Tag Archives: Costa Rica

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.

I Miss Vacation

7 Aug

The husband and I finally went on our honeymoon.  We’ve been married almost a year and due to moving to Miami and spending all our savings in renting an apartment and financing a car, our plans for a honeymoon had to be put off for a bit.  But, luckily for tax returns and very generous father-in-laws with plenty of frequent flyer miles, we were able to finally take a honeymoon to Costa Rica. It was heaven.

I’ve been known to have exceedingly high expectations that get my in trouble from time to time.  Having incredibly high expectations on a regular basis can result in one being disappointed on a regular basis but can sometimes be good when those expectations are transferred to expectations of yourself.  Anyway, the reason I am self-disclosing is because this time, the expectations were not only met they were exceeded.  Let me just take a break for spouting the glory of kosher cooking to spout the glory of Costa Rica.  If you are privileged enough to take vacations GO TO COSTA RICA.  The people are friendly, the coffee is delicious (I’ll get to that in a later post) and the beaches are beautiful.  What is difficult about going on an amazing vacation is coming home from an amazing vacation.  Sure, we live in Miami but man, my vacation glow lasted for a solid 24 hours before I got disgruntled.  I missed vacation. I missed spending 24/7 with my bestest friend in the whole world and I certainly missed waking up, getting dressed, walking out to the nearest palapa and having fresh fruit and coffee waiting for me.  ‘Twas amazing.  Even more amazing? Not having to do the dishes for 10 days (it’s the little things in life).  I digress.  We returned on Sunday and the next day was the start of the 9 days —  a higher level of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temple and culminates in the Fast of Av (Av is the Hebrew month we are in now and the first of the month started the 9 days of increased mourning).  To say that I didn’t have to dig too deep to feel sadness is an understatement.  We returned later Sunday afternoon and were at work on Monday morning.  I’m starting a new job and granted, I started in in mid-June but I’m working at a Jewish day school so as we near the start of school it’s really feeling like a new job and all the head-trips I play on myself (you know, ‘Am I doing a good job? Do I have enough Jewish knowledge to be in charge of student life at a Jewish day school? Does it matter?).  I mean, that much self-doubting is enough it cause even the most normally confident person to go into a tailspin of sadness.

So here’s what’s what—-I decided to have my mourning period.  As a Jew, I feel the sadness of not having a great Temple.  As a Jew in a larger community, I feel the sadness of a disjointed community who always finds ways to alienated each other and whose constant inability to accept the differences of one another results in a community that isn’t ready for a Temple.   I also feel the sadness of being in Miami, which I don’t really love–being so far away from family and close friends.  BUT, I’m thinking that after the fast on Tuesday, I will refocus on the good stuff–the blessings.  I gotta not be so lazy.  I mean when school starts it’s on.  It’ll be a 180 day  marathon so I gotta make sure I carve out time for spiritual growth and ways to keep connected as well as ways to try to like South Florida (at least enough to get us through the next 5 years).

Oy, this is a super long post.  Getting to the point, part of the mourning during the 9 days is to not eat meat of any kind (meat being a symbol of celebration and joy).  BUT, because shabbat trumps all mourning (except for Yom Kippur), we had Meat Fest 2011.  And because I love a good shabbarbecue and a theme, the lunch I made for shabbat had a barbecue theme to it.  I kinda made up a potato salad recipe sans mayonnaise (I know, as a Southern that’s a bit of a shunda) and it was delicious.  Meat Fest 2011 also included Miami Friend Fest 2011.  All in all, I’m hoping the fast coupled with this past shabbat could be a beginning . . . of what, I’m not sure.  But a beginning nonetheless.

Shabbarbecue Menu:

Sweet & Spicy Chicken (from my new obsession, The Pioneer Woman)

Avocado & Jalapeno Potato Salad (adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s Cilatro-Avocado Potato Salad)

Corn on the Cobb

Black Bean Salad (adapted from Simply Recipes)

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

What?!

  • 1 cup Apricot Preserves
  • ½ cups Ketchup
  • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Hot Pepper Sauce – naturally, I used Frank’s Red Hot
  • 3 pounds Drumsticks (about 12)

How ?!

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, combine preserves, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and hot pepper sauce. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until preserves are melted.

Arrange drumsticks in a single layer on a 13 x 9″ baking pan. Pour sauce over drumsticks, turning to coat. Bake, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is done, spooning sauce over drumsticks while baking. Serves 6.

Chicken Kitchen

Mmm . . . garlic

Avocado & Jalapeno Potato Salad

What!?

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled, small diced, and cooked in boiling salted water until tender, drained
  • 1/3 cup finely minced red onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1 (1-ounce) package cilantro, leaves picked and finely chopped

Whit’s Guacamole

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 Lime juice
  • 1/2 of a small onion, minced red onion
  • Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • LOTS of cilantro

Mash avocado in a small bowl.  Add lime juice to avocado and keep mashing/mixing until creamy.  Add onion, a dash of garlic power and kosher salt.  Add until to suit to your tastes.  Add cilantro at the end.

How?!

Combine potatoes, onions, and garlic in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 turns pepper. Add olive oil, tossing to coat. Add guacamole and mix.  Add the avocados, lime juice, jalapeno, and cilantro, and toss well to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Black Bean Salad

What!?

  • 1 15-oz can black bans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 green pepper, chopped fine
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How!?

1 In a large bowl, mix the beans, green pepper, onion, parsley and rosemary.

2 In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.

3 Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.

Jewhungry

Recipes and stories from my shvitzin' kitchen

molly yeh

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

LALA LAND

Still trying to figure it out.

Pop Chassid

A blog by Elad Nehorai

The Little Ferraro Kitchen

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Food with a View

Culinary stories, green recipes and passionate photography from urban nature and beyond

Take a Megabite

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Manu's Kitchen

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Foodie With Family

Life at the intersection of food, family, philosophy, frugality and fun!

The Rural Roost

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Love and Lemons

Because sometimes Jews get hungry . . . for EVERYTHING.

Lea & Jay

(Gimlet, Mistletoe, Arwen)

Finger, Fork & Knife

I'm Kate and Finger, Fork and Knife is where I record the recipes that excite, nourish and inspire me. I focus on wholesome, high-nutrition, home-cooked food - recipes that satisfy and delight. Welcome!

The Joy of Caitlin

cooking, loving, life-ing!

iamthemilk

Every day I'm jugglin'.

I want that for dinner

Gluten-free, healthy, creative, and kosher cooking...with a comedic twist!

%d bloggers like this: