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 :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Shabbat Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend (hey lill!) asked me for a recipe that I made almost 2 years ago when they came for a visit. "That curry chicken with chickpeas...", was all she remembered and, at first, I had no idea what she was referring to. Danny couldn't remember what the dish was called, but remembered that it was one of his favorites. I went through all my cookbooks and found it in my personal file of cut out recipes - African Chicken Stew. I made it for dinner last night and it was just as amazing as all of us remembered, I even added a new fan to the mix (hey pnina!). A few steps, but really worth it. I made it mid-week and reheated it on the stove last night. We also had some for lunch today and Danny said that, had we not been going out for dinner, he would have had it for dinner.

The guy at Garden Fresh pointed me to the Cream of Coconut, so I had to dilute it with non-dairy creamer...
I used creamy peanut butter
I used water, instead of stock
It was spicy, but *good* spicy - if you want less heat, cut the 1 tsp of red pepper flakes

As an appetizer, I made Zucchinie Pate - a veggie chopped liver. Very easy, very good. It comes from the Mother and Daughter Jewish Cooking cookbook.
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 med. onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
10 grinds black pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 heaping tbsp chopped parsley
3 hard boiled egg, shelled and cut into quarters
Sautee onions until golden and then add zucchini. Cook over medium heat until soft and golden brown. Puree everything and check seasonings. Chill for several hours, remove from fridge 30 minutes before serving and sprinkle with paprika.

Tomato and Pepper Spread
This is adapted from Spice and Spirit.
1 orange pepper, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp parsley
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp flour
Sautee veggies until soft, add seasonings and salt. Add water and simmer until it all comes together.

Turkish Meatballs in Sweet and Sour Sauce is another favorite from Mother and Daughter Jewish Cooking. A few extra steps, but really yummy meatballs.
Into a blender:
2 large slices of bread (I use leftover frozen challah pieces)
2 large eggs
1/2 large onions, cut up
1 large spring parsley
1 tsp sea salt
15 grinds black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
Mix with ground beef and let sit 30 minutes. Make meatballs and brown in skillet, working in batches if necessary. While browning meatballs, brown 1 medium onion, sliced, in the same skilelt. When all meatballs are browned and back in skillet, add:
1 small can tomato paste, mixed with 2 cans water to make 2 c. liquid (I used 2 c. tomato juice)
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
10 grinds black pepper
Simmer for 1 hour. I also made these mid-week and reheated them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Butternut Squash Dumplings

If something can be simple and time consuming at the same time, it is these dumplings. It takes no skill, just a little bit of your time and the result is amazing. The recipe is for Butternut Squash Dumplings and I followed it pretty much, except I used 1/4 tsp. garlic and a large pinch of dried tarragon leaves in the brown butter (smart balance light) sauce. I think I made about 20 total, but have more filling to make some more. Those will be popped into the freezer for another time. Toasted mini-challahs on the side made this the perfect late night supper ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Challah - Recipe way past due!

I try to keep challah in this house at all times. Amelia loves it with cream cheese and Leo, with peanut butter. I love it with all of the above, plus honey, smart balance or jam and Danny just loves it - that's who I really make it for! I am posting the recipe without pics because those will come tomorrow....

This recipe comes from Joan Nathan, but I can't find the link and I think I changed the times a little:
Here's what I throw into the mixer:
1 3/4 c. warm water and 1 scant tbsp active yeast - wait for some action
Add 1/2 c. + 1/8 c. sugar, 4 eggs, 1/2 c. canola oil and 1 tbsp salt...let combine
Add 8 c. flour, on level 1, slowly, until just combined. Add more flour or water if it doesn't look right to you.

Let rise for 1 hour, covered with plastic wrap or a towel. Punch down. Let rise for 30 minutes again. Divide into 2 parts, divide those into 4 parts each. Do a 4 part braid with each and put each into a greased 9x13 pan (glass and light colored work best for me and never burn the challah). Let rise for 1 hour - uncovered (important). About 10-15 minutes before you are going to bake, brush with egg wash. Right before you throw them into the oven, lightly brush them again with the wash.

375F 10 minutes
350F 20 minutes
Oven OFF 10 minutes

This makes 2 large loaves, I think they are 2lbs each. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fish Tacos

The other day, a friend of mine mentioned that she uses tilapia alot for fish tacos and I have been craving them ever since (it's only been 2 days, but a girl likes her fish tacos!). I looked at a few different recipes for the fish itself and the sauce online and just tried to incorporate what I loved about each.

Here's what I did:
The sauce: about 1 c. each of sour cream and mayo, splash of milk, juice of one lime, a couple of pinches dry cilantro, 2 or 3 green onions - green and white - thinly sliced, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne pepper and a drop of tobasco...

Toppings: lots of shredded romaine, bottled salsa, quickly sauteed yellow pepper in a little cumin

Four tilapia fillets, salt and cayenne pepper, in a little olive oil and then crumbled up with a fork into big pieces

I heated flour tortillas in a dry skillet until nice and hot and filled it with all of the above

I skipped the chips and made a nice black bean and corn side with a little cayenne, cumin and salt - yum :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Clever Disguise

A couple of weeks ago, I made plain old BBQ chicken without knowing how much Danny hated that BBQ sauce (it wasn't homemade!). I froze the chicken, knowing that it would come back to life in another form one day. Yesterday was the day. I shredded it up and stir fried it with some veggies, chinese eggs noodles and a smidge and drizzle of the following - minced garlic, soy sauce, a little peanut butter (just in the background, I didnt want a PB sauce), and chili sesame oil. There was none left for lunch today...


Rib Eye Steak has a way of erasing all the craziness of the day and that's why I love making them during the week as a major treat. I still haven't mastered the broiling of the steak, but I I did get them to taste pretty darn good. I rubbed the steaks with salt, pepper and paprika in the morning and let them sit all day in the fridge. For a side, I took some help from Pat and Gina Neeley's recipe and made smashed potatoes (sweet and white) and broccoli. I would have enjoyed them more sans the broccoli, but I am trying to be good...

Oven Fried Sesame Chicken

This is one of my favorite recipes for chicken breasts and I love it because it is good at room temperature or hot. It freezes well and is just really yummy! When I was preparing for #3, I made a batch of them and froze them. These pics are from Shabbat dinner a few weeks ago. The recipe comes from Mother and Daughter Jewish Cooking, one of my go-to cookbooks.

A hour before cooking, put 6 pieces of chicken in ziploc with:
5 tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
3 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
1 tbsp dark sesame oil (I didn't have any left, so I used my chili sesame oil)
20 grinds black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Dry: If you are using more than the 6 pieces of chicken, you should double the dry coating...
1 c. dry bread crumbs or matzah meal
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs (I used Italian herb mix)
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 c sesame seeds
1/2 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 400F, coat chicken with wet and then dry and bake for 25-30 minutes, but watch carefully - there's nothing worse than dry chicken breasts. I usually use parchment paper if I have it, crisps the chicken nicely without burning it. It will crisp without turning, but I did flip them at the end so the other side would get that brown color that tastes so good.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Amelia's Birthday Cake

A friend posted this recipe for Rainbow Cake on FB and I knew Amelia would love it. I didn't have the mental capacity to follow the directions completely, so I made my own version and marbelized it instead. I think it came out adorable and Amelia loved it. Of course, she only ate the frosting :)) This was for her family birthday dinner, I wonder what I will do for her girls party next week!?!