Chanukah (KHAH-nik-uh; KHAH-noo-kah) recalls the struggle for religious freedom and commemorates the Rededication of the Temple following the victory of the Jews over the Seleucid Greeks in the year 165 B.C.E. Chanukah means Rededication.
The 8-day rabbinic Jewish Festival of Chanukah always begins on the 25th day of Kislev and, depending on whether Kislev has 29 or 30 days, ends on either the 3rd or 2nd day of Tevet. This year, Kislev has 29 days and thus this year Chanukah will end on the 3rd day of Tevet. (On the civil calendar, this year Chanukah begins at sundown on Tuesday, December 4 and ends at sundown on Wednesday, December 12.)
According to tradition: a single portion of oil, used to light the 7-branch Temple Menorah (the symbol of the Jewish faith), that was to last only one night, lasted eight nights. In commemoration, the 8-branch Chanukah menorah is lit, increasing the number of candles lit each night, until on the eighth and last night, 8 candles are lit. In many American households, red, white and blue candles are set aside for use on the final night.
Continuing the theme of the “miracle” of the oil, the custom is to eat foods fried in oil on Chanukah. Latkes, fried potato pancakes, is typical to almost every American Jewish household of Ashkenazic (central and eastern European) descent. Jews of Sephardic (Spanish and Portuguese) descent favor sufganiyot, fried jelly doughnuts.
For the latkes and sufganiyot recipes, click MORE:
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Posted in Dessert, Ethnic, Jewish, Kosher, Recipes, Veggies | No Comments »
Do you have any zucchini still hanging around your kitchen? You know, those gargantuan stringy seedy suckers no one likes to eat? If so, great, because they’re perfect to use in this simple cake recipe. If not, than any size zucchini will do. This is one of my favorite things to make in the autumn, when overgrown zucchinis are everywhere and the warm smell of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg perfectly complements the fall foliage.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour milk (if you don’t have any going bad in the fridge right now, 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar stirred into it will do)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups unpeeled grated zucchini
1/2 cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips (or, if you’re like me, as much as you can put on top of the batter)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and butter and flour a 9″ x 12″ pan. Cream together the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and soured milk. Beat all these ingredients until well blended. Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add to the creamed mixture and beat well. Gently fold in the zucchini. Be sure not to over mix the batter at this point. Pour it into the cake pan and evenly scatter the chocolate chips on top. They will sink into the batter as it bakes. Bake the cake at 325 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. You can serve it as is, or decorate it with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Posted in Cakes & Sweets, Dessert, Recipes | 1 Comment »
We are celebrating Missy P’s 17th birthday tomorrow even though it isn’t until the 19th. Nothing big just presents and dinner. And of course Birthday Cake. If that is what you want to call it. It is really an Easy Oreo Cheesecake. Around here the birthday person picks for they want for their cake. I remember growing up my Dad always wanted a Cheery Almond Pie for his Birthday. I always wanted a chocolate cake but couldn’t have one because my dad is allergic to chocolate. I finally did get one when I turned 21.
What do you think of when people say birthday cake? Do you think of the traditional layer cake, an ice cream cake or something completely different? Please share.
Here is the recipe for the cheese cake.
Easy Oreo Cheesecake
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream
PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Place 30 of the cookies in food processor; cover. Process 30 to 45 sec. or until finely ground. Add butter; mix well. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan.
BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Chop remaining cookies. Gently stir 1-1/2 cups of the chopped cookies into cream cheese batter. Pour over crust; sprinkle with the remaining chopped cookies.
BAKE 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift cheesecake from pan, using foil handles. Cut into 16 pieces to serve. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
I always put more then 1 1/2 cups of chopped Oreos in the cheesecake.
Posted in Dessert, Recipes | 2 Comments »
The two-day (one day if in Israel or if following the Reform ritual) Jewish Biblical Festival of Rosh ha Shannah (Lev. 23:23-25), also known as the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset on this Wednesday (September 12) and commemorates the anniversary of the creation of the world, and more specifically the day on which G-d created Man, G-d’s final and most precious creation; and, of G-d as judge, dispensing mercy or justice to those who do or do not repent their sins.
The shofar (ram’s horn) is blown, sounding the alarm that it is the time for introspection, asking for forgiveness, giving forgiveness, resolving to do better, remembering G-d is our King and Judge.
The custom is to eat sweet foods on Rosh ha Shannah as a symbol of the wish for a sweet year. In Biblical times, honey was the sweetener and represented good living and wealth. The Land of Israel is often called the land of milk and honey in the Bible.
Following my name are two sweet Rosh ha Shannah recipes that, of course, use honey: Sweet New Year Brisket and Honey Cake.
L’Shannah Tovah* & Happy 5768,
Great Falls, MT
* L’Shannah Tovah (li-SHAH-nuh TOH-vuh; li-shah-NAH toh-VAH)
Hebrew. Lit. for a good year. The common greeting during Rosh ha Shannah and the Days of Awe. This is a shortening of “L’Shannah tovah tikatev v’taihatem” (or, to women, “L’Shannah tovah tikatevi v’taihatemi”), which means, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” This year, Rosh ha Shannah begins at sunset on Wednesday, September 12 on the civil calendar.
Sweet New Year Brisket recipe
The following recipe for Sweet New Year Brisket was obtained at judaism.about.com :
5 to 7 lb. brisket, washed and drained
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup Coca-Cola™
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup honey
4 to 5 Tbsp. ketchup
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1. Place washed and drained brisket in covered container large enough to hold brisket in refrigerator.
2. Blend all remaining ingredients in food processor and pour over the brisket.
3. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, loosely covered with aluminum foil, until done, approximately 4 to 5 hours.
5. When cool, pour the gravy into a saucepan.
6. Add 1 Tbsp. flour to the gravy and cook until thickens.
7. Pour this gravy over sliced meat when serving.
Honey Cake recipe
The following recipe for Honey Cake is by Esther Shaw, a one-time resident of Helena, Montana, and is from “The MAJCO COOKBOOK, VOLUME II”, published by the Montana Association of Jewish Communities (1999):
3 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups honey
1-1/2 cups orange juice
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. In another bowl mix together the honey, orange juice, eggs, raisins, walnuts, and dried fruit, reserving the almonds for a topping.
4. Add orange juice/honey mixture to the flour. Mix well.
5. Grease two (9 X 5-inch) loaf pans.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
7. Sprinkle almonds on top of batter.
8. Reduce the oven to 325 degrees and bake cakes for one hour.
9. Cool the cakes on rack.
Yield: 14 servings
Posted in Beef, Dessert, Ethnic, Jewish, Kosher, Recipes | 1 Comment »
I have spent the day baking some goodies for when we ship calves. I make them ahead of time and then pull them out the night before we ship to thaw. I have made Chocolate Chip Cookies, chocolate muffins, they weren’t for shipping, and Blueberry Pound Cake. I am not a blueberry fan but everyone else seems to be. The only good use for blueberries is muffins and I don’t eat them very often. Any way here is the recipe for Blueberry pound cake. The triple berries that you find in Costco also work for this recipe.
Blueberry Pound Cake
1 cup butter, no substitutes
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream, 8 ounces
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in extracts. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in blueberries.
Spoon into two greased and waxed paper lined 9×5x3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire racks to cool Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
Note: If using frozen blueberries do not thaw them.
Posted in Dessert, Recipes | 2 Comments »
Grilled fruit is becoming so prevalent that it’s almost “too cool” to write about. That said, it’s so tasty that it would be a disservice not to mention it. I’ve grilled all sorts of fruit over the years and I usually go with what’s on sale. The trick is to not over cook the fruit so that it maintains its firmness on the inside of the finished product. What I do is get the grill as hot as possible and place the fruit skin side down just until good grill marks develop. At that point I turn it over on to the flesh but let it cook just a little longer. You’ll have to experiment a bit. Nectarines take about one minute on the skin side and two on the flesh. Apples take a little longer and pears take less time. I like to pair grilled fruit with something that is rather unexpected to the pallet – like blue cheese with nectarines and peaches. But a good match for grilled cantaloupe is a salty feta. Cheddar cheese goes great with grilled apples (both Fuji and Braeburn apples grill very nicely.) I use the cheese just as a backnote – serving just a few crumbs of whatever I’m using. For me, what I’m looking for is the taste of the fruit primarily, and the cheese simply adds a complexity to the taste.I also like to add just a little sweetener to grilled fruit. The easiest is honey, but I’ve used real maple syrup or a quick light caramel of brown sugar and cream. If you’re daring, try reducing one cup by half of Gewerstraminer wine (an exceptionally sweet dessert wine) combined with two tablespoons of sugar and serve it over grilled pears. Really, the sky’s the limit and, short of things with really soft flesh like grapes and plums, I wouldn’t hesitate to put most fruits to the fire (I’ve even grilled watermelon and served it with honey and Brie.)
Most of the time I serve grilled fruit as a side dish. That always depends on what the main course is. There is no reason, however, that you can’t serve it as a dessert and serving a grilled peach drizzled with honey next to a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a show stopper at our house. There have also been times when, due to the irresistibility of the dish, I’ve served these as appetizers. Sometimes one just has to follow one’s gut (pun intended.)
Mama always told me to eat my fruit. She also told me not to play with my food. I accept the former and reject the latter – and so should you.
Posted in Appetizers, Dessert, Fruit, Recipes | 3 Comments »