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Archive for April, 2012

While browsing through the current issue of the Whole Living magazine, I came across an article about snacks. Avocado with Black Bean Salsa, Sharp Cheddar, Hummus, and Sprouts, Dry-Roasted Edamame with Cranberries, Chocolate Apricot Nut Bars… I don’t know if I was hungry at that particular time, but all of them sounded super tasty. No?!? I decided to make the Chocolate Apricot Nut Bars.

The recipe is super simple. You pulse 1½ cups of apricots with ½ cup toasted almonds, 2 teaspoons of toasted coconut flakes (I used a lot more since I had shredded coconut), and a pinch of salt until finely ground. You then add the mixture into a dish lined with parchment paper, and spread it pressing firmly to form it into a block.

Lastly, you remove the formed bar from the dish, drizzle it with 2 ounces of melted chocolate (I used unsweetened chocolate), and sprinkle it with a bit of toasted coconut flakes. Before cutting it into bars, refrigerate it until firm, about 15 minutes. That’s it! So simple, but so delicious!

As I was making the bars, I thought of other different dried fruits that I can experiment with. Dates, figs, raisins… the possibilities are endless!

If you are looking for a good snack, I highly recommend these bars. I look forward to eating them throughout the week. (Except that Joel informed me that they will be gone in 2 days. HA!)

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I am very excited to tell you about my Passover dinner. It was just delicious! Every year I find myself asking the same question… “What should I make for Passover dinner??”. Of course the traditional dish is brisket, but I cannot get myself to make it. After searching a few of my trusted food related sites, the menu was set:

The Seder plate was the easiest and simplest item to create. It contained horseradish, hard boiled egg, parsley, and ḥărōset, which are all traditional items. A shank bone is also traditional, but I omitted it. Also, I used grape juice instead of wine for the ḥărōset and it worked just as well.

The kugel is the traditional recipe, which Joel’s mom shared with me a long time ago. It is super simple to make. It contains dried prunes, dried apricots, raisins (I used currants since I like them more), diced apple, matzo (of course), which is soaked and squeezed dry, fresh orange juice, eggs, a bit of sugar, and cinnamon. You simply mix all the ingredients and then bake it. YUM!

When I was questioning Joel what to make for dinner, he requested matzah ball soup, so I could not let him down. I usually make his mom’s traditional soup, which is super delicious but the recipe requires lots of vegetable chopping, so I did not feel up to making it. Also, cooking onion and garlic still smells appalling due to my food aversion, so that was another reason why I did not want to make it. I opted for a simple soup, which included broth, matzah balls, thinly sliced carrots, and fresh dill. The matzah balls were from Joel’s mom’s soup, except that I omitted the sautéed scallions. For the broth, I used my favorite stock called Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base. This is the best stock that I have ever used! They also make a vegetable stock, which is just as delicious. The soup was super! I am excited that I now have a more simple soup recipe.

And then there were the Salmon Cakes. Oh my! These are the best fish related dish that I have ever made! And the best thing about it is that the cakes were super easy to make! You simply sauté some carrots and leeks. You cube the salmon and whirl it in the food processor. You then combine the salmon and the sautéed vegetables with eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper, form them in a bunch of small patties, and pan-fry them for about 3 minutes on each side. That’s it! Aside from the actual cakes, the accompanying sauce was also super! The sauce includes cucumber, mayo, horseradish, fresh parsley, fresh chives, and salt and pepper. The two together created a delicious mélange! I served them with a side of simple salad. The recipe is definitely a keeper!

Chocolate Cake with Espresso Glaze… need I say more?? I found the cake on the Martha Stewart web site. Passover dishes cannot contain flour, so the cake was flourless. This was also a simple recipe. You melt the butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler. You then beat the egg yolks with some sugar until fluffy and thick and then add instant espresso, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture. Then you beat the egg whites with a bit more sugar until stiff peaks form. Lastly, you fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. That’s it.

The accompanying sauce also made this dish even more delicious. The sauce was just as easy to make. You simply boil some milk (I used almond milk), with a bit of sugar, instant espresso, and salt and then pour the milk mixture over some chocolate chips and butter, whisking until the chocolate and butter are melted. And voilà, you have a super delicious chocolate sauce! We ate ¾ of the cake and almost the entire bowl of sauce. Yes… it was that good!

Happy Passover!

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