BEST MEAT SAUCE EVER

Meat sauce should be all about the meat. It should have deep, rich beef-y flavor that is so delicious and mildly addictive that technically you could eat it all by itself with just a spoon. 

Like any good sauce based food though, it needs to flavorful enough so that the taste totally stands out when eaten with a some good baguette, over past, rice or even zoodles. 

That is what this meat sauce is about. Flavor, texture and taste. 

I can’t take the credit it bc I learned how to make meat sauce from the my mother, who taught me all about not overworking the meat and teaching me the  joys of a textured sauce! 

So thanks mom! 

Make sure to double the recipe, bc meat sauce freezes amazing, is loved by all and can help you on a busy when you need a fast dinner! 

For the printable Meat Sauce recipe click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

SAVORY STOVETOP BRISKET

Seder food can be a challenge. It’s not easy to work hard to make food that you know will end ups mostly being served as leftovers. By the time it comes time to eat the meal, everyone is so stuffed up on matzah that after they gulp down their chicken soup everyones appetites have seriously decreased. 

So, I like to make food that reheats well, since thats where most oil the food is headed. Brisket is the perfect candidate for that. It’s naturally fatty which protects the meat from drying out.

This version is something I developed for the seder since it is cooked totally in a pot. Nothing roasted at all! For me, this is all I want at the seder. Something deeply savory to balance out all the wine!

It’s super simple to make and reallllly delicious! Plus, the leftovers are amazing! Just reheat covered and serve again over fresh creamy mashed potatoes! 

Happy cooking everyone!

For the printable Savory Stovetop Brisket click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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!

βœŒπŸ»πŸ’œ&πŸ₯•,

Danielle

              

For the printable French Dip Sandwich recipe click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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
 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Chicken Pot Pie

 

       

What’s  crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside, filled with tons of veggies and protein, still kid friendly, freezes well and is beloved by all? 

Well, if the title didn’t give it away, I’m not going to tell you! 

Just kidding. It’s…..

CHICKEN POT PIE

I don’t make it often enough, but every time I do I say the same thing to myself. “Oh, this really is so easy. I’m going to start adding this into my dinner rotations.” But, then the holiday season ends and I vow not to make a single thing we ate during that season for at least month. Due to having children extenuating circumstances, my memory is not what it used to be and by the time my yuntif food hiatus ends, I forget all over again how easy it is to make chicken pot pie. Which is hugely unfortunate. Because really, chicken pot pie rocks!

I wrote you all a very large recipe. Large enough to make 3 very large pie dishes, or 4 medium ones. So that if you too forget how easy it is to make you’ll at least have a stockpile of them in your freezer for a rainy day. Literally a rainy day, because there is nothing better then hot and creamy chicken pot pie when its freezing and pouring outside!

All the freezing instructions are in the recipe, so click the link and get cooking! 

Happy endless cooking month everyone! 

βœŒπŸ»πŸ’œ&πŸ₯•,

Danielle

For the printable Chicken Pot Pie Recipe click here

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Tom Yum Soup + Video

THAILAND. sigh. BRING ME BACK!!!!!

It is just the most amazing mix of beauty and culture. From the elephant studded jungles to the tropical, crystal blue ocean lined beaches, every inch of this country is absolutely remarkable. It’s the people, the history, the location, the agriculture, the culture, the smells and the food – oh my, the food- that all together contribute to the colorful backdrop of what makes Thailand so truly special. 

The old ladies that sit on the side of a seemingly deserted road selling bananas, the proprietors of each stall at the random street long market places that pop-up any where from the middle of a train track to the inside of a series of gondola like canoes in a through fare of canals, to the barefooted buddhists monks, and even the punky, techno music obsessed teenagers, it is the people who make up and truly influence this great country. Each one with their own familial variations, traditions, and of course, recipes. There are a few staple base recipes, but from their each region, town and family ventures off to create their own version of these very Thai dishes.

Sometimes, the recipes vary between fish bases and meat bases depending on whether you lived in the hills and were surrounded by cattle or if you lived on the sea shore surrounded by the most amazing fish and shell fish. Which, aside from the fact that Thai people just so happen to be culturally the most accomodating, genuinely nice people, is why I think it was not difficult for them to help me come up with a way to kosherfy some of their most traditional recipes. 

Each region we went to we got to take a private cooking class in. At the start of each class the chef, assuming that I just wanted to learn how to make some super fancy, Michelin star worthy dish came armed with a slew of extremely updated, over the top, beautifully plated dishes. As soon as I told them I did not want to learn how to make hotel food and was really there to cook something that their own grandmothers made for them the whole experience changed. Each chef, both women by the way (girl power), instantly relaxed, plastered a huge smile on their face and taught me to make the food that they truly like to eat.

It’s not fancy food and not difficult to make. It is however, complex in flavors and mind blowing-ly delicious. In the west we are used to very different types of herbs and spices. So, Thai food seems complicated as these ingredients are not as easily available as say, a carrot. However, once you have all the ingredients in your house, nothing actually takes more than a few minutes of active prep time to put together. 

Over the course of the classes we made Tom yum soup, which is technically a spicy prawn soup, that we kosherfied by swapping salmon for the prawns. We made a fried flounder with a spicy thai mango salad, sticky rice (my fave!!!), Tom Kah Gai soup, which is basically Thailands version of a Jewish chicken soup, and a spicy, fresh hearts of palm (yup, thats right, NOT canned, meaning straight from the heart of a palm tree!) salad. Each recipe was bright, fresh, light enough to not weigh you down in the crazy heat but filling enough to leave you feeling totally satisfied!

I am so excited to be sharing these videos and giving you a small glimpse of all the amazing things I was privileged to learn and see there. I am going to release the videos one by one, each with a printable recipe so that you can recreate these recipes in your own kitchens. 

Before I do though, I just want to share a few things I learned there. 

  1. There are no rules. If you don’t like an ingredient, don’t worry, just swap it out for something you do like.
  2. Taste along the way. It was not easy writing down these recipes for you, because like any really good recipe handed down from parent to child, they included ” a little of this, a pinch of that and a handful of this”. So, trust your palettes and keep tasting to adjust the flavors till it tastes right to you!
  3. SWEET, SOUR, SPICY and SALTY. These are the flavors that are found in all Thai food. Every dish aims to incorporate all four regions of our tastebuds at the same time which is why each bite-ful of a Thai dish sets off a flavor party in you mouth.
  4. There is a Thai version of a mirepoix. It is their “holy trinity” and it is the base of all their soups and stews. Just like any good jewish neighborhood grocery store sells prepackages bundles of all the herb and veggies we need to make a good chicken soup, the Thai market vendors also sell their 3 traditional ingredients all bundled up. Their three ingredients are galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass. 
  5. Limes are crucial. I knew I would love Thailand because we both share a deep rooted love for lime. It goes in and on everything. If you don’t live in a place where limes are always available (like I do πŸ™ ), when they are in season, buy a extra, juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. This way you’ll have fresh lime juice all year long!
  6. They put sugar in everything. No joke. I don’t understand because everywhere we went I was clearly the ummmm, I’m trying to think of an elegant way to say this, lets just say they are tiny! The women and the men all have the tiniest waists and the most beautiful skin. Some of them say its from all the coconut they eat, some say its just in their genes (yes, I asked basically every Thai person I met. I mean how can you be 6o and not have a single wrinkle? Naturally?). Whatever it is, it is not because they are on some crazy sugar-free diet. It does however provide a flavor balance to their recipes and really should not be omitted.
  7. Use the freshest ingredients possible. If a recipe calls for flounder, but the flounder in your market doesn’t look amazing, no problem! Buy a different fish. 

Now that you have all the building blocks to take the recipe I give you and make them your own I’m going to help you out by linking the names of some of the produce to websites where you can easily buy them (hint: starts with “ama” and ends with “zon”). 

GALANGAL:

click here for fresh galangal 

click here for dried galangal

KAFFIR LIME LEAVES:

click here for fresh kaffir lime leaves

click here for dried kaffir lime leaves

LEMONGRASS:

click here for fresh lemongrass

click here for dried lemongrass

THAI BIRD CHILES:

click here for fresh Thai bird chiles

click here for dried Thai bird chiles

BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWERS:

click here for dried butterfly pea flowers

PANDAN LEAVES:

click here for fresh pandan leaves

click here for dried pandan leaves

NOTE: These are raw ingredients. The links are for produce that is NOT grown in Israel and there for not subject to the laws the apply to produce grown in Israel. Consult with your own rabbi on how to check these vegetables appropriately.

For the full printable Tom Yum Soup recipe click here.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Friday Night Tu B’Shvat Menu

           

           

 

“Once there was a tree…”

I love Tu B’Shvat. It’s a no pressure holiday. You don’t need to spend days in advance preparing, theres usually not a lot of company involved making it quality family time, and best of all, to me it means spring time is just around the corner!!!!!!! 

Woooooohooooo!

Most years I take my kids to the local botanical gardens to plant some trees and then come home and we have a really fun Tu B’shvat seudah. We eat all the different simanim, make brachos and just have a really nice quality family dinner talking about the beautiful world Hashem gave us to live in.  

This year, everything is different. Tu B’Shvat has graced us with its presence on shabbos. That means no planting on the actual day and any tradition “shiva minim” foods need to be incorporated into our shabbos meal. Luckily for me, most of these ingredients are pretty standard in Moroccan and middle eastern cooking (which is not surprising since they are the 7 species indigenous to this region).

Just for the record here is a list of the shiva minim (don’t feel bad if you don’t remember them. I had to ask my 9 year old son….)

Wheat 

Barley 

Grapes

Figs

Dates

Pomegranate

Olive Oil

So, I decided this year to incorporate our 7 delicious species of fruits and grains into one crazy delicious Friday night shabbos meal. I wrote up a menu with some of the usual shabbos staples, and included a bunch of new  and some recycled but perfectly appropriate recipes. I broke the recipes for you so that you can pick and choose or mix and match the recipes that your family would love. Of course feel free to use my menu in it’s entirety and we can be twinning this shabbos!

Here it goes:

Appitizer:

Moroccan fish

Soup:

Chicken Soup with matzah balls

Main Course:

Sun- dried Tomato and Olive Ciabatta topped with Shredded Pomegranate Braised Brisket

Chicken with Olives

Barley Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

 Roasted Cauliflower with Moroccan Date and Fig Crunch Topping

Dessert:

Spiced Poached Pears

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

I figured you all have your own chicken soup and matzah balls recipe so I did not include those recipes. All the other recipes are listed below with clickable links to a printable version! 

I want to wish everyone out there a spring and summer, inspired by the trees we plant,  filled with growth, fruitfulness and beauty.

“And the tree was happy.” -Shel Silverstein

 

 

For the printable Moroccan Fish recipe click here 

For the printable Olive and Sun-dried Tomato Ciabatta recipe click here

For the printable Pomegranate Braised Brisket recipe click here

For the printable Arugula and Barley Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette recipe click here

For the printable Roasted Cauliflower with Moroccan Date and Fig Crunch Topping recipe click here

For the printable Chicken with Olives recipe click here

For the printable Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake recipe click here

For the printable Poached Pears recipe click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Dough Ice Cream

 

Sometimes I go to sleep at night wondering if I’m done. I think “what if my creativity fails me and I have no new recipes”. Then, somehow, I wake up the next morning literally flooded with all new ideas and recipes. So many in fact, that usually by the time I get half way through writing them down I can’t even remember what they all were!

Lucky for my family that this idea stuck with me, because I when I say it was a huge hit, that is a complete understatement. 

Anyone that has eaten a meal by my house knows that by the time you get to dessert, dessert  is no longer necessary. Ha. Just kidding. Dessert is always necessary. So, I always know that when I make my desserts they don’t usually get finished. Everyone takes a small sample from each dessert but seconds are not really requested since stomach space has dwindled to no nothing. 

Then, this ice cream happened. 

There were seconds and thirds until people were using their fingers to scrape up any leftover remnants from the dish. 

It was so well balanced in taste and texture. The ice cream was smooth and creamy. The homemade strawberry jam was slightly tart and fruity. The oatmeal lace cookies were crunchy and caramelized. And the cookie dough. Sigh. Do I really need to explain the perfection that is cookie dough. I think not. 

So, although this recipe requires a few steps, it was worth every single ounce of effort you put into it. Plus, because a lot of the steps require “chill” time you can spread out the work over the course of a week so that it doesn’t get over whelming. The jam can stay in the fridge for a week and the lace cookies and cookie dough can be made up to a month in advance and frozen until your ready to use them. 

I’m going to divide up the recipes so that you can pick and choose what to make and use any elements of this recipe (Like the ice cream) as a base to make tons of different dishes!

I really hope you all enjoy!!!

For the printable Ice Cream recipe click here

For the printable Strawberry Jam recipe click here

For the printable Oatmeal Lace Cookie recipe click here

For the printable Cookie Dough recipe click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

“Pho” Style Soup with Super Thinly Sliced Steak + All Asian Soup Base

Soup is everything. 

Its a meal, it’s a snack, it heals you when you don’t feel good, it can be a fridge cleaner, it can be meaty and hearty, it can be light and refreshing, it can be eaten with a soup for a dignified experience, it can be slurpped up with a huge chopstick full of noodles(my personal fav) and it is, most importantly, always delicious. 

I’ve said this before and I can not stress it enough, that a good soup is something that every single person can make. They are not hard and in my opinion the main contributor from taking a soup from good to great is merely the addition of time. For the most part, you can basically dump anything in a pot, add some seasoning, cover with water and if you let it simmer for long enough it will taste delicious. 

BUT. If you want your soups to go from great to INSANE, it does require a little bit of technical work so that you can layer flavors and build a soup that is so complex in it’s taste but simple in it’s appearance. 

To me, that is what this soup is all about. It is a combination of a chicken soup stock, layered with a mushroom broth and infused with Asian aromatics that gives this soup it’s absolutely addicting flavor. 

Since I make a version of Asian soups basically every week, I’m going to do you all a favor and give you my base recipe. From there you can either follow this exact recipe (which I highly recommend because it was the freakin bomb) or you can use whatever you have in your fridge to make your own incredible Asian soup bowl.

If you don’t have an ingredient I use, just leave it out or swap it for something similar. The only component that I would say you absolutely should include is the mushroom broth. It is very simple to make as it requires only dried mushrooms and water and you can freeze it in one cup containers so that you to can easily make these soups on a weekly basis from your leftover shabbos chicken soup.

I’m going to break this recipe up into 2 parts for those of you who just want the base. Please, please, please use this recipe as a jumping off point to create your own amazing Asian soups!!!!!

Happy slurping everyone!

For the printable Asian Soup base recipe click here

For the printable Asian “Pho” with Philly Sandwich Steak recipe click here

To watch the making of this soup and see how easy it really is click here (don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel while your there…)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail