Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Myers + Chang - Cookbook

On Sunday night I had another successful dinner!

I made Adam Kung Pao Chickpeas from the same cookbook which he loved and it made enough for 6 people.  The kids and I had the salmon dish.  I would double the amount of cucumber salad, since that was also a big hit.

I was surprised to find out that both of these recipes were easy to make.  Sometimes when you purchase a restaurant cookbook, not only is the list of ingredients long, but there are too many steps.  These two dishes were amazing to eat and great to prepare.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Small Kitchen Appliance - This year's craze - The Instant Pot

I love a great kitchen gadget/appliance.  My favorite ones are the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, a powerful food processor and of course my beloved bread machine.  I have had these three tools for 20 years.  They get used often in my kitchen.  The bread machine alone is used twice a week!  Homemade challah is a weekly event.  No bakery challah for the Weitzman family.

Last year, a co-worker told me how wonderful Philips Pasta Maker is and I agree.  The pasta is amazing, and as the water is heating up I can make a fresh batch of pasta, which is better than boxed pasta.  And it is super easy to use (not super easy to clean).  Who knew!

The craze this year is the Instant Pot and friends who are not kitchen lovers began to rave about the Instant Pot.  I read many posts from people and I knew I had to try it.

I purchased the 6 quart pot from Amazon and used it the next week.

The first recipe was for Mac and Cheese and while fast and easy (once I figured out how to use the pot) it wasn't the best recipe.  The kids liked it but I know I can make a better recipe.  It is much faster than the oven version and isn't bright orange like Kraft Mac and Cheese.  The only issue was that using the timer was difficult. . . . instead of ten minutes, I think I originally set it for 10 hours - OOPS.  Luckily my son pointed that out to me.

The next recipe was risotto, and while my family loves risotto, it requires me to stand over the pan and stir constantly.  However in less than 30 minutes I had risotto that I did not have to stir constantly and one could not tell the difference.  The next time I am going to make a squash risotto.

And how do I know that it is a craze?  Today's Boston Globe Food section had an article dedicated to the Instant Pot.  It is a great article.

Tonight I am going to try a chicken recipe in the Instant Pot.

I can't imagine cooking in it every night, but I can add it to the rotation of small kitchen appliances to use.  And while I don't eat meat and milk together, I am hoping that the chicken dish tonight comes out delicious.  And I have joined the Facebook Kosher Instant Pot Group (and another relative sent me an article to kosher recipes using the Instant Pot).

Tomorrow night I will use the pasta maker.  I need to make sure all my gadgets are used often.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Newton Politics

Our great city of Newton, MA is in the middle of election time, and on November 7, we will elect a new mayor between Scott Lennon and Ruth Ann Fuller.  I like to educate myself on the candidates and these two candidates have many similar ideas and visions for the city.  Due to Naomi's dance team, I have been to many of the local fairs, and have spoken to both sides in order to make the best decision. 

Fast forward to today, when Scott Lennon has taken out an ad that includes "I am the only candidate who has consistently held a full time job for the last twenty years."

Ouch.

Let

That 

Sit 

For 


Moment

Twenty years ago, who traditionally was the stay at home parent?  (I like to think that is changing and more fathers are choosing that path, but in reality 20 years ago it was the female who stayed home.)

I feel that both of these candidates are well qualified, however I am supposed to cast my vote because he didn't take time off to raise his kids full time?  I do not know anything about Lennon's family, but did his wife take time off, and if she were to return to the work force and interview, would the hiring manager not hire her because she took time off to raise kids?  Did Lennon's wife's career take a back seat to his while their kids were young?  Did she work?  How does she feel about this statement?

And it isn't like his opponent isn't a good opponent.  She has served as Vice Chair of the Newton Citizen Advisory Group, in addition to co-chairing the town of Brookline's Financial Planning Advisory Committee.  She spent 8 years at WGBH.  And if some of this is volunteer work, it is still good experience.  She has experience planning and strategizing.  

And if a stay at home parent (male or female) returns to the work force, and tried to interview for a job with Lennon, would Lennon disregard any stay at home parent just because that person hasn't held a full time job?

President Trump doesn't value women in higher office.  His trusted advisors are mostly white males.  (Mostly - not all).  He has been accused of sexual harassment and views women as inferior.  I don't need another elected official to tell me that women don't have experience or intelligence.  This one sentence smells of Trump.  I know Lennon doesn't mean it that way, but as a female, that is how I am reading the one sentence.

I am uncomfortable using my one vote for Lennon.  He is telling stay at home parents that they don't add value.  They are very valuable.  Everyone has a different view point, and just because he has held a full time job for 20 years doesn't earn my vote.  In fact, he has lost my vote.  I am very aware of the glass ceiling, especially in higher levels (executive boards, C level, venture capital, finance, investments), and I am concerned that he is going to discount future employees because they were not fortunate enough to have the same 20 year experience as he did.

I really wish that someone earned my vote, instead of losing it, but Mr. Lennon, you lost my vote, because that statement hurts stay at home parents.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sharing a post from another blogger

Working Mothers

http://www.classycareergirl.com/2017/10/working-moms-positive-character-traits-children/

Please read and let me know what you think.

Both of my kids have seen my husband and I work hard over the years, and I hope they see that we coordinate and cooperate in raising them and keeping the house together.  We both do laundry (actually all four of us do, some more than others), and even though I cook, my husband cleans.  We all shovel the snow during the winter.  No one person is responsible for the upkeep.

And we are raising our children together.  With a teenager and a pre-teen, that means driving the kids (and other kids) all over the place.  We both share in the carpool and driving tasks.  We are a family and I hope that is what our kids see in us.

We also have device free meals.  Dinner time is a time for all of us to come together and talk and hear our stories from the day.  In order for the family to run smoothly, we all need to communicate.

I did enjoy the Classy Career Girl's blog post, but I also think the whole family benefits from a family that communicates and eats together.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Rugelach

This weekend I made Chocolate Rugelach!

2 cups flour
2 sticks butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 package of mini chocolate chips
cinnamon and sugar

Combine the flour, butter and cream cheese in food processor.  Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap.  Put in fridge for overnight.

Cut in half.

Roll out two thin circles.

Spread half of chocolate chips onto each circle press them in with the rolling pin.  Using a sharp knife cut dough with pizza cutter into small slices of pizza.

Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.

Roll up each wedge from the outside to the center.

On cookie sheet, put tinfoil and Pam and then put the cookies on the pan.

Bake at 350 (preheat the oven) for 20-25 minutes.



Monday, July 31, 2017

AMAZING Coffee Cake

Alex Guarnaschelli's amazing recipe!

I used a deep dish 9 inch pie plate for the coffee cake.

TOPPING

1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c chopped walnuts
2/3 c flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 t kosher salt
5 T unsalted butter, melted

CAKE:
4 T unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cup flour

1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t kosher salt
1 c sour cream
1/2 c whole milk yogurt

1. Make the Topping: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the walnuts, pecans, flour, granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the butter. The topping should form sandy clumps. Sprinkle the topping onto the baking sheet to break it up into smaller clumps. Refrigerate.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use Pam to  grease the bottom and the sides of a 9-inch round baking pan
3. Make the cake batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together, on medium-high, scraping down the sides from time to time, for 8 minutes. Lower the speed and add the eggs, one by one, taking care that the first egg is thoroughly integrated before adding the second.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, sour cream and yogurt until smooth. Turn the mixer on low and alternate adding some of the flour mixture with some of the sour cream mixture. When all has been mixed in, give the sides and the bottom of the bowl a good scrape and blend to make sure the batter is thoroughly combined. Transfer the batter to the greased baking pan and tap it lightly on the sides so it falls evenly in the pan and to remove any air bubbles. Liberally sprinkle the cake with all of the topping.
5. Bake the cake: Bake until a cake tester or a small knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing a serving. Once cool, the cake will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.





Sunday, July 30, 2017

Vanilla Sandcastle Cake

Last night we were invited to a pool party, and I was lucky enough to bring dessert.  One of the desserts I made was Vanilla Sandcastle Cake.  If you don't have that shape Bundt pan, feel free to use the shape of your choice, but it needs to hold 10 cups.

Cake:
2 2/3 c cake flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
16 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2/3 c milk


Glaze:
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 T lemon juice
2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.

Spray the sand castle cake pan VERY well with Bakers Joy (Pam with Flour).  Did I say VERY WELL.  Get all the nooks!!!!!

In a mixing bowl, place the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer (use the flat beater), beat the butter on medium until creamy and smooth - about a minute.  Add the sugar and beat until light and flour (which is approximately five minutes).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Add the eggs one at time.  Add the vanilla.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.  Beat each additional until nearly smooth.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Put the batter into the pan evenly.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about 55-60 minutes - KNOW YOUR OVEN).  Put the pan on a wire rack and let the cake cool upright for 15 minutes.

To make the glaze, in a small pan over medium heat stir the sugar, water and lemon juice and heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla.

Set the rack over a baking sheet, and invert the cake onto the rack and carefully put the pan in the sink.  Cake is on the rack.  Pain the warm cake using the glaze.

IDEAS:  Put the cake on a large platter and surround with brown sugar (to make it took like sand).  You can also add ice cream scoops into the middle of the cake!

Not the best photo, but you get the idea: