Showing posts with label Hanukkah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hanukkah. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Photo; courtesy of PINTEREST



The Blessings of Peace
The Beauty of Hope
The Spirit of Love
The Comfort of Faith
May these be your gifts...this Christmas Season.
 
 
 
Good will, Success and happiness be with you,
this Christmas!
 
Wishing you all, a very Merry Christmas!
Hugs,
Elisabeth


 




 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Thanksgiving came...and went this year; with less family members, and less friends. Each year it is different than from the year before. Isn't it true, that during the major holidays we lose family and friends to 'death' or they just move away...move on...never to be heard from, again...or for a long time...no connection?... it does make one sad, but 'life does go on' and we have to make the best of it!
We have so much to be thankful for, and count our blessings even if its for our every day lives that we interact with other family members and friends that we see often, or once in-a-while! As far as some of our neighbors...well, in my situation where I live; that is very awkward. I hear the srong gusty winds these days, and the 'roaring ocean'. It is always
 10 or more degrees cooler here, so this week one day, I woke up to what seemed to be freezing temperature, when others further up north, or in other parts of Europe had way below freezing and snow storms...no doubt!

Families in neighborhood communities; they treat each other with respect, and care about one-another! Even with the elderly folks that live alone are invited to holiday gatherings, so they don't have to feel left out. For example; my direct next door neighbor...an elderly retired professor, does not speak to anyone...just keeps to himself. He eats every meal...out! I do worry about him, especially during holidays because he does not even have one friend...always alone! I offered several times to help in any way, but I get rejection...so sad!

...let's get on with the rest of the Thanksgiving 'feast'...and recipe for the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake!

For the Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, I used the recipe from my sweet daughter Lora's blog @

note: if you don't have cake flour, it is important to substitute correctly for all-purpose flour but you have to make adjustment to it!
For the 1 1/4 cup of cake flour used in the recipe: use 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour: remove 2 Tbsp. of flour, before sifting, and then replace it with 2 Tbsp. corn starch and add it to the flour, then sift together.
The basic rule; to substitute all purpose flour for cake flour;
Remove 2 Tbsp. flour per each cup of flour used! (you can omit the cornstarch replacement, but it does make it lighter)
I use a square glass Pyrex pan, sprayed the pan with Pam baking spray, cut out parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan, and sprayed that, as well.
The baking time; 350 degrees F. for 45 min. was absolutely correct temperature.
I used a small baking pan to place the cake pan on it, so when it came out of the oven, I could just flip the cake over on it, or your can flip it over directly on a platter. It was a lot easier this way, and peeling of the parchment paper was very easy. After cooling it down for 10 minutes, I was able to slice it and place the slice on the serving platter.
So, there you have it! The best moist cake...ever! I must confess, I like to trim the edges of cake, and devour it, myself...selfish? you bet! ...not feeling guilty, at all...I do it every time, especially when I make brownies, all edges are trimmed off and if you happen to be close by, I will share the fun and yummy pieces with you, but other than that I will offer the entire cake, and not save any pieces for myself! (my rules for me.)
We share Thanksgiving feast with 20 people w/kids included...everyone pitched in. 2 huge turkeys, and lots, and lots of side dishes...and desserts! Just a few samples of the 'feast'...we all gained at least 5 lbs. each; at least!
Second huge turkey...not stuffed, stuffing on the side.
Can't have Thanksgiving or Christmas without the traditional French's Green Bean Casserole, which I make every year...(photo from last year...here's the recipe) French's Green Bean Casserole

Traditional 'super easy' to make Cranberry Sauce...and old recipe that I've made for years which now my daughter makes each year.  Here's the recipe: Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

 Lora's Classic Pumpkin Pie...(she made 2 this year)...also with homemade crust...yumm!
Here's the recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie
Hanukkah candles were lit by Dr. Eric's son, River...a 'true inter-faith' group of people, with different heritage, nationality; Italian, Sicilian, Jewish, Hungarian, Polish, Irish and English, Colombian, and Mexican...( a united nation of different backgrounds)...and various religions...Jewish, Catholic, Christian, and Southern Baptist.
Blessings were recited by Dr, Eric's father, nonno Gil...
Nonno Sal...with his prayer and blessings (he wanted to have this special prayer in case he will not be here with us next year)...sigh!
Here are some of group sitting at the dinner table...Dr. Eric on the front left, (looks like I was the only camera person taking some photos)...others took I-Phone photos for their 'Instagram' ...OK, so I'm old fashioned!

The big kids (tweens, and teens)...enjoyed their meal outside on the back patio!
...a little 'nippy' temperature, but the fire pit kept them cozy and warm!


 I am such a proud grandmother of 4...three, which are not shown. They are my greatest blessings and joy, along with their parents...my two children and their spouses! Without family to enjoy...even if you are single or a couple without children or grandchildren...you have to embrace 'life'...family members, and even if you just have one friend...do cherish that friendship!
I saved the 'best for last' our vet, and dear friend... with Lady...an abandoned beautiful Boxer, that he saved, after he was called to check this poor doggie living under a nearby highway bridge...surviving for over one year...full of scars, malnourished, and she almost had to be put down. He was able to befriend her...took her home, nourished her back to health after a couple serious surgeries...(having to deal with putting his own beloved old and sick Boxer; Charlie down)...that's what I call 'fate'...not only did the beautiful Boxer became a family member, but she was given the name 'Lady'...because she was so sweet, appreciative, with such nice 'ladylike' manners. She is with the family for one year now, and she is truly loved and cared for!
Dr. Eric does volunteer work once a week for people that cannot afford 'pet care'!
Isn't she absolutely adorable?...Lady sneaked up to me from under the dinner table, as I was sitting there, and gently rested her cute little head on my lap...looking at me with those sweet adorable and loving eyes! That's what I call a LOVE STORY! My heart simply melted, and it brought tears to my eyes!

So, I think I updated a lot this time...hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving...now it's time to go on a diet; not really a diet...diet...just cut down on extra helpings, and the desserts, until Christmas! xoxo







Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving, 2013= THANKSGIVUKKAH

This year, for the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coincide in what many in the Jewish community are calling “Thanksgivukkah.” The eight-day Jewish holiday begins at sundown on Wednesday. The next day is Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and history...and turkey, of course; but most importantly, it's a holiday all about everything that we are thankful for!

Thanksgiving presents definite opportunities to appreciate where you came from and how far you've come ...considering 'where' you came from.
Are you looking forward to this year at your Thanksgiving gathering?   Is there someone that you could ask to join your Thanksgiving gathering?

Well, I must say, it should be an important and blessed event for all. We have so much to be thankful for, and help the less unfortunate who are struggling in their every day life.

No one should be hungry on Thanksgiving, we live in the Land of Plenty, and we just need to spread the ‘plenty’ around a little bit sometimes.

In this time of year when so many worthy causes are asking for your spare change...give, even if it's  a dollar or less! Realistically, everyone can only do so much...but we can ensure that at least one evening will be filled with warmth, food and love and help a family take at least one night off from the stress and worry they deal with every other day of the year!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!












Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and history--and turkey, of course!--but most importantly, it's a holiday all about everything that we are thankful for. Cheerful, colorful illustrations accompany the simple
Rea
Recognized as a special day to express gratitude for life’s many blessings, Thanksgiving is a highly anticipated American tradition when family and friends come together for a celebratory feast.
The traditional Thanksgiving Day meal features a glorious turkey as the centerpiece, accompanied by splendid offerings of soups, salads, gravies, stuffing, potatoes, and various other side-dishes, desserts and delicacies


Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/lifecycles/2013/nov/19/thanksgiving-day-celebrating-gift-health-family-an/#ixzz2loS6JucO
Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitterd more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/26/3781675/hanukkah-thanksgiving-bring-
Recognized as a special day to express gratitude for life’s many blessings, Thanksgiving is a highly anticipated American tradition when family and friends come together for a celebratory feast.
The traditional Thanksgiving Day meal features a glorious turkey as the centerpiece, accompanied by splendid offerings of soups, salads, gravies, stuffing, potatoes, and various other side-dishes, desserts and delicacies


Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/lifecycles/2013/nov/19/thanksgiving-day-celebrating-gift-health-family-an/#ixzz2loS6JucO
Follow us:
@wtcommunities on Twitte




Read more:
http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/lifecycles/2013/nov/19/thanksgiving-day-celebrating-gift-health-family-an/#ixzz2loS6JucO
Follow us:
@wtcommunities on Twitterr
blessings.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Candied Spiced Walnuts

Just think...when you find the perfect selection that inspires you and knowing that you don't have to google it, or search through your collection of cookbooks...then just relax and simply print out your blogger friend's recipe and go for it!
With the holidays just around the corner, you want to have something quick and easy...yet, exciting and tantalizing for your 'taste buds'...questioning, what kind of spices are used in this addictive, crunchy, sweet, and spicy walnuts. Most of the recipes for this type is usually made with pecans, but as a personal preference...I think walnut work better; for one thing, they are less expensive, and crunchier. Pecans are softer and I would save them for cakes and pies!
Check out this recipe and more...Asian inspired; from my talented friend...
 Ridwan, @Rice and Coconut

I did change the title of this yummy treat, since its sweet, and spicy! (this is how recipes are made, but its always nice to give credit to the actual source, which most bloggers DO NOT follow) In the old days of our mothers and grandmothers, it was 'word of mouth', 'hands on', and of course 'hand me down' recipes, even in the seventies when I was a very young mom with toddlers, we just copied down recipes from friends' handwritten, and/or books and old magazines...never thinking about the source. No excuse these days, unless you create your own recipe just from your own creative basic source.

I did use the same amount...12 oz. shelled walnuts; the only addition of spice, was the cayenne pepper, in addition to the other spices.
Also, I used Spam, to spray the aluminum lined  toaster oven tray.






I put all the walnuts, spices, and maple syrup which I added more than just drizzle on...mixed it up and got it ready to toast in the oven.











Now, you just spread evenly, and bake at 350 degrees F. for no more than 12-15 minutes...any longer than that, they will start to burn, so be careful!










I did not equally measure things...just 'eyeballed'
all the ingredients, and being careful not to 'over spice'...probably used about 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup. You can store in tin can the  leftovers
but I doubt you will have any leftover, its so
addictive, and oh, so heavenly with goat cheese
on pear slices!  Do try out this recipe, from
RIDWAN
...and tell him I sent you! xo

 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best Potato Latkes...and end of Holidays

As the holidays are winding down, and we're facing the new year, we can reflect back to last year, at this time, already thinking about the changes we are going to make in our lives, our homes, our friends, our bad habits, and start our diets for the hundredth time!...Yeah, sure! I do this every year, and keep promising to go back to Weight Watchers where I actually successfully lost 35 lbs, and kept it off for about 3 years, but gradually gained it back...and then some! So now, I will try the Weight Watchers online, and don't have to go to those boring meetings!
Well, let me tell you...it's a good thing that the year is ending, because December is the last month we can "pig out" with all the good food, and desserts...never say "never" to latkes, at least once a year, which is at Hanukkah! I promise you that I stand by my "best potato latkes recipe!"...it's not even a recipe it's really from all the failures of trying out different ways, but the best kept secret, is adding equal amount of Matzo Meal to your flour, a small amount of baking powder, and to make sure your grated potatoes do not turn brown, adding a tablespoon of whit distilled vinegar to the water. I will be glad to show you the directions, and promise that your latkes will come out crispy, light, and you don't even have to blot any excess grease if you use parchment paper...honest!

Having a 10 or 12 inch well seasoned cast iron skillet is another helpful utensil, that I feel every kitchen should have. It has so many uses, and will never, ever wear out....the older it gets if it's treated properly, the more use you get out of it. Just look at the fresh clean vegetable oil bubbling away, and the potatoes so light, and crispy. Never overcrowd the pan, or it will slow down the cooking process!

Best Potato Latkes
recipe by; Elisabeth


For single batch:


4-5 medium Russet (baking) potatoes, or your favorite
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Matzo Meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 medium onion chopped
vegetable, or canola oil, for frying
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
In a large bowl add water, and add the peeled potatoes and vinegar.
(you can use double batch by doubling the potatoes, 8 to 10, but it's less work with half the amount)
Cut the potatoes in half lenghtwise and in a food processor feed them right into the water, just like it's show in the photo.
Note: The starchier the water gets, but not dark, the crispier and lighter the latkes will be.





This is how the grated potatoes will look in the water...all starchy, cloudy, and beautiful. That's how you want it.














Now, you're ready to put the potatoes with the liquid, and strain it. Rinse it if you like, but you don't have to. The important thing, is to squeeze out all the liquid.








Add the potatoes back into the cleaned out bowl, and add all the ingredients, (except the oil, and vinegar)

With clean hands, or wear plastic gloves, mix together all the ingredients to combine well.










With a small ice cream scooper, scoop out portions, and add to the preheated heavy skillet, if you don't have cast iron skillet.











You can easily scoop out as much as it can fit, but make sure when you drop the scoop, do not touch it for a couple minutes, fry them over med-high heat, without disturbing them.










You can now flatten them down with a spatula, and turn them over to fry until lightly golden. Have your oven ready, at 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet, or two, with parchment paper. When all the latkes are ready to be taken out of the frying pan, just line them up on the parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for an additional 25 minutes, turning them once.

You should have about 12 small latkes. Serve them with apple sauce, and sour cream!
Yields about 4- 6 servings



When you see the jagged, lacy edges, is how you know it is perfect, lightly golden...no need to blot with paper towel, no grease is left on the parchment paper!
The latkes are also really delicious with brisket, or pot roast, you can serve them with chicken, or just on the side. Every one loves this, especially young children, and adults alike!





Linking to:
Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 16 @ Katherines Corner
Full Plate Thursday 12-29-11 @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cranberry Sauce, and a Stylish Blogger Award

It  is Hanukkah, and it officially started at sundown on Tuesday, and will last for 8 days. We just left Thanksgiving behind, and here comes all the holidays one, and before you know it, it's the New Year.
Well, for Hanukkah, all we do is just keep frying the nice and aromatic shredded potato latkes=pancakes. The best way to do them is to just pass it through the shute of your food processor with the shredding disk, and you'll have a big bowlful to work with, a super messy kitchen, and the aroma of fried potatoes, and onions...and before you know it, your batch of latkes are gonna be eaten up in less than 10 minutes.

Will post some photos about the latkes, my granddaughter took the photos with her camera, mine just totally went blank...no screen. Will be getting my new camera this weekend. A present to myself!