Soft Baked Pretzels – Use Your Bread Maker to Do All the Work!!! — Inside Kel’s Kitchen

I got a great response to my earlier post on making pizza crust dough in the bread maker. In talking to one of my food blog friends, the topic of pretzels came up. I shared that I also have a recipe for making pretzel dough in the bread maker. Those bread makers are a work […]

via Soft Baked Pretzels – Use Your Bread Maker to Do All the Work!!! — Inside Kel’s Kitchen

I am trying to learn how to reblog posts like I like, and I am afraid that I hit the send button too quickly.

I realize that Passover is starting on Friday night, so naturally, I will not be making this any time soon.

But, I love my bread machine and together with Kel’s pizza dough, after Passover I am looking to make both these wonderful recipes soon.

Please check out Kel’s Kitchen. I love her blog!

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Roasted Chicken With Dried Fruit And Balsamic Vinegar 

Roasted Chicken With Dried Fruit And Balsamic Vinegar 

I still have leftover hamentashen filling. So this is a different version of the recipe I posted last week. This time, I thought that I would make roasted chicken and use the hamentashen filling as a glaze, with balsamic vinegar.

My husband felt that the vinegar made it too sour. So, it was his suggestion to spice it up with the red pepper flakes. It really made a difference!

Ingredients:

1 chicken, cut up

Mom’s Chicken Spice Rub

1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, ginger, mustard powder

Raisin-Date- Apricot Filling for Hamentashen

2 cups pitted dates (approximately)

1 box (15 oz.) sultana raisins

1 cup dried apricots (approximately)

1 lemon zested and juiced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup water (approximately)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional, but I thought it made it taste better)

I also added more cinnamon, garlic powder, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste. 

I did not measure the balsamic vinegar. Together with the water, I added enough to get the right consistency and taste.

This was an experiment. So, measurements are not exact.

Instructions 

Boil all ingredients in a pot until soft. For the hamentashen, the filling needs to be slightly thick, so it is important not to add too much water. 

As a glaze for chicken, I added more liquid. This time I also added balsamic vinegar and additional spices.

Instructions 
Place chicken in large pan. Season chicken with Mom’s Spice Rub, and then add the hamentashen filling on top. 

If possible, let marinate prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 425*F.

Roast in oven for 1.5 hours, or until cooked, turning over for last 30 minutes.

I think that this could be made in a crockpot and pressure cooker, but the texture would be different.

In both cases, the chicken would need to be browned or skinned prior to cooking. For a liquid, I recommend at least 1/2 cup water or broth. 

Cook on low until done or 7 minutes to pressure, quick release method.

Here are the pictures:

Spiced:

chicken spiced with Mom’s chicken spice rub

   Glazed:

spiced chicken and dried friut, balsalmic vinegar & additional spices

 
The final product:

 

chicken with dried fruit and balsamic vinegar

 
  

It smelled great. 

I will find out tonight how everyone else liked it.

Enjoy!

Count Down To Passover — Pizza

This is a very hectic time of year. 

We are preparing for Passover. 

This means that everything in the house, in particular in the kitchen and eating areas are cleaned and checked for leavened products, which are called “chametz.”

It is a lot of work. Fortunately, Raizel is home from school this week. She has been an amazing helper! I don’t know what we would have done without her!

In this state of in between, everything in the kitchen is more scattered than usual. My husband and Raizel have begun to clear out some of the cabinets for our Passover products. Hence, it might be difficult for me to do too much posting for the next week or so.

As I was clearing out my freezer, I found some frozen pizza dough that I wanted to use. 

However, making pizza at home is a bit complicated for me.

As observant Jews, we follow the Jewish dietary laws of keeping kosher.

For those who may not be familiar, in a kosher kitchen, milk and meat dishes are cooked and prepared separately. There is also a third food category, parve, which means neither meat nor dairy.

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This means that we have separate meat and milk cooking utensils, and we do not cook milk and meat in the oven at the same time, nor eat meat and milk together at the same time.

I thought it might be helpful to include these 2 pictures that I found on line about how to keep kosher:

This picture gives you an idea of the ins and outs of having a kosher kitchen.

Some readers of this blog may have observed that I do not post recipes with dairy products. I rarely cook with dairy. I really only have about 2 dairy pots and only the barest of essential utensils for dairy food.

In order to not cook milk and meat in the same oven together, many people have 2 ovens. It is possible to manage with only one oven, but it takes a bit more planning. 

I am fortunate to have 2 separate ovens: one is for meat and the other is parve. But, I do not have an oven for dairy.

So, any dairy that we eat is usually cooked in the microwave. 

All of this is to explain why making this pizza was an accomplishment for me. Creating this pizza took a little bit of unconventional ingenuity.

I am very excited that I was able to come up with a way to make it!

Ingredients

1 lbs. pizza dough

Olive oil

Salt Spice Blend. Most of my spices have been put away for Passover 

Tomato sauce

Grated cheese

Instructions

Focaccia:

Roll dough onto pan to desired thickness. Add olive oil and sprinkle spices on top.

Bake in 450* oven until lightly browned.

Next step:

Add tomato sauce over prepared pizza dough and then add grated cheese. Microwave for 2 minutes.

Here are the pictures:

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Pizza dough ready to shape

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Pizza dough rolled out and on baking sheet

Olive oil and spices on top

Olive oil and spices on top

Cooked pizza dough. Love the color!

Cooked pizza dough. Love the color!

Cooked pizza dough with sauce and cheese.

Cooked pizza dough with sauce and cheese.

Voila! The final product!

Voila! The final product!

 

Voila! Nice fresh hot pizza!

The girls loved it, with the cheese and without the cheese. It is a good thing that I took pictures, because there is nothing left!

References:

https://makoletonline.wordpress.com/

http://bgsujournalism.com/j4200/being-orthodox-not-kosher-in-bowling-green/

Roasted Chicken With Dried Fruit

Roasted Chicken With Dried Fruit

My life is a little hectic. 

The countdown to Passover has begun. We are also going to be moving soon. So, even more than before, I am particularly time challenged.

Passover is the time of year when we eliminate all leavened products from our home. Practically, this means I try to clean out my pantry and freezer.

I still have leftover hamentashen filling. So I thought that I would try to make roasted chicken and use the hamentashen filling as a glaze.

Ingredients:

1 chicken, cut up

Mom’s Chicken Spice Rub

1 Tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, ginger, mustard powder

Plus, additional cinnamon to the chicken.

Raisin-Date- Apricot Filling for Hamentashen

2 cups pitted dates (approximately)
1 box (15 oz.) sultana raisins
1 cup dried apricots (approximately)

1 lemon zested and juiced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 
1/2 cup water (approximately)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional, but I thought it made it taste better)


Instructions
 

Boil all ingredients in a pot until soft. For the hamentashen, the filling needs to be slightly thick, so it is important not to add too much water. 

As a glaze for chicken,more liquid and more cinnamon is needed.

Instructions 

Place chicken in large pan. Season chicken with Mom’s Spice Rub, and then add the hamentashen filling on top. If possible, let marinate prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 425*F.

Roast in oven for 1.5 hours, or until cooked, turning over for last 30 minutes.

Here are the pictures:

Spiced:

  
 

With the hamentashen filling. 

After I started cooking, I realized it was too thick. So, I added more filling, with a thinner consistency when I turned the chicken over. I also added more cinnamon.

 

The final product:
  

This was a definite hit. Raizel ate the chicken legs right out of the oven (you can see where the leg was on the plate) and declared “this is killer!”

Enjoy!

Roasted Beets Without Foil

Roasted Beets Without Tin Foil

Prior to starting this blog, one of my favorite time savers was cooking in aluminum foil pans or lining a pan with tin foil for an easy clean up.  

Since starting this blog, I have been introduced to cooking with glass. Now I line the pan with parchment paper instead of foil. 

I am happy to say, the clean-up is not too difficult, and I have the pleasure of feeling like I am cooking more healthfully.

 
In general, I always like to have food available in all food groups, for a well-rounded diet. 

For the vegetables, I usually steam the or bake them. However, roasted vegetables, while more time consuming, are the tastiest. The other advantage is that I can put them in the oven and attend to other tasks while they cook.

Beets are one of our staple vegetables. They are hardy and colorful. As the are so dense, I usually boil them. They also tend to take a long time to cook, even with a pressure cooker. More than once, using a pressure cooker has resulted in many scorched beets and burnt pots.

Together with carrots, beets were one of the first vegetables that Yaffa learned to eat. I am not sure if it is because they are sweet, but other than zucchini, Yaffa does not care for green vegetables. I have to sneak them into things.

So, I wanted to try roasting beets instead of boiling them. I thought that it would be more flavorful, and, no peeling is required. A potential time saver!

Raizel is my budding gourmet. When she went to visit my mother, she informed me that, “Nana roasts beets in the oven with tin foil.” 

However, I wanted to find a way to roast beets without tin foil.

I am happy to say, I think that I have developed an easy method for roasting beets without tin foil.

Ingredients:

Beets, scrubbed and washed well and cut into quarters, depending on the size.  

The beets can be peeled, but, part of the appeal of roasting beets is that they don’t need to be peeled.

Spray oil

Salt

Optional: other herbs such a pepper, cumin, garlic, as desired

Instructions:

Use a roasting pan with a lid. Line the pan with lightly spray oiled parchment paper inside. 

Place beets in pan and spray oil the beets. Lightly sprinkle salt and other spices on top.

Roast the beets in a 425*F oven, covered, for approximately 1 to 11/2 hours, or until soft. Next, continue roasting without the lid, until they reach the desired roasting.

Covering the beets in the beginning , cooks the beets more evenly, without burning the outside, and having the inside still hard. Essentially, the beets are steamed in the oven and then finished off with roasting.

Here are the pictures:
 
  

Everyone is eating more beets now that I am making them this way. 

“Try it, you might like it!”

Enjoy!

Zucchini Mushroom Soup 

Like many Jewish women, I spend my whole week planning for Shabbat. And, I spend my whole year planning for Passover, which is 3 weeks away. 

Cooking and Shabbat are closely connected in our house. 

It is to the point that if I am cooking, the first thing Yaffa says is “it is Shabbat yet?  Mommy is cooking for Shabbat!”

  

It’s very cute, because there is also a children’s story,  Is It Shabbas Yet?  that I used to read to the girls when they were little.  Yaffa has almost memorized it. An incredible feat when you consider that she is significantly hearing impaired in addition to her cognitive challenges. Cute gets you very far! 

Raizel also found a number of YouTube videos about the book, that Yaffa loves to watch. 

If anyone is interested, this is one of the multiple versions available online:

The constant repetition has enabled Yaffa to learn the story. 

Friday morning is usually my marathon cooking time.  I prepare all the food on Thursday. Then, I get up at dawn and do the cooking before going to work.

One of my new favorite things to make Zucchini Mushroom Soup.  This is an extremely flexible recipe. Sometimes I make it with the mushrooms, and sometimes I make it just with zucchini. I usually add an onion, but, the amounts vary.

Ingredients 

1 onion, quartered

1-2 zucchinis, cut in large chunks

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

Water to cover

Salt and if desired pepper to taste

Instructions:

Add all the ingredients to the crockpot.

The secret to making the soup this way is to use a small crockpot, and slightly overfill it. I tend to add more water than necessary, (about half way up the crockpot) as I leave it in the crockpot for more than 8 hours. With more liquid, it is less likely to over cook.

Then, once I come home, I remove some of the liquid, and using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables, and adjust the seasoning.  The soup should be slightly thick.

It can also be made on the stove or in a pressure cooker, 2 minutes to pressure.

Here are the pictures:

Here, all the vegetables are in the pot. I also cut them into large pieces, to prevent over cooking.

Here is what it looks like once it is cooked. Before I puree it, I remove most of the liquid, so that it will not be too thin.

Voila! Here is the final product:

Yaffa loves zucchini, and this is one of her favorites!

 

Enjoy!

If anyone is interested in the book that Yaffa and Raizel like, here is the link for that too:

http://www.amazon.com/Is-Shabbos-Yet-Ellen-Emerman/dp/1929628021