Tag Archives: shavuot

Israeli Salad Ceviche

Yield:
4-6 servings

Summer is here and it’s time for fresh, easy and quick recipes so you can be out at the beach or by the pool instead of working hard in the kitchen. And hey, it never hurts to make dishes that you can eat outside WHILE you’re enjoying the beautiful weather. With only a few simple ingredients and a sharp knife, this light and refreshing ceviche will definitely become a staple in your house.

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Unlike a traditional ceviche, which can include tons of ingredients to chop like jalapenos, avocado, red onion, bell peppers and garlic, I’ve developed a simple recipe inspired by Israeli salad using tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and fresh lemon juice. Not too much chopping but an incredible amount of flavor.

Since I usually enjoy Israeli salad with fresh pita bread and I love to snack on ceviche with crunchy taco chips, I decided to bake my own healthy and oil free homemade tortilla chips for this combination Israeli Salad Ceviche. I flavored my baked corn tortillas with cumin and salt but you can use whatever spices you want on your own chips, including garlic, chili powder, turmeric or whatever else your heart desires. They’re your chips!

Israeli-Salad-Ceviche-chips

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Israeli Salad Ceviche

Ingredients

Ingredients for Ceviche:

2-3 Persian cucumbers (½ cup chopped)

8 oz. heirloom cherry tomatoes (½ cup chopped)

3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

4 ounces sushi-grade tuna

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Tortilla Chips:

5 corn tortillas

1 Tbsp cumin

1 Tbsp salt

Directions

To make the Homemade Tortilla Chips:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the corn tortillas into triangles and place them on the baking sheet in one layer, making sure none of the tortilla pieces are touching. Sprinkle the tortillas with the salt and cumin and bake for 8-12 minutes, until the chips are crunchy. Set them aside to cool and harden even further. Store the chips in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

To make the Israeli Salad Ceviche:

Chop the Persian cucumbers, heirloom cherry tomatoes and sushi-grade tuna into small pieces, making sure that the pieces are all similar in size.

Add the chopped fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Set the ceviche aside for 5 minutes for the tuna to cook slightly in the acidic lemon juice.

Ceviche is better fresh but can be refrigerated for 1-2 days. The fish will cook in the lemon juice so be prepared for cooked fish if you are eating leftovers the next day.

Posted on July 7, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I try to eat a pretty healthy and mostly unprocessed gluten-free diet, but I do love mac & cheese. This is my new favorite way to make it—a healthier cheese sauce that uses pureed butternut squash and milk as the base with just a bit of shredded cheese, topped off with cheese and buttered breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven until it’s bubbly inside and toasty on top. This is also a great way to get picky kids to eat vegetables—the sauce tastes cheesy, not squashy! For an extra bit of richness, use whole milk instead of 2%.

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Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups cooked butternut squash

1 ¼ cup 2 % milk

½ tsp sea salt + more to taste

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 lb gluten-free pasta (macaroni, penne, ziti, or rigatoni are best)

1½ cups shredded mozzarella, divided

1/3 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp melted butter

Finely minced herbs for garnish

Directions

Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Place a large pot of salted water to boil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic and sauté 6-8 minutes until the onions are soft. Remove from heat and add squash, 1 cup of milk, ½ tsp salt, and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend squash mixture until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender you can use a food processor or blender and puree in batches.

Add additional ¼ cup of milk as necessary, you want a thick sauce but you don’t want it too chunky. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Once the water is boiling, cook pasta until very al dente (3-4 minutes less than you would normally cook it, this will help prevent the pasta from becoming mushy as it cooks longer in the oven). Drain pasta and return to pot. Add squash sauce and stir until all of the pasta is evenly coated. Pour into prepared baking dish.

Stir bread crumbs into melted butter. Top pasta with remaining mozzarella and buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes until the cheese and breadcrumbs are toasty and the edges of the pasta are browned.

Top with your favorite fresh herbs such as basil or parsley.

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Posted on June 18, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Egg Cream Float

Yield:
1 egg cream

A fond memory of my childhood is the New York-style egg creams my dad would whip up for me on Sundays during lunch. Sundays were the most relaxed day of the week in our home and I suppose a home-made egg cream was a sign we could all enjoy ourselves just a tad a more.

Egg creams are light, refreshing but still somehow a little rich. Chocolatey. Sweet. And according to my dad (and many other egg cream aficionados) MUST be made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup. My dad also taught me that the ratio of milk to chocolate syrup is very important for a good egg cream.

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I had been thinking recently that adding a scoop of ice cream to an egg cream would be a great way to really take it to the next level. But why stop with ice cream? You could also add a shot of Baileys or Kahlua to make a more “adult” version.

Want to make it non-dairy? Use vanilla almond milk, or leave out the milk all together and add a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream.

But my favorite touch to this updated egg cream was the colorful sprinkles. An extra touch of whimsy had me traveling back to the Sunday lunches of my childhood.

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Egg Cream Float

Ingredients

2 Tbsp U-Bet chocolate syrup

2 Tbsp milk

1 cup seltzer

1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream (optional)

Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Pour chocolate syrup into tall glass. Add milk on top.

Then add seltzer. Make sure seltzer does not reach top of glass or it will spill over. Using a spoon, stir chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer vigorously. It will be foamy on top.

Add scoop of ice cream, whipped cream and sprinkles if desired. Enjoy with straw.

Posted on June 12, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Pineapple Coconut Coffee Cake

Yield:
8-10 servings

Like so many of my peers, Jewish summer camp played an integral role in my Jewish identity. It’s where I developed my appreciation for Israeli dancing, a deep respect for my surroundings in nature, and not to be outdone, my love of Shabbat breakfast. Every Saturday morning, before all the campers joined for services, we’d convene in the dining hall for a plentiful feast of crumbly and perfectly spiced coffee cake. It wasn’t elaborate, but it sure was special, and it was certainly on the list of things I looked forward to year after year as I awaited summer’s arrival. If I ever longed for a little taste of home while I was at camp, I just had to wait until the end of the week, since the combination of cinnamon and sugar in the crumb topping would remind anyone of home. Because of this experience and because it only gets better the day after it is baked, to me, coffee cake is synonymous with Shabbat morning, summer vacation or not.

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Of course, as an adult, summer camp is no longer really in the cards for me anymore. These days, when we get through hiking the trails of all the nearby national forests, my husband and I long for a more tropical getaway. Since our next vacation seems light years away, I came up with a recipe inspired by my Cuban heritage that will be sure to satisfy until we can get ourselves to the nearest island.

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With its taste of the tropics, my Pineapple Coconut Coffee Cake hits the spot for a Shabbat morning treat. It has the cinnamon and sugar that I always remember from my camp days, but its layer of crushed pineapple adds a mild zing and just the touch needed to keep this cake moist for days. The coconut added to the crumb layer, suggested by my friend Dolly, acts as a tropical kiss and adds a nice crunch.

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Next time you’re in the mood for a reminder of Shabbat mornings at camp, or you’re longing for a quick getaway, try a bite of this coffee cake, and you won’t be disappointed.

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Pineapple Coconut Coffee Cake

Ingredients

For the cake batter:

2 cups all-purpose OR cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp table salt (not kosher salt)

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, well-drained, and juice reserved

For the crumb topping

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

½ cup grated coconut

½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

⅛ tsp salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

For the glaze:

3 oz cream cheese, softened

⅔ cup confectioners' sugar

3-4 Tbsp. of the reserved pineapple juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch tube pan, and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, one by one, and mix well. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Combine the dry mixture into the wet mixture in three batches, and mix only until incorporated, and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients of the crumb topping, and cut in the butter using a fork or a pastry cutter. Set aside.

In your greased tube pan, spoon in half of the batter, and use the back of the spoon to even the layer. Sprinkle on half of the crumb topping in an even layer. Spoon the drained pineapple over the crumb layer. Top with second half of cake batter, and spread to even the layer. Add the remaining crumb topping, and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Once the cake is golden brown, remove from oven, and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. After the initial 10-minute cooling time, remove the cake from the pan, and cool the rest of the way.

Once cooled, glaze the cake by whisking together all the glaze ingredients, and using the prongs of a fork to drizzle over the cake. Let the glaze set before slicing.

Posted on June 10, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Shavuot Menu Ideas (Blintzes, Cheesecake, Ziti – Oh My!)

June is a tricky time for a holiday like Shavuot. On one hand, I love having an excuse to make dairy-centric meals. But on the other hand, I don’t want to eat heavy, cheese-laden food this time of year. As we approach Shavuot I have put together some of recipe ideas that include some lighter fair perfect for outdoor eating and warmer weather. Hope this inspires you! Tell us what you’re making below, and submit any questions if you’re looking for input or advice.

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To start:

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing & Challah Croutons

Labne Watermelon Corn Salsa Spinach, Blueberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Chickpea Arugula Salad with Tahini Dressing

Cucumber Avocado Soup

Creamy Roasted Beet Soup

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For the main event:

Cauliflower Tomato Bake with Basil & Parmesan

Grilled Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks

Green Lasagna

Classic Blintzes or Gluten-free Blintzes

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Strawberry Rhubarb Blintzes

Baked Salmon with Caramelized Onions

Baked Ziti Cupcakes

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And for cheesecake…

Classic Cheesecake

Lavender Cheesecake

Black and White Cookie Cheesecake

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

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Posted on June 2, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Yield:
8-10 servings

When I look at rhubarb, it reminds me of some sort of alien plant. It’s not really appealing, and yet it is so coveted for spring cooking. I will admit: it does some wonderful things when cooked despite its unusual appearance.

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Others may say that this simple vegetable has genius qualities and a beautiful color. Which is does of course. On its own it can be bitter, but when paired with fruit, especially springtime strawberries, it balances perfectly in many combinations.

Since rhubarb has been in abundance at my local farmer’s market, and because I love trying new things, I decided it was high time I conquered my apprehension around rhubarb. Also my husband loves it, so it’s an easy way to shut him up for a bit.

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Shavuot…rhubarb abundance…it was clear a strawberry rhubarb topped cheesecake was only natural for this time of year.

Some of my other favorite strawberry rhubarb recipes to highlight?

Strawberry Rhubarb Blintzes from Leah Koenig

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream from Naomi Sugar

Rhubarb Rugelach from Tamar Fox

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the topping:

2 cups rhubarb, sliced

1 cup strawberries, sliced

2 Tbsp orange juice

¼ cup water

1 Tbsp cornstarch

For the crust:

10 whole graham crackers

¼ cup melted butter

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp sea salt

For the filling:

3 8 ounce packages of full fat cream cheese

2 cups sour cream

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp fresh lemon zest

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse graham crackers, sugar, salt and melted butter until crumbs form.

Press crumbs into bottom of springform pan. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Allows to cool completely.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Mix in eggs.

Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared graham cracker crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until middle is just set but jiggles slightly. Allow to cool on a wire rack and then chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

To make the topping, place rhubarb, strawberries and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 7-10 minutes, until the strawberries and rhubarb start breaking down. Combine corn starch and water and add to rhubarb-strawberry mixture. Continue cooking another 5-7 minutes until mixture is thick and strawberries and rhubarb are completely broken down and soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

After the cheesecake and topping have both cooled, spoon strawberry-rhubarb mixture on top of cheesecake. Serve chilled.

Posted on May 30, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Green Lasagna

Yield:
6-8 servings

I grew up eating lots of very traditional Italian-American lasagna, baked ziti and anything else you could cover in homemade tomato sauce and cheese. And I loved it – I mean who doesn’t!? Garfield the cat was even one of my heroes growing up. I always appreciated his feisty-ness towards his sibling (Odie), his appreciation of napping and of course his love of lasagna.

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In the past few years I have yearned for lasagnas with a little more flair, and a little less sauce. I have made a white pumpkin lasagna, and a white lasagna with spinach and pine nuts. I have included a béchamel, and left it out. I have even experimented with different kinds of cheeses.

As the greens of spring have taken over at my local farmer’s market, a lasagna recipe was once again creeping into my head. Peas, fresh herbs…something was simmering.

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When I suggested a puree of spring peas with herbs basked into a creamy lasagna, my husband was less than enthusiastic. He responded to the idea saying, “Um..ok. I guess let’s see how it turns out.”

I love it when my husband has to admit he was wrong, and in the case of this lasagna, he had to concede defeat as he shoveled another bite into his mouth. And though I actually hate peas, this lasagna is absolutely out of this world, creamy and full of fresh spring flavors. It’s also perfect for a Shavuot celebration. Pair with a crisp glass of white wine and a simple mixed green salad and you have a complete meal especially appropriate for a June lunch.

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I actually ended up making this recipe two ways. Once with regular, store-bough lasagna noodles which was delicious. And a second version with homemade spinach noodles. You can try either – they were both creamy, lighter than you might think and really yummy. It really depends on the amount of work you want to put in. Making your own noodles is delicious, but much more time consuming.

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Green Lasagna

Ingredients

8 ounces whole milk ricotta

8 ounces mascarpone cheese (or another 8 ounces of ricotta)

12 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated

¼ cup grated parmesan

1 egg

2 cups fresh or frozen peas

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 Tbsp fresh mint

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 Tbsp fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

12-15 lasagna noodles or homemade spinach noodles

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the pot as the water is coming to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles as directed, around 7-8 minutes. Drain water and layer noodles on a baking sheet drizzled with a smidge of olive oil to prevent sticking. You can also put sheets of parchment paper in between noodles.

In a food processor fitted with blade attachment, pulse peas, herbs and melted butter until desired smoothness.

In a large bowl mix together ricotta, mascarpone, all but 1 cup of the grated mozzarella, parmesan, fresh herbs, egg and the pea mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until just combined.

Drizzle bottom of a 9X13 baking with olive oil. Layer lasagna noodles so that they overlap just slightly on top of one another. The bottom layer should be 4 noodles. Layer about a third of the cheese-pea mixture on top and smooth using a spatula or back of a spoon.

Repeat with three layers. On top of the third layer of noodles, add the remaining grated mozzarella, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.

Cover with tin foil.

Bake for 25-30 minutes covered. Remove foil. Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese on top is melted and slightly bubbly. Allow to cool before cutting.

Posted on May 29, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Gluten-Free Blintzes

Yield:
14-16 blintzes

Many of us have seasonal associations with Jewish holidays. The High Holidays and Sukkot: crisp, fall weather, a perfect time for a spiritual cleanse before we head into winter, Hanukkah: dark and cold winter, and a holiday of light to brighten the darkness, and of course, Passover: springtime and rebirth to signify freedom from slavery. My personal associations with Shavuot were always about the end of the school year and summer being just around the corner.

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As a child, my family usually headed to Atlantic Beach, NY to celebrate Shavuot with my grandparents and revel in the end of another school year. I have fond memories of walking home from shul with my Saba, salty breeze blowing, to devour my Savta’s famous blintzes. The streets in Atlantic Beach are ordered alphabetically and, stomach rumbling, I’d count down: Oneida, Putnam…I just looked at Google Maps, and it turns out the shul was only three blocks away

v at the beach

My grandparents have since passed away, and their house has been sold, but those memories live on. I’d like to think that my Savta would approve of these blintzes, though they are completely gluten-free (sorry, Savta!). The trick to these is a heavy, high-quality crepe pan, to ensure a thin and evenly cooked crepe. I use the DeBuyer Iron pan.

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Gluten-Free Blintzes

Ingredients

For the crepes:

240 grams/2 cups of your favorite gluten-free flour mix

OR

90 grams white rice flour

50 grams quinoa flour

100 grams tapioca flour

1 tsp psyllium husk

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup milk (regular, soy, or almond milk will all work)

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp grapeseed or other vegetable oil, plus more for frying

For the filling:

3 egg yolks

1 lb farmer cheese (if farmer cheese is not readily available, you can also use ricotta)

1/2 lb cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup or more sugar, to taste

zest of 1 lemon

jam, sour cream, or your other favorite toppings

Directions

If you are mixing flours yourself, measure and mix ahead of time into a small bowl. Whisk milk, eggs, and  tablespoon of oil together in a medium mixing bowl and add the flour slowly, whisking as you go. Whisk until the batter is smooth and has no large pieces.

Heat your crepe pan on high with about a teaspoon of oil.

Make your crepes with about ¼ cup of batter, spreading it around as quickly as possible to get it as thin as you can. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes apiece, flipping with a metal spatula. The timing of this will depend on the kind of pan you use and how hot it is. Each side should be just slightly browned. These crepes are sturdy and can be piled on top of one another as you finish cooking them.

Mix together all the ingredients for your filling.

Take each crepe, 1 at a time, spoon 2-3 heaping tablespoons of filling on the bottom third, fold the bottom edge of the pancake up and over the filling, fold the sides in, and roll up into a slim roll.

To bake, put the blintzes side by side in a greased oven dish and bake at 375 oven for 20 minutes. To fry, heat about half an inch of grapeseed or vegetable oil in a frying pan, and when the oil is hot, fry each blintz for about 4 minutes on each side, until browned.

Cool on a paper bag to absorb excess oil. Serve with jam, fruit, sour cream, or other toppings.

Posted on May 28, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Black & White Cookie Cheesecake

Yield:
1 9-inch cheesecake

There are two foods that are just quintessential New York City to me. Cheesecake, and black and white cookies. Well, and bagels. And pizza. Is coffee a food? But if we’re talking desserts, it’s cheesecake and black and whites all the way.

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I have been known to whip up some brownies on a whim or throw together a dozen cupcakes like it’s nobody’s business. But cheesecake is an all day affair. The long baking time and cooling does not match my impatient manner. Waiting until the next day to dive in? Fuhgettaboutit! So I usually only bake one for special occasions. Like Shavuot, a holiday where you are basically commanded to eat cheesecake. But this creation is a game changer. I’m going to need cheesecake a lot more often. Just in time for boat season.

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I thought about simply decorating a cheesecake in black and white cookies, but I wanted more. I wanted the cheesecake to literally become a black and white cookie. So I started with a cakey crust in place of a traditional graham cracker one. Over that are layers of vanilla and chocolate cheesecake laced with lemon. On top? Oh icing, but of course. Instead of the classic one black and one white side, I made a crazy pattern. Because this is a crazy kind of cake. But you do what you like!

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Black and White Cookie Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust:

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

½ cup whole milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ lemon, zested

½ cup cake flour

¼ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

 

For the cheesecake:

4 (8-ounce) packages of full-fat cream cheese

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup sour cream

¾ cup milk

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

Zest from one lemon

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 4-ounce chocolate bar melted and cooled

 

For the icings:

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 ½ Tbsp corn syrup

2 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp water

1/4 cup cocoa powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position lower rack in the oven.

Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by greasing well with butter.  Wrap foil tightly around the outside of the pan to block water from the water bath from getting in. Make sure there are no holes.

To make the crust, mix sugar and butter together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. About 2-3 minutes. Then add in the egg, whole milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into wet ingredients until combined.

Spoon batter into the pan and bake for 15 minutes until just brown along the edges. Let cool in the pan while you make the cheesecake.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Then mix in sour cream and then milk. Then mix in eggs one at a time just until combined.

Stir in vanilla and lemon zest and then stir in flour until combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan over cooled crust, and then add cooled melted chocolate to the other half and incorporate. Pour remaining batter over the vanilla layer making sure batter should not reach the top of the pan.

Place the foil-wrapped pan in a large roasting pan with high sides. Pour boiling water until it reaches halfway up the cheesecake pan to make a water bath. Place on the lower rack and bake for 1 hour. You can also pour the boiling water in the pan after the cheesecake is set up in the oven in the roasting pan. Either way, don’t burn yourself!

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 hours to prevent cracking. Then chill in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 4 hours.

To make the icing, mix together confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and water.

Transfer half of the icing to another bowl and add cocoa powder. Add more water if needed to get desired consistency. Frost as desired and chill cheesecake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Posted on May 19, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Challah Croutons

Yield:
4 servings

My husband’s family is very male-centric and even though they love to eat, they can be a bit difficult to satisfy. They don’t like fancy desserts, eggplant, anything with nuts or “girly” salads. Whereas my mother-in-law love salads with fruits, nuts and lots of chopped veggies (like me!), the guys in the family don’t want much to do with a nice spinach salad.

So after racking my brain I decided to try making this classic wedge salad, sans the bacon that is traditionally included, for a dairy Shavuot meal last year. And thankfully, my father-in-law loved it and it was a big hit all around.

wedge-salad-2It is hearty, beautiful to look at and its the kind of salad that can be changed around depending on your tastes. Need some more protein? Add some beans or a grilled piece of fish and it becomes a main dish. Blue cheese too strong for you? Substitute a creamy ranch dressing instead. Want to get in some extra veggies? Add chopped cucumber and avocado.

But it’s the homemade challah croutons that really take this dish to the next level. They are crispy and buttery, adding crunch and a whole lot of satisfying flavor, especially for this gluten-loving gal. When making the croutons, don’t skimp on the olive oil.

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Classic Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing and Challah Croutons

Ingredients

1 head iceberg lettuce

2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered

4 hard-boiled eggs

2-3 cups leftover challah

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

½ cup crumbled blue cheese

½ cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut challah into small cubes. Toss challah with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 10-25 minutes until crispy, golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, olive oil and lemon juice. Add crumbled blue cheese and stir, breaking up any large clumps as you go. Set aside dressing.

Remove core from iceberg lettuce. Cut into four large wedges. Place on a large platter and assemble salad with cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, croutons and salad dressing.

Posted on May 1, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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