A Few More Game Day or Sunday Treats

Whether its football, baseball, basketball or just a Sunday Fun day, these recipes are fun for everyone and perfect for casual dining. Don't forget to add baked beans with pastrami and corndog muffins to the menu too.

Oven Baked Ribs with Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Peanut Butter, Butterscotch Oatmeal Bars
Chicken Caesar Skewers
Lots and Lots of Meatballs, Asian, BBQ, Moroccan, Thai, Sweet and Sour
Pizza Dip
Warm Artichoke and Olive Dip

Peanut Butter, Butterscotch Oatmeal Bars


Makes 12 bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine/butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup butterscotch chips, chocolate chips or peanut butter chips
1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons soymilk or milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.

Using an electric mixer, cream the margarine/butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla. Sift the flour with the baking soda and the salt. Mix the oatmeal into the flour and stir the flour into the creamed mixture. Spread the batter in the baking pan. Sprinkle the butterscotch chips over the batter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned around the edges.

Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, soymilk and the remaining 1/4 cup of the peanut butter until smooth, then spread the glaze evenly over the warm bars. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Oven Baked Ribs with Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

Serves 6 - 8
2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 teaspoon salt
5 pounds beef ribs
Barbecue Sauce:
One 14-ounce bottle ketchup
One 12-ounce bottle chili sauce (I like Heinz or another spicier variety, if you like heat)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon dry mustard

For the ribs: In a medium saucepan, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, molasses, salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Put the ribs in a large, resealable plastic bag. Support the bag in a 12-by-14-inch baking pan. Pour the marinade over the ribs and seal the bag. Marinate the ribs in the refrigerator for a few hours, turning the bag occasionally to thoroughly coat the meat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Drain and discard the marinade. Cut four slits in the top of the baking bag, if you are using one. Otherwise, remove the ribs, transfer them to the baking pan, and cover the pan with foil or a lid. Bake for 2 hours.

For the barbecue sauce: While the ribs are baking, whisk the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard and 1/3 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat.

When the ribs are cooked and tender, remove them from the baking bag. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Brush the ribs on both sides with the barbecue sauce and return them to the oven to bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes longer. Just before serving, broil ribs for 2 – 5 minutes to give them a little char on the top.

Yams or Sweet Potatoes?

In most national US markets, so-called yams are often sweet potatoes. True yams, which are commonly grown in parts of Africa, are a totally different vegetable. While they resemble sweet potatoes and can be used interchangeably, yams are thicker skinned and more pale, and have more starchy flesh. The confusion dates back to the when enslaved Africans referred to native American sweet potatoes as nyami, a West African word for yam. The term stuck and most people do not usually know what they are actually buying.

There are thousands of varieties of sweet potatoes. They come in different sizes and color, both outside and inside and are mostly grown in the southern United States. I like the darker flesh and skinned sweet potatoes often found in 3 pound bags. Sweet potatoes in my opinion have a sweeter, lighter taste than yams. They can be used interchangeably but next time you are in the market, check and see where they are from or if they are actually a sweet potato or a yam.

Try sweet potatoes in these delicious dishes:

Coconut and Sweet Potato Bisque
Terrific Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Casserole with Granola Crumble
Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Salad
Sweet Potato Muffins

Gluten Free by Orly

Orly of Orly's Blends, is back with two new gluten free recipes this week. Her recipes are not only delicious and gluten-free but trendy. Black bean pasta, what a concept, and so striking with red peppers.

Recipes by GKC Gluten Free expert, Orly Gottesman creator of Orly's Blends
Healthy Spinach Kugel
High Protein Black Bean Pasta Salad

Orly Gottesman, BlendsByOrly.com
orlyOrly Gottesman discovered her passion for baking while living in Paris. She apprenticed for a French pastry chef at a patisserie in the 5th Arrondissement. Orly received her formal training at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia. She pioneered an independent study on gluten free product development and her research was published in the student curriculum. She was then hired to develop a line of gluten free favorite pastries and breads under the brand "Orly the Baker" for Chompies, an iconic restaurant chain in Phoenix, Arizona. Orly spent over three years developing and perfecting a range of gluten free flour blends and recipes. Her innovation is motivated by her culinary discoveries during her travels around the globe.

Orly's mission is to allow people on a gluten free diet to make any recipe without sacrificing taste, texture and quality. Blends by Orly, her line of five uniquely formulated gluten-free flours has been received with enthusiasm as a long-sought solution for the gluten-free consumer. Her drive to make delicious gluten free products is inspired by her husband, a wold class foodie, who was diagnosed with celiac disease. Orly has a B.S from NYU and is a trained vocalist and pianist.

High Protein Black Bean Pasta Salad

Serves 8 - 10

Ever since I discovered black bean pasta, it has become a staple in my Shabbat meal repertoire. I love this recipe because I can prepare it exactly how I would regular pasta, but it is so much more nutritious and naturally gluten free. The black bean pasta is high in protein and low in carbs, but you would never know from the delicious flavor. When combined with the sauteed veggies and tossed in olive oil, you have yourself a highly nutritious and satisfying dish with good fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. For a more substantial meal option, stir-fry some tofu or chicken chunks and throw it into the pasta.

1 package of black bean pasta cooked according to package directions.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced

While pasta is hot, toss it with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt.
In a separate pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add red pepper, and sun-dried tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes. Pour the sauteed vegetable mix into the pasta and mix all together. Serve warm or cold.

Healthy Spinach Kugel

Spinach Kugel
Recipes by GKC Gluten Free expert, Orly Gottesman creator of Orly's Blends

This recipe for Spinach Kugel is healthy, quick, and always a winner at Shabbat lunch. While most kugels require at least a tablespoon of flour as a binder, this recipe is completely grain free. The proteins from the egg bind it together so that it won't fall apart. This kugel is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. Make it with olive oil mayo for an even healthier version.

Serves 8 - 10

2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed
3 eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
1 fried onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt or sea salt
sprinkle freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients together and pour into a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 for one hour. The top should be browned and corners crusty.

Tu B’shvat Muffins

Recipe by Tori Avey

For the muffins:
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried figs
1/2cup dates
1 cup unsweetened almond milk, soymilk or milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1/4 cup light olive oil or canola oil
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup barley flour, quinoa flour, or almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the optional topping:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Cover the raisins with water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and let the raisins sit in the water to plump for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If your figs have tough stems on them, remove them and discard. Roughly chop dates and figs. Set aside.
Use a blender or food processor to blend together the dates, figs, almond milk, applesauce, pomegranate juice, and cinnamon until very smooth. It will take 2-3 minutes to blend all ingredients to a smooth consistency, depending on the power of your blender. The end result should be similar to the texture of apple butter or smooth fruit preserves. Set mixture aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, light olive oil, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, barley flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a "well" in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour mixture from the blender into the well, and then add the egg mixture to the bowl. Fold the dry mixture into the wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are just moistened and a lumpy batter forms. Do not overmix — if you do, your muffins will turn out heavy and dense.

Don't worry if you see a few small pockets of unmixed flour, they will dissipate during baking. Fold plumped raisins and chopped walnuts into the muffin batter with a light-handed stir.

Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or use paper muffin cup liners. Divide batter equally into muffin cups, filling each cup to the top and mounding the surface slightly.

For the topping:
If you’d like to top the muffins, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl using a fork. Sprinkle about a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar evenly across the surface of each muffin.

Place muffins in the oven and bake for 23-27 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling on a rack. Do not let the muffins cool completely in the tin; they are quite moist and will stick to the tin if you leave them there too long. Serve warm.

Winter Soups

I traveled to Chicago this week to teach and WOW, winter is on. Across the nation, cold weather has arrived. The west coast has more snow in the mountains and Los Angeles temperatures in the 50’s? In NY we have been spared a bit until now. My soup pots are out! It’s time for hearty, meal-in-a-bowl, delicious warm soups. Here are a few options that fit the bill.

Smoky Spanish Meatball Soup
Red Pepper, Corn and Black Bean Chowder
Alphabet Soup with Meatballs
Chicken Udon Soup

Smoky Spanish Meatball Soup

Serves 6 – 8

Scrumptious smoky meatballs in this rich broth. This is a delicious meal in a bowl. Perfect for a cold winter night.

12 ounces ground veal
12 ounces ground ground beef
3 medium cloves garlic, 1 minced, 2 thinly sliced
2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup panko
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon saffron
4 cups chicken broth
15 ounces can crushed tomatoes
8 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into thirds
1 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Using your hands, gently mix the veal and beef with the minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Add the egg, and panko, and gently mix until the meat absorbs the breadcrumbs.

To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1-1/2 -oz. portions of the meat into balls; you should get about 20. Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Pour off all of the fat. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and the sliced garlic to the pot. Return the pot to medium heat and cook until the garlic sizzles, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/8 teaspoon paprika, and the saffron; cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add the chicken broth and crushed tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Return the meatballs to the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the meatballs cook through (160°F), about 25 minutes. Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain well, return to the pot, and toss with 1/2 cup of the broth.

To serve, mound the pasta in shallow bowls. Top with the meatballs and broth, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

White House Shaved Broccoli Salad


Serves 4

Michelle Obama planted a huge and comprehensive garden that is well tended all year long. They literally grow everything and enjoy the farm to table fresh vegetables. This shaved broccoli salad is beautiful in color and has lots of flavor. It works well with shaved zucchini, sugar snap peas, or shaved carrots.

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound broccoli florets, washed, shaved thinly on a mandolin
1 medium sized carrots, shaved thinly on a mandolin
2 small radishes, shaved thinly on a mandolin
1/4 red onion, shaved thinly on a mandolin
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, lime zest, lime juice, honey, mustard and red pepper flakes. Incorporate the olive oil by whisking into the mix slowly. Add the broccoli, carrots, radishes and red onion. Set aside.

Herb Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Serves 8

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, basil or a combination
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-count) package mozzarella string cheese
Garnish: salsa, ketchup or other dipping sauce
Nonstick cooking spray

Place the flour in a shallow bowl or plate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. In another shallow bowl or plate, combine the panko, herbs, salt and pepper.

Begin by coating the mozzarella sticks in batches of 2, first dredging in the flour mixture and shaking off excess. Then dip in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off. Finish by dredging in the panko crumb mixture and shaking any off excess. Transfer the breaded cheese sticks to a sheet pan greased with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and freeze until frozen, about 4 hours and up to 2 days (this will lessen the oozing of the cheese).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly spray the cheese sticks with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until the cheese is soft and the sticks are lightly browned, about 12 minutes.

Serve with salsa, ketchup or other dipping sauce.

Baked Beans with Pastrami Bites


Super comforting side dish filled with delicious flavors. Easy make-ahead dish. Serve with hot dogs, chips, or just on their own.

Serves 6
½ pound pastrami, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups pinto beans or kidney beans, soaked overnight, drained

Heat a 5 quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the pastrami and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onion and saute until beginning to soften and become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the beans and 5 cups water to the pot, stirring to combine. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook over medium-low heat until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Corndog Muffins

photo: Hip2Save

photo: Hip2Save

Serves 12 – 20

These are a fantastic appetizer for a game day or a cute weeknight snack. I often use gourmet sausage or kielbasa in this recipe.

1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 heaping teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
3/4 cup soymilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
Eight 6-inch all-beef hot dogs, ends trimmed, cut into fifths
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish or 2 tablespoons mustard

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F; place three 12-cup mini muffin tins in the oven to heat up.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. In the other bowl, whisk together the eggs, soymilk, vinegar and melted margarine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir to combine.

Remove the muffin tins from the oven. With a 1-tablespoon scoop, carefully fill each cup half full with batter. Place a piece of hot dog in the center of each muffin cup, and dollop with 1/4 teaspoon relish or mustard.

Bake until golden brown and set, 7 to 10 minutes.