Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pierogies Yay!

I don't know about you but to me, sour cream and potatoes are major comfort food. Wrap those yummy potatoes in dough and wow what a tasty meal. I've always loved pierogies, a traditional polish dish, and I thought to myself why not make them. As you can already guess I like to simplify things. So instead of making the dough from scratch, I decided to use ready made puff pastry squares. This will cut the time on your recipe and give you a crispy, flaky, outside versus a gummy one cooked in boiling water. The addition of caramelized onions is the longest part but well worth the flavor.


1 package puffed pastry squares
2 onions sliced into thin rings
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4-6 potatoes boiled tender
1 tbsp butter softened
2 tbsp light cream

Sour cream for serving.

Caramelize your onions first. This will take around 20 minutes. Heat the olive oil first then add the sliced onion rings using your spatula separate the rings and stir occasionally. When onions begin to get translucent hit them with paprika, and salt. The onions will turn a reddish color. push them to one side of the frying pan and let them cook till they start to turn light brown. Once they are light brown, hit them with some balsamic or wine vinegar to de-glaze the pan. Add another hit of salt, stir for two or three minutes, then turn off the flame. Set aside for later.

Preheat your woven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile take your potatoes which, should be room temperature. Mix in the butter and cream and mash them up nice and smooth. Gently fold in the onions that you previously caramelized. Spray a cookie sheet or two with non-stick cooking spray. Using a teaspoon add one or two rounded teaspoonfuls into each dough square. Have a little dish of water next to you, and when you finish filling the squares, use your finger tip to spread the water on the edges. Fold them into triangles and crimp with the tines of a fork.

Bake 30 minutes till flaky and golden. Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

B'tai Avon

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dani's Single Serve Eggplant Parmesan

Usually in my house I do all the cooking and recipe creating but this past Shavuos, my husband Dani insisted on helping me. I wasn't feeling so well since it was the beginning of my pregnancy so his help was a welcome respite. I had planned to make eggplant parmesan for lunch and since it was just the two of us Dani came up with a single serve version that's great for one or two people or for a small amount of company. Since it's the 9 days and we're all looking for easy delicious dairy dinners I thought I'd share this great recipe with you.


1 or 2 eggplants (depending on how many people you will be serving) cut into rounds
Bread crumbs
1 or 2 eggs beaten
Jarred marinara sauce of your choice
shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1-2 tbsps olive oil
Non-stick cooking spray

Take you eggplant rounds and dip them in the egg and then the bread crumbs. fry the eggplant slices until golden and brown drain on paper towels. Once cool enough to handle take two or three slices and on each slice place 1 tbsp marinara and a sprinkle of mozzarella then layer another slice on top and repeat and repeat again for a triple. Assemble as many stacks of these as you can. Using the same frying pan, spray it with non stick cooking spray add the eggplant stacks in and cover till the cheese melts.

Serve with some parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top, a good crusty loaf of Italian bread, and a garden salad.

Btai Avon!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

An easy meal from entree to dessert for the 9 days.

The 9 days is one of those times when one must be resourceful. Due to the limit of dairy only it makes most home cooks creative and allows for more flexibility in terms of side dishes and desserts that frequently have to be manipulated to accompany a meat meal. Tonight I had my parents over for dinner. Due to the heat and wanting to make something quickly I whipped up a simple pasta dish with a garden salad and a summer fruit cobbler for dessert. The pasta is really simple and takes max a half hour to make. The cobbler is simple to make but takes about 40 minutes to prep and bake so do that slightly earlier in the day.
Whole Wheat Penne Rigate with Olives and Tomatoes in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce


3/4 to 1 box whole wheat penne rigate
2 plum tomatoes diced
1/2 can of black pitted olives rough chopped.
1 t0 1 1/4 cups of jarred tomato basil marinara sauce ( I personally like gefen funny huh? but you can use any brand you want)
1/4 to 1/2 cup light cream
fresh grated parmesan or Romano cheese
2 to 3 basil leaves chopped chiffonade ( optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. In a small separate sauce pan add the olives, tomatoes, jar sauce and light cream. stir and let simmer on a very low flame while the pasta cooks. when the pasta is done shut the flame of the sauce. Drain the pasta and place in a bowl. Pour the sauce over and toss to coat. Using a microplane or cheese grater take your block of cheese and lightly grate it over the top of the pasta. Toss the basil on the top, serve and enjoy!

I like to serve pasta with a light simple salad. I take spring greens and add 1 persian cucumber, 1 plum tomato and the rest of the olives from the can rough chopped. I toss it with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a drizzle of honey, and a little garlic powder. easy and tasty.

Summer Fruit Cobbler

3 nectarines sliced in thin slices
1/2 container strawberries sliced in thin slices
1/2 container of blueberries left whole
1 tsp sugar
1/2 a lemon


1 stick margarine at room temperature(I use earth balance it's trans fat free and works great for baking)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour

preheat you oven to 375 degrees.
Take any pan can be round, square , whatever you have and place two of the sliced nectarines in the bottom of the pan. the pour the blueberries on top of that and then layer the strawberries. Take the third nectarine and layer that on top. Sprinkle the tsp of sugar on top and squeeze the lemon half over all the fruit. Watch that you don't get any pits in.

In a medium bowl add the margarine, flour and sugar. Using your hands ( take that diamond off first) scrunch and mix everything together till you have a crumbly mixture and all the flour and sugar is mixed in. You don't want any lumps mixed in so make sure you really break the margarine down. Sprinkle the streusel over the fruit and make sure you cover all the fruit. Cook for 30-35 minutes until the fruit juices bubble through and the crust is very lightly browned.
serve hot with vanilla ice cream or on it's own warm or at room temperature.

Btai Avon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Steak with onions sauteed in sherry wine and honey

Since I've become a stay at home wife I've been experimenting with all types of different cooking.
I recently have been trying the skillet method; where I sear the meat in hot oil first then add in aromatics and veggies or fruits sometimes and then wine to de-glaze the pan.

I happen to be a huge fan of onion soup which is made with sherry wine which is how this recipe was born. This steak is so flavorful I promise you won't even need ketchup. It was my first time ever eating steak without ketchup and I'm a ketchupholic.

Please let me know how it goes if you make this. I would love to know how it comes out.

2 boneless rib steaks or chuck steaks
salt and pepper
1 onion sliced in rings
3/4 cup sherry cooking wine ( kedem's is great)
1 tsp and 1 tbsp of honey.
Olive oil to coat the pan.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the steaks.
Place the skillet on the burner and turn the heat to medium high. Add the oil and let it get hot about a minute.Place the steak in the hot oiled skillet and let it sear for about 3-5 minutes on each side. remove the steak and put on a plate. Add the onions, they will turn light brown from the steak juices. Let them saute for a few minutes till they turn translucent and very soft and start to caramelize. Pour in the sherry and honey. Allow the liquids to boil and reduce for about 5-10 minutes till it's down to a half a cup. Place the steaks back in and use your tongs to swirl them around in the liquid, then cover the skillet and let it cook for 3-5 minutes till heated through.

Serve with onions on top and pour the sauce over it. Delicious with a healthy green salad.

Btai Avon!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Easy One Pot Meal

In the winter when days are short and cold there's nothing like coming home to a hot home cooked meal. Except as the main cook in my house, I usually am the one who has to cook it, not come home to it. That's why I love my slow cooker, because it allows me to come home to a meal that took minimal time, and prep work and is fresh, easy, and delicious.

Most of us take the slow cooker out once a week for cholent and it sits unused on the shelf, just taking up space the rest of the week. So take the slow cooker off the shelf and get ready to use it because the possibilities are endless. From soups to one pot meals it all is in one pot, the crockpot.

I came up with this easy recipe, you can play with it and add or subtract things as you please, what I'm really teaching is a method.


1 onion diced

1 tsp. fresh chopped garlic

1/2 package to a whole package ground beef

2 stalks basil leaves

4 mini vine tomatoes quartered or any type of tomato diced

2-3 baby bella mushrooms ( I find that these hold up better and have a meatier flavor but any type of mushroom will do)

4-5 fingerling or red bliss potatos cut in rounds

3 tbsp marinara sauce mixed with 1/2c cup Kedem sherry cooking wine ( or any red wine you have lying around)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Turn the slow cooker to keep warm. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil at the bottom of the pot. Toss in the garlic and onions. Add the meat and break it up with the side of a wooden spoon. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the meat.Toss together so the meat mixes with the garlic and onions. Add in the tomatoes. Pull the basil leaves off of the stems and tear the bigger leaves in pieces. Drop them in the pot. Add the mushrooms and potatoes and pour the sauce (marinara and wine which you've combined) over everything and give a quick stir to combine the ingredients.

Turn up the slow cooker to low heat and let cook for 6-9 hours.

Come home and enjoy!

( Remember you can substitute any ingredients with what you have in the house)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Easy blueberry pie

This week we were invited out for shabbos dinner and our contribution was dessert. I wanted something easy with ingredients I already had around the house. I came up with this easy recipe that uses simple ingredients you probably already have around the house . Served warm with some vanilla Ice cream or sorbet it'll be a hit at your next meal.


1 1/2 pints blueberries

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp sugar


1 ready made frozen pie crust

2 packets maple and brown sugar, sugar free oatmeal

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

4-5 tbsps room temperature margarine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine blueberries with lemon juice and 1 tsp sugar. Pour into frozen crust. In a medium bowl, combine oatmeal, sugar, flour and margarine and mix with your hands till you get a soft dough. Take the dough and flatten over the blueberries leaving some space at the edges to allow steam to escape. Pat the top with flour and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Easy Beer Bread

Recently my husband and I took an amazing trip to Seattle. While there we met a lot of wonderful people and we had some amazing food. Shabbat was spent on Mercer Island and we had great food! We ate lunch at Radio Host's Michael Medved's home and his wife Diane made the most delicious beer bread. My husband was so in love with it that I started looking for recipes when I came home. I came across another foodie blog "The Picky Apple" who had posted a simple recipe that I just made some variations too. I made it this week in lieu of challah and I hope you'll give it a try.

Beer Bread

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 tbsps sugar

1 12 ounce bottle of Guiness

8 tbsps margarine or 1 stick

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray a loaf pan with a misto or non stick cooking spray. Melt the butter for 45 seconds in the microwave. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar and stir together. Add the beer and stir till combined, dough will be sticky. Pour half the melted margarine in the bottom of the pan. sppon the dough in and try to smooth it out so it won't be too lumpy. Then pour the rest of the margarine on top. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes and enjoy!