Desserts from around the web

I’ve gotten into the habit of bringing dessert to Shabbat meals. This has served as a perfect excuse to make several of the dessert recipes that have been sitting on my ‘sweet things’ Pinterest board for days months years. It’s problematic to make an entire pan of brownies or a cake for myself, so Shabbat is the perfect opportunity to make a mouth-watering dish of sugar-chocolate-sweet-love (take your pick).

Here are a few highlights of desserts made in the last month. I didn’t make up any of the recipes, so I just link directly back to the original recipe source.

I made this flourless chocolate cake from Satisfying Eats. I had a slight mishap because I accidentally bought a can of straight coconut cream as opposed to canned coconut milk, so I had to dilute the cream with water to make it more milky…nonetheless it came out well.

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It may have been my cooking errors, but this wasn’t a cake that held together (don’t expect to eat it with your fingers!). I served it warm and gooey, eaten with spoons. This would be absolutely divine with some vanilla ice cream!

Next up were applesauce brownies from Something Swanky. Although they are advertised as healthy, they do not have ANY of that these-are-brownies-but-taste-sort-of-like-health-food thing going on. They are rich and dense and seriously delicious.

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I made two pans: one topped with chocolate chips and one topped with walnuts. This was my contribution to last week’s Thanksgiving meal. 🙂

While both of the previous two desserts were quite good, this next one is a whole other level. This is a gooey pumpkin spice latte chocolate pudding cake from Oh She Glows. Seriously, the name says it all. This cake is made in an unusual way; You make the batter, pour it into the pan, and then dump some hot coffee on top of it. It will look like something has gone terribly wrong and this will never be anything that tastes good:

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But, somehow, a miracle will occur when you put it into the oven and it will turn into this:

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In my opinion, this recipe was TOP NOTCH. For anyone who likes chocolate or pumpkin or things-that-taste-good, I suggest cooking this ASAP.

And, finally, the biggest crowd-pleaser I made were these oatmeal chocolate chip cheesecake bars from Lovely Little Kitchen. They were a bit labor intensive to make because there were a lot of layers (crust, cheesecake, chocolate topping), but overall it was totally worth it.

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These bars were a HUGE hit. In fact, several people have mentioned them to me again since that meal. So, if you are looking for something that will make people happy, I would suggest this recipe as a good candidate.

And one last food shot of what I’m baking right now….

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No desserts in the oven for this Shabbat, just some good old-fashioned challah. 🙂

 

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‘Get Better’ Chicken Soup

Last week, Noah wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to flex my chicken soup muscles and try making the ultimate “get well” food. There was no point doing it if not to do it well, so I started from scratch.

Just some water, a whole chicken, and veggies.

*full recipe below

First, I put a whole chicken into a pot with chunks from 1 1/2 onions and fronds from about 4 stalks of celery. I covered the chicken with cold water and set on the stove, brought to a boil, and simmered for slightly over 2 hours:

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After about two hours, I fished out the chicken from the pot and separated the meat from the bones/yucky stuff. After that long in the hot water, the meat was literally falling off the bones and the water had turned into a nice broth:

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To the chicken, I also added 3 chopped parsnips, 4 chopped carrots, 4 stalks chopped celery, and one bunch chopped parsley tops:

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I added the chicken and veggies back into the pot, brought to a boil again, and simmered for about 10 minutes until the veggies were all tender.

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The soup came out really well! The broth had a lot of flavor, and I left salt on the table to season to taste rather than adding directly to the soup. AND, it must have worked…because Noah isn’t sick anymore. 🙂 The soup made a huge quantity, so I ended up freezing about 1/3 of it and plan to defrost it in a week a two for more soup then!

"Get Better" Chicken Soup, serves 10
Ingredients
- 1 whole chicken, bones and all!
- 1 1/2 white onions
- 4 stalks celery, plus fronds
- 4 carrots
- 3 parsnips
- 1 bunch parsley
Method
- rinse chicken in cold water and set inside a very large pot
- cover the chicken with cold water and add onion (chopped
into large chucks) and celery fronds
- bring water to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours
- turn off heat and remove chicken from pot
- separate meat from bones and other yucky stuff
and place meat in a separate bowl 
- chop carrots, celery, parsnips, and parsley
- add chicken and chopped vegetables back into
broth, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes until
veggies are tender
- keep warm until serving

I served just with bread (challah, to be exact!), but you could definitely make noodles or rice on the side to serve the soup over.

Sweet Lentil Loaf and Shabbat dinner

Noah and I hosted dinner last Shabbat, and there were a few vegetarians coming, so I wanted to make something that would serve as a main dish for vegetarians but still a side dish for the meat eaters. I settled on making a lentil loaf, inspired by this recipe.

*full recipe below

I started by putting up 3 1/3 cups lentils with 4 cups water to boil and cooking for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, I shredded 2 carrots and 1 apple in a bowl and then added 1/2 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped celery:

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On the stovetop, I cooked 2 small chopped onions and 4 cloves garlic in a little olive oil. Once the onion started to color, I added the veggie/fruit mixture:

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I cooked for about 10 minutes and then combined in a separate bowl with the cooked lentils, 1/2 cup oats, 4 eggs, and dried thyme:

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Once mixed, I put the mixture evenly in a baking pan and prepared the topping (the best part!!). Meatloaf is probably my favorite comfort food (although I hardly even eat it!), and I think the reason I like it so much is primarily because of the traditional glaze on top. For the lentil loaf, I made a glaze out of 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup honey, and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.

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I cooked for 45 minutes at 350º, and it came out great!

Sweet Lentil Loaf, serves 10
Ingredients
 - 3 1/3 cups dry lentils
 - 4 cups water
 - 2 onions, chopped
 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
 - 1 apple, grated
 - 2 carrots, grated
 - 1/2 cup raisins
 - 1 cup chopped celery
 - 4 eggs, beaten
 - 1/2 cup oats
 - 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
 - 1/2 cup ketchup
 - 1/4 cup honey
 - 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Method
- combine lentils with 4 cups water and
simmer for about 45 minutes
- cook onions and garlic in a pan until
onions begin to color
- add apple, carrots, raisins, and celery
cook for 10 minutes
- remove veggie/fruit mixture from stove 
and combine with cooked lentils, oats,
thyme, and eggs
- push firmly into a baking pan
- mix ketchup, honey, and balsamic vinegar
and spread on top of lentil loaf 
- cook for 45 minutes at 350º

For the rest of the menu I made hummus-crusted chicken, avocado potato salad, and Israeli salad. Guests brought challah, wine, salatim, quinoa, a veggie side, and dessert.

The avocado potato salad was really easy and would be especially good for a summer recipe and/or bbq. I chopped and boiled 5 potatoes for about 10 minutes until soft and then set in the fridge to cool. Meanwhile, I mashed 1 avocado and combined with a cucumber, tomato, and 1/4 red onion:

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I added the cooled potatoes to these ingredients along with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and served cold:

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The Shabbat table all set:

the Shabbat table!

 

Chicken Cashew Curry

Curry is one of my favorite, fast meals. The ingredients are super flexible, so it’s easy to make quickly from whatever’s in your fridge, and it’s always delicious! I was craving the chicken-cashew combo last week, so I threw together this curry in only about 30 minutes.

*full recipe below

To start, I chopped three shallots and two carrots:

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I cooked these in a pan with about a tablespoon of coconut oil until the onion started to turn slightly translucent:

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Next, I added one large chicken breast, cut into small pieces and cooked until the chicken was white on all sides:

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Lastly, I added a half can of coconut milk, some curry and paprika, and about a cup of frozen broccoli:

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I stirred to combined and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the broccoli was soft and the chicken fully cooked through. Just before the end, I put in about 1/3 cup of cashews:

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Yum!

Chicken Cashew Curry, makes 3 servings
Ingredients
- 3 shallots
- 2 carrots
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1/2 can of coconut milk
- 1 large chicken breast
- 3 T curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup frozen broccoli
- 1/3 cup cashews
Method
- chop shallots and carrots
- cook in coconut oil in a large skillet until onion turns translucent
- chop chicken and add, moving pieces until all sides are white
- add coconut milk, curry powder, paprika, and broccoli
- bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes
- just before removing from heat, stir in cashews
- serve with quinoa, rice, or grain of choice!

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

The season of pumpkin continues here in Jerusalem! Last week I went to a pumpkin-themed potluck, and, in fact, I will be attending another one at the end of this week as well! For last week’s potluck, I made a pumpkin french toast bake following this recipe with only a few modifications (just cinnamon and nutmeg instead of pumpkin pie spice in the pumpkin filling, challah rolls instead of Hawaiian rolls, and no pecans/powdered sugar for the topping)

Since the recipe requires time to sit in the fridge and set before baking, I started it on Wednesday night to bring it to serve on Thursday. To begin, I combined one package of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl:

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In a separate bowl, I mixed milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla:

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I tore three challah rolls into small pieces and placed them in the bottom of a round baking pan:

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On top of the bread, I layered half of the pumpkin mixture, the full amount of the cream mixture, and the other half of the pumpkin mixture:

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I covered this to rest in the fridge overnight, and the next day I prepared the topping of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter:

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I baked the french toast for 40 minutes at 350º until it was browned on top:

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Yum!

Home Cooking!

Even though eating out in Jerusalem has been a lot of fun (as evidenced by my several ‘Jerusalem Cafes‘ posts), there’s always something fun about cooking at home. In the past week or so, I’ve had fun turning the contents of my fridge and impulse buys at the fruit-and-vegetable stands into good dinners.

Earlier in the week I made a sweet potato, egg, and cheese melt. I started by roasting slices of sweet potato (about 25 minutes at 450º):

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After roasting, I removed from the oven and added two sliced chopped tomatoes, 6 eggs, and shredded mozzarella cheese:

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I broiled in the oven until the egg whites were completely cooked and the cheese a little browned (it took a little more than 10 minutes in my oven, but my broiler is not very good, so it would probably take a lot less with a better broiler):

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I served with sliced peppers and hummus (in total, this was enough for 3 servings):

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Later in the week, Noah and I made an eggplant tomato sauce to go with goat cheese-filled beet gnocchi. The sauce was extremely easy to make. I finely chopped two shallots, two cloves garlic, and put them to heat in a skillet with a little butter. After just a couple minutes, I added half an eggplant, 1 tomato, and half a can (15 oz) of tomato sauce:

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Noah was on skillet duty:

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The gnocchi was from a nearby bakery and it looked awesome! The beets gave it a purple-ish tint:

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The gnocchi only needed to cook for two minutes, so I waited until the sauce was nearly done (about 10-15 minutes) to put them up. In total, the meal came together in twenty minutes or less.

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Finally, I made beef and parsley burgers for lunch. For the burger patties, I mixed about a 1/2 pound of ground beef with 1 egg, 1 T whole wheat flour, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. I mixed everything together and cooked on a skillet for about 3 minutes on each side. We ate the burgers on whole wheat rolls with an assortment of salatim and vegetable toppings:

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It’s amazing how the internet enables everyone to have access to an essentially unlimited collection of recipes and food ideas! Every day I add more recipes to my ‘to cook something like this’ list…so there are a lot more dishes on my mind to make in the upcoming weeks. 🙂

Pumpkin Beef Chili

Thank goodness for canned pumpkin, allowing people everywhere to make pumpkin flavored dishes. I picked up a couple cans of pumpkin at the grocery store last week and was excited to make something using one of them. I found this recipe online and decided to make something similar.

*full recipe below

To start, I prepped the veggies by chopping 2 carrots, one red pepper, and half a white onion.

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I also prepped a spice mix by combining 1 tablespoon each of paprika and cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon each of red pepper flakes and cinnamon.

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I put the vegetables along with 1 lb. ground beef in a skillet with some coconut oil, stirring occasionally until the meat browned:

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Meanwhile…I chopped three small tomatoes:

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Once the meat browned, I added the tomatoes to the chili along with the spice mix:

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For the final touch, I added half a can of pumpkin, mixed thoroughly, and heated through:

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I served the chili with bread and it made for a hearty meal!

Pumpkin Beef Chili, serves 4
Ingredients
 - 1/2 white onion
 - 1 red pepper
 - 2 carrots
 - 3 small tomatoes
 - 1 T cocoa powder
 - 1 T paprika
 - 1 t cinnamon
 - 1 t red pepper flakes
 - 1/2 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
 - 1 lb. ground beef
Method
 - chop onion, pepper, and carrots 
 - combine cocoa powder, paprika, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes
 in a small bowl to have ready
 - heat ~1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet and add the
 onion, pepper, carrots, and ground beef
 - cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned. While the meat
 is browning, chop the tomatoes
 - after the meat is browned, add tomatoes, spice mix, and pumpkin
 - stir to combine and continue cooking until heated through
 - serve warm with bread or grain of choice