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!

Why Vegan?

why-vegan-image_edited-1On November 1st, vegetarians and vegans alike celebrated World Vegan Day. The day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of The Vegan Society. Vegans across the world join together to celebrate animal rights and give away animal friendly vegan baking!

Now I know, the majority of us LOVE our bacon and other animal products, but you just can’t deny the increase of vegan and vegetarian restaurant and options on food establishments world wide.

World-Vegan-Month-earthWhile the number of vegetarians is growing every year (an estimated 20 million in 2006 and 7.5 million vegans in 2011), the number of non-vegetarians who often order vegetarian meals at restaurants is also growing dramatically. Consider these facts:

  • 57% of all restaurant-goers “sometimes,” “often,” or “always” order a vegetarian item when dining out (Zogby International).
  • The health and eco-conscious population contributed to the growth of a $1.2 billion market for vegan goods (primarily dairy, egg, cheese and meat substitutes), one that jumped 63.5% between 2000 and 2005 (New York Times, Jan. 11, 2007).
  • 35% of adults aged 45 to 64 regularly consume vegetarian foods and milk alternatives, such as soy or rice milk (Mintel Consumer Intelligence Survey). Total retail sales of non-dairy milks reached $1.33 billion in 2011 (Market Research, Packaged Facts.)

Knowing these facts, have you changed your diet? Or do you offer vegetarian options from your kitchen? Why or why not? I left you with this hilarious SNL clip starring Justin Timberlake in Bring It on Down to Veganville!

veganville

The Importance of H20!

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

drink more waterWe all know how important it is to drink lots of water. It’s makes up about 60% of your body and helps with our digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. It sounds so simple, like a recipe, two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. But H20 is vital for life.

As the holidays come creeping along, it’s easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. I try to eat healthy, cook every night and make it to the gym at least 3 days a week. But a few days ago I just felt off, getting daily headaches.

I took a step back and asked myself, am I drinking enough water? The short answer was no. Yesterday I started counting my daily water intake, and I was shorting myself, by several glasses!

Did You Know: You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces!

more waterI decided to make a daily chart at work, to help track my glasses. And it’s fun, colorful and helps me stay on track. Plus it’s already helping! Headaches gone and I’m feeling more energized. Are you drinking enough water?

when to drink water

Why A White Coat?

Uncommon Threads 404 Unisex Newport Chef CoatBy Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

Chefadoo has a great variety of everything you need to complete your chef uniform… from pants, coats, hats and more in a wide range of colors too! But nothing really “ices the cake” like a chef’s white jacket! It is one of the most recognizable pieces of clothing in the world.

The white jacket is one of the most common items of a chef’s uniform. It’s double breasted, perfect for reversing if the front gets stained or if the chef ventures out of the kitchen and enters the main dining room. Made almost always of cotton, the white jacket helps the chef’s body breathes and stay insulated from the heat!

if-you-cant-stand-the-heatWhy white?

White is the most reflective color, so a white jacket literally repels heat instead of absorbing it, keeping you that much cooler than if you were wearing a darker color — and in a hot kitchen every degree makes a difference.

Plus, when it’s laundry time, white cotton can be bleached, so no matter how badly stained a jacket gets, bright white is just a wash away.

Uncommon Threads 490 Women's Sedona Chef CoatWhether you’re a master chef in a ritzy restaurant or a novice working out of your home, nothing says you’re an official chef like your own white jacket! We’ve got lots of great white jacket options at Chefadoo! Go head, browse our collection.

Food Truck Takeover

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

Move over restaurants, there’s a new favorite spot in town — and they may be parked right in front of you. I’m talking Food Trucks! These new street food vendors aren’t just fast food, they are high-end, gourmet fare at a reasonable price. Though most of these trucks charge more than typical hot dog or taco trucks, their meals generally cost less than comparable sit-down restaurant fare.

These gourmet trucks’ menus run the gamut of ethnic and fusion cuisine. Often focusing on limited but creative dishes. Many trucks specialized in outlandish burgers, which another my only serve lobster rolls.  durham-food-truck-rodeoFood Trucks are taking over the lunch scene. Not only are they gourmet but they are tech-savvy and politically correct. Many offering sustainably harvested, gluten-free options and almost always locally sourced. The trucks owners include highly trained chefs and well-know restaurateurs. As they move all around, they alert their customers to their locations using Twitter and Facebook. Proving how tech-savvy they really can be. Most command a huge social networking following.

Cities like Austin, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are known for their delicious food trucks. Smaller cities like Raleigh and Durham North Carolina also host Food Truck Rodeos, an all day event featuring 50+ trucks with a huge crowd gathering.

downtown food truck rodeoCapitalizing on Food Trucks’ social power, company are partnering with them for promotional efforts. For example, Peachy Keen in Cary NC just celebrated its first anniversary with a cupcake truck, Sweet Traditions by LeAne! They offered a free cupcake with any purchase. The truck, an adorable vintage 1976 Scotty Sportsman trailer helped draw a larger crowd to the small, family owned boutique.

sweet traditions

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.