Cooking with Aaron

Last night Aaron and I made dinner together.

I taught him how to blanch and peal tomatoes, how to caramelise onions and that no matter what you are cooking, always salt the water.

We made a really yummy tomato sauce that we used in a baked ziti (I’ll blog that recipe another time).

I really enjoyed cooking with Aaron, he loves to get involved and asks lots of questions. He also ate TWO servings of the ziti and declared it delicious.

Oh and he insisted on washing up all the bowls and dishes once we had finished cooking.

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Tomato Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

This sauce goes with anything from pasta to meatballs.

Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 8 large tomatoes blanched and peeled
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 red pepper finely diced
  • 1 small tomato puree
  • red wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • chili flakes
Instructions
  1. Fry onions, garlic and red pepper.

  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and herbs and salt/pepper to taste.

  3. Bring to the boil then simmer while you make the pasta/meatballs, about 20 minutes.

  4. Once the pasta/meatballs are ready, remove sauce from heat and blend with a stick blender if you want.

Recipe Notes

The recipe is just a guideline, feel free to adjust the ingredients to whatever you have available, less herbs, more wine, canned tomatoes instead of fresh, there are no rules except to just have fun with it.

Questions for kids

A friend posted these questions on FB and I grabbed them for my kids. 

Starting with Faith

  • What is your name? Faith
  • How old are you? 5 and a half
  • When is your Birthday? December
  • What is your favorite colour? I don’t know. Blue or pink
  • What is your favorite food? Sausages and chocolate ice cream and Choco (chocolate milk drink)
  • Who is your best friend? I don’t know I have a lot of friends. Noa. 
  • What is your favorite song? Something on a minecraft video and Let It Go
  • What is your favorite animal? Lions
  • What are you scared of? I don’t want to tell (whispers snakes and spiders)
  • What makes you happy? My taggies and stuffed doggy
  • Where is your favorite place to go? To the Gymboree 
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t know. I want to do everything 
  • What does love mean? That you love people. 


And now for Aaron

  • What is your name? Aaron. Jacobson. 
  • How old are you? Do I say 8 and a half or 9? Ok 8 and a half. 
  • When is your Birthday? 5 November
  • What is your favorite colour? Red
  • What is your favorite food? Pizza!
  • Who is your best friend? Noam
  • What is your favorite song? I don’t know what it’s called. It’s a Minecraft song. I think it’s called I’ll Make A Cake. 
  • What is your favorite animal? Hamster
  • What are you scared of? The internet dropping 
  • What makes you happy? That I see Noam all the time
  • Where is your favorite place to go? Uncle Matthews house
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? That’s very hard. Oh easy! Youtuber!
  • What does love mean? For me? I dunno. Nothing. 

#ZombiePrompts Week 9

What do you love about your current life?

Wow, so many things.

I love that we are a cohesive family unit. 

I love that my kids have good friends.

And that our kids are speaking fluent Hebrew (especially when I need a translator).

My job is good. Its a fantastic working environment and I have great friends and the #BestBossEver.

Summer is on its way. I LOVE summer. Winter can suck it!

My mom in law is coming to visit. She has never been to Israel and I cant wait to show her our beautiful country and our home.

I love that I am content and happy. Truly, deeply happy. There is nothing better.

happiness

Sausages and apples and onions, oh my!

I came across this recipe from Good Housekeeping SA yesterday (I think it may have been on Twitter).

In Israel you get 2 main types of ‘sausages’, wieners/hot dog sausages and kebabs (not a shish kebab on a stick).  Kebabs are a middle eastern equivalent to South African boerewors and are usually made of ground lamb and cooked over an open flame. 

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Since I had a pack in my freezer I decided that I would give this recipe a go. The only real change I made was to NOT use fennel. I really, really don’t like the taste of fennel and if anyone can suggest something to substitute it for in the recipe please let me know.

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This would make a really good Rosh Hashanah starter (or main) too, since the recipe uses apples and honey.

Baked Lamb Sausage & Apples
Serves 4
Sweet and meaty starter or main
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 apples, cored and cut into wedges (I used red apples)
  2. 8 raw sausages (I used a pack of 9 frozen lamb kebabs)
  3. 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  4. 2 tbsp olive oil (I used regular canola)
  5. 2 tbsp runny honey (heat the honey in the microwave for a few seconds before pouring. You can also use silan if you want a less sugary version)
  6. 50ml to 75ml dry white wine (I used a bubbly sweet moscato)
  7. 2 tbsp fresh origanum leaves (I used a liberal sprinkling from my dried bottle)
  8. salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 200°C and prepare a roasting pan with a spritz of Spray and Cook or olive oil spray.
  2. Core and wedge your apples, leaving the skin on and toss into the pan.
  3. Peel and wedge your onion and toss into the pan too.
  4. Place your sausages in the pan, I used mine straight from frozen and they were fine.
  5. Pour your honey, olive oil and spices over the meat and veg and give everything a good toss to make sure its evenly coated.
  6. Place, uncovered in the oven for 40 minutes.
  7. Give it a mix half way through if you remember, I didn't and it was fine.
Notes
  1. Serve as a starter for 6-8 people or as a main for 4 people.
  2. I served with couscous and spooned the sauce that forms in the pan over it.
Adapted from Good Housekeeping SA
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

I got a baking bug!

Yesterday I decided I needed to bake. I also decided go big or go home. So I called my mommy and got her Bulka (cinnamon roll) recipe.

I was going to only bake half and freeze the other half of the dough but once I got going I just baked the whole lot. Almost 70 rolls! Half of which got placed in zip log bags and went into my freezer.

Bulkas (Cinnamon rolls)
Yields 60
Delish, yeasty, traditional Jewish, cinnamon rolls.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 cups flour
  2. 2 packets instant yeast
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 250g margarine
  7. 600ml milk
  8. Margarine for melting and brushing
  9. Sugar for sprinkling
  10. Cinnamon for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Mix 7 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs with a fork and add to the flour mix.
  3. In the microwave, melt the marge and heat the milk until just warm.
  4. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon until a lump of dough starts to form.
  5. With your hands, kneed the dough until it comes together and all the flour is incorporated.
  6. You may need to add some of the last cup of flour in at this point, add it slowly until the dough is firm and not sticky.
  7. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Cover the bowl with a large towel and place in a warm space for 2 hours (possibly more if its a cold day), until the dough has doubled in size.
  9. Kneed the dough down again and re cover it.
  10. Allow it to rise for another 25 minutes.
  11. While you are waiting, heat the oven to 180C.
  12. Grease and cover a baking tray with baking paper.
  13. When the dough is ready, break it into 6 rounds.
  14. Roll out each round into a rectangular shape.
  15. Brush with melted margarine and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  16. Roll the dough lengthways to create a long sausage.
  17. Leave the rolled dough to one side while you do the next batch.
  18. Once all your dough is rolled, take the first sausage (that will have risen a little bit) and cut into 1 inch pieces.
  19. Place pieces on the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until starting to brown.
Notes
  1. I used half sugar, half sugar substitute. I wouldnt suggest cutting out the sugar entirely as the yeast needs the sugar to activate.
  2. You can freeze the rolled sausages, covered in plastic wrap and then defrost them and allow them to rise again before slicing and baking.
  3. You can also bake all the dough and then freeze the rolls in a zip lock bag and defrost when needed.
A Bit of This A Bit of That http://gnatj.com/

Ice cream dreams

Holy moly!

The guys at work spoiled me for my birthday and bought me a KRUPS ice cream churner.

krups

So awesomely exciting.

I have not stopped making ice cream since I got the machine.

So far I have made:

  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla with Top Deck pieces
  • Condensed milk
  • Condensed milk with nougat pieces
  • Dairy milk chocolate

I did try and make a sorbet but it didn’t churn, no idea why, but I will try that again soon.

Next up will be white chocolate and Smarties!

Photos everywhere!

You may recall {this post} from 3 years ago (Im also sure there was a follow up post with an updated picture from about a year ago,  but I cant find it).

Well, a while back I attended a photo workshop with {Epson} and {Jenty}.  After the workshop I was given the opportunity to play with the Epson {L800 photo printer} for 2 weeks.  Well, I had a ball, I printed so many photos and today I bought some frames and Paul got all handy and hammered in some nails and now we have an even bigger photo wall!

IMG_2342

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Thank you Epson for adding to my wall.  The printer was amazing, better than a photo print shop!! Im just sorry I had to give it back 😉

She can dress herself

Well, mostly.

Faith insists on undressing herself, which can take a fair amount of time if buttons are involved.  But once thats done she undresses and puts her clothes in the hamper.

Then she chooses her clothes for the day and starts to get dressed.

Despite an unfortunate incident with panties and both legs going in one leg hole, she manages to get dressed mostly without help every morning.

When did my baby start to grow up??

faithg

Its a girl thing

So as you may know, Faith is not your typical girly girl.

She hums the Imperial March while fighting her brother with light-sabers.

Her favourite toy is an Iron Man figurine.  Oh wait, no, its her Superman figurine.  No, its her Metro Man figurine.

She insists that she is Princess Superman.

But…

She loves pink and anything that sparkles or is bling.  She adores unicorns and rainbows and hearts and her baby dolls.

Photo by the awesome Catherine from Catherine Scott Photography!
Photo by the awesome Catherine from {Catherine Scott Photography}!

Last Sunday we were invited to the {Prima Toys} Barbie Mega Bloks launch.  Unfortunately I couldn’t go, so Faith roped in her Nana and off they went.

She had a blast!

Yesterday she and I built her awesome Barbie Mega Bloks convertible.  She spent almost two hours driving Barbie around the house (while humming the Imperial March).

27022_Barbie Build & Style_ CONVERTIBLE_prod

I cant wait to add to her collection now 🙂

Homemade fresh roasted pumpkin seeds

Today Aaron and I carved our very first halloween pumpkin.  There were a ton of seeds and instead of throwing them away, I roasted them.

Fresh pumpkin guts

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin seeds (or any squash seeds)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
Ingredients

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 140ºC and line a baking tray with tin foil
  • Rinse off any pulp or strings from your seeds
  • Pat dry with a cloth and place seeds in a bowl
  • Pour a tablespoon or so of olive oil over the seeds and sprinkle with as much salt as you like
  • Spread the seeds on the baking tray in an even layer
  • Roast seeds for about 15 – 20 minutes or until they start to pop
  • Allow to cool and enjoy!
Yummy roasted seeds