Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baked Compote

Sorry, but I didn't take a picture while cooking it.

We were invited for Shabbat lunch to neighbors and asked to bring dessert. We brought two things, one some pastry bought in our local store and the other was "Baked Compote." What's "Baked Compote?" Honestly, I just invented it. Since I've been on my Start Fresh kosher weight loss diet, I've been making Baked Apples for dessert, but I didn't know how many people would be at the meal.

The great thing about the Baked Apples is that there is no sugar, but it's very sweet, because it's baked. No water is added. So I put on my "thinking cap" and invented:

Baked Compote
  • use an oven-proof covered pan
  • peel and slice two apples per portion, (just to be safe,) and place them in the pan
  • add the juice of a couple of juicy oranges, or some natural orange juice. It shouldn't be enough to cover the apples, unless you want a liquidy compote.
  • sprinkle cinnamon and any other spice you'd like
  • bake, covered, in a medium oven until boiling for at least fifteen minutes
  • let it cool in the oven or in a warm place, where it can continue cooking

Now, that I've gotten you hungry, it's time to remind you that we need your posts in the Kosher Cooking Carnival! Please send them here. And if you'd like to host an edition, please let me know at shilohmuse at yahoo dot com Thanks

Thursday, January 29, 2009

easy marble cake

I wasn't kidding in my last post. This is version #3 of Mrs. Sebbag's Gateau à l'Orange! And how Jewish is marble cake?


4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. grated orange rind
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder + 2 Tbsp. sugar (or 3 Tbsp. chocolate milk powder)
chocolate syrup


Combine eggs, orange juice, oil, vanilla and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add flour, baking powder, baking soda and orange rind. Mix until well combined. Pour most of cake batter into
a greased bundt or spring pan, leaving about a cup of batter in your bowl.

In your bowl, add cocoa powder
and sugar (or chocolate milk powder) to batter and stir well. Pour your chocolate batter over the other batter. Gently cut a knife through the cake to get a nice marble effect.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. (use the toothpick test!).

Drizzle with chocolate syrup and Enjoy!

the ultimate blueberry cake

I've been making variations of
Mrs. Sebbag's Gateau à l'Orange every Shabbos since she gave me the recipe! This past Shabbos I made this version, and it was AMAZING.


4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. grated orange rind


1/2 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. cinammon
1 tsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp. orange juice
1 tsp. hot water


Combine eggs, orange juice, oil, vanilla and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add flour, baking powder, baking soda and orange rind. Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine blueberries, flour, corn starch, cinammon and brown sugar until berries are well coated. Add blueberries to cake batter and stir gently until evenly distributed.

Bake at 350 degrees in a greased bundt or spring pan for approximately 30 minutes. (use the toothpick test!). Let cake cool completely.

In a small bowl, mix ingredients to make icing. Icing should be a syrupy consistency. Pour over cake or use a baking brush to give your cake a gorgeous sheen.

Let sit for a few minutes and serve!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I saw this recipe on a facebook group and decided to try it out. It was quite yummy.

2 c old fashioned oats 
1/2 c sliced almonds 
1/4 c light brown sugar 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
2 tbsp oil 
2 tbsp honey 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 c raisins 

Set your oven to 350F. Mix everything together in a bowl except the almonds and raisins.
Try to mix thoroughly and get most of the brown sugar clumps out. Line a cookie sheet with
parchment paper. Spread the mix on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes until just 
past golden brown, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes to prevent burning. Toast the almonds 
separately and let them cool down. Mix the almonds, raisins, and granola together. Cool 
the granola in dry open air on the same cookie sheet to crisp up. Store in an airtight 

Sprinkle on vanilla yogurt mixed with fresh strawberries.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The best time to cook is on an empty stomach. The best time to shop is on an empty stomach. The best time to read a blog about Kosher Cuisine is on an empty stomach. The reason for this wonderful advice is because the only way food can only really be appreciated is when the body is in the natural state to really enjoy it, and that is when the body is hungry.

That being said, this next recipe really makes my mouth water and wish that I still had room in my stomach for one more morsel. This next recipe is the hallmark of kosher food. A few hundred years after Noach ate the first steak, Avraham served the angels freshly cooked Tongue. I have no idea what recipe Avraham used to serve the Tongue to the angels; suffice it to say that this recipe was probably it. It seems like a recipe fit for heavenly beings and out of this world.

As a side note, Raisins may have a bug infestation problem. (The sun-drying process in the open fields attracts all types of insects which end up being attached to the raisins. This is an issue in all sun-dried raisins. KASHRUS magazine recommends not using any sun-dried raisins without thoroughly washing and visually examining them.)So if you want to be strictly kosher, you can leave out the raisin sauce, and replace it with good old mustard like Avraham did when he served the Angels.


1 fresh Kosher Beef Tongue
3 sm. onions
2 sm. carrots
4 stalks celery & leaves
6 sprigs parsley
8 peppercorns
Salt & pepper
1/2 c. almonds, blanched & split
2/3 c. seedless raisins
6 tbsp. cooking fat
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 c. crushed gingersnaps
1 lemon, cut into sm. Cubes


Place tongue in a large kettle with onions, carrots, celery and parsley.

Add water to cover.

Add peppercorns and salt.

Simmer gently until tender, 3 to 5 hours.


Reserve liquid.

Melt fat and add flour and stir until blended.

Gradually stir in reserved raisin and almond liquid and enough tongue liquid to make 3 cups in all.

Add gingersnaps, almonds, raisins and lemon cubes.

Season with salt and paprika.

Pour over sliced tongue.

Serve hot.

Coconut Chicken

I found this recipe in Kosher By Design Entertains (sure hope this isn't plagiarism...) and made it for my husband this past shabbas. He loved it and it was surprisingly easy to make. Two things to note: 1. This recipe was intended to be an appetizer, but I made it a main dish. (Instead of cutting the chicken into strips I just left them whole.) 2. This recipe comes with two dipping sauces which I didn't make and am not going to bother posting them for just that reason.

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (all I had in the house was crushed red pepper, so I used that)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs or panko
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Season thee chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Ass some salt and pepper to the flour. Add the garlic powder and cayenne. Toss too combine. Place the beaten egg into a second shallow dish. Mix the corn flake crumbs and coconut in a third dish.
4. Lightly coat chicken with flour, shaking off excess. Dip each piece into the egg, shaking off excess. Roll into coconut mixture, pressing the coconut into the chicken to evenly coat.
5. Place chicken on baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with honey. Here, the recipe calls for baking for only 20 minutes, turning strips halfway through, but I left it in the oven for about 40 minutes because it wasn't completely cooked after only 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Best Peanut-Butter Pasta

3/4 cup water with an instant soup cube (can substitute w/ a tspn. ful)
1/2 cup Smooth peanut butter
1/4 Soy sauce
1/2 tspn Crushed pepper flakes
1 clove Garlic crushed
4 tbsp Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Sugar
Add all the ingredients to pot, bring to medium high,
Don’t burn, once again be careful not to burn it.
Ok, now so you don't burn it, mix while cooking.
Let cool in a tupperware, and refrigerate till ready to serve

Pour over a medium size batch of pasta,and mix in 2 table spoons of sesame seeds (optional)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pie Cookies

Yesterday I found myself with quite a bit of leftover homemade cherry pie filling and a dessert, made with said filling, that is unable to go to the potluck gathering it was intended for. The issue was that the place didn't allow red foods [something to do with the carpeting] and the pie filling was exposed on the surface of the dessert. I suddenly found myself in need of making a new dessert that require minimal ingredients and time. Utilizing the rest of the pie filling was ideal.

So I made gluten-free cherry pie cookies. These cookies can also be low-carb depending on the pie filling being used.

I doubt anyone attending the potluck will mind the change in dessert offering as everyone, who has tried my gluten-free low-carb cookies, loves them. The cookies don't look like much but they are absolutely delicious.

If you find yourself free of pie filling, a jelly or jam of choice can be used.

I apologize for the quality of picture. It was taken with my phone as my digital camera has gone MIA recently.

Pie Cookies

2 1/2 cups almond meal
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats [or regular rolled oats if gluten-free is not an issue for you]
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey [optional, depending on the sweetness level of the pie filling]
2/3 cup pie filling
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and almond meal. Add in the remaining ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Beat again on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bowl. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Take 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie and put them down on the parchment paper. Lightly press the rounds flat. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes until they start turning lightly golden in color. Let them cool on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

To store: These cookies will stick together when stacked. I put a single layer down on a plate/serving tray. I rip the parchment paper that the cookies were baked on and divide it into halves or thirds. Put down one of the parchment paper pieces then another layer of cookies. Repeat until all the cookies are on the tray then wrap with plastic wrap/cling film. Keep refrigerated until served. They are best out of the refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Curried Carrot & Bean Soup

While I'm not a big fan of soups, I am a supporter of all things that can be cooked in a crockpot. There's nothing like coming home to a house that smells absolutely delicious and having a fully prepared meal waiting for you after a long day.

This soup is flavorful, vegan and makes a nice hearty but light dinner on a cold day. The recipe calls for a lot of spices - essentially making one's own curry powder - but I left off the traditional curry spice of fenugreek because I'm allergic to it.

Curried Carrot & Bean Soup

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks [if using baby carrots, cut them in half]

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

3 cups water

1 15 ounce can chickpeas or other bean of choice, rinsed and drained [or 1 1/2 cups cooked]

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/8 teaspoon each of the following spices: ground cardamom, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, anise seed, sesame seeds and ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon each of the following spices: ground cinnamon, fennel seeds and ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon each of the following spices: ground turmeric, cumin and ground cayenne pepper

4 strands saffron

Chopped parsley for garnish

[1/4 teaspoon of ground fenugreek seeds can be added to the spices if desired or, instead of the spices listed above, you can use 2 - 3 teaspoons of your favorite high-quality curry powder.]

Combine all the ingredients except for the parsley in a 4 to 5 quart crockpot. Stir, cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or - in small batches - in a blender prior to serving. Strain if desired to make an even smoother soup. Serve warm.
Garnish each serving with chopped parsley if desired. Make approximately 4 meal-sized servings or 8 appetizer-sized servings depending on the amount of liquid evaporation during the cooking process. The final blended soup should look a little like cooked pumpkin pie filling. Refrigerate any leftovers.

: 1 pound of pumpkin, butternut squash or acorn squash chunks can be used in place of the carrots. No other changes needed.


I know this isn't a recipe, but I thought I'd tell you all about my latest fave snack!

Edamame are baby soybeans, similar to green beans, and contain tons of fiber and protein - and are an awesome healthy alternative to a bag of chips!

You can buy fresh edamame at your local Asian or specialty grocer (try Whole Foods), or frozen from Costco or Trader Joe's. I get the box from Costco which contains mini individually-packaged containers of the beans - the perfect serving size.

Cheesecake Brownie Bites

No fancy French name here, as the French neither have a. cheesecake as we know it, or b. brownies, but I guess you could say "Les petits gateaux a fromage avec un croute de chocolate et enrobe de ganache" but that just sounds ridiculous. Anyway, I (Nameless Faceless) usually make my mini-cheesecakes with a regular graham cracker crust and some kind of fruit topping (mostly because my father likes them that way and he pays the bills), but yesterday I made this batch for a friend of mine who loves these. They are half cheesecake, half brownie, topped these with a chocolate ganache and baked in a mini-cheesecake pan, but we are going to cheat and use a regular muffin tin and hot fudge. It's the same thing, but your finished product will have fluted edges in lieu of the smooth sided picture above -- essentially, it doesn't matter: let's get this show on the road.

1 package brownie mix
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I cannot stress this enough. I've killed two electric mixers trying to be a hero.)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Jar of hot fudge topping

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease them individually
  2. Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the package and fill each muffin cup about 1/3 of the way full.
  3. Bake the brownie portion for about 15 minutes. If the brownie top is shiny and looks to be set, remove the pan from the oven. If not, stick it in until it does - and *then* take it out. Either way, let these brownies cool for at least twenty minutes.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Spoon this mixture on top of your brownies (while still in the pan!). Fill each muffin cup with this mixture, almost to the top.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely. Top with warmed hot fudge - you can make it look fancy or not, it's irrelevant. Cool and serve. Oh, and
  6. Freaking delicious.

Monday, January 19, 2009

thank you

Wow! Our KC team sure has grown in the last few days!

Thank you for posting your awesome recipes
- even if some don't exactly yield edible results (random you know i mean you) but as long as it's funny and therefore worthy of MM standards - then keep them coming!

Be sure to add Kosher Cuisine to your blog rolls
and get the word out about this fab new blog!

Always Fail Kosher Blog

The AFKB is a dish best served rare(ly, or never for best results.) If done right though, it can serve hundreds and sometimes more.


Bored teenager (preferably fresh out of sem/yeshiva,) slightly undone mentally
1 laptop
a couple of dates (for material)
dash of unwarranted confidence in creative writing
a selection of similarly dysfunctional gen-Y'ers for feedback and comments.

Preparation time: Usually 1 rainy night after too much narcissistic self indulgent self doubt/pity/reflection. Beware: AFKB will become irrelevant within a year or two at which point the blog will either become moldy or destroyed somehow.

Directions: Bring laptop to young, bored person and attach to internet. At this point, young person might not be seen for extended periods and surface with square eyes. Do not panic - this is normal dysfunction.
Let them wonder what the hell they need the $700 thing for before slowly folding in inflated confidence in writing capability and whipping up the dates.
At this point, simply let the weird creation rise on its own as the other self-obsessed organisms pepper the blog with (what they think are) witty and relevant comments.

Variation: Have the main ingredient in conflict about their religion/recently divorced/in a retirement home with limited mental ability (for extra laughs.)

Tarte Aux Pommes

[Not an actual pic]
This tarte is unbelievably easy and fast to make so jazz up the name if you have too :)

I am willing to go out on a limb here and say this is the worlds easiest Apple Pie, one which I absolutely love. No this is not the extent of my cooking, my recipe for pickling your own herring and liver saute will follow but I decided to start easy. Make this and you will be the consummate All-American Chef, all that's missing is an entree and a main dish :)

3 Apples peeled and sliced (whatever kind you prefer, I generally use green macintosh, I like the tartness but red or yellow is fine too)

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/4 stick margarine

1 egg

1 Cup Flour

Slice the apples and place them on the bottom of a pie dish. A standard size round one (9 or 10 inches or so I don't really know what "standard" is) will be fine.
Next, melt the margarine in a large mixing bowl (microwaving it is fine). Then add in the sugar, egg, and flour and stir until it is a smooth batter-like mixture.
Pour this mixture over the apples and bake on 350 for approximately 40 minutes until done (depending on the oven, cooking time will vary).

That's it! Congratulations you have dessert for any occasion.

Serving Suggestion - Chill and serve cold, but then again I like all m cake either cold or frozen so you may enjoy this one hot. whatever gets you going I guess :)

No-Mixer Fruit Crumb Cake

This is Child Ish Behavior here; admittedly I can’t really cook very well. Just the other day I burned some frozen pizza in the toaster oven. And a few months ago I almost burned the house down because I left the water boiling while going out to the grocery. Luckily I got back home before all the water boiled out. All this doesn’t detract from the fact that when I was around 10 years old I used to make the best crumb cake with my mother. I can tell you without a doubt it was the best crumb cake I have tasted, ever. It was crunchy, crumby, moist, and yummy in every bite. Just writing about it is making my mouth salivate. If only I weren’t so lazy, I’d be eating crumb cake all day. Perhaps this Thursday, in preparation for Shabbos, I’ll bring back old memories and whip up some No-Mixer Fruit Crumb Cake.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward; they come right out of the Lubavitcher Cookbook. There is nothing more kosher than the Lubavitcher cookbook, from page one it tells you exactly where Kashrus falls in everyday thinking, “Kasherus belongs to a category of mitzvahs for which no rational explanation is given in the Torah. (3)” Just as Kashrus laws are God givenly good without rational explanation, so too the No-Mixer Fruit Crumb Cake, is good beyond any rational explanation, though looking back it seems my mother may have forgotten a few ingredients.

No-Mixer Fruit Crumb Cake

1.25 sticks margarine (Though if I recall correctly, I think my mother conveniently left this out.)

2 cups of flour (This is where the crumbs come from.)

1 cup sugar (for the sweet tooth)

2 teaspoons baking powder (I have no idea why this is needed. It is part of the Kosher thing, no rational explanation.)

1 teaspoon lemon rind (I believe my mother left this out as well, as I can’t imagine consuming lemon rind.)

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs separated (That means, put the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another.)

Jam (I like raspberry, you can do prune if you’re feeling especially masochistic.)

Lemon Pie filling [optional] (Definitely left out. Who has lemon pie filling lying around the house?)

2 apples, grated

Raisins (Also left out, the chewy raisins just weren’t my speed.)

Another .25cup sugar (for the sweet tooth)

And now for the directions:

Take two forks out of where ever you keep your two forks. With those two forks, Mix the first six ingredients together. Take the bowl of egg yolks, and mix into the powdery mixture until you get a crumbly consistency. Remove one cup of these crumbs, and like the Afikoman, set them aside for later.

Line a 9” X 13” baking dish with the remainder of the crumbs. Top with Jam, [lemon pie filling],(raisins), and apples.

Beat the left over egg whites and the .25cup of sugar and pour over the apples.

Add the Afikoman crumbs over the egg whites and sugar.

Bake at 350° for around 45 minutes.

Enjoy with a nice glass of Baron Herzog White Riesling Late Harvest 2005.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sesame Chicken

A hearty thank you to Material Maidel for allowing me to contribute to this blog. Now, onto the recipe. This recipe is brought to you courtesy of my mom.

Seasame Chicken

1 package boneless skinless chicken breast
1 onion
garlic salt (or powder)
3/4 cup of ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
salt and pepper
sesame seeds

Cut the chicken into preferred size (you can pound it down if you want to make it thinner). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bread chicken with flour. Heat some oil in a pan and fry breaded chicken. Put chicken off to the side (I used one of those aluminum roasting pans, but you can probably put it anywhere you like). Put some more oil in the frying pan, cut up onion into small pieces and put it in the frying pan and saute it. Pour in garlic salt (or powder) while its sauteing and stir onion till tender. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and water. Once onion is tender slowly pour the sauce over it and let simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the whole mixture over the chicken and sprinkle sesame seeds over it. Put aluminum foil over it and bake for an hour at 350. 

Salsa Drumsticks

First of all, thank you to MM for allowing me to post here. Secondly, for all those skeptics that think that guys can't cook, well we can (at least I could). I've been cooking in my house for over ten years now, that by now my mother uses my recipes

Here goes one of my favorite chickens

12 chicken drumsticks (skinned, its healthier, but you decide)
¾ cup ketchup
½ cup salsa
¼ honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon corn starch

Mix all the ingredients together (aside for the chicken) and pour over the chicken, covering all sides.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes @ 350.
This recipe I find to be better served cold than hot, but both are delicious

Key Lime Cheesecake

Much thanks to Material Maidel for allowing me to contribute to Kosher Cuisine. I have a lot of recipes that don't necessarily fit with my traditional gluten-free/vegetarian recipe writing so I look forward to posting those recipes here as well as others.

I came up with this recipe last year for a family member's birthday. The birthday person and my mom are both big fans of Key Lime Pie and Cheesecake so I decided to create the best of both worlds for the birthday dinner's desert. I actually juiced all the tiny little limes myself. It took a long time so I'd suggest using the bottled juice which can be found in the baking supply aisle of most markets near the sugar and lemon juice.

I garnished it with small wedges of key lime and whipped cream before serving.

Key Lime Cheesecake

2 8ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons custard powder or 4 tablespoons cornstarch & ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice or more to taste
A few drops of green food coloring [if you want the cheesecake to be green-ish in color]
1 stick butter, melted
3 cups cracker or cookie crumbs [3 cups almond meal and 2 egg whites to make it gluten-free]
1 8 or 9 inch Springform Pan

Mix the crumbs and butter together then press in the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Beat the cream cheese and custard powder together in a large bowl until smooth & creamy. Beat the sweetened condensed milk & eggs into the cream cheese mixture until well combined, scraping sides & bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed. Stir in the Key Lime juice and food coloring. Beat mixture on high speed for 2 minutes. Pour into the springform pan. Smooth top with the spatula then place in the 325 degree F oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set. Turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven for 1 hour. Chill for 2 to 3 hours or overnight prior to serving.

Serve with key lime segments, whipped or sour cream if desired.

Agneau Champvallon (AKA: Look, You Made Fancy Lamb and Potatoes!)

I'm domestic - who knew? A very big thank you to Material Maidel for inviting me to contribute to this public service of a blog. Please don't be intimidated by this recipe - the secret to French cooking is just that it sounds so ridiculously intense that people have to be impressed you made it but really, its normal meat and potatoes, layered in a baking dish. It has a grand total of SIX ingredients in it. The hands-on time is around thirty minutes, ready to eat in two hours but don't be scared: you can easily do the first part ahead of time, which makes your hands-on time on The-Day-You're-Ready-To-Eat-It about 15 minutes and on the table in one hour! Enough yapping:

Agneau Champvallon

1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
coarse sea salt and fresh pepper (but really, who cares - just salt and pepper will be fine)
4 c chicken stock (or vegetable or beef or whatever you have)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or even minced. don't sweat it)
1 bouquet garni (don't get nervous. this is 1 bay leaf/3 sprigs thyme/4 sprigs parsley/a finger-sized piece of celery tied up together with twine. if you don't have this, don't die of shame, just throw some 1 tbsp rosemary in the pot and have a drink.)
5 or 6 potatoes (I use Yukon Gold, you can use Russet, Idaho, whatever baking potato you have. again, it's really not a big deal.)

Okay, so this is Step One: Cook the Meat,

In a large dutch oven (or some kind of pot that can be used on a burner), heat as much oil as you need to put a thin layer on the bottom over medium high heat. Season your lamb generously with salt and pepper. Cook your lamb until golden brown, which is around 4 to 5 minutes per side. This may have to be done in batches if your pot can't accomodate all the meat at once.
After all your lamb is browned, take out the pieces and put them in a bowl. Now, deglaze the pan: stir about 1/2 cup of stock into your still-hot pan (this will make steam - relax, everything is fine) and scrape up and of the browned meat bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
At this point, throw in the onions, garlic, and bouquet garni (or rosemary, whatever) and cook this - stirring occasionally - for five minutes. P.S. This is what a bouquet garni looks like.

See? Not intimidating. Return all the browned lamb to the pot and add the rest of the 3 1/2 cups of stock. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer until the meat is tender, which is about an hour.

If you do not want to do all the work in one day, this can get cooled and refrigerated for a day. Then, it's time for Step Two: Assemble the Ingredients,

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pull out a 12-inch gratin dish - its usually a circle or oval, very shallow baking dish (no more than 2 or 3 inches deep). If you don't have this, a regular cake pan/pyrex/whatever will work just fine. Using a mandoline/food slicer or just a really sharp knife wielded extraordinarily carefully, slice your potatoes very thin. Not as thin as a potato chip, but I'd say as thin as a regular issue of US Weekly. Rinse and pat your potato slices dry, then toss them in olive oil to coat. Cover the bottom of your gratin dish with a layer of the potato slices: starting at the outer edge, overlap each potato by half, working in concentric circles towards the center. At the end, there should be four circles. (Check out the picture. Also, if your dish isn't circular, obviously don't kill yourself making a spiral.) Spoon the lamb and the broth over this. Repeat the potato-circle thing with the rest of the potatoes. Sprinkle the top with rosemary, or thyme, or parsley and some more salt and pepper. Bake for about 1 hour: the top with be golden and the edges crisp. You'll also be able to see the juice bubbling.

Pat yourself on the back and let it cool slightly before serving about eight people or four really hungry men, who either way, should be singing your praises.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Desserts – Ambrosia & Ice Cream

When I (Babysitter) was in High School we had a class called Home Economics, where we learned how to make lots of different types of food. My favorite 2 were Ambrosia and Ice cream, so here are the recipes. Enjoy!


1 can maundering segments (11 oz.)
1 can crushed pineapple (20 oz.)
1 cup orange juice
1 kiwi (hard, peeled, diced)
1 bag frozen strawberries in sugar (16 oz. Bodek)

Cool cans, defrost strawberries, combine, mix well
YIELDS: 8 portions


Ice Cream

1 coffee creamer (16 oz.)
1 Topping (16 oz.)
1 vanilla instant pudding
2 1/2 cups rice crispies
1 stick of margarine
1/2 cup ground coca nuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts

Ice cream:
Whip topping, add coffee creamer and pudding, freeze it.

Topping crunch:
Bake on 350 deg. 25 min, mix ingredients, put on line cookie sheet, slice margarine, put on

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Asian-inspired Broccoli Slaw

This one comes from one of my favorite shows on the Food Network - Paula's Home Cooking. (I love her Southern drawl!) I've adapted the recipe to make it a little more 'Asian' and easier to make, but if you want to see the original, click here. If you can't find shredded Broccoli slaw at your local grocery store, feel free to substitute Cole slaw. I like to serve this salad the same day I make it, when it's still nice and crunchy.

1 package broccoli slaw
1 package kosher Ramen-type soup noodles and
seasonings packet (any flavor)
3 green onions, finely diced (or chives or scallions)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds and/or slivered almonds
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Crush noodles in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pan.
Combine all ingredients in one big mixing bowl. Toss until broccoli is well coated.
Serve! (Your salad will be a little bit darker than shown in the picture)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Mrs. Sebbag's Gateau à l'Orange

I was looking everywhere for a recipe for this cake! By chance, my friend Rachel phoned me today and I asked her how to make it. So here is Mrs. Sebbag's fabulous recipe for French Orange cake. It's easy and delicious!

4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. grated orange rind


Combine eggs, orange juice, oil, vanilla and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add flour, baking powder, baking soda and orange rind. Mix until well combined. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased bundt or spring pan for approximately 30 minutes. (use the toothpick test!)

Serve with Raspberry Coulis or Orange Icing!

For Raspberry Coulis - put one cup of frozen raspberries and one tbsp. sugar in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes. Strain and serve.

For Orange Icing - stir one cup icing sugar and one tbsp. orange juice until syrupy.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

crunchy sweet carrot salad

This carrot salad is perfect for a hot summer's day (ok - I know we're in the wrong season here - but it's delish right now too!). You can peel and shred your own carrots - or if you're feeling extra lazy, buy one of those ready-to-use bags you can buy in the grocery aisle.

2-3 carrots, peeled and shredded or one bag of shredded carrots
2 green onions or chives, finely diced
2 Tbsp. orange juice or 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. pine nuts and/or almonds
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries or raisins or dried dates (chopped into small pieces)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste


Combine all ingredients in one large mixing bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow flavors to set. Serve!

Teriyaki Salmon - made easy

I have lots of people asking me for this recipe! And everyone is often surprised to hear how easy it is to make! The secret is to marinate the salmon for as long as possible - at least 45 minutes if not longer. Unfortunately, I never use measuring cups when I make this recipe - so amounts shown below are approximate!


4 Salmon steaks or fillets, with or without skin
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup brown sugar and/or honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. mustard (yellow or Dijon)
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (optional)
1 tsp. chili flakes
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Place salmon in a shallow baking dish or disposable aluminum pan.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. The marinade should be dark brown and have a slightly syrupy consistency. Adjust ingredients according to your taste.
3. Pour marinade over salmon and refrigerate. Allow to marinate for as long as possible.
4. Bake salmon in marinade for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees or approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. You can also grill or broil salmon for better flavor.

Monday, January 05, 2009

chocolate pretzel cookies

I found a recipe online at Martha and made it for a cookie exchange party at work last year. While they looked nice, the taste was a little off. I then found this recipe below at Not Derby Pie and the cookies were a total success! Though they look very complicated, it's actually a very simple recipe. If you put a few of these stunning cookies in a pretty box it makes a great gift!

1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 or 2 oz. good quality chocolate
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp. water, whisked
1/4 cup melted milk chocolate
1/4 cup melted white chocolate

  1. Over a double boiler (put a pot of water over medium heat, and then place a second pot or metal bowl of chocolate over the pot of water) melt chocolate until smooth. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer, whip butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sugars and cream for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add egg, vanilla and salt and mix for about 20 seconds until fully incorporated.
  4. Add chocolate and mix at a low speed until combined, for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add cocoa, flour, and baking powder. Mix on low speed until completely blended, about two minutes or less.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  8. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Shape balls into 12-inch-long ropes. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape.
  9. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Brush cookies with egg wash; sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  10. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until dry, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
  11. When cookies are cool, drizzle with melted milk and white chocolate.

Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Turkish Salad

I adapted this recipe from my favorite kosher cookbook, Gatherings. (you can buy Gatherings online at Amazon and even find it free at Google Books!)

It's similar to Moroccan Tchoutchouka, but made with eggplant - and takes much less time to make! I've been told that it's good enough to bottle and sell, but here's the recipe for your free enjoyment!

1/2 cup olive oil
1 large eggplant
4 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
4 Tbsps. tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper and/or hot paprika

1. Slice eggplant into 1 inch thick rounds, and then cut rounds into eighths.
2. In a large non-stick pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and fry until soft. Covering your pan reduces cooking time, but remember to stir your eggplant so that it doesn't get burned.
3. Reduce heat and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer (that means keep the cover on!) for approximately 15 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Let cool before serving. Enjoy with warm pita or challah! Keep refrigerated.

chicken masala cajun balls

This was another hit at my dinner party! I actually invented this recipe this week with whatever I could find in the fridge - I was looking to make chicken burgers, but these balls I made with the leftover meat turned out much tastier!

Masala is an Indian spice mixture that is now widely available Kosher in any supermarket or click here to buy it online . If you can't find masala, use curry or substitute your own flavors! To buy cajun spice, click here .

1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey)
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsps. fresh chives, finely chopped (or green onion, diced)
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
2 tbsps. masala
2 tbsps. cajun spice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients (except olive oil). Feel free to use your hands- just make sure they're washed! Add more breadcrumbs if mixture is too soft (meat should hold together in a ball).
2. Shape meat into ping-pong-sized balls (you can make them smaller or larger if you'd like, but vary cooking times accordingly).
4. Over medium heat, add olive oil to a large non-stick skillet. When your pan warms up (when a drop of water is dropped into oil, it should sizzle) add your chicken balls carefully. To get perfect chicken, do not touch the meat once you've placed it in the pan. After a minute, give the pan a couple of shakes to brown the balls on all sides.

Your chicken masala cajun balls are ready to serve when they are nice and brown, as shown in the picture above!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

pasta salad with broccoli and pine nuts

I recently made this pasta salad for a dinner party and as usual, it was a hit! It's a great way to make your favorite high carb dish a little more nutritious!

2 cups Fusilli Vegetable Pasta, uncooked (or substitute your fave pasta)
1 small head broccoli, chopped into big chunks
3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup pine nuts and/or almonds
5 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small purple onion, diced
1/4 fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp. + 1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and 1 teaspoon of salt and let cook uncovered until broccoli is just tender (a fork should easily pass through a broccoli floret, but do not overcook!). Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Chop into finer pieces and add to pasta.
Over medium heat, in a small skillet or frying pan, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. When your pan gets warm, brown garlic and pine nuts. Add your garlic and pine nuts to pasta.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients to the pasta and serve! Add more or less salt and pepper according to your taste.