Monday, June 12, 2017

June 11 Dreese is SEVEN; the family party


Young Dracula meets Baby Dracula

Our sweet Family

After Dreese's kids + parents "Dracula Party" in their backyard and in the dark "dungeon" in his room, the sentient gathered at Mather. 

In homage to (but more comfortable than) Fenton's, we had a Sandwich Buffet starring potato chips, bread & butter pickles, and vegan tuna salad (a huge success !! A+) and Make Your Own Sundaes, starring Fenton's Swiss Milk Chocolate ice cream + fudge sauce, and, etcs. 

Scroll Right to see it all....

Spot On Vegan Tuna Salad from HotForFood

* makes 4 sandwiches
1 - 15 oz. can chickpeas
1/3 C 1 Tbsp relish (recipe called for a finely chopped dill pickle)
1/3 C finely chopped celery
1/4 C finely chopped red onion
1/3 C Vegan mayonnaise (or less)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Mash them in a bowl with a potato masher or fork. (this is the only time consuming part.)
Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Other Fixins;
Deviled Eggs with Dijon mustard, topped with dill or cilantro or paprika
Tomato slices
Avocado slices (drizzled with lemon)
Brie (soft)
Jack (+tortillas for kids' quesadillas)
Mayo and Vegn Mayo
Bread and Butter Pickles
Black olives
Celery sticks
Potato Chips
Cyrus' Amazing Pearl Couscous Salad with Artichoke hearts and mozzarella cubes
 (ask him for the recipe:) 
I'll remember by youth as a time when my uncle Cy always leaned heavily on me for support.................... Naveed

The Bats

 The folks (thank you Auntie Photographer Karen)

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 2017 New Baby in Town! + Layered salad

Heather and Danny have a Baby Boy!  
                         Brindle Graham Garcia Snyder = Total Cutie

Father's Outlaw Mother [FomFom?] came to visit with this "Middle Eastern Seven Layer Salad".  Not sure why it's Middle Eastern, and not sure how to get the count up to 7 layers, but it's delicious.  I made very few adaptions.

••4-6  cups cooked quinoa  (I used about 4 c of wheat berries.  Chick peas would also be good)
••Kosher salt
••Freshly ground black pepper (+ allspice. I almost always add allspice when I add pepper)
1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups fresh herb leaves:  (I used mint, parsley, cilantro, dill, and a bit of lemon thyme.  Recipe suggests tarragon.  Basil would be good too)
1 bunch red radishes (about 10), halved and thinly sliced (about 4 cups) (10 radishes did not make 4 cups.  So I had about 1.5 cups. Maybe)
1 pound [6] seedless cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

••1/2 teaspoon each cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and yellow mustard seeds
••2 c full-fat or 2%) yogurt
••1 cup mayonnaise  
••2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
••2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
••Kosher salt
••(op: roasted cashews)


••In a very large glass or clear plastic serving bowl, spread the iceberg lettuce in a single layer and season lightly with salt and pepper & allspice. Arrange the herbs on top, followed by the wheat berries --or quinoa --or chick peas. Spread the radishes on top, followed by the cucumbers, pushing them toward the edge of the bowl if you don’t have enough. 

I used Persian Cukes.. no need to peel or seed them.

••MAKE THE DRESSING:In a dry skillet, toast the spices over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar or a bowl and let cool. Use a pestle or the bottom of an ice cream scoop (brilliant!} to lightly crush the spices. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and vinegar. Season with salt. mix in the spices.  (I did this the day before)

 Spread the dressing over the salad, [a flat cheese slicer is perfect here.,, Recipe says to sprinkle with the spices, but since I had mixed them in I sprinkled the top with roasted cashew bits.)  Let sit in frig for at least 1 hour before serving.  Or keep in the Frig overnight or more.

 This made a huge amount of salad... These are the 4 extras.  
2 went to Rumeli's on the day they were made
                     Cyrus thought it was amazing... 

2 went to Alanya [she says she will make this]
... she ate one on day 2 and one on day 3 and they held up perfectly. 

.           I also took Turkish Green Beans..  
tip and tail 2-3 lbs or more of green beans
Put 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes in a blender with 2 chunked onions.
Put  all of the above in a pot 
Add a glug of olive oil and a tsp or sugar
and simmer for a few hours, covered.  Uncover at end if it's too thin.
NEEDS SALT AT END.  and this is the end.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Passover Again April 8, 2017

Would you let this man cook your Passover Brisket?



The Seder went from Generation to Generation

And the table went from Mitzrayim to Canaan

Deborah L!

Former Matherine, Andrew, plus the famous Flossie

Getting Hatted UP



Paul, on left, giving up wine in sadness about the 10 plagues suffered by the Egyptians,

We all wore Plague Masks......:) 

Mom’s BRISKET made by Cyrus,
                   RECIPE BELOW other Recipes by request)
+ a beer free brisket for Catherine
Sweet Potato, Carrot, Parsnips and Prunes Vegan Tzimmes
Roasted POTATOES over onions.
Salad with minced vegetables and seeds made by Steve
            Dressing by Alanya
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Steamed Green beans
Roasted Red peppers
Toffee’d Matza with chocolate.  Made by Alanya. Some with nuts, and
some vegan (coconut oil instead of butter.)
Vegan cookies

.Mom's Passover Brisket  serves 8-10

MAKE at least a day before.  Slice before reheating in its sauce

When cooking the onions, also do some for the potatoes (see below)

2 Tb Oil
4 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced,
         Heat oil in skilled and saute onions and garlic,   
6 lbs beef brisket

Place in large roasting pan and put meat on top, fat side up.  

2 12oz cans beer
Pour in beer,  Bake at 500 for 30 minutes 

10 Tb onion soup mix, minimum
4 Tb tomato paste, minimum
8 Tb brown sugar , minimum

 Combine onion soup mix with enough water to make a paste with tomato paste and brown sugar.  Spoon over the brisket. 

3-5  carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1/4  cup chopped parsley

Add carrots, parsnips, parsley and remaining beer,  reduce heat to 325 , COVER and bake for 3  1/2 to 4 hours at least  probably a lot more--- until very tender.

1/4 lb dried pitted prunes

Add prunes the last hour of baking, or at the very end, after cutting the roast up.  They can cook during reheating.

Cool, slice.  Refrigerate for serving the next day.  Reheat in the oven,  or in a huge dutch oven on the stove. This can go on during the Seder.

 We now make the potatoes separately in order to be vegetarian friendly.   However, the general way is to:

Halve or quarter small potatoes.
 Cook [boil or instant pot] till almost but not quite tender.
Add some butter or oil to the water so it doesn't boil over.
Slice a lot of onions, put on a Pam-sprayed  baking sheet.   Put that in a hot oven and let them cook til pearly. (or cook onions separately on the stove.)
 Put potatoes on them, with paprika.  Let it brown.

When the brisket is done and when you are re heating it,
put potatoes around the meat on top of the sauce,

or  do this all separately with the onions and paprika.  Add a little water so it won't burn, heat with a lot of butter or olive oil, and serve in a separate dish.     

Friday, March 17, 2017

Fred instapotalizes his Lentil Soup


SO Fred called from Chicago to say he would arrivee March 13th!*  Really?  Yayy!
But how come??? 
Because we're married.. Because I'm your husband,,,  
Right. But was he secretly wanting to see the Instant Pot?
* However, due to weather,  he didn't arrive till late on the 14th.

Here's How to Make the Soup:
IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN INSTANT POT -or Pressure Cooker :(
just put it all in a large pot and simmer, covered, for about an hour.

Take out the Insant Pot BOWL.
PREHEAT the Instant Pot by putting it on Saute.

Add this to the BOWL:

1 cup legumes:  mostly lentils, but some yellow split peas or red lentils are nice.
                 Mather only had green and red.
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, unpeeled, chopped
1 can tomato sauce (sm)
2 fronds Swiss chard, chopped 
6 cups boiling water (just to help the pot heat up more quickly)
1 TB or +  Paprika
1 TB dried Basil
2+ TB dried Marjoram
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt-- to taste; probably at least 1 tsp
Juice of one lime
If you're not vegetarian--
Add 1/2 package of smoked turkey sausage, diced into small bits. (Butterball brand comes 2 sausages to a package, so use one; Ekrich is a sausage loop, cut it in half.)

TURN OFF the instant Pot
Put the Bowl back in
Set the Release gizmo to SEAL
Cover and lock the LID
TURN to MANUAL: 12 minutes

At 12 minutes  QUICK RELEASE, taste for salt, and eat.
                   OR let it release on its own.  No problem. it's soup, after all.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

PURIM! March 11 2017 14th of Adar, 5777

Hamantaschen, just like in Kishenev.
Mohn, Cherry-date, walnut-pecan-pistachio, raspberry, and, yes, fudge.
Iced by the boys, signed by Naveed ,and there you have it -
 Plenty to eat and plenty to give as Misholah Monas gifts (aka Purim Mitzva #3]

Misholah Monas for Flossie

"The  FAVORITE FILLING" REPORT:  you will need about 1.5 cups of filling, max, per recipe.
(max 2 favorites per customer.)

HONEY NUT .Rumeli and Mikej's Favorite
CHOCOLATE  from a fudge brownie mix.  Selim & Naveed's favorite
THICK RAPBERRY JAM Carel's favorite
MOHN  Mikej's ,and Carel's fave in general,  but whenever I make it, it tastes "stale".  
Maybe I'll resort to a can next year..
The best hamantaschen, hands-down, are these  from Dawn Perry, whoever she is :)  (though I should revisit Ronnie P's "Jews Are Best Hamantaschen" recipe from the 1970s.)  
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3½"-diameter cookie cutter {I used a mason j  ar lid.)
  • Whisk baking powder, salt, and 4 cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl.
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients; mix until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and form into two ¾"-thick disks. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Place racks in lower and upper thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Let 1 disk of dough sit at room temperature until softened slightly, about 30 minutes.
  • Roll out dough on a very lightly floured surface to about ¼" thick, dusting with flour as needed (use as little flour as possible). Cut out 3 1/2" rounds with cutter and, using an offset spatula or bench scraper, transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Gather up scraps, reroll, and cut out additional rounds.
  • Lightly beat remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Working a few at a time, brush edge of rounds with egg, then place 1 1/2 tsp. filling in center. Fold sides up to make a triangle, pinching points gently to seal and leaving about 1" surface of filling exposed.
  • FOLD first, then  PINCH
  • Brush sides of folded dough with egg. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until bottoms are golden brown, 18–22 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
Do ahead: Dough can be made 2 days ahead; keep chilled. Cookies can be made 2 days ahead; let cool and store.  Or longer if you just happen to have a VacuVita  :)

DINNER was take out Pizza aka Purim Mitzva #4: eating a festive meal 
followed by a  
MEGILLA READING aka Purim Mitzva #1, which must include Greggoring out Haman's name
followed by some 
Rabbi Kermit the Frog 
and also by [ex-] Queen Vashti

       aka Felicia Sloin 

The Purim "players:"
"The Over-NIghter" 
with Challah FrenchToast in Bed..

"The Artist"
[see signed work, above]

"The TeenAger" 
in TeenAger pose

The Purim Queens
Alanya planning Pesach,
Rumeli finishing the work left by the escaped boys

and, "lest we forget:"
Traditional Purim Song, Composer Unknown
via the WWG (World Wide Genizah) of  the Kalashnikover Rebbe,
 who also provides the "Hallachic" commentary below.

                                     Oh once there was a wicked wicked man,
                                    And Haman was his name, Sir.
                                    He would have murdered all the Jews,
                                    Tho they were not to blame, Sir.

                                    Oh today we'll merry merry be
                                    Oh today we'll merry merry be
                                    Oh today we'll merry merry be
                                    And nosh some hamentashen.

                                    And Esther was the lovely queen of King Ahashveyrosh
                                    When Haman said he'd kill us all,
                                    Oh my how he did scare us.


                                    But Mordechai her cousin bold
                                    Said: "What a dreadful chutzpah
                                    If guns were but invented now,
                                    This Haman I would shoot, Sir."


The Kalashnikover Rebbe: There is a machloichis (disagreement) whether or not this verse (*) really belongs in the girsa (version). A vast majority of posqim (Jewish legal authorities) leave it out.

                                    *When Esther speaking to the King
                                    Of Haman's plot made mention
                                    "Ha, ha," said he, "Oh, no he won't!
                                    I'll spoil his bad intention."*


                                    The guest of honor he shall be,
                                    This clever Mr. Smarty
                                    And high above us he shall swing
                                    At a little hanging party.


                                    Of all his cruel and unkind ways
                                    This little joke did cure him
                                    And don't forget we owe him thanks
                                    For this jolly feast of Purim.

                                    From the sublime to the ridiculous.  Or was that  vv?

Got this far?  Still wondering about Purim Mitzva #2?  It is giving gifts to the poor.
My offering = Oakland homeless shelter.