Food, Nutrition and Cooking

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Peppermint Patties

H/T to Molly Morgan for sharing the “recipe” to make the peppermint tray.

It’s so easy to make this holiday treat, perfect to give out small bags to friends and neighbors. The melted peppermints are reminiscent of a baseball.

1 bag of Starlight mints (I used most of an 18 oz bag)

1 package (12 oz) chocolate chips (I like the bittersweet variety)

9 ” springform pan, lined with parchment and sprayed with cooking spray

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place unwrapped mints in concentric circles in bottom of pan, fitting fairly tightly.

Bake for 8-12 minutes until mints melt enough to merge together (see photos).

Turn oven off. Spread chocolate chips over the peppermint tray and place in oven for 2-3 minutes until chocolate is easily spreadable, spread (I use an offset spatula) till smooth.

Let cool then place in refrigerator until chocolate rehardens.

Place chocolate peppermint tray in a ziploc bag and break into bite sized pieces.

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I found my thrill

Berries this year have been the most delicious that I can remember. I eat them plain most of time but couldn’t resist this easy and special

Blueberry Tart

Tart Shell:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 t salt

2 T sugar

8 T unsalted butter, frozen or very cold, but into small bits

2 eggs yolks

2 T ice water

Combine everything in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until dough just pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove dough from refrigerator and press into 10″ tart shell or quiche pan along the bottom and about 1/4″ up the sides of the pan.

Bake 12-15 minutes until shell starts to brown. Leave oven on.


2 pints fresh blueberries

1/3 cup jam (apricot and currant work very well), heated in microwave or pan until almost liquified. You can add 1-2 T lemon juice to jam if needed.

Fill tart shell with berries. Pour or brush prepared jam over berries. Bake 10 minutes more.

Let cool and enjoy!


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Oh once there was a Wicked Wicked Man

Political jokes aside, here is my take on Hamantashen, the traditional cookie of Purim:

Note: dough requires refrigeration for 3 hours to overnight so plan ahead!

Parve* Hamantashen


10 oz coconut oil, softened but preferably not liquid

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 t orange extract

1 T orange juice

1 large egg

2 1/4-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

Filling: (see variations below)

1 cup walnuts, toasted (I like to do this in a toaster oven about 300 degrees for 1-2 minutes, keep an eye out, nuts burn quickly).

1/2 cup (scant) sugar

1/2 t orange extract

1 orange, zest and flesh (discard pith), cut into 1/8ths (you can also substitute 1/2 a grapefruit for a slightly tarter effect)

1 T cointreau or other orange liquor

2 T raisins or other dried fruit (prunes, figs, dates, apricots)

1/2 t cinnamon (optional)

1/2 cup orange or grapefruit marmalade or other preserves of your choice.

Dough: In the food processor using the dough blade, combine sugar and coconut oil; mix until well combined. Add remaining ingredients (start with smaller amount of flour) and process until the dough is slightly sticky but forms a ball. (if the dough is VERY sticky, add a bit more flour, up to 1/4 cup). Flatten into 2 pieces and cover well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 3 hours – overnight.

Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 3o minutes depending on temperature of your kitchen. Note: coconut oil takes a bit longer to soften than butter would.

Filling: In the food processor combine all the ingredients and process to a fine chopped consistency. Set aside

Making the Hamantashen: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using 1/2 the dough, roll out to 1/8″ thickness on a very lightly floured surface. Using a biscuit cutter or a tumbler, cut into 3″ disks. If the dough has become dry and flaky, add a little bit of water, maybe 1-2 t at a time until you are able to work with it.

Place each disk onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Place 1.5 t of filling in the center of each disk. Moisten the edges of the dough with a bit of water. Bring the edges of dough up to form a triangle (practice with a circle of paper first if you are unsure of how this works). Pinch the edges together leaving a small opening at the center top.

Bake 15-17 minutes until cookies are golden.

Yield 30-36 Hamantashen

*Parve indicates that there are neither dairy nor meat products in a food

Variations: Fill the dough using prune butter (lekvar) or apricot butter or a paste made of poppy seeds (mohn).IMG_2207.JPG





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Plum Delicious

Fruit Tart – This can be made with plums, apples, pears, peaches. It’s truly delicious.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (at Passsover substitute matzo cake meal)

3/4 cups walnuts (or almonds)

1/2 granulated sugar

6 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces (butter should be cold)

1 egg yolk

Approximately 2 lbs of ripe fruit, cut into small wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a food processor combine walnuts, sugar and butter. Process until walnuts are finely chopped. Add flour and egg yolk and process another few seconds until well combined with a sand-like texture.

Press about 1.5 cups of dough into a tart pan (9-10″) cover the bottom and go up the sides as well. Arrange the fruit in concentric circles on top of the dough, overlapping the wedges of fruit. Sprinkle remaining dough on top over the fruit.

Bake 45 minutes until top is browned. Remove from oven, cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6

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Lynn-Zer Torte for Passover

I have renamed this dessert for my mother Lynn who passed this recipe onto me. With a few modifications from the original I offer you…

Passover Linzer Torte

1/2 cup matzo cake meal or matzo meal
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup butter, cut into tablespoons
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1 jar raspberry jam or preserves (about 16 oz)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine cake or matzo meal with potato starch in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine and to further crush the matzo meal. Add the butter and pulse to combine, then add the canola oil, sugar, cinnamon and egg. Process till well blended. The dough will be very sticky.

Spread 2/3 of the dough onto the bottom and sides of a 10″ tart pan (one with a removable bottom). You may want to wet your hands as you work with the dough.
Spread the entire jar of preserves over the dough in the tart pan.
Place the remainder of the dough into a plastic baggie. Cut off a corner of the baggie and pipe the remaining dough over the jam in a lattice pattern.

You may want to put a piece of foil under the tart pan while baking as sometimes the batter leaks a bit.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool before serving.