Carmelized Leeks

carmelized-leek

2 medium leeks, washed well and sliced into thin strips
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar.

Heat margarine and olive oil over low eat in a large frying pan. Add leeks and cook slowly, 10 to 15 minutes until leeks start to soften. You do not want them to brown. Sprinkle sugar over leeks and gently mix. Continue to cook for 15 to 20 minutes longer until very soft. Good alone or as a topping on bread or pasta.

Roasted Beets

beetscloseup

2 bunches of beets, washed and sliced as thin as possible
olive oil
kosher salt

Line a low rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non stick cooking spray. Put sliced beets in a single layer on the pan (you may need two pans). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and toss the oil and beets together. Roast in the oven until the beets are soft and a little crisp on the edges (the peel will come right off). Sprinkle generously with kosher salt.

Date Bread

persimmon-date-bread

1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup strong coffee
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup small pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Combine dates and baking soda. Pour boiling coffee over and let sit. Cream together the margarine, sugar and egg. Mix in the vanilla and flour. Stir in the nuts and the date mixture. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour. Let stand for 5 -10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack.

Pumpkin Tarts

pumpkintarts

Ingredients
1 (8-ounce) package tofutti cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup non-dairy creamer
¼ cup margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
12 pre-made tart shells

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place tart shells on a cookie sheet. Beat tofutti cream cheese until whipped. Beat in pumpkin and sugar. Add the eggs, creamer and margarine and continue beating until well combined. Stir in vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. Pour filling into tart shells and bake for about 50 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

Summer Time

Summertime and the livin’ is…well, if the livin’ isn’t exactly easy, your cooking should be. That’s why we suggest this menu of summertime treats that don’t involve too much time in the kitchen.

mojito

Mojitos

An adult summertime drink for those relaxing nights…

For 1 drink you need;

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1 ounce rum
2 ounces water
Ice

Mix together sugar and lime juice until sugar is dissolved. Mash (or “muddle”) mint leaves to release the oils. Add rum, water and ice. Sit back and enjoy.

Grilled Chicken Breasts or Steak

grilledchicken

8 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts or 5 – 6 rib steaks
1 bottle Italian salad dressing

In a large freezer strength Ziploc bag put the chicken or the meat. Pour in all the dressing and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. Grill. This will be the juiciest chicken or meat ever!

Tomato Basil Salad

tomatobasil

7 vine ripe tomatoes (medium to large), cubed (you can use yellow and red mixed together or different varieties of tomatoes). Use the ones from your garden if you have them.
4 tablespoons red onion, chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, sliced in long strips (chifonade)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste

Toss tomatoes, red onion, and basil in a glass bowl. Whisk balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Sweet Grilled Pineapple

½ pineapple, peeled, cut in half, then sliced so that you have at least 10 half moon pieces
3 tablespoons margarine, melted
3 – 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice cream or whipped cream

Put the pineapple in a zip lock bag with the margarine, sugar, and vanilla extract. Marinate for 15 minutes.

Prepare barbeque. Spray with nonstick cooking spray for grills. Place the pineapple on the grill over low heat. Grill each side for two minutes. Serve warm off the grill or reheated with ice cream or whipped cream.

The Nine Days

Times of mourning are times when our focus on the physical is diminished. Our appearance and possessions are decreased in importance as we contemplate our loss. We eschew meat and wine as symbols of luxury and indulgence and prepare a simpler repast. Yet we can still make our non-fleishig dinners flavorful and appealing to the eye. Here are some suggestions for those hot summer nights of the nine days:

Whole Salmon with Basil Butter

Tuna with Cherry Tomatoes and Chickpeas

blueberrymuffin1

Blueberry Muffins

Tropical Smoothie


Whole Salmon with Basil Butter

salmonbasil

Ingredients

Compound Butter:
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, divided
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (or margarine)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large half of salmon, skin on, cleaned and dried
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Directions

Begin by preheating a large outdoor grill. Wipe down the grill with olive oil to clean it and also create a nonstick surface or spray with pam spray for outdoor grills (standing away from the grill in case the spray causes the flames to rise out of the grill).

Prepare the compound butter by roughly chopping 1/2 the basil leaves and adding it along with the butter and salt and pepper, to taste, to a food processor. Pulse until fully combined and creamy.

Using a chef’s knife, make slits in each side of the fish, place a few slices of lemon and basil in each of the slits. Paint the whole fish with the basil butter and refrigerate the remaining butter to serve with the finished fish. Carefully place the fish on the grill and grill for 10 to 12 minutes until it lifts off easily – use 2 large spatulas. Turn the fish over and grill for 10 minutes more. This fish can be baked for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

Serve on a large platter family style and dot with the remaining basil butter. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh basil leaves. Serve with lemon wedges.

Blueberry Muffins

blueberrymuffin

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup whole milk, or 2 % milk
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated brown sugar or white sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar. In another bowl, combine butter, egg, and milk and mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and with a spatula, stir until just combined. Do not beat or over mix; it’s okay if there are lumps in the batter. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tray, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the granulated brown or white sugar and return the muffins to the oven to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before turning the muffins out.

Tropical Smoothie

smoothies

Ingredients

2 cups soy milk or skim milk
2/3 cup roughly chopped firm tofu (about 2 1/2-ounces)
1/2 cup frozen roughly chopped papaya
1/2 cup frozen roughly chopped pineapple
1/2 cup frozen roughly chopped mango
3 tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend, pulsing the machine if necessary, until smooth. Make sure the honey is dissolved. Serve immediately.

*** Any fruit may be substituted

Shavuos

These are my two Shavuos standbys. I think there would be a riot in my house if I didn’t make them. It’s just not worth the risk.

I only make French onion soup once a year and this is it. The truth is that a bowl of soup alone is enough for a whole

meal – but we never stop there!

French Onion Soup

10 onions, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-tablespoon sugar
1-teaspoon nutmeg
8 teaspoons parve beef soup mix
10 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup dry red wine
12 slices thick French bread, toasted
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese mixed with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat butter and oil in large stockpot. Sauté onions until soft. Add sugar and nutmeg and continue to Sauté. Add soup mix water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, add wine and simmer for another 10 minutes. Prepare 12 ovenproof bowls. Sprinkle some cheese in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in soup. Cover with slice of bread and then sprinkle cheese on top to cover. Bake until top browns.

This cheesecake, adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook is quite simply the best cheesecake ever. My family and friends agree. Be careful though. After you’ve made it once, you’ll have to make it again – and again.

Oreo Cookie Cheesecake

for-oreo-cheesecake

2 cups oreo cookie crumbs (about 20 cookies)2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup brown sugar
2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/3-cup non-dairy whip
2 tablespoons flour
1-teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
2 cups coarsely crumbled Oreos
1/2 lb. sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla
1/3-cup pareve [non-dairy] whip
1-1/4 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 1-1/4 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 3-1/2 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