S’mores Corn Flake Clusters

Written by chanie on July 29th, 2015

I can’t let summer go by without a s’mores recipe. I mean, what’s summer without s’mores, right? I’m a huge fan of the classic, and so are my kids. I try and whip them up whenever we have a BBQ. I just wrap up my s’more sandwich in foil and throw it on the grill for a quick and easy dessert everyone loves.

I don’t know what it is with me and breakfast s’mores, but here I am at it again, trashing up my most important meal of the day. OK, so these are not exactly breakfast munchies, but they are made with cereal, and one of my favorite ones at that. Corn Flakes are my all-time-favorite coating for so many things, from shnitzel to ice cream. I use Corn Flake crumbs in my homemade kishke, throw them into patties instead of bread crumbs, and sprinkle them over kugels and quiche for some sweet crunch. One of my favorite snacks are those chewy Corn Flake crunchies made with corn syrup and that’s what inspired these S’mores Corn Flake Clusters.

Like Jerry Seinfeld, I’m a total cereal fanatic, and I would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I could. After Pesach, when everyone is out getting their pizza fix, I just go to my nearest supermarket and have an all-out cereal party! I buy like 4 or 5 kinds, and I get to skip the whole pizza-line-around-the-block thing to get my chometz fix.

Cereal doesn’t have to be a bowl-only food, but these marshmallow-infused Corn Flake clusters do sorta taste like Corn Flakes and milk. Enrobe them in chocolate and it just takes it to a whole ‘nother level! And I don’t use just any chocolate either. I am legit obsessed with the California Gourmet brand. It tastes like the finest Belgian chocolate that’s not too sweet, just how I like it.

How much do I love California Gourmet chocolate? Let me count the ways…

1. it’s vegan
2. it’s got 45% cocoa
3. it’s got the nicest packaging (hey, I was trained in graphic design so that matters, ok?!)
4. it comes in red or blue bags, soy-based and soy-free, respectively.
5. it’s kosher pareve
6. it’s gluten free
7. it’s allergy friendly
8. it’s got great recipes on the back of the bag (amazing chocolate chip cookies on the red one and my chocolate ganache tart on the blue one).
9. it’s available in 100 stores!
10. it’s rich and chocolatey with few ingredients that I can recognize and pronounce.

What have I done with my all-time favorite chocolate? Well, I made this chocolate ganache tart with a macaroon crust that is so decadent, guilt-free and delicious, that they printed it on back of the bag! I also made this easy homemade nutella with just 3 ingredients! I also showed my love for Israel with these halva krembo’s that are the ultimate remake of the classic kid snack.

You can never have too much chocolate, so while I add these chips to my homemade trail mix and I melt some up for homemade fondue, I don’t mind just eating ’em straight from the bag, no recipe required!

What’s your favorite way to use chocolate chips? Share it with me in the comments below!


This post is sponsored by California Gourmet Chocolate Chips. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   View the list of stores that carry the brand here).

Related Recipes:

smores oatmeal
s’mores cookies
s’mores chocolate toffee bark
corn flake crunch ice cream
leftover cereal bar treats

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Harissa Whipped Feta w/ Za’atar Eggplant Chips

Written by chanie on July 22nd, 2015

I recently did a spice roundup of some of my favorite spices and seasoning blends on Instagram. I love cooking with spices because I can pack on the flavor without piling on the extra sugar and additives that are found in sauces and marinades. Spices keep things clean and healthy, without sacrificing on flavor.

If I had to choose a favorite spice, it would probably have to be za’atar. Za’atar is a spice blend that is native to the Middle East. It includes sumac, oregano, thyme and sesame seeds – a bright combination that’s great with just about everything. I love it on pita chips, chickpeas, chicken, fish, eggplant, cauliflower…like I said, everything!

Another one of my favorite spice blends is harissa. Harissa is a North African chili paste that adds amazing depth of flavor to fish, meat, poultry, veggies and sauces. I love to mix it into my shakshuka, tahini, Moroccan fish, sour cream and even nacho cheese! There’s a reason that Time Magazine called harissa the “new sriracha” of 2015. And as a MAJOR sriracha fan, let me assure you that it’s quite the compliment!

The crazy thing about za’atar and harissa is that, while they are both good on their own, they are amazing together! I never realized just how well these spices complemented each other until I developed this recipe. And I. am. obsessed!!

So first, the chips, because I am a chip fanatic. I love that these eggplant chips are baked and not fried – but they are still perfectly crispy. The za’atar adds such an amazing unexpected punch of flavor to the breading that you can literally go through an entire tray in one sitting.

And the feta? Oh. Em. Gee. If you’ve never whipped feta before then GET ON IT! Most people don’t think of feta as a creamy cheese, but when you whiz this stuff up with a little Greek yogurt – it’s like a silky smooth dip that’s perfectly salty. Dunk those za’atar chips in and it’s a full on an explosion in your mouth.

What are some of your favorite spices and seasonings? Share them with me in the comments below!

Related Recipes:

za’atar roasted chickpeas
malawach cheese pastries with za’atar
confetti latkes with harissa sour cream
cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce

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Corn, Heirloom Tomato & Goat Cheese Salad
with Basil Lime Vinagrette

Written by chanie on July 16th, 2015

I don’t think we New Yorkers can complain about the summer this year, it’s been relatively mild (poo poo poo!). I mean, I don’t want to jinx anything (watch it be mind-numbingly hot next week), but I haven’t had to shower three times a day and jump into whatever sprinklers I can find…like last year.


You know how they say, “If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen!”, well what if you can’t handle the heat in your state? Do you just move to a colder climate, like Antarctica?

I am seriously not one for hot weather, which is why I would never move to Florida. My husband, on the other hand, wants to move to the Sunny State, and I always remind him that while he may get the sun, he’s not gonna have much sunshine in his life with his overheated wife! That kind of weather just turns me into some sort of heatwave-monster and you DON’T want to be around me when that happens. Which is why I’m going to stay right here, in perfectly mild Brooklyn, thank you very much. And when perfectly mild Brooklyn turns into overly humid Brooklyn, I’ll just stay inside with my air conditioning and a cup of iced coffee, all calm, cool and collected.

Now when perfectly mild Brooklyn turns into muggy and raining Brooklyn (like it did this week), I turn to my perfectly colorful summer salad so I can at least imagine green pastures and bright summer days. It just doesn’t get brighter than this salad! With fresh arugula, heirloom tomatoes, perfectly crisp-tender corn and creamy goat cheese, you just can’t go wrong. Even if it is muggy outside. Smother it all in a light and refreshing basil lime vinaigrette and you’ll be OK wherever you are…even the Sunny State.

What summer salad gives you an instant pick-me-up regardless of the weather? Share it with me in the comments below!



This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

summer tomato feta salad
watermelon corn salsa
pesto and goat cheese crostini

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Halloumi Cheese Waffles with
Tomato Jam & Balsamic Syrup

Written by chanie on July 8th, 2015

I am UBER excited about today’s post, I’m even using the word uber! You see, I dreamed up these halloumi waffles a couple of weeks ago and I wasn’t quite sure how they would turn out. Sometimes when I think up something really outside the box, it can be a bit much, but this, this just worked so harmoniously, I am still dreaming about it!

If you’ve never heard of halloumi before, it’s a semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese that’s like a cross between feta and mozzarella. Because of it’s high melting point, it’s one of the few cheeses that you can actually grill (or in this case, waffle iron). And I don’t mean grill between two slices of bread. You can grill this cheese on it’s own and it retains it’s shape and texture!

Many people don’t know this about halloumi. In fact, I decided to do a little Instagram contest to see who could guess what kind of waffle this was (using the picture below). There were 57 guesses and only one person guessed haloumi (chanazweiss won a copy of my ebook!). Some of the others were really intriguing (like fluffernutter, tofu, tahini, coconut flour, cottage cheese, cauliflower….). I guess I’ve got my fill of waffle ideas for a while.

You can find halloumi in the cheese section of most supermarkets nowadays, but it is most popular in Israeli cuisine. I’ve seen it grilled and fried, but my favorite preparation is the halloumi salad at Blueberry Cafe in Brooklyn. It’s got grilled peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and onions with crispy breaded cubes of fried halloumi and a sesame teriyaki dressing. They call it a salad, so I convince myself that it’s healthy, because it’s JUST. THAT. GOOD.

In keeping with the Middle Eastern spirit of halloumi cheese, I created a silan-sweetened tomato jam as well as a balsamic syrup that’s kissed with the amazing flavor of date honey. Silan is one of my favorite Middle Eastern ingredients and it works so well in these condiments (well in anything, really).

I know this is one of those recipes where you roll your eyes and think, “Looks good but it’s too much of a patchke“, but do yourself a favor and go for it anyway. Once you plate this baby up, the marriage of salty cheese with a crispy exterior, sweet tomato jam, acidic balsamic and bitter arugula will dance on your palate and hit every note!

With Nine Days of dairy coming up soon, we can all use a little something different, so get outside your comfort zone and grill up some halloumi. You can thank me later.


Related Recipes:

summer tomato feta salad
roasted eggplant parmesan with feta

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Grilled Radicchio with Black Sesame Dressing

Written by chanie on June 25th, 2015

I used to be afraid of trying new things. I’d turn my nose up on offal and cilantro and I swore off gamey meats like lamb and duck. But boy was I losing out. Trying new things allows you to expand your culinary horizons. It opens your palate to new flavors, and if you try things enough times, sometimes you realize that you don’t hate them as much as you think you did.

Case in point: radicchio. It’s bitter. Yes, bitter. And who would want to eat bitter lettuce, right?! That’s what I thought until I tried it a few times. First, I put it a handful in a big salad for a hint of bitterness and crunch. Then I shredded some into a slaw. And finally, I decided to go all out and grill it. Grilling lettuce is a must for summer and if you haven’t tried it yet – put it on your to do list! You can start with romaine for a grilled Caesar salad, and then move on to the more adventurous radicchio. Grilling the radicchio gives it a delicious smoky flavor, and topping it with sweet pomegranate seeds offsets the bitterness. Be sure to check out my tip for mellowing radicchio’s hard bite in the recipe below!

When De La Rosa sent me over some black sesame tahini, it was another lesson in trying new things. Black tahini is a lot more pungent than the traditional stuff and I’d never tried it before. The full-on sesame flavor really hits you, so you’ve got to go easy on the stuff. It’s also so incredibly black, you feel like you’re working with tar, or black paint. I bet it would make such a fun garnish painted on a plate, or better yet, made into savory ice cream (with a side of tuna tartare). I can’t wait to play around with it more, but for now, I started with a simple salad dressing that’s packed full of bright flavors like fresh ginger and lime. It’s so refreshing and unique, perfect for my grilled radicchio salad.

Aside for tahini, De La Rosa also carries a full line of oils, balsamic vinegar and wines. They believe in producing “Real Foods for Real People,” a philosophy that I strongly endorse. Their kosher, organic and GMO free products are made with the highest standards of quality and purity so be sure to check out their site for more of their products!

I’d love to hear about how you’re learning to try new foods this summer. Whether it’s radicchio, black sesame tahini, or that ingredient that you’ve always been to afraid to eat – brave it up (even if it means you have to spit it out!) and let me now how it goes!


This post has been sponsored by De La Rosa. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Related Recipes:

Pomegranate coleslaw
Ricotta and tahini stuffed figs
Fish with green tahini

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Beer & Franks Baked Beans

Written by chanie on June 18th, 2015

With Father’s Day soon approaching, I was wracking my brain trying to think of the most serious guy food I could come up with. It’s BBQ season after all, and there’s nothing that guys like more than to sit back with an ice cold beer and some hot dogs, am I right? A side of baked beans or chili doesn’t hurt either, so I decided to mix it all together for some serious guy grub – beer and franks baked beans, can I get an Amen?!

To really up the ante on this beer-franks-beans mashup, I used beer infused hot dogs from my favorite brand, Abeles & Heymann. They also make whiskey infused dogs, so if you want to try for a bourbon version, go right ahead!

The thing about these baked beans, is that they’re not really baked, in fact, they come together quickly on the stovetop. And they really do taste like beer. So if you don’t like thick creamy stout as much as I do, go ahead and use stock instead. The brown sugar and molasses add such great flavor, you won’t even miss the beer! (Although if you’re serving this up for dad, he might!)

Now honestly this was first try at making baked beans from scratch (well semi-scratch if you count the fact that I used canned beans instead of dried). I usually just buy a can of baked beans and heat it up on the stovetop, straight from the can. That’s the way my mom always did it, campfire-style, and that’s the way I do it too!

Making from-scratch beans wasn’t hard at all, it came together in no time! I love how the franks turn it into an all out meal, and I served it over mashed potatoes for some serious comfort food. My kids gobbled up their beer-infused-dinner, none-the-wiser, but I wondered if they were a wee bit tipsy, or if it was all the candy they had consumed from their last-day-of-school-parties (what’s up with that, by the way?!). If you’re worried about all that alcohol (as not all of it will burn off during cooking), you can make these adult-only. Don’t you just love the idea of spiked beans?

Now that I’ve made beer infused baked beans, I’ve got all sorts of spiked foods up my blogger sleeve! Considering how viral my drunken hasselback salami went, I’m pretty sure you’re all liking it too!

Happy Father’s Day ya’ll! Have fun, stay safe, and don’t get too drunk on these boozy beans!


This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Hot Dog Recipes:

hot dog eggrolls
bunless fajita dogs
spiralized spud dogs
kid-friendly dirty rice
fire roasted tomato rice stoup with franks

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Blueberry Sweet Potato Granola Salad

Written by chanie on June 11th, 2015

I gave you a sneak peek at this light summer salad a few weeks ago, and I’m so excited to finally share it here for keeps! Credit for this awesome combination actually goes to a restaurant named “BLUEBERRY” on Avenue M in Brooklyn. It’s a family-friendly place with fluorescent green walls (not their finest choice) and some great outdoor seating. I love to take my kids there because they’ve got great kid food and a frozen yogurt bar to boot! They’ve also got some really great salads on the menu, like a version of this blueberry salad (you’ve got to make a mean salad if it’s literally got your NAME written all over it, right?), and a delicious haloumi salad with grilled veggies and a sesame teriyaki dressing. I must reinvent that one next! They’ve also got an assortment of malawach and shakshuka, and you all know how I love me some Israeli food.

Thanks to Blueberry for giving me the awesome idea of putting granola on a salad, it’s such a fun way to add crunch, especially during the summer months. Enjoy!

 

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Salad

Written by chanie on June 3rd, 2015

This past Friday, Food52 posted a happiness experiment on Instagram, challenging their followers to write a list of things that make them happy and tag it #happylist. Of course, it got me thinking about what makes me happy and I put together my happy list.

Happiness Is…

– bike riding with my kids
apricot season
– sunglasses
– Masterchef (who am I kidding? Gordon Ramsay)
– ice coffee
– fresh corn on the cob
– blogging
– circus arts at the gym
saltwater sandals
harissa
– anything Ottolenghi
– homemade popsicles
– the weekend

When I wrote that “anything Ottolenghi” makes me happy, I meant it! I am a true Israeli at heart, and I love digging in to Israeli food – from homemade falafel, to shawarma, shakshuka, hummus, za’atar, roasted eggplants, halva, krembo’s….I think you get the point. With summer (finally!!!) here, It’s time to lighten things up, and this amazing grilled chicken shawarma salad is my go-to. For lunch or dinner, it’s so light and filling, you’ll want to eat it all summer long!

Now since my talented friend Miriam Pascal of OvertimeCook is busy putting finishing touches on her new cookbook, I’m only too happy to fill in with this guest post, so head on over to her blog for the recipe!

B’tayavon!

 

Cajun Quinoa Burgers

Written by chanie on May 28th, 2015

Call them burgers, call them patties, call them cakes – call them whatever you want. So long as you make them. Because they’re gooooood.

I call them burgers because burgers are my thing. And because it’s summer (finally!) and that just makes me want to eat more burgers. Meat burgers are great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you just want something light for lunch. Or dinner. Or hey, even breakfast (OMG can you imagine a fried egg dripping down this thing?!).

So back to my burger obsession, lets talk about it. I won a recipe contest for this vegetarian cheeseburger, I’m also in love with this Paleo burger, and don’t even get me started on this spinach falafel burger. These chickpea burgers are awesome on the grill, and these sweet pepper ones are not too bad either. Told you I had a burger obsession.

I quite like quinoa too. And I just about put cajun seasoning on everything – like roasted chickpeas, and broccoli, blackened fish and chicken. Yummo.

And of course I like things spicy too, so my easy jalapeno crema packs a great punch and an added brightness that goes great with these patties.

One of the things I love about these is how great they are for packed lunches. Picnic at the beach? check. Quick lunch on the go, check. Easy bites for vacation, yup.

And speaking of vacation, I’m working hard on keeping things as healthy as possible as we slowly shed our sweaters and jackets, inching our way towards summer. With the holidays behind us, there are no more excuses, who’s with me?!

How are YOU planning to eat light and healthy this summer? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!


Related Recipes:

quinoa pad thai
roasted veggie quinoa salad
spinach falafel burger
portobello cheeseburger

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Broccoli Parmesan Poppers (Gluten Free!)

Written by chanie on May 20th, 2015

We’re gonna keep things short and sweet today since I know you’re all so busy prepping for Shavuot! I’m gonna let the photos do the talking.


I think you’re getting the picture (pun intended). I took some good old broccoli trees and made ’em kid friendly! And they’re even gluten free. Because I love you. (And because I’m on South Beach).


Do yourself a favor and bookmark this flaxseed crumb recipe because if you’re gluten free, you’re going to want to put it on everything. Especially homemade chicken nuggets. Trust me.


Did I mention they are baked too? You’re welcome.


I love how much goodness is packed into these little balls. Broccoli, flaxseeds, almond meal, and I even made a Greek yogurt ranch dip. Betchya never knew that healthy food could taste/look this good!


And you know what else? these little magic balls are easily adaptable too! If you want a more cheesy bite, add some shredded cheddar. Or your favorite cheese. And you can easily swap in some panko or breadcrumbs if you don’t have gluten free ingredients on hand like I do. Told you they were magic balls.


You’ve got the recipe, now get into the kitchen and make them already! Happy dipping!


This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher Cheese. Follow them on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, or via their Blog

Related Recipes:

3-cheese broccoli pull-apart buns
sweet sand savory cheese balls
zucchini parmesan chips
gluten free pesto zucchini fries

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