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Matzo Love

matzo with cream cheese & jelly

I’m a list-maker. The problem with that is too many lists can make you crazy. But they can also focus me and get me going – thinking about what I want to do, need to do, would like to do.

I present to you my Matzo 18 list. My ode to matzo. Matzo, Matza, Matzah. Why I love it and the ways I love it.

my favorite matzomy favorite matzo

Here we go:

Oh Matzo, how do I love thee?

18. Sweet matzo kugel- kugel with dried fruit

17. Savory matzo kugel – kugel with any favorite veggie sauteed with a whole chopped onion.

16. California matzo – mashed avocado with salt & pepper on matzo

15. Matzo and mozzarella (and of course, Matza Pizza)

14. Matzo charoset sandwich

13. Matzo charoset-horseradish sandwich

12. Matzo brie – scrambled style

11. Matzo brie – pancake style (ranks a little higher) (I don’t share the author’s feelings on matzo but I had to link you to a great article with a delicious and simple recipe.)

10. Matzo with goat cheese & kumquat marmalade (new! {because of my dear kumquat tree})

matzo with goat cheese and kumquat marmalade

9. Matzo  with almond butter (new!)

8. Matzo with almond butter and a drizzle of honey (also new!)

7. Chocolate caramel matzo crunch

chocolate caramel matzo crunch

6. Matzo farfel granola (a great version to add to your collection, thanks to Couldn’t Be Parve)

matzo farfel granola

5. Chocolate matzo farfel nut clusters (an earlier post- since I learned about this, it’s a mainstay. Move over Ring Gels!!

4. Matzo with sweet butter

3. Matzo with sweet butter and a sprinkle of salt*

2. Matzo with cream cheese and raspberry preserves

matzo with cream cheese and jelly

1. Plain Matzo – completely humble.

With no leavening, matzo contains nothing that can puff it up. I love that matzo reminds me of being humble. Nothing to puff me up. No ego to hide behind. No pretending.

Matzo. The stuff the Israelites grabbed and took with them on their journey from slavery to freedom. Going from the  constrained, dark and narrow place to… what? Happily ever after? Hardly. Lots of struggles. Lots of painful choices. Joy? Yes. Suffering? Yes. The stuff of life.

With each bite of matzo, we can remember that journey and acknowledge our own journey and embrace it. All of it. The faith and the hope that sees us through the darkness. And the vision of the potential that lies within. Always there for us to choose. Choosing life… so that we may live.

matzo 5-packjust can’t get enough

To read more about my personal journey, click here to About Me Page. Scroll down to the update of April, 2014.

And now I offer you 100 Matzoh Recipes, courtesy of Leite’s Culinaria. I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I said, I’m into lists.

Enjoy The Matzo Song –  sit back, relax, and click here.

*There are many comparisons of the virtues of plain matzo shmeared with unsalted butter and sprinkled with sugar vs. plain matzo shmeared with unsalted butter and sprinkled with salt. I discovered this one last year. Even though it was 12:25 am, I could not rest. I had to go into the bb test kitchen and pull out a piece of plain matzo, the whipped unsalted sweet butter and proceed to shmear. On went a sprinkle of salt on one half and a sprinkle of sugar on the other. The scale was definitely tipping to the butter and salt side. Maybe I didn’t sprinkle on enough sugar? Note to self: Must try this experiment again. Like Tuesday.

egg matzo favoriteahh, love this stuff -

then, now, and always

A sweet and joyous Pesach to you!

and

A beautiful Springtime too!

Red Cabbage Slaw

Red Cabbage Slaw

Novio loves cole slaw, so I make my Dill Cole Slaw a lot. But variety is the spice of life. And I like all kinds of colors making an appearance at our table. Red cabbage is excellent braised, and goes very well with apples. Click here to view Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Apples. It’s also great as a cold salad.

Bill – he’s my brother-in-law who’s the best best brother I could have – loves red cabbage. His mom used to make delicious marinated red cabbage that went really well with meat. It was shredded red cabbage dressed very simply with vinegar, salt and probably a smidge of sugar. My sister Annie dresses red cabbage with a vinaigraitte: white wine vinegar, a little olive oil and Dijon mustard to bring it together. Two good choices… and Bill is a happy camper.

red cabbage

I came across a red cabbage slaw in a blog I love called Sweet Amandine. Jess, the blog’s creator, now has two babies on the way… her first book… and her second little girl. Her writing has endeared her to my heart, and you just might feel the same way, so pay her blog a visit.

She dresses raw red cabbage  with an Asian-inspired cooked dressing and mixes in some shredded green cabbage (Savoy) as well. The original version is called a Winter Slaw and is more complex in its flavors, with macadamia nuts, mint, lemongrass, whole chiles. She came across it in Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, a book that’s on my list. I already have his second book, Jerusalem, and not only does it inspire as a cookbook, but the photography ranks it worthy of the coffee table, where it’s been hanging out for the past several months.

shredded red cabbage

Jess uses lime juice for the acid. I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough with my solo little lime so I placed a lemon on stand-by.

lime juiceMy limey was very juicy.

Asian-inspired dressing

cooked dressing

 

The recipe calls for whole sesame seeds. White sesame seeds are fairly easy to find in markets. But I made the salad twice in a couple of weeks and used up the little bit I had. I did though, have black sesame seeds which I had found at a large Japanese market.  So I used black because that’s what was in my house. Yes, there  are less than three weeks left to Passover and I’m cleaning and making room. Room for the matzoh and all the the other items that are beginning to collect in my office and it really came upon me suddenly this year. Breathe. Be flexible and do not get stressed out. Am I talking to you or to myself?

But I digress. Here is a very enjoyable salad/slaw for you.

 

tossing slaw

Red Cabbage Sesame Slaw

slightly adapted from Jess’ food blog, Sweet Amandine, who simplified it from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:

1/2 medium red cabbage, finely shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced (or 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced)
zest and juice of a lime
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. low-sodium soy sauce
3 T. olive oil
1 T. sesame oil
red pepper flakes to taste (I used a few shakes- try up to 1/4 t. if you like the heat!)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (or peanuts)
1/2 c. loosely-packed cilantro, roughly chopped (trade off for Italian parsley if cilantro’s not your thing)
2 T. sesame seeds (white or black)

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat the lime juice, maple syrup and soy sauce. Reduce over high heat (don’t go anywhere) for 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, let cool, and whisk in the two oils and  zest.

Place the shredded cabbage and green onion in a large salad bowl, and toss with the dressing. Add the red pepper flakes, nuts, sesame seeds, and cilantro. Check to see if it needs a little salt. Toss again, and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Red Cabbage Sesame Slaw

 

 

Maple Granola Clusters

Maple Granola Clusters

I love granola- the kind I  make at home- not the store bought kind. I’m not a granola elitist. OK, maybe a smidge. I enjoy making it- it’s simple and fun, Well… Novio reminds me, for me, that is. But truly, my readers, it’s no biggie and it makes people very happy. It makes me happy. And I want you to be happy too.

I start by throwing a bunch of  oats, some nuts and some unsweetened coconut on a large rimmed baking sheet. These pans are probably used more than anything else in my kitchen,oatmeal-plus ready for toastingI toast this in a moderate oven for about 5 minutes. (You don’t even need to do this step. I didn’t notice much difference in the extra toasting.) Then I add the maple syrup, the salt and cinnamon and the beaten egg white.

egg white plus cinnamon and saltYes! A beaten egg white! It serves as the binder, adds a little bit of protein, and cuts down on the oil needed. Olive oil may not immediately come to mind for granola, but the fruitiness of the oil rounds out the flavor.

I toss the mixture in a large bowl with everything but the dried fruit and spread it out in a pan.

unstirred baked granolaFor this type of granola, I don’t want to stir it around. To get clusters, use the widest spatula you have to flip it over in 4 or 6 sections at the halfway point of baking. Then add the dried fruit when the granola’s dry and getting brown and let cool.

baked granola with raisinsClick here for a slightly different and nuttier version. Reminds me of all those compare & contrast essays. But  this time it’s with granola, not Greek & Roman civilization.

I like granola both in clusters and looser, so a mix is fine with me, especially if the amount of sugar is decreased. The original version is in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and is also posted on Serious Eats.

Granola’s excellent:

  • on yogurt
  • on yogurt with fruit
  • on cereal
  • on top of oatmeal (really interesting texture contrast)
  • as a snack
  • in 1-Minute Noodle Kugel (see crazy side note below)

I give granola away as gifts a lot. Especially to certain parties in Ohio. For a certain K and a certain Y.

Maple Granola Clusters

based on Deb Perlman’s version in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients:

3 c. (240 g.) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c.  (50 g.) unsweetened flaked coconut
1 ½ c. (140 g.) walnuts, roughly chopped or 1 1/2 c. sliced almonds, or a combination
¼ c. (25 g.) toasted wheat germ (or flax seed meal)
2 T. olive oil
½ t. sea salt
1/3 c. maple syrup
½ t. ground cinnamon
1 large egg white
1 heaping c. dried fruit, use a combo of raisins, cranberries and/or chopped apricots

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 300°. Combine all ingredients but the egg white and dried fruit in a large bowl, tossing to coat evenly. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Stir into the granola mixture, distributing it throughout. Spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. About halfway through the baking time, use a large spatula to turn over sections of the granola carefully, breaking them up as little as possible. Rotate the pan if granola is baking unevenly. When it is evenly browned and feels dry to the touch, transfer the pan from the oven to the cooling rack. Sprinkle in dried fruit. Cool completely. Once it’s completely cool, break up granola into clusters.

The granola keeps at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 weeks. It keeps even longer in the freezer.

Healthy Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt ParfaitLayer yogurt, fresh fruit and granola.

And here’s a crazy side note:

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite comfort foods was Nudeln mit Kassë und Butter (noodles with cheese and butter). Very simple – egg noodles (usually broad or medium), with a pat of sweet unsalted butter, a couple of spoons of cottage cheese and a dollop of sour cream. All mixed up. I loved it.

I was hungry yesterday and poked around in the fridge for something to eat- there was a small serving of fine egg noodles, a bit of butter, some cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Great! I’ll put together my old stand-by. As I microwaved the noodles and butter, my little voice spoke up. Throw in some of the granola I had just made. It’s got nuts, it’s got raisins, it’s got crunch. And voila! I had all the flavors of the most delicious Dairy Noodle Kugel in one minute! No kidding! Alas, it was SO enticing, that I gobbled it up before I could grab the camera. Please use your imagination on this one.

bb’s 1-Minute Dairy Noodle Kugel

1/2 c. or 3/4 c. heated egg noodles  with 1 t. of butter or 1 t.oil
2 T. low fat cottage cheese
1 T. Greek yogurt or low fat sour cream
1 T. granola

Whenever you have these ingredients around, you MUST try this! And please please, get back to me, I’d love to hear what you think.

Maple Granola Clusters

Cashew Cheese and Flaxseed Crackers

Cashew Cheese and Flaxseed Crackers

I’ve really been wanting to try my hand at making cheese at home. Ricotta keeps calling me – it’s simple and looks wonderful. BUT. It involves a quart of whole milk and I know that Novio and I will devour it fairly soon after I make it. I also know it’ll be absolutely delicious going down the hatch but I don’t really want to be around to witness all the bloaty- why-did-I-just-do-that-to-myself after-effects.

My Food Bloggers group celebrated healthy food at the start of the year. One of the offerings, created quite a buzz and flew off the table. The perfect antidote to my little cheese dilemma. Cathy Arkle, of She Paused for Thought, brought cashew cheese with flaxseed crackers. A cheese alternative made from cashew nuts!  And homemade crackers that were not only delicious but vegan and gluten-free too.  This would be perfect for our next gathering. Yes, I like to try new things on unsuspecting friends. If it didn’t work out, I’d roast the rest of the cashews and call it a day.

I discovered that real men (and women) do indeed eat cheese alternatives …. that is, if you don’t tell them ahead of time. This what I got:

Try this, Frank. You’ll love it. It’s a cheese alternative. He grabbed a cracker. He dipped. He paused. “Ehhhh….?, he quizzically responded. What do you mean, ehhh? I took a cracker and dipped into the cheese.  It’s delicious.

Cathy, you’re right. Readers, take note. If you’re going to do this, put it out first. Explain later.

So without further ado, I present to you Cathy Arkle’s Cashew Cheese and Flaxseed Crackers. And to delight your senses, be sure to visit her website, She Paused for Thought.

Click on the links below to see Cathy’s posts and admire her photography:

For the cheese, I soaked raw cashews in water overnight. Then, I drained them and added a bit of olive oil, garlic, sea salt and lemon juice. That’s it. No fooling.

drained cashews and seasoningsI pulled out the old Cuisinart food processor and gave it all a whirl.

Cashews in the CuisinartAnd kept whirling until it looked like this.

cashew cheese in processorThen I pulled out the cheesecloth. I’ve had cheesecloth in the drawer in my kitchen for years. Sometimes I use it to make a little herb bundle or bouquet garni for my soup. But mostly, it just sits there. Here was an opportunity to use it. I happily pulled it out and cut a nice piece of it.  At last!

plop cheese in cheeseclothPlop cheese in cheesecloth

drained cheeseTie it up with twine and give it twime to drain

(sorry, couldn’t help it)

Cashew Cheese

Cashew Cheese

from Cathy Arkle’s She Paused for Thought

Ingredients:
1 c. whole blanched cashews
¼ c. lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, diced
1 t. sea salt
Directions:
Place cashews in medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak 24 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse cashews under cold running water, and drain again.
Purée cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ cup cold water in food processor 6 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy.
Place large strainer over bowl, and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Scoop cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Bring corners and sides of cloth together, and twist around cheese, forming into orange-size ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. Chill 12 hours, or overnight. Discard excess liquid.

Makes about 1 ½ cups.

**********

The crackers are made with flax seeds and chia seeds.

whole flaxseeds and chia seedsNo, Lulu- we are not making a chia pet. We are no longer in the 70′s.

spread mixture in panSpread the seed and water mixture in lined pan.

Bake until dry and the edges curl.

whole baked cracker

homemade crackersHave fun breaking up your homemade crackers.

OK, Break it up, I said, Break it up!

Flaxseed Crackers

Flaxseed Crackers

from Cathy Arkle’s She Paused for Thought

Ingredients:
1 c. flax seeds
3 T. chia seeds
1 c. water
½ t. sea salt
½ t.cumin
½ t. coriander
1/4 t.freshly ground black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Directions:
Preheat oven to 200°F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, soak flax and chia seeds in water for 20 minutes.
Add the rest of the seasonings to the seeds and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and for an hour and a half. Flip it over and bake for another hour and a half.
Turn the heat off and let it cool inside the oven.
Once cooled, break it into free-form pieces.

PS There was no cashew cheese left and only a few crumbs remained of the flaxseed crackers.I think I’ll be doing this again. And again and again.

Dark Chocolate Nutty Granola Bites

dark Chocolate Nutty Granola Bites

What can I say about my brother-in-law, Bill? Without pulling a lot of platitudes out of the hat? Yes, he’s the best brother you could ever wish for. Yes, as Annie says, “Everybody loves Bill.” He’s so kind and so bright and so humble. And he has this little mischievous streak that goes hand-in-hand with that little smile and twinkle in his eyes, usually followed by a wide-eyed, “Who? Me?” look and little chuckle.

It was his birthday a couple of weeks ago and he downplayed it. Spent the day eating… first at work with the sizable gang who admire and respect him and lovingly call him Mr. Bill, then with a small fraction of those who always enjoy being with him, including me and Novio.

What do I make him? Knowing him and knowing me, you know it’s going to be something edible. And probably something that includes chocolate… the darker, the better.

bittersweet chocolate

Annie always has  a bag of almonds for Bill in the pantry, but that bag tends to get parked right in the middle of the kitchen table.

Bill works very hard. When he is home and if you can’t find him, he’s probably holed up in the pantry, munching on raisins, or dried apricots or cherries. He likes dried fruit.

almonds and dried fruit

nuts and frut in chocolateCranberries work well too.

They can be a stunt double for dried sour cherries in a pinch. You didn’t hear this from me.

Another little known fact about Bill. He loves paper and pens. Give him a pen and he tries it out by writing in that sweet little precise engineer-type handwriting of his. What does he write?

“This is a nice pen.”

And then he sits back and contemplates it with a little smile and nod of his head.

a bite of a chocolate bite

Dark Chocolate Nutty Granola Bites

Ingredients:

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, broken or coarsely chopped
1 c. homemade granola (see note below)
3/4 c. raw whole almonds, cut in half around the equator
3/4 c. dried fruit (a combo of chopped apricots, chopped sour cherries, raisins, cranberries)
pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Have all ingredients ready to stir into melted chocolate.

Melt half the broken or chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl at half-power for one minute. Stir quickly with a spoon. If it’s not thoroughly melted, microwave at half-power for another minute. Add remainder of chopped chocolate. Stir thoroughly until completely melted and smooth. If there are still a few lumps, microwave at half-power for a half-minute more and stir.

Add granola, almonds, dried fruit and pinch of salt to melted chocolate and stir thoroughly to combine.

Using 2 teaspoons, spoon about a teaspoon into mini muffin paper liners which are on a cookie sheet or place teaspoon-sized mounds directly on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Place in freezer for 20 minutes to set.

Stores well in refrigerator or freezer.

NOTES:

No granola in the house? Toast 1 cup of old fashioned oatmeal (AKA rolled oats) and 1 cup of halved raw almonds in a pre-heated 350° oven for 8 minutes. Then proceed as directed.

For a great, healthy granola recipe, click here.

Chocolate Bites are inspired by a Passover favorite, Matzoh Farfel Nut Clusters, click here.

Makes about 20 pieces.

Bites-to-GoPack them up and give them to someone you love.

Dark Chocolate Nutty Granola BitesHappy Birthday, Mr. Bill…

of course, here’s your really BIG gift…

babyb2wks… and nothing compares to U..

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

There were so many wonderful things that happened as a result of the nephrology conference I was part of last month. Several innovative studies resonated strongly. If reading about the particulars of this kidney-related stuff isn’t your bag… skip ahead to the image of the Meyer lemons and continue reading… you will be rewarded with a terrific recipe for a delicious lemon cake.

In the early days of my journey with kidney dialysis, my diet was severely restricted. Restricted in ways that’s foreign to most people. The more nutrients that fruits and vegetables have, paradoxically, the less I could partake in them. Case in point– dark green leafy vegetables, the greener the vegetable the more potassium it contains, the more dangerous it is for someone with limited or no kidney function. Most people who do the typical type of dialysis -the one where you go to a dialysis clinic three times a week for three-four hour treatments must, by  necessity, keep a close watch on their potassium intake, as well as many other things. Kidneys work round the clock. Dialysis, by its very nature, can’t. For years now, I do my dialysis treatment at home, four nights a week, which affords me the wonderful ability to enjoy all of of nature’s bounty. I may not have kidneys that  inside me, but I’m thankfully doing the best therapy out there that opens the door to excellent nutrition.

And what about the people who receive a much more limited type of dialysis? Too often, with the restrictions in one area, people are encouraged to eat lots of sugar and fat to compensate (?), and inevitably, lots of processed foods to keep up their caloric intake. Spinach? No. Margarine? Yes.  If it’s unhealthy for healthy folks, why the heck is it okay for those on dialysis? Guess what… it’s not. People who are diabetic, and there’s a lot of that in the world of dialysis, use sugar substitutes and eat packaged sugar-free stuff. More additives.

And here comes a physician with a revolutionary perspective… is the Mediterranean diet better than the current approach for people who are pre-dialysis? So simple and elegant. And why not for the dialysis crowd as well, with some slight adjustments?

With a nod to the Mediterranean Diet, I offer you a wonderful moist cake made with… olive oil.

Start with lovely aromatic Meyer lemons. Sweeter than regular lemons with a fragrant thin rind, these lemons are worth looking for.

lovely Meyer lemonsIf you can’t find them, use regular lemons and if you need to, add a smidge more sugar.

We’ll need the juice and the zest.

There are people who are in love with their Bundt pans. I have one but it’s my Springform pan that’s got the key to my heart. How can anyone resist that lock??

Meyer lemon juice and zestTell me…Who’s that girl running around with you?  Why does the above image remind me of that Annie Lennox song? Maybe the zesty eyes.

Uh oh, here comes another one… Zesty eyes… I never knew love could be so fine…zesty eyes…

Don’t even try to figure that out…

liquid batter ingredientsYou’ve got your wet ingredients. You’ve got your dry ingredients. Now turn yourself around.

No no.

Incorporate dry into wet.

add dry ingredients

Your springform awaits.

batter in springform

lemon syruplemon syrup is key

cake with syrupsyrup-infused cake

adding the glazeand now, the icing

I used only half the amount of icing that the original recipe had. If you like more icing , double the amount of sugar and lemon juice. But I prefer doing a drizzly glaze rather than a thick one.

glazed Meyer lemon cakeI’ve been waiting…for a cake like you…to come into my life

So I return home excited to bake this cake inspired by all that I  learned and  had re-affirmed. And  the very day I baked the cake was the very same day my wonderful niece was in the midst of having her baby. Sam made his grand entrance into the world later that night . So this cake, healthful  and aromatic is dedicated to you, our dear little Sam. May you be surrounded by all that is good and joyous as you grow. Happy Birthday and Welcome to the World!

Meyer lemon birthday cake

Meyer lemon birthday cake

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake

adapted from Winnie Abramson’s excellent blog, Healthy Green Kitchen

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. sea salt
2 t. Meyer lemon zest (from about 2 small Meyer lemons)
1/2 c. lowfat Greek yogurt
3/4 c. sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. good quality, fruity olive oil
 
Syrup:
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. Meyer lemon juice
 
Icing:
1/2 c. powdered sugar (may need an extra tablespoon sugar)
1 1/2 T. Meyer lemon juice

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9″ springform pan (or grease and cut a circle of parchment paper to fit  the bottom.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the zest and incorporate.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs and olive oil. Beat with a whisk until  fully blended. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.

Pour batter into the springform pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool cake for 15 minutes and remove sides of pan. Prick the cake all over with a fork. Whisk syrup ingredients together and drizzle over the cake.

Allow the cake to cool for another 30 minutes. Whisk together the icing ingredients. If the icing seems too thin, add another spoon of sugar. It will harden on the cake. Put the icing on either by using an offset spatula, the back of a spoon or drizzling it all over. Let the cake rest for at least an hour for the icing to harden.

Makes about 10 slices.

There! Now wasn’t that easy?

Meyer Lemon Cake

 We’ve been waiting…for a baby like you… to come into our lives.

Sam aka babybeeintroduucing: babybee

Breakfast Biscotti

breakfast biscotti

Now I get to post what I’ve been saving. And believe me this is worth the wait… on a bunch of levels.

There are all kinds of reasons to start a food blog. For me so far, it’s a way to connect with family and friends all over the world and let them know what’s going on in my kitchen (Hi K, Hi A!). I’ve said before, a big theme in my life has always been to learn and then share what I learn. That’s why I like to include the process of whatever it is I’m doing.

But blogging brings unexpected gifts too. People come into your life with a shared passion. People like my fellow bloggers in Los Angeles who are part of the FBLA group and people who’ve found my blog and have become followers… and who sometimes grow into friends.

When I went to Israel, one of those people, nutty about food, family & life drove up from Ra’anana to Carmel to visit me. That passionate woman heads up an online food forum and is just now beginning her own food blog, spotsonpots.  It’s clever. It’s witty. It’s charming. Pretty much, a reflection of her. And that, in my humble opinion, is a recipe for success.

So last month, I was honored to speak at a physician’s conference on my reflections of living my life while doing kidney dialysis for almost 39 years. I talked about education, attitude, and expectation. I encouraged the docs to view themselves as champions for their patients (Novio, who sat in the front row taping the whole thing, told me later he thought for sure I would break into my rendition of Queen‘s We Are the Champions, My Friend… and we’ll keep on fighting to the end…I’ll admit- it was playing in the background in my head while I was speaking).

So I’ll let you in on a little known fact about me. I don’t just pack clothes & shoes & toiletries. I pack snacks. I have been known to minimize shoes so I can maximize snacks. I like to bring some fresh fruit, a little string cheese, some crackers, maybe something home-baked that I can grab for a quick pick-me-up.

Hanni goes and posts this gem on her new food blog and I knew. These little guys were going with us to Vegas!!

biscotti on-the-goBreakfast Biscotti on-the-go

Here’s what it takes-

oats and morerolled oats mixed with brown sugar and a little hot milk ( a very nice moistening trick)

mixed seeds and dried fruitmix up some seeds – mix up some dried fruit

batter up… and you get a thick batter

biscotti rectangleRepeat after me: No trapezoid, Rectangle

out of the ovenslice, stand up & bake again

baked twice

FROM Hanni’s brand new spotsonpots.com. food blog. Check it out by clicking here.

Breakfast Biscotti
Adapted, with minor changes from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

(another thank you… this book is awesome- where have I been- am definitely getting this one!)

Ingredients:

2/3 c. (85 g.) unbleached flour
2/3 c. (85 g.) whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
½ c. (100 g.) light brown sugar
1 1/3 c. (130 g.) old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 c. (80 ml.) low fat milk
4 T. (60 g.) melted unsalted butter (or safflower or canola oil)
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 c. (100g) pecan or walnut pieces
1/2 c. (70g) dried cranberries (or golden raisins or chopped dried cherries)
1 T. sunflower seeds
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T unsweetened flaked coconut
1 t. flax seed meal
1 t. cinnamon sugar mix

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325° (160° C). Position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar and oats.

Heat the milk and butter (or oil) in a small pot or microwave until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Combine the hot milk mixture with the oat mixture. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Whisk eggs and vanilla into softened oat mixture. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir in the nuts and cranberries (or other dried fruit). The batter will be very thick.

Scrape the batter onto the prepared pan. Spread it to form a 5 x 12 in. (12 x 30 cm) rectangle, about 3/4 in. (2 cm) thick. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until firm and starting to color around the bottom edges. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.

Set the pan on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300° F (150° C).

Transfer the loaf carefully to a cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch (a bit less than 1 1/2 cm) slices.

Transfer the slices back to the baking sheet, standing them at least 1/2 inch (11/2 cm) apart. Bake for 20 minutes to toast without over browning, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time.

Makes about 20 biscotti. We can’t resist these and munch on them whenever and wherever! Thanks again, Hanni!

biscotti great for freezingTo freeze or not to freeze, that is the question.

Breakfast Biscotti

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