Sunday, April 20, 2014

Improvisational Flour-less Chocolate Cake

Before Pesach I made Brownies, but I overcooked them and forgot to add nuts. They were a bit disappointing.  This week I wanted something chocolaty, but more moist and less traditional. I whipped these up:



LOL: Prunes "without a nucleus"
  • 2 small carrots, peeled
  • 2 red apples, peeled
  • 2 bags (400 grams/ 14 oz.) of pitted plums
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 c oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 bags (400 grams) walnuts, chopped
  • fresh ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Salt

Bake at 350 F/170 C for about 20 minutes depending on ingredients and thickness.

I encourage you to experiment with leftovers to make your own cakes and brownies. 

Do you have leftover cooked sweet potato, charoset, or applesauce? Over-ripe bananas, peaches, or pears? Throw it in! Add finely ground nuts for body. (Feel free to add baking soda or baking powder.)

I especially love to cook with kids and give them the reins with what and how much to add.
Please comment and tell me about your own baking improvisations.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chewy Chocolate Almond Hazelnut Cookies - Gluten Free

These are the easiest no-fail special Passover dessert and snack. I just can't get enough!

Based on Faye Levy's Almond Macaroons, posted by Miriyummy.

For one batch, I would recommend a minimum food processor capacity of 1 liter or 1 quart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar (preferably substitute some regular sugar with vanilla sugar)
  • 1/4-1/2 cocoa powder (depending on your taste)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on your taste)

  1. Grind nuts and half the sugar in a food processor until medium-fine.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend to a fine paste.
  3. Preheat oven to 170 C/350 F.
  4. Line 1-2 pans with parchment paper.
  5. Dampen hands, then form small balls of "dough" and flatten slightly. (I had my kids do this. They were slow, but it kept them busy.)
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes. The cookies should darken, but stay chewy on the inside.
  7. Keep in an air tight container for at least a week.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

In the time I saved making this sauce (compared to traditional recipes), I was able to tell you about it! Traditional recipes involve chopping the ingredients, adding them to a pan at specific intervals, and lots of standing over the pan/pot and stirring. Sauce can also be made in a pressure cooker much faster, but you always run the risk of burning it or under cooking it, since you can't peak.

The dry heat of the oven gives the ingredients a deep flavor without the need to stand over a frying pan.

Ingredients:


Basic:

  • tomatoes, preferably ripe
  • onions (I used sweet and purple onions)
  • olive oil

Optional:

  • bell peppers (I used red and green)
  • garlic (whole cloves)
  • mushrooms
  • chili peppers
  • fresh or dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • vinegar or dry white wine
  • sugar or honey
  1. Cut up all the vegetables into relatively similar sized chunks - about quarters for the tomatoes.
  2. Remove any tomato seeds which come out easily and quickly, but without wasting a lot of time.
  3. Toss with olive oil in a large pan, or pans.
  4. Roast on high or broil until the edges are browning, probably at least half an hour. Stir/toss/flip or rotate at least once.
  5. Add spices to taste and let cool.
  6. Use a hand blender or pulse in a food processor to desired consistency.

This batch is mostly for shakshuka which I plan to serve for supper on Wednesday this week during Passover. I will serve it with homemade fermented chili sauce on the side. And maybe some fresh lemonade.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What's in my Fridge for Pesach

The laws and stringiness of Pesach may limit our choice of ingredients, but that need not limit our menu. Not only is Pesach a festival, but my kids are home from school. That means more mouths asking for food and less time to prepare meals. Therefore, I like to spend a day or two before the holiday packing my fridge with basics that make throwing a meal or snack together easy.

This year I've already cleaned out a corner of one bedroom and set up a table for some Pesach prep. Last Friday I started basic sauerkraut, sriracha, and pickled kohlerabi, and on Saturday night I plan to get some pickled cucumbers going.

Below is a list of things I prepared last year. I hope it will inspire you!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thanks for the email

Still making time for simple fermented veggies
A few days ago I received the following email. I was just about to hit "send" when I thought it might make sense to post my response.

Hi Yosefa, 
I recently visited your blog after seeing that I had bookmarked a while back, but I noticed there are no recent posts, are you still updating the blog?
I really enjoyed it as a fellow "healthy DIY mom" in Israel.
All the best,
Elana 

Hi Elana,
Thanks for writing. In the last 5 months I've been busy apartment hunting, moving, interviewing, getting over mononucleosis, and starting a new job, so I've been a little too busy to write and upload pictures. I also put together a four-part post on getting the most out of your freezer, freezing food to save time and money, etc. Then I lost it somewhere between some email and hard drive purging I was working on. That was about two month's ago and I'm still bummed. But just as soon as I get over that and get a hang of juggling work, family, and friends, I will get back to blogging. I'm glad you were enjoying my blog and I hope you'll keep me in your feed or bookmarks. You could also subscribe by email so you'll get any new posts within 24 hours.
My ISK "Infinity Necklace" made for my Mom

So that's the honest truth. I've been busy and bitter. I actually have a couple blog drafts waiting to be polished and posted.  About two months ago I moved into a new apartment, much more appropriate to our family size and situation, with a lovely kitchen. I also started a full time job as a CPA on a fledgling US tax team at a large Tel Aviv tax firm. And I got hooked (no pun intended) on a new hobby, "Invisible Spool Knitting," something like crocheting with wire.

Check out my personal Facebook album to see some of my new and old projects outside the kitchen.

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