Monthly Archives: December 2014

Lamb Biryani

One of our guests for Thanksgiving brought leg of lamb – how wonderful! With all the food we made, I had both turkey and lamb leftovers.  I ended up freezing about 3 cups-worth of lamb pieces.IMG_8702.JPGI had initially planned on using leftover turkey and making turkey biryani, but I decided the lamb would be an even better dish.  I was right, this was fabulous!  I am sure that having a wonderfully indian flavored leg of lamb to start helped; this was almost double-flavored lamb.  The meat turned out incredibly tender, the rice was cooked perfectly and the heat level was perfect, just enough to really feel it, but still keep on eating!IMG_8715.JPGMy husband is a big fan of biryani, and when I asked how this could be better, he had not suggestions.  He loved it and ate himself silly! Next year I will need to try it with leftover turkey!

Lamb Biryani

Adapted from David Tanis’ Turkey Biryani published in the New York Times 11/21/12

  • about 3 cups of cooked lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups best-quality basmati rice
  • 6 tablespoons ghee, clarified butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced in 1/8 inch half-moons
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 2-inch stick cinnamon
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup raw cashews


Cut meat into rough 1-inch pieces.

In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne, plus 1 teaspoon salt.IMG_8703.JPGAdd the meat, mix well, and let marinate in mixture for 30 minutes.IMG_8704.JPGMeanwhile, wash and rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Soak rice in cold water 20 minutes, then drain in a colander.

Melt 4 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy-bottomed ovenproof Dutch oven. In batches, fry the onions until crisp and brown, about 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels and salt lightly. Return half the onions to the pot and reserve the other half.IMG_8705.JPGWhen onions begin to sizzle, add the turkey mixture, stirring well to coat, and let fry lightly for 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine,IMG_8708.JPGthen add 1 cup broth and bring to a simmer.IMG_8709.JPGCook 2 minutes, then add 3 cups broth and bring to a gentle boil. Taste broth; it should be well salted and highly seasoned. Add the peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.IMG_8710.JPGHeat oven to 375 degrees. Add drained rice to pot and stir. Adjust heat to a brisk simmer and cook, uncovered, for 8 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and the surface of the rice looks dry. Top with reserved fried onions. Cover tightly and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes. (The biryani may be cooked to this point several hours ahead and reheated.)IMG_8713.JPGIn a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add raisins and lightly fry for about 1 minute, until heated through and puffed a bit. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a small bowl. In the remaining ghee, fry cashews until barely golden, about 2 minutes. Remove and combine with raisins. Sprinkle with salt.

Top biryani with raisins and cashews.IMG_8714.JPGServe and enjoy!IMG_8716.JPGServes 6.

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

Sweet Potato Pecan Bread

I am still enjoying cooking with the sweet potatoes from our fall harvest.   There are still a few nice-sized ones left; so I grabbed a couple to make some bread.IMG_8700.JPGThe sweet potato bread turned out great.  I often find pumpkin bread to be overly moist and sweet.  This was perfect, the texture was great and just sweet enough, not too sweet.  I think part of the difference is using fresh sweet potatoes v. canned pumpkin.  The pecans added a nice flavor and additional texture as well.IMG_8720.JPGIt paired perfectly with some cream cheese for a breakfast treat. The loaf itself also came out very appealing, a beautiful golden color and craggy texture.IMG_8719.JPG


Sweet Potato Pecan Bread

2 medium sweet potatoes (from the garden)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup water

2 eggs (locally raised)

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, then microwave for 4 minutes.  Remove the flesh  of the sweet potatoes and puree.  Use 1 cup of the puree for the recipe.IMG_8701.JPGPreheat the oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper (leaving an overhang to use to lift bread out), coat with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweet potatoes, oil, brown sugar, water, eggs and vanilla.IMG_8711.JPGIn a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pecans.IMG_8712.JPGFold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Fold gently until well mixed. Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack. Slice and enjoy!IMG_8720.JPGMakes 1 loaf.IMG_8718.JPG




Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Cammy’s Cookies

My little top chef has returned to the kitchen. He has been making breakfasts and helping me with dinners.  But his preference now is to bake. For MY birthday, he gave me a cookie cookbook for us to use together.  Of course we are using the recipes as guides and adapting as we see fit.


We started with a simple triple chip cookie (semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate and peanut butter) using a basic toll house dough.  These were shared with neighbors and some were set aside in the freezer to go in Arielle’s Hanukah care package.

Here is a link to the recipe . We replaced the 2 cups of semi-sweet chips and 1 cup of chopped nuts with 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate and 1 cup peanut butter chips.

Here is a link to the
. We replaced the 2 cups of semi-sweet chips and 1 cup of chopped nuts with 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 cup milk chocolate and 1 cup peanut butter chips.

Next, mini chip snowball cookies.  We wanted ours to look like real snowballs, so there was a powdered sugar blizzard in our kitchen!

Here's a link to the Nestle's recipe for mini chip snowball cookies

Here’s a link to the Nestle’s recipe for mini chip snowball cookies

Last up was double chocolate chunk cookies. These were surprisingly good, most people’s favorite, with just the right level of sweetness (meaning not too sweet). Cam will brought these to share at the Tae Kwan Do holiday party – they disappeared pretty quickly.

And the link for the double chocolate cookies.

And the link for the double chocolate cookies.

Plans for the next cookies – oatmeal scotchies. And I am supposed to be losing weight before the next running season, uh oh!









Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Dessert, Recipe | Leave a comment

Mushroom Noodle Latkes

Here is an amazing Hanukkah recipe from  As you can tell, I love making latkes, and enjoy making latkes out of non-traditional foods, like apple or spinach & feta.  So, I just had to try noodle-based latkes.  And, one or our daughters was going to be home and she loves mushrooms, so this was a perfect combo – mushroom noodle latkes.IMG_8691.JPGPlease forgive me, I did not do a good job getting pictures of these latkes. It was the first night of Hanukah and there was too much excitement and impatience to eat dinner so that new toys could be played with. Nonetheless, they were delicious! Everyone ate way too many, so no leftovers.

The flavor is very rich, butter is used to cook the mushrooms and the latkes. So serve this with a good salad to balance it out.  We ate it with a hearty kale salad.IMG_8686.JPG

Mushroom Noodle Latkes

From Chabad.Org

  • 4 tablespoons butter or peanut oil
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced fresh mushroom caps (grown locally)
  • 8 scallions including 3 inches of green top, sliced into long ovals
  • 4 large eggs (raised locally)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons snipped or chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound fine egg noodles (cooked according to directions on package)

On high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Add mushrooms and scallions, and cook until the mushrooms release all of their juices and are browned.IMG_8686.JPGBeat the eggs with the salt, pepper, parsley and garlic powder.IMG_8687.JPGCombine with the noodles and cooked mushrooms.IMG_8688.JPGHeat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in non-stick pan until it is very hot and drop the noodle mixture in 1/4-cup amounts in the pan, flattening each pancake down.IMG_8690.JPGCook 4 to 5 minutes on each side until brown and crispy. Blot with paper towels.IMG_8689.JPGServe and enjoy!IMG_8691.JPGServes 4 for dinner, more as a side.

Categories: Hanukah, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Apple Latkes

Latkes aren’t just for lunch and dinner, we found a fun new way to start our day with latkes – Apple Latkes for breakfast!


These latkes by Nigella Lawson are so good that you are going to want them at other times of the year.  Then you can call them apple fritters or apple pancakes.  But whatever you call them, they are worth a try!



Apple Latkes

from Nigella Lawson

1 large egg (locally raised)

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt plus 1/3 cup low-fat milk, or 2/3 cup natural plain yogurt.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp superfine sugar

2 apples (1/2 lb) to make 1 cup grated apples

Vegetable oil, for frying

Maple syrup (or confectioner’s sugar and ground cinnamon) for serving


Beat the egg with the yogurt and milk and set aside.


Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & sugar in a bowl.


Peel, quarter and core the apples, then grate them.


Pour the yogurt mixture into the flour bowl, tip in the apples and fold together.


Pour enough oil to come about 1/4 inch up in a skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Drop spoonfuls (round soup spoon) of the apple batter into the sizzling oil.  No need to make perfect round pancakes.


Fry for a minute or two, until the latkes are a golden brown on the undersides.  Flip them and fry for another minute o the uncooked side.


Drain on paper towels.


Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!


Serves 4.


Categories: Apples, Breakfast, Hanukah, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Golden Latkes with Turmeric

Happy Hanukkah!!

Just when you think there can be no other ways to make potato latkes, along comes turmeric. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family with an orange-yellow color when dried and ground. I love turmeric and the color it imparts on food; these latkes are flavorful and beautifully golden.


I adapted this recipe from one I found on Eating Well.  I prefer to remove the excess moisture from my potatoes and onions, so I needed to reduce the amount of chickpea flour used.  They also included a spiced applesauce, which I did not make since I know it would not go over well with my family, so we used plain applesauce.


What a great way to celebrate Hanukkah!


Golden Latkes with Turmeric

Adapted from

2 cups grated russet potatoes

1 small onion, grated or finely chopped

1-2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1/3 cup chickpea flour or unbleached white flour

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 large eggs, slightly beaten (locally raised)

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided


Heat oven to 200F.  Place a baking sheet in the oven.

Place the potatoes and onions into a cheesecloth or clean dish towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.


Add serrano chiles, flour, seasonings and eggs.


Mix well.


Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Place a heaping Tbsp of the potato mixture in the skillet and flatten with a spatula into a disk about 3” in diameter.  Do not overcrowd them in the pan.


Cook until golden brown and crispy on the bottom, about 3-5 minutes.  Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown and crisp, about another 3-5 minutes.


Briefly drain on paper towels then transfer to the baking sheet in the oven.


Serve with applesauce and enjoy!


Makes approx. 12 latkes, 6 servings.

Categories: Hanukah, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Puffed Oven Pancake with Brown Sugar-Banana Sauce

If there aren’t enough other treats around, how about a breakfast treat?


I always thought the baked pancakes would be a lot of work, but this was actually a lot less work for me than making batches of regular pancakes. And everyone was so impressed!


Although my waistline won’t like it, this may become a regular feature of weekend breakfasts, or at least holiday weekend breakfasts.


Puffed Oven Pancake with Brown Sugar-Banana Sauce

from Better Homes & Gardens

2 tablespoons butter
4 eggs (locally raised)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk (locally produced)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 medium bananas, sliced
2 tablespoons light rum or apple juice
Powdered sugar (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the 2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch oven-going skillet or round heavy metal baking pan. Place skillet in oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until butter is melted.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat eggs with a wire whisk or rotary beater. Add flour, milk, and salt; beat until smooth.


Immediately pour batter into the hot skillet.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and well browned.


For brown sugar-banana sauce, in a small saucepan combine the 1/2 cup butter and the brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until melted. Add bananas; cook about 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring gently.


Carefully stir in rum; heat through.


To serve, spoon sauce over pancake.


If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream. Serve warm. Enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8.IMG_8593.JPG

Categories: Breakfast, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tis the Season for Recycling

I shared this tip with my clients at the University of Pennsylvania, but I think it is worth sharing again here…

Sustainability Tip #7 – Tis the Season for Recycling

With the holiday season upon us, households will be getting a lot of new things. This means that there will be a lot of old (or not so old) things to get rid of.  For items that cannot be re-used, here are some recycling avenues:


Christmas string – They take old string lights for free and recycle all the parts into new products.  AND, they will send you a 15% off coupon redeemable for new LED lights.


Wine – They collect real wine corks and grind them up to make new products, such as flooring and shoe soles. The link takes you to a locator page to find a drop off location near you.


Remote controls, CDs/DVDs, Gaming Controls, etc Best Buy – Their front-of-store recycling bins take large items like TV’s, VHS and DVD players, but also smaller items like those listed.  The link will take you to a store locator for recycling.


Computer mice, keyboards and other home office waste Staples and Radio Shack– Staples accepts up to 6 items per customer per day, regardless of where the item was purchased.  They will also do trade-ins, making you an offer and paying with a Staples e-cash card. Radio Shack will give store credit for trade-ins. See the links for more information.


Plastic gift cards – – Mail them your used gift cards and they will recycle them into new plastic products.  The link provides the address to mail them to.

Flash Drives – – They recycle USB drives into a standalone computer system for children in poorer parts of the world.

Thanks to for the links to these companies.

Categories: Recipe | Leave a comment

Leftover Turkey Mole Tacos in the Slow Cooker

I am posting this now because we froze some of our Thanksgiving leftover turkey for use on days just like this.  I have not felt like cooking since Thanksgiving – yes, almost 2 weeks! So, yesterday, I pulled two 2-cup bags of turkey out of the freezer into the fridge to defrost.  At lunchtime today, they and the rest of the ingredients went into the slow cooker. I spent the afternoon doing errands and came home to not only a wonderfully smelling house, but a truly tasty dinner. All that was left to do was heat the tortillas.


We used a mixture of both corn and flour tortillas.  I used corn, my husband preferred flour.  I also did a mix of soft tacos and tostadas.  All were great (even though I over-cooked the edges of this tortilla a bit)


I kept the heat level low so my 5 year old could eat it.  We added the heat through hot sauce and salsa.  You could easily ramp of the heat in the sauce while it cooks if you want.

Leftover Turkey Mole Tacos in the Slow Cooker

Adapted from Slow-Cooker Turkey Mole Tacos in Food Network Magazine

1 15 -ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained

2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

4 scallions, chopped, plus more for topping

2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups leftover turkey, shredded (locally raised)

18 corn or flour tortillas


Combine the tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, scallions, peanut butter, soy sauce, chile powder, cocoa powder and Chinese five-spice powder in a 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine.IMG_8636.JPGAdd the turkey and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low, 5 hours.IMG_8638.JPGStir to fully coat the turkey.IMG_8639.JPGWarm the tortillas in a dry skillet or in the microwave. Serve the turkey in the tortillas and top with scallions, hot sauce, salsa and/or cheese, if desired (not Kosher if you add the cheese).  Enjoy!IMG_8640.JPGServes 4 – 5.

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

Fig Graham Bread

If I have any addictions, it is to figs and dates.  It flips back and forth as to which I prefer; basically depending on whether I have dates from Israel or Iran around.  When I run out of those, I have better access to quality figs than dates, so I switch to obsessing about figs.  20140422-211514.jpg

When I saw this recipe for fig graham bread I knew I would have to make it.  We have a good supply of figs at the moment, so chopping up a cup’s worth would not be a problem.IMG_8418.JPG

The bread has a crumb topping that bakes in, so it feels decadent.  Well, I guess a bread made with figs and graham crackers and as much butter as this has would be decadent, with or without the crumb topping.IMG_8424.JPG

I like mine with fig butter…yum!!!IMG_8433.JPG


Fig Graham Bread

from Food Network Magazine

1 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (or 1 cup plain graham cracker crumbs and 1 tsp cinnamon)

3/4 cup flour

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs (locally grown)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup milk

1 cup figs, chopped (I use Turkish figs)

1/3 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (or 1/3 cup plain graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 tsp cinnamon)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 1/2 Tbsp cold butter, cubed

pinch of salt


Heat oven to 350F.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.IMG_8419.JPG

In a large bowl beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, vanilla and milk. Beat in the dry ingredients. Stir in the figs.IMG_8420.JPG

Pour into a greased loaf pan.IMG_8421.JPG

Mix the 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cubed butter and salt. Sprinkle over loaf.IMG_8422.JPG

Bake 55 – 65 minutes.IMG_8423.JPG

Cool for 1 hour in the pan, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.IMG_8424.JPG

Slice and enjoy.IMG_8433.JPG

Makes 1 loaf.


Categories: Bread, Kosher, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

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