Saturday, March 28, 2015

Passover Rocky Road Brownies

So many Pesach dessert recipes all end up tasting the same....like Matzah! It makes sense-everything we make is from matzah, or matzah meal, or matzah cake meal-it all DOES taste the same! This dessert recipe is very easy to prepare and will actually taste like brownies, not just like matzah! My wonderful step-sister shared this recipe with me years ago and I have made it many times since. I made 4 batches last week for a cooking class and nobody in my family caught on to them being Passover brownies before they finished them off! They are always a big hit! Depending on your level of kashrut, you will want to use kosher l'pesach marshmallows and chocolate chips for strict observance. This recipe makes a big 9 x 13 pan full o' yumminess, you can halve if necessary and use 2 eggs. They freeze well too, if they last long enough! Gotta run, off to make a few batches for our family seder! 

INGREDIENTS:
(Pareve if made with Passover margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter of margarine, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 eggs, room temp, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp brewed coffee (instant is fine)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 scant (that means slightly less than) matzah cake meal (not matzah meal!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 tsp vanilla sugar depending on kashrut)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chip cookies
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan
  • Add sugars to melted butter and mix well
  • To the sugar mixture, add beaten eggs, coffee, cocoa powder, salt, cake meal, and vanilla
  • Fold in chocolate chips, walnuts and marshmallows
  • Spoon batter into pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until brownies are set and dry to touch but without a hard crust around the edges
  • If you prefer, you can leave out the marshmallows and add them the last 5 minutes of baking, then they will form a marshmallow crust on the top-yummy!
  • Let cool in pan then cut into squares
Eat and enjoy!







Zucchini and Potato Kugel that is perfect for Passover and all year!

Kugel is a favorite Jewish food that is eaten all year long, for various holidays, in a variety of combinations! I make an apple kugel, a matzah farfal kugel, a noodle kugel, and so on! This is one of my favorite recipes and is so easy to prepare you will feel like a pro! While it's perfect for Pesach, it's also perfect all year for it's simple ingredients and ease to throw together! My mom's friend shared the original with us years ago, which came from "The Laws of Pesach-A Digest" by Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz. After making it many times I have adapted it slightly to make it perfect-at least I think it is, while being yummy in your tummy! I shared this recipe recently with some lovely groups of women who participated in a Passover cooking class I taught, and the feedback was so great! I halved the recipe for the purposes of the class, so just note that you can easily do so and bake it in an 8 x 8 pan instead of a 9 x 13. You can easily grate by hand or throw the ingredients in a food processor with a shredding blade, either way it comes out great! Chag Sameach!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs zucchini (approximately 5-6 medium ones)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1.5 lbs potato ( approximately 1-2 large or 3-4 small, peeled)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable/canola/grapeseed oil
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Pour oil (just enough to cover bottom of  9 x 13 glass dish) 
  • Shred/grate the zucchini and potatoes either by hand or in a food processor with shredding blade
  • Grate the onion by hand or in food processor
  • Combine vegetables in a large bowl
  • Beat eggs and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (more or less according to your taste; you can also substitute 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder)
  • Add eggs to vegetables and mix well
  • Remove pan from oven (with potholders, remember it will be hot!!) and add vegetable mixture to pan
  • Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until top is browned and firm and you can see the sides and bottom are golden brown
Eat and Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Carrot Crazy!

I wanted to make a non-starchy side dish to go with tonight's chicken meatballs, so I turned to the two pound bag of organic, colored carrots from Trader Joe's that I had in the fridge. I have been having yummy success with zucchini noodles, so I used a spiralizer on the brightly colored carrots, and they were a huge success!! I loved that the kids had a yummy dinner of protein and veggies, but they felt like they were eating oodles of noodles!! Try for yourself!!

INGREDIENTS 

2 pounds of carrots, peeled and then spiralized or julienned 
1 tablespoon butter, coconut oil, olive oil or combo (I actually used organic Melt from Costco which is a buttery spread made from coconut oil)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Melt the fat of your choice and add the carrots. 
Sauté for 2 minutes then sprinkle in the sugar, salt and pepper.
Sauté 2-3 more minutes until soft.

Eat and enjoy!!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Best brunch frittata!

My cousins were coming over and I had just enough time to quickly search Pinterest while rifling through the vegetable drawer to see what I could come up with! I ended up combining 2 recipes to make my own with what I had in the fridge. Let me tell you, this was a hit!!!! Easy, delish and healthy! Not super fast because of the time it takes to carmelize onions, but trust me-it's worth the time! Adults and kids alike finished this off, so I must share with you!

INGREDIENTS

2 onions, sliced thin 
3 cloves garlic, minced or 3 frozen Dorot cubes 
2 cups spinach (I used organic, pre-washed baby spinach)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets (about 2 cups)
2 cups broccoli, chopped into small florets 
10 eggs, beaten 
Olive oil
Salt & pepper 

DIRECTIONS

1. Sauté the onions (in a cast iron or stainless steel skillet) with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until golden brown and carmelized. This takes about 25-30 minutes, but don't rush it!
2. While onions are cooking, put florets in a medium pot and cover veggies with 
water, add salt, and bring to boil. Cook for few minutes until fork tender and drain while broccoli is still bright green. Set aside (you can shock them in cold water if you like). 
3. Once onions are carmelized, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Season with salt. Add spinach to skillet and combine until wilted.
4. Add floret mixture to the skillet and cook on low heat 1-2 minutes.
5. While cooking veggies, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper until well beaten.
6. Add eggs to skillet and stir to combine with veggies. 
7. Put in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until set.
8. Cut into 8 wedges. Eat and enjoy!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Crazy for chickpeas!

Looking for THE yummiest salad to throw together for breakfast, lunch or dinner?! Here it is! A friend made this last week and I just had to have the recipe, then adapted it to suit my tastebuds! 

This super salad can be served cold or room temp and stays great in the fridge for a few days. I made it ahead for book club the other day and it was a huge hit! So ladies, here ya go, the recipe of the best chickpea salad in the world! 

INGREDIENTS

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
3 green onions/scallions, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (I love and used 2 Dorot frozen garlic cubes- found at Trader Joe', kosher markets or other grocery stores)
6-8 oz good quality Feta cheese (I use the Eden Pastures feta from Israel, aka the green/yellow package at Trader
Joe's!)
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Sauté the onion in olive oil until golden brown, add garlic and cook few minutes-set aside and let cool
2. Combine drained beans, chopped parsley, diced scallions 
3. Crumble and add the feta 
4. Add lemon juice 
5. Add cooled onion mixture
6. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper, add extra drizzle of EVOO if needed 

Eat and enjoy! It won't last long! 


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Appleicious


Aren't you always trying to make healthy snacks for your kids? I am!! Luckily they love all fruits and veggies, but they often get bored when I say "grab an apple" or "have carrots with hummus" I've been trying to changes if up for them with healthy yet fun snacks! I spied a version of this on Pinterest and adapted it to make it the way I knew my kids would love. Guess what?! They did! Total winner-so I'm going to share with you! Takes 60 seconds and you can feel good knowing their tummies are full of healthy yummies with protein and fiber. Here ya go!

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 1-adapt accordingly for more servings!)

1 apple, diced-the crispier, the better!
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
Cinnamon
1 tsp mini chocolate chips (I usually use the Enjoy Life brand or Lily's which are sweetened with Stevia!)

DIRECTIONS

Dice apple, sprinkle with cinnamon, melt the peanut butter for 10 seconds until you can drizzle it over the apple, top with chocolate!

Eat and enjoy! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Weeknight mushroom barley soup

My kids love soup-all kinds! Black bean, split pea, lentil, chicken noodle, broccoli cheddar-we're definitely a SOUPER family! Mushroom barley is one of their favorites, and as much as I hate mushrooms themselves, I love the soup too! There are some great recipes (my favorite is at www.toriavey.com) out there, but this is the only one I've made in under 30 minutes that has that slow-cooked, homemade deliciousness! I guess it helped that I only used what I had in the house, but it's flexible so you could add meat or other veggies if you choose. This souped up quickly in between homework, fighting and chasing a toddler. If I could do it, so can you!! Try this yummy soup with a big salad, a sandwich or some crusty bread and voila, dinner!!!

INGREDIENTS
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 box white button mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
2 cloves garlic (I use Dorot frozen cubes from TJ, so 2 cubes)
2 boxes chicken/vegetable/beef broth + 2 cups or 10 cups liquid of your choice (if you use water you will need to season it more)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp. olive oil 
1 package 10 minute barley from TJ ( or regular barley but will take longer to cook!)

DIRECTIONS

Sauté the onion, carrots and mushrooms in the olive oil about 10 minutes until soft and onions translucent

Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes m

Add liquid and bring to boil

Add barley and salt, reduce to simmer and cook covered 15 minutes. 

Eat and enjoy!!!