Thanksgiving 2020 is upon us and it’s looking different than usual. Many aren’t able to celebrate with family and the traditional Thanksgiving feast seems excessive for small groups and gatherings.
But it’s still Thanksgiving. And as hard as this year has been, just being here means there is what to be thankful for. Even if that means we don’t get to feast with family. Or we’re feasting over Zoom with a turkey sandwich.
So we adapt. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how to do that. We do the best we can. One day at a time. We do with what we have. And who we have.
This year Thanksgiving might mean putting out a snacking board and playing a game of Kahoot over Zoom. And that is more than ok. We can all celebrate something. Somehow.
This board was inspired by Abeles & Heymann all new cabanossi that come in natural kosher casings in both regular and spicy flavors! The mini’s are super fun, just warm them up for a few minutes at 350 degrees to give that casing some extra snap!
Wishing you and yours a very festive and Happy Thanksgiving!
1.5 lbs. green beans
2 tbsp olive oil
Trader Joes everything but the leftovers seasoning, to taste
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread green beans on a baking sheet and mix with olive oil and seasoning. Roast for 15 minutes.
Variation: use herbs de provence or dried herbs in place of Trader Joes spice.
Maple Cider Cranberry Sauce
1 12oz. bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
3 cinnamon sticks
3 strips orange zest
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup maple syrup
Add cinnamon sticks, orange zest, peppercorns and cloves to a spice bag, or create your own using a piece of cheesecloth (just tie the corners together).
Place spice bag, cider and maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove spice bag. Add cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until cranberries burst and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and rest until completely cooled. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Leftovers! We all have a love/hate relationship with day-old food that we’ve already eaten. I mean we had it once, we enjoyed it, now why have it again, right?
Sunday night is usually our leftovers day because of all the food we have from Shabbosfest. I tend to repurpose the leftovers and find a new, fun way to serve them, because lets face it, the kids will turn their noses at it otherwise! It’s kind of a competition to me and I love to have fun with it – but we never touch it after the weekend.
Mondays is meatless in our house, and Tuesdays is for tacos (duh), which basically means anything with ground beef. Wednesdays I tend to make chicken, but it’s also the day that I’ll go through the fridge and see if there are any leftover ingredients that are going bad before I do my Thursday restock for Shabbat. If I have fruits on the fringe, I’ll know to make a fruit crisp for dessert and if my veggies are not quite crisp enough for salad, then there’s something with roasted veg on the menu.
This week, when I had leftover deli meat, and a couple of fresh figs, I came up with this sweet and salty appetizer – because that combo is my JAM! I won’t say how many I ate but it was many. And I could have probably eaten the whole tray in one sitting.
Charcuterie Stuffed Figs
15 fresh figs
2 cups chopped deli meat (see note)
1 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard, plus more for garnish
1 tsp honey
pickled jalapenos, for garnish (recipe follows)
Trim the tips of the figs to remove the stems. Cut an X shape into each fig, as if you are cutting it into quarters, leaving the bottom intact. Set aside.
Add deli meat to a cold saucepan and saute over medium heat until the meat releases some of it’s fat, 6-8 minutes. Add the mustard seeds and toast for 1 minute. Add brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and honey and stir until the meat is coated.
Stuff the figs the charcuterie mixture and top with pickled jalapenos and dijon mustard.
NOTE: use whatever deli meat you have on hand. I used a combination of smoked turkey and salami.
4 jalapenos, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Add the jalapenos to a mason jar. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the hot brine over the jalapenos. Cool and store in the fridge for up to one month.
I gotta hand this one to my son, who came up with this glorious concoction all by himself during our grocery haul on Friday! He gets it from his momma :)
I let him work out the details on his own, pick out the ingredients at the store, and then plan it out when we got home. Lets not talk about the mess! There was lots of sticky fluff everywhere, cereal all over the floor and melted chocolate drizzled in places, but he was SO PROUD of his first real success in the kitchen and I was too!
Wishing you are yours a healthy and happy s’mores with plenty of delicious treats!
S’mores Rice Krispies Treats
16oz. marshmallow fluff
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
6 graham crackers, crushed
9oz. mini chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut oil, butter or trans fat free margarine
Using a greased spatula, transfer the marshmallow fluff to a microwave-safe container and microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Add the Rice Krispies and half of the graham crackers to a large mixing bowl and stir in the fluff, mix until incorporated. Stir in 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips. Transfer the Rice Krispies to a greased 9×13 pan pan, pressing down to flatten and smooth out the cereal.
Add the remaining chocolate chips and oil to a bowl and microwave in 15 second increments, until melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the Rice Krispies and spread evenly. Top with remaining crushed graham crackers, and salt, if desired.
Refrigerate the treats until solid and slice into squares.
VARIATION: to up the ante on these, use marshmallows instead of fluff and toast them over the fire before mixing into the s’mores. Then finish the s’mores with some Maldon salt!
It’s so weird to be posting post COVID-19. It’s like there was life before the Carona virus and life after the Carona virus and they just aren’t the same.
And I don’t mean just because we are quarantined, and our kids are being homeschooled, and we’re all juggling this new reality of social distancing, nonstop cooking, cleaning and keeping the kids busy. By now, that seems like regular life.
Having been hit with a really bad case of the virus, over 2 weeks of nausea, vomiting, fever and body aches, and 6 days in the hospital, I feel SO LUCKY TO BE ALIVE! Every day that I wake up and I’m breathing, I am so thankful and emotional that I get to live this life – even if it’s hard, and every day feels like a challenge.
The love that I received from this amazing community that we’ve built here is truly beyond words. The messages, the prayers, the GREATEST HUG that held me tight is something that I will never forget and I am so grateful for. I’ve often called the BusyInBrooklyn community my “instafam” but I never realized just how great it really is until I fell ill. I am so thankful for each and every one of you, and your support through this time has meant the world to me.
Of course to all of my amazing friends who sent over dinners, toys for my kids, gifts and flowers, how can I ever thank you? Even though you were juggling your own crazy quarantine life, you made it happen and I am so lucky to have you in my life!
I’m taking things slow these days, one step at a time. Of course Pesach is coming and like much of the world, I’m making Passover for the first time, but I’m keeping things sans-pressure. We will get through it, we will manage and it will be beautiful no matter what!
As we celebrate the Exodus from Egypt this year, I’m reminded that although we are quarantined in our homes and it somehow feels like we’re in exile, I have truly never been more free! Our freedom is a state of mind that we get to choose every day. It is a realization that our circumstances don’t get to define how we allow ourselves to feel. If there is life and health, there is hope. Everything else is just details.
To me, nothing is more reminiscent of Passover than the taste of marzipan! All the Pesach desserts were always scented with the essence of almond, and I couldn’t love it more. My kids are big on rainbow-cookie-flavored desserts, so I came up with this easy and delicious way to enjoy it! Making homemade marzipan is super easy, and when it’s enrobed in my favorite kosher for Passover chocolate chips, made by California Gourmet, it just takes it over the top.
Wishing you and yours a kosher and happy and safe Passover!
Marzipan Butter Cups
YIELD: 10 cups
3/4 cups blanched almond meal or flour (see note)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp water
1 tsp pure almond extract
10oz. California Gourmet KFP chocolate chips
Place the almond meal, powdered sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor with the S blade attached, pulse until the ingredients are incorporated. Add the water and almond extract and blend until a paste forms and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the paste is very sticky, add more powered sugar until it’s easy to handle.
Form the paste into a log and wrap tightly in parchment paper to form a log, twisting the paper like a candy wrapper. Place the marzipan in the freezer to set.
In the meantime, place the chocolate chips in a Ziploc freezer bag and add to a large bowl. Pour boiling hot water over the bag and leave it in the water until the chocolate starts to melt, about 2 minutes. Remove the bag from the water and mix the chocolate in the bag to move around the chips that arent melted, return to the water until all the chocolate has melted completely.
Set 10 paper cupcake liners on a baking sheet. Snip the corner of the Ziploc bag and pipe chocolate into each liner to cover the base. Bang the tray down on your counter to flatten the layer of chocolate.
Remove the marzipan from the freezer and slice into 10 rounds. They should be the width of the cupcake liner – if they are smaller just flatten with your hand. Place the marzipan on top of the chocolate layer, and cover it with more chocolate, banging the sheet tray on the counter to evenly coat the marzipan.
Sprinkle with more sea salt, if desired, and freeze until solid.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
NOTES: if you don’t have almond meal or flour, you can create your own by pulsing 1 cup of blanched slivered almonds in the food processor until finely ground.
If you don’t have a food processor, use finely ground almond flour and mix by hand.
If you don’t like almond extract, you may use vanilla extract although the flavor will be different!
VARIATIONS: you can make marzipan out of any nut and use the corresponding extract to enhance the flavor. Alternatively, you can use nut butter and add powdered sugar to make it more of a dough, then fill as above.
The Super Bowl is just around the corner and although I’m not a sports fan, I’ll take any excuse for a party! Especially when said party involves lots of finger food!
I’ve never been into sports, although I grew up with brothers who were big into the game so I totally get the hype! I’m happy to let the guys do their thing in front of the TV, while I do my thing in the kitchen. Just as there’s a strategy in the sport, there should be one in your menu planning too – lots of deli, plenty of small bites, and don’t forget the drinks!
When Domino® Sugar reached out to me about their new Domino® Golden Sugar, I was stoked to work it into a Super Bowl recipe! I love that it’s less-processed than granulated sugar and that it has a hint of molasses flavor. Domino® Golden Sugar is made from pure cane sugar and works cup-for-cup just like white sugar, but has a beautiful golden color.
I’ve always been intrigued by pineapple glazed ham, so I decided to do a bite-sized kosher version, using smoked turkey! The Super Bowl has always been about the big deli subs, so why not make glazed deli bites with a sweet sauce, inspired by the new Domino® Golden Sugar.
What I love about this recipe is that it uses easy to find ingredients and doesn’t take long to put together. They look adorable plated and no one will be able to resist the sweet, smoky and salty bite!
Now no matter who wins the game, you know you’ll be winning in the kitchen! Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
Sweet Hawaiian Deli Skewers
YIELD: approximately 30 skewers
1 lb. chunk of smoked turkey
20oz. pineapple chunks, in 100% juice, juice reserved
12oz. maraschino cherries
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup Domino golden sugar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp sriracha
Cut the smoked turkey into chunks. Thread the turkey, pineapple and maraschino cherries onto skewers. Place the skewers onto two baking sheets.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a small saucepan, combine the reserved pineapple juice, sugar, soy sauce, ketchup and sriracha. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Brush the sauce onto the turkey, pineapple and cherries and bake for 15 minutes, glazing it again with the sauce halfway through cooking.