Thanks{giving} and Excuses.

Excuses. We all have them. I’m not trying to offer one. Instead, I’m jumping back on the blogging bandwagon head first!

This week, my dear friend Melinda, from Kitchen-Tested  and I organized the first Kosher Food Bloggers Conference in NY. What an event! The vibe of the bloggers, the excitement of the sponsors, the gorgeous location The Carlton Hotel was incredible and inspiring! 

More pics and a video to come, promise!

I think someone forgot to tell me how soon Thanksgiving was. This week? WHAT!?!? As an an ex-pat to the States (I’m originally from Australia) Thanksgiving is a national holiday that I LOVE! yes, LOVE! The food! The colors! The smells! Sitting around a large table with your nearest and dearest eating great food, a few drinks and hopefully no men watching football in the living room!

It always cracks me up how the population goes ca-razy! The internet goes wild with questions like “How do I cook for a party of 8?” (Um, 8? pppft!) “How do I reheat all the side dishes?” “Can I bring tupperware to take home leftovers?” “How may desserts should I serve?”

I’ve been scouring the internet (and our Pinterest boards) for a roundup of best-of-the-web for you!

Fun Tablescape idea from HGTV!
Full details here.

Indian Corn Napkin Ring.
Full details here

A gorgeous Fall Mantle.
Full details here.

Cranberry and Apple Chutney.
Full recipe here.

 Top rated brussel sprouts.
Full recipe here.

Two (yes, two!) ingredient pumpkin cake!
Full recipe here.

Pecan Pie Bars. Be sure to use margarine instead of butter to keep it pareve!
Full recipe here

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a great Thanksgiving cocktail. Go ahead – wait until the guests have left, kids are in bed and the fireplace is dying down, I won’t tell!
Full recipe here.  

So, enough excuses! Watch out for weekly blog posts going forward! xxx

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning!

WOAH! This has certainly been a busy month!

With my late work hours and busy weekends preparing for Yom Tov, I’ve grown to love (again!) my crockpot. At least twice a week it gets used – chicken and rice, split pea soup and a new recipe from my “Twitter” friend, Caroline – Taco Soup! I’ll post another recipe for that another time, but it does call for a pack of Taco Seasoning. Has anyone else ever noticed the sodium count on those! Oh Boy!

On a mission to find a healthier version, here is the recipe I came up with.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Spice
 

Mix and store! Doesn’t get easier!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2T ground cumin
  • 1.5T salt
  • 1.5T black pepper (freshly cracked, if possible)
  • 2t paprika
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1t dried oregano

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a container, shake it up and store in a cool, dark place.
  2. If you have a spice blender, go ahead and give it a whirl!

 

{Yom Tov Tip} Soups!

I never understood why chicken soup was a requirement on families weekly Shabbat and Yom Tov tables. I get it. It’s yum. It’s wonderful with lokshen. Or matzah balls.

But, it holds up a burner on my stovetop for 6-8 hours and can cost a small fortune. Granted, you can make lots of containers of it, and throw it in the freezer. But there are so many more recipes to try!

A few of our favorite include roast tomato, spicy zucchini, split pea, carrot ginger, potato leek and more! Here are some of the best of the web…

Sit back, simmer and enjoy!

Recipe Credit: Everyday Food
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

 

Recipe Credit: food.com
Photo Credit: Member, Rita for food.com

 

PLEASE NOTE: This recipe contains non kosher ingredients. IN place of 2 cups of ham, we recommend some diced pastrami, or beef stew!

Recipe Credit: food.com
Photo Credit: Andy of LongMeadow Farm

 

Recipe Credit: allrecipes.com
Photo Credit: member WYSIWYG on allrecipes.com

Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart

 

What’s you favorite soup? For more ideas, check out our pinterest board http://pinterest.com/thekosherhome/soup/

 

***GIVEAWAY*** Don’t forget to comment on the Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah recipe for a chance to win Levana’s new cookbook!

Julia Child Turns 100!

Dear Julia,

Happy happy birthday! Today, would have been your 100th Birthday! What a legacy you left as a chef, author and tv personality.

In 1961, you penned the now classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking(1961), with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Roast chicken, Beef Bourguignon and Tarte Tatin your repertoire was endless! And that was just the beginning.

More than anything, dear Julia was your now famous “Never Apologize!” You are so right. We love to try new things in the kitchen, and sometimes they turnout not how we expected! Never Apologize!

Your are sorely missed, dear Julia. May your legacy continue. May your humor continue to inspire us in the kitchen, as your voice resonates!

Love,
The Kosher Home.

Here are a few links to some of Julia’s best recipes!
Fresh pita bread
Cream of leek and potato soup
Salad nicoise

Chocolate Mousse

For more info on Julia’s 100th Birthday, visit https://www.facebook.com/JuliaChild

Chocolate Caramel Challah? YES, PLEASE!

I have been reading The Challah Blog for a while now, and am loving the creations that The
Hazz and The Mrs.
come up with!

Nothing blew me away more than the Chocolate Caramel Challah! Just the word caramel makes me weak at the knees.

The Mrs. makes this challah with her Basic Challah Recipe and a bunch of add ins!

This looks TO. DIE. FOR.

Chocolate Caramel Challah? YES, PLEASE!
Challah
 

Ingredients
  • ¾ c water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1½ tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs plus 1 more for egg wash
  • ¼ c vegetable oil
  • 3 c flour
  • 1¼ tsp salt

Instructions
  1. The Mrs. gives great directions….
  2. Place very warm (but not hot, I usually let me faucet run for a bit) water in mixing bowl. Add yeast and honey, mixing lightly.
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so… I usually do less… until you see little eruptions.
  4. Add eggs and vegetable oil and mix with wood spoon.
  5. If you have a stand mixer, add flour and salt and beat with dough hook. Remember: salt kills yeast. Don’t put the salt in with the yeast. Wait until you’ve added some of the flour.
  6. If the dough is not holding together as a ball, add a bit more oil or water. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour. The dough is ready when it sticks together as a ball and is not sticky to the touch when you poke your finger in (5-10 minutes of beating). Turn the ball out onto a floured work surface and punch a few times until very smooth.
  7. Place in oiled bowl and cover in plastic wrap or a towel.
  8. Allow to rise at least one hour, preferrably more, until dough has doubled in size. I only do one rise as a ball, but you can do more. I’m not convinced it does much to the texture but some people swear by it.
  9. Punch down the ball in the bowl and remove. Punch out all air bubbles. Braid in your preferred method. Allow to rise 20-30 minutes. Top with an egg wash (I use the yolk and white) and sesame or poppy seeds if you like.
  10. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. You can use a bread thermometer (180-200 degrees) or poke at the seams. If they seem doughy, give it more time. You can always add foil if the top seems like its browning too fast.
  11. I often have to foil five- and six-stranded challot because they’re so much fatter.

Photo Credit: The Challah Blog
Recipe Credit: The Challah Blog

Lemongrass Chicken Wings

Ohhhh… chicken wings, how I love thee.

Sticky and yummy.  Gooey and messy. Frugal and easy. You can never have too many. Or can you?

Some serve them as an appetizer. In our home, they are dinner. While nothing else is really necessary to serve with them, Kayotic Corn (on the cob) from Kayotic Kitchen, or a light Baby Red Potato Salad from Skinny Tastewould be a great combo!

The original recipe calls for fish sauce. Good luck trying to find a kosher (and truly pareve!) version. I’d sub half soy sauce and half worcestershire sauce.

BUDGETING TIP: I stock up on pounds and pounds of wings when they are on sale for 89c or 99c a pound!

Recipe adapted from Appetite for China
Photo credit  Appetite for China

 

Lemongrass Chicken Wings
 

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Ingredients
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2½ pounds chicken, tips removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ⅛ cup soy sauce
  • ⅛ cup worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 handful peanuts, chopped
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions
  1. Remove the hard end and outer layer of the lemongrass stalk. Bruise the white ends of your stalks with the blunt edge of a large knife (it helps release the lemongrass “juices”), then thinly slice and mince. You should end up with about 1 tablespoon of minced lemongrass. Discard the green tops.
  2. Marinate the chicken: In a small bowl, combine the lemongrass, garlic, shallot, ginger, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, lime juice, peanut oil, brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place the chicken wings into a large resealable freezer bag and pour the marinade over the wings.
  3. Close the freezer bag and shake so that the chicken is well-coated with marinade. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Stir together the honey and soy sauce and set aside. Line a large sheet tray with foil or parchment paper. Place the wings on the tray and roast for 30 minutes, basting the wings with the honey-soy mixture once about half-way through and once close to the end of the roasting time.
  5. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the wings to a serving plate.
  6. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts and cilantro on top and serve.