Thanksgiving and Pie

We were invited for a thanksgiving shabbat this week by American born friends in our neighbourhood. I asked what I could bring and was offered sides or dessert. I chose dessert!

Pie!! I mean who doesn’t love pie?

While apple pie is traditional, our hostess is allergic to apples, so I made two pies. One apple pie and one pear pie. Win win right?

Apple (or pear) pie
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 

A traditional and simple apple pie recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 packet frozen pastry dough
Filling
  • 8 apples (or pears), granny smith apples preferable
  • splash lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 egg for brushing the pastry
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice the apples (or pears) into small chunks.

  2. Place apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, salt and flour in a bowl and toss with your hands until all the fruit is covered.

  3. Cover bowl of fruit with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour or more.

  4. Take your frozen pastry dough out and let it defrost until it is manageable but still cool, I left mine in the fridge for 1 hour and it was ready when the fruit was ready.

  5. When you are ready to assemble the pie, turn your oven on to 180C.

  6. Once fruit is ready, take your dough and roll out a piece big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your pie dish.

  7. Place the pastry inside the dish and push the sides up a bit so they stick to the dish.

  8. Take your fruit and layer it into the pie dish, making sure the entire bottom is covered. Keep layering the fruit until in reaches the top of the dough up the sides of the dish.

  9. There will be some liquid left in the bowl, pour no more than 3/4 of a cup of this liquid over the top of the fruit before covering the pie with more dough.

  10. Roll out more dough and either place a full round piece on top of the pie or cut into strips and create a lattice top. You can also roll out the dough and cut shapes with cookie cutters, then create a patter with the shapes.

  11. If you place a full piece on top, cut a few slits into the dough to allow steam to escape.

  12. Brush the pastry dough with a bit of beaten egg.

  13. Once the pie is ready, place in the oven at 180C for about 30 minutes.

  14. Keep an eye on the pie and if you see the edges starting to burn you can cover them with a bit of foil molded to fit the pie dish.

  15. The pie is ready when the pastry is brown and the fruit is bubbling around the edges of the pastry.

  16. Allow to cool down before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Inspired Taste

 

Black Lentil and Chickpea Stew

We have decided its time to start eating less meat and chicken and try out more veggie dishes. Not only is it healthier but its cheaper too.

This was my first real veggie dish with lentils and it turned out so well. Aaron even went back for seconds when I thought I would have had to bribe him to even try it.

Black Lentil and Chickpea Stew
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ras al hanut spice
  • 2 teaspoons sweet chili flakes
  • garlic crushed, as much as you like
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 cup black lentils uncooked, soaked
  • 1 tin ready to eat chickpeas
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in the pot

  2. Add onions, garlic and spices, stir until everything is mixed and the onions are soft

  3. Add stock, water, tomatoes, carrots and lentils

  4. Bring to the boil and then lower heat and simmer, uncovered for about 25 minutes

  5. Add chickpeas and simmer for a further 10 minutes

Recipe Notes

Serve over rice or with naan

I adapted this recipe from vanillaandbean.com

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

I was looking for something new to throw over chicken breasts and somehow I came across a teriyaki chicken with home made sauce. Now I cannot for the life of me find that recipe, so in the interest of not forgetting, I am writing it down (from memory so it may not be perfect).

Gratuitous picture of my dog, because I never got a picture of the sauce…
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar I used coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp corn or potato flour mixed with a bit of cold water to make a watery paste
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan, add all ingredients except corn/potato flour paste. Bring to the boil.

  2. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce begins to reduce.

  3. If you want a thick sauce, now is the time to add the corn/potato flour. Mix well so no lumps for. 

    If you want a thin sauce, leave out this step.

Recipe Notes

Serve as a dipping sauce or pour over chicken breasts, cover and bake.

Recipes for my husband

My grandfather is not well and it was time for a short trip back to SA to see him and help my mom.

So I’ve left my husband and kids to fend for themselves until Sunday.

As we were planning the trip, Paul suddenly turned around and asked where I get the recipes I use to make dinners etc. I looked at him and pointed at my head.

So, in the interest of keeping them fed and to stop them from eating sausages and corn schnitzel for a week, I thought I would write down some of the daily recipes I use.

Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180C

  2. In a small bowl, mix mustard, honey, salt, pepper and oil

  3. Place breasts in a dish or foil roaster and cover with the honey mustard mix

  4. Cover dish with foil and place in oven to bake for 30 minutes

  5. At 30 minutes, uncover the chicken and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes or more until done.

Recipe Notes

Serve with rice or couscous.

Chicken Schnitzel
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg chicken schnitzel
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • spices
Instructions
  1. Take out two plates and a large flat bowl

  2. On the first plate, our out some flour, on the second plate pour out some breadcrumbs, mix the spices into the breadcrumbs

  3. In the bowl, crack both eggs, add some water and mix well

  4. In a pan, heat some olive oil

  5. Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the flour so that both sides are covered

  6. Dip the floured chicken in the egg mixture so both sides are coated

  7. Now dip the egged chicken in the breadcrumbs so both sides are coated

  8. Place the chicken in the hot oil and coat the next piece of chicken

  9. After about 5 minutes turn the first pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for a further 5 minutes, you should fit 2 or 3 pieces in each pan depending on the size of the pieces

  10. Remove chicken from oil and place in the oven (on 100C) to keep warm

  11. Add a bit more oil to the pan and carry on frying until no chicken is left

  12. Mix any leftover breadcrumbs, flour and egg into a paste and make small patties that you can fry for a few minutes at a time (the kids love these)

Recipe Notes

You can also bake the schnitzel in the oven if you dont want to fry it. 

Heat the oven to 180C.

Place each piece of breaded chicken onto a baking tray (covered with a baking sheet),  1kg of chicken will take up both baking trays.

Spray the chicken with olive oil spray.

Place the chicken in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

How cool is the schnitzel Paul made?!!!
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breasts Defrosted!
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place onion, garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, salt and pepper in the slow cooker and mix well

  2. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and toss to coat with the sauce

  3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on low

  4. After about 3 hours, turn the chicken pieces over and continue cooking for another 3 hours

  5. After about 6 hours (total), turn off the slow cooker and with 2 forks, shred the chicken and mix with the sauce

Recipe Notes

Serve on rolls or over rice

Homemade Pizza
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
Instructions
  1. Place yeast, water and sugar in the bowl of the mixer

  2. Once the yeast has started to foam (about 5 minutes), add all the other ingredients and mix on high until the dough forms a ball

  3. The dough should be firm and not sticky, if its too sticky, add some flour, if its too dry, add a bit of water

  4. Once the dough is ready, cover the bowl with plastic and a cloth and let sit for an hour

  5. Roll out balls of dough, cover in tomato sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for 20 minutes at 180C

Hopefully they don’t starve or turn into sausages. And I will be back before they k ow it.

Cheesecake and Berry Weekend

I’ve been craving cheesecake for over a week and even though I bought all the ingredients last week I only managed to make it this week.

It was so easy and delicious.

Easy Cheesecake with Berry Reduction
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 


Course: Dessert
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 packet plain biscuits, Petit Bur or Tennis Biscuits
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted margerine
  • 1 pinch salt
Filling
  • 2 packages cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 splash vanilla essence
Toppinb
  • 1 package mixed berries or berries of choice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thickening agent (corn starch)
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
Crust
  1. Using a food processor (or a plastic bag and a rolling pin), break up the biscuits until they are a medium to fine powder, bigger bits are ok too.

  2. Add the sugar, salt and margarine and mix well.

  3. Prepare a round springform or pie dish and press the crumb mixture into the base, pressing it slightly up the sides.

  4. Set aside.

Filling
  1. With a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

  2. Gently pour the mixture over the crumb base.

  3. Bake in a 180C oven for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool before adding the berry topping.

Topping
  1. While the cake is baking, add the berries, water, sugar and thickener to a pot on your stove.

  2. Mix well and bring to a rapid boil.

  3. Drop the temperature to a simmer and allow the berries to reduce by 1/3.

  4. Allow the berries to cool before pouring over the top of the cooled cheese cake.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Easy Cheesecake

A taste of autumn.

After experiencing an unseasonably warm autumn in Israel, we had highs of 29C, its finally started getting cold and rainy.

What better way to spend a cold morning than baking?

I decided that cinnamon-y stewed apples were the way to go, and it just so happened we had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer and I also had the last of my Moir’s custard powder from SA that was begging to be used. 

Apple crumble was a go!

Hot Apple Crumble
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Course: Dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced into 2cm chunks (I used Granny Smiths, you can use any type though)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or marge
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  2. Place the diced apple, first lot of sugar and cinnamon, and the water into a pot.

  3. Bring to the boil while stirring and then drop to a low simmer.

  4. Keep stirring until the apples have softened.

  5. Place apples and any syrup into a pie dish.

  6. To make the crumble, using your hands, mix the flour, remaining sugar, butter, and cinnamon until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.

  7. Pour the flour mixture over the apples in an even layer.

  8. Bake the pie for about 30 min.

  9. Serve hot with ice cream and custard.

Got yogurt?

We did.

1.5L of Greek style yogurt.

Before it went bad I decided to look up a few recipes to use it up.

Two that stuck out were Snickerdoodle Cake and Frozen Yogurt Bark.

Both turned out delicious!

Snickerdoodle Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Course: Dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Greek style labour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and prepare 2 loaf pans.

  2. In a small bowl mix most of the cinnamon and 6 tablespoons of sugar together and set aside.

  3. In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and set aside.

  4. In your electric mixer (or a large bowl), cream the butter, sugar and oil on medium speed for about 1 minute.

  5. Add the eggs and mix.

  6. Add the vanilla and yogurt and mix until just combined.

  7. Add in the flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined.

  8. Scoop a 6th of the batter into each loaf tin, sprinkle a thick layer of cinnamon sugar over the batter, repeat 2 more times, ending with a cinnamon sugar layer.

  9. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the tins.

  11. Serve warm with a little butter spread on.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Betty Crocker

 

Frozen Yogurt Bark
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins
 

Got some Greek style yogurt left over? This is a really quick and easy way to use it up.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Greek Style Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey You can add more or less depending on your taste
  • 1/2 cup fillings/toppings of your choice raisins, craisins, nuts, marshmallows, frozen berries, fresh fruit
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam heated until runny
Instructions
  1. Mix the yogurt and the honey until well combined.

  2. Add in any fillings you want.

  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or tin foil.

  4. Pour the yogurt onto the baking sheet. Thickness depends on you.

  5. Add desired toppings.

  6. Drizzle the strawberry jam over the top.

  7. Freeze for no less than 4 hours.

  8. Remove from freezer and break into pieces.

  9. Store in a sealed container in the freezer.

A taste of childhood

The other day, while hunting for a tin of coconut milk, I came across condensed milk. It can be tricky to find here so I grabbed one and then stuck it in the grocery cupboard and promptly forgot all about it.

Then last weekend while looking for something yummy to snack on, I pulled out the tin. I also spied a bag of desiccated coconut and an idea struck.

Coconut ice!

I remember the white and pink sugar overload from my childhood quite fondly and decided to whip up a batch and introduce it to my children. Faith was dutifully impressed, Aaron took one sniff and said no way!

Its really, really easy to make and took no time at all. The hardest part was the mixing, its really good for toning your arms!

Traditional Coconut Ice
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Super sweet, super sticky, coconut treats.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 400 g desiccated coconut
  • 3 drops red food colouring you can use any colour you like and even add flavouring if you want
Instructions
  1. Pour the condensed milk into a large bowl.

  2. Add the icing sugar and the coconut and mix together. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl to get all the condensed milk.

  3. Keep mixing. The mixture will be very stiff. Keep going.

  4. Line a square or rectangular, deep sided dish with baking paper.

  5. Scoop out half the mixture and using your hands or the back of a spoon, press the mixture into the dish. It doesnt have to be perfect but the more uniform the thickness is, the better it will look when you cut it into squares.

  6. Add your colouring (and/or flavouring) to the remaining mixture and mix well until the entire mixture is coloured to your liking.

  7. Scoop out the coloured mixture and using your hands or the back of a spoon, spread it over the first layer in the dish and press it down.

  8. Once everything is smoothed out to your satisfaction, place the dish, covered, in the fridge for a few hours.

  9. Once cold and set, remove the coconut ice from the dish, peel off the baking paper and slice into small squares with a sharp knife.

  10. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

You can add a bit of cocoa powder to the 2nd half of the mixture instead of food colouring to make a vanilla chocolate ice.

 

Yes, another recipe.

A while back I bought sour cream and since it was on special I bought 5 pots. Then I only used one. 

Since the sour cream was about to reach its expiry date (can sour cream really expire? Does it just get more sour?) I asked around for recipes to use up the last 4 pots.

I used one pot to make a creamy nutmeg pasta sauce the other night and then last night I used another pot to make these quick and really delicious scones.

Scones my wife made

 

Sour Cream Scones
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 6
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope baking powder (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons water approx/as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.

  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients.

  3. Add the sour cream and start mixing it in.

  4. The mixture will start to look like bread crumbs.

  5. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together.

  6. Use your hands to kneed the dough into a ball. The dough will be quite sticky.

  7. Coating your hands in flour, take small handfuls of the dough and form balls.

  8. Place on a baking tray and flatten slightly.

  9. Bake at 200C for about 15 minutes.

  10. Allow to cool slightly before breaking them open and slathering butter, jam and cream over them.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from AllRecipes here.

Healthy homemade burgers

The last two days I have been home sick with Aaron. He’s ok, just another bout of viral-thing-itus. But, being home meant plenty of time to cook.

Over two days, we made homemade pizza, homemade chicken burgers and we made another batch of pasta sauce.

Here is the recipe for the chicken burgers. They were so good we ate all (8!) of them in one sitting!

Breaded Chicken Burgers
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Quick and easy to make breaded chicken burgers
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 500 g chicken mince
  • Half onion minced or grated
  • A few cloves of garlic minced
  • Half cup breadcrumbs/panko
  • Salt, pepper, sweet chili flakes to taste
  • 1 egg
  • More breadcrumbs/panko for covering the patties
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients well.
  2. Take handfuls of the mixture and shape into balls then flatten to desired thickness (my kids did this part and had a blast).
  3. Set the patties aside and heat some oil in medium heat pan.
  4. Dip each side of the pattie into the crumbs before placing in the hot oil.
  5. Fry for 5-10 min each side (depends on thickness of patties).