I am a wife, a mom of three, and the kitchen is my favorite place in the house. I read cookbooks in my spare time and enjoy getting kitchen appliances for presents :) I love preparing delicious and healthy food for my family and here are a some of what graces our table each week.

Email Me for any of the recipes :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tu B'shevat Dessert Seder

I haven't looked at the blog, but I know it's been several months of non-blogging.  It's been a crazy school year, teaching Hebrew school two nights a week and having little "stay at home" time has made it especially difficult to make real meals as much as I would like to. No one has gone hungry (ok, maybe Leo has) and, hopefully, I will start posting again more regularly.

I am blogging today because I am really excited about making our first ever Tu B'Shevat dessert seder this Shabbat.  It kind of came out of nowhere, I didn't even realize Tu B'Shevat was *on* Shabbat until yesterday and I have been obsessed ever since.  Having taught Hebrew school for 15 years or so, I have had my share of Tu B'Shevat seders and being a mom for almost 9 years, I know that no one in my family would enjoy feasting on figs, dates and carob chips (the best part of it all!).  So, rather than force (more) weird food and fruit into my kids' mouths, I decided to do an all dessert seder - something I know my kids will love.

I am going to have hagaddot printed out and have a reading part for everyone.  I like the PJ Library one and will try to find some more to add for Leo and Amelia to read.

If you Google "Tu B'Shevat" or "Tu B'Shevat Seder", you will get a ton of links. Here are the links I am using for my seder.



For each part of the seder, there is a cup of grape juice, representing each season, and a group of fruit/food you eat. Here are the basics:

Cup 1 - all white grape juice - Winter
Fruits that have an outer layer/peel that we can't eat.  Learning from this to not judge from the outside, but to look within.
Examples, Pistachios, pomegranates, almonds, walnuts, bananas, peanuts, etc.
My desserts: Chocolate covered banana bites and pistachio mini muffins

Cup 2 - white grape juice with a few drops of red grape juice - Spring
Fruits that have a pit or seeds that we cannot eat.  Teaching us about the untapped potential we all have inside of us.
Examples include olives, dates, cherries, plums, apricots, etc.
My desserts: Individual plum and apricot crisps

Cup 3 - half red/half white grape juice - Summer
Fruits that we can eat both inside and out. We are reminded of the wholeness of the world, where nothing is wasted.
Examples: Grapes, raisins, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pears, lemons, limes.
My desserts: Mini lemon bars and berries on the side.

Cup 4 - red grape juice with a few drops of white - Fall
Things that have strong scents, recognizing what may be invisible to the naked eye.
Examples include rosemary, cinnamon, bay leaf, cedar
My desserts: Molasses spice crackle cookies, rosemary scented nuts

I also bought some mini fruit slice candies to have on the table - I always forget who likes them and who doesn't, but they are cute and festive anyway.

I am going to try to take pictures of the finished the products - so excited!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

On Tonight's Menu: Beet Pancakes

So, I havent posted in 6 months...let's move on.

With teaching two nights a week and the kids playing hockey, our weeknight dinners were rushed and not really up to par.  When we were eating meat during the week, it was much easier for me to freeze ahead and just pull something out.  Now that teaching is done with, I am back in the kitchen and am determined to make things that everyone will eat, even if I have to make a few things each night. 

Tonight, the menu was:
Green Salad
Beet Pancakes
Coconut Lime Tofu (from fridge) and brown rice stir fry
Roasted Brocolli
Baby carrots and salad dressing (a Macie exclusive)
Strawberry sorbet and Angel Food cake

The strawberry sorbet is a new favorite.  I made it over Shavuot because I was looking for make ahead recipes that would be yummy on 90F days.  I made it again this week and Amelia can't get enough of it and because she has such a small sweet tooth, I am always looking for desserts to make for her that she will love.

The beet pancakes are from http://www.weelicious.com, which has tons of cute recipes for both kids and parents and they all just look so darn yummy!

The direct link is: http://weelicious.com/2011/06/28/red-beet-pancakes/

The recipe called for roasted beets, but I used my pressure cooker.  It took 25 minutes, instead of the hour or so for roasting. 

After processing the beets, I measured out 3/4 cup and there was still leftover from the 2 medium beets it called for.

The wet ingredients...I didn't use yogurt so I used 1 1/2 c. milk instead of the the 1 1/4 c. 

The batter...

Beet pancakes...! Leo ate 4 and tried his very best to convince Amelia to try one, but she refused.  She had the tofu and rice instead.  Macie had one and took seconds, but then became a bit obsessed with baby carrots and salad dressing and finished her meal off with a salad.  No complaints from this mom! Next time, I will reverse the proportions of whole wheat and white flour, because that's just what I do :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kitchen Goodies

A few weeks ago, I went to a Challah making class and I learned how to make a Jewish star challah.  Pretty cool, huh?


Tofu Scramble – a bit of a combination of recipes, a little turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder…etc. 


Veggie Burgers from Vegan Planet Cookbook.  I even roasted a red pepper.  Danny and I liked these, need to make them again.


It’s Martha Stewart’s apple pie, but I used whole wheat flour for the crust and crumble.  It was a delicious Thanksgiving treat.


Veggie Soup and Matzah Balls – I am not sure what my kids would do if it didn’t show up for Shabbat dinner…


Sweet and Spicy Almonds from Martha Stewart.  If you want to make them like I did:
* double the almonds
* double the glaze
* keep the same recipe for the sugar mix, but cut the cayenne in half
* hide them from your husband if you ever want to see them again



Applesauce granola


I didn’t have brown rice syrup so I looked it up and substituted molasses.  Per the advice, I did 1/2 of what was called for.   Danny added raisins to his and took it everyday to work. 


This is called “dinner rice” (I think) from the Spice and Spirit cookbook.  It’s cooked rice, onions, celery, and pecans baked together.  I used brown rice and it was our Shabbat dinner.


Pressure cooker split pea soup – amazing. 



After all this cooking and after all of the “I don’t like (fill in the blank) from Leo, I needed to bring pizza back into our house.  I am gone for dinner two nights a week and I really need some easy things to throw together.  I did not want to get into the vegan cheeses (the kids do each cheese – and restaurant pizza - but I am trying to limit it) so I was determined to make something that everyone would eat.  I made a whole wheat crust (5 c. WW, 1 c. white), topped it with pureed whole canned tomatoes and a homemade garlic mix that I use on garlic bread that everyone loves (olive oil, dried garlic, onion powder, basil, oregano, parsley).  I added nutritional yeast which has a cheesey flavor and is supposed to be good for you.  Macie preferred the plain tomato and Danny had veggie and everyone ate and ate and ate PIZZA!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More Veggie Offerings…

Tehina/Sesame Seed crusted tofu – adapted from Vegan Planet Cookbook



Butternut Squash dumplings – butternut squash, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, cinnamon.  Boiled and then sautéed.



Udon Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce – (mostly) from Vegan Planet Cookbook



Yay – I got a pressure cooker! On Sunday, I made wheat berries, black beans and brown rice.  This is Ellie Kreiger’s Wheat Berry Salad.  I followed the recipe and added red pepper.  If it weren’t 9pm when I made this, I would have devoured the entire thing.  This is lunch for both Danny and I for tomorrow.  I might even sneak it into Amelia’s lunch too!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Still Trekking Along…and feeling great!

Three weeks have gone by since our decision to cut out (most of)the meat and eat more whole grains and fruits and veggies.  The kids are eating more and more healthfully and not even asking for the junk anymore.  Snacks are apples and not animal crackers, breakfast is Kashi cereal and not fruit loops (ok, I barely ever gave them fruit loops – but you get my point…), school lunches are muffins and hummus/carrots and whole grain waffles and not hamburgers, hotdogs, or plain pasta (that reminds me, have to steam some green beans for Amelia!). 

I really haven’t missed meat, we have only had it 3 times in 3 weeks and not much of it.  Even for Shabbat dinner, I pack the meal with grains and veggies.  I feel amazing, I am losing weight and I never have that feeling of overeating.  I am barely ever hungry, everything is so filling.  I didn’t get a photo of it, but I made veggie soup and matzah balls this week for Shabbat.  It was wonderful seeing everyone drink it up, even when they knew it wasn’t the *real* thing. 

So, here is some of what I have been making the past 2 weeks.  If you want any of these recipes, just let me know.  With all this cooking, I barely have time to blog!   


Quick Note: I bought Chickpea flour for the Roadhouse Burgers recipe and used it for these simple falafel.  No need to soak and grind chickpeas, it’s amazing! Danny took the leftovers for lunch.  Leo wanted the leftovers, but once I told him that they would be cold, he changed his mind.  I didn’t have pita so we just had them with green salad and tehina.  So yum!


Black Bean and Rice Muffins (weirdest thing I have made so far…from the Smart Baking cookbook http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Baking-Cookbook-Newmarket-Kinderlehrer/dp/1557042810)

I had them the next day for lunch with fresh guacamole…I couldn’t stop eating them.



Pumpkin Muffins

Quick Note: These are from Red Mill and are Amelia’s lunch staple.  She has 2 of these with carrots and hummus.  The last batch, I used 1/2 pumpkin and 1/2 cooked sweet potato.

I can’t find the recipe, I will post later…


My own “Barley Split Pea Veggie Soup” – contains barley, split peas and veggies ;)


Sweet Potato and Pinto Bean Stew (From peasandthankyou.com)

Quick note: Yum – and even more Yum the next day. 


Meatless Meatloaf Muffins (from peasandthankyou.com)

Quick note: Not my favorite, kind of mushy inside.  Wont make these again.


Tofu Dippers (from peasandthankyou.com)

Quick Note:  I like these better made the day ahead and refrigerated, they firm up a bit.  I was so looking forward to having them on a peanut sauce noodle salad, but it wasn’t so great.   I like the bbq tofu better, will keep trying different marinades  and techniques until I find one that we all like. 


Smoovies (per Macie).  Just a blend of soy milk, frozen bananas, strawberries or whatever fruit and a drizzle of honey.  These are becoming a daily thing so I want to start adding some flax or wheat germ…or, dare I say…SPINACH?!?


Barley Carrot Kugel (From Lorna Sass’s Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way http://www.amazon.com/Whole-Grains-Every-Day-Way/dp/0307336727)

Quick Note: This was yummy for Danny and me.  The great thing about meals like this is the completeness of it all, you just don’t feel hungry after eating it.  This was a side for Shabbat dinner and we had it on Saturday night also, with a side of roasted broccoli and cauliflower.


Plum Streusel Slices (from The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking)

Quick Note: I subbed as much whole wheat flour as I could and added oats to the topping.  Danny asked for double fruit next time and I plan to oblige!



Black Bean Burger Chili (from the contents of my freezer…)

Quick Note:  I bought a box of spicy black bean burgers some time ago and they were just too darn spicy.  I crumbled them up with tomatoes, frozen corn, frozen pinto beans, onions, garlic and just a little chili powder and paprika.  Danny is taking it for lunch tomorrow.  Spicy, but good!