Thursday, December 13, 2018

Creamy Orange Soup with Spiced Pepitas

Rainy days call for soup especially Jerusalem rainy days. When it rains in Israel it's also freezing cold so a big bowl of piping hot soup is just what's needed after you peel off your wet clothing, put on some sweats and warm socks, and get cozy on the couch.
Orange soup is the perfect soup for a wintery rainy day it's comforting, creamy, and satisfying. 
This soup uses basic ingredients and is very simple to prepare so you can put this together in a few minutes and it will be ready within the hour. 

Creamy Orange Soup 
3 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced 
3 carrots, diced 
1/4 cup dry white wine 
3 cloves garlic minced 
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed 
Sour cream/greek yogurt - optional 
Spiced Pepitas (recipe below) 

Add the olive oil to an 8-quart pot set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper cook for 5 minutes until the onions start to become to translucent and golden around the edges. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the white wine and with a wooden spoon scrape up any bits that got stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 2 minutes until the wine has reduced slightly and then add the sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Add 8 cups of water to the pot so the vegetables are just covered with water. Add a pinch of pepper and a big pinch of salt. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat so the soup is at a simmer. Cook for around 30-40 minutes until everything is tender. Remove the heat and blend with an immersion blender directly in the pot or work in batches in a regular blender. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkling of spiced pepitas. 
This is a very large recipe, but it lasts in the fridge for a week and freezes beautifully. 

Spiced Pepitas 
1/2 cup pepitas 
1 tsp olive oil 
1 tsp smoked paprika 
pinch of cayenne pepper 

Place the seeds, oil, and spices in a pan set over medium heat and toss so that the seeds are coated in the oil and spices. The seeds will begin to pop cook for 3 minutes being careful that the seeds don't burn. Remove from the heat and store the seeds in an airtight container for a week.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Corn Muffins

One of the best food memories I have from growing up is my mother making corn muffins for a weekday breakfast. It made a regular Tuesday morning something special. The recipe is simple, approachable, and comes from the back of the Indian Head cornmeal package. The batter comes to gather in minutes and they bake for less than 20 so we were able to enjoy these before we hopped on the bus to school. They are best served hot and fresh from the oven with a pat of butter and a little bit of strawberry jam. 

This year I made them for Thanksgiving and it was the perfect accompaniment to a big forkful of turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce. To make them pareve just swap out the milk for any dairy-free milk. 

To make them extra special instead of the oil swap it out for brown butter. Melt a stick of butter in a pot over medium heat until it turns a deep golden brown and smells nutty this will give the muffins an incredible flavor.

1 cup cornmeal 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2/3 cup milk
2 egg 

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
Grease a standard size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line with paper liners. Fill with the batter and bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

This can also be made as cornbread by baking the batter in a greased 9x13 pan.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Roast Veg Baked Ziti

Is there any dish more comforting than a big pan of cheesy baked ziti? How about making it even better by adding tons of roasted veggies to make it 1. a well-rounded meal 2. a great way to use up any veg in your fridge that has seen better days and 3. the coziest dish for winter! 

Roasted Vegetables 

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed 
10 oz. mushrooms, sliced 
1 large zucchini, cubed 
Olive oil 

Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Roast at 400°F/200°C for about 20 minutes until soft and golden brown. 
Feel free to change up the vegetables - peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip... 
When the vegetables are done set aside and prepare the rest of the dish - the vegetables can be made up to 3 days in advance.  


1 lb ziti, rigatoni, penne, or any other short cut pasta  

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a lot of salt. This is a key step when cooking pasta because it seasons the pasta all the way through. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than what is written on the package directions as the pasta will finish cooking when you bake it in the sauce. Drain the pasta and then it put back in the pot.

Cheese mixture

1 1/2 cups ricotta
1 egg lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 tsp garlic powder 
1  tsp dried basil 
1/2 tsp dried oregano 

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup grated parmesan 

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella 

Coat a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

While the pasta is cooking mix together cheese mixture ingredients.
Add the cheese mixture, tomato sauce, and roasted vegetables to the pot of cooked pasta and stir to coat all of the pasta.
Pour the pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with shredded cheese and the grated parmesan
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Frittata Muffins

Changing things up this #muffinmonday with some savory egg muffin cups.

While these don't qualify as traditional muffins, baking the scrambled eggs in a muffin tin makes the traditional breakfast a portable meal.

These egg muffins only take a few minutes to prepare and you can use pretty much any herbs, vegetables, spices, and cheeses you like.

These freeze beautifully and make for a great grab-n-go breakfast. Or serve with a salad for quick and simple dinner

Egg Muffins 
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheese (parmesan, cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack...)
1 cup of diced vegetables (roasted sweet potato, zucchini, butternut squash, spinach, kale...)
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, cilantro, green onion, parsley...)

Preheat oven to 375°F/180°C
Liberally spray a standard size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, cheese, and any other spices you would like to use.
Fill each muffin cup with a spoonful of vegetables and herbs then top with the egg mixture.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until tops are slightly golden and the eggs are baked through.
Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. The eggs will be nicely puffed when you remove them from the oven, but they will settle as they cool don't be concerned.
Run a knife around the outside of each egg muffin to release it and then using a tablespoon slide it under the egg muffin to pop it out of the pan. Freeze in a single layer in a ziptop bag for up to 3 months.
Yield: 12 muffins

Friday, June 29, 2018

Giant Chipwich Cake

Who doesn't like an ice cream sandwich? Creamy deliciousness between two cookies, what's not to like? 
But how can you make an ice cream sandwich even better? Make two different flavor cookies for the outside and then supersize it! 
I wanted to enjoy this epic summer dessert on Shabbat so I wanted to make this pareve, but I really don't enjoy the flavor of pareve whipped cream that most people usually use to make pareve ice cream and I also don't like that I don't recognize the ingredients in the pareve whipped cream. By using coconut milk you have a great flavor and no weird ingredients. 

This dessert has a few steps to it, but none of them are difficult and it doesn't take too long to put together. 
The cookie flavors I used are classic chocolate chip and peanut butter, but feel free to change it up and use your favorite cookies! 
I decorated the ice cream sandwich with rainbow sprinkles as this was for a friend's birthday and sprinkles always make birthdays more fun, but you can go classic chipwich and use mini chocolate chips or anything else your heart desires 
I left the ice cream flavor as plain vanilla, but you can make chocolate by adding some cocoa, mint chocolate chip by adding some mint extract and chocolate chunks. Fold in some tasty treats like cookie dough chunks, chocolate covered pretzels, roasted peanuts, and marshmallows. Basically, go crazy and have some fun with it! 

Chocolate Chip Cookie 

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil 
1 egg 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1 1/2 cup flour 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 cup chocolate chips (I like to use a mix of both white and dark) 

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C 
Line the bottom of a 9 inch round pan with parchment and grease well with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix together all the ingredients until well combined. 
Press the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. The cookie might seem under baked but don't worry it's perfect. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then flip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

The recipe for the chocolate chip cookie is from the Kosher Palette for chocolate chip cookie sticks which by the way is always a great recipe to have on hand as they come together in minutes and everyone likes them! Important note about the recipe: if you are making the chocolate chips sticks, form the dough into two logs on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes not 20-25 as the original recipe states and only wait a couple of minutes to slice into sticks this will result in soft and chewy chocolate chip sticks and not crunchy brittle. 

Peanut Butter Cookie 

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg 
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C 
Line the bottom of a 9-inch round pan with parchment and grease well with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix together all the ingredients until well combined. 
Press the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. The cookie might seem under baked but don't worry it's perfect. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then flip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Vegan Ice Cream 

2 cans coconut cream (not milk and definitely not water you need the higher fat content) 
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar 
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt 

Chill the coconut cream in the can in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight this will make sure the solids stay thick at the top and the coconut water settles on the bottom. While you're already chilling the cans you should also chill the bowl and beaters that you'll be whipping the cream in. 
When you're ready to make the ice cream, carefully open the cans and scoop out the thick solids into the chilled mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and whip until thick and creamy. 
Line a 9-inch baking pan with plastic wrap with a lot of overhanging plastic wrap and pour the whipped cream into the lined pan. Take the overhanging pieces of plastic wrap and cover the whipped cream making sure that the cream is pressed well into all the edges of the pan. Pop the pan in the freezer for about 2 hours until the ice cream has set. 

To assemble:
Place a giant cookie on a serving platter and top with the disc of ice cream once it's been removed from the plastic wrap. Top with the second cookie and then have fun decorating! Freeze until an hour before you are ready to eat. An hour before you are ready to enjoy put the giant ice cream cookie in the fridge so the cookies and ice cream can soften a bit and will be easier to serve. Make sure to use a very sharp knife to cut through the thick layers of yumminess! 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Watermelon is the quintessential summer snack. It's sweet, hydrating, and oh so refreshing.
After consuming a great deal of watermelon one shabbos afternoon, I started thinking if it can be served as a side dish and be an actual part of the meal as opposed to just being a snack or dessert.

Watermelon can definitely be savory, it's delicious served with feta or Bulgarit cheese, but I wanted to have it in a pareve dish. So I turned to Asian flavors for some spice to balance out the watermelon's sweetness. When you mix the watermelon with soy sauce, sriracha, ginger, roasted peanuts and some fresh herbs you end up with the perfect summer salad.

Sweet, salty, spicy, crunchy you'll be munching on this all summer long.

Spicy Watermelon Salad

Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 inch ginger peeled and minced
4 cups watermelon cut into bite-size cubes- about 1 quarter of a large watermelon
1/2 cup mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, sliced
Zest of 1 lime
2 Tbs toasted white sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, jalapeño, and ginger. In a large bowl toss the watermelon with the mint, green onion, lime zest, sesame seeds, and peanuts. Pour the dressing over the watermelon and toss to coat.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Peanut Butter Chicken and Noodles

I have a confession to make. I love peanut butter. I think it might be my favorite food. When I go out to eat and there's something with peanut butter on the menu, I order it. I always have it in the house, sneaking a spoonful late at night (you know you do it too),  mixing it into cake frosting and using it in this sauce for noodles.
This dish is simple to prepare but the flavors are so complex. There are a lot of ingredients in the sauce but each one really adds to the depth of flavor in the dish. The garnishes are very important to so don't skip those! Feel free to add vegetables to this dish to make it a full meal some great options are peppers, julienned carrots, broccoli, or snow peas.

1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small onion thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sesame oil
3 chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb. spaghetti or linguini

1 clove garlic
1 inch fresh ginger
1 tsp sriracha - more or less depending on how hot you like it
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1Tbs silan (you can use regular honey, I like the deeper sweetness of the silan)
3 heaping Tbs peanut butter

2 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
Zest and juice of one lime

To make the sauce
Grate the garlic and ginger using a microplane. Mix together all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
To make the pasta and chicken
Heat the vegetable oil in a very large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic cook for 1 minute then add the chicken and sesame oil, cook for about 6 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Bring a large pot of water up to boil, add salt and pasta, cook 2 minutes shorter than the package directions. Save 1 cup of the pasta cooking water this is what thickens the sauce.
When the pasta is cooked add it straight into the pan with the chicken lower the heat and add the sauce. Toss to coat and add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, keep tossing until everything is well coated with the sauce.
Remove from the heat and add all of the garnishes. This dish is delicious both hot and cold.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Quinoa Granola - The Perfect Pesach Treat

My father is the king of granola, he makes the most fantastic toasty crunchy granola and makes huge batches every few weeks because we are all kind of obsessed with it. Even though I live 6,000 miles away from my parents I still get to enjoy the granola because my parents bring me big bags of it when they come and I ration it out until their next trip. This stuff is amazing and addictive!

However, every year we have to go 7 days (this year 8!) without the crunchy good stuff when Pesach comes around, well not anymore! Here is a simple recipe for quinoa granola and while it's quite different than the oat packed clusters that we enjoy the rest of year it's a great Pesach option when you need a crunchy topper to your yogurt, a grab n' go snack for chol hamoed trips or just something to munch on all Pesach long. Not only is this recipe great for Pesach it's also a great gluten-free alternative to regular granola.

Feel free to change up the honey for date syrup/silan, agave, or maple syrup. You can also change up the spices add ginger, clove, nutmeg and change up the dried fruit and nuts. Make this quinoa granola your own! Oh and be sure to triple the recipe because the first batch won't even make it from the sheet pan to the container!
Chag Kasher V'Sameach!

Quinoa Granola

1 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 chopped nuts
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried fruit cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper

In a large mixing bowl mix together the quinoa, nuts, honey, oil, salt, and cinnamon.
Once everything is well coated with the honey and oil pour the mixture on to the prepared sheet pan.
You don't want to add the dried fruit before baking as it will dry out too much and get too crispy.
Bake the granola for about 20-25 minutes until everything is golden brown. When you remove the quinoa granola from the oven it will be a very loose mixture as the honey has melted, but it will set up into crunchy clusters once it cools. Right when you remove the granola from the oven add the dried fruits and stir with the hot granola.

Allow the quinoa to cool completely for about 1 hour. Break into clusters and store in a zip-top bag or airtight container in the fridge.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Salatim - What Shabbat Means to Me

There are 7 days in the week. The first 6 are crazy, stressful, and busy and at times seem like they are never going to end. That last day of the week though is beautiful, relaxing, and spiritual. Shabbat is a day to reconnect with the one above and those around you. A day to put down your phone and unplug from our very technology-obsessed world. It is 25 hours that is needed to recharge for the hustle of the next week.
Sina Mizrahi of Gather a Table asked some fellow bloggers to share their favorite Shabbat dishes and what Shabbat means to them. At the end of this post, you can find links to all of the amazing words and recipes that are being shared in this Virtual Shabbat Potluck.

Growing up Shabbat was a special day to spend with family, seeing my friends in shul, playing games on Shabbat afternoon, and eating my mother's delicious food.
As many of you know I moved to Israel 6 years ago. I moved away from my friends, my childhood home, most of my family, and my mother's cooking. Moving to Jerusalem on my own I had to make my own Shabbat meals with my new community of friends. Every week different friends host Friday night and Shabbat day meals. Sometimes they are big meals of 15 people squished around a table with each person bringing something else to create the ultimate potluck. Other times it's a small intimate meal of 3 or 4 friends with a couple of challah rolls sitting around enjoying bowl after bowl of chicken soup.
I work very crazy hours and I don't get to see my friends at all during the week (unless they stop by the restaurant) so I really look forward to Shabbat as a time to catch up with them (and to catch up on some sleep).
I host a Shabbat meal every few weeks. If I'm hosting lunch I usually make a big cholent (using the Foolproof Cholent recipe) schnitzel while the rest of my friends bring other dishes to round out the meal.
My favorite part of any Shabbat meal besides for the talking and zmirot is the salatim course. I love combining all the different flavors, textures, and colors spread on fresh challah that I usually am pretty full at the end of the course, but don't worry I still eat the rest of the great Shabbat food that everyone has prepared.
Here are some of my favorite salatim and I hope that you will make some for your next Shabbat meal. The best part is that they make for great leftovers for snacking on with vegetable sticks and crackers that you can have a little taste of Shabbat all week long.

I used to not enjoy techina as I was only used to the watery strange flavored liquid trying to pass as techina in the squeeze bottle at pizza shops that sell falafel. When I moved to Israel, a friend of mine who grew up here introduced me to the good stuff and now I'm kind of obsessed. I love techina drizzled on everything and I especially love it drizzled over lots of other salatim on Shabbat. Techina is very simple to make it's all about the right amount water that you add to the paste to make the perfect consistency.
I strongly recommend reading Michael Solomonov brilliant cookbook about Israeli Cuisine, Zahav. He spends 20 pages explaining in great detail the beauty and importance of techina and chummus.

1 cup techina paste (in english called tahini)
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/4-1/3 cup of water depending on the texture you like
salt to taste

Mix together the techina, lemon, and salt. Slowly whisk in the water until you reach the desired consistency. Adjust lemon and salt to your taste.

This is a staple dish in the salatim course. It's creamy smooth mixture of chickpeas, garlic, techina, a touch of olive oil, and some spices and there's nothing like freshly made chummus.  Chummus is infinitely better with freshly cooked chickpeas, but if you're short on time you can totally use canned.

Zahav chummus recipe on Food52 is the way to go. 

Chummus is a great base for some yummy toppers like spiced meat to make chummus bassar or sauteed mushrooms and onions for a vegan option.
Simply brown meat or mushrooms with sauteed onions and garlic. Add a pinch of a few different spices such as cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper.

Roasted Pepper Chummus 
I usually don't like other varieties of chummus because usually recipes are switching out the chickpeas for a different type of legume or vegetable. Although those can make for a nice dip chummus literally means chickpea so if you use something else it's no longer chummus. In this recipe, it's pretty much basic chummus pureed with roasted peppers. The smoky sweetness of the peppers with the nutty creaminess is a great balance. This is also a great option for those with a sesame allergy.

1 can chickpeas
1 roasted pepper, skin and seeds removed
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
Puree all ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning to your taste.

Kohlrabi Salad 
I love the fresh crunchiness of kohlrabi. It's a very versatile vegetable perfect for roasting and soups, but it's also great raw. Be sure to top this salad with lots of techina.

2 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
handful of fresh chopped parsley
Toss all ingredients together.

Jalapeños Dip 
Not a traditional dish in the salatim course, but you should add this to your repertoire.

2 jalapeños, stems removed if you want it hot keep the seeds in!
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
handful of fresh dill
Puree all of the ingredients to combine.

Roasted Eggplant 
Soft flesh and crispy skin top it with lots of techina!

2 Eggplants, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Score the flesh of the eggplant in a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplants on a sheet pan flesh side up and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with minced garli and salt. Roast at 400°F/200°C for 20-30 minutes until eggplants are extremely soft.

Here are the pieces by my amazing fellow bloggers
Between Carpools
Cooking in Heels
The Sugar Box 
Gather A Table 
Kitchen Tested 
Spice and Zest
Beth Warren Nutrition
Jamie Geller
Busy in Brooklyn 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hot and Sticky Wings with Ranch

The Super Bowl means great food, an awesome halftime show, hanging out with friends, silly commercials, oh and some guys throwing around a ball.
This recipe combines two Super Bowl staples, wings and beer.
The wings are first baked and then coated in a spicy beer bbq sauce and served with a cooling ranch sauce for dipping.

5 lbs. chicken wings - cleaned, tips cut and joints split
cooking spray
1 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Beer BBQ sauce
2 cups beer
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup hot sauce (more or less depending how hot you like it)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs soy sauce

Ranch Dipping Sauce
1 1/2 cups tofutti sour cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

To prepare wings
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F
Line 2 sheet pans with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Lay the wings out in a single layer and spray the tops with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the wings with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes until crispy.
In the meantime make the BBQ sauce.
In a medium saucepan mix together all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half. Check for seasoning. Set aside
Remove the wings from the oven and coat with sauce. Reserve a few tablespoons of sauce to drizzle over the wings after they cook
Place the wings back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce mix together all the ingredients and serve alongside the wings.