Sunday, March 12, 2023

Tomato Chickpea Soup with Spinach

 This recipe came from Modern Jewish Cooking

Super easy and delicious.

Serves 6


1 Large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

2 carrots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced.

1 1/2 t paprika (from the spice house)

1 1/2 t ground cumin (from the spice house)

1/2 t dried basil (from the spice house)

1/2 t dried rosemary (from the spice house)

1/2 t red pepper flakes

2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) Each can should be about 15 ounces

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

4 c vegetable broth

1 t sugar

kosher salt


3 c packed baby spinach leaves


Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add garlic, paprika, cumin, basil, rosemary and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.

Add one can of chickpeas, the tomatoes and their juices, broth and sugar. Cover. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in 1 t salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

With an immersion blender (I used my Vitamix), blend soup to a liquid. Return soup to the pot and set at low heat. Shir in chickpeas and spinach and cook for 2 minutes.


Monday, February 27, 2023

Instant Pot Chicken Soup

 I have an amazing chicken soup recipe from the Temple Emanuel Sisterhood Cookbook. However it takes at least three hours just to cook. This recipe doesn't make the volume of soup, but it is good for just a family of four for a winter day.


1 whole chicken cut into quarters (I used the 8 piece Empire chicken)

1 large onion, quartered

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into quarters

2 stalks of celery, cut into quarters

4 cloves of garlic, left whole

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks

2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thirds

1 cup dill, chopped coarsely

2 bay leaves

1 T kosher salt

1 T black peppercorns

7 cups of water


I have a six cup instant pot. Place the chicken pieces into the pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, sweet potato, parsnips, dill, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Then add 7 cups of water. Secure lid. Cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.

When the soup beeps, let the pot sit for at least 30-45 minutes and then vent out the steam. Press cancel. Open the lid and let it cool. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed.

Strain. Put the stock back in the pot. Smoosh a piece of the sweet potato through the strainer into the soup. This adds color.

Take the two breasts of chicken and slice into chunks. Slice a few of the carrot pieces into slices and put into the soup. Keep soup warm.

The matza balls in the instant pot were not as yummy as my traditional ones, which can be made while the soup is cooking. I don't keep the matza balls in the stock because they absorb the soup broth!

Matzo Balls

4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c water
1/3 oil
1 t salt
1 cup matzo meal

Combine the eggs with the water, oil, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Add matzo meal and stir, but do not not overmix.  Cover mixture and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Bring five quarts of salted (1 T kosher salt) water to a boil.

Remove mixture from fridge, and stir once to ensure all liquid has been absorbed.  Form into free form balls.

Drop balls gently into the boiling water.  Once water has come to a boil again, reduce heat to avoid boiling over.  Cover pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove cooked balls with a slotted spoon and store in container until ready to use.  Then slip into warm soup.  

Monday, February 13, 2023

Maple Pound Cake

 If you follow me on FaceBook, you often see Bundt cakes, but in various shapes. I have to tell you that using the Nordic Ware pans are great. It makes an average cake look amazing. BUT, you have to spray the pan with BAKERS JOY. If you don't think you have sprayed enough, spray more. You want the cake to slide out of the pan.

Ingredients for Cake

2 cups of cake flour

1 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1 t salt

12 T unsalted butter, at room temperature. Sliced into 12 pieces.

2/3 c light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 c maple syrup

1 cup sour cream

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t maple flavor

Ingredients for Glaze

2 T butter

1/4 c maple syrup

1/4 c dark rum

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 or 10 cup Bundt pan. Spray pan with Baker's Joy.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides. Pour in the maple syrup.

Add half the flour, and sour cream, vanilla and maple flavor. Mix. Then add the remainder of the flour. Mix.

Pour batter into pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan for ten minutes on wire rack. I like to make sure the cake side is on the rack so it slides out.

While cake is cooking, put the glaze ingredients into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce for simmer for 8 minutes until it is a thick syrup. Brush glaze over warm cake and cool completely.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Ultra Butterscotch Brownies

 Super Easy.

No mixer needed


1 stick of unsalted butter 

2 cups brown sugar

1 t baking powder

2 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

9 oz butterscotch chips

1 1/2 c chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch metal pan with PAM.

Melt butter in pot.

Pour into large bowl. Add brown sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Stir. Add flour. Then eggs. Stir. Stir in 1 cup of chips and 1 cup of nuts. Put batter in pan. Sprinkle with remaining chips and nuts.

Bake 30-35 minutes just until top is shiny and set. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

Cool on wire rack before slicing.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Another amazing cake

 My co-workers were delighted with this cake!

Coffee and Cream Marbled Coffee Cake – Adapted from Bake Magazine

Makes one nine inch cake


1 ½ c (284 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 ¼ cups (450 grams) sugar

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 T vanilla extract

3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour

2 ½ t baking powder

1 t kosher salt

¾ c (180 grams) sour cream

3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate, melted

3 T instant espresso powder


·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees

·         In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium until fluffy – about three minutes. Stop to scrape the sides.

·         Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in vanilla

·         Stop the mixer.

·         In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

·         With mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour with about half of the sour cream; mix; add 1/3 of the flour; mix; add remaining sour cream; mix; add remaining flour.

·         Divide batter in half (approx. 3 cups or 780 grams)

·         In a small bowl, stir melted chocolate and espresso powder. Add to half the batter.

·         In 9 or 10 cup bundt pan, which you have sprayed with PAM, alternate scooping the vanilla batter with the chocolate batter into the pan. Fill the pan.

·         Using a butter knife, swirl the batters together. Tap the pan.

·         Bake until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean, about an hour.

·         Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack.

·         Remove from pan and let cool on rack.


Friday, January 13, 2023

Eat Your Books

 As you may know, I have a few cookbooks. I have more than a few. When I get a new book, I mark down (using post it notes) which recipes look interesting. And then I put the book on the shelf and hope I remember what recipes are in there. 

I plan my menus weekly, and go through some of the books searching for the perfect recipe for the week (who is eating dinner at the house and how much time I have to prepare the meal). 

One of my community members, Robin, suggested Eat Your Books.

Here is how EYB describes itself:

Eat Your Books is a website for people who love cookbooks and love to use great recipes. If you have a cookbook collection, you probably get a lot of pleasure from browsing your books - but there are times when you haven't got time to look through them all to find a recipe. Or maybe you feel you're not using them as effectively as you'd like, sticking to familiar recipes or not branching beyond the current favorites.

Eat Your Books can help you find recipes in seconds - we're the only website to have indexed the most popular cookbooks, so you can include them in your online searches.You might also like to use recipes from other sources and with Eat Your Books you can do a single search across ALL your recipes, no matter where they are.  

With Eat Your Books you can create your own personal Bookshelf and you can find recipes across:

Your cookbooks - tell us which cookbooks you own. If we haven't indexed a favorite book, use the EYB indexing tools and do it yourself.  

Your food magazines - add that stack of magazines, all the most popular magazines have been indexed.  

Great food blogs and websites - add Food52, David Lebovitz, Smitten Kitchen, 101 Cookbooks and many more.  

Your own personal recipe clippings - bring some order to your clippings files by using the EYB indexing tools.  

Your favorite online recipes - using the EYB Bookmarklet you can add any online recipe to your collection.

Eat Your Books is NOT a recipe site, so you won't find the recipes here, but you will be able to find them and if there is an online version of the recipe there will be a link to it.  

It costs $30 a year to sign up. Once you are a member you select the cookbooks that you own to your bookshelf. I would say 99% of my cookbooks that I own have been indexed, so I don’t need to add anything else. I have a few books that are not indexed (mostly community groups that published cookbooks for fundraising), and I haven’t had the time to volunteer to index them.

Once your books are entered, you can search your recipes (and you can filter for ingredients, and course (Asparagus and side dish); and the titles appear (with the cookbook and page number).

It is life changing, especially if you belong to a CSA and get weekly boxes. You can search for that ingredient and find a recipe in a book that you already own.

I have already searched their list of cookbooks that will be published in 2023. That is very nice.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Instant Pot - No Fry Refried Beans


During the summer of 2022, Adam and I went to Cabo, and I ate alot of refried beans. I have been thinking about all the amazing things I had while in Cabo. Tonight, I made a super easy Instant Pot bean recipe that I will be making again and again.

No-Fry Refried Beans from Instant Pot Miracle (with some modifications)

Serves 6-8 adults


1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans

5 cups fat free vegetable broth

4-6 sprigs of fresh cilantro

1/2 t plus 1/4 t cumin

 1 bay leaf

1 T canola oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 small jalapeno pepper seeds removed (I only used 1/2)

3 garlic cloves minced

salt and pepper

Rinse beans with cold water and remove any shriveled beans or discolored beans. Add beans to Instant Pot. Add broth, cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1 bay leaf. Close the lid and select MANUAL and chose HIGH PRESSURE for 40 minutes. When complete, allow a natural release.

Pour beans into colander set over a large bowl to catch the bean liquid. Discard cilantro and bay leaf.

Pour 1 1/2 c of bean liquid into a measuring cup.

Press sauté on the pot. When hot add oil. Then add onion, jalapeño and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Press cancel and add cumin. Add bean liquid.

In a blender pour the contents of the pot and blend VERY quickly as to NOT make it smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.