Kid-friendly recipes

Grilled Salami Slices: Netanel’s Simple and Humble Delicacy

A few weeks ago, my son, Aaron went fishing with his uncle, his cousins and two of his cousins’ friends.  Aaron loves to fish and wherever we go on vacation, Aaron usually schedules a fishing trip.  As a mother, I have learned that a fishing outing is so exhilarating when the fish are biting and so disappointing when the fishing crew comes home empty-handed.  More importantly, I have discovered that our fishermen love to catch fish, but are not as exuberant about preparing and eating the fish that were caught. Luckily, our fishermen did not come empty-handed and even more luckily, the fish that were caught were being saved for a future feast in Manhattan.

Now, I was under no obligation to prepare the fish and better yet, under no pressure to force them to eat the fish.  So, I offered to make an impromptu barbecue for the hungry fishermen.  I checked the refrigerator and I had some beef sliders, but no hot dogs.

I did have a couple rolls of salami.  My nephew’s friend, thirteen-year old Netanel, offered me his own recipe for grilled salami.  I was going to grill the salami whole, but Netanel insisted that we cut it into thick slices.

grilled salami sliced

I took Netanel’s lead and we slathered the salami slices with barbecue sauce.

The barbecued salami slices came off the grill caramelized and just perfect.  It was delicious served up with different types of mustard and dips.  It was such a hit that I told Netanel that I would now incorporate grilled salami as a part of our standard barbecue.

Tonight, I prepared this delicacy and dressed it up for its blog debut.  It did not disappoint.

grilled salami on grill

 

INGREDIENTS

grilled salami ingredients

Salami, cut into thick slices
Sauce: barbecue, pesto, spicy mayo, mustard and/or horseradish sauce
Sesame seeds or your favorite spices (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut salami into thick slices.  Coat with your favorite sauce and your favorite toppings.

Heat on grill for a few minutes, flipping over when golden brown and carmelized.

Serve immediately with your favorite topping and/or condiment.

grilled salami on platter

 

 

 

 

Leah’s Simple Pasta Saute

Leah prepared the most heavenly pasta dish last night.  It is one of those dishes that can be made pareve or with additional melted cheese for a dairy dinner.  It uses simple ingredients and creates a heavenly combination of pasta, onions, garlic and vegetables.

Leah prefers whole wheat pasta, but it can be made with any shape or type of pasta-your choice.  This recipe is simple and delicious.

Enjoy!

leah's pasta saute

INGREDIENTS

1 pound of pasta

1 onion, thinly sliced or diced

2-3 garlic cloves or granulated garlic

1 pint of small grape tomatoes, rinsed and cut in half

salt and pepper to taste

fresh herbs (optional)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the pasta according to package directions and drain.

Over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until soft.  Add tomatoes and seasonings, stirring gently to combine.  Cook for several minutes.  Add pasta and combine all flavors. Saute for 1-2 minutes more.

Shut heat and add mozzarella cheese.  Cover until cheese is melted.

Garnish with fresh herbs.

 

RECIPE COURTESY OF LEAH RESPLER

 

When Pancakes Meet Sprinkles…

When Avigail and JuJu (the grandchildren) come to visit Bobby (that’s me), they  look forward to breakfast. Usually, I bring them downstairs and serve breakfast before Kaitlyn wakes up.  Avigail likes to watch the birds at the bird feeders eating “birdie food”.  JuJu just barks at the birds.

Both grandchildren’s favorite breakfast is pancakes.  When time is short, I just buy frozen pancakes, microwave them and then serve them with whipped cream and sprinkles.   When Davida is around, she makes delicious, fluffy pancakes from scratch.  She adds chocolate chips and sprinkles to make them sweet, colorful and irresistible.

Here is Davida’s recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups flour
dash salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs

a few tablespoons chocolate chips, chocolate chunks and/or sprinkles

3 tablespoons butter or oil

DIRECTIONS

Pour flour, sugar, salt, sugar and baking powder in bowl and use a dry whisk to combine well.  Add milk and eggs until just combined, using a wooden spoon or heavy rubber spatula.  Do not overmix.  Gently stir in chocolate chips, chunks and/or sprinkles.

Heat butter or oil in large fry pan or spray griddle with cooking spray and preheat.  Reduce heat to medium and carefully ladle out pancake batter onto pan in small circles, leaving some room between pancakes.  Flip each pancake over when bubbles start to form.  Remove each pancake batch when both sides of the pancakes are golden-brown.

If making many batches, you may have to carefully wipe out the fry pan and refresh the butter/oil, so that the butter/oil does not burn.

 

VARIATIONS

You can substitute a ripe banana for some of the milk .  Just mash the banana well and use 3/4 cup of milk together with the banana in place of the full 1 1/2 cups of milk.

pancakes with sprinkles 2

Simple Corn Grilled in the Husk

There are certain things that are best cooked in their natural packaging.  Corn on the cob falls into that category.  The perfect natural packaging for corn on the cob takes my breath away.  I find it miraculous that corn grows so perfectly in the husk with a protective layer of corn silk to cushion the tender kernels of corn.  If you look closely, it is so easy to see the daily miracles in nature.  Corn in the husk reminds me of the divine miracles that are so easy to miss in everyday life.

corn on the cob

For the best ears of corn, choose ears that are medium to large in size.   As you gently press on the husk, the kernels should feel thick and plump with no gaps.  Look for tassels of corn silk sticking out of the top that are brown and slightly sticky, not black and dry.

The simplest and best way to grill corn is right in the husk.  This method simplifies the preparation as you do not need to shuck the corn before cooking.  The natural silk and husk leaves protect the corn as it barbecues.  Once the husk chars, the corn is perfectly cooked inside.  Just peel back the leaves to reveal shiny and deliciously sweet ears of corn.

corn in husk on grill

This way of preparing corn is best for eating outside because the charred bits of husk and silk tend to make a bit of a mess.

This is simple.  This is delicious.  This is divine.

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Cauliflower Personal Pizza: Simple and Low-Carb

Davida has been my lunch-time cook and she made this delicious cauliflower pizza for me today for lunch.  She used cauliflower couscous to create the crust and then just layered sauce and cheese atop the crust.

cauliflower personal white pizza.jpg

It was relatively simple to prepare and delicious to eat.  Thanks, Davida!

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 head of cauliflower, grated to couscous consistency (see kosher notes)
1 egg
1/2 cup grated or shredded cheese
1 clove garlic, minced or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce (optional)

 

 

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pulse the cauliflower in food processor or blender until grated to the consistency of couscous.

Microwave cauliflower on high for 4 minutes.  In a large bowl, combine microwaved cauliflower couscous, egg, cheese, and seasonings.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray generously with oil spray. Using a rubber spatula, spread the cauliflower mixture to personal size..

Bake until the cauliflower crust is golden and darker at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, drizzle with optional sauce and then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes more.

Allow to cool for several minutes before slicing or eating.

 

VARIATIONS

Replace cauliflower with broccoli for another flavor alternative.

Add toppings on top of cheese.  Suggested toppings include strips of peppers, diced onions or scallions, chives or basil.

 

KOSHER NOTES

Kosher laws disallow the eating of  any whole insects and therefore  cauliflower require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing.   Kashrut authorities differ on the proper checking of  cauliflower and some disallow its use altogether.  This blog was not designed to be your  kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using and preparing cauliflower.

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Delicious Banana Muffins: Approved by Leah

As a Shabbos gift, one of my friends recently sent over some delicious banana muffins.

banana muffins

They were so banana-ey, moist and delicious, that my daughter, Leah, asked me to get the recipe. Leah rarely eats baked goods, so I knew that these muffins were special. I vividly remember that as a two-year old toddler, Leah took a swipe of the frosting on her birthday cake and then exclaimed, “Now may I have a clementine?”

At Leah’s urging, I asked my friend, Michal, for the recipe and she was more than willing to share it.  It is simple and filled with banana deliciousness.

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Simple Cheesy Zucchini Logs: Gluten Free and Low-Carb

Davida and her friend, Chava, made delicious calzones for Melave Malke a few weeks ago: Davida’s Easy and Delicious Calzones for a Melave Malka Feast. Although the calzones looked and smelled heavenly, Don and I were  only able to enjoy them vicariously. Since we are still on low-carb diets, we needed to find an alternative cheesy dish.

We scrubbed zucchini, cut them is half logs and roasted them for 12-15 minutes .  Once roasted, we scooped out some of the pulp and then filled them with cheese.  We put them into the oven for 5-10 minutes more and voila!

These will make a perfect and simple low-carb recipe for Shavuos (Countdown to Shavuos: Floral Inspirations and Dairy Recipes).  Enjoy!

zucchini logs-up close

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Simple and Easy 5-Ingredient No-Boil Lasagna

 

no-boil-lasagna-before-cooking

 

This is the simplest and most delicious lasagna recipe that you will ever make.  It requires one mixing bowl and one baking lasagna pan with no boiling .  It creates a firm and easy to slice lasagna with minimal effort and mess.  It takes only a few minutes to prepare and one hour of oven time.

You can use either no-boil lasagna noodles or regular lasagna noodles.  For the no-boil lasagna noodles,   I prefer the ones that are wavy.   If you opt to use regular lasagna noodles, just add more watered-down sauce in the last step to the corners of your pan.  That way, the regular lasagna noodles will soften sufficiently during the baking process.

It is one of our family favorites and it will become yours, too.

lasagna-portion (more…)

Davida’s Easy and Delicious Calzones for a Melave Malka Feast

Melave Malka (Saturday night meal) is the name given to the meal that we eat at the Shabbos has departed.  The literal meaning of the words Melave Malka is “accompaniment of the queen”, referring to our escorting of the Shabbos Queen out of our homes after the spiritually uplifting Shabbos.  The Shabbos is often metaphorically described as a Queen and the purpose of the Melave Malka meal is to figuratively escort the Shabbos away with singing and eating,  much as one would escort a royal guest who is about to leave.

According to Kaballah,  the luz bone at the base of the skull is nourished by the Melave Malkah meal.  The Neshoma Ye’sara (additional soul)  that accompanies a person through the Shabbos does not leave until after the Melave Malka has been enjoyed.  

Aaron used to be our resident Saturday night cook and we always looked forward to his delicious dairy Melave Malka dishes.  He had quite a repertoire of Melave Malka selections like pasta, pizza and all types of popcorn.  Now that Aaron is studying in yeshiva in Israel, Davida has cheerfully taken over this role.  She has become an excellent Saturday night cook and has brought  Melave Malka to a whole new level.

This Motzei Shabbos (Saturday Night), Davida and her friend, Chava, made the most delicious cheese calzones.  She prepared the ingredients and before we knew it, we had delicious warm calzones to enjoy for  our Melave Malka.   I asked her to share the recipe and now I am happy to share it with all of you.

calzones (more…)

Simple Onion Baked Chicken Cutlets

This recipe is a simple go-to recipe when time is short and I need to crank out a delicious and hearty meal with very little lead time and a minimum of effort.  It requires very little hands-on time and can be baked in the oven in about 20 minutes. It is crispy and crunchy, delicious and very kid-friendly.  It is one of my family favorites.  I usually serve it with a simple fresh salad  to compensate for the canned french fried onions.

onion crusted chicken with baby bok choy salad on wooden plank (more…)

A Simple One Pot Meal: Low-Carb Cauliflower Couscous with Chicken

cauliflower couscous-in wavy serving bowl

 

I am still on a low-carb high-protein diet and I am feeling great.  I am always on the lookout for low-carb options that mimic the texture of carb-heavy foods that I once craved.  Cauliflower is an excellent ingredient to mimic the texture of rice, potato and/or couscous.

I have developed a recipe for cauliflower couscous with chicken  and vegetables.  It is simple.  It is low-carb  and nutritious.  Best of all, it only requires one pan.

 

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Simple and Wow! Lady Finger Strawberry Shortcake

Pesach (Passover) is a springtime holiday that falls out in the Hebrew month of Nissan.  Our Jewish lunar calendar has a leap month designed to make sure that Pesach always falls out in the spring. This year was a Jewish leap year and therefore Pesach falls out in late April, a full month later on the solar calendar than last year.

Pesach desserts, therefore, should be reminiscent of spring and use seasonal ingredients. Strawberries is one of those wonderfully fresh and springtime dessert favorites.

One of the simplest Pesach recipes are ones that can be assembled right on Yom Tov and served in a variety of different ways. This one is just that type of dessert. Simple.  Fresh. Oh, and Beautiful.

strawberry shortcake ingredients

 

INGREDIENTS

one package of lady fingers
whipped cream
fresh strawberries (see kosher notes)

DIRECTIONS

Whip up a container of whipped cream and refrigerate. Clean and slice fresh strawberries. Layer lady fingers, whipped cream and strawberries in a large bowl or a glass trifle bowl. Top with strawberries and lady finger crumbs. Enjoy!

 

strawberry shortcake for passover

VARIATIONS

You can substitute berries and fruit of your choice. Try blueberries, peaches and mango.

Layer a single lady finger with whipped cream and strawberries for an individual strawberry shortcake. Serve on a plate or in a martini glass.

Drizzle a bit of strawberry, chocolate or raspberry sauce on top.

 

strawberry shortcake for passover 3

KOSHER NOTES

Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore strawberries require a process of soaking, rinsing and in some cases, pureeing. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of strawberries and some disallow the eating of strawberries, altogether. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding the use of strawberries.

Atkins Baked Meatballs with Cauliflower

For Pesach (Passover) this year, I am trying to tailor my original recipes to meet the criteria of my low-carb diet.  For the holidays, I usually prepare baked meatballs.  I find that they are simple to prepare, delicious and kid-friendly.

I love the baked method because it allows me to remove all the fat that drips off during the baking process and to season the meatballs later any way I choose.  After baking, I simply freeze the meatballs in small batches in  plastic zipper bags.  Before each meal, I just place them in a tightly-covered baking pan coated with my favorite sauce.  I reheat them at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes and they are perfect.

To accommodate our low-carb diet, I simply replaced my crumb filler with cauliflower couscous.  It is simple.  It is delicious.

baked meatballs

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Baked Spaghetti Squash with Sauce and Cheese

Davida and her friend, Chava, made dinner for themselves this week.  They looked around the kitchen and found a spaghetti squash sitting on the counter.  They roasted it, scraped it, filled it with sauce and cheese and then rebaked it just until the cheese melted.

It was a simple and delicious meal, gluten free and kosher for Passover.  I think it will be one of my new favorites, too.  Thanks, Davida and Chava!

spaghetti squash in shell (more…)

Bubby’s Gedemfte Chicken: Stewed Chicken for the Pesach Seder

Every year for the Pesach (Passover) seder, my mother-in-law a’H would prepare her famous Gedemfte Chicken. We all could barely pronounce its name, but we would all so look forward to this delicacy. There was nothing fussy about it. It was simple, it was delicious and it was falling-off-the-bone succulent.

During the  year, the kids would ask me to make it for them and I would refuse, saying that it was Bubby’s Pesach secret. The truth is…that it is a very simple recipe, so similar to the roasted chicken that I prepare almost every Friday night. The only true difference is that it is prepared in a crockpot and stewed until the chicken is so soft.

I wanted it to remain Bubby’s famous dish.  Even though my mother-in-law a’H is no longer with us, it has remained and will forever remain as Bubby’s Gedemfte Chicken recipe, prepared exclusively for our seder.

 

gedemste chicken (more…)

Simple Low-Carb Broccoli Crust Pizza: Perfect for Passover

brocolli pizza crust-in ovenCauliflower rice has become the rage as an ingredient in faux fried rice and as a low-carb pizza crust alternative.  As an experiment, I tried similar adaptations of broccoli and have found it to work beautifully.

My family is always looking for something delicious and nutritious to eat on Erev Pesach (the eve and day before Passover begins).  Since we cannot eat bread and it is customary not to eat Matzo until the seder, it is a challenge to find satisfying foods that will keep everyone full until the seder begins later in the evening  evening.

I have created this delicious low-carb broccoli pizza recipe, suitable for Pesach.  It is a simple pizza to prepare and pretty much fool-proof, as long as you keep the crust as dry as possible.  It is important to squeeze out any liquid before baking and to layer the cheese on before any sauce to keep the crust as dry as possible.  Feel free to experiment with different toppings.

It is simple.  It is delicious.  It will create a wow for your family this Erev Pesach.

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Simple and Passover-Ready Individual Mushroom Onion Quiches

My friend’s daughter, Gila, is getting married and her friends planned a shower for her.  I volunteered to make a dairy Onion-Mushroom Quiche.

Since the shower guests may be arriving at different times, I thought that it would be best to prepare individual mini-quiches.  That way, the platters would look complete all evening and the individual quiches could be easily warmed up as needed.

This is one of my favorite go-to recipes.  It is simple.  It is low-carb.  It is suitable for Passover and an excellent Chol Hamoed (Passover intermediate days) dish.  Serve it up with a fresh green salad and it is a winner!

quiche-baking in oven

 

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Simply the Best Potato Kugel Ever

potato kugel-ingredients

This week, I have started compiling my favorite simple Pesach recipes.  Here is one that I plan to make for Pesach this year.

My daughter, Michelle, was married last June and moved to California.  While growing up, Michelle never really showed much interest in cooking, but was always quite a baker. Since getting married, though, Michelle has become quite an accomplished cook.  She spends much time poring over kosher cookbooks and finding the best recipes to prepare for herself and Scotty.  She has shared some of her new recipes with me and they have become some of my new favorites, too.

When we visited Michelle and Scotty late last summer, Michelle surprised us after our long flight with a hot and delicious potato kugel.    It was simply the best potato kugel that I ever tasted.  Michelle got this recipe from her mother-in-law,  June, who is a renowned cook.

This recipe is simple and  delicious.  It is gluten-free…  and it is a winner!

potato kugel-in oven

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Simple and Spiralized Salami Slinky: Three Ways

For our Purim seuda (festive meal), I wanted to prepare something that would be original, interesting to serve and fun enough for the kids.  I set up a dinner buffet with a carving station.  I wanted something that could be baked right in the oven with the other meats.  I came up with this simple and spiralized salami recipe.

The key to creating the spiral is to use the longest chopsticks that you own.  The skewered chopstick is threaded into the salami and the salami is cut in one long spiral, all the time turning the salami as you cut.  What you are left with a type of salami “slinky”.

I prepared this recipe with three different sauces.  The last two sauces can be used for Pesach (Passover) with Kosher for Passover sauce ingredients.

baked spiarlized salami-ingredients

 

INGREDIENTS

salami
1 or 2 long chopsticks

SPICY LOW-CARB SAUCE

4 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup mustard
squeeze of sriracha

SWEET SAUCE

1/4 cup marmalade or jam
1/4 cup barbecue or chili sauce
splash of orange liquor (optional)

PASSOVER SAUCE

1/4 cup marmalade or duck sauce
squeeze of ketchup
2 cloves minced garlic or garlic powder
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Wow Waffles: A Recipe Simple Enough for Papa

Avigail (age 2) and JuJu (age 11 months) are here to visit.  Avigail announced that she would like “eggies” for dinner and that JuJu would like waffles.

We all know that JuJu enjoys anything that Avigail decides for him and will even finish Avigail’s omelet, if given the chance.  JuJu loves to eat, especially when his sister has been involved in the food decision.

Sure enough, Avigail ate most of her omelet and then fed the rest to JuJu.  Once finished, she announced,”so when are we making the waffles for JuJu?”.  I was thinking that she was ready for bedtime, but my husband, Don (“Papa” to the grandchildren), took the request as the opportunity to start a cooking adventure with his two year-old granddaughter, Avigail (at close to 9 P.M.!).

Don asked questions like “where do I find your waffle recipe?”, “what does vanilla look like?” and “where do you store the waffle iron?”

I was scared.  Avigail and  “Papa” were delighted. (more…)

Meat and Potatoes Cupcakes for Every Child at Heart

Tzippy Respler

I’m always looking for interesting, nutritious, kid-friendly and delicious recipes for my grandchildren, Avigail (age 2+) and Judah (9 months old).

They are hearty eaters and they will have quite a surprise when I serve these protein cupcakes.  I have taken my favorite meatloaf and mashed potatoes recipes and have combined them into these easy and irresistible meat and potatoes cupcakes.   Best of all, the leftover cupcakes can be frozen in freezer bags for their next visit. (more…)

Kaitlyn’s Berry “Fresh” Muffins

Last week, Kaitlyn sent two-year old Avigail to playgroup with a muffin in her lunch bag. The muffin looked and smelled so delicious that Avigail’s teacher asked Kaitlyn for the recipe.

After school that afternoon, Kaitlyn and Avigail made another batch of muffins, wrapped a couple of them for the teacher along with the recipe.  Avigail arrived to playgroup the next morning and before anything else, she announced to her teacher.  “We made these fresh for you!”

Well, here is Avigail and Kaitlyn’s “fresh” recipe: (more…)