Monthly Archives: July 2016

Vanilla Cake In A Mug

Vanilla Cake In A Mug

We are still unpacking, so I have not yet started to bake again yet.

These microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

Yaffa said that she wanted a vanilla cake, and that she likes vanilla more than chocolate. That she could even vocalize that in and of itself is amazing. I had to honor her request.

This cake was a bit of a risk. I made the recipe up, based on the proportions of flour to sugar in the brownie cake posted earlier. As a bonus, this cake also does not have eggs. Spelt flour can easily be substituted, for those who do not eat wheat.

I am happy to say that it came out really well!

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup milk (or liquid of your choice. I used rice milk)

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla and liquid, and mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.

Microwave for 90 seconds

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary.

Adding the wet ingredients to the dry.

Mixing the batter until smooth.

In this version, I added chocolate chips.

Baked with chocolate chips.

 

 

Final product with chocolate chips added on top by Raizel.

 

 

Raizel said, “This is soooooo good. It needs ice cream.”

My husband said, “Very cool. It’s pretty gosh darn good!”

Fast, easy, all natural, healthy and even small kitchen approved.

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A Night Of Firsts 

The title of this post was suggested by Raizel. This week, we had a night of firsts. Both of the girls are growing up!

Raizel made scrambled eggs all by herself!

As I have shared, I have an airborne egg allergy. I have been waiting for the day that she could make her own eggs.

Raizel even initiated making the eggs on her own. She cracked the eggs into the glass to check them one at a time. Then, she scrambled the eggs up, and placed them on the hot grill.

On the griddle and ready to flip.

The first time that Raizel used a spatula on a hot stove.

The final product.

For those who may not know, eggs are kosher as long as they are from a kosher bird and do not have any blood spots.

When cooking with eggs, each egg is opened into a clear dish or glass and checked for blood spots before it is cook or combined with other food. If a blood spot is found, the whole egg must be discarded, and the cup or dish should be immediately and thoroughly washed with cold water.

When boiling eggs, it is customary to boil at least three eggs at a time. Some people have a separate pot just for boiling eggs.

If a blood spot is found in a boiled egg, the whole egg must be discarded.

Eggs are also pareve, which means they can be eaten with dairy (milk) or meat.

I couldn’t believe that on her own, Raizel knew to check the eggs for blood spots before cooking them!

Raizel was very proud! Even the next morning she was still glowing with pride that she make scrambled eggs all by herself. I am even prouder.

I guess we are all in love with the new grill!

In addition, it cleans up very easily. I just wiped it off with a damp sponge.

Our second moment of firsts was that Yaffa opened up a cheese stick all by herself.

Taking the cheese stick in her hands.

Success! Pulling the plastic down.

Success! Able to eat it all by herself!

It was hard work and she got a little frustrated, but she did it! She even went back to fetch a second one.

It’s amazing was a little motivation can achieve!

Now, she is asking to eat cheese sticks all the time!

I am so proud of both of them!

 

Pancakes For One

Pancakes (or Waffles) for One

My children are both in public schools. Consequently, there are usually very few other children at school who also keep kosher.

Events where there is food involved take a bit of planning.

If there is a birthday party for a classmate, or another special event around food, I will send in a similar kosher item for the girls to eat.

I try to make whatever I send appealing and special. I hope that this way, neither one of them will feel left out or deprived.

Last week, Raizel’s class went to a local diner for brunch. The goal was to learn how to speak to a waitress, communicate what you want to eat, stick to a budget, handle money, etc.

This always presents a quandary for me. While I am happy to have Raizel learn these tasks, I struggle with what she will eat, when she cannot eat anything that she orders.

Raizel explained her dilemma to her teacher, who then asked if he could speak to me. As a member of a religious minority, I very often have to explain to their teachers and the administrators about our food restrictions.

Her teacher was very kind and respectful. It was his suggestion that I send Raizel to the restaurant with kosher food that she could eat with her class.

This time, I made Raizel pancakes, using our new wonderful stove top grill. Since pancakes are not very popular in our house, I only wanted to make just enough pancakes for one serving.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup flour

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon –a dash

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon oil

3 drops of vanilla

Optional extras:

Maple syrup, ¼ berries, chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, 1 teaspoon icing sugar, butter

Instructions: 

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Then, add the egg, oil, milk and vanilla and stir until smooth and well mixed.

Spray oil the grill and heat over a medium hot flame. When the grill is hot, pour batter onto the grill until desired size and cook on one side until lightly browned. I added chocolate chips on top of each pancake. Then, using a spatula, turn each pancake over and cook on the other side.

For waffles, cook according to the settings recommended for the waffle maker.

I served the pancakes with maple syrup. When I packed the pancakes in a container, I added the maple syrup inside the container with an even smaller container.

The pancakes came out great and Raizel loved them!

I think that now that we have this wonderful stove top grill, I am likely to be making pancakes more often. Since I only spray oiled the grill, they came out light and fluffy and not greasy.

 

Mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl.

The batter mixed up until smooth.

Pancakes on the griddle.

Chocolate chips added on top.

final product, in process.

Served with maple syrup on the side.

Raizel said, “this is the best recipe ever! Usually I don’t even like pancakes.”

References:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Old-Fashion-Pancakes-Single-Serving/

Waffles for One

 

Grilled Zucchini 

I am still adjusting to my new kitchen and appliances. I find that my new microwave and oven cook differently. 

However, I am happy to say that my new stove has a wonderful feature that I am really enjoying.

It has a cast iron grill as a center burner. The flame is longer than a regular burner. Now, I can grill or cook over a larger surface, and use less oil. It’s like having a built in frying pan, only better.

So, tonight I made grilled zucchini. It was fast, easy, low fat and delicious!

Ingredients 

Zucchinis, sliced diagonally 

Spray oil.

Instructions 

Spray oil grill. Cook zucchini until done as desired.

Here are the pictures:

lay zucchini slices on grill, without crowding

turn over to cook on other side when done.

final product– grilled & yummy!

Everyone loved them! My husband said, “these are great!”

Yaffa, who loves zucchini, specifically asked to take them for lunch the next day. She said, “they’re my favorite!”

Fast, easy and very little to clean. Less storage space required too!

Brownie in a Mug

Brownie in a Mug

Raizel is a budding foodie. She often surprises me with her interest and awareness of food and food trends. She also has a natural flare. Raizel occasionally will suggest a recipe, and it usually works!

Somehow, Raizel discovered microwave 1 cup cakes.

Cakes made in the microwave are usually about 1-2 portions. They are perfect for when you have a craving for sweets and need instant gratification. They are fast, easy, all natural and simple to assemble.

Their texture is different than cakes baked in an oven. But, a 1 cup cake is small. Leftovers are unlikely.

Raizel and I found this recipe on-line.

According to the author of the site, I can post it as long as I rewrite the recipe using my own words and use my own pictures. The direct link to the site is posted on the bottom.

So, that is what I am doing here.

Brownie in a Mug

Ingredients

¼ cup flour

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa

2 tablespoons oil

Pinch of salt

Dash of cinnamon

Optional: a pinch of instant coffee

1-2 drops vanilla

¼ cup water

Instructions

In a large mug, combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add oil, vanilla and water, and mix until well blended.

Microwave for 1 minute 40 seconds.

If you are uncertain about the power of your microwave, start with 1 minute and increase the time as necessary. I think I read that the timing is for a 1000 watt microwave.

Here are the pictures:

all mixed up & ready to go.

fresh out of the microwave

no leftovers here!

The gimmick of this recipe is that you make it in a coffee mug. I was concerned, however, that my mug would be too small. So, I used a bowl instead.

Raizel, and Yaffa (with a little assistance from Dawn) devoured the whole thing!

Raizel declared that it is “scrumpt-deli-licious.”

It was really very fast, easy and required very little to clean up.

Perfect for those moments when you want an almost instant dessert.

Below is the link to the site where I got this recipe. It is a very nice site, full of tips to live more healthfully and naturally.

Check it out!

Enjoy!

Reference

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/brownie_in_a_mug/3.2.1269

 

DIY Anti-Frizz Hair Spritzer 

I am into fast, easy, all natural, healthy, kosher cooking AND living.

This past Shabbat, Aunty Elle, my sister-in-law came over. We were very excited! She was our first guest in our new home.

The weather, however, was hot and humid. 

Raizel, Aunty Elle and I all have different types of curly hair. In humid weather, our hair becomes hopelessly frizzy.

Aunty Elle bought herself an expensive hair spritzer to make her hair less frizzy.

When I heard how expensive it was, I just about fell over. I thought, “why not adapt my DIY hair conditioner to use as leave in conditioner?”

This is my first attempt at making anti-frizz hair spritzer, or leave in conditioner. 

Ingredients 

2/3 cup boiled water (distilled is better, but I didn’t have it handy)

1/4 teaspoon coconut oil, melted 

1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum

Optional: essential oil of your choice.

Instructions 

Place water, oil and xanthum gum in container. Blend until thickened with immersion blender. Store in spritz bottle.

I used it on Raizel this morning and it worked well. 

Aunty Elle said that it worked really well too. She said that her hair was soft and manageable. 

The disadvantage was that her hair was less stiff than with the commercial product. 

The advantages were: no additives, dyes, chemicals or preservatives. 

In addition it is also environmentally friendly, biodegradable and economical. 

I think that is definitely worth it!

It is possible to add essential oils, for an aromatheraputic effect. 

I personally do like like perfume. But, it could be easily added, according to your preference.

Here are 2 pictures:

final outcome, ingredients and supplies

first batch that I gave to Aunty Elle

I am giving out samples to my co-workers and our therapists.

So far, everyone likes it. Dawn, Raizel’s therapist says, “I can work with this.”

I am on a roll!

Enjoy!

Reference

This is the original link to the post on DIY homemade conditioner:

Homemade Conditioner

DIY Hair Conditioner Recipe 

This week I experimented with making homemade hair conditioner.

My husband jokes that I am really “Miss Moosewood” — a reference to the popular cookbooks originally written by Mollie Katzen.

So, in my travels through Pinterest, I found this recipe for homemade hair conditioner.

It is surprisingly easy, fast and it works!

Essentially, this recipe is coconut oil, emulsified in water with xanthum gum.

There is a difference between using this and regular conditioners. 

The first time I used it, my hair, which is thick and curly, came out great. Raizel fell in love with it right away. But, she is a curly girl like me. 

Yaffa, on the other hand, woke up with greasy looking hair.

The next time I used it, I used much less. Yaffa’s hair came out looking shiny and beautiful. My hair also came out soft and manageable. 

So, more is not better and use sparingly!

Ingredients 

2/3 cup water. Distilled water is recommended as it has fewer impurities. I am sure it’s true, but since this was a first time experiment, I used boiled bottled water instead.

1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted. Since I used boiled water, it melted in the water. The amount can vary depending on how dry your hair is.

1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum. The original recipe called for guar gum. But, xanthum gum was available in a little small packet at my local supermarket, so I used that instead.

Optional: essential oils of your choice. 

Instructions 

Place ingredients in container. Using an immersion blender, mix until well blended.

Store in a container of your choice. I am using an old shampoo bottle.

According to Brittany, this should only be made in small batches. It usually only lasts for up to a month. 

Since I didn’t use distilled water and there are no preservatives, it remains to be seen how long this batch will last. 

In general, I do not like the smell of coconut. Nevertheless, I didn’t add essential oils, which could give it a more pleasant smell. Maybe next time, if this experiment is successful?

Here are the pictures:

blending in immersion blender

final outcome in bottle with some of the ingredients and utensils

Overall, this has been a successful experiment. 

It is fast and easy, all natural, no chemicals, dyes or preservatives and uses easily available ingredients  

Raizel declared it “awesome!” However, she would like essential oils added to make it smell nicer.

Thank you Brittany for this great recipe!

Enjoy!

Reference 

Homemade Conditioner

If anyone is interested in the cookbook by Mollie Katzen, here is a link:

https://www.amazon.com/Moosewood-Cookbook-40th-Anniversary/dp/1607747391/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467820575&sr=1-1&keywords=the+moosewood+cookbook