For February’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Dena of Oh! You Cook!. Dena is a Librarian by day and makes delicious looking Kosher food by night, including this delicious fruit salad, all these AMAZING looking Purim treats and these Moroccan carrots.
It was quite a treat for me to look through all her recipes and get a better understanding of what things one eats on various Jewish holidays. Purim sounds especially amazing with all those sweets.
After much humming and hawing, I finally chose her Jerusalem Carrot Salad, which is an approximation of a salad she had while in Jerusalem.
I pretty much followed the recipe exactly (shock, I know!) except that my spices almost burnt and then turned into these huge really dark brown spice clumps. My guess it’s because I added the honey while it was too hot, causing it to act kind of like sugar when you make candy. I salvaged what I could and added a bit more olive oil and honey whisked with the spices.
The result was decent, but I think I would have liked it better without the cumin as for some reason, I really don’t like cumin (and it doesn’t appear to like me either). On the same token, I didn’t want to leave it out as I wasn’t sure how that would affect the flavor profile of the salad. This salad is fairly delicate with the finely grated carrot, but if you’re short on time coarsely grating the carrot would make it easier to toss.
Dena, it was really fun to spend so much time looking through all of your recipes – you definitely prove that kosher food can look and taste delicious!
Please check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below!
For January’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Shari of My Judy the Foodie. Shari started getting into the kitchen after her mom (Judy, her blog’s namesake) passed away and as a way of preserving her memories, decided to cook through her handwritten recipes.
After ready through Shari’s story, I really want to take my mom’s cookbook of recipes she copied from her mom when she got married and cook through the whole lot. It might be challenging given my food restrictions, but it would totally be worth it and a good way to remember my Grannie. Perhaps a 2013 challenge?
Shari has tons of delicious recipes – while I was sick, I literally clicked through over 50 pages of her blog because everything looked so good and I couldn’t decide on anything! There are things like her mom’s legendary banana bread, this homemade nutella, these slow-cooked beef tips and this blueberry cucumber feta salad. I eventually ended up choosing her Bean Salad.
It’s not your traditional bean salad as it only has green beans and chickpeas instead of a whole assortment of other beans. I didn’t mind as it was definitely very tasty! I used less marinade/sauce as I am really not a sauce person and added a bit of honey to take away the zing of raw onions/leeks.
1/2 to 3/4 package frozen beans
1/4 red onions, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 c. thinly sliced leeks
1 rib celery, sliced
1 small can of chickpeas
1/2 c. parsley, chopped
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. dry mustard (could use 1 tbsp. dijon mustard)
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Pinch of salt
- Place beans in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Once the pot boils, drain and rinse with cool water.
- Place beans in a large bowl with the remainder of the ingredients. Toss.
- Whisk together dressing (below) and pour over salad. Toss salad to even coat.
- Let sit for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over leaves of lettuce or plain if you desire.
Please make sure to check out the rest of Group D’s recipes below for January’s Secret Recipe Club!
I’ve always wanted to try making Christmas themed candies or confections, but I know it’s WAY too much sugar for me to handle by myself. Luckily, my work was doing an “Adopt a Family” thing and we were allowed to send along food gifts, so I got the best of both worlds – I got to make my candy and not feel obliged to eat it all.
Having never made chocolate bark before, I wanted to try it and make it as Christmas-y as possible. Normally I shy away from candy canes (a stick of sugar? No thanks! I’d rather have my sugar in baking or chocolate), but since these weren’t for me, I figured why not? The peppermint bark was especially delicious with the extra mint flavouring from the chocolate.
I wanted to make some kind of fudge, but didn’t have the time or inclination to make “real” fudge with a candy thermometer and temperamental sugar temperatures. So, I chose to make peanut butter fudge, which is incredibly simple. And tasty. I wish I could figure out a way to make it less sweet and healthier – but I guess that’s what the internet is for!
From the small tastings I had, both were incredibly delicious! I would definitely make both again – as long as I have plenty of people to share it with!
1 package of mint flavoured dark chocolate chips (if you can’t find these, normal dark chocolate chips & peppermint flavouring would work)
1 package white chocolate chips
4 – 6 peppermint candy canes
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (parchment paper would probably work, too).
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt dark chocolate chips. Pour onto lined cookie sheet and spread out.
- Place in fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 15 minutes until solid.
- Meanwhile, place candy canes in a Ziploc bag and wack with a meat tenderizer or rolling-pin until small-sized chunks.
- Melt white chocolate chips and spread over the dark layer.
- Sprinkle with crushed candy canes and put back into the fridge or freezer.
- Once the bark is hard, remove from fridge/freezer. Peel foil off of bark.
- To prevent finger marks from getting on the bark, use a piece of foil. Holding edge of the bark in one hand, use a knife to stab at the bark, breaking it into pieces. This will ensure that the break is clean and looks like what broken up bark should.
- Store in the fridge if you have a warm house. If not, it should be fine being stored on the counter. I wrapped mine up in cellophane wrap tied with a ribbon. They looked pretty cute!
Peanut Butter Fudge
From The Joy of Cooking
1 1/2 c. smooth (non-natural) peanut butter – I used Kraft’s unsweetened peanut butter as this thing has enough sugar in it already!
1 1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
4 c. icing sugar, sifted
- Butter an 8×8″ pan.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt peanut butter and butter together Bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add salt and vanilla extract.
- Stir in icing sugar until smooth.
- Pour/scrape into buttered pan and smooth.
- Cover with plastic wrap and cool in fridge until hard.
- Slice and enjoy! I wrapped them in wax paper to give away.
What are your favourite Christmas Treats?
For September’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Shirley of Enriching Your Kid!
I ended up choosing her Oatmeal pancakes and a guest post of Peach and Avocado Salsa. I first tried to make these “Chila’s“, but my chickpea flour had gone bad, so that didn’t work at all.
I essentially used the same recipe for the salsa – I just used lemon juice instead of lime because I didn’t have any lime. With the oatmeal pancakes, I made half a recipe with almond milk as a substitute for the yogourt and water.
Unfortunately, the pancakes and salsa didn’t go very well together – but the pancakes went really well as a peanut butter and jam sandwich and the salsa went REALLY well with tortilla chips.
Please Check out the rest of the Secret Recipe Club’s Group D’s recipes here!
For August’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired with Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious! Dorothy likes to try out lots of new and different ingredients and even gives you steps on how to create your own recipe! She has TONS of delicious looking recipes including these 5-ingredient gluten free flourless peanut butter cookies, Smoky Baby Back Ribs in the Crockpot and this Summer Mango Caprese Salad with Truffle Salt! Ultimately I ended up making her Swedish Cucumber Salad – Mr. Bean had a similar salad while we were in Sweden so I thought I would give it a try!
I made it while I was out at the cabin and genius me forgot to bring the dill. Oops. What is Swedish food, especially salads, without dill!?! Well I did my best by adding some Italian herbs and extra parsley. I also used red onion to make it more visually appealing.
Mr. Bean really liked it – it only gets better with time as the cucumbers marinate, so I definitely recommend letting it sit for a while before eating it. I also got the request to make it again (this time with the dill- haha), which means it was a success!
What’s your favourite kind of salad?
Please check out the rest of Secret Recipe Club’s Group D’s recipes below!