Mozzarella and Strawberry Romaine Salad

Serves 5

Romaine salad recipes are a great base for fun alterations and additions. This Shavuot romaine salad recipe was inspired by the classic mozzarella, tomato, basil salad. It’s sweeter and even brighter looking with the substitution of strawberries for tomatoes. It’s a great addition to your Shavuot recipes.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 heart romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces (3 cups lightly packed)
1 8-ounce container of strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced (about 3/4 cup), try and use the freshest kind that comes in a ball
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar salt and pepper. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing. Place the lettuce onto a serving platter.

Toss the strawberries and diced mozzarella with the remaining dressing and place down the center of the salad. Slice the basil in thin strips and sprinkle over the top of the salad. Top with toasted pine nuts.

Still hungry? Here’s another one of our great Shavuot recipes for salad.

Cookie Dough Truffles

Not sure how to make truffles? No worries – this truffles recipe is simple enough, and tastes incredible.

Makes 5 dozen
2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
1 cup finely chopped pecans or other nut
12 ounces chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon corn syrup

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours. Note* The dough is sticky so coat your hands in flour to help them roll into smooth balls.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, slowly. Do not overheat the chocolate while melting or it will burn and clump together. Add the corn syrup and mix well. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into the chocolate coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Still hungry? Here’s another great kosher dessert recipe for Shavuot.

Broiled Zucchini and Potatoes with Parmesan

This broiled zucchini recipe is a perfect Shavuot recipe, to be used as a side dish. Kosher side dishes for Shavuot can be dairy or pareve, but the cheese makes it taste that much more delicious.

8 small new potatoes (red or white, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 small zucchini, cut in 1/2 lengthwise (about 1-inch wide by 5 inches long)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ cup grated Parmesan

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool. When cool, cut the potatoes in half.

Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter, garlic, thyme and rosemary and let cook until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, season the cut sides of the zucchini and potatoes with salt and pepper. Place the zucchini and potatoes in the melted butter. Let them cook until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the browned zucchini and potatoes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the Parmesan. Place in the broiler until the cheese is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve.

Still hungry? Try another of our kosher side dishes for Shavuot.

Southwestern Spanakopita (Spinach Pie Recipe)

A Spanakopita recipe or spinach pie is a Greek savory pastry, often filled with cheeses and spinach. This one is full of tasty Southwestern influences. It’s a perfect Shavuot recipe, and a great addition to your kosher side dishes collection.

2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
1 scallion, minced
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
¾ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup corn
½ cup cooked black beans (canned is fine)
½ jalapeno, minced
12 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
8 sheets phyllo dough
½ cup butter, melted

Sauce:
1/3 cup avocado
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar

In a small skillet, sauté pepper and scallion until soft. Transfer to small bowl and stir in spinach. Combine with the cheese, corn, beans, jalapeno, cumin and chili powder. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a thin layer of butter across bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Place two sheets of phyllo on top and brush with butter. Please two more sheets on top and brush again. Spread filling across dough. Top with two sheets phyllo and spread with butter. Finish with last two sheets of phyllo and spread with butter again. Cut horizontally and then on the diagonal. Bake for ½ hour to 45 minutes until golden. Mash together sauce ingredients and serve with the spanakopita recipe.

Still hungry? Try another one of our kosher side dishes for Shavuot.

Warm Olive and Artichoke Dip

Remember that onion soup mix, spinach, sour cream dip that people used to serve in a big, scooped out bread? This warm artichoke dip with olives is a newer and more gourmet version. It’s a Shavuot recipe staple in our family.

1 (8-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (or 8 ounces canned)
¾ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup green or black olive tapenade (you may use store-bought as well)
1 (5.2-ounce) Boursin or Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese
Assorted pita chips, bagel chips, crackers and crusty bread

Preheat oven to 375. Coarsely chop artichokes and ¾ cup basil in the food processor. Transfer mixture to a 4-cup baking dish. Mix in Parmesan, tapenade and Boursin cheese. Bake until hot, about 30 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve with breads and crackers.

Here’s a great product to serve all your kosher dips.

Mixed Citrus Salad with Escarole and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

This citrus salad is perfect for Shavuot. It has the zesty citrus fruit, the crunch from the mixed greens, and a creamy blue cheese vinaigrette dressing. Don’t be afraid of trying the blue cheese vinaigrette; it’s milder when mixed in.

1/2 red onion, sliced thin and cut in 1/2
1 grapefruit
1 orange
2 mandarin oranges (1 small can, drained if you prefer)
1 ounce blue cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 cups torn escarole leaves or any green lettuce like romaine or red leaf
1/4 c fresh chervil or Italian parsley

Slice off top and bottom of grapefruit, then stand it upright. Following the contour of the fruit, slice off the peel & white pith in thick strips. Holding the fruit over a bowl, cut along each side of the membranes between the sections, letting each section of fruit and any juices drop into the bowl. Cut each section in 1/2 crosswise. Repeat with oranges and mandarins, then set citrus aside.

Put cheese in bottom of a large salad bowl and add olive oil. With a fork, mash the cheese into the oil till well blended. Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper. Add escarole or greens and gently mix to coat evenly. Add all the citrus and their juices, red onion, minced chervil or parsley and mix to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Still hungry? Try another great kosher salad recipe for Shavuot.

White House Cheesecake

They may not know about Shavuot but the White House pastry chef, Bill Yosses, does make a marvelous cheesecake, or so the Obamas say. Supposedly, this cheesecake recipe has been passed down from chef to chef and has been served since the Eisenhowers lived in the White House. The perfect American Shavuot recipe – kosher cheesecake at its patriotic best!

For the crust:
1 stick butter, melted, plus extra for greasing the pan
6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flour

For the filling:
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
¼ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Sour cream or crème fraiche fro topping (optional)

Crust: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Butter and 8 –inch spring form or plain cake pan, and line bottom with parchment paper. Spread cookies on a baking pan and toast until very dry, about 10 minutes. Remove and leave oven on. Pulse in a food processor to make crumbs. Mix one cup lightly packed crumbs in a bowl with sugar and flour and then mix in melted butter. Pour into prepared pan and pres s in evenly.

Filling: In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix cream cheese until smooth and fluffy, scraping down sides to eliminate lumps. Add sugar and honey, and mix until smooth. Crape down sides and add sour cream and heavy cream, then mix for 2 minutes.

With mixer running, add vanilla and then eggs one at a time and mix until completely smooth. Pour over cookie base.

Place pan in a larger baking pan. Fill that with hot water halfway up the side of the cake pan to make a water bath. Bake 80 to 90 minutes, or until just set. To test for doneness, shake cake pan gently. There should be no liquidity but it should undulate in a mass, like Jell-O. Remove from the oven to a rack and let it cook, then refrigerate it in the pan for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

If using spring form, remove the ring. If using a plain cake pan, warm bottom of pan over a very low flame one minute, moving it constantly to distribute hat. Invert cake onto a plate, then quickly re-invert onto a serving plate.

Frost top of cake with a think layer of sour cream, if using.

Still hungry? Here’s another delicious kosher cheesecake recipe.

Pesto Palmiers

photo: eatingoutloud.com


A great hors d’œuvre Shavuot recipe – small, simple, and delicious.

2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
6 tablespoons pesto
6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold each pastry sheet. Spread pesto over dough and sprinkle with cheese. Starting at long sides, toll up the dough from both sides, meeting in the middle. Lightly dampen the center seam of the pastry between the 2 rolls and press together. Cut into thick slices and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Skinny Cheesecake

Especially on Shavuot, I go for full fat desserts, but if you are watching your calories this is a great cheesecake recipe to have your cheesecake and eat it too.
½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ cups fat free small curd cottage cheese
1 cup Eggbeaters (original)
½ cup sugar
½ package (4 ounces) fat free cream cheese
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom and dies of 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle graham crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of baking dish. Place cottage cheese and egg beaters in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add sugar, cream cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake 50 minutes, or until center is set and top is lightly browned. Cool and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. Cut into squares to serve. Garnish with fruit.

Sticky Chocolate Cake with Pina Colada Sauce


By Pastry Chef Ehud Ezra, Basil Restaurant.

This chocolate cake recipe has three components; the cake the sauce and the garnishing. It is a delicious alternative to the typical Shavuot recipe. Your family and guests will appreciate the change. You will love how easy it is to make and how impressive the dessert looks and tastes.

10 servings

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake:
10 – 4 ounce individual foil cups or ramekins
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee (instant can be used dissolved in hot water)
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Garnish: Toasted slivered almonds and toasted coconut

Preheat the oven temperature to 350.

In a mixer, cream the butter and the sugar until it is fluffy. Next add the eggs, mix until blended. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, mix until blended. Then add the buttermilk and vanilla extract; blend it in and scrape the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated. Gradually add the hot coffee to the batter, until it is blended in. Make sure to scrape the bowl as you add ingredients to make sure everything is getting blended.

Spray the foil cups with non-stick canola spray, scoop the batter and place in the cups, more than 3/4 to the top of the cups.
Place cups on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes.
The cake should not be over baked; it should be cracked on the top and moist in the center.

Ingredients for Pina Colada Sauce:
1/4 cup of Coco Lopez (Cream of coconut)
1/4 cup of Pineapple juice
1/8 cup of white rum

Mix well and pour into individual small cups to serve along side the chocolate cakes.

Ingredients for Garnishing Chocolate Sauce:
2 semi-sweet chocolate bars, such as Schmerling’s
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Break the chocolate into small pieces in a bowl. In a small pot, boil the heavy cream. Add the hot cream to the chocolate, let it sit for a minute; this will melt the chocolate. Mix well with a whisk. Serve immediately or it will set. If you aren’t serving it immediately and it has to be warmed, simmer on low, or put in a bowl of hot water.

Garnish with toasted almond slivers and toasted coconut flakes. Toasting can be done in a dry frying pan or on a baking sheet at 350.

Here’s another great kosher cake recipe for Shavuot.

Halibut in Puttanesca Sauce

One of the best halibut recipes, and very healthy.

Puttanesca Sauce:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 anchovies, roughly chopped or mashed with a fork
1/4 cup capers
3/4 cup pitted Moroccan oil-cured black olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups Pomodoro Sauce (see recipe below)
6 (5-ounce) Halibut fillets, skinned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch basil, stemmed, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, 1 minute. Add the anchovies, capers and olives and cook until the anchovies have begun to dissolve in the oil, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and the Pomodoro Sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the fish fillets, making sure they are submerged in the sauce, and gently simmer until the fish is cooked through and the flesh is milky white and slightly flaky, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the sauce and lots of fresh basil.

Fresh Pomodoro Sauce
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for garnish
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
12 fresh tomatoes, cut in large chunks
3 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
2 -1/2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt
¼ cup fresh basil, chifonnade or delicately sliced

In a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, both fresh and canned and bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar, and season with salt, to taste. Add fresh basil.

Serve sauce over hot pasta with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of basil, and cheese.

Let extra sauce cool completely and then seal in airtight containers. Refrigerate for up 1 week and freeze for up to 1 month.

Still hungry? Here’s another of our kosher fish recipes for Shavuot.

Mexican Pizza

1 cup cooked (can use canned) black beans
½ cup coarsely chopped roasted red peppers
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon chili powder
Dough for 1 12-inch pizza (can make fresh, buy dough from pizza shop or frozen or even buy the prepared crusts)
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup sliced black olives
1 scallion, minced
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Purée together beans, red peppers, garlic clove and chili powder. Dust a pizza pan with cornmeal and stretch dough across the pan or place prepared crust there. Spread the black bean purée across the dough leaving a small border. Sprinkle with the cheese, tomatoes, olives and scallion. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes – until crust is crisp and cheese is browned and bubbly (our family likes it “well-done” and the cheese very brown but let your family’s taste preferences be your guide). Cut into wedges and serve with dollops of sour cream, if desired.

Mini Lasagna with Sweet Corn and Mascarpone

Kosher lasagna recipe adapted from original mini lasagna recipe by Giada De Laurentis

Butter for ramekins
12 lasagna sheets
3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup whipping cream, at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (4 ounces) finely grated Parmesan, plus 1/2 cup (2 ounces)
1 large lemon, zested
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Special equipment: 6 (10-ounce) ramekins, each 2 1/2 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches in diamete

Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter 6 (10-ounce) ramekins. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain. Using 2 cooked lasagna noodles in an “x” shape, line each ramekin, pushing the noodles gently into the bottom of the ramekins, allowing any excess pasta to overhang on the sides.

In a food processor, blend the corn, cream and garlic until chunky. Add the mascarpone, 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until just combined. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into the bottom of each ramekin and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Fold 2 overhanging pieces of pasta over the filling, (trim the ends of the pasta with scissors, if necessary). Add another 1/4 cup of filling to each ramekin and top with another 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Fold over the 2 remaining overhanging pieces of pasta.

Spoon any remaining filling on top of the pasta. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

To serve: Run a knife around the edge of the ramekins to loosen the lasagnas. Unmold the lasagnas onto serving plates and serve.

Savory Parmesan Biscotti

photo: flickr


2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh not the powdered)
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
2 teaspoons rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Add butter and using hands or a fork, mix until coarse crumbs for. Add cheese and stir to combine. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and garlic. Add to the flour mixture and mix well. Divide in half. Shape each piece into an approximately 10-inch log and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Flatten until about 3 inches wide. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and slice. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Berry Baked Brie


1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/3 cup berry preserves
8 ounces wheel Brie cheese
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
Crackers and slices of fruit

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll gently to seal any cracks in pastry. Spoon preserves onto center of pastry. Place cheese on top of preserves. Sprinkle evenly with nuts. Fold pastry up over the cheese to cover. Trim excess pastry and press to seal seams. Reserve pastry scraps.

Whisk egg and water in small bowl. Brush seams with egg mixture. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Cut pastry scraps into decorative shapes and arrange on top, if desired. Brush with egg mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 20 minutes before cutting. Serve with crackers and sliced fruit.

Chocolate, Caramel, Cookie Dough Decadent Cheesecake


OMG! This is a Shavuot recipe dream come true: cheesecake, cookie dough and chocolate. Is there anything better?

Crust
2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:
6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Layer:
1/2 cup caramel syrup
1 (16 1/2-ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache:
6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter, stirring to combine. Press the crust into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes; let cool.

For the chocolate layer: Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total). Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and flour until just combined. Pour into the bottom of the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes; let cool.

For the cheesecake layer: Spread the caramel topping evenly over the cooled chocolate layer. Cut the cookie dough crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place the slices in an even layer over the caramel, pressing gently together to seal the edges.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and flour until just combined. Stir in the sour cream. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough layer and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and gently run a knife around the edges to release the crust from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.

For the ganache: Using a double boiler, combine the chocolate and cream and melt (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute total). Spread over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

Old Fashioned Pound Cake

Here is the pound cake recipe we would like to share with you complements of Chef Doris Schechter, My Most Favorite Food

Makes 1-10” pound cake

Ingredients:

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
6 extra-large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
½ pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
Optional Garnish: Fresh berries and Schlag (whipped cream)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10” fluted tube pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Into another bowl, break the eggs, then add the lemon juice and vanilla, without stirring.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the egg mixture, beating until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until all the flour is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool for 10 minutes. Unmold the cake onto the rack and let cool completely before cutting into slices. Store the pound cake, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

It is wonderful with fresh berries and Schlag (fresh whipped cream)

Maple Walnut Truffles

Not sure how to make truffles? No worries – this truffles recipe is simple enough, and tastes incredible.

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup butter, cubed
7-1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons maple flavoring or extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons shortening

In a small saucepan, combined sweetened condensed milk and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted. Pour powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add melted butter mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in the walnuts, maple flavoring and vanilla. Roll into balls and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm – about 1 hour. In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate and shortening. Stir until smooth. Dip balls into chocolate and place on waxed paper. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tzipi’s Mother’s Cheesecake Squares

My friend Tzipi gave me her mom’s cheesecake recipe. It’s creamy, delicious, and super easy to make. Thanks Tzipi!

Filling:
6 ounces cottage cheese
10 ounces farmer cheese
4 eggs
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
8 ounces sour cream

Crust:
½ cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt margarine or butter and mix with graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Press into bottom of 9×12 lasagna pan.

Filling:
Blend all ingredients with hand mixer until smooth.
Pour cheese mixture on top of crust.
Bake for 1 hour. Let cool and refrigerate. Cut when cold into squares.

Baked Rice Pudding

rice-pudding

This is one of my favorite all time desserts. I like it plain and simple but you can treat it like frozen yogurt and mix in the toppings of your choice – raisins, dried apricots, chocolate chips, coconut, pecans…
2 cups water
1 cup long grain rice
2 quarts (8 cups) milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes and drain well. Return rice to saucepan and mix with milk and sugar. Heat slightly. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and eggs. Whisk well to ensure eggs don’t curdle. Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, until thickened, for about 2 hours. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator.

Baked Flounder and Tomatoes in a Creamy Wine Sauce

2 pounds flounder fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tomatoes, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup milk
½ cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay fish in single layer in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper again. In a small saucepan over a low heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in milk and keep stirring until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in wine. Pour sauce over tomatoes. Bake for 25 t o30 minutes.

Caesar Salad

caesar-salad

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cans ( 4 ounces each) anchovies, drained
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 egg yolks
1 cup olive oil
2 heads of romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
2 cups garlic croutons or garlic bagel chips, broken into small bits

Preparation
In a food processor or using a hand blender combine all dressing ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Blend in olive oil until emulsified. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. At serving time toss lettuce with dressing and croutons.

Mini Cheesecakes

mini-cheesecake

12 round shortbread cookies (like Walker’s)
½ cup strawberry, raspberry, blueberry or blackberry jam
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries for garnish (depends on the kind of jam you chose)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and put cookies in bottom. Cover each cookie with 1 teaspoon jam.
Beat together, cream cheese, condensed milk and eggs until smooth. Pour batter into muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes – until set. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Remove mini cheesecakes from muffin tin. Glaze each cheesecake with remaining jam (slightly warmed so it will spread thinly). Top with a fresh berry, if desired.

Cream of Sweet Potato Soup

A spicy soup with sweet potatoes and cashews.

4 small sweet potatoes ( about 1 pound )
4 cups pareve chicken broth
4 cups water
6 tablespoons melted margarine
½ cup tomato sauce
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 cup split cashews
¼ cup diced canned pimiento
1 jalapeno pepper , diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45 minutes or until they soft. Let the potatoes cool before handling.
3. Peel away the skins; then put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes for 15 to 20 seconds, until nearly smooth.
4. Spoon the mashed sweet potatoes into a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
5. Once the pareve chicken soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour until the soup has thickened a bit. Serve and enjoy.

Oreo Cheesecake

oreo-cheesecake

2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (about 20 cookies)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup brown sugar
2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups sugar
1/3 cup pareve whip
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups coarsely crumbled Oreos
1 pound sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup pareve whip
1¼ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine first 3 ingredients and press mixture in bottom and up sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside. Beat cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add 1¼ cups sugar, beating well. Add 1/3 cup pareve whip, flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well. Add eggs one at time, beating well after every addition. Pour 3½ cups of this batter into prepared crust. Top with crumbled cookies. Pour remaining batter over cookies. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Combine sour cream, remaining ¼ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread over cheesecake. Bake for 7 more minutes. Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in with door close for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Remove sides of pan. Combine 1/3 cup pareve whip with chocolate chips in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Stir in teaspoon vanilla and remove from heat. Carefully spread mixture over cheesecake allowing it to drip down the sides. Chill. Serves 16 – 20. Very rich and very good.