Tag Archives: jewish

Cinnamon-Cocoa-Pecan Rugelach

11 Nov

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It’s about time I post a recipe here. I have been so busy out and about, road tripping to make pie in Vermont and hang out on a farm, and experimenting with letting others, namely Blue Apron, do the grocery shopping for me.

I am back in the groove now with a recipe for RUGELACH! Perfect for the upcoming holiday season. These darling cookies fit the bill for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hannukah. But really, they are delicious any time of the year.

Actually, I made the dough for the rugelach way back in August and stuck it in my freezer, intending to bake them off for the Jewish high holiday, Rosh Hashanah. Alas, life got busy and I never got around to making them.

So, three months later, I finally pulled the rugelach dough from the freezer, placed it in the refrigerator to thaw, and set to work rolling, filling, and shaping the cookies. I have been known to keep pie doughs and pizza doughs and apparently rugelach doughs in my freezer for months on end, which is not ideal or recommended, but hey, they always turn out tasting dang good.

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I wrote about rugelach a few years back, and it is high time for an update. Continue reading

Happy Passover

15 Apr

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Happy Passover. Or if you don’t celebrate, Happy Tuesday.

This year, I made a small dinner for a small crowd. Charoset, a light salad, spatchcocked flat-roasted chicken with carrots and parsnips, maple-roasted sweet potatoes (I used less syrup than the recipe calls for and added in some cinnamon). Complete with matzo sheets and red wine. Dessert was coconut macaroons from the bakery I work at, with a few squares of chocolate and a few more sips of wine.

A few more old favorite Passover recipes:

Matzo Lasagna

Kiss n’ Swirl Meringues (use Kosher for Passover vanilla, or omit altogether, if you do not consume vanilla on the holiday)

xo

Stephanie

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“Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup

17 Jan

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You know that area right underneath your nostrils? Mine is red and dry because I have been blowing my nose for almost a week now. Yuck. Colds are the worst. I still have energy to go about my usual business, but I’m just a snotty, gross mess.

Alas, chicken soup.

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Funny enough, a few days into the snotty sickness that has been permeating my apartment, I received an email from my boyfriend’s mom with a recipe for a fantastic chicken barley soup. Must have been mother’s intuition that we needed comfort.

This “Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup is heartier than the typical clear-broth chicken soup. Blending some of the broth with cooked potato, onion, celery, and garlic lends a creamy texture without any cream. If your favorite kitchen tool is an immersion blender, raise your hand! Makes life so easy.

Adding a little barley to the soup offers a nice contrast, a bite of texture. Barley is a great source of whole grain, it is rich in fiber and protein, and it turns the soup into its own meal.

I used a homemade turkey stock for this soup. It is so easy to freeze a bunch of leftover odds and ends of vegetables and prepare a quick stock. After I made a vegetable stock, I strained it, and then added it back to a pot with the neck and giblets I had in the freezer from my Thanksgiving turkey. There’s some good dark meat on the neck of a turkey, so don’t throw the neck away! Prepare your stock the day before if you want to get ahead.

So I had turkey stock in my chicken soup. No big deal. If you are short on time, you could just use water instead of stock, and add salt. Or buy stock. Either way.

Note that you could buy pre-cooked chicken, but I found it very easy to just toss two breasts (save the bones for stock if you want!) in the oven while I was preparing the rest of my ingredients.

“Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup

Recipe from Lucy, by way of Jackie

This makes a LOT of soup, about 10 servings (you could freeze extras, bring some to a friend, or halve the recipe)

2 T butter or oil
2 onions, chopped
6-7 celery sticks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C russet potatoes, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 C pearl barley
8 -9 C stock (I made my vegetable stock, strained it, and added the neck and giblets that were in my freezer from Thanksgiving and simmered for ~1hour)
2 bay leaves
1/2 C white wine
2 bone-in chicken breasts (or slightly less than 2lbs), pre-cooked and shredded (see below for how to cook)
salt and pepper to taste

First, cook your chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done (165 degrees F). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones (save the bones in your freezer for stock), and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot melt butter (or oil) and saute onions, celery, garlic until soft.

Next, add potatoes, 6 – 7 C chicken stock, and thyme. Cook until potatoes are soft (15- 30 min), then use an immersion blender or transfer 3/4 of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

Return this mixture to the pot, add the carrots, barley and bay leaves.  Cook partially covered for 30 minutes. Add more stock for a soupier soup. When barley is tender, add wine and chicken, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes to warm up the chicken.

Poppy Seed Cake

7 Jan

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I dare you to count the number of poppy seeds in this cake.

1…

2…

671…

My grandma used to make us poppy seed cake when we were kids. It was a plain cake, with a subtle crunch from the seeds, usually baked up in a bundt pan. Grandma uses canned poppy seeds, but I made this cake with the regular seeds that you can find by the spices at the grocery store. She says that poppy seed cake tastes even better when it’s a few days old.

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The process of preparing this cake gave me peace of mind. I brought out my Kitchen Aid mixer and whipped my egg whites to soft peaks, a task that gives me great pleasure, and that I do not get to do very often now that I am not cooking in a professional kitchen.

Folding my softly whipped egg whites into the thick yellow batter felt so good. My kitchen was silent; I was alone, soaking in every step.

To get the full recipe, head over to The Wednesday Chef.

A few notes:

Make sure your butter is soft. 

I used 1 cup of 1% lowfat milk + 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar in place of buttermilk. 

Hamentaschen for Purim

8 Mar
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“Hamentaschen, Hamentaschen,
You’re my favorite Purim treat,
One filled with prunes and
Two filled with cherries
Three filled with poppy seeds
I will eat, I will eat, I will eat”
I used to sing this song every year in elementary school. We would also host a big carnival on the Jewish holiday, Purim. Dunk tank, goldfish, snacks, spin art, the whole shebang…
So, what exactly is the story of Purim? It involves kings and queens, good guys and bad guys, banquets and drinking, and, well, drinking. Purim celebrates Queen Esther of Persia foiling the evil vizier Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. This holiday is very joyous and celebratory, and possibly akin to a Jewish Mardi Gras. You get to dress up, drink, party, and just have fun.On Purim, it is traditional to make these triangle cookies filled with either jam or chocolate or poppy seeds etc. Hamentaschen are named for Haman, the villan of Purim. Some call these cookies Oznei Haman or “Haman’s ears.” Haman was also known for his triangular hat, and thus we now make triangular cookies to uh…eat the bad guy? The name “Hamentaschen” could also be a corruption of the Yiddish word montashn or the German word mohntaschen, both meaning poppyseed-filled pouches (from Wikipedia).

The pouches that I made this year did not have poppy seeds in them. Instead I filled some with homemade lime curd, some with homemade (by my buddy Tim) ginger and pear jam, and some with Nutella. Pretty freaking delicious if I say so myself.

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So this year I made two versions: one was vegan and one was not vegan. I liked them both so much, in fact I could not decide which I liked better. I guess I will just have one of each. Enjoy and Happy Belated Purim!

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The vegan Hamentaschen, with ginger and pear jam
Vegan Hamentaschen Dough
Recipe from Emily Weingarten

I really enjoyed the subtle flavor of the brown sugar in this dough. Really great vegan recipe!

2 cups unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable oil spread (such as Earth Balance)
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soymilk

Your choice of filling. Suggestions include: any flavor fruit preserves or butter, chocolate, poppyseed filling…

  1. Mix together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the vegetable oil spread, brown sugar and soymilk. Mix in the dry ingredients. Chill dough for 6 hours or overnight (I just chilled for a few hours and my dough was A-okay).
  3. On a floured surface, roll dough ¼ inch thick. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut circles in the dough. Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Pinch three corners of the dough to form a triangular-shaped cookie with a small hole in the center.
  4. Bake on a lightly oiled cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

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Jean’s Award-Winning Hamentaschen Dough Recipe

Recipe adapted from Jean, a family friend/winner of the synagogue’s Hamentaschen baking challenge

1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour

Filling of your choice

1. Beat together butter and sugar. Add the egg. Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
2. Combine salt, baking powder, and flour. Add this to the butter mixture.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour.
4. Roll out your dough, cut into circles, fill the circles, pinch your edges to look like a triangle (make sure you pinch your ends together tightly otherwise they will open in the oven).
5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.