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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Israel Matzav: Second Temple seal found in Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: Second Temple seal found in Jerusalem

Just another piece of proof of a Jewish presence in Eretz Israel for millennia. Something else to disprove Muslim claims.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two Chanukah treats

Hope everyone had as good a Thanksgiving as we did.  We had a houseful.  The only one missing was our oldest daughter who had to work.
It's now December and that means that Chanukah is right around the corner.  I hope everyone has all their candles and their chanukiahs polished and cleaned.
Here are two recipes I would like to share with you.  The first is a latke with a difference and the second is a sweet treat for those who have nut allergies or want something different.
I will be on the road for the next four weeks.  Hopefully, I will be posting a couple of times during our travels.
Enjoy!


White Bean and Zucchini Latkes (P)
A wonderful side dish any time of the year, especially at Chanukah
Makes 12 large latkes
1 cup grated zucchini
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon pareve margarine or butter
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 slices challah
3 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic
1—15 ounce can white beans
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Grape seed oil or vegetable oil for frying
Sprinkle the zucchini with the salt and drain in a colander for 5 minutes.  Rinse well and squeeze well, in paper towels, to remove all excess water.
Heat the margarine and oil in a nonstick fry pan over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Place the challah, water, beans, eggs, salt, pepper, cilantro or parsley, thyme and oregano and blend until combined.  Pour into a bowl and mix in the zucchini/onion mixture until well blended.  
Heat oil in 14” nonstick fry pan.  Drop batter into pan 2 tablespoons at a time and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown, turn and fry the other side until golden brown.  Place on paper towels to drain and repeat with the remaining batter.
Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Makes a pound or more
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup agave nectar (also called syrup)
2 cups unsalted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons unsalted parve margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons baking soda
Line a heavy baking sheet with a silpat.
Place the sugar, water, and agave nectar in a heavy four quart saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Brush the sides down with a pastry brush dipped in water.  
Increase the heat to medium-high.  Boil the mixture, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 260 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the pumpkin seeds, margarine, vanilla, and salt.  Stirring constantly, cook until the thermometer reads 295 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and sift the baking soda over the top.  Quickly give the mixture a good stir and pour onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it quickly to make it as thin as possible.
When the brittle has cooled and hardened, break it into pieces and store it in an airtight container.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Last post before Thanksgiving

I was thinking about Thanksgiving this week. Checking my schedule and knew I was a day or two behind. Everything was laid out -- what was made -- what was still to make. And I thought about bread. I love biscuits. Why not make parve biscuits and then I decided to make them. They turned out great. So, I decided to share them eith you. Enjoy!

Parve Biscuits
Makes one dozen

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
One stick parve margarine, unsalted, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice milk, parve
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons rice milk for tops of biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Put the flour, peaking powder and salt In the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine about 4 pulses. Add the margarine, scattered over the top until it resembles sand, about 15 pulses.

Mix the egg eith the soy milk and oil. Add the flour mixture and combine to form large clumps.

take the mixture out of the bowl and place on a floured surface. Lightly knead until the dough comes together.

Using fingertips, form the dough into a 9 x 6 inch rectangle, 3/4 inch thick. Dip a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter into flour and cut out 12 rounds. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of rice milk. You can sprinkle the tops with some sea salt if desired

Place in the oven and bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown.

VARIATIONs:
You can add 2 tablespoons chopped chives, chopped thyme leaves, chopped rosemary, or chopped marjoram to the dough before kneading and knead in.

B'tayavon! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving, two great restaurants--one new, one a little over a year old

I was just at dinner at Picnic the Restaurant located at 14-25 Plaza Road North, Fair Lawn, NJ.  The food is phenomenal.  Having been opened a little over a year, Chef Christine Nunn, chef/owner, has a fantastic flair for making classical food with a modern twist.  Her menu generally offers a good selection of fish done to perfection.  It is not kosher, but for those who eat fish out, it is a definite go to place and for those who eat meat and chicken, as well as fish, a definite dining spot.
Another restaurant, that is open just about one month, is Fin Raw Bar and Kitchen located at 183 Glenridge Ave., Montclair, NJ.  As the name suggests, they specialize in fish and seafood of all kinds.  Chef/owner Michael Juliano has a fantastic way with fish.  His selection of fin fish is wonderful and he presents it simply grilled with olive oil and lemon with a choice of sides.  If you are in the area, you really must try it.
Now, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  For those of you who make soup as a first course and are wondering what soup to make, here's one of the soups that I made for this year's Thanksgiving extravaganza.
From our home to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving and don't forget to give thanks for what you have and those around you.  I do, and I give thanks for my wonderful family and friends, those I know and those I have yet to meet.


Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
Serves 6
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick rounds
1 large parsnip, peeled and cubed
1 small rutabaga, also called a yellow turnip, peeled and cubed
2 leeks, thickly sliced
1 onion quartered
5 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
4 rosemary sprigs
5 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
Thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Pour oil into a large bowl and mix with the salt and pepper.  Add the vegetables and toss until they are all coated with the oil mixture.
Spread the vegetables out in one layer on a large baking sheet.  Place the bay leaves, the thyme and rosemary sprigs under the vegetables.
Roast the vegetables for about 45 minutes until tender.  Toss occasionally to make sure they are browning evenly.  Remove from the vegetables from the oven, throw out the herbs and place the vegetables into a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
Pour the stock over the vegetables and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  
Using a hand blender, process for a few minutes until thick and smooth.  Heat through, taste for seasoning and garnish each serving with a small sprig of thyme.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving's almost here.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.  I have two soups, six quarts of turkey stock, and one entree (I make two in addition to the turkey) in the freezer.  I also have three kinds of cranberry sauce in the refrigerator.  Now all I have to work on are the desserts.
I make a killer jalapeno cranberry sauce that is the favorite of my 92 year old mother.  She loves it, says it adds zip to the meal and called last week to make sure I was making it for her.
So, since Mom loves it, I decided to share it with you.  It's pretty easy and quick and will stay in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.  I hope you like it as much as Mom does.


Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce
1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled jalapenos or 2 jalapenos seeded, deveined and chopped finely
1/4 cup water
Bring all ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a brisk simmer, stirring often, until the cranberries burst and the juices are syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer to a jar or storage container. let cool, cover and refrigerate.  (Will keep for 1 to 2 weeks.)
Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Will post more Thanksgiving recipes as the mood strikes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away.  Due to the power outage last weekend, I am only a week behind in preparations.  Never fear, I know I will be ready.
This weekend I am going to make my turkey stock, a tomato basil bisque (parve), and a roasted root vegetable soup.  Easy to make and all very freezable.
I am still trying to adjust to cooking and baking low fat and low sodium.  It is getting interesting and there are going to be a lot of veggies at our Thanksgiving feast this year.
I came up with a great low fat alternative to apple pie.  This is so good, you won't miss the pie.
Enjoy!


A Healthier Apple Cake
Makes 8 to 12 servings
11/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium apples, cored and finely diced
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped almonds or pecans
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
Grapeseed oil
Topping:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a 9” x 2” round baking pan with grapeseed oil and line bottom with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit.  Oil the parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together in a small bowl.
Mix together the sugar, apples, nuts, egg, applesauce and vanilla in a large bowl, stirring until well combined.  Add the flour mixture to the apple mixture and mix well to combine.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and confectioner’s sugar together and sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Place the cake in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is browned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shana Tova

Shana Tova!  Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Sweet New Year.  May you be inscribed for blessing in the book of life.

And for your edification for the New Year:  There are four basic food groups:  milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rosh Hashanah Recipe and More

Wow!  Two fantastic demos with great turnouts.  It's always fun for me to do them for all those who have become my friends and new friends to meet at the demos.  Thank you all for coming! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

This is a recipe I did at a demo in 2008.  It is also in my cookbook, KOSHER SALT AND EXOTIC SPICES.  Enjoy!!

Shana Tova to all!!!  A happy and healthy New Year!



Serves 8
2 – 15 oz. cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cooked brown rice
½ cup melted margarine or schmaltz
½ cup honey
½ cup water
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil a 9” x 13” baking pan
Combine the chick peas, rice and salt.  Pour into the prepared pan.
Combine remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the chick pea/rice mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.  Serve hot. 

 I also wanted to share a wonderful, low fat banana bread for a Yom Kippur Break fast dessert.  If you have a problem with nut allergies, just omit the nuts and add more chocolate chips.



Low Fat Banana Nut and Chocolate Bread
Makes 12 to 24 servings
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cups sugar or agave syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup nonfat, plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas
3 egg whites
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil a 9 X 5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together until well mixed.  Add the yogurt and then, using a spoon, mix in the bananas and egg whites until just combined.  Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread until evenly distributed.
Place into the oven and  bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and place on rack to cool completely.
Slice and eat.

B'tayavon!


Rosh Hashanah Recipe and More

Wow!  Two fantastic demos with great turnouts.  It's always fun for me to do them for all those who have become my friends and new friends to meet at the demos.  Thank you all for coming! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

This is a recipe I did at a demo in 2008.  It is also in my cookbook, KOSHER SALT AND EXOTIC SPICES.  Enjoy!!

Shana Tova to all!!!  A happy and healthy New Year!



Serves 8
2 – 15 oz. cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cooked brown rice
½ cup melted margarine or schmaltz
½ cup honey
½ cup water
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil a 9” x 13” baking pan
Combine the chick peas, rice and salt.  Pour into the prepared pan.
Combine remaining ingredients and pour evenly over the chick pea/rice mixture.
Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.  Serve hot. 

 I also wanted to share a wonderful, low fat banana bread for a Yom Kippur Break fast dessert.  If you have a problem with nut allergies, just omit the nuts and add more chocolate chips.



Low Fat Banana Nut and Chocolate Bread
Makes 12 to 24 servings
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cups sugar or agave syrup
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup nonfat, plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas
3 egg whites
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly oil a 9 X 5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together until well mixed.  Add the yogurt and then, using a spoon, mix in the bananas and egg whites until just combined.  Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread until evenly distributed.
Place into the oven and  bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and place on rack to cool completely.
Slice and eat.

B'tayavon!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Recipes just for you

After Marvin's (my hubby) open heart surgery three weeks ago, I had to learn a new way to cook.  No butter, a miniscule amount of salt, a little oil, and lots of herbs and spices (just up my alley!)

One of the recipes I developed this summer, I'd like to share with you.  It's great for the grill and very easy.

Chicken marinated with garlic and ginger

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey

Mix the garlic, ginger, pepper, oil, vinegar, and honey together.  Pour into a large plastic bag.  Add the chicken, seal the bag, shake to coat the chicken, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Light and heat your grill.  
Remove the chicken from the bag and cook on the grill until it is cooked through.

B'tayavon!
Enjoy!



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chag Sameach, Shavuot is in 2 days, more dairy ideas

Hi.  Hope everyone is ready for Shavuot.  If you're not, here are a couple of dairy recipes to help you out.


Corn and Asparagus Quiche (D)
A wonderful combination of flavors for a brunch or a luncheon
Makes 8 servings
1 - 9 inch deep dish pie shell, home made or frozen
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained
1 cup cut up asparagus, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Dock the bottom of the pie shell with a fork, place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush the bottom with Dijon mustard.
In a large bowl, whisk the milk, cream eggs, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper until well blended.  Add the bell pepper, corn, asparagus and 1 cup of the cheese, mixing until well combined.  Pour into the prepared pie shell, place on a baking sheet and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and a deep golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a metal rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving
Can be served warm or at room temperature.
Can be prepared a day or two in advance.  Be sure to bring the quiche to room temperature before serving.


Noodles Romanoff (D)
A flavorful dish that is a perfect dish to serve for Shavuot 
Makes 12 servings
1 – 12 ounce package medium egg noodles
3 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces mushrooms
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Butter a 9” x 13” baking dish
Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente.
Heat the oil and butter in a 12” sauté pan.  Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, cottage cheese, chives, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper together until well combined.  Add the noodles and mix well.  Fold in the mushroom mixture making sure it is evenly combined.
Pour the noodle mixture into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs and the 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano.  Place in the oven and bake until bubbling hot and the top is a nice dark golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Let stand 15 minutes before serving.  
Can be made 1 or 2 days ahead.  Before serving warm in a preheated, 325 degree oven for 20 minutes.

B/tayavon!!!!


If anyone is interested in testing recipes for my new cookbook, please let me know.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shavuot Recipes

Shavuot is only a week away.  New dairy recipes are needed by all.  Here's one that's sure to please.

Chilled avocado soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 quart (4 cups) low sodium vegetable stock
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro, leaves only
2 tablespoons lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste

Sour cream, for garnish
Lime zest for garnish
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Put the vegetable stock, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
To serve, ladle the chilled soup into bowls and garnish with a spoonful of sour cream, lime zest, chopped cilantro, and chopped tomato. 

B'tayavon!!!!