Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Happy Hanukkah and Blender Latke Recipe

It' s Hanukkah - Let Your Light Shine Bright





My Electric Britto Menorah ( Chanukiah) 


Quick Blender Latkes an Old Family Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time : 5 minutes for each batch of 4
Materials Needed: Blender and skillet

6-7 white all purpose potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 large egg
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (gluten free)
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup of oil

Directions: 
Using a blender, add the egg, onion, and a half of the potatoes. Begin blending and add remainder of potato, breadcrumbs, and seasoning to form the batter. Heat oil in a large skillet. Drop tablespoon mounds of batter into the skillet and fry until crispy. Serve topped with applesauce or sour cream!



Don't Forget To Play Dreidel 
Gimel- Takes all 
Hay- Take half
Nun- Takes nothing
Shin- Put one in 








Monday, December 11, 2017

Instant Pot Black Beans - no pre-soaking



Black beans with no pre soaking in just 45 minutes cooking in the Instant Pot!
To say I am loving my Instant Pot is an understatement! I just made a delicious black bean recipe that came out super creamy and delicious.  We ate it over white rice which I also made in my Instant Pot.



No Soaking of Beans Necessary

The part I really loved was that I didn't have think about soaking the beans the night before ( nope- didn't soak the beans)- I just made them on the spur of the moment. I know it is hard to believe but your really don't need to soak the beans!

Two reasons I love making beans in the Instant Pot

  1. For convenience,  I frequently resorted to using canned beans- (which I know can contain toxins in the lining like BPA and other lesser known toxins and the metal from the can which leaks into the beans)  NO MORE!!Making the beans in the Instant Pot is fast, easy , and a last minute thought!
  2.  Cooking dried beans always took so long and didn't always taste creamy enough- my beans came out tasty and perfect in the Instant Pot,

How I made this simple recipe

I used the saute function on the Instant Pot to saute onion, yellow pepper, and garlic for about 5 minutes.

I  added washed black beans and low salt vegetable broth to the saute mixture, closed and locked the top and hit then hit the cancel button. I then pushed the pressure cook or manual setting

I then set the time on the Instant pot for 45 minutes !

 I then did something else while my Instant Pot cooked. I allowed the Instant Pot to cool down naturally as opposed to releasing the steam.

It was so easy and there was no mess, one pot, no splatter- and the stainless steel insert pan was easy to remove very easy to clean. 

When the beans were done, it didn't even look like I had cooked in the kitchen. 

In addition if I was having company, it freed up my stove and didn't heat up the kitchen!

Ingredients: 

1/2 yellow onion diced large
4 pieces of garlic, diced large
1/2 large yellow or green pepper , diced large
1 16 ounce bag ( or box) of dry organic black beans, washed  (Black Beans, Organic - Dry - 1 lb)
4 cups of low salt vegetable broth
1/2 cup of water
olive oil spray
optional: 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh cilantro per serving added when serving

Directions: 

Spray the Instant Pot pan with olive oil spray.  Add the garlic, onion, and yellow or green pepper. Turn on the saute button and saute for about 3-5 minutes until soft. Turn off the saute button and add the dry beans  ( wash and drain them) , the vegetable broth and water. Close the pot, select manual or pressure cook ( depends on your model)  and set for 45 minutes. 
Make sure you pressure button is sealed. I allowed the steam to release naturally , but if you are in a hurry you could release your steam according to your Instant Pot instructions. When all steam has escaped, remove the lid. 






My husband likes his black beans with white rice

I ate my beans with some sliced avocado

The instant pot comes in different sizes-
I like the 6 quart size ( I have a 6 and 8 qt)
It is a perfect holiday gift to buy for yourself or a relative or friend! 


It is really easy to use and you can find tons of  wonderful easy recipes on the Pinterest, blogs, and the Internet

What else do I make? Soup, beans, vegetables, rice, quinoa, - my friends make chicken, meat, eggs, etc. 

Did you know it also can be used as a slow cooker? 
So you would have both in one pot. It comes with a little cookbook to get you started.
                      You can check it out on Amazon 

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer






Disclaimer: 
I am an affiliate for Amazon and if you click on a link on my site and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation at no cost to you. This helps me defray the cost of publishing a blog and I thank you for any support . Also, please use your Instant Pot according to your manufacturers instructions.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Star

My Wordless Wednesday Selection

Opposite Rockefeller Center in NYC is a Swarovski display with the information about the huge  Swarovksi crystal star the tops the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree each year

Quite interesting and spectacular


Swarovski Crystal Star for Rockefeller Center Tree





My mother was originally from Brooklyn and she worked in the city. Even though we moved to New Jersey, we visited the city for shopping, shows, and visiting relatives several times a year. At Christmas we always went to Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. 

Christmas bulbs in full bloom at a nearby hotel- Lotte Palace across from St. Patrick's Cathedaral 

Above the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center NYC

Will be shared on shared on Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday  
Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, 
image in ing, 
ClaireJustine linky 
West Metro Mommy  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Gluten Free Rugelach

tray of gluten free regalach



Have you heard of rugelach? 
They are a traditional Eastern European pastry with a Yiddish name that means little twists or rolled things. Traditionally they are made with butter, sour cream or cream cheese, flour and sugar.
This is a gluten free ( and vegan) version of the real thing that is quite tasty.

I very seldom post dessert recipes on my blog.
I have to be honest, I'm not much of a baker. I leave the gluten free baking to the experts!

But this gluten free/grain free recipe is so easy even I can make it. It tastes amazing and is made with healthy ingredients that are good for you. 

I participated in an organic, gluten free, vegan pot luck. One of the hosts made this dessert. Everyone who attended the event loved it.  I asked for the recipe, and today I'm sharing it with you.

This pastry has a rich creamy cocoa filling with just the right amount of cinnamon and a soft tender dough that is made in the food processor in one minute! The recipe is not baked rather it is chilled in the refrigerator.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: none
Chill time: 4 hours or more

Ingredients for the dough:  
1 cup of dates, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, drained and pits removed ( or use pitted)
1 cup of raw pecans
Cinnamon for dusting


Ingredients for chocolate filling :
4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons raw honey ( or agave nectar for vegans)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Put soaked and drained pitted dates and pecans in the food processor. Process until a ball of dough forms. ( do not over process)  Remove from processor and set aside in the refrigerator. 

Make the chocolate filling by mixing the cocoa powder, sweetener,  and coconut oil together and set aside.  

Cut a large square of Syran wrap and place it on your work surface. Sprinkle the Sryan wrap with cinnamon and flatten the dough ball on the Syran wrap and press the dough or roll the dough into a large square ( not too thin as you will need to roll it up).

 Spread chocolate sauce on top of the flattened dough and then grab the Sryran wrap at one end and start rolling it up with the dough to make a log.. Wrap the Syran wrap around the dough completely and refrigerate for at least 4 or more hours. Remove from refrigerator when ready to serve and slice the log into individual portions.




**I found a video with a different recipe but the exact same process- the video is about 10 minutes but worth watching because although it is easy, the process is difficult to explain if you haven't seen it demonstrated. Again, I think the Youtube video below will be very helpful and worth the watch if you want to make these delicious rugelach!

My Notes:
1. Since they are raw, they may be a little sticky
2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve
3. The dough is so delicious - just dates and pecans
4.The filling is simple- cocoa , raw honey, and coconut oil
5. I forgot to take a photo of the finished sliced cookie ( we gobbled it up so fast) I used a different photo for the finished product but it gives you an idea of what it should look like.


Youtube Video_ How to work with this kind of raw dough to make these rugelach




This recipe will be shared on Beth Fish Reads- Weekend Cooking where anyone can share a food related post ( appears on Saturday)  and my daily lists of blog carnivals

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Wordless Wednesday- Broadway Anatasia

  Broadway Show Anastasia. 
November is a great time to go into NYC and see a show. 
I stood on the two fer line and got tickets for Anastasia, 
The acting, the singing, the dancing, and the music was outstanding! 
I enjoyed the show immensely!!
( No, not the children's show) 




      The play is based on Russian history and the murder of Czar Nicolas, his wife, and children. The story of Anastasia is based on a legend that one of the children actually survived, had amnesia, and discovers herself in Paris to start a new life! The music and singing was outstanding. LIsten to the Youtube I found.





Watch this delightful trailer for the show from Playbill to hear the amazing singing




    





                           Look what was playing next door!



                     My first choice was Hello Dolly with Bett Midler but I couldn't get tickets.

                 


Here is another YouTube from the 2017 Macy Day Thanksgiving Parade where the cast of Anastasia performed 
( watch the other YouTube first-it's better)



 I'm linking a Russian Recipe to go with this show


                                   Russian Herb and Farmer Cheese Salad 



Will be shared on shared on Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday  
Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, 
image in ing, 
ClaireJustine linky 
West Metro Mommy  





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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Shitake Mushroom and Cauliflower Rice Casserole





 I am obsessed with this Shitake mushroom and cauliflower rice casserole!

 I love its taste, its texture and its ease and low carbs of cauliflower rice.
 Cauliflower rice a great substitute for white or brown rice in almost any recipe.



Cauliflower rice after I sauteed it for 5 minutes in a skillet


You can make your own cauliflower rice in the food processor using a whole cauliflower or simply buy a of frozen or fresh bag in most stores.
My personal preference is Trader Joes' frozen organic cauliflower rice.
It works best for me in my recipes and has an excellent mild taste.



Remember , it tastes like rice not cauliflower - so keep reading!!

This low carb and low calorie mushroom casserole is the perfect side for your holiday table because it works for those who are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, soy free , nut free.. etc. ( and who doesn't have guests with have eating restrictions or allergies??) It is a mix of shitake and white mushrooms.



It's a healthy recipe that will allow everyone to indulge without the bloat and guilt.

This delicious casserole calls for two different kinds of mushrooms ( Shitake and Cremini or White)  that make their own juicy sauce while cooking and add a fabulous flavor to the simple pilaf.

slice the mushrooms before cooking


Adding the mushrooms to the cauliflower rice results is a rich tasting side dish that everyone will enjoy! I brought this casserole to my son and daughter in laws for Thanksgiving and there were no leftovers- not one morsel!

I forgot to get a photo of the finished product-
so I can only show you mushroom or cauliflower rice photos

This recipe takes less than 20 minutes and makes a lovely presentation.

More and more heath practitioners are suggesting that we add more plant based recipes to our diet. Try this easy recipe ; you won't regret it!

Author: Judee Algazi @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen cauliflower rice
8 ounces of shitake mushrooms
8 ounces of white mushrooms
Olive oil spray
Himalayan salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Directions

Spray a large skillet with olive oil spray. Add the bag of frozen ( or your own cauliflower rice)  cauliflower rice to the skillet on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper .Cook down for about 5 minutes until the cauliflower rice is heated and fluffy! Remove, spoon into a casserole and set aside.
Clean your skillet and spray again with olive oil spray. Add shitake and white mushrooms and sautee until mushrooms are soft. Add with any juices to the cauliflower rice and mix together.
Eat immediately. This will keep in the refrigerator as well. To reheat- bake in pre- heated oven at 350
for 10 minutes.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WW- Carriage Ride in Central Park in NYC

Went on a carriage ride through Central Park in NYC
The horses line up on the street near the entrance




I'll take the carriage decorated in purple

Look at the pigeons that are in the feed bucket




Taking a Break and Sharing Some Feed with the Pigeons





In the Park






Will be shared on shared on Beth Fish Reads Wordless Wednesday  
Wordless Wed on Tuesdays wordless on tuesday http://thesimpleyear.com/, 

image in ing, 
ClaireJustine linky 
West Metro Mommy  
Create with Joy 
bethere2day nanahood

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hate to Peel and Chop Garlic and Ginger? Try This



fresh garlic




Do you hate to peel and chop garlic and ginger? 

Do you ever reach for a piece of garlic or ginger for a recipe only to find out that it has completely dried out? I hate when that happens.



It's frustrating to need to stop your recipe and run to the store to get more or not make the recipe. Or perhaps your recipe just calls for a little bit of herb and you just don't want to buy a full bulb or bunch.

fresh ginger


Whether you do not like to chop or peel,  your garlic or ginger dries out, or you just don't have any in the house, I have found a really easy way to always make sure I have some fresh ginger, garlic, basil, parsley, and cilantro available for any recipe!

I have found an easier way that I love!!

I buy freshly frozen cube packages of herbs that keep in my freezer for at least 6 months. They are easy to use, take up very little room in the freezer, and are very convenient.
There is no peeling, grating, chopping, etc.
The frozen cubes are made up of 100% fresh herbs that have been blended and frozen.

I buy these convenient packages at Trader Joe's or most supermarkets.

Dorot brand garlic


The brand I have found ( I think there are other brands too) is called Dorot. The price of the cubes ranges from $1.99 -$3.99 depending where you purchase. I have found Trader Joe's is the most reasonable.

small cubes of garlic and ginger


The frozen herb cubes are available in ginger , parsley, garlic, basil, cilantro, etc.  If you turn the package over, it looks like 20 little ice cubes. You can pop one or two out to use in a recipe and then return to the package to freezer for future use!

I love the ease and taste of this 100 % no additive pure product. It can be used in almost any recipe that calls for fresh garlic, ginger, cilantro or basil. I love it..and what a time saver!!!Note: you must keep it frozen at all times for the cubes to pop out.

I love to use these cubes in my easy Asian Broccoli Crowd Pleaser Recipe

Buy the garlic and ginger cubes ready made for ease or

How to make your own basil, parsley, or cilantro cubes

You will have to use a mini ice cube tray -
I've used this one Silicone Ice Cube Trays BPA Free  or
this one Mini Ice Cube Trays with Flexible Silicone Bottom For Easy Release Pop out | Set Of 3 Ice Molds BPA Free

The object is you want the cubes to be small and pop out easily- both of these are BPA free.




fresh growing herbs of chives, basil , parsley

During the season when herbs are prolific , parsley, cilantro, chives and basil are economical to freeze in this manner.  You want the consistency to come out like pesto or actually you can freeze your favorite pesto recipe for a delicious use for basil in other recipes.

basil and spinach pesto



Ingredients: 
2 cups of basil, parsley,  or cilantro
4 Tablespoons of water ( or a little more if needed- you want it to be thick)

Directions: 
Blend to thick consistency like a pesto
Freeze in cube tray
Pop out as needed in recipes - no need to defrost to use in recipes

Garlic and ginger are similar but you need quite a quantity of each. 
That is why I just buy the garlic and ginger - it is easier and I believe ends up costing much less.

Disclaimer: I was not asked to evaluate Dorot frozen herb cubes- I use them, like them, and just wanted to share. I have no affiliation to Dorot company.

This post does contain Amazon affiliate links. If you click on an Amazon link and make a purchase, I will receive a very small compensation at no cost to you. Like most bloggers these Amazon links help to defray the cost of running a blog. Thank you for your support.

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