We both tried to make lemon bars about a million years ago, but we failed. First the custard didn’t gel, and then we tried making it with raw sugar (not a pretty picture), and then we forgot about it and went on with our other baking projects. Fast forward to now, when I had some sour cream left over in our fridge and remembered how good it was in baking.
So, upon googling different baking recipes using sour cream, I found this. I knew I had to make it over all of the other possibilities, which would be added to my virtual recipe pile. Why? 1) Lemon bars! We neglected you all these years, but we said we’d try again and we meant it! 2) It’s a recipe written for a I own one of those, and I love the crispy edges that it produces. If you don’t, you can still bake these bars in an 9×13 baking dish. Continue reading
I know a waffle maker is a unitasker, but I just love having people over for brunch on Sunday and serving homemade waffles!
Sometimes I add blueberries to the batter. You can also add other berries, chocolate chips, bananas, etc. I usually also make the whole batter recipe and only use half, so I can freeze the other half and have the batter ready for an impromptu brunch party!
When my cousin invited me and 80 other people over for Shabbat lunch, I knew I had to chip in. I would make gluten-free cookies! Because what would be the point of bringing something if he couldn’t eat it? You see, my cousin has celiac disease; his body can’t digest gluten. Continue reading
Growing up, we always thought Grandma Rena was the best cook! Our parents still make fun of us that we liked her can of Hunt’s tomato sauce over a box of boiled pasta better than theirs, but what can we say, there was something special about it.
Recently, our dad started buying veal so that our mom could recreate his mom’s veal pasta. We’ve been trying to recreate her recipe, and while it will probably never be as good as grandma’s, we can come close to it.
Quick, what’s the best part about a Meatless Monday dinner? It’s got to be that you can have ice cream for dessert!
You already know we love making ice cream, and David Lebovitz is one of the best sources for no-fail ice cream recipes. He served his white chocolate and fresh ginger ice cream with nectarine-cherry compote, but I just served it plain, and still got rave reviews. The ice cream was so creamy and the ginger flavor was perfect – not too strong, but still present. So if it’s winter and you still want to make ice cream but don’t want to pay $10/lb for cherries and nectarines to put on top, just skip them!
I had a jar of olives sitting in my fridge, waiting to be eaten. Sure, we could have eaten them plain, but we also had about 1/2 of a baguette waiting to get stale, so I thought it best to eat them together, before it was too late! I’m pretty sure this happens to everyone, doesn’t it? Naturally, I made an olive spread to spread on the toasted bread, which my genius husband suggested topping with cream cheese before adding the tapenade. Genius! So, you should do this too when you find yourselves in a similar situation and in need of a perfect midnight snack. Or appetizer. Or lazy dinner.
Remember when Jessica made kibbe with mushrooms? Well, she told you that it was just one of many ways that we prepare these little Syrian meatballs, and I’m here to share with you another one (and my favorite).
So you know when you walk by those Nuts 4 Nuts carts in Manhattan and they smell so amazingly good that you finally cave in and buy them, only to realized that you wasted two dollars on something that smells 1000 times better than it tastes? Why do they not taste like they smell? I decided to take matters into my own hands. These subtly spiced candied cashews made my apartment smell amazing and they made my taste buds happy. Take that, nuts that you buy from a cart on the street (when you put it that way, I’m not so surprised…)!
I had all of these leftover cashews from when I made cashew chicken. I also wanted something to munch on. These candied cashews come together so quickly and easily (maybe 15 minutes), as long as you have cashews around, you’re good to go. Or else try them with other nuts. They’re very similar to the peanuts that Jessica made, but I played around with the spices and the sugars.
- 2 cups raw unsalted cashews
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the spices together.
- In a large skillet over high heat, mix the nuts, sugar and water. Stir frequently and bring to a boil. Continue stirring; the liquid should evaporate and turn into a syrupy consistency. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the spices over the nuts and stir vigorously, letting the water completely evaporate, for about 4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and continue stirring until the nuts are coated in the crystallized sugar.
- Carefully pour the nuts out onto the baking sheet to let cool.
For some reason I was really craving Chinese food. So I found this recipe, printed it out and hung it up on my fridge. I went to Trader Joe’s and I bought a bag of cashews. I found kosher hoisin sauce. I defrosted some chicken cutlets that had been hanging out in my freezer. And now dinner for the next night was planned and prepared, so I went out for dinner with some friends. When I came home, I discovered that David cooked the chicken for dinner tomorrow! And we didn’t have any more cutlets, but we had plenty of chicken! So I didn’t want to shop for more chicken. So I gave up, the rest of the ingredients all sat unused and unloved in the kitchen and the recipe stuck to my fridge. Until one day I decided to buy chicken cutlets again and make cashew chicken for dinner!
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Make this chicken! It comes together really quickly, it’s healthy (add more veggies when cooking to make it even healthier!) and the leftovers make a great lunch.
Next time I have a craving for something new, I think I’ll try sweet and sour chicken.
Cashew Chicken slightly adapted from Thyme for Wine
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ancho peppers, cut into 1” pieces
- 5 leeks, cut into 1” pieces (I only had leeks, so I used those instead of scallions, which would make more sense)
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup toasted cashews (4 oz)
- Toss the chicken in the cornstarch in a medium bowl until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing for about 3 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Add remaining oil and chicken to the skillet, along with the garlic, green pepper, and leeks. Cook, tossing for another 3 minutes until chicken browns.
- Return first batch of chicken to the pan. Add vinegar; cook for about 3o seconds until evaporated. Add hoisin sauce water; cook another minute tossing until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and stir cashews.
- Serve immediately over rice.
Sometimes I like to cook up a couple of big juicy steaks, mix up a salad, and call it dinner. David likes it, too. But sometimes, plain old steak gets boring. I’m not one to dip my steak in ketchup, but I want something to eat my steak with. Something good. Well, that brings me to our next recipe: shallot and red wine steak sauce. This whole meal fits together quite nicely, almost like a puzzle where the steak fits into the sauce and then the sauce with the glass of red wine you are drinking with dinner. Because it’s the same wine, you see.
And that is a perfect night at home, good food, a glass of wine and great company.
Shallot & Red Wine Steak Sauce
- 2 steaks (make sure they have some fat on them, you’ll need it!)
- 1 gigantic shallot, or 2 regular sized ones, cut into rings
- 2 springs of thyme, leaves only
- 1 cup red wine
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on your broiler (this step is optional; you can really cook the whole steaks on the stove, but my tiny apartment + a lot of smoke = angry smoke alarm) and line a baking sheet with tin foil
- Sear the steaks in a little bit of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan for 4 minutes on each side (you may need to do this one at a time), or whenever they lift up easily. I used my dutch oven, because I have a limited collection of meat cookware.
- Remove the steaks to the prepared baking sheet and let them finish cooking in the broiler (or a plate if they’re done).
- Lower the flame, add the shallots to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until the shallots cook down and become soft.
- Add the thyme and wine and raise the fire. Reduce the sauce by about half.
- Spoon the sauce over the steaks and eat.