Friday, March 22, 2013

Seder Plates

There are many styles of seder plates, all holding the symbols to be used at the seder. 

: There are six main Seder foods on the plate. They are: a roasted egg, a vegetable, parsley or celery, charoset, maror and a roasted lamb bone.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SRS - Pumpkin Bread


I just joined this group, SRS-Secret Recipe Swap where one is given a blog and selects something from it, to bake or cook. Since this is my first month participating, I was excited about what blog, I would get and what kind of cooking, she did.

I was pleased to discover "Sew, what's Cooking with Joan", is a particularly interesting blog with fabulous recipes as well as projects that are impressive.  I plan on returning here again and again.  I spotted many recipes to add to my "to do" list.  This is a busy time, in my life, so I could not take fill advantage of Joan's blog but, after the Jewish holidays, I hope to visit often.

Pumpkin Bread

adapted from Bobby Flay via Sew, What's Cooking with Joan?


4 tablespoons oil
1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour
1/2 teaspoon  salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup  oil
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. 

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves in a small bowl. 

Beat the sugar and oil on high speed.

Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely. 

Eat and enjoy.

My husband, who has been down on pumpkin, for a while, loved this recipe and now  pumpkin is back in his good graces.  Thanks Joan for adding a new ingredient to our schedule.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recipe Box # 39 Egg News

This came in an email from Food Network. I love eggs and it satisfying to know (I hope) eggs are more healthy than thought previously. 

 "The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that cholesterol levels in eggs are lower than previously thought. After reviewing the nutrient composition of standard large eggs, the USDA results show the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14% lower than previously recorded. Consuming an egg a day fits easily within dietary guidance, which recommends limiting cholesterol consumption to 300 mg per day. The USDA analysis also revealed that a single large egg now contains 64% more Vitamin D than last reported in 2002. Eggs are one of the few foods that are a naturally good source of Vitamin D, which plays an important role in calcium absorption, helping to form and maintain strong bones. The amount of protein in one large egg remains the same – 6 grams of protein or 13% of the recommended daily value. And at 70 calories per egg and just 15 cents a serving, eggs are nutrient-dense, affordable and the perfect choice for breakfast. For more information on the nutritional benefits of eggs, or to pick up new and exciting recipes, check out f/IncredibleEdibleEgg."

Looking back:
Baked Egg in Mushroom Tartlet
 Baked Eggs in Mushroom Tartlets from Kelly Siew Cooks - 
Isn't this a delicious beauty?
Cauliflower Salad 
 Cauliflower Salad from Chicky's Cafe and Bowtique
This is a great way to use cauliflower.

A slice of Swiss chard and leek quiche

Swiss Chard Quiche from my favorite, MJ's Kitchen. You go girl, with these great recipes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Passover Cinnamon Blondies

This month, Kosher Connection is making desserts for Passover (Pesach).  I had planned to do this way before the holiday but had no time.  Here the deadline is due and my kitchen is not ready for Pesach but I have packed away all my baking and cooking wares.  My dilemma was how do I make this work.

For those of you who don't prepare and celebrate this holiday, I am not sure, if you can understand the complexity of changing over one's kitchen. We literally pack up or shut down everything from the year and bring in different items, which we store from Pesach to Pesach.  I am fortunate, having an extra buffet that a relative gave us and I store myself there and do not go into that piece for the entire time between the annual holiday.

I have already cleared out the cabinets, I will be using, and filled them with my Pesach pots and pans and gadgets, flatware, dishes, etc.  I purchased new spices and they are in place.  I got lots of potato starch and cocoa and sugar.  All this is stored in the cabinets..

Matzah is in place in anticipation of the week of no chametz (anything from the five grains plus).  I kind of like not eating bread and pasta.  It is a break and I appreciate more after the 8 days.

Back to my dessert.  Since hubby has celiac, I bake with potato starch, the entire year but for Passover , we do not eat rice or beans which means no rice flour.  There is one recipe that always works and that is the Pesach blondies, not very fancy but absolutely the yummiest. 

To make it a little more festive, I filled them with Pesachdik black cherry jam and added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter.  It worked.

If you are baking for Pesach, I highly recommend this as well as the Pesach brownies which, in my humble opinion are better than those, during the year.  I plan to post that recipe, as well, in the near-future.

Pesach Cinnamon Filled Blondies (adapted from The Crumb Factory Blog_


1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon Passover vanilla - pure
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 - 4 tablespoons any flavor jam (black cherry, in this case)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 small rectangular pans.  It is better to use a 9 x 13 but I had none, at the time.

Mix the sugars and oil and then add in the other ingredients, mixing until everything is incorporated.

Pour half of the batterinto the pan and cover it with a thin coating of jam.  If you like it thicker, by all means, double the amount and use that.

Bake for about 35 - 45  minutes or until a sharp knife comes out clean.

If you make these before Pesach, wrap  and freeze for the holiday.

Then, eat and enjoy. 

Recipes and Ramblins with the Tumbleweed Contessa

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recipe Box # 38 - Crispy Pasta Cakes

Joy of Kosher had this for the recipe of the day, yesterday and since I did not have plans for dinner, I decided to take advantage of this intriguing recipe.  How often do we make pancakes from pasta?

I made a lot of changes and in the end, I probably had a different recipe, completely.  I did not have olives, gruyere, green onions, tarragon

Crispy  Pasta Cakes

Ingredients :

2 cups (1/2 pound) Cooked spaghetti, cooled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
2 cups grated zucchini 

2 cups baby spinach, chopped
3/4 cup cheese mixture (I think any cheese that melts would work)

1 small onion, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
black pepper pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil


 In a large mixing bowl, combine spaghetti, spinach, zucchini,  cheese, onion, egg and flour.

 Season with salt and black pepper and set aside. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

  Scoop approximately 1/4 cup of pasta mixture into press down lightly.

  Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden.

 Remove from pan with slotted spatula and repeat with remaining pasta.

I am not sure why this was so delicious but it was like comfort food, to me, and we politely gobbled it up.  I am glad, I used spinach instead of olives (original recipe).  

Joy of Kosher is a fantastic website and certainly not only for kosher folks.  There are interesting recipes with new ones added, daily.  I think you would find it to be a valuable source of recipes.

Looking back:

Linda's Polenta Beef Pie from With a Blast

Loaded Cauliflower Tots (what a great idea) from Make the Best of Everything

and  Ultimate Blueberry Cheesecake from Call Me PMc --Yummy
What are we eating this week?
Linked to    The Gathering Spot         See Ya in the Gumbo           Hearth and Soul

Monday, March 11, 2013

SRC: Apple Strudel Muffins

Secret Recipe Club

Three cheers for the SRC (Secret Recipe Club) and the second Monday of the month.  It is time to share again an to thank the ladies behind the scenes, Suzanne and April and all the other hard workers, you can find on the SRC blog.

When the name of my assigned blog is mailed to me, I open it with excitement.  I love getting new blogs although when I have gotten someone I know, it has been even more fun.  Questions run through my mind, "Will there be recipes that appeal to me?"  Such a silly question.  I have not yet found a blog without interesting and appealing recipes and yet, each month, I have a moment of fear.

This month, absolutely was no problem.  Not true.  There was a problem.  I could not make a decision what to choose until I heard my husband, in the background, "Bake for me."  How could I turn him down?  So, I looked through Ashley's baked goods from her wonderful blog, Cheese Curd in Paradise.  Isn't that name perfect?  It has a style of its own and certainly makes you want to visit more than once.

There were many interesting baked goods but my eye immediately picked up on Apple Strudel Muffins.  Hubby is the original Muffin Man and I have a year full of muffins, on my blog, keeping him happy.  I am not sure if apple is his favorite fruit but if not on the top of the list, in the top three.  What a perfect recipe, for me, to make for the man I love.

You really should go over and meet Ashley and check out her recipes.  You won't be disappointed.

 Now for the delicious Apple Strudel Muffins    - Gluten Free  (adapted)


2 cups gluten-free flour mix

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 heaping tablespoons applesauce

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup apples, chopped

For the streusel:

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon brown rice flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan and set aside.   In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat oil, sugars, vanilla and eggs till smooth. Gently fold in the apples, and gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan. 

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon well to avoid sinking. Once blended, add oil until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over tops of mixture in muffin pan.

Bake 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin come out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Eat and enjoy. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Black Cherry Cottage Cheese Pancakes for Meatless Mondays

I am a breakfast for dinner, lunch and brunch person and would be happy, eating omelets, pancakes, French toast and other breakfast treats, three times a day.  That would mean, missing out on too many other good foods, so I don't do it, but I certainly could.

For lunch today, we had cottage cheese pancakes and I integrated black cherry jelly into the batter. That made delicious pancakes even better and we finished them, quickly with satisfaction.

Pancakes are easy to make and most of my cottage cheese recipes are similar as is this one from Martha.  I think, I have better recipes and have to  locate them and compare.

Black Cherry Cottage Cheese Pancakes (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients :

3/4 cup sorghum  flour, (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup low-fat (1 percent) cottage cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 teaspoons oil


In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in cottage cheese, milk, egg  and vanilla.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Working in batches, drop cottage cheese mixture by tablespoon fulls.

Cook until bottoms are set and tops have small bubbles, about 1 minute. Turn pancakes and cook until just firm in the center, 2 minutes more. Repeat, using remaining 3 teaspoons oil for the other batches. 

Eat and enjoy at any time.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Orange Spiced Baby Carrots

One of the foods, I keep, almost at all times, is a bag of baby carrots If you need a quick dish or have company, walking in the door, unexpectedly, grab that bag and you basically have a side dish, with a minimum of effort.  You can add a little brown sugar and cook for 25 minutes and it is done.  You can add some parsley and a little butter and there is another side.  Throw them into soups and salads.  Just keep that bag of baby carrots around and you will find something to do with them.

Orange Spiced Baby Carrots  (adapted from CD Kitchen)


1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon olive oil
orange zest from 1 orange
1 pound baby carrots

Combine orange juice, water, and vanilla in a large saucepan.

 Add carrots. 

Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Add vanilla, nutmeg and zest.  

heat for an additional minute.

eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Recipe Box # 37 - Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties

I love broccoli and I love broccoli with cheese, even more.  Mixing everything together was a true pleasure because I knew, I would adore the results and I did.  Hubby liked them but was not nearly as enthusiastic as I was.

This was my lunch yesterday and it makes the perfect lunch or a side, at dinner or even first thing, in the morning.  The idea of baking them instead of frying made this all the more appealing

Baked Cheesy Broccoli Patties


 Spray olive oil

1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 onion, diced
1 small bag frozen broccoli 
3/4 cup Tortilla crumbs
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan

2 eggs, beaten
pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray with cooking oil a cookie sheet.

Saute onions in skillet until translucent.

Chop frozen broccoli a little smaller.  It does not have to be tiny but not too chunky.

Place chopped broccoli in large bowl. Add the tortilla crumbs,  cheese, eggs, and pepper.

Mix well so that you will be able to shape patties.  I used an ice cream scoop and kept that shape.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Eat and enjoy. 

Looking back:

Eggplant Parmesan from Turnips to Tangerines - this could easily be a favorite.

Cabbage Casserole from Heavenly Savings - I am a cabbage lover so this is just for me.

 Creole Chicken from Frugal Follies .   I would love this with noodles as well as rice. Yum.
 Linked to:    All My Bloggy Friends      Simple Supper Tuesday  Spicy Thursday    See Ya in the Gumbo   
 Your turn:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Love Is Simple - Give Me a Salad

This is not so much about a recipe but what my dreams are made of.  This is close to the perfect lunch for me except, I forgot to put in the avocado and that should be there.

I have, literally, been craving salads and every excuse I have, I make one whether it be, on the side, or in this case, my meal.  There is nothing fabulous about this dish other than I love everything about it.  Romaine is healthier than the iceberg, I used to eat, the tomatoes actually had flavor, the goat cheese, I simply love, the hard boiled eggs were a treat and the crunchy onions on top were a bonus.  I had made a Thai dressing, Friday and had some left over so I topped my salad with this and I was happy.  I guess, it is easy to make me happy.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Nutty Avocado Meat Loaf with Potato Topping


This is another Operation Clean-Up recipe.  I have a few packages of chopped beef or turkey or chicken, in my freezer.  I took out the beef and then did my usual search.  

Recently, on a Costco trip, we picked up a box of avocados and then I forgot about them. I had let them ripen and placed them in the refrigerator with a package of Bell peppers of all different colors.  I am wondering how I missed the avocados when I used up, all but one of the peppers (6).

I have never done this before but I have, this past year, added avocado to many dishes so why not meat loaf.  I also don't usually add nuts to my meat dishes, at least not ground nuts but again, what should I do with a large container of ground walnuts.  You know!

I should be embarrassed to admit what I used for the topping.  I keep instant mashed potatoes in the cabinet to use as a breading for hubby with celiac.  If you have not done this, I suggest, you try it.  It makes a delicious coating.    I had some left in the box so I used that and made mashed potatoes for the topping.  Of course, if you make this, you can use real potatoes.

Nutty Avocado Meat Loaf with Potato Topping


1 pound chopped beef
1 avocado, mashed into chopped meat
2 tablespoons Hickory Jack barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup flax meal
1 egg
2 cups mashed potatoes


Preheat oven 350 degrees.

With a fork, "mush" the chopped meat with the avocado.  Add the barbecue sauce, walnuts, flax meal and egg.  Mix it well so that the flavors are throughout the meat mixture.

 Transfer to a baking dish or a loaf pan.

Make your mashed potatoes. Spread on top of uncooked meat loaf and sprinkle top lightly with paprika.

Bake for an hour.  Eat and enjoy.