Archive | May, 2013

It’s the Simple Things

19 May
Costa Rican coffee under a palapa -- every morning for a week on our honey.  Pure bliss.

Costa Rican coffee under a palapa — every morning for a week on our honey. Pure bliss.

Hummus from Abu Gosh -- the best in the world!! (photo taken during an afternoon in Abu Gosh with my girl, Eva).

Hummus from Abu Gosh — the best in the world!! (photo taken during an afternoon in Abu Gosh with my girl, Eva).

Some days, it truly is the simple things in life that warm my heart and bring me back when I think I’m on the brink of tearing my hair out. School is winding down, which is WONDERFUL, but that just means the stress level is increasing as everyone is running around trying to make sure students are prepared for their finals while also coordinating the dismal task of informing students and parents of the potential of failing courses, and of course every other detail you can think of. It’s that time of year when everyone else wants their ‘important’ to be your ‘important’. So when the stress starts getting to me, I think about the little things that make me so darn happy. There are so many things that fit into this category. Admittedly, a lot of them are focused on the baby and her cute Dad but dang it a lot of the things on that list are edible too. There’s coffee; the coffee we drank under palapas in Costa Rica. There’s the lasagna, dripping in bechamel, served at the Little House in Baka in Jerusalem (so much of my favorites are from Jerusalem.  Don’t get me started on the hummus. That’s a blog post in and of itself). Then there’s ordering room service and eating in be while watching cable. I can’t explain why but ordering some kind of delicious pasta and eating it while watching whatever is showing on Bravo makes me so dang happy. High on that list of simple pleasures, right under room service and right before a glass of anything Bell’s Brewery has to serve is hors dourves. Good Lord in heaven, I love finger foods. Did you ever seen that early 90s Cher and Winona Ryder movie, Mermaids (if not, please watch it. I watched this movie over and over and over again as a kid)? Cher plays Winona’s unorthodox mom who can’t cook anything other than finger foods. Winona’s character abhors that in her mother. I would have been right on board with that. Seriously, if you can mix it up and put it in phyllo dough or a mini quiche, I’m in.

Ground Turkey Goodness

Ground Turkey Goodness

Mmm . . .

In the spirit of making a meal out of finger foods, and trying to use up some leftovers, I made a very simple but

truthfully, very delicious meal a couple of nights ago that I wanted to share. I think the recipe below would make Cher’s character proud, ifIdosaysomyself.

What’s on your ‘simple pleasures’ list?

The Assembly Line

The Assembly Line

Before Cooking

Before Cooking

The Final Delicious Product

The Final Delicious Product

Perfect Pockets: Ground Turkey and Tofutti Cream ‘Cheese’ Wontons

What!?

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 pound – ground turkey
3 green onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Pepper
1/2 cup of non-dairy cream ‘cheese’ (herbed works best)
1 package of wonton wrappers

How’s That Now?

Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the green onions and garlic and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the ground turkey to the pan and continue cooking until turkey is just about fully cooked. Season the turkey mixture the soy sauce and pepper and let cook for a minute or two more.

Next, add the turkey mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, add the cream cheese mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. I like my mixture to be on the creamier side, so feel free to add more if you like. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s all up to your interpretation.

Preheat your over to 375 degrees.

Now, fill your wontons! Very lightly dust your counter top with a bit of flour. Place 12 wrappers on the floured counter top, and add a small dollop of filling just off-center of each dumpling. Run a wet finger around the rim of each wrapper, gently fold one side over onto the other so that it forms a triangle, and try to avoid trapping air bubbles in the dumplings if you can. Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling. Place the wontons on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush a little bit of oil into each wonton before baking. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until edges turn golden brown.

The Mother of Days

12 May
Wynwood Walls decorated for Mother's Day.  Can you spot me and my girl?

Wynwood Walls decorated for Mother’s Day. Can you spot me and my girl?

I like to to fight the establishment. I do. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to be a social worker and why my focus in social work school was community outreach. I’ve participated in many the protest and spent a decent amount of time on a picket line. And while I really wanted to jump on board my husband’s cry of ‘down with all Hallmark holidays”, this time I could not. And no, before you jump to conclusions, it’s not because I wanted a new, shiny present (we decided to make a donation to a children’s organization on Mother’s and Father’s Day instead of doing gifts). It’s because in this day and age, when work and other people’s needs take precedent over our own, having a day here and there when you can say, without apologies or guilt, “I can’t work today or I can’t do ____ for you today, it’s Mother’s Day and I’m spending time with my family” and actually have folks accept that and back off, well, it’s nice and I’ll take it when I can get it. Sure, there are actual holidays but as Jews, I feel like our extensive holiday list kinda starts cancelling out the “I’m with my family now. I’ll get back to you later.” Especially when we start rolling into the High Holiday time period and you’re having to take off day after day for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, etc. You try explaining Shemini Atzeret to your boss. I dare you to try to ignore the, ‘I’m so not buying this as a holiday’ look from her eyes. For sure your boss thinks you just made that word up. Seriously? Shemini Atzeret!? So, when it’s a nationally agreed upon, bi-partisan holiday that affords me unapologetic time with my family, I’m on board.

Something for Everyone.

Something for Everyone.

"You Can't Tell Now, But I'm Gonna Give My Parents Hell When They Try to Put Me to Sleep in an Hour".

“You Can’t Tell Now, But I’m Gonna Give My Parents Hell When They Try to Put Me to Sleep in an Hour”.

See, the hubby and I were chatting last night and we realized something, In the chaos of Siona’s first 2 weeks of life, people backed off. People forgive you for forgetting them or for putting them lower on the priority list than usual. Work lets you not return phone calls and emails and text messages go unanswered with no apology needed. People give you that time and it’s really, really nice. In fact, it’s kind of the nicest gift anyone can give—–space and time. As I’ve been back at work for about 6 months now, I’ve really had to fight for my time with my family. I let so much take priority over my time with them and it’s no one else’s fault but mine but it’s really hard work trying to lay those boundaries. One is so available with Smart Phones that there really isn’t an excuse as to why you didn’t answer an email or text right away. I love my job but I don’t have a lot of role models there when it comes to work/life balance. So when there’s a day on the calendar that’s kind of, “national-take-a-breath-and-hang-with-the-people-who-love-you-unconditionally-day”, I’m gonna go ahead and celebrate that and even be thankful for it.

Close Up at Wynwood Walls

Close Up at Wynwood Walls

Family Photo

Family Photo

Now, because I’m a big lover of food, today’s day revolved around just that—-food. We started the day at my most favorite coffee shop in the whole world, Panther Coffee. It’s located in the very trendy, very hipster-heavy neightborhood of Wynwood in Midtown, Miami. So, suffice-it-to-say, the people watching does not disappoint. Not only is Wynwood known for it’s hipsters and eateries but it’s also known for it’s amazing art and graffiti (see pictures before). Next on the agenda was a visit to the Pinecrest Gardens Farmer’s Market to visit our dear friend, Zak the Baker, who is a bit of a bread celebrity (look for an interview with Zak in a forth-coming post). Zak’s sourdough is the stuff of legends and as soon as we got home, the multigrain loaf he gave us sandwiched a delectable grilled cheese made with sharp white cheddar, balsamic carmelized purple onions and avocado. We also picked up some limes, which I used in a cheesecake recipe I made later in the day while the little one napped. We’re finishing this beautiful Sunday with some sushi and a movie and a dessert of warm fuzzies**. What blessings. Happy Mother’s Day!

**Quick Update: Warm fuzzies and sushi were put on hold as baby girl spent a solid hour and a half fighting sleep. That a’girl.

Oh! Before I forget! I made some quinoa ‘meatballs’ last week for a customer. I made them sort of off-the-cuff and didn’t take a lot of pictures (and the ones I did take aren’t that spectacular). I was just going to do a practice round but they came out so nicely I saved myself another go round and sacrificed the pictures. Sorry ’bout that. Anyway, I wanted to share. See below.

Quinoa Balls - Wish I Took More Pictures!

Quinoa Balls – Wish I Took More Pictures!

Baby Bella Quinoa “Meatballs”

What!?

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 baby portobella
  • 1 zucchini, finely chopped (skin off)
  • 1 tsp. basil or oregano
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste*
  • 1/2 cup matzoh meal, bread crumbs (if going gluten free or paleo, try 1/2 – 3/4 cup almond meal)
  • Sea salt and pepper

How’s That Now?!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots saute for about 3 minutes or until a transparent. Next, add the zucchini and garlic and saute for another several minutes or until fragrant (you may need to add a bit more coconut oil at this point). Next, add the mushrooms and saute for another 3 – 4 minutes. (The mushrooms naturally have a little more moisture in them then the zucchini so it will soften the other ingredients as it cooks. I like my zucchini a little brown so that is why I add it first). Finally, add the oregano, tomato paste, sea salt, and pepper. Cook another several minutes until all ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Add to a bowl with the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the whole wheat bread crumbs and continue mixing until completely combined. Roll into 12 – 14 meatballs, each about the size of a ping pong ball, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes on the first side. Flip over and bake for 12 more minutes.

*Because I made these vegan I omitted any egg that could have been used as a binding agent. The tomato paste coupled with the bread crumbs worked out perfectly and I didn’t see a need for the egg but if you do, please feel free to add one.

It’s All about Brunch: A Guest Post by THE Confident Cook, Hindy G.

7 May

Good Morning Readers!

I hope everyone is doing wonderfully. Things are going well in the Jewhungry kitchen these days.  I’m exhausted but pushing through.  Quick story:  I went to get my haircut last week (I decided the Omer was on Monday as well) and of course, the conversation in the salon quickly turned to food.  I go to a salon that focuses on using only organic products and so the folks that work there tend to lean towards a more ‘green’ lifestyle.  So, when I started talking about the meals I cook for my regular client and mentioned the cauliflower crust pizza, the next thing I know I’m walking out with a trim and two orders for pizza and a quinoa dish of my choosing (I made quinoa ‘meatballs’ and they are delicious. Keep an eye out in a future post).  Business is booming y’all and though it’s a bit overwhelming I can’t help but feel a little excited too.

Speaking of excited, today’s post is a guest post by the one and only Hindy G. from Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker.  Being accepted into the Kosher Connection fold several months ago was a highlight of my blogging life thus far.  Through the KC, I’ve been able to meet and connect and most especially, learn from some incredibly talented and supportive people.  I am so eternally grateful for what this group of people has done for Jewhungry and for my own growth as a cook and a blogger.   One of these amazing folks is Hindy, who ever so kindly accepted my invitation to guest on this blog with the theme of “Mother’s Day brunch”.  Now, this will be my first Mother’s Day and yes, it’s a Hallmark holiday and blah blah blah blah, but, I can’t help but be a little excited. Naturally, our plans for this Sunday revolve around food, as most of our plans tend to do and if you have any hesitation as to what to cook for the amazing mama in your life this Sunday (or any day, let’s be honest), hesitate no more because Hindy has cooked up a delicious breakfast tostada that will knock your socks off! Enjoy!

I'll be celebrating "Mom Life" with this one this Sunday (well, I celebrate mom life with this one every day, to be honest).

I’ll be celebrating “Mom Life” with this one this Sunday (well, I celebrate mom life with this one every day, to be honest).

Thanks to Whitney for asking me to share my cooking with you! I’ve been keeping an eye on JewHungry for a while now, and love what Whitney has to share on parenting and food!

I’d love to be that kind of person who uses the term “brunch” regularly. I really want it to be part of my vocabulary.  You know those people where brunch becomes a verb AND a noun in their life? My reality is that brunch rarely happens in my life. Ever since I became a parent, I have given my mornings away to my children. I’m not complaining. I love what motherhood has given to me. I just miss my lazy Sunday mornings.  Breakfast is my favorite meal and I would love for it to be leisurely – like a brunch should be.

A few years ago, I went back home to Minneapolis, a rare trip without children – to celebrate my sister’s 30th birthday. The weekend of celebrations was amazing and ended with Sunday morning brunch at a fantastic place called Hell’s Kitchen. This breakfast tostada that I’m sharing with you today is inspired by the brunch I had there.  This breakfast is perfect hangover food, but also goes great with a mimosa or a bloody mary, or even a cup of coffee. Not that mothers should be condoning alcohol consumption or hangovers, right? Mothers do deserve some fun once in a while.

These breakfast tostadas would be perfect for a Mother’s Day breakfast. Most of the components can be prepared in advance and then you can save the egg prep for Sunday morning.  I love layered dishes like this one.

Image

Breakfast Tostadas

Ingredients:

 

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

6 corn tortillas

Refried Bean Layer:

1 tsp. vegetable oil

½ onion, minced

1 can black beans

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. vegetable broth

Image

Guacamole Layer:
2 avocadoes

½ red onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. ground pepper

juice of ½ lime

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

Salsa Layer:

1 tomato

½ red onion, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

½ green pepper, choped

2-3 tbsp. chopped cilantro

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground pepper

1 cup of steamed white corn (you can use canned or frozen if you don’t have fresh)

Beans:

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

Cheese (optional):

1.5 cups Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded

Eggs:

6 eggs

1 tbsp. butter

Directions:

Pan fry the tortillas in the vegetable oil for a couple minutes on each side. The should be brown and crisp. Drain them on paper towels.

For the refried beans, start by heating up the oil and sautéing the onions and garlic. Add the rest of the refried bean ingredients to the ban and cook for a few minutes. After a few minutes, mash with a potato masher or a fork. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth. I like my refried beans a little chunky.

For the guacamole layer, mash everything together. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.

For the salsa layer, chop everything up and mix together.

Drain the beans as indicated and set aside.

I like my eggs sunny side up in this dish. If you want, you could poach or scramble the eggs instead. I love my eggs sunny side up with a runny egg.

While the eggs are cooking, start layering the other pieces. This dish is pretty flexible, but I did fried tortillas then refried beans then a layer of guacamole then a layer of salsa then some shredded cheese and then the eggs. I also like to add a dash of hot sauce over my eggs when serving. I love the way the runny eggs integrate in to everything.

Hope you enjoy! A happy mother’s day to all the parents out there!

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