Cakes

Halloween Fun #12

Posted on October 29, 2011. Filed under: Brownies, Cakes, Cheese, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Cupcakes, Dairy, Desserts, Halloween, Halloween Krispie Treats, Halloween Munchies, Halloween Pizza, Halloween Recipes, Halloween Snacks, Kids, Kosher Recipe, Marshmallows, My Ramblings, Oranges, Peanut Butter, Pears, Recipes, Snacks, Special Occasion Cake | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


We can find a reference to a stepmother as an evil witch as far back as 1500 BCE in an Egyptian folktale in which a wicked stepmother persecutes her blameless stepson. In the nineteenth century, 345 variations of “Cinderella” were identified in cultures as diverse as China, India, Japan, and France. And the wicked stepmother persists today.[1]

The notion of the word stepmother being descriptive of an intrinsically unkind parent is suggested by peculiar wording in John Gamble’s “An Irish Wake” (1826). He writes of a woman soon to die, who instructs her successor to “be kind to my children.” Gamble writes that the injunction was forgotten and that she “proved a very step-mother.”[2]

The stepmother may be identified with other evils the characters meet. For instance, both the stepmother and the witch in Hansel and Gretel are deeply concerned with food, the stepmother to avoid hunger, the witch with her house built of food and her desire to eat the children, and when the children kill the witch and return home, their stepmother has mysteriously died.[3]

This hostility from the stepmother and tenderness from the true mother has been interpreted in varying ways. A psychological interpretation, by Bruno Bettelheim, describes it as “splitting” the actual mother in an ideal mother and a false mother that contains what the child dislikes in the actual mother. However, historically, many women died in childbirth, their husbands remarried, and the new stepmothers competed with the children of the first marriage for resources; the tales can be interpreted as factual conflicts from history. In some fairy tales, such as The Juniper Tree, the stepmother’s hostility is overtly the desire to secure the inheritance of her children.[4]

In these articles it is acknowledge that in a very few instances in literature throughout the ages do we find good stepmothers.  As a stepmother myself, I have told my stepchildren that I’m the wicked stepmother.  I’m sure at times they believe this to be true.  I think it’s just easier to get mad at a stepmother than with a natural mother.  Even the terms “stepmother” and “natural mother” seem definitive.  Wouldn’t it be kinder to call us stepmothers “second mothers?”  Perhaps it’s time to change our image!  Stepmothers of the world unite!!!

Anyhow, to show my sweet side, here are some recipes for more sweet treats.

Black Magic Pie

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Ingredients

* 42 Oreo cookies

* 2 tablespoons margarine; melted

* 1 quart chocolate ice cream

* 1 pint vanilla ice cream; melted

* 1/2 cup whipped topping

* chocolate fudge sauce

Method

Finely crush 22 cookies. Mix 1-1/4 cup crumbs and margarine; set aside remaining crumbs. Press onto bottom of 9″ pie plate. Stand 14 cookies around edge of plate, pressing lightly into crust. Scoop chocolate ice cream into balls; arrange in prepared crust. Coarsely chop remaining 6 cookies; sprinkle over ice cream scoops. Spread softened vanilla ice cream evenly over cookie layer; freeze 15 minutes. Top with a layer of reserved cookie crumbs, pressing gently into ice cream. Freeze several hours or overnight. To serve, garnish with whipped topping and chocolate sauce.

Brownie Bites With Magic Frosting

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3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2/3 cups (10-ounce package) REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips OR 1 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Premier White Chips, divided use 36 pecan halves (optional garnish)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Place about 40 foil baking cups (2-inches in diameter) on cookie sheets.

2. Stir together cocoa and oil in large bowl until smooth; stir in sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla; stir in flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Stir in 1 cup peanut butter chips, reserving remaining 2/3 cup for frosting. Drop mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into baking cups.

4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or just until set and small cracks appear on surface. Remove from oven; immediately place about 6 reserved peanut butter chips on center of each brownie.

Let stand several minutes to soften; swirl melted chips with knife or spatula.

5. Garnish with pecan half, if desired.

Makes about 3 dozen brownies.

Pear Witch Project Recipe

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A Halloween edible craft from Family Fun. However, we might do this on a snow day now.

By seesko

15 min | 15 min prep

SERVES 1

* 1 fresh green pear (makes 2 heads and noses)

* 2 raisins (eyes)

* chocolate chips (1 for wart)

* red apple (mouth)

* canned chocolate frosting

* ice cream, cone (hat)

* soft chocolate cookies, we used an Archway Dutch Cocoa Cookie (hat)

* carrot, and grater (hair)

1. Cut the pear in half lengthwise and remove the core (a parent’s job). Place one pear half on a plate as shown.

2. Slice a piece off the top of the pear, cutting away from the forehead at an angle. Shape that piece into a nose; carve a notch into the witch’s face to hold it, and set it in place.

3. Attach the eyes and wart by carving small circles in the face to hold them.

4. Cut a grin from the red apple.  Carve out an area on the face to hold the grin, and put it in place.

5. To make the hat, use frosting to glue the cone to the cookie. Let the frosting harden a bit, then place the hat on the head.

6. Grate lengths of carrot hair and tuck them underneath the hat.

7. Tip: If your child is too young to handle a knife, cut the nose and mouth and have him assemble the face with frosting.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 (317g)

Recipe makes 1 servings

Calories 99

Calories from Fat 1          (1%)

Amount Per Serving       %DV

Total Fat 0.2g     0%

Saturated Fat 0.0g           0%

Monounsaturated Fat 0.0g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0g

Trans Fat 0.0g

Cholesterol 0mg               0%

Sodium 1mg       0%

Potassium 205mg             5%

Total Carbohydrate 26.5g             8%

Dietary Fiber 5.2g             20%

Sugars 16.9g

Protein 0.7g        1%

Vitamin A 38mcg              0%

Vitamin B6 0.0mg             2%

Vitamin B12 0.0mcg         0%

Vitamin C 6mg   11%

Vitamin E 0mcg                 2%

Calcium 15mg    1%

Iron 0mg              1%

Witches’ Hats Treats

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3 tablespoons Margarine; or butter

40 large Marshmallows; 10 ounce or 280 g

1/2 cup Peanut butter; 125 ml

6 cups Rice Krispies?; 1.5 liter

1-1/2 cups Semisweet chocolate chips; 375 ml

White decorator icing

Assorted candies

Melt margarine in large micro-wave safe bowl on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat with margarine. Cook on high 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth when stirred, stirring after 45 seconds. Stir in peanut butter. Immediately add cereal; mix lightly until well coated. Press into greased 9×13″pan. Cook chips in small micro-wave safe bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until smooth when stirred, stirring every minute. Spread melted chips on marshmallow and rice cereal mixture. Cool. Cut into tall triangles so that the treats look like witches’ hats. (You may want to leave a thin base along the bottom of the triangle to resemble the brim of a witch’s hat.)

Decorate with decorator icing and candies, if desired.

NOTES : In the picture for these hats they have outlined the hat and brim with white icing and then across the middle draw 2 lines with a little orange square to look like a buckle above the brim.

Recipe by:  The Daily Gleaner – October 97

Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #858 by “Linda G.” on Oct 21,

Servings: 24

Wicked Cupcakes

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From Food Network Kitchens

Recipe categories: Dairy, Buttermilk, Fruit, Coconut, Lemon,

Photo: Wicked Cupcakes Recipe

Rated 4 stars out of 5

Total Time: 2 hr 10 min

Prep 45 min

Inactive 1 hr 0 min

Cook 25 min

Yield: 12 cupcakes, 2 cups frosting

Level: Intermediate

Cupcakes:

1-1/2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup prune juice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 drop food coloring (green), optional

Chocolate wafer cookies

Licorice strips

Toasted coconut

Small candies

Special equipment: 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners

Directions

For the cupcakes:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees F.

Set liners in muffin cups.

Put the chocolate and prune juice in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave on low power, stirring occasionally, until completely melted.

Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and yolk with an electric hand mixer at high speed until slightly thick and lemon colored, about 3 minutes. Slowly add buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until thoroughly combined.

Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.

Divide the batter among muffin tins, filling them 1/2 of the way. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean and the tops spring back when pressed gently, about 25 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely.

For the frosting: Beat the butter, peanut butter, and cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and milk mixing until the frosting is smooth.

Add food coloring as desired. Refrigerate the frosting until firm.

To decorate the cakes:

For the witches hat, score a circle in the middle of a cupcake. Cut a deep cone-like shape with a knife held at an angle. Rotate the cupcake to complete the circle and remove the center. Repeat with all the cupcakes. Generously scoop or pipe enough frosting into the center of each cupcake to fill the hole and to come over the cake to make a face.

Top with a chocolate wafer cookie. Put a dot of frosting in the middle of the wafer cookie and invert the cone shaped piece of cake on top to make a witches hat. Use skinny licorice, toasted coconut or cereal flakes for hair and candies for eyes and/or nose. Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes before serving.

Witch’s Hat Chocolate Cupcakes

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3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups water

ORANGE CREAM FILLING (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2 1/2-inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl on high speed of mixer 3 minutes.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add alternately with water to butter mixture, beating just until blended.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

Prepare ORANGE CREAM FILLING.

Cut 1 1/2-inch cone-shaped piece from center of each cupcake; reserve. Fill each cavity with scant tablespoon filling. Place reserved cake pieces on filling, pointed side up. Refrigerate before serving.

Makes 2  1/2 dozen cupcakes.

ORANGE CREAM FILLING:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 cup marshmallow creme

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice

Red and yellow food color (optional)

Beat butter in small bowl; gradually beat in marshmallow creme. Add powdered sugar, orange peel and vanilla, beating until blended.

Gradually add orange juice and food color, if desired, beating to desired

consistency. Makes about 1 1/3 cups filling.

Witch Hat Cake

==============

Five layers of round cakes support a pointed ice cream cone to make this Towering witch hat.

Witch Hat Cake

1 (18.25-ounce) package 2-layer white cake mix

Green or orange food coloring (optional)

8 inch wooden skewer

1 rolled sugar ice cream cone

2 (16-ounce) cans chocolate fudge frosting

Halloween candies and/or large yellow and white gumdrops

Grease and flour one 9 x 1 1/2-inch round baking pan and one 9 x 9 x 2-inch square baking pan.

Prepare cake mix according to package directions adding green or orange food coloring to batter, if desired. Bake according to package directions. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Trim tops of cakes as necessary to make even thickness. Cut a 5-inch circle,    3 1/2-inch circle, 2 1/2-inch circle, 2-inch circle from the square cake layer. Stuff some of the cake scraps into the ice cream cone to fill. Place a small amount of frosting in the middle of a cake plate.

Place the 9-inch round cake layer on frosting and press gently to secure (this helps hold cake in place while frosting). Place about 1/3 cup of the frosting in the center of cake layer and spread to a 5-inch circle. Place the 5-inch round of cake on top. Spread about 1/4 cup frosting in the center of this cake layer and top with the 3 1/2-inch round of cake. Spread more frosting and add the 2 1/2- and 2-inch cake rounds. Insert an 8-inch wooden skewer down through cake layers for added support. Attach the ice cream cone on top with additional frosting. Frost cake and ice cream cone with remaining frosting (see tip). Decorate as desired with Halloween candies and/or gumdrop moons and stars.

Makes 1 cake (12 servings).

Gumdrop Moons and Stars: Use a rolling pin to roll out gumdrops on sugar-coated waxed paper. Cut out moon and star shapes with hors d-oeurvre cutters. Dip cutters in sugar to prevent sticking.

To spread frosting more easily onto sides of cake: Fill a small resealable plastic bag with about 1 cup frosting. Snip off one corner and pipe frosting onto cake sides. Spread evenly.

ABRACADABRA Hats!

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They are super simple to make; just a can of Crescent rolls, some pizza sauce, a dash of herbs, a few  pepperoni and YUM!

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Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Posted on October 18, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Cheese, Cherries, Dairy, Desserts, Dinner/Supper, Ethnic Recipe, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, Menu, My Ramblings, Oranges, Pineapple, Recipes, Scottish Recipes, Shimi Atzaret Recipes, Shmini Atzaret, Side Dish, Simchat Torah, Simchot Torah Recipes, Soup, Sour Cream | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |



Did you know that Simchat Torah is actually a ceremony during Shemini Atzeret?  I didn’t, or at least I didn’t remember it.  Most people I know simply refer to the upcoming holiday as Simchat Torah.  Shemini Atzeret is a two-day holiday, beginning on October 21, 2011 (don’t forget, Jewish holidays are not celebrated on the same date on the Gregorian calendar as other non-Jewish holidays do) and ending on October 23, 2011.  We celebrate Simchat Torah immediately following the end of Succot.  The word “simcha” means “joy, celebration, rejoicing” in English.  So, on Simchat Torah, we are rejoicing over the Torah (the Five Books of Moses).  This is because on Simchat Torah we complete our reading of the Torah and we begin it all over again.

Many things happen in our celebration of the Torah, we eat, and eat, and eat.  We say Yizkor, which I explained in my Yom Kippur article.  We add a blessing for rain.  This is the only time that we give a Torah  an  aiiyah  (aliyah has two meanings,  1) a high honor; 2) immigrating to Israel.  In this case it means “a high honor”).  This is the only time that we have three Torahs out during a Torah service.  And this is the only time when we take all the Torahs out and we dance with the Torahs and sing joyous songs.  The children get a Jewish Flag on a stick and an apple and they parade around waving their flags and holding their apples.  It is a great celebration and a lot of fun.

The traditional dish of Shemini Atzeret is stuffed cabbage.  Although Paul loves it, you won’t find this dish in my house!  I can’t stand the smell of the cabbage cooking, let alone eat it…yuk!  But this is a menu  that I can live with and yes, I’ll post a recipe for stuffed cabbage also.

Shemini Atzeret Menu  With A Scottish Bent To It

Wine for Kiddish (blessing)

Challah (not a round one) for Hamotzi

Carrot Soup With Honey And Ginger*

Paula’s Mozzarella and Tomato Salad*

Scottish Baked Brown Trout*

Peas

Dairy Noodle Kugel*

Caledonian Cream*

Iced Cherry Cake*

Carrot Soup With Honey And Ginger Recipe

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This is a Scottish soup recipe.

Ingredients:

10 cups water

1-1/2 cups butter

3 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons grated ginger root

12 turns of freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoons sea salt

3 pounds carrots, peeled and shredded

Juice of 1/3 small lemon

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon quality honey

GARNISH:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chives

Directions:

Place a large Dutch oven on the stove with 10 cups of water. Bring water to a boil and keep it warm on the stove top.

In a separate stockpot, add butter and onions and cook over medium-high heat until the onions turn translucent. Add the ginger to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the shredded carrots to the stock pot and mix well to combine the ingredients. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon and pour in the honey. Stir the mixture well to blend.

Pour in the 10 cups of hot water and cook the soup on a gentle, rolling boil for 45 minutes. When the soup is cooked and the carrots are tender, transfer the soup into a food processor in batches and puree until smooth. Dish the soup out into individual serving bowls and add a little cream to each bowl, running it through with a butter knife or spatula. Garnish with the chives.

Yield: 10 servings

Graphic Source:  Acclaim Clipart

Paula’s Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Recipe courtesy Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide, Simon & Schuster, 2000

 

Total Time:  10 min

Prep:  10 min

Yield:  4 servings

Level:  Easy

 

Ingredients

 

2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 fresh basil leaves

 

 

 

Directions

Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter or individual salad plates, overlapping the slices and fanning them out like a deck of cards.

Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Drizzle with the oil.

Garnish with the basil: Cut it into very thin slices or tear into bits and sprinkle on top or leave the leaves whole and tuck them here and there between the mozzarella and tomato slices. Serve immediately.

Scottish Baked Brown Trout

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“Trout, freshly caught from the river, is a dependable dish to have in Scottish restaurants, especially in the Highlands. In this recipe the fish cooks in its own juices, with baking foil keeping it moist. Quantities below are for four people.”

Ingredients:

Four half pound (250g) trout

4 tablespoons dry vermouth

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 sprigs of fresh herbs (dill, fennel, chives or parsley)

1 lemon

Method:

Pre-heat oven at 450F (230C or Gas Mark 8).

Clean the trout if required, remove the scales and fins and wipe with kitchen paper. Season the inside of the trout with salt and pepper and insert the herbs.

Cut four pieces of kitchen foil into oval shapes which are long enough to take the fish plus an extra 3″ (7cm) foil. Brush the foil with olive oil and place each trout in the centre. Brush the outside of the fish with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pour a tablespoon of vermouth over each fish.

Pull the foil up to make a boat shape for the fish and pleat over the top to totally enclose the fish, making sure it is pinched together. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 450F (230C or Gas Mark 8) for 8 to 10 minutes. The time will vary, depending on how plump the fish are. Check by opening up foil and examining the flesh at the thickest part. There should be no opaqueness or pinkness. The fish can be served in the foil with fresh vegetables.

SOFTA’S DISCLAIMER:  This photo is not a photo of this recipe.  It is a Photo I found on the internet that looks similar.

 

  

Dairy Noodle Kugel

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Ingredients:

8 ounces fine egg noodles

1/4 pound butter, melted

4 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup sugar

16 ounces cottage cheese

16 ounces sour cream

1 can crushed pineapple

Topping

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed

Cinnamon and sugar to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 330 degrees F.

Cook noodles and drain.

Beat eggs and sugar until light. Add melted butter and vanilla. Add cottage cheese and sour cream. Add noodles and mix well.

Put in greased 9×13 pan. Mix crushed graham crackers with sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.

Photo Source:  All-Free Download.com

Caledonian Cream

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Here is a refreshing dessert which uses marmalade which is a popular ingredient in Scottish cooking since its invention in Dundee in 1797.

Ingredients for the cream:

4 ounces cream cheese (about half a cup)

4 fluid ounces double cream (about half a cup)

1 tablespoon marmalade (thick, bitter marmalade is

suggested but use what you have on hand)

2 tablespoons brandy or rum

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Sugar to taste

Ingredients for base:

4 oranges, segmented and the pith removed

Method:

Blend all the ingredients for the cream in a liquidizer  till smooth.  (SOFTA123’S NOTE:  what the Scottish people call a liquidizer is what we Americans call a blender.)

Place the oranges in four long-stemmed glasses and, if you want, add a teaspoon of brandy (or rum) to these. Add the cream on top.

Garnish with some orange zest (boil for a few minutes in water to  reduce the bitterness).

Serve chilled.

Servings: 4

Iced Cherry Cake

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Cherry cake, with icing on top, is one of the mainstays of Scottish home baking  tearooms.

Ingredients:

8 ounces (250g/One and a quarter cups in North America) self-raising flour

(all-purpose flour with baking powder)

8 ounces (250g/one cup) margarine

8 ounces (250g/one and a quarter cups) caster sugar (fine granulated sugar)

4 eggs (medium)

8 ounces (250g/one cup) glacé cherries

8 ounces (250g/one and a quarter cups) icing sugar (frosting)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 (or slightly higher if not an electric fan assisted oven) and line a baking tray (8″ x 12″ x 1½” or 20cm x 30cm x 5cm) with parchment paper.

Wash, dry and chop up the cherries to remove the glacé coating (but retaining some as quarter  cherries to decorate the top later).  If you coat them in some flour it will stop them sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Cream the margarine and sugar together thoroughly until light and fluffy (to help the cake rise with the trapped air). Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

Stir in the flour and then add the cherries. Spread evenly into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin.

Add a little water at a time to the icing sugar (frosting) until it has a consistency which coats the back of a metal spoon without running off.

Remove the cake from the tin and spread the icing sugar evenly on top.

Decorate with quartered cherries.

SOFTA123’S NOTE:  The next recipe, the recipe for stuffed cabbage, does not go along with the above menu as the stuffed cabbage recipe is for a meat meal and the menu is for a dairy meal.

Holishkes (Stuffed Cabbage)

===========================

By Sharon Lebewohl and Rena Bulkin

The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook

The Second Avenue Deli

Recipe Reviews (43)

User rating 88 % would make it again

Main ingredients: Cabbage, Vegetable, Citrus, Onion, Egg, Rice, Garlic, Tomato

Cuisine – Jewish

Dietary considerations – Kosher

Yield: Makes 7 pieces

Ingredients:

Stuffing:

1-1/2 pounds chopmeat (SOFTA123’S NOTE: ground beef, ground veal or ground turkey is fine to use in this recipe.)

3/4 cup uncooked white rice

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Sauce:

2 cups plain tomato sauce

1-1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 orange, chopped with peel into 1/2-inch pieces; remove pits

2/3 lemon, chopped with peel into 1/2-inch pieces; remove pits

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 large lightweight young green cabbage

1 medium green cabbage. You’ll need 4 cups (if you don’t have enough, supplement with leftovers from the large cabbage).

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine all the stuffing ingredients. Stir them with a fork, then mix thoroughly with your hands. Cover and refrigerate.

In another bowl, thoroughly mix all sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Fill a very large stockpot three-quarters full with water and bring to a rapid boil. While bringing the water to a boil, use a thin, sharp knife to make deep cuts around the core of the large cabbage (cut into the cabbage in a circle about 1/4 inch out from the core). Lift out the core, making a hole about 2 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches deep. This is a bit difficult — persevere.

Set out a baking tray neat the stove. Stick a long cooking fork into the core hole of the large cabbage, and plunge it (carefully, so you don’t splash yourself) into the pot of rapidly boiling water. The outer leaves will begin to fall off. Leave them in the boiling water for a few minutes until they’re limp and flexible enough for stuffing; then take them out one at a time, and place them on the baking tray. Try not to tear the leaves. When all the leaves are on the tray, transfer it into the sink and pour the boiling water from the pot over them. Wash the leaves carefully in cold water. With a small, sharp knife, trim off the tough outer spines and discard them.

Find your largest leaves, and set them out on a plate. Set out all other leaves on another plate. One at a time, line each large leaf with another large leaf or two smaller leaves. (The idea is to strengthen your cabbage wrapping so that the stuffing stays securely inside during cooking. Be sure to align the spines of inner and outer leaves.) Stuff with 3/4 cup of the meat-rice mixture, roll very tightly along the spine, and close both sides by tucking them in with your fingers. The spine should be vertical in the center of tour roll.

Stir the 4 cups of chopped cabbage into the sauce. Pour 3/4 inch of the sauce into a large, wide-bottomed stockpot. Arrange the cabbage rolls carefully on top of the sauce, and pour the remainder of the sauce over them to cover. Cover pot and simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes and a vegetable.

Paul and I wish everyone at Gut Yom Tov!


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HALLOWEEN FUN #3

Posted on October 16, 2011. Filed under: Appetizers, Cakes, Cheese, Cherries, Chocolate, Comfort Foods, Dairy, Desserts, Fondue, Freebie, Giveaways, Halloween, Halloween Pizza, Menu, Party Ideas, Pizza, Recipes, Snacks, Special Occasion Cake | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Before I begin today’s article on Halloween, I want to take a few minutes to let you know about the new links I have posted under my blogroll.  I know you will like them!

Jereme’s Kitchen –  This is a great site for recipes written with a great sense of humor.  If you like to laugh, this is the site to go to, hands down!

Savory Simple – This website has some gorgeous photos and same wonderful autumn recipes.  What I like most is her cooking lessons such as Salad 101.  This site you definitely want to visit!

Hungry Happenings – This is the definitive site in cooking creativity.  Do not miss it! I may get lost in it, there is so many of Beth’s creations that I want to try out!  Check out her Black Cat Cheese Ball recipe in this post!

Today we are going to concentrate on our menu.  My give away for today is a printable copy of the menu that you see pictured here.  You can put it in a frame, cut it out, glue it to cardboard and make an easel back on the cardboard or reduce the size and put several around the table and/or the house.  Here is the link for the original that I made as an 8×8” graphic:  http://www.4shared.com/photo/RRsHnwXw/Menu_1.html

And here are all the recipes for you.  Hope you enjoy!

APPETIZERS

Better make at least two batches of this pizza recipe!

 

Candy Corn By The Slice

=======================

YIELD Makes 8 slices

INGREDIENTS

1 package (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust dough

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

1/3 cup pizza sauce

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spray 13-inch round pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Fit pizza dough into pan, shaping as needed. Sprinkle mozzarella in 4-inch circle in center of pizza dough.

Using 1 cup cheese, sprinkle 3-inch ring of Cheddar around center circle; spoon pizza sauce over Cheddar cheese. Create 1-1/2-inch border around edge of pizza with remaining 1 cup Cheddar cheese.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edge is lightly browned and cheese is melted and bubbling. Cut into wedges.

Black Cat Cheese Ball

Black Cat Cheese Ball

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Serves 12-18

Ingredients:

8 oz. softened cream cheese, divided

4 oz. shredded Havarti cheese

4 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese

3 roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry and seeds removed

1 small clove of garlic, minced

2 oz. blue corn tortilla chips

1 black olive

Crackers

Special Equipment Needed:

Food processor

Plastic wrap

Disposable pastry bag or heavy duty zip top bag

Instructions:

In food processor, combine 7 oz. cream cheese, Havarti cheese, Gruyere cheese, roasted red peppers, and garlic. Pulse until creamy and smooth. You will need 1 heaping teaspoon of this cheese for the cat’s nose.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Place the remaining cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to mold the cheese mixture into a flattened ball.

Reserve two whole blue corn tortilla chips for the cat’s ears. Place remaining chips in the cleaned food processor bowl and pulse to fine crumbs. Pour onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Set cheese ball round size down on crumbs. Use the plastic wrap to press the crumbs all over the surface of the cheese ball. Set cheese ball on a serving platter.

Put remaining 1 oz. cream cheese into pastry bag or zip top bag. Snip off the tip of the bag. Pipe three whiskers onto cat’s face. Remove the reserved cheese mixture from the refrigerator and mold it into a triangular shape for the nose; place in the middle of the cat’s face, on top of the middle of the whiskers.

To create the eyes I suggest you scoop out the crushed tortilla chips and a bit of the cheese ball in two circles above the nose. Pipe cream cheese into these holes. Smooth it out into a nice circle. Cut olive in half and lay on top of the eyes for pupils.

Press the two reserved blue corn tortilla chips into top of head for ears.

Refrigerate until needed. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving with crackers.

I'd serve this in plastic pumpkins!

Critter Munch

=============

1-1/2 cups animal cracker cookies

1/2 (6-ounce) package cheddar or any flavor goldfish crackers (1 1/2 cup)

1 cup dried tart cherries

1 cup plain candy-coated chocolate pieces

1 cup honey roasted peanuts

Put animal crackers, goldfish crackers, dried cherries, M & Ms and peanuts in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature.

Makes 6 cups.

BEVERAGES

Leave it to Martha Stewart and her crew to design this spooky Halloween drink!


Pina Ghoulada

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“A frothy drink is tempting enough, but one served in a red-rimmed glass is  Particularly enticing to monsters who drink blood. Corn syrup with food coloring tinges the classic pina colada with a devilish sweetness. Dip the rim of each glass into the red mixture, spinning slowly to coat. Turn glasses upright; the red liquid will drip slightly, then set. Pour drinks, and serve.

Drinkers’ lips may be stained pink, much like those of a sated vampire.”


Martha Stewart Living Special Issues, 2000

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

FOR THE “BLOOD”

3 tablespoons corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

FOR THE DRINK

20 ounces pineapple juice

1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup orange juice

10 ounces good-quality rum


Directions

Pour the corn syrup in a shallow bowl. Dip a toothpick into the food coloring, and stir a very small amount into the syrup to combine. Hold a glass by the stem, dip rim into the syrup mixture, and turn glass, coating entire rim. Turn the glass upright, allowing mixture to drip down sides. Dip the remaining glasses. Set aside.

Whisk together drink ingredients. Place 2 1/2 cups ice in a blender, and add 1 cup drink mixture. Blend until smooth; add more pineapple juice if mixture is too thick. Repeat with remaining ice and mixture. Carefully pour into prepared glasses; serve.

SOURCE:  Martha Stewart.com

A Exclusive Drink for Adult Ghosts Only!



GHOSTINIS

=========

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup SMALL Ice Cubes OR Shaved Ice

1/2 cup Vanilla Vodka

1/2 cup Whipping Cream

1/4 cup White Chocolate-Flavored Liqueur

1/4 cup Hazelnut-Flavored Liqueur

Directions:

Place ice in martini shaker or pitcher.

Add remaining ingredients; shake OR stir until blended.

Pour into 4 (3-oz.) CHILLED STEMMED Glasses, STRAINING OUT ICE.

MAKE AHEAD TIP:  For a party, quadruple this dessert drink recipe and refrigerate in a pitcher until ready to serve.  Chill the glasses in the freezer.

Nutritional Information:  Per Serving

Serving Size:   about 1/2 cup

Calories  350

Total Fat  11 g (Saturated Fat 7 g)

Sodium  11 mg

Total Carbohydrates  31 g (Dietary Fiber 1 g)

Protein  1 g

Exchanges:  2 Other Carbohydrates, 2 Fat

Carbohydrate Choices:  2

Source:  Pillsbury’s Easy Halloween Treats, Cupcakes & More Cookbook 2011.


Servings: 4

I think the non-alcoholic crowd would love this drink! I know I would!



CANDY CORN SMOOTHIES

====================

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pint (2 cups) Coconut Sorbet; slightly softened

6  tbsps. Milk

1 pint (2 cups) Orange Sherbet; slightly softened

1 pint (2 cups) Lemon Sorbet; slightly softened

4 drops Yellow Food Color

Candy Corn; if desired

1.  In blender, place coconut sorbet and 2 tbsps. of the milk.  COVER; blend on HIGH speed 30-60 seconds OR until smooth.  Divide evenly among 8 glasses.  PLACE GLASSES IN FREEZER.

2.  RINSE blender.  In blender, place orange sherbet and 2 tbsps. milk. COVER; blend on HIGH speed 30-60 seconds OR until smooth.  Pour over coconut mixture in glasses, dividing evenly.  RETURN GLASSES TO FREEZER.

3.  RINSE blender.  In blender, place lemon sorbet, yellow food color and remaining 2 tbsps. milk.  COVER; blend on HIGH speed 30-60 seconds OR until smooth.  Pour over orange mixture in glasses, dividing evenly.

Garnish with candy corn.

SERVE OR FREEZE UNTIL SERVING TIME.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  Per Serving

Calories  189

Total Fat  4.5 g (Saturated Fat 3.5 g)

Sodium  51 mg

Total Carbohydrates  36 g (Dietary Fiber 0.5 g)

Protein  1 g

EXCHANGES:  2 Other Carbohydrates, 1/2 Fat

CARBOHYDRATE CHOICES:  2

Source:  Pillsbury’s Easy Halloween Treats, Cupcakes & More Cookbook 2011.

Servings: 8

DESSERTS

Fondues always help parties be more fun!

GHOSTS AT THE WATERING HOLE

===========================

YIELD:   Makes about 2 cups (12 servings)

INGREDIENTS

1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips

1/2 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon butter

Pinch salt

Marshmallows

PREPARATION:

Combine chocolate chips, cream, corn syrup, butter and salt in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour into fondue pot; set over low heat. Place marshmallows in serving bowl. Serve with fondue forks for dipping.

Donuts – Purchased at Your Favorite Place For Donuts

A Cake That Befits All Elegant Ghostly Feasts

GHOST CAKE

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“For a perfect centerpiece at your next Halloween party, try making this cake. Guests will think it is more cute then scary with its decorative ghost on Top!”—Doree Tateoka, Salt Lake City, Utah

8 Servings

Prep: 3 hours Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Ingredients

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix

2 eggs

1-1/3 cups water

FROSTING:

3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon meringue powder

1 cup shortening

3 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

1 package (24 ounces) plain ready-to-use rolled fondant

Orange, black, red, brown and green paste food coloring

Additional clear vanilla extract

Directions

PREHEAT oven at 350° F.

GREASE AND FLOUR two 6″ round baking pans.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs and water; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour 2-1/4 cups batter into each of two greased and floured 6-in. round baking pans (discard remaining batter). Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine the shortening, water and vanilla. Beat in sugar mixture (mixture will be stiff).

Using a serrated knife, level tops of cakes.

Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread 1-1/2 cups frosting over top and sides of cake.

Cut fondant block in half lengthwise so that one half is slightly larger than the other. Tint the larger half orange; set aside a small amount of orange fondant for pumpkins. Cover fondant with plastic wrap when not in use.

On a clean work surface, roll out remaining orange fondant into a 14-in. circle. Slide an icing knife between fondant and work surface to loosen; transfer to cake. Smooth top and sides of cake. Trim any overlapping fondant with a pizza cutter.

For ghost: Form a 2-1/4 in. tall cone from white fondant; attach to cake with additional vanilla. Roll a 1/2-in. cube of fondant into a 6-in. circle. Drape over cone. Tint a small amount of fondant black.

Form three small dots; attach to face of ghost.

For pumpkins, leaves and tendrils: Tint reserved orange fondant a darker shade of orange with red coloring. Using dark orange and/or white fondant, form five pumpkins; add imprint lines with a veining tool or toothpick.

For stems, tint a very small amount of white fondant brown. Shape into stems; attach to pumpkins using vanilla. Tint a 1-in. cube of white fondant green. Roll out; cut five leaves with a 1-1/4-in. leaf-shaped cookie cutter.

For tendrils, using a pizza cutter cut remaining portion into thin strips. Carefully wrap strips around toothpicks; set aside to dry.

To finish cake: Carefully remove tendrils from toothpicks and attach to pumpkins using vanilla. Attach pumpkins and leaves to cake.

Using shell pastry tip #18 and remaining frosting, pipe shell border along bottom edge of cake.

Yield: 8 servings.

Editor’s Note: Meringue powder and fondant are available from Wilton Industries. Call 1-800/794-5866 or visit http://www.wilton.com.

Nutrition Facts: 1 slice equals

920 calories, 34 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 48 mg cholesterol, 397 mg sodium, 148 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Source:   Taste of Home

CLIP ART “Ghost In A Cemetery” is from a great website called “Halloween Clipart.Com.”   Click on the graphic for a link to their website.  They said if I didn’t link back they would haunt me!  Ouch!

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CAKE OR PIE?

Posted on October 11, 2011. Filed under: Betty Crocker Recipe, Birthday Cake, Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts, MINT, My Ramblings, Recipes, Special Occasion Cake, Tried and True Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Cake or Pie?

Are you a cake or a pie lover?  For me it’s a hard choice as I like both, but if I had to choose, I would choose cake.  I especially love chocolate cake and chocolate fudge frosting.  I love the taste of chocolate and chocolate together.  But now I’m surprised that I said that because my favorite flavor combination is chocolate mint.  I love anything chocolate mint but then again I do love anything chocolate-chocolate.

The reason I chose cake over pie is that I really am not crazy about pie crusts; even graham cracker crusts just don’t do it for me.  But, I do love pie fillings, especially lemon meringue and apple.

The wonderful thing about cakes is the combinations for each type of cake seem endless.  I’m always finding new cake recipes on the net.  But let’s see how many types of cakes I can think of…

  1. Basic Yellow Cake
  2. Basic White Cake
  3. Basic Chocolate Cake
  4.  Sponge Cake
  5. Chiffon Cake
  6. Passover Yellow Cake
  7. Passover Chocolate Cake
  8. Passover Sponge Cake
  9. Passover Chiffon Cake
  10. Angel Food Cake
  11. Bundt Cake
  12. Pound Cake
  13. Coffee Cake
  14. Depression Cake
  15. Flourless Chocolate Cake
  16. Fruit Cake
  17. Hot Milk Cake
  18. Gingerbread
  19. Red Velvet Cake
  20. Cheesecake
  21. Cupcakes

Twenty-one varieties and that’s not with the sub-categories or variations on each type of cake!  That makes the mind boggle.  We have to remember that different countries have different types of cakes I haven’t listed here, and many I just don’t know about. And here I am, on a fast so I can have blood work done before I go to the doctor tomorrow.  I must be nuts!!!

I would do a cake a day recipe, but there are already so many blogs and websites with that theme, that I won’t bother.  I will post cake recipes from time to time though, when I came across one that sounds really good or one I hadn’t known about before.  Sometimes I’ll post one of my tried and true cake recipes.

Of all the cakes I’ve ever made (and I really don’t bake that much otherwise I’d put on way too much weight!!) my favorites are a chocolate mint layer cake, black forest torte (cake), Passover banana sponge cake, apple cake, spice cake and chocolate cherry cake.  What kind of cake(s) is your favorite kind?

Since cakes and pies is today’s theme, here is a recipe for my favorite cake:

Just wait till you try this awesome cake! It's the perfect cake!

Dark Chocolate Mint Cake

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1 package (18.5 ounce) Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix

1 package (7.2 ounce) Fluffy White Frosting Mix

1/4 teaspoon Peppermint Extract

Few drops Green Food Coloring

Chocolate Leaves

CHOCOLATE LEAVES:

1 dozen Clean, Pesticide-Free Leaves of various sizes & shapes

1 square (1 ounce) Semisweet Chocolate OR 1/4 cup Semisweet Chocolate Pieces WITH 1/2 teaspoon Butter

“A delightful combination of colors and flavors. Our darkest chocolate cake is swirled with a delicate mint-green frosting, then gloriously garnished with chocolate leaves.”

Bake cake in layer pans as directed on pkg. Cool.

Prepare frosting mix as directed on pkg. except–thoroughly blend in peppermint extract

and tint w/green food coloring. Fill and frost cake. Decorate with chocolate Leaves.

CHOCOLATE LEAVES:

Wash and dry 1 doz. leaves of various sizes & shapes.  Melt 1 sq. (1 oz.) Semisweet Chocolate OR 1/4 cup Semisweet Chocolate Pieces WITH 1/2 tsp. butter.

Paint chocolate onto backs of leaves, spreading chocolate about 1/8″ thick and just to edges. Freeze until very firm. Quickly peel off real leaves and arrange the chocolate leaves on cake.

This is my VERY favorite cake. It’s fast easy and delicious!  The recipe and photo come from Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook.  The first time I made this recipe was on July 23, 1976 for a Sigma Phi sorority meeting.  ~Marilyn aka Softa123

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YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 3

Posted on October 6, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Chairty, Chocolate Chip, Dairy, Desserts, Help, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Poverty, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


 

Tzedakkah is the last theme I will be talking about in relation to Yom Kippur.  Tzedakkah is a way to atonement.

Is there a difference between charity as most non-Jews see it and tzedakkah?  The Talmud tells us that charity is equal in importance to all the other mitzvoth (commandments of the Jewish law) combined. The Hebrew word “tzedakah” is commonly translated as “charity” or “tithe.” But this is misleading. “Charity” implies that your heart motivates you to go beyond the call of duty. “Tzedakah,” however, literally means “righteousness” — doing the right thing. A “tzaddik” is a righteous person, someone who fulfills all his obligations, whether in the mood or not.[1]  Please go to this link to read the entire article that the citation comes from.  It is an incredible article about true tzedakkah.  Here is the link and it also appears in the footnote:  http://judaism.about.com/library/3_askrabbi_o/bl_simmons_charitytzedakah.htm

Giving Tzedakkah

The most famous formulation of laws concerning the relationship of donor to recipient is Maimonides’ Eight Degrees of Charity.[2]

From the lowest to the highest level they are to give

  1. but sadly,
  2. less than is fitting, but in good humor,
  3. only after having been asked,
  4. before being asked,
  5. so that the donor doesn’t know who the recipient is,
  6. so that the recipient doesn’t know who the donor is,
  7. so that neither knows the identity of the other, and
  8. in a manner so that the recipient becomes self-sufficient, thus avoiding the loss of self-respect that may result from receiving the lower degrees of charity.

Tzedakkah is more than giving money to the poor. Done properly, tzedakkah requires the donor share his or her compassion and empathy along with the money. In the writings of Maimonides, “whoever gives tzedakkah to the poor with a sour expression and in a surly manner, even if he gives a thousand gold pieces, loses his merit. One should instead give cheerfully and joyfully, and emphasize with him in his sorrow” (Just Tzedakah 1998).[3]

Does this look familar?

In many Jewish homes you will see a puskah (tzedakkah box) like this one or an updated modern bank time of puskah.  My parents had one in their house that Mom would put into the cupboard.  I don’t know why she put there, but probably because it was special to her and she wanted to always know where it was.  She would put coins into it every Shabbot (Sabbath) whenever she could spare the money.  And if there was a sickness in the family or a friend was sick, she’d say, “put money into the puskah,” as if the action itself was a prayer to G-d to heal that person.  If there was something one of us wanted very badly like to pass an exam, she would say, “put money into the puskah.”  When I got married, I got my own puskah.  Both my grandmothers had puskahs in their homes.  Now both my step-children have puskahs in their homes.  Theirs are beautifully hand-made large boxes that were made by my step-son-in-law’s cousin when my step-children’s mother passed away.  We always took our boxes to my Aunt Hushie’s house as she knew just where to take them.  The donations went to plant trees in Israel.  As I grew older, I discovered that these boxes were for the JNF (Jewish National Fund).  Here is an excerpt of how JNF began:

“It was the fourth day of the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1901. The delegates had spent the day debating a proposal for the establishment of a national fund to purchase land in Ottoman Empire-controlled Palestine, as had been suggested at the first Congress four years earlier by mathematics professor Zvi Hermann Schapira. Although Schapira had died in the summer of 1898, the idea of a fund had won a large following. Yet three congresses had passed without any practical decision being taken. At times it seemed that the dream of a Jewish state was destined to remain just that–only a dream.  But Theodor Herzl, a Viennese journalist, was unwavering–it was time to take action, and he was determined that before the Congress came to an end, a national fund would be established.

Herzl stood before the delegates and delivered a passionate plea for the immediate establishment of the fund: “After striving for so many years to set up the fund, we do not want to disperse again without having done anything.”  His speech turned the delegates around, the motion passed and the congress resolved that a fund to be called Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael) (JNF-KKL) should be established, and that “the fund shall be the property of the Jewish people as a whole.” JNF’s first undertaking was the collection of £200,000.  One of the delegates immediately pledged £10 in memory of Zvi Hermann Schapira. Herzl made the second donation and his aide, the third. And with this, the dream of a national fund–to be used to build the foundations of a Jewish state–became a reality.

TURNING THE DREAM INTO REALITY

One month after the fund was established, Yona Krementzky was appointed to head JNF-KKL, headquartered in Jerusalem, and he set to work immediately.

Krementzky initiated the Golden Book, which records special moments in the lives of inscribers, or those they wish to honor, with paid inscriptions which to this day remain a coveted badge throughout the Jewish World.  These beautiful books are housed at JNF-KKL headquarters in Jerusalem for all to see. The very first inscription was that of Theodor Herzl.

Krementzky also began publishing JNF stamps, the proceeds of which went into the fund. These stamps were affixed to official Zionist documents as well as personal letters, and many people collected them. The first stamp was issued in 1902 and showed the Star of David and the name “Zion.”

Krementzky also adopted the suggestion of a small-town Galician bank clerk, Haim Kleinman, who had written to the Zionist movement’s newspaper Die Welt, proposing that a collection box be placed in every Jewish home so that contributions could be made to JNF at every opportunity. In the period between the two World Wars, about one million Blue Boxes could be found in Jewish homes throughout the world.”[4]  There is more to this story, so please check out the website.  The link is attached to footnote 4.

In conclusion, tzedakkah is monetary.  We are expressly obligated to provide for those less fortunate than we are.  So, fill up those tzedakkah boxes and donate anything you can whenever you can.  It is our obligation to cloth, feed, shelter and educate those that lack in one or more of these areas.  Volunteering is not tzedakkah, although it is a mitzvah.  So, we need to do both to the best of our abilities.

I am still looking for my niche in volunteering.  I am trying to find that niche and hopefully will find it before Yom Kippur.  I will keep you posted.  Now, for today’s coffee cake recipe.  Please note it does not have sour cream in it.

 

 

 

Chocolate Swirl Coffeecake

==========================

Serves/Makes: 8

Difficulty Level: 3

Ready In: 30-60 minutes

Ingredients:

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/4 cup chopped nuts

1/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons margarine or butter, divided

2 cups Bisquick baking mix

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.

Mix together coconut, nuts, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of the butter or margarine; reserved. In another bowl mix the baking mix, 1/4 cup sugar, the remaining butter or margarine, the egg and milk; beat vigorously 30 seconds.

Spread into prepared pan. Spoon melted chocolate over batter; lightly swirl batter several times for marbled effect. Sprinkle with reserved coconut mixture. Bake until light brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.


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YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 4

Posted on October 5, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Change, Comfort Foods, Dairy, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |


Personal Change is another theme of Yom Kippur…personal change and a return to values and  ideals that you know are right.  Are those two themes contradictory or are they the same?  Hmmm, I wonder.   I just read a great post about personal change and the High Holidays.  I am copying it right here with the express permission of the website and writer.  This is very generous and I hope you will go to their website to check it out.  The name of the website is Positive Articles and here is the link http://www.positivearticles.com .

The High Holy Days: A Time of Personal Change and Spiritual Return

 

 by Nina Amir

As the leaves on the trees begin to turn, local Jews, as well as Jews all over the world begin the process of t’shuvah, a Hebrew word meaning repentance which comes from the root “to turn or return.” For them, autumn ushers in the High Holy Days, during which they turn their attention away from the distractions of everyday life and toward God, away from outward denial of wrongdoing and toward acknowledgement of sins, away from unwanted behavior and toward repentance.  At this time of year, change is in the air for Jews all around the world.

The High Holy Days include Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Repentance.  Thus, this period marks the joyous beginning of a new year as well as a somber period of introspection. However, preparations for the “Days of Awe” – the period between Rosh Hashanah and the end of Yom Kippur, begin on September 8 with the observance of Selichot, a late evening or nighttime service involving the recitation of penitential prayers.  Many Jews take time both with their community and on their own to begin the process of evaluating their own behavior over the past year on this night, and then continue doing so until the last sound of the shofar, the ram’s horn traditionally blown on this holiday, at sundown on Yom Kippur.

Although some Jews observe Selichot for a full month prior to Rosh Hashanah, others begin their observance approximately a week before the start of this holiday. In either case, this religious observance might be likened to a “warm up” for the High Holidays, my old Rabbi Steven Bob of Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, once told me.  “Before you go running, you want to stretch a little bit. This is spiritual stretching.  The Selichot service introduces the theme and melodies of the High Holy Days while also stressing God’s royalty and our modest position.  We recognize that God is judging us, but…we don’t want justice, we want mercy,” said Bob.

Selichot marks the first time during the High Holidays that Jews hear the shofar blown. Much symbolism surrounds the blowing of the shofar, but it is most commonly seen as a wake-up call.  Likened to an alarm clock, the shofar says, “Wake up and take a look at the way you’ve been living, and do something about it.” Blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah represents a call to return to God. During the year, we tend to stray from the path or get distracted, and we have to come back, turn towards God once again.

At the conclusion of the Selichot service, Jews have a week to begin their self-assessment before Rosh Hashanah.  Although this holiday is a joyous one, it does mark the beginning of 10 days of introspection and repentance.  On Rosh Hashanah the liturgy speaks of people “being written in the Book of Life.”  If they sincerely repent for sins and rectify wrongs from the last year, on Yom Kippur their names are “sealed” in the Book.  If they do not, their names are erased. While this language can be seen as a liturgical poetic image, it serves to remind Jews that what we do counts whether it is well known or whether it is secret. With our deeds, we write on the pages of our own Book of Life.

The Book of Life also provides a beautiful metaphor that reminds us we are fragile and don’t know whether we will survive the year or not.  Should we not survive, it seems a good idea to atone before meeting God and facing whatever fate lies before us.

The stress on being written in the Book of Life also allows Jews to think about the fact that our fate is not sealed forever, that we have an active role in what the future may bring us. Judaism has a doctrine of fee will; thus, we not pawns that play out Divine Will.  The Yom Kippur liturgy stresses this fact, repeating over and over again that repentance, prayer and just actions can avert the severity of the decree.

Change YOUR Channel!

We don’t often think of change as easy.  It seems easier to stay the way we are and where we are.  Yet, change is inevitable and often forced upon us. At this time of year, the Jewish tradition doesn’t force us to change but asks us to change.  We are reminded of the necessity of change – change for the better.

We can see this as an obligation.  We can see it as an opportunity.

Either way, the Jewish New Year offers us a chance – for some of us a second chance in addition to the secular New Year – to look at ourselves, our relationships and our lives and to set new goals, to create new priorities and to make amends for the wrongs we might have consciously or unconsciously, purposefully or accidentally committed over the past 12 months. This, too, can be difficult – to honestly look at ourselves and our deeds.  If we are willing to do the work, however, the period from Selichot to Yom Kippur provides a chance for t’shuvah, to turn towards what we want in our selves, in our lives and in the world, to return to our best selves. It’s a time to write our life for the coming year, to envision the year as we would like it to be and ourselves as we would like to become. And then when we hear the shofar blown in those last moments of Yom Kippur, we know that change has descended upon us. Or, more accurately, we have brought change upon ourselves

Nina Amir, a writer, motivational speaker, workshop leader, and Kabbalistic conscious creation coach, teamed up with Karen Stone, a life and love coach, writer, speaker, and workshop leader to publish “Planting Seeds of Change…And Watching Them Grow.” They co-lead a 4-part Teleseminar Series based on their booklet. The next series begins on September 6th. To enroll, visit http://www.purespiritcreations.com.or call 408-353-1943 or 770-435-2030.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about changing my life and turning it back around.  I have decided that after the holidays I am going to make three changes in my life.  First, I am going to choose a charity project, then I will begin once more to get my house in order and I am going to return to better eating habits.  Possibly, I may even throw some exercise (YUK!) in!!!  I’m not making promises, but I am at least going to try to do these things.  If I fail, well, maybe someone will GENTLY help me get back on track.  I know I can’t go on living the way I have for the past three years.

So how does one change?   First you have to have a self improvement plan and a system for your personal development and growth. Then you need to take consistent and continuous action. When you know in which direction you want to go, you will work on yourself, do all that you can and do your best. This is self help. And you will change and grow.


  •       Identify what is in your control to change.
  •       Identify your options.
  •       Create a support system.
  •       Examine your attitude.
  •       Remain flexible.
  •       Give yourself a break.
  •       Strive to achieve balance and perspective.

Remember, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”~ Jim Rohn Quotes

The above quote is a good one.  If you think about that quote, it will make you remember that you can’t blame anyone for your life.   You’ve made your choices, so you have to blame yourself.  For example, you are really upset with your boyfriend today so YOU decide to splurge on a pint of ice cream, you cannot blame the “fall off the wagon” on him.  It was YOUR decision to “fall off the wagon, not his. And ok, so you “fell off the wagon” today.  Don’t punish yourself, just get back on that wagon and take it day-by-day.  Soon your preferred behavior will become habit and you will make the changes that you want to make.

If you want to make lifestyle changes that last, you must be open to changing it up and not necessarily reusing the same tired plan of attack. Be open to new approaches and to the idea that you might not get to the finish line in the exact way you are currently imagining. In fact, it might even be easier and more fun than you are planning on.

A good example of changing a life style and making it last is when I tried to quit smoking.  I had tried going cold turkey, I tried acupuncture and I tried cutting back.  None of these methods worked for me.  Then one day my Dad said that he would buy me a computer if I quit smoking within a month.  My husband said he would sweeten the deal and buy the printer.  I wanted that computer very badly!  So my husband suggested that I use the filter method to quit smoking.  I did and I had, as the directions suggested, a quitting partner.  The bribery and the filters worked!  To maintain the habit of NOT smoking, my Dad said that if I reverted to smoking, the computer would be his!  To this day, I have been smoke free…that was almost 15 years ago now.  Do I crave cigarettes still?  Yes, but I remember how hard it was to give up the habit so I try not to think about it.  Also, I’m still afraid someone will take my computer away, and I’m hooked on the computer habit!  Good luck on whatever you choose to do to make a positive change this year!  Let me know how you are doing, I’ll be very interested in hearing your stories, success stories, I hope!

Today’s sour cream cake recipe:

Cinnamon Crumb Cake

Cinnamon Crumb Cake

===================

If you like crumb topping as much as cake, this recipe’s for you. A thick layer of cinnamon-spiced crumb topping sits atop coffee cake that starts with a cake mix.

Makes 24 servings.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into chunks
1 package (18 1/4 ounce) white cake mix
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, sugars and cinnamon in large bowl.  Cut in cold butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

2. Beat cake mix, egg, sour cream, melted butter and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or just until mixed.

3. Spread evenly in greased and floured 13×9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with topping mixture.

4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan.

Cool on wire rack. Cut into squares to serve.

Tips

To make a Blueberry Crumb Cake: Prepare topping and batter as directed. Spread batter in baking pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup blueberries, then the topping mixture. Bake 45 minutes.

NUTRITION INFORMATION – per serving

Calories: 265

Fat: 13 g

Carbohydrates: 34 g

Cholesterol: 41 mg

Sodium: 226 mg

Fiber: 1 g

Protein: 3 g

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YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 5

Posted on October 4, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Cherries, Dairy, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Family, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Recipes, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


The theme running through Yom Kippur that I like the best is remembering and honoring our ancestors.  In our busy daily lives, we often don’t take the time to remember those we cherish who are no longer with us.  We don’t take the time to remember those past generations that we might not have had a personal recollection of but who are a factor in who we are.

Yizkor-Remember

In Judaism, a memorial service, called Yizkor (meaning “remember”), is recited as part of the prayer service four times during the year. This is based on the Jewish belief in the eternity of the soul. Although a soul can no longer do good deeds after death, it can gain merit through the charity and good deeds of the living.[1]  It is a proven fact that more people attend services on Yom Kippur Day than any other time of the year because Yizkor is said on Yom Kippur.  In the synagogues, not only do we pick up a prayer book and a Chumash  (Jewish scriptures are sometimes bound in a form that corresponds to the division into weekly readings (called parshiyot in Hebrew). Scriptures bound in this way are generally referred to as a Chumash.), but we also pick up a pamphlet that gives the names of the congregation’s deceased and a form to fill out for charity.

In many, if not all, the synagogues, you will find a large plaque with the names of deceased loved ones of the congregation and next to it will be a lit light bulb, and in our homes we light a Yahrzeit (memorial) candle or plug in one of the more modern Yahrzeit lamps that is left on from Erev Yom Kippur (the night before Yom Kippur Day) until we end our fast on Yom Kippur at sundown.  We do this in honor of our beloved ancestors, especially for a parent, a grandparent or a child as we believe that the candle flame symbolizes the human soul.  We only light one candle that includes everyone.

History is of the utmost importance in Judaism. Whereas the sacred texts of most ancient religions focus on myths and philosophical concepts, the Jewish Bible is centered on historical narrative; and most Jewish holidays are intended to connect modern Jews with their historical ancestors and traditions.  We see this most acutely on Yom Kippur when we remember our own recent history.

We remember our ancestors during the year in others ways too.  If there is a birth, the baby is named after a deceased relative.  We do this because people believed that if they would not name their children after their ancestors, their heritage would be forgotten. Naming children for the grandparents (which is normal but a baby can be named for any deceased ancestor) fosters a sense of continuity and purpose.

At Passover we recall our ancestor’s Exodus from Egypt and their journey to the Promised land.  As children we are told bible stories which tell the history of our people.  Each time the Torah is read, we remember those of biblical times that came before us.

But the best way to remember and honor our ancestors is to practice charity in whatever way we are able to.  We should strive to be the best person we can be so we can live up to their expectations of us.  We may fail, but if we at least try, that is a mitzvah (a good deed).

So, this year, as you sit around the table at your break fast, tell family stories, remember and pass those stories down to the next generation and remind your own generation of stories that may link them to you whether you know it or not.

This year, I will take the time to remember my beloved father, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles who are no longer with us.  I will remember my cousin, Roger, who died way too young, and I will remember my best friend, Beverly Clark.  I will remember my friends Sam & Florence Vyner, Elaine Rubin, Sam Goldstein and Florence Epstein.  I will remember those that died during the Holocaust at the hands of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.  I will remember those martyrs that died because they were Jewish.  I will remember those who have fought to protect our freedom and our country in all the wars that we have been involved in.  I will remember those who died on September 11, 2001. May they all rest in peace.  Amen.

To help sweeten the remembrance of these special people, I offer you this sour cream cake recipe:

Sour Cream and Cherry Coffee Cake

Sour Cream & Cherry Coffee Cake

===============================

1 – 18 oz package white cake mix

1 – 8 oz container sour cream

3 – eggs

1/4 – cup water

1 – 21 oz can Lucky Leaf cherry pie filling

1/4 – cup sliced almonds, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a jelly-roll pan or 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Mix together the sour cream, eggs and water. Combine with the cake mix. Spread mixture into a greased baking dish and drop the pie filling over the batter in spoonfuls. Make sure to swirl the pie filling throughout the batter. If not the pie filling will settle in the middle.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Test with toothpick for doneness. Cool in pan and drizzle with a simple icing if desired.

Simple Icing

1 ½ – cups powdered sugar

2 – tablespoons milk

½ – teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over coffee cake and garnish with sliced almonds.

 

 

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YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 6

Posted on October 3, 2011. Filed under: Autumn, Cakes, Dairy, Desserts, Jewish, My Ramblings, Poetry, Recipes, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Remember!

Remembering our past is another theme of Yom Kippur.  I don’t know about you, but I have trouble remembering what happened yesterday!   Ok, so I shouldn’t make light of this.  Yes, I can remember the past, but mostly in feelings about a specific event tied to that time, whether it is a year or a decade.  But it’s not only years and/or decades etc.  that we are asked to remember on Yom Kippur.  We are commanded to remember the times we hurt someone or misspoke.  We are commanded to remember the times that we created difficulties.  The reason for our remembering these things is so we can truly repent because it is only after we remember our past acts that we know what it is we need to change. And by remembering what it is we are supposed to do, we can grow. Memory is what allows us to do teshuvah (repentance).

Remembering in the context of Yom Kippur also means remembering those times we were hurt by someone or we were someone’s victim.  Without remembering these times, even though the feelings of those times may still hurt, we cannot practice forgiveness.  Are we supposed to forgive a Hilter, an Idi Amin or an Osama Bin Laden?  I don’t think so.  Their crimes were too evil to even contemplate forgiveness on a human scale.  Their crimes are against all of humanity and G-d, thus I think their forgiveness must come from G-d.  But we should remember their crimes and evil and we must never let anyone forget them.  To do so would be to forget our martyrs.  That, to me,  would be a sin!

Remember to share your memories!

 Figure 1 Remembering Our Lives

Remembering our lives is very important and is probably one of the most important things we are to do in our lives.  It most probably is what G-d intended the gift of memory to be.  The High Holidays are a “time for remembering the all of our lives—where we have been in order to set the course for the future. This is a time for remembering your life, your own story. We have engaged much with stories over this past year, our own personal narratives and experiences. We shared them around tables, over food. And we did so with the goal of building connections among each other. That by sharing our stories we will come to understand that we all have stories to tell, that they are uniquely ours, that they are no more valid or correct than anyone else’s story, and that among our narratives there may be common themes or situations, challenges and emotions.”[1]

Some suggestions for remembering your life and for sharing those memories are:

  1. Keep a personal journal or diary.
  2. Make a regular or digital scrapbook.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Make a family tree.

If you don’t have someone to leave these gifts with, inquire at your local historical society, genealogy society and libraries to see if you can leave it to them for posterity.  If you have more than one person who would like a copy, make photo copies for each person, but leave the original with someone.  Encourage your children and grandchildren to start their own now so they will have a love of these arts and will remember their whole lives.  As we say, “from generation-to-generation…”

Here is a beautiful poem about remembering that I came across on the Internet at Poemhunter.com.

Write things down to help you remember!

Remember This

By Kat Mercado

Remember where you came from.

Remember you name.

Remember where you have been.

Remember whom you have encountered.

Remember whom you have known,

Remember joyous moments.

Remember sorrows too.

Remember the choices you’ve chose,

Remember the mistakes you’ve made.

Remember all the lessons.

Remember the lessons you forgot.

Remember your Father.

Remember Mother.

Remember your Mentor.

Remember to remember.

Remember gratitude.

Remember to be humble.

Remember your heart.

Remember always to love.

Remember This

And now, today’s sour cream cake recipe!

 

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake

 

SOUR CREAM PUMPKIN BUNDT CAKE

=============================

A surprise filling of brown sugar streusel makes this pumpkin-flavored cake a special treat. Save a bit of icing for drizzling over each serving of this wonderful cake!

STREUSEL:

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons butter

COMBINE brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice in small bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.

CAKE:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

4 large eggs

1 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

1 container (8 oz.) sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.

COMBINE flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat granulated sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla extract; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

TO ASSEMBLE: SPOON half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle Streusel over batter, not allowing Streusel to touch sides of pan. Top with remaining batter.

Make sure batter layer touches edges of pan.

BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with Glaze.

GLAZE:

COMBINE 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice or milk in small bowl; stir until smooth.

Estimated Times:

Preparation – 12 minutes; Cooking – 55 minutes.

Yields 12 to 16 servings.


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YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 7

Posted on October 2, 2011. Filed under: Bananas, Cakes, Dairy, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Recipes, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


A theme that is central to Yom Kippur is forgiveness.  I think this is one of the most difficult themes we have to deal with throughout the High Holidays as well as throughout our lives.  “Forgiveness” is defined as :

1. The act of forgiving or the state of being forgiven[1]

2. willingness to forgive[2]

A Mothers Kisses by Jared Kendall

A Mother’s Kisses by Jared Kendall

(God) pardons like a mother who kisses away the repentant tears of her child —Henry Ward Beecher

“The overarching theme of Yom Kippur is repentance. During the holiday all thoughts are supposed to be centered on this theme. From Kol Nidrei to the repeated Viddui to Neilah, the day revolves around the theme of communal repentance for sins committed during the past year, in order that both the community and the individual be inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year.”[3]

“There are two distinct relationships in Judaism: person to person and person to God. To atone for deeds committed against another person, Jewish tradition teaches, you must confront that person directly and apologize. Yom Kippur will address the impact that deed had on your relationship with God, but without the personal apology, the deed remains uncorrected. This element of the day often leads to difficult self-assessments and personal accountability for the choices made in the previous year.”[4]

I find it very easy to ask G-d for forgiveness, but I am not sure he forgives me or not.  Some years I really wonder.  I also am not confident at this point that I know how to truly ask him or anyone else for forgiveness and I’m not sure I know how to be truly repentant.  I wonder if it is the same feeling for the criminal who wants to repent his crime.  Perhaps he/she is truly wishing to repent but does not know how.  What does that person do and how does he/she approach G-d for forgiveness?

We are taught by the Rabbis that repentance is the prerequisite of atonement.  So, without repentance there is no forgiveness, but we are given chance upon chance upon chance to repent.  Every day we can repent, not only during the High Holy Days, and not only during Yom Kippur.

Rabbinic Jewish literature contains extensive discussions on the subject of repentance. Many rabbinic sources state that repentance is of paramount importance to the existence of this world, so that it was one of the seven provisions which G-d made before the Creation (Talmud Bavli, tractates Pesahim 54a; Nedarim 39b; Midrash Genesis Rabbah 1).”[5]

It is too bad that repentance doesn’t work with countries.  Perhaps, if it did, there would be fewer wars.  But, countries are made out of people, and it seems that the people in charge don’t want to repent or don’t think they need to repent.   Perhaps if they really cared and if they really understood the 10 Commandments and their religion’s version of the Bible, there wouldn’t be so many wars.  Taken on a purely personal basis, perhaps there would be fewer divorces and torn apart families.  And perhaps neighborhoods would be safer places to live in.

In Order To Repent You Need To Turn Your Behavior Around!

G-d saw the importance of forgiveness so why can’t we practice it more?  I know it hurts to admit to being wrong.  I know we would like to think of ourselves as perfection.  I know that it can be humiliating to ask for forgiveness.  But we need to try.  We need to focus on our actions not just on the words, “I am sorry.”  The core of a true apology is the recognition of injury or wrong-doing, and a genuine expression of repentance for it. You have to recognize and admit the wrong-doing; and you have to be genuinely sorry.  Let go of the wrongs, let go of the engrained patterns — forgive and be forgiven.
I have an idea.  Try to truly forgive one person this year.  That is a good starting place.  Then next year try to ask forgiveness from someone you have wronged.  To start off, I ask anyone whom I have offended in any way during the past 64 years of my life to please forgive me.  I will try harder this year to be a better person.  So, here, publicly, I forgive Bonnie Stoler, a girl who I went to grammar school with who was not very nice to me.  I am finally going to let go of my grudge against her.  Please, Bonnie, if you are reading this, and I hope you are, I forgive you.

To help sweeten my apology, I am offering this recipe:

Bananas Yummmm!

Banana-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

=============================

Yield: 1 (10-inch) coffee cake

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Stir together 1/4 cup sugar, pecans, and cinnamon; sprinkle half of mixture in a well-greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Set remaining mixture aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy;

gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.

Add banana, sour cream, and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; fold into butter mixture.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan; sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture. Top with remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool on wire rack.

Source:  Mrs. H.W. Walker, Richmond, Virginia, Southern Living OCTOBER 1997


[2] Ibid.

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YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 8

Posted on October 1, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Dairy, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Recipes, Rochester, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |


YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 8

Reflections

Figure 1 Winter Reflections by Josephine Wall

I hope everyone had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah! In reflecting on Yom Kippur I know it has always been the least favorite of my holidays. Why? Because I had to fast and I had to go to shul for a whole day and be bored and not at all where I wanted to be. My mind always wandered during services and until I was an adult I fled at sermon time. It wasn’t until Rabbi Shamai Kanter of Temple Beth El in Rochester, New York entered my life (I credit him with bringing me back to Judaism and giving me the knowledge that not all Rabbis are bad.) that I really listened to a sermon. But I had respect for him (and I had none for most of the Rabbis I had come into contact with in my lifetime). The first time I heard his sermon for Yom Kippur I couldn’t believe how cool this Rabbi was. He made me listen because his sermons always featured a movie he had seen. So year to year I would wonder what movie he would talk about this year and how would he tailor it to his theme. He never disappointed me! But, I mostly looked forward to going home, having a cigarette or two or lots more, and taking a nap before I would break my fast at 4:00 p.m. I would not fast any longer than that. And then, at 4:00 p.m. the holiday really began for me as I set up the trays and serving dishes with holiday delights so that my parents and their friends could have a pleasant break fast. I was very sad when my Mom decided that it wasn’t worth doing because no one every reciprocated and money was tight in our household. A few years later we would go over to the house of one of my parents new friends and join her wonderful break fasts.

When I got to college, I hosted my own break fasts if I couldn’t get home for the holidays. I was often the only Jew there, but I wanted to share my holidays with my friends. I continued this tradition when I got married. We would have a house-full of friends and family members and the attendees were 50% Jewish and & 50% Jewish. I would set out lots of goodies and everyone ate well. So, in remembering the pleasure I got from feeding everyone after fasting for however long they did, I don’t think I really minded Yom Kippur.

One of the themes of Yom Kippur is self-reflection. According to Wikipedia,

“Human self-reflection is the capacity of humans to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about their fundamental nature, purpose and essence. The earliest historical records demonstrate the great interest which humanity has had in itself. Human self-reflection invariably leads to inquiry into the human condition and the essence of humankind as a whole.”

I think that by keeping this blog, I do open myself to self-reflection. I try to be honest with myself and you, my readers. Therefore I sometimes open my eyes to things about myself I never really thought about or realized before. But, I didn’t realize that that was the role of Yom Kippur in the life of a Jew. I just assumed that it was all about self-denial and asking G-d to forgive us (as in me) for who knows what sins. Oh yes, I could enumerate on my sins while I was in temple. I could name them and ask forgiveness for them. But, they were not the deeper, most important truths and sins. I don’t think I ever really understood that it was only the sins against G-d that I was supposed to be asking for and via that mechanism, I might find a way to ask for forgiveness from fellow human beings whom I had wronged in one-way-or-another. It is very hard to ask for forgiveness, but we’ll cover that in another post. Now, as I am reading more, I am looking at Yom Kippur’s self-reflection in a different manner. I am looking at it as a journey to G-d and to me. I am going to begin a private journal for that purpose and I am going to look for just one way to make a difference in the world. Just one. If I can find that one thing, it is a start. I have decided that the one thing I will do this year is to do a volunteer project. I haven’t decided upon one yet, but this is something I just decided, so between now and the end of Yom Kippur, I will make a decision. I am not going to promise G-d this, just in case I fail in carrying this task out. I will not make a deal with G-d that “if you forgive me, I will do this,” as I don’t want to make light of his more important works. So, I will keep you abreast of my quest .

Now, for the big reveal of how I will commemorate this countdown, I have decided to include a sour cream cake recipe for each day of the Yom Kippur countdown and thought I would start the countdown recipes with this easy to make sour cream cake recipe:

We have the pan ready, now we need to pour the batter into it...

Sour Cream Bundt Cake
=====================
Submitted By: Sue Smith

Servings: 12

“This recipe is great for both yellow and chocolate flavored cakes! It makes a Light, fluffy, and SERIOUSLY moist cake.”

INGREDIENTS:

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1/8 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS:

Make the batter following the directions on the box, EXCEPT replace 2 teaspoons water with an equal amount of vanilla. Fold in sour cream.

Bake according to directions given for baking a Bundt cake. Cool on
rack, place on serving plate, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Nutrition Information Servings Per Recipe: 12

Calories: 234 Amount Per Serving Total Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 9mg Sodium: 293mg Amount Per Serving Total Carbs: 35.8g Dietary Fiber: 0.5g Protein: 2.5g

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