Challah

Just in time for Shabbat, I have finally found a challah recipe that I love! You can find the original version here but I have modified it a little for myself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tbsp of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey for the egg wash
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 8 cups of all-purpose flour (and more for flouring surface/cutting board)
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl/stand mixer, mix in yeast with warm water
  2. Beat in 2 eggs, oil, honey, and salt
  3. Add 1 cup of flower at a time until all 8 cups are incorporated.Knead by hand as necessary until dough is smooth and elastic, but not sticky
  4. Cover with clean,d amp cloth and let ride for 1.5 hours. Dough should double in size
  5. Punch down dough and roll out onto floured board or counter
  6. Divide into quarters
  7. Roll/knead each section for about 5 minutes, flouring as necessary to keep from getting sticky
  8. Working with one quarter at a time, divide into thirds and roll out into long, snakes. Each snake should be the same length and diameter.
  9. Braid snakes. I found it easiest (and prettiest) to start braiding them without connecting them at first, but going back to the top after I finished braiding them all the way down. If you’d like to make round challot, bring the edges together before pinching them
  10. Grease baking sheets (or put parchment paper down) and let the challot rest on sheets
  11. Cover with towel and let rise for 1 hour
  12. Preheat oven to 375*F (190*C)
  13. Beat remaining egg with about 1-2 tbsp of honey and brush a generous amount over each challah
  14. If desired: sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds
  15. Bake for 40 minutes (should sound hollow when thumped on bottom)
  16. Cool before slicing

After 20 or so minutes, you can cover the challot with aluminum foil to prevent them from browning too much.

For Rosh Hashanah I’m going to roll apple chunks in it and see if it works out better than the last time I tried it. I used a different recipe which ended up being too sticky and didn’t end up cooking all the way through. Might add some cinnamon too. Yummm!

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Shabbat Shalom

Homemade FrenchFry/Chips!

Easy way to make homemade fries or chips!.

1. Wash and Peel your potatoes

2. Either julienne the potatoes OR use a mandolin to slice your potatoes as thick or thin as you want (I lean towards the thinner side). We used our little hand mandolin so we didn’t have any choices in thickness. Their shape will dictate if they’re more like chips or fries. Taste wonderful either way.

3. Fry in a wok over med/med-high heat (make sure the oil is hot enough first!!). We used vegetable oil.

4. When done in batches, it takes between about 4 1/2 minutes, depending on their thickness.

5. Drain on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels. Salt to taste!

Enjoy!!

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Fries

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and Chips!

Potato Keilbasa Caserole

My boyfriend made a wonderful potato, turkey kielbasa, and cheese casserole (of sorts). He just added that, some non-stick spray, and butter into our baking dish, and baked it to almost perfection.

He used our small hand mandolin to slice the potatoes really thin and stack them sideways. Then we added the turkey kielbasa and cheese on top and baked at 425*F for like an hour or so. The potatoes didn’t quite cook all the way through as much as we (really my boyfriend) would have liked, but cooking sections in a pan the following morning for breakfast was amazing. We’ll definitely try it again and try to work out the kinks so it cooks more thoroughly next time.

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Do you all have any advice on how to cook it better? Let me know if you do, because I’d love to try them.

Need Cooking/Baking Ideas, Help?

My boyfriend and I have a loaf of bread that we want to do something with before it goes bad, like bake some sort of breakfast cake thing or something. So far nothing in my searches have really turned up. I think we wanted to do something breakfast-related but, to be honest, we could do any time of day.

Any suggestions?

And whichever recipe we do use, I’ll totally let you know how it comes out.

Thanks all!

Chag sameach!

Naco Night!

Okay, not really Nacos, for those who remember Disney’s Kim Possible. Heck, what I’m sharing isn’t even technically a taco, but rather a beef queadilla but oh well. Taco is easier to say anyways.

What you will need is ground beef! (I usually get 80/20 or 85/15, whichever is on sale). I’ll also get the Mexican-cheese blend from your local supermarket (or the fake/non-dairy cheese to make this kosher!) and some tortillas. I prefer smaller corn tortillas (which is more traditional), but my boyfriend prefers larger flour tortillas. So this time I compromised and got smaller flour tortillas.

I break it up and brown it in a skillet on medium heat with garlic salt (or salt and garlic powder. doesn’t matter which), black pepper, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. For some extra kick, especially when my boyfriend is cooking, we’ll add a little sriracha sauce (because we add sriracha to almost everything).

Drain the meat, so it’s not so greasy. Don’t put the fat down the drain/disposal if you can help it. That’s how you gum them up. I try to have an empty can leftover from another cooking project to drain it into.

If you’re lucky enough to have a gas stove/cooktop. I like to heat up my tortillas (CORN ONES!!) over the flame for a minute or two on each side. You can set them aside on a plate in between the layers of a clean kitchen/hand towel to keep them warm until serving.

If I’m doing refried beans (which I didn’t do the other night, but I’ll share anyways), I take the lazy way out and get the Old El Paso canned stuff and microwave it. I usually get the traditional or reduced fat one.

It’s a quick easy simple meal that will leave you leftovers for the next day. But seriously, who doesn’t like taking tacos to work the next day?

Enjoy!

Dinner Success!!

Made dinner tonight. TOTAL SUCCESS!

Tilapia was on sale so I got 4 fillets. I then marinated it in Publix Honey Dijon Mustard Lite salad dressing for about 20 or so minutes. I sprayed a 9″x13″ pyrex with some cooking spray and sliced a couple lemons to line the bottom. Laid out the fish on top (with the leftover dressing) and squeeze some lemon juice on it. Baked in a 375*F oven for 25 minutes. Totally amazing, especially once you spoon some of the dressing/sauce back onto it.

As side dishes we made some sushi rice in our rice cooker and an Israeli salad. Just some diced grape tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

We also opened my birthday wine! It was a bottle of wine we bought for my birthday but hadn’t had yet. It was Casa Rosa Rivata Rosso. So it’s a light red (almost rose but not quite) sparkling wine. Totally meant to be chilled and served with dessert. Oh well. Still good when not following the directions 😉

Time to enjoy some ice cream. Have a good night all! Good luck with your own cooking adventures. Hope they’re just as tasty.

Hamburger Night

My boyfriend and I embarked on an epic HAMBURGER NIGHT! Including making homemade burgers, fries, and cookies.

So here we go!

Hamburger. My boyfriend made these in our skillet/frying pan (we’re not allowed grills and haven’t gotten a grill pan yet). We used either 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef, ground pepper, garlic, salt (or more likely garlic salt), and I think he added onion powder and sriracha sauce (which he puts on everything). And we used buns from the Publix bakery:

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I was in charge of the fries and the cookies. I used really big white/yellow potatoes, which probably was a mistake, but they came out really nice anyways. I got to fry (using vegetable oil) them in our awesome new Ikea wok. I added freshly ground salt after using our Mickey salt grider/shaker that I bought my boyfriend in Disney as a housewarming gift (also have the pepper one too).

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Now to be honest the cookies weren’t homemade. We bought the Publix Greenwise cookies that you break apart and put in the oven. I think we baked them for a little too long but otherwise they came out wonderfully. They weren’t overly sweet but still nice.

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Hope you enjoyed and take this as an inspiration to do some home cooking of your own.