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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5 More So Simple Salad Dressings

        

                      

Salads are so personal. The addition or subtraction of one single component in a salad can make it or break it for people. For me it’s tomatoes. You stick even a few cherry tomatoes in that salad and I’m out. I could love every other thing in there and be totally addicted to the dressing, but once the juice of the tomatoes touches the other veggies it goes from appealing to completely off limits. 

That’s why, a while back, I gave you all a post all about the dressings. We all pretty much know what we want or are in the mood to throw in our salads, but when it comes to the dressing I think thats where most people get stumped. They either stick to the same old boring dressing they’ve been making for months years, or, even worse, they use, GASP, bottled dressing. Ugh, I know. That stuff is just not right. 

Really though, once you understand the really basic principles of making a good dressing, it’s so easy to whip up your own. If your interested in what those are click here to go the original post. Also, thats where the first 6 salad dressing recipes are. 

So, here I am again, posting another 6 dressings recipe for you to help with your summertime salad habits. All I crave in this heat is something light, crunchy, fresh and flavorful. Which basically means I’m making some sort of salad every single night. Usually it’s a full meal in a salad. It’s packed with veggies, topped with some sort of protein (grilled chicken, deli, steak or even feta cheese or crispy chickpeas) lightly sprinkled with a little crunch in the form of crispy homemade croutons or crou”tot”s, and drizzled with most yummy and satisfying salad dressing. 

I hope these dressings make many, many appearances on all your dinner tables all summer long!

Happy Summer Everyone!

Peas Out, 

Danielle

For the printable Mango Sumac Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Lightened Up Green Goddess Dressing recipe click here

For the printable Pomegranate Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Raspberry Lime Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Spicy Peanut Sesame Dressing recipe click here

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Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodles

FINALLY!!!!!

I have been trying to find time to post this recipe since the day I made it. When I say I have not even had a single second to just sit at my computer and get it done, it is not an exaggeration at all. This week was so insanely fun but so crazy busy.

Between flying to Florida for just a day to see mt grandfather, photography lessons (hence the ridiculously beautiful photos by the ohs talented Miriam Pascal), filming ten brand new videos for kosher.com, kids, husband oh and a few minutes of much needed sleep here and there this week was action packed. Even for me. And thats saying something. Luckily,I loved every minute of it.

Now that I have a few free seconds, I decided to use the time to bring you the recipe I promised I would. I know its a little late to make this for shakos but Im so confident in its level addiction that I felt like you needed to have it. 

Whether you make it for a shabbos afternoon, as a barbecue side dish, or as the perfect portable beach day lunch it is one of those recipes thats just perfect. It’s versatile and I included a bunch of variations in the recipe to help you make it even more to your liking! I never know when I make something like this whether mysids will eat to or not, but they all LOVED it. I actually kept the veggies separate and each kid customized what veggies they wanted in their bowls. 

Lets talk about these photos. No, I did no take these insanely gorgeous pictures. They were taken by the uber-talented Miriam pascal from overtimecook. I had the unbelievable privilege of hanging out with Miriam and the equally talented Melinda from kitchen-tested. We got together, well actually, they got together and I crashed their photoshoot, to photograph some new recipes. Not only were they gracious enough to let me watch and learn from everything they did, they even told me to bring a recipe that they would tech me how to photograph! 

I don’t think I’m quite ready to produce any pictures that look as gorgeous as these, actually I probably need to buy a real camera first, but I can’t wait to get back home and start implanting all the tips and tricks they gave me. 

Hope your all having a slamming summer!

Peas out, 

Danielle 

For the printable Spicy Peanut Sesame Noodle Recipe, click here

 

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DIPS DIPS DIPS

WHEN I DIP, YOU DIP , WE DIP….

Whether it’s a shabbos or yuntif seudah, a Sunday morning brunch or a regular weeknight dinner, every meal is easily enhanced by serving a ton of dips along side whatever you have prepared. PERIOD. 

 

So, here it is, my ultimate list of amazing dip recipes.

BRING ON THE MATZAH!

I hope you all have a peaceful weekend. 

✌🏻💜&🥕,

Danielle

For the printable homemade Mayonnaise recipe click here

For the printable Tomato Dip recipe click here

For the printable Herb and Chile Garlic confit recipe click here

For the printable Olive Tapenade recipe click here

For the printable Lemon and Jalapeño Gremolota recipe click here

For the printable Roasted Red Pepper Dip click here

For the printable Almond Tehini recipe click here

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FIRE ROASTED EGGPLANT

5IVE INGREDIENT FRIDAY 

KOSHER FOR PASSOVER

INASANELY DELICIOUS

EASY TO MAKE

HEALTHY

Should I keep going, or do you get the point?

               

It’s super simple, bursting with flavor and basically the best addition to your Shabbos table since schnitzel. 

I really hope all you of you are going to take the weekend to relax and rest up from all the cleaning and organizing of this past week. It’s time to recharge and get ready for the king queen of all holidays!

Wishing you all a peasful weekend.

💜,

Danielle

For the printable Fire Roasted Epplant recipe click here

 

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So Simple Salad Dressing Recipes

                 

               

I really don’t consider myself a food snob. I’m a lover of chinese food, eaten straight out of the box and a firm believer that no chocolate chip cookie recipe will ever compete with the ones that are made by just adding 3 ingredients to the mix that comes out of the red box (if you don’t know what I’m referring to, we can’t be friends). But, and this is a huge but, some foods, NEED to be homemade. On the top of that list is salad dressing. 

Home made salad dressing are a huge pet peeve of mine. They are really easy to make and taste significantly better. 

So many times, including in restaurants, the salad dressings taste so artificial and just not good. Not to mention the atrocity that is bottled salad dressing. That stuff is so gross! I recently had the pleasure (read: misfortune) to taste test a bunch of them. Let me just say that some of them were really difficult to get down and totally gag inducing.  They have a weird tangy sweetness and in my opinion, always just tastes off. 

But have no fear. A good salad dressing is actually sooooooo simple to make. They require virtually no prep time and can usually be made with regular everyday ingredients you already have in your house. 

As part of my movement to rid the world of bad salad dressings, I decided to give you all a bunch of really yummy and easy recipes. 

Before we dive into individual recipes though lets just talk salad dressing basics. There are a few fundamentals to a good dressing that really everyone should know. Once you know these principals you can pretty much stop reading this, because you will be able to make your own dressings, from scratch with out a recipe. 

But keep reading anyway because I actually spent time writing them out for you. Thanks, mwa.

Lets start with a vinaigrette. These are the lightest of all dressings. On the simplest level they’re merely any kind of acid (think lemon, lime, vinegar etc.) whisked together with oil salt and pepper. It’s usally a 2:1 ratio of oil:acid and in my opinion are the tastiest! They are flavorful but still light enough to allow you to actually taste the vegetables you are pouring them over. Plus, because the amounts of acidic fruits and vinegars out there is tremendous, the flavor combinations are endless. Which means you can basically have a different salad dressing every night and never get bored. 

Then there mayonnaise based dressings. From here you can go into directions. You can start by making your own mayo or used a store bought mayo as a base. I personally do both, depending on how much time I have. In my mind as long as the flavors are balanced both options are perfectly acceptable. Balancing flavors though is where it gets tricky.

When you make your own homemade mayo you can control the amounts of salt, sugar and lemon you use to make it, which makes it easier to balance the flavors after. Store bought mayos on the other hand come ready made, which means you have to TASTE them before you use them. Every brand tastes different. Some are sweeter, some are blander, mustard-ier (I’m copywriting that word), theres just no way to know unless you taste it! So, even though using mayo out of a jar saves time on the making-the-mayo step, you really need know how to adjust the recipe to suit which brand you are using. (*Sidenote-this is why you have to taste as you go along, even when you follow a recipe exactly because, like in this case if the recipe calls for mayo, if you don’t know what brand they used its may not taste the same). 

Once you settle on which mayo you are using you need to figure out how to flavor it. Now, in my mind the biggest offense of any salad dressing is when someone adds sugar or honey where it does not belong. Let me say this again, because this is insanely important. 

NOT ALL SALAD DRESSINGS NEED SUGAR OR HONEY.

In fact, most of them do not. Once in a while you may need a drop of honey or a pinch of sugar to balance out the tartness of a very strong vinegar that will over power your veggies however, most of the time it is completely unnecessary. It takes the beautiful, bright, fresh dressing you just made it and turns into something that tastes like it came out of a bottle. I don’t know when it became acceptable to put sugar in a caesar dressing but it needs to stop. Of the six dressing recipes I gave you only 1 contains honey and its because it needs it. Without it, the turmeric is too strong and overpowering. 

When flavoring a mayo I like to always start with my acid. From there I add in any garlic or onions and the season liberally with salt and pepper. Mayonaisse is very forgiving, so if you add too much of one thing, don’t worry about it. Just take a deep breath and figure out which ingredients you can add a little more of to balance it out. 

The last category of dressings is actually not a category at all. Its the NON-DRESSING DRESSINGS. What is that? Thats all the things that are not technically salad dressing but yet, can be used as one. Think techina, chumus, pesto etc. These are fun because they add variety to our regular arsenal of dressings.

Personally, of all of them techina is my favorite so, I’m going to include a basic recipe for that here also. But even within the techina world, you can totally individualize it. Add harissa for some middle eastern flavors, spice it up with a fire roasted jalapeño, go korean by dropping in a spoonful of gochujang, or add a handful of herbs for a green techina. 

Now that you have an understanding of what goes into, in my opinion, the two (but sort of 3 if you cont non-dressing-dressings) schools of dressings you can easily whip up a quick and easy salad to go along with your dinners.

Just incase you don’t feel like making up your own  though, I am giving you my easiest and most family friendly recipes. They are extremely versatile so feel free to play around and personalize them to your liking. 

Hope this posts makes your life a little easier and significantly more delicious! 

Peas out, 

Danielle

                      

For the printable Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Raspberry Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Roasted Garlic Dressing recipe click here

For the printable Caesar Dressing click here

For the printable Turmeric and Preserved Lime Vinaigrette click here

For the printable Tehini recipe click here

For the printable Creamy Sesame Dressing/Dip recipe click here

For the printable Carrot Ginger Dressing 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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Kitchen Destination: Israel

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Once upon a time, when I was a little girl playing house, I would day dream about all the fun things I would do with/for my children. Have a room where they could color and paint the walls, make jello and let them drink the hot “jello juice” like tea, bring them to different parks all the time, let them miss school as they needed and allow them to explore and learn about our amazing world in any way they wanted.

IMG_3523Then I had kids.

I don’t have a room, or even a wall for that matter, where they can color or paint on. I let them each have a spoon (or two if I’m feeling it) of the yummy “jello juice”. We go to different parks IF the weather permits, no one is sick, we have time, the baby is not cranky, the food shopping is done, and mostly, if I’m in the mood. They are allowed to miss school only once in a while (and I need at least two weeks to recover from having “nobody home besides me” taken away!). The one thing that I was able to follow through on was letting them explore our world.

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Continue reading “Kitchen Destination: Israel”

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