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Quinoa with Peas and Cranberries

Submitted by Laura, a Challah Bytes reader

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
Salt to taste (I use 3/4 of a teaspoon to one cup uncooked quinoa)
1 small (or medium) onion — depends on how much you like onions
1 tablespoon curry powder — you can use less if you don’t want it too spicy
1/4 – 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar – depends on how “vinegary” you want it — I used a little less than 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon brown sugar — you can use a little more if you want it sweeter
1/4 cup small frozen green peas
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cranberries — not cranberry sauce

Method

1) Place uncooked quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and wash thoroughly. Drain well.
*Tamar’s note: I usually soak my quinoa in water for about 30 minutes and then drain, this takes off some of it’s bitterness.

2) Put quinoa in a pot with two cups of water and salt .
3) Cover and bring to a boil.
While the quinoa is being brought to a boil slice onion into small pieces (cubes) and fry lightly in some oil until they are translucent and beginning to brown. Turn off flame and set aside.
Also, at this time, give the peas and cranberries a quick “dunk” in boiling water, strain and set aside
4) When quinoa comes to a boil, turn flame down and continue to cook quinoa until all the water is absorbed — around 10-15 minutes.
5) Turn off flame, keep pot covered and let steam for around five minutes — can be a little longer.
6) Quickly add vinegar, spices, lightly fried onions, brown sugar, peas and cranberries to the cooked quinoa; stir everything together.
7) Cover pot, and let everything “steam” together for around ten minutes.

Thanks Laura, for sharing with us this flavorful dish!

“American” cream cheese

Here’s how to make your own.

Ingredients

2 containers (comes to 2 cups of sour cream) shamenet (I use ones with less fat)
2 containers leben (equivalent to 2 cups buttermilk)
2 tsp salt

Method

Mix together.
Place a clean dry cloth with clothespins over a large bowl.
Pour it all in and in a few hours or even the end of the day, it will be cream cheese!
I also cover the cheese on the top while its draining so it won’t get flies or the like in it.
When done, transfer to a container and refrigerate.

It’s tastes amazing!

Cheesecake Petit Fours

Now here’s something sweet and small that is not your usual boring cookie cake.

Ingredients

1 container / 250 grams of soft white Tnuva 5% cheese
6 oz. of bisquitim cookies – you’d have to actually weigh them before you crush them
**once it is crushed, it comes out to 1 & 1/2 cups of crumbs, loosely packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar
A few drops of any sweet white wine; a few drops is less than a half a capful

Method

Weigh the cookies first; then crush them into crumbs. Place the crumbs in a bowl.
Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix together by hand until completely incorporated.
Refrigerate for one hour.
The ‘dough’ should be firm enough to roll balls. If it seems too loose to you, add a bit more crumbs.

Form small balls from this cookie ‘dough’ and line them up on a tray to freeze until solid. Leave them in the freezer while you go on to the next step.

Topping/Dipping

You can now choose to dip and/ or roll the petit fours in a variety of different ways.

Chocolate
To dip them into melted chocolate, and here we will use a good quality MILCHIGS chocolate since they are milchigs anyways (!!) leave the tray in the freezer and only remove about 5 or so petit fours at a time for dipping.

Lay a sheet of fresh baking paper on another tray and then using a toothpick, dip the petit fours one at a time into the chocolate, let it drip off a bit, then gently release it onto the clean baking paper.
Keep doing this until you have dipped as many as you want to.

For a different effect, melt some white chocolate also. Or drizzle lines of opposite chocolate colors onto the petit fours.

Sprinkles
If you want to dip them into sprinkles, set up a small bowl nearby with colored or chocolate sprinkles and dip them in while still wet.

Other topping ideas

You can roll them, without chocolate, into:
Grated chocolate
Grated nuts
Cinnamon
Coconut
Crushed cookie crumbs

Or you can even leave them plain!

Enjoy!

Luscious Cheesecake

Serves 10-12
Ingredients

7 eggs, separated
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups low fat cream cheese
OR 500 grams 5% Tnuva Gveena Levana soft white cheese
1-2 T. lemon juice
1 cup sour cream OR 1 container “Shamenet Tnuva”
3 T. potato starch **

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Add in 1 cup of the sugar and continue beating until it is a semi-stiff snow.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until the mixture is thick.
Add the Tnuva white cheese, lemon juice, Tnuva sour cream/ Shamenet and potato starch and beat together until it is smooth.
Using a spatula, fold the whites into this mixture by hand.

Pour the batter out into a 9×13 pan OR a 10 inch round springform pan.
Bake for 50 minutes until the cake is firm and golden on top.
Turn off the oven but DO NOT remove the cake yet! Leave it to sit in the oven until the oven is cool.
Remove the cake carefully and let it finish cooling.

This slices and serves wonderfully as is. However if you want a topping on it…

Topping:

2 cups sour cream OR 2 containers Tnuva Shamenet
4 T. sugar

Mix this together and spread it over the cake.

For a nice splash of color, add fresh strawberries or blueberries on top of the cake.
Drizzle over some strawberry sauce and serve.

Freezes well.

Easy No-bake Cheesecakes

Ingredients

2 ½ cups / 500 grams soft white cream cheese (the Gveena l’vana 5% for Israel)
1 cup sour cream (for Israel, use one container Shamenet)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup powdered vanilla pudding ; this is about a half container of one of those boxes of powdered pudding mixes
1 small Rich’s whip
¼ cup cocoa
Plain cookies, ie, tea biscuits – some in plain vanilla, some in plain chocolate, to be able to make the contrasting colors
3 T. cocoa, reserved

Method

To make the ‘batter’, mix as follows:
Add together the soft cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, pudding powder and mix together well until it’s smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip up the whip and then fold that in as well.

Take out two disposable aluminum baking pans, something a tad smaller than a 9×13.
If you plan to make both colors on one day, you will need to double the cheese batter recipe, if you want to have two full 9×13 pans’ worth of each color.

Now simply layer the ‘cakes’.
Put down a thin layer of cheese on the bottom of the pan to keep the cookies from sliding around.
Layer on one layer of cookies, and then a thick layer of cheese mix.
Keep doing this until you end off with a top layer of cookies.

For the vanilla cheesecake, you can then melt 100 grams / about 4 oz. dark milchigs chocolate and using a spoon, just drizzle it all over on top of the cake.

Another topping idea:
Take some of the cheese mixture, and mix in by hand the cocoa listed above.
Then, after it is smooth, simply smear it all over the top of the cake.
It will turn into ‘frosting’!

Let the cake sit in the fridge, covered, overnight.
By the next day, the cheeses and cookies will have soaked into each other, thereby creating a real cheesecake texture. And best of all, no worrying about a milchigs oven!

Here’s a topping for the finished “cake” EVERYONE is sure to love – buy a packet of chocolate/white candies, like “Clicks” and put them on all over the cake or adding some to the top of each square as you cut them. Really fun and delicious!

Cauliflower Cheese Toss

Ingredients

1 bag bug-free frozen cauliflower
2-4 onions
4 tablespoons oil
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Leftover challah for crumbs, for a total of 1-2 cups breadcrumbs
½ cup shredded yellow cheese (or more, if you can afford the calories!)

Method

Use as much cauliflower, or, alternatively, broccoli, or even a mix of both, as you think will feed your crowd.
For 4 people, you only need about 4 cups of cauliflower total (or about a half bag of the average size frozen veggie bags).

In a large (dairy) covered pot place 1 inch of water with the cauliflower.
Steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes.

How to steam:
Turn the flame under the pot of veggies on high just until you see steam, which should not take longer than 5 minutes!

Uncover the pot so the cooking process will stop. Otherwise, you will have very soft cauliflower.
Drain the cauliflower and make sure there is no water left in the pot.
Then add the cauliflower back in, uncovered.
Not overcooking it also preserves more of its natural vitamins and minerals.
Drain off any excess liquid.

I like this with lots of onions, so I used two large ones for only a half a bag, along with a full cup of toasted breadcrumbs.

Slice 2-4 large onions in half lengthwise.
Start to sautee them in 3 tablespoons oil. You can use butter as well, as it certainly will taste great.
Keep stirring and sautéing them until they start to caramelize and turn golden brown.
Before they are too dark, quickly add in the breadcrumbs and add another 1 tablespoon of oil.
Toss repeatedly in the pan, and make sure it does not burn.
Turn off the flame and add in ½ tsp. pepper and 1 ½ tsp. salt.
Place this all back in the pot the cauliflower was steamed in.
Toss to distribute everything evenly.
Turn on the flame for two – three minutes to heat.
When hot, spoon out into the serving dish.
Sprinkle cheese on top for garnish and serve immediately.

This idea is not terribly difficult to do but it tastes so good you will be surprised by how quickly it gets eaten up!

Spiced Mustard Salmon

Ingredients

1 kilo fresh salmon
1/2 cup any type prepared mustard; Dijon is best (not mustard spread, which is really just mayo)
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
Oil spray

Method

Pat the fish dry with paper towels.
Lay it down in a parchment paper lined baking tray, skin side down.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
Spread the mustard all over the fish.
Sprinkle the spices all over the fish.
Spray the fish with oil spray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Tip: If you like an extra spicy kick to your food, use hot paprika instead of sweet when preparing this fish.

Serve the fish as is or on a bed of on a bed of healthful sautéed vegetables, such as green beans, onions, baby carrots, red pepper slices, etc.

Teriyaki Salmon

Ingredients

1/4 cup red dry wine
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 honey
2 tablespoons water
1 kilo fresh salmon, sliced

Method

Mix first four ingredients together.
Place the fish slices in a glass dish or large plastic container.
Pour the sauce over it and cover.
Let it sit in the fridge in the sauce for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
Place the fish slices, together with all the juices, into a lined pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Test the center of the fish; if raw, bake a bit longer.
If it is just done, take it out and cover it so the heat of the fish finishes the cooking.
Spoon the sauce over the slices, and serve.

Four Glaze Toppings for Chanukah Doughnuts

Here are easy and DIY recipes for glazing many flavors of doughnuts.

Chocolate glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons oil

Mix in a bowl with a spoon until smooth. It should be the consistency of loose peanut butter. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it comes out too thick to spread add in a bit more water. Re mix and spread on your cooled down doughnuts!

White glaze:

Do all of the above but take out the cocoa; add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead

Lemon glaze:

Same as white glaze but instead of vanilla extract, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice instead and decrease the water by the same amount

Coffee glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in the water first
2 tablespoons oil

Mix the coffee and water together first to make sure it is dissolved. Then add the rest and stir to form a glaze

Other fun toppings:

When your doughnuts are wet with glaze, you can sprinkle on any kind of fun toppings such as:
Colored sprinkles
Chocolate sprinkles
Chocolate bits
White shredded coconut
Ground nuts
Or anything else you like
Enjoy!

Mini Honey Cake Muffins

We eat and also give honey cake out to friends in honor of Rosh Hashana, to symbolize our wish that they enjoy a sweet new year…I’ve been making these for years and they are always amazing…what a tasty way to say Shana Tova…

Makes about 45-50 or so mini muffins

Ingredients

3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups flour (you can use 70% whole wheat flour too!)
1 cup warm water + 1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved into it

Method

Place the eggs into the mixer, no need to separate them.
Beat them on high; add in the sugar; turn down the speed and add in the oil.
Using the same measuring cup as the oil, measure out the honey; the oil that was in the cup will make the honey slide right out of it.
Add in all the other ingredients in the order listed and then beat them together until they are smooth.
If batter gets stuck to the sides of the bowl, scrape it down and re-beat for one minute so there will not be any lumps of flour stuck in your batter.
Pour into lined muffin cups.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Bake the mini muffins for 10 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
Freezes well.

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