Monday, June 29, 2009

Ketchup Shocker

Though this post has nothing specifically to do with Shabbat or Chagim- since ketchup is an ingredient we all use (and is nearly always kosher), I thought I'd pass this info along.

I check's blogs every day and was totally shocked to see this ketchup taste test - the only time I've ever bought ketchup other than Heinz was for pesach - and stopped doing that years ago since my kids decided it was better to do without for a week than to use the awful pesach ketchup.

Gonna have to do a taste test of my own..... Ok, now that's the connection to Shabbat - in a few weeks when my son and I will both be home for shabbat, I'll make foods that are ketchup related - as an ingredient, and a dip .... Menu to follow

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Third Time's the Charm

Even though I was almost satisfied with the results of my last attempt at challah, when I started the process this week, I made several changes. First, I've given up on the food processor for mixing. Last time, the motor started to overheat, and so I switched to my mixer, which, after all, is really the machine for the job. The entire process was interspersed with a few other kitchen tasks tonight, including shabbat food and tonight's dinner.

Probably more significant though, is I've given up on the idea of the overnight rise. I'm not sure what I thought the benefit would be, but I've learned that the rise time is directly affected by temperature, so I can make the challah work around my schedule. The baking time is only a half hour, so it can be the last thing baked on a Thursday night, and can cool overnight on a rack (which is what the picture shows).

If this batch tastes as good as it looks, I'll post the recipe.

Post Shabbat Review..... The taste is good but the challah still has a cakier consistency than I want. I'm going to do some reading to see what gives bread the chew and pull that I'm going for. All that said though, if you have a good mixer or a good food processor, baking challah is simple, doesn't require a huge amount of time or effort and it's very satisfying to put homemade challah on the table!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's All About the Product - Take 2

The menus for this shabbat are all about my sons' favorties foods - Older son is home from Israel and it's younger son's last weekend home before camp.

Many of their favorite recipes call for chopped, minced or crushed garlic, and I've found that a microplane grater deals makes dealing with garlic a snap.  Easy to use, easy to clean, no smelly hands!  Leave the stem end on the garlic after you peel it for a handle.

The grater is also terrific for grated ginger, avoiding the stringy mess that can happen when you try to grate ginger on a box grater.

The microplane grater turns my sister's recipe for Spicy Noodles (with sesame oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper) into a 2 minute recipe - my favorite kind!

This shabbat's foods will include sushi (home made), gazpacho, cajun meatloaf, corn kugel and whatever else their hearts (and stomachs!) desire -

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