Our Big Shabbat Dinner

My 3-layered gefilte fish loaf.

My 3-layered gefilte fish loaf.

This past Friday, we hosted Shabbat Dinner for 10 adults and 7 kids (two of those children are under age 1).  We had such a great time with our friends, the little babies crawling all over the house was adorable and the food was pretty good too (if I do say so myself).  Since I made a lot of food, I started prepping on Wednesday night so I wouldn’t be crazy all day on Friday.

The Menu

  • 3-Layered Gefilte Fish Loaf
  • Deli Roll (pastrami and turkey rolled with honey and dijon mustard in a puff pastry shell)
  • Challah (here I cheated and went for store-bought)
  • Homemade Hummas and Guacamole
  • Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs
  • Honey-Garlic-Lemon-Tarragon Chicken
  • Garlic Rosemary Potatoes (although I woke up Saturday morning and realized I forgot to add the Rosemary, they were still delicious)
  • Roasted Zucchini
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Lemon Cake
  • Chocolate, Butterscotch Chip, Pretzel Cookies

It was a great night with great friends and good food and I loved every minute of it!

 

Tonight’s Dinner

Birthday Dessert!

Birthday Dessert!

Tonight I decided to try something new for our Shabbat dinner.  It’s just the five of us and we have to eat and run to synagogue so my son can sing in the choir.   I’ve cooked a few things and taken a few things out of the fridge.

  • Challah
  • Top of the Rib Roast  (I consulted various websites and friends as to how to best cook this delicious looking piece of meat.  In the end, I dry rubbed it with whole wheat flour, dry mustard and pepper.  I dug about 12 holes in it and shoved in fresh garlic gloves and then pan seared all the sides to get a nice crust on it.  After that, it went in the oven for about an hour and half, covered.  I snuck a taste once it came out and cooled off a little and it’s quite tasty!)
  • Oven Roasted Green Beans with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Leftover Lemon Orzo with Asparagus
  • Lefover BBQ Chicken
  • Pan Seared Butternut Squash (in a little of the roast juices)
  • Fresh Mango for Dessert

Saturday we are at shul for lunch and out for dinner but Sunday we are celebrating my father’s birthday.  I am in charge of dessert so we are having Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes) and Coconut Cream Pie, both dairy free!

Here’s to a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy!

Menu: Week of April 28

What's a dinner party without a delicious cocktail?!

What’s a dinner party without a delicious cocktail?!

What a busy and fun-filled weekend!  And now back to work tomorrow and our regularly scheduled program.

Sunday – We had two families over for dinner tonight and were all excited to eat outside on our deck and BBQ.  Alas, it’s Cleveland so it rained all day so only my husband got to be outside on the deck in the rain cooking.  It was delicious though!

  • Turkey Burgers
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • Potato Salad
  • Homemade Bake Beans
  • Homemade Pickles, Tomatoes and Onions
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • White Sangria with Strawberries, Green Apples and Lime Slices
  • Fruit Salad and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
  • TIP: To keep my Turkey Burgers moist, I shred a zucchini into the mixture.
  • TIP: Everybody makes their potato salad a different way.  I like mine creamy but use 2-parts mayo and 1-part dijon mustard.  I also add hard-boiled eggs, radishes, celery and green onions.

Monday

  • Bagels
  • Cream Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Cucumbers
  • Fruit

Tuesday

  • Chicken Drumsticks on the Grill
  • Green Beans Two Ways
  • Lemon Orzo with Asparagus and Tomatoes
  • TIP: I marinate my chicken in equal-parts Italian Dressing and Orange Juice.  Everybody likes their own dip so it’s just easier to cook it plain and let everyone pick their own dipping sauce.  My kids like French Dressing and my husband and I like BBQ and Honey Mustard.

Wednesday

  • Salmon Egg Foo Young (an old recipe I found at my mother’s this weekend…I’ll let you know how it comes out.)
  • Vegetable Fried Rice
  • Roasted Zucchini

Thursday

  • Leftover Night

Friday

  • To Be Posted Soon…

I’m always looking for new recipes and quick week-night dinners.  Keep sending them in!

Menu: Week of April 21

Homemade Calzone

Homemade Calzone

So, better late than never.

Sunday

  • Homemade Hummus
  • Falafel
  • Israeli Salad
  • Israeli Pickles
  • Black Olives
  • Whole Wheat Pita
  • White and Sweet Potato Baked Fries with Zatar
  • TIP: Making hummus is much easier than you think.  I drain and rinse a can of garbanzo beans and add them to my blender.  Next I add 2 cloves of garlic, tahini (about 1/3 of a cup), juice from 2 lemons, olive oil and Kosher salt.  Once the blender is on, I can always add more olive oil if it’s too think.  This week I added a little too much garlic but we still ate it up!

Monday

  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Salmon with Butter and Seasoned Salt (my middle child ate half of my husband’s piece of fish!)
  • Roasted Green Beans with Olive Oil and Garlic Salt

Tuesday

  • Vegetable Soup (thank you freezer stocked full of soup)
  • Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard, Ketchup and Duck Sauce Dips
  • Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • TIP: I slice chicken breast, paint them with mayonnaise mixed with garlic salt, Mrs. Dash and paprika, and then roll them in crushed Corn Flakes.  They take only about 20 minutes to bake and come out crunchy and not oily.

Wednesday

  • Hot and Sour Soup (yup, from the freezer)
  • Beef and Broccoli with Mushrooms, Spinach, Green Onions and Water Chestnuts
  • Eggrolls

Thursday

  • Leftover Night

Friday

  • We are out for Shabbat and looking forward to having someone else cook!

Saturday

  • Homemade Pizzas
  • Homemade Calzones
  • Salad
  • TIP: The pizza dough I get at Alesci’s is so good that I like to make calzones with it for the adults.  I like mine stuffed with whatever leftover veggies we have around the house and my husband likes his stuffed with fake meat (truth be told, he’d prefer it with real meat but it’s not happening in this Kosher house so he settles for the fake stuff!).

Thanks for reading and HAPPY EATING!

Menu: Week of April 14

Black Bean Soup So good that my 6-year old has been asking for it for weeks.

Black Bean Soup
So good that my 6-year old has been asking for it for weeks.

WOW!  We had quite a weekend!  It started off with an emergency room visit with my 6-year old for 3 stitches late on Friday night, dinner with great friends on Saturday night and a quiet BBQ dinner with just the five of us tonight.  In between all that, we got a lot done around the house and spent some quality time together as a family.

Now with another work week ahead of me, I’m ready to face it now that the laundry is done, the meals have been planned and the grocery shopping is done.  I did have three little helpers today which made it go a bit faster.  On to the menu!

Sunday

  • Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Boris‘ Spicy Sausage on the Grill
  • Tomato, Onions, Lettuce and Pickles
  • Baked Beans
  • Peas
  • Grilled Veggies Leftover from Shabbes (the leftover steak from Friday disappeared by lunchtime on Saturday)

Monday

Tuesday (This meal was planned for this past Saturday but we ended up going to close friends of ours for a delicious dinner.  Since planning it last week, I can’t stop thinking about it so I scaled it back and we’re having it on Tuesday!)

  • Black Bean Soup
  • Guacamole
  • Chycken Enchiladas (that’s soy chycken)
  • Cheese Quesadillas for the kiddos
  • Green Beans
  • TIP: Before putting the cheese down on the quesadillas, I schmere a thin layer of light sour cream.  It adds creamy to the cheesy.

Wednesday

  • Cashew Chicken
  • Whole Wheat Peanut Noodles
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • TIP: I made the Peanut Noodles awhile ago for a dinner party and tripled the sauce recipe.  There was so much extra sauce that it has been in my freezer ever since just waiting for the right night to come out.

Thursday

  • Leftover Night

Friday

  • Challah
  • Leftover Black Bean Soup
  • Tilapia Fish Tacos
  • Lettuce, Tomato, Green Onions, Black Olives
  • Creamy Cilantro Sauce
  • Spanish Rice
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ice Cream

Saturday – Our Wine Chavurah (group of friends) is getting together for homemade African food.  Can’t wait!

Keep sending me those delicious recipes and thanks for following!

Who Knew?

My kitchen table on Tuesday. Falafel, Israeli salad, homemade hummus, Israeli pickles, black olives and homemade sweet and white potato baked fries.
Not pictured: whole wheat white pita bread and lettuce.

The motto in our home, especially around the dinner table is “it’s always fun to try new things!”  So on Tuesday when I decided that I HAD to have falafel for dinner, I thought the kids would taste it kicking and screaming.  I was completely prepared to wrap up the entire dinner (minus what my husband and I ate) and put it back in the fridge for lunches and leftover night for us.  I even had a backup plan for when my kids refused to eat it.  Now normally we also say, “this is what’s for dinner…eat it or go to bed hungry.”  But falafel is a little out of their comfort zone and something pretty new to them so I was ready to give in.

What I wasn’t prepared for was my oldest two fighting over who got to eat the last falafel ball!  Not only did they eat everything you see pictured to the left, but they ate beautifully!  It was the quietest dinner we’ve ever had.  The only sound coming from our kitchen that night was chewing.  About 15 minutes after we sat down to eat, the kids were already asking if we could have this for dinner every week!  We won’t be eating it every week, but it’s definitely going into the rotation.

See…it really is fun to try new things!

Menu: Week of April 7

Juggling-mom3HOLY CRAP, IT’S APRIL!  When did that happen?  It has nothing to do with my menu this week but I feel like it had to be said!

Tomorrow’s a big day in my house.  Kids are finally back to a full week of school, and I am starting my first full week of work (although I only work a 3-day week, it’s a lot for someone who has been retired for almost 9 years).  Planning is going to be key this week if I can pull off this working-outside-of-the-house thing while still managing inside the house.  We’re going easy and delicious with as much prep as I can do the night before.  Wish me luck!

Sunday – I have to mention we had a good friend from Las Vegas for dinner tonight so my usually Sunday night dinner of whatever turned into a real meal.

  • Marinated Asparagus
  • Steamed Green Beans
  • Salad
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Sauce
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • TIP:  It was such a beautiful day today (FINALLY) that I took my electric skillet outside and fried the eggplant somewhere I didn’t mind the oil splattering all over!  The cookies I made with the kids on Thursday and we put most of them in the freezer.  Now I just take out the ones I need before dinner and by the time we’re ready for dessert, so are they!

Monday

  • Whole Wheat Pita
  • Israeli Salad
  • Israeli Pickles
  • Homemade Hummus
  • Falafel – Last week I woke up craving falafel so I just had to add it to this week’s menu.

Tuesday

  • Bagels and Cream Cheese
  • Egg Omelets
  • Cucumbers

Wednesday

Thursday

  • Leftover Night 

Friday

  • Challah
  • Chicken Soup
  • Steaks on the Grill
  • Sweet Potato No-Fry Fries
  • Grilled Broccoli, Zucchini, Onion and Eggplant
  • Dessert at Shul
  • TIP: While chicken is our standard dinner for Friday night (unless we’re having vegetarian guests), it’s nice to mix it up every now and then.  And for me, there’s nothing better than steak on the grill!

Saturday – We’re having good friends over for dinner who also have 3 kids so I’m hoping to make food that is fun and delicious.

  • Guacamole
  • Black Bean Soup (my daughter’s favorite!)
  • Salad
  • Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas
  • Vegetable, Cheese and Chycken Enchiladas (yes, I spell my fake chicken with a “y”)
  • Ice Cream

It’s going to be a busy week and I’m hoping I can keep my head above water.  Keep those great ideas and recipes coming and thanks for following!

Menu: Week of March 31

YUM!

YUM!

“When life gives you asparagus, make soup!” – Me

I spent days cooking and cleaning to prepare for Seder and made sure everything was perfect.  Dinner was delicious, company was delightful, cleanup was easy and then we found it… The 3 pounds of steamed asparagus sitting on the sun porch* that we forgot to serve! (*In Cleveland, the room known other places as the sun porch is used as the extra refrigerator for holidays and company.)  What on earth was I going to do with 3 pounds of steamed asparagus?  I was going crazy until I remembered eating this delicious asparagus soup last year during Passover.  I quickly called my friend, got the recipe and averted the crisis (yes, throwing away 3 pounds of untouched food is a crisis in my mind).  Ahh…now on with the rest of the week!

Sunday (we’ll be 7 people total)

  • Matzah Ball Soup
  • Chicken Schnitzel
  • Spinach
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • TIP: Usually I use egg wash with my chicken (eggs and a little bit of oil) but a friend reminded me that mayonnaise works really well too and adds some moisture to the chicken.  Thank you dear friend!  Luck has it that I never opened my Passover mayo and it’s not like I’m saving it for next year!

Monday (we’ll be 14 people total)

  • Asparagus Soup (made last week and resting comfortably in the freezer)
  • Salad
  • Mushroom and Onion Farfel
  • BBQ Brisket
  • Leftover Chicken Schnitzel and Drumsticks
  • Leftover Tsimmis
  • TIP: Normally I leave making the huge pieces of meat to my husband but I thought I give this 4 lb. brisket a try.  I put it in the oven Sunday morning with a little salt, pepper, olive oil and water and covered it.  I‘ll take it out 12-hours later and let it cool in the fridge/sun porch.  Tomorrow, I’ll skim the fat, have my husband slice it up and then a few hours before dinner, I’ll pour BBQ sauce over it and cook it low and slow again.  I’ve never done this before but I called a friend who seems to be the authority on all things meat so I’m going with her plan.  What could be wrong with brisket cooking all day covered in BBQ sauce?

Tuesday  – AMEN and HALLELUJAH, PASSOVER IS OVER! We’ll be going out for pizza!

Wednesday

  • Salad
  • Green Beans (two ways, of course)
  • Spaghetti
  • Eggplant Parmigiana
  • (Yes, we’re carb loading after a week of Passover and no bread/pasta)

Thursday

  • Tilapia Fish Tacos
  • Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
  • Spanish Rice
  • Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Friday

  • Challah
  • Vegetable Soup
  • Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Rosemary Potatoes
  • Roasted Carrots

Saturday – back to friends house for an early dinner

Hope you’re still enjoying the blog!  I’m looking forward to some new recipes now that Passover is over.  Send me your favorites!

Menu for the Week of Passover

Baby Moses Gefilte Fish and Avocado Frogs

Baby Moses Gefilte Fish and Avocado Frogs

Seders are over but the good news is that there are plenty of leftovers.  We have spent the last two days of our vacation in pajamas but tomorrow we go back to the real world of work and schedules.  Now that I am also back in the work force, my weekly schedules become even more helpful for organizing my time, kitchen and meals.

Wednesday

  • Cottage Cheese Latkes
  • Cheese Slices
  • Fresh Fruit
  • TIP: After two nights of chicken, meatballs, and prime rib, we are all looking forward to my husband’s latkes.  He adds matzo meal and eggs to cottage cheese and pan fries them.  They are delicious!

Thursday

  • Seder leftovers 
  • TIP: Not only did we make enough food at seder for leftovers but I made notes of how much food I purchased and cooked so we don’t have to start from scratch next year.  We never do seem to remember how many hard-boiled eggs we went through.)

Friday – We are having good friends over for dinner who are vegetarians.

  • Matzo Parmigiana
  • Eggplant Parmigiana
  • Roasted Carrots and Zucchini
  • Salad
  • Leftover Matzo Farfel Clusters and Brittle

Saturday

  • Lunch will be egg, tuna and chicken salad
  • Dinner we will be with good friends for our Wine Chavurah.  It’s at the home of close friends who love to cook and I’m looking forward to seeing all the good recipes they’ve come up with for the holiday.

Sunday

  • Chicken Schnitzel
  • Egg Drop Soup
  • Salad
  • Steamed Broccoli

Monday

  • Asparagus Soup (turns out we forgot to serve the asparagus at our Seder on Monday night so I turned it into soup and froze it)
  • BBQ Brisket
  • Leftover Seder Chicken and Meatballs (from the freezer of course)
  • Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes
  • Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • All leftover desserts

Tuesday

  • We’re going out for Italian!

Seder Dinner Is All Ready

I WISH!So my kitchen might not be completely cleaned yet and my dinner might not be cooked yet, but on paper the meal is all ready.  It’s been a very busy three weeks moving, unpacking and getting settled in and on top of that, we have volunteered to host Seder this year.  Not only have we never hosted seder, but for the last eight years, we have moved into my parents house the day before Pesach and stayed for the entire holiday.  At least my mother will be over a lot today and tomorrow helping us cook.  So here goes our first seder and large dinner party (we will be 17 people) in the new house:

  • Three Layers Gefilte Fish Loaf (Salmon, Regular and Spinach)
  • Matzah Ball Soup
  • Charoset (standard, nothing fancy but made by my mother and kids every year)
  • Relish Tray
  • Grandma Anita’s Egg “Soup” (hard boiled eggs shredded into salt water…you can’t mess with tradition)
  • Quinoa Salad
  • Cranberry Relish (jellied cranberries, crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges and frozen strawberries – I borrowed the recipe from a good friend’s sister)
  • Asparagus (blanched with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper)
  • Grandma Anita’s Tzimmis (Onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, flanken, honey and “the balls”.  My grandmother used to put a couple of onions in the food processor and pulverize them and then mix in eggs and matzo meal until it becomes the consistency of matzo ball mix. My mother spreads the mixture over the top of the tzimmis and then bakes it but I like to make balls and hide them throughout the tzimmis.  They soak up the juices from the flanken and melt in your mouth.)
  • Lemon and Herb Chicken (Several weeks ago I went to Costco and bought large packs of chicken thighs and drumsticks that have been in my freezer since and I picked up 4 chicken breasts with bones from the butcher this week.  Cooking the chicken pieces is more economical and much easier then having to carve several chickens at the table.)
  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs (The sauce is 50/50 ketchup and ginger ale.)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Butterscotch Crunch Bars (thank you Susie Fishbein Kosher for Passover)
  • Chocolate Matzoh Farfel Clusters

The plan is to make enough to have plenty of leftovers throughout the week.  I have the rest of the holiday dinners mostly planned.  Check back on Monday to see what’s in store for us.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Pesach!