All posts by rblander

Har Sinai Mashed Potatoes with Luchos Potato Chips

Confession – I don’t like cheesecake…at all. Nope not only tiny bit. In fact I don’t like any cheese dessert…blachh.

I do like cheese though…but I’m off cheese right now…so no cheese for shavuot this year. But thats ok! There are still so many yummy shavuot themed dishes out there…including this one that my sister Miriam helped me come up with. Its a great and easy appetizer for shavuot and you can easily make it dairy by adding cheese into the mashed potatoes.

For those who need a quick history on this Jewish Holiday – this is the day that the Jewish people got the Torah. The Torah was given to the Jewish nation on Mount Sinai. The Luchot are the two stone tablets that were given to Moses.

Image result for har sinai luchot picture    –> har sinai mashed potato 1

The chips were really fun to make. Easy too. You can use a mandolin if you have one, but if not, use the long part of a grater that you have, it works just as well.

Image result for long part of the vegetablegrater

(the long part are those long strips on the short side of the grater above)

luchot chips

Anyway – these are super easy to make and yummy to eat…and look pretty cute too 🙂

Have a great Yontif!

har sinai mashed potato 2

Har Sinai Mashed Potatoes with Luchot Chips:

Ingredients:

Mashed potatoes (used your favorite recipe, above is: 8 boiled potatoes mashed, 1 sauteed onion, 5 cloves sauteed garlic – mix all together)

1-2 potatoes thinly sliced on a mandolin or grater

1 tsn salt

Roasted Broccoli (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make your favorite recipe of mashed potatoes (to make dairy, just add cheese when hot and mix in until melted).

Spray a baking sheet well with oil. Place potatoes on the sheet. Do not over crowd the pan or the potatoes will not crisp up. Spray the potatoes well with oil and sprinkle with the salt.

Place potatoes in the oven. After 5 minutes flip the potatoes over and place back in the oven. Check after another 5 minutes. If they are not lightly brown and crispy, flip again and place back in oven another 3-5 minutes, until crispy.

To assemble:

Take an ice cream scooper and scoop one portion of potatoes and place in center of the plate. flatten slightly so the shape is not round, but more like a mountain.

Stick 2 of the chips on top of the potatoes. (Optional: Garnish with broccoli)

Enjoy!

 

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is AWESOME!

It makes for an excellent side dish for any meal you are having. It has very little added fat, no added sugar, it is full of vegetables all making it a healthy and light option.

You can also make ratatouille into a light lunch by eating a bowl of it plain, or melting cheese on top…or my favorite, making it into shakshuka ( heating it up in a pan, and cracking an egg sunny side up style into the middle of it and letting it cook).

ratatullie

Ingredients:

1 Tbsn oil

1 eggplant, chunked

2 zucchini, cut into half circles

1 red pepper, chunked

1 onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

3 c. tomato sauce

1 1/2 c. water

2 tsn salt

Cracked pepper, to taste

1 tsn garlic powder

1 tsn onion powder

 

In a pot, or deep pan, heat up the oil, when the oil is hot, turn the fire down to a medium heat, and add the onions. Saute 5 minutes, then add the garlic and eggplant. Saute another 10 minutes. Add in the zucchini and peppers and saute for 10 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce, water, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come to a boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

Enjoy!

Limonana

WOO! Finally nice weather! Actually, it was a little too hot yesterday, but that had me thinking of drinking something nice and refreshing…like Limonana!

Limonana is a Middle Eastern lemonade drink, that literally means Lemon (limon) Mint (nana). Which is exactly what it is – a super yummy slushy lemon-mint drink.

Now the first time I tried it I was nervous because I did not want to “drink toothpaste” but a friend encouraged me, and told me it doesn’t taste like mint so I tried. And I was blown away. Lemony, and herby and sweet, and sour…so good!

limonana 2

Not only is this drink refreshing and yummy, but also healthy, as mint has awesome health benefits; it is good for digestion, good for your brain, it had vitamins and minerals,  helps with nausea and headaches, good for skin care, and so much more!

limonana 3

Limonana:

Ingredients:

1/3 C. Sugar

1 1/2 C. Water

Juice from 4 lemons (about 1 cup)

3/4 C. Mint leaves

3 C. Ice

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and boil until sugar dissolves. Let cool.

Pour the cooled sugar water into a blender and add the lemon juice, mint leaves and ice. Blend until mixture turns slushy. Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Gluten Free Pudding Cookies

Fudgy, chewy, soft, chocolaty, intense…all words that can be used to describe these awesome cookies.

The problem that many Pesach cookies,or desserts in general, have is that they taste like potato starch. I wanted to fix that problem and so I started to think what else could be used as a binder for cookies…then it hit me: pudding mix! There usually is a starch in pudding mix (which is how pudding gets thick), but maybe it wouldnt make the cookie taste like starch. So I tried it…success!

pudding cookie 3

FYI: Pudding is claimed to be a British invention. The first puddings made in ancient times were actually a meat product similar to sausages. The pudding we know today is more similar to custard, because of the custard power, which is similar to pudding mix. The first mention of chocolate pudding comes from a cookbook in 1730 called The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter.  Below is an advertisement from 1837 advertising the first packaged custard mix. The pudding we (us Americans) know (the sweet thick yummy chocolate thing) is more an American product. If you travel to, for example, England and ask for pudding you will most likely get something more cake-like.

Now back to these Pudding Cookies:pudding cookies 1

These cookies are really easy to make and yield amazing results. Trust me, you don’t need to be gluten free to eat these either…they are just a great fudgy chocolate cookie that happens to be gluten free and great for Pesach.

Triple Chocolate Gluten Free Pudding Cookies

Yield: about 24

Ingredients:

1/3 C. Oil

3/4 C Brown Sugar

1/2 C. Sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsn Vanilla sugar

1 1/4 C. Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding Mix (about 2 3.9 oz packages)

1/2 C Cocoa Powder

1 1/2 tsn Baking Soda

3/4-1 C.Chocolate chips **pictured are with white chocolate chips, check to make sure yours are kosher for Passover if you are using for Passover.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Either spray a baking sheet with oil spray, or cover with parchment paper and set aside

Mix the oil, sugars, vanilla and eggs together until combined. Add in the pudding mix, cocoa powder, and baking soda and mix. Add in the chocolate chips and mix.

Place about 1 tablespoon of batter per cookie on the cookie sheet in mounds, DO NOT FLATTEN, they spread.

Bake 10 minutes. Let cool before taking them off the sheet otherwise they might break.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Sticks

GF chocolate chip sticks 1

This recipe is a shout-out to my friend Malkie. Malkie’s favorite foods were chocolate chip Eggo waffles and ziti pizza aka gluten upon gluten (and really that’s all she ate). But then one day Malkie became gluten free, and basically had nothing to eat. Over the years I have experimented and made up recipes for my dear picky friend. These chocolate chip sticks though were a winner from day one.

These chocolate chip sticks are amazing, like even for being gluten free amazing, like better then some non-gluten free chocolate chip sticks I have eaten in my life.

The base is almond flour which doesn’t give it the potato-starchy consistency that is usually associated with gluten free items, rather they are soft and chewy or crunchy (depending how you bake them…see below).

You may use ground almonds instead of almond flour if you cant find almond flour but they become a little fluffier, rather than chewier if you do (but are still really good).

These are perfect for pessach…they are non-gebroks (aka no matzah meal) or for any other time you want (or if you have a gluten free friend or relative).

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Sticks:

Yield: about 20-24 sticks

Ingredients:

2 eggs

3/4 C. sugar

2/3 C. oil

2 tsn baking powder

2 tsn vanilla

2 1/2 C. almond flour

1/3 C. potato starch

1 C. Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Take a baking sheet and line with parchment paper and set aside.

Mix the eggs and sugar together.

Add in the oil and mix.

Add the baking power and vanilla and mix.

Add the almond flour, potato starch and chocolate chips and mix until everything is incorporated. (the batter will be wet and thick but not like a stiff dough).

Split the batter in two and shape each half into a log on the baking sheet.20170323_083731

Bake:

15-18 minutes if you want them really soft and chewy.

20-25 minutes if you want them more firm and less chewy.

Let cool 10-20 minutes before cutting them or they might fall apart.

BISCOTTI: Bake 20 minutes. take out and let cool about 5 minutes. Cut into sticks and lay each one out on the baking sheet. Bake another 15 minutes. After the cookies cool they will be crunchy.

IMG-20170323-WA0025

Classic Pancakes

I know it’s Purim time, but I promise…keep reading and it’ll all be made clear. I actually had a different Purim pancake idea, but alas…I ran out of time and there is no way that it would be ready on time for Purim…so instead I figured why not post my classic pancakes now.

So, your wondering why pancakes on Purim: Well, did you know that the first Jewish mention of pancakes (aka latkes) was actually referring to Purim, with Channuka only mentioned on the side.

It was mentioned in the writings of a Rabbi Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (c. 1286-1328), from Italy, of ideal foods to eat…on PURIM! (and yes he talks about a poem about Channuka as well when talking about pancakes, but we’ll get to the rest of the story Channukah time).

So there, pancakes/latkes on Purim is not such a crazy idea after all. Especially, because it’s Purim…Vnahafochu (opposites)…So why not have pancakes (breakfast) for dessert at your Purim seuda (meal) – its the opposite of opposites. Yet it’s still really yummy too. And perfect for a Purim dessert (or breakfast, or snack…or whenever).

This recipe is really easy to make and yummy to eat. I used to make it for my friends in seminary many Friday mornings, and taught my sister (in sem now) how to make them too because they’re just that easy and that good. Oh and they freeze well too an added plus.    Pancakes

Classic Pancakes:

Yield: about 15 med size pancakes

Ingredients:

2 C. Flour

3 1/2 tsn baking powder

1/2 tsn salt

1/4 C. sugar

1 tsn Vanilla

1 1/2 C milk or almond/soy milk

1 egg

1/2 – 1 C chocolate chips, optional (can also add: blueberries, sprinkles, bananas, caramelized/sugared beef fry  or whatever else.)

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar together. Add in the vanilla, milk, egg and other mix ins if you want (aka chocolate chips)

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot spoon the amount of batter you want into the pan and let it cook.

When you start seeing a lot of bubbles forming in the batter – time to flip. and let cook about another minute.

pancake 3 (see the bubbles?)

Serving options: Ice cream and chocolate syrup, berries and whipped cream, maple syrup, caramelized beef fry (make sure you do this with almond/soy milk), or just plain 🙂

Enjoy!

**some of the history information was from the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food

Potato- Onion Hamentaschen

hamentachen-edit-2

Wow first post! This is crazy exciting! I’ve been wanting to blog for a while but never had the time to properly set one up… well thank Gd for vacation now because now I have time! And just in time for Purim too!

I thought of this idea probably in the summer, but summer isn’t the time for hamentaschen. So I put it on reserve for the time being. But now, its Adar! Time for Hamentasch!! Wooohoo

Hamentachen are a  cookie, triangle shaped and traditionally filled with poppy, generally associated with the Jewish holiday Purim .

So quick history: While hamenteachen may be the first thing that pops into our head when we think of Purim, hamentaschen were only first mentioned, regarding Purim in the 1500’s in a comedy play. (and p.s. it was referring to Ozeni Haman = (literally) hamans ears, and that as punishment they may have cut off Hamans ears – which is a myth…no proof).

So whats the name Hamentaschen? It is made up of two words: Haman – Taschen. Haman was the enemy of the Jews in the Purim story, and we are celebrating his defeat, and our victory. Another explanation, is that in Medieval Europe, a popular treat was a pastry filled with “Mohn”= poppy seeds. Now if you say mohn and haman quickly, they sound similar enough.  Taschen? –  In German and Yiddish Tachen means pocket, or pouch. So together we have Haman’s Pocket.

But, if one looks in the Shulchan Aruch (the Code of Jewish Law), it mentions that one should eat food made from seeds on Purim to remember Daniel living in the palace of Babylon…Where is Daniel in the story of Purim?? Well, if you read the story of Purim, you will see that Queen Esther had a faithful messenger… none other then Daniel! As these two were Jewish, and kept the laws of Kosher, but worked and lived in the palace, they did not eat anything in there, except for seeds. (now you have a quick dvar torah too :).

So where does the now classic jelly filling come from? In the 1700’s a Jewish community in Bohemia was accused of selling poisoned jelly. When he was proven innocent, and relesed from jail, it was 4 days before Purim and the community celebrated filling their hamentaschen with jelly..or in this case… Onion Jelly:

Like the blog name says, I like to revolutionize and think differently about food. So take your nice yummy sugary sweet hamentasch and turn it savory potato -sweet onion style.

I’m talking about potato dough with an onion jelly filling. I mean come on..you cant get better then that. Trust me.

hamentachen-edit-1 oh yeah!

It’s a pretty easy and simple recipe to make, using regular ingredients that you already have in your house.

You make a simple mashed potatoes and add flour and eggs

hamentasch-dough-1

Then keeping your hands floured, shape pieces of the dough into hamentachen and place on an oiled pan.

hamentasch-raw-1 bake them, and fill with the amazing yummy jelly.

And speaking of the jelly…its like the yummiest onions you’ll ever taste. Sweet, but still onion-y. This jelly can deff be used for other purposes…like a bread dip, or steak topper (mmm), or whatever else you can think of. And it lasts in the fridge for about 2 weeks also :).

onion-jelly

The taste of these 2 together…. Home run awesome!

And secretly, I have another reason to be excited for this post. Since its my first, I’m gunna make purim/hamentaschen my blogaversary food theme 🙂 but were getting ahead of myself…because as I’m writing this, nothing is even published yet haha.

So enjoy!

Potato-onion Hamentaschen

Yield 18-20 Medium size Hamentaschen

Potato Dough:

2 Potatoes, peeled

1 tsn salt

A pinch (about 1/8 tsn) pepper to taste

3/4 c flour

1 egg

Onion Jelly Filling:

1 Medium onion, diced (small)

1 Tbsn oil

1/2 tsn salt

1/4 c sugar

Instructions:

Peel, and cut the potato into cubes. Put in a pot and fill the pot with water so it covers the potatoes. Boil for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Should yield about 3 cups (if its a lot less I suggest to boil another potato).

Drain the potatoes, place on a sheet, or spread out and let cool and dry out.

Once the potatoes are cooled, mash them. Then add the egg and mix. Add the salt, pepper and flour, and mix until it turns into a slightly sticky, but shapeable dough.

*** for this next part keep your hand floured, it really helps with the shaping.

Take the dough and scoop out about 1 Tbsn at a time (or what ever size you would like), flatten and then shape into a hamentasch triangle.

Place on an oiled baking sheet, and bake 20 minutes.

Jelly:

Dice the onion (small cubes).

Heat a pan with the 1 Tbsn oil. Add the onions and salt and start to sautee them. After about 1 minute. Lower the heat to a medium-low heat and keep mixing the onions until they turn a deep golden brown color (but not burnt), about 20-30 minutes. (this low and slow cooking method will caramelize the onions).

After, add the sugar, and let it melt. After it melts, let the mixture cook and thicken, about 5 minutes.

To assemble:

Take a hamentaschen and place the jelly inside. Enjoy 🙂

*** tastes best heated up. Heat up the hamentaschen, and let the jelly come to room temp.

 

**Some of the history information obtained from Chabad.org and the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food.  Continue reading Potato- Onion Hamentaschen