Chicken And Carrots 

This is one of my easy, festive chicken recipes. I have made it in the crockpot, stove top and pressure cooker and it always comes out great!

Ingredients:

1 chicken, skinned. This recipe also works well with thighs or legs and thighs

2 cups carrots, sliced on the diagonal, or use baby carrots. I personally do not like baby carrots, as I feel they are less flavorful and crisp.

12 cloves garlic, peeled and whole

½ cups wine, broth or water.

1 teaspoon thyme, or use fresh oregano at the end of the cooking

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Optional:

2 tablespoon potato/corn or tapioca starch

2 tablespoon water

Instructions:

Place chicken, carrots and garlic in crockpot. Season, add water. Cook on low.

I also make this in the pressure cooker, 7 minutes to pressure.

This also can be made on top of the stove. I call it maximum taste for minimal effort. A winner every time.

Optional: remove chicken and carrots once cooked. Add starch which has been dissolved in water. Cook on high until thickened and pour over chicken and carrots. Adds an easy gourmet touch.

I save the sauce and use it for other dishes, especially cholent. I jokingly refer to this a “liquid gold.”

When I made it over the holidays, I couldn’t take a picture because all the chicken was eaten and there were only a few leftover carrots!

I made it again today, and below are the pictures:

   
 
The final outcome:

  

My husband said, “Gosh, this is good!” 

Bon Appetite!

Savory Carrot Soup

I had leftover cooked carrots this week that I didn’t want to go to waste. So, at Raizel’s request, I made this carrot soup.

This is a very fast and easy recipe and a great way to serve vegetables!

Ingredients 

2 lbs carrots

1 lbs parsnips 

1 onion, chopped 

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon coriander 

1 teaspoon ginger, I used dried, but fresh is always better

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 

1/2 pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, fresh garlic is preferable 

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

Water to cover

Optional: fresh cilantro 

Alternative Additions: This can also be made with butternut squash and/or a potato.

A potato would give it a thicker, creamier texture.

I have also added almond butter, which gives a really rich taste, but a little too risqué for some people.

Instructions 

Sauté onions, add carrots and parsnips and water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until done. Add spices and then blend with an immersion blender. Adjust seasoning.

I made this on top of the stove, but it could be made in a crockpot or pressure cooker. 

In a crockpot, be careful not to over cook. 

In a pressure cooker, 2 minutes to pressure if vegetables are sliced.

Everyone loved it! Yaffa even asked to take it to school for lunch.

Enjoy!

Here is the picture:

  

Meat Sauce 

  

 
Today is my daughters’ birthdays. They made a special request to have noodles and meat sauce for their birthday dinner.

There is a more gourmet way to make this, which I will post too, but this is my fast and easy meat sauce on the fly.

Ingredients 

1 onion chopped 

1 pepper chopped 

2 lbs ground meat, browned 

1 jar tomatoe sauce. I have also used canned diced or crushed tomatoes  

1 6 oz can tomatoe paste. When using canned tomatoes, more tomatoe paste may be necessary to get the desired thickness 

Wine, “a splash”

1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, oregano, basil, Italian spice blend

1 clove garlic, crushed 

If using canned tomatoes, adjust the seasoning.

Instructions 

Brown meat in sauce pan and remove neat after cooked.

Sauté onions and peppers. Add meat, tomatoe sauce, tomatoe paste, wine (optional), salt, pepper and add spices. Cover and simmer until done. Usually, I add the crushed garlic near the end, but today I put it in before I left. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Here are the pictures from this morning:

   
 

This is the final product:

 
 

The girls ate it with noodles, their favorite.

It was relatively fast and definitely easy. The girls were pleased.

Happy birthday!

Kugel Kronicles: Mashed Potato Kugel I

I am experimenting with different techniques to make potato kugel. My friend Devorah told me that when she wants a change of pace, she makes potato kugel using mashed potatoes rather than grated.

I thought that it could be a good way to use up leftover potatoes and make something a little different. Then I thought that this could be an opportunity to raise the humble potato kugel to a whole new level, by adding different spices and layering different vegetables in.

The basic recipe is as follows:

2 1⁄2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled, about 8, cook with salt, if desired

3 tablespoons olive oil, enough to sauté the onions and also add to the top before cooking

2 medium onions, chopped

1 tablespoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

1⁄4 cup chicken broth or water, just enough to make the mashed potatoes smooth.

(optional: 2 large eggs, beaten. Add eggs if adding other vegetables that have more liquid)

1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

Boil potatoes. Drain very well, and mash until smooth. I cook them in my pressure cooker, 10 minutes to pressure.

Sauté onions in oil, until brown, but not burnt.

Mix the onions and remaining oil to the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put mixture into a greased pan. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Brush with enough oil so that the potatoes will brown. If you want the kugel to be shiny, brush with a beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Put in oven at 350°, and bake uncovered for one hour or until top is firm and light golden at edges.

Alternatives

8 oz. small mushroom, sliced

Sauté with onions. Mix half the sautéed mushrooms and onions with the potatoes.

Or

1 carrot

1/2 t. white pepper

1/4 t. turmeric

1 c. peas

1/3 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Sauté with onions. Mix half the vegetables with the potatoes.

Or

Use leeks instead of onions and add nutmeg

1/3 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Or 

add sautéed zucchini with tomatoes, garlic and basil.

To assemble:

Mix half of the sautéed onions and vegetables with the mashed potatoes. If you notice that it is too liquidly, add 2 beaten eggs.

Place half the mashed potatoes into a greased pan. Layer the rest of the sautéed vegetables on top. Then layer the remaining mashed potato mixture on top.

Smooth top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika.

Brush with enough oil so that the potatoes will brown. If you want the kugel to be shiny, brush with a beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Put in oven at 350°, and bake uncovered for one hour or until top is firm and light golden at edges.

This is not for the time challenged, but it also works:

I have made a tricolor vegetable kugel, using mashed sweet potatoes or butternut squash and sautéed kale with garlic as the middle layer. It is beautiful and delicious, but too time consuming!

This simple recipe can become an opportunity to be creative and make something delicious and unique.

This week’s kulinary kugel kronicle:

So this week I made the kugel with the onions that were cooked with the chicken and added fresh sliced mushrooms.

I only made this with a 5 potatoes, since I wasn’t sure that it would work out. Since I used so small an amount, I used 1 egg only.

I felt inspired to take pictures of the process, since I have never done this before.

Then I mixed some of the vegetables with the mashed potatoes. I put half the potatoes in the pan. I added some more of the vegetables on top and then put the rest of the mashed potatoes on top. I covered it with some oil and then sprinkled paprika on top.

This was the final product:

Raizel liked it so much, that she ate it right out of the pan. It was a good thing that I took the pictures, because it was gone by Friday night.

  
Raizel said: “This is soooooooo good!….Yum!”

Off topic: Cat Story

This is an off topic post. 

As I have shared, I am a cat lover. 

Often, rather than talk about work, I tell my husband stories about any cats that I might have seen during the day. 

My husband is very kind — through experience, he has learned that sometimes it is wiser to hear about cats than to hear about what ACTUALLY goes on. Another side benefit is that every time my husband sees a cat, it makes him think of me. 

Yesterday he sent me a picture of this cat, saying “thinking of you.” I was so touched by the picture, that I thought I would post it. 

I am a sucker for a cute cat.

  

Boureka  Beauty 

Tonight I baked ready made  bourekas.

Raizel garnished her bourekas with roasted peppers that I made earlier.

She surprised us and decorated it with a pretty pattern.

Raizel was very happy with her creation and asked me to post it on the blog.

  
She is budding food artist!

Chicken With Onions 

Over the holiday, my oven turned off. I had all my food prepared and ready to pop in the oven and we were expecting guests for lunch as well.

Fortunately my stove burners were lit. I needed to improvise quickly and change my menu.

I made this recipe for the first time and it came out great! A definite keeper.

Ingredients 

1 chicken, skinned 

3 onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fat, I used chicken fat

1 6 oz can of tomatoe paste

1 cup broth or water

Salt, pepper and fresh garlic to taste

Instructions 

Sauté onions in fat until cooked. I used chicken fat, as I happened to have some leftover from another dish that I made over the holiday. It was a definite flavor enhancer!

Add chicken to pot. Stir tomato paste and broth to blend together and pour over chicken. I had leftover chicken soup. 

Add spices.

Bring to a boil and simmer until done. 

This can be made in the oven, crockpot or pressure cooker, 7 minutes to pressure.

Here is a picture:

  
Simple and delicious!


Lima Fagioli Alla Cacciatora 

Lima Fagioli Alla Cacciatora

This recipe is a vegan adaption of the Chicken Cacciatore recipe posted on Joann’s food for thought. I thought I would try to make it vegan by using lima beans instead.

Here is the link for the original recipe:

https://joannsfoodforthought.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/chicken-cacciatore/

I think that Joann’s recipe is the best chicken cacciatore recipe I have seen. So, please check out her blog. 

Thank you Joann!

The name of the recipe is courtesy of my husband. He is a very talented writer, and I thought it was catchy. 

I relied on Google translate so I am not sure how grammatically correct it is. Please let me know if it is not.

Ingredients

3 cups large dried lima beans

Spray oil for sautéing

1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

6 cup water or broth

1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, including liquid

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of Italian spice blend, oregano, basil, pepper, turmeric. The turmeric is what gives it such a great color. This is Joann’s unique contribution.

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/8 red pepper flakes

Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional, and I did not use)

Instructions:

Sauté in pot onions, and peppers. Add beans, canned tomatoes, water and spices. 

I made this in the pressure cooker. Lima beans really need 15 minutes to pressure, but I didn’t want to overcook the mushrooms. So, I brought it to pressure and cooked everything for only 12 minutes. Then, I released the pressure using quick release method and added the mushrooms. Then, I simmered it until done. Adjust the seasoning once it is cooked.

In a real rush, I think I would cook it for 15 minutes to pressure and then let the mushrooms cook in the pot from the heat.

This could be made on top of the stove, or in a crockpot.

My husband, a true carnivore, said this was great!

Here is the picture:

  

Enjoy!

Carrot Kugelettes

I haven’t made this in years, but I wanted to use up my extra carrots. This is a very flexible recipe and they are good hot or cold.

Ingredients 

3 onions, chopped 

Oil for sautéing 

3 lbs carrots 

1/2 cup sugar 

1/4 – 1/3 cup flour, potato or tapioca starch

3-4 eggs

1 teaspoon salt 

Pepper to taste

Instructions 

Heat oil in pan and sauté onions. Slice carrots into circles or rounds and add them to pan. Cover and steam until soft.

Add sugar, eggs, flour, salt and pepper and mix well. 

Bake at 350*F oven in greased muffin tin until done.

This can be baked in regular oblong pan, but the carrots do not slice as well. If using a larger pan, coarsely grate carrots rather than slicing in circles.

  

Raizel ate 3 fresh out of the oven. She said, “they are scrumptious!”

Off Topic — Happy Simchat Torah

  

Immediately following Sukkot comes the holiday of Shemini Atzaret/Simchat Torah.

This is a uniquely spiritual holiday marked by singing, dancing and marching with the Torah.

We throw a party in honor of the fact that we completed and begin anew the annual cycle of Torah readings.

Our lives are like a Sefer Torah. The span of time we are alive is similar to the parchment; our deeds are the words. Each moment our actions determine the style and the content of our personal scroll.

On this holiday, food takes a back seat to the singing and dancing. Children take a bag to synagogue and collect candies and sweets. 

My happiest memories as a child were on this holiday. It was a special day where we ran around carrying flags with the whole community. It was so much fun!

Wishing everyone a most joyful holiday!

With blessings,

Carol and family