Bizir is the Arabic name for toasted pumpkin seeds. I’m not sure what the correct English spelling is; it can just as easily be bizid or bizit. There isn’t really a letter in the English language to substitute for the sound I’m trying to make, but it’s pretty much a combination of those three.
Anyway, bizir is something I grew up watching people around me eating. As a kid, it’s impossible to crack open the shell to leave an intact inside, so sometimes I would get frustrated and eat the whole thing (not a good idea). But now I’ve gotten the hang of it, and it’s a light and fun snack. My family often pairs bizir with dessert and after-dinner tea, but it can just as easily be a watching TV snack on its own.
An etrog is a very interesting fruit. You never really hear of it except for during Sukkot, and even then nobody eats it; we just shake it. It doesn’t help that they’re really expensive, and not that easy to eat.
This was my first experience cutting into an etrog. It’s a citrus fruit similar to a lemon, but you can’t squeeze the juices out. I guess you can use the outside like you would lemon zest, but it would be much harder, since the surface isn’t very smooth.
Jewish superstition connects etrog jelly to pregnancy and fertility. I have heard that it eases labor pains, helps a woman get pregnant, and can be eaten any time during pregnancy for health and luck.
The cold weather means it’s winter squash season, as you know. And everyone knows those are the best types of squash. I recently got my hands on an acorn and a butternut variety and didn’t know what to do with them. Soup? Roasted? Boring!
After a long brainstorm, I thought to make macaroni and cheese:
Originally, I wanted to make risotto, but then I realized that I’d have to go shopping, and I really didn’t want to go to the supermarket, so I had to pick something that I could make with whatever I already had in the kitchen. Then pizza came to mind (I always have mini pizza doughs in the fridge), but I wasn’t feeling it. That’s when I thought of mac & cheese; I’ve read about camouflaging cauliflower in it to trick kids into eating more healthily, so why not put squash in it? I wasn’t trying to make it healthier, just different, but I went with it, and my little experiment was a big success!
If you’ve been following us since the beginning (or if you’ve checked out the archive), you know that our first recipe ever posted was raspberry jam. We couldn’t believe how easy it was to make, how delicious it was, or how quickly our friends and family gobbled it up; we had to make more jam!
I decided that instead of buying bread made with high fructose corn syrup I would make my own. How hard could that be? It happened to be very easy, until it came time to shape the loaves; the first time I made them they looked a little funny, but the bread tasted great! It was such a simple recipe, and made two loaves. I made sandwiches with one for an entire week and froze the other. That was a while ago, and these pictures are from the first batch of this white bread I’ve ever baked. Now I bake this about twice a month. It makes the house smell like a bakery and leaves my stomach and wallet happy.
I bought some giant zucchinis at the farmer’s market last week and wanted to make something special with them. This recipe gets its delicious flavor from butter, and is traditionally made with long grain white rice. I made a healthier version with less butter and brown rice. It had a delicious, nutty flavor. The recipe calls for slender zucchini, which probably would have been better than the fat ones I found. Make sure you scoop them out very well so the zucchini cook through. Continue reading
Two recipes in one! Making my life a bit easier…
I love roasting vegetables. It really brings out the flavor and is very easy…but it also takes a long time, something that between work and school I really don’t have. About once a week I have enough time in the kitchen to roast vegetables, and this week I decided to really take advantage of it.
A few years ago I found a recipe in a magazine (I wish I remembered which one!) for roasted fall vegetables with two more recipes using those leftover vegetables in different ways. I roasted two half sheet pans of veggies and served half for dinner that night. The rest I saved to make soup for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
It’s fall, which means my supermarket is filled with cheap varieties of squash. Spaghetti squash is kind of strange. But it’s also healthy, versatile, easy, and tasty.
The best way to extract the stringy-insides is to bake it first. I cut it in half, seasoned it with sprinkles of salt, pepper, and olive oil, and popped it in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. After letting it cool enough to be able to handle, all I had to do was take a fork and shred the insides (after removing the seeds in the middle, of course).
This is probably more appropriate as a breakfast/brunch food, but I decided to serve it for dinner. Everyone likes to eat breakfast for dinner!
This is where I would usually put a photo of the completed product if I hadn’t either forgotten to take one or virtually misplaced it. Please use your imagination.
It’s kind of an omelet, but made in the oven instead of over the stove. And the ingredients are mixed in, as opposed to folded in.
There are so many ways to eat a potato. Here is just one of them. It’s boring, we know, but it’s also easy and oh-so flavorful!