Sunday, January 30, 2011

New York Style Cheesecake


Makes: 16 servings (or so they say!)

Graham Cracker Crumbs or crushed shortbread biscuits
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup sugar
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) good quality Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature (or you will have lumps!)
2 vanilla, almond flavoring or add lemon essence
3 eggs
1 cup  Sour Cream
fruit of choice (optional)

PREHEAT oven to 175C/350°F if using a silver 8- or 9-inch springform pan
(or to 170C/325°F if using a dark nonstick 8- or 9-inch springform pan).

Mix crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up side of pan; set aside.

BEAT room temperature cream cheese, remaining 1 cup sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until well blended.

Add eggs after checking, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Blend in sour cream.

Pour into crust.
BAKE 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn off oven. Leaving door slightly ajar,
leave cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Remove side of pan; top with fruit or lemon zest. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

K (d)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Refreshing Lemonade

  • 1/2 cup sugar ( If you want it sweet, increase to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
  • Juice from 4 - 6 lemons (roll on counter first to make them give up more juice)
  • 3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute) or add heaps of ice to your pitcher, as I do.
  • A few thin slices of lemon - for the pretty!

1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water or heaps of ice, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.  It should be just right - I've had no complaints!

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.  This is a nice substitute for bubbly soft drinks for Shabbat.

K (P)

Summag (Sumac) Summer Salad

This salad is simple, light and refreshing


    • 2 large cucumbers
    • 1 large tomato or cherry tomatoes cut in halves
    • 1/4 medium red onion
    • 1 tablespoon sumac
    • salt
    • olive oil


  1. Peel the cucumbers in stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half, length-wise. Slice these halves into semi-circles, each no more than 1-2 mm thick. Put the cucumbers in the salad bowl.
  2. Chop the tomato into 'salad size' pieces- not too large and not too small. Add to the cucumber.
  3. Slice the onion into long, pieces and add to the tomato and cucumber.
  4. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the salad and add the sumac and salt to taste. Mix well. Enjoy. 
  5. K (P)

Delicious Moroccan Beef Stew

This is so delicious.  It can be made vegan if you omit the meat, use kosher broth cubes, reduce the oil and use additional vegetables.  I love eggplant, summer squash, mushrooms, lentils, and curry leaf in this, myself. 

1/4 cup olive oil
1 lb (or 1/2 kilo) stew meat
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp ginger (fresh) peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/2 cinnamon quill (stick)
1 litre vegetable or beef stock
2 x 400g cans peeled tomatoes
1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

To serve:
1 lemon, zested
fresh corriander (cilantro)


Dust beef with flour (I shake it in a bag)
Heat half the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed soup pot and brown the beef well.
Add onions, garlic and ginger and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Add the rest of the olive oil and spices and fry gently for 5 minutes
Turn up the heat and add the stock and tinned tomatoes
Bring to the boil and season with salt and pepper as desired (I wait until closer to the end to season)

Cover and simmer gently for 1-1/2 - 2 hours, till beef is totally tender.
** If you wish, this step can be done in a slow cooker (crock pot) and cooked overnight or on a blech.**

Add the chickpeas, simmer for a bit and check seasonings.

Serve in large bowls with rice (I am making saffron rice!) and plenty of challah.

This would make for a fantastic 'cholent' or hamin, as I call it.

I prefer a bit more cumin and chili in mine. I also like the taste of hawaij - a mixture of cardamom, tumeric and other spices.

The version above will please even palates of children.

In addition, other vegetables such as fresh spinach, zucchini, small diced potatoes, carrot, eggplant, and okra (YUM!) can be added if it is for Shabbat dinner. These tender vegetables will over-cook if for hamin.

K (F) but can be K (P)

South Carolina Sock It To Me Cake - Best Tea Cake Ever

You want a winning Tea Cake?  You like coffee cake in the morning?  It is time to throw out all your other recipes as this one is a winner for many generations.

I am continually surprised at the popularity of this cake.  A few coffee houses order this from me and it is one of the best sellers from my home.  Like the Banana Cake, it tastes even better the next day.  Enjoy!


1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Butter Recipe Golden Cake Mix (or other Kosher yellow or vanilla cake mix) or your favourite homemade yellow two-layer size cake recipe - dry ingredients only

1/4 c. butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 3 tsp. hot water
Heat butter until melted. Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and water. Stir all ingredients until smooth.

I usually double this struesel mix as I think it tastes better

2 tbsp cake mix

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven: to 175°C/350°F Grease and flour Bundt Cake pan

To prepare streusel filling: Combine 2 tablespoons cake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl.  Set aside.

To prepare cake:
  Combine remaining cake mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, water and granulated sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer 4 minutes. Pour two-thirds of batter into pan. Sprinkle with streusel filling. Spoon remaining batter evenly over filling.

Bake: at 175°C/350°F for 45 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan 25 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Cool completely before glazing.

Drizzle prepared glaze over cake.

K (D) see link below

Banana Cake - Alternatively, Two loaves of Banana Bread

This is a moist, buttery banana cake loaded with banana flavour.  It is a snap to mix up.  If I have a banana or two that gets over-ripe, I simply freeze them whole until I get enough to use in this recipe.

I use a non-stick Bundt pan and make Banana Cake out of this one recipe.  The dark colour on the pan is why I keep the temperature a bit low whilst it is in the oven.


    * 1 cup butter or margarine
    * 2 cups sugar
    * 4 eggs
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    *1 tsp white vinegar, lemon juice or orange juice (the acid helps the bi-carb soda to work)
    * 2 teaspoons bi-carbonate (baking) soda
    * 4 cups flour
    * 6 large bananas, very ripe, mashed
    * 1 cup broken or chopped pecans or walnuts

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift dry ingredients together; add to creamed mixture. Stir in bananas and chopped pecans.

Pour banana nut bread batter into a well greased Bundt Pan or  2 well-greased loaf pans
Bake at 165°/ 325° for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. This banana nut cake recipe makes one Bundt Cake or 2 loaves.

K (d) or K (p) if margarine is used

Chicken Pho - Vietnamese Chicken Soup

2 Litres Water with chicken bouillon or home-made chicken stock (Kosher bouillon cubes are vegan)
Chicken breast, thigh, back or other favourite parts
2 broth cubes {If using water}  Pho Cubes {beef or chicken} are also available in Asian Markets
One or two Star Anise {absolutely essential!}
A small piece of ginger, cut into a a cube for later retrieval 
Cellophane (rice stick) noodles

Coriander leaves (Cilantro)
Bean Sprouts, Rinsed
Sliced scallions - mostly the tender green part
Asian Basil or Italian Basil, which is stronger
Cut up lemons and limes
Small red, hot chillies
Optional - Soy sauce, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil

Roast the chicken parts, skin on, until tender.  Remove and set aside.  Once cool, skin the chicken and tear into fairly good sized pieces.

Cool the broth and skim the fat off the top and strain to remove the Star Anise.

Boil Cellophane (rice stick) noodles or Rice Vermicelli according to package directions.  This only takes a few minutes.  Drain and rinse.  Set aside.

In bowls or on a lovely plate place the following:

Coriander leaves, washed  {also known as Cilantro or Chinese Parsley}
Bean Sprouts, Rinsed
Sliced scallions - mostly the tender green part
Asian Basil or Italian Basil, which is stronger
Cut up lemons and limes - each diner can squeeze on the amount they wish
Small red, hot chilies, sliced  {WARNING:  Wear gloves!!!}

Heat the broth and put some of the skinned, boiled chicken in it.  Sprinkle with a few scallion slices.  Serve up in large bowls, very hot.

Add cooked Vermicelli and serve immediately.

Each person then will take their share of coriander leaves, bean sprouts, scallions, Asian basil,  and chillies and add this to their own  bowl.  Some add soy sauce, fish sauce or other oriental sauce and squeeze on lemon or lime juice into their own bowl.  I often enjoy a bit of toasted sesame oil in mine.


This recipe may be made Vegetarian/Vegan if one wishes.  Simply use Kosher chicken broth cubes as they contain no meat.  Add some tofu to replace the protein found in the chicken.

Szechuan Mahi Mahi Brochettes

Szechuan  Mahi Mahi Brochettes(or Chicken - chicken can be used and is equally nice)

1 kg Mahi Mahi steak(s) cut into cubes - *See alternate Kosher fish varieties listed below *
A pretty combination of thickly sliced red onions, zucchini cut into 1" rounds, eggplant - skin on, cut in about the same size as zucchini,
capsicum - any colour, mushrooms, other summer squash, etc. I also like cherry tomatoes! Use what is available fresh and is good to eat.

1/4 cup soy sauce
2T orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1 T lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
2 T sesame oil
2 T vegetable oil
2 T tomato paste
2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ginger,freshly grated

Cut the fish into 1-1/2 inch chunks.

In a medium bowl, place all the marinade ingredients together and whisk well. Divide all the veggies and fish into 12 piles so that each skewer will have equal amounts of everything and your guests won't whinge that "He got more mushrooms than I did"

Place the fish on the skewers, alternating with the vegetables. Brush all over with the marinade. You can do this up to one-hour ahead- no longer or the fish will begin to break down because of the acid in the marinade.

The marinade can be made up to a day ahead of time and kept separately in a container in the fridge.

Now, prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

When the coals are ready, lightly oil the rack and let it heat for a bit before putting the skewers on. Place the brochettes on the grill and cook, covered for about 5 minutes. Turn and brush again with the marinade, and continue this until the fish is opaque all the way through and tender when flaked with a fork.

Remove to a platter and serve with basamati rice and lots of lemon.

This is so incredibly delicious that you will want to be trying the marinade out on other foods. It IS THAT GOOD!

Kosher Fish List <--- click here for a list of kosher fish

 Swordfish is NOT Kosher.  Instead, use Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, or Mahi Mahi  for this recipe to be
K (P)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


On Friday mornings, my kitchen is busy with my mixer putting in overtime and my oven ablaze.  I make my own Challa as it is nearly impossible to purchase in this area and does seem anti-climatic when I do travel to Bondi to buy some at the kosher bakery.  There is something strange about looking at two perfectly formed loaves of braided bread and not being able to smell that fresh-baked scent throughout the house.

This recipe is easy and makes one large loaf.  Two loaves are traditional.  I use fresh eggs, gifted to me by my backyard chooks, and fantastic winter wheat flour, as I find this superior for bread making.

This recipe makes one huge loaf.   You can also split this amount of dough into two and make two smaller loaves.
You may double the recipe for the normal two big loaves required for Shabbos. Read recipe completely through as there are a few additional ingredients at the end.

If making this bread by hand, simply use a bowl for the mixing of ingredients and then place on floured counter to knead.  I have found that using my large mixer saves me time and produces a fabulous dough that is easy to work with.  (Using the 'dough only' cycle on a bread machine will also work)

Place all ingredients, in the order listed below, into mixer:

220ml (~8 oz) warm water (44C or 110F)

1/3 cup sugar

1 pgk active dry yeast or 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 Tbsp. salt

1/4 cup oil

3 eggs, beaten

4-1/2 cups bread flour *

If mixing by hand: add warm water, sugar and yeast to a large bowl.  Check each egg and add to a smaller bowl.  Beat with a fork.  Add the oil and salt to the beaten eggs. 

Add the egg/oil/salt mixture to the large bowl containing the water/sugar/yeast.  Begin adding the flour and then knead on a sturdy surface for 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.  Put this ball of kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in size. 

If using a mixer: After placing all ingredients into mixer, use the bread hook to mix and knead for 10 minutes. When this is complete, remove from mixer and place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour.  When doubled in size, punch down and press out all of the gas bubbles until you have a flattened piece of dough.

Oil a baking sheet (I line mine with baking paper) with 1 T oil and a bit of cornmeal if desired for a crunchy bottom crust.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and separate into a minimum of 3 equal pieces for braiding. Roll each piece into a long rope with your hands. Then, press the ends of each rope together at the top and begin braiding, tightly, together. As you get better at this, you can do 4 or more braids together! When braid is done, pinch the end tightly together and tuck under and pinch again. Check that braid is still neat and secure at the top end. If not, separate the top and re-braid this part tightly.

Carefully place your braided loaf on the baking sheet lined with baking paper (for ease of removal).

Mix one egg with 1 Tbsp water and brush your braided loaf gently, using all the egg. Next, sprinkle your loaf, if desired, with sesame or poppy seeds.

Let rise until double in size. This should go quickly if your kitchen is warm.

Pre-heat your oven to 375 F (190 C) and bake the loaf for about 20 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. It should be shiny from the egg wash, and a golden yellow-brown colour.

Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.

To make a round loaf, simply braid the dough and tuck the ends firmly into each other so it makes a circle.  Press ends together well so the loaf will not separate.  Enjoy!

K (p)