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Crunchy Coated Baked Apples

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image-2001

Yield: Each apple is one serving, but most people will want more than one serving of this one!

Ingredients

6–8 medium green apples, peeled
Oil as needed
1½ cup crushed walnuts or almonds, or a mix of both
¼ cup sugar
1 packet vanilla sugar
White raisins, optional

Method

Peel and core each apple.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

In a bowl, mix together the crushed nuts, sugar, and vanilla sugar.

Brush each apple gently with a bit of oil. Roll each apple into the nut mixture.

Line a small baking pan with parchment baking paper. Stand up the coated apples in the pan. When they are all ready, spoon a bit of the nut mixture into the center of each apple’s hole. You may choose to add several golden raisins to each apple’s center as well. Place the pan into the oven and bake for about 45–55 minutes, checking them after the first 45 minutes. They are done when they are soft.

Gluten-free Chocolate Sponge Cake

Serves 6–8, depending on how generous you want to be with the slices…

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image-1998

Ingredients

8 eggs
1¼ cups sugar
5 T. cocoa
2½ – 3 & 1/2 T. potato starch

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Prepare a large 10″ tube pan. Although most sponge cakes say not to grease the pan, I do grease it very lightly. Then dust it lightly with a bit of cocoa, shaking off the excess. Set aside.

Separate the eggs, putting the yolks into one bowl and the whites into another bowl. Beat the whites until they are nearly stiff. Then add in half the sugar while continuing to beat the whites. Turn off the beaters and set the whites aside.

Beat the yolks until they are thick. Add the remaining sugar, and beat them until they are creamy. Add in the cocoa and potato starch and beat just another minute or two until they are incorporated. Turn off the beaters.

Fold both mixtures together using a rubber spatula. While folding, if the batter seems too liquidy, you may add in a bit more potato starch. Pour this into the prepared tube pan.

Bake for 50–75 minutes, checking to make sure it does not burn. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and place on a wire rack. Leave it for 15 minutes.

Now there are two options of how to release the cake, whole, from the pan.

After the first 15 minutes, turn the cake upside down by balancing it onto several flipped over cups and allowing it to cool while in this upside down position. My mother always does it this way and it usually works. Then, when it’s completely cooled, you release the cake from the pan with a sharp knife and gently take it out of the pan.

The second way, which is how I usually do it, is: prepare a large piece of foil, lined with one or two paper towels on it. After the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, slide a long, sharp knife around its edges, as well as around the innermost edges. Carefully flip the cake pan over onto the prepared foil. Remove the pan. Leave the cake to sit until it has cooled more, then wrap it up gently and freeze until the day of use.

To create the delicious glaze you see featured here which I also use when making brownies:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T. oil
2 T. cocoa
2 T. very hot water

Mix this all together in a small bowl by hand with a spoon. If it’s too thin and runny, add a bit more powdered sugar to it. If it’s too thick, add drips off water to it until it is still thick but can be spread. Allow it to drip and run all over the top of the cake, downwards, into its crevices and dents. You can then top it off with chocolate curls, just like in the photo. The cake itself can be frozen; I then add the topping to it directly before I want to serve it.

Great Presentational Effect on Your Crowd!

Butternut Squash Kugel

butternut squash kugel
image-1996
Serves approx. 8
Makes one 8×11-inch tray OR 1 medium sized loaf pan

Ingredients

2½ cups (20 oz) cooked and mashed butternut squash (about 2 medium squashes)
5/8 cup potato starch
½ cup oil
½ cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon

Method

Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Place the pieces in a large pot with about 2 inches of water, and cover the pot. Bring to a boil and cook them for 30 minutes, until the squash is fork tender. Remove the squash from the pot and let it cool. Scoop out the meat from the skin, discarding the skins. Mash the squash meat and measure out the amount needed.

Tip: Any extra squash can easily be frozen and used later in a vegetable soup.

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Sift the potato starch over the mashed squash with a small sifter or tea strainer. (This prevents lumps.) Add in the oil, sugar, and eggs. Mix together, by hand, very well until the batter is smooth.

Line an 8×11-inch baking pan or two medium sized loaf pans with baking paper OR spray them with baking spray. Pour the batter into the pan(s). Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top of the kugel. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until the center of the kugel tests firm when pierced with a knife. The center of the kugel, even when firm, should still be a bit moist. Be careful not to overbake the kugel. When it is done, it also cracks slightly on top.

Tip: This kugel slices neatest when it is cold. Make it one day in advance. The next day, slice it into neat squares and then it can be served cold or warmed up again, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

Double Layer “Shehakol” Cake

So rich, you will be amazed that it’s wheat free!

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image-1991

This recipe is from Mrs. Esther Strom, the mother of Tzippy, my graphic artist …which means it’s of course, incredible!

Tzippy says: This makes a large oven-size tray, approximately 13″ x 15 ” wide, (NOT a jelly roll pan, this pan should be deep and wide) and, because it’s very rich, you should serve it sliced into very small, bite-sized pieces. It’s such a winner that we make it during the year as well. It’s actually quick to make because while the base is baking you prepare the next layer.

Base

Ingredients

13 eggs, separated
1½ cups sugar
1 lb. / about 450- 500 grams ground hazelnuts = 4 & 1/4 cups ground nuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

Separate the eggs, setting the yolks aside for the top. Beat the whites until they are just beginning to turn white. Add in the sugar gradually and finish beating. Lower the mixing speed and add in the hazelnuts slowly. When it’s all incorporated, turn off the mixer. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and spread the batter into it. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Top

Ingredients

½ lb. / 225 grams chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons coffee granules, dissolved in a drop of hot water
1 cup of oil
Egg yolks set aside from the base recipe

Method

Melt together the chocolate, sugar, coffee, and oil in a double-boiler over a medium flame.

Beat the yolks until they are thick and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate mixture to this egg mixture and mix by hand until incorporated.

Spread this on top of the baked cake base and place it back into the oven to bake for another half hour. The cake will still be moist and will start to “crack” a bit on top when it is ready. Remove from the oven promptly and cut into bite-sized squares when cooled. Serve it as ‘minis’ in individual cupcake holders.

In the photo shown here we tried another way of serving it. There was nothing left when the photo was finished…

Salmon Gefilte Fish

This recipe has a story…

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image-1988
I made up this recipe one year when, Erev Pesach, the fish store near me had a sale on salmon, the only catch being that one had to buy the whole fish. Since my parents were coming to me and they enjoy fresh salmon, I ordered it. The only problem was that I would then have to take also the end parts, closest to the tail side of the fish, and no one in my family likes to eat those pieces. So I hit on a brilliant idea. I asked the store to prepare those end pieces for me like ground carp, so that I could do something else with it. When the fish came to the house, all pink and fresh looking, I couldn’t resist trying something newer with it. I followed the basic rules for gefilte fish but changed several things about it – and the results were fantastic! Even though it was literally only one day to Seder night, I sat down and typed this up so that I wouldn’t forget by the time Pesach was over, what I had done to this “made up recipe”…

Serves 8–10

Ingredients

1½ medium onions
6–8 cloves fresh garlic, optional
2 medium carrots
3 scallions
A very small bunch of fresh parsley
5 eggs
1 tsp. pepper
1 T. salt
¼ cup sugar
2¼ lbs / 1 kilo fresh salmon, ground

Broth ingredients:
1 onion
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt

Method

In a food processor fitted with the sharp “S” blade, grind together the onions, garlic, carrots, scallion, parsley, and dill. Add in the eggs, pepper, salt, and sugar and continue to blend it all together until it is completely pureed.

Place the raw ground salmon in a large mixing bowl and pour the pureed vegetable mixture in with it. Beat it all together using an electric hand mixer for 10 minutes, until it turns lighter in color and thicker in texture. Refrigerate this “fish mish” for a few hours or overnight.

Fill a large pot half-way with water and add the onion, carrot, sugar, and salt. Bring this to a boil.

With wet hands, form small patties or balls out of the fish mixture and drop them into the rapidly boiling water, one at a time. Cover the pot and after it has reached the boiling point, reduce the flame to low. Allow the fish to cook for 75–90 minutes. Remove the fish balls together with some of the broth to a flat, wide plastic container and refrigerate until use. Delicious, fluffy and truly a Yom Tov treat!

Serve with chrein and homemade mayonnaise as usual!!

Fruited Spinach Salad

This is so colorful and healthy!
Serves 6–8

44_FruitedSpinachSalad
image-1981

Ingredients

8 romaine lettuce leaves
2 lbs. / 1 kilo / an entire box of fresh spinach, washed and spun dry
1 can mandarin oranges
3 large green apples, chopped
1/2 cup craisins
1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
3 kiwis, sliced into circles

Method

Arrange the salad in the bowl as follows:

Tear or cut up the romaine lettuce leaves and toss them together with the spinach leaves. Arrange the mandarin oranges, apples, craisins, and pomegranate seeds all over; toss this together lightly by hand so it looks nice. Drizzle the dressing all over. Arrange the kiwi slices decoratively on top and serve.

Citrus Mayonnaise Dressing:

1 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate or fresh orange juice with pulp
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix the mayonnaise together with the juices until it can be poured or drizzled and serve.

Variation: Substitute the following fruit combo instead of what is listed above:

5 ripe pears, cubed
4 peach halves, canned or fresh, cubed
2 bananas, sliced, with a bit of lemon juice added to them so they won’t turn brown
1/2 cup toasted almonds, crushed

Mandarin Orange Beet Salad

Beets keep well for longer periods of time, are full of healthy vitamins, and have so many varied uses. Instead of just average borscht or chrein, why not try something new this year?

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image-1518

Tip

You can freeze cooked beets and when they are defrosted, they are just as good as the day they were cooked. This is a GREAT time saver. I buy a lot of beets at one time, and then peel, check and boil them all on the same day. After they are cooled, since they shred and/or chop nicest when they are cold, I cut/shred/slice them into whatever form I want to store away. Then I pack them into disposable plastic containers, label what they will be for, and freeze them. This saves tons of time during the holiday, and also saves me some valuable fridge space. Plus, I do not have to worry about the beets going bad in the fridge, nor wilting or going moldy in storage before they are even cooked.

I really enjoy this particular salad, and surprisingly, so do my kids. If you need to cut down on sugar intake, you can cut the sugar here to 2 Tablespoons and still maintain its flavor from just the fruits in the salad. The taste is outstanding, and the presentation is so pretty with the vivid splash of colors against each other…

Mandarin Orange Beet Salad

This ratio makes enough for 4 people

Ingredients

2- 2 1/2 cups cooked and shredded beets, which is about 3 medium sized beets
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice or vinegar
1/4 cup juice from what the beets were cooked in; (or just use the mandarin orange juice below, if you threw out the beet juices by accident)
1/4 cup almond slices
6 dried apricots, diced
1/3 cup white raisins, optional
1 can mandarin orange pieces, juice included
1/4 -1/2 cup pine nuts for garnishing, optional (this depends if you can find it in your area with a Pesachdik hechsher)

Method

Mix together the beets, sugar, salt, and juice and water. Refrigerate until serving. Right before serving, add in almond slices, diced apricots, and white raisins, tossing just a bit. Decorate with the mandarin orange slices arranged nicely on top, along with the pine nuts and serve.

Olive Dip

Dip right into this tasty spread, whether with matzo or even…challah!
Some of you wrote me requesting a dip made from olives. Here it is — and we’d love to know how you enjoy it, or your own dip for challah ideas that you’d like to share with all of us!

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image-1394

Ingredients

Non Dairy (Pareve)

1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic powder OR 1-2 fresh garlic cloves
1/3 cup olives
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Method

Blend and use

Variation:

To make a dairy one, substitue soft white cheese (Gveena levana in Israel)
or cream cheese for the mayonnaise. Healthier too and quite tasty!

Another variation is to do this:

Dice up 2 medium sized onions and saute them in 2 tablespoons of oil until just golden. Add these to the olives in the blender and then blend and use.

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