Monthly Archives: August 2009

Orzo Salad

We just got a new barbecue! Obviously we had to have burgers and steaks for dinner the day it came. I knew we would be eating tons of meat, so I decided to make a light pasta salad to accompany the meal.

IMG_1081

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Chocolate Babka

A couple of weeks ago I had some store-bought chocolate babka. It was delicious, and I was inspired to try it out with my sister as our next experiment.

Later on, we were scouring the internet and cookbooks for recipes.

We couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for, so we mixed and matched a few recipes to come up with what we hoped was the best chocolate babka ever.

It took a long time, but it was worth it!

It took a long time, but it was worth it!

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Kosher Food at Yankee Stadium

Last night my husband and I went to the Yankee game; It was my first time at the new Yankee Stadium, and I was excited to try the kosher food, which is provided by Ouri’s Caterers from Brooklyn (I’m pretty sure they provide food for Citi Field, too). There are five kosher food stands at Yankee Stadium. We visited three.

kashrut certification

kashrut certification

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Cinnamon Buns

Everyone likes cinnamon buns, and I usually make Alton Brown’s recipe. They’re a hit at every gathering. They have a pretty classic flavor with a cream cheese icing on top. When I saw that The Art and Soul of Baking had a maple syrup topping, I knew I had to give this alternative a try.

cinnamon buns

One thing you need to make sure to do is manage your time right. This dough takes time, but it’s well worth the wait. It is moist and buttery, much better than the bread-like versions I’ve tasted. I made the dough on Tuesday morning and refrigerated it until Tuesday evening. On Tuesday evening I made the topping and filling, shaped the rolls, proofed and refrigerated. I woke up somewhat early and baked the buns on Wednesday morning and served hot, fresh sticky buns to my happy colleagues.

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Mehshi Kusa, or Meat-Filled Zucchini and/or Squash

Mehshi kusa (koo-SAA) is a traditional Syrian dish. In order to stuff the squash, you first need to hollow them out with a melon baller. Ideally the shells will be very thin. After hollowing out the vegetables, you stuff them with hashu and cook them in a Middle-Eastern-style sauce.

mehshi kusa

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Hashu (Meat Stuffing with Rice)

Hashu is used in many Syrian dishes, mostly as a stuffing, and sometimes added to dishes as meatballs. Soaked rice is mixed with meat and spices and can be stuffed into just about any vegetable – this is called mehshi (MECH-she).

We use it for potatoes, eggplants, squash and zucchini, onions, cabbage, tomato, grape leaves, etc.

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Szechuan Noodles, Ina Garten Style

I decided to try out a new recipe for Asian-y peanut-y noodles and remembered seeing Ina Garten make some for a barbecue on the beach (don’t ask me how this fits in with a barbecue), so I searched for “sesame noodles” on the Food Network’s website and didn’t see it. I didn’t think I imagined this particular episode of Barefoot Contessa, so I narrowed my results by chef – and these Szechuan noodles were the first, third, and fourth hit (out of four).

Okay, so maybe the words sesame and Szechuan aren’t interchangeable, and maybe you don’t barbecue them, but I made them anyway, and I’m glad I did. The ingredients were overwhelming at first: Fresh ginger? Tahini? Sherry vinegar? But I ended up having many of them in the fridge/pantry already. I bought almost everything else from Whole Foods, and for the rest I left out or substituted with something I had lying around.

szechuan noodles

All of the spices and ingredients resulted in delicious layers of flavor, and although I made way too much (a whole pound of pasta for two people!?) I was able to enjoy leftovers, since this dish is just as tasty at room temperature, or even out of the fridge, than it is hot.

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