Thursday, April 24, 2014

Whole Wheat Beer Bread: Chametzfest Link Up

I don't know about you, but I am feeling lazy.  I want a break from cooking. Pesach/Passover has worn me out. So many holiday and Shabbat meals, so many guests, so much fun (and work) and so much yummy food. To sum up the recent cooking and eating period, I will quote a loosely translated Hebrew expression: it was good and it's good that it's over (Zeh Haya Tov V'Tov Shehaya).

In the above spirit of cooking burnout inspired laziness, there was no way that I was baking Challah today so I opted for the easier option of baking beer bread.  This choice of bread baking is also the perfect selection for this week's Kosher Connection Link Up/Chametzfest. You can't get more Chametz than beer and bread and beer bread definitely trumps it all. 

The Recipe


3 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp demerara or other natural cane sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt 
12 ounces (300-330 ml) beer


Mix dry ingredients
Add beer and mix with wooden spoon until a dough is formed
Pour dough into greased loaf pan and bake 50-60 mins.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Easy Pesach Coconut Macaroons

I love cooking and baking. Could you tell? At the same time, there are some things that I just don't make. There are actually lots of things that I don't prepare.  I used to want to cook and bake everything but learned that with a family, a job and a life besides cooking, that some things are not worth the time, especially if you can buy them or have a friend or family member who can make it instead. Examples? Kreplach: after spending a ton of time in the kitchen only to have a 12 little sad things floating in my soup when I can just buy a package that tastes better and takes no time. Gnocci-same! Sushi, I cheat and make Sushi Salad and have children that make it sometimes but no matter what it tastes better from the Sushi place.  

Until this very moment in time, macaroons fell into that category. I remember, every year my mom buying the canned macaroons that were small, over-moist and sickly sweet and I never did care for them much. Then one year, I had a palate-opening experience. Gitel's a kosher bakery in Chicago in the 1980's, opened it's new premisis just before Pesach and they were selling these large, fluffy, delectable macaroons. I then discovered that I like macaroons. After that year, those airy and tasty macaroons disappeared into thin air, never to be seen again until I came to Israel in 1986, you couldn't find the sticky canned stuff any where but every bakery and supermarket was filled with these puffy, fluffy, delicious coconut delights.  

So, again...why should I make them? Even with the inflated and crazy prices, there is so much other work for Pesach, so who needs to make something that can be bought. The truth, I would have never thought of making them but ironically, now, in the middle of using up all my Hametz food, I found myself stuck with an opened bag of coconut to use up and decided to experiment.

Well, they came out delicious! Not as pretty as the store bought ones but light and not too sweet. I'm still not sure if I'll make them for Pesach but I will definitely consider it if time permits.


3 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt


Heat oven to 180 C (350 F)
Whip up egg whites until peaks form.
 Gradually add sugar vanilla and salt and whip some more until well-blended
Mix coconut into egg white mixture
Form into balls and bake until lightly browned for 15-20 minutes

Makes 20-24 cookies

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baked Tuna-Potato Patties for Pesach and All Year Round

Hi All. I'm on a roll here with three posts in a little over a week. I can hear the applause and feel that back patting! I am now in my mode of operation that I call creative procrastination. It basically means that I do lots of productive things but not necessarily those on the top of my priority list. This translates to cooking and blogging instead of Pesach cleaning.

 Next Monday night we are throwing a Sheva Brachot  with four other families and one of the dishes I need to prepare is

Tuna Patties. This recipe is based on a recipe that I got from my neighbor Judy but I have adapted it slightly.  I hadn't made these in ages as maybe two family members would eat them and because as the original recipe called for frying which I try to avoid. Well, lately I have been baking more and more "frying" recipes with amazing results including this one. So without any further ado (Drum Roll) the recipe!


2 cans of tuna, drained
2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 medium onion, chopped and sauteed in canola or olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
Additional oil or cooking spray


Mix all of the ingredients together until well blended.
Grease or spray baking sheet or pan
Form into small patties and place on pan
Bake on 225 C (450 F) for 15-20 minutes.
If necessary, flip and bake approximately 5-10 mins more.

Betavon! Enjoy!