Tag Archives: recipes

Lemon Cake In A Mug

Lemon Cake In A Mug

School started just this past week and things have been very hectic in our home.

Among our many changes, Raizel started high school in our new town. To say she has been nervous is an understatement.

Yaffa’s bus route has yet to be finalized as well. Everyday is a new bus adventure: when she will be picked up? When she will be dropped off? And, will she even be picked up at all?

All of this in a typical day, while working and managing a household. I truly feel that God is carrying me. There is no other explanation for how so much can be done with so little time.

Dolly, from koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com suggested that we make a little celebration in honor of our new and many transitions to ease the level of tension and anxiety.

Unfortunately, I was only able to follow up with her suggestion a few hours before Shabbat last week.

With even greater time challenges than usual, it struck me as a perfect time for a microwave cake.

As I have shared before, these microwave 1 cup cakes are a perfect solution for those moments when you want something sweet, without too much fuss.

I decided to adapt the vanilla cake in a mug recipe and make it into a lemon cake instead. I substituted lemon juice for milk and added lemon zest too. I did not use lemon extract, but I think that could have worked nicely as well.

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 lemon juice. I used freshly squeezed

Zest from 1 lemon

3 tablespoons oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (1 capful)

Optional: lemon extract could be good too.

Optional: sprinkle icing sugar over the cake, after it is baked and while it is still warm.

Instructions

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

Microwave for 90 seconds.

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

Sprinkle icing sugar on top if desired after it’s baked, and while it is still warm.

Here are the pictures. I am happy to say that some where taken by me, others by Raizel, and one was even taken by Yaffa, with Raizel’s assistance.

Raizel guided Yaffa to take this picture. Please forgive the mess in the background, but, you get a good idea of what preparing for the Sabbath is all about.

Getting ready to mix.

Mixing it up. Raizel took the picture.

About it go into the microwave.

Final product. Voila!

Raizel says, “it’s good! In fact it’s very good. In fact, it’s delicious!”

Yaffa says, “it’s good! I like it!” In a full sentence no less.

I am happy to say that it was eaten before the night was over. It’s not chocolate, but definitely still a hit.

Enjoy!

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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!

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

 

 

Molasses Popcorn Balls 

I wanted to post this final recipe for molasses popcorn balls, while it is still fresh in my mind.

For Purim this year, in honor of this blog, I made them for the first time.

I liked the idea of molasses popcorn balls because they are relatively healthy, all natural and have no dyes, additives, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils.

The secret is to use a candy thermometer. It takes the guesswork out of when the candy as reached the correct temperature, especially if you are inexperienced, as I am.

Mollasses Popcorn Balls

Popcorn 

1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup popcorn 

Instructions 

Place oil in pot on high, with 3 kernels of corn. When the 3 kernels pop, put in the rest of the popcorn, and cover leaving the lid slightly ajar so that the steam can be released. 

Once the popcorn begins to pop, lower the heat and shake the pot occasionally to prevent burning.

Place the popcorn in a large bowl.

  

Molasses Syrup 

2 cups sugar
1 cup molasses
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Instructions 

Boil first 3 ingredients until the syrup reaches 290*F or cracks when tested in cold water. 

Remove from heat and add baking soda. Beat briskly and pour over popped corn.

When cool enough to touch, shape into balls, and cool on parchment paper.

Source: “People’s Home Library”

Here are the pictures:

 Stirring the syrup:
  

Adding the baking soda:
  

Final product:
  

At the end, the bowl looked like this:

  

Cleaning up was relatively easy. I soaked everything in water, and the candy easily dissolved. After that, no problem.

My husband said, “I am so proud of you, this is a creative, all natural  treat!”

I hope that other people enjoyed them too.

Lazy Hamantaschen – Not

This year, in honor of this food blog, I made hamentashen for the first time. This is a recipe that I found on line. The title naturally appealed to me. 

It reminds me of my sugar cookies and I liked the fact that I didn’t need to roll out the dough. Other than that, hamentashen are not for the time challenged and best shared as a fun group and not solo activity.

Lazy Hamantaschen – Not

1 cup oil

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

4 cups flour

Instructions 

Using food processor:

Mix eggs, sugar in a food processor until blended. Slowly add oil through the feed tube and then add the vanilla.

Add flour and pulse until just blended.

I use plastic wrap to shape dough into 3 logs. I then wrapped them in parchment paper and foil and froze them until ready I was ready to assemble and bake them.

Before assembling the hamentashen, thaw slightly and slice dough approximately 1/4 inches thick.

I flattened the dough, placed the filling in center of dough and then pinched it together to create a triangle.

Bake at 350°F until done, about 20 minutes.

Source: “The Jewish Holiday Do-book”

This is my own recipe that I made up as a filling for the hamentashen.

Raisin-Date- Apricot Filling for Hamantaschen

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. Be careful not to add too much water.

Blend using an immersion blender until smooth. The mixture should be quite thick.

Mixture can be prepared in advance and refrigerated for several days, or frozen.

Here are the pictures: 

Preparing the dough:

 

Shaping the dough into logs:

  

Slicing the dough:
  

This is the filling:

  

Et voilà! The final outcome:

  

Outcome: my husband’s response to the cookies was pretty funny. 

He said, “they may not look good, but they taste great!” 

Raizel said: “they are hard, but they taste great!”

In particular, Jay loved the filling. Any leftovers can be used as jam. 

Jay also thought that the filling would make a great glaze for chicken.

I was very happy that the cookies held their shape. I guess that’s why the dough is so stiff. Plus, since it was homemade, the ingredients were all natural with no dyes, additives or preservatives. 

Hopefully, others will enjoy them too.

Brazilian Black Beans

Brazilian Black Beans

This is something that my husband has been requesting for a while. I think I finally perfected it!


Ingredients
:

1 lbs. black beans

2 onions, chopped 

2-3 of garlic, crushed

3-4 bay leaves

Water: 3:1 ratio of water to beans if using pressure cooker; or to cover

1 can crushed or diced tomatoes 

1 tablespoon salt, to taste

Red hot pepper flakes to taste

Optional: pepper

Optional: meat

Instructions

Sauté onions with spices and beans, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes with the juice and water.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Add crushed garlic and adjust seasoning. 

In pressure cooker: 24 minutes to pressure and then released the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done.

Add crushed garlic and adjust seasoning when cooked.

Crockpot. Cook on low until done. Less water is required.

Add crushed garlic and adjust seasoning when cooked.

Here are the pictures:

  
  
  
  
 
I served the beans with rice and taco shells. 

Everyone loved it. 

My husband happily said, “I think you finally nailed it!”

Both girls ate second helpings!

Enjoy!