Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merguez Shakshuka

If you find that eight crazy nights of latkes can get a little much, you should give this modern Kosher recipe from Ronnie Fein a try. Packed with flavor, this stew is topped with eggs and spices and is perfect for sharing with family and friends.

We hope you enjoy. And wish you all a very Happy Hannukah! If you're still searching for a gift, you should pick up a copy of The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein. Get it for 50% off today at by using promo code WINTER14 at checkout.

Merguez Shakshuka
Excerpted from The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein

I love that the runny egg yolks ooze into the soft stew, enriching the meat and vegetables and mellowing the spiciness. This is usually a vegetarian dish, but the crispy bits of lamb sausage and Middle East seasonings add a new dimension to the classic version.

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
1 pound (455 g) Merguez sausage, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 Cubanelle or other mild pepper,
deseeded and chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon
crushed red pepper
8 large eggs

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for 4 to 5 minutes to crisp the meat slightly. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Add the tomatoes, ras el hanout, and Aleppo pepper. Stir, cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft, stirring occasionally. Crack the eggs into a small bowl one at a time and then transfer each one next to the other over the vegetables. Cover the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the eggs are set but yolks are still slightly runny. Serve each person 2 eggs and some of the sausage and vegetables.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND VARIATIONS: Aleppo pepper is mildly hot and vaguely smoky. If you can’t find it, use crushed red pepper, harissa, sriracha, or cayenne pepper, to taste.

Watch out when you work with chile peppers! Use thin, disposable gloves or wash your hands several times before you attempt to insert contact lenses or touch any part of your face, mouth, or eyes.


The Modern Kosher Kitchen 

This isn't your traditional kosher cookbook. Whether you're new to the kitchen, or new to keeping kosher, you'll love the array of creative and interesting recipes found in The Modern Kosher Kitchen. This modern cookbook includes recipes for preparing a family meal, hors d’oeuvres, vegetarian entrees, budget-friendly dishes, and new takes on holiday favorites for Passover and Hannukah. Don't worry about needing the talent or equipment of a professional chef. Ronnie Fein's recipes are creative and interesting, but never intimidating for home chefs. Throughout the pages of this cookbook, Ronnie also provides suggestions on what to serve with her dishes; how to change the dish from dairy to parve to meat (and vice versa); or how to change the recipe to suit a different need. You'll learn valuable tips on recipe shortcuts, information on unusual or new ingredients, and receive advice on product usage. Recreate your favorite family dishes and learn some new tricks with the help of The Modern Kosher Kitchen.

Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Egg Muffins

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that doesn't mean it needs to be boring. If you're busy and on-the-go, you can still enjoy a complete meal with eggs and sausage... you just need to bring it on the go with you. Rather than baking up muffins with your muffin tin, give these egg muffins a try. They are perfect for the whole family and are easy to grab quickly or eat at home before you run out.

Egg Muffins
Excerpted from Super Paleo Snacks by Landria Voigt

Who says eggs are just for breakfast? Eggs are a fabulous source of protein as well as choline, which is both vital for normal cognitive development and helps protect our liver. These snacks are a much more fun, on-the-go egg alternative to the traditional hard-boiled egg. And you can spice these up with any other ingredients you enjoy! Adjust the amounts to suit your taste.

½ pound (225 g) ground sausage (or remove from casing)
4 ounces (115 g) mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon (14 g) grass-fed butter
10 eggs
2 handfuls of spinach
1/3 cup (38 g) shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Dash of black pepper

Ham, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, hot sauce, etc. (get creative!)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with silicone muffin liners (this will help a ton) or grease the pan well with palm shortening or coconut oil.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Sauté the mushrooms or any other veggies you use in butter for a few minutes until they become soft.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, and then add in the raw spinach, cooked vegetables, and cheese, if using. Season with salt, pepper, and other seasonings as desired. Pour the egg mixture into the muffin cups about halfway full. Bake for about 20 minutes, until they rise and start to brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

If you didn’t use silicone muffin liners, run a butter knife along the edges of the muffins before removing. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freezer for 3 months. Pack one up before heading out for the day.

Yield: 12 muffins


Super Paleo Snacks

Snacks are essential for making sure we get the proper amount of nutrients. They refuel our bodies and allow us to be productive at work, school and during fitness activities, but it's so difficult to find a snack that isn't processed, boxed, or GMO. What's a Paleo-lover to do? You need snacks to feel good about eating, that are portable, appealing, inexpensive, and easy to make. That's a tall order. Luckily, there is Landria Voigt's Super Paleo Snacks. With over 100 recipes using Paleo superfoods like coconut, avocado, sweet potatoes, and almond, you will be on your way to amazing health benefits including reduced incidence of diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. These recipes are quick and easy to make, most take under 15 minutes to prepare! Try every easy Paleo-approved recipe for enjoyable bites, treats, and munchies. You'll always have something healthy, natural, and delicious for snacking!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Drunken Noodles

Grab your wok. It's definitely time to make some amazing drunken noodles. No wok? This recipe is so amazing, you should go out and buy a wok to make it in. Seriously.

And good news: You can make this dish with beef, pork, chicken, or just veggies. The choice is yours.

Drunken Noodles
Excerpted from The World's Best Asian Noodle Recipes by Kirsten Hall and Chef Ian Kittichai

Serves 2


For the Sauce:
1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1½ tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp siracha sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
6-8 Thai basil leaves, chiffonade

For the Noodles:
3 tbsp canola or peanut oil
2-3 clove garlic, minced
2 eggs
⅓ lb/150 g beef, pork, or chicken, thinly sliced against the grain
½ medium white onion, sliced
1-2 serrano chiles, sliced thin
½ lb/230 g fresh rice noodles, separated
¼ cup/60 ml Chinese rice wine
1 cup/65 g Thai basil leaves, loosely packed
3-4 grape tomatoes, halved


Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil to medium high in a medium
sauté pan and sauté garlic until light brown.

Add eggs and lightly scramble until barely set. Add meat, onions, and chilies, folding constantly until the meat is half cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add fresh rice noodles and sauce. Toss to combine for about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure the noodles are cooked until the edges are slightly crisp.

Deglaze pan with rice wine, and then add basil and tomatoes. Serve hot.

Chef Jet Tila
Tila is a chef and consultant as well as a teacher and student in the art of food. His numerous accomplishments in the culinary world continue to grow. This year alone, Tila has partnered with
the Compass Group to launch Modern Asian Kitchen, a new fast-casual Pan-Asian concept
with locations nationwide. He is also set to separately open Kuma Snowcream, a shaved-ice
concept launching in Las Vegas this spring, all while continuing to build on his extensive national TV and radio appearances as a guest judge on Chopped, as well as hosting his own radio show on KLAA in Los Angeles.


The World's Best Asian Noodle Recipes

Chock full of delicious, healthy recipes, The World’s Best Asian Noodle Recipes includes the best of the best Asian noodle recipes from notable chefs around the world. Alongside step-by-step instructions, beautiful photography illustrates exactly how the finished recipes should look. From soups and salads to main courses, snacks and desserts, there are both traditional recipes and inventive interpretations. Recipes are organized by type of type of ingredients--Seafood, Meats, Vegetables, Poultry and Combinations--and include a wide range of different noodle selections. Participating chefs are from restaurants that specialize in noodles, as well as from those that have more varied menus with fabulous noodle dishes as an option, along with recipes included from popular blogs, private chefs, and keepers of age-old family recipes. Includes recipes from the Ember Room, Jum Mum, Rouge et Blanc, Koh, and dozens more.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Italian Wedding Soup

Warm up this winter with a hearty bowl of Italian Wedding Soup. This popular American soup (yep, it's not Italian after all...) is great for freezing, so you can enjoy a bowl without any of the prep work when you're busy and on the go during the holiday rush. Make your own meatballs for a truly delicious bite of soup. Here's how.

Love meatballs? Us too. Adeline Myers' new book, Global Meatballs, makes an awesome holiday gift. Preorder your copy today.

Italian Wedding Soup
Excerpted from Global Meatballs by Adeline Myers

Yield: 30 small meatballs; 6 to 10 servings

For the soup:
2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
1 cup (160 g) finely diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¹/3 cup (80 ml) white wine
4 cups (950 ml) chicken stock
4 cups (950 ml) water
2 cups (60 g) chopped Swiss chard or spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 cup (200 g) small pasta, such as stars (stelline)
Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the meatballs :
1 pound (455 g) ground pork (or half pork, half beef)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (15 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup (60 g) bread crumbs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg

In a large stockpot that will accommodate the soup, heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic on medium heat. After 5 to 6 minutes, when the onion is translucent and still pale in color, add the white wine. Boil the wine for 2 to 3 minutes to ensure the alcohol taste cooks off. When the volume of wine has reduced by around half, add the stock, water, and Swiss chard. Bring to a boil.

While the soup is heating to a boil is an ideal time to make the meatballs. Mix the ground meat, salt, cheese, bread crumbs, garlic powder, and egg in a mixing bowl. Using 1 hand to hold the bowl steady, form the other hand into the shape of a claw and use it to mix, keeping the meat mixture light by turning it over and over with outstretched fingers, without kneading it. The ingredients should be
incorporated but not a homogeneous mass. Using both hands, roll it into small 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls.

Add the pasta to the lightly boiling soup and cook for about 6 minutes (follow package instructions) until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn the soup down to a low simmer and gently add the meatballs. Allow the meatballs to cook in the soup for 12 to 15 minutes. Refrain from stirring while the meatballs cook and keep the liquid at a low simmer. The balls are fragile until they are fully cooked. Test doneness by cutting one meatball in half; cook longer if necessary.

Serve in soup bowls topped with grated cheese. This soup can be made ahead and reheats well.

Italian wedding soup is an Italian-American creation. Some people say it is called wedding soup because it “marries” pasta and meat in one soup.


Global Meatballs Around the World in 100+ Boundary-Breaking Recipes, From Beef to Bean and All Delicious Things in Between 

It's easy to think of the meatball as three things: Italian, covered with red sauce and served with spaghetti. It's iconic. The reality, though, is that meatballs could be considered an international phenomenon, inspiring creative dishes around the globe! Swedes love their sweet and sour meatballs. French North Africans enjoy fragrant boulettes in their tagine. Chinese hot pots often feature fish balls. Vegans even have meat-less meatballs! The possibilities are endless. Global Meatballs highlights these possibilities by introducing traditional recipes and pairing them with lots of creative variants. You will be encouraged to experiment and learn the techniques you need to perfect your own meatball recipe! Whether interested in comfort cooking, ethnic cuisine, or simply meatballs, this book is sure to make you into a meatball expert!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Cookie Bakeoff: Mom's Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies to make ay the holidays. No elaborate decorating or complicated recipes... just simple, yummy, and always popular. This recipe for "Mom's Gingersnaps" from Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction always comes out perfectly. Be sure to add this recipe to your "must make" list this season. You won't regret it.

And if you haven't entered our holiday cookie bakeoff giveaway, be sure to get in on the action below. And tell your friends :)

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Mom’s Gingersnaps
Excerpted from Sally's Baking Addiction by Sally McKenney

The smell of my mom’s soft gingersnaps baking in the oven often greeted me when I got home from school during the winter. They were my favorite cookie growing up, and Mom knew just how excited I’d get right before I ate one, so she baked them often. Sometimes she’d wait for me to begin baking, and I got to roll the dough in the sugar… my favorite part! They’re undeniably tender, chewy, and are strongly spiced with ginger, molasses, cinnamon, and cloves. To get those iconic crinkles on top, be sure to press each cookie down gently with your fingers after you take them out of the oven.
Prep time: 10 minutes • Total time: 20 minutes • Makes: 2 dozen cookies

2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
¾ cup vegetable shortening
1 1∕ 3 cups (165g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (85g) dark molasses
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger together in a medium bowl until combined.

Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the shortening and 1 cup of the granulated sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamed—about 2–3 minutes. Add the molasses and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the egg and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients using your mixer on low speed until combined. Do not overmix. The dough will be very thick and crumbly.

Pour the remaining 1∕ 3 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Roll the dough into balls— about 1½ tablespoons of dough for each ball. The dough will be crumbly, but the warmth of your hands will help it come together in a ball. Roll each ball into the sugar. Place 2in apart onto cookie sheets and bake for 8–10 minutes. The cookies will have spread only slightly, so press each cookie down gently with your fingertips to obtain the crinkled tops.

Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days (they won’t last that long!).

Sally Says: Working with molasses can be a sticky situation! Always spray your measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray before adding the molasses. Why? If you don’t, you’ll be left with a sticky measuring cup and some of the molasses you need for the cookie dough will be stuck inside.


Named by Huffington Post as one of the "Top 10 Food Blogs to Watch" in 2013, Sally's Baking Addiction has skyrocketed in popularity since its inception in late 2011. Baking addict and food blogger, Sally McKenney loves to bake. Her famous Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies won Nestle's Dark Chocolate contest in 2013, and now, in her first cookbook, Sally shares her baking secrets with fans everywhere. Try her No-Bake Peanut Butter Banana Pie, her delectable Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Cupcakes, or her yummy Marshmallow Swirl S'mores Fudge. Featuring a brand new selection of desserts and treats, the Sally's Baking Addiction Cookbook is fully illustrated and offers 75 scrumptious recipes for indulging your sweet tooth—including a chapter of healthier dessert options for those who follow a vegan or gluten-free lifestyle. With dozens of simple, easy-to-follow recipes, you get all of the sweet with none of the fuss!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake is one of the most popular cakes in the United States. People just love it. And what's not to love? Moist with gorgeous color and delicious flavor, this brightly colored cake is sure to win your heart as well. Especially when you use this recipe from cake decorator and baker extraordinaire, Elizabeth Marek of the Artisan Cake Company. Her new book shows you everything you've ever wanted to know about baking, whipping up amazing icings and fillings, and decorating to make everything you make look award-winning. If that isn't the perfect holiday gift, I don't know what is.

Red Velvet Cake
Excerpted from The Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating by Elizabeth Marek

This traditional cake has a fabulously southern flair. The deep red color is no trick, just plain and simple red food coloring and a dash of cocoa powder. The real flavor comes from buttermilk and a little vinegar. It’s a moist and tender cake that pairs well with buttercream or classic cream cheese frosting.

Yield: Two 8-in/20-cm round cakes


3 large eggs
8 oz/227 g buttermilk
2 tbsp red gel food color
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 oz/57 g vegetable oil
1¼ tsp white vinegar
7 oz/198 g granulated sugar
10 oz/285 g cake flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1¼ tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 oz/57 g unsalted butter (room temp)

1. Heat oven to 335°F/168°C–350°F/177°C. I tend to use the lower setting to prevent my cakes from
getting too dark on the outside before the inside is done baking. Your temperature may be different,
depending on your oven. Start with 350°F/177°C and work your way down as you experiment.
Your cakes should be golden brown but not hard and dark.

2. Measure out liquid ingredients and place them into a bowl and set aside.

3. Measure out dry ingredients and place them into the bowl of the mixer.

4. Attach the paddle to your mixer, and turn on slowest speed. Slowly add chunks of your softened
butter until it is all added. Let mix until batter resembles coarse sand.

5. Slowly add about 1/3 of your liquids while mixing on low until just moistened. Increase speed to
medium. This part is crucial. Let the mixture whip up until it has thickened and lightened in color. It
should look like soft-serve ice cream. If you do not let the batter mix fully, you will end up with very
short, crumbly cakes. This mixing can take up to two minutes. It is important not to undermix or
overmix your batter.

6. Scrape the bowl. This is an important step. If you skip it, you will have hard lumps of flour and
unmixed ingredients in your batter. If you do it later, they will not mix in fully.

7. Slowly add in the rest of your liquid ingredients, stopping to scrape the bowl one more time
halfway through. Your final batter should be thick and not too runny. I have to spoon mine into pans
with a rubber spatula.

8. Lightly grease two 8-in/20-cm round cake pans with vegetable shortening and dust with cake flour.
Tap out excess flour. Fill pans 1/2 full. I always start by baking for 30 minutes and then checking. If the cakes are still really jiggly, I add another 10 minutes.

I will check every five after that until I’m close, and then it’s every two minutes. Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs.

9. Remove cakes from oven. If they are domed up, place a clean tea towel on top, and using an oven
mitt, lightly press down until flat. This does not harm the cakes at all and cuts down on waste.

10. After cakes have cooled for 10 minutes or the pans are cool enough to touch, flip the cakes over and remove from the pans onto the cooling racks to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in
the refrigerator for about an hour.

11. Once the cakes are chilled in the refrigerator, tort, fill, and crumb coat all at once. If you do not plan on crumb coating the same day, you can leave the wrapped cakes on the countertop. Chilling can dry out your cakes before they are iced, so avoid keeping them in the refrigerator longer than necessary. Cakes can be frozen in freezer bags for later use as well.


Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating

In Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating, Elizabeth Marek shows beginner-cake-decorators how to get started with stylish cake decorating techniques. Learn to add ruffles, stripes, and geometric patterns to your cakes. Figure out how to create the effect of cascading petals or metallic finishes. An easy, visual step-by-step format with hundreds of stunning photos, Marek will guide you through the tools, recipes and basics of decorating. Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating also features principles of simple cake design using buttercream frosting, fondant, gumpaste, and more. From party cakes and wedding cakes to more advanced 3D cakes, this book explores a full range of cake decorating for beginners to professional-level. Let Elizabeth Marek's Artisan Cake Company's Visual Guide to Cake Decorating help you get your cake from boring and bland to amazing and spectacular.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Spicy Harissa Paste

With all of the holiday baking we've all been doing lately, I thought it might be a nice change of pace to share something a little spicy. I personally love adding a little heat to most of my dishes and I'm sure some of you do too. This recipe for spicy harissa paste is actually a great holiday gift idea if you dress up the jar a bit. Especially for those of your friends and family that like it hot ;)

Have you entered our holiday bakeoff giveaway yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Enter here.

Spicy Harissa Paste
Excerpted from 30 Minute Paleo Meals by Melissa Petitto

Suited to use in marinades, soups, or with vegetables, harissa is an amazing Tunisian spice paste that is used as a condiment like ketchup. The spiciness of this particular paste can be adjusted by using different types of peppers.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 0 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
MAKES 1 CUP | 16 SERVINGS (1 tablespoon per serving)

8 dried guajillo chilies, stemmed
8 dried chile de árbol chilies, stemmed
1 serrano chili, stemmed and seeded
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dried mint
Juice of 4 lemons
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1½ teaspoons sea salt

In a medium bowl, cover the dried chilies with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, add the caraway seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds. Toast, stirring constantly, for 3–4 minutes, or until fragrant.

Using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, combine the toasted spices and mint and pound or grind to a fine powder. Set aside.

Strain the chilies. In a food processor, combine the chilies, spices, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a sealable jar and refrigerate for up to one month.



30-Minute Paleo Meals

Cavemen had all the time in the world to slave over a hot fire and cook their meals. You don't. As most of us know, getting a meal together can oftentimes be difficult--and making sure that it's healthy can be next to impossible. However, with the help of Melissa Petitto, personal chef to the stars, healthier and happier mealtimes are a breeze! 30 Minute Paleo Meals is filled with over 100 quick and easy recipes that won't jeopardize your time or your health. Not to mention, they're also kind to your waistline. Petitto uses all-natural, gluten-and-GMO-free ingredients in her recipes and makes a point of crafting meals which include only the foods that were available in paleolithic times; all unprocessed, unmodified, and unbelievably good for you. Whether you are new to the Paleo lifestyle or you're already a modern caveman, this cookbook is likely to become one of your most trusted allies.