Category: food

Holiday Menu Planning and Hanukkah

This is such a great time of year.  Most of us are in full blown holiday mode, however you celebrate. I love to entertain as much as possible and some years that is more than others.  This year I am hosting two family Hanukkahs and hope to have lots of nights with friends just hanging out.

So my menu planning and baking has begun. First up, Hanukkah; In addition to traditional latkes, I know for sure I am trying a latke recipe I found on The Nosher for “everything” latkes. They sound incredible. I’m sure I’ll make brisket and some sort alternative for those that don’t eat red meat.

You have to have lots of sweets. After all we are celebrating the sweetness of victory and the miracle of the oil. This year, I am making an Orange Olive Oil cake that has been in my repertoire for a while but has never made it to my Hanukkah table. It’s actually the perfect Hanukkah cake.  It is made with olive oil and the better the quality the more olive oil taste you will get.  I love using a “New” olive oil. It like the Beaujolais Nouveau of olive oil.  It has a sweet taste at the front and a peppery finish. It works so well in this cake.

I’ll keep you posted as I my menu expands. I’d love to hear from you about what you’re serving!

On a side note, I was really struggling what to get for all the people that help take care of my home and life. You know the gal that keeps my eyebrows looking good and the gardener that keeps my house looking beautiful.  I always give a gift card but try to find something personal too.  This year I am trying a recipe for homemade, stamped peppermints.  Here’s the link Homemade Stamped Peppermints but I will let you know how mine come out.

I hope you all have a great holiday season!

 
Orange Olive Oil Cake
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Orange Olive Oil Cake
Print Recipe
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Oil a 9" springform pan
  3. In a medium bowl combine almond meal, flour and baking powder.
  4. In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat eggs until frothy.
  5. Slowly add the sugar and beat until light and thickened.
  6. Slowly add flour mixture, then zest, juice and olive oil, until just combined. Do not overwork.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  8. Garnish with orange slices, mint leaves and a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe Notes

 

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Fall Comfort and Friends

In L.A. Halloween is the earliest we start to see Fall. For me it is also when I start looking to gather my family and friends together. There is no better way to get people together than a warm cup of soup and a comfort sandwich. So when the kids start collecting candy, I start making soups.

A soup and sandwich combo is perfect because it gives me an excuse to get up from the table and not be the only one in the kitchen. I love the idea of inviting everyone into the kitchen to ladle up a bowl of warm tomato soup and help themselves to my Panini bar, to make their own sandwich.

I found and interesting tomato soup mash up with French Onion Soup. It sounded great but had a lot of steps. Unless, it’s a holiday that is not how I want to spend my time in the Fall. I took the lead from Poole’s Diner in North Carolina and made it my own. The best is caramelized onions and the sweetness they add.

In addition to putting out a beautiful selection of meats, cheeses, breads and toppings, for the Panini bar, I also make these Grilled Cheese Roll-ups. They’re super easy and the kids love to be able to grab them and run out the door to Trick or Treat. Don’t tell the kids but I actually put a little bit of Dijon on the bread before it cooks.

I hope you all have a fabulous Fall season and a scary Halloween.

Roasted Tomato / French Onion Soup
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Servings
6 bowls
Servings
6 bowls
Roasted Tomato / French Onion Soup
Print Recipe
Servings
6 bowls
Servings
6 bowls
Ingredients
Servings: bowls
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 425°
  2. Toss together tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 20 - 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and add to soup pot with chicken stock, bay leaves and butter.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
  6. While soup is cooking: Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet, over medium heat.
  7. Add onions and 2 tsp. salt. Turn heat to high and stir for 1 minute to coat onions evenly with salt and oil.
  8. Reduce heat to medium/low and cover pan. Cook covered for 20 minutes.
  9. Uncover and continue to stir and cook until onions are thick and a deep brown color. Set aside.
  10. Remove bay leaves. Use immersion blender and blend to desired consistency. I like mine a little rustic.
  11. Add the caramelized onions and stir to incorporate and heat onions, if they've cooled. At this point you can add cream, if using.
  12. Stack 2 baguette slices in each bowl, with 1 T. of cheese between each layer and on top.
  13. Ladle the hot soup around the bread.
  14. Place bowls under the broiler and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and browned. This is easier if you put the bowls on a sheet pan.
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Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups
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Servings
6 sandwiches
Servings
6 sandwiches
Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups
Print Recipe
Servings
6 sandwiches
Servings
6 sandwiches
Ingredients
Servings: sandwiches
Instructions
  1. Use a rolling pin, to roll slices of bread to 1/4" thickness.
  2. Spread each slice with a tiny bit of Dijon mustard, optional.
  3. Place 1 lice of cheese on each bread and roll tightly.
  4. Melt 2 T. of butter in a large fry pan over high heat.
  5. Add roll-up to pan and cook until all sides are golden brown and cheese is melted. You may have to do a few at a time and add more butter if needed.
  6. Serve immediately
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Caffeine to Go – Cappuccino Muffins!

There is a coffee store every 500 yards, on every block. The coffee shelf at your local grocery store has become the coffee aisle and the fact that bakers have been putting coffee in their chocolate recipes for years, is finally out of the darkness. I wanted to find the perfect recipe to encapsulate all I love about coffee and baking, but wasn’t overtly chocolate. Cappuccino Muffins!

I first tried Cappuccino Muffins when my second daughter was in pre-school. One of the Moms brought them in for the Mom’s whose kids were going through transition. At that point in pre-school you start the day with your child and then go sit outside for a while to make sure they can hack it without you. I have to admit, my girls were always independent enough that I could have dropped them off their very first day and they would have been fine. Other Moms didn’t have it so easy and we could hear their kid wailing, waiting for them to come back in. So those perfect muffins, flavored with espresso, and studded with chocolate chips were just what we all needed to settle our nerves and spark conversation.

I had been given the recipe but have searched high and low for my copy and couldn’t find it. Let the recipe testing begin! It was a truly fun day and I might have a mild case of the jitters, from all the caffeine, but I think I came up with just the right flavor and an added perk of espresso cream cheese schmear. I ran out of my instant espresso powder and my local grocer didn’t have it. They did have Starbuck’s Via Instant Coffee in Italian Roast. That worked just fine.

These are great to make ahead and keep on the counter for about a week. You can also make them and freeze them. I would wrap them individually and grab them on the way out the door. By the time you get to work they will have defrosted and be ready to eat. Even better, you can toast them, from frozen, and use a little of the schmear.

Cappuccino Muffins with Espresso Scmear
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Servings
12 muffins
Servings
12 muffins
Cappuccino Muffins with Espresso Scmear
Print Recipe
Servings
12 muffins
Servings
12 muffins
Ingredients
Espresso Schmear
Servings: muffins
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together milk and coffee until coffee dissolves.
  3. Add the butter, egg and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just blended.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Fill paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.
  7. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes. Just until tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes in pan then on rack.
  9. Serve with schmear.
Espresso Schmear
  1. In a small bowl beat together all schmear ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate until served.
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It about Storage!

I thought I’d circle back about my food waste post, earlier this week and storage.

The leading culprit of food waste is proper storage and the biggest areas of waste are seafood (50%) and produce (48%). Neither of those really surprised me but I would have put produce first in my house.

So here are a couple of notes on proper storage.:

Herbs– Store your  like fresh flowers, in a glass of water. I find that some do better in the refrigerator and    some are better on the counter. You have to experiment.

Flour – Unless you are baking often, store your flour in the freezer. This surprised me. This is because all grains, especially whole-grains, have some natural oils in them. Oils go rancid. Freezing or even storing in the refrigerator prevents this. If you do store this way make sure it is in an airtight container and that you let what you use come back to room temperature.

Cheese – I always knew I didn’t like plastic storage but now I know why. Plastic holds in moisture and as a result can promote mold. For items like cheese, use wax paper. I love the wax sandwich bags my mom used to use for lunches. For Bread, use a good old-fashioned paper bag, on the counter.

Oils – Most oils go bad after 2-3 months, once they are opened. Be sure to keep them in a dark environment. Sesame oil can be stored in the refrigerator.

Nuts – You can, and should, keep your fresh nuts in the freezer. Depending on the nut, they will keep in freezer 2-9 months versus 1-3, just on counter or in your pantry.

There are also simple ways to revive some foods that may just need a little help taking that last step, before the trash or compost heap.

Wilted Vegetables and Lettuce, simply give them a quick soak (5-10 minutes) in ice water.

Stale Bread, toast it and enjoy or season and toast then run through a food processor for great bread crumbs.

If you accidentally over salt something, add an acid like lemon or vinegar. If you are making soup or sauce, throw a raw potato in to absorb the extra salt.

Even overcooked veggies can be pureed and made into a soup or added to a sauce.

Buy and use the ugly fruits and vegetables. They, too, often end up in the trash of the grocery store.

For additional information go to savethefood.com.

 

My Refrigerator Wasteland

My refrigerator, after the Jewish Holidays, could be a case study for food waste programs everywhere! It happens every holiday. My family makes requests of what foods they would like, I make them and we end up with a refrigerator full of leftovers. Even this year when I tried so hard to avoid the excess, I am still have a fridge full. There’s even half an egg salad sandwich (on rye) in there.

Recently, the Save the Food campaign has really ramped up and it seems that I see the commercial every 20 minutes. This year it really got me thinking and I am going to share some recipes that I‘ll be using to re-use and repurpose some of my leftovers.

I was astonished to learn that 40% of all food in the United States is never eaten; but 1 out of 8 Americans struggle to put enough food on their table. This has inspired me to offer myself (and my fridge) as an example. Here are a few recipes I am using this week for my leftovers. The steak and kugels will definitely get eaten on their own. But there’s milk in there that was 2% instead of 1% and my picky kid wouldn’t drink it. If you can catch milk and that first tart smell, it makes great pancakes or biscuits. Then the blueberries and lemon will make a great syrup or jam. Finally, I’m going to make a carrot/potato soup and garnish with chives that I have crisped up in a little oil. Enjoy!

Leftover Carrot/Potato Soup
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Leftover Carrot/Potato Soup
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a soup pot, sauce the onions and garlic in the butter, until translucent.
  2. Add the chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf and seasonings. Cook until carrots and potatoes are tender enough to puree. If you are using leftovers you may not have to cook too long. If not, cook 25-30 minutes.
  3. Discard the bay, then puree soup. I like an immersion blender. You can also do it in batches in a food processor, just do a little bit a time. You can puree until smooth, but I like a little of texture.
  4. In a separate saute pan heat 2 T. oil and saute chives until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Use to garnish soup.
  5. Adjust salt & pepper to taste and serve soup with five garnish.
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Sour Milk Pancakes
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Sour Milk Pancakes
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl wish together all dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together milk, eggs and oil.
  3. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and stir in milk mixture until batter is smooth.
  4. Heat a large pan or griddle and grease.
  5. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter, onto pan, for each pancake.
  6. Once bubbles form and appear to be drying, flip pancakes and cook for another minute or two. Repeat until batter is finished.
  7. Brush with melted butter and serve with Blueberry Lemon syrup or your favorite toppings.
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Blueberry Lemon Syrup
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Servings
2 cups
Servings
2 cups
Blueberry Lemon Syrup
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Servings
2 cups
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan bring the berries and water to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Pour berries, into a bowl, through a sieve. be sure to press down on the fruit to extract every bit of juice. Hopefully you have 3 cups of liquid. If not, add water to bring to measure.
  3. Return to saucepan and add sugar, salt, lemon peel and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  4. You can use a candy thermometer and boil until reaches 225° or reduce heat and simmer until syrup has reduced until thick enough to coat back of spoon.
  5. Remove from heat and discard lemon peel.
  6. Whisk in butter and vanilla.
  7. Allow to cool. Store in airtight jar in fridge, for up to 6 months.
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Chuy’s Rainforest BBQ

I might have mentioned that I love to go to Maui, a lot. Usually, my vacation routine is: wake-up, favorite tropical granola for breakfast (and Portuguese sausage), plop on beach, fruit plate or chips & salsa by pool for lunch, nap, fantastic dinner at amazing local restaurant, go to bed and hit repeat. I’ve been doing it that way for nearly 20 years and it works. Occasionally, I will throw in a horseback ride or snorkeling. Once, I even went to Haleakala for sunrise. But I try to stay true to my routine.

This year my trip was not with my husband or family, but with my great friend Mariana. We decided to make this trip more adventurous than my usual. The highlight of this adventure was our almost trip to Hana.

Our Road to Hana was abbreviated, gladly. We started out on the same road as everyone does. The road was a simple two-way black top. The air was perfumed with flowers like pikae and plumeria, but it hung heavy with the humidity. The aroma of the water, flowers and highway mixed was inviting us to keep driving. We saw lots of fruit and smoothie stands, we saw the Painted Eucalyptus, which was very cool, and we got lots of bug bites. The highlight of our drive was meeting Chuy at Ka Haku Smokeshack. Let me say that by shack, I mean a lean-to in the middle of a rainforest. Oh sure there were grates for a BBQ and a corrugated tin roof to protect from the rain. There were two picnic tables fashioned out of trees and Chuy had set up a cooler with water and some cups. But that was the extent of our lunch restaurant.

The menu consisted of one $20 plate. “Plates” are big in Hawaii. The meal was marinated BBQ chicken and pork belly served with Fern Pohole Salad, white sticky rice and grilled bananas sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon with a generous dollop of whipped cream. You could buy a beer or bottle of water. If there were coconuts available, there was guy that would open them up, with his machete, for you to drink. We got really lucky and a crazy lady picked up the machete herself and started hacking away at a coconut. She said this was okay because they “do it at Whole Foods”. YIKES! But I digress.

Chuy had a marinade that he used on everything and even sprayed on the salad and rice right before serving. I can’t say for sure what was in the marinade but I know there was soy sauce, ginger and a little sugar in it. It created such a nice caramelized, crispy skin on the chicken and pork belly. It was exactly the right acid and sweetness to cut the fat too. Chuy promises to share his recipe when he finishes moving but I found a recipe for pork belly and another for the salad that I think come close, minus the rainforest.

Kalua Pork Belly
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Servings
8-10 servings
Servings
8-10 servings
Kalua Pork Belly
Print Recipe
Servings
8-10 servings
Servings
8-10 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, over a medium heat, combine the first 9 ingredients ending with liquid smoke
  2. Bring to a simmer and then cook for 3-5 minutes
  3. Remove from heat and stir into chilled chicken stock. This is your marinade.
  4. Place the pork belly into a deep roasting dish and pour marinade over it. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  5. Remove pork belly from fridge one hour before cooking. You want it to come back to room temperature.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°.
  7. Cover roasting dish with foil and braise, in oven, until pork belly is tender, about 4-5 hours.
  8. Remove from oven, but DO NOT turn oven of.
  9. Transfer pork belly to a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet and st aside.
  10. Strain your marinade through a fine mesh sieve, into a saucepan and skim the fat.
  11. Over a medium his heat, cook the marinade liquid ad reduce until you have about 3 cups of a thick glaze. Watch it but this should take about 25 minutes.
  12. Brush the glaze, generously, all over the pork belly and return to oven for another 25-30 minutes.
  13. When it comes out of the oven, let pork rest for a few minutes then slice into desired sized pieces. I like to cut in strips , but bit-sized is great too.
  14. Serve over rice, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Don't forget about the Pohole salad.
Recipe Notes
  • The marinade and pork belly can both be made a day ahead of time. Just bring back to room temperature, glaze the pork belly and heat through at 350° for 25 minutes.
  • If you can't find a dark chicken stock, try making it yourself or you can use beef stock. Just make sure the store bought ones are rich.
  • You can also do the last part of cooking on a BBQ instead of finishing in oven, just watch it.
  • The marinade can be used for chicken too.
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Pohole Fern Salad
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Pohole Fern Salad
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash the hairs off the fiddlehead fern. Start breaking pieces off. Use only the ones that break off easy.
  2. Blanch the Pohole pieces in boiling water, until color pops (about 3 minutes).
  3. Plunge into cold iced water to stop cooking
  4. Whisk all dressing ingredients together.
  5. Toss salad ingredients into dressing. Season with salt & pepper.
  6. Serve chilled.
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Off to College and Dorm Cooking

In 5 days, my oldest daughter will leave for college, for her freshman year. Cue the tears. Well, kinda. While I’m sad and will miss her, she is truly ready to launch and I am beyond proud of her drive to succeed.

Recently, I had a group of her friends to the house to teach them a dorm cooking class. This was basically, anything that you can cook in mug, in a microwave. I know there will be times that they don’t want to go out, but don’t really want to eat dorm food or pizza again. They loved it and so I am sharing the recipes and some tips here.

First thing I advise you to do is to buy one of those shoebox sized plastic bins. Fill this with an inexpensive set of measuring spoons, measuring cups, a can opener and either a small whisk or sturdy fork. You can even get a mini grater or microplane. There will be lots of extra room, but it will get used too.

Once your kids have moved in and made some friends on their floor or in the whole dorm, have them share these recipes and then they can co-purchase ingredients that they don’t need lot of and share. Things like a bag of flour or bottles of the spices can be split into Ziploc bags and expenses shared. I’m not sure about sharing the expense of candy bars or chocolate chips. Somehow I think they will all want their own. They can also “borrow” ingredients from the cafeteria. After all you’re paying for it.

My daughter is renting a microwave/refrigerator so we are going to create a little kitchen area with her shoebox of utensils and ingredients.

None of these recipes are low calorie and the question of freshman weight gain came up during this class. If you child is eating each of these as a single portion and not every recipe at the same time, they will not get fat. Remember its portion control.

I hope your college kid gets some use our of this post and that you don’t shed too many tears when they leave.

Muggy French Toast
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Muggy French Toast
Print Recipe
Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Grease a coffee mug.
  2. Whisk together milk, egg, cinnamon and vanilla in the mug. You can use a fork.
  3. Tear your bread in cubes and push it down into the mug. Let it soak and completely saturate.
  4. Microwave for 2 minutes. Watch your microwave. Your french toast will puff then deflate.
  5. Top it with maple syrup and/or powdered sugar. LET IT SIT FOR 1 MINUTE. THIS IS IMPORTANT! YOU WILL GET BURNED.
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Oatmeal in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Oatmeal in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Stir the oats and 1 cup of the liquid you are using.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Remember to watch the microwave. Your oatmeal will boil over if you don't watch. If you see it start to boil over stop the microwave and give it a stir then start again.
  3. Stir in remaining liquid and microwave for another minute, watching.
  4. Let oatmeal sit for a full minute before you stir in whatever toppings you prefer. Try fresh or dried fruit, nuts and brown sugar or maple syrup.
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Eggs in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Eggs in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Whisk (with a fork) the eggs together.
  2. Pour eggs in a greased mug. If you are using veggies, chop and add before cooking.
  3. Microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remember to watch it. They will puff up then deflate.
  4. If you are adding cheese put back in microwave for 10 more seconds.
  5. Let it stand for a full minute before enjoying.
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Burrito Bowl in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Burrito Bowl in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. I listed several add-ins above, Think of this as Chipotle at home. Add whatever you want (or can get in the cafeteria).
  2. Combine rice and water in a mug. Cook for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes until it starts to boil. Watch it. You don't want it to boil over. Once it has boiled let it sit, in microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes on half power.
  4. Once the rice is done, let it sit for another 5 minutes to get tender. Fluff with a fork. Then add your favorite add-ins.
  5. Microwave for 1 more minute to warm your add-ins. Enjoy!
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Egg Fried Rice in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Egg Fried Rice in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Use non-stick spray and spray a mug.
  2. Place the rice in the mug and layer it with the peas, scallions, sprouts, cabbage, carrots and another veggies you are using.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and pierce a hole in top (to let steam release). Microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds.
  4. While that is happening, beat the egg with soy sauce, oil and onion powder. When rice mixture is done, stir in egg mixture.
  5. Cover again with plastic wrap and microwave for another minute to 1 minute 30 seconds.
  6. Remove from microwave. Remove plastic wrap and fluff with a fork. Let stand for a full minute before enjoying!
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Mac & Cheese in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Mac & Cheese in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Spray mug with non-stick spray.
  2. Put the macaroni and water in mug and microwave for a 2 minutes. Watch it. The water will boil over and you want to catch it before you lose all the water.
  3. Stir and microwave another minute. Stir again. Check it. You want all but a little water evaporated. You can cook for incremental 30 seconds until you get what you want.
  4. Stir in the milk and cheese. Cook for another 30-60 seconds. Stir well.
  5. Let sit for a full minute before enjoying.
Recipe Notes

You can add a little salt and pepper if you like. Remember cheese is naturally  salty.

You can also jazz it up by adding some cayenne pepper for spice or say sauce for an asian flare. Get creative.

If you'd like to dress it up a bit mix some seasoned bread crumbs with butter and sprinkle on top. Microwave for an additional 30 seconds.

For  a lower fat version you can substitute 2 Tbsp. low fat cottage cheese and 3 T. sharp cheddar for the all the cheese above.

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Basic Vinaigrette
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Servings
8ish
Servings
8ish
Basic Vinaigrette
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Servings
8ish
Servings
8ish
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a mason jar (or whatever closed container you have available) and shake like crazy.
  2. This will keep in your refrigerator for about a month.
Recipe Notes

You can use vegetable oil or olive oil. Just remember that olive oil changes the flavor profile.

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Ranch Powder
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Servings
8ish
Servings
8ish
Ranch Powder
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Servings
8ish
Servings
8ish
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Put everything in an airtight container and shake it up! This will last you as you want (think school year, if you don't use it all up).
Recipe Notes

This is a great seasoning to take to the cafeteria. you can add it to meats and salads or anything that could use a flavor boost.

You can stir this into a cup of plain Greek yogurt for a dip. Then you can thin it out with some milk, mayo and sour cream to make a great dressing. The mixed dressing will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.

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Chocolate Brownie Cake in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Chocolate Brownie Cake in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Spray or butter a mug.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt.
  3. Add the oil and liquid (milk etc.) and chocolate chips.
  4. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes for a gooey cake and 2 1/2 for a cakey version.
  5. Let stand for a full minute before enjoying. By the way, adding some ice cream of whipped cream is a great idea!
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Chocolate Brownie Cake in a Mug
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Servings
1
Servings
1
Chocolate Brownie Cake in a Mug
Print Recipe
Servings
1
Servings
1
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Spray or butter a mug.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and salt.
  3. Add the oil and liquid (milk etc.) and chocolate chips.
  4. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes for a gooey cake and 2 1/2 for a cakey version.
  5. Let stand for a full minute before enjoying. By the way, adding some ice cream of whipped cream is a great idea!
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Challenge- Passover is Coming!

For Passover, I am always looking for your input. This year especially I wanted to hear from you.  I just finished working on a Jewish Holiday Cookbook and I could have easily pulled amazing recipes from there for you and been done with it.  Let me tell you, this cookbook is going to be great! However, I asked some friends what were they looking for this year to add to their menus. Of course I heard the plea for desserts. The twist I heard was “Please give me something with no matzah meal!”

If you keep kosher for Passover, you know matzah meal can leave you feeling a little weighted down by the end of the week. So I accepted the CHALLENGE. Obviously, you will still eat matzah and there has to be matzah meal in matzah balls, for the soup. But here are recipes that are great and matzah meal free. You can use these as one menu for your dinner or you can use just a recipe or two. As always feel free to send me your questions and comments. You know I love hearing from you!.  Have an easy Passover!

Mustard Onion Marinade Brisket
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Mustard Onion Marinade Brisket
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Make a paste the first five ingredients and rub all over the brisket. Wrap brisket in parchment then foil. Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Remove parchment and foil. Place in a roasting pan, with beef broth and cover TIGHTLY with foil, again.
  3. Bake at 500°F for 1/2 hour then reduce heat to 325°F and bake another 2 hours or longer.
  4. Let meat rest for at least a 1/2 hour before slicing. Better yet let it cool completely. Refrigerate and reheat or serve cold.
Recipe Notes

All I can say is YUM!!!!

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Passover Potato Souffle
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Passover Potato Souffle
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and cook in a medium saucepan until tender. Drain. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and mash.
  2. Grate half the cheese and mix with hot potatoes. Add salt, pepper and paprika.
  3. Beat the potatoes until cheese melts. Add the milk and egg yolks. Mix well.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff; fold them into the potato mixture.
  5. Turn into a, very lightly greased, 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.
  6. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 20 minutes
Recipe Notes

This recipe serves 4. It doubles easily.

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Zoodles with Garlic Parsley Sauce
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Use a Spiralizer to make whatever veggie noodles you like. I like a mixture of zucchini and carrots. Cook in boiling water until al dente. You don't want them too soft. Reserve the water.
Zoodles with Garlic Parsley Sauce
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Use a Spiralizer to make whatever veggie noodles you like. I like a mixture of zucchini and carrots. Cook in boiling water until al dente. You don't want them too soft. Reserve the water.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a large saute pan, melt the margarine. Add the garlic and sauce until soft. Watch it, so it doesn't burn. Add the parsley and continue to saute until soft.
  2. Add the zoodles and toss until well coated in sauce. If you want the sauce a little thinner add some of your reserved pasta water.
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Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries and Marscapone Cream
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Chocolate Pavlova with Raspberries and Marscapone Cream
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Ingredients
Pavlova
Mascarpone Cream
Servings:
Instructions
Pavlova
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Trace a 9" circle on parchment using a cake pan or plate. Flip paper over so meringue won't touch pen.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy soft peaks form, about a minute or two. Increase speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form. This should take about 8 or 9 minutes. The meringue will be white and glossy.
  3. Sift the cocoa powder through a fine sieve or sifter and add to meringue. Add the vinegar and the chopped chocolate.
  4. Using a large rubber or silicone spatula, fold the mixture until well combined. It should be light mocha colored and no streaks.
  5. Secure the parchment with a dab of meringue in each corner, then mound the meringue in the center of the circle. Even out the sides, slightly with the spatula or a knife. You don't want it to be perfect or overworked.
  6. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes , or until the meringue is puffed and crisp all over. It should still be a bit wobbly underneath, if you touch the center.
  7. Turn the oven off and prop the door open. Leave the meringue in the oven to cool to room temperature, at least 30 minutes. It is best to let it cool gradually.
Mascarpone Cream
  1. In a medium bowl , beat the mascarpone, heavy cream and vanilla until just combined. Gradually add sugar and continue beating. Increase speed and beat until soft peaks form. You soft clouds of cream.
  2. Mound cream in the center of the meringue and spread to just cover top. Top with fresh raspberries and serve. You can shave some more bittersweet chocolate over the top for more decoration.
  3. The Pavlova can be made a day or two ahead of time and assembled up to 12 hours ahead. Just be sure to keep all components refrigerated.
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