Thanksgivukkah: When Two Holidays Become One

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

It wasn’t long ago that Christmas and Hanukkah both fell on December 25th, creating the hybrid holiday Chrismukkah. This year Thanksgiving Day also marks the second night of Hanukkah, the only time this will happen for 70,000 years, creating Thanksgivukkah!

This unique holiday mash-up is a chef’s dream.. NEW RECIPES! A once in a lifetime holiday must have an equally impressive menu to match! Even for the non-Jew, it’s ok to add a little Hanukkah to your Thanksgiving Meal! And Chefadoo’s here to help!

manizchewitz turkeyThe star of Thanksgiving is always the traditional turkey. This year add a twist: Manizchewitz, a super-sweet kosher wine. The sugar helps flavor the turkey, and the deep purple color of the wine darkens the skin of the bird, making it look even more appetizing. Recipe and step-by-step photos here.

challah stuffingStuffing is bread soaked in loads of butter. Challah stuffing is extra-rich, eggy bread soaked in loads of butter. Need I say more? Recipe and step-by-step photos here.

sweet potato lakes

This year substitute the usual Sweet Potato Pie for Sweet Potato Latkes with Toasted Marshmallows. Latkes are simply potato pancakes shallow-fried pancakes of grated or ground potato, flour and egg, often flavored with grated onion or garlic and seasoning. Recipe and step-by-step directions.

Pumpkin-Challah-640x480Forget the dinner rolls this Thanksgiving and opt for Pumpkin Challah! This recipe has a pumpkin pie essence while still retaining that wonderful eggy challah texture. Recipe and directions.

What are you planning on cooking up this Thanksgivukkah?! We’d love to hear about your original recipes for the hybrid holiday! Warm wishes from Chefadoo to you!

Measurements Cheat Sheet

By Chefadoo‘s Jen Hankin

I know many master chefs have that magic touch when it comes to measurements. You simply cook by smell and taste. I am not one of those cooks. And I’m sure many of the more novice chef’s out there can agree with me. We need to follow a recipe, down to the last pinch!

While cooking I often struggle on how to convert measurements from pints to ounces, from teaspoons to cups, etc. Especially since I do most of my cooking after a long stressful day, rushing as my stomach grumbles with hunger.

Trying to convert measurements in my head NEVER works! That’s why when I stumbled upon this measurement cheat sheet, I literally jumped for joy!

measurement cheat sheet

This is a great resource to keep in the kitchen, even for the experienced chefs! You never know when you might need to convert measurements or a valuable resource while doubling or cutting recipes in half. I love the fun graphics and easy to print nature of this cheat sheet! Huge thanks to One Good Thing By Jillee for sharing. 

Broccoli: One Food, 5 Ways!

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

Vegetables don’t have to be boring, they can actually be fun and exciting — if you know how to prepare them! We have 5 fun ways to cook broccoli in this week’s Chefadoo blog.

WHY BROCCOLI:

Broccoli is one of the most healthful vegetables out. Long known as a source of fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C, broccoli’s also loaded with sulforaphane, an antioxidant shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. But what really makes these edible flowers (the florets are the flowering heads of the plant) exceptional is how appealing they are to all types of eaters —including kids! That’s a quality that truly stands the test of time.

Nutritional Profile
1/2 cup cooked broccoli contains:

  • 27 calories
  • 51 mg vitamin C
  • 110 mcg vitamin K
  • 1,207 IU vitamin A
  • 84 mcg folate
  • 3 g fiber

Roasted-Broccoli-1

  1. Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, and olive oil are all it takes to make your roasted broccoli extraordinary. Make a batch early in the week and enjoy this healthy vegetable all week long
    Ingredients
    • Broccoli, chopped – 1½ lbs.
    • Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
    • Balsamic vinegar – 1½ tbs.
    • Brown sugar – 2 tsp.
    • Olive oil – 2 tbs.
    Prep
    1. Broccoli / Garlic – Prepare as directed
    2. Whisk together remaining ingredients
    Make
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    2. Spread out onto a sheet pan and toss with vinaigrette and plenty of salt and pepper
    3. Roast for 25 minutes, giving the pan a shake midway through

    broccoli-salad-1024x1022

  2. Yield: 8-10

    Ingredients

    • 8-10 cups of fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
    • 1/2 red onion, cut into thin bite sized slices
    • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 3/4 cup raisins or craisins (see Note)
    • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Combine broccoli with the red onion, bacon, raisins, and almonds in a large bowl.
  • To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad.
  • Let salad chill for about 3 hours. It may not seem like enough dressing but after it chills the dressing marinates and is plenty. This also allows the flavors to meld.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes

You can also use halved grapes instead of raisins.

Broccoli_QuickBraised

3. Quick-Braised Broccoli with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes or fewer

Sautéing the broccoli before steaming it helps caramelize its natural sugars and gives it a fuller, richer flavor.
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 ½ Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 large heads broccoli (1 lb.), cut into small florets
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (2 oz.)
  • ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1. Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large bowl.

2. Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, and cook 2 minutes, or until florets are evenly coated with oil and beginning to soften and brown, stirring constantly. Carefully add 1/3 cup water; cover tightly with lid. Steam broccoli 4 minutes, or until water has evaporated and broccoli is tender.

3. Transfer broccoli to bowl with toasted pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle goat cheese over broccoli, and stir in sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle vinegar over top, and serve warm.

parm-roasted-broccoli

4. Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Serving: 6

Prep Time: 35 mins.

Ingredients4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)DirectionsPreheat the oven to 425 degrees F.Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Broccoli_WhitePizza
Serves 6Prep Time: 30 minutes or fewer

Paired with a two-cheese white sauce, broccoli makes a wonderful pizza topping. The secret to a crisp crust is preheating the baking stone or sheet. If you like extra-crispy pizza, prebake the dough 3 to 4 minutes before adding toppings.
  • 2 Tbs. nonhydrogenated margarine or butter, divided
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
  • 8 oz. broccoli florets (3 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, divided
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 13.8-oz. pkg. refrigerated pizza dough

1. Place pizza stone or baking sheet in center of oven, and heat to 425°F.

2. Melt 1 1/2 tsp. margarine in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 4 to 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water. Cover tightly, and steam broccoli in skillet 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. margarine in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook 2 minutes, or until pale golden, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, garlic, and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 Tbs. Parmesan until sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.

4. Shape pizza dough according to package directions. Remove pizza stone from oven, and place dough on hot stone.

5. Spread white sauce over dough to within 1/2 inch of edge, and top with broccoli mixture. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over top. Return to oven, and bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until edges of pizza are golden and center is hot and bubbly. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.

 

On the Grill

After a particularly long and ferocious Minnesota winter — with a full-blown snowstorm in the beginning of May – yes you read that correctly, MAY — I cautiously assert warm weather and summer fun are finally here! During the summer months, the art of cooking changes shape. No longer confined to our kitchen stoves, we cook on the grill for an added smoky flavor, throw outdoor family barbeques and begin to boil/deep-fry everything in beer (beer brats, beer-battered fish, beer-can chicken— ‘MERICA!). In preparation for Memorial Day this weekend, here is a quick and easy recipe you can make straight on the grill that feeds tons and tastes amazing. I have my family to thank for this recipe; we made it last weekend up north at our cabin and it was a huge success.

First, fashion 2 tin-foil boats that you can stuff full of food. One boat will have the catch of the day fish you caught or bought and the other will have the vegetables. Our fish boat had Perch, Bluegill, Bass and Northern. Add butter, season salt, garlic and pepper. Our vegetable boat had cut up potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, minced garlic, chives, parsley and of course – more butter. We sprinkled salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper seasoning to give it a kick. Place the boats on the grill and cover them with an additional piece of tin foil to speed up the process.  This recipe is simple and the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store. The reason why this recipe is such a crowd-pleaser is because all the ingredients are so fresh!

And don’t forget to make some delicious s’mores for dessert!

Superfoods to the Rescue

We’ve all read about extraordinary ‘superfoods’ that are bombarding the food industry and are vital to nutrition-based diet. Advertisements claim certain foods can boost your metabolism, strengthen your immune system and can help protect you from cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol – all achieved with natural foods, no drugs whatsoever. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around Greek yogurt because it has twice the amount of protein and low-fat content. The same has been done with cranberries and kale in the past. But what are the real benefits of superfoods and what are just exaggerations made by ad agencies? After consulting Web MD, I found a few superfoods that are proven to improve your health. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs

Tea

Whether it is black tea or green tea, tea is a superfood (superdrink?) that lowers cholesterol and said to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. ECGC is a powerful antioxidant found in tea. Tea is also a healthy alternative from sugary sodas. Tea can be ordered in almost every restaurant and is associated with relaxation and pleasure.

Dark Chocolate

Looking for an excuse to eat chocolate? Research has shown dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Experts recommend that you should look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content (the darker, the better). In addition, the darker the chocolate, the lower the fat and sugar content.

 

 

Omega 3 Rich Fish

The omega-3s found in fish lower heart disease, help arthritis, and some experts believe help with memory loss. Omega-3s are found most often in fatty, cold-water fish. Try eating salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. Omega-3s can also be found in fortified eggs, flax seed and walnuts.

 

Blueberries

The delicious fruit is a superfood powerhouse. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, phytoflavinoids (compounds that protect our bodies from stress), potassium and vitamin C. Blueberries are said to decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer and are also anti-inflammatory. Fresh berries can also help with weight management – as they are high in water content and low in calories.

Sweet & Salty Cheesecake

Over the weekend, I had a sweet tooth craving. So I scoured the internet for a dessert that was easy enough for me to bake. I came across salted caramel cheesecake bars and my mouth began to water. I love the texture of cheese cake and the richness of salted caramel – but I also am completely against making a dessert with no chocolate in it. It’s just not dessert. After I completed the recipe, I kept my apron on for an extra minute or two and mixed together chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream to add 1 more  top layer of chocolate-goodness. This dessert is indulgent and so decadent, I recommend making this to take to a family event or work. Otherwise, you will eat the whole thing yourself! As I write this, I think I may go grab another piece…

What you need:
Crust
2 1/4 cups graham cracker – I used Nilla wafers instead because I already had them
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 tablespoons butter
Filling
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dulce de leche
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Glaze
2/3 cup dulce de leche
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
10 caramel chews
Sea salt
Directions:
Crust— Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13x9x2 pan with nonstick spray. Combine crushed Nilla wafers, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Slowly add in melted butter and coat the mixture. Move crumb mixture to the pan and spread evenly and flat across the bottom. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely before you move to the next step.
Filling— Blend cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Add in the dulce de lech and vanilla until just mixed. Spread filling evenly over cooled crust. Bake until the cheesecake mixture is set in the center and the edges are puffed and slightly cracked – or about 38 minutes. Let it cool completely before you move to the next step.
Glaze— Pour 2/3 cup dulce de leche and 3 tablespoons of whipping cream in a glass bowl. Microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between each. Next take about 10 caramel candies and heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Quickly dump melted caramels in the glaze mixture and stir. The consistency should be pourable, but not too liquid.
Glaze 2 (Optional)— Combine a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of heaving whipping cream in a bowl. Microwave for 15 second intervals (chocolate easily burns!). Stir. Spread over cheesecake bars. Sprinkle bars with sea salt. Cover and chill bars until ready to serve.

 

How many folds are on your chef hat?

Legend has it, the number of folds on a chef’s hat is directly related to the number of ways he or she can cook an egg. This means, if you see a chef sporting an outlandish, vaulted, 3-tiered hat, they are probably a culinary genius!

Sadly, my chef hat only had two folds on it – because I can only cook eggs two ways: fried and scrambled. Embarrassed by my droopy, stunted chef hat, I made it my mission to expand my knowledge in the cooking-eggs-realm. Well, at least a little bit.

SHIRRED EGGS:

Bake eggs in the oven in a ramekin of cream. Top with breadcrumbs and cheese (optional). This one sounds delicious!

BASTED EGGS:

Heat butter. Fry an egg sunny-side up in the butter. Spoon extra runny butter on top of eggs until the white part is firm but the yolk is still runny. Basted eggs are supposedly the most flavorful kind of eggs.

POACHED EGGS:

Simmer water (NOT boil). Create whirlpool. Drop in egg. Cook for 4 minutes. Remove and serve. Easy right? While the process seems simple, the tricky part is making sure the egg doesn’t get all over when you drop it in the water. That’s what the whirlpool part is for – to keep the egg together.

TELL US! How tall is your chef hat?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

^(my try at a poached egg!)

Chocolate Rabbits & Pastels

What thoughts and images come to your mind when you think of Easter? For me, it’s gotta be chocolate, rabbits, and pastel colors. Everything is colorful, fresh, and detailed. I love the lightheartedness and new-beginnings atmosphere that follows the start of spring. Easter-time holds many memories for me.

It was a tradition in my family for my parents to hide the baskets somewhere in the house on Easter morning. Since I was one of the youngest in the group and accustomed to being endlessly yet lovingly teased, my basket was always hid in “extreme” and hard-to-find locations. I remember finding it one year behind the basketball hoop on the roof and another year underneath the garbage bag in the kitchen trash can. Both excellent hiding places. I give you props Mom and Dad.

This year, I was feeling very much in the Easter spirit. I set out to make cutesy Easter treats and found several ideas online. Both were extremely easy to make and taste A-MAZE-ZA-ZING. Even though Easter was yesterday, you should still try one of these delicious treats!

Bird’s Nest Macaroons

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp. shredded coconut
  • Jordan Almonds
  • 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a mini muffin pan.
  2. Combine egg white, honey, vanilla and salt in a bowl. Stir thoroughly. Slowly add in coconut until easily moistened.
  3. Separate coconut mixture into the mini muffin pan, about a tbsp = 1 nest.
  4. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the coconut mixture (so the middle is hollow and resembles a nest).
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  6. Let pan cool and then remove nests from oven using a knife (if nest breaks it’s okay; it will make them look more realistic).
  7. Melt chocolate chips. Then add just enough chocolate to the center of macaroons. This will work as a glue to hold the Jordan Almonds in place.
  8. Place 3 eggs per nest. Transfer nests to freezer for about 5 minutes to secure the position.
This recipe was delicious, easy-to-make and kid-friendly. I ended up snacking on too many of the Jordan Almonds and completely spoiled my dinner!
BLT Deviled Eggs
Ingredients:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Hard-boil and peel the eggs.
  2. Halve the eggs lengthwise.
  3. Remove yolks and transfer them to separate bowl.
  4. Mash yolks and stir in mayo, crumbled bacon bits, diced tomatoes and parsley.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Dye eggs (optional).
  7. Fill the egg white evenly with yolk mixture and garnish with extra bacon.

The final product was so fun to see because of the neon colors I dyed the egg whites. I have always loved deviled eggs but the bacon, tomatoes, and parsley really take it to a whole new level!

TELL US! What comes to mind when you think of Easter? What’s on the menu for your Easter meals?

 

 

 

 

Hidden Recipes

Delicious Recipe Right in Your Kitchen

By Chefadoo‘s Courtney Wolf

Now I love to find new and unique recipes online, search for the ingredients at the store, and cook for my friends and family. But sometimes, I don’t think that far ahead. The other day when I was finishing up my shopping at the grocery store so I hurriedly began to page through recipes on my smartphone. Unfortunately, my phone powered off a few minutes later because of too low of battery. Mad at myself that I didn’t charge my phone the night before, I gave up the search and went home. Later than night, I remembered a lot of boxed foods and soups have recipes written directly on them. Luckily for us, brands like Campbell’s and Swanson’s did the thinking for us. I raided my cupboards and found quite of few recipes to choose from. So I tied my apron, put on my chef hat, and opened a box of Minute Rice!

Zesty Chicken and Rice Bake

What you’ll need:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • ¼ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (I used chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup Mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
  • 1 can of pineapple chunks (I used peaches)
  • 2 cups of rice, uncooked
  • 1 ½ cups of Chicken Stock
  • 3 Green Onions sliced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Heat a large skillet, add oil, and brown chicken. Add mushrooms and sauté for additional minute. Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sriracha, and pineapple chunks with juice. Simmer for 2 minutes. Spread uncooked rice on the baking pan and top with the chicken, pineapple, mushroom sauce mixture. Add chicken stock. Cover and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken and rice is thoroughly cooked. Garnish with green onions.

 

The Sriracha gave this dish a spicy kick that was balanced out with the sweet taste of the peaches I used. Now adding fruit to a dinner recipe may sound scary to some of you, but TRY it! The combination of flavors and heat makes this dish unique and tasty. Also, cooking the rice in the oven with chicken stock, gives the whole dish an extra boost of intense flavor. Who would have thought hidden box recipes could taste so good???

How to cook great food from a box

TELL US! Ever try out a hidden recipe on the back of a box or can? How did it turn out?

 

Spicy Sausage Rigatoni

The other day, I found a recipe in my SELF magazine that looked delicious and easy-to-make. Now I rarely cook, but I thought a recipe with only a few ingredients was something I could manage. I couldn’t find kalamata olives at the store so I used regular black olives and it still tasted fantastic. It took me about a half hour to make the tasty dish and it left me wanting more. I highly recommend that you pick up these ingredients the next time you are at the grocery store and try it out for yourself!

What you’ll need:

  1. 8 oz rigatoni
  2. 1 container (11oz) cherry tomatoes
  3. 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  4. 1/3 lb Italian style pork sausage. Casing removed, torn into 1 inch pieces (For more spice, try finding extra hot Italian sausage and add red pepper flakes)
  5. 4 garlic cloves chopped
  6. ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
  7. ¼ cup loosely packed parsley, chopped (optional)

 

The how to:

  •  Heat oven to 400
  • Cook pasta as directed on package until al dente, about 8 minutes
  • Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking water
  • Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tsp oil, season with salt and black pepper.
  • Toss tomatoes with our hands to coat. Roast tomatoes until skins begin to wrinkle and split (about 8-10 minutes).
  • Heat a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over high heat, 1 minute. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil. Cook sausage, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and tomatoes; stir to combine. Cook until garlic turns brown, about 1 minute.
  • Add reserved cooking water; stir.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add olives and pasta. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute.
  • Add parsley, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

The recipe makes about 4 but my boyfriend and I ate the whole thing because it was so yummy. There are 463 calories per serving, 21 g fat (6 g saturated), 53 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 16 g protein. The sausage makes the dish rich and spicy and the olives add a perfect amount of saltiness. There’s a balanced taste in every bite!