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 :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stuffed Shells

This is my favorite lasagna recipe that was posted in the summer. Rather than go out and buy new lasagna noodles, I wanted to use up my jumbo shells in the pantry. Just as yummy, just a little more time consuming to prepare. I have two foil pans in the freezer waiting to save the day sometime in the near future.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge - January, 2009 - Tuiles

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.
Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch
65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
Butter/spray to grease baking sheetOven: 180C / 350F
Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….
The ingredients...I finally found a use for that Vanilla Sugar I bought way back when. I used Smart Balance Light, as usual.

A very simple batter...and into the fridge it goes

Time for the lemon curd - taken from A New Way To Cook. I have a really great juicer, but did this one the old fashioned way.

Double boiler action...

The gelatin hanging out with some lemon juice

Coating the back of the spoon

Into the freezer they go...I dont have time to wait for the fridge ;)

The batter is ready - not as firm as expected, but probably because I didn't use the butter

I tried it with bigger circles, these worked much better

Nothing fancy, I was just happy they stayed and crisped up!

The final product ;)

Who needs a spoon at a time like this?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shabbat Dinner

Spicy Oven Fried Chicken...(see August 6, 2008)

Potatoes and sweet potatoes - salt, cayenne pepper and thyme - sauteed till yummy
Lemon cookies - "The best cookies you have ever made" - Danny W. (recipe to come)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oven Barbecued Hamburgers

I decided to make hamburgers at about 4:00pm. I defrosted the 1 lb bag of ground beef in the microwave while I figured out the rest of dinner. I am not always thrilled with making burgers on the stovetop and since I was only figuring 1 burger per person, I wanted it to be the best burger ever. I looked up recipes for "oven baked burger" and found this one. I roasted carrots - a little olive oil and salt and pepper, 400F for 20 minutes - and made white rice. I will be making this one again real soon.

My modifications:
no milk, one egg instead
dry onions in burger mix, none on top
soy sauce instead of worchestire
I microwaved the sauce for 2 minutes - no time to summer

Wednesday - MEAT!

I love making some good meat meal in the middle of the week, it kind of gets you over the hump. I started this Scottie Roast in the crockpot, but I feel the outside gets done too fast. I am also not a fan of slicing it "against the grain" since I can never find the darn grain! The taste was amazing, the texture left something to be desired. Click here for the recipe. I didn't cut the roast into steaks and maybe I should have. Even so, there were NO leftovers to be found :)

Tuesday - Tilapia :)

When I get home from Hebrew School on Tuesday nights, I want something really good and really easy. Tuesdays are a crazy day from start to finish, so I dont have time to prepare things ahead of time. SAMS Club sells a big bag of individually wrapped tilapia filets and I am in love with them. They defrost in minutes and can be cooked in a few different ways. For two Tuesdays in a row, I have oven fried them and they are SO good. I crush cornflakes and add things like parmesan cheese, paprika, dried parsley and whatever else I can think of. 425 F for 10-12 minutes and they are crunchy and stand up to any good fish I have eaten out. Danny likes it with a squeeze of lemon and next time I am going to make some fresh tarter sauce to go with them. Yum!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Breakfast for Last Night's Dinner

I can't explain it, but I had a feeling for breakfast last night and wanted to make a savory waffle. I thought potato waffles might be good and I was suprised to find this recipe. They were so good, a mix between a potato latke and a waffle and we did have them with sour cream on the side. Since I wasn't completely sure how they would turn out and since I have a 5 lb container of cottage cheese from SAMS Club, I decided to make cottage cheese latkes from Spice and Spirit to go with them. The kids devoured the latkes, even after I told them what they were made of! Danny enjoyed both things, but asked for something savory to go with the waffles next time, like some fried chicken! I think they would be amazing on the side with eggs, instead of toast or hash browns. Yum :)
Cottage cheese latke batter

Egg whites, beaten to peaks, for the waffles

Seasonings, egg yolks and oil, for waffles

Grated potatoes, mixed with the seasonings, etc., for the waffles

Egg whites folded into the waffle batter

The beginnings of potato waffles...

The beginnings of cottage cheese latkes...

Cottage cheese latkes ;)

Savory potato waffles ;)

I will be looking at a plate like this again, and soon ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spaghetti and Meatballs (last night's dinner)

I had taken out some ground turkey and didn't really know what I was going to do with it. I decided to make good old spaghetti and meatballs. I really enjoyed it, but Danny wouldn't list it as one of his favorite meals: "you've made better..." The pasta did soak up alot of the sauce because I tossed it and then we waited to eat - that's a big no-no for Danny. There were a few portions left over that are now frozen and waiting for me to eat them for lunch and I am not complaining one bit.

My changes:
Onion --> large pinch of dried onion flakes
Milk --> 2 1/2 tbsp of non-dairy creamer (all I had left)
Bread crumbs --> matzah meal, much less than it called for - I ended up pouring out some when it wouldn't combine, I would add "as needed"
No cheese
Parsley --> dried parsley

Braised Paprika Chicken (last Thursday...yah, I am slow)

If the tv is on in the house, it is most likely on a cooking show. The kids even know most of the hosts in the Food Network :) One of my least favorite new shows is Ask Aida; I have no time for cooking shows with gimmicks - just cook the darn thing and give me some good hints while you are at it. I also don't need the chef to be dressed as if they are off to a runway show after taping is through. That being said, I was flipping through channels and heard "braised paprika chicken" and had to stop. Of course, I didn't watch the show, but I found the recipe and here are the most delicious results. One note - it was very very salty. Next time, I will not season the onions and I might not use any boullion, just water. I used 1/2 as much powder for the amount of liquid I used, but I think it still added to the saltiness. Two additions - I microwaved a few potatoes, skinned and cut them into large chunks and added them back with the chicken and some frozen peas. I cannot wait to make this again!