Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened Condensed milk is everything. Its literally liquid crack. One taste and you are hooked for life. It’s milky, it’s thick and creamy, it’s sweet and it’s the perfect addition to a myriad of desserts.

The only drawback is that there is currently nobody making a cholov Yisroel version of it. So, in an attempt to make sure that my recipes are accessible to as many people as possible I set out to create my own sweetened condensed milk. 

I made a huge batch because truthfully, this stuff is good in everything. If you are already making it, you might as well have enough left over to make truffles, salted dulce de leche, or even just add to your coffee for the best latte you will ever have in your life! I’m gonna include links to some of my recipes that use it to give you a few ideas!

Watch the video and see how easy it is to do! 

For the printable Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk recipe click here

For the printable Salted Coffee Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream click here

For the printable No-churn Chocolate Lovers Ice Cream click here

For the printable Salted Condensed Milk Caramel click here

 

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DAIRY LEMON POUND CAKE

I’m not a huge dessert person. I know that sounds crazy but it’s just how it is. I would choose a slice of pizza or a bowl of hot and sour soup over cake or cookies any day!

But, I am also sane. So, if there is dessert in front of me, I will eat it. Because. Wasting food is bad. Also, food. 

If I’m going to eat the dessert I want it to either be something satisfying but light or something super duper decadent that I can indulge on. I don’t want to eat whole meal and then end it with a heavy, coma inducing piece of cake. I prefer my desserts fruity or citrusy with just the right amount of sweetness to them. Even better is when they pair perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea. 

Thats what this cake is all about. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients, cooked in a basic loaf pan and perfectly balanced in flavor. It will probably underrated when you serve it. But you will graciously cut and plate it for all your guests, who will take one bite and understand why you made this most perfect cake. 

I don’t recommend making this dairy free. This cake needs the butter. Together with the lemon zest it creates a dense cake that does not weigh you down. Plus, I think it’s understood that all desserts are better with butter. 

This cake also freezes beautifully. So get a head start on your cooking a pop this in the freezer to make your Shavuous prep a little bit easier.

For the printable Dairy Lemon Pound Cake recipe click here

*recipe adapted from Ina Garden

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

CHEESE. 

Specifically, Ricotta Cheese.

Do I really need to say anything more? 

It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Whether its melted and stringy over a simple slice of pizza, or golden brown and bubbly over a decadent eggplant parmesan, or merely slipped between two slices of bread, there is no food more versatile and comforting than cheese. 

Maybe its versatility comes from the fact that the varieties of cheeses are countless or maybe its because it’s so delicious and satisfying that as a race humans have found ways to incorporate it into everything we eat.

                     

Whatever the reason, cheese dug its claws into my soul from the time  was a small child. I love every form of it. Hard, soft, salty, tangy, stinky, funky, blue or yellow. It’s all delicious.

However, for all my cheese love, I never understood the absolute beauty and sophistication of it until I embarked on my own cheese making path.

                     

                     

I have a few different cheeses I am working on making right now, but ricotta is by far the simplest. It is the little black dress of cheeses. It’s incredibly simple but perfectly balanced in flavor. It has all the cheesy creaminess we need, but remains light and airy. It can be dolloped on top of pasta to add creaminess, or over roasted veggies for that extra burst of flavor. You can slather it onto crusty bread to serve as an appetizer, or whip it in to cream for the most delicious of desserts.

However you do it, just be prepared to devour the entire first batch you make standing over the kitchen counter, because I promise, this will not make it into the fridge!

Make sure to check back here every few days before Shavuos for a bunch of new recipes using your homemade ricotta.

Until then, happy cooking!

Peas out, 

Danielle

For the printable Ricotta Cheese recipe click here

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ABBY’S PESTO PASTA

It is not easy to find foods that every single one of my kids, my husband and I can all equally enjoy. When Abby started making her pesto, it very, very quickly became a family neighborhood favorite. 

No Baby girl kiddish, or pot luck meal is complete with a few huge bowls of her incredible pesto pasta. Come Purim time and everyone counts on her pesto pasta shalach manor to include in their seudah or to feed it to their families to help balance out the candy overload. 

I think the secret to this recipe is that it is simple in its ingredients. There are no nuts or cheese, which means nothing to distract from the pure basil flavor. It also helps to keep the consistency super duper smooth, which we all know is a huge plus in the world of feeding picky eaters children. 

This recipe is massive. It will yield a little over a quart. If you don’t want so much you can easily halve it, but then just know, that I may think you’re nuts. Why on earth would you want to make something as freezer friendly as pesto more than once in a while? There is no reason for that!!! Make this huge batch and freeze the rest in small containers. 

Pesto is so versatile, you can use it on your pasta, spread it on a sandwich, marinate your chicken in it, or use it as a salad dressing. The possibilities are endless which means having a freezer stocked with pesto will only make your life easier.

Enjoy!!!!

💜,

Danielle

For the printable Pesto Pasta recipe click here

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Cross-hatched Broiled Eggplant

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The first course is my favorite course of any meal. Those few minutes before everyone comes home from shul, when the table is set beautifully, and there are tons of appetizers, dips and salads plated and scattered so precisely and elegantly over the table top brings me pure joy. My hours spent cooking in my small, Israeli, not-enough-counterspace-or-cabinets-kitchen all become worth it. I look at my table, breath deeply and think to myself how beautiful shabbos really is.

Then they come home.

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Within minutes every single toy has come off the shelves, out of boxes and thrown all over the floor only to be abandoned seconds later to the more fun, fort building using every one of the blankets taken off of the freshly made beds.

Even with the all this chaos swirling around my house, when we finally make it to our seats and I see all the mouthwatering dishes confetti-ed across the table I remember what a privilege it is to cook and feed the people we love.

               img_5494 Now that we’ve established just how important the first course is to me, lets talk about what it actually takes to put out such an array of food.

It takes a few days of being extremely organized to create a truly spectacular first course. Dips and sauces take time to prepare and if you leave it all till Friday, there just won’t be time. So, I usually start by making anything that is ok sitting in the fridge or meant to be served cold, first. That could include salad dressings, dips, and marinated salads (think carrots or peppers). Next I move on to my more time-consuming elements.  I”ll boil any grains that I’m going to include in salads and roast any vegetables. Lastly, I make my mayo because it has raw eggs and cook my fish so that its as fresh as possible. Then before lunch, all I have to do is cut up whatever fresh vegetables I need and I’m good to go.

All that is fine, until you have a week where everything is going wrong and cooking becomes an afterthought. So, you have to pull a meal together in an hour. In those situations I make four fast and easy dishes. I make mayo, salsa, tahini and this eggplant.

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It is so simple and so delicious. The cooking time takes about an hour but the active work takes less than 5 minutes. You get so much flavor for such little effort and it looks so insanely beautiful on the table. In fact, I don’t only make this when I’m short on time because no matter how many people you are serving, it always gets finished! 

Cross-hatching the eggplant adds tons of little corners to the eggplant that get perfectly crispy and it makes it so easy to just scoop out the actual flesh. I like to serve it with a drizzle of tehini, some fresh parsley and when I want to get fancy I’ll sometimes add some chopped tomato and shallots. 

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For the printable Cross-hatched Broiled Eggplant recipe click here.

For my Tehini recipe click here.

Hope you all enjoy!

Peas & Love,

Danielle

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The beginning…

 

Eight years ago, motzei Rosh Hashanna, my husband and I moved to Israel. I was seven months pregnant with Little pea #1 and only slightly smaller than the largest whale in existence. With in a few days of settling in, it was time for me to head out to the supermarket to stock our fridge. By the grace of G-d, I didn’t have to worry about cooking for Succos because my parents and my n’laws were coming for the holiday. Hashem, I still thank you everyday for sending me both sets of parents at the same time(and anyone that has moved to Israel knows that by thank you what i really mean is “AAAAAAAH”).

Now I’m standing in a supermarket in a foreign country and I feel completely lost. I don’t understand half the labels, the way the aisles are set up doesn’t make any sense and a huge wave of anxiety washes over me. I don’t feel comfortable enough in my hebrew to ask for help so I basically wander around for half an hour and then go home with the few basic items that I could figure out how to buy.

Standing in front of the refrigerator I put away my 1% milk (because I couldn’t find any skim and didn’t realize at the time that there is NO SKIM MILK here!?!?!), some yogurts that have the fruit on top instead of on the bottom, instant coffee and some crackers when I realize that I must do something about this. If I’m going to live here and build a Jewish home I need to understand hebrew, or at the very least, the hebrew words that relate to food. So, that night I got work.

I began my epic journey of compiling all the food and food related words I could think of into list and started translating them. So, in honor of my first post, here is a gift to the world, my extensive hebrew/english culinary dictionary.

To see the dictionary translate from English to Hebrew click here

To see the dictionary translate from Hebrew to English click here

To all those out there who are moving here, I hope it helps, and to those who have not yet come…well, it’s one less thing stopping you!

Peas out,

Danielle

 

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