Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Zucchini Pastrami Kugel

I was right when I said, I would not be able to post for a while.  I have cooked literally dozens of new dishes but had no time to blog.  I thought, I would get at least one here to prove I didn't forget you.

The holiday, we are celebrating is Succos and it is a time we eat and some sleep in the sukkah, a temporary structure covered with wood slats or branches or bamboo.  People decorate them with pictures and projects, the children make in school.

If you are interested in learning more about the holiday and its meaning, I found should fill you in.

Here is the inside of one which I found online. 

Some are fortunate and have a yard where they can build their sukkah which is relatively close to the kitchen.  Some live in apartment houses and have a shared sukkah outside meaning, all the food is taken from the floor they live on down several flights of stairs.  Since we do not use elevators on the holiday itself, it means carrying the food through the halls and on the staircases.

We have to walk through my house since we built ours on a porch located on the other side of the house from the kitchen.  We line up like a brigade, each carrying another dish.  Truthfully, it is fun and eating outside, singing and sharing is more fun.  You can hear the singing from sukkahs up and down the block.  It is the spirit of community.

 I did not even get pictures of a lot of my food and the ones I took were done hurriedly,  The zucchini pastrami kugel photo was taken after the first days of the holiday and I used leftovers for the picture.

Zucchini Pastrami Kugel


2  zucchini, sliced about a half inch wide
2 eggs 
1/4 cup matzo meal 
1 tablespoon mayonnaise 
2 tablespoons packaged dry onion soup mix 
1/4 - 1/2 pound pastrami, chopped


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.

In medium saucepan boil zucchini for ten minutes until it softens. 

Using potato masher, mash.  

Add  remaining ingredients and continue to mash until all is mixed well.n

 Spoon into baking dish.

Add in pastrami and mix into zucchini mix and  bake for 40 minutes. 

Eat and enjoy.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Carrot-Apple Kugel

When I prepare for the holidays, I marathon cook.  So far today, I have made two broccoli kugels, 2 cauliflower-leek kugels, a ton of kneidlach (matzah balls) and this carrot apple kugel.  I didn't start till almost 2 o'clock.

We just finished the first two days of the holiday Rosh Ha Shana, head of the year, and while we eat well, that is not the priority.  The meals were good but my focus is on Succos which comes around in two weeks.  There are six major meals a week plus a seventh smaller one (not counting regular meals on the non-holidays.  Each meal has challah, a fish course with salad, soup, meat or poultry with a few side dishes and desserts.  By the last meal, I am full before we start.

Along side of the heavier dishes which I make ahead of time, I like to serve fresh vegetables to lighten the meals.  I also make the potato and apple dishes a day or two before the holiday since I don't find they freeze well.  So far I have two huge soups in the freezer and I want to make two more.  I just cook and cook with little thought to the menus.  I know, if I make some veggies, some protein and some grains, it will work out to be a rather balanced meal.  Salads are usually made fresh except for possibly a potato salad.

I have not thought much about desserts yet but I do have a few recipes, I have been saving to make.

I love fussing in the kitchen so this is not a chore for me.  There is contentment in the chopping and peeling.

Carrot-Apple Kugel


10 grated carrots (I used my food processor)

2-3 apples, grated in food processor with carrots

1 /3 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
4 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon rind
2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups gluten free or AP flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray.
 Add to the carrots, apples, eggs. oil, honey and lemon rind.

Add flour to the carrot mixture.

 Pour batter into pan into 9 inch round baking pan and bake for 45 minutes or longer if still wet in the middle.

Eat and enjoy,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Posting Sporadically

The Jewish holidays are upon us and they go on for a month.  There is much spiritual, emotional and physical preparation.  I don't want to commit to the blog and then not come through. 

I have new wonderful recipes that I have been making and I am excited about sharing them with you. Whenever, I find free time between teaching, celebrating the holy days, being a wife, mom and grandmom, I will post.

Wishing those who are Jewish a sweet new year.  May you be blessed with all that you need.  To everyone, enjoy and happy cooking.


All the above are from Bing Images.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Eggplant, Ricotta, Parmesan Bake - Donna Hay

For me, this is one of the best recipes, we have had, so far.  The Eggplant, Ricotta and Parmesan Bake was chosen by Margaret for our Wednesday with Donna Hay group.  I knew originally when I saw the ingredients, I would love this.  It is my kind of dish.  Even if you are not a fan of eggplant, it is well disguised and I think most people who like a cheesy kind of dish, would enjoy it.

The ingredients include eggplant, ricotta, parmesan, eggs, cream and basil.  They seem to be made for each other.  I finished this by myself over several days.  You can find the recipe here.  You can see what others have done with this recipe here.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Corn Salad with Pastrami

I have not added many new recipes in the last week because school started and I found it hard not to think about  my class and what will make it an effective year for them.  I believe strongly in a class personality and that factor determines how I handle the class both in learning and discipline.

I am teaching two classes, this year, and when I walked into each one, I felt good.  The boys were normal with no one glaring as a discipline problem.  I know that in one class there is a child who has been difficult over the years.  I made it a point to connect with him immediately.  He behaved and participated.  One day of success.  Now for the days to come.

Last year, the class was supposed to be a dream class and from the moment I walked in, I felt a tension, I never felt before in that room.  It remained for at least half the year and never dissipated completely.  It took me months to understand that this class felt entitled.  They were a smart group and had been told this for years and finally it caught up with them (it not before).  

Never having a class that I didn't love from day 1, this was very confusing for me.  As the year went on, I become attached to the individual students but I never felt the attachment, I usually feel.  I believed I had failed.

This year, walking in and seeing enthusiasm, I was refreshed and motivated once again.  I hope the year will prove my instincts and observations correct.

Last month when I started adding pastrami to a variety of dishes and receiving abundant compliments, I decided to fool around with adding the meat to other types of food.  This week, I was making a corn salad and the pastrami fit right in.  It gives it a lot more flavor and varies the texture.

Corn Salad with Pastrami


2 cups of corn kernels

4 ounces sliced pastrami, cut into one-inch pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
1/2 a red pepper, diced
½ red onion, chopped fine
½ cup mayonnaise
11/2 tablespoon  Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar 


Place corn, pastrami, tomatoes, red pepper and red onion into a bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. 

Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly.

Eat and enjoy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Broccoli Soup with Pasta - Hazan

This week, I made Broccoli Soup with Beans and Pasta.  This is the easiest recipe, the perfect one to make when you come home from work, with little impetus to fuss, in the kitchen.  It has few ingredients and is from the book, "Thirty Minute Pasta" by Giuliano Hazan.  This is my contribution to our group of cooking ladies who weekly attempt to make a recipe from this book.  The recipes are generally easy, yet delicious.

Check out the blogs of these ladies Kayte, Margaret, Peggy, Glennis to see what they have made this week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Rush Hour Chili - Ellie Krieger

This dish is in prep for the cold weather that will surely come our way in the near future although that is hard to believe, at the moment, with the sun shining down upon us with such a strong force.

This is the perfect dish to come home to, after work, when I am tired and want to warm up.  It can be made ahead of time and it can be served with noodles, rice, quinoa or vegetables.

Rush Hour Chili was selected by Gaye and is found on page 101  in Weeknight Wonders by Ellie Krieger.  This book gets closer to my heart and tummy with each recipe I make.  This is another easy to make meal that fills you mouth with flavor.  I would gladly make this again.  Thanks Gaye.

Check out what our other members did this week with chili at Eating with Ellie. (EwE)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Spaghetti with a Savory Onion Sauce

Each week, I skim through the pages and each week, there is a recipe that I stop for, this Spaghetti with a Savory Onion Sauce.  Then I continue, to check the ingredients and keep on turning pages.  The reason is that this calls for anchovies and I don't want to use anchovies and it seems to me that would be a major ingredient with all the flavor it brings to a dish.  In trying to be true to this recipe and others that call for anchovies, I have lost the opportunity to enjoy them,

I looked online for a similar recipe by Hazan and I found it here.  This makes a larger quantity and does NOT have anchovies.  Otherwise with minor exceptions, the recipes are almost the same.  Since the ingredients are the same, I decided to make the one from the book without the anchovies.

There are differences in the steps to the final dish, the reason most likely being the thirty- minute guideline.  The one on has the onions sauteing for almost 45 minutes; the book called for 15.  The fat to fry the onions in on was a combination of butter and olive oil and the book called for olive oil.  Both used parsley, white wine, Parmesan, black peper and salt.

The end result was a solid dish I was proud to put on the table.  I love the caramelized onion in the mix and it was a refreshing change from a tomato sauce.

I can't wait to see what  Kayte, Margaret, Peggy, Glennis have made this week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mulled Cider Sweet Potatoes

Before I fill you in on this recipe, I must share these were supposed to be mashed.  I wasn't in the mood for sweet mashed potatoes and I knew the flavor would be the same, so I left the potatoes in chunks.

These mulled cider sweet potatoes were selected by Peggy and they are too easy to make and delicious.  I guess the hardest part was peeling the potatoes.  Added to the potatoes were butter (it was optional and I opted out.) maple syrup and spices.

You can probably imagine the taste.  Of course, I think you almost can't go wrong with any sweet potato recipe.

Do check out EwE page and see what the other cooks have made.  We do  not print the recipes from our group and we think that you would like having this book, Weeknight Wonders in your own  home.

Linked to: Waste Not Want Not Wednesday          Full Plate Thursday 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Pumpkin,(Squash) Caramelized Onion, and Feta Gratin

In the Jun/Jul 2015 Donna Hay Magazine on page 32, you will find a recipe for Pumpkin, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Gratin.  This week, Gaye selected this intriguing recipe for our group, WwDH to make.  When I first saw it, I was quite happy about the choice and already knew, I would use butternut squash.

My problem was, in this case, I felt I needed a photo and since I did not have the magazine, I only had a copy of the printed word.  The recipe called for chopped squash or pumpkin, but I had no idea what the size was.  Was it more diced like chop or a bigger one?  I guessed and easily lived with the decision.  I can't wait to check out everyone else and see how they interpreted this if they also did not have the magazine.

Also caramelized onion relish was called for (store bought) and I have never seen that in any of the stores.  I simply caramelized the onions and ended up burning some, in the process.

The recipe called for flaked almonds, another product, I have no knowledge of.  I used sliver almonds guessing this was the same item.  I also don't know what pouring cream is and used some heavy cream.

There was also feta cheese and this is the first time, I noted feta melting.  That may be because I usually use feta in cold salads.

I think, I stayed true to the recipe despite my confusion over some of the ingredients.  The final dish was good, but I would have liked it better with a teaspoon of honey in it.   It missed the sweet element.

Please do take a look at our page and see what the others have done with this recipe.  Feel free to cook with us at any time.  Just add your link to the page.