Cooking with Love

Friday, February 29, 2008

Daring Baker -Take 3

Baguettes - by Julia Childeant to be....
It's flu time. End of winter, spring is in the air and everyone is down with the flu. Even I caught it. And I usually skip the flu part. I think it took me 2 days just to comprehend that my body is aching because I have a fever and not because I am tired. By that point me fever was so high I am not sure I even remembered who I am. But I did remember I have baguettes to make.... and what better time to make this recipe as I have so much time on my hands...
before fermenting

This dare was one that I kept postponing since it is time consuming....


fermentation


Overall they arenot hard to make and the family loved them - but the recipe is very very time consuming and I doubt I will ever make them again


Baguettes


Recipe can be found at www.breadchick.com

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Waiter - There is Something in my ...SALAD

This is this months blog event hosted by http://www.spittoonextra.biz/waiter_theres_something_in_my_12.html
I love salads so I love this theme.
Israel is blessed with so many fresh produce that it is impossible to not add a frsh salad to every meal. We have salad even with breakfast.
But the best salad, characterizing Israel is it's Israeli salad.
The salad is chopped very very small, and yes, I guess patience is needed for this type of slicing and dicing, and YES, I kniw - we are definately not known for our patience..LOL (ever stand in a line for a disney ride with Israelis? They will always find a way to cut you off and somehow be the first in the line). My salad consists of:
red onion
red pepper
cucumbers
tomatoes
all chopped as fine as can be
To this I added freshly made tehina sauce, olive oil and lemon. Freshly grated pepper and salt.
To top it all of I added fresh organic parsley and of course - toasted pine nuts.

I think this salad is the essence of an Israeli meal.

And a tip for toasting pine nuts from my wonderful friend Elham - before toasting the pine nuts - put them in ice water for about 20-30 minutes. This way they will not burn.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Olives & Cheese

These are a great snack with beer. And you don't even have to worry about freezing the leftovers....because there are no leftovers....:-)


Olive & Cheese Balls
2 1/2 cups self rising flour
200 grams buter
1 cup sour cream
100 grams sharp cheese (I used parmesan)
350 grams green olives, de-pitted
sesame seeds

Mix together all the ingredients (except the olives and sesame seeds). Cover and chill for at least an hour.
Rinse the olives with warm water.
Preheat oven to 180C and line cookie sheets. Take nut sized pieces of dough and put 1 olive inside. Roll in the sesame seeds and bake till golden.

I think that next time I will add cayenne pepper to the dough for an extra pizazzz.

Sweets for my Sweet....


It was a pretty busy baking weekend...I don't even know what got into me...
Oatmeal Cookies

Ginger Apple Oatmeal Cookies

120 grams softened butter
200 grams sugar
2 large eggs
200 grams flour
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp. milk
150 grams oatmeal (not the instant)
50 grams crystalized ginger, chopped
50 grams dried apples, chopped
Preheat oven to 180C and line cookies sheets with parchement paper.
Beat together the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture alternately with the 3 Tbsp. milk. Stir in the oatmeal, apples & ginger.
Spoon spoonfuls of mixture and bake until golden approx. 15-18 min.

White Chocolate Chip & Dried Strawberry Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Cookies with Dried Strawberries

100 grams butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp brandy ( I soak a vanilla bean in my brandy and use this brandy for baking)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking sida
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried strawberies, chopped

Preheat oven to 170C and libe cookie shhets with parchement paper.
Beat butter and sugars till fluffy. Add the egg and brandy. In a seperate bowl combine the flour and baking soda and add to the butter mixture. Stir in the white chocolate chips and dried strawberries.
Spoon onto sheets and bake for 10 - 12 minutes
.

Pastel M&M Cookies - before

Pastel M&M Cookies - after

Any chocolate chip cookie recipe that you favor is great for these small m&m chips. Just substitute the chocolate chips with m&m's. It is very rare that colors other than the brown/green/yellow/red are found - so when I spotted these at the candy store....I just bought 'em all (which was not alot).

Frangelico Hazelnut Brownies


I promise to update the recipe tonite...I can't find the book with the recipe....LOL

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tagged...I have been tagged


View of Haifa
Paz from the cooking adventures of chef paz http://www.thecookingadventuresofchefpaz.com/2008/02/16/tag-youre-it-meme/. By being tagged I must write 5 facts about myself. Please check out Paz's blog - her photographs are lovely and inspiring. Through Paz i feel that I still am in NYC. Thanks Paz.

So - here it goes:
1) I really really wanted to be tagged. Honest! I envied other bloggers that kept getting tagged. So now I got tagged to!! Yipee!!

2) I think I was exchanged at birth.....(my moms gonna kill me for this one) I am the only one in the family that has curly hair. The only one that is blonde. I love hot spicey food and I am sure (if it wasn't for the blonde hair and blue eyes) that I am either from mexican or morrocan heritage.

3) My dad is adopted. When we were kids he used to tell us that he is a gypsy prince. His father the gypsy king left him on my grandparents doorstep because gypsies travel and never stay put and they realized it was an unfit life for such a beautiful prince. I beleived him - thats a fact, I was a very gullible child.

4) My favorite food as a child was mac n' cheese - thats all I ate for a while. My most hated food is canned tuna. I despise it. I think I would rather die of starvation that eat tuna.

5) I have a small tatoo of a strawberry on my right ankle and a belly piercing. Both I had done pretty late in my life. And I think they are mighty cool.
So thats 5 facts about me.

Now I am tagging the following:


Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen - http://foodandspice.blogspot.com/

Mercedes from Desert Candy - http://desertcandy.blogspot.com/

Zainab & Meedo from arabic bites - http://arabicbites.blogspot.com/

Gigi from gigicakes - http://gigicakes.blogspot.com/

Binnur from Binur's Turkish Cookbook - http://www.turkishcookbook.com/

Hope you all play along :)


Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their Blogs.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Valentines Goodies

Heart shaped shnitzel with heart shaped pasta
A box of heart shaped cookies, wrapped seperately

Gummy Hearts on a stick
Have a wonderful Loving Valentines day

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Amore - Happy Valentines Day

There is no better feeling than to love and be loved.



Here is my Valentines Day dinner table - for once it doesn't really matter what you cook or bake - it just matters that it is done together, for there is nothing more romantic than cooking together....





My Amore - I LOVE YOU!!

אני אוהבת אותך

أُحِبُّكَ
обичам те

je t'aime

s'agapo

Би чамд хайртай

kocham cię

ti amo

ฉันรักคุณ

ich hob dir lib

seni seviyorum

jag älskar dig

Я тебя люблю

ich liebe Dich

te amo

te quiero

Sunday, February 10, 2008

AFAM - Pomegranate - the Fruit with the Crown


Maheswari frim http://publishtoday.blogspot.com/ began A Fruit A Month blogging event. This month the host is SRA from http://whenmysoupcamealive.blogspot.com/ who chose pomegranate as this months fruit.

In Judiasm the Poemgranate is one of the seven fruits and barleys that Israel was blessed with. In the bible, the spies that Moses sent into Canaan returned with grapes, pomegranates and figs - thus emphasizing the riches of the country. Pomegranates are a symbol of the upcoming spring.
During the Jewish new year feast it is customary to eat the pomegranate as a symbol since the pomegranate is so rich in seeds.
The pomegranate is a long lasting fruit. It can be picked in season and kept in the regrigerator for a very long time - the fruit only gets sweeter and redder.

This is my recipe using both the juice and the seeds - which are so ruby like.
Chicken with pomegranate and wine
2-3 chicken thighs
1q4 cup olive oil
3-4 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper
juice from 1 large pomegranate
pomegranate seeds for garnish
Preheat oven to high.
Place chicken thighs in pan (I used small pyrex).
Mix together olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper.
Cook in oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix together the wine and pomegranate juice. Pour over chicken and cook for another 20-25 minutes until chicken is brown and crisp.
Garnish with ruby pomegranate seeds.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Everyday Should be Nutella Day

Definatley....No doubt about it - Nutella should not have only one day event - Nutella should have an everyday event!
Who ever decided that February 5h is the World Nutella Day? When at my home it is considered nutella day every single day?
When coming upon this wonderful recipe I honestly thought that I would be broken. With this treat I had to really work on my willpower. So I am warning you - this is a sure diet breaker Nutella Pretzel Cheesecake / Duram Gunt

22cm round pan

Base:
150 grams salty pretzels
1/2 cup nutella spread
75 grams butter

Cheesecake:
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
500 grams soft cheese spread
200 grams cream cheese
1 Tbsp. lemon peel
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. cornflour

Topping:
100 gram bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup sour cream

For the base: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process till crumbs form.
spread into pan and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cheesecake: Beat the eggs with the sugar at least 5 minutes add cheeses and grated lemon peel. Disolve cornflour in the lemon juice and add. Mix well. bake at 150C for 50 minutes. Refrigerate at least 5 hours.

Topping: Melt chocolate and milk, add sour cream and mix. Spoon over cake and refrigerate and additional hour.

Peabod'ys Cookies

I came across these cookies a while ago and couldn't wait to bake them http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/2007/04/09/195/
I had the pistachios, I had dried strawberries which I intended on using instead of the cranberries and the only thing I kept forgetting to buy were oranges. Now, anyone who has ever visited Israel or knows something about this country knows JAFFA ORANGES. So to forget to buy oranges in the country of a zillion oranges is truly not something to be proud about...
So when I finally remembered....This is what came out. Highly Recommended!!

Orange sugar

Cookies

The only change I made in the cookies were, as I mentioned, that I used dried strawberries instead of cranberries.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Failure & Success in 1 Recipe

I love surfing blogs. I love learning this way of different cultures, different tastes, different ways of living. No politics. No racism. Just food. I think food bloggers make the world a wonderful place to be in. If any food blogger decides to run for president of any country - you got my vote for sure!!
While surfing I came across "Desert Candy". I love her blog. She brings out the passion of the middle east, sometimes I think I can hear the comotion over at the Damascus market. I can only imagine what it is like in Syria, maybe one day - borders will open wide (hey - if a food blogger becomes president - that may still happen).
Anyway - Mercedes from Deset Candy posted a recipe for pretzels that were shaped as a baguette - a.k.a "my failure". For some reason - it just wasn't right. I may have baked them too long because they were hard as stone but tasted good. The love of my life said after one bite (trying not to break a tooth) - "make them again". I know he loves me for sure...LOL

Failure....
Success...
So.....I made them again. And again...And I am planning on making them again....I did change their looks - from baguettes to small knots. My daughter takes them to school. On the school bus she already starts handing them out to friends...Yesterday she comes home and says I need more for school. The kids love them...
So back to the kitchen I go.....and even though I have been making them everynight, doubling the quantities - I am still unable to meet the demands!
May life always be this difficult. Amen.
This is the link to the recipe:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Raid Begins....

And so it begins....the raid of the pantry - or as Allen from Eating Out Load calls it - the Food Fight.
http://www.eatingoutloud.com/2007/04/pantry-raid-results-april-3-2007.html
My pantry is rarely empty, but on occasion I do find that strange product I just had to have...but never really needed...LOL
Kind of like last weeks oreo cookies. But in my quest to raid the pantry - I came upon 2 boxes of turkish delight my sister brought from her recent trip to Turkey. Mind you - I asked her to bring me a box. Not that I really care for turkish delight, I usualy fear my teeth will get lost in that sticky sugary colorful glue.But - back to the raid...these are the main guidelines. This will probably be my first entry as I have found some more funky things in my pantry that I would like to use and not throw out, so if any of you readers have any wild udeas to make with a bag of couscous (I dislike couscous) and 2 tins of condensed milk (why I purchased them is beyond me....) I would love to know...
These are the food fight guidlines as posted by Allen:
All you need to do is pick a random day before the deadline (preferably not after you’ve just completed a shopping trip), begin by taking a picture of your pantry … then prepare a dish with several key ingredients from the pantry. Not only will you be sharing a culinary creation, you’ll be sharing all sorts of pantry ideas (i.e ooooh, so that’s how she organized her cupboard).

And this is my recipe
Turkish Delight Cookies / adapted from Miki Shemo
240 grams butter
200 ml sour cream
4 egg yolks
400 grams (3 cups) all purpose flour
5 grams baking powder
dash of vanilla sugar (I used pure vanilla)
1 Tbs. sugar
approx. 550 grams turkish delight, cut inti 1 cm cubes

powdered sugar for garnish

Begin the night before. Mix together the butter, sour cream and yolks.
In a seperate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, vanilla (whish I added to the butter mixture since I used regular vanilla) and sugar.
Add to butter mixter and combine till completely incorporated.
Roll intio a ball and wrap. Put overnight on the fridge.

Next day:
Preheat oven to 170C.
Flour a working sirface and roll dough (you can divide into easy to manage pieces) into approx. 3mm thick. Slice triangles (Iused my pizza slicer) and place a piece of turkish delight on the wide edge. Roll like rugelach. And place on lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar while cookies are still warm.

I brought them to work this morning and put them by the coffee machine.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This was lunch ....

Since I get the feeling that people think all i do is bake and starve myself....
Artichoke hearts & peas

St. Peters fish broiled with herbs and veggies

Oreo Cookie Cookies

I cannot understand how a box of Oreo cookies went past my daughter un-noticed. It couldn't be the fact that I have started to hide sweet things from her - because she finds everything. She found the chocolate kisses that I had no recolection of even hiding.
So I really do not understand how she missed this box of golden delights. Then it hit me...Coul it be, that this teenage mutant of blonde hair and blue eyes is not that fond of oreo cookies??? Is that even possible?????
Apparantley - Yes. She isn't crazy about oreos. So - after being told endless amount of times that we do not throw food I decided that something needs to be done. I don't think its healthy to dislike oreo cookies. I mean, I know for a fact, as do my thighs that it isn't healthy, but - not to like oreos is kind of weird....

So - I decided something must be done....

My Oreo Cookie Cookies
170 grams soft butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
100 grams chocolate bar, broken into pieces
approx 12 broken oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 170 C and line cookie shhet with parhement paper.
In a mixing bowl beat butter and sugars on high speed till light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg. Beat till incorporated.
In medium bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.
On low speed add teh flour mixture to the butter mixture.
Add oreos and chocolate - and hand mix.

Spoon mixture onto baking sheets and bake 8-10 minutes.
Ends should be crisp while middle still soft. Cool completely and store in air-tight container.

My daughters response was....WOW!!
She loved them which made me happy....
Now I have to hide them....LOL

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A cake fit for Princesses

I really have no idea why I haven't posted this cake yet. It is a total hit and very versatile, meaning that so many changes can be made. Such as different toppings or additional fruits can be added to the batter.
The base of the cake is easy. One of the easiest cakes I know how to bake. I usualy whisk everything together and don't even bother with the kitchenaid. Easy, easy, easy.

Vanilla cake

3 eggs
1.25 cups self rising flour
1.25 cups sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 sachets vanilla sugar (I just go ahead and add my own pure vanilla)
1 cup sour cream
dash salt

Just mix it all together with a whisk till incorporated. In preheated oven at 160C bake till golden.
Cool completely.

Caramel Glaze (from Epicurious.com)

1 cup cream
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs. corn syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla

Bring cream, sugar and vanilla to a boil for approx. 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and pour over cooled cake.
Serve at room temp.


I just love my disney princess coffee mug!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The color orange

I love how all the fruits and vegetables are so colorful. How could we live without colors in our life?? Imagine a rainbow in one color....Sad. Imagine all flowers were white. Terrible. But we are blessed with colors. How can you not smile at purple grapes on a plate of green? Or peaches swimming in a sea of white cream???
I love to eat the color orange. I do! I love carrots. I sometimes think that in a previous life I was a fuzzy rabbit!
So my favorite soup is orange color....with my favorite vegetables...carrots and pumpkins (sometimes I add sweet potatoes, but I am stiil calories consience...)

My Orange Colored Soup

2 medium onions, chopped
4-5 carrots, sliced
500 grams pumpkin, cubed
water
salt & pepper
parsley leaves, garnish

In a pot heat some olive oil (or butter) and saute the onions till golden. Add the pumpkin and carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add water and cook till vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper (if you like ginger can be added) and puree.

Granish with parsley leaves or pumpkin seeds.