Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds


Ah, it is that time of year again.  Time for pumpkins IMG_7388and jack o’lanterns and…IMG_8267.JPGpumpkin seeds!IMG_8249.JPGI grew three nice pumpkins in my garden.  Each was destined for a different design to be carved; all selected by Cam, of course.  The first was carved by my oldest daughter – the headless horseman seen above.  She is a big fan of paprika potato chips (the kind we first found in Hungary on her 16th birthday trip); they are similar to BBQ chips, just much, much better.  So, with that in mind, I decided to make smoked paprika pumpkin seeds.

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from 1 medium – large pumpkin (from the garden)

2 tsp canola oil

2 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne

1/2 tsp kosher salt, adjust to taste


Clean the seeds, place in a colander, rinse and drain.

Heat the oven to 400F.

Spread the seeds on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven for 5 minutes.  Stir and return to the oven for another 4 minutes.  THe seeds should be nicely dried, not crisp. IMG_8246.JPGReduce oven to 350F.

Toss the seeds with canola oil.  Sprinkle with the spices and salt.IMG_8247.JPGBake for 15 minutes until crisp.

Remove from oven and cool on paper towels.  Enjoy!IMG_8248.JPG




Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

White Pizza with Sweet Potato

Time to really shift gears into the fall harvest. It was a very good year for sweet potatoes.


My first ode to the sweet potato – a white pizza with sweet potato as the topping.  Scrumptious! And I am not usually a fan of white pizza, but I loved this.


White Pizza with Sweet Potato

adapted slightly from Sweet Potatoe & Fontina Pizza by Libby Walp in Taste of Home magazine

10 oz sweet potato (from the garden)

2 Tbsp water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tube refrigerated pizza crust

1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 cup (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese (or fontina)

2 tsp olive oil, divided

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (from the garden)

1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme (from the garden)

1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano


Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan.

Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1/4″ slices.  Cut each slice into 1/2″ wide strips.  IMG_8009.JPG

Place in a microwave safe dish, add water.  Microwave, covered, on high for 3 – 4 minutes or until potato is almost tender. Drain, sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Unroll and press dough to fit the pizza pan. Sprinkle with mozzarella and swiss cheeses; drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil.


Top with sweet potato; sprinkle with herbs. Drizzle with remaining 1 tsp olive oil.  Sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano.


Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 – 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese is melted.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4 – 6.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Parsley Walnut Pesto

What is still growing well in my garden?  Parsley!  The plants look beautiful and healthy.


This pesto uses parsley and toasted walnuts in place of the basil and pine nuts.  Otherwise, it is basically the same recipe as basil pesto.


The pesto has a stronger, sharper flavor; it was excellent.



Parsley Walnut Pesto

2 cups parsley (from the garden)

1 clove garlic (from the garden)

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Parmigiano reggiano, grated


Place the parsley, garlic, walnuts, salt and pepper in a food processor.


Process until fine.


With the processor running, add the olive oil.


Add the cheese and pulse until well combined.


Serve with pasta and enjoy!


Makes 1 cup.


Categories: Kosher, Pesto, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew

The cool summer wreaked havoc on my tomatoes and okra; I had a harvest, but it was very small.  It totally destroyed my eggplants, I did not even get one.  I was so looking forward to trying this recipe, but kept waiting to see if I would get enough okra.  Finally, I decided to supplement both the okra and the eggplant with ones local farmers had better luck with than I did.


Taste-wise, this is very similar to my Khoresh Bademjun – Eggplant Stew.  But the approach and texture is different.  This is more like the Khoresh Bademjun my sister-in-law makes.  I liked this, a lot.  I think I prefer mine, but when I want a change of pace, I will definitely come back to this approach.


Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew

from Turmeric and Saffon

1 1/2 pound meat (lamb or beef), washed, trimmed and cubed
8 small size eggplants, peeled, leave whole or cut in half
1 pound okra, wash and trim the top
1-2 large tomatoes, skin removed and finely diced (from the garden)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (from the garden)
2-3 freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Salt and pepper to taste


Place peeled eggplants in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for a couple of hours before cooking.

Heat 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplants until golden brown. Remove and place fried eggplants on a paper towel.


In the same skillet fry okra in 2-3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.


In a large stew pot saute the chopped onions on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well, add the minced garlic and saute for another few minutes.

Add the meat, salt, pepper and brown the meat on all sides.


Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat or until the meat is tender.


Add the lime juice to the stew, stir and gently place the fried eggplants and okra in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add a little more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for another 30-40 minutes on low heat.


To serve, gently spoon the stew in a large serving bowl. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6





Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes | 1 Comment

Pumpkin Challah

What better way to celebrate autumn and Shabbat during Sukkot than with a pumpkin challah?
It gets its beautiful yellow-orange color from this pretty combination that gets mixed into the dough.IMG_8028.JPG
It was great, just enough pumpkin pie flavor to make it interesting, but not so much that it distracted from dinner. But…we can’t wait to use it in French toast. THAT will be amazing!

Pumpkin Challah

by Leah Koenig on

1 package yeast (7g)

2/3 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 3/4 cups unbleached flour

1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg (+1 egg for glaze)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt


Sprinkle yeast into a small bowl and pour the warm water on it. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir to dissolve.

Mix flour, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in yeast/water mixture.IMG_8025.JPGUsing a wooden spoon, incorporate some of the flour into the water–just enough to form a soft paste. (Don’t try to completely incorporate–there should be quite a bit of dry flour left at this point.)
IMG_8026.JPGCover bowl with a towel and leave until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, oil, egg, and salt.
IMG_8027.JPGAdd to the risen flour mixture and combine thoroughly. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is pliable. (If it’s too wet, keep adding flour in small amounts.)
Let dough rest 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil the bowl, put the dough in it and re-cover with the towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has tripled in size, 2-3 hours.
IMG_8177.JPGPunch down dough, knead it a bit more, and cut it into two equal pieces. Cut each of the two pieces into three equal pieces (You should have 6 total pieces at this point).
Roll each piece into a straight rope.
IMG_8179.JPGBraid three ropes together and repeat so that you end up with two braided loaves.
Sprinkle baking sheets with a little cornmeal, or line them with parchment paper. Place loaves on the sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Glaze loaves with extra beaten egg. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.IMG_8183.JPG

Makes 2 loaves.

Categories: Bread, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Albaloo Polo (Persian Rice with Sour Cherries)

For a couple of weeks in June, sour cherries were available at the farmers market and some of the local farm markets.  When I saw them, I bought a bunch, pitted them and, since I was not going to use them right away, put them in the freezer.


Then, I took them out…

[If you cannot get fresh sour cherries, you can find jarred sour cherries in middle eastern markets, or I even saw them at Trader Joes.  They tend to be packed in a syrup, so you need to pull back on any added sweetness in the recipe.]

Back to my frozen cherries…I took them out the night before to thaw, and then was ready to make some Albaloo Polo, aka sour cherry rice.  I had never had it before, but was quite eager to try some. I looked at several recipes, but decided upon Luisa Shafia’s Rice with Sour Cherries and Almonds from her book The New Persian Kitchen.


It was very good.  Having never tasted it before, I made it with a couple of different salads – my Carrot Salad and a Persian cucumber-tomato-onion salad with mint and lime juice.  After tasting it, I think it would make a perfect side dish with roast chicken.  I will consider making it with my Honey Orange Roasted Chicken for Rosh Hashanah next year. I think that would make a very special dinner.

As a note – here is a close-up of the salad – the only dressing is crushed dried mint, lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Delicious!



Albaloo Polo (Persian Rice with Sour Cherries) 

very slightly adapted from The New Persian Kitchen by Luisa Shafia (Rice with Sour Cherries and Almonds)

2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour

3 cups water

Sea salt

2 Tbsp butter at room temperature

1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted (from Highland Orchards)

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted

1/2 tsp prepared saffron (ground and steeped in 1 Tbsp hot water)


Drain the rice and rinse it with cold water until the water runs clear.  You want to remove the excess starch.

In a pot (6 qt is good) bring the 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the rice and return to a boil.  Turn down the heat to the lowest level, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.  Dot with butter and fluff with a fork.


While the rice is cooking, put the cherries in a skillet and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn down the heat to low and add the honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and 1 tsp salt.  Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the cooking liquid is very thick.


Spoon the rice into a large bowl.  Fold in the cherries and their cooking liquid.


Fold in the almonds and saffron and season with salt.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8 as a side dish.

Categories: Kosher, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Tale of Two Kugels

Sweet or Savory? Which kugel should rule?

This holiday I made a savory kugel for Rosh Hashanah

IMG_7923.JPGand my mother’s sweet pareve kugel for Yom Kippur.IMG_7998.JPGThe reviews are in… The savory Salt and Pepper Kugel was a great side dish.  It stood up well to foods with bold flavors and sauces.  And the paprika on top was a nice touch. The sweet Mom’s Noodle Kugel was an equal hit, standing up well to brisket and beckoning the next day for lunch. so the winner was…both!

Salt and Pepper Noodle Kugel


1 12 ounce package of wide or extra wide egg noodles

2 Tbsp minced garlic (from the garden)

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

6 eggs (from Powers Farm)


3-4 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When oven is heated, add 3-4 heaping Tbsp of olive oil to baking dish and place pan in oven for the oil to heat. This step will make for a crispier kugel.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook noodles as directed on package, around 7-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While noodles are cooking, whisk together eggs, garlic, garlic powder, salt and pepper.


Add cooked noodles to egg mixture and mix gently until completely coated.


Remove baking dish with hot oil from the oven and add noodles to the dish. It will sizzle slightly – this is a good thing. Sprinkle top with paprika.


Bake for 40 minutes uncovered or until noodles are desired crispiness.


Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!

IMG_7923.JPGServes 8 – 10.


Mom’s Noodle Kugel

1/2 -3/4 lb medium-wide egg noodles

3 eggs, separated

1 cup raisins

1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar

1 – 2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg



Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Boil noodles.

Beat egg whites until peaks form.IMG_7992.JPGIn a large bowl, beat egg yolks, add sugar, spices and raisins, mix well.IMG_7993-0.JPGDrain noodles, add to egg yolk mixture.IMG_7994.JPGFold in egg whites.  IMG_7995.JPGTransfer to baking dish.IMG_7996.JPGBake for 45 minutes.IMG_7997.JPGCut into squares and serve.  Enjoy!IMG_7998.JPGServes 8 – 10.

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Chicken with Parsnips and Leeks

I have debated posting this dish, but in the end taste has won out over looks. This is an ugly, boring-looking dish. That almost makes the fact of how flavorful it is even more surprising and enjoyable. Each time I would take a taste while I was cooking it, I was always caught off guard by the richness of the flavors that hit my mouth. I called my daughter over, gave her a parsnip and she was equally as surprised.


The parsnips, leeks and sage all came right out of my garden, freshly harvested. They were beautiful, even if my leeks were thin (so I used more, but left the recipe at the amount for ‘normal-sized’ leeks).

I was unable to find skin-on, bone-in thighs, so I had to use boneless, skinless. That added to the drabness of the dish’s looks, but reduced the fat without any noticeable loss of flavor.

We enjoyed this as part of our holiday meal, but it is very simple and could be done any night. It definitely goes well with rice. So…don’t let the looks stop you, this is worth a try!

Chicken with Parsnips and Leeks

from Whole Living, December 2012

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 lb skinless bone-in chicken thighs

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 leeks, white and pale green parts thinly sliced (2 cups) (from the garden)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (from the garden)

10 fresh sage leaves (from the garden)

1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 cups cooked rice, for serving


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Cook until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes, and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and cook leeks until tender, about 4 minutes.


Add vinegar and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add parsnips, sage, stock, and seared chicken and its juices and bring to a boil.


Cover and transfer to oven. Braise until chicken and parsnips are very tender, about 50 minutes. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

IMG_7918-0.JPGServes 4


Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Parsnips, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur | Leave a comment

Guy Fieri’s Soy-Glazed Green Beans

Leave it to Guy Fieri to come up with a green bean recipe that has my 5 year old asking for thirds!


Cam loves vegetables, but he prefers them raw, and has always refused any version of cooked green beans.


So I did not hold out much hope that this time would be different, but, once we got him to try them, he devoured them! And asked for more. And then asked for more again.


This is a keeper!

Guy Fieri’s Soy-Glazed Green Beans


Kosher salt
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed (from the garden)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped (from the garden)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add the green beans and blanch until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking, and then remove to a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a cooling rack to drain.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green beans, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and black pepper and saute until the sauce reduces slightly and thoroughly coats the green beans, being careful not to overcook beans.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.
IMG_7839.JPGServes 8 – 12.

Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Stuffed Cabbage

I hate to say it, but my mother was not such a great cook.  But there were a few dishes that she made that were outstanding – sweet and sour meatballs, noodle kugel (when she remembered all the ingredients), chicken fricasse, and stuffed cabbage.  Sadly, her stuffed cabbage recipe has been lost. But I have found one that very closely resembles it and is just as delicious…Aunt Myrna’s Cabbage Rolls from Monday Morning Cooking Club.  This is basically their recipe, I only made some slight changes in technique.

One thing I definitely agreed with them on is to cook this a few days before serving it, to let the flavors blend and grow.  My mom would say the same thing.


After placing all the rolls in the sauce, I covered it with the leftover leaves to help seal in the moisture while it cooked. It worked quite well.


Stuffed Cabbage

very slightly adapted from

1  green cabbage


2  onions chopped

1/4 cup canola oil

1 can condensed tomato soup

3/4 cup pureed tomatoes

1 tin diced Italian tomatoes

juice of 2 lemons

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 lb ground beef, grass-fed if possible

2 – 3  cloves of garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup cooked long grain rice (about 1/2 cup raw) (I used brown rice)

1  onion, grated

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2  eggs lightly beaten, from Powers Farm


Core the cabbage and place in a large pot of cold water so that the cabbage is fully submerged. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the stovetop and allow to cool in the water. Remove when cool, separate the leaves and cut out the thick stalks with a knife.

In a large saucepan, fry the onion in the oil over low heat until soft, around 20 minutes.


Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Set aside until needed.

 Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt to form a paste.


To make the filling, put the beef in a medium sized bowl. Add the garlic paste,  rice, onion and pepper. Season generously. Add the eggs and combine.


To make the parcels, lay 1/4 cup of the filling in an oblong shape in the centre of a cabbage leaf. Fold in the ends and then roll up like a parcel.



Place into the sauce, seam side down. Continue with all the filling and cabbage leaves, placing the rolls snugly side by side in the sauce. Any unused or torn leaves can be rolled up and stuffed into the gaps in the pan. Make sure all the rolls are covered with sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 3 hours, basting from time to time. If the cabbage rolls start to dry out, add more water to cover.


Place in the refrigerator when cool and reheat to serve another day. Enjoy!


Serves 8.


Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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