Chanukah Sameach!

The festival of light. And fried things. Well, of the miracle of 1 days oil lasting 8.

So we fry things. Potato latkes are a good bet and one of the things I remember really loving as a child.

So I decided we would have latkes tonight. These turned out so well, a real taste of my childhood.

Potato Latke
Yields 30
A delicious and crispy fried potato cake
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 large potatoes, peeled and grated
  2. 1 onion, finely diced or grated
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 2 large table spoons of flour or matza meal
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Grate the potato and squeeze out all the excess liquid you can.
  2. Add the diced onion and mix.
  3. Add the eggs, flour and salt and pepper.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  6. Take small handfuls of the potato mixture and squeeze out any excess liquid (the dryer the mixture, the crispier the latke).
  7. Flatten the handful and place in the oil gently.
  8. Fill the pan and fry for 3 - 4 minutes.
  9. Gently turn each latke over and fry for a further 3 - 4 minutes.
  10. Place the latkes on paper towel to absorb extra oil and then place in a dish to keep warm in the oven.
Notes
  1. You can eat the latkes as is or you can sprinkle cinnamon sugar over them or eat them with sour cream or with apple sauce or with nutella. Its totally up to you.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Comfort food

Nothing quiet describes comfort food like a rich stew and rice. 

So when I asked for recipes for a kilo of stewing meat I bought my brother jumped at the chance to give me his mother in laws recipe for Uzbek Plov.

Sealed meat waiting to go back in the pot

Plov is also knows as pilaf and has origins in many different cuisines including Balkan, middle eastern, Asian, East African and Caribbean. 

Caramelising onions

This is a really easy recipe, with minimal fuss in preparation and minimal clean up as its a one pot dish.

Carrots layered over meat

It also looks really good once it is served up.

Uzbek Plov
Serves 6
A traditional Uzbek recipe
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1kg shin (#8 in Israel)
  2. Oil to cover the bottom of the pot
  3. 4 large onions, sliced.
  4. 5 to 6 large carrots, sliced into very thin fingers
  5. Prunes (or a large handful of raisins will do if you dont like prunes)
  6. 2 cups rice
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat into cubes as you would for a stew.
  2. In a big deep pot heat up oil.
  3. When the oil is very hot seal the meat on all sides and remove from the pot.
  4. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden.
  5. Return the meat to the pot with the onions and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add in the prunes or raisins and mix everything together.
  7. Add enough water to nearly cover the meat and cook for about an hour until the liquid has reduced but not disappeared (the longer you do this part the softer the meat is).
  8. Once the water has reduced place the carrots in one layer over the meat.
  9. Mix salt into the rice to taste then pour the rice over the carrots so again it's one layer.
  10. Now pour water carefully over the rice (I use the back of a spoon so it doesn't make holes in the rice layer) until the water is about 2 cm above the rice.
  11. Cook on high until it bubbles then reduce to medium low heat, cover and let cook for about an hour.
Notes
  1. Apparently you can turn the pot over onto a serving plate so you can see all the pretty layers of rice, carrots and meat but I was scared it would go all over the place so we dished up straight from the pot.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Chocolate Chip Condensed Milk Cookies

These are really yummy. Silky and smooth and not too sweet. Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Chocolate Chip Condensed Milk Cookies
Yields 60
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup soft butter/marge
  2. 1 tin condensed milk
  3. 2 cups flour
  4. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. Half cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Mix softened butter and condensed milk.
  3. Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
Notes
  1. These cookies don't spread so you can place quite a few on each tray.
Adapted from Jen's Favorite Cookies
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Our first proper family Shabbat!

Last night was the first time we have had a shabbat dinner in MY home with my mom, my brother and I around the table.

Even though Paul and I have had our own home together for the last 10 years, its only been in the last 2 years or so that we have been kosher. My brother Matt came to Israel about 10 years ago and is strictly kosher so when he did come to South Africa we always had shabbat dinner at my moms house.

Last night, our family of four was joined by my brother, his wife, his mother in law and my nephew, my mom who is here visiting and my sister from another mister and her other half.  11 people around my table. Naches. It just doesnt get any better than last night!

shabbat candles
How beautiful are our Shabbat candles? One set for each family last night.

My mom and I spent the afternoon cooking a feast and I think we really outdid ourselves.

Our menu:

  • Challah
  • Slow pot roasted beef with onions and potatoes (recipe below)
  • Teriyaki chicken wings and legs with chopped cashews
  • Rice
  • Chickpea and red onion salad
  • Roro brought her famous Quinoa salad (click the link and scroll down for the recipe)
  • Peppermint crisp tart
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Diabetic friendly apple crumble
  • Diabetic friendly choc vanilla ice cream

Supper was amazing. We ate so much I had to literally sleep on my back last night 🙂

The best part though was having my entire family around me. Those I was born to and those I chose. Thats what makes shabbat special.

Slow Pot Roasted Beef
Serves 10
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.2kg chuck roast (or any meat that can be slow roasted)
  2. Brown onion soup powder
  3. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  4. 5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
  5. salt
  6. pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 200C
  2. Dissolve two tablespoons soup powder in a litre of boiling water and set aside
  3. Place your sliced onions in the bottom of a large roasting dish (preferably one with a lid, you can cover the dish with foil though)
  4. Place your meat on top of the onions, fat side up
  5. Liberally sprinkle the salt and pepper over the fat of the meat
  6. Place the potatoes around the meat
  7. Put the dish in the oven, uncovered at 200C for 20 minutes
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and pour the stock mix over the meat and potatoes, cover the dish with the lid or with foil
  9. Turn down the oven to 140C and place the dish back for 2 hours 30 minutes
  10. Uncover the dish and cook for a further 30 minutes to an hour (until the fat has gone brown and crispy) at 180C
  11. Remove meat from dish and allow to sit for 20 minutes, then slice and return to the dish to serve
Notes
  1. In my opinion the fat makes this dish. A piece of meat with a nice thick slab of fat on top is ideal. Not healthy but ideal. For a healthier version get a piece without too much fat on top.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Diabetic Friendly Apple Crumble

Laura-Kim from Harassed Mom inspired me with her recipe for a Quick Apple Crumble.

I found what I thought was a tin of diabetic apple slices in the store and bought it only to discover it was a tin of diabetic friendly apple puree. Oh well, we made a plan and modified Laura-Kim’s recipe.

Diabetic Friendly Apple Crumble
We adapted this recipe from Harassed Mom to be diabetic friendly. For the original recipe click through to Laura-Kim's site above.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g flour
  2. Half a cup 'spoon for spoon' sugar replacement
  3. 110g butter or marge for a milk free option
  4. 1 tin diabetic friendly apple puree (we used the יכין brand)
  5. 2 green apples, peeled and sliced thinly
  6. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine flour and sugar replacement in a bowl
  2. Rub the butter/marge into the flour and sugar replacement mixture until it resembles crumbs
  3. In a greased pie dish spread the apple puree and layer the apple slices over it
  4. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon
  5. Cover the apples with the flour and butter mixture
  6. Sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top
  7. Bake at 180C for 35 minutes
Adapted from Harassed Mom
Adapted from Harassed Mom
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Peppermint Crisp Heaven

My mom brought a veritable sweet shop with her when she arrived in Israel, Chomps, Tex, Smarties and of course Peppermint Crisp.

1024px-Peppermint-Crisp-Split

I remember biting off the ends of the Peppermint Crisp and sucking milk through it like a straw as a kid. Good times.

So while mom is here we decided to make a Peppermint Crisp Tart for pudding.

Peppermint Crisp Tart
A traditional South African dessert made with cream, caramel and Peppermint Crisp chocolate
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tub whipping cream
  2. 1 can caramel (or make your own by boiling a can of condensed milk. In Israel I used a tub of ready made dulce de leche)
  3. 1 packet of coconut biscuits (Tennis biscuits in SA, in Israel I used vanilla petit biscuits)
  4. Milk for soaking biscuits
  5. 1 large slab of Peppermint Crisp,crumbled. (Any peppermint flavoured chocolate would do)
Instructions
  1. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks
  2. Dip the biscuits briefly in the milk and place in a single layer on the bottom of a large square/rectangular dish
  3. Cover the biscuits with a layer of caramel
  4. Sprinkle half the crumbled Peppermint Crisp over the caramel layer
  5. Add another layer of dipped biscuits
  6. Add another layer of caramel
  7. Cover with a thick layer of whipped cream
  8. Sprinkle the remaining Peppermint Crisp over the top of the cream
  9. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve
Notes
  1. You can mix a bit of the caramel into some of the cream and include a layer of caramel cream in the middle of the tart.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

When good translations go bad.

One of the benefits I get at work is a food card.  On the 21st of each month a balance is loaded and I can spend it on certain restaurants that will then deliver to the office (or I can go out to one of those restaurants if I would like).

The {10bis} site is obviously in Hebrew so I need a little help from the translate function in Chrome.

Most times it gives a pretty decent translation.  But not always.  Take today’s translation for example.

my lunch choice today

 

From the top:

  • Couple = Pair
  • Psychic = Medium (I cant stop snort laughing)
  • Psychic Wall = Medium Well
  • Visit = Beef
  • Miraculous extra charge = I have no idea, and no one else can figure it out either!
  • Plug-in = extra/add on

All the giggles!

You Cooked What?

After a quick poll on Twitter I decided to start a new food themed blog to showcase my cooking and baking experiments as well as some of my well used recipes.

Not only mine though.

The new site will be a collaboration of recipes, some new, some tried and tested, posted by the women (and hopefully a few men!) of Twitter.

The first two ladies that have joined me are Mandi and Cat, who will hopefully be posting their first recipes soon.

Please head on over to You Cooked What? and bookmark us, leave a comment on a recipe you like or one that you have tried, let us know if you have a suggestion or even if you have a recipe you would like to post.

Looking forward to many yummy recipes.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls or… Yummy in my Tummy!

I have a weakness for the chocolate covered peanut butter balls from Moo-z Bros.

I also have no money at the moment because UIF are pusswanks!

What I do have are the ingredients to make peanut butter balls…

I googled recipes and found this one on the Rice Krispies site.

Of course I didnt really stick to it 100% but I think they came out pretty well.

Here is my recipe (I once again forgot to take pics of the process…)

Ingredients

  •  1 cup ( I used half a jar) smooth peanut butter (they use crunchy but smooth works well)
  • ¼ cup marge
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 cups rice krispies
  • 1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate morsels (I used 1 85gms bar of bitter sweet chocolate, I should have used 2)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening/Holsum (thanks @Saaleha) ( I didnt have any so I used margerine)
  • 54 mini paper cups (I used 2 baking trays covered with wax paper)

Method

  • Beat peanut butter, marge and sugar with an electric beater until well mixed.  I used a fork and elbow grease as I didnt want to wake the kids up, next time I will use an electric beater!
  • Add rice krispies, mixing well.  At this point I want to say that I would have crushed the rice krispies a bit before adding them in but I think if you use the electric beaters it might just crush them for you as you mix, I will definitely try this next time.
  • Taking a teaspoon scoop up a small dollop of the mixture and shape into a ball, they then say to place the ball into the paper cup, I just plopped them onto the wax paper baking trays.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave or on double boiler.
  • Spoon one teaspoon of chocolate mixture over each ball.  My mixture was a bit thick, perhaps with shortening it would have been thinner, and it didnt pour very easily.  Also, if you dont use the paper cups I would suggest dipping the balls into the chocolate to coat them (which I didnt do).
  • Refrigerate until firm.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

All in all they came out quite well.  I cant stop stuffing my face!

I would definitely prefer the krispies to be a little finer and less ‘lumpy’ in the mixture and I will either use the paper cups or dip the whole ball into chocolate next time.  I will also be getting some Holsum as I think the texture will be better for the chocolate.

Have your cake and eat it!

Aaron has been asking to make a cake the whole week so I looked into the cupboard and found that I didnt have my trusty Moirs cake mix, I did have flour, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and milk so I figured I would try making a cake from scratch.  Aaron wanted a chocolate cake so I found some cocoa powder too.

I found a recipe for a chocolate butter sponge in an old International Goodwill Cookbook (7th edition).  I made a few small adjustments but it turned out really well.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla ( I just poured in a splash)
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I threw in a ‘pinch’)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (I use 3 teaspoons but I know in my kitchen I have to increase baking powder)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cocoa
  • ½ cup milk
  • 45g butter

Method:

  • Beat eggs, add sugar gradually, add vanilla and beat with a hand held beater for 3 minutes.
  • Sift dry ingredients 4 times (at this point I have to ask whose socks the creator of this recipe was smoking, I sifted the flour once, straight into the wet ingredients, that was it!), and stir into egg mixture, blending thoroughly.
  • Bring milk and butter to the boil and add to mixture.
  • Mix well with an electric beater.
  • Pour into 1 large or two small tins and bake at 180°C for 40min (large tin) or 25min (small tins).
  • Allow to cool before icing.

For the icing I decided to make a ganache.  Mainly because I had some bitter sweet chocolate from Pesach and I wanted a really chocolaty icing.  Unfortunately I didnt have any cream so I used margarine (purist dont hate me, I know its not even BUTTER!!!) instead.

Ingredients:

  • 250g bitter sweet chocolate
  • 250g margerine
  • icing sugar to thicken

Method:

  • Break chocolate into pieces and place in a microwavable bowl.
  • Add margarine.
  • Place bowl in microwave for about 1min depending on microwave strength.
  • Mix the icing until the chocolate is melted into the marge.  You may need to nuke it a bit longer.
  • Once the icing is melted add a bit of icing sugar and mix.
  • Keep adding icing sugar until you reach the thickness you want.
  • This icing will also thicken/harden as it cools, so you may want to leave it to cool down before adding any icing sugar.
  • Once its ready layer it onto the cake, starting in the middle and spreading it towards the sides.
  • It may drip over the sides or you may need to spread it depending on thickness.

Eat and enjoy!

Chocolaty goodness!!