FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES

I have been dreaming about bring you all the French dip sandwich for sooooo long. The only thing is that I had to find the exact right timing to thrown this most bomb dignity recipe at you. Making your own roast beef, although incredibly easy, just sounds intimidating. Then top that off with making the crazy luxurious and most insanely delicious Au Jus, which also simple but seems complex and I knew I’d lose you. 

I decided I needed to save it for a time when were all willing to put a little more effort into our food. So that meant a holiday. But what holiday is it really acceptable to serve a glorified steak sandwich. 

Only one.

PURIM. 

It’s the fun-est of the holiest days of the year. It’s the one holiday where having a huge pot (or crockpot) of roast beef in simmering jus is not only acceptable but perfectly appropriate. 

This dish can stay warm all day and the meat and rice only get more and more flavorful by the minute. Every guest that come to your seudah can right away wash and sit down to a perfectly hot, irresistible and super yum french dip sandwich. 

And that my friends, is how we win PURIM. 

Wishing each and every one of you the most joyous, happy, healthy and love filled Adar ever!

✌🏻💜&🥕,

Danielle

              

For the printable French Dip Sandwich recipe click here

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ORANGE & WHITE WINE MORROCAN BRAISED LAMB

SHABBOS

If you come here to peas love & carrots often, you know that normally the words just flow for me (the spelling not so much…). For some reason though, as I sit down to type up my thoughts on shabbos I feel like I’m struggling to properly put my feelings to words that accurately describe them. 

I’m conflicted between the spiritual side of me that loves to disconnect from our crazy world and take time to reconnect to our Creator and people we love, and the side of me that knows that as a mother of young children, shabbos doesn’t really mean a day of rest. 

I love to cook beautiful and delicious foods that are served on platters befitting the holiness of the day. I love to set the table with my nicest dishes and glasses. I adorn every plate with cloth napkins dressed in my favorite napkin rings. I start out shabbos with a sparkling kitchen, counters that are spotless, and everything in it’s place.

Then comes time to light the candles. It’s truly my favorite time of the week. In that millisecond where the whole world changes from a place that wasn’t something special and then with a simple bracha became a world filled with  holiness I am overcome by my desire to be close to Hashem and his Torah. 

All of that is real for me and inspires me. These days though shabbos also means something else. With a house full of little kids, it means serving food, clearing the table, sweeping, rinsing, resetting the table, heating up more food, serving more food and clearing more plates in addition to getting kids dressed, getting them redressed after they took off their clothing, picking up toys, changing diapers, and finding lost shoes. 

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what excalty it is I love about shabbos. But no matter how hard I work on shabbos, every week come Thursday night and I am counting down the minutes until I get to light my candles. 

This didn’t come easy to me. I went through a phase where I wished that shabbos would come every ten days instead of every seven. So I thought a lot about what I want to get out of my shabbosim and totally reframed the way I think about. 

Instead of thinking about shabbos as a day of connection through rest, I now think about strengthening my relationship with Hashem by strengthening my relationship with my family and people I love. 

That means being totally present and mindful to the time I get to spend with my family on shabbos. This period in my life will only come once and I don’t want to take a minute of it for granted. I listen to their, sometimes long but always sweet, divrei torah with an attentive ear. I play games with them that we all enjoy. I make extra shabbos treats so that everyone can find exactly what they like to munch on while we sit and do puzzles. I set the table with a little extra love and attention to detail so that my family can sit down to a beautiful shabbos seaudah no matter how many seconds it takes for someone to spill their grape juice. 

Come time to make havdalah and every week, no matter how hard I worked all shabbos, I am always sad to see it go. Whether I napped or not, said the extra tehillim that I wanted to or not, finished reading the article that I started at least ten times throughout shabbos or not, I am relaxed and calm. 

Why?

Because at each stage, rest means different things to our souls. 

Now, at this stage in my life, resting my soul means giving my family as much of myself as I can. 

Every shabbos that I accomplish building my relationships with the people I love I know that I am now one step closer to my Creator as well. 

And that is why I love shabbos. 

NOW, ON TO THE FOOD!

                                 

This dish is actually super simple to make but packed with enough flavor to have people thinking it took you days!

It’s loaded with just the right amount of deep flavored spices, and the rich lamb is perfectly balanced out by the acid in the wine and oranges. It’s like a modern, American raised girls version of her Moroccan grandmother Lamb Tagine. 

For the printable Orange and White Wine Braised Lamb Stew click here

This post, is really part of a larger post that was the brilliant brain child of the uber-talnted Sina Mizrahi from the Gatheratable blog. She wrote an extremely beautiful post all about what shabbos means to her and over the course of two weeks posted her favorite shabbos recipes. To finish off the series she came up with the idea of a virtual pot lock. 

What’s a virtual pot luck you ask?

Well, it’s where Sina, myself and a bunch of other extremely talented and creative bloggers get together, divide up the different dishes that make up a shabbos seudah and each of us develop a recipe for that dish. 

We all posted our recipes on the same day, thus “bringing our food to the virtual pot luck”. If you put all our recipes together you will end up with an extremely delicious, creative and absolutely beautiful menu to prepare for shabbos.

What’s a pot luck though without people to share the food with? You’re all invited to join in our meal!!

To make it really easy for you, the links to everyone else’s recipes are below! 

So, click away to get in on the action and come have some fun!

Oh, and of course, SHABBAT SHALOM!

For Between Carpools egg wash tips click here
For Cooking in Heels “How to Hack a Challah” click here
For Spice and Zests Roasted Eggplant click here
For the Katamon Kitchen’s Salatim post click here
For the Sugar Box’s Red Snapper with Charred Patatoes, Tomatoes and Lemons click here
For Sina’s T’Bit: Iraqi Slow Cooked Chicken and Brown Rice click here
For my printable Orange and White Wine Braised Lamb Stew click here
For Kitchen Tested’s Roast Vegetable Platter click here
For Beth Warren’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups click here
For Jamie Gellers Cinnamon Bun recipe click here
For Busy in Brooklyn’s Funfetti Rice Krispie Bites click here
 

 

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CHALYMPIC GAMES 2017

LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!

Onto the final and most vital piece of all this:

The events and their rules:

These are the 7 events my children will be competing in this year. If some of these games are not suitable for your children, you can watch our videos from last year for smoother ideas. You can also come up with your own games that are more appropriate for your family! 

*Note: All games are based on 5 contestants. Adjust accordingly.

EVENT #1

OPENING CEREMONIES + LIVE MEMORY 

What you will need:

  • The homemade torches
  • 12 sets of identical prizes. (2 key chains, 2 silly patty’s…)
  • 24 aluminum 9×13 pans (or any size, you just want yto make sure that the prices fit fully underneath them)

For the opening ceremony, play Olympic music, and have the contestants line up in age order. Light the oldest ones torch and then he lights the persons next to him. Continue until all torches are lit and then take a cermonious walk around the living room. 

(Blow out torches and save for closing ceremony)

How to play:

  1. Send the children out of the room.
  2. Arrange the prizes on a large space on the floor, separating identical prizes, in a grid like pattern.
  3. Cover each prize with an aluminum pan. 
  4. Call the children back into the room. 
  5. Now play memory….
  6. Give each a child a chance to uncover two prizes. If the prizes are not the same, replace the pan over the prize and it is the next Childs turn. 
  7. When someone uncovers identical prizes they keep it. 
  8. Play until all prizes have been accounted for. 

We like to end this game with a prize swap. No one can keep two prizes and they must trade. Sometimes they need our help to facilitate this but usually it goes smoothly since they are all equally small, 1 shekel prizes!

EVENT #2

THE MISE EN PLACE RACE

AKA, SOMEONE ELSE IS PREPPIN’ DINNER TONIGHT! 

(yes, this game is proudly borrowed from top chef)

Every year this event looks different. This is this years version.

What you will need:

  • 5 plastic cutting boards
  • 1 batch challah dough (divided)
  • 5 aluminum 9×13 pans, greased
  • 5 eggs, each one in a small bowl
  • 5 forks
  • 10 pickles (divided)
  • 5 plastic knifes
  • 5 plastic bowls
  • 2&1/2 cups pf parsley (with stems)
  • 10 small plastic plates
  • 2&1/2 lbs. chopped meat (put 1/2 lb. of meat into 5 separate mixing bowls
  • 5 tsp. salt (divided) 
  • 2&1/2 tsp pepper (divided)
  • (any other spices you use to flavor your hamburgers, just 5 small portions of each)
  • 5 large plastic plates

How to play:

  • Cover your dining room table with plastic.
  • Set up five separate working stations.
  • Place a cutting board in the center of each one and one of each ingredient around the cutting board. 
  • Place the ingredients in order of the relay clockwise starting from the bottom left corner of the cutting board. 
  • To play the game each player has to complete each of the 4 parts of the race before moving onto the next part. 
  • The player that completes all 4 challenges first wins. 

This years challenges:

  1. make 2 challah rolls, place them in the given pan, crack & beat the egg, and coat the top of the roll
  2. cut up pickles and place in a bowl (if your kids like something else on their burgers, swap it with the pickles)
  3. separate the parsley leaves from the stems and cut up the leaves
  4. Add parsley, salt and pepper to chopped meat and form 3 hamburger patties. Once the patties are formed and the pan the race is complete!

EVENT #3

THE ANIMAL WALK & TALK RELAY 

This is a timed challenge. Each child takes their turn while an adult times them. The child with the best time, wins. 

What you will need:

  • 4 animal masks (lion, penguin, crab, frog)
  • 4 pieces of string
  • painters tape in 4 different colors

How to play:

  • Use 1 color of the painters tape to create a maze in the floor of your living room. Each color tape should be about 12 feet of maze. 
  • Continue with the next color, until you have 4 different color paths. 
  • It doesn’t matter where’re they start or end. 
  • All that matters is that a mask is placed at the begging of each pathway. 
  • The child must put on the mask and walk like the animal that the mask represent. 
  •  At the same time they must sing “dreidel, dreidel dreidel, I made you out of clay…” in a voice that represents that animal. 
  • If they fall down from the animal walk or because they were laughing to hard, they must go back to the beginning of that pathway. 
  • The player to complete the relay the fastest wins. 

To printout the animal masks from me, click here. 

If for some reason, printing the masks doesn’t work for you, you can google “children’s animal masks” and print out what you want from there.

 

 

EVENT #4

COOKIE STACKING HEATS

This is a game of balance.

What you will need:

  • painters tape, 1 color
  • 30 oreos

How to play:

  • Lay a long piece of painters tape across the floor. This is the start line. 
  • Lay another piece 6-8 feet away. This is the finish line.
  • Each child, you can do this one at a timer simultaneously, places 1 oreo on his/her head. He must walk to the finish line. 
  • At the finish line he/she must place another roe onto of the first and walk back to the start line where they will receive another oreo. 
  • The player to walk back and forth with the most oreo’s piled on their heads is the winner. 

 

 

EVENT #5 

BLACKOUT SCAVANGER HUNT

What you will need:

  • Go through the provided printout sheet and make sure you have enough of every category in your home. 
  • Print out the scavenger hunt list
  • 5 pencils
  • 5 shopping bags
  • 5 flashlights

How to play:

  • Give each player a scavenger hunt list, a pencil a bag and a flashlight. 
  • Turn on the flashlights and shut off all flash lights in your house. (Dads everywhere are going to love this. If only we could live in the dark all the time, we would never forget to shut off the lights, right dad?)
  • Set the timer on your phone for 15 minutes 
  • Press start and let each kid go off and try to find as many things on the list as they can.

The person who found the most items is the winner!

Click here to print out the Chalympic Scavanger hunt list.

EVENT #6 

THE BLIND TASTE TEST

What you will need:

blindfold, or scarf

a cookie sheet (to contain any spills)

20 different foods that can fit into small bowls or cups

20 small bowls or cups

a kitchen towel

How to play:

  • Send the kids out of the kitchen.
  • Place the cups on the cookie sheet and fill each one with as different edible product. (can be food, drink, snack, condiment, spice…)
  • Place a kitchen towel over the filled bowls so that no one can see whats underneath. 
  • Call each child one at a time into the kitchen. 
  • Cover their eyes with the blind and remove the kitchen towel. 
  • Help them guide their hand into each bowl one at a time. 
  • They must taste each item and identify it. 
  • Only first answers are accepted to remind them to take their time.
  • The child that guesses the most right is the winner.

Examples of tasters: Ketchup, Mayo, Honey, Croutons, Salt, Chopped hard boiled egg, Chocolate chips, Captain crunch, Cut up string cheese, Butter, Cucumbers, Red sufganiya jelly, Lemon wedges, Pickles, Plain yogurt, Franks hot sauce, Soda, Peanut butter, Craisins, Pesto, Salad dressing…

EVENT #7

THE CANDY SUCK

What you will need:

  • 10 plastic plates
  • 5 straws
  • 100 adashim or skittles (m&m like candy)

How to play:

Set up 5 stations

At each station place two plates side by side and a straw. 

Place 20 adashim or skittles on one plate at each station. 

When you say go, each child must use their straw to suck up one of the candies and move it to the other plate. 

The first child to get all the candies from one plate to the next is the winner.

CLOSING CEREMONY

TALLY UP ALL THE MEDALS ON THE SCOREBOARD. THE PERSON WOITH THE MOST GOLDS, IS THE OVERALL WINNER, THE PERSON WITH THE SECOND MOST IS THE SILVER NEDAL WINNER AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. 

Repeat the torch lighting ceremony only this time the overall winner goes first!

UNTIL NEXT YEAR, THE END.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOU TTHE CHALYMPIC GAMES

CLICK HERE FOR THE DIY TORCHES AND SCOREBOARD

 

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TORCHES & SCOREBOARD

                      

This post is dedicated to Steps 1 & 2 of the CHALYMPICS.

Its really more of a DIY arts & crafts post than anything else, but it helps get everyone into the spirit. 

*NOTE: Theses instructions are based on 5 children playing the games. Adjust accordingly!

THE TORCHES

                     

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Lots of crayons (Think 1, 24 pack per child)
  • 5 glass bottles (you can either recycle beer bottles or buy glass bottles in the shekel/dollar store)
  • 15 long candle lighting candles (this prevents the use of matches or lighters)
  • 5 candles to use as the actual “torch” (Think olden day 1-2 inch thick candleabra candles. You want them to sit nicely on the very top of the bottle neck.)

HOW TO MAKE THEM:

  1. Cover the surface where the children will be working in two layers of tinfoil. (Aside from making a clean up a breeze, it will protect your table from hot candle and crayon wax drippings!)
  2. Remove all the paper off the crayon before you start. (Paper is flamable. You don’t even want the snaps on the table while the children are working. so take a few minutes, have everyone unwrap their crayons, throw them in the garbage and then they an begin and you can have some piece of mind!)
  3. Give each child one bottle, one long candle and their crayons. (Hold back the actual “torch” candle)
  4. Light the long candle, and hold it in one hand. With the other hand, grab a crayon and bring both the crayon and the candle about 4-6 inches over the bottle. Allow the flame from the candle to heat the tip of the crayon. As the crayon melts it will drip down onto the bottle. 
  5. Once the crayon or the candle gets to small to use safely, replace with a new one. 
  6. Repeat the crayon melting process until the bottle is covered to your likeness!
  7. To attach the “torch” candle, simply place the bottom of the candle over a flame for 15 seconds to very slightly warm the wax. Place on the top of the opened, decorated bottle and hold it in place for 30 seconds. 

Your torches are ready!

THE SCOREBOARD

                      

                      

                       

                       

                                          

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1 large silver/gray oak tag 
  • 1 pencil
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 black permanent marker
  • 1 gold marker
  • 1 pair of scissors 
  • 1 glue stick
  • 1 stapler
  • regular scotch tape
  • 1 regular paper in a verity of colors. (if you have 5 children, you need 5 different colors)
  • 1 large foam sparkly gold sheet
  • 1 large foam sparkly silver sheet
  • 1 large foam sparkly bronze sheet
  • ( I also bought pink and purple sparkly foam sheets for my little girls who I anticipate will not appreciate a gold, silver or bronze “medal”)
  • 1 roll of double sided foam tape
  • 2 brown paper (for the bottom of the torch)
  • 2 pieces red tissue paper
  • 2 pieces orange tissue paper
  • 2 pieces yellow tissue paper

HOW TO MAKE TH SCOREBOARD:

  1. Measure your oaktag so that you have 8, 2&1/4 inch wide boxes and 1, 1&1/2 inch boxes. (All together this comes out to 19&1/2 inches wide) The narrow 1&1/2 inch row should be placed in the 5th column this year, because shabbos is the fourth night of Chanukah. (The first row is for names)
  2. Measure the length. The top row should be 3 inches long and each additional row should be 2 inches long. (The total measurement here will vary depending on how many people are competing.)
  3. Use a ruler and permanent marker to create the grid.
  4. Leave the top left box blank and the go horizontally across and number 1-8
  5. Cut out a 2&1/2 by 2 inch piece of colored paper for each child. 
  6. Write their name on it and glue them in the first vertical row of the grid, leaving the top left corner empty. 
  7. In the narrow row, make an x in each box to show that their are no games that night.
  8. Cut 1 inch pieces of foam tape, leaving the paper on one side, and stick them in the center if each square. (Every night, remove the paper and stick on the medal that the child received)
  9. From each foam sheet, cut out 12, 2 by 1&3/4 inch squares and place them in a ziplock bag. (It’s good have to extras incase of ties)
  10. To make the big torch, roll one corner of the paper in toward the center. (this will create the cone) Staple the cone to hold its shape.
  11. Place the red tissue paper on the table, lay the orange over it and the yellow on top if both in an off centered way so that the corners don’t match up. 
  12. Place your index finger in the center of the sheets, and using the other hand grab them from underneath the red sheet sheet and lift all the corners up. 
  13. Insert it into the cone and adhere it in place with come scotch tape. (for a more realistic “fire” look, slightly circle the paper.
  14. To make the small cone cut all the papers in half and repeat the process. 
  15. Stick the small torch into the empty top left corner of your scoreboard and the big torch anywhere on your wall!

NOW THAT YOUR TORCHES AND SCOREBOARD AS COMPLETE THE CHALYMPICS CAN BEGIN!!!!!!

Click here to learn more about what the CHALYMPICS are about.

Click here to for a list of the games and their rules.

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CHALYMPICS 2017

CHALYMPICS 2017 ARE FINALLY UPON US AND I’M HERE TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THEM. 

I have sooooooo much to tell you all! There are so many new and exciting games for this year!

But, first let’s take a step back and answer all your CHALYMPIC questions. 

WHAT ARE THE CHALYMPICS?

The CHALYMPICS is an 8 day long, 7 event series we partake in every year of Chanukah. Well, actually this only our second year, but it’s definitely something we plan to grow old with!

Every night, after we light the menorah, instead of opening presents, we set up a game, using inexpensive materials that are easily purchased or that are already lying around the house, and all the kids compete. 

Like the real Olympics, we start off with a torch lighting ceremony, the winners stand on appropriate leveled chairs and receive their award at the end of each night, and of course we end the games with another torch lighting ceremony. 

Through out the 8 days, we keep track of the winners on a giant score card and at the end of the CHALYMPICS there is a final champion who wins the ultimate prize…BRAGGING RIGHTS!

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS IDEA?

Every year Eli and I go out a few weeks before Chanukah to discuss the upcoming gift situation. Do we buy a gift for every child for every night? Do we buy one big group kid? Do we give each child a big gift and then a few small prizes? We ask ourselves the same questions every year and we always end with the same one…

How do we make this holiday about more than just the gifts?

Just to back track a few years, a friend told us about this game she plays with her kids every year on Chanukah. It’s a life size memory game (more about that in the games portion of this post!). 

In an attempt to make the holiday about more then presents we adopted this game into our first night of Chanukah routine and it was a huge success. Our kids had a blast, we loved watching them and, bonus, the whole game cost us 24 shekel! 

Little did we know when we started this 4 years ago that this game would become the highlight of our children entire Chanukah. It’s literally all they spoke about in the previous months. 

So, last year when we went out to figure out their gifts, we looked at each other and realized the answer to all our questions was right there in from of us! 

MORE GAMES. 

The kids certainly could not remember what gifts they got the year before, but they remembered every detail of our live memory game. And not because of those silly shekel prizes they earned! Because, we did it as a family and we had fun!

So we came up with a game for every night. Then, true to our natures, mine abeing a super competitive game lover and Eli’s being an organized sports obsessed male, we created the CHALYMPICS!

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE GAMES?

Eli, being the more cool head, way less impulsive and more calculated half of our marriage, pointed out that the games had to have completely impartial winners. 

Meaning, we, as the parents, could not have any say in choosing who came in first, second or third place. The winner had to be determined by the objective rules of the event. Whether it’s a time event (who did …. the fastest), or a quantity based event (who collected…..the most), we would merely be there to cheer them on. 

This prevented any child from feeling like they weren’t “chosen” to win. It also made losing very easy to explain. Instead of saying, well I like her cupcake better, all we had to say was “Oh man, I really though you had it. It’s ok. Today he\she was faster but don’t worry, theres always tomorrow/ next year.”

Another key factor we look at when coming up with games is are they fun? I know it sounds crazy. All games are fun. Really though, some are funner than others and what we’ve found is that the sillier the games are the more fun they are for everyone. 

We choose games that are more physically involved because as it is kids today spend way too much time sitting behind desks and we try to choose games that are gender neutral. 

Every parent knows their children best though, and even though its easy to just to play the exact same games we play it might be fun to do a few minutes of googling or Pinterest to find games that are more suitable to your kids! 

Here’s a few tips if you down to come up wth your own games:

-Choosing games that have winners that you do NOT have to select is key in making sure your children don’t feel bad if they do not win. (We don’t believe in “Everyone’s” a winner because it’s just not real life and also, like I said, I’m super competitive.)

-Try to arrange the order of the games to fit your lifestyle. (I choose a game that needs almost no advance preparation for Saturday night this way we are not rushed.) 

-Keep the games interesting by alternating between nights with games where everyone competes at the same time vs games where only one player competes at a time

-Don’t choose games that will stress you out. For example, if you don’t like fingerprints on your walls (ahem, Dad) don’t choose a game where they have to lean or touch the wall. 

– Most importantly, make sure that you are enjoying yourself. The more fun you are having the more fun your kids will have. Guaranteed!

Of course, if you do come up with other games let us know! We’re always on the look out for new ones!!!

Now, on to the technical portion of this post. 

How do we make this all happen?

There are four easy steps to bringing the CHALYMPICS to life and making them awesome.

  1. Make a score board
  2. Help your kids create their own “torches” (or just buy a few extra havdalah-like candles!)
  3. Come up with 7 games (Like HASHEM, the Chalympics rest on shabbos) and make sure you have everything you need in your house.
  4. Download Olympic music on your phone. (opening ceremony, medal ceremony, national anthem and closing ceremony) 

Since there is so much to tell you about the first three steps (google for step 4, or iTunes) Im going to make each one of those steps it’s own blog posts!

I really, really hope you all enjoy this years and can’t wait to see you what you all come up with!

In case you need a little visual inspiration, heres a few videos of what the CHALYMPICS looked like last year!

(To see all of last years videos, click on the YouTube logo in the bottom right hand corner of the video. It will bring you to the CHALYMPICS 2016 playlist on my YouTube channel!)

FOR THE DIY TORCHES AND SCOREBOARD POST CLICK HERE

FOR THE CHALYMPIC GAMES AND RULES CLICK HERE

 

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Cajun Salmon Tacos with Persimmon Salsa

Sometimes recipes happen by accident. And sometimes those are the best ones.  Like this one.

For the second day of rosh Hashanah I planned on serving tacos, and filling them with whatever meats I had leftover from the previous meals. Because, really anything you stuff inside a taco tastes good. Amiright?

Well, what I did not plan for was having extra mini tacos shells leftover. So, shabbos day, in addition to my crab cakes I decided to fill my leftover shells with some of my leftover cajun salmon. Perfect right? Wrong. 

Why is that wrong? Because tacos ALWAYS need a salsa. My first days, meat filled tacos, were just fined with a dollop of garlic mayo and some crunchy shredded cabbage because I was able to reheat the sauce from thew meat and that moistened the whole thing. But shabbos day, I could for sure not heat up a sauce so I needed a salsa. 

And thats when it hit me. I had 3 beautiful, orange, fall-esque persimmons sitting in my fridge. I chopped them up, threw it together with a bunch of other salsa-must ingredients and boom. 

The perfect Fall time Salmon Taco. 

I knew was recipe I had to share so I made it again after the holiday, just so I could “photograph” (quotations b/c I only pretend to be a food photographer), and share the recipe with you all. 

For the taco shells I used wonton wrappers that I fry with my handy dandy taco shaper, that you can buy here from amazon. It actually pretty fast to fry them up and they really make the best taco shells. Plus, after they cool you can store in them in an airtight container for up to a week and the will stay fresh! I know, magic! 

I also halved the cajun salmon recipe because really you don’t need a whole side of salmon to fill 40 tacos. Half a side will do just fine. Which, FYI, also makes this recipe super economical! 

You can also totally skip the taco shells and just serve the salsa right on top of the salmon! 

However you do it, make sure you do! It’s the perfect fish appetizer for Succos. 

And the colors, oh the colors. They are so appropriate for the beautiful fall season. Besides being delicious they’ll also look soooo pretty in your Succah’s.

To assemble the tacos place a few pieces of the salmon inside the taco and top with a teaspoon of persimmon salsa.

For the printable Cajun Salmon recipe click here

For the printable Persimmon Salsa recipe click here

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Rosh Hashannah Salatim

For me salads are the best part of any meal. I love those cold, refreshing, crunchy bites in between all the hot food. Making salads on the other hand is the worst!

I force myself to make them on a daily basis because I love them and when I make them on my own I get to put in them exactly what I want. However, I would say that any salad that is not cut up and chopped by me is already halfway there to being my favorite salad. 

In an effort to make sure theres tons of cold crunchy veggies on my Rosh Hashannah table this holiday, I made a bunch of salads today that can stay in the fridge and get better everyday they sit! This way if I’m too tired or busy with kids, I at least know I can pull these out!

I made a carrot salad, a fennel salad, a sweet and sour type of eggplant salad, a garlic confit and a bunch of dips to put on the table at every meal. 

I hope everyones cooking is going well and can’t wait to see what you all made!

Happy Cooking!

For the printable Moroccan-y Carrot Slaw recipe click here

For the printable Fennel and Apple Slaw recipe click here

For the Pickled Eggplant and Onion recipe click here

For the printable Garlic Confit recipe click here

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APPLES AND HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN

     

This chicken dish needs very little explanation. Its description is in the title. 

It’s just the right amount of sweetness, with a touch of tartness, moist and succulent on the inside, crispy on the top and most importantly takes less then five minutes to prepare. 

I even made more of the honey mustard mixture today so that on Friday all I have to do is cut up the onions and apples. The mixture could stay in the fridge for at leas 10 days so why not get ahead?

The only thing I will do differently next time I make this is that I will make double the amount. 

Oh, and maybe add some fennel to the onions and apples on the bottom bc I 💜 fennel. 

But thats it. 

Happy crunch time everyone!

For the printable Apples and Honey Mustard chicken recipe click here

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BOURBON APPLE TURNOVERS

     

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.

Why?

Because. 

BOURBON. 

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

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BOURBON BRAISED RIBS

   

I love everything about this dish. It’s meaty, really well balanced in flavor, sticky in the best way possible and completely addictive. 

I use this sauce on so many cuts of meat that I really hope you play around with it. If you’re more the pulled beef type, no problem. Just use a brisket instead of ribs, cook it at a little bit of a lower temp for a little longer and, BOOM, the best pulled beef ever! Say your family are corned beef lovers? Prepare your corned beef the usual way and then use this as your sauce! In fact you can even pour it over chicken. It’s that good!

It doesn’t take long to make and these ribs freeze really well so I definitely suggest making a huge batch and freezing it. Then you can go back to the kitchen, cook the million other dishes you need to prepare for all these holidays all while having the piece of mind that you already have at least one killer meat done!

Happy cooking! 

For the printable Bourbon Braised Short Ribs Recipe click here

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