Deb's Delicacies - Shabbat and Chagim Menus and Ideas: March 2009

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Seder From Scratch


I had a terrific time last week being interviewed by reporter Linda Lombroso and videographer Angela Gaul -

Lots of recipes here....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Amazing Pesach Products


I am amazed year after year by the kosher for passover faux products that manufacturers believe we can't live without for 8 days.... This year's shocking new product was found during my Monsey shopping trip - and was very timely considering the exchange of comments over the past few days on kosherblog.net

The ingredients are: Water, maltodextrin, sugar, spices and seasoning, onion, monosodium glutamate, salt, vegetable stabilizer, citric acid, caramel color , less than 1% sodium benzoate

So for those of you who don't speak "food chemicals", that would be water, sugar, salt, flavorings, color and preservatives -

How do you say happy passover in chinese???

Friday, March 20, 2009

Intermission from Passover Preparation


I'm not entirely sure what overcame me, but last night I decided to try a food processor (easy!) challah recipe that I'd come across quite some time ago.  I used to bake bread, challah & bagels a long time ago, but realized that the bakery really did a better job, and gave it up.

Anyway, it was a super simple recipe, no hand kneading required, and gave instructions for an overnight rise.  

Here are the results - I'll let you know about the taste next week.

Shabbat shalom,
Deb

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pesach Prep - Step 3 - The Shopping Lists for This Year and Next Year

In April, 2006 I wrote about the need to make your lists in advance, and to make separate lists for the separate stores - read that post as a reminder -

There's one more list that's essential to create, keep in a place you'll remember, and refer to from year to year - your "Buy / Don't Buy" list - a trick I learned from my mother. She posted the list on the inside of the pesach closet - it doesn't matter where you post it, so long as you remember to get it out about a month before pesach.

There are certain foods that can be saved from year to year. I save salt, vinegar, and spices (I know Julia Child would not approve, but come on...). So if I have leftover when I'm packing pesach away, that goes on the "Don't Buy". And if you have a ton of leftover... ummm..... sardines, or chocolate (ok, not possible, I understand), or you bought too much or too little matzoh meal, your Buy/Don't Buy list is the place to record notes like that. My list always has "8 yards contact paper" to remind me how much to buy - nothing's worse than having the kitchen nearly kashered at 2am - and finding out you're 3 yards short, or out of plastic sheeting to cover the table - or have no coffee filters to make coffee the next morning!

Next post - forget the seder of the seder - you need the seder of the cooking! Timelines and organization are key!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Israeli Orange Chicken

2 whole chickens, 3 to 4 pounds each

4 navel oranges

1 1/2 cups orange juice

½ cup honey

3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

 

One or two days ahead:

Quarter one oranges.  Put 2 quarters (with peels) inside each chicken cavity.  Peel and coarsely chop the rest of the oranges.  Stir together chopped oranges, orange juice, honey and ginger until well combined.  Put each chicken inside a plastic bag, and pour half of the orange mixture inside each bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.  Seal bags tightly and put inside a bowl.  Let marinate 1 to 2 days, turning bags occasionally.

Two hours before eating:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place chickens and their marinade in a deep 13x9 roasting pan, breast down.  Roast about one hour, turn over, roast about another hour.  Chicken will turn dark brown. 

Strain and degrease gravy, then reduce by half by simmering over medium heat. Serve on the side of chicken cut into pieces.


Note:  This recipe is very forgiving if the first part of the seder goes longer than expected.  The chicken will stay moist.  If there's any leftover chicken, take it off the bones, warm in the gravy and serve over mashed potatoes.

The Menus

I always type up and print many copies of the menu for a meal this extensive - a clean one gets posted on the kitchen bulletin board, and other copies can be used for checklists, notes, etc. I try to include everything that has to go on the table - so that nothing gets forgotten in last minute frenzy.

Seder Menu

Seder Plate

Charoset { Zeroah { Betzah { Maror { Chazeret

Salt Water

-----

Karpas

Boiled Potatoes { Parsley

-----

Hard Boiled Eggs

-----

Chicken Soup

Matzoh Balls { Soup Nuts

-----

Brisket

Israeli Orange Chicken

Sweet Vegetable Kugels { Israeli Salad { Roasted Asparagus

Roasted Potatoes { Mom’s Tzimmes

-----

Rothschild Cake { Black Forest Roll

Citrus Sponge Cake

Almond Macaroons { Almond Candy { Mandelbrodt

Berries { Melon { Tea and Coffee



Shabbat Lunch Menu

Tossed Salad with Smoked Salmon in Asparagus

Shnitzel Nuggets

Roast Beef

Stuffed Scalloped Potatoes

Red Cabbage Slaw

Israeli Salad

Orange Sweet Potatoes

Sponge Cake

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Brownies

Almond Candy

Almond Macaroons

Fruit


Recipes to follow......



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pesach Prep - Earliest Steps

Step One - Calendar

As always, I start Pesach preparations by looking at the calendar to determine when the holiday falls. This year, we have the pleasure of a three day chag, since the seders are Wednesday night and Thursday night, so we'll segue directly into shabbat.

I knew I was making the first seder and going out for the second. And it seems that as soon as the email blasts start regarding Mishloach Manot, the invitations start flying for Pesach, so I was invited out for Friday night and I invited my bf's family for shabbat lunch. So before I baked the first hamentashen, the "social schedule" was in place.

Step Two - Menus

Since I only make one seder, the menu has become fairly constant over the last few years, only changing side dishes depending on the number of people, and if I see something new that intrigues me. The shabbat lunch menu required a bit more thought, since so many of my shabbat lunch side dish standards are pasta based. Also, since one of the guests can't have gluten, pesach seemed a perfect opportunity to do an entirely GF meal - by the third day of pesach, everyone will have had their fill of matzoh meal laden kugels.

I'll post the menus shortly -

As always, if you have any questions, or would like menu or recipe advice - I'm happy to help - please post your question.

Deb

Friday, March 06, 2009

Deb's Delicacies Order Form

Deb’s Delicacies Order Form

 

Customer:

 

Order Date:

 

Pick Up Date:

 

 

 

# of Units

Price per Unit

Price

Chocolate Chip Cookies – no nuts

 

$8 / dozen

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies – with pecans or walnuts

 

$10 / dozen

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

 

$8 /dozen

 

Chewy Cinnamon Cookies

 

$8 / dozen

 

Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

 

$8 / dozen

 

Lemon Squares (8 x 8 pan – 16 squares )

 

$12 / batch

 

Brownies – no nuts (13 x 9 pan – 32 squares )

 

$20 / batch

 

Brownies –pecans or walnuts (13 x 9 pan – 32 squares )

 

$22 / batch

 

Rice Krispie Treats  (13 x 9 pan – 32 squares )

 

$20 / batch

 

Bundt cake – Orange, Vanilla or Marble

 

$25 each

 

Bundt cake – Orange, Vanilla or Marble – Iced

 

$27 each

 

Frozen Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

 

$40 each

 

Optional Delivery

 

$5

 

Custom Item:

 

 

 

Total

 

 

 

 

Custom Items Available – Inquire for pricing and availability

Deb's Delicacies

With apologies to those of you too far from White Plains - I've started a home baking/catering business...

The standard list of baked goods is just a start, but if you can request it, I can bake it!

I am also available for in-home catering, one-on-one cooking or homemaking classes.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Drugs, Chugs or Mugs? A Purim Dilemma

Though I don't think of myself as a creative person outside of the kitchen, the past few years I've tried to come up with a theme for the mishloach manot baskets I send out - rather than just baking and loading the baskets up randomly.  Last year, everything I baked had nuts or peanut butter, and I included a note "I must be NUTS to do this every year".

This year, probably because of all of the Valentine's Day goodies around, I had the idea to do something about kisses.....  I thought of meringues (referred to in hebrew as neshikot - kisses), peanut butter cookies with hershey's kisses, and got a lip shaped cookie cutter - you get the idea... 

Hershey's also has a products called Hugs - so the idea for hugs and kisses started...  Then I got to Chugs & kisses - which would have included a Beer (get it? chugs!) - quickly vetoed by the kids and the bf.  Of course the teens then suggested drugs & kisses (vetoed by me!)- but we've compromised on mugs & kisses - 

So the final contents will be 

A mug - filled with cocoa mix & tea bags
Meringues
Peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses
Surprise kiss cookies (actually hershey's hugs wrapped in dough)
rice krispie treats - cut out with the lip cookie cutters
Brownies - ditto on the cookie cutters
Mini bundt cakes decorated with x's and o's
and Hamentashen

Happy Purim everyone!!!!

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