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When the cold weather begins, one of my favorite things to enjoy is roasted chestnuts! It Italy, they’re called castagne and you can find them everywhere.  The delicious aroma fills the chilly air! You’ll see the steam rising from the special roasting ovens by street vendors in almost every piazza (plaza/square). 

Over the years, many of you have asked which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

My favorite castagne are prepared by a street vendor in the Italian city of Bologna, near my mother-in-law’s apartment.  It’s a nice stroll through the capital city of the Emilia Romagna region and it is something special that my husband and I look forward to doing each winter.

Do Roasted Chestnuts Taste Good?

Roasted chestnuts taste so good, and are even better when paired with a glass of wine. Even more, chestnuts can be used in salads, pasta and both savory and sweet side dishes. They also add a distinct nutty flavor to stuffing and go well with many fruits and vegetables like cabbage or apples.

How Do You Roast Chestnuts at Home?

If you’ve ever wondered if you can roast chestnuts at home, wonder no longer! It’s quite simple and takes around the same time it would take to bake a cake. Chestnuts are a wonderful, natural snack. They are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. But you don’t have to stop at roasting them. Chestnuts can also be ground into flour to bake cookies, cakes and even to thicken soups. They are just the perfect staple to have stored in the pantry during the winter.

How to Roast Chestnuts Like an Italian Street Vendor

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Do You Have To Soak Chestnuts Before Roasting?

Soaking the chestnuts helps to create steam. Although some people do this additional step, I never have. You can try it both ways and see which texture you prefer.

Three Ways to Roast Chestnuts

  • Pan – An arrosticastagne is a special pan with holes in the bottom, that is used on a gas stove (or on another source of open flame). The pan allows the chestnuts to cook more evenly. It also allows the open flame to touch the chestnuts, adding to the flavor. You can also use a regular pan or a cast iron pan.
  • Oven – Cook chestnuts on a lined baking sheet. (This is how I usually make them)!
  • Air Fryer – Shake the air fryer basket a couple of times during cooking.

Roasted Chestnuts (Castagne)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • raw chestnuts

Instructions 

Preparing the Chestnuts

  • Rinse and dry the chestnuts well.
  • With a sharp knife (like a paring knife), carefully score the chestnuts in the center, making a line going across the round side, just piercing the inner skin and not the chestnut itself.
  • Scoring is an important step, because chestnuts expand as they roast.
  • Optional: Soak the scored chestnuts in a bowl of hot water for one minute to help with steaming. Drain and dry them well.

Cooking the Chestnuts

  • Preheat the oven or airfryer 356F / 180C, unless you are using a pan on the stovetop.
  • Oven – cook chestnuts on a lined baking sheet. Shake baking sheet halfway through cooking. Depending on your oven, you may need to flip the chestnuts so they cook evenly. (Approximately 30 minutes).
  • Air Fryer – shake basket to flip chestnuts a couple of times during cooking. (Approximately 30 minutes).
  • Pan – Roast over a medium-low flame, tossing often. (Approximately 10-15 minutes).
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: castagne, chestnuts, holiday foods, Italian desserts, italian food, kosher, Winter

Roasted Chestnuts – A Cherished Italian Treat

Enhance any meal or make a holiday even more memorable. A fruit platter, a bowl of hot roasted chestnuts and a bottle of wine (reds are my fave) are a special treat and the perfect way to end a holiday meal. Give them a try!

Have you ever had roasted castagne? What other foods are you looking forward to making this winter? Can’t wait to read what you wrote in the comments below!


Italian Street Food - La Piadina

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Italian Street Food – La Piadina

By now, you’ve heard about cauliflower power. Wait until you try these Healthy Cauliflower Fritters. Cauliflower is high in fiber, which helps reduce inflammation and promotes overall digestive health.  It is low in calories and will also contribute to your recommended daily intake of B-vitamins, anti-oxidants and vitamin C. It contains important minerals too, such as folate and potassium. 

Take it from a Pro

As a restaurant chef, I take food sensitivities into consideration. I made a delicious and healthy cauliflower fritter recipe without flour.  Make no mistake, this isn’t only for the gluten-free crowd.  They disappeared as soon as they hit the plate.

If you’ve ever wondered how to make cauliflower rice, it’s quite simple. 

Cauliflower rice recipes are a great alternative to rice and are fast and inexpensive to make from scratch. For these cauliflower patties, there are a couple methods, like grating by hand with the big holes of a box grater. I used a hand immersion blender and pulsed it to get the consistency I wanted.  That meant very small pieces, but not mush.

Making Cauliflower Rice is fast and easy.
Making Cauliflower Rice is fast and easy.
Make Cauliflower Rice with a box grater or an immersion blender.
Make Cauliflower Rice with a box grater or an immersion blender.

Endless Ways to Make Meals with Cauliflower Rice 

Cauliflower Rice is a great base for a main course or side dish of a meal and can be seasoned to suit any taste.  With this recipe and a slight variation, you could also make a baked Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese. You can even use it to make Cauliflower Fried Rice,  But let’s get to these irresistible Healthy Cauliflower Fritters.

Healthy Cauliflower Fritters with Cheese

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 fritters
Calories 84

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella (or your favorite cheese)
  • extra virgin olive oil (the least amount necessary to coat the pan)
  • a tiny amount of fresh chopped garlic (or garlic powder to taste)
  • 1/4 cup flour (optional)

Instructions 

Preparing the Cauliflower Fritters

  • Cut the stem and discard. Cut the head of cauliflower into large pieces.
  • Pulse with an immersion blender or grate one head of cauliflower with the large holes of a box grater. (It shouldn't be liquid, but without large pieces either).
  • Squeeze out excess water with a cheese cloth. (I didn't have one handy, so I just spread the cauliflower out and dried it in a pan on the lowest heat for a two minutes).
  • Put cauliflower in a mixing bowl. (Let cool a minute, if necessary).
  • Whisk eggs and add to the cauliflower.
  • Add seasonings.
  • Add flour (optional)
  • Mix completely, but gently.

Cooking the Cauliflower Fritters

  • Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan on medium.
  • Spoon out the cauliflower mix and flatten with the back of a spoon.
  • Cook for approximately four or five minutes per side.
  • Very gently, flip with a spatula. (They are quite delicate).
  • During the last minute of cooking, add your favorite cheese.
Calories: 84kcal
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: cauliflower, cauliflower rice, cheese, fritters, kosher, Vegetarian

Nutrition

Serving: 1fritter | Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg

What cheese will you try to top off your Healthy Cauliflower Fritters with?

I’ve even tried Muenster and it was amazing. Let me know in the comments below!

“How do you make the perfect Italian coffee at home,” you wonder? Well, I’ll tell you!  As you may already know, I am passionate about coffee. When I go to sleep at night, I am already excited to wake up and have my morning coffee. Anyone else?  There are several ways and types of coffee that I enjoy, but there is a wonderful way to make coffee that is a deep part of Italian culture, and that is the Moka.  Not to be confused with mocha, the combination of chocolate and coffee flavors, but moka, with a “K.”

Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

To make this coffee and bring some of this Italian coffee culture into your home, you must begin with a moka pot.  Interestingly, the word “Moka” actually comes from a port city in Yemen, where coffee was exported.

Delicious Coffee to Start the Day

There’s nothing like a cup of hot coffee in the morning.  Just the mere thought of the smell, the taste, can make you jump out of bed.  A pot of good coffee is a way to bring everyone together.  Sitting over hot coffee with a friend is one of my favorite things to do.  And, there are so many ways and types of coffee, but today I’m going to tell you all about preparing and drinking a moka.  

Coffee the Italian Way

Torrefazione Cannaregio – My favorite coffee shop!

Fortunately, not far from where I live, there is one of my most favorite places in all of Venice. It is a coffee house called Torrefazione Cannaregio.  Torrefazione refers to a coffee bean roaster. It was started in 1930, and was located on the main street, Strada Nuova.  It was a unique place. The door opened and you were hit with the most incredible aroma of coffee.  The floor was lined with enormous sacks of coffee beans and you could even get a glimpse of an enormous round coffee roaster in the back.  It was always packed, but the line moved fast. Some would take their coffee “da portare via” (to go) and others would drink at the counter, as there was only bar service.

It’s since changed ownership and now it is located right near the Jewish Ghetto, on the Fondamenta Ormesini.  Combining the look of a quaint coffee house with the beautiful glass containers of coffee lining the walls, you can sit inside and look out at the Venetian canal and watch gondolas go by. Although you may hear many languages from around the world at one of their canal-side tables, if you stand and drink right at the bar, you can often hear Venetian, the unique Italian dialect of the lagoon city. 

Know Your Coffee

The staff is well-versed in every type of coffee they sell and how exactly to make it.  Each coffee bean produces a different taste, and the staff is kind and patient to explain the details.  Some coffee beans are more fruity, while others are more earthy. At Torrefazione Cannaregio, they will even blend coffee for you with your choice of ingredients such as anise, black pepper, cinnamon and more. In Italy, people genuinely savor and enjoy the flavor of the coffee.  A typical Italian breakfast is a coffee and a “cornetto,” a croissant, either plain, dusted with powered sugar or chocolate-filled. 

The Moka Coffee Grind

Perfect Moka Italian Coffee Grind

If you will be buying coffee beans to be ground on the premises, you will be asked whether you would like them ground for espresso or moka.  The grind for a moka machine is a bit more course than that of an espresso machine. Once you have your perfect grind and blend, you are (almost) all set.  

An Italian Coffee Classic

With these easy steps, I will share with you how you can make the perfect moka Italian coffee at home, just like the Italians do. I That’s a coffee with a smooth, rich taste, and not bitter. But first, you must have a moka machine.  My preference is a Bialetti, which is the most well-known brand.  With a Bialetti, you know what are getting.  It is a high-quality coffee maker, named after it’s inventor, Alfonso Bialetti.  The story goes that in the early part of the 20th century, Mr. Bialetti had a workshop where he produced aluminum products.  In the 30’s, he designed what would become the iconic moka pot, which has enhanced the way people drink coffee around the world.

Moka machines comes in a range of sizes.  At home, I have a six cup moka, which is a perfect size for just us or for when we are having some company. If that’s too big for you, you can get a small moka that makes two cups.  I’ve seen a much larger 18 cup moka, as well. And now, on to the actual brewing process.

                                                              

How to Make a Moka Coffee

Making a moka is actually very easy.  Familiarize yourself with the parts of the stove-top machine.  The base get filled with water.  The little filter cup gets the coffee.  On the underside of the top of the moka machine, you will see two parts: a little filter and a rubber ring holding it in place.  It’s all quite basic.  But there are some tricks of the trade that will make your moka coffee taste just perfect.

Step 1

Put some water up to boil, because starting with boiling water is one of the keys to making a delicious moka.  By beginning with water that is already hot, the coffee in the moka machine won’t be exposed to the direct heat of the flame any longer than necessary. This will eliminate that bitter taste that’s commonly associated with coffee that is prepared incorrectly in a moka.  

Step 2

Next, take a look inside the bottom container.  You will see a little valve.  That’s where you fill your boiled water to. Keep in mind that once you fill the base of the machine with the boiling water, it will be hot.  So, work with a dish towel when you need to pick it up. You can also preheat the coffee cups you’ll be using with some of the remaining boiled water.

Step 3

Now it’s time to fill the filter cup with coffee.  Fill it to the top of the cup, without pressing the coffee down. You can give it a gentle swipe to even it out, but it shouldn’t be packed.  Insert the cup into the water-filled base.

Step 4

Next, take your dish towel to hold the base still while you place the top of the moka machine on and carefully twist it closed.  And now, you are just a few minutes from having some of the most delicious coffee you will ever taste.

Step 5

Place the moka machine on the stove and turn the flame on to medium-low heat.  Regardless of the size of your moka pot, be sure that the stove flame does not extend outward and up the sides of the moka pot.  Soon, the coffee magic will begin. You’ll start to hear the coffee boil upward through the internal mechanism into the top container.  It’s doesn’t take long, so keep an eye on it. 

Your kitchen will smell so delicious.  All the coffee lovers in the house will come running.  Carefully pour, serve, sip and enjoy.  I always say that coffee is like a vacation in a cup.  And a moka is like when you get an upgrade. To make it even better, you can pair it with these delicious Bisse Italian Biscotti.

A Virtual Shopping Experience in Venice

When you do come and visit Venice, you can buy a bag of beans to take home for yourself or to give as a gift.  What an amazing souvenir for a coffee lover.  But, why wait! This is one of the places I love to take people on my virtual personal shopping tours. Would you like me to pick some up for you? Let me know! You can set up a virtual personal shopping experience in Venice with me, from the comfort of you own home.  For more info, email me at RebbetzinUnplugged@gmail.com

What’s your favorite flavor or type of coffee? Let me know in the comments. I’m so excited to hear from you!

There’s nothing like taking a few minutes each day to do something nice for yourself.  It can be very easy to treat yourself in a special way.  Here’s a tip that is not only is nice, but has many benefits as well. Infuse yourself with care.  Learn how to make a tisane infusion with delicious natural ingredients like mint, ginger and cinnamon.

What is the Difference Between a Tea and a Tisane

The difference between a tea and a tisane is quite simple.  Tea comes from specific plants.  A tisane is an infusion of a variety of herbs, leaves, spices and flowers. 

Tisane varieties and combinations are endless, and can suit your mood or taste.  After dinner, I love to make a digestivo, which as you can guess by the Italian name, can help to aid in digestion.  As an after dinner drink, one of the most popular choices at GAM GAM Kosher Restaurant is my infusion of mint, ginger and cinnamon stick.

Yet, this tisane is not only a great way to end your meal.  This particular blend is also a delicious way to start your day.  It’s distinct combination of flavors makes your morning feel like a holiday. 

Make It a Special Moment

For the mornings, I have a special mug that I bought when I was traveling with my daughter.  In the evenings, I love to use the Richard Ginori tea cups I was gifted by a friend.  I also love  tea sets with a floral motif.  Using a specific cup for your “tisane-time” can genuinely elevate the moment.  It’s a reminder that you are taking a time to do something special for yourself.  And, making use of a gift, whether from someone else or from yourself, can conjure up good memories.

Benefits

Aside from taking some time for yourself, a tisane has many physical benfits as well. It can be a great way to avoid caffeine, if that is important to you. Generally speaking, a tisane can be a stress reducer, helping you calm down and unwind after a hard day.  It’s relaxing qualities can also help induce sleep. You work so hard.  You deserve it!

Tisane Your Way!

Whatever your taste palate, there is something for you.  When it comes to nature, there is no limit.  Aside from my go-to tisane mentioned here, other popular choices to create your own infusion are: lemon, chamomile, dill, lavender, rosemary, thyme, orange peels, cardamom and even edible flowers such as pansies.

Whatever the time of year, there are always great ingredients to be found to make a delicious tisane, and it’s always in season to take care of yourself.  So, don’t hesitate.  In fact, make it a priority to do (at least) one more thing beneficial to your physical health.  After all, our physical bodies protect our souls.  So nourish yourself physically, so you will have the calm and strength to nourish yourself spiritually.

Tisane of Mint, Ginger and Cinnamon

No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Instructions 

  • Boil water
  • Add mint, ginger and cinnamon stick to suit your taste to a tea pot
  • Cover with the boiling water
  • Steep for a few minutes
  • Drink as is or add your favorite sweetener, like honey.

Want something to dip in your tisane infusion? Try these delicious Italian Bisse Biscotti!

Italian Bisse Cookies biscotti from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice
Italian Bisse Cookies biscotti from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice

What other herbal combinations would you like to try? Let me know in the comments down below the related articles. I love hearing from you!

What is aquafaba and what can I make with it? Delicious Vegan Meringues – Without Egg!

🤍 Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

If you want to know how to make aquafaba, just read on. Aquafaba is the liquid in cans of legumes, like chick peas.  It can be used as an egg white replacement in various recipes and one of my favorite uses is to make meringues.  Yes, you read that right! 

This isn’t a recipe for vegans only. Whether you eat eggs or not, you will enjoy this recipe. It is so easy. And, meringues are so elegant. Everyone will think you spent many hours in the kitchen crafting these little lovelies. I gave some to a friend as a little appreciation gift. When I told her how easy they were to make, she couldn’t believe it! It’s practically as easy as whip, bake, eat.

Whenever I make humus, I use the aquafaba to make these delicious and beautiful treats. The best part about it is that you likely have the rest of the ingredients in your kitchen. To make these vegan meringues without egg, all it takes is some sugar and some vanilla extract. You could use cream of tartar, but that is optional. The cream of tartar helps the merigunes hold their shape a bit. We don’t have kosher cream of tartar here, so I never use it and my meringues come out just fine.

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There are so many options with meringues. You can change the shape, size, color, flavor and even add fillings. I’ve added a drop of food color or flavored extract to make all sorts of varieties. My family loves these double meringues with chocolate between them like the ones pictured here. It’s simple. Just melt some chocolate, use the back of a spoon to apply some to the bottom of one meringue and stick a second meringue to it. These also make a beautiful gift to bring over to a neighbor, a teacher or someone at work.

Meringues

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 16 meringues
Calories 31

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (120 grams )
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
  • 5/8 cup sugar (120 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp mint extract (optional)
  • chocolate (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 250F (120 C)
  • Pour aquafaba in bowl
  • Add cream of tartar (optional)
  • Add mint extract (optional).
  • Add sugar slowly while mixing, until peaks are stiff
  • Use a pastry bag to form meringues on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sometimes I use a star tip to get a swirled shape, but most often, I use a round tip and make these macaron shaped meringue. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a plastic bag (like a ziploc) with a tiny hole cut at one of the corners.
  • Cook at 250F (120C) for one hour until just firm, and not sticky on the outside.
  • Variation: Temper* chocolate over a bain marie (double boiler) and connect two meringues together as shown.

Notes

Tip: The aquafaba to sugar ratio is 1:1.  I do the recipe at home in grams, but I’ve also listed the measurements in cups.  Measuring in grams is a bit more precise.  If you have a digital scale, just set it to grams and measure away!
*To temper chocolate: heat on low over a double boiler until halfway melted. Remove from heat and stir until compeltely melted. Tempering the chocolate prevents it from melting at room temperature and helps it retain its natural shine.
Calories: 31kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dessert and treats

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 31mg | Sugar: 8g

If you like dessert, you’ll love these Italian Bisse Cookies from the Jewish Ghetto of Venice!

Are looking for the best Hanukkah doughnuts (sufganiyot) recipe? Then look no further! Suganiyot (singular: suganiyah) are round jelly doughnuts eaten around the world during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

How Will You Fill Your Hanukkah Doughnuts?

Don’t stop at jelly! Nowadays, you can find suganiyot filled with every type of flavor you can imagine. Some favorites are chocolate cream, vanilla custard, fruit jam and nutella. But, why stop there! I’ve made cappuccino cream and sweet tehini mousse. And, sufganiyot are delicious topped off with a dusting of powdered sugar.

These little pillows of goodness are the perfect treat. They are sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Imagine seeing a beautiful platter of Hanukkah doughnuts adorning the table with other holiday delicacies or receiving them in a Hanukkah gift package!

🤍 Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

For more on the Mystical Insights of Hanukkah, catch my class on PulveREDU, this coming Sunday, December 13 at 1:00pm EST, 7:00pm CET, 8:00pm IST.  You can register here.

Why Do We Eat Sufganiyot for Hanukkah?

We eat sufganiyot cooked in oil to recount the miracle of the oil of the menorah in the ancient temple in Jerusalem more than 2,200 years ago. The Syrian-Greek Army (the Seleucids) caused great havoc when they took over the Temple in Jerusalem. They erected statues for idol worship and destroyed the cruses of oil needed to light the menorah each day.

Miracles Abound!

Firstly, the small band of Jews, led by the Maccabees, defeated the large and mighty Greek army. Then a great miracle occurred when one cruse of pure oil was found. But, it was just enough oil to last for one day. The greater miracle was that the oil lasted 8 days, which was the exact amount of time necessary to travel and acquire more pure oil. To read more about Hanukkah and celebrating it during this challenging year, click here.

And now, get ready for the best Hanukkah Doughnuts Sufganiyot Recipe! Pin It now, so you can make it later!

Hanukkah Doughnuts Sufganiyot Recipe Pin

Sufganiyot for Hanukkah (Jelly Doughnuts)

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rising Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 20 doughnuts
Calories 93

Ingredients

  • active dry yeast 2 1/4 teaspoon (1/4 ounce or 7 grams)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk at room temperature (you can use soy milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

Instructions 

Preparing the Dough

  • This dough can be mixed by hand or by electric mixer.
  • Put the yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl, with a sprinkling of the measured out sugar to activate the yeast. When it starts to bubble a bit, then you know the yeast is working.
  • Add the rest of the sugar and the milk, and whisk.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, pinch of salt, lemon zest, teaspoon of vanilla and continue whisking.
  • Change the whisk attachment to the dough hook.
  • Add the butter or margarine in pieces.
  • Add the flour in three parts to ensure everything gets mixed well.
  • Mix for several minutes.
  • If needed, add a 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time to gather up any dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Cover the dough with a clean damp dish towel and let the dough rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place. (When I have the time, I let it rise an hour, until the dough has doubled in size).

Making the Doughnuts

  • When the dough is ready, prepare your workspace with a dusting of flour. Add a dusting of flour to the top of the dough as well. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough about a 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut circles with a cookie cutter between 2 1/2 – 3 inches round. (My cutter is actually 2 3/4 inches).
  • Press the cookie cutter straight down into the dough and twist right before you remove it from the dough.
  • Place doughnut circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Cover the doughnuts with plastic wrap and let them rise for at least 15 minutes in a warm place.
  • Fill a large pot, like a pasta pot, with 2 inches (approximately 4 cups) of vegetable oil. (During Hanukkah, I actually use half vegetable oil and half extra virgin olive oil, but all vegetable oil is fine).
  • Heat oil on medium high and then turn down to low.
  • Place three sufganiyot at a time in the oil and cook the first side for 2 minutes. (Tip: They seem to expand better by putting the side that was face down while they were rising, face up in the pot of oil).
  • Flip them over with a slotted spoon and cook for another minute.
  • Cooking time will vary based on the size of your pot and your stove, so do a test run with the first batch. Sometimes, the doughnuts will cook as fast as one minute per side.
  • Remove the sufganiyot with the slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
  • When cooled, filled them to your heart's desire and sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
Calories: 93kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: Chanukah, Chanukah donuts, dessert, dessert and treats, Hanukkah, Hanukkah doughnuts, kosher, sufganiyah, suganiyot

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 93kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

Have you ever seen a 1000 pound menorah go up by hand?!

What’s your favorite sufganiyot filling? What other recipes would you like me to post on the blog? Scroll down and let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you!

Spicy Schug Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 32 teaspoons
Calories 31
Add some spice to your life, and to your kitchen, with this authentic Yemenite schug recipe. Schug is often eaten on falafel in pita or meat dishes like shawarma. It's also great with humus, grilled chicken, yogurts, eggs or anything you want to add some kick to.
I’m an Ashkenazi girl with a Separdic stomach. And at my Shabbat table, we have guests from all over the world where we typically have six continents represented. You know my motto is "keeping everyone around the table happy!" This also applies when serving hundreds of guests each Shabbat. By night, I serve fish simmering in the traditional spicy Moroccan tomato sauce Charaime (Haraimi). By day, it's baked salmon with lemon or pesto. And there are salads and dips running the entire spectrum of Jewish cuisine, including plenty of schug.
This recipe can be made ahead since it can last days in the fridge. (But it won’t because it will be devoured). And since it is so fast and easy, it can be made fresh each time. I’ve made schug with an immersion blender, but I recommend preparing it in a food processor for the best consistency.
There are many different variations of red or green schug recipes around, and there are even different spellings: schug, zhug and skhug. The delicious taste of this hot sauce comes from the blend of nutritious fresh produce and a list of spices that also have their share of vitamins.
By the way, did you know that the longer a green chili pepper sits on the vine, it begins to change color until it’s red?

Ingredients

  • 5 jalapeno peppers (for aesthetics, I use four green and one red)
  • 1 cup parsley ((one bunch))
  • 1 cup cilantro ((one bunch))
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Preparing recipes with spicy peppers takes a bit of care. Jalapeno and other hot peppers can leave a residue of capsaisin on your hands for hours or even days. Be careful not to touch your face, eyes or that of a child who needs something mid-preparation. Best is to use a pair of one time use gloves.
  • Carefully cut and remove stems from the peppers.
  • Next cut peppers lengthwise to remove seeds and any excess white pith. Most of the heat is in the seeds, so if you want to bring the heat to the next level, add some when the recipe is finished, but I doubt you will need it.
  • Put the peppers in the food processor.
  • Cut most of the stems from the parsley and cilantro. Leaving some stems is fine.
  • Add the parsley and cilantro to food processor and give a rough chop. Schug should be a bit chunky, as opposed to a creamy pesto, but the texture is a personal choice.
  • Then add the remaining ingredients and pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings to your liking.

Notes

Makes approximately one cup of schug. Keep refrigerated in an air tight jar or container.
Calories: 31kcal
Course: sauce
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: kosher, Mediterranean, sauce, schug, Shabbat, Yemenite

Nutrition

Serving: 1teaspoon | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 7mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

🤍 Over the years, many of you have asked which kitchen tools I use and recommend. Here are some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  

If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

                       

These delicious stuffed mushrooms make a quick and easy side dish, main dish for vegetarians or even a healthy snack.

I found these gorgeous oversized mushrooms at the supermarket and decided they would be perfect as stuffed mushrooms. Such an easy, yet elegant dish.

I love mushrooms because there are so many varieties and they are rich in fiber and protein.  Mushrooms also contain vitamins, nutrients and powerful antioxidants like selenium, which is very important for the immune system.  Selenium can also have an effect on fighting inflammation.

Easy Elegant Stuffed Mushrooms

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
I make a double batch of these stuffed mushrooms because everyone always wants seconds!

Ingredients

  • 8 mushrooms
  • 2 carrots
  • 8 cracker squares (1 individual pack of saltine style crackers)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Wash the mushrooms well
  • Trim the very ends of the mushrooms stems
  • Peel the carrots
  • Use your thumb to pop off the mushroom stems
  • Chop the stems and carrots into bits
  • Place the chopped mushroom stems and carrots in a bowl.
  • Crush the crackers in the package or in a baggie to avoid a mess and add them to the vegetables.
  • Add the olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Mix until well incorporated.
  • The mix should be moist, but not soggy. (Add some more olive oil if necessary).
  • Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
  • Lay out the mushroom caps and sprinkle tops and bottoms with salt and pepper.
  • Fill with the vegetable mix.
  • Sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Bake at 350F/180C for approximately 15 minutes. Cook longer if you desire a crispier texture
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: kosher, mushroom recipes, side dishes, Vegetarian

I’d love to hear from you! Does this sound like something you’ll enjoy? What other types of recipes would you like me to post? Let me know in the comments below!

honey roasted chicken recipe for rosh hashanah

Easy Unforgettable Honey Chicken for Rosh Hashanah

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
This delicious recipe brings me right back to my childhood dining room table.
Three generations sat around a table whose length seemed to grow with each passing year. The younger generation listened intently to the wisdom of the older generation, and the grandparents kvelled (Yiddish for feeling happy & prideful) at the site of the children excitement of life and dreams of what was yet to come.
I distinctly remember that during each and every holiday, I would look around the dinner table and say my own little prayer: “Please G-d, please let all whom are with us tonight around the holiday table, be with us next year too.”
What an opportune time to mention my little childhood prayer, as it is on the holiday of Rosh Hashana itself, the Day of Judgement, that all is decided by the One Above. “On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed”.
This awe-inspiring phrase comes from the iconic High Holiday prayer “Unesaneh Tokef” in the Machzor, the special prayer book used during the Yomim Noraim, the 10 Days from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur.In the synagogue, we pray that we will be judged favorably and in the kitchen, we hope the same.
There is no doubt that this classic honey chicken dish will be judged favorably and will garner the highest accolades. Your prize will be the empty dinner dishes when everyone is done enjoying this holiday main course. It’s so delicious, you’ll hope there will be leftovers for a snack the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (3-4 pounds cut into 8 pieces)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Rinse chicken and pat completely dry.
  • Line a shallow baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • Peel and cut carrots into quarters.
  • Peel and cut onion into eights.
  • Add them to the baking dish.
  • Add chicken on the vegetables.

Honey Mixture

  • Peel and cut garlic cloves in half.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, honey, soy sauce, water, salt and pepper.
  • Pour honey mixture over the chicken.
  • Cook around 40 minutes. The inside temperature of the chicken should be 165F. Here is a great thermometer.
  • Halfway through cooking, baste the chicken and then continue cooking.
  • Optional: When the chicken is completely cooked, pour any remaining liquid into a saucepan. Reduce to thicken and pour over chicken.

Notes

When it comes to cooking chicken quarters, the recipe possiblities are endless. Come up with your own chicken recipes using seasonings that you love. And cooking the chicken with bones helps retain its moisture making it juicy and delicious. It is also less expensive than deboned chicken, making it a more frugal dinner recipe and better for those who want to budget food costs. 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jewish, Kosher
Keyword: easy, frugal, honey chicken, honey chicken for Rosh Hashanah, honey chicken recipe for Rosh Hashanah, honey chicken recipe rosh hashanah, honey chicken rosh hashanah, Rosh Hashanah

My mother and I took a walk down memory lane to New York’s world famous Coney Island.

They were absolutely delicious potato knishes. They really were.,” recalls my mother, while reminiscing about Surf Knishes, my parents’ knish factory on Coney Island’s Surf Avenue 50 years ago.

“Everything was fresh”, she continues, “no artificial ingredients, real potatoes and the secret spice recipe.”

Recalling the sights and sounds of one of New York’s most famous hot spots for food, entertainment and summer fun, she explained that one of Surf Knishes wholesale customers was the iconic restaurant Nathan’s Famous, then owned by the Handwerker Family.

Surf Knishes also had a take-away window to serve the passersby delighting in the sights of the Coney Island Boardwalk. I can imagine the locals and tourists working up an appetite while enjoying the famed Cyclone roller coaster, the performers and parades.

What better to satisfy their hunger than this traditional Ashkenazi Jewish pocket of deliciousness of mashed potatoes in a warm flaky pastry. My recipe may be different, but the passion remains the same as evidenced by my knishes being devoured like hotcakes off the griddle.


Venice photos printed on metal

Freshen up your home or surprise someone with a beautiful gift from Venice!


Products I Love

Many of you ask which products I use and recommend. This post contains some of my affiliate links for “making every day the best day” while cooking, entertaining and living life.  If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission which helps keep the lights on. Thanks!

My husband bought me this KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender many years ago and I absolutely love it!  I use it on a daily basis to make smoothies, soups, sauces, nut butter and more.  It also comes with a whisk attachment that makes potato puree, scrambling eggs and beating egg whites into stiff peaks a piece of cake.

I’ve highlighted more products I love in the recipe instructions for these delicious potato knishes. Check them out!

Delicious Potato Knishes

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dough Chill 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 264

Ingredients

Knish Dough

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup apple juice or water

Potato Filling

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg for eggwash

Instructions 

  • Mix the dry ingredients
  • Add the vegetable oil and mix
  • Add 1/2 cup of apple juice or water and mix.
  • Add remaining liquid by the spoonful until dough is well-mixed
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  • While dough is chilling, boil 3 large potatoes in salted water.
  • Dice and sautee’ half an onion until translucent.
  • Place in a large bowl, mash the potatoes with a fork and season the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of evoo and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Add the egg to the potato mixture and mix well.
  • Tip: I use an immersion blender to quickly puree the potato mixture, because my family prefers a smooth filling. Skip this step if you prefer otherwise.
  • Roll out the dough thinly into a rectangle.
  • Using a smooth edged knife, cut the dough in half vertically and then into quarter horizontally to make eight even-sized rectangles.
  • Add a dollop of potato mixture to the bottom half of a rectangle and fold and close the knish. Press the edges closed all around with your fingertips. (Like someone two-finger typing with their pointer fingers). Repeat with the remaining rectangles.
  • Brush each knish with beaten egg and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for approximately 30 minutes.

Notes

Alternative:
Instead of potato, you can substitute tuna fish for the filling.
 
Calories: 264kcal
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Jewish
Keyword: ashkenaz, bread, grains, knish, potato, rice, side dishes

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg
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