Friday, December 30, 2011

What's for Shabbat Dinner? Roasted Popcorn Cauliflower

This is a great Susie Fishbein recipe for roasted cauliflower. The combination of spices really jazzes up the cauliflower. If I have broccoli in my fridge I will throw that in with the cauliflower and it is delicious.


2 heads cauliflower, cut into medium sized florets, discard stems.
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric
6-8 T olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the salt, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, and oil. Add cauliflower florets and toss evenly to coat.
Place in a single layer on the prepared sheet.
Roast uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until the largest pieces can be pierced with a fork.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

COOKIE SWAP Linzer Tart Cookies by Nanci

I LOVE linzer tart cookies. I have always wanted to attempt to make them so, when this year's cookie swap came around I immediately thought to make these. It is a pretty straight forward recipe but I warn you it is a little time consuming. The dough needs to be prepared ahead of time and chilled in the refrigerator. Then there is a lot of rolling out of dough and cutting the bottom and top cookies. Then of course after they're cooled they need to be filled and dusted with powdered sugar. It is definitely worth it though. They are really pretty cookies not to mention delicious. This particular dough recipe is really easy to handle and makes a perfect crispy vessel for the raspberry jam!!

 Variation with Apricot Jam


4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups flour
Raspberry Jam
Confectioner's sugar


Beat eggs well. Add oil and sugar, beating well. Beat in vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour until a dough forms. Chill dough for at least an hour. May be chilled overnight but let it sit out a while so it is not so cold. The dough will be easier to work with. Roll the dough onto a floured board.  Cut out all the dough with a flower cookie cutter.  Use a smaller flower cookie cutter and cut out a small hole in the center of half of the cookies to make the tops of the linzer tarts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 min (only until very lightly browned around the edges....the cookies should not have a lot of color).  Cool completely.  Spread rapberry jam on bottom half of cookie (you can use apricot filling or Nutella too).  Cover jam with top cookie.  Dust with powedered sugar.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I  was watching Giada DeLaurentis' Christmas cooking special and Giada and her Aunt Raffy made Stuffoli for dessert.  This dessert looked like so much fun and I thought my family would really enjoy it.  I decided to research Stuffoli a little bit and I found 100 different ways to make it.  I decided to try Giada's recipe first which was the most involved one although I did adapt it a little bit.  I think it came out really delicious.  I curious about some of the other recipes so I plan to make a few different ones to see which I like best.  I served this as one of the desserts for our Chanukah party this year.



2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large lemon, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 large orange, zested (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon white wine, such as pinot grigio
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Canola oil, for frying (I used vegetable oil)

Honey Coating:
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Sugar sprinkles, for decoration


For the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups of flour, lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the eggs, wine, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture forms into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pull of a golf ball sized piece of dough and roll into a rope on a lightly floured surface.  Cut each rope of pastry into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball about the size of a hazelnut. Lightly dredge the dough balls in flour, shaking off any excess. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill the pan about a third of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.). In batches, fry the dough until lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

In a large saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the fried dough and stir until coated in the honey mixture. Allow the mixture to cool in the pan for 2 minutes.

On a large platter pour out struffoli and try to arrange into a high pile or you can place a tall glass sprayed with non-stick cooking spray in the middle of a platter and arrange the stuffoli around the glass to form a wreath shape.  Drizzle any remaining honey mixture over the struffoli. Allow to set for 2 hours (can be made 1 day in advance). Decorate with sprinkles.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chipotle and Rosemary Roasted Nuts

Every year for Thanksgiving I always make a spiced nut mix to serve with drinks. Everyone always gobbles them up. No matter how much I make there are never any left! I am not sure why I only make them for Thanksgiving so when we were making our menu for Chanukah this year, Ellen asked if we could have them again. They are so easy to make I volunteered to make them again. I actually found this version in The Food Network magazine from Ina Garten who is one of my favorite Food Network stars.


Vegetable oil
3 Cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 oz.)
2 Cups whole walnut halves (7 oz.)
2 Cups whole pecan halves (7 oz.)
1/2 Cup whole almonds (3 oz.)
1/3 Cup pure maple syrup
1/4 Cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 T freshly squeezed orange juic
2 tsp. ground chipotle powder
4 T minced fresh rosemary leaves
kosher salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 T of the the vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder on the sheet pan; toss to coat. Add 2 T of the rosemary and 2 tsp of salt and toss again.
Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more tsp of salt and the remaining 2 T of rosemary. Toss well and set aside at room temperature stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to one week.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Easy Saucy Brisket

Our family loves a good brisket! We are always trying new ways to make it. This recipe comes from my Mom and seems to be the new family favorite.


4-5 lb first cut brisket
olive oil
1/2 C ketchup
1/2 C bottled bbq sauce
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C duck sauce
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 C water
3-4 bay leaves


Brush oil on meat and sear on all sides to seal in juices. Place in a 3 qt. roasting pan. Combine ketchup, bbq sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, duck sauce, onion soup mix with water. Spread sauce over brisket and place bay leaves around the pan.
Bake uncovered for about 2 hours or until tender.
Cool. Cut meat into thin slices and return to pan, cover with foil and cook another 1/2 hour.
Before serving remove bay leaves from sauce.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

COOKIE SWAP - Rolo Cookies by Laura

These cookies were brought to the Cookie Swap party by Laura.  They are really great, simple cookies with a fun caramel surprise center.  It's a favorite among both kids and adults!


1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
48 rolo candies


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl mix sugars and butter until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs, beat well.  In a small bowl mix flour, cocoa and baking soda.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined well.  Cover batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes for easier handling.

For each cookie, roll just enough dough to cover a rolo completely in the batter.  Sprinkle sugar on each ball of dough and place cookie balls 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 7 minutes.


Monday, December 19, 2011

COOKIE SWAP - Florentine Cookies by Ellen

Nanci and I take part in a cookie swap every year with my girlfriends.  I look forward to this every December.  We all had a GREAT time chatting, drinking and of course eating!  11 of us attended and we all brought a dozen cookies for everyone who came plus and additional dozen to share at the party for dessert!

Yummy Cookies

Here we all are!
Top row - left to right
Jennifer, Sharon, Christine, Heather, Leslie
Bottom row - left to right
Laura, Andrea, Ellen, Regina, Nanci and Teresa

Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing all of these delicious holiday cookies and their recipes with you.  This year I wanted to make something that I have never tried to make before.  Florentine Lace Cookies are one of my favorite cookies and I never realized how easy they are to make.  They are a little time consuming but worth the effort.  The recipe I used came from a really nice food blog - Big, Bold, Beautiful Food.  Funny enough the recipe is from a cookie swap that the blog writer shared with her friends.  So here is Ruth's Florentine Cookies.  Most time when I find a recipe online I adapt it to suit my particular needs and tastes but this time I didn't mess with perfection.  The recipe is kept exactly the same, so thank you Ruth (whoever you are :) )

Florentine Lace Cookies


2 cups Quick Oats
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup of flour
2/3 cup of butter (11 tablespoons)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1- 12oz. package of dark chocolate chips.


Preheat oven to 375 degreees F. 
Heat butter over low heat in medium size sauce pan. Once butter is melted, add sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.  In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and oats together and then add to butter mixture in sauce pan, stir well to incorporate. (the mixture will  be very thick and stiff) Add corn syrup and milk and mix well.  Keep cookie mixture on stove on the lowest possible setting for your burner.  If the mixture doesn't stay warm it will thicken very quickly making it very difficult to work with.

Line baking sheets with foil, ungreased. (I lined my sheets with silpat liners and they worked perfectly).  Place mixture by level teaspoon on baking sheets and using the back of your measuring spoon spread the mixture thin.   sure cookies are about 3 inches apart to avoid them spreading into eachother.I could only fit 8 cookies per sheet pan. Bake for 6-8 minutes until light brown. Let cool on foil/silpat then remove and place on wire rack.  Once the cookies start to cool they will easily lift off the baking sheets.  Be patient and let the cookies sit for about 3-4 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack.

For chocolate coating - place chips in a double boiler and stir until melt or melt in a the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until fully melted and smooth.  Using a pastry brush, brush a light coating of melted chocolate on the back side of cookies and let dry completely before placing in an airtight container. Stack cookies chocolate side together and layer with wax paper in container.

The recipes  said it yeilded about 3 1/2 dozen cookies but I got closer to 5 1/2 dozen when I made mine. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Homemade Barbeque Sauce

I made up  this sauce recently when my husband wanted me to make buffalo wings and I knew the kids wouldn't eat them because it's too spicy.  I started dumping ingredients into my saucepan to come up with a sweet tangy sauce and it came out DELICIOUS!!  The next time I made it I made sure to measure everything so I could share it with all of you.


1 cup ketchup
2/3 packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes or until sugar is completely dissovled.  Use on chicken, ribs, salmon etc.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Crispy Onion Baked Chicken

This is one of the easiest and tastiest chicken recipes that I've made in a long time.  Susan found this in Susie Fishbein's latest cookbook and it's has become a favorite in both of our families.  She made this for Shabbat dinner one night and I couldn't wait to make it myself.


1/2 cup prepared horseradish cream sauce
1/2 cup prepared honey mustard sauce
1 container of French's French Fried Onions, crushed
4 - 5 large chicken breasts


Mix sauces together in a shallow bowl.  Put crushed French's Onions in another shallow bowl.  Dredge chicken cutlets in sauce and then coat with the French's Onions.  Place on baking sheet greased with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 35 minutes until chicken is golden brown and cooked through.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

I was excited when this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge was for Fudge!!! We haven't made fudge in a while and I really wanted to find a good recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge and I found a great one by Mindika's Moments.  I liked this one because it had an unexpected ingredient - cream cheese!  I haven't ever used cream cheese in any fudge recipe before so I was so curious how it would turn out.  Well this is a fantastic recipe.  It's very easy to put together and it's really delicious.  We tweaked the recipe a little bit to suit the ingredients we had on hand, mostly we changed the quantities of ingredients but kept the recipe as similar as possible. 


1 cup  cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 cup candy canes, crushed


Line an 8x8 square pan with wax paper and set aside.  With a hand mixer beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and peppermint extract until smooth.   Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave in 30 second increments until melted and smooth.  Add white chocolate to cream cheese mixture, combine with a wooden spoon.  Next add in crushed candy canes, reserving about 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top).  Stir candy canes into fudge mixture until combined well.  Pour fudge into prepared square pan and smooth with a knife.  Sprinkle the reserved crushed candy canes on top.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and then slice and serve!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

I don't make mashed potatoes often but when I do they are gone in a matter of minutes.  Good old fashioned mashed potatoes are so good but this combination with roasted garlic and parmesan cheese is FANTASTIC!!


4-5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed 
4 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic
1 cup warm milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook over med/hi heat for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Using a hand mixer beat hot potatoes until mashed.  Add butter and warm milk and continue to mix until potatoes are smooth and creamy.  Add in garlic and parmesan and beat again until combined.  Season with salt and pepper and mix again.  Serve hot.

Here's a quick video of how to roast garlic if you have never done it before, very easy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays DECEMBER

It's Sharing Sundays time again but after taking a 2 week break we've decided to start having Sharing Sundays monthly vs. weekly.  We will add our new post on the first Sunday of every month and we will leave the link open all month long so you all can add as many recipes as you like over the month.  For DECEMBER'S issue our theme is HOLIDAY FOOD!!  This leaves you open to add holiday recipes.........appetizers, sides, entrees, desserts and/or beverages.

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

What's for Shabbat Dinner? - Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

This is a combination of a couple of different chicken soup recipes I have tried over the years. It is fairly simple to make and it is always better homemade than store bought. I have also tried to make matzo balls many times and mine have always come out so dense so I got a great tip from my Mom to substitute club soda for the water in the simple recipe that is on the back of the matzo meal box. It worked like a matzo balls were very light and fluffy!


1 (31/2 lb) chicken cut into 8 pieces
12 cups of water or enough to cover the chicken by at least an inch
1 large carrot, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into bite size pieces
1 large onion cut into bite size pieces
4 medium stalks of celery, cut into bite size pieces
1 bouquet garni of 15 parsley sprigs, 15 dill sprigs, 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns (wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with cotton string)
3 T chicken consomme mex
1 chicken stock cube


Rinse chicken and place in a large soup pot.
Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam,residue, or fat that rises to the surface using a large spoon or skimmer and discard.
Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and add carrot,parsnip, onion,celery,bouquet garni, consomme mix and stock cube.
Simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Remove the bouquet garni.
Remove chicken from bone and either add back to the soup or use for something else.
Adjust seasoning.
Either serve with the vegetables or strain them out for clear broth.
Garnish with fresh parsley and/or fresh dill.

Matzo Balls


2 T vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 tsp salt
2 T club soda


Blend oil, eggs, matzo meal, and salt together. Add club soda and mix until uniform. Cover and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a brisk boil (you can add some leftover club soda to the water as well). Reduce flame and drop balls approximately 1 inch in diameter formed from refrigerated mixture. Cover pot and cook 30 to 40 minutes.