Out of this World Honey Challah

I was wandering around on the website that I got the crown of roses challah from  and found this Turban Challah.

It looked like an interesting braiding challenge, so I thought I would try it. And, the recipe included a recipe for a honey challah that I figured I would try.  I didn’t have any great expectations, but figured I would try it.

Well, the dough was very easy to work with, it was like playing with a very good play dough.

The turban came out pretty cool.  I am not going to go into all the braiding details, if you want those check out the Turban Challah.

Even better than how easy it was to work with was how great the texture of the finighed challah was and how good it tasted.

This was a huge challah and I wanted to eat it all in one sitting! It got the seal of approval from my 7 year old – who definitely has his likes and dislikes in his challah.  He is a traditionalist, he wants a simple dough, no additives (not even chocolate chips), and he wants a rich texture. This delivered exactly that. Perfect.

Out of this World Honey Challah

from Turban Challah from metukimsheli.com

7 cups  all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons active dry yeast

2 eggs

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup honey

1.5  cups of lukewarm water

Glaze :

4 tablespoons honey diluted with 2 tablespoons boiling water

Some sugar crystals


In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift the flour, add the salt and mix well. Add the yeast, sugar, eggs, oil and honey.


Mix with the kneading hook. Gradually add the water until the dough is soft. If necessary, add more warm water, one tablespoon at a time until the dough is very soft. Knead it in the mixer for about 10 minutes.

Grease a bowl in a little oil, form the dough into a ball and roll it in a bowl to their application well. Cover and let rise until doubled the volume, about an hour – an hour and a half. Braid the dough as you desire and, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Let rise about – 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.

Bake for 25-30 (mine took around 40 minutes) minutes until golden.

While the challah is baking, prepare the glaze : Combine the honey and boiling water.

Place the cooked bread on a wire rack.  While it is still hot, brush it with honey glaze. Immediately sprinkle the sugar crystal. allow to cool. Enjoy!

Makes 1 large challah or 2 small ones.

Can be prepared in advance, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to one month.

Categories: Bread, Recipe | Leave a comment

Chicken Cutlets


Swim team has started, so we are now running out every weeknight to either soccer practice or swim practice, so we have about a 20-30 minute window for dinner.  Luckily, most nights, my husband picks my son up after work and brings him home, so I have the opportunity to have dinner ready when they walk in the door.

My son really likes chicken tenders and cutlets, and they end up being a meal he can eat quickly and be ready to play about 1/2 hour after dinner. Filling, but not too heavy. The chicken looks big, but it is a very thin cutlet, so it is about 2 1/2 oz of meat. With a side of kale chips, this was just the right about of food.

Chicken Cutlets

adapted from Schnitzel Sandwiches from Food Network Magazine

1/2 cup matzoh cake meal
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 egg (from Farmer Kim)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cups whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 lb thin-sliced chicken breasts (locally raised)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon margarine (or butter)


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Set up 3 shallow bowls in a line:

  • Matzoh cake meal, salt and pepper
  • Egg whisked in the almond milk
  • Breadcrumbs and sesame seeds

For each cutlet:  Dredge it in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip it in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat both sides. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Heat the olive oil and margarine in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the cutlets until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes per side.

Remove to a rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4 – 5


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe | Leave a comment

Greek White Bean & Vegetable Stew

I am always surprised when I walk out to the garden.  I expect to see the parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes that are not yet ready for harvest, not the but late season tomatoes we are still getting.

They were perfect for a stew to serve to our vegetarian daughter when she came home to visit. It had a nice delicate flavor and was perfect when you tossed some torn baguette into your bowl.

Greek White Bean & Vegetable Stew

adapted from Jewish Food – The World at Table

2 cans Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed

6 Tbsp olive oil, separated

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (from the garden)

1/2 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

3 tomatoes, chopped (from the garden)

2 tsp honey

2 cups water

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar


Heat 4 Tbsp of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and the bay leaf.  Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft.

Add the beans, parsley, oregano, tomatoes, honey, water, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for 1/2 hour. Add the beans, stir and continue to cook for another 1/2 hour.

Remove the bay leaf, stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp oil and the vinegar. Serve hot with a good bread. Enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Sukkot Lulav Challah

My cousin shared a picture of an amazing challah with me, a challah for Sukkot shaped like a lulav and etrog. I took one look and knew I had to try to do it. And I honestly can’t believe how beautiful it turned out!


For this much shaping, I used a heavier dough.  Too stiff for the standing mixer, so I mixed it in the food processor.

For this post though, I will focus on how to shape the challah, rather than on the particular dough recipe.  You can use whatever challah recipe you want for this.

How to Shape a Lulav Challah

1. Make a dough that is enough for two 1 lb. challahs.

2. Use 1/3 dough, cover the rest with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Divide the piece into 3 and roll each into a long strand.  Braid it into a tight 3 strand braid.  This will be the main part of the lulav. Place it on a parchment covered baking sheet.

3. Use half of the remaining dough, divide it into 4 balls, with one ball a bit larger than the others.  The large ball will serve as the base of the lulav, so elongate it a little.

4. Shape 2 of the balls into ovoids.  They will go on either side of the braid.  Prick them with a fork to texturize.

5. Shape the last ball into the etrog – a lemon shape with a small stem on the top.

6. With the remaining dough:

– roll out small strands to create the weaving over the base of the lulav.

– Roll out 2 medium-lengths strands, twist them together  and lay them across the top of the base and the bottom of the braid.

– Roll out very thin strands for the branches and tiny balls and ovals for the leaves. These will come out of the tip of the fork-pricked ovoids.

7. Let the dough rise again for another hour or so. Heat oven to 325F

8. Brush with egg wash (beaten egg).

9. Bake for 15 minutes, check how the dough is browning, if it is browning too much, tent the small pieces with foil. Bake for another 15 – 25 minutes, checking after each 10 minutes.

10. Cool on a wire rack.






Categories: Bread, Jewish Holiday, Kosher | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Doogh (Persian Yogurt Soda)

I wanted to make my husband very happy, so along with a Persian dinner, I decided to make some doogh.  Doogh is a yogurt soda that is pretty much the most popular dinner drink in Iran.

Doogh is sour and fizzy and minty. For non-Persians Doogh may be an acquired taste. We would go to Persian restaurants and my husband would order doogh and have me drink some – I detested it.  I couldn’t understand why he liked it so much. But then we went to Iran and I had “the good stuff” – and I was hooked.

Making it at home allowed me more control over the flavor. I like mine a bit thinner than my husband does, but he also liked this version. But next time I will make his a little thicker, then pour some into a second container and make mine thinner, the way I like it.


1 cup Greek yogurt

1 liter seltzer

Dried mint (about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp)

Kosher salt, to taste if necessary


Put the yogurt into a pitcher. Pour in the seltzer, mixing as you go.  If you like thicker doogh, use less – check it after about 3/4 liter, then continue to add to your preference.

Sprinkle in the mint.

Stir before pouring.

Serves 4.

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

Honey Date Cake

We had a delicious honey date cake for dessert during Rosh Hashanah.  I usually don’t like honey cakes, but I actually made a big mistake while making the cake and added twice the honey than I was supposed to.  I made other adjustments to the recipe to counteract the extra honey and the cake was honestly the best honey cake I have ever had.  And it was definitely honey-forward!


I did not expect this to be very good, so I did not take photos.  But this was good enough that I want to share it with you anyway.  At least we have a picture of the finished product.

Honey Date Cake

Slightly adapted from Date Honey Nut Cake by Tori Avey


3/4 cup (6 oz) whole pitted dates

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch of nutmeg

3/4 cup canola oil 

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Nonstick cooking spray



Preheat oven to 325F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Place the dates in a bowl and cover them with very hot water. Let the dates soak while you prepare the cake batter.


In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla.


Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till a thick batter forms.


Drain the water from the dates and chop them into small chunks. Fold the walnuts and date chunks into the batter. Pour the batter into loaf pan.


Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf-sized cake, serves 8.



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

Sweet Potato Kugel

We had a bountiful sweet potato harvest this year.  Not only are they plentiful, they are huge! So I guess you will be seeing a bunch of sweet potato posts this fall and winter.


To start off with, I made a sweet potato kugel for Rosh Hashanah.



I loved the flavor, but the cayenne pepper was a bit much for my 7 year old, so you can, and probably should, omit that if you make this for children. But the cayenne really did give it a nice kick!


The kugel called for 2 pounds of sweet potatoes.  Here they are.  As you can see, this didn’t even make a dent in my supply, and we will be eating the kugel for days. Man, the sweet potatoes really are going to last through the winter.



Sweet Potato Kugel

slightly adapted from Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman

6 Tbsp canola oil

3 large onions, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled (from the garden)

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled (from the garden)

3 eggs, lightly beaten (from Farmer Kim)

2 Tbsp honey

3/4 cup matzoh meal

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp salt


Heat 3 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly colored. Remove from the heat and set aside.


Preheat the oven to 400F.  Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Grate the sweet potatoes and russet potatoes. Place in a large bowl.


Add the rest of the oil, the onions, eggs, honey, matzoh meal, cayenne, cumin and salt. Stir to combine.


Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Bake until the kugel is well browned on top, about an hour.  Cool for 10 minutes to make it easier to cut. Serve warm.




Serves 8 – 12

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Date-Banana Smoothie

My husband says bananas are the perfect food, but I say the same thing about medjool dates.

So, for the ‘perfect’ breakfast smoothie, why not combine the two? Add in some almond milk and vanilla and it is a yummy and healthy way to start the day!

This recipe is for one, it is easily multiplied to serve more.

Date-Banana Smoothie

2 medjool dates, pitted

½ frozen banana, cut up

3/4 cup almond milk

½ tsp vanilla


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until combined and smooth (I used the smoothie setting on my blender).


Serves 1


Categories: Beverage, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) without the oil, “Take 2”

During a visit to my friend in San Diego, she took me to this wonderful international food market, Harvest. After being drawn in by the warm, fresh flatbreads, I spotted the warm foods…persian dish after persian dish! I was home! After explaining all the dishes to my friend, and telling her that most of them are on my blog, I went off to find the spices and herbs I was running low on.



I was also inspired to once again refine my khoresh bademjun – our beloved eggplant stew.

I had already figured out how to make it without frying the eggplant and have the taste come out right, but it didn’t look right with the cubed eggplant.


So, I decided to try again, could I bake slices of eggplant? Perhaps if I cut them thicker, about 1/2″ thick. That worked, they baked up well.

So, I was able to arrange and cook the dish as I would with fried eggplant slices.

Success! Eggplant Bademjun – healthy and delicious!

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) without the oil “Take 2”

2 medium eggplants, or the equivalent amount of small eggplants

Kosher Salt

3 Tbsp Canola Oil, divided

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb chicken or beef, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 onion chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 can diced tomatoes or the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, about 2 large

1/2 cup hot water


Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.

Peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise, about 1/2” thick.  Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the other 1 Tbsp oil. Add the chicken or beef and onions. Brown on all sides – do not overcook.  After the meat is browned add turmeric and salt. Mix to combine.

Add a layer of tomatoes.

Add the water then cover with a layer of eggplants, covering the tomatoes and meat as completely as possible.

Cover and cook over very low heat for about 2 hours, check after 1 hour to see if more water is needed.

Serve with rice and pickled vegetables.   Enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6.





Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | 2 Comments

Date and Hazelnut Sourdough Flutes

I don’t often post bread recipes, other than challah recipes, because they are typically not local ingredients. I decided to share this one, even though it truly is not local, using hazelnuts and dates.  The only thing that could even be considered local would be my sourdough starter, which is now almost a year old.

So why share this?  Well, for a sourdough recipe, it is fairly quick and easy, and…I love everything made with dates!

Note: this recipe is done by weight, I have included both the metric and english measures.

These flutes were such a treat with all those hazelnuts and dates, I just had to share it.

Date and Hazelnut Sourdough Flutes

slightly adapted from Le Pain Quotidien’s Nut & Raisin Flutes

100g/3 1/2oz dates, chopped

90g/3oz hazelnuts

225g/8oz all purpose flour (my dough was wet, so I added an extra small handful while kneading)

165g/5 1/2oz water

110g/3 3/4oz sourdough starter (refreshed 8 – 12 hours earlier)

5g/1/6oz kosher salt

2.5g/1/8oz active dry yeast


Toast the hazelnuts in a nonstick or cast iron skillet for 2 – 3 minutes. Let cool, then crack them into halves or a coarsely chop.

Place the flour, water, sourdough starter, salt and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 – 5 minutes, until thoroughly combined, then on medium speed for another 2 – 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Add the dates and nuts and mix on low speed until incorporated.

Lightly flour a work surface, then turn the dough out.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces.

Dust the dough lightly with flour and using your hands with fingers spread apart, roll into a flute shape about 25cm/10inches long. Transfer the flutes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Cover with plastic or a damp dish towel. Let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.


Preheat the oven to 450F, with a baking stone in the center and an ovenproof dish at the bottom of the oven.

Slide the parchment with the flutes onto the baking stone and throw a handful of ice into the dish and quickly close the oven door. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, til golden brown and the sides are fully cooked.Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!!

Makes 5 flutes.


Categories: Bread, Recipe | 1 Comment

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