Cherry Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti

I love biscotti! They are the perfect after dinner treat, and are a great treat in the morning to dip in coffee. These cookies are filled with dried fruits and nuts, which makes me think they’re healthy, too! I usually take my time and make teeny skinny biscotti, but these are great cut a bit thicker, since you get a mouthful of the dried fruit. Plus, it makes making the biscotti that much easier. Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake

The problem with making desserts for Shabbat is that we can’t take pictures of the final project…I mean, you can see the cake and how it looked right out of the oven, but you can’t see it sliced and on a plate, which is too bad because this cake was pretty. Okay, the pan is a little bit messy, but at least my counter is clean! Oh, and the other problem is that you have to make the desserts pareve. Which means no cream cheese frosting! Those who dare to eat pareve whipped topping dolloped some on top of their cake. I ate it plain and it was amazing just the way it was. Continue reading

Rachel’s Challah

Our friend Rachel makes such delicious challah and is always generous enough to share with us! The first time she brought me a loaf was when we went out to dinner on a Thursday night. She said she made six, so she could spare one. She brought another one when I invited her for a fish taco dinner at our apartment. I told her how much we loved it, so she shared the recipe with me, and now I can have Rachel Challah whenever I want (not that there’s a shortage of challah recipes out there)!

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Mustard Chicken Salad

If you’re making meat for Shabbat lunch and want an easy and light dish, look no further than this mustard chicken salad. Yeah, I know, people will probably go crazier over the chulent you made, but this dish is simple, refreshing, and did I mention simple? You can serve it on top of a bed of romaine, like I did, or arugula, like Ina did. Or you can shred the chicken and cut the veggies a bit smaller and serve this in sandwiches, my favorite way to eat chicken salad. No matter how you do it, it’s a great Shabbat lunch. Continue reading

Fassoulieh Experiment

Or fasullieh. I’m really not sure how to spell it, and it doesn’t matter because it’s not English. In English, these are Great Northern Beans. These beans absorb flavor really well, so they are great in this dish. They take on the meaty flavor of the marrow bones, and tomatoey flavor from the tomato paste. Serve it over rice, and you have a perfect Shabbat dinner side. Or a nice weeknight meal. Continue reading

Engagement Chicken

AKA Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken.

Apparently we’ve been on a chicken kick lately! But all of these recipes serve different purposes, and really, you can never have enough chicken recipes! Here’s our latest obsession from our favorite Ina Garten:

There aren’t many recipes that are this easy and yield so much flavor like this roast chicken. Ina definitely knows how to take simple ingredients and add that wow factor! This chicken was moist and juicy, with just the right amount of aromatics to make bring the flavor of this chicken to the next level. Next time you’re having company, impress them with this roasted chicken. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Meat and Tomato Sauce

I’m pretty obsessed with my Crock Pot right now. I love to come home to the smell of a slow-cooked meal and to not have to cook dinner when I come home. It’s win-win. It’s pretty amazing how everything I make in there turns out delicious. I don’t even have to cook meat in it, vegetable stews work great, too. I always tell myself I will use it more often, then go through a slow cooker phase, and then put it away and leave it there for a couple of months. I hope this phase lasts longer!

I’ve been making a lot of stews to eat over rice lately, and I was in a pasta mood, so I decided to cook up a tomato sauce to serve on top of spaghetti, though it would be equally delicious with rice.

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Company Pot Roast

I have seen this episode of Barefoot Contessa many many times. Ina makes this pot roast with some baked potatoes. It’s such an easy recipe, though you do need a whole bunch of ingredients to make it. I finally decided to try it, and it was definitely worth it! The pot roast is soft and flavorful, and the sauce is thick and delicious over rice or couscous. I dipped garlic bread in mine. yum! It’s also a pretty forgiving recipe, so if you don’t have some of the ingredients, don’t fret! Continue reading

Veal Yadayim/Grandma Rena’s Veal & Tomato Sauce Pasta

Growing up, we always thought Grandma Rena was the best cook! Our parents still make fun of us that we liked her can of Hunt’s tomato sauce over a box of boiled pasta better than theirs, but what can we say, there was something special about it.

Recently, our dad started buying veal so that our mom could recreate his mom’s veal pasta. We’ve been trying to recreate her recipe, and while it will probably never be as good as grandma’s, we can come close to it.

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Chicken and Spaghetti

Chicken and spaghetti was always a Friday night staple in our home. Though Poopa Dweck’s book states that it’s a Syrian custom to not eat this dish for Shabbat dinner because it’s a sign of bad luck, my family’s been eating it for years, and I don’t think we’re any less lucky than other people out there. So If you’re superstitious, make it on a weeknight. It’s a good meal with just a small side salad or vegetable. If you’re not superstitious, or just want to make a main course that consists of a carb and a protein (does the tomato sauce count as a vegetable?), then make this for Shabbat dinner. Your guests and family will fight over the crispy burnt edges.

When my mother makes this, she always leaves the chicken pieces whole. This way, it’s easier to eat just the spaghetti, which I often like to do (especially when there’s chili on the table – chicken and spaghetti chopped with some chili is awesome). I sometimes shred the chicken into the spaghetti, so that every bite has a little bit of chicken and a little bit of spaghetti. I find that the chicken also stays more moist this way and soaks up the flavor of the sauce more. Try it both ways and let me know which you prefer. Remember if you’re shredding to be careful to remove all the bones and stuff. No one wants a mouthful of spaghetti and chicken bones!

And Spaghetti!

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 chicken, cut into eighths (bone in, skin on)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Kosher salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Place chicken on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, until cooked. Then let cool and shred, cut, or leave whole. Save the chickeny oil and juice!

3. While chicken is roasting, boil spaghetti in very salty water for one minute less than stated on the package.

4. Drain the spaghetti.

5. Place spaghetti in roasting pan and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices, salt, and some pepper. Mix well.

— Now you have what we like to call “And Spaghetti” which is the BEST Friday afternoon snack ever.

6. Add the chicken (pieces, shreds, whatever you decided) and the chicken juice and mix well.

7. Cover and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, until the edges are crusty and the middle is soft.