Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cooking Up a Storm, Healthy Traditional Jewish Food

I haven't posted recipes for quite a while. Every time I cook it seems like I'm making some new version of old favorites. So, in some ways my food is all the same, but in many ways it's different.

This year's tzimmes has most of the usual ingredients, but is lighter than many:

Tzimmis ingredients, all cut, before adding water, to almost cover.
Relative quantities aren't that important:

  • prunes
  • raisins
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes
  • apple
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • fresh ginger root
  • dark brown sugar
  • water to almost cover
Cook it all on low flame in covered pot until soft. Yes, that's it.

With my very flexible and simple basic cake, I made an Apple-Fig Upsidedown Cake for Rosh Hashanah! Here's the simple one-bowl recipe. 
This is the basis for all sorts of cakes, including chocolate, apple, chocolate chip, etc. It can be multiplied, and I never make it with less than 3 cups of flour. Of course, it can be frozen and iced. I make it with whole wheat cake flour and brown sugar.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1/6 cup oil (soy)
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 t vanilla
mix dry ingredients
add oil and water
add eggs
pour in pan
bake medium heat* 
until pops up when gently pressed in center of cake

This time I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the batter instead of vanilla.

On the bottom of the cake pan I put sliced apples and fig "jam." Then I poured on the batter and baked. It was a great success.

I also made Apple Cake with the same batter. I diced up some apple and placed the pieces in the cakepan. Then I poured in the batter and mixed.

They all baked up beautifully. It's very easy! I froze the apple cake and two little ones I made with the batter for later eating.

Cooking does not have to be difficult and stressful. I find that having simple basic recipes that can be varied is the best way to cook and enjoy myself. I can be creative and not get all hysterical and OCD over finding exactly the "right" ingredients. I base my cooking on what I have and what is easily available and reasonably priced. 

*My oven does not have regular temperatures, and I just "know" where the dial should be. For baking a cake I set the dial at just after 5 o'clock, if that helps you.  If the top seems cooked, while the batter is still watery, lower the heat.

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