Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Malkie's Versatile Apple Cobbler

Whenever my mother would place sweet side dishes, such as this one, on the table, my father would always remark, “Why are you serving dessert now?” It’s a bit of a joke in our family. I’m sorry to state the obvious, but the reason sweet fruit cobblers are served with the main dish is because of the delectable combination of sweet and savory! It’s definitely a modern day zach (Yiddish word for thing)! It may even be an American zach because Israelis are very into their salty and savory for the main dishes. Not that we have eaten with too many authentic Israelis, but that’s just the vibes I’ve been getting.
My favorite aspect about this cobbler, besides the fact that it’s easy and delicious, is that I don’t need to worry about placing it in a serving dish. All I need to do is gently place a spoon on top of the topping, and it looks elegant enough to grace the table with its mouthwatering presence!
One Thursday night, I realllly wanted to make an apple cobbler, so I called my reliable and resourceful sister. I just wanted something that was tried and true. As she was telling me the recipe, she was listing different possible additions I could add to the cobbler, and then in a moment of inspiration, she was like, “It’s very versatile this cobbler! How about you call it, ‘Malkie’s Versatile Apple Cobbler’.” And that is exactly what I did J.
Hope you like it!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Join my new campaign: "I don't judge mothers."

Here is how it all started. One day I was in the park with my darling children when I noticed my 2 year old daughter, red cheeks and a bored expression. She was eyeing a 12 month old baby, who apparently had just been introduced to walking. I knew what was coming. Should I close my eyes? Before I could stop her, she was charging like a bull to red. He had no chance and was on the floor with my grinning daughter standing by his side. The mother of the baby rushed to her child’s side while I grabbed my daughter’s wrist, and told the mother I was sorry. It hurt me seeing my daughter act with no compassion, but it hurt even more when the mother asked me, “Do you discipline your child?”
I was talking to a friend about what had happened, and she responded confidently, “Well, I don’t judge mothers.” She then proceeded to tell me a story about how she was by a swimming pool, and a little boy pulled off his swimming diaper and started “pooing” on the side of the pool. One of her friends said, “Gross! How could his mother let that happen!” A different mom then said, “Well, I don’t judge mothers. I’m a mother and I know how hard it is sometimes.” My friend ended her story by telling me that after that day she decided not to judge another mother.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

I don’t know about you, but since Purim, I’ve been eating a lot of j-u-n-k! We just have a lot of food in the house that lacks any substance or nutritional value, like bubblegum, wafers, taffies, and cookies {Notice how I did not include chocolate in that list! Calling chocolate junk is just an insult!}. I’ve been craving something delicious, home-made, wholesome…something like a hearty bowl of soup! I’m not even a soup-obsessed girl! I never crave soup. That’s my sister in-law’s department. She would rather have 3 bowls of soup than a chicken main course. I’m not that type. The thing is though is that there is something about soup that just says “home cooked”. Soup is the kind of food that is sitting on the stove, on a low flame, with a soft steam pouring out of the cover. It’s the kind of food that you can’t whip up in 10 minutes (well I guess those powdered soups you could, but that’s obviously NOT the same thing!). It’s more like someone prepared something nice, warm, and delicious just for you. So enough of this peeking in the pantry for unhealthy and non-nutritional treats, time to make something special for you and your family!
This Butternut Squash Soup has been in my family since forever! But I do think we found it originally from the Kosher Palate, which technically only came out 14 years ago. In any case, as you can see from the actual recipe, it’s really no big deal. I’m not going to lie; peeling and cutting the Butternut squashes is a big pain! It’s basically what takes up the whole 25 minutes of prep time, aside from chopping the onion. If you could afford the few extra bucks than buy it pre-cut and peeled. It’ll make the whole process sooo much easier and quicker. If not, then you’re in good company (hehe)! It’s worth the energy!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I hope everyone had a joyous Purim this year J
I wanted to share with you a really fabulous recipe that I made for our Purim seuda (meal).  My mother saw this recipe on Pinterest and graciously directed me straight to it! This is the 2nd time I have made it and so far so good. It totally tastes like Chinese take-out, minus all the MSG. This is a recipe that I want to save for special occasions, like Purim and birthdays and of course, shabbos. 
Here is the site where I found the recipe: www.natashaskitchen.com. It’s a very professional blog with wholesome family recipes, so go pay Natasha a visit! Here is the exact link to the recipe: http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/12/11/sweet-and-sour-chicken-recipe/. She provides step-by-step pictures and instructions. 
Do you have a special occasion coming up? Add this to your menu!

Sweet & Sour Chicken
Prep time: 35 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour

2lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1 and a ½  inch chunks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup corn starch
3 eggs, beaten with a fork
¼ cup oil, plus more if needed
½ cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic
1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.       Season chicken chunks with salt and pepper
3.       Place chicken chunks in a zip lock bag with corn starch and shake well, until chicken is well coated
4.       Place the beaten egg in a large shallow dish and drudge the coated chicken in egg. You may need to do this in shifts.
5.       Heat the oil in a large skillet
6.       Place chicken in oil and allow sizzling for 30 – 60 seconds. Chicken should not become fully cooked, just crispy on the outside.  This also may need to be done in shifts. Add more oil, as needed.
7.       After frying chicken, place in 9x13 pan.
8.       Mix sauce ingredients: apple cider vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and garlic. Pour sauce over chicken in 9x13 pan
9.       Bake chicken uncovered for 1 hour. Mix chicken at least 2 times while baking to ensure that all the chicken is cooked in the sauce.
10.   Garnish with sesame seeds and  cut up scallions. Serve over a bed of rice

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Shul that Davened Yizkor Twice

I know many of you who observe the holiday of Purim are very busy with all your preparations. I am busy too. Trust me! However, this topic is not about the hustle and bustle of Purim. It’s about my grandfather, Zaidy Moshe.  I wrote this up shortly after my grandfather passed away, around 3 months ago. Ironically, right before purim(!!), I decided to share it with you. Don’t worry. It’s not sad. It’s inspiring and uplifting. I hope you enjoy.
The Shul that Davened Yizkor Twice

My grandfather passed away this month. I was unable to attend the funeral, as it was in Montreal, a far drive from my home in Israel. To compensate for being so far from family during this emotional time, I spent Friday night, after my babies had gone to bed, telling my husband different stories about my Zaidy.
There was one story that happened a few years ago that left a strong impression on me. I remember spending shimini atzeres and simchas torah at my grandparents’ house. It was cold there. My Zaidy had recently been sent home from the hospital.
I woke up shimini atzeres morning, and it was raining outside. My grandparents and mother were drinking coffee and eating sour cream cake in the small, cozy kitchen. There was a small argument occurring. My grandfather had mentioned that he wanted to go to shul to say yizkor for his parents. My grandmother was furious that he could even think of jeopardizing his health by going out in the cold, right after he had come home from the hospital!