Wanna throw something together at the last minute for Thanksgiving? A homemade gourmet gifts, some cookies to put a smile on the kid's faces or or mind-blowing cornbread that will impress most anyone??
Here are my 2 last minute, tried and true favorite and easy Thanksgiving go-to recipes:
(recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
11/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, one cup at a time, until a dough is formed and ingredients are fully combined. Separate the dough into 2 balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 2 days. Preheat the oven 350. Remove from the refrigerator and let the dough soften slightly on the counter by resting for about 10 minutes. Set out a piece of parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Roll the dough out directly on the paper to a 1/2" inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut the cookies into shapes and place on a separate parchment-lined baking sheet. Keep re-rolling the dough scraps to shape new cookies until you've used all your dough. Bake the cookies, 1 inch apart for 10-12 minutes until the edges are crisp and center is still a bit soft (the centers will crisp up while the cookies cool). Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to one week!
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1- 10 ounce package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
1 cup milk (or soy milk)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
chili flakes, optional
Preheat the oven 350. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder, and set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the squash, eggs, milk, and oil until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×11 Pyrex dish. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and use a fork to "swirl" the cinnamon into the mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes until the bottom and edges are golden brown and the center is firm. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares and serving. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat on low before slicing.
I love the way Australians eat- they have always been so ahead of the food trends- let me just say that my cousins in Australia were using quinoa, kale, and coconut oil way before I ever did! I found this quirky little video for frozen cheesecake bites on YouTube and I wasn't surprised to learn it came from an Australian site. These delicious chocolate cheesecake bites are made using just a few staple ingredients including Greek yogurt and coconut oil. They are super-easy to prepare, delicious, and after you watch the video you'll find yourself thinking: "This makes perfect sense". My kind of recipe…Perfect for shavuot or simply for summer!! Keep them in your freezer to have on hand all summer long- they make the perfect snack.
P.S. Try sticking lollipop sticks in them before freezing to make frozen cheesecake lollipops!
There is a SECRET to filling hamentaschen. I've heard so many of you complaining about your fillings overflowing and oozing. It's time to share the secret in preventing this from happening… and it's actually quite simple. Once you have filled the hamentaschen, seal them tightly by pinching the dough firmly. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and STRAIGHT IN THE FREEZER for at least 2 HOURS (and up to 3 days). When you're ready to bake, put them straight from the freezer into the oven, while still frozen.THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!
It's all about the filling. I went crazy with over-the-top fillings and had a lot of fun making them with my kids.
My personal favorite was a take on Ferrero Rocher; chocolate with a whole chocolate covered hazelnut in the center…But my kids went gaga for Rocky Road- Rolo chocolate, mini marshmallows and pretzel bits drizzled with melted marshmallow glaze! And, I can't forget to mention our Cookies & Cream Hamentashen, filled with broken-up chocolate and vanilla Oreos and a Hershey's Kiss, and drizzled with milk chocolate. Look, I know a lot of this sounds intense and time consuming, but here's what I will say to you: Try not to make a big deal out of this. I didn't plan on making any of these flavors. I literally opened my pantry and used whatever it was I had inside to come up with these awesome fillings. I encourage you to use your imagination, be creative. Instead of making a whole batch of hamentashen with the same filling, mix and match, and have fun with it. Look, at the end of the day, I'm an apricot-filling-kind-of-a-girl, but it's a children's holiday after all, isn't it?
P.S. If you are going to fill your hamentashen with store-bought jams or preserves, I highly recommend mixing a tablespoon of chia seeds into the jam before using it as filling. Aside from the chia being super-healthy, it acts as a thickening agent without changing the taste and prevents your hamentashen from leaking jam all over and burning.. To read more about chia, click here to check out my good friend, Alexandra's blog, where she writes all about healthy foods in a normal, realistic and non-frightening fashion that also happens to be really funny.
Basic Hamentashen Dough Recipe
Below is a great go-to hamentashen dough recipe that is dairy free. This is an oil based dough that is versatile, easy to work with, and freezes well. If you want a truly buttery, crisp recipe, click here to see the one I posted last year.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup rice bran or canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups flour
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat until all is well combined. Switch to a paddle mixer (or use a spatula to fold in), and add the dry ingredients until a nice, soft, non-sticky dough is formed. Divide the dough into 5 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge until ready to roll out and form. You may also freeze the dough until ready to thaw and use.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper. Use a glass or a cookie cutter to cut the dough into 4-inch rounds. Place your filling (see below for filling recipes) into the center of each circle, pinch the edges together to fold into a triangle. Pinch the seams tightly, leaving a tiny opening that reveals the filling in the center. Place the hamentashen on parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Repeat, until you've used all the dough or freeze the dough for another time. Hamentashen may also be frozen after baking.
Note: There are no specific measurements for these recipes. Just eyeball it, you really can't screw it up!
Rocky Road Filling
Chocolate pieces of your choice, I used Rolo, Hershey's Kisses and m&m's work very well too
Pretzels, broken up into small pieces
Marshmallow Fluff or melted marshmallows
Mix up all the ingredients in a small bowl and combine. Place a teaspoon-full in the center of each dough round. Fold the dough into a hamantashen. Bake. After baking and cooling, drizzle Marshmallow Fluff over sparingly.
Cookies & Cream
Broken up pieces of your favorite cookies
Chocolate or peanut butter spread (something that will allow the cookie bits to stick to the dough)
Place a small dollop of your spread in the center of each dough round. Top with your broken up cookies. Fold the dough into a hamentashen. After baking and cooling, drizzle with your favorite melted chocolate.
You can use actual Ferrero Rocher chocolates here, just break each one into tiny pieces OR
Whole hazelnuts, peeled and roasted
Good quality chocolate, melted
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Dip the hazelnuts in the melted chocolate and allow them to dry a bit on a plate. Place a teaspoon of Nutella in the center of each dough round. Place a chocolate coated hazelnut in the center of the Nutella. Fold the dough into a hamentashen. After baking and cooling, dust with good quality cocoa powder.
I've recently heard a lot of buzz surrounding cauliflower pizza dough, and I wanted to see for myself if all the hype was warranted. What is cauliflower pizza dough? Basically it is a pizza crust made from ground cauliflower, without using any flour at all- a healthier alternative to regular pizza dough. By grinding the cauliflower in a food processor, the cauliflower transforms to a totally different, and malleable form, creating a crispy, delicious crust. I tried a few recipes, but my favorite is from a blog called Detoxinista.com! The taste was truly awesome, but I must say that it does take a few steps, so I would definitely recommend doubling the recipe and making 2 batches at a time..Here's how:
The other night I went to one of my favorite restaurants in the city and the chef sent me over a bowl of delicious vegetable soup. Every spoonful was filled with carrots, celery, chickpeas and squash. I loved the addition of slightly mashed chickpeas- it added nuttiness and bite to the soup. After tasting the first spoonful, I called the chef over to make certain that there was no meat or chicken stock in this soup- it tasted too good to be true. He assured me that there wasn't and that the chickpeas were what really added a kick of flavor. Not your usual vegetable soup though- it was thick and silky, but light tasting. So, of course the next morning, I attempted to replicate it at home. Only, my version was even better!
I posted the picture of this gorgeous soup on Instagram and everyone went crazy demanding the recipe. So, here it is.
Chickpea & Carrot Herb Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced small
5 carrots, peeled and diced small
3 ribs of celery, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups vegetable stock
2- 15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and mashed slightly with a potato masher or a large fork
1/4 cup brown lentil, rinsed
1- 12 ounce package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
1 tablespoon herbes de Provences
1 bay leaf, dried
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, and saute until light brown, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and cook 5 minutes longer. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock, chickpeas, and the lentils. Stir the soup and bring to a boil, cover and reduce to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, stir in the butternut squash puree, the herbes de Provences, and the bay leaf. (If the soup is too thick, add a cup of water or stock.) Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook on medium, covered, for an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!
May be frozen.
It is traditional to celebrate Hanukkah by eating foods fried in oil. Using oil in hanukkah foods is symbolic of the Hanukkah miracle- a small jar of oil that miraculously burned for 8 consecutive nights. Look, I like any excuse to deep fry! And, the ultimate deep fried goodie is without a doubt, the donut. A soufganiya is an Israeli jelly-filled donut- no hole in the middle. These little beauties make an appearance once a year on Hanukkah. I grew up eating my mother's homemade version- no jelly, but dipped in a simple syrup straight out of the frying pan. Every year, I try a new sufganiya recipe…This year, I've found my favorite to date. I'm not going to say that these are easy and quick, like most of my recipes. Making sufganiyot is a project: you need time to let the dough rise, and patience with frying…but it's worth it. This recipe comes from the Balaboosta cookbook- I knew I could count on Einat Admony for an honest, straightforward recipe. Unlike most recipes that call for 5 cups or more of flour, this one calls for 3 cups and yields 15-20 donuts, as opposed 50 or more donuts… More flour means more work. This recipe is a winner.
Recipe from: "Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love" by Einat Admony
yield 15-20 donuts
3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
3/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar, plus sugar for dusting
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon brandy
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Canola Oil for deep frying and for the bowl
Blueberry or raspberry preserves
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
Place the four in the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer (If you don't have a free-standing mixer, you can use your hands).
Create a large well in the center and pour in 1/4 cup of the milk, the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a seperate bowl, stir the remaining 1/2 cup milk, the remaining sugar, eggs, salt, brandy, butter, and lemon zest.
With the dough hook attached, mix the yeast mixture on low speed until the four is combined. Slowly add the milk mixture, beating just until well combined, about 3 minutes. Crank up the setting to high, and knead for 5 minutes.
Shape the dough into a large ball and transfer into a bowl that has been greased with canola oil or spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warmish place (ie. not near an open window). After a few hours (2-3), the dough should double in size.
Lightly flour the surface of your work area, and roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Any eccess dough can be re-rolled out and cut into rounds. Use 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutters or a drining glass to cut the soufganiyot rounds. Place them on a lightly flour-dusted baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes in a warm place.
Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet with 2 inches of canola oil to 365. I honestly never use a thermometer. I just heat it slowly over medium-high heat, and then reduce it to medium when I start frying. Working in small batches, fry the sufganiyot until light golden brown and puffed on one side, then flip over and do the other side. I say light golden because they continue to darken even when they come out of the pan, so take them out of the pan when they are a shade or two lighter than you want them to be.
Fill a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with the preserves. Make a small hole in the center of each donut and squeeze a some preserves in it, just until it reaches the surface. I personally don't fill my donuts- a heavy sprinkling of confectioner's sugar hits the spot for me. So, sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar just before serving (if you sprinkle too early, the donuts will absorb all the sugar and you won't be able to see it).
Make a well in the center of your flour and add 1/4 cup lukewarm milk, yeast & 1 tspn sugar
In a separate bowl, mix the milk, eggs, salt, brandy, butter & zest
Once your yeast mixture is frothy, turn the mixer on to mix it up
Knead the dough on high for 5 minutes
Place in a greased bowl
Fry in hot oil and watch them puff up befire your very eyes!
I drained mine on paper towels, then dusted them with icing sugar
How could they be bad? They aren't. They're delicious.
Why does it seems like so many poeple are looking for new ways to "modernize' traditional holiday foods, like latkes? Adding veggies, toppings, spices, shapes- it's so unnecessary! If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So, here is my tried and true, super easy, less-messy, old fashioned, oily and delicious latkes.
Kim's Quick Latkes
Makes about 2 dozen latkes
5 medium potatoes (yukon gold, red potatoes)
1 large onion ( I used Spanish onion)
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 generous teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup rice bran oil OR canola oil, for frying
Preheat oven 400. Peel the potatoes and onion, and cut into large chunks. Place the potatoes, onions, and eggs in the base of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process with quick on and off button, until the potato and onions are chopped up small, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Process for a couple of seconds longer until all is well combined. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scooper (you know I like to make sure they are all the same size!), scoop the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Do 4 latkes at a time, so you don't overcrowd the pan. Once the edges appear browned, carefully flip the latke over and cook the other side. Remove the latkes from the skillet, and drain on paper towels. Transfer onto a cookie sheet. At this point, I like to stick the latkes into a hot oven for 3-5 minutes just to give them a final crispiness (totally optional, though). Once they have cooled, you can freeze the latkes in a single layer in a large freezer bag. Just thaw and reheat in a 375 oven for 8-10 minutes.
I can’t pretend that I host Thanksgiving dinner. I never have. Usually, I just show up with a great bouquet of flowers, or an orange lacquered picture frame. This holiday is 100% percent my mother-in-law’s. It’s her forte. And, she does a hell of a job. I will never forget my first ever American Thanksgiving. Walking into my (now in-law’s, back then, boyfriends’ parent’s) house, everywhere I looked, I saw turkey paraphernalia. Rows of tables, adorned in red and brown linens, scattered with chestnuts. A crackling fire burning, there was football on the big screen, and everyone was smiling. I literally hid in the bathroom and called my sister in Montreal: “I feel like I’m on a sitcom”. I couldn’t believe that this was reality. That everyone cautiously chose to wear plaid shirts and brown turtlenecks. As I stood with the huddled crowd, staring into a bright oven, watching those marshmallow-tops singe, I actually thought that this was all for me. Turns out I was wrong. This is actually how they roll.
I’d feel like a fake offering suggestions on how to host your best Thanksgiving dinner ever. What I will share are my awesome thanksgiving biscotti recipe made with walnuts. white chocolate & cinnmaon. They are killer- and they also happen to make the perfect hostess gift.
Kim's Thanksgiving Biscotti (made with walnuts, white chocolate & cinnamon)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 cup light tasting olive oil (not extra virgin)
a pinch salt
a pinch of allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
For the Cinnamon Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk or water
Preheat oven 350. Have a parchment-lined baking sheet handy. Use an electric mixer to mix together the sugars, oil, and egg. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir until a sticky batter forms. Use wet hands to form the batter into 3 equal sized logs, about 3 inches wide by 8 inches long. It may be easiest to form the log directly on the parchment paper. Bake the logs for 25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut the logs into biscotti sticks, about 10 per log.
For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients and mix well until a glaze is formed. If the glaze is too watery, add a teaspoon more of confectioner's sugar. If the glaze is too dry, add a drop of water. Once the biscotti are completely cooled, drizzle the glaze over them. Let the glaze harden by air drying for one hour.
You all asked for this one…My family's favorite dinner..And, you can make it in under 20 minutes! Enough said.
Garlic Salmon with Edamame
Makes 4 servings
One- 2 pound filet of salmon, skin removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tamari sauce
Juice from half of an orange
3 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame, thawed
Kosher Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven 450. Place the salmon in a lightly greased baking, season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake, covered for 15 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Meanwhile, place the remaining ingredients in a glass jar, and shake well to combine. Remove the fish from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Rinse the thawed edamame under some warm running water. Once, the fish has cooled down, pour the sauce over the fish. Sprinkle the edamame over (No, the edamame do not need to be cooked- they have actually already been cooked before packaged and only need to be defrosted!). Enjoy!
The idea for this recipe came to me after reading a recipe for a caramel-date pudding cake. I wanted to make something sweet and indulgent to serve at my Yom Kippur Break-Fast, but instead of a cake-y texture, I wanted more of a fresh toast texture. The dates are cut into tiny pieces and end up melting into the bread-pudding, adding sweet stickiness (no one will ever know the dates are in there!). Imagine golden, toasty challah, in a warm, creamy custard, that's drizzled with homemade caramel. Oh by the way, it's pretty easy to make too. Perfect for dessert, for brunch or whenever you feel like a real treat.
Sticky Date & Caramel Bread Pudding
1 cup pitted dates, (I found pitted dates at Costco)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large challah, cut into small cubes or slices
6 eggs 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup cream or half and half
pinch of kosher salt
For the caramel
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven 350. Chop the date sin to tiny pieces. Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add the dates, baking soda and vanilla. Cook on medium-heat for 10 minutes until all is softened and combined. Set aside. Place the sliced challah into a rectangular pyrex dish, you can place the slices in layers or just throw them all in. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, butter, cream and salt until foamy. Pour the date mixture into the eggs and stir to combine. Pour evenly over the challah. Use your hands to push the challah down into the liquid, to ensure all of the challah pieces are immersed. Set aside while you prepare your caramel. In a small stockpot, combine the cream, butter and brown sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until a caramel is formed. It should stake about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the caramel or yourself! Drizzle the caramel over the challah. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. May be made ahead an frozen. Thaw and reheat before serving.
I'm not a honey cake type of a girl. Never have been, never will be. For me, everytime I try honey cake, the only thing I taste is: dry or burnt. Is it just me? Still, this time of year, I tryy to keep with tradition and serve a honey-inspired dessert. Then I came up with these. Based on a classic Italian cookie (traditionally made with honey and almonds), I combined ground hazlenuts, whole hazelnuts and golden honey to created the most addictive, perfectly sweet, and delicious biscotti- only its not a biscotti, because it is baked just once. What do I love about these beauties? They are easy to make, freeze well, and make the most lovely rosh hashana gifts- you know I am all about gifting food.
Hazelnut & Honey Joy Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
2 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
Seeds from half a vanilla bean pod OR 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven 350. Use an electric mixer to combine the sugar, both hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, baking soda, honey and water. Stir in the vanilla. Use your hands to form into 2 seperate mounds. Roll one mound out onto a table, so it resembles a snake, about 12-inches long and 2-inches wide. Repeat with the second mound. Place both "snakes' on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 3-inches apart from one another. use your fingertips to press down on the dough to flatten it so it is more rectangular in shape than round. Pinch a trail of cinnamon all along the center of the dough as pictured below. Bake in oven, about 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Use a sharp knife to slice the logs horizontally into biscotti. No need to bake a second time. They are ready to enjoy!