Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 best nine posts on Instagram

My #2015bestnine on Instagram. Thank you for the likes. Here's to a new year and new adventures! #newyear2016 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Here's to new adventures in 2016!  Thank you all for sticking with me and reading my blog. #pinkchampagnecake #newyear #happynewyear

Monday, November 23, 2015

The ten year quilt



Here is the quilt that I have jokingly referred to as my 10 year quilt. I started this quilt while pregnant with my first child. I worked on it until I could no longer hold a needle or see the chart properly because I was so swollen all over my body my joints could barely bend and my eyesight failed me. Later, after that first baby was born I would occasionally pick up the quilt to work on and even less occasionally after a second baby was born. I worked on this quilt off and on through the past ten years.  On cold and rainy days, on many a road trip up and down the East coast, on days when I had one or two sick children on the couch and on so many days in between this quilt was on my lap and in my hands.  Little by little this quilt came together.  I worked on small sections at a time, because that was all I could afford it.  Amazingly, after all of that, it came together like it was all of a sudden and it was done.  I can't help but feel a bit of sadness to see it all finished.




Here is the quilt with the baby that was in my belly when I started.  She just turned ten this June ;)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Oven Roasted Tofu


Oven Roasted Tofu

This recipe is a non-recipe of sorts. My friend Lea ("Hi!") has asked me to share some vegetarian meals that we eat. This recipe is at the heart of many of those dishes. I make oven roasted tofu about once a week. It's a total no-brainier and I am lucky if any is leftover for lunch the next day.  You need to start with a package of firm or extra firm tofu. You'll find it in the refrigerated case of the produce sections
Open the package, drain the water and place it on a couple of paper towels.


 Wrap it in the paper towel and gently press. Let the tofu drain for 15-30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Slice the tofu into 1" x 2" pieces.  You can make the pieces larger or smaller, but the bake time will very a bit.  I usually get 20-24 pieces out of a one pound block.


Place the tofu on a greased baking sheet.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Alternatively, you can season the tofu with a flavor blend.  I use a taco spice blend if I'm using the tofu for Mexican or Tex-Mex type meals.
Roast the tofu about 20 minutes (depending on the size of pieces).  Check it halfway and give the tofu a toss so that it doesn't get too crispy on one side.  


The tofu can be used with so many dishes.  In tacos and burritos, in salads, and a favorite way here is in all types of "bowls".  Taco or burrito bowls, stir fry bowls, rice bowls, noodle bowls.you get the idea?  Hope you try the recipe and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Passover Menu 5775


I finally typed up the menu.   I'm posting this now before the craziness of actually cooking and baking has started.  I'm sure there is something I forget.  Blogger is giving me issues tonight and not letting me add pictures as I want to, so I'm giving up for now.  I know there aren't a ton of links to recipes, but I think most are pretty simple and straightforward.  If you are curious about anything on our menu, please let me know.  Happy Pesach!

Seder 1 Friday Night
Seder 2 Saturday Night
Haroset 2 ways
Haroset 2 ways
Hard- boiled egg/salt water
Hard- boiled egg/salt water
Gefilte fish/ Baby Moses Salad
Gefilte fish/ Baby Moses Salad
Mock Chopped Liver
Mock Chopped Liver
Matzo Ball Soup
Matzo Ball Soup
Cranberry Compote
Cranberry Compote
Veggie Kugel Cups
Veggie Kugel Cups
Potato Souffle with Carmelized Onions
Potato Souffle with Carmelized Onions
Spinach with Raisins
Asparagus
Aunt Babe's Brisket
Roasted Chicken
Brownies
Baked Chocolate Mousse Cups
Meringues
Meringues
Chocolate Chip Bars
Rainbow Cookies?
Coconut Macaroons
Coconut Macaroons
Saturday
B
Mandelbrot, Strawberry Jam, Eggs


L
Farfel and Cheese, Fruit


D
Seder
Sunday
B
Matzo Brei, Honey, Fruit


L
Matzo Ball Soup, Veggies


D
Leftovers, Salad
Monday
B
Eggs, Fruit, Yogurt/ Smoothies, Matzo, Mandelbrot 


L
Matzo Sandwiches, Fruit, Chips


D
Matzo Pizza, Salad
Tuesday
B
Geshmirta Matzo, Fruit


L
Matzo Pizza, Veggies


D
Apricot Chicken, Carrot Souffle Kugel
Wednesday
B
Eggs, Fruit, Matzo Bagels, Lox


L
Matzo Sandwiches, Fruit, Chips


D
Meatloaf or Brisket, Potato Kugel, Veggies
Thursday
B
Matzo Bagels, Lox, Fruit, Yogurt, Strawberry Jam


L
Soup, leftover veggies


D
Matzo Pizza
Friday
B
Matzo, Mandelbrot, Fruit, Eggs


L
Matzo Pizza


D
Soup, Brisket or Meatloaf, Potato Kugel, Veggies
Saturday
B
Matzo Brei, Honey, Fruit


L
Leftovers
Baby Moses Salad
The kids make this every year
Other Recipes to make to round out meals: Cheesecake, Crustless Quiche, Hungarian Potato Kugel



Friday, February 27, 2015

Cake Mix Hamentaschen for 5775


Cake Mix Hamentaschen

Every year at Purim it seems that I find myself with an abundance of boxed cake mix in my pantry.  I'm not entirely sure how they all sneak into there, but it seems like a good a time as any to use them up.  Several years ago I found a recipe from Mommzy for hamentaschen using cake mix and I've been trying variations on the that recipe since then.  This year was definitely no different.  A couple of years ago I posted about the cake mix confetti version.  I made that again this year, but changed the recipe a bit.  I added a bit of oil to the dough and it seemed to make it much more pliable and less dried out.  I also decided to try the same marshmallow filling, but add it before baking rather than after.  I'm so glad I did.  The dough is much easier to work with this way and the marshmallow filling is super good when it bakes into the center.  I hope you try it for yourself!

Here is the recipe again with the changes.

Cake Mix Confetti Hamantaschen

1 box cake mix (I used yellow)

2 Tbs. sprinkles (jimmies)

1 cup flour

2 Eggs

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 Tbs. Water

Marshmallow filling

Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until a ball forms.  Roll out dough on a floured surface to approximately 1/8th inch.  Cut the dough into 3" circles with a cookie cutter or a glass.  Add a teaspoon of marshmallow filling to the center and pinch closed into triangle shapes.  Bake at 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  Remove cookies to cool on rack.

Marshmallow filling

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup marshmallow fluff (about half of a 7 oz. container)

Add the shortening, 3/4 cup of sugar, and marshmallow fluff to the bowl of a mixer.  Mix ingredients together on a medium speed until a thick, spreading consistency is reached.



  

Monday, February 16, 2015

South African Crunchies - GS World Thinking Day


This year our troop chose the country of South Africa to participate in Girl Scout World Thinking Day.  As part of our WTD presentation, we thought we would like to offer a little treat to our "visiting" troops.  Crunchies are popular cookie (or biscuit) in South Africa and are reminiscent of a chunchy-style granola bar.  There are several recipes out there on the web.  I based our recipe mostly on this recipe from "Lick Your Own Bowl".  I adapted the recipe a bit for American ingredients and added a chocolate drizzle on top for an extra finish.  Truthfully, they are excellent plain and actually my daughter prefers them that way!

South African Crunchies



1½ sticks butter
2
Tablespoons golden syrup, or cane syrup*
¾ cup
brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat
pastry flour or whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 Tablespoon grated orange zest (from one orange)
1-2 oz. chocolate melting wafers, optional

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare a 9 x 13” pan by greasing lightly and lining the pan with parchment paper. Measure the dry ingredients (oats, flour, coconut, zest, and salt) into a large mixing bowl. 

 In a saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar and syrup on a medium-high heat, stirring to combine. When the mixture reaches a low boil, turn off the heat. Carefully add the baking soda and stir gently. The mixture will bubble up a bit, so be careful. Add the hot butter/sugar mix into the dry ingredients and stir to combine until evenly coated. 


Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. 


 Place another piece of parchment or waxed paper on top and smooth and press the mixture into the pan.

 Remove extra paper and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. After removing from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cutting in to squares. 
Crunchies

Optional – after cutting into squares, melt chocolate in a microwave safe dish. Drizzle melted chocolate over crunchies using the tines of a fork. Allow chocolate to set before serving. (Makes about 4 dozen)


* may substitute dark corn syrup if you can't find the cane syrup.

Crunchies with chocolate drizzle