Because all the Kool kids are doing it...
Elbow Pasta a’ la Vodka
I don’t know if it’s just me, but a single bite can feel like ripping off the lid from my memory box. I don’t remember how old I was or how many times it happened, but sometimes, when we were in a mid-week dinner jam, we’d go to this hole in the wall café. I can’t remember the name, and I couldn’t tell you how to get there, but I do remember my dad ordering time and again penne a’ la vodka. For some reason, that imagine popped in my head and I couldn’t get it out. In the back of my mouth I could taste the tomato’s acidity and the heat of the vodka on my tongue, and I knew I had to cook this recipe as soon as possible.
I’ve made this dish before, but it’s been a while. Some recipes are sort of like riding a bike, you do it once and you can do it always. Until I made penne a’ la vodka, I assumed it was something out of this world; not only taste wise but work wise too. This dish is surprisingly simple and incredibly rewarding. Prepare it for guests and they’ll be sure you spent the day slaving away.
Consider it our little secret.
So, I’m sure you noticed by now that the dish is penne a’ la vodka and it says above elbow pasta a’ la vodka. The problem with inspiration hitting the cook is that it doesn’t always hit the pantry. I searched and searched and the only pasta I found was these oversized elbows. The sauce is a pretty definitive interpretation of this classic dish and the pasta, well we don’t have to talk about that.
Elbow Pasta a’ la Vodka
Serves: about 6 as a main course or about 10 as a side
1 lb elbow pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of onion (diced)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1\2 tsp salt
1\2 tsp black pepper
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 cup of vodka
1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of heavy cream
1 Tbsp dry basil
1 tsp dry oregano
Healthy Mac ‘N Cheese
No, you don’t need to check your glasses prescription; this is a recipe for healthy Mac’ N Cheese.
What’s more, it actually tastes good.
I’m sorry if this recipe goes against your religion, but I had to do it.
I love Mac ‘N Cheese; it’s up there between my family and puppies. It’s way up there with chocolate, ice cream, and snow days.
I’m like most people, when I say that growing up, on days that seemed longer than 24 hours, when supper came around my mother was too tired to prepare a four course affair. When you are at the age when missing a few teeth is cute and not sad, your mom is like a seasoned chef when she offers to make you Mac ‘N Cheese for dinner.
Now let’s be honest, we’re just friends here, who has the patience to make a roux on a Wednesday night?
Not me, and not my mother, so I got to bounce around the room while she pulled out the cheese powder from the box. A bit of margarine and an exquisite cheese sauce was made.
For fun, I now try to spell a few of the ingredients on the side of that box. It’s a great diet starter, because by the end I kind of lose my appetite.
Now that I am a bit older, and I don’t want to sprinkle death over my pasta, I long for Mac ‘N Cheese. This recipe is my compromise between health and memories, but not taste.
The secret to its success is the Greek yogurt I used in the sauce to make it super creamy. The vegetables give the dish some extra texture and the panko bread crumb topping gives it a punch of flavor.
This recipe is for a crowd, but you can easily make half if you want to feed four happy costumers. It’s freezer friendly so you can even save some for the next time you can’t be bothered to make a roux, or anything for dinner.
Healthy Mac ‘N Cheese
Serves: about 8 as a main course/ about 12 as a side
16 oz. whole wheat pasta
1 cup of fresh spinach (chopped and packed)
1 large red pepper (cut like match sticks)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet potato (peeled and diced)
2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
5 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 tsp dry cilantro
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook you pasta in boiling water until it is al dente or a bit harder then you normally like to eat it.
3. While your pasta cooks, cut your vegetables.
4. Place your spinach leaves and sliced red pepper on the bottom of a strainer.
5. Then place your strainer inside a larger, heat safe bowl.
6. When you pasta is ready pour it through the strainer while it remains in the bowl.
Save the pasta water for later use.
7. Place your pot back on your burner and raise the heat to medium high.
8. Add your oil to the pot.
9. Once your oil is hot, add the pieces of sweet potato.
10. Sauté your sweet potato until it begins to soften.
11. Now add 1/3 cup of pasta water to the pot along
with your cheddar cheese.
12. Stir, allowing your cheese to melt.
13.Once your cheese has melted, stir in the Greek
If you feel your sauce is too thick, stir in some more of the pasta’s cooking liquid.
It is absurdly, inhumanly, unimaginably cold in Israel.
When I made Aliyah I thought that the weather wouldn’t move with me.
Almost eight and a half years later, it seems it has .
Cold weather demands warm, hearty soups and my latest recipe for Jewcy is just that!
I know I’ve been really bad about posting lately, but things have been super crazy at work.
I hope that two recipes for Thanksgivikah will help make up for it!
Here’s a fancy alternative for the classic potato latke that I did for Jewcy Magazine!
And Here are the two Latke recipes I did for Aish.,com
I was super exciting for Aish especially because I got to come up with an everyday latke recipe and one special for Thanksgivikah!
Some how I stumbled upon the Bin 27 Cookie Rumble (http://doriegreenspan.com/2013/10/bin-27-cookie-rumble-create-a-cookie-to-go-with-port-win-big.html) and I knew I had to give it a shot.
Better yet, I knew what cookie recipe I wanted to contribute. These Forest Cookies are one of my favorite original cookie recipes. I make them all the time for friends and family and they are always accepted along with a glass of milk.
Here is the recipe I entered in the competition:
Contributed by: Aviv Harkov
This cookie recipe was inspired by too many hours spent watching Top Chef. It never occurred to me that something like basil belonged in my dessert. In my mind, most herbs belonged with proteins and main courses. It took me a while, but I finally collected the courage, to give basil desserts a shot; and boy am I glad I did.
The addition of fresh basil gives these cookies a bit more depth and allows them to be more than an old chocolate chip cookie; but just as easy to make.
I don’t really know why I call these cookies Forest Cookies.
Maybe it’s the collection of colors or the hint of green basil in every bite.
The name clearly came from my stomach and not my mind, which realizes that not a single ingredient actually comes from a forest. It doesn’t matter because any time I hear the word forest; I think of these cookies and start to smile. I can’t tell you how many cups of tea or laughs we served along with these cookies. Fresh out of the oven, they’re the perfect thing to keep you warm all winter long.
The mix of the whole wheat flour’s nuttiness, the sweet basil, and sour craisins, with a touch of the white chocolate’s smooth taste, give this cookie a unique flavor. Whenever I serve Forest Cookies to someone for the first time, I get asked what’s in them; and the only answer I have is: a smile.
In all honesty, that’s probably the most straight forward answer I can give to what makes a Forest Cookie. It’s not the forest, it’s not a list of ingredients, but the good times that come with every bite.
Serves: about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup walnuts (chopped)
1 cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 Tbsp basil (chopped)
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/ 2 cup of sugar
1 large egg (at room temperature)
2 Tbsp buttermilk (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of white chocolate chips
1 cup of craisins
I recommend using a rubber spatula to remove the parts of the batter that will stick to your bowl’s sides.
If you want to make my day vote for me !