Passover Marshmallow Nut Log

This has to be one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made. And with the reaction it got from my seder crowd, I think I’ll have to make it for every holiday meal. Not only are they simple to make, especially if you have the ingredients on hand, they also don’t involve an oven, so you can make them on the actual holiday if you forgot to prepare something in advance. Continue reading

Belgian Buttermilk Waffles

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!

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Enormous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even though I bake a ton of desserts and experiment with not-so-normal sweets, sometimes I just crave chocolate chip cookies. Baking them, that is. So this time I decided not to make just regular chocolate chip cookies (you know, the kind from the back of a chocolate chip bag), but giant ones with lots of chunks and some sea salt. A grown up version, I guess. Continue reading

Noodles and Kelsonnes, Revisited

A while back, Stephanie posted about kelsonnes, a traditional Syrian stuffed pasta dish. While many people use pre-made dough, making it from scratch is not so hard. It’s pasta that you can make without a pasta maker, so it’s totally worth it. The stuffed pasta is so giant that you get a ton of cheese, which is amazing. We usually eat these with egg noodles baked with butter. The buttery noodles get nice and crispy, mmm.

The recipe said that it yields 60 kelsonnes. I made 50. It really depends on the thickness of the dough. And no, I don’t serve/eat all of them at once. I usually make about 4 per person (of course we serve this alongside other traditional Syrian foods) and freeze the rest for an easy dinner later in the week.

I made individual bowls of noodles and kelsonnes here. You really don’t have to do that, but I like to take advantage of my oven proof bowls, so I do. If doing it this way, reduce the oven time and watch them closely. You don’t to burn the noodles too much!

Kelsonnes, adapted from the red Deal Delights cookbook:

For the dough:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 2 cups water

For the filling (I cut the original recipe in half for you – otherwise there is WAY too much leftover cheese):

  • 1 pound meunster cheese, grated finely (I use the grating disc in my food processor), about 5 cups
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

1. Make the dough: combine flour, eggs, and salt. Add the water in a slow stream and mix together until you get a soft dough.

2. Combine filling ingredients, set aside.

3. Split the dough in half and roll out each half of the dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.

4. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture every 3 or so inches on half the dough (make sure you have enough room to close the dough between – see picture).

5. Cover the mounds with the other half of the dough.

6. Cut out the rounds with a round cutter (about 2 1/2 inch).

7. Repeat with remaining dough.

To assemble the dish:

For 4 people you will need:

  • 1 pound bag egg noodles
  • 12-20 kelsonnes, depending on how much your eaters like them
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Some salt

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

3. When boiling, add the kelsonnes. Boil for 5 minutes before adding the pasta.

4. Boil according to the time written on the package. Drain.

5. Combine butter, a pinch of salt, noodles and kelsonnes in a large casserole. Mix until the butter melts.

6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, until the top noodles begin to brown and get crispy.

Meatless Mondays: Vegetable Pot Pie

Another Ina meal. What can I say, she has such fabulous recipes that are perfect just the way they are, but also really easy to tweak. This one needed some tweaking. A vegetarian recipe using chicken stock? What’s the point! So I used store-bought vegetable stock…don’t worry, all this chopping and peeling let me make 3 quarts of my own vegetable stock for next time.

I also switched around the vegetables (but of course kept the butternut squash, because it’s my favorite. Can you tell?) and omitted some ingredients that I didn’t have – Pernod? No thanks. The fennel gives enough anise flavor for me. And while I know saffron gives a great color and flavor, I can’t bring myself to spend the money on it. Maybe if someone buys it for me I’ll try it next time.

Recently I’ve been craving chicken pot pie. I see recipes in cookbooks and on TV and think it just sounds so good. With this cold weather here, a big bowl of steaming veggies covered with flaky pie crust is just what we need for a 1-bowl dinner. It’s also a hearty way to make a Meatless Monday meal!

Vegetable pot pie, adapted from Ina Garten:

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 recipe flaky pie or tart dough, or your favorite pie crust

Directions:

1. Make sure all your vegetables are chopped to the same size.

2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large pot and add onions and fennel. Saute over medium heat for ten minutes, until lightly browned.

3. While the onions are browning, bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for ten minutes and remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Boil the butternut squash, carrots, and celery for five minutes. Drain and add to bowl.

5. Add flour and mix. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, until all the flour is absorbed. Mix occasionally.

6. Pour vegetable broth into pan and mix until thickens.

7. Add vegetables, including peas, into sauce.

8. Add parsley and mix.

9. Divide dough into six oven-proof bowls or two nine-inch pie plates.

10. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece flat. Wet edges of bowl, and place pie crust over the bowl.

11. Brush will egg wash, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

12. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour until the top is crispy and the vegetables are bubbly and hot. Let cool for about ten minutes, because it’s going to be very hot!

Granola

Whenever I see granola at the supermarket, I think about mixing up the flavors to make the ultimate combination. Maybe I want cranberries and not raisins, or coconut and almond. Well, by making my own granola I can make my own flavors, and I can save money, too. Make two trays worth of granola and freeze half of it.

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Lottie Biscotti

Although we found this recipe in a cookbook and properly cited it, we chose to take it down. We plan to share with you a new and equally delicious recipe for biscotti in the near future, so stay tuned! In the meantime, please enjoy our lovely photographs of the process. If you have any questions regarding this subject, feel free to email us or leave a comment.

I love biscotti, especially this biscotti. They sell them all over New York, but I’m always too cheap to buy it. So when my aunt gave me the recipe from one of the Lottie’s Kitchen cookbooks, I hung it up on the fridge, ready to bake it. Well, it took a few months to finally get started. Biscotti baking is a whole day activity, really. Especially if you only have two available baking sheets. Make sure you have enough time to make the dough, bake it off once, then cut them and bake them in batches. It took me about five hours, including clean up (well, I was working on a few other things at the same time and don’t have a dishwasher). Continue reading

Pumpkin Ice Cream

We love making ice cream, and have been making it for years (though you can’t really tell from this blog!) It’s pretty easy, and the results are delicious! Much better than anything you can get at the supermarket. You can also experiment with all kinds of flavors, which is how I got to pumpkin. Though pumpkin season is over, the idea of pumpkin ice cream really got to me, and when I realized I still had a can of pumpkin in my pantry, I decided that this would be the perfect flavor to share with you.

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Toasted Pumpkin Ravioli Appetizers

Remember when we made pumpkin ravioli and saved the ones with the store-bought wonton wrappers in the freezer for future use? Well, this time, instead of a classic brown butter and sage sauce, I decided to cook them up finger-food style as toasted pumpkin ravioli, not too unlike the toasted ravioli Rachael Ray inspired us to make a while back.

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