Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9-28-2011 Rosh Hashanah is here!

Yes, I know I had promised to post my cinnamon sugar challah recipe yesterday, but I never got around to it. Yesterday was loco. I was planning on doing some cooking in the morning, but I decided to get a manicure and pedicure and go out to lunch instead. By the time I got home at 2:30, I was exhausted.

I tried to lay down and take a nap, which was a very bad idea because Prince Hocks were running around. I thought they would just relax on the bed with me and watch t.v. while I slept. I first dozed off and woke to them breaking into a honey cake they had made at school, crumbs in my bedroom everywhere!

I dozed off again, and was woken when I heard Prince Hock #2 saying, "the eraser is not working." I mumbled, "what are you talking about?" He said it again, I could tell he was in my bathroom, and I couldn't figure out why an eraser wouldn't be working in my bathroom. I had to get up and check it out.

There he was in my bathroom, drawing a mural on the wall with a dry erase marker. AHHHHH! I then sped around investigating if he had colored the whole house. Phew, he only colored 2 other walls (3 in total)!

After the whole mini Picasso fiasco, we had a 5:30 soccer game. From the soccer game we went out to dinner. We didn't get home until almost 9. After putting the boys to bed, all I had time for was making challah dough.

So, I am truly sorry. I will have to share my cinnamon sugar challah recipe with you another time very soon. To make it up to you, I am going to give you the recipe for the cake I made tonight, Coffee Crunch Cake, it's amazingly awesome.

Coffee Crunch Cake

1 yellow cake mix, Duncan Hines
1 box Jello pudding, vanilla
4 eggs
1 C. water
1/2 C. oil

1 carton, non dairy whip topping

coffee crunch:
1 1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. coffee, use strong freshly brewed
1/4 C. light corn syrup
1 T. baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a tube (angel food) baking pan with  non stick spray.

Mix together the cake mix, pudding powder, egg, water, and oil. Mix for 30 seconds until moistened. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into the pan, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack.

To make the coffee crunch:
Generously oil a sheet pan with vegetable oil, and set aside. Sift the baking soda onto a small piece of parchment. In a medium pot, mix together the sugar, coffee, and corn syrup over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.

When the mixture begins to boil, increase the heat to medium high, and put a candy thermometer on the side of the pot. Stir occasionally until the temperature reaches 290. Be sure to stir frequently once the temperature reaches 270.  Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda, caution the mixture will furiously foam. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, do not spread. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour, do not disturb it. After 1 hour, break into small shards (use a meat mallet it works great). If you want to make this crunch part in advance, store in an air tight container until ready to use.

To assemble the cake (best if done just before serving), whip up the whip topping with an electric mixer until fluffy and whipped. Spread this over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with the coffee crunch shards.  Store in the refrigerator if you are not going serve immediately.


I made it! My table is set, the food is almost all prepared, now I need to go tame my hooligans and get them ready for synagogue. Wish me luck convincing them to put on their finest clothes, they only want to wear super hero shirts and gym shorts, this will be interesting.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year! Pin It

Monday, September 26, 2011

9-26-2011 My Menu

I will admit that I'm a lunatic, I have been agonizing over my menu for Wednesday night (imagine me waking up in the middle of the night for the last two weeks pondering). For Shabbat dinners I like to make a decent menu, but for Rosh Hashanah, it has to be extra special, I want it to be perfect. It must be perfectly rounded, sweet but not overly sweet, elegant, delish, and EASY! I wonder if it's possible.

Drumroll please:

0. Apples and Honey, I'm using Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious
1. Cinnamon Sugar Challah, recipe coming tomorrow
2. Spinach Portobello Mushroom Salad
3. Salmon in Puff Pastry with Cucumber Dill Sauce
4. Potato Leek Soup
5. Apple Honey BBQ Roast
6. Carrot Souffle, recipe below
7. Roasted Asparagus
8. Some other side dish undecided, wild rice with dried cranberries? couscous?
9. Dessert-undecided and stressing, ahhhhhhhh

I'm going to make my challah tomorrow, so check back tomorrow for some different and beautiful ways to make round challot. I'll also show you how to make your challah have a cinnamon swirl on the inside.

To make my life easier, tomorrow aside from the challah, I will also make the soup, BBQ sauce, and dessert.

Here is the recipe for the Carrot Souffle

Carrot Souffle

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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

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


Talk to you tomorrow. Have a good night! Pin It

Friday, September 23, 2011

9-23-2011 Shabbat with the Fam

King Hock's side of the family is coming for Shabbat dinner tonight in about 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 27 seconds. You may ask how I know so precisely when they will be here, and the answer is simple. Since 3:00 this afternoon, Prince Hock #1 has asked me about a million times how long will it be until his cousins get here. The funny part is that he doesn't really understand time, and he always asks me to show him with my fingers. So at 3:00, I said they would be here in 5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5 minutes. He goes, "that's a long time!"

Here is our menu:

1. Cinnamon Sugar and Regular Challah
2. Colorful Israeli Salad (I used yellow cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, and cucumbers)
3. Israeli Cabbage Salad
4. Smoked Salmon Platter
5. Hummus, and Babaghanoush
6. Cauliflower Soup, recipe below
7. Roasted Chicken
8. Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
9. Steamed Green Beans
10. Honey Cake, recipe below
11. Watermelon


Cauliflower Soup

I had a craving for this, so I had to make up a recipe. It turned out brillantly.

1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
6 C. vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. margarine

In a large soup pot, place the oil, carrots, celery, and onion. Heat over medium heat. Saute until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic, and cook another minute until fragrant. Next, add the cauliflower, and the broth. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat so that the soup is simmering. Cook covered for 30-45 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Puree with an immersion blender right in the pot, until very smooth and creamy. Stir in the margarine, and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with finely chopped green onions.


Honey Cake

I found this recipe on the blog: The writer like myself, is not a fan of honey cakes, but this recipe is the exception. She suggests serving it with carmelized apples, I really had wanted to do that for tonight, but I ran out of time, bummer.

2 eggs
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
1 C. honey
2 C. regular flour
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. cocoa powder
1 C. boiling water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2- 8 inch round cake pans heavily with non stick spray, and then sprinkle with flour. Shake the pan around to ensure the entire pan is coated with flour.

In a large bowl beat together the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Add the oil, and honey, mix until fully incorporated. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Mix until combined. Beat in the boiling water

Bake for 40-50 minutes until the sides of the cake pull away from the edge of the cake pan, and the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve with carmelized apples.

Carmelized Apples

1 1/2 T. margarine
3 T. sugar (granulated or brown)
2-3 crispy sweet apples
3 T. honey
1 T. lemon juice

Peel and core apples. Slice into 1/4″ wedges. Melt margarine over low-medium heat until bubbly. Add sugar and cook until it dissolves, about 1-2 minutes. Add apples and lemon juice and stir over heat for approximately 25 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Add honey and continue to cook until apples are very soft and golden, another 5-10 minutes.


Have a very nice Shabbat and weekend. Pin It

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9-21-2011 Dinner for Friends with New Baby

Prince Hock #1 was a monster today. Every so often, he morphs from his angelic self into a booger. The straw that broke the camel's back, was when he snuck my camera to "take" pictures, when I found him with my camera, and scolded him, he threw it on the hardwood floor. Yes, my poor camera is forever broken. Look out Costco here I come to buy a new one.

Luckily, I already took pictures of the food I was making, and you can see those below.  And luckily, I was able to get him to snap out of his bad behavior and we had an enjoyable evening.

This afternoon I made dinner for our friends who just had a baby. They also have a 2 and 4 year old, and I made a dinner that would appeal to them and their parents. My only parameter was to make the meal gluten free because the dad eats a gluten free diet.

I made Chex Chicken Fingers, Baked Regular Sweet Potato Fries, Steamed Broccoli, Salad with Honey Mustard, and Muddy Buddies for dessert.

Here are a few of the recipes:

Chex Chicken Fingers

I had originally planned on making Cornflake Chicken Fingers, but I found out cornflakes are not gluten free because they have malt in them. These turned out excellent! Let your kiddos help you make the crumbs, they will have fun pounding.

6 Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1-1.5 inch strips
8 C. Corn Chex
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 C. mayonaise
6 T. margarine, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment, and set aside.

Place the Chex into a large Ziploc bag, and seal. Use a meat mallet and crush to form crumbs. Mix in garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Pour onto a large plate.

Place the mayonaise into a bowl. Dip the chicken strips into mayo, coating them. Next, roll the coated strips into the chex crumbs. Place the chicken strip onto the baking sheet, and drizzle with the melted margarine.

Put into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is crispy on the outside and cooked through (no longer pink) on the inside.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into thin sticks, about 1/4 thick
olive oil or vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the potato sticks on a baking sheet. Drizzle generously with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15 minutes. Toss the potatoes around, and bake another 10-20 minutes, until browned on all sides, and crisp.


Muddy Buddies

This addictive treat is sometimes called Puppy Chow because of it's appearance, I think I'll go with Muddy Buddies. This would be fun to pass around during dessert at a Shabbat or Yom Tov meal. It is so so so easy to make.

9 C. Rice Chex
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar

Measure the cereal and place into a large bowl. In a 1 quart microwave safe bowl, place the chocolate chip, peanut butter, and butter or margarine. Place in the microwave and cook on high 1 minute. Remove and stir. If mixture is not smooth, microwave another 20-30 seconds until smooth when stirred.

Stir the vanilla into the melted mixture, and then pour over the cereal. Mix to evenly coat. Pour into a 2 gallon Ziploc bag. Pour in the powdered sugar, and seal the bag. Shake until well coated. Pour out onto a piece of wax or parchment paper to cool. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.


Well, I just heard back from our friends, and they gave the dinner 2 thumbs up. Their kids cleaned their plates, yay!

Have a good night. Pin It

9-21-2011 Pomegranate Orange Salad

Last night, I gave my first ever cooking demonstration. Going into it I thought I would be super nervous because I'm not a fan of public speaking. I'm happy to report that I wasn't even slightly anxious, and I think it went well.

I first demonstrated a Pomegranate Orange Salad, I'll post that recipe below. I showed everyone the trick to removing pomegranate seeds, and how to cut orange "supremes" or segments. The salad has a delicious honey balsamic dressing, and it is a great salad to serve on Rosh Hashanah. The recipe is below.

Next, I talked about the magical Apple Honey Barbecue Sauce recipe that can be used on chicken or brisket. Everyone got to taste it on some chicken wings, it was yummy.

Finally, I demonstrated how to make a lattice topped apple pie. Then, everyone got to make their own lattice topped apple pie to take home and bake. It was fun to see how everyone's pies turned out.

What a nice evening, I hope all who were there, enjoyed it as much as I did. I told everyone there if they ever have any cooking questions, they can email me at:
I extend that to anyone who reads this blog, you are welcome to email me anytime with cooking or recipe questions, it is my pleasure to answer to them.

Here is the salad recipe:

Pomegranate Orange Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

It's customary to eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah because supposedly each pomegranate has 613 seeds, and there are 613 mitzvahs in the Torah. Eating them symbolizes that we hope to have a year filled with doing as many mitzvot as a pomegranate is filled with seeds.

1 package mixed greens
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 orange, segmented
honey balsamic vinaigrette, recipe below
Place the mixed greens in a large salad bowl. Then drizzle on some of the salad dressing, and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, and orange segments.
To easily remove pomegranate seeds, cut the pomegranate in half. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Hold the cut pomegranate half under the water and use your fingers to loosen all of the seeds. The seeds will sink to the bottom, and the membrane will float to the top. Scoop out the membrane, and discard. Drain the water, and voila! You will have gorgeous seeds.
honey balsamic vinaigrette:
1/2 C. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. honey
1/4 C. olive oil
1 t. soy sauce
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of salt or to taste
Place all of the above ingredients into a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously until emulsified, you can also use an immersion blender
I hope you have a nice day!
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Monday, September 19, 2011

9-19-2011 Dessert Ideas

Dessert is the grand finale of the meal, so be sure and make it good. I like to include 1 or 2 desserts, and fresh fruit. As long as your guests are not dieting, everyone will eat dessert.

Here are some ideas:

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

 This is no ordinary apple pie recipe, it is the best apple pie I have ever had.

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

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

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

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


Mini Apple Tarts

This recipe is adapted from Susie Fishbein's Kosher by Design Short on Time. They are pretty time consuming, and well worth the effort.

3 apples, such as granny smith or braeburn, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 lemon juiced
2 t. pure vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farms
4 T. margarine, melted
1/4 C. dark brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
2 egg yolks beaten
1/4 C. apricot preserves

Place apple slices into a medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice and vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Allow the puff pastry to come to room temperature. Open the folds and cut into 9 equal squares. Roll each square with a rolling pin to make them bigger, keeping the square shape.

In a small pan over medium heat, melt the margarine, add the brown sugar, and cinnamon and stir until dissolved.

Brush each piece of puff pastry with the beaten egg yolk. Arrange the apple slices in a row. Brush with the margarine sugar mixture.

Fold 2 opposite sides down over the apples, creating a rectangle.

Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Melt the apricot preserves in a small pan over low heat. Brush this glaze over each tart while warm.

Serve warm.


Gigi's Apple Cake

I found this recipe in Rachel Ray's magazine 5 years ago, and I have made it every Rosh Hashanah since.

1 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 Granny Smith apples (about 1¼ pounds)—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2¼ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/3 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt or tube pan. In a medium bowl, combine the 2-1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon. In a large bowl, toss the apples with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the 1 cup of oil with the eggs, orange juice, vanilla and the remaining 2 cups of sugar on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the flour in 3 batches, mixing until just combined. Add the apples and stir to combine. Transfer to the pan, leaving about an inch at the top, and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1½ hours. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before unmolding it onto a rack to cool completely.


Honey Spice Cookie Pops

1 spice cake mix, Duncan Hines
1 C. flour
1 stick margarine
1/4 C. honey
2 eggs
1 C. colored sugar or sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together the above ingredient with a hand mixer. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sprinkles. Place balls on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until done.

Remove from the oven and insert a popsicle stick in the bottom.

Well that's it for my Rosh Hashanah ideas. I hope I've been able to provide you with some sort of inspiration.

Have a good night! Pin It

Sunday, September 18, 2011

9-18-2011 Side Dish Ideas for Rosh Hashanah

For some reason, I always have trouble thinking of side dishes. I find it important that every component of the meal taste good together, and that none of the flavors are too overpowering. There also has to be a balance of flavors, for example if one side dish is very tasty, I might aim to make the other side dishes blander.

Simple is simple, and always enjoyed, you can never go wrong serving roasted potatoes and steamed green beans.

Usually I will serve one green vegetable, one starch such as a potato, and many times I'll include something sweet like a kugel.

Here are some side dish ideas:

Squash Tomato Gratin
I love this recipe, it is a good one to make in advance and reheat.
2 T. margarine
1 T. olive oil
3 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 medium Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 C. Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a medium size baking dish or pyrex with non stick spray.

In a large pan, heat the margarine and oil over medium heat. Add the onions, and cook until translucent. Add the squash and garlic, and cook covered with a lid 5-6 minutes until squash is tender. Stirring every so often.

Add the tomatoes. Recover and cook 15 minutes. Season will salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the bread crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered, until top is crisp and golden.


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.

Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms
These go with anything, and they are delish!

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

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

Pumpkin Pie in a Graham Cracker Crust

It is so easy to whip this up, and it goes well with any other side dishes. It is like a dessert. Whenever I serve this, my friends go nuts.

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin Puree, (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 C. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. soy milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

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

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


Corn Flake Topped Carrot Kugel

Here is another sweet dish for you, the original recipe is from Kosher by Design Short on Time. Don't tell your guest there is baby food in the recipe, they will never know.

4 (4 ounce) jars baby food carrots
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) Margarine, divided
1 C. sugar
1 C. flour
3  eggs
1/4 C. soy milk
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 C. corn flakes, whole

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch round or square baking pan with non stick spray set aside.

Melt 1/2 cup stick of margarine

Mix baby food carrots, melted margarine, sugar, flour , eggs, and soy mild until smooth

Pour all the mixed ingredients in pan

In a medium pot over medium heat melt the brown sugar with the 4 remaining tablespoons of margarine.
When the mixture is melted and smooth remove from heat and mix in the corn flakes.

With a wooden spoon toss to coat all the corn flakes evenly over the top of the kugel

Bake uncovered for 1 hour serve warm


Asparagus- 2 ways

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.
Boiled Asparagus:
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Using kitchen twine tie the asparagus into a bunch. Lower asparagus bunch into the boiling water, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove bunch with tongs and immediately place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove from the ice water once they have cooled. Untie kitchen twine.


Zesty Green Beans
1 large bunch green beans or haricot verts, trimmed
1 T. salted margarine, such as Smart Balance or Earth Balance
1/2 t. Mrs. Dash original blend
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt, or to taste
1/4 t. pepper

In a small bowl mix together the Mrs. Dash, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Steam the green beans in a pot with a lid and an inch of water, to your liking. Pour out the water, and add the margarine to the pot. Toss the green beans with the margarine. Sprinkle on the spice mixtures.

I hope I have given you some ideas for side dishes.

Have a good night!
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Friday, September 16, 2011

9-16-2011 Rosh Hashanah Meat and Chicken Recipe Ideas

I know I promised the meat and chicken recipes ideas yesterday, but I've been very involved in the current book I'm reading. I can't put it down, it's driving me mad. The name of the book is The Winter Rose, it's the sequel to The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. Both books are stunning sagas, I'm warning you, if you like to read and give them a shot, you will become obsessed. I'm excited because there is a third book to the series, and I'm going to start reading it the minute I finish with the second. Hopefully this reading business won't interfere too much with my cooking.

 Here are some ideas for Rosh Hashanah meats and chicken:

This first recipe is for my magical Apple Honey Barbecue Sauce. Once made, you pour it over a brisket or over chicken, and then bake the meat. It doesn't have a smokey barbecue taste you might expect, it is more of a sweet-n-sour sauce.

Apple Honey Barbecue Sauce

1 C. ketchup
1/2 C. seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
1/2 C. apple juice
1/2 C. honey
1/8 C. soy sauce
1/8 C. parve worcestershire sauce
2 t. yellow mustard
3/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/3 C. peeled and grated apple
1/3 C. grated onion

Place all the above ingredients except the grated apple and onion into a medium pan. Stir and bring to a boil. Stir often. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the grated apple and onion. Boil for another 10 minutes.

To make brisket:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the brisket in a baking pan. Pour the sauce over a brisket, and cover tightly with foil. Bake 3-4 hours, you will smell an amazing smell when it is ready. Remove from the oven and let stand covered for 20 minutes. Remove the foil. Remove the brisket to a cutting board, leaving the saucein the baking pan. Slice the brisket thinly against the grain. Return the sliced brisket to the baking pan. Store in the refrigerator until ready to reheat and serve. If you are going to be serving right away, recover the pan with foil and place back into the 300 degree oven, and bake for 30 more minutes, and then serve. You can also leave it in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve (no more than 3 hours).

To make chicken:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a cut up chicken in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven uncovered and bake for 1 and 1/2 hours.


Cranberry Roast

1 Chuck Roast
1 can cranberry sauce (whole berry or jellied)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 packet onion soup mix
1 onion thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with the thinly sliced onion, then cover that with the roast. In a small bowl mix together the cranberry sauce, tomato sauce, and onion soup mix. Pour the cranberry mixture over the roast. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 3-4 hours. Remove from the oven and let stand on the counter for 20-30 minutes covered. Remove the foil, and place the roast on a cutting board, leaving the juices in the baking pan.  Thinly slice against the grain. Place the thinly sliced pieces back into the juice. Keep warm until ready to serve in a 200-250 degree oven.


Chicken Marbella
This recipe is my all time favorite chicken. I reserve making it for special occasions, such as Rosh Hashanah. It was in the Kosher Palette, although it is also in numerous other cookbooks.

1 C. pitted prunes
1/2 C. pitted green olives
1/2 C. capers with 3 t. liquid
1/4 C. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 C. red wine vinegar
1/2 C. olive oil
1 head garlic, minced
kosher salt
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 C. firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 C. white wine
1/2 C. fresh chopped Italian parsley

Combine the prunes, olives, caper, liquid, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic, in a large shallow ovenproof dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chicken, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover the chicken and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour wine over the chicken and bake 1 hour covered.

Uncover and bake 30 minutes more or until golden brown. Can broil the skin if it is not browned.


Sweet-n-Sour Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 t. onion powder
1/2 C. bread crumbs
pinch of salt and pepper

1/2 C. white vinegar
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce, I use Hunts
1/2 C. brown sugar (may want to add more depending on how sweet you like the sauce)
1 T. soy sauce

In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, egg, onion powder, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Form the meat mixture into 1 - 1.5 inch meatballs. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, mix together the vinegar, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and soy sauce, in a large pot.

Remove the meatballs from the oven, and place them into the sauce. Cook the sauce over low heat, just until it starts to bubble.


I hope you have a nice weekend and Shabbat. Pin It

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9-14-2011 Rosh Hashanah Soups

Having a soup course during a Rosh Hashanah meal is not mandatory, but is always nice. I make sure to serve a small portion of soup to each person, so that they don't get too full on it. They can always get seconds need be.

If you are serving lunch on warm day, gazpacho is a great option. You can find a good gazpacho recipe below. I might start with serving gazpacho, then serve chilled salmon with dijon sauce, follow that with the main course and a salad.

Traditionally, I make matzah ball soup for our evening Rosh Hashanah meal. I might stray this year, and mix it up with a different soup.

Here are soup recipe ideas:

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 (soy) sour cream if you desire, although I serve it without a garnish. 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

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

Carrot Cumin Soup with Israeli Cous Cous

It's customary to eat carrots on Rosh Hashanah because the word for carrots in Yiddush also means "more",  and so eating them should bring you more of everything, such as money, children, and success. This outstanding recipe is from Kosher by Design Short on Time, I tweaked it a bit. My version is perfect for 2 people plus a little extra, feel free to multiply as necessary.

1 1/4 C. water
pinch of salt
1 C. raw Israeli couscous

1 T. olive oil
1/4 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 t. ground cumin
pinch of tumeric
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 C. chicken broth
1 C. unsweetened soy milk

soy sour cream, garnish
green onions or chives, finely chopped for garnish

To make the Israeli couscous:

Bring the water and pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Add the couscous, cover with a lid, remove from heat, and set aside.

In a medium pot, place the olive oil and heat over medium. Add the onion and celery. Sautee for 5 minutes until the onion is tranlucent. Add the cumin, tumeric, nutmeg, pepper, and salt. Stir until the spices are fragrant.

Add the carrots and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are fork tender.

Use an immersion blender, and blend right in the pot until smooth. Stir in the soy milk.

To serve, make a mound of Israeli couscous in the middle of a soup bowl, ladle the soup around the couscous. Add a dollop of soy sour cream, and sprinkle on some chopped green onions or chives. Sprinkle with a little bit of cumin, and serve.


Chicken Matzah Ball Soup

The secret to this soup, is first making the broth, and then making soup and using that broth. It's so flavorful and delish. Also, the carrots and celery aren't mushy.

1 chicken, giblets discarded
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns

Place the chicken inside a soup pot. Add the celery, onions, carrots, bay leaf, and pepper corns. Fill with water until the pot is almost full, maybe 1 or 2 inches under the top of the pot. Put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat, immediately lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 hours.

Drain broth into a large bowl with a strainer. Remove the chicken and when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred. Add the shredded chicken to the broth. Discard the bones, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf, and onions. Set aside the broth with the chicken.

Soup part 2:

1 T. vegetable oil
1 stalk celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 t. garlic powder
Broth and chicken from above
1/2 - 1 t. salt, to taste

In the same soup pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Saute for 10 minutes. Add the garlic powder, broth and chicken. Stir everything together. Start with 1/2 t. salt and decide whether it up to 1/2 t. needs more. Bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with matzah balls and egg noodles.

Matzah Balls

This recipe make 12 small matzah balls.

2 eggs
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 C. matzah meal
1 t. salt

In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the vegetable oil, matzah meal, and salt. Stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 t. salt. Form tablespoon or smaller sized balls, should make about 12. Drop the balls into the boiling water. Cover tightly with a lid, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the water.


Roasted Gazpacho

Serves 8. This gazpacho has a different flavor than most because the tomatoes, peppers, and onions are roasted. I found the original recipe for this soup in the Kosher Palette 2, and I majorly tweaked it.

4 lbs. roma tomatoes, cut in half
2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
2 red onions, roughly chopped
1/2 C. olive oil
2 C. water
1 C. tomato juice
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 t. hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tabasco
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion on a large sheet pan. Toss with the olive oil and place into the oven. Roast for 50 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and a little bit charred.

Place the roasted veggies into a blender or food processor, and the water, tomato juice, and cucumber. Blend until smooth, you may have to do this in 2 batches. (I've used an immersion blender for this before, and it worked, it just took longer and was a bit of work.)

Stir in the red wine vinegar, hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings, sometimes, I have to add a bit more red wine vinegar, or I'll even add a bit of fresh lemon juice.

Optional garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, finely diced peeled cucumber, or diced avocado


Mushroom Soup
We love mushrooms in this house. This soup is delish!

4 T. margarine
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 8 oz. package white mushrooms, roughly chopped, set aside and save 2-4 mushrooms for garnish
2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
4 C. vegetable broth, I use Imagine
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C. white wine

Melt the  2 T. of the margarine and the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sautee until translucent and soft. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the 2 T. margarine. Cook stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, until the mushrooms start to soften. Add the broth  and bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer. Let simmer for 1 hour.

 Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually add a bit, and then taste and keep adding and tasting (with several spoons) until the saltiness I like is achieved. Stir in the white wine. Thinly slice the 2 mushrooms you have set aside. Ladle the soup into the bowls, and sprinkle with thinly sliced fresh mushrooms.

Coming tomorrow: Meat and Chicken recipes for the main course.

Have a good night!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

7-13-2011 Rosh Hashanah Salad Ideas

Salads are my favorite part of any meal. In my opinion, no meal is complete without a salad.

When I was growing up, my mom would frequently serve salads, this meant chopped iceberg lettuce with Wishbone Italian dressing, no veggies. It's a wonder that I now love salads in any shape or form, and now the more veggies on it, the better. My poor baby brother Drew, is stuck on iceberg with Wishbone, he never ventured out.

I usually serve 2 salads at each holiday meal. Normally, one salad has greens of some sort, and the other is veggies, i.e. a caesar salad, and Israeli salad, or a mixed green salad, and cucumber salad. If we are having a  very large crowd, I will make 3 salads.

A lot of my usual salad recipes contain nuts, although many people refrain from eating nuts during Rosh Hashanah because the numerical value is the same as the word sin. So, you will not find any nuts in the salads below.

Here are some good Rosh Hashanah salad ideas:

Spinach Salad with Apples

This salad screams Rosh Hashanah.

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, cored and thinly sliced (use a really delicious apple such as a Jazz, Honey Crisp, or Braeburn)

In a blender (can use immersion blender) Put sugar, onion, paprika, vinegars, and oil. Blend until emulsified. Stir in poppy seeds and sesame seeds with a spoon.
In a large salad bowl, put spinach, cranberries, and apples.Toss with dressing to coat. Serve immediately.
Golden Salad
This salad is beautiful with all of it's golden components. Feel free to substitute red beets, if you cannot find gold ones ( I find them at either Whole Foods or Central Market).
2 large golden beets
olive oil
dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 package mixed greens
1/3 C. golden raisins
1 golden delicious apple, thinly sliced
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

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Slice the beets as thin as possible with a paring knife, about 1/4 inch thick or less. Place slices in a large bowl, and drizzle on olive oil, sprinkle with dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Arrange the beets on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, making sure they don't burn, you want them to be soft and a little shrunken looking.
To make the dressing, place the sugar, salt, mustard powder, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, onion, onion powder, worcestershire sauce, and oil in a blender, and blend until thick and emulsified. Can also use an immersion blender.
In a large salad bowl place the mixed greens, roasted beets, golden raisins, and golden apple slices. Pour over some of the dressing (start with a little bit, can always add more). Toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Brushetta Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
4 small Roma tomatoes, or 1-2 large hot house tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 C. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 C. olive oil, I use organic extra virgin
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1 recipe croutons, below

Place the chopped romaine in your salad bowl, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate until ready to use. In a small bowl combine the chopped tomatoes, basil, balsamic, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use, let sit for at least 30 minutes to let flavors mesh. When ready to serve pour the tomato mixture over the romaine, and toss, add the croutons, and toss again.

5 slices, day old bread, French Bread is best for this salad
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 c. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

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

Place on a sheet pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Let croutons cool at room temp before using.
Chop Salad Recipe
 adapted from Kosher by Design Entertains by Susie Fishbein
This salad is an interesting combo of flavors. Love it!
Lettuce, any type, I prefer chopped iceberg or romaine
Handful of Craisins
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
12 graped tomatoes, halved

Place all of the above ingredients in a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing, recipe below. Toss to combine evenly. Serve right away.
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 above ingredients for the dressing in a jar until it is all emulsified.
Cucumber Salad
This is a good ole stand by recipe, and it's fat free!
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.

Caesar Salad

People always ask me how I make a parve caesar, the answer is simple, I leave out the cheese. The truth is, the dressing has to be spectacular to make up for the lack of cheese. This salad is always popular when I serve it.

Dressing: Makes enough for 2 large salads

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

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

1 recipe croutons:

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

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

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

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

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


Tomorrow night I will share some soup recipes for Rosh Hashanah.

I hope you have a great night! Pin It

Monday, September 12, 2011

9-12-2011 Rosh Hashanah Ideas

It is hard to believe Rosh Hashanah is a little over 2 weeks away. I like to make my menus in advance, so I won't feel panicked when going into it. For the next several days I will give you a bunch of recipe ideas, so you can also plan your menu.

When I plan my menu for holidays and shabbat, I always start with challah, and then we move onto the salad and fish course, followed by a soup, then we have the meat course with sides dishes, and finally dessert.  Here is typically how I write it out, and then fill in what I will be making:

1. Challah
2. Fish
3. Salad
4. Salad
5. Soup
6. Meat, and or Chicken
7. Side Dish
8. Side Dish
9. Side Dish
10. Dessert


I sometimes serve a spread with the salad course whether it be hummus, guacamole, matbucha, or babaghanoush. I almost always put out a small tray of pickles and olives with the salad course as well.

Tonight, I am going to focus on giving you fish recipe ideas.

Smoked Salmon Platter

This is easy, beautiful, and fancy. Would be good for a lunch or dinner.

Smoked Salmon (Lox), enough for the amount of guest you will have
fresh dill, chopped
lemon wedges

Open the package of salmon, seperate the slices, roll each slice up, and place on the platter. Place all of the slices next to each other. Sprinkle the top with capers, fresh dill, and arrange lemon wedges on the platter.


Tomato Gefilte Fish

This is a yom tov/shabbat staple in my house. Always good, and beyond easy.

1 frozen roll gefilte fish, found in the freezer section of a kosher grocery store
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Remove the loaf from the plastic packaging.
Run the frozen loaf under water to loosen and remove the parchment wrapping. Discard the wrapping.
Place the log onto a greased baking dish, I find pyrex works well.
Pour the tomato sauce over the gefilte fish, covering the entire thing.
Bake for 1.5 hours, uncovered.
Remove from the oven and cool on the couter a bit before placing into the refrigerator.
Chill completely before serving.
Slice into thin slices, and arrange on serving platter.


Moroccan Salmon
Spice up your meal! King Hock's favorite.

1 Salmon filet, cut into 2-3 inch strips
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
2 T. turmeric
2 T. hot red paprika (found at Israeli grocery stores)
2 T. sweet red paprika
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 T. chicken powder (Telma- found in kosher section in yellow container- look for MSG free if available)
1/3 c. vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into razor thin slices
1 C. cilatro, chopped finely
1 lemon, cut into wedges

In a large sautee pan place red bell pepper and tumeric. Add enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil and boil until water is almost evaporated, there should be a little bit of water at the bottom, and the tumeric looks pasty.

Remove pan from heat and add the chickpeas ontop of the bell peppers.

In a medium sized bowl place the sweet and hot paprika, salt, pepper, chicken powder, and oil. Stir together. Add salmon to paprika oil mixture and completely coat salmon.

Remove Salmon from oil mixture and place in a single layer ontop of the chickpeas and bellpeppers.

Pour the remaining oil paprika mixture over everything in the pan.

Spread the chopped cilantro over the tops of each the salmon pieces, covering completely. Line the garlic ontop of the cilantro in a line running across the middle of the salmon from top to bottom,

Squeeze the lemon wedges ontop of everything, and place squeezed lemon in pan to the side

Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and place on stove. Cook over medium high heat for about 25 minutes, until salmon flakes easily. Can also be made on stove 10-15 minutes, then placed in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until ready to eat.


Salmon Loaf En Croute with Cucumber Dill Sauce
King Hock's second favorite. This recipe comes from the Kosher Palette.

1 (16 oz.) can red or pink salmon, boned, drained, and skinned, I would use 2 Chicken of the Sea 6 oz. packets
3/4 C. dry bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
3/4 C. mayo
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 package frozen puff pastry, thawed 1 sheet
1 egg, lightly beaten for glaze

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the salmon, bread crumbs, mayo, onion, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, mix well.

Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, and unfold. Spoon the salmon mixture in the center. Fold the edges up over the salmon, overlapping the left and right side, creating a long roll (see picture). Seal the edges.

Place the loaf seam side down on an ungreased 13x9  baking sheet. Brush the top with egg.

Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Slice into 6-8 slices, and serve with cucumber dill sauce on the side.

Cucumber Dill Sauce
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3/4 C. mayo
3 T. chopped onion
1 T. chopped fresh dill
1/2 C. water
pinch of salt

Combine the cucumber, mayo, onion, and dill. Gradually add water to desired consistency, cover and chill.


Chilled Salmon with Dijon Dipping Sauce
This recipe is light and perfect for a lunch.  It comes from Quick and Kosher by Jaime Geller.

8 salmon fillets, about 2 pounds
1 tablespoon dried dill flakes (or 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill)
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes (or 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For sauce:
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Rinse fillets and pat dry. Place in prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix the dill, parsley, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle seasoning mixture over each fillet.

Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until desired doneness.

While salmon is cooking, prepare sauce. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to blend.

Chill salmon and sauce separately in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve sauce on the side.


Check back tomorrow night, I am going to post salads.

Have a good night. Pin It

Friday, September 9, 2011

9-9-2011 Savory Shabbat Dinner

I'm very excited to eat what I made for Shabbat dinner tonight, I based the entire menu solely on my cravings. I hope everyone else is going to enjoy it as much as I will.

Here is the menu:

1. Challah
2. Salmon Cakes with Remoulade Sauce, recipes below
3. Tomato, Cucumber, Onion Salad, recipe below
4. Caesar Salad
5. Olive Tapenade Crusted Chicken, recipe below
6. Rice-a-roni, recipe below
7. Roasted Garlic Asparagus, recipe below
8. Pineapple Soaked Cake
9. Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
10. Fruit Salad

Salmon Cakes

I recently discovered the Chicken of the Sea packets of pink salmon, and I will never used canned salmon again. It's great because you don't have to drain it, and you also don't have to deal with bones or skin. Prince Hock #2 (my 2 year old)  loves these, I always make a double batch because he can eat a whole batch on his own.

1 (6 oz.) packet Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon
1/4 C. finely chopped green onions
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t. garlic powder
3 T. mayonaise
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 egg

Mix together the above ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour a few tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large skillet, and place on the stove. Heat the oil over medium high heat. For salmon into patties and add to hot oil, cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown, drain on paper towels.
Serve with remoulade sauce.


Remoulade Sauce

1 C. mayonaise
1 1/2 T. sweet relish
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. capers
1/2 t. dijon mustard
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1/2 t. worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix together the above ingredients, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Olive Tapenade Crusted Chicken

1, 8 piece cut up chicken
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
herbs de provence
Olive tapenade, recipe below
handful of kalamata olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and spread the olive tapenade all over the top of the chicken, creating a crust, sprinkle the handful of olives around the chicken. Bake 30 more minutes, on the lowest rack in the oven.


Olive Tapenade

This is also good as dip for bread. I found the olives at Costco.

1 C. kalamata olives, pitted
2 T. capers
2 T. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil

Place the above ingredients into a Cuisinart, or blender, I used my mini Cuisinart. Pulse until very finely chopped, and spreadable.



This is the kosher version, of the non kosher boxed type they sell at supermarkets.

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

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


Roasted Garlic Asparagus

For all you garlic lovers out there, this recipe is adapted from Kosher by Design Short on Time.

1/4 C. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. onion powder
1 lb. thin asparagus
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

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

In a small pot over medium low heat, heat the oil, then add the garlic and onion powder. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, but not browned, about 3 minutes.

Spread the asparagus on the baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle on the garlic oil mixture. Roast for 8-10 minutes until the asparagus are bright green, do not overcook.


Have a great weekend and Shabbat. Pin It

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9-7-2011 General Tso's Chicken

I can't even express to you what a huge sense of accomplishment I feel when I am able to accurately replicate Chinese food that seems impossible to make. Now, I'm pretty sure General Tso's chicken is not actually made in China, but it can be found in every Chinese restaurant here in the US.

In keeping with the Chinese theme, I served the chicken with steamed rice, and broccoli. King Hock always appreciates when I make Chinese food because there is a lack of available kosher Chinese food here.

I wouldn't say this dish was easy to make, although it wasn't extremely difficult. There are a few different steps involved, the whole dinner should take about 40 minutes from start to finish.

General Tso's Chicken

1 lb. chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into 1 inch cubes or pieces
1 1/2 t. sesame oil
1 T. soy sauce
1 egg white
1/4 C. and 2 T. cornstarch

In a medium bowl mix together the sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and cornstarch. The mixture will look gloppy (is that even a real word?) Add the chicken and stir to evenly coat. Let stand for 20 minutes. Make the sauce, and rice while waiting.


1 T. oil
1 t. minced fresh garlic, (2 cloves)
1 t. fresh ginger, grated
1/4 C. soy sauce
1 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. white vinegar
1 t. chili garlic sauce, optional (I was able to find this kosher at Super Target in the Asian section)
1/4 C. sugar


1 small can sliced water chestnuts, optional
4 green onion, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant (1 minute). In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and sugar until thoroughly mixed. Add to the pan. Cook over medium high, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Keep warm on low until ready to use.

To cook the chicken, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable or peanut oil in a pan, over medium high. Add the chicken 1 piece at a time taking care not to let any of the pieces touch. You will probably have to do a few batches. Cook 4 minutes or until bottom side is a deep golden brown and crisp, and then flip and cook until the other side is the same golden brown. Remove from oil to paper towel. Cut one piece in half to make sure the chicken is cooked through. Repeat until all of the chicken is cooked.

Toss the chicken in the sauce with the water chestnuts. Sprinkle with the green onions. Serve immediately.


Have a great night!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9-6-2011 Chicken Spaghetti

I took my boys to a back to school shindig at our synagogue tonight, where they got to create their own pizza bagels for dinner (great idea!). Once it was over, we came home, and I was left to devise a quick dinner for myself.

I made chicken spaghetti, always a nice change from spaghetti with meat sauce. As I finally sat down to enjoy my dinner, both boys ran into the kitchen claiming to be hungry. They loved the chicken spaghetti as much as I did.

Here is the recipe:

Chicken Spaghetti

serves 2-4. I made this recipe up in the past when I was in the mood for Spaghetti with meat sauce, and I only had chicken on hand.

Spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 jar marinara, I used Barilla Marinara

Place the chicken breast in a pot, cover with water. Place on the stove and bring to a boil. Boil chicken for 20 minutes, or until it is fully cooked through. Drain, and let cool a minute.

Cut or shred the chicken into very small pieces. Place cut up chicken back into the pot. Pour over the marinara sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve on the stove on the very lowest heat setting.

Serve over spaghetti. Goes perfectly with garlic bread and a green salad.


Have a good night!

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

9-4-2011 Puffed Oven Pancake

King Hock and I have had a long standing tradition of having brunch on Sundays that dates back to our early dating days. As he dropped me off from our second date, he asked me on a third date to go out to brunch. I remember being really excited because I had never been on a brunch date before. From then on, we would go to brunch every Sunday.

Nowadays, we don't always venture out to restaurants, sometimes we make brunch at home. I am forever thinking of new things to make, I try to keep it interesting.

This morning we lazed around the house, and had brunch here. I made a puffed oven pancake. It was incredibly fast and easy, and everyone loved it. Not a single bite was leftover.

You will need a 10 inch cast iron skillet to make this. If you don't own one, I highly suggest getting one. You can cook anything in it, but they are especially good for cornbread, eggs, fajitas, french toast, grilled cheese, and browning or searing meat.

Here is the recipe:

Puffed Oven Pancake

Serves 2-4

This recipe cooks in the oven for 18 minutes. I use that time to cook eggs, cut fruit, or to prepare whatever else I am going to be serving with the pancake. You can top it with anything you want, I suggest powdered sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon sugar, fresh fruit, or chocolate chips.

1/2 C. all purpose flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cut and level with a knife
1/2 C. milk, or soy milk
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
1 egg white

1 T. butter or margarine

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, milk, sugar, salt, egg, and egg white. Mix until moist.

Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet on the stove. Melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Pour in the batter and let stand for 1 minute, no stirring. Remove the pan from the heat and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and cut sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges.


Enjoy your holiday weekend.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

9-2-2011 Shabbat Dinner

We are so excited because tonight we are having our cousins who are visiting from Virginia over for shabbat dinner. We always have a great time when together, and we don't see them often enough. My cousin Robin loves to cook like me, you may remember when I mentioned her around Passover time.

Cooking shabbat dinner is never an easy feat. I have to cook the meal, set the table, entertain my kids, and all the while keep the house clean.

Keeping the house clean and having 2 and 4 year old boys is impossible. I will turn my back for one second, and then they dump out every single toy bin. We had a little incident happen today. I had already set the table with my fine china, silver, and crystal for shabbat.

I was in the kitchen cooking, and I would periodically check in on them. During one of my checks, it appeared as though they had taken all of their toys and embedded them into and all over the sofa. I said, "What are you boys doing?" To which they replied, "we are playing pirate ship."

I took a closer look, and realized that in the midst of the toys all over the sofa, there was also the kiddush cup, 2 china plates, napkins, and several pieces of silverware from the already set table. That is when I near lost it. Ahhhhhh.... Why can't they play nicely and not make a mess? Haha, yeah right!

Here is what we are having tonight:

1. Challah
2. Lawry's Famous Spinning Bowl Salad, recipe below
3. Cabbage Salad
4. Tomato Gefilte Fish
5. Gazpacho with diced avocado
6. Beer Can Chicken
7. Potato Kugel
8. Green Beans with crispy onions
9. Apple Pie

Lawry's Famous Spinning Bowl Salad

In my non kosher days, I used to love to eat at Lawry's Prime Rib. One of my favorite things there was their famous spinning bowl salad. They would bring all of the ingredients to the table and make it table side. The coolest part was how they would toss it simply by spinning the salad bowl. I have tried to recreate the recipe several times, and looked online for the recipe for years, I finally found it! Here it is:

1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
handful of baby spinach
1 hard boiled egg, pushed through a sieve or cut into very thin pieces
1 can beets, cut into julienne strips
handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 C. Sourdough Croutons, recipe below
Lawry's Vintage Dressing, recipe below

In a bowl place the lettuces, spinach, hard boiled egg, beets, cherry tomatoes, and croutons. Pour over some of the dressing and toss to combine.

Sourdough Croutons

1 Small loaf sour dough bread, cut into small crouton size cubes
olive oil
Lawry's salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread cubes on a sheet pan. Drizzle on olive oil. Sprinkle with Lawry's salt. Use your hands and toss to coat.

Bake for 12-20 minutes until toasted and crisp.

Lawry's Vintage Dressing

3 T. cider vinegar
3 T. water
2 T. applesauce
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. dry sherry (I used Kosher cooking sherry)
1 1/2 t. Lawry's seasoned salt
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 drops hot pepper sauce
1/2 C. vegetable oil

Place all of the above ingredients either into a blender, or use an immersion blender. Blend until emulsified and thickened a bit. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


I hope you have a nice weekend and a good shabbos.

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