Archive for March, 2011

I Really Need to Get More Organized in Getting Ready For Pesach

March 31, 2011

I really need to get more organized because Pesach is around the corner. This site looks very helpful.

Parshat Tazria (and Metzorah)

March 31, 2011

This week’s parsha, Tazria, talks about (among other things) tzara’at (tzaraas), which could afflict a person’s skin, clothing, or even house (discussed in the following parsha, Metzorah) as a result of the afflicted person having spoken loshon hara (gossip) (see here for a nice commentary on Parshat Metzorah about this; also see here).

For this week’s parsha, my original thought was making gingerbread men and a gingerbread house (with color appropriate spots), but my son had enough of cookies and wanted to go back to cake. Also, I just used up the last bit of my opened all-purpose flour. And it is getting awfully close to Passover and I have lots of cleaning to do. And I have these building block candies to use up before Pesach. So, even though tzaraas on houses is really discussed in Parshat Metzorah, not Tazria, I let my kids build a candy house on top of our Shabbos cake. The red and green blocks are the tzaraas afflicted stones.

Our real parsha project was talking about the parsha and loshon hara. After I told my son a story about loshon hara, he wanted to write his own story, which is what we did together.

Here is the story about loshon hara: Yettele’s Feathers and another version of this same tale.

Super Easy, Super Quick Deep Dark Chocolate Cake for Passover

March 31, 2011

Do you need a simple chocolate cake for Passover? Not a decadent flourless mousse-ey thing, but a chocolate birthday cake kind of cake or a chocolate snack cake kind of cake?

You have come to the right place.

I have a recipe that is so easy you could make it with your preschool age children (I did) in no time flat. No separating eggs, no melting chocolate, no creaming margarine . . . . You just whip the eggs really well, let child A dump in the sugar, continue beating until the eggs are light yellow and fluffy like lemon mousse, let child B dump in the oil, beat a second or two more, and then Child A or B dump in the bowl of cocoa powder, potato starch, and baking soda, mix a little, stir a bit with a spatula, and dump the batter in the pan and bake.

That is it. And the cake will rise miraculously in the oven and emerge with a deep, dark chocolate flavor and a velvety crumb.

And it doesn’t taste Pesadich! I gave a piece to my mom and asked her to guess what was missing. She first guessed eggs, then oil, and then a couple of other things before guessing, incredulously, “flour?!” She was flabbergasted. It really tastes like regular chocolate cake. (more…)

BIG: March 30 is “Buy Israeli Goods Day”

March 29, 2011

Tomorrow is BIG, Buy Israeli Goods Day, a project of Stand With Us, to counter a campaign planned for the same day to boycott Israeli products.

Not sure where to buy Israeli products in your area? Go here (and you might also want to see this blog about Israeli products).

Fun video here.

Crustless Mini Broccoli Quiches

March 29, 2011

My husband likes quiche, but he has an aversion to extremely moist, custardy quiches. He likes quiche firm and eggy, almost like a frittata. So, I knew I hit the jackpot when I spotted a egg-heavy and liquid-light vegetable quiche recipe in an advertisement for a Wallace and Gromit movie.

This is an easy, delicious quiche. Made crustless, it could probably be modified for Passover by using potato starch instead of flour. Since there is so little liquid, the recipe would probably work even if you just left the flour out and didn’t bother to swap in a substitute at all.

I had about 12 ounces of Bodek frozen broccoli to use up, and my husband requested mini-quiches, so I modified the original recipe a bit so that it would make six crustless quiche muffins. (more…)

Hamantaschen Challah and Chocolate French Toast Casserole

March 28, 2011

I am a bit late posting this. The Shabbos before Purim I made Hamantaschen Challah: egg rich, vanilla scented dough surrounding a dark chocolate filling.

Slices show an oval of chocolate bread floating in the center of the challah.

I used leftovers to make decadently rich baked French toast (a kind of bread pudding, topped with a toffee sauce and milk chocolate chips).


Happy Birthday (Soccer Party)

March 27, 2011

This was a simple cake that came together very quickly. The green plate above holds nineteen cupcakes frosted with kelly green icing piped through a grass tip. The soccer candies are Wilton. The lettering is from fondant cut out with Wilton letter/number fondant cutters. Fondant lettering was chosen because it is hard to pipe lettering on frosting grass.

All dollar store paper goods, plus really nice soccer balls from Oriental Trading as a party favor. Five Below and Amazing Savings had real soccer balls for slightly more, about $5 each, but we went with these.


Parshat Shemini

March 24, 2011

Fish cookies for this week’s parsha project. The cookie dough is the same that I used for my cow cookies last week. It is an easy to handle oil-based dough that makes cookies that taste buttery and keep remarkably well.

This week’s parsha discusses (among other things) the offering made on the eight day of the inauguration of the mishkan and also lists kosher and unkosher creatures. (for an interesting discussion of the connection between the eighth day of the inauguration of the mishkan and the listing of kosher and unkosher creatures, see At the Zoo, by Rabbi Hoffman, YU Torah Online 3/21/11)

I picked fish with fins and scales as the kosher creature to make for this parsha project because of the interesting parsha articles that I read (see below) that discussed the connection between Jews and fish, and the symbolism of fins and scales.


Free PDF Tutorials from Cake Journal!

March 21, 2011

Louise, at Cake Journal, is offering free PDFs of her cake tutorials. Right now, there are eleven available, including the pdf for making these cute paper cones–wouldn’t these have been adorable for mishloach manot decorated in a Purim theme?

Almond Thins

March 21, 2011

After making the chocolate hamataschen, I had two egg whites leftover. This recipe for almond cookies–really candied almonds in cookie form–used up both the whites and some languishing sliced and slivered almonds.

If you make this recipe with kosher-for-Passover powdered sugar (finely ground sugar with potato starch mixed in instead of cornstarch), these are good for Passover. Easy and elegant.