Thanks to my two fantastic Jewish roomies in LA, when fall rolls around, I get excited for the Jewish holidays and their gift of out of this world food traditions.
Do you think I married a Jewish man by accident?! I think NOT.
Al’s favorite traditional Jewish foods include; matzo ball soup and potato latkes.
Last year I attempted matzo ball soup from scratch and accidentally added so many cloves that it was a bigger culinary bomb than anything I’ve ever attempted. This year I planned to redeem myself, but I’m suffering from a MAJOR case of preggo brain (32 weeks!) and ended up ordering from Manny’s Deli.
HOWEVER- I did re create my famous latkes which are honestly so stupid simple, that anyone can make them. And now I’ll share them with you.
The Wifey’s Shiska Potato Latkes
What You Need/Grocery List:
- a bag of frozen hash browns (they should be left out to thaw before starting your cooking)
- a small yellow onion
- two eggs
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- sour cream/greek yogurt and or apple sauce for dipping
- a strainer
- a slotted spoon
- a large plate and paper towels
What To Do:
- pour your vegetable oil until it’s about a half an inch in a large pan and heat on low/medium. you DONT want it to burn but it needs to pass the sizzle test when ready. (drop a piece of hash brown in there and if it sizzles then it’s ready to go)
- put your thawed bag of hash browns into a strainer, cover with a napkin or paper towel and smash them down till most of the water has drained
- chop your yellow onion into small pieces (you can also buy pre chopped onion)
- dump 3 tablespoons of flour into a bowl
- good job! now add your two eggs, and chopped onion, plus a dash of salt and pepper and stir it all up.
- it should mix pretty well and look like this. now add your hash browns and give them a bath of your egg mix
- now is a GREAT time to check your oil since we’re almost ready to start cooking.
- now is also a great time to get out a large plate and line it with paper towels for blotting.
- oil is perfect? great, use your hands and roll these little bad boys into little balls- about the same size as if you were making cookies. (not huge, but not tiny)
- now, CAREFULLY lower about 3 of the potato balls into the oil at a time. If you drop them, the oil will fly everywhere, ruin your cute outfit and burn like hell…so don’t. then flatten them into “pancakes” with your slotted spoon.
- let them cook for about two mins- please resist the urge to check them every 10 seconds or they will fall apart.
- after your 2 mins are up , then you are allowed to pick them up with your slotted spoon and take a look at the other side- are they golden brown? great- then flip them over. if not- wait another 30 seconds or so and check again.
- depending on how you and your love like them cooked, they should look something like this. if you prefer more well done, let them sit longer (duh).
- let the pancakes sizzle for around two mins on the other side, do a check and if they look ready, ONE AT A TIME- use your slotted spoon to lift them out (let the oil drain thru the spoon) and put them on the plate with paper towel, blot them.
oh hey, aren’t I pretty??
- you’ll want to serve these right away – unless you are cooking for a ton of people and in that case, cover them in foil to keep them warm
- serve them with dipper of your choice and watch everyone fall in love with you as they eat them. MAZEL.
our holiday table for two
Remember years ago when the South Beach Diet was all the rage and those egg bakes were super popular??
Well, the Wifey is bringing ’em back- thanks to a reminder from my Brother in law Andy (yes Andy AGAIN- what can I say- he’s an eggcellent cook) (hee hee)
The beauty of these little poppers is that you can realize personalize them. For example:
Andy uses eggs , mine call for egg substitute. Andy adds peppers and other veggies, mine simply call for cheese.
You can add meat, various veggies- whatever you want. I’m keeping it basic and I’ll let you build if you like.
And while we’re using this baking method, I’m also going to show you how to make my version of the “egg” in the egg mcmuffin- Mc’D’s style.
The best part about both of these is that they are low carb and you can freeze and reheat for breakfast all week long. AND these are the perfect pool/beach party snacks to throw into the cooler…they energize without weighing down your bikini style.
Ready? Let’s get Wife’ed Up!
What You Need/Grocery List :
- a carton of egg substitute and or eggs
- a container of crumbled goat cheese
- a bag of Mexican blend cheese
- PAM spray or butter
- salt and pepper
- a muffin baking tin- I use the disposable kind
- something to pop the eggs out with- I think above is a frosting spreader… real technical , I know.
What To Do:
- pre heat your oven to 350
- spray the muffin pan with PAM or grease with butter
- pour equal amounts of egg mix into each muffin area- NOT all the way to the top – it will expand when it bakes
- sprinkle goat cheese equally into each area, it will sink and mix
- sprinkle Mexican blend on top
- IF USING EGG- crack open and pour entire egg, unmixed into area
see how fluffy!?
- salt and pepper
- bake around 20 mins
Ronald called- he wants the Wifey’s recipe!
- serve with toast, english muffins, salsa/guac/sour cream or simply eat on it’s own and ENJOY!
STEP BY STEP VIDEO COMING SOON
Today I had my first foray with raw meat in the slow cooker. It didn’t go well…at first.
I dumped my package of pre sliced tenders into my croc pot, poured some Famous Dave’s BBQ sauce in there, mixed it up and set it on low for 7 hours.
About 5 hours into the simmer sesh- I smelled a combo of delish bbq (I know I don’t eat meat but I like the scent- whatever) and burnt something.
This is what I saw when I opened the lid:
What did I do? Oh maybe salvage the chicken in the center and pull it out- NO. I decided to stir the pot around and see what happened.
I dipped my pinkie into the sauce and bravely took a taste (even though it had been doing the tango with the chicken) and it tasted like B.S.
Now, at this point I had to make a serious decision – do I scrap the whole thing and saw we should order dinner in or run out to the grocery- buy more chicken and try a different tactic?!??
I am NO quitter, I promised Alex dinner so I ran out and got some more chicken.
This time I mixed 2 cups of Dave’s with a cup of Italian dressing, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a dash of worstescher sauce and set the croc on high for 3 hours.
This is what happened:
OH HELLS YES.
I served it with some rolls, broccoli, cheesy instant rice and asparagus. And he loved it.
Well …to be fair, he said the sauce could have been a bit thicker- I’m thinking that tomorrow’s lunch will be the perfect consistency.
I hope at least.
I steamed the broccoli then roasted it for a bit in the oven with some lemon olive oil and seasoning
another glamour shot of the bbq chic
Who’s excited for Super Bowl Sunday?!?
I mean, even if you don’t like the NFL, Katy Perry or the commercials- you have to like the parties, right??
Today’s recipe is perfect to bring to your friend’s house or to make at home for your party- even if it’s just a party of two or one. As always- feel free to modify (subtract the chicken, swap chicken for beef, omit onions) cause it’s YOUR dish.
This bad boy recipe is a keeper and Alex swears it’s even better the next day, so don’t fret if you make a whole pot and it’s just for one- TREAT YOself!
Do i smell CHICKEN?!?!
The Wifey’s SUPER BOWL of Enchilada Pie
WHAT YOU NEED/GROCERY LIST:
not pictured- raw marinating chicken
- a pkg of corn tortillas
- a bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
- a pkg of Cojita cheese
- a bag or can of enchilada sauce
- a can of refried beans
- a small yellow onion (we’ll be using a half- chopped)
- a bag of instant/ready rice- Spanish blend
- a small can of green chills (located in the taco isle with the beans, mix and sauce)
- a packet of taco mix
- a package of chicken breasts – either already cut into tenders or whole (raw) OR a cooked chicken from the deli
- a bag of tortilla chips (I like Donkey brand)
- a small tub of sour cream or greek yogurt
- a small jalapeño
- a couple tsps of vegetable oil (if you’re cooking your chicken) and a pat of butter
- a croc pot OR baking dish
WHAT TO DO:
- the night before you want to marinate your chicken breasts and store in zip locks or tupperware. I dumped about half cup of jalapeño vodka and half the taco mix packet into a tupperware, added the chicken tender cutlets and shook it up. You can use oil or any spiced marinade you have laying around.
- if you are using your oven- pre heat to 350 degrees
- pour your oil into a large skillet and pat of butter and turn on medium/low heat
- cook the chicken until browned on both sides and SLIGHTLY undercooked. You want to see no or very little pink- but don’t want to overcook since it will be baking as well in the pot or oven.
- while the chicken is cooking combine the: refried beans, 1/2 cup of both cheeses, small can of green chills, a dash of the enchilada sauce, rice and your chopped onions into a bowl.
- when chicken is done, cut into small pieces and add to the mix- give it a stir and add a dash of salt and pepper.
- pour enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the croc pot or baking dish.
- begin to layer: lay a tortilla on top of the sauce, add enough mix to cover the tortilla when spread out, add a sprinkle e of cheese and a drizzle of enchilada sauce. Repeat until your stack is three layers high.
- place a corn tortila on top and cover with cheese and remaining sauce. Add a few thin slices of jalapeño in the middle for color.
- OVEN: bake for about 1 hour, checking to make sure the cheese isn’t burning. CROC POT/SLOWCOOKER- cook on LOW for 2 and a half hours.
- keep slow cooker on “warm” until you’re ready to serve it- but only for a max of two hours.
- Slice into pieces and serve with sour cream/greek yogurt, tortilla chips and assorted hot sauces and enjoy being the night’s MVP!
I served Jordan a slice – he ate the evidence as soon as he finished filming
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT..HERE!
There are literally a zillion ways to make mac and cheese and everyone has their own technique and recipe.
If you haven’t noticed- I like to do things that are fast and easy and this Mac Daddy doesn’t get any more basic- without losing any flavor.
Now, I prefer to use a slow cooker or croc pot because that literally takes no effort- BUT not everyone has those appliances so today I’m sharing a ONE POT recipe. Guys, it’s so easy that it’s almost ridiculous. You will never use a box again- for reals.
I love how the greek yogurt and goat cheese give it a little kick, yet this recipe is still mild enough that your kids and picky friends will love it too.
The way I made it omits a lot of the decadent noise that can make this comfort food so fatty, so you can inhale this (almost) guilt free. HOWEVER- if you don’t care about calories- rock on and add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tbs of butter when you add the goat cheese and greek yogurt.
What You Need:
- a box of macaroni – penne and elbow are my favs
- 3 laughing cow triangles- I used the swiss flavor this time
- 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella
- 4 tbs greek yogurt
- 2 tbs goat cheese
- a dash of: salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika
- a big spoon for mixing
- a pot and a lid to strain with
What To Do:
- add salt to water and boil
- add entire box to pot and stir about every min for 6 mins- you want this a tad al dente
- drain most of the water out- leave about 1/2 cup in there for the mixing
- add goat cheese and greek yogurt and stir immediately- till the pasta is coated (this is when you’d add the butter and milk if you’re using it)
- add the cheddar and mozzarella and mix
- cover with a lid and turn your burner on low heat, wait a min or so and stir again, let it sit and so on until everything is melty magic
- dash salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprkia- then mix well . dash again with salt, pepper and paprika- DO NOT ADD MORE GARLIC SALT. I did the first time and had to do major damage control- if you do this then add more cheese and 1/2 cup of milk- stir till evenly coated
- serve and watch them die with happiness
MAKE THE MAC DADDY LIKE THE WIFEY:
Everyone likes music, right?
And the great thing about music is that it transports us to moments and connects us with memories of people.
My brother Kyle turned 30 this week and hosted a dinner party at Michael Mina in SF for 35 of his closest friends and family.
I hijacked the paperless post invite months ago and sent each guest a direct message, asking them to send me a song that reminds them of Kyle. I then planned to present these menu-style on each place setting and surprise him at the dinner.
After some Google time, I found the site: MenuMustHaves and used them to create and print the menus. They were prompt, arrived on time and looked great. Plus they make it pretty simple to create any form of menu you can dream up.
Here is the finished product:
NOW, what I didn’t plan for was Kyle to also make menus (with the meal on them) for the table, so I had the servers bring mine with the first course- which worked well if you want to do both types of menu.
Kyle also had personalized coasters for each guest with their name on them (served as place settings) and what they meant to him on the back. He said he had them done thru Etsy and let me tell you- they were an EXTREMELY thoughtful touch.
I would show you the back of Alex’s coaster, but it’s very personal and thoughtful
He also gave everyone “Birthday Mad Libs/Advice” with a bowl of pencils and a cigar box for people to leave them in when they were done.
Next time you’re throwing a dinner party or event- try these little touches that both the guest of honor and party guests are sure to remember… they may even forget what you used to look like.
Me and Kyle at ages 12 and 7??
Kyle’s friend Alex took this at the dinner
Who doesn’t LOVE Mexican food?!? I know we do in our house, especially on chilly days or the day after a late night.
When Alex first told me how much he loved enchiladas – I’ll admit I panicked on the inside- for some reason I always thought they would require mad skill and would be complicated.
Well, maybe they do for some people- but not in this kitchen! These truly live up to their name and ooze greatness.
know what else oozes greatness? this apron!
I’ll mix them up, and add chicken for him and asparagus and artichokes to mine. Really anything goes with these bad boys so feel free to experiment.
EZ Cheezy Wifey Enchiladas
What You Need:
- a baking dish
- a spatula
- a can of enchilada sauce (red or green depending on which way you roll)
- a can of refried beans (I like Amy’s or any vegetarian kind)
- greek yogurt- plain
- shredded Mexican blend cheese
- a can of chopped mild peppers (in the International Isle at the grocery)
- a package of corn or flour tortillas
- *bonus for Cotija Cheese if your market carries it (look near the specialty cheeses)
What To Do:
- pre heat oven to 350
- dump a generous portion of sauce in the bottom of your dish and spread it out evenly
- take a tortilla and spread a spoonful of beans down the middle, add cheeses and a dollop of greek yogurt
- roll the tortilla and lay seam side down (so you can’t see the fold) and cover with more sauce and cheeses
- repeat until your dish is full- I usually do around 4 per dish
- sprinkle a few peppers across the top for color
- bake for about 15-20 mins until the cheese gets melty and the tortilla starts to brown on the end
- serve and feel the love!
Watch The Video:
Bonus: Elotes! Or “Mexican Street Corn” (for two):
- Grill three ears of corn until they are charred in places, but not all black
- melt 1 teaspoon of butter in the microwave :15 seconds or so
- Combine butter with 1/4 cup mayo and brush on the ears as soon as you remove them from the grill
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne with a pinch of chili powder and sprinkle evenly on the corn
- Sprinkle 1/4 cotija cheese (grated/crumbled) evenly over the corn
- add a dash of salt and pepper
- Squeeze with juice of half a lime
- Either cut off the cob or serve whole and enjoy!