Tag Archives: Kathy Coulibaly

Cookies 1: Rugelach

rugelachRugelach are rolled cookies that are in some ways similar in shape to a croissant.

They are believed to have originated in Eastern Europe and were popularized by Ashkenazic (Polish) Jews. Rugelach means “little twists” Yiddish.

Although this cookie is not fried, it has become a traditional Hanukkah dessert.

There are many mouth-watering rugelach recipes but I thought this one from Allrecipes.com sounded fast and easy for rugelach neophytes.

However, I also checked out a really gorgeous looking rugelach recipe on the blog Sugared Ellipses. Check it out and I bet you will agree!

Happy Hanukah and let me know how you enjoy the cookie!

Rugelach

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound butter

2 cups cottage cheese

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup raisins

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix butter or margarine, cottage cheese and flour together.
  3. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into triangular wedges. Sprinkle raisins into the broad end of the wedge along with cinnamon and sugar. Roll from the broad edge toward the pointed edge to form crescents. Sprinkle the crescents with cinnamon and sugar. Arrange the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Edna Weisberger via Allrecipes.com 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com

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Giving Thanks with Turkey Cupcakes

Betty Crocker's Turkey CupcakesThanksgiving is celebrated in different ways around the world but many cultures (and countries) have a harvest festival where people give thanks for their crops.

In the United States, we’ve been celebrating some form of Thanksgiving celebrations since the Pilgrims. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday.

For many families, the centerpiece of the holiday is a meal shared with friends and family at which they remember – and give thanks – for all the good things in their lives. No matter what is served – turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and gravy are just some of the usual suspects – the point of the meal is to share it and give thanks.

In our family, we eat a traditional turkey dinner but we also play a game of either soccer or football (weather permitting). In the evening board games usually make an appearance. Every year we like to add a new element. This year, Betty Crocker’s Turkey Cupcakes made a wacky debut on the dessert table. They were as fun to decorate as they were to eat (I should know – I ate three!)

This year, I gave thanks not only for my family, my friends, and my jobs but also for these Turkey Cupcakes and the big laugh they gave me.

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French Food Made Fun

French food has always struck me as the belle-mere (mother-in-law) of cuisine.

Like a mother-in-law, she has her own, iron-clad way of doing things; she is a little disdainful of time-saving tricks; she is convinced that old-fashioned hard work is good for everyone; she insists that you try everything – even aspic and bone marrow – and dares to look triumphant when you admit that it’s good.

She is challenging; she forces you to acquire new skills and step outside your comfort zone; and – if you succeed – she ultimately rewards you.

I’m not a French chef and I don’t aspire to be one.

I’m a home cook drawn to exotic foods from around the world. I live for blow-your-head-off spiciness. I’m undisciplined and a little lazy. I like near-instant gratification. Although I enjoy watching Julia and Jacques and reading their books, I never cook their recipes. I learned from Julie Powell’s lesson – I don’t need to live it.

But still, when I had a chance to take a French cooking class (one night only!) I thought the belle-mere and I should get to know each other a little bit better.

Although I can’t pretend to have really cooked any of these dishes, I did enjoy watching the real chefs pull it together. And – armed with lots of information on how to “cheat” my way to close-enough, I might even prepare some of these dishes on my own.

The sous-chefs pry the chestnut meat from the shell

Chestnut Soup with Madeira

I’ve never really eaten chestnuts before. Sure, I sing the song during Christmas but that’s about it. So my expectations were pretty low when I saw this soup on our to-do list.

The other students and I watched as the sous-chefs painstakingly picked apart roasted chestnuts to get enough for soup for 25.

As they slit into the shiny (and slippery) roasted chestnuts with extremely sharp knives, I closely examined the cut I had earned just a few days before trying to slice open an English muffin.

I knew – no matter how fantastic this soup was, and it was fantastic – that I would never prepare it myself. I just don’t have good enough insurance (or hand-eye coordination). But the chef assured me that frozen chestnuts or canned chestnuts would produce roughly the same result.

My own little cup of yum

Salade Nicoise

I really like Salade Nicoise and I have to say I was embarrassingly excited to make the vinaigrette for this dish. I would definitely make this for my family.

Coq au Vin

This classic dish was delicious and looked relatively easy to make (on the French scale, at least). I really loved the mushrooms and pearl onions we sauteed in bacon fat as a side dish.

Pot au Feu

As good as it was, I will not be making pot au feu for the next big family get-together. Too many “interesting” ingredients such as bones and oxtail. But I would definitely order it in a restaurant!

Fig Clafoutis

After this feast, who would still have room for dessert? It turns out, I did. By the way, I think Clafoutis would be a great name for a child of a celebrity.

By the end of the night I had reached an agreement with the belle-mere. All that was left was the bon digestion!

 

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Election Day Reading

Grace for PresidentElection Day is my father’s favorite holiday. Growing up, he got each of his four children involved in political campaigns and public service at a young age. This has had an excellent impact on each of us. You don’t have to love politics in order to get involved. Of the four of us, we vary widely in political parties, opinion, and involvement. But each of us learned a lot about the way our system of government works and the impact that one person (and one family) can have.

Here are a few books to help you teach your children about government, politics, and why Election Day is a reminder of why we’re among the most fortunate people on earth.

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

I Want to Be President by Dan Liebman

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin

 

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Autumn Books

Mouse's First FallReady for the end of summer? Eager to jump into a pile of fresh leaves or go apple picking? One way to build excitement for the new season upon us is through books. Here are a few suggestions for books that may get your child – and you – in the spirit of the autumn season.

Clifford: Apple Picking Day by Samantha Brooke, illustrated by Jim Durk

Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan

Apples, Apples, Everywhere: Learning About Apple Harvests by Robin Koontz, illustrated by Nadine Takvorian

Busy Animals: Learning About Animals in Autumn by Lisa Marie Bullard, illustrated by Nadine Takvorian

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Tailgating, Anyone?

I’m not really a sports fan, I just like the parties. I think that’s true for a lot of people (especially those of us who have suffered long, intense droughts when our local sports teams failed to live up to our expectations! I’m talking to you, Philadelphia Eagles!).

But one thing everyone can agree on is that we need another excuse for a party. Face it: Life – and sports – are hard; you should be permitted to face them with a sandwich in hand.

Recently, I attended a cooking class on food that can be served at a tailgate party. It was fantastic – and with a definite focus on meat, in all its glorious forms!

We enjoyed a delicious brisket with homemade barbecue sauce.

There were fantastic lamb gyros with tzatziki sauce layered over a cucumber and tomato salad.

 

 

 

 

 

Old-school sausage and pepper sandwiches (with lots of yummy tomato sauce and without).

A muffaletta sandwich which was described by my Philly cooking instructor as “New Orleans’ hoagie”.

A new take on chicken wings, this one using a muted, but still delicious, red curry.

And a gorgeous buffalo-blue cheese meatball sandwich that will make hearts soar, mouths water, and keep Tums in business!

It almost makes me crave a salad!

I did notice the increasing international flavor of Americans’ tailgate menus. As the chef pointed out, if you show up with burgers and dogs you’re going to get laughed at in the parking lot.

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