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Archive for July, 2009

This is a great recipe for tomatoes that are beginning to get a little squishy. I use it for last week’s cherry tomatoes (whole – no need to chop!), or regular tomatoes. And the great thing about this recipe is that it takes zero preparation (well,  almost) and not more than 10 minutes. How, you ask?

The Microwave.

I use the microwave a lot because I don’t have the patience to stand over a hot stove in this heat. It is great for vegetables (as you can see in variation B), fish and I even have some ground beef recipes in the microwave. It’s a great time saver as it saves dishes too!

The basic recipe follows, and then a few suggestions for variations.

Ingredients

– Cherry tomatoes (whole)/tomatoes (chopped roughly), however much you have
– squirt olive oil
– 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (depending on personal taste and the amount of tomatoes)
– dried oregano/basil/thyme or a mixture (I use 1 tsp dried basil, and a few pinches thyme)
– 1 tbsp ketchup/pinch sugar/1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)

Put tomatoes in a microwave safe cooking bowl (Either a designated microwave cooking – not warming – plastic dish or a pyrex type glass bowl. Regular glass dishes tend to break at high heat in the microwave, because of the uneven heating of the microwave. Plastic dishes that aren’t specifically designated for cooking leach harmful chemicals into the food.) Add olive oil & soy sauce. Cover and cook on “High” in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, mix and cook for another 2 minutes.

If necessary, crush cherry tomatoes that haven’t popped yet with a potato masher or spatula. Add spices. Taste.

If sauce is too sour, add some ketchup, tomato paste, or a pinch of sugar.

Mix and microwave another 30 seconds.

Done!

Variations:

A. At the beginning, put the olive oil with some roughly chopped onion and microwave 3-5 minutes on high, depending on your microwave strength. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as written.

B. Add different vegetables: Zucchini, squash, bell peppers, pumpkin cubes, etc. Even frozen carrots or peas can be added without changing the cooking time. Fresh carrots need to be cooked in advance a bit, in the same bowl, with some water; potatoes need to be cooked  in advance  in some oil; champignon mushrooms can be added without advance cooking.

C. Add to your finished sauce some canned chickpeas and serve over couscous or pasta for a vegetarian main dish.

Bon Apetit!

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Declaration

Hi all,

When you read my About page, and look at my recipes, you’re probably thinking “Yeah, right. She works AND studies AND has two kids AND a husband AND cooks homemade food? When does she SLEEP?”

So, I wanted to declare: I am not a supermom. I just make my choices. For example:

I do not clean the house. I pay someone else to come in twice a week to do so. Is it clean enough for me? Yes. Is it clean enough for surgery? No. Is it worth the money for me? Definitely.

I do not wash dishes. The same person who cleans the house also washes dishes. I run the dishwasher in between, but do I actually stand and wash dishes? Very rarely.

I (gasp!) have bought ready food in the freezer – Ready Schnitzels and ready Vegetarian Schnitzels (Tivol). I buy good quality foods. I don’t use them every day and I rarely give it to my kids, but I do use them.

I use frozen vegetables. Adds nutrition without the hassle.

When I make baby food I make in bulk and freeze. Yes, my baby eats defrosted food.

Whenever I have some leftovers that I know I won’t use, I freeze them if possible. That way I have home-cooked food a few minutes in the microwave away.

I ask for and accept help. My husband helps regularly with housework and cooking for Shabbat. While he doesn’t cook as such, he cuts vegetable, dips Schnitzels, mixes stuff, takes things out of the oven etc. My mother and mother-in-law offer us leftovers (Schnitzel, soup, potatoes, vegetables, whatever) I usually accept.

And I give. Our Shabbat cake is a little large for us  – I give a third to my in laws or my parents. I bake with the kids – I give out some muffins to his daycare or friends or neighbours. We have a lot of ice cream taking up space in the freezer – we invite all the kids in the building for some ice cream.

That way everything becomes easier and more pleasant – and I have time to sleep. Now all I need is that the baby will sleep too!

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As I was bending over to get a bowl from the dishwasher, my back went crrrk and I let out a yell (well, a curse, but my kids were around and I’m hoping my eldest will forget…). I could not sit and could walk vveerrryyy ssslllooowwwwlllyyyy. So I didn’t really cook anything…except for leftover mashed potatoes. It isn’t actually cooking per se – it’s just a different way to serve any leftover potatoes (baked or boiled) you might have.

Ingredients:

1 baked potato (or boiled)
2-3 tbsp chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
about 20 gr butter-flavoured margarine.

Remove any skin from the potato. Warm the potato and stock (I use the microwave) until hot enough to melt margarine. Mash and mix with a fork. Serve.

The great thing about this is that if, to take a completely random example, your husband doesn’t like mashed potatoes 😉 you can make this in your plate after serving, and your husband can have a regular baked potato. Same with picky kids. This way, you can have your potatoes and eat mashed potatoes too!

Also, instead of stock, you can use the gravy of whatever meat you are serving with the potatoes. That also tastes great.

Unfortunately, two days later I sat down innocently and my back let out a second crrk, so I don’t think I`ll be cooking a lot in the near future… I’ll be solving a humungous amount of puzzles. As I can’t sit (yep, I’m writing this standing up) I tried to find printable puzzles. A great site is Krazydad. Love those killer sudokus!

Enjoy!

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Our Meatloaf

Whenever we want an easy tasty main dish for Shabbat, we make meatloaf. To heat foods on Shabbat, we put them on a Shabbat hot-plate, which is mildly hot. For a dish to be really hot it needs to stay there at least an hour. There aren’t many dishes that don’t loose taste or texture as a result. This dish is one of them.

In addition, it’s tasy and easy, and usually disappears over the course of one meal, especially if we have guests. In the rare cases that one slice was left, it’s a great addition to salad, transforming a simple salad into an excellent, healthy meal. It’s also great in sandwiches.

Ingredients:

500 gr ground beef
one onion, diced small (but not necessarily minced)
1 egg
2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs (I make my own)
1/3-1/2 cup ketchup (it’s not an exact science)
1 heaped tsp Dijon Mustard
parsley/coriander/celery leaves, dried or fresh, minced (optional, however much you want)

Mix all the ingredients together. Place in a loaf pan and flatten. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown.

It’s good with the parsley/coriander/celery and without. I don’t buy it specially for this recipe, but If I have some celery leaves that need using, or parsley, or I feel like a change and I have dried parsley/coriander flakes, I add it. So far, no matter what I did to it it tasted great.

Bon Appetit!

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