Chanukah Sameach!

***GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANKS FOR SHARING ALL OF YOUR GREAT IDEAS!***

Chanukah Sameach!

I really can’t believe it’s Chanukah already! I feel like we just took down the Sukkah (or did you?!)

I’m so excited to join in the 2012 Hanukkah Blog Party! So many fantastic bloggers, so many incredible recipes. Please take a look around and be inspired! The best part? One in 6 chances of winning a prize! See below for giveaway details! FYI – at the last blog party,  one of my readers WON!

My idea was for printable Chanukah decorations and gift tags! Here is a PDF (TheKosherHome_ChanukahArt) for you to print at home! I’ve made picture frame sized images for 8×10, 5×7, 4×6, and 3×5 – mount them on blue cardstock if you’d like or as is! There is also a banner, gift tags and circles for the tops of cupcakes, or stick them on Chanukah Gelt! Go ahead – embellish with glitter and rhinestones! Ideas are as endless as you imagination!

Go ahead – feel free to send me some pictures of how you use these printables in your home, or at your Chanukah Party! I can’t wait to see! Some ideas are below!

DOWNLOAD FILE HERE: TheKosherHome_ChanukahArt

Welcome to the first ever Hanukkah Blog Party, hosted by Leah of Cook Kosher and Miriam of Overtime Cook. It’s traditional on Hanukkah to eat fried treats, most notably donuts and latkes, and we’ve got a fabulous array of Hanukkah themed recipes, treats and crafts from Jewish bloggers all over the world! Scroll down for links to all of the delicious treats. 

To help get everyone into party mode, we have a bunch of fabulous new cookbooks to GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win one of:

2 copies of Susie Fishbein’s new Kosher By Design Cooking Coach (sponsored by Artscroll)
2 copies of Leah Schapira’s  Fresh and Easy Kosher Cooking (sponsored by Artscroll) 
2 copies of Esther Deutch’s CHIC Made Simple (sponsored by the author)

Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 16th. Limit one entry per person per blog, so visit the other blogs for extra chances to win! 
Prizes can only be shipped within the US. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address in order to qualify.

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post tell me your favorite way to decorate your home for Chanukah!

This is the second of many fabulous Holiday Blog Parties. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to participate in future parties, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com

Stop by the other blogs and check out these Chanukah Themed Recipes:
Latkes:

Jamie from Joy of Kosher made Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki
Daniel from Peikes Cookbook made Potato and Fennel Latkes Fried in Duck Fat With Chinese Five Spice Apple Sauce
Susan from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Squash and Potato Latkes

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Ruby Red Beet Latkes with Cumin

Nechamah from TIforOA Food Ideas made Healthy Oatmeal Latkes
Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Traditional Potato Latkes
Yosef from This American Bite made Latkes & Brisket on Rye
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food made (I Can’t Believe They’re Crispy!) Baked Latkes
Laura from Mother Would Know made Three Variations of Sweet and Savory Latkes
Sarah from Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends made Kimchee Latkes
Shulie from Food Wanderings made Baked Panko Sweet Potato Leek Latkes
Donuts and Desserts: 
Miriam from Overtime Cook made Shortcut Cannoli with Chocolate Mousse Filling
Leah from Cook Kosher made 5 Minute Donuts
Estee from The Kosher Scoop made Tropical Fruit Fritters
Melinda from Kitchen-Tested made Sweet Steamed Buns
Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat made Homemade Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Gelt
Avidan from Baking It Up As I Go Along made Orange Olive Oil Cake
Tali from More Quiche Please made Glazed Chocolate Donut Holes
Amital from Organized Jewish Home made Mom’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Princess Lea from The Frumanista made Túrógombóc
Stephanie and Jessica from The Kosher Foodies made Beignets
Gigi from Gigi’s Kitchen made Bunuelos: Mini Powdered Cheese Donuts 
Esther from Esther O Designs made Edible Menorahs
Patti from No Bacon Here made Hanukkah Oreo Balls
Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve made Churros con Chocolate
Shaindy from My Happily Hectic Life made Inside Out Apple Crisp
Eve from Gluten Free Nosh made Gluten-Free Hanukkah Sugar Cookies
The Gluten Free maven made Gluten Free Vegan Cake Donuts
Amy from Baking and Mistaking made Mini Cream-Filled French Beignets
Sarah from Food, Words, Photos made Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Victoria from Itsy Bitsy Balebusta made Pure Vanilla Donuts
Vicky and Ruth from May I Have That Recipe made Dulce de Leche and Eggnog cream filled mini sufganiot
Dena from Oh You Cook made Poached Pears in Pomegranate Sauce
Michele from Kosher Treif Cooking made Tiramisu Cheessecake
Sharon from FashionIsha made Sparkly Chanukah Cookies
Appetizers, Soups, Sauces, Drinks and other Hanukkah Food:
Laura from Pragmatic Attic made Caramel Spice Applesauce
Jessie from Bread and Butter made Honey Spiced Hanukkah Martini
G6 from Guess Who’s Coming 2 Dinner made Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Claire from I Love Soup made Sweet Potato, Coconut & Lemongrass Soup
Jennifer from Juanita’s Cocina made Kugel
Liz from Kosher Like Me made Ready, Stuff Roll! 

Crockpot Mac n Cheese!

 

Crockpot mac n cheese. You heard that right! Did I lose you yet? Soft, creamy, delicious and decadent.

I’m sure by now you know I’m a huge crockpot user (and lover!) Long days out of the house, while the rest of my family still needing to eat has encouraged me to get creative.

Peoples objection to weekday crockpot meals is that they feel each meal tastes, or has the consistancy of chulent. I’m here to tell you now, I don’t make chulent. I think I’ve made it once or twice. But the leftovers are unappealing and for most people inedible. The thought of throwing it out upsets me.

When I stumbled upon a fantastic blog, crockpot365.blogspot.com I was smitten! Browsing through the recipes, Mac n Cheese caught my eye! Raw noodles in the crockpot? Must be a mistake! No. No, it wasn’t.

My version, adapted from there produces a creamy, decadent bowl of comfort yumminess.

I must say though, this recipe is not a “set it and forget it” one. I suggest keeping an eye on it. I took pictures during the cooking process for you to see. While this isn’t a recipe you can set at 7am and eat at 8pm, it’s a treat for you to enjoy!

Crockpot Mac n Cheese!
 

Ingredients
  • 12oz’s uncooked noodles (I used rotini, because that’s what I had on hand).
  • 4 cups 1% milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tap pepper

Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Spray the inside of the crockpot with an oil based spray. Pour mixture into crockpot and set on high for 3 hours. Do not open the lid!
  3. After 1 hour, life the lid and take a peak. Give the mixture a stir. Replace the lid and walk away.
  4. After another 30 minutes lift the lid again and stir. The mixture should be soft and bubbly, but not burning on the edges. The noodles should be fluffy as they’ve absorbed the liquid.
  5. Depending on your crockpot, your mac n cheese may be ready now, or it may need more time.
  6. At this point, feel free to enjoy it as is, or if you are like us, you may want to pour it into a ceramic diah, sprikle with cornflake crumbs, some paprika and some shredded parmesan cheese! Bake for 5-8 minutes in the oven at 400′ until it reaches the level of doneness that you enjoy!

*my recipe includes baking it in the oven for 5-8 minutes to give it a crispy top. Depending on how you enjoy your mac n cheese, feel free to not do this part (we fight over the crunchy bits!)

This will either serve 4 people, or 1 (!) depending if you are willing to share.

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!

Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!

Welcome to the first ever Jewish Holiday Blog Party, hosted by Jessie of Taste and Miriam of Overtime Cook, and sponsored by Kitchen Aid! As you may know, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is coming up, and Jewish bloggers from all over the world are celebrating with all kinds of twists on traditional Rosh Hashanah foods.

 

To kick off the celebration, Levana Kirschenbaum is giving away a copy of her fabulous new book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment on this post. Limit one entry per reader per blog so click over to the other participating blogs below for your chance at additional entries! Giveaway ends 5 am eastern time on September 11th, 2012. Prize is sponsored by Levana and available to readers from all blogs participating in the Rosh Hashanah Blog Party. Prize can only be shipped within the US. 

 
I’m so excited to join the Rosh Hashanah Blogger Party! Special thanks to Miriam at overtimecook.com and Jessie from jessiekaufman.com for putting this all together!

I’ve tried to push the envelope for a fun apple challah recipe for the holidays! Adding pomegranates takes it over.the.edge! I may have had to break into it to taste! Yum! Yum! With a drizzle of extra honey, what could be better?

Feel free to use your favorite challah dough recipes – egg, water, whole wheat, or even store bought frozen. What I love about this recipe is it’s ease! I’m now working very fulltime, with a long commute to boot (and loving it all!). Baking challah weekly isn’t something I haven’t been able to work into the schedule, unfortunately! So when I was introduced to a  new item on the market, Viola! Hallah! I couldn’t have been more excited! Little mess, little fuss, great results!

Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!
 

Ingredients
  • Challah dough
  • 1 apple, peeled and diced smalled
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • egg white or honey

Instructions
  1. Sprinkle cinnamon on the diced apples and add pomegranates. If you have a hard time finding pomegranates, go ahead and use pomegranate flavored craisins!
  2. Roll challah dough into a long and thin strip. You can either use a rolling pin, or your finger tips!
  3. Add the apple and pomegranate mixture all over the dough. Along the long side of the dough, pinch the edges so the mixture is enclosed.
  4. Roll the dough into a round challah, place into a round tin, or on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  5. Brush with egg white and bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. While warm, drizzle with honey and enjoy!

 

Stop by and check out some of these amazing Rosh Hashanah themed recipes on the following blogs:

Challah and Bread:
Marlene of The Jewish Hostess made Apple Challah
Amanda of The Challah Blog made Pomegranate Challah
Shelley of The Kosher Home made Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!

Sides, Salads and Starters: 
Sarah of Food, Words, Photos made Tzimmes (Rosh Hashanah Carrots)
Tali of More Quiche, Please made Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Roberta and Lois of Kosher Eye made Simanim Salad
Chanie of Busy In Brooklyn made Pomegranate Coleslaw
Rivki of Life in the Married Lane made Super Salad
Hannah of Cooking Manager made Beets Marinated with Ginger and Garlic
Sina of The Kosher Spoon made Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous
Shulie of Food Wanderings made Rosh Hashanah Salad
Hindy of Confident Cook-Hesitant Baker made Warm Roasted Beets with Farro
Sarah of Kosher Street made Sweet Potato Apple Tzimmes
Main Dishes:
Jessie of Taste made Smoked Salmon
Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Chicken with Dates
Michele of Kosher Treif Cooking made Coconut Chicken Strips with two dipping sauces
Melinda of Kitchen Tested made Key Lime Glazed Duck
Stephanie and Jessica of The Kosher Foodies made Chicken Braised in Pomegranate
Liz of The Lemon Bowl made Beef Brisket
Estee of Anyone Interested? made Easy Breazy 5 Minute Brisket
Desserts and Drinks:
Miriam of Overtime Cook made Mini Apples and Honey Tarts
Laura of Pragmatic Attic made Fresh Ginger Honey Cake
Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Honey Caramel Apple Galette
Danielle of Hugs and Cookies xoxo made The World’s Best Rugelach
Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat made an Apple and Honey Cocktail
Nick of The Baking Process made Apple and Date Honey Squares
Lisa of The Monday Morning Cooking Club made Honey Chiffon Cake and Traditional Honey Cake
Leah of Cook Kosher made Pomegranate Ice Cream
Nossi of The Kosher Gastronome made Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel
This is the first of hopefully many exciting Holiday Blog Parties, so if you would like to join in the fun, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com.

“Meat” Lasagne!

lasagne

In my not-so-scientific survey, most people say ‘real’ lasagne (or cheeseburgers!) would be their one non-kosher meal of choice. And who blames them?

Morningstar Farms have released a new $1 off coupon for their products! Love coupons! It’s like free money for items you’re already buying!

We love the Morningstar Farms Crumbles – it’s so incredibly versatile! chilli, meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, oh my!

Here is a recipe, adapted from Morningstar Farms website! Cheesey and delish!

“Meat” Lasagne!
Main, dairy, shavuot, chanukah

 

Adapted from Morningstar Farms.
Ingredients
  • 1 can (14½ oz.) diced Italian style tomatoes
  • 1 jar (26 oz.) marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces MorningStar Farms Crumbles
  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces fat-free cottage cheese
  • ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Instructions
  1. Combine tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, and Morningstar Farms Crumbles in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  2. Spread ⅓ of tomato mixture in bottom of 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Arrange ½ of the noodles over the sauce. Spread ½ the cottage cheese over the noodles. Top with another ⅓ of the sauce. Repeat using remaining noodles, cottage cheese, and sauce. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake at 350° F for 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Return to oven uncovered for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Let stand for 10 minutes, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Recipe Adapted from: Morningstar Farms
Image Credit: Morningstar Farms 

June 17: Apple Strudel Day!

Apple Strudel

Am I the only one who remembers their grandparents enjoying Apple Strudel?

Am I the only one  who would pick out the raisins?

Just askin’!

Today is National Apple Strudel Day! I found this wonderful and easy recipe at Taste of Home. Some recipes had so many steps! Sweet Pea Kitchen even used a tablecloth to roll it! Wow!

Drizzled with honey, this would make a fantastic Rosh Hashanah treat!

June 17: Apple Strudel Day!

12
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons plus ½ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cold butter
  • ¾ cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 cups chopped tart apples
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • FROSTING:
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fat-free milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped nuts, optional

Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times.
  2. Roll out into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Top with apples; sprinkle with cinnamon and remaining sugar.
  3. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Place on a parchment paper-lined 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 425° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Remove from pan to a wire rack. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla; drizzle over warm strudel. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
  5. Note: This would be wonderful Pareve, using margarine and soy milk!

Recipe Credit: Taste of Home
Photo Credit:  Taste of Home

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

Goat Cheese and Scallion Mini Muffins

Had enough of carrot muffins made out of baby food? Yeh, me too. While they are delicious, we’ve seen them 1001 times. At least.

Here is a great mini muffin recipe perfect for a Chanukah party, Shavuot, or even a weekday breakfast or Sunday brunch!

Goat Cheese and Scallion Mini Muffins
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 ounces soft mild goat cheese (Trader Joes or Costco sells kosher versions!)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 bunch scallions

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl stir together the goat cheese 2 tablespoons of the milk until combined.
  2. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. Melt butter and in another small bowl whisk together with remaining milk and egg.
  4. Chop green onions using both the white and the green parts.
  5. Stir butter mixture and green onions into flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Put batter into greased mini muffin tins and top with a dollop of the goat cheese.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Let cool slightly before serving.
  8. Makes around 25 mini muffins

Photo Credit: Clockwork Lemon
Recipe Credit: Epicurious.com