Sunday, May 29, 2011

Smoked Salmon Sushi Bites

Sushi is a fun bite size appetizer. Some have mastered the art of rolling sushi, yet sometimes want as easy way out (especially when hosting friends and don't want to spend hours doing prep), others have yet to figure out the proper technique and therefor don't bother with it.  Here I share a no-fail, delicious way to serve up sushi that no one can mess up (okay, let me take that back, I do know people who can mess even this up.)

Lox sushi squares

Tuna avocodo sushi

Smoked Salmon Sushi
  • 1 2/3 cups sushi rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 7 oz. lox
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste or spicy mayo (see recipe for spicy mayo below)
  • 2 sheets nori (seaweed paper)
  • soy sauce, spicy mayo or/and wasabi (for serving)

Rinse rice well, in cold water (for a few minutes). Place rice in small sauce pan with water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Lower flame and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from flame and allow to sit, covered for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl and mix to dissolve.  Spread rice onto a nonmetallic dish and sprinkle with the vinegar mixture. Stir for 5 minutes, or until rice is cooled.
Line a 9"x13" baking pan with a large piece of saran wrap (leaving a generous overhang) Place lox pieces in pan and spread with wasabi paste or spicy mayo evenly on top.  Spoon rice into pan, pressing down firmly to cover the lox and wasabi.  Top with nori sheets, and fold up overhanging saran wrap to cover.  Place a piece of cardboard on top of the sushi to weigh it down.  Refrigerate 1 hour or up to one day.  Turn onto cutting board, lox side up.  Slice and serve.

Spicy Mayo
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

Bon appetit,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Miniature Cheesecake Trifles - Shavuot Miniature Desserts

Just the other day, I  stopped at the dollar store to pick up a couple of things, and came across the cutest mini stemmed cups and mini spoons.  I just know I had to figure out something go do with them for Shavuot.   I decided to use no-bake cheesecake filling to make a simple, easy yet very presentable dessert.
I made a milk chocolate and a plain cheesecake mixture and made different combination using different toppings I had on hand.  Do feel free to try your own favorite topping.

Milk Chocolate Cheese Filling
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 7 oz. good quality milk chocolate (plain without and filling) - melted and cooled
  • 7 oz. cream cheese

Whip the whip cream till peaks form.  fold in melted chocolate.  In a separate bowl, whip cream cheese till creamy.  Fold cream cheese into chocolate mixture.

No-bake Cheesecake Filling
  • 16 oz. cream cheese
  • 5 Tbs + 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2/3 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whipped cream

Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together till smooth.  Fold in whip cream.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch

Choc. art, blueberry, and choc. curl

Topping Ideas:
  • fresh fruit (I used blueberries)
  • grated chocolate or chocolate curls
  • chocolate "art" : melt chocolate chips.  Can draw any shape by placing in sandwich bag.  Make a small at the tip of the bag and pipe design onto wax paper.  Place into freezer to harden.
  • chocolate-peanut butter crunch (recipe follows)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch
  • 3 1/2 oz. chocolate chips - melted
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (can use crunch or smooth)
  • 1 1/3 rice crispies

Mix melted chocolate and peanut butter together, until completely combined.  Stir in rice crispies.  Press onto baking pan and place in freezer for 10 -15 minutes to harden.  Crumble and use as topping.  (I placed this on bottom, in middle and on top of my trifle)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Decadent Cream Cheese Truffles - Shavuot Miniature Desserts

I love dairy foods and desserts, after all who doesn't, so it's probably doesn't come as much surprise that I look forward to a Yom Tov, that is not all about the roast (yes, we got to make some of that too, but at least I can put emphasis on something other then that).
I find great pleasure in offering a variety of desserts, but find that at the end of the day, I have a bunch of open cheesecakes. Although they still taste as good, it doesn't look as presentable to reserve.
This year, I decided to make a miniatures dessert table.  Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to try all different recipes to include on my Yom Tov Viennese table.
A few weeks ago, my husband was flipping through a cookbook, in my mother's house, and came across a picture of cheesecake truffles.  He thought they looked delicious....  I don't remember which cookbook it was (so I cannot call my mother, since my mothers cookbook collection is pretty big) but remember the basic ingredient.  Since it came out delicious, I must have gotten it correct.  I thought it would look and taste fabulous, dipped in milk and white chocolate.

Truffles before coating





  Decadent Cream Cheese Truffles   (makes apx. 60 truffles)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese till smooth.  Slowly add confectioners sugar until completely blended.  Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until well blended.  Refrigerate 1 hour to firm.  Shape into small 1" balls.  Return to refrigerator to firm up before dipping in chocolate coating.

Chocolate Coating
  • 2 bars (3.5 oz each) white chocolate
  • 2 bars (3.5 oz each) milk chocolate
Melt each type of chocolate separately in double boiler, or fondue.  Take a lot of care when melting chocolate.  Melt on low heat (too much heat will mess up the texture) and make sure the chocolate doesn't get into contact with any water.  Dip half the truffles in milk chocolate and half in white chocolate.  Drizzle truffles with opposite chocolate then coated in.
Keep in fridge till ready to serve.  Freezes well, so great to make ahead for Shavuot.

My husband proclaimed this 'melt in your mouth goodness!'


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rainbow Cookies

A few weeks ago, Evening With Friends (our local Chabad women's organization), had a Yom Iyun.  It was a full day of workshops, on the topic of raising our children.  It started with coffee and cakes in the morning, Stopped for a nice hot lunch, then the main speaker and after a few hour break there was an evening session which the men were invited to as well.
It was a really great day, from which I walked away feeling I've come out with a lot of great insight.  For this years main speaker, they brought out Rabbi Manis Friedman.
I was asked to make some sort of baked good for the evening cake table.  I made rainbow cookies.    Although these cookies look beautiful, they are fairly easy to make.
I made the recipe from the Spice and Spirit cookbook (aka The Purple Cookbook)


Tri-Color Cookie Squares

for each layer (so you need each of the following ingredients times 3):
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. almond extract
food coloring (one layer each on red, yellow and green)
1/2 cup margarine (melted and cooled)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 10" x 15" jelly roll pans and line with parchment paper.  (if you don't have three pans, just make one layer at a time, as it bakes and cools pretty quickly) Prepare each layer separately. Beat eggs and sugar together. Add flour, extract and and a few drops of ).  Continue beating till mixed well (apx 2 min) Fold in cooled margarine.  Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly being sure to reach all the corners.   Bake for 12 min.

filling and glaze:

32 oz jar raspberry jam
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup nondairy creamer
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Spread apx 1/2 cup jam between layers, pressing gently on layer to make sure the layers are completely joined.
In a saucepan, melt margarine, and stir in cocoa.  Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Mix till smooth.  Spread over cake while glaze is still hot and easily spreadable.  Allow to cool and harden completely before cutting into 2" x 1" cookies.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Lag B'omer Sleepless Marathon

Been gone for 2 months.  At first I wasn't feeling well (nothing serious, just spent a week really under the weather), and once you're off, its so easy to push off coming on again.
So now for take 2, I'm going to, Bli Neder, go back to posting regularly.
Well, Lag B'omer was yesterday, but I missed all the parade (I'm sure it was nothing like the Great Parade, but it would have still been wonderful to spend the day outdoors with the kids.)  I had orders for 2 different Upshernishes for Sunday, and my plan was to do one Saturday night and the other Sunday morning, and have them both out of my house by 1pm so that I could join my kids for the afternoon.  I did not take into my calculation that Shabbat only ended at around 9:30pm.  After Havdola, putting the kids to bed and cleaning up, it was after 10:30 and I was already exhausted.  Well, I had no choice but to suck up my fatigue and get on with the decorating.  Of course, as the hours went by, my motions slow downed.  At 4am I considered going to sleep, only to realise that if I did that, I would not be able to wake up and function properly to finish up the orders, so a few coffees and a few hours later, I was still in the kitchen when my kids started getting ready for their day at the parade.
Both cakes got out on time (second one was picked up at 10am) and I thought I'd go to sleep for a couple of hours, to wake up somewhat refreshed.  HA!  I tossed and turned for 2 hours before finally giving up and getting out of the house.
Still had no chance of going to my kids, as my tenants fridge died and we had to go find them a new one.  None of the appliance stores had the right size in stock.  (there are cabinets above the fridge, so it has to be a certain amount of inches. 
Well, at least we finished the day together, with a bar-b-q. Served veal chops (marinaded in Club House 5 minute Montreal Steak Rub Marinade) and hamburgers with garlic bar-b-q sauce, with a fresh salad, a pasta salad and bakes beans.  Great, delicious, last minute bar-b-q, that the kids really loved!
This morning, I feel somewhat refreshed, after an eight and half hour sleep.

iPad cake
Toy Story cake

Thanks for stopping by,