cup almonds,  slivered
  • 1 pound spinach
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 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
  • 1/2 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
  • 1 Apple or pear, peeled and diced
Place the margarine in a saute pan and melt over medium heat, add the almonds. Stir constantly until fragrant and toasted. Remove from pan onto a piece of foil, and set aside to cool.
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 spinach, cranberries, apple, and toasted almonds.Toss with dressing to coat. Serve immeadiately.
Chop Salad Recipe from Kosher by Design Entertains by Susie Fishbein
This salad is an interesting combo of flavors. In the original recipe, I found the dressing to be bland, I added more salt, she calls for only a pinch.
  • Lettuce,  any type, I prefer chopped iceberg or romaine
  • Handful of Craisins
  • 2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 12 graped tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. mayo
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. canola oil
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. spicy brown mustard
3/4 t. salt
Mix the dressing in a jar until it is all emulsified. Pour dressing on just before serving, you may have extra. Toss the salad together.
Cucumber Salad
This is a good ole stand by recipe, and it's fat free! It goes with any dish, and is refreshing. I always have a cucumber on hand, and will make this in a pinch. It is very easy to make. One of my pregnant friends, not going to name any names, has an obsession with it!

  • 1-2 Cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced (English hothouse cucumbers are great for this)
  • 1/4 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C. Sugar
  • 1/2 C. distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 C. water
  • pinch salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, vingear, and water until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sliced cucumber and onion, salt and pepper. Place into the refrigerator and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Hope you try some of these salad recipes, you will not be disappointed. Talk to you soon.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2-23-2011 Sweet Tomatoes and Soup Recipes

Tonight for dinner we went to Sweet Tomatoes at the request of my son. He has an affinity for everything about this place, especially their macaroni and cheese. He used to call it "The Macaroni and Cheese Store", which then called it "Sweep Tomatoes" and now he properly calls it Sweet Tomatoes. He asks to eat there on a daily basis, so tonight I gave in!

I actually really like eating there, although it is a huge production with the kids. You begin by going through a salad bar line to create your own salad. My favorite salad always has lettuce, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing on it, among other items that change everytime. After the salad line, you can get your drinks, breads and muffins, pizza, macaroni and cheese, soups, fruit, the list just goes on and on. If you have never been there before you are probably envisioning a place similar to Souper Salads, but Sweet Tomatoes is a cut way above. Their food always seems minimally processed, healthy, and very fresh. I love how they always have a good selection of soups. Its always hard to choose which soup to eat. Since, it's all-you-can-eat, I get 3 small bowls of all different ones, I love variety.
Talking about soup, here are 2 of  my favorite soup recipes:

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
The combination of ginger and butternut squash is delicious and addictive. This recipe yields a creamy soup without the use of any cream. I love to whip this soup up with my immersion blender right in the pot. This soup also freezes well. You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream if you desire, although I serve it without a garnish. If you want to make this a completely dairy free soup, use dairy free margarine (Fleishman's unsalted, or Earth Balance.) You could even garnish it with Tofutti soy sour cream. Oh yeah, and you MUST use fresh ginger.

2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled seeded, and cubed
1 large oranges, juiced or 1/2 cup orange juice
4 -6 cups water

1. Melt butter or margarine in stock pot, and add onions. Sautee over medium heat until translucent.
2. Add ginger, garlic, and cubed butternut squash. Sautee a few more minutes until fragrant.
3. Add orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.
4. With an immersion blender, puree until it is completely smooth and creamy.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If it is too thick you may add more water.


Tortilla Soup

I first had this at a friend's house, and loved it so much. I promptly begged her for the recipe. She said she got the recipe from the newspaper and embellished it. She serves it with Fritos instead of tortilla chips, so good! The Great Value Brand at Walmart makes kosher fritos. This soup is easy, you can throw it together quickly. If you want to make it into a meal, you can add cooked diced chicken to the finished soup.
1 Onion, chopped finely
1 t. chopped Garlic
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1/2 small jar salsa, such as pace picante sauce, I used the Sam's Choice from walmart
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
7 C. chicken or vegetable broth, I prefer Imagine or 7 C. water with 1/8 C. chicken soup powder (such as Telma)
salt and pepper, to taste
Boiled pulled chicken breast (optional)
Corn Chips
diced avocado
1. Sautee onion in 2 T. veg oil, until translucent
2. Add garlic and sautee a few more minutes
3. Add the rest of the ingredient, bring to a boil
4. Ladle in the bowl and garnish with chicken, chips, and avocado
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2-22-11 Another Easy Dinner

Tonight I prepared a beautiful dinner with little effort, and it was pleasing for everyone who ate it. I made tomato basil chicken, balsamic roasted veggies, and rice.
The recipe for the tomato basil chicken comes from Susie Fishbein's cookbook Kosher by Design Short on Time. If you do not own this book, I highly recommend buying it right now! I have made over half of the recipes in it, and love the results everytime.  Every recipe has a picture, and they are all pretty easy recipes.
Here is the recipe:

Tomato Basil Chicken- this is my adaptation, serves 4
1 chicken, cut up in 8 pieces
1 large beefsteak tomato, or 2 roma tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
1/2 C. Wish-Bone Italian dressing, regular or robust
1/4 C. fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
3 sun dried tomatoes, from a jar packed in oil

Preheat oven to 350 F.***if you are marinating (see below), skip this step

 Place chicken in a single layer skin side up into a baking dish, set aside. (this step can be done up to a day in advance, marinating the chicken this way will be very tasty, just pull out of fridge, and place into oven)

Place the tomato chunks, wishbone dressing, basil, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes in a food processor, and pulse to puree and emulsify. Can also use a hand immersion blender but be prepared to work extra hard.

Pour tomato puree over chicken evenly.
***optional, after pouring dressing over chicken, cover with plastic wrap and marinate in fridge up to 24 hours, marinating the chicken this way will be very tasty, just pull out of fridge, and place into preheated oven when ready to cook)

Bake uncovered 1 hour and 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink. Meat thermometer should read 180 F, when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh.

Here is the recipe for the
Balsamic Roasted Veggies:
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. dijon mustard
1/4 C. olive oil
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 yellow squash, sliced in 1/4 slices
1 zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
1 handful baby carrots
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 F. In a small bowl mix together balsamic, dijon, olive, basil, and  thyme. Place veggies on baking sheet, and toss with balsamic mixture. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes, shaking the pan around every so often to make sure one area is not getting overly burnt.

The rice I made was from a Near East box. I don't use this very often, but my son loved it when I made it last Shabbat, so I decided to make it again.

Overall, my dinner was a success! Yay!
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Monday, February 21, 2011

2-21-2011 Easy Dinner

After suffering with heartburn today, I needed a bland dinner, with very little prep work.

I made duck chicken, roasted asparagus, and roasted potatoes, as easy as it gets. Duck chicken is chicken on the bone cooked in duck sauce, and it's effortlessly top notch. The skin is deliciously carmelized and the meat is succulent.
Here is the recipe:
Duck Chicken
1 cut up chicken, 8 piece fryer
1 1/4 c. Cantonese duck sauce, I recommend Gold's found in the kosher section at Tom Thumb or Walmart, can use spicy or garlic variety

Put chicken in a  9X13 baking pan greased by spraying with Pam. Pour duck sauce over chicken.   
Bake at 375 degrees uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes until skin is crispy and brown. Halfway through cooking, spoon liquid in the bottom of the pan back over chicken. Chicken should look carmelized when finished, if not you can turn broiler on and broil it for a few minutes.
To make roasted asparagus, trim off the tough ends, toss with olive oil, and kosher salt and pepper. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees on a baking sheet for 7-10 minutes depending on the size of the stalks.
To make roasted potatoes, cut the potatoes into pieces, toss with olive oil, and Lawry's salt. Place on a greased baking sheet, and roast in a 400 degree preheated oven for 30-45 minutes until slightly browned, see picture below.
Hubby loved the whole meal, and especially enjoyed the chicken. The secret behind the chicken was a few things. Make sure to use very fresh chicken (sometimes a task when dealing with kosher), and definitely do not use defrosted chicken. The chicken I used tonight, I bought today and it had an expiration date of 3-6, it was very fresh. Also, if you do not keep kosher, you should consider buying kosher chicken. Reason being is kosher chicken has been brined (soaked in salted water) which will help prevent it from drying out while cooking, and makes it extra tasty. The asparagus I made tonight were extra fat, I recommend these with the thick stalks because it is harder to overcook them. We love roasted potatoes in this house, you will probably get tired of seeing me make them.
Stay posted for my dinner tomorrow.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

2-20-2011 Sunday Breakfast and Dinner

First off, I love breakfast. I will never go a day without missing breakfast. I remember when I went into labor with my first son in the middle of the night. While in labor, I asked the nurses when and if I would be able to eat breakfast. They laughed and told me there was no way that was happening (you cannot eat while in labor, and they thought it would be impossible that I could have my baby that quickly.) Sure enough my son was born at 8:30 A.M! And sure enough, I got my breakfast.

We love to go to a popular brunch spot in town on Sundays. If you get there on the early side, there usually is no wait. This place does everything right. From the moment you are seated at your table, they bring you a plate with an assortment of muffins and breads. This bread plate is a great pacifier for my hungry kids. I wanted to take a picture of it to show you, but by the time I got my camera out, the plate had been demolished.
 They have an excellent menu with a vast array of options. Most of the time I sit there and stare at the menu, contemplating what to order. Today, Hubby and I shared a vegetable scramble composed of: eggs, cheese, broccoli, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and spinach. It came with hash browns and toast, and was all delicious. Sometimes when we are in the mood for something a bit different, we split the breakfast tacos, or smoked salmon sandwich. Truly, you cannot go wrong with anything on the menu, everything is wonderful. Another good part of  Breadwinners is how after eating there you will never feel greasy. I find at many other breakfast places around town I leave feeling greased out. The greased out feeling is part of the reason we got burnt out on going to Cindy's after 5 years of going there every Sunday.

This picture of my breakfast does not do itself justice, but oh well!:
I eat eggs 365 about mornings a year, actually I am about to turn into one. I like them cooked any style. I find that without this breakfast staple,  I am hungry soon thereafter. My favorite thing to eat with eggs is waffles. I am not talking about Eggos or Vans, I am talking about homemade from scratch waffles. I got a waffle iron as a wedding gift, I swear it gets better with use. The one I have is a cuisinart, here is a link to buy it on amazon for only $20
I am going to warn you before I give you this recipe, these waffles are addictive. I make them for breakfast and crave them the rest of the day. They do make a good snack slathered with peanut butter. The best part about these waffles are, whatever you don't eat hot off the iron, you can freeze for another time. All you do is pop them in a toaster oven straight from the freezer and voila! They are good with the plain butter and maple syrup, but I also like them with strawberry jam. I have made this recipe so many times, I know it by heart.
Parve Waffles
2 C. all purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder (Clabber Girl is the best)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 T. vegetable oil (I use Smart Balance brand)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 C. unsweetned soy milk (any soy milk will work)
Plug in and preheat waffle iron. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add eggs, oil, vanilla, and soy milk. Mix until just combined. Let batter rest for 10 minutes. Make waffles according to manufacturer's directions. For the waffle iron listed above, use 1/2 C. batter per waffle.
For dinner tonight Hubby, kids and I went to Maggiano's with my in-laws. Although it is a chain, it is consistently good all around. Here's another restaurant that has it down, right off the bat they bring you hot bread. They have 2 really good salads, I always have a hard time deciding which one to order. The contenders are Caesar salad and their chopped salad minus the prosciutto. The chopped salad is what we split tonight, it had lettuce, tomato, avocado, and blue cheese it was all chopped up and tossed with a tasty vinegarette, mmmm I adore that salad! The main course we also split, again because their portions are gigantic. We had perfectly cooked salmon with spinach and potatoes. The whole meal was lovely except....the part where my kids obnoxiously made a loud racquet, jumped up and down in our booth like a trampoline, and spilled their drinks repeatedly, I am trying to forget that part of our dinner.  Otherwise, overall, we had a great Sunday filled with delicious meals.
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Friday, February 18, 2011

2-18-2011 Cooking Shabbat

2:30 P.M. Here I am lying down with my tired feet propped up, taking a break from cooking. I have been at it since I woke up. I can never figure out why no matter what I make for Shabbat dinner, whether it be plain, fancy, easy, or hard, I feel as though I am in the kitchen all day Friday. Ok enough complaining.

Just take a whiff of my house right now. It smells divine! My nose is overwhelmed with the scent of fresh baked challah and chocolate cake, mmmmm! Look below for both of those recipes.

At this point, I have almost finished making everything, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Here are some pictures of the beautiful Salmon Primavera, it has only been assembled, but not cooked yet.
Before Bread Crumbs:

After Bread Crumbs:
Notice how it is on foil, that is because I am out of parchment.
Here is a picture of my fresh baked challah:
Now for a the recipes:
The challah recipe I made today, I got from Rebbetzin Baila Dubrawsky, who is famous for her delicious challah. She uses a Bosch mixer to make hers, sad to say I don't have one of these incredible machines. Alternatively, I  make it by hand, so this recipe is adapted for making it by hand. It's a workout I warn you!
Challah making is an artform. It takes a lot of experience to perfect.
 If you have never tried to make it before, it is very fufilling and I highly recommend giving it a shot, your friends and family will definitely be happy.
There are only 3 mitzvahs that pertain solely to women, and baking challah is one of them (you have to do a special prayer and dough seperation to make the mitzvah:
Here is the recipe:
Classic Challah
4 packages dry yeast (NOT QUICKRISE)
1 C. warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 C. oil
1 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs
6 teaspoons salt
3 C. warm water
Almost 5 lbs. flour- I like to do 1/2 all purpose, 1/2 bread flour. (definitely try to find king Arthur brand, it's the best)
2 eggs for glaze
In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast with 1 C. water, and 1 T. sugar
Wait until yeast is foamy (if it does not foam, that means the yeast is dead, and you have to start fresh)
In a large stock pot, mix together oil, sugar,  and 4eggs. Slowly add yeast mixture. Add about 2-4 cups of flour and mix thoroughly, then add the salt mixed into 1 C. of flour. (salt will hinder yeast growth if added directly)
Now mix in 1 C. of water, and then some flour, then 1 C. water, then some flour, then 1 C. water, then flour, mixing until thoroughly combined, and you have used most of the flour. Turn dough out onto a floured countertop. Cut into 4 parts with sharp knife or dough cutter. Knead each piece until smooth and elastic, then knead all 4 pieces together until you have a smooth mass of dough. Place dough in a clean oiled stock pot( you might have to wash the one you just used if you only own 1) Cover with a damp kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours, but depends on the temperature of the room.
Using the heel of your hands expel the air out of the dough, this is called punching the dough down, although you are not actually "punching" the dough.
Divide dough with a dough cutter or knife into 8 equal parts. Take one of the 8 parts and divide into 3 pieces, make a braid, and tuck both ends under, repeat with remaining 7 pieces. Place on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, I usually can fit 3 on each sheet pan, you need to leave a few inches space in between each loaf. Cover with a dish towel, let rise until doubled in size about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crack 2 eggs  into a small bowl, and beat together to make an egg wash or glaze. Brush each loaf all over with this glaze, optionally you can sprinkle with poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. When removed from the oven you will know if the challah is completely cooked if when you tap on the bottom it sounds hollow.  Cool on wire rack.
These challahs freeze well. Once they are thoroughly cooled, wrap in plastic wrap or foil. Place each wrapped loaf into a ziploc, and freeze. When you are in need of a loaf of challah, remove from freezer and let thaw.
I know that sounds like a lot, but it is well worth it for the most scrumpdiddliumptious challah.If you have any questions, please contact me, I am happy to assist anyone in need of help.
Finally, here is the recipe for chocolate cake I frequently make:
Ultimate Chocolate Cake- adapted from Kosher Palette p. 220
2 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. all purpose Flour
3/4 C. Cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 C. soy milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 C. boiling water
Preheat oven  to 350 F. Grease and flour the pan of your choice, 13x9 rectangle, two 8 or 9 inch rounds, or a Bundt pan.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, stir until well blended.
Add milk, oil, vanilla, eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until completely mixed together, scraping sides of bowl periodically.
Fold in boiling water with a spoon or rubber spatula. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 25-50 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
approx. 25 for 8 or 9 inch rounds, 50 minutes for Bundt
Have a Good Shabbas!
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

2-17-2011 Shabbat Menu

I used to post my Shabbat Menus on Facebook, now I will post them on here instead.
 This Friday we are having my in-laws, there is going to be 11 people in total, 5 of which are children. Whenever we have kids for Shabbat dinner, I try to think of kid friendly dishes to serve. Usually the kids are starving by the time we sit down to eat. This week I am going to try something new by serving meatballs as the first course. That way the kids can quickly fill their tummies with something they like.

Normally our meal progression starts with a fish and salad course, then soup course, then we move on to meat or chicken main course with many side dishes, and finally we have dessert. This week's progression will be an experiment.
This menu is an easy shabbat for me to prepare, as I do not have a lot of time this week. With that said, it should still be delicious and satisfying. I am using recipes I have made before, therefore, I am certain every dish will be a winner.
Here is the menu for this Friday night, lines indicate seperate courses:

2. Sweet-n-Sour Meatballs, recipe located in (2-4-2011 post) over Rice Pilaf
3. Salmon Primavera- see recipe below
4. Roasted Brussel Sprouts- recipe below
5. Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons
6. Roasted Potatoes
7. Chocolate Cake
8. Blueberries and Sliced Strawberries

Salmon Primavera

I first had this at my friend Aidy's house, I love this recipe so much, I have made it many times since. It is a beautiful presentation with stripes of different colored vegetables, that will for sure impress your guests.


2 1/2-3 lb. wild Pacific or sockeye salmon fillet
freshly ground pepper
Dijon mustard or thick honey mustard
1 small zucchini, with skin, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, with skin, thinly sliced
2 Roma or plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup unflavoured breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp. olive oil


Preheat oven to 375. Season the salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Brush an even, thick coating of the mustard all over the salmon.
Place the salmon on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Place the fish horizontally in front of you. Starting at the left end of the fillet, lay a column of overlapping slices of the zucchini on top of the salmon.
On the next row, lay a column of overlapping slices of the squash; they should be overlapping the zucchini a bit as well. On the next row, lay a column of tomatoes; they should slightly overlap the squash. Begin again with the zucchini, followed by the squash and the tomato. Continue in this fashion until the whole fillet is covered.
In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, dill and olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the vegetables.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove one of the vegetables in the thickest part of the fillet and test to make sure the fish is done, and then cover it back up with the vegetables.
Serve hot or at room temperature. Can be refrigerated overnight and brought to room temperature the next day. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts are scrumptious. I was skeptical trying them for the first time, worried whether or not I would like them. Suprisingly they quickly become a favorite vegetable of mine. Hubby loves them too, he pops them in his mouth as if they were popcorn.


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 Pin It

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2-16-2011 C is for Cookie!

No cooking going on in the Hock house tonight! We went to Aderet, the kosher cafe located at Alpha and Preston. On a scale of 1-10 I am going to give tonight's dinner a 7. The best thing we had was the chicken schnitzelonim, which is basically chicken schnitzel fingers. It was served with a yummy mayonaise sauce that I'm sure was not very healthy. Hubby and I both had overly salty hamburgers and great crispy french fries. The kids loved their chicken nuggets and fries, hard to go wrong there. Dinner was a giant cholesterol fest for all of us. The food came out quickly, and the service was good.  Everyone left happy.

C is for cookie, and cookie is for me, yum yum yum!  That is the song I have stuck in my head from the Sesame Street toy my son was playing with. I was wanting to post a recipe or 2 tonight, so, as I was trying to think of what to post, that song reminded me of cookies. I know a lot of you out there love the convenience of slice and bake cookies, but there is nothing like homemade ones.

Everyone is always asking me to make them chocolate chip cookies. Before I had kids, and had extra time on my hands, I used to go to our Shul on Fridays and help prepare lunch for Shabbat. I was always assigned the task of making chocolate chip cookies. I would diligently bake as many as I could, although it seemed there were never enough. After I baked them, I would secretly hide them away, otherwise there would be none left come dessert time on Saturday.

Another time I baked some of these cookies for a friend's birthday party. At the end of the party, I kindly decided to give the few leftover cookies to her housekeeper. My friend got so mad at me, it was as if I had given away her prized posession.  I learned my lesson after that!

You will be suprised to know that this famous chocolate chip cookie recipe is nothing more than from the back of a Tollhouse Chocolate Chips package.

Here is Lee Hock's take on Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies, this version is Parve (dairy free):


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine (for meat meals), softened, (I prefer either Earth Balance or Fleishmans)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Parve Chocolate Chips (Whole foods has semi-sweet chips in a green package that are very good)


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat margarine, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 2 or 3 parts, do not overmix, mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Hard to believe this, but I prefer oatmeal raisin cookies over chocolate chip cookies (who ever heard of such a thing!). My mom is allergic to chocolate, so she would always bake oatmeal raisin cookies. I really enjoy a good chewy oatmeal raisin cookie. Here is a recipe for parve oatmeal raisin cookies. If you would like to make them dairy, just substitute the margarine for butter. Also you can vary these cookies by using dried cranberries or even yellow raisins.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1 cup margarine

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups Quicker Quaker Oats or 3 cups Old-Fashioned Quaker oats, uncooked

  • 1 cup raisins

  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Cream together margarine and sugars.
     Add the eggs and vanilla, mix until well combined.
    In a seperate bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda.
    Add flour mixture to margarine mixture, and mix until just combined, add the oats, mix until just combined, add the raisin, mix until just combined.
    Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or silpat.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown especially on the edges. I would watch the first batch you put in the oven, if you overbake them even slightly, they will not be chewy. 
    Let cool on baking sheet a few minutes, remove from sheet and put on a cooling rack.

    ***Last Tips: There are 3 things I think are a must for baking cookies.
    1. A cookie scoop: looks like an ice cream scooper but is smaller. Definitely can be found at Acemart (see yesterday's post) for a good price, although I am sure William's Sonoma, and Sur La Table carry it
    2. Good quality cookie or baking sheets, I bought mine at Acemart, they have the same ones at the fancy stores above, but they are double the price or more. Here is a link to the Acemart website, so you will know what to ask for when you go there:
    it is called a Bun Pan, and you prob want half size
    3. Parchment Paper or Silpat: this helps the cookies not stick to the baking sheet. I bought a huge roll of parchment at Cosctco, it lasted a long time!
    You can find Silpats at the fancy places listed above, or Bed Bath and Beyond, make sure you buy the correct size to fit your baking sheet
    If you do decide to bake some cookies from scratch like the ones above, I am sure your family will thank you. Good luck! Talk to you tomorrow.

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    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    2-15-2011 Israeli Fare


    Tonight’s dinner was nothing short of amazing if I may say so myself. Our menu included, falafel crusted chicken, homemade artichoke hummus, homemade pita bread, Israeli salad, and Israeli carrot salad. We washed all of that down with Raspberry Cherry Iced Tea
    Although tonight's dinner seems labor intensive, each dish on it's own is simple and quick. I am going to give you all of the recipes listed above, read below:

    Falafel Crusted Chicken
    from Kosher by Design Short on Time by Susie FishbeinIngredients:

    6 boneless skinless chicken breast
    3 cups falafel mix
    2 ½ C. water
    Olive oil

    1. Cut each breast into strips
    2. Set out 2 medium bowls, in one bowl put 1 C. of falafel mix, and in the other place 2 C. falafel mix, and the 2 ½ C. water
    3.Let batter rest 10 minutes
    4. Pour enough olive oil into a large skillet to cup ¾ the way up. Heat oil over medium heat
    5. Toss each chicken strip into the bowl of dry falafel mix, coating well. Shake off excess.
    6.Check the wet batter to make sure it is a spreadable, slightly liquid consistency. If it is too thick, mix in additional 1 - 2 tablespoons of water. Working quickly, dip the coated chicken strips into the batter and pat it on to form a crust. Add the chicken strips to the hot oil in the skillet in a single layer, leaving room between strips. Allow the crust to form before flipping to cook on the other side, about 4 - 5 minutes per side. Do this in batches as necessary. Discard any extra batter.

    Now onto the pita bread:

    Wow! What a sense of accomplishment I felt tonight when I made pita bread that rivals any I have ever had.

    I made it using a bread machine. This machine makes baking bread easy.
    A bread machine  mixes, rises, and in some instances bakes, the bread for you. All you do is add the ingredients.
    If we are having a small Shabbat dinner I will make my challah dough using the bread machine. I'll post that recipe the next time I make it.

    The bread machine I own is an Oster I bought at Kohl’s for 70 bucks, I highly recommend this model.
     Here is a link for it on amazon:

    There are a 2 key things to remember when using a bread machine, first, it is important to measure all of the ingredients precisely. Second, be sure to put the ingredient in the machine in the order listed.

    Bread Machine Pita Bread

    1 1/8 cups warm water (around 110 degrees F no hotter)
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


    Place the above ingredients into the pan of the bread maker in the order listed above. Make a tablespoon size well in the flour before putting in the yeast.
    Turn machine on to dough cycle. 1.5 hours

    When machine is finished. Remove dough, and roll into a 12 inch rope
    Cut the rope into 8 pieces with a sharp knife or dough cutter.
    Roll each piece into a ball
    With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 inch circle
    Set aside on a lightly floured coutertop
    Cover with a towel
    Preheat oven to 500 degrees
    Let covered dough rise under towel for 30 minutes until slightly puffy
    Place 2 or 3 pitas on a wire cake rack. Place cake rack directly on oven rack. Bake pitas 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from oven and immediately place pitas in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft.

    This artichoke hummus recipe is delicious and easy to make.
     After eating this hummus you will never want to go back to the store bought kind.
    Here is the recipe:

    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.

    Israeli Salad is always refreshing and goes nicely as a side with pretty much anything. Everyone has their own version of how they make this, here is mine:

    Israeli Salad
    1 cucumber, seeded and finely diced
    2 ripe tomatoes, finely diced
    5 green onions, finely diced
    ½ lemon, juiced
    2 T. red wine vinegar
    1 T. olive oil
    ½ t. salt, or to taste
    Freshly ground pepper, to taste

    Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Let stand for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.

    I first had Israeli carrot salad when an Israeli friend of mine, Shai Solomon, showed me how to make it. It is very tasty and will last well for a few days in the refrigerator.

    Israeli Carrot Salad
     6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼ inch thin coins
    3 T. lemon juice
    2 T. olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ t. cumin
    ½ t. paprika
    ¼ t. salt
    ¼ t. pepper
    Optional: ½ t. hot paprika (this will make them spicy) better yet a dash of cayenne pepper will make it extra hot!

    Directions:Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place the carrots in the water and boil 8 minutes. Drain carrots into sink, discarding water. Place cooked carrots into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredient. Stir to combine. Taste a carrot to check if the seasoning are to your liking. Place carrots into refrigerator and chill until the salad is cold.

    Finally, to the tea!
    I love iced tea what more can I say? I drink at every possible chance. At night I steer clear of caffeine, I make an iced tea that is caffeine free. I have an iced tea maker which is very helpful, but not a must. Here is a link to the iced tea maker that I own and recommend, I bought it in the store not online.

    Don‘t forget to use 20% coupon which will make it only $16

    To make 2 Quarts of Raspberry Cherry Tea, I used 2 bags of Raspberry tea, and 1 bag of cherry tea, both came from Celestial Seasoning Fruit Tea Sampler Pack. I love to make all different fruit combinations. You really can’t go wrong.

    Some last tips:

    ****If you do not feel up for making your own hummus but would like to gussy up some store bought, drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with Z'aatar Seasoning (found in Israeli Grocery stores like Natalie's or Milk and Honey, or Kosher aisle at kosher supermarket) in my opinion the best store bought hummus is Cedars (found@ whole foods) or Sabra (found anywhere). You could also make it more delicious by squeezing in some fresh lemon juice

    ****Good kitchen tools are very important and definitely make a huge difference in all aspects. I suggest buying some good knives, particularly a good paring and chef or santoku knife. I always buy my knives and many other things at Ace Mart restaurant supply (at Webb Chapel and Forest) There you can find a lot of different high quality kitchen tools for good prices. Another tool I mentioned above was a dough cutter aka bench scraper. This tool can be found at Ace Mart as well, it is a must for people who bake bread. It is great for cutting dough and cleaning off the countertop. I also love the stainless steel bowls, and aluminum baking sheets from that same store. It is definitely worth a trip to invest in some long lasting kitchen equipment.

    I really hope you will try some or all of the above recipes as I really love all of them. None of the recipes are too hard or time consuming,  good for all of you mommies. Shalom and lila tov! 

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    Monday, February 14, 2011

    2-14 Happy Valemtime's Day

    Today was as my son calls it "Valemtime's Day." My husband and I don't make a huge deal of celebrating it. We stayed at home tonight and had a family dinner. I made Chicken Not Parmigiana with pasta, steamed brocolli, and Caesar Salad.
    The Chicken not parmigiana is a kosher version of an Italian favorite without the cheese. I served it over a bed of Barilla Pasta Plus Spaghetti, the yellow box, which was an attempt to serve healthier pasta. Another attempt to make healthier food is that I did not fry the chicken, I baked it.
    My kids love this chicken because it is like homemade chicken nuggets.
    Here is the recipe:
    Serves 2
    Chicken Not Parmigiana

    2 Chicken Breasts , pounded thin between 2 sheets of plastic wrap
    1 egg, beaten, (may have to add another one)
    1 C. seasoned bread crumbs, (may have to add more)

    Preheat oven to 400
    Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
    Place egg in one bowl, and bread crumbs in another
    Dip pounded chicken first in eggs, then bread crumbs making sure it is completely coated
    lay flat on baking sheet
    Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it is no longer pink in the middle
    Place over a bed of pasta, and top with a generous amount of your favorite jar of pasta sauce.

    My favorite pasta sauces include: Newman's Own Organic or Regular, Barilla Marinara, and Emeril's
    I always alternate between these. I have also found it really delicious to mix Barilla and Newman's own.

    Here is a picture of my complete dinner:
    (The chicken is hiding under the sauce, it's hard to see it)

    For dessert we had sugar cookies we decorated earlier in the afternoon. I love doing any type of cooking with my children. They particularly enjoyed this project. They helped me from start to finish. They loved decorating them, but I think they loved eating them even more.This cut out sugar cookie recipe is simple and does not require refrigeration time like most cut out recipes do.
    Here is the recipe:
    Cut Out Sugar Cookies
    1 C. butter, or margarine, unsalted
    1 C. sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
    2 teaspoons Baking Powder ( I prefer Clabber Girl)
    1/4 tsp. Salt
    2 3/4 C. Flour

    Directions: Heat oven to 400. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray, or use parchment, or a silpat
    In the bowl of a stand mixer, or use just a bowl and hand mixer, place the butter.
     Beat until creamy, then add the sugar, and beat until all mixed together.
    Add the egg and vanilla, and beat a few seconds until well incorporated
    In a seperate bowl mix together the baking powder, salt, and flour
    Add to butter mixture and keep mixing until dough has formed a ball, you may have to do the end part by hand if the dough does not come together.
    Split in half. Roll half out on floured countertop. Roll to desired even thickness, and use cookie cutters to cut shapes. Place cookies on cookie sheet.
    Bake for 8 minutes. The cookies should be set, but not brown on the edges.
    Decorate with your choice of icings, sprinkles, etc.

    Here is a picture of the 3 cookies I decorated. I let the kids do all the rest.
    Hope you had a Happy Valemtime's Day!
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    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    2-12 and 2-13 Eating Out a lot!

    It feels like recently I have been eating out a lot which is good and bad. Good because I can blog about all of my restaurant experiences, and bad because I cannot blog about cooking experiences.

    (2-12) We went to an awesome Greek restaurant post Shabbat. We love this place! Opa! The food, service, and prices are all good, and can't forget it's byob. The waiter we had looks like a Greek version of my brother Drew. We kept calling him "Drew" which was funny, but what was even funnier was that he was answering to it. The restaurant was jam packed with people, always a good sign.
    We ordered a vegetarian sampler which had falafel, tzatziki sauce, hummus, dolmas, pita, green beans, and spanikopita. All of that was superb and was enough to make a meal on.
    The spanikopita is my favorite. It is a mixture of spinach and cheese inside phyllo dough.
    Getting a Greek salad is a must, it's one of my favorites things. Here is a picture of the one I had:
    I had a wedding shower luncheon at a nice restaurant with a famous chef. This was my second time to go there, and will definitely be returning there soon. The menu we ordered off of was picked especially for the shower. All of the options sounded delicious, I had a hard time choosing. I ended up going with salmon, polenta, and grilled asparagus:
    I love seared fish, and this salmon was perfectly cooked. Definitely makes me want to perfect the whole searing fish method at home. The polenta was very creamy (took 2 lactaids ***see below), it was just incredible!
    Finally for dinner tonight, we went to a great restaurant with continental cuisine. This was a past favorite restaurant of my hubby's and mine. We hadn't been there in over a year. We had many different dishes while there tonight, but I am going to focus on their salad.
    This restaurant is well known for their salad with lettuce, blue cheese, toasted pecans, and green apples. The salad dressing is amazing, they actually bottle and sell it.
    About 5 years ago, the thought of eating blue cheese severely grossed me out. I would watch my husband in disgust as he would devour his moldy blue cheese. I don't know what came over me one time when he was eating that exact salad,  I decided to try blue cheese, and guess what?! I loved it! After that, I couldn't get enough of blue cheese. I went on a blue cheese binge. I was like a junky seeking a high for blue cheese. I remember deciding which restaurants we would visit by whether or not they had something on their menu with it.
    Nowadays I still love blue cheese, but I don't seek it out.
    Here is a picture of the famous Salad
    ***Ok, now you are probably wondering about the lactaid comment. When I was 19, I became severely lactose intolerant, to the point that I couldn't eat even trace amounts of dairy. I had a few failed attempts with lactaid ultra, and felt like I was never going to eat dairy again for the rest of my life. About two years later, a friend persistently convinced me to try Lactaid fast act. When I realized that it actually worked, a whole new milky world opened up to me. Now I am never without it. I am posting this is in the hopes of enlightening anyone who is lactose intolerant to the fact there is hope.
    I am gonna go plan my menus for this week now TTYtomorrow.
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    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    2-9-2011 Cozy Comfort Food and Food Obsessions

    Today's weather was a repeat of last week's chill and ice. For some reason this weather makes me crave comfort food. Everyone has a different idea of what they find comforting to eat, what I made tonight is my ultimate: Roasted Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Spinach Salad.

    Roasted Chicken is a very simple dish to make. Tonight I was short on time, so I made a plain one with only olive oil and Lawry's salt, but my all time favorite recipe is made on top of a can of beer.
    Beer Can Chicken
    1 chicken rinsed in cold water and patted very dry, inside and out with paper towels 

    1/2 of a can beer(6 ounces of a 12 ounce can, any brand, any variety, once even used coke)

    1/4 cup paprika

    1/8 cup salt

    3 T. pepper

    1/2 cup packed brown sugar

    1 Mix 4 dry ingredients together.

    2 Use this rub inside and out of the cleaned, dry chicken.

    3 Be generous.

    4 Place 1/2 can of beer in center of roasting pan.

    5 Position"bottom" of chicken over beer and slide chicken over the can of beer until the chicken is"sitting" upright in the pan.

    6 The fit will be snug and chicken will be secure.

    7 Roast uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    8 Do not baste, do not turn pan.

    9 The beer will steam the chicken deliciously.

    10 When done, carefully remove can of beer from chicken and serve.

    Here are some pictures from my dinner tonight with their recipes:
    Basic Roasted Potatoes:
    Preheat oven to 425,
    Cut  Potatoes in wedges, place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Place in the oven for 45 minutes until browned to your liking.

    Spinach Salad with Apples, Toasted Almonds, and Apple Cider Vinegrette
    1 package of fresh spinach
    1 apple of your choice peeled and thinly sliced
    1/4 C. slivered almond toasted in oven at 350 for 10-12 minutes until aromatic and light brown

    Apple Cider Vinegrette Dressing
    1/8 C. Apple Cider Vinegar (I favor Bragg's found at Whole Foods, it's the best!)
    1/8 C. Maple Syrup
    1/8 C. Vegetable Oil (I use the Smart Balance brand I feel it is somehow healthier)
    1/4-1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, or to taste
    Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

    Place all of the Dressing ingredients into a jar, screw on cap and shake until emulsified. Toss Salad with apples, almonds, and dressing.

    I am a big believer in homemade salad dressings. Very rarely would I ever use a store brought one. The key is the jar, you need to start saving empty glass jars with lids. I save jam jars and marinara jars wash them thoroughly and then use them just for making salad dressings.

    I was inspired to make mushrooms after reading in a magazine how they are very good for you.
    Sauteed Mushrooms
    2 tablespoons margarine

    1 (8 ounce) package sliced white mushrooms

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    2 teaspoons soy sauce

    freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

    Melt the margarine in skillet over medium heat; add the mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic; continue to cook and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the soy sauce; cook the mushrooms a few more minutes

    All in all we had a perfect meal and felt satisfied. 

    Last thing...I always seem to have some foods I am obsessed with. Whatever the food obsession is at that moment, I can never seem to get enough. I am going to share with you my current food obsessions. The first one is Peanut Butter Pretzel Mojo Bars by Cliff. They are the perfect balance of salty and sweet, and are nutritionally a really good snack. They have 10 grams of protein, low sugar, and 180 calories. Ughhhh I am in love with them!
    My second obsession right now is not food but hot tea. The tea in particular is Mighty Leaf green and white tea combo box. I love all 4 teas that come with it White Nectar, Green Tea Tropical, Jasmine, and Green tea.
    The third obsession I am sharing with you is Greek Yogurt, specifically Chobani Raspberry sprinkled with Bear Naked Vanilla Almond Granola.

    All righty then, that't it for tonight! Talk to you tomorrow.

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    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    2-8-2011 Healthy Lunch, Ok Dinner

    About once a week I go to Whole Foods to first shop and then eat lunch. Eating lunch there is great, I love how eating there feels so healthy, even the pizza (please don't tell me otherwise)! I recently have discovered WF's amazingly delicious quinoa salads at the salad bar. They have 3 different types of quinoa salads on hand at all times. Today, I grabbed a cardboard container and started filling it with all 3 quinoas, then I added cabbage salad, and lastly a crazy concoction called Detox Salad. When it was all said and done, I had a box full of nutrition for my lunch, plus a slice of vegetable pizza. I was in ecstasy eating the healthiest and most delicious lunch.
    Dinner tonight I made the classic combo of beef stew and cornbread. The beef stew was just whatever (I am a harsh critic). The cornbread was in the form of muffins and they were good, especially when slathered in honey and butter (margarine).  The kids had fun creating a huge mess with the ever so crumbly cornbread, and the dog had fun helping to clean that mess up. All this talking about food is making me hungry, I'm gonna go now so I can get a late night snack. Pin It