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 :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Treats

This year, I had a great time making Thanksgiving treats for the kids. 

These pumpkins are sugar cookies that are dropped with an ice cream scoop instead of rolled.  Because I use Smart Balance Light, they don’t spread at all and worked perfectly for these pumpkins. 

I used Wilton’s Royal Icing recipe and doubled it.  Not sure why, but it gave me a heck of a time getting it combined and smooth.  I had to add a lot more water and was very glad I had gone to the gym yesterday.  I didn’t have orange gel paste, so mixed my own with red and yellow.  I used orange sugar that I had just bought at Walmart for $0.15 in the Halloween clearance.  I couldn’t do fancy vines, so I stuck with a simple stem and they came out pretty cute.

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These Turkey cookies came from here:

http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/thanksgiving-turkey-cookies/cbe3fa0f-585e-4f8f-af22-d834060252d9/

I didn’t have candy corn, so I used those Sunkist fruit gems that Jews like to throw at people at times of celebration.  I came across a bag of them in my pantry that I was saving for some reason.  I must have known that they would come in handy one day.

I turned the orange icing into brown and Amelia did all of the brown icing and feathers.  She also added the black eyes and would have done the rest if I had let her.  I think they are the cutest things ever and wish we had turkey themed holidays more than once a year…

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While looking for a turkey cookie, I came across these scarecrow cookies:’

http://test.metromomsblog.org/?p=2405

I didn’t want so many cookies, so I decided to do these as brownies.  I used pretzels for the hair and more of the fruit gems for the nose and chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and mouth. 

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The whole tray…so cute :)

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Roasted Eggplant Spread

Another Montreal favorite is the Mediterranean Eggplant spread that Danny’s mom buys.  It is spicy and you can’t stop eating it, especially with a crusty challah on the table.  I tried an eggplant recipe a few weeks ago which failed, but I was not giving up.  I made a plea on Facebook and got a few ideas, but chose this one from Barefoot Contessa because I like her and her recipes are usually full of really intense flavor. 

I made the recipe as it was written and added 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper – the spice is what makes the Montreal eggplant so yummy.  This recipe was very easy and turned out great.  Thanks Alison!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-eggplant-spread-recipe/index.html

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OPA’S BASHIS–Water Challah

One of my favorite things to do is recreate recipes that Danny loves.  I think I have written about my search for a challah recipe that was up to par and I have found a few egg challah recipes, but I haven’t been able to make a good water challah…until *now*! This isn’t just any water challah, this is a *bashis*, a German *bashis*.  It is unlike anything I have made before, both in size and ingredients and it tastes pretty close to Danny’s favorite thing in the world, Montreal water challah.  My KitchenAid got quite the workout, so much so that I had to split the dough in half and knead it in two parts.  The recipe doesn’t say how *many* loaves, so I had the make an executive decision and made 4 – they were each about 1 lb, 14 oz.  I made 2 on a cookie sheet – those burned a little on the bottom – and two in large foil loaf pans.  Even though they burned, the cookie sheet challah was delicious.  Tomorrow night, I am serving the loaf pan version and hopes it is just as good.

Here is the recipe:
http://www.ou.org/shabbat_shalom/article/water_challah/

You need to scroll down for the actual recipe, it is a comment on the posted recipe. 

Notes:
I use bulk yeast and measures 4 packs out to be 9 tsp = 3Tbsp. 
I didn’t have bread flour so I used regular All Purpose.

Follow the directions and put it into a cold oven, then turn the heat to 400F – they were in there for 57 minutes, I just couldn’t take the suspense any longer!

Danny came home from hockey at 12:30am and we had a little midnight snack Smile
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Yeast ready to proof…

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Watching yeast proof never gets old…

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This is what 5 lbs of flour looks like…

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Ready to rise for an hour…

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Risen!

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It took me 30 minutes to braid these…my hands were killing me!

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Had to wait till 11:3opm to see the final product, but well worth the wait.  It’s actually an hour less than my regular challah and SO much crunchier Winking smile

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Waffle Donuts…or are they Donut Waffles??

Ok, so, apparently I *can* stop cookin’…especially when the heat index is 105F and I feel like I could faint just from looking at the oven.  But don’t worry, we haven’t starved, I just haven’t been trying anything new or anything that requires much effort – it is summer “vacation” after all.  School is starting soon enough and our schedules will be quite full this year.  I plan to fill the freezer for weeknight meals, at least most of them…I don’t want to spend the little free time I have washing dishes!

Anyways…are these not the cutest darn things you have ever seen?? The one appliance I have turned on this summer is my waffle iron.  All the kids love these waffles with syrup and whipped cream and I feel good about giving them a healthy breakfast.  I replace almost all the white flour with whole wheat, cut the oil in half and no one really cares.  Actually, Leo is very interested in fiber and things that are good for him these days.  Yes, I am the weird lady at Target showing her kids that you want a low number for Sugars and a high number for Fiber.  It’s never too early!

I had been using the regular waffle iron all this time, but Leo and Macie never seem to finish an entire waffle so I decided to pull out my donut maker that my mom bought me years ago.  It worked perfectly and now I wont have to cut up waffles and watch them soaking in the syrup and not getting eaten.  Bite size are just cuter, anyway. 

This is the recipe I have been using for ages:

http://lonestar.texas.net/~fitch/recipies/waffles.html

Here is my version of ingredients for a double batch:

3 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
6 eggs
6 TBSP oil
1 1/2 c. milk (I use 1 c. dry milk powder and 3 c. water)

Follow the same method.  You can mix it at night and cook them in the morning, or cook them at night and toast them up in the morning.  They freeze awesome and are perfect for even the busiest mornings.

For the donut maker, I used a small ice cream scoop.
For the waffles, it’s a large waffle maker, I use a full 1/2 c. scoop

I always spray my waffle maker, but played around with the donut maker and ended up not spraying it for the last batch, they came out crisper.  They only take about 3 minutes.

I made the squares for Danny and when he got home from hockey, he couldn’t keep his hands off the donuts!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Turkey Breast

I picked up a bone-in turkey breast from Hungarian a couple of weeks ago with plans to throw it on the grill one of these days.  I ended up using the slow cooker and it came out amazing.  I think it took me a total of 10 minutes active time and we fought over the leftovers.

I had looked through a few recipes online and followed just the cooking time – for a 3 lb breast, 1 hour on High and 3-4 hours on Low.

At 8:30am, I rubbed the turkey inside and out, under the skin and everywhere I could, with salt/pepper/paprika/garlic powder and brown sugar.  I dropped it in the slow cooker without a drop of liquid.  1 hour on high and then on low till 12:30pm.  I let it rest and then sliced it up.  I drained the fat from the liquid and added flour and salt/pepper till it thickened and then put the sliced turkey in it and poured a little more of the juices on top.  When it was time for dinner, I slowly reheated it in the pan and served it with rice, corn and cranberry sauce.  We were very *thankful* for  an amazingly simple and delicious Shabbat dinner ;)

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