Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Teriyaki Chicken & Peppers

Teriyaki Chicken and peppers



3 pounds boneless chicken breast cutlets, sliced into strips
20 ounces teriyaki sauce (you can really use less, maybe 10 oz)
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 whole red bell pepper, seeded, veins removed, slice into thin strips
1 whole green bell pepper, seeded, veins removed, slice into thin strips
2 tablespoons sesame seeds



1.    Rinse cutlets and pat dry

2.    place chicken in a sealable plastic bag with teriyaki sauce and honey, shake to coat and set aside

3.    in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat and sauté peppers for 10 minutes, until tender

4.    while that's cooking, in another large skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté chicken strips for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked thorough

5.    add balance of marinade (Whatever is left in sealable plastic bag) to peppers and heat thoroughly for about 5 minutes

6.    combine peppers and chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving

Friday, November 13, 2009

milkshake mishap

The only thing you're going to get out of this post is a recipe for disaster.

So I went shopping for groceries today - one of my fave things to do because it combines two of my greatest loves - shopping and food. (ok three - the place I go has the hottest bag boys)

Anyhow, love #4 - sales - were abundant in this pre-Thanksgiving season. And much to my delight, my preferred brand of frozen fruit (including strawberries, blueberries and mango) was included in the discount. I was very excited to make my purchase of three bags of frozen goodness, and even more excited to go home and whip up some soy smoothies (soy milk was also on sale!).

I think I was a little too excited to show my bubbie my kitchen proficiency, because while you and I may know that making smoothies is practically child's play, well at least that's what I thought before the mishap hap'd, my bubbie comes from the land of kugel and kasha where food is either white or brown or speckled with carrot. Pink or blue food in Eastern Europe is something you throw out.

So here is where it all when to sh$t.

I filled my blender with some newly-purchased fruit and soy milk. That's basically it. I think I put too much fruit. Not enough soy milk.

As soon as I hit the 'Frappé' button, I knew something was going terribly wrong. My blender started screeching. My mixture had separated. The bottom half was strawberry pink, the top half blueberry blue. The mango pieces had formed an icy barrier against the blender blades. The soy milk must have freaked out because it was slowly freezing over into a chunky mess. My blender had somehow turned into an ice cream-maker.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my bubbie's perplexed stare. Giving her my best reassuring plastic smile, I grabbed a long wooden spoon out of its drawer hoping to save the smoothie. I managed to hand-mix the whole thing to a nice deep purple in a tribute to life before electronic gadgets.

Unfortunately, they didn't have smoothies in those dark ages, and neither did my bubbie today. I poured some of the soft-ice-cream, slushy-like mix into a cup, handed my grandmother a spoon and said 'L'Chaim!'.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Little Bites For Little Birthdays

Thank you to Material Maidel for inviting me to contribute to Kosher Cuisine. While I was happy to be included, I wasn’t sure what I could bring to the table here (ha ha ha! That’s so punny!) I’m not the world’s best cook, and I don’t really have any recipes in my repertoire that are so exceptional that they deserve to be shared here. One thing I do know, however, is how to feed hungry kids on a tight budget. Another thing I know (hey! I know two things!) is how to throw a fun birthday party for the young’uns that won’t burn a hole in your wallet (think arts & crafts, jewelry beading, painting, and “manicures & makeovers” for the girls; outdoor ball games for the boys, because you don’t really want so many rambunctious little boys inside your house at one time).
So I thought I’d share with you some menu ideas that will allow you to host a fun, inexpensive and easy to prepare birthday party that DOES NOT INCLUDE PIZZA (kids eat way too much pizza). The rule of thumb here is that most kids like food that is cut up, crunchy, easy to eat, and presented in a fun way- in colorful little bowls, or on a stick. Added bonus: you won’t need to provide any cutlery- this is finger food (except for the ice cream).
***For ages 3 and up only. Some of these foods present a choking hazard to children under 3.

Dairy menu:
­*Bowls of potato chips, pretzels, licorice bites, M&Ms, etc. for snacking.
*Miniature bagels filled with cream cheese, butter, strawberry or grape jelly, tuna salad, egg salad or grilled cheese.
*Cut up cucumbers, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and red/yellow/orange baby bell peppers arranged attractively on a tray or on colorful toothpicks. Provide small bowls of creamy salad dressing for dipping.
*For dessert (and instead of an expensive birthday cake that no one will finish) prepare in advance little 4 oz. cups with one scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with a bit of chocolate syrup. Before serving, top each one with whipped cream and colored sprinkles. Put a lit candle in the birthday child’s cup and sing Happy Birthday.

Meat Menu:
*Bowls of potato chips, pretzels, licorice bites, popcorn, etc. for snacking.
* Alternate cocktail franks on toothpicks with crunchy pickle slices. Provide ketchup and mustard for dipping.
*Put out trays of french fries, mini corn on the cobb, and small potato burekas (just fill store bought puff pastry squares with mashed potatoes and bake at 425 degrees Farenheit for 15-20 minutes).
*You can add a tray of homemade chicken nuggets if you’d like.
*For dessert: put out little bowls of fruit: grapes (plucked off the vine), baby apples, cubes of seedless watermelon, and orange sections. Put each type of fruit in a separate bowl, so the kids can select the ones that they like.
Instead of birthday cake: brownie squares with colorful sprinkles. Put a lit candle in the birthday child’s brownie and sing Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cottage Cheese Cheesecake

Crossposted on me-ander
When our firstborn was almost a year old, my in-laws came to visit and meet their first grandchild.  They brought a gift, a blender, a Hamilton Beach one which lasted decades.  The blender came with a nice big cookbook, which I read from cover to cover.

I must admit that I cooked very few of those recipes.  The one I cooked the most was its cheesecake.  And this morning I got a facebook message from an old friend asking if I still make it and a request for the recipe.  So if she remembers it fondly from over thirty-five, yes 35, years ago, it's definitely worth blogging.

In those days we didn't have great varieties of food here in Israel.  We always had to substitute, so I used plain cookies/biscuits instead of the zweibacks, the book lists.  Honestly, to this day, I haven't the vaguest idea what zweibacks are.

It's a very easy cheesecake recipe using easy to find ingredients.  It's simple to make and make lower fat if desired.  I'm sure it'll taste fine with arificial sweetners, too.  You can add cut fruit and anything else, including chocolate.  Recipes are supposed to be "played with."  Please let me know how it comes out.

Here's the recipe, including commentary:
18 "zweiback"
2 Tablespoons sugar (could be deleted, makes the topping too sweet) 
1/3 cup melted butter (I must have used about 2 or 3 cubed inches)
1 cup milk
1 T lemon juice, which was awful, so I used vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 T flour (I used whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I never add salt to cakes, so you can leave it out)
lemon rind, optional and not recommended
16 ounces of cottage cheese
  1. blend the cookies into crumbs, making 1 1/2 cups
  2. mix crumbs with the 2 T's of sugar and the melted butter
  3. press just under half of it on the bottom of a 9x9x2 or 8" round baking pan
  4. put remaining ingredients in blender, in order listed, and blend until smooth
  5. pour into baking pan
  6. spread remaining crumb mixture, actually, I used to just make less crumbs and only use them on the bottom.  You can reduce the calories enormously by eliminating the topping, or top without bottom crumbs.
  7. bake until center is firm, temperature a drop less than for a regular cake.