Homemade Jaffa Cakes (for the 11 year old’s Birthday)

Jaffa cakes, homemadeIt can be a pain in one’s well-padded tuchus if one loves British sweets, chocolate and biscuits, but doesn’t currently live in the UK or its ex-territories. Yup, the former colonies got the short end of the chocolate finger here, for those Brits came, they conquered, they built the train lines, they took the jewels, the Jaffa cake and the curry, and left those behind with royally sweet teeth. (more…)

February 7, 2013. Tags: , . Baked Goods, British, Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Kids. 2 comments.

Ginger Snaps

20121112-200340.jpgThis is the third recipe with ginger in recent weeks, after honey cake and burgers. Even panic shopping involved the fragrant rhizome – it was preceded by my having to get rid of my precious wodge of frozen ginger.   (more…)

November 12, 2012. Tags: , , , . Baked Goods, Cookies, Kids. Leave a comment.

A Day for Hamantaschen (Gezundheit!) and Ester’s story

Once upon a time in Persia, there was a beautiful Jewish girl named Ester who was brought up by her stepdad (a cousin, Mordecai). One day, stepdad-cousin Mordecai, who purportedly loved Ester dearly, thought it would be a brilliant idea to have her join the harem of the King of Persia. The king, luckily, fancied Ester and made her queen, so she wasn’t just any old sex slave but the chief one.

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March 7, 2012. Tags: , , . Baked Goods, Cookies, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Jewish, Kids, Purim. Leave a comment.

New Year, New Cake: Cherry and Almond Slice

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Bring it on, 2011! After watching a quarter of 2010 vanish into the Bermuda Triangle (steroid treatment for four months for a mysterious allergy was no fun – but that’s fodder for another post, and only after much therapy!), I greet the year with hope and optimism and trust you do, too!

I’m hoping to be more regular with the posts this year. Indeed, from today (my birthday), I will have little excuse not to, for my lovely husband, key beneficiary of the naughty or nice things I bake, has bought me my first ever camera-related gadget – a macro lens. Woo hoo! So if you enjoy yummy details, there may soon be bigger and better ones on a screen near you 😉  (more…)

January 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Baked Goods, Cakes, Cookies, Desserts. 7 comments.

A Meal in a Ball, with Peanut Butter

Our friends Deb and David are a step (and a male kid) ahead of us, having three beautiful, lively boys to be outnumbered by contend with and being familiar with the eating idiosyncracies of all of them. I was talking to them recently about how my second son, who isn’t the universal eater like my oldest but still eats mostly everything at home, hardly touches any sandwiches I’ve packed for him for school this year. (more…)

October 17, 2010. Tags: , , , . Cookies, Kids, Kids Cuisine, Lunch, Lunchbox, Musings. 11 comments.

Spring Break Cookies: Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate and Pistachio

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It’s not easy blogging on the road. Somehow I felt I was a really sad person for packing my laptop, but I had work to do, so that’s my excuse! We’re in DC for a quick spring break trip, after the kids’ grandparents’ plans to visit us from London were scuppered by an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano’s ash clouds.

Before we left home though, my boys and I rang in spring break with a batch of fresh, warm cookies. Sure, there’s plenty of perfectly good cookies out there in the stores, waiting all alluring and large and moist and studded with nuts, but I like to know that when my boys want one, some of those calories are going to count in a good way. And not just be plastered immediately on the hips!

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April 20, 2010. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Cookies, Kids Cuisine. 1 comment.

Passover Dessert: Toffee and Chocolate Matzah Brittle (Rabbi Approved)

Update: This recipe has been a work in progress. It’s not a Matzah Crunch, for which several recipes abound. I was after a texture more like toffee and made this one up, with the instructions below updated according to successive – and successful – tries at it 😉 Made a batch two days ago that hit the nail on the head! Beautifully flavored toffee (enquire indoors about secret ingredients which are optional), the right chewiness without being impossible to bite and which allows the matzah to be torn or broken gracefully.

Anyway, I was very excited to hear that Rabbi Laurence Groffman and his wife Melissa, of Temple Sholom of West Essex, had seen, tried and tested the recipe from scratch, and that it was a hit with their family  and guests.  I’m so happy! Scroll through to see their photo.

This is so addictive and fun to put together with the kids.  After making the candy and pouring it on the matzah, let them go wild sprinkling their favorite toppings over the still-warm chocolate and toffee. A great one for giving away, too, which might be a good idea (for your waistline) as they’re hard to resist!

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March 24, 2010. Tags: , , , . Cookies, Desserts, Festive, Jewish, Kids Cuisine, Passover. 17 comments.

Planning for Passover: 20 Lunch and Lunchbox Ideas

As promised, here are some suggestions for lunches and kiddy lunchboxes through Passover week. Feel free to share your favorites, and those of your kids, in comments 🙂

  • Tuna or salmon salad, with matzah on the side
  • Fish balls and veg sticks or salad
  • Soup, with matzah crackers
  • Matzah pizza (click on link)

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March 22, 2010. Tags: . Cocktails, Cookies, Italian, Japanese, Lunch, Lunchbox, Passover. 6 comments.

It’s Purim. Time for Hamantaschen!

It’s Purim again, and I’ve been busy making hamantaschen (again). You know, the little triangular pastries with jam-like fillings. Hamantaschen means Haman’s ears in modern Hebrew (and refers to the evil guy in the biblical Book of Esther, the one who, like many before him and many more since, keep trying to annihilate the Jews) and Haman’s pockets in Yiddish.

Trying to make these while following generations-old recipes for pastry is enough to make anyone think of annihilation. Climatic idiosyncracies (humidity levels, cold, etc) may warrant adjustment of various ingredients. In my latest experiment, a few of the pockets annihilated themselves in the oven because (I can’t help it) I decided to be adventurous 1) by deviating from a tried and tested recipe from years before because I was unhappy with the stiffish pastry and 2) by stuffing the darned pockets with new-fangled notions such as lemon curd and strawberry jam. (more…)

February 24, 2010. Tags: , . Baked Goods, Cookies, Cultural Feasts, Festive, Jewish, Purim. 5 comments.

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cookie

I love the green saltiness of pistachios against the creamy white chocolate in in this cookie. Anyone concerned about the amount of (supremely unavoidable) butter might be comforted to know that studies suggest pistachios help to reduce the bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, in your system, while raising the good (high-density lipoprotein). In other words, they’re heart healthy.

They also pack a huge amount of lutein, the antioxidant found in dark, leafy veggies. Before you eat vats of the stuff, take a look at the Telegraph’s story.

Add a drop of almond essence to bring out the nut in the cookie (and in you!) .

  • butter, 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • white sugar, 1/2 cup
  • brown sugar, 1/2 cup
  • egg, 1, large
  • white wholemeal flour, 1 cup
  • ground pistachios, 1/2 cup
  • whole pistachios, 1/2 cup
  • white chocolate chunks, 1/2 to 1 cup
  • baking soda, 1 tsp
  • vanilla essence, 1 tsp
  1. Preheat oven to 375F, 180C
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together, add the egg
  3. Add baking soda and flour, cream till combined
  4. Fold in the pistachios and chocolate
  5. Bake about 12 mins or till golden brown
  6. Allow to cool and store in a tin, if the family hasn’t gobbled them all up!

(All text and photos or images are copyright protected. Please do not reprint any stories, recipes or photographs without the author’s permission.)

June 11, 2009. Tags: . Baked Goods, Cookies, Kids Cuisine. 2 comments.

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