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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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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SUKKOT

Posted on October 13, 2011. Filed under: Brownies, Cheese, Cherries, Chocolate, Cookies, Cupcakes, Dairy, Desserts, Dinner/Supper, Ethnic Recipe, Family, Fish, Honey, Jello, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, Lemons, Menu, My Ramblings, Pears, Pineapple, Recipes, Sukkot, Sukkot Recipes, Traditions, Tried and True Recipe, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


The holiday of Sukkot begins on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei. Known in rabbinic literature as Ha-Chag–“the holiday”–the themes of Sukkot are clearly of high importance in Jewish theology.  Sadly, many Jews, including myself, really don’t celebrate it.  Perhaps we have a festive meal and perhaps we are lucky enough to be invited to eat dinner in a sukkah (open air booth) built by a friend or family member.  Or perhaps our synagogue has a communal meal to celebrate that we can take part in.  In part it is the fault of our school system here in the U.S.  In part it is the fault of today’s world.  And in part, it is the fault of our parents and/or of us.  We have to take so much time off for Rosh  Hashanah and Yom Kippur that we tell ourselves (and it is probably not far from the truth) that we will be fired if we take too much time off from our jobs, even if it is for religious reasons.  At one time employers may have been more sympathetic to our needs, but not any longer.  Our children are allowed to miss only so many days a year and here in the North that means we have to plan missed snow days.  Don’t forget that kids get sick, especially during the winter, as we adults also do.  Doctor appointments, dental appointments, “tummy ache” days, they all add up.  So how can we allow our children to take time off?  Even if we did insist they take the time off, how are they ever going to catch back up with the other kids, let alone bypass them in the race for college scholarships, let alone college admittance?  So our observance of Sukkot, the most beautiful of our holidays, and one of the most important of our holidays takes a back burner to the secular world and our secular lives.  I am glad to say that more and more people that I know do take the time to build their own personal sukkahs and take the time to celebrate.  Last year Paul and I were invited to our Cousin Susan’s sukkah along with many other people.  Susan is the hostess with the moistest and her sukkah and sukkah party were no exception.  This year we have been invited to our good friends’ The Sterns, sukkah for an intimate family dinner.  We are hoping that the weather will be with us so we can at least do the ceremonial part of the meal in the sukkah, if not have our entire meal out there beneath the stars.  I know in Kingston, my step-son-in-law and grandson are helping to build their synagogue’s sukkah and will be celebrating there with the temple family.  My mom will be going to my Aunt’s house or my cousin’s house.

The symbolism of the sukkah is a strong reminder of the dwellings of the biblical Israelites as they wandered in the desert for 40 years after the exodus from Egypt. In this manner, these temporary dwellings return us to a different time in our development and remind us of our journey to nationhood.  That answers the question “is Judaism” a nation?  Yes, in part it is.

Another symbolic definition of the sukkah is that it binds us to G-d as we recall our dependence on him for our daily needs and we celebrate all that he does for us.  We are commanded to be joyous during the whole holiday period (7 days) of Sukkot. We are told that it is a worse sin to be sad during this period than to have a sip of water on Yom Kippur.  I had no idea until I started writing this article of just how important Sukkot is in Judaism.

People take great pride in decorating their sukkah, but it is always decorated with fruits and greenery to remind us that Sukkot is a harvest holiday.  I went rummaging through the Net to find some pictures of the coolest sukkahs.  Here are some I think gives you an idea of the different types of sukkahs you can find.

This is a very basic sukkah.  I found it at the Mont Clair Jewish Organization’s website.

This picture is of a pre-fab sukkah that you can purchase.  I found this picture at Tzvee’s Talmudic Blog.

This is a great example of a sukkah decorated with fruits and greens.  Click on the photo to go to HWPS Organization’s website.

This is my favorite.  I love that it is decorated with colorful paper chains like the ones I made as a child in addition to the fruit and grains.  I was very impressed with the article on Sukkot that this photo was a part of.  Click on to the website after you finish reading my article.  This sukkah, I think is in Israel.  The website is called “Israelity.com.”

“There is also a commandment in the Torah for each person to take the fruit of a “goodly tree,” later interpreted as a fruit called an etrog (citron). Along with this fruit, one must collect certain tree branches and rejoice before God. We therefore take a palm branch and connect to it myrtle twigs and willow branches. There are beautiful narratives in rabbinic literature that discuss the symbolic images of the etrog and lulav (as the combination of the palm, myrtle, and willow is collectively known). They include parallels to the Jewish matriarchs and patriarchs as well as to the body and soul of each individual Jew.”[1]

There are other themes but my typing time is running out and I do want to share a Succot Menu and recipes with you.  For more information, click on the footnote and read the article where I found most of my information.  This menu is for a buffet meal.  The recipes are included for menu items that have an asterisk at the end of the name of the item.

DISCLAIMER:  The only photos that look like the recipes they go with are the Mandel Bread and the Russian Tea Cookies and the mini cupcakes.  Where I could, for the graphics, I attached links to them.

Just click on the picture.

SUCCOT MENU

Raisin Challah for the Blessing

Wine for the Blessing

Tossed Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Smoked White Fish Salad purchased from a Kosher Deli or a grocery store that carries it

Egg Salad OR Deviled Eggs

Crackers

Aunt Hushie’s Salmon Balls served with Rice*

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna*

Luchshen Kugel*

Molded Fruit Salad*

Al Fuchsman’s Mandel Bread (cookies)*

Chewy Brownies*

Russian Tea Cookies*

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Chip Icing*

Coffee, Tea, Fruit Punch or Soft Drinks, Water

Aunt Hushie’s Salmon Balls

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

1 pound Salmon plus liquid

1 small Onion; grated

1 small Carrot; grated

2 Eggs; beaten

1/2 cup Matzah Meal OR Corn Flake Crumbs

Salt

Pepper

Dash of Nutmeg

MUSHROOM SAUCE:

1 Onion; diced and browned

1/2 cup diced, cooked Carrots & liquid

1 small can Mushrooms & Liquid

1/8 teaspoon Ginger

1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

Salt

Pepper

3/4 cup Ketchup

3/4 cup Water

Mix salmon & liquid, small onion, small carrot, 2 eggs, matzah meal, salt, pepper and dash of nutmeg together and allow to set for 10 mins.

With WET hands, form into small balls (golf size balls), roll in crumbs and fry quickly.  Drain on paper towels.

SAUCE:

Mix together all sauce ingredients. Pour sauce into GREASED baking pan.  Place patties on sauce and heat in 350 degree oven UNCOVERED for 20-30 mins.

This is a wonderful recipe for brunches and luncheons. We have made many times and always get raves.  This was first made for us by my Aunt Hushie and it was Helen Schiller’s recipe (a friend of my Aunt’s) from my older edition of Rochester Hadassah Cookbook.  Please note that Aunt Hushie taught me to make this recipe in the large disposable aluminum 9×13-inch pans.  If you place the patties by the markings on the side of the pan, it works perfectly.  Also note that whenever my Aunt or I have made this recipe, we usually triple it.  I’ve made it for showers and other special occasions, so I think it is perfect for a dairy meal for Sukkot. ~Marilyn aka Softa123

 

 

 

Fruit Noodle Kugel          

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

1 (16 ounce) package broad egg noodles

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 pound butter

2 grated Winesap apples

2 grated pears

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2-1 c. white raisins

Cook noodles in boiling salted water 25-30 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water. Add butter to noodles and mix until melted. Add sugar,eggs, cinnamon, fruits, juices and raisins. Mix gently. Pour intogreased 9 x 13 x 2 inch Pyrex dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2hours, depending upon crustiness desired. Serve warm or cold.

Softa123’s aka Marilyn’s Note:  I have not tried this recipe yet, but I think it sounds perfect for Sukkot as it features pears in addition to the normal apples and raisins.  Also, what is nice about this recipe is that it is parve, so it can be eaten with either a dairy or a meat meal.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

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

By: preciousmom

PRECIOUS MOM’S NOTE:  “My first try with a vegetarian lasagna.”

Prep Time: 50 Min

Cook Time: 45 Min

Ready In: 1 Hr 35 Min

Servings: 9

Ingredients

1 pound eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms cut into 1/4 inch slices

3 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (15 ounce) container reduced-fat ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs, beaten

1 (26 ounce) jar meatless spaghetti sauce

1 can of Italian diced tomatoes

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

Directions

Line two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans with foil.  Place all vegetables (except onions) in a zip lock back with the oil, salt and pepper. Shake the bag to make sure everything is coated and let sit for 5 minutes.

Place eggplant and mushrooms on a pan. Place the zucchini on the second pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Turn vegetables over. Bake 15 minutes longer. Remove eggplant, onions and mushrooms.

Bake zucchini 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are browned.

Sauté onion in a skillet with olive oil. Add in the tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and egg substitute. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer with four lasagna noodles (noodles will overlap slightly), half of ricotta cheese mixture, half of vegetables, a third of pasta sauce and 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with half of basil. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining noodles and pasta sauce.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubblyand cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Molded Fruit Salad          

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1 pkg. lemon Jell-O

1 c. hot water

1/2 c. creamy cottage cheese

1/2 c. broken walnut meats

1/2 c. maraschino cherries, quartered

1 c. crushed pineapple, well drained

1 c. heavy cream, whipped

Dissolve gelatin in hot water; chill until partially set. Fold in cottage cheese, whipped cream, walnuts, cherries, and pineapple. Pour into pan and chill until firm. Cut in squares and serve on lettuce.

Al Fuchsman's Mandel Bread

 

Al Fuchsman’s Mandel Bread

Source:  The Washington Post, November 28, 2007

  • • Cuisine: Eastern European
  • • Course: Dessert, Snack

Summary:

“Many cultures and cuisines have their own version of this crisp bread that is eaten as a cookie. Dotty Fuchsman says her husband’s is “world famous” because they have taken it to England and Israel.
The mandel bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks; the Fuchsmans prefer to wrap it well and freeze it for up to 2 months.”

Makes 64 to 100 slices/cookies

Ingredients:

• 1 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheets (optional)

• 5 cups bread flour

• 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1 cup whole raw unsalted almonds, cut into 3 pieces per nut

• 3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

• 5 large egg whites, plus 1 whole egg

• 2 teaspoons almond extract

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 1/3 cup water

• Juice of 1 medium lemon or lime (2 to 3 tablespoons)

• Cinnamon-sugar mixture, for sprinkling

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with canola oil or nonstick cooking oil spray.

Combine the bread flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, almonds and dried cranberries or raisins in a large bowl.

Combine the egg whites, egg and oil in a separate bowl; blend well. Add the almond and vanilla extracts, water and citrus juice. Add to the bowl of dry ingredients; mix and knead the dough until it achieves the consistency of putty. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form them into bars on the baking sheet, roughly 3 inches by 12 inches by 3/4 inches thick, spaced apart so they do not touch. Bake for about 20 minutes, and then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes; the bars will be warm and slightly set.

Meanwhile, position an oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the top broiling element and preheat the broiler. Have ready 2 large, same-size baking sheets.

Use a very sharp knife to cut the bars into 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch slices; there should be about 16 to 25 slices per bar. Working in batches, lay the bars flat on a baking sheet (about 36 should fit snugly on 1 sheet) and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Toast under the broiler for 5 to 8 minutes or until the edges are brown and the sugar has melted. Remove from the oven and carefully place a second baking sheet on top of the toasted slices. Use oven mitts to hold the sheets together and carefully flip over; remove the top baking sheet so that the untoasted second sides of the slices are exposed. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and return to broil for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the slices to a wire rack to cool thoroughly; the slices should be crisp.

Original Recipe Source:

From Annandale resident Al Fuchsman.

Nutritional Information:

66 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 2mg cholesterol, 35mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 1g protein.

I love brownies...all kinds of brownies!

Chewy Brownies

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Ingredients:

6 medium eggs, beaten

3 cups of sugar

2-1/4 cups of flour

1 cup of melted margarine

6 tablespoons of cocoa

2 teaspoons of vanilla

1-1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 large packet of walnuts, broken

Preparation Instructions:

Combine the melted margarine, cocoa, and the sugar.  Add the six beaten eggs.

Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder and add to other mixture.  Add the vanilla and broken walnuts.

Bake in a greased and floured 18*12 inch jelly roll pan at 375°F (190°C) for 20 minutes.

Russian Tea Cookies...Yummy in my tummy!

Russian Tea Cookies

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

1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening

2 cups Flour

4 tablespoons Sugar

1/2 cup Butter OR Margarine

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1-1/2 cups Nuts; ground

Confectionary Sugar

Cream shortening, margarine and sugar. Add vanilla extract, flour and nuts. Form little balls of dough with teaspoon of batter. Place on UNGREASED cookie sheets.

Bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees. After cooling for 15 minutes, roll balls in confectionery sugar.

Makes 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

SOFTA123’S AKA MARILYN’S NOTE:  These are delicious and addictive!!  I  first made this recipe for my eldest nephew, Dov’s, Bar Mitzvah. That was About 15 years ago if I did the math correctly, and I’ve been making them ever since.  I do suggest doubling the recipe.  You won’t regret it!  This is one of my all-time favorite cookies!  Recipe came from the “Rochester Hadassah Cookbook.”

 

I have to try this recipe, don't you?

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Chip Icing

 

“Simple, two ingredient recipe”.

 

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin

Mix both ingredients together thoroughly and fill mini cupcake liners almost to the top. These cupcakes will not rise that much and will not shape naturally. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, checking with the toothpick test.

For the icing:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar, as needed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. cinnamon
4 oz. Hershey’s cinnamon chips, melted and cooled

Whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl when necessary. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, honey, and cinnamon mixing until incorporated. Add the melted cinnamon chips and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Then, ice the cupcakes!

Sprinkle with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

Source: http://www.sprinklemassacre.com/2011/10/06/mini-pumpkin-spice-cupcakes/

NOTE FROM SOFTA123:  I apologize for not posting this article sooner but real life interrupted.  I hope that this will not happen again, but I know better than to say never!


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Hope and Comfort

Posted on August 26, 2011. Filed under: Apples, Cakes, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Comfort Foods, Cookies, Cupcakes, Dairy, Desserts, Hope, Kosher Recipe, Maya Angelou, Paerve, Parve, Peanut Butter, Quote, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


I don’t know where I’m going. My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.   Maya Angelou

I love Maya Angelou’s poems.  She is such a talented lady, and she is a LADY! This quote is from an interview and is her reply when asked about her life and her career.  I thought about the part of the quote that says, “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry…”  I don’t hope for that, what I hope for is that I laugh alot more than I cry!  Life is too short to cry more than you laugh.  I ask you this, how can we make sure that we do laugh more than we cry?

These are my suggestions:

1.  Don’t read the newspaper every single day, and on the days that you do read it, don’t forget to read the comics and even try to do the crossword and jumble puzzles to keep your mind working!

2.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Deal with it to make as much of the problem go away as quickly as you can.

3.  Read a funny book.  I just finished a great book called “Thank You For Flying Air Zoe” by Erik Atwell.  I laughed all the way through it and thought to myself when I reached the end of it that this book is a keeper so when I’m feeling down, I can re-read it.  Read it or one that is more to your tastes, but make it a funny one.  Yes, books of jokes are allowed here 🙂

4.  If the weather allows, go outdoors and soak up the sunshine.  I know, I know…skin cancer…well, go protected, but go.  I still believe that the sun has healing powers.  Why else would G-d have created it? 🙂  Sorry, just being a bit silly here.  But it’s making me smile.

5.  Don’t give up hope!  I have always said, “Where there is life, there is hope.”  I truly believe that!

6.  Don’t be afraid to talk to your friends about your problem.  It helps.  Then, change the subject when you are ready and talk about something fun.

7.  Take a long bubble bath with all the lights off and while there fantasize about how you would live your life if you could.  Or fantasize about your favorite movie star, anything that makes you smile and relax!  When you get out of the bath, shake that problem right out of your system and look at it in a relaxed, new light.  Then take the first step to solving it.

8.  Watch your favorite funny movie before you retire for the night and DON’T forget to eat a bag of popcorn while you do!  I think munching on popcorn is a huge help in relaxing so you can go to sleep when the movie is over.

9.  Bake cookies and then eat one or two.  I’d have a relaxing cup of tea with those cookies.  Mmmmmmmmmm comfort food!  If you don’t like to bake, do something that you enjoy doing, wood crafting for instance or scrapbooking or knitting, etc.  If you must (meaning if it relaxes you) clean the house!  (That definitely isn’t for me! 🙂

10.  Take a nap.

The idea here is to give yourself a good break from the problem so you are relaxed and can then take steps to solve your problem.  Be good to yourself and be gentle with yourself!  Very importantly, don’t lose sleep!!!

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a therapist.  I am not a counselor of any type.  I am just a person who has been where you are.  A normal person with normal human problems and emotions.  These are things I try to do.  My favorite one is to take a  hot bubble bath in the dark and in silence so I can close my eyes and fantasize!

Well…to help you relax, here are a few recipes for today:

Apple Coffee Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 medium Cortland or other baking apple, peeled and sliced

METHOD

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with or pie pan with a 4-cup capacity.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk vigorously together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3 In a separate small bowl, mix 1/4 a cup of the sugar with the cinnamon, set aside.

4 Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Beat in the egg until blended. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk, beating after each addition until just combined.

5 Pour half of the batter in the bottom of the baking dish. Lay the apple slices on the batter so they just cover the batter (you may have to overlap some slices). Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, reserving a teaspoon or two to sprinkle on top. Spread the rest of the batter over the apples. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon-sugar on top.

6 Bake the cake for 25 minutes or until it is golden brown and apples start to bubble at the edges.

Yield: Serves 6.

Source:  Boston Globe

I have not made this coffee cake yet, but I will make it now that apple
season  is almost here! 

Donald's Just Ducky Cupcakes
============================
By Cindy Littlefield

We all know Donald can be a cantankerous duck, but these cute candy-billed cupcakes are inspired by his sweet side. Serve them at a birthday party or make
A batch for a quick-and-easy everyday dessert.

You'll need:

Batch of baked cupcakes
White frosting
Yellow Swedish Fish candies
Kitchen knife or scissors
Small black jellybeans
Tube of black decorating icing

Instructions: 

Frost the cupcakes, using the knife to pull the frosting up into a
couple feathery peaks at the top of the head. 

For a duck bill, slice a yellow Swedish Fish candy in half lengthwise.
Then press the two halves into the frosting, separating them slightly,
at the very edge of the cupcake top (opposite the feathery frosting
peaks). 

For eyes, press two black jellybeans into the frosting. Use the black
decorating icing to pipe on curved eyebrows about 3/8 inch above the
eyes. 

Everything Mickey & Friends

I found this recipe on the internet at the family.go.com and thought it
was just perfect for this blog post.  Keep the ingredients on hand as I
think this is a definite "go to comfort food recipe!"  I haven't tried
to make this yet, but what could be bad? ~Marilyn Sultar 8/26/2011

The Ultimate Comfort Food?

Now for the ULTIMATE comfort food…chocolate, but of course! 🙂

Kosher Chocolate Mousse Cake Pareve
===================================
Ingredients

6 oz. margarine (pareve)
6-8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (pareve)
7 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cake flour

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Spray a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) baking
pan with non-stick spray. 

2. Melt margarine and chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. 

3. Mix egg yolks and then slowly stir them into the chocolate. Make sure
the yokes do not harden. 

4. Let the chocolate-egg mixture cool. 

5. Whip egg whites until stiff. Add sugar. 

6. Add egg whites to chocolate mixture, folding gently. 

7. Remove 1 - 1 1/2 cup of the mousse mixture. This will be used later for
the cake's frosting. 

8. Gently add flour to the rest of the mixture. 

9. Pour mixture into baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. 

10. When cool, spread frosting on top. Refrigerate or freeze. 

TIPS: 

1. If using the microwave to melt the chocolate and margarine, be careful
not to burn the chocolate. 

2. Don't forget to add the flour between removing some mix for the
frosting and putting the pan into the oven!
I have not tried this recipe yet.  I found it today at:
chocolatecakerecipes.net
Last, but DEFINITELY NOT LEAST! is my favorite recipe for chocolate chip
cookies.  I have searched the internet for this recipe, and have never
seen it except in one cookbook.  Source is noted at the end of the recipe.

NUTRITIOUS POPPIN FRESH COOKIES
===============================
INGREDIENTS:

2-1/4 cups Pillsbury's Best SELF-RISING Flour
2 cups FIRMLY PACKED BROWN SUGAR
1 cup Margarine OR Butter; SOFTENED
2 tsps. Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
2 cups QUICK COOKING Rolled Oats
6 oz. pkg. (1 cup) SEMI-SWEET Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup CHOPPED Nuts OR Sunflower Seeds*

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS: Stir one of the following into the dough, if desired.

1 cup Peanut Butter*
1 cup Wheat Gern
1 cup FLAKED Coconut
1 cup NONFAT DRY Milk

INSTRUCTIONS:

HEAT OVEN TO 350° F.

LIGHTLY spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.

In a LARGE bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT oats, chocolate chips
and nuts (or sunflower seeds). Beat at MEDIUM speed until well blended,
about 1-2 minutes.  By hand, stir in remaining ingredients.  Add ONE
Optional ingredient, if desired.  

Drop dough by ROUNDED teaspoons 2" apart onto UNGREASED cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° F. for 12 minutes OR until light golden brown.

Yield:  48 cookies

Source:  Pillsbury's "Simply From Scratch Recipes, Vol 3" cookbook.

*When I make these cookies, which are my very favorite chocolate chip
cookies, I use Sunflower Seeds and I use 1 cup of Peanut Butter.  

These cookies are out of this world.  It is a combination chocolate
chip and peanut butter cookie the way I make it as noted above.  I'm
not crazy about peanut butter cookies, usually, but in this recipe,
it's perfect!  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  ~Softa123

Suggestions for main dish comfort foods:  chicken soup with matzah balls,
macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, chicken pot pie, or anything that evokes
good memories.
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Rainy Day Goodies

Posted on August 14, 2011. Filed under: Baking for 2, Chocolate, Cupcakes, Dairy, Desserts, Rainy Day Foods, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , |


It’s a miserable, rainy day, complete with thunder and lightning.  To make the day even better, we had to go to the unveiling of my step-son-in-law’s father’s grave stone today.  It is a Jewish custom  for the grave stone to be put in place and for an unveiling ceremony to be held after the mourning (Kaddish) period [11 months for parents and 30 days for other close relatives] is over, but no later than one year after the death. While many families wait until almost the full year has passed to do the unveiling, it may be done sooner.  So you see, I was looking for something fattening and gooey when I Stumbled! across this recipe. The recipe and the photo comes from a website called Dessert for Two.  You have to check it out!  I’m even putting a link for the website on my blogroll!  Anyway, I want to thank Christina of Desert for Two for sharing this recipe with us.  I am not positive, but I think she is also the photographer who took the great photo of this cupcake!  Please visit her website!

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES FOR 2

Makes 4 cupcakes

Ingredients
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the frosting:
  • 3 ounces cream cheese (I used light), at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place 4 paper cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
  2. In a small bowl, add the chocolate and canola oil. Microwave on 30 second pulses, stirring between each pulse, until chocolate is completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the flour and baking powder and stir with a fork to combine.
  4. To the chocolate mixture, whisk in the sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla. Whisk this mixture together very well. Add all of the flour at once and stir with a spoon or spatula to combine.
  5. Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before moving the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack.
  6. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and beat together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost and serve.
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