Easy Apple Tart

This apple tart is super simple to make and sometimes simple is better. Instead of making tart dough I used a frozen sheet of puff pastry (you will notice a theme with this I love frozen puff pastry). But of course you could make your own or use pie crust. You only need a few ingredients: puff pastry, lemon, sugar, apples, butter, and jelly/jam. I made this with ingredients I had on hand when I saw a few apples staring at me day after day in the fridge.

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Hot and Spicy Seafood Dip

Usually if I am going to make a dip for people to snack on I go with onion dip, salsa or guacamole. But I had an octopus sitting in my fridge staring at me. My parents saw pre-cooked Octopus at Costco and wanted to know if it was any good so they gave it to me to play with. I really was reluctant to use it because I thought it would be gross but it was surprisingly not fishy, not slimy (once rinsed), and not rubbery. Who would have thunk. In addition to the octopus I used surimi (“krab”). I know surimi has a bad reputation because it is marketed as “fake crab” but I like it. You just need to buy a decent quality and enjoy it for what it is – fish sticks and not expect crab.

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Flan (Crema Volteada)

I am pretty proud of this one. This was my first time making flan and the internet could really freak you out about overcooking it and making sweet scrambled eggs. I read all the tips and tricks and settled on a simple recipe and checked on the flan every 5 mins to not overcook it. Besides the excessive checking and worrying – making flan is surprisingly easy. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the first few steps. I made one large flan in a 9 inch pan but you can use ramekins also just cut down the cooking time. Do not use a cheesecake or tart pan with removable sides or bottoms as the filling will leak out and you will get flan water.

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Israeli Cheesecake

I really like unbaked cheesecake. It is impossible to mess up and I just really like dairy. When you eat a baked cheesecake (I like those too!) its just not as creamy and dairy-y as an unbaked one. This Israeli Cheesecake recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur.  It is only a few ingredients and is perfect for Shavuot (and yes, I know Shavuot is not anytime soon but my husband asked for it).

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Not so sweet Blueberry Muffins

My daughter has been asking to make blueberry muffins for a while now and after a week of relentless begging like an attentive mother I obliged. I love how she loves to bake with me although she did lose interest halfway through. But to be honest, I was kind of relieved because for every minute a 2 year old and a 5 year old “help” you bake you need to clean an additional 5.

My mother makes delicious muffins at her restaurant but in all honesty they are really muffin shaped cakes. She uses a cake batter and I think most commercial muffins do the same. But not these. These are not low-sugar but they are definitely not cake so less guilt eating them for breakfast!

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Deli Tongue (i.e cured/pickled)

Have you ever had a tongue sandwich at a deli? If not please go have one now because they are becoming extinct. Jewish deli food like tongue sandwiches, chopped liver, pickled salmon and kippered lox has been dying out as all the elderly Jews have..uh..moved on. I remember going to the Rascal House in Miami with my great grandparents as a child and waiting in long lines to eat. Then when they were no longer here I went with my grandparents – no lines. Now they are out of business and replaced with an upscale supermarket.

The only people left who eat this food are elderly Jews retiring in Miami or younger ones like me who grew up in the NYC metro area and ate appetizing Sunday morning and stuffed derma at the Delicatessen. Since I moved to Florida though all the Florida raised Jews I met who are my age haven’t even heard of this stuff and it really is a shame they missed out on all this good stuff. It is available in South Florida if you search for it but the Jewish Deli food culture doesn’t surround you naturally like it does out in Long Island or the Lower East Side.

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Matzoh Balls

My 5 year old is OBSESSED with Matzoh Ball Soup. She has been for 3 years now. It all started when my grandmothers would baby sit her and them being 80 year old Jewish grandmothers (or great-grandmothers) fed my then 2 year old like one as well. So, that is  how it all happened. Her loves for other foods have waxed and waned over the years but this one stayed constant and I suppose it makes sense as this food has survived in popularity for centuries.

Another plus is how super easy they are to make. And it only takes a few ingredients.

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