Friday, September 19, 2014

Phyllo Confetti Tilapia

Now that my son is a year old and eating table foods, I have been looking for some good dinners that seem pretty easy to make and aren't too far out there.  Thankfully we have been blessed with a child who is not a picky eater.  This kid will basically eat anything we put in front of him, which lets us eat a wider range of food while trying to feed him what we are eating.

Over the weekend my husband and I were trading off watching the baby (or should I say, watching our toddler?!) as we tried to be a little productive, so I looked for a dinner with only a small amount of hands-on work.  This recipe had already jumped out at me because every ingredient is more delicious than the last.  Plus we had an overabundance of tomatoes thanks to our CSA share.  We also got to use our fresh parsley we are growing on our deck, which I always love incorporating into our meals.  The one change we made is that the original recipe calls for halibut.  They had it at our local store but it was about $26/lb due to overfishing, so in an effort to not spend an insane amount of money on a homemade meal we opted to use tilapia which is a comparable fish but about 1/5 of the price.

The end result was so good.  The honey mustard added a nice punch of flavor while the phyllo dough added some much needed crunch.  And our son loved the fish (which we took the phyllo dough off of).  He finished a huge piece!

Even reheated this was delicious.  I plan on adding this to our usual rotation.


Phyllo Confetti Tilapia (slightly adapted from Kosher By Design: Short on Time)

olive oil cooking spray
1 roll phyllo dough, thawed
6 6-8oz tilapia filets
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp whole grain honey mustard
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 pts grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced

- preheat oven to 375 degrees
- spray baking dish with olive oil spray
- take roll of phyllo dough, remove from the outer plastic bag.  Keeping it in a roll, use a serrated knife to cut 2in off the end.  (return rest of roll to fridge/freezer for another use)
- gently remove inner plastic sheet.  Re-roll the phyllo dough and, with a serrated knife, shred the dough into thin strips.  Fluff out the strips with your hands
- season the fish fillets with salt and pepper
- place fillets in the prepared baking dish
- spread an even layer of honey mustard on each piece
- arrange the shreds of phyllo dough in a pile over each fillet.  Sprinkle with parsley
- generously spray the olive oil spray over the fish
- toss the tomatoes with the extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic.  Add to the baking dish.
- Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 min, depending on thickness of the fish, until the phyllo is a light golden brown and the fish is white and slightly firm to the touch.
- transfer to plates or a platter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting Ready for Rosh Hashanah

We are a week away from Rosh Hashanah and I'm sure everyone is planning their new year menus.  I have placed my order for whitefish, carp and pike so I can make my gefilte fish on Tuesday.  I may also whip up some noodle kugel.

If you are in search of some new ideas on how to ring in a sweet 5775, I asked some blogging buddies for dishes that use honey and here are a few other recipes I'd like to share:

***All pictures belong to the blog I link the recipe to***

Start your day off with these delicious breakfast ideas:
Honey butter croissants (from Hop's restaurants)
Honey Butter Croissants from Eva Bakes

Honey Almond Granola from Books & Cooks

Grapefruit Honey Cereal Muffins from Adventures in My Kitchen

grapefruit scones 5

Grapefruit Honey Yogurt Scones from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

And end your meal with some of these sweet treats:

Honey Cake that I posted in September 2012

 Karidopita (Greek Walnut Cake) from Elly Says Opa

Baklava from Elly Says Opa

honey ice cream 4

Honey Ice Cream from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

I hope these recipes help you have a sweet new year!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Can you believe it's almost September?  Where did the summer go?!  I know I have been MIA for most of this past year, but I thank you all for bearing with me.  There are some exciting things happening in my life right now - my little guy just turned 1 this past week, and as of a few weeks ago I am officially a stay-at-home mom.  What does that mean for you?  Well, hopefully I'll use my "extra" time (nap time and those few moments where he actually entertains himself without stirring up some trouble) to cook more and blog more!  If you've stuck with me during my crazy past year and a half (moving, new baby, etc) I assure you that I will be blogging more often now.

A few months ago What's Baking announced the theme of "Baking your Heritage", which ended up being sidelined for the summer produce theme back in June.  My original thought was to bake my own challah, which I've been wanting to do for a while.  But when the theme came back for this month's challenge I wanted to go a little crazier.  So I looked through a few of my Jewish cookbooks and had an "aha" moment.  What's more Jewish than bagels???!  I excitedly bought the few ingredients I needed (I had to replenish my whole wheat flour and buy bread flour and yeast, everything else was already in my pantry) and set aside a rare child-free morning to tackle this challenge.

It was surprisingly easy to make bagels.  I broke out the dough hook of my mixer to knead the bread which I think helped a lot (though you don't need to knead for as long, my mixer started smoking after 5 minutes!).  These were so simple that I think I'll try again with other kinds of bagels as well.  What I especially love about them is that I can make them whatever size I want.  We love bagels but try not to have them too often since the ones we buy at the local bagel store are approximately the size of my face (ok, I'm exaggerating - they are the size of my one year old's face).  So having these slightly smaller homemade ones are great to have on hand.  I ended up with 11 bagels of varying sizes so we'll have a few over the next day or so and can freeze the rest to enjoy in the future.


1 1/2 cups warm water
4 tsp dry yeast
pinch of white sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (use white whole wheat for a lighter texture)
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
1 cup plumped dark raisins
1 egg white, beaten

for the kettle water:
6 qts boiling water
2 tbsp. brown sugar

- In a large bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, and white sugar.  Let the mixture stand for a few minutes to allow the yeast to swell and dissolve.
- Whisk in the oil, honey, and brown sugar, stirring to blend.
- Stir in the whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Blend well.
- Add 3 cups of bread flour and knead for 10-12 minutes, adding more flour as needed to make a firm but smooth dough (***with my stand mixer I only kneaded the dough for about 7 minutes and didn't need any additional flour).  Let dough rest for 5-10 minutes.
- While the dough rests, heat a small bowl of water (enough to cover raisins).  When water is hot, add in raisins and let them sit for a few minutes.
- Knead or press the raisins into the dough.
- Please the dough on a work surface and cover with a clean tea towel or plastic bag, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 8-12 portions (depending on desired size of bagels).  Form each portion into a rope about 10 inches long.  Form the ropes into bagels, sealing the ends by using wet fingers to press together, then roll on the work surface.
- Let the bagels rise about 20 minutes until they appear a little puffy.
- While the bagels rise, bring 6 qts of water with brown sugar added to a boil.
- preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once the water is boiling and bagels are puffy, place a few bagels at a time in the boiling water.
- As the bagels come to the surface, flip them over and cook for another minute.
- Remove the bagels to the baking sheet and let them dry briefly.
- Brush each bagel with the beaten egg white for extra shine.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and reduce the heat to 425.
- Bake (turning once midway) until the bagels are medium- or golden-brown, 18-22 minutes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Summer is here!  I am so excited to use all the great produce out there.  Who doesn't want to enjoy some fresh berries?!  I was pondering what to make for this month's What's Baking for the summer produce theme when Jenn from Jenn Cuisine mentioned a blueberry coffee cake that was a family favorite from when she was growing up.  I love blueberries so this one jumped straight to the top of my list.

I had also recently received a wonderful gift of salts, sugars and other spices from One of the sugar I was gifted was a blueberry flavored sugar.  I ended up mixing this with the brown sugar in the topping which I think added a little something extra to it.

This was very easy to make, although I did have a little snafu with the topping.  In my head it said melted butter which wasn't the case, though in the end I think it tasted pretty good as I made it.  I used light sour cream, 1/3 less fat cream cheese and Skim Plus milk which made me feel a little better about the multiple slices I ate.  The cake is pretty big, so this is definitely one to share.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (from The Main Wild Blueberry Cookbook)

3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
2 /3 cup milk
1 1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups blueberries, drained
8oz cream cheese, cut into 1/2 in cubes

1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

- preheat oven to 350 degrees
- grease a 9 x 13in pan
- combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside
- in a separate bowl, combine slightly beaten eggs, sour cream, milk, vanilla and melted butter.
- add dry ingredients and stir only until well mixed.
- fold in cream cheese cubes
- gently fold in blueberries.
- spoon into prepared pan
- in a separate bowl mix the topping ingredients
- spread topping evenly over the batter
- bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every Passover I like to make some treats to enjoy.  This  year I was, again, trying to avoid using boxed mixes.  This recipe for chocolate chip cookies caught my eye and I knew I wanted to try it.  I mean, who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies?!

In the end, the cookies were maybe a smidgen drier than I normally like, but they were in no way a "lesser" cookie that was obviously made for Passover.  I threw in some walnuts, as well, which I think added nicely to the flavor.  My husband and I really enjoyed these and I think they will make a return appearance in Passovers to come.

Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies (slightly adapted from The Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking)

1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla (must be kosher for Passover)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup matzah cake meal
1 cup potato starch
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

- In a large mixing bowl, cream the brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla with the butter.  Blend in the eggs.  Stir in the salt, matzah cake meal, and potato starch.  Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Chill the dough for at least one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop generous tablespoonfuls of dough and place them on the baking sheet.  Press down to flatten the dough a bit.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes to desired crispness.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Passover Favorites

With Passover a week away I wanted to re-share some of my favorite dishes I have posted about in the past two years.  My eating habits on Passover have changed a lot since I was a child (I used to think that it had to come from the Passover aisle or from the catalogue of candy I would sell for Hebrew school) and I now realize that most of what I make during the rest of the year can still be eaten during this time.  However, there are some things that I make specifically during Passover, usually using matzah meal or the Passover cake meal as a substitute for flour.  I can't wait to try new things this year!

Here are links to some of my favorite Passover dishes:

Veggie Kugel

Gefilte Fish

Fudge Brownies

Geshmearto Matzah

Matzah Meal Pancakes

Matzah Ball Soup

What are your favorite dishes to make?

Friday, March 7, 2014

S'mores Pie

When I sign up for a recipe swap, I usually look through my assigned blog and try to find something that would fit perfectly into my week's menu plan, usually as a main dish.  This was not that kind of a swap.  I fully admit that this recipe choice is a case of "why not to choose a dish on an empty stomach".  As I looked through The Cookaholic Wife's recipe index this S'mores Pie jumped out at me.  I knew that I needed to make this immediately.

This pie was so easy to make and was just as delicious as I expected it to be.  I would be more afraid of just how much of the pie I'll end up eating if it weren't for the fact that my husband already ate 2 slices.  So I think my waistline will be just fine....until the next time I make the pie.

Thank you again to Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting the swap!

S'mores Pie (from The Cookaholic Wife)

1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (approx 10-11 sheets)
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
10 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
marshmallows (either 1 cup mini, whole or 16 large, halved)

- Preheat oven to 325
- Put the graham crackers in food processor and pule until crumbs.  Stir the butter into the crumbs until combined, then press the crumb mixture into a 9" pie plate.  Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
- Heat the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan over a medium-law flame until it simmers slightly around the edges.  Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until melted.  Whisk in the sugar and salt.  In a separate bowl lightly beat the two eggs, then add slowly to the chocolate mixture while whisking.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the crust.  Bake for 25-30 min until set.
- Remove the pie from the oven and spread a layer of marshmallows on top.  Set the oven to broil and put the pie back in the oven until the marshmallows are toasted (approx 20 seconds).
- Let the pie cool slightly, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
*** It's recommended to heat the pie in the microwave for about 10 seconds before eating for an extra gooey bite***