I love apple pie.
I love pop tarts.
I love the beach.
So, I gotta run.
But make these and stock your freezer!
Peas and Love,
For the printable Apple Pie Pop Tart recipe click here
Were doing something new, a little different but very exciting here today!
Instead of my usual post that comes with a description or background of the recipe todays recipe is being accompanied by the expert advice of Nechama Birnbaum.
Whenever I set out to do a shavua bari (healthy week) or chodesh bari (healthy month), I’m usually just looking to restore my family back to being in a balance healthy place. Which is why these weeks, or in this case month, usually follow holidays.
They are times where we go from meal to meal, and the kids go from snack to treat with hopefully a piece of chicken (most likely fried) stuffed in their mouths to make me feel better. By the time the holiday (or holidays) is over I know we all need a serious dose of nutrients. The trouble I face for so long though, was how on earth do I get my kids to give up on junk and candy and trade it in for cucumbers and tomatoes?
I devised plan. Just like my “Kitchen Destinations” give me chance to explore different cuisines with the kids by exploiting their natural curiosity about the world, so to would I create a web dedicated to health.
NOT WEIGHT LOSS. JUST HEALTH.
I printed out tons of information on the body, food digestion, nutrients, metabolisms, and basically anything related to what we as humans can do to keep the bodies Hashem gave us as healthy as possible. Together we sat and looked at charts, youtube videos and illustrations. Once their interest was peaked and they understood the importance of health, I introduced “shavua bari”.
It was a success.
I did not aim to cut anything out of their lives. They are children and thank g-d they are all heathy. All I wanted them to do was eat a balanced meal for as many of the 3 meals a day as possible, and maybe trade in a snack for a cucumber every once in a while.
Well, as usual, kids just rock! When they get excited about something there is no stopping them. They ate their fruit and veggies happily know that they were fueling their bodies, and even began tasting new kinds of foods I never thought I’d see them eat!
This year, we challenged ourselves more than ever. Instead of a one week time period, we gave ourselves a month. So far, we are knee deep into week 3 and their have only been two “unhealthy” meals. One was when we went out to dinner with my mother and the other was a birthday dinner for Batya!
It has been challenging at times, because healthy food is just harder. You have to be sure to have constant stock of very perishable items in your house at all times (unlike potato chips which never seem to expire), and there’s much more prep work. But, its worth it!
A week into our month long journey, I got an email from Nechama introducing herself. She is a nutritionist with an unbelievable outlook into healthy eating. Her philosophy is not focused on weight loss but rather on living well, and feeding your body the food it needs to be strong and healthy. When she suggested writing a blog post I jumped on the opportunity to share her wisdom with all of you.
We decided that her post needed to be a accompanied by a recipe because really, whats nutrition information with out something delicious to whet your appetite? What better way to start this series than with breakfast. And what better breakfast than an something that can be totally customized to your families likes and dislikes, be made in bulk, frozen and be on hand for our busy mornings? Just incase you do have time though (hahaha, even the thought of extra time makes me laugh) I’ve also included a recipe for my shakshuka.
IMVHO, it is the best shashuka out there. I use only fresh ingredients to create the “sauce” which besides keeping it healthy and clean also keeps it very light. You can eat a good hearty breakfast and continue your day with out feeling tired and sluggish.
So, here it is.
Nechama’s article with my recipes.
Wishing everyone an amazing and healthy day!
I was so excited to see that Danielle is doing a healthy month on her blog and Instagram. Partially because I can count on Danielle to make sure everything I put on my table comes out delicious, but even more so because as a nutritionist I know first hand how life changing healthy eating is. Danielle created the most delicious baked oatmeal muffin recipe and shakshuka recipe, which gives us the easiest way to have a healthy breakfast. Healthy breakfast means healthy living means happy living, so thank you Danielle. Not exaggerating over here. Countless of studies have been done to prove that kids perform better in school when they eat a good breakfast. They get higher grades, they are in better moods, and they have better memories, attention spans and are more alert. Not to mention they have a lower BMI and eat less junk throughout the day. And you Super Moms; you cannot fly if you are low on fuel. Sometimes it is the simple things that make the most important and beautiful but challenging job of being a mom more manageable. A healthy breakfast is just that.
What exactly should a healthy breakfast consist of? How can you make it fast, easy and manageable?
We create breakfast out of four simple components. Carbs, Protein, Fat and Fruit. It may sound scary like, no way in the world are you ready to make a whole elaborate breakfast right after you stumble out of bed in the morning. But, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Lets break it down.
Carbs – carbs should be whole and unprocessed as possible. Processed carbs strip away almost all nutrients and fiber. They make your blood sugar spike up and right back down so you are hungry soon after eating. Whole carbs however, have lots of essential nutrients and fiber which slows the absorption of the sugar, leaving you feeling stable and fuller for longer.
Brown rice, quinoa, old fashion oats, steel cut oats, wheat berries and starchy vegetables are great examples of whole carbs. Whole grain flours like whole wheat and spelt are great too but not as often as they are more processed.
Protein – Protein is so important to have in the morning because it reduces a hunger hormone called ghrelin. When you don’t have protein for breakfast your hunger hormone keeps steadily rising and you are bound to eat more by lunch and supper.
Yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese, milk, nuts and even legumes like chickpeas/hummus are great sources of protein for breakfast.
Fat – Healthy fats are so good for you and they keep you fuller longer. A little olive oil, a few avocado slices, some nuts/nut butter or tahini are great examples of healthy fats to incorporate in your breakfast.
Fruit – According to the Rambam, fruit is fantastic to have in the morning.
Fruit is high in sugar but wrapped in fiber so the sugar doesn’t spike your blood sugar. Plus fruit is literally loaded with vitamins and antioxidants and everything good for you. God’s candy is simply perfect.
Berries are a great breakfast choice as they are high in antioxidants but lower in sugar, but really any fruit works!
Now let’s get all this goodness into your and your kids mouths without stress. Picture a bowl of yogurt topped with healthy granola, sliced apple and crumbled nuts, not too complicated right? You got your protein, carb, fat and fruit right there in one bowl that will literally change your kids day – and your own! You can even put it in a to-go cup and they can take it with them to school.
Another idea is a granola bar, which can be eaten on the go with an easy protein and a fruit. Grab one of those with a yogurt or some cottage cheese or even hard boiled eggs from the fridge and you have the most amazing balanced breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.
For those of you who are like me and like something savory in the morning: here is an idea I love. Make a quick omelet and a classic Israeli salad (tomatoes acting as fruit) and drizzle some tahini on top. For your carb, grab one of Danielle’s baked oatmeal muffins or a slice of whole grain bread. I have a client who is super adventurous and mixes a half a cup of brown rice with her Israeli salad in the morning and has two hard-boiled eggs on the side. Avocado toast topped with eggs is also a great idea.
For winter mornings I suggest hot delicious oatmeal with cut up fruit, and a dollop of natural nut butter (like almond butter or sugar-free peanut butter sold almost everywhere). Drizzle a little maple syrup or coconut sugar on top and your kids will devour it. Plus it is everything in one easy bowl!
Depending on which direction you and your kids want to go with the protein, carb, fat and fruit breakfasts, the most important thing is to make it accessible and delicious. With a little prep time in the beginning of the week, healthy breakfasts can take three minutes to put together. It is worth the effort to help you and your kids thrive!
First thing first is shopping. Get your fruits and veggies fresh in the beginning of the week and wash them before you put them away so they are even easier to grab and eat immediately. Take your kids to the store so they can choose their favorite fruits and thereby be more likely to eat them. Then stock up on the healthy proteins. Choose the yogurts with the lowest amount of added sugar. If ‘sugar’ is in the first three ingredients it is not the yogurt for you. Sweeten it with a dash of honey or maple syrup if your kids won’t eat it plain. Buy eggs (organic really makes a difference!), boil and store them in the fridge for up to one week. Make a huge batch of granola and of course the amazing oat bars and store it in your freezer for an easy grab and go. Whatever your breakfast plan is, take some time to prep for it and mornings will be that much easier.
Happy eating, Happy living!
Nechama Birnbaum is a Certified Nutritionist of Wonderfilled Nutrition who is passionate on helping people achieve a healthy, balanced, wonderful life! You can contact her through phone 0586147795 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR THE PRINTABLE BAKED OATMEAL MUFFINS RECIPE CLICK HERE
FOR THE PRINTABLE SHAKSHUKA RECIPE CLICK HERE
Every year I make these and I’m always switching up the “wrapper” that holds the treasure of the most delicious apple filling. I’ve use everything from puff pastry, to phyllo dough to wonton wrappers. And you know what, they’re all awesome.
This year I discovered frozen pie dough and I am officially hooked. I’m usually more of a “from scratch” person but when it comes to baking, especially marathon holiday baking, I’ll take any shortcut I can get. The pie dough is so easy to use and so yummy that I decided to use it as my “wrapper” for the bourbon apple filling.
As happy as I am with the results of the pie dough I am still a firm believer that no matter what you put on the outside of the bourbon apple mixture it will still be the best form of apple you eat this entire fall.
Which ever wrapper you choose to make it in, all options are freezer friendly. Just fill ’em, seal ’em tight, and freeze ’em. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan, freeze till hard, then transfer to a tourer ware or ziplock bag.
To cook them, remove them from the freezer and while STILL FROZEN lay them on a baking sheet to defrost. (If you wait till they are defrosted to separate and place them on the baking sheet it will be much harder). Once defrosted egg them, sprinkle some sugar and bake away!
Happy cooking everyone!
For the printable Bourbon Apple Turnovers recipe click here
Creamy, Crunch, Sweet, a little Tart, slightly Tangy and insanely delicious.
Oh and did I mention these only take 10 minutes to make.
Oh, and that they’re fully customizable to your likes and dislikes.
Also, Lotus Cookies.
For the printable Cannoli Cream Trifles with Lotus Crumbs and Blueberries click here
How do you make shakshuka for a crowd with getting stuck slaving over the stove?
You make it on a sheet pan.
It’s the perfect dish.
You can keep it dairy free by leaving out the cheese, can go meaty and add some shredded beef or chicken to the tomato sauce mixture, or Mexican by adding some adobo to the sauce!
Seriously the possibilities are endless!
I kept this recipe super duper basic so that everyone can customize it to their parties! I served mine with my lemon gremolata, techina and a quick guacamole. I’ll include the recipes for the techina and gremolata in the post so you can access them easily!
Serve shakshuka as an appetizer for your Shavuous meal by making the sauce in advance and just reheating it and adding the eggs a few minutes before your meal.
Its the perfect way to host a brunch. Make a huge sheet pan, serve some crusty bed on the sides and finish off the menu with some mimosas. BOOM. Best brunch hostess ever!
However you do it, just make it. Your family will thank you!
For the printable shakshuka recipe click here
For the printable lemon gremolata recipe click here
For the printable techina recipe click here
When I first woke up in the middle of the night dreaming about a Tater-tot/Hamantashen hybrid I could not go back to sleep! I knew that my alternate dream life had lead me to Purim gold! Although extremely tired from my lack of sleep, I spent the whole next day and writing down a list of why tater tots rock and how to properly incorporate their awesomeness into a triangle shape. I quickly realized that the triangle would work to my advantage because 3 corners = 3x more the crispy edges. So, from their I wrote a list if criteria that my TATERTOSCHEN needed to meet.
Last but not least…
6.must be completely and utterly addictive.
So, for the past month, I have made these so many different times, each time adjusting the recipe to enhance and simplify the recipe. Then once I finally settled on a recipe that yielded results that tasted and were just as crispy as their fried counterparts I spent days testing the best way to freeze and reheat them!
But, no. My work did not end there. Because once I created a vegan and gluten free version, I obviously had to take and junkyify (another word brought to you by the PL&C language) it. Which meant adding a ton of cheddar cheese (because, cheese) and filling them with the yummiest, most delicious brunch foods of all time.
So, this Purim, if you only do one thing. TATERTOSCH.
You can fill them with pulled red wine braised short ribs like I did, or stuff them with some shredded bbq chicken, imitation crab salad or tuna tartare for a fish course, or do what my kids did and fill the hole with ketchup and just eat em straight up!
(warning: if your family goes the ketchup route, close your eyes and back away slowly, because a little piece of your foodie heart may die)
However you choose to serve these, just make sure you are already fed when these come out of the oven. Because if not, it is very likely you will consume the whole tray, by yourself, in the kitchen.
For the printable TATERTOSCHEN recipe click here
For the printable CHEESY CHEDDAR TATERTOSCHEN recipe click here
For the printable PULLED RED WION BRAISED SHORT RIBS recipe click here
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, cough, zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, achoo, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………. Uch gross, why is my key board all wet? Oooooh, drool. Nasty.
So, that pretty much sums up what happened to me when I went to type this up last night. This week has been so hard and so long. If someone told me today was Friday I would completely believe them because it has also been never ending. I don’t want to complain to all of you because this is really supposed to be about the food, but I’m going to anyway, so if you don’t want to hear about my sucky week, scroll down to the bottom of this post and just skip right to the recipe!
I’m gonna start my rant by painting you a picture of what I look like right now. I’m sitting at my computer, Muddy Waters blasting in the background, because only hardcore blues will do right now, half dressed. I have my slippers on, which yes, stayed on through my gan drop offs because I forgot to change to real shoes, I am wearing an actual sweater and skirt, however, on my head I have a giant oversized pink knit hat, that doesn’t really work with my outfit.
All of this pales in comparison though to the state of my eyes. There is a dark shade of purple on the bottom that I could not be bothered to cover up because I dislike make up even on a good day. I am certainly not going to take the time to deal with it on a bad day. Also, if I covered up the purple it may make the giant bags they rest upon all the more noticeable.
Anyway, now that you know how
crappy incredible I look, let me tell you why.
The week started off with my oldest son waking up and complaining that his bones hurt and he had a head ache while coughing a loud, barking cough. Off to the doctor we went, who told us….FLU. “Your son has the flu, no school for a week” he said. I mean, he may have actually said more than that but that’s all I heard. Because in the depths of my own thoughts that no one could hear all I could think was “Thank you G-d for giving my son the flu, on a week when my husband is away and I have a million things to do.”
Clearly though, G-d did not approve of my lack of gratitude for really, all the amazing things I have and the fact that besides, a little flu my family is, thank G-d, healthy. SO, He decided to teach me a little lesson.
Within minutes of returning from the doctor, my cleaning lady, who anyone that has a really good cleaning lady understands is so much more than that, informs me that she pulled a muscle in her neck and needs to leave in an hour to go to the doctor. Okay, I thought. I can manage this. I am really fond of her and am sad that she is in pain. It’s one afternoon, and shell come back tomorrow as good as new.
Nope. She did not come back. The doctor told her the only way to get better is to rest. And, honestly, I am happy for her to take the time off and rest. She does so much for me, the least I can do is be gracious and understanding if she doesn’t feel good. I’ll just call my babysitter to come help me with my five kids, around bath time.
She too is unavailable. So, thats it. She was my last hope.
And now I’m broken.
I don’t sleep at night, because flu child is up all night coughing. During the day I’m busy with a million things I don’t really have time for, and any spare seconds I have I retreat into the kitchen to cook something because that’s my happy place. Then however, I’m left with all the clean up because, well….. this week. But as I write all this down the only thing I can think to do is laugh. Because if I don’t laugh, I will cry. And cry. And cry.
I guess this is just life. Some weeks are harder, some go by faster, some are filled with happiness and accomplishment and others are more trying. At the end of the day, it’s all about how we deal with things that matter. And, we all know that the best way to deal with a murphy’s law kind of week is to fry some dough, stuff it with aioli, sautéed kale (because, health) and a fried sunny side up egg.
Thank you all so much for letting me vent here. I really hope you are all having an easier week than me, and if not call me. You can pour yourself a glass of wine and listen to my blues music through the phone while we find something to laugh about!
Just FYI, this recipe has a bunch of different components so I split up the recipe into 4 different parts so that yo can pick and choose which elements you want. Fell free to mix and match and use any of the components for other dishes you think they will go with! I did not give a recipe for a sunny side up egg, because I believe in you!
Peas & Love,
For the printable Sufganiya recipe, click here
For the printable Harissa and Preserved Lime Aioli recipe, click here
For the printable Sauteed Garlic-y Kale recipe, click here
For the Sumac Pickled Onion recipe, click here
There are two ways to do holidays.
The first way, or should I say the more responsible way, is to anticipate the holidays’ approach anywhere from two to three weeks before it arrives. Think about what type of holiday you want to have. Is it a party with friends, chilled family time, casual decor or a DIY creative decor kind of holiday? Then, figure out a plan where you do a little bit everyday so that by the time the holiday arrives you can just sit back and enjoy all the fruits of your labor.
The other option is to just relax, wait until about 48 hours before the holiday is going to begin and do every single thing you need to do to prepare in those two days. Then, as the sun starts to set by the end of the second day, you rationalize why most of the things left on your to-do list, that you didn’t have time to get to, are actually completely unnecessary and just cross them off. As the holiday finally begins, you frantically remember that in fact, those to-do list items were important. So you plop your kids down in from of a movie (or 3) and scramble
in a fit of heart racing anxiety to make them happen.
I’d like to say that I, of course, always fall into the first category. But really, I’ve been in both places. Which is why my goal for this year was to be as prepared as possible for each upcoming holiday so that I could spend the most time enjoying it with the people I love!
To me, this recipe fits in perfectly with my plan. The churros will be fried fresh (because reheated churros are shnasty) but all the work to prepare them will be done ahead of time. It’s always a win-win when a recipe is actually supposed to be frozen!
That means that you can put up your pot of oil to start heating, light the menorah with your kids, sing, play a few games and then when everyones ready for the candle lighting treat, all you have to do is peel your churros off the parchment paper and give ’em a little oil bath!
Now that we’ve agreed that these are the perfect fried dessert to be making on Chanukah because of their convenience, I want to tell you why they are actually the prefect dessert to be eaten!
Most importantly, they are so so so so so x infinity, easy to make! It’s the type of recipe that when you read, you automatically think ” woah, thats way too many steps, no waaaaay”, but really, it is so simple! That is why I included pictures of every single step. I wanted you to see that it can actually be broken down into three really easy processes. Boil, Mix, Pipe. Thats it.
That bring us to the next reason why these absolutely rock. The batter or dough, whatever you want to call it (I think it’s kind of in between the two), is totally kid friendly! It’s sticky enough to stick to itself but because of how much butter is in it, it literally slides right into the piping bag. Then once it’s in the bag you simply give it over to those tiny little hands (that are actually capable of creating disasters totally not proportionate to their size) and let them go to town “drawing” their own creations. I like to tie a rubberband at the top of the bag to ensure that none of the batter/dough (battough?) comes out of the top. Besides for a minor hand washing at the end of the piping activity, it is virtually mess free. Wooooohoooo!
Lastly, why are these incredible? Because. Fried dough. Cinnamon sugar coated. Salted condensed milk caramel dipping sauce. ‘Nuf said.
I think by now I’ve convinced you to make these on Chanukah. Really though, they should really be a staple in your house all year long! Ok, fine, not a staple but at least make a more regular appearance. Perhaps, Sunday brunch?
I really hope you all get to make these but if not, I hope whatever you make this holiday season, you get to share it with the people you love most in this world!
For the printable Churros recipe click here
Am I the only person who has been through an insane amount of flour already, this holiday season?
Oh wait, whats that?
The holidays didn’t even start yet? Oh I didn’t realize. Because when every holiday starts on a Sunday, the day after shabbos, you need to start cooking a month in advance. So, in my house, it’s been erev Rosh Hashana for the past two weeks. And first on my to do list, challah.
Why start with challah?
What do you get when you cross the fall with jewish holidays? Pumpkin pie babka. Duh. Its the perfect marriage between the warming spices in a pumpkin pie and the sweet yeasty babka dough.
Lets be real, though, for a minute. Most regular pumpkin pies are pretty gross. They usually end up resembling something closer to a baby food pie than anything else. The only good pumpkin pies are the ones that basically don’t look like pumpkin pie at all. They’re topped with mile high mounds of sweet crunchy pecans, crumbled ginger bread cookies or mountains of whipped cream. The soft but not smooth texture of a plain ol’ pumpkin pie just doesn’t cut it.
The flavors of a pumpkin pie, on the other hand, are AMAZING. Have you ever noticed that every single food in the supermarket that could be turned into pumpkin pie flavor, comes out in the fall? From Oreos to lattes, jello to teas, and energy bars to granola you can basically buy a pumpkin pie in any form.
So, what do you do when you want to make your own pumpkin pie to serve at the end of your amazing holiday meals? Do you just buy a pack of pumpkin spice oreos and call it a day, or do you serve a mushy baby food version of pumpkin pie?
You take a piece of your challah dough (or you buy a pre-made dough), and you roll up your pumpkin pie into the most comforting of desserts. A huge yummy, warm babka. Then, as if babka-fying your pumpkin pie wasn’t enough, you then decide to up your game a little more and take it over the top with a lotus cookie spread crumb. Now every bite of your pumpkin pie babka is accompanied by the most delicious crumb topping that is laced with the deep dark buttery (but not dairy) caramel-y flavors of the lotus biscoff cookies.
So, this holiday season, that falls out in the depths of apple picking and pumpkin eating season, change things up a little and turn your pie into a babka!
For the printable Pumpkin Pie Babka recipe, click here.