Monday, February 27, 2017

Baked Chicken Fingers

I'm back for right now, not making any long term promises, but I do promise to blog if there is a recipe I must share.
Talking about sharing, sharing is caring, but if your initials are JG (you know who you are) you may not steal my recipes or ideas for your cookbooks. Now that that is out there, we can move on to baked chicken fingers.

Here is the criteria for our dinners:  fast, easy, healthy, and delicious
It is a big challenge to find food that everyone agrees on, and I refuse to make 1000 different dinners. This is one of those special recipes that everyone will eat. Huge thanks to a good friend of mine for teaching me the secret to perfect baked chicken fingers, you have forever changed our lives.


Baked Chicken Fingers

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 C. mayo
4 C. cornflakes
3/4 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning
Olive oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cover a sheet pan with parchment paper, spray generously with olive oil
2. Cut chicken into strips
3. Put the mayo in a gallon size Ziploc
4. Put the cornflakes and Lawry's seasoning in another gallon size Ziploc, use a rolling pin to crush the cornflakes to make crumbs
5. Put the chicken strips a few at a time in the mayo bag, coating completely, and then the cornflake crumb bag coating completely, and then place on the prepared baking sheet, repeat with remaining chicken
6. Generously spray the top with olive oil spray
7. Bake for 30 minutes.


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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake PARVE!

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

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

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

I made 2 versions, parve and gluten free parve. 
If you would like to make it with dairy here is the original recipe:

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

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

Parve Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Nonstick vegetable oil spray, like Pam

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


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

For The Frosting And Assembly:

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

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

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



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


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

Frosting and assembly:

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

For the assembly:

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

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

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

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

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

Here's our menu:

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Best Bolognaise Sauce

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

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

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