Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Sticky Date & Caramel Bread Pudding

sticky date bread pudding

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

Serves 8-12

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.

sticky date bread pudding

sticky date bread pudding

sticky date bread pudding

sticky date bread pudding

 

 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Here you go again- the best Yom Kippur break-fast

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I have received so many emails from people asking me for an "incredible" break-fast dish.."something unique", "something really special"- that's what you've been asking for. Well, there is one dish that I serve EVERY single year at break-fast, the once-a-year dish that my guests wait for all year round. But I am sorry to disappoint, because it's not that unique, nor is it too special. However, it is delicious, and there are never, ever any leftovers: Blintz-Souffle. There you have it. My sister, Jordana gave me a similar version of this recipe years ago.
You've probably tasted a version of it before, or perhaps even made it yourself. It's simple, takes 5 minutes to prepare (about 50 in the oven), and is actually embarrassingly made with store-bought frozen blintzes (that happen to be delish, might I add)…Yet, my guests keep asking for it, so I must please them! Truth be told, it is truly delicious, easy, and can be prepared and frozen in advance- what more can one ask for? So, it might not be fancy, and perhaps even a little novice, but it works- and that's all that matters. Give it a try this year, my dressed-up version of Blintz Souffle.
 
Blintz Souffle
14 frozen cheese filled blintzes (store bought)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
24 ounces sour cream (I use full fat)
seeds from one split vanilla bean pod or
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven 375. Place the butter in a 9×12" pyrex dish and place into oven for a few minutes, until butter is completely melted. Remove the dish from the oven, and line the blinzes in 2 rows into the bottom of the dish, over the melted butter. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until well combined. Pour this mixture evenly over the blintzes. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully, uncover (it might be a little jiggly, so watch out) and replace in the oven to bake for an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with sour cream and fresh fruit alongside.
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BLINTZZZ
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Friday, September 19, 2014
Hazelnut + Honey = Joy!

Hazelnut and Honey

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!

hazelnut & honey

hazelnut and honey

Hazelnut and Honey

hazelnut and honey

hazelnut and honey

hazelnut and honey

hazelnut and honey

hazelnut and honey

hazelnut and honey

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Monday, September 15, 2014
Sticky Beef Ribs with Fig Wine Sauce

STICKY RIBS WITH FIGS & WINE

There's no doubt that if you're hosting Rosh Hashana this year, you've already started to planning your menu. It doesnt hurt to work woth recipes that can be made ahead of time or even frozen. This recipe for slow-cooked beef ribs in red wine and fig sauce works perfectly for the holidays. One of those, "throw-it-all-in-one-pan-and- go" recipes we all crave. It's a seasonal and sophisticated approach to an all time, finger-licking favorite. Even if figs arent usually your thing, I highly recommend trying this recipe, as the figs really melt into the sauce, creating a robust, flavorsome gravy. You may prepare this recipe ahead of time, and cool completely before freezing. Or make it on the day of, and enjoy as the rich, sweet aroma fills your home just before your guests arrive. 

STICKY BEEF RIBS WITH DRIED FIG WINE SAUCE

Serves 4 to 6 (recipe may be doubled)

5 pounds beef spare ribs

1⁄2  cup honey

1⁄2  cup ketchup or tomato paste

1⁄2  cup soy sauce

1⁄4 cup olive oil


3/4 cup dry red wine

3 garlic cloves, minced


2 tablespoons dried rosemary

1 cup dried Turkish figs, stemmed and halved

Place the ribs in a large roasting pan. Combine 
the honey, ketchup, soy sauce, olive oil, wine, garlic, rosemary and figs in a small bowl and pour over the ribs. Cover tightly with foil and marinate in the refrigerator overnight and up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the ribs, covered, for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake for 2- 2.5 hours more, until the ribs are sticky on the outside and soft on the inside. The figs will likely melt into the rib sauce. The ribs can be made in advance and frozen in the marinade for up to 1 month, or refrigerated overnight and reheated in a 300°F oven the next day.

Monday, August 11, 2014
#kosherfoodiepotluck

potluck

I've got to say- all the technology that has been invented and evolved in the last 10 years makes me really uncomfortable. I know that I have to be part of this technological age, but I totally don't fit in. There are a few reasons for this, number one being that I suck at it. I call my 12 year old niece and nephews everyday for technological help. And, let's just say my IT guy and web designer are losing money having me as a client. I am that incapable. People have asked why I don't post on my blog more often- I mean, it takes me 2 days to upload the photos, so I guess I'm doing something wrong. The truth is, all this social media and blogging has been imperative to the growth of my business- I have been connected with people I otherwise would never have the chance to connect with if not for today's technology. So, what does any of this have to do with food or cooking, right? Well, about a month ago, I received an email from one of my instagram followers, she calls herself @Cookinginheels. Over the last year, she has been posting really kind comments about my cookbook, The Modern Menu. @Cookinginheels was writing to ask me for some advice about the world of cookbooks. We had a nice email exchange, emailing back and forth like old friends. I really wanted to help her if I could. I told her everything I learned writing my cookbook, and warned her about all the mistakes I made a long the way. I tried to tell her everything I wish someone had told me! And, when it was all said and done, I thought to myself: "I should invite her over- we should get together and eat."

From that light bulb moment on, I started thinking about all the kosher foodies I had exchanged with over the years- emails, texts, tweets, instagram comments, facebook messages… So many of these talented food bloggers have written about my cookbook, given shout-outs to my recipes, 'liked' my pictures. I thought it was so crazy that we don't really know each other, for G-d's sake, I didn't even know any of their real names!! Yet, even without knowing each other personally, only in this virtual world, we had supported one another, we had cheered each other along. We had helped each other. 

So, I had this simple idea, to invite them all over for a #kosherfoodiepotluck and celebrate our successes. I emailed them each personally and asked them if they wanted me to invite anyone else that they thought may like to join…I hoped one or two would bite. The response was amazing.

@beautyandsomebeef @busyinbrooklyn @chefchaya @cookinginheels @theghettogourmet @kimkushnercuisine @kitchentested @kosherfoodies @kosherlikeme @manuskitchen @overtimecook @patchkeprincess @shasarna @urbanpops 

Each and every woman was so excited to be part and everyone knew someone who should be invited. (At a certain point I had to draw the line with invites, as the space wouldn't allow for it!) There started to be some buzz around the #kosherfoodiepotluck. I received calls from various media outlets asking to write about the event, and several food companies asked to sponsor the event. We decided to hold a contest on Instagram that would offer 3 seats at our table to our fans. Hundreds of fans competed in the contest- there were Instagram quarrels over who should win!! Everywhere I went, it seemed people were asking about the potluck. I received phone calls and emails from fans begging to pay for a seat at our table ( I of course, turned them down). I just couldn't believe how excited people were getting over this idea. Everyone kept asking: "What are you making?!"

Last Thursday night, we all met on a rooftop in midtown Manhattan (my husband's office has a gorgeous outdoor space that has never been used)- the night was spectacular, the weather was perfection. One by one the women trickled in, each carrying the most gorgeous dishes I had ever seen. The common thread was the simplicity of each dish (except for the cronuts made by @chefchaya- those were from another galaxy!) We had jewel-like fresh figs stuffed with ricotta and topped with fresh mint, fish tacos made with pickled onions & key limes, stuffed eggplant, malawach cheese pastries, outrageous chili, summer vegetable gratin, spelt bread, goat cheese & spinach tart, Asian quinoa lettuce wraps, exotic fruit pavlova, homemade caramels, chocolate chewy-gooey cookies, and specialty ice pops...just to name a few!! All of the ladies went home with goodie packages, or as they like to call it, swag. 

The wine was flowing, as was the food. We sat around a long table talking and laughing the night away. We shared our ambitions, experiences and advice. Everyone was salivating over the next person's dish. 13 women gathered around a table- many of us were from different places, different worlds, and have different ways of observing Judaism. I could not help but think how empowering it was that 13 women, all in the same industry could come together to celebrate one another. And what I knew all along became even more apparent to me- that supporting each other is far more rewarding than competing with one another. It was an unforgettable evening. Thank you, ladies.

#kosherfoodiepotluck

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Corn on the Cob becomes my Favorite Summer Salad

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Everywhere I turn I see fresh corn. At the farmers market, the supermarket, and deli- there's just no avoiding it. So, what ends up happening is I end up with a dozen in my fridge and no one eating them! Below is a great recipe for a summer salad packed with punch, perfect for a barbecue or potluck. Also, if you're ever looking for something to do with your leftover cooked corn on the cob, this is it.
 
Fresh Corn, Sugar Snap & Tomato Salad
Makes 1 large bowl
 
6 corn on the cob, cooked
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
3 cups mixed baby tomatoes, halved
handful of roughly chopped cilantro
handful of roughly chopped mint
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Use a sharp knife to cut the corn off of the cob. Place all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. A great side to serve with grilled fish or meats. Can be made several hours in advance. People always go crazy for this one because it is so unique.
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Sunday, June 22, 2014
My Kid’s Favorite Dinner!
Kosher Rice Bowl kimkushner
This easy shmeasy recipe has become my kid's all time favorite dinner. It's a one pot rice dish made with your choice of ground chicken, beef or turkey- which makes it super versatile. Almost like a Spanish-style rice: simmered onions, along with red and green peppers add great color, and I serve this in bowls, which makes the kids really happy (have no idea why). And, if there are no kids involved, you can have even more fun with this recipe, by topping the rice bowl with your favorite hot sauce, chimichurri, raw onions, or whatever you like.
Anyways, I think that this time of year, more than any other, we're all looking for ways to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen. This is the answer my friends, at least for tonight.
 
Kim's All in One Rice Bowl

2 tablespoons olive oil
I large yellow onion, diced small
1 pound your choice: ground chicken, turkey or beef (you can use lamb too…mmmmm!)
2 stalks of celery, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
1- 15 ounce can chopped or crushed tomatoes
kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cup white basmati or long grain rice

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and the ground meat and use a wooden spoon to break it up into tiny peices while it is cooking, about 8 minutes. Add the peppers, and can of tomatoes, cook for a few minutes longer. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil, vinegar and raw rice. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium-low. Cover, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring once during the cooking time. Top with your favorite toppings and serve immediately. Enjoy the simplicity of it!
 
 
Kosher Rice Bowl Kim Kushner
Saute onions
Kosher Rice Bowl Kim Kushner
Saute celery
Kosher Rice Bowl KimKushner
Add the ground meat (in this case, ground chicken)
Kosher Rice Bowl Kim Kushner
Break it up using while it cooks
 
kosher rice bowl kimkushner
Add the tin of tomatoes
 
kosher rice bowl kimkushner
 
kosher rice bowl kimkushner
Add the rice and cook!
 



 
Monday, June 2, 2014
Some Inspirations- cheesecake so many ways

Cheesecake Pops!

cheesecake pops


What makes this recips super easy is that you can use a store bought cheesecake! Just place the cake into a really large bowl. Gently stir the cheesecake, crust and all, in a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, or by hand with a spatula, until the crust has mixed with the filling. Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baler to scoop 1-inch balls of cheesecake an roll them in your hands to shape more precisely. Insert a lollipop stick into the cheesecake and place on a parchment lined baking tray (if the cheesecake mixture seems too soft, you can freeze the scooped balls for 30 minutes before shaping and inserting the sticks). Freeze the pops for an hour, while preparing the chocolate and accents.

Dip the pops in your choice of chocolates and then dip or sprinkle the accents on at your choosing. Regrigerate or freeze until ready tto serve! You can serve them cold or frozen!

Cheesecakes in a Jar!
 

cheesecakes in a jar

 

Similar concept to my Decomposed Smores recipe- Use your favorite no-bake cheesecake recipe. I like the one on the back of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Packages. Use small jars or shot glasses worl really well too. Sprinkle some of the crumbs into the jar/glass, top with the cheese filling, and top with the topping of your choice.

Cheesecake Cookies!

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Perhaps you'd like ot give these awesome Cheesecake Oreo Cookies a shot? I love the concept of these little ones that I found on browneyedbaker.com!

 
Cheesecake, Israeli-Style?
I posted this recipe at this time last year and have gotten so many requests to post it again. So, here it is. Tried and True!

 

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Yes, it's true. When I think about cheesecake, I think about Israel. I think back to many, many summers, sitting in my aunt's house in Be'er Sheva, drinking instant coffee with lots of milk, and eating her cheesecake out of the cake pan, with a spoon, laughing and crying. I recently read a book where the author says something along the lines of: "It's not about the cooking, it's about the eating- that's when the memories are formed." I have to agree. Israeli cheesecake is un-baked, so you don't have to worry about the complexities of over-cooking or under-cooking, or cooking it in a bath of water, as many cheesecake recipes require. I love the simplicity of it, the springiness- the fact that it's light enough to eat for breakfast. As long as you allow the cake enough time to really chill in the refrigeator (at least 4 hours), this recipe will be a success. The recipe calls for gvina levana, an Israeli creamed cheese. This can be found in Israeli markets, or if you don't have access, simply replace with regular cream cheese. We all know that cheesecakes come in different styles- you can choose your favorite: New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania, or Italian, but I will stick to the Israeli one.
And, one more thing. If you've never made a cheesecake before, this is the recipe I highly reccomend you try for the first time. It's that easy and that good.

Israeli Crumb Cheesecake
recipe from Carine Goren's "Sweet Secrets"
One 9-inch cake

Crust & Crumbs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups (1 and 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold & cubed
2 egg yolks
you will need one 9 inch springform pan, and one 9 inch cake pan (any type works, as long as you have 1 springform pan, you are good to go)

Filling:
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1- 3.5 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix, if you can find an Israeli brand, go for it
3- 8 ounce packages gvina levana or cream cheese

Prepare crust and crumbs. Preheat oven 350. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the yolks and process until a dough is formed. Divide the dough in 2. Line the cake pans with parchment paper- you can buy pre-cut parchment rounds at most baking stores or online. Press one half of the dough into a cake pan, spreading the dough so that it reaches the entire base of the pan. This will be your cake's crust. It might help to wet your hands a little bit with cold water, to make spreading the dough easier. Press the remaining dough into the second cake pan, this one does not need to be as perfect, this will be used to make crumbs for the topping. Bake both pans for about 20 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. The crust and crumbs can be made up to 2 days a head of time, cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap and stored until ready to use.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and instant powder to firm peaks. With the mixer on low speed, add the cream cheese, one package at a time, until all is well combined. Pour the filling over the crust, and smooth the surface so it is nice and even. Crumble up the additional baked crust (the not so pretty one) with your fingertips, and sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake. Refrigerate at least 4 hours until the filling sets. I like to make it a day or two in advance, and lightly cover with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve cold. 
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Preparing the crust & the crumbs

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Crust & Crumbs dough

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Lining the cake pans with parchment paper

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Press the dough into each pan

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 2 pans- one evenly pressed dough used for the cake crust, and one uneven, not-so-pretty dough used for the crumbs

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The baked cake crust

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The uneven baked pan- crumbled into crums to use for the topping
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Whipping the cream and pudding and sugar

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Add the cream cheese and whip

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Mixture should be thick and creamy, but not loose

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Dollop the cheese mixture over the cake crust

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Spread evenly and smooth over the top

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Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake and refrigerate immediately OR if you prefer the crumbs crunchy, sprinkle them over the cake just before serving

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 Sorry I don't have a final picture of the cake yet….it's in the fridge overnight!

 

 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Roasted Eggplant & Red Onion with Greek Yogurt Dip

roasted eggplant kim kushner

I love a quick and easy side dish- and this one is a major crowd pleaser. Thinly sliced eggplant and red onions tossed together and roasted in the oven… The colors are sleek and lively, the flavors are bold and fresh. This is a prefect make-ahead dish, and works well with any variety of eggplant. The greek yogurt is a great accompanyment, not only to this dish, but to any grilled fish or vegetables. The cool silky yogurt is brought to life with fresh mint and parsley leaves, and sprinkled with crunchy, juicy pomegranate seeds. And, I can't forget to mention the golden drizzle of silan (date syrup) or honey… So good!

This recipe is super easy and you can also check out my QUICK VIDEO  to see how I made this dish using 2 types of eggplant (Italian eggplant and Thai eggplant)!
YouTube Preview Image

Roasted Eggplant with Yogurt, Silan and Pomegranate
 
Serves 8
 
1 eggplant, sliced widthwise into ¼ inch slices- or any eggplant variety
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
One 5 ounce container Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
2 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley
Juice from 1 lemon
seeds from 1 pomegranate
2 tablespoons silan (date syrup)
1 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
 
Preheat oven 425. Toss the eggplant and onions in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in oven 15 minutes, toss around, and bake an additional 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mint, parsley, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the eggplant and onion on a serving dish. Scoop the yogurt into the center of the dish, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with silan and chili flakes.
 
roasted eggplant & red onions kim kushner roasted eggplant & red onions kim kushnerroasted eggplant & red onion

Sunday, May 18, 2014
P.I.C.K.L.I.N.G.

pick·ling
ˈpik(ə)liNG/
adjective
 
  1. (of food) suitable for being pickled or used in making pickles.

     

     

     

    Love it. Actually, I really am obsessed with pickles or anything that is pickled. Growing up, there was always a bowl or bright, pickled vegetables somewhere on the table.

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    I know that pickling sounds like such a complicated technique, but it's actually really easy. When it comes to cooking, I don't do hard. The best part of pickling foods is that it extends the shelf life by a lot. That's why I love pickling carrots, radishes, lemons or anything that's been sitting in my fridge for longer than I want it to. The recipe below is a basic pickling recipe that works well with all vegetables. After you pickle for the first time, you will get a better idea of what flavors you like most, and the next time you do, you will pickle just the way you like it. 

    pickled-vegetables
    This week I pickled gorgeous watermelon radishes ( I love radishes and you can definitely pickle regular radishes too)..You may pickle the vegetables separately or mix them up. Gorgeous and delicious..Perfect to serve at a barbecue!
     

    Pickled Vegetables

    3-4 cups sliced vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, radishes, cucumbers, green beans, cabbage, peppers, radishes…)
    2 lemons
    1 cup apple cider vinegar
    1 cup white or rice vinegar
    1/3 cup sugar
    4 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 Teaspoon coriander seeds (whole seeds! I use Indian coriander seeds- ahhhmazing!)

    Have a few glass jars with wide openings cleaned and dried (I used old jam or coffee jars). Cut the lemons in half, squeeze the juice into a small sauce pan. Add the vinegars, sugar, salt and coriander. Stir with a wooden spoon and bring the mixture to a boil. This should only take a minute or two. Once it is boiled, remove from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. Pack your veggies into the prepared glass jars. Pour the marinade evenly over the veggies in the jars. Cover the jars with lids and refrigerate for a few hours and up to 3 weeks. The longer the veggies marinate, the stronger the flavor..but I like mine even just an hour or two into marinating!! 

    Warning: these are addictive.

    P.S. Check out my quick pickling video on facebook.com/kimkushnercuisine and on instagram @kimkushnercuisine

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Thursday, May 8, 2014
Dark Chocolate, Coconut & Olive Oil Granola

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If you love granola, you will really love granola when you make it at home. It is thaaat much better. Fresh and crispy right out of the oven, and you can personalize it to make it just the way you like it. I know I say this about many recipes, but granola actually is super-easy to make. You can save a lot of money by making your granola at home, and you can make it just the way you like it! Also, a great homemade gift idea…I made mine this morning using a variety of seeds, coconut, dark chocolate, extra virgin olive oil and raw local honey (which I got from my latest Farmigo order- if you dont know about Farmigo yet- you must click here, it's the best, easiest way to get local, organic foods delivered!) I encourage you to substitute any ingredients below with ones that you love. Remember, this recipe is just a guideline for you to follow measurements.

Kim's Dark Chocolate, Coconut & Olive Oil Granola

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar of coconut sugar
1 cup unsalted pumkin seeds, seeded
1 cups unsalted sunflower seeds, seeded
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
3/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried coconut chips
3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven 350. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the oats, sugar and seeds on the baking sheet. Add the vanilla, honey/syrup, oils and salt. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until the oats are well coated.
Use your hands to flatten the mixture into a single layer, evenly spread on the baking sheet. Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use a wooden spoon to mix it up, moving the oats on the edges into the center and vice versa. Reduce the temperature to 300. Replace into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat the mixing, and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. (Granola usually takes 30 minutes to cook completely) The oats should be toasty and brown, but be careful not to burn them! Once the mixture is golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut chips and chocolate chunks. Store in a glass jar and enjoy with yogurt, ice cream, or simply on its own! Yum. I would love to hear how you take your granola.
xo, Kim

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Place oats on parchment-lined baking sheet

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Add the brown sugar

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Add the seeds/nuts

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Add the vanilla (I used vanilla bean powder)

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Add the honey/syrup

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Add the coconut oil

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Add extra virgin olive oil

 

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Stir all together

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Bake for 10 minutes and stir

 

 

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Bake until golden brown and crisp

 

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Stir in the chocolate and coconut chips

 

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Store in a glass jar

 

 

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Thursday, April 3, 2014
This Passover- keep it simple.

kim_kushner_passover
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Hamentashen Heaven

HamentashenRocky Road Hamentashen

This year 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.
chocolate hazlenut

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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.

4 eggs
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.

Rocky Road Hamentashen
Cookies and Cream Hamentashen

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Filling Recipes
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
Mini marshmallows
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.

Ferrero Rocher 
You can use actual Ferrero Rocher chocolates here, just break each one into tiny pieces OR
Nutella
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.
Rocky Road Hamentashen
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Thursday, February 13, 2014
A Thumbprint Cookie Kind Of A Day
 
thumbprint cookies

Really. It's a thumbprint cookie kind of a day….wouldn't you say?
When it comes to baking, a lot of my students tell me there are too scared to go outside of their comfort zone. So many people stick to their tried and true, family-recipes, like chocolate chip cookies, or brownies. And, I am all about tried and true. But, once in a while, why not try something new? Something that might seem a little less straighforward than the usual- but that offers that same old, "homey" taste. The old-fashioned thumbrint cookie. These are super simple to make, and just take a few minutes longer than your regular, old chocolate chips cookies…and so delicious. In my version, I like to keep them light but nutty, using finely chopped pecans (but you can use any nut of your choice!)  sweet and salty, and my secret ingredient, lemon zest, which really takes these cookies over the edge. You can fill them with any jam of your choice- I used a baby spoon to fill the center with raspberry preserves, but you can also fill a ziplock bag with a scoop of preserves, cut off a tiny piece of the bag, and squeeze…for less mess.
Try this recipe- you will be happy you did!

Kim's Thumbprint Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

3/4 cups pecans (or nut of your choice)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
1 egg
zest from 1 lemon (finely zested)
1/2 cup ypur favorite jam or preserves (I love raspberry!)

Preheat oven 350. Process nuts with 1/4 cup of flour until very finely chopped. Using an electric mixer, combine the remaining flour, buttter, confectioner's sugar, and salt. Add nut mixture, egg, and the lemon zest. Mix just until combine and a dough is formed. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or so. Break off equal sized pieces of dough and shape the dough into 1 inch balls (a mini ice cream scooper works well here to get equal sized balls). Place the balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and flatten them slightly by pressing down on them. Use your thumb or the back of a wooden spoon handle to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill each cookie with a little dollop of jam. Resist the urge to use too much jam, as it will overflow onto the cookies while baking. Less is more here, people. Place into the oven, and bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden. Let cool and enjoy. They freeze super well, by the way!  

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I used a mini ice cream scooper to scoop the dough into balls that will be equal in size

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Roll the dough into balls and flatten slightly

thumbprint cookies

Use the back of a wooden spoon handle to make an indentation in the center of the cookie

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Use your favorite jam or preserves

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A baby spoon works well to fill the cookies

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How cute are these?

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Voila!
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