All posts by rblander

4 Ingredient Brownie-taschen

First, Happy Purim Katan! Second, happy blogaversary to me! Wow!! It’s been two years already! This blog is really special to me because its my outlet and excitement during my regular routine life. It is something I committed to and I am never going to turn back :). Heres just a small highlight of *some of the recipes that were posted over the year.

Anyway, on to this year! When I started my blog I was so excited that i was around purim time which means I was going to do something hamentaschen themed every year…and this year… 4 ingredient Brownie-taschen! Yes thats right, only 4 ingredients. SUPERR easy and BEYOND yum!!

Yum. They are soft, easy to make and look incredible! Also no worries about shaping a hamentaschen and “will the pinch hold” because these guys are triangle shaped thumbprint cookies. Yeah. simple easy and soooo yum!

For those of you who have been following long enough, you know I like to include a history piece. So if you are interested in reading the history of Hamentaschen see my Potato-Onion Hamentaschen .

Anyway heres the long waited recipe. Enjoy!

4 Ingredient Brownie-taschen

1 box Duncan Hines Brownie Mix

1 tsp. water

1/4 C. Oil

1 Egg

Chocolate chips or jelly

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the brownie mix, water, oil and egg. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Take dough (about 1 1/2 Tbsp) and shape into a triangle (not a hamentaschen, just regular triangle) (should NOT be flat…give it some height)

Bake for 10-11 minutes.

Right when come out of the oven take a teaspoon and spray the back of it with a little oil. Press teaspoon into center of the cookie to make like a thumbprint.

For the melted chocolate filling: Also while still hot, add chocolate chips to the hole. Wait about 1 min, then mix the chocolate chips (should melt and mix). Let cool.



Sweet-Chili Poppers

Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! I love sports, always have and while I may not be a die hard sports fan as I used to I enjoy watching (and playing) sports whenever I can.

While most years I do not throw or go to Super Bowl parties, growing up we would always eat that type of food on Super Bowl Sunday – french fries, BBQ chicken wings, dips….

But, now I have a husband whose favorite food is another classic Super Bowl food and I knew I had to make it – Chicken Poppers! and his favorite flavor is sweet chili so I knew it had to be done.

Now, I am not the biggest fried chicken person ( I try to stay on the healthy side) but I promised him I would make the real deal here and boyyyyy its good! Crispy pieces of chicken nuggets covered in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce. Nothing can be better then that.

Will I be making this part of our menu for the Super Bowl (and in general)? YES! because it was so fast to throw together and is definitely a crown pleaser. So enjoy!

Sweet Chili Poppers

4 Chicken Breasts, cut into about 2 in. cubes)

2 Tbsn Corn Starch ( can use potato starch if dont have corn)

1/2 C. Flour

1 Tbsp Sugar

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 C. Water

1 tsp oil

1 1/2 C. Panko Crumbs

1/3. C Brown Sugar

1/3 C. Sweet Chili Sauce

1/3 C. Honey

3-4 Tbsp hot sauce (optional for extra heat)

Oil for frying

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Whisk the corn starch, flour, sugar and baking powder. Add in the water and oil (it should be a thick consistency). Add in the chicken and toss to coat. Add in the Panko Crumbs and stir.

Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pan. Fry the chicken until light brown (about 3-4 min each side).

Place Chicken in a baking tin.

In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, sweet chili, honey (and hot sauce). Pour over the chicken and mix until pieces are coated in the sauce. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.


Orange-Olive Oil Cake

Its been a while since I posted, but its winter and winter means sickness very often. Dont get me wrong… I LOVE winter, the cold, snow, my birthday’s in winter :), but theres usually some type of sickness too. But im back and just in time for another reason I love winter -Tu Bshvat!

Just the message of Tu Bshvat alone makes me happy, let alone that I love fruit and dried fruit. One message that can be taken is that the winter is a time where people believe that there is no growth – its cold out and clearly nothing is growing on the trees or plants. BUT!, really now is the time that the growth starts, you might not see it yet, but its there, planted and will blossom as soon as the warm air, aka the right time hits. In life, there are times it feels that we are trying and trying to do the right thing and grow in the right direction in whatever in life, but that it seems fruitless (gettit?), that we arent and cant grow. But Tu Bshvat teaches us that we shouldnt give up because we might not see the growth right away, but there will be a time that something we learned, or tried to take upon us will effect us, it just has to be the right time. So dont give up!

But anyway, now to something that you really dont have to wait for and will be the star of any Tu Bshvat seder, or meal (or really whenever) – Orange Olive Oil Cake! Olive Oil is one of the Shivat Haminim from Israel and give such a nice subtle flavor in that cake that pairs beautifully with the other subtle, yet yummy orange flavor. It is a simple, yet beyond yummy moist cake that I will definitly be adding to my cake rotation in addition to the week of Tu Bshvat.

Orange Olive Oil Cake

2/3 C. sugar

2 Eggs

1/2 C. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Zest of 1 Orange

Juice of 1 Orange

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 1/3 C. flour

Cream the sugar and eggs until they are a pale yellow color. Add the olive oil, vanilla, orange zest and orange juice and mix to combine.

Add in the baking powder, baking soda, and flour and whisk until incorporated but do not over mix.

Pour into a 9 inch circle pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Optional: dust with powdered sugar when serving.

Spinach-Ricotta Latkes

Chanukah is almost here, which means latke time! What can be wrong – potatoes :).

Anyway I passed a pizza store that I used to get these awesome spinach and cheese borekas from and it got me thinking about doing that but in a latke! Plus I know that spinach and ricotta (or really any cheese) is a classic duo. So, I went to work and combined them to make the yummiest latke! Really! I kept frying them up and making mini ones for me to eat as I was cooking them :P.

A quick refresher on some latke history from last years latke post – which you also totally should make cuz – pizza…lakes…yumm  Pizza Latkes :

My question on that was always – so why latkes and why potatoes. After some research I found out that originally, the first mention of latkes on chanukah was from a Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328) in a poem he wrote talking about cheese latkes on chanukah. So how did cheese turn into dairy? Well, in the mid-1800’s there was a bad crop in Europe which led to the mass planting and abundance of potatoes! Hence giving lead to our potato latke of today.

But this year im adding spinach and cheese and its just YUMMM!

Anyway, enough history and talk and lets just get cooking!


Spinach-Ricotta Latkes:

Yield: 8-10 Latkes

2 Large Potatoes, shredded

1 Small Onion, shredded

1 Egg

1 tsp Salt

Pepper to taste

1 cup Frozen Spinach, defrosted and squeezed

1/3 C Ricotta Cheese

1/2 C Shredded Cheese

2 tsp Potato Starch


Defrost the spinach and squeeze all the liquid out.

Shred the potatoes and onion. Add in the egg, salt, pepper, spinach, ricotta cheese, shredded cheese and potato starch.

Heat oil in a pan. Fry latkes until crispy on each side

** Note: for a healthier version you can use a non-stick pan and spray oil instead to pan fry instead of fry. Make sure you spray the pan before each batch.


Carrot Stuffed Corn Bread

I never really liked corn bread or muffins. The texture was too weird for me and like if I am going to have a muffin, why not make it Chocolate Chip?

I don’t know where the shift came in, but one day I like corn muffins! Like really. And obviously corn bread too.

Corn bread has a long history in America. The Native Americans who lived down south has a hard time growing wheat in the hot days, so they turned to corn (something which even earlier civilizations in Central America grew and ate). Corn was easy to grow and easy to eat. One could eat it raw, or grind it up into a “meal” and mix it with things. Originally, corn bread was just water and corn meal, but it developed as it is known today with milk, fat, sugar, baking powder…

carrot stuff corn bread 2

Either way this corn bread is an awesome addition to any meal – especially a Thanksgiving meal. The colors are festive and this will side beautifully with any gravy or even as a dessert if you please!


Carrot Stuffed Corn Bread:

1 C. milk, or soy or almond milk

1/4 C. Oil

1 Egg

1 1/4 C. Cornmeal

1 C. Flour

1/3 C. Sugar ( If you want it sweeter for a dessert use 1/2)

1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Salt


5 Carrots

3/4 C sugar

2 Tsp lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop the carrots into small pieces and boil until mashable.

Mash the carrots – but leave clumps. Place in a pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Let the sugar melt and thicken (about 5 minutes), over a medium heat, stirring constantly so the sugar does not burn. Remove from flame and let cool.

Beat milk, oil, and egg together. Add in the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix until the flour is combined.

Pour half the batter into a greased 9×9 pan. Sprinkle the carrot mixture over the batter. Pour the rest of the batter over the carrots.

Bake 30 minutes.


carrot stuff corn bread 5


Information from:


Cookie Butter Snaps

So I know the rave about cookie butter has died down but I love that stuff. Okay maybe not the healthiest but once in a while…

Anyway I wanted to come up with a cookie that has cookie butter. I figured that 3 ingredient peanut butter cookie works so what if I try the same concept but with cookie butter…SCORE!

The cookie came out thinner then the peanut butter cookie did and it kinda reminded me of a ginger snap cookie. But cookie butter. So yum. Nuf said, so heres the recipe and you can thank me later.

cookie butter snaps

Cookie Butter Snaps:

1 C. Cookie Butter (make sure its mixed really well)

1 egg

1 C. Sugar

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight (really important). Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.


Granola Bars

Yomtovim are over and now school is in full swing. I remember being in school and either not having time for breakfast or wanting a healthier filling snack. Well here is one great one that fills both wants. Homemade granola Bars!
There are nuts, seeds, and quinoa in these bars which make it jam packed full of protein making them a filling bite.
One great idea to help things go more smoothly in the mornings would be to make these granola bars in the beginning of the week and then breakfast is made for the week. This is a “grab and go” type of meal (or snack) also which is great for a late start – for kids or for yourselves.
This recipe isn’t just a great snack or breakfast but could be served as a healthier dessert as well.

granola bars 2

These Bars were actually tested over the summer when I was working in a sleep away camp and did a cooking demo with this recipe. After the summer the campers sent me picture after picture of them making the bars for them and their family. Not only is it kid approved but easy enough for them to make it or help make it as well.

So shout out to all those campers ( you know who you are).

Note: The fun thing with this recipe is the ability to play around. As long as the proportions match up it does not matter what you put into the bars. For example, if I wanted to add in corn flakes to the bars I would add in 1 cup of corn flakes and then only 2 cups of oats and 1 or rice crispies. This goes the other way as well if you do not want a certain ingredient in the bars then omit it and just add more of another ingredient.

** for the add ins my favorite combination is 1/3 C. quinoa, 1/3 C. coconut, 1/3 C. slivered almonds

granola bars 3

Granola Bars:

Yield: 12 bars (or 24 squares)

2 1/2 C. Whole Oats (quick oats will work as well)

1 1/2 C. Rice Crispies (or the equivalent)

1 C. of add ins (almonds, quinoa, coconut, corn flakes, dried fruit (more rice crispies or oats) etc.)

2/3 C. Brown Sugar

1/2 C. Honey

1/4 C. Oil

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 – 1 C. Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Combine the oatmeal, rice crispies and other add-ins. Spread over a baking sheet (should be a THIN layer. Use two baking sheets if it is thick)

Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until ingredients are lightly browned.

In a pot combine the honey, oil, brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat over a low-medium heat stirring often until everything is melted into a thick syrup.

Pour the syrup over the toasted dry ingredients and mix.

Pour into a 9×13 pan, spread and press down (use a spatula because it will be hot).

Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into bars.

**Note: to make regular granola do not press the ingredients down and just let them cool clumped.