Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Rain Day Activity - Cupcake Decorating

Our luck has it, that the first day of summer vacation it rained :-(  Now how to keep my boys happy yet pull them away from that dreaded wii (I despise that thing, for a number of reason, but when the weather is bad, and my boys are on my back, I sometimes go against my better judgement.)
I suggested cupcake decorating and got a great big sound of approval, and so it was.  I quickly whipped up a small batch of buttercream and took out some cupcakes from the freezer, and an activity was born.
My boys had a fun time, especially when I took out some fondant for them to work with.
My middle child, the non-vegetable eater, ironically, made a vegetable garden.  (and proudly announced that he will eat his vegetables)  My oldest, a boy after all, made the Montreal Canadians logo (Go, HABS, Go!)  My youngest made a fruit patch.
Was so much fun and a great way to spend some quality time away from electronics.  (although they finished only to run back to their video game)

playing with fondant

Thank G-d, after the not such great beginning, we've gotten much better weather for the first few days of this week.  Monday,we went to the waterpark at Kent Park with my sister-in-law and her son, if you're a Montrealer, or someone traveling here during the hot summer months, it's definitely worth checking it out with the kids. 
Tuesday, my kids played outside with neighbors, before heading to he park for a game of soccer.  My middle boy, was enrolled in an organized soccer game with a coach once a week.  This week was the last scheduled game, however, probably because it was one of those days between school and camp so everyone was off schedule, the coach and my son were the only shows.  Oh well!  The coach started some drills with my sons, but then gave up and went home when no one else came along.  
My boys still had a great time playing soccer, tennis and baseball.

The weather didn't keep up for Wednesday and today, but at least the boys have started camp so there is something for them to keep busy with for those 6 hours each day.

Enjoy your summer,

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

I read in the the May 2011, Parents magazine, a recipe for pancakes made with pumpkin.  My kids love pancakes so I thought this would be a great to add a new vegetable to their diet. 
The recipe in the magazine started with a pancake mix, but I never get the use of mixes for something so simple to make as pancakes.
I decided to update the tried and loved recipe that I always make, and just add some canned pumpkin to the batter. It came out fabulous, and no one was the wiser of the added ingredient.  After eating a couple, I did tell my husband about the extra ingredient, but he said the taste was almost the same, only thing noticeably different was the color, which was yellow.


Pumpkin Pancakes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin from a can (not pumpkin pie filling)
In one bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
In second bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and pumpkin.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix till batter in slightly lumpy.
Heat small amount of oil in frying pan, and fry spoon fulls of batter.  Flip pancake when bubbles appear on upper side.
Serve with pancake syrup.

Bon Appetit,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Preschool Graduation

Last week, my baby graduated from preschool. (Maybe I should stop calling him 'my baby')  His class celebrated by inviting the parents to hear the boys do their daily davening (prayer) followed with the distribution of diplomas.  My son couldn't be prouder! And as a mom, I can say the same as well.
We celebrated his achievement at home as well.  I made cupcakes to serve for dessert after supper.
Cant believe he's going to be in Yeshiva next year...


Have an amazing fun filled summer,

Friday, June 3, 2011

National Doughnut Day

Today is National Doughnut Day.  Are you celebrating?  Although I could never refuse a good fresh doughnut, I think I'll forgo this holiday this year (and possibly every other year)  We have our own doughnut holiday, on which every year I go into my kitchen, roll up my sleeves and produce yummy chocolate covered fried doughnuts (they got to be fried, or they just don't cut it.)
In honor of the woman who served the doughnuts to the troops during World War I, I will post below the recipe I use for my Chanukah doughnuts, which is always finished to the last drop. 
Fried doughnuts have to be eaten when they are fresh.  They do not taste good when  stored for the next day.  The batter however can be covered and placed in the refrigerator overnight.

Delicious Doughnuts
  • 4 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • pinch salt
  • 3 Tbs. margarine
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 1/4 cups flour
  • Oil for deep frying

Ganache topping:
  • 1 cup dessert topping
  • 9 oz. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve yeast in water and sugar, in a large bowl.  Allow to sit for a few minutes until yeast starts to bubble.  Add remaining ingredients and knead until smooth (apx 10 minutes in machine, longer if kneading by hand)
Cover dough and allow to rise till doubles, apx 1 hour.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4" thick. Using either a doughnut cutter or 2 different size cookie cutters (one large and one small) cut out doughnuts.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Heat 3"-4" of oil in a pot until hot but not smokey. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time, they cannot be crowded or they will not rise properly.  Fry with the cover on.  When golden, turn over and fry other side.  Remove from pot and drain on paper towels.

For icing: Heat whipping cream till just begins to bubble, remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips and allow to sit for 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips till melted and smooth.  Add vanilla and mix.  Allow to cool.

Dip doughnuts in chocolate.  Allow to set (won't harden, remains a delicious creamy chocolate on top)


Have a good shabbos,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dairy Cinnamon Twists

With all the cheesecakes and other heavier desserts on the menu, I thought a lighter dairy cookie was in order.  I combined a few recipes to come up with this one.  It has a taste closer to a cinnamon bun then the crispy twists sold in the stores.


Cinnamon Twists
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbs. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs. shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • about 2 tbs. milk
In a large sauce pan heat the sour cream until lukewarm; remove from the heat. Add the sugar, baking soda, salt, and yeast and mix well. Allow to sit a few minutes.
Beat in the egg, shortening, and vanilla to the sour cream mixture until combined.  Add flour one cup at a time.   Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead apx. 10 minutes.  Divide dough in 1/2. Roll out each into a 6 inch by 12 inch rectangle.
Spread each rectangle generously with butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle a layer of  cinnamon-sugar onto the buttered dough.  Pass rolling pin over dough.  Fold the rectangles in half the long way.  Again pass rolling pin over with only a little pressure. Cut both filled doughs into 1 inch thick strips. Twist each strip and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Place the twists close enough to each other that they hold the shape of the twist but not pushes together.
Cover and allow to rise for one hour
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
While the twists are cooling prepare the icing. In a bowl combine the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and enough of the milk to make the glaze drizzle easily. Drizzle the icing over the twists.