Sour Cream Coffee Cake

When I am with family, especially for a food centered gathering like Thanksgiving, I always try to bring a few foods that I can share with everyone else. This cake is one of my FAVORITES. Also… just so you know, Coffee cake is a cake eaten with coffee, NOT necessarily a cake made with coffee…

Ingredients:

  • 8 TBSP butter (or earth balance)- room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP butter (or earth balance)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • Cream the butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until well combined.
  • Pour half the cake batter in a baking pan then sprinkle with half the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  • Spoon the remaining cake batter on top of the cinnamon sugar layer then finish it off by sprinkling more of the cinnamon sugar layer on top.
  • Bake at 350*F for 35-40 minutes until cooked through.

This one is on my to do list for tomorrow night so I’ll post the picture then 🙂

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Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar and a Visit to my Sister & Brother-in-Law!

For the next few days, I’ll be in CT visiting my sister and brother in law! Stay tuned for some tips, tricks, and recipes from my travels 🙂

Before coming to Connecticut I spoke with my sister to plan the food stuffs. She’s got a regular electric coil stove that is super easy to kasher (just clean well and burn out), and her oven can be kashered on the self-cleaning mode so I knew I’d have a lot of flexibility on cooking. I decided to bring one pan to do some dairy cooking, some frozen meat and chicken to make in her oven after I kasher it, and a parve knife that I can use whenever.

Next up was planning what to eat on my amtrak train ride. Something about traveling always makes me go WAAAYYY overboard on food. Somehow I always think I’ll end up starving so I bring TONS. This time I brought… 3 water bottles, some spelt crackers, a package of seaweed, a strawberry shortcake in a jar, some leftover sautee’d zucchini, and a basic greek mason jar salad. Honestly, I probably could have fed an army… but hey, I didn’t starve!

The best thing I brought, naturally was the Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar…This one happens to be gluten free, but you could substitute the biscuit recipe for a regular flour one 🙂

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Oat flour
  • 4 TBSP Butter/Margarine (I used Earth Balance) room temperature
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Milk/Milk substitute
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Whipped cream (the frozen whipped cream you made for your peaches and cream will work perfectly)
  • Strawberries (you could also try blueberries for an interesting twist)

Directions:

Mix the oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, chia seeds and sugar in a bowl. Then with a fork, mash the butter/margarine in to the flour mixture and fold in the milk/milk substitute and vanilla in until all the ingredients are just combined. Line a muffin tin and spoon the mixture until each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake the oat biscuits at 425*F for about 10-15 minutes until the biscuits are slightly golden on top.

When the biscuits have cooled take them out of the muffin wrapper and put in a cup or a cup sized mason jar. These biscuits tend to crumble because of the oat flour, but the flavor and texture with the other ingredients works well, but the cup is really helpful :). Cut some fresh strawberries and put them on top then scoop some whipped cream on top. If you are using frozen whipped cream, just give it a few minutes before you enjoy your treat. The nice thing about using a mason jar it makes these great travel food! Enjoy!

Peaches & Cream

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Peaches are the major highlight of my summer. But travel is also a big component of my summer so when ingredients are fresh, but I’m leaving town, I’ve got to figure out what can be eaten, what can travel, and what can freeze… and how to do all that in a way that leaves me with good food …

So here’s what I’ve learned about cream. Have you ever frozen cream? Freezing milk works for the most part, but cream… not so much. When you freeze cream, you might find it looks clumpy when you de-frost it. After extensive google research, I’ve read that it’s still edible, but you will notice a difference in texture, and that difference kind of takes the fun out of cream…after all, who wants clumps in their cream?

However, if you make something with your cream, you can freeze the product and and it works perfectly. This is obvious when it comes to making ice-cream, but you might be surprised to hear that making a basic whipped cream will work too!

Basic Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • Heavy Cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla

Tools Needed:

  • Electric mixer or you can try an immersion blender as long as you are careful not to over whip and turn your cream in to butter… although butter will keep well too 🙂

Directions:

In a large bowl, begin whipping the cream and sugar. I generally will add about 1/4 cup sugar for 2 cups of cream, but if you like it sweeter you can add more. Be careful when whipping the cream. You want peaks to form (meaning when you lift the mixer the cream will hold it’s shape a bit) but if you over whip, it will become butter.  Toward the end add a tsp of vanilla.

This cream will taste wonderful fresh, but if you are in a hurry to leave town, or don’t want to end up eating two cups worth of fresh whipped cream all on your own, then you can keep your whipped cream in the freezer. When you want to eat it, scoop it on to you favorite fruits, cakes, pies etc. and let it sit out for a few minutes to defrost. You should find that your whipped cream will quickly return to it’s light and fluffy texture in no time. Enjoy!

National S’mores Day

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Happy Belated National S’mores day! Apparently it was yesterday, August 10th 2016! Well in honor of National S’mores Day, what would be better than having great, gooey, sweet, chocolaty kosher s’mores…

One of the lesser known kosher problem products is marshmallows. Most marshmallows are made with geletin, specifically pork gelatin and are not kosher. There are kosher marshmallows out there, but many leave what to be desired… Enter, Trader Joes!

I’m not sure when these came in to my local TJ’s but I’m certainly happy they did. They look like they are falling apart in the bag, and they are a bit delicate and very sticky, but they are soft and gooey and when toasted over an open flame, they help make really great s’mores!

Pair these marshmellows with your favorite graham cracker (I love the cinnamon ones) and use the Enjoy Life Brand mini chocolate chips to finish off the treat!

Apple Slices with Fresh Marscapone and Rose Sugar

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About 9 years ago I stumbled in to a fancy cheese shop in DC and was offered a sample- fresh marscapone cheese with Rose petal sugar on an apple slice. This thing was so good that I became a frequent marscapone cheese purchaser and also bought a good amount of the Rose sugar too.

Well about a year later I started keeping kosher and sadly said goodbye for now to my light, delicious, and flavorful snack. While marscapone cheese is often found kosher, I have yet to find it cholov yisroel and there is no substitute for it’s creamy lightness. And for years, that’s been all there is to it.

Well just before pesach I went to Israel and found dried whole rose tea in the shuk. The smell alone reminded me so much of my former favorite snack that I bought it and became determined to find a way to re-create it.

Well today it finally happened. I made my own fresh marscapone cheese… With slightly too much lemon, but all in all, it’s pretty darn good… I then blended those roses with some sugar, sliced myself and apple and here I am, in foodie cloud 9.

And here is the recipe so you can join me 🙂
Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3/8 Cup Sugar
  • 1/8 Cup Dried Food-Grade Rose buds/rose petals- purchase here https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/rose-buds-whole/profile
  • Apple

Special Tools:

  • Sauce pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth with colander
  • Blender/food processor

Directions:

Start out by making the marscapone cheese. Put 2 cups of heavy cream in the pot and heat until just before boiling then add the lemon juice and stir constantly for about 5 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer it should be around 190, but if you don’t have one, just keep it just before the boiling point. After 5 minutes it should have thickened slightly (mine was just barely noticeable). Let it cool to room-temperature then pour into the colander lined with cheesecloth and put it in the fridge to cool and strain for about 8 hours. When I made it, the mixture thickened to the perfect consistency in the fridge, but barely any whey (liquid) drained out. Transfer the finished marscapone to an airtight container and use within the week.

Mix the dried food-grade rose buds/petals with the sugar in a blender. When you are ready for an other-worldly treat, thinly slice an apple and plate it with a heaping spoon of marscapone and some rose sugar. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

10387463_10103186722704008_8432315220370058358_n.jpgThis is hands down the EASIEST dessert… ever. Not to mention one of the most popular things I make and really beautiful!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips- my favorite is the Enjoy Life brand

Directions:

Seed the pomegranate and set aside. In a aluminum pan melt the chocolate chips either by placing it over a pot with water that is boiling on the stove top, or by putting it in an oven pre-heated to 300* F. Check the chocolate frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Spread the chocolate in the pan to form an equal layer. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds to evenly top the chocolate in the pan. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days. Break the bark up and serve immediately before the pomegranate seeds defrost! Enjoy!