Thursday, March 31, 2011

3-31-2011 Easy Quiche Dinner and Central Market

My sister called me earlier this week with news that she had been at Central Market, and they now have a huge kosher section. This warranted a trip to check it out a.s.a.p. I snapped a quick photo of one area:

It is hard to see it in the picture, but they have a refrigerator case filled with kosher meats. I was excited to find Aaron's Best Polish Sausage, something I haven't seen since the whole Rubashkin ordeal. I snatched it right up, and was racking my brain as to how I was going to cook it.
I was in the waiting room at my doc's office today, looking through a magazine, after seeing a recipe for a quiche, a lightbulb went off in my head. I decided to make a sausage quiche, and what a great idea that was.
My whole dinner was quick, easy, and delicious. King Hock went nuts, he was complaining about overeating shortly after our meal (he ate more than half of the entire quiche himself!)
The side dishes I made with it were baked kale, and homeade baked potato chips.
The baked kale was a request of my older son. Seriously, how can you deny a child asking for kale?
I got the recipe for the baked potato chips from my good friend Sarah. She had made these addictive potatoes once when she had us over for dinner.
Here are pics and recipes:
Sausage Quiche
1 frozen pie crust, I used a Mrs. Smith's parve one
8 oz. sausage, I used Polish cut into small pieces, I cut the sausage in half lengthwise, then half lengthwise again, and then chopped it into thin pieces, hint: think about cutting a hot dog for a toddler
1 T. olive oil
6 eggs
1/2 C. plain soy milk
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
2.5 oz of fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped (this is 1/2 of an organic 5 oz. package)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large non stick skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped sausage and cook until all sides are nicely browned. Drain on paper towels.
In a medium bowl, crack open the 6 eggs, add the soy milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Using a whisk, stir until combined.
Place the spinach and cooked sausage into the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture over.
Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until the eggs are set and it looks slightly puffed.
Baked Kale
I have posted this recipe recently, but here it is again.
1 bunch kale, washed and dried
olive oil
seasoned salt (I used morton's seasoned salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Tear kale leaves away the center stem, discarding the stems.  Place on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment. Drizzle with olive oil, about 1-2 Tablespoons. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bake for 15 minutes, until edges are crispy.
Baked Potato Chips serves 4
To cut the potatoes very thin, you will need a sharp paring knife ( click on the word paring knife to see my favorite ones). Even better would be to use a mandoline, which could be dangerous for inexperienced users.
4 baking potatoes
1-2 T. olive oil
Seasoned Salt, Sarah told me to use Nature's Seasoning- that's what I always use for this recipe
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cut the potatoes in very thin slices. Place the slices in a large bowl and drizzle on the olive, toss until completely coated. Lay in a single flat layer on the baking sheets. Sprinkle with seasoning salt.
Place in the oven and cook until nicely browned and crisp, about 40 minutes. Watch to make sure they don't burn.
Stressful thoughts of cooking tomorrow's Shabbat dinner are already invading my mind. I made my menu a few days ago, I'm going to make an Italian inspired shabbat dinner. Don't forget to check back tomorrow late afternoon! .
P.S. I am taking my first shot at making cake balls tomorrow, can't wait to share.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3-29-2011 Getting Groovy In the Kitchen

I got groovy in the kitchen while I was cooking dinner tonight (it's actually a regular occurence). For me there is nothing better than cranking up the tunes while cooking. If a good song comes on, I get really into it by taking a pause from cooking and dance my heart out. If my kids catch me when this is happening, they drop everything to join in. If you don't already dance while cooking, I highly recommend it! I also highly recommend making the outstanding dinner I made tonight.

We had Orange Maple Glazed Salmon, Mixed Greens with Spicy Pecans and White French Dressing, Smashed New Potatoes, and Steamed Green Beans.

The orange maple glazed salmon was so easy to prepare, and the results were excellent. This would go well with any side dish. Eating salmon is a good way to get omega-3s (which help basically every function in your body). I bought tonight's salmon at Whole Foods, it was very fresh, and I believe this makes a world of difference.

The spicy pecans from the salad recipe are highly addictive. Beware! The recipe makes extra, and you will be happy about that. They would also make a nice gift in pretty packaging.
Here are the pictures and recipes:

Orange Maple Salmon

Don't worry this salmon is not too sweet. It's so good!

1 large orange, zest grated, and juiced
1/4 C. pure maple syrup, DO NOT SUBSTITUTE!
2 T. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 Salmon filet, 1-2 lbs.

1 orange thinly sliced

Place salmon in a large baking dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray. In a small bowl mix together the orange zest, orange juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour over the salmon. Place in the refrigerator to marinate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork, spoon pan juices back over salmon half way through. Arrange thinly sliced orange along the top for garnish.

Mixed Greens with Spicy Pecans and White French Dressing

Mixed Greens, any quantity (5oz. feeds 4 people)
Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced
Spicy Pecans, recipe below
White French Dressing, recipe below

Toss all of the above ingredients in a large salad bowl. Serve immediately.

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.

White French Dressing

Normally french dressing is ketchup based, but this particular one is not.
The inspiration for this salad dressing comes from my in-law's country club in Desert Mountain, Arizona.  I had the white french dressing on a salad when we ate there and I loved it so much, I begged the chef for the recipe.  He did send it to me, but it was extremely complicated. Here is my version:

1/3 C. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dried mustard powder
1/3 C. white vinegar
1 1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. freshly grated onion
1/2 t. onion powder
1 T. worcestershire sauce
1/2 C. vegetable oil

Place all of the above ingredients into a measuring cup. Using an immersion blender, blend until emulsified. Makes more than enough for 1 salad, refrigerate any leftovers.

Smashed New Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes are not Mashed Potatoes. These are yummy!

1 lb. red skinned new potatoes, preferably smaller sized
2 T. butter or margarine, I used smart balance light
1 T. fresh dill, chopped
2 T. green onions, finely sliced
kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Place pot on stove and bring water to a boil, boil potatoes until they are tender. About 30 minutes, check by sticking a fork in the middle, if it slides in easily, then it is ready. Drain water and put potatoes back into the pot. Add the butter or margarine, letting the heat melt it. Using a fork, smash each potato. Sprinkle on the dill, green onion, salt and pepper to taste. Mix potatoes until all the ingredients are combined.

Finally, to the steamed green beans. I literally steamed them, and then left them plain. Usually when I make a meal with a lot of different bold flavors, such as tonight, it is good to leave something plain, it is all about balance. My kids enjoy green beans like this, which makes me proud to see them eating green veggies.

I hope you will try making some or all of this meal, and definitely hope you will give the dancing and cooking a shot. Let me know if you do, I would love your comments!
I'm taking a break from cooking tomorrow night, but I will be back on Thursday. Goodnight. Pin It

Monday, March 28, 2011

3-28-2011 A Walk on The Indian Side, Curry Free

I entered uncharted kitchen territory tonight, I cooked Indian food! The outcome was successful, and I have to admit, there was no curry involved. I am a big advocate for acquiring tastes for different foods, but when it comes to curry, I am sure I will always despise it.

The idea for this dinner has been simmering a while since I clipped a chicken tandoori recipe from a magazine. I went to look for the magazine clipping to some draw inspiration, but it was lost. No big deal. I surfed the web and was able to create my own recipes.

Our menu included:

Tandoori Chicken Breasts, Green Apple Raita (Yogurt Slaw), Roasted Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes), and homemade Naan (Indian Flat Bread) Recipes and Pictures below.

These recipes posed a bit of a challenge in the kashrus area because 3 of them called for yogurt (it is forbidden for Jews to mix any type of meat and dairy).
I decided to try making all of the recipes with parve plain soy yogurt, and the results were pleasing. In case you are wondering, I found the parve soy yogurt at Whole Foods.

Tandoori Chicken Breasts

4 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
1 C. parve yogurt, plain
1 large lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. paprika
1 t. turmeric
1 t. ginger, preferably freshly grated, but powder is acceptable
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. coriander
1/4 t. nutmeg

Place the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric, ginger, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Place into a heavy duty gallon size Ziploc and add chicken. Squeeze out extra air, and seal. Place in the refrigerator to marinate 3 hours-overnight. Grill on outdoor grill or, broil in then oven. Heat grill or preheat broiler. Cook each side for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the center is no longer pink. Serve with Green Apple Raita.

Green Apple Raita
This dish is refreshing and helps take the edge off spicy dishes.

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and grated
1/2 C. parve yogurt, plain
1 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

Roasted Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower and Potatoes)
You can tailor the heat of this dish to your liking. If, you do not want a lot of heat, leave out the cayenne pepper.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
8 small red skin potatoes
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. of each of the following: cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and paprika.
2 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes and cauliflower florets on a baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with non stick spray.  Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze lemon juice over entire sheet. In a small bowl mix together the seasonings, and sprinkle on. Toss everything to evenly coat.
Roast for 50 minutes, shaking the pan every 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven, place on serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro.

Naan (bread machine)
What Indian meal would be complete without this staple flat bread? If, you want plain naan, omit the margarine and garlic salt.

1 C. water
1/3 C. parve yogurt, plain flavor
2 1/2 t. vegetable oil
1 1/2 t. honey
1 1/4 t. salt
4 C. bread flour
1 1/2 t. yeast

2 T. melted margarine, I used Smart balance light
garlic salt

Place the ingredients into bread maker pan in the order listed above ending with the yeast, or according to your bread machine's directions. Turn the bread machine on dough cycle. Check after 10 minutes to make sure a nice dough has formed, if the dough looks too sticky add a little bit more flour, if it looks dry add a little bit more water. I added a few drops of water.
When dough cycle ends, turn dough out onto counter top and using a dough cutter divide into 8 equal pieces.
Form each piece into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Let rest 20 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 500 degrees, with a pizza stone or sheet pan inside. Place the rack inside the oven 4 inches away from the top.
Roll each ball with a rolling pin to 1/3 inch thin, you want it to be very thin and circular.
Remove the hot sheet pan from the oven and place the dough on it, brush with melted margarine and sparingly sprinkle with garlic salt. 
Place into oven immediately. Cook for 1.5-2 minutes until the circle has puffed up, then switch the broiler on. Broil until the top has browned some another approx. 1.5 mins., see the above picture for reference.
Remove from oven and cover with a dish towel to keep warm.


I know I have talked about this before, but bread machines are really amazing. All you do is place the ingredients inside, push a button, and out comes dough or freshly baked bread.
I have gotten so much use out of mine, I have had it for 4 years and it is still going strong. If you don't already own one, I highly recommend trying one out. You don't have to buy a fancy model to get good results.
Here is a link to the same one I have for 58 bucks:

The different types of breads you can make with it are endless: Challah, Whole Wheat, French, Pretzels, Rolls, Pita, Focaccia, Naan, etc.  Go for it!

G'night, talk to you tomorrow, I have another yummy dinner planned.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

3-27-2011 Brunch with Friends

Our long time friends Lauren and Seth invited us over for brunch this morning. I asked if there was anything I could bring and they replied no. Well, there was no way I was going to show up there empty handed.
I looked around my kitchen for something to concoct, and I noticed 2 black bananas calling out to me. Bingo! I decided to whip up some banana bread.
I knew King Hock would love it, he always reminisces about how it was his Poppy's favorite food.
The recipe I used is my great aunt Freddye's from San Antonio. She is notorious for her banana bread. It's a wonder that I actually have this closely guarded recipe, see below. I must admit I tweaked it a tiny bit.

Aunt Freddye's Banana Bread
This recipe makes 1 loaf, but if you want 2 loaves, you can double it. Aunt Freddye is also known to make it in a tube cake pan, and then put frosting on it, what a treat! P.S. your house will smell fabulous during and after baking.

1/2 C. + 2 T. All Purpose Flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 C. vegetable oil ( I use Smart Balance Brand)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 bananas, very ripe and mashed
1 egg

Cinnamon Sugar- optional (I buy this in the spice section of the grocery store, but you can mix together cinnamon and sugar for the same effect)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non stick spray.
In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the vegetable oil, vanilla, mashed bananas, and egg. Mix all together until thoroughly combined, but do not over mix.
Place batter into loaf pan. Optionally, sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Lower oven to 350 degree and bake another 25-30 minutes.

Kudos to Lauren and Seth for making such a delicious and gorgeous brunch spread. There was:
Bagels, Lox, Cream Cheese, Hard Cheeses, Rainbow of Vegeteables and Fruits, Hard Boiled eggs, and Fried Eggs, and can't forget Banana Bread. Hopefully they will invite us over for brunch again very soon!

Enjoy the rest of your weekdend!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

3-25-2011 The Dish on Shabbat Cooking

I was Speedy Gonzalez in the kitchen this morning, I finished all of my prep and cooking before 12:15 p.m. I still have to actually cook a lot of the food, but the majority of work is out of the way. Woohoo! Now I can relax while my children nap.
We are having only one family over tonight, so I didn't make as large of portions as normal. It is funny though because whether I cook for 2 people or 20, it seems as though the amount of work remains the same (alot!). Yes, I will admit sometimes it gets tiring, but the joy it gives me outweighs the exhaustion.

My dinner menu for tonight:
(click the link to see the recipe in an older post)

1. Bread Machine Challah
2. Black Bean Corn Salad- see below for recipe
3. Strawberry Mango Green Salad
4. Baked Salmon Croquettes- see below for recipe
5. Gazpacho with Avocado- see below for recipe
6. Sunshine Chicken- recipe below
7. Sweet-n-Sour Meatballs
8. Roasted Potato and Sweet Potato medley- recipe below
9. Steamed Green Beans
10. Apple Crisp- recipe below
11. Vanilla Cake with strawberry frosting
12. Fresh Fruit

Black Bean Corn Salad

3 T. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 T. dijon mustard
3/4 t. salt
2 T. honey
pinch black pepper
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

In a medium salad bowl, mix together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon, salt, honey, and green onions. Add the bell pepper, corn, and black beans. Stir to combine dressing and corn and beans completely. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, to allow flavors to come together.

Baked Salmon Croquettes
Normally, Salmon croquettes are fried, but I decided to make a lighter version without the huge mess of frying.

2 (5oz.) cans salmon, boneless and skinless
2 eggs
1/2 C. bread crumbs
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. mayonaise
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. old bay seasoning
pinch salt and pepper, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all of the above ingredients. Scoop out golf ball size scoops and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Smush each ball into a patty. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet, let cool, and place in refrigerator. Serve cold with horseradish mayo, or wasabi mayo.

Gazpacho with Avocado- serves 4
My hubby a.k.a. King Hock loves gazpacho, he will be very excited when I serve it tonight.

4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/8 C. red onion, chopped
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. tomato juice
1 lemon, juiced
drizzle of hot sauce, such as Cholula
salt, to taste
pinch black pepper
1 avocado, sliced thinly for garnish

Place all of the above ingredients into a blender, food processor, or using a hand immersion blender, puree.
Add 1/2 t. salt, mix together. Taste to see if it needs more, add small amounts until adjusted to your liking.
Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.

Sunshine Chicken 
I gave this chicken the sunshine name after it's golden color.

1 cut up 8 piece chicken
3 T. melted margarine
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. yellow mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large baking dish, sprayed with non stick spray, place chicken face up. Mix together margarine, honey, mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Pour over chicken. Place in oven.
Bake uncovered for 1- 1.5 hours until chicken is done (meat thermometer reads 170 or is no longer pink), baste chicken with pan juices a few time throughout the cooking. The top should be carmelized.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Potato Medley- serves 4-6
Adding sweet potatoes to my normal roasted potatoes recipe makes a nice change. I find the sweet potatoes addictive.

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into cubes
1 large potato or 2 small potato, scrubbed and cut into cubes
2 T. olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place sweet potatoes and potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and toss together to evenly coat. Roast for 40 minutes, until center is tender and outside is nicely browned.

Apple Crisp
4-5 large apples, such as Braeburn, Gala, or Granny Smith ( a mixture is the best), peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 T. flour
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 t. cinnamon, more if you like it very cinnamony
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. white sugar
2 T. margarine

1/2 C. oats, not instant or quick cook
1/2 C. flour
4 T. margarine
1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a glass pie dish with margarine. In a large bowl place apples, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugars. Toss until the apples are coated. Place apples into greased pie dish, dot with margarine.
In a seperate bowl, place oats, flour, margarine, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a dough blender, blend until small pebbles form.
See picture:
Sprinkle crisp topping over the apples to cover.
Bake for 1 hour uncovered, or until the apples inside are tender. Serve hot.

I had some leftover strawberry frosting that was going to go to waste, so I made a vanilla cake, and frosted it with the strawberry frosting. I covered it with sprinkles, a sure fire winner with the kiddos.

Ok, now I have exactly 30 minutes and 5.625 seconds left of relaxation time until one of the boys wakes up. I'm going to try really hard to relax, even though I incessantly have thoughts of what I have left to do swirling around in my head.

Have a good Shabbos and enjoy the beautiful weather!
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

3-24-2011 An Early Taste of Summer

My parents heated their pool today, and the whole family swam and ate dinner together. We had a blast, there is nothing better than quality family time.  My mom made a scrumptious dinner which unintentionally on her part had a Summery vibe. She made barbeque baked chicken, corn casserole, and baked beans. My sister made her famous caesar salad. The origin of this caesar salad recipe is a bone of contention for the two of us. We both lay claim to orginally creating it. I know I keep saying it, but one of these days I will nail the recipe down for you.
The barbeque baked chicken is the easiest chicken recipe ever! All you do is take chicken on the bone, pour barbeque sauce over it, and bake it uncovered at 350 degrees for 1-1.5 hours, until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, and/or it is no longer pink in the center.
My mom got the baked beans from a can, Bush's makes vegetarian parve beans I am a fan of.
The corn casserole is an old recipe of my grandmother's from Tyler, Texas. Both of my parents were born and raised there. Yes there is actually Jewish people that live in the small town of Tyler. My grandmother got the recipe from a caterer she frequently used, named Ruby. Look below for the picture and recipe.
Finally, for dessert, I brought a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting I made from scratch. I bought 2 packages of strawberries on sale at Sprout's yesterday. I wanted to use some of the strawberries, and I tried a new recipe.  My entire family loves strawberry cake, who doesn't? The results were good, but not spectacular.  In all honesty, the Duncan Hine's parve strawberry cake mix is my favorite.
Here is a picture of the cake, it may make your mouth water:

Ruby's Corn Casserole

scaled to feed 4 people

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can cream style corn
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 stick margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheddar, optional for a dairy meal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the above ingredients together, and sprinkle top with cheese if making it dairy. Spray a 9 inch square baking dish with non stick spray, and pour corn mixture in. Bake for 1 hour, until set.


Check back tomorrow, I'll post the details of my shabbat cooking. I am going to go get some rest now, I have a big day of cooking ahead of me tomorrow. Have a good night! Pin It

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3-23-2011 Dinner Cubano

Hola, bienvenido! After cooking our dinner tonight, I'm feeling like a Cuban abuela (grandma). Our meal was all Cuban recipes: Picadillo with Rice timbale, and Cuban Salad.
The picadillo (beef hash) recipe comes from a friend of mine's mother in law, who is Cuban. I first had this dish at her house, and then begged her for the recipe. Picadillo is a wonderfully savory dish that gets a hint of sweetness from the raisins.
The Cuban salad goes very well with the picadillo, but would also go well with enchiladas, tacos, and really any sort of Mexican food.
Look below for the recipes:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (8oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 c. white wine
2 t. adobo seasoning
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 bay leaf
handful of raisins
handful green olives with pimentos + 1 T. the juice
In a large skillet or pot, brown ground beef with onions, bell pepper, and garlic, over medium heat.
When meat is fully browned, add the wine, and stir, then add the tomato sauce.
Add the adobo seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, bay leaf, raisins, and olives, and olive juice, stir to combine.
Cook simmering on low uncovered for 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Remove bay leaf and serve.
Rice Timbale
Want to impress your friends and family with ordinary white rice? Make this!
1 C. uncooked rice, cooked according to package directions
Line a small ramekin with plastic wrap. Spoon cooked rice inside packing it tightly. Turn over onto plate.
Cuban Salad
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tomato diced
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
4 radishes, thinly sliced (I didn't have these tonight)
4 T. olive oil
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. lime juice
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 t. salt
pinch of pepper
Place the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, and radishes in a salad bowl, place in refrigerator until ready.
In a jar with a lid place all of the dressing ingredients, screw on lid and shake until emulsified, let stand at least 20 minutes.
Hold a strainer over the salad and pour over the dressing, this is to remove the garlic pieces. Discard the garlic. Toss the salad, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to mix.
Adios Amigos!
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3-22-2011 Superb Soup & Salad Dinner, and The Christmas Tree Store

I am sitting here right now feeling absolutely stuffed. We just finished a superb dinner which consisted of Turkey Meatball Soup, Garlic and Herb Foccacia Bread, and Shredded Beet and Carrot Salad.
The soup was perfectly hearty, the foccacia bread was the perfect accompaniment, and the salad perfectly rounded off the meal. Here are pictures and recipes:

Turkey Meatball Soup
For the Meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
Preheat oven to 350
Mix above ingredients in a medium bowl. Shape into small meatballs. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes.
For the soup:
1 T. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 zucchini, chopped
10 mushrooms, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
1 can garbanzo beans
1 qt. Chicken Stock
3 C. fresh Spinach, chopped
Cooked Turkey Meatballs
Salt and Pepper, to taste
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, onion, and celery. Sautee until onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic, sautee 2 minutes more. Add the diced tomatoes, meatballs, garbanzo beans, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and lower flame to a simmer 30 minutes. Stir in fresh spinach. Taste to check seasonings, and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Bread Machine Garlic and Herb Foccacia Bread
Do you have a bread machine? I do, and I use it all of the time. I highly recommend getting one. It easily creates the best breads. All you do is put in the ingredient, and out comes perfect dough.
1 C. water
2 T. olive oil
3/4 t. salt
1 heaping teaspoon sugar
2 t. garlic, minced
1 T. rosemary
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
3 C. bread flour
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 t.)
Place the ingredients into the pan of the bread machine in the order listed above, or according to your bread machine's instructions.
Turn on dough cycle.
When dough cycle is finished, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
While oven is heating, spray a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray. Place dough into pan and using fingers dimple dough and stretch to fill inside. Dimple dough about every inch or so. Brush with 2 T. olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until top is lightly browned.
Once cool, cut into stick and serve with soup.
Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad
1 Romaine heart, chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 beet, peeled and grated
1/2 cucumber, partially peeled and sliced
1 tomato, cut into wedges
Dijon Vinaigrette:
1 T. Dijon Mustard
1/8 C. red wine vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
2 t. sugar
3/4 t. salt, or to taste
1/4 t. pepper
Place the lettuce and spinach in a large bowl. Cover half of the lettuces with shredded beets, and the other half with shredded carrots. Line the edges with the cucumber slices and tomato wedges.
In a jar with a lid, mix together all of the vinaigrette ingredients, shake until emulsified.
Serve vinaigrette on the side of the salad, for each person to pour on their own.
There you have it! A great dinner that is delicious, healthy and well balanced.
Earlier today I decided to venture into the Christmas Tree Store, after I heard my sister raving about it. First of all, the name of this store is very misleading, it is NOT a Christmas store. I was suprised to find a bargain store filled with an amazing selection of just about everything, and they even had a large amount of kosher products.
Here is the display when you first walk inside, it is a little hard to see but it is 3 stands of kosher for Passover candies:
I was overwhelmed (something that rarely happens) as I wandered through this new world in awe. Some of the incredible things I saw were table cloths for $6.99, inepensive kitchen gadgets, unique toys, and cleaning products. When I arrived in the food area, I was ecstatic. There was kosher spices for 89 cents, unique kosher cookies, crackers, nuts, candies, and ohhhh the sauces. Here is a pic of the Joyce Chen Sauces, which I was stunned to find available there:
I had my antsy little one with me, which posed a small problem of time. I plan on returning to the Christmas Tree Store very soon sans kiddos. I can't wait! I just wish they would change the name.
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Monday, March 21, 2011

3-21-2011 I Think I'm Turning Japanese

I think I'm turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so!

Tonight I made a Japanese dinner.
Our menu included:
Chicken Yakitori, Fried Rice, Sesame Asparagus, and Ginger Salad. See recipes below.

Hubby relished our dinner tonight. I couldn't believe how much he ate. This dinner hit home with him because he lived in Japan for a summer when he was 14. He went there to study karate, most people don't know that he is a black belt. He has some funny stories from his time there. One of which is when he first arrived, he called his mom crying because he didn't know how to work the high tech toilets. The other funny story is how he only would only eat chicken yakitori and Asian pears his entire time there. Because of this, chicken yakitori holds a special place in his heart.

Chicken Yakitori

1/4 C. tamari soy sauce
1/4 C.  pineapple juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T. rice wine vinegar
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 T. brown sugar
4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into cubes

Mix together the tamari, pineapple juice, garlic, rice wine vingear, ginger, and brown sugar in a large ziploc. Add the chicken. Press out extra air and seal bag. Place in refrigerator and marinate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat broiler in oven to 500 degrees.
Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Skewer chicken onto a metal skewer.
Place in oven for 10 minutes each side. Remove from oven. Make sure chicken is cooked through.

Fried Rice

1 C. uncooked white or brown rice, cook according to package
5 T. margarine, I used Smart Balance Light
1/2 C. onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. carrot finely chopped
6 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 C. frozen peas
1/2 C. frozen corn
1 clove garlic, minced
3 eggs, whisked together
2 T. sesame seeds, toasted
3 T. soy sauce
1 T. teriyaki sauce
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to package.
In a large skillet melt 2 T. margarine, over high heat add the onion, carrot, green onion, peas, corn, and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. Remove from pan to a clean dish.
Melt 1 T. margarine in skillet. Add eggs, and scramble over medium high heat until done.
Add the rice and vegetables to the skillet, mixing constantly. Add the remaining 2 T. margarine, sesame seeds, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until mixture is very hot and thoroughly combined.

Sesame Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
2 T. toasted sesame oil
kosher salt
1 t. toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place asparagus on baking sheet. Drizzle with sesame oil, sprinkle with kosher salt. Place in oven for 5-10 minutes until asparagus are done. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Ginger Salad Dressing
 adapted from Benihana's recipe

1/4 c. onion
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1 T. water
1 T. fresh ginger, grated
1 T. celery
1 T. ketchup
2 t. soy sauce
1 t. sugar
1 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Place all of the above ingredients into a tall measuring cup. Using a hand immersion blender, blend until emulsified and smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour over lettuce with cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, shredded carrots, etc. whatever you like in a salad.  Also makes a delicious sauce to pour on the fried rice or dip the chicken into. Pin It

3-21-2011 Eggstra Eggstra Read All About It

Just finished my delicious breakfast and thought I would tell you about it. I have a deep love of eggs, not sure whether if it is because they are delicious, or if it is because they have the amazing ability to hold my appetite over from breakfast to lunch.
It has taken a lot of trial and error to find my favorite brand of eggs, but now that I have found it, no other brand remotely compares.
My search for the perfect egg started when I decided to go organic, before that I would buy whatever eggs, all of which were pretty tasteless. I started out buying the organic brown eggs (organic white eggs are hard come by). I became very frustrated by the brown eggs because every other egg I would crack would have a bloodspot, which is not kosher.
I then tried free range white eggs and Eggland's Best. The free range white were somehow tasteless, and the Eggland's Best were pricey.
One day, I was in Super Walmart about to buy Eggland's Best and I noticed another brand of Omega-3 eggs, Great Day. The package read "Rich Golden Yolks" and "All Natural", it was an easy choice to give them a try. The next morning I was pleasantly suprised how delicious these eggs were. I fell head over heels in love. Now I will only buy these.
I like eggs scrambled, fried, and steamed. I always eat them with a piece of toast with butter and jam, or parve waffles:

Here is how I make fried eggs over medium:

Fried Eggs over medium

This is my favorite way to cook eggs, the yolks are runny, but the eggs are not undercooked.

Heat a small nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick spray (My favorite spray is the Crisco brand, blue and silver canister) over high heat for a few seconds. Crack open two eggs into the pan. Cook until the whites are completely white and the yolks appear to be floating on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip eggs over. Turn off heat and let sit for a minute or two.

I cannot tell you how many times I have felt like calling this Great Day Egg Company to tell them how much I love their eggs. If you like eggs, you should definitely give these a try, the difference in taste is amazing!

P.S. I buy the Omega 3 eggs for when we eat eggs alone, and the All Natural variety for baking. Pin It

Friday, March 18, 2011

3-18-11 Purim Shabbat Dinner

I'm putting my feet up for a moment right now, like all Fridays I am very busy in the kitchen today. This is an exciting Shabbat because tomorrow night is the start of Purim (

Here is my menu for tonight:

1. Bread Machine Challah
2. Mixed Green Salad with dried figs and honey balsamic vinaigrette
3. Homeade Artichoke Hummus with vegetables crudite
4. Smoked Salmon Carpaccio
5. Golden Beet Borscht
6. Roasted Whole Lemon Herb Chicken
7. Roasted Potatoes
8. Roasted Broccoli
9. Giant Hamantaschen
10. Fruit Salad

I decided to make bread machine challah this week because I only need 2 loaves. This recipe receives the ravest reviews, people go nuts for this challah.
Here is the recipe:

Bread Machine Challah

1 C. water
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 T. vegetable oil
1 t. salt
1/4 C. plus 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
3 C. bread flour
1 packet active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 t.

1 egg, beaten for glaze

Place ingredients into bread machine basket in order listed above, or according to the directions of your particular bread machine. Make a well in the flour and place yeast inside.
Select Dough cycle.
When dough cycle finishes, remove dough and place onto a floured countertop.
Portion dough into 2 equal pieces. Portion each piece into 3 pieces (you should have 6 equal pieces). Roll each piece into a rope. Braid 3 pieces together, and tuck ends under. Repeat.
Place braided dough onto a sheet pan covered in parchment. Cover with a clean dish towel.
Turn oven onto 350.
Let braids rise for 30 minutes to an hour until doubled in size, and when you press a finger on the dough it does not spring back immeadiately.
Remove dish towel.  Brush with beaten egg.
Place in oven and bake 25 minutes, until bottom sounds hollow when tapped on.
Remove from sheet pan and place on cooling rack.

A friend of mine recently asked me how I come up with what I make. I answered her by telling her that there are a few ways. I go to the grocery store and see what looks beautiful and is in season. Then, I will bring that home and come up with recipes according to what I bought. Another way is I will find recipes in cookbooks I like and then I'll buy the ingredients to make it. The next few recipes I created after finding some of their ingredients at Whole Foods.

Mixed Green Salad with Dried Figs, and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 package organic mixed greens
a handful of dried figs, chopped- bought these at Whole Foods
1/4 c. toasted pecans

1/4 C. vegetable oil
1/8 C. honey
1/8 C. balsamic vinegar
pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Mix the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, shake until emulsified.
Place greens, dried figs, and pecans in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing. Serve immeadiately.

You can find the recipe for my Artichoke Hummus on this post:

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

1 package smoked salmon
2 T. olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T. capers
fresh cracked pepper

Place salmon slices in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound thin with a meat mallet. Carefully peel off plastic and place on serving plate. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and capers. Pour over salmon. Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper over salmon. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Golden Beet Borscht

Yes, you can make borscht with golden beets. So delicious for all you beet lovers. No worries about the red beet after effect!

2 Large Golden Beets, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 small Russet potato, peeled and chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/4 C. white wine
4 C. chicken stock
1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, place olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee until translucent. Add the beets, celery, garlic, and potato sautee until garlic is fragrant. Pour in the wine and chicken stock. Bring to a slow boil cover with lid. Simmer until beets are tender. Add lemon juice. Using an immersion blender, blend until completely smooth. Serve hot or cold. Optionally, Garnish with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. For a really gorgeous touch, you could boil one red peeled beet seperately, and when tender puree with immersion blender, swirl a little ontop of Golden soup.

Whole Roasted Lemon and Herb Chicken:
1 whole chicken
kosher salt and pepper
2 lemons
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. each any combination of dried rosemary, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme
1 t. Mrs. Dash original

Season inside of chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff inside of the chicken with 2 lemons cut in halves. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Rub olive oil onto skin. Pour on lemon juice. Sprinkle on zest, dried herbs, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper. Rub all over skin.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and a half. Basting chicken with pan juices every so often. Until meat thermometer inserted into center reads higher than 165 degrees F. Skin should be nice and crispy.

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

I was trying to think of a Purim dessert to make for tonight, and of course I thought of hamantaschens. I always make hamantaschens, but this year I wanted to mix it up a bit. One idea I had was to make a chocolate dough and fill it with chocolate chips, making double chocolate hamantaschens. The other idea I had, was to make a giant hamantaschen that could be cut like a pie. I ended up going with the giant idea.

Giant Hamantaschen Directions: 
I started out by making my usual hamantaschen dough, and then rolled a big piece of dough very thin. I placed a large dinner plate ontop and using a paring knife I traced around the edges. I placed raspberry jam and apricot jam inside, and folded the edges up to make a triangle. I baked it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  
For dessert tonight, I am going to serve it in slices with fruit salad.
It turned out just beautiful! Look:
Have a Happy Purim and a Good Shabbat!
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

3-15-2011 Divine Dinner

Dinner was divine. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment after making a successful dinner. Tonight I concocted some new recipes, and I can't wait to share them with you.
I made: Glazed Chicken with Mango Avocado Relish, Green Beans with Lime, Chili Roasted Cauliflower, and White Rice.
Glazed Chicken
This chicken is excellent. Don't have peach jam? You could use apricot, pineapple, mango, or guava jam. If you are not a ginger fan, leave it out.
1/3 C. peach jam
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 t. onion powder
1 lime, juiced
1 T. rum
4 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray. Place chicken in pan.
In a small bowl, mix together jam, soy sauce, ginger, onion powder, lime juice, and rum. Pour sauce onto chicken, coating both sides.
Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes, until completely cooked and center is no longer pink.
If the chicken is not carmelized when finished, turn broiler on and place under for a few minutes.
Remove from oven. Let rest 5 minutes. Slice at an angle, and serve with Mango Avocado relish.
Mango Avocado Relish
This relish is great with the above chicken, but would also go well with a piece of plain grilled salmon or tilapia 
1 mango, peeled seeded and finely diced
2 avocadoes, finely diced
1 Roma tomato, finely diced
1 lime, juiced
sprinkle of chili powder
pinch salt and pepper
Mix all of the above ingredients, let sit for flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Green Beans with Lime
1/2 pound haricot verts, trimmed, if you can't find haircot verts, use thin green beans
1 lime, zest and juice
1 T. margarine, or butter for a dairy meal
Steam haricot verts for 3 minutes, until just tender. Add margarine while hot. Using a zester (I love my microplane, **see below), zest the lime and add to green beans, then squeeze juice. Mix all together. 
Chili Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 T. Olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. paprika
pinch black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower florets on a baking sheet. Drizzle on olive oil. Sprinkle salt, chili powder, paprika, and pepper. Place in oven for 45 minutes-1 hour, until browned. Shake baking sheet 3 or 4 times to evenly brown the cauliflower.
**A microplane is a kitchen tool I use frequently. I used it tonight to grate the ginger and zest the lime. Here is a link to the one I have, I highly recommend it:
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Monday, March 14, 2011

3-14-2011 Meatloaf night and kale is awesome!

Everyone has a go-to dinner they like to prepare. Mine is meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and steamed brocolli. Tonight, I made my usual meatloaf dinner plus I tried cooking kale for the first time.  The kale was a huge hit. Both of my boys ate an abundant amount, I was shocked. What suprised me even more was when some fell on the floor, my dog ate it. My dog is the pickiest dog ever, there are very few foods he eats. The kids were having a blast feeding it to him, I actually had to stop them because I was worried he would eat too much and get sick. The kale was very easy to prepare, definitely give it a try if you never have, you will love it. Look below for the recipe.
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are a match made in Heaven. I really think I couldn't eat meatloaf without mashed potatoes. My love for mashed potatoes dates back to my elementary school days. I remember excitedly standing in the cafeteria line for the best mashed potatoes.  When I think about them now, I am pretty sure they were just instant mashed potatoes, yuck!
I have a few different meatloaf recipes I make. Tonight, I made one that has a similar flavor to sloppy joes. My kids really like this particular recipe. As for the mashed potatoes, I wish I could give you the recipe, but it is one of those that I throw together without measurements. The recipe has potatoes boiled until soft, then I whip them with a hand mixer, with a little of the water they were cooked in, margarine, salt, and pepper.

Lee Hock's Meatloaf

1 pound lean ground beef 90/10
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 c. fienly chopped red bell pepper, can use orange or yellow
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. oats
1 egg
1/2 (6oz.) can tomato paste
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

1/3 c. ketchup
1 T. dijon mustard
2 T. dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl, and place in a sprayed loaf pan.
Mix together glaze ingredients in small bowl. Pour over the top of the meatloaf.
Bake for 1 hour, until the sides of the meatloaf are pulling away from the pan.

Baked Kale

1 bunch kale, washed and dried
olive oil
seasoned salt (I used morton's seasoned salt)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Tear kale leaves away the center stem, discarding the stems.  Place on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment. Drizzle with olive oil, about 1-2 Tablespoons. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bake for 15 minutes, until edges are crispy. Pin It

Sunday, March 13, 2011

3-13-2011 Grillin' at the Lakehouse

This weekend we went to a friend's lakehouse. We had a great time relaxing, cooking, grilling, eating, playing games, and did I say eating?! There definitely was no shortage of food.
On Friday night we made grilled chicken, salad, roasted asparagus, and I brought challah I had already made. My friend Jamison marinated the chicken in his brother-in-law's secret marinade, I will have to get that recipe for you because I loved the chicken.
We had a lot of other grilled foods while there: hot dogs, corn on the cob, peppers, asparagus, and salmon.We all pitched in and helped cook. There is nothing like good company while in the kitchen.
I put myself in charge of the grilled salmon, grilled corn on the cob, a Greek salad, and a sliced tomato salad. Look below for recipes.
Here are some pictures:
Grilled Salmon
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 T. olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 large lemon, juiced
1 large salmon fillet, skin on or off
mix together garlic, olive oil, basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Place salmon in large pyrex and pour marinade over. Marinate for at least an hour. Lay out 3 sheets of foil, or 2 sheets heavy duty foil on top of each other, spray with cooking spray. Place salmon on foil. Place salmon on foil on heated grill. Grill with top of grill closed for 20 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
Slice Tomato Salad
This is a beautiful presentation, and so simple to make. This recipe has famously turned tomato haters into tomato lovers. So even if you don't like tomatoes, you should still give it a shot. If heirloom tomatoes are in season, try making this salad with an assortment of colors and shapes.
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of arugula and/ or mixed greens
balsamic vinegar
1/2 lemon
olive oil- use best quality, I prefer extra virgin organic
salt, I prefer a fine sea salt
fresh basil, thinly sliced (lay several leaves on top of each other, tightly roll up, slice thinly-this method is known as chiffonade)
1 T. capers, optional
On a large platter place 2 handfuls of arugula and/or mixed greens. Lay tomato slices on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (about 1-2 T.) squeeze half of lemon juice over tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes. Sprinkle with sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. Sprinkle with fresh basil and capers.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob, any quantity
Soak corn with husks on in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Place on corn in husks on grill, and grill until charred, about 20 minutes.
Greek Salad
The dressing for this salad comes from the South Beach Diet. I sometimes add more salt, it all depends on how sour the lemons are. Taste the dressing when it is all mixed together and decide if it needs more salt.
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, and sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 C. kalamata olives
1/2 C. feta cheese crumbles
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. lemon juice, must use fresh squeezed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. oregano
Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano.
In a large bowl place romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, red bell peppers, olives, and feta cheese. Toss with dressing. Serve immeadiately.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

3-10-2011 Coconut Blueberry Mango Muffins

After I made the peanut chicken pasta salad last Saturday, I had leftover coconut milk sitting in my refrigerator. I didn't want it to go to waste, so I was thinking of things I could make with it. As I scanned the inside of my fridge, I discovered I had a mango and blueberries that were on the verge of perishing as well. I decided to play Iron Chef, and that is when I came up with this recipe for coconut blueberry mango muffins. The results were fabulous, the muffins were super moist and delish. They would make a great accompaniment to tea or coffee anytime. If you don't have mango, leave it out and they will still be great.

Coconut Blueberry Mango Muffins

1 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour (I usually buy organic Gold Medal, or King Arthur red package)
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 C. coconut milk (I used canned, I found kosher parve organic at whole foods)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 C. shredded coconut
3/4 C. blueberries
1 small mango, peeled, seeded, and diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add oil, egg, coconut milk, vanilla, shredded coconut, mix until almost combined. Mix in blueberries and mango. Do not overmix, this is the key to tender muffins. Scoop into a greased muffin tin, fill each 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are golden.

P.S. My house smelled simply amazing when I baked these muffins. Pin It

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

3-9-2011 Salad Recipes

We love salads in my house. I usually make a salad for every dinner, and at least 2 salads for shabbat dinners. I am always looking for a new and exciting salad recipe to try.
Rarely do I use a bottled salad dressing. Making homemade salad dressing is quick and makes a huge difference. I like to save glass jars to make and store dressings. Jelly or jam jars are a good size and work great. Just wash and dry the jar thoroughly before hand. When you make dressing and you shake the jar with the ingredients inside it will emulsify the dressing nicely.
When my friend Kim, had a baby I brought her and her family dinner. I made her a salad with dressing and brought the dressing over in a glass jar. A year later she showed me was still using the same salad dressing jar, it's been 2 years now and I bet she still uses it! She told me she loves it.

Here are some of my all time favorite salad recipes:

These First 3 salads are all amazing and I have to give Aidy credit because the first time I ever ate these were at her house:
Cabbage Salad- this is so simple yet always delicious, goes really well with everything
1 bag angel hair shredded cabbbage, with or w/o carrots and purple cabbage
1/4 C. slivered almonds, toasted at 350 for around10 minutes (you gotta watch them) so they don't burn
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. white vinegar
1/4 C. vegetable oil
Mix dressing in jar. Place cabbage and almonds in a bowl, pour dressing over and serve immeadiately.

Spinach Hearts of Palm Salad:

from Kosher Palette, this is an all around favorite. Everyone loves this salad.


  • 2 (10 ounce) bags fresh spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can hearts of palm, drained and chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 (10 ounce) package fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika


  1. In a large serving bowl, toss the spinach with hearts of palm, tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms, and almonds.
  2. Combine oil, vinegar, ketchup, garlic and sugar in a jar. add salt, mustard and paprika. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well blended.
  3. Before serving, pour some of dressing  over salad, and toss to coat evenly.

Strawberry Mango Green Salad (Kosher Palette, the original version is called strawberry mango mesclun salad, but I prefer to use mixed greens, as mesclun is hard to find)


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 pound fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 mango - peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup slivered almonds-toasted at 350 for around10 minutes (you gotta watch them) so they don't burn
  1. Place the sugar, oil, salt, and vinegar in a jar with a lid. Seal jar, and shake vigorously to mix.
  2. In a large bowl, mix salad greens, sweetened dried cranberries, strawberries, mango, and onion. To serve, toss with dressing and sprinkle with almonds. You will have leftover dressing.
Broccoli Cashew Salad (another winner from Susie Fishbein)
1 head broccoli, stems discarded, and chopped into small florets
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 C. mayo
1/2 C. sugar
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 C. raisins
1 C. raw sunflower seeds
1 C. raw cashews
Place the broccoli, red onion, cashews, raisins, and sunflower seeds  in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl mix together the dressing, when I measure it I just eyeball it for this one.
Chop Salad Recipe adapted from Kosher by Design Entertains by Susie Fishbein, although the combo of ingredients in this salad seems strange, once you try it you will be hooked.  This is the second time I am posting this recipe.
Lettuce,  any type, chopped if iceberg or romaine, I prefer iceberg for this one
Handful of Craisins
2 small cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 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 (I love Bragg's found at Whole Foods)
1 T. spicy brown mustard
3/4 t. salt, (or to taste)

Mix the dressing in a jar until it is all emulsified. Pour dressing on just before serving, you may have extra.

Enough Susie Fishbein recipes. Here are some others:

Thousand Island Wedges

1 head iceberg lettuce
1 C. mayonaise (I suggest splurging and using full fat mayo, not low or fat free, it really makes a difference)
1/2 C. chili sauce (can be found near ketchup at most grocery stores)
1/4 C. sweet pickle relish
1 pinch salt and pepper, or to taste
6 green onions, chopped finely
1 tomato, finely chopped

Cut iceberg into wedges by removing core, and then cutting in half, then in quarters, then cutting each quarter in half.
Mix mayo, chili sauce, relish, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
Pour over wedges.  Sprinkle with green onions and tomatoes.

Fatoush Salad
Fatoush = Skinny Toush :)
This salad is refreshing. I usually crumble pita chips on top of the salad like croutons. Stacy's pita chips are now kosher, yay! You can use any flavor pita chip.
If you are not a fan of mint and/or parsley, you can leave it out.

1/4 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice, no substitutions
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt, or to taste, be sure to taste and see if the saltiness is to your liking
1/8 t. cumin
1/4 t. black pepper
3/4 C. olive oil

1 large head romaine, chopped
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
handful Kalamata olives
2 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped finely
1 T. fresh mint, chopped finely
1/4 C. feta, optional for a dairy meal

Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until emulsified.
In a large bowl place remaining ingredients. Toss with dressing. Crumble pita chips ontop.

Finally a few salad making tips:

1. After thoroughly washing the lettuce, I cut it, and then wrap it in a clean dish towel, and place it in the fridge until I am ready to use it. The towel soaks up the excess moisture and will keep the lettuce crisp. This secret works better than a salad spinner.

2.  Salad dressing will last in the refrigerator for a few days. If you are looking to save time, make the dressing in advance and pull out when ready to use.

3. When putting dressing on the salad, start with a little bit of dressing, slowly add more to make it to your liking. There is nothing worse than an overdressed soggy salad. Also, don't toss salad with dressing until right before you serve it.

4. If you want to easily remove the core from a head of iceberg lettuce. Hold the lettuce with stem facing down and bang it hard on a cutting. This will completely loosen or break it. Turn head over and remove core.

That's it for salads for tonight. One of these days I will figure out the measurements for my caesar salad recipe. I always eyeball it, and it turns out differently each time, but always excellent. Have fun making salads.

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