Flowers and Baked Treats CSA

Spring is here. YES! It has even reached Ithaca NY after a very long, cold winter.

My favorite thing about this time of year is how nature changes from almost black & white to full color. Living in the Upstate we are surrounded by nature, trees, flowers and beauty. During the winter it is mostly white but in March our surroundings are just colorless.

Then Spring arrives, the trees start blooming, and all of a sudden the colors are back.

Linda VanApeldoorn lives this beauty year round. Growing flowers at Take Your Pick Flower Farm for weddings and her wonderful CSA, got us thinking. How fun would it be to have a CSA where people sign up and enjoy a bucket of Linda’s beautiful flowers and a Baked Treat of the Week?!
You never know what your flower bucket will consist of, what beautiful colors will fill your home or office, so we thought of keeping the surprise for the baked treats as well. Not knowing what is coming, but knowing it will be delicious and baked with love.
Starting in June, we will offer this CSA, hoping to spoil you all summer and into the fall.
Now you just have to decide if you want it for your home and family, for your office or maybe buy it for a friend or your parents? Just think, giving a gift that goes on for 10 weeks. What a perfect Mother’s Day Gift!
csa1111
Think about it. What will make you happier than beautiful flowers and deliciousness, every week?
And yes…. there will be Dairy free and Gluten free options every week!
Join us, and let us hear from you.
Contact me here or by email balicravings@gmail.com
or

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

As part of the yearly fundraising for Cookies for Cancer Kids, Food Bloggers around the world come together…. The idea is fun and simple, you sign up, decide on a cookie recipe you have not written about yet, get 3 food bloggers to send a dozen cookie to each, and wait to get cookies from 3 other food bloggers.

The greatest part is that is build community. You get your food bloggers, go online to see their blog, get lost a couple of hours, find things you want to make as well at some point and then you start getting surprise boxes, with cookies and notes, and again, go online and learn about these bloggers as well….

Every year OXO, who matches the donations, send a gift, and this year it was the coolest thing ever! The 4 piece Baker’s silicone decorating kit– perfect to fill Chanukah Sufganiot or anything else! Right on time. Thank you OXO!

Additional partners of this great event are:

Dixie Crystals

California Olive Ranch

and Brownie Brittle

Check them out….

Fun.

This year I decided to make Honninghjerter – a Danish Christmas tradition! Honninghjerter means – Honey Hearts – heart-shaped cookies with a lot of spices.

photo 4(13)

When it comes to Christmas cuisine, no one takes it more serious than the Danes. The spices in everything are spot on. A lot of cinnamon, clover, some cardamom and everything you need to have a Hyggelig Christmas, or holiday season.

What is Hyggelig? Well that is the most Danish word and feeling there is. The Danes love Hygge, it is about creating a warm, cozy, friendly environment that is inviting and where you feel wonderful. And that is what the holidays are about. Right?!

So for me Honninghjerter were a perfect choice.

My 3 Food Bloggers were:

SensiblySara from Texas, Mrs Happy Homemaker from NC and Cupcake Friday Project from  NJ.

photo 3(19) photo 2(18)

I baked a dozen cookies for each of the ladies, and as the tradition goes, you hang the Honninghjerter on your tree so I placed a ribbon in each and packed them carefully so they would not break. And off they went to Texas, NC and NJ.

 

 

I got my first box from The Lady Behind the Curtain and they were pretzel chocolate chip. You can never go wrong with chocolate chip, especially when you add the salty pretzels. I got a gift as well that I thought was really cute. I went on Sheryl’s website and there are a lot of ideas there.

photo 1(18)Then I got White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies from the Bake Equation that were sooooooo delicious! Oh my! I loved those. Melissa knows her cookies as is very clear from her website.

Lastly came the fun Grinch green mint chocolate chip cookies from Sarah from Food, Fun and Life in Waukesha Fun looking tasty cookie.

This is such a great project to be a part of for a fantastic cause.

Thank you Julie and Lindsay for your hard work, putting this together!

And back to the Honinghjerter…. Here is the recipe.

In advance prepare the Honey mass, can be prepared up to a month in advance if you are a  real planner

Mix 500 gram (17.5 oz) of honey with 500 gram (17.5oz) flour. Place in a cool place or fridge until you need it. It might become hard but no worries, it will soften back when you knead it.

Honey dough:

2 egg yolks

tsp. baking powder

the honey mass

1-2 full tsp. cinnamon

1 full tsp. of ginger

1 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. clovers

 

photo 1(16)

 

 

 

photo 2(17)Mix the dough well. Spread thin and cut heart-shaped cookies. Place them on baking paper and bake for about 10 minutes at 340F, 180C, until light brown.

These cookies become hard, and that is the way they should be. To make them softer, place in the fridge for 2 days before decorating. photo 4(12)

Cool and spread melted chocolate and decorations on top. If you want to hang them on your tree, make a hole in the top of the cookie to insert a ribbon through.

photo 5(9) photo 1(17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can hang them on the tree, store them in a closed container in the fridge or dip in tea or Glogg.

Enjoy and have a fabulous Holiday!

Being Grateful

November is the month of Thanksgiving and a time to really truly think about being grateful.

I always take this month to feel consciously grateful. It is all about staying positive, doing what you believe is good for you and surrounding yourself with people who are positive and supportive. Always remember that you get what you give, and if you are a positive person you will attract more positive people, events and opportunities into your life. If you are aware and grateful for what you have, you feel good and happy. I believe gratefulness and happiness are connected and you can’t have one without the other.

There are ways to live a positive life –

Be thankful and say thank you. Do not assume people know you appreciate them or their actions, let them know. There are not many things better in life, than receiving a thank you. It will make their day.

Treasure moments, nature and feelings. We are all so busy and never take a moment to just stop, look around, see the beauty and wonder of this world and take it all in. Enjoy the sunrise on a morning you are up too early or the sun setting on your drive home. Pay attention to the season change and the birds flying above. Look at people, listen to the laughter and voices of chatter. Sip your coffee and enjoy it. Fill yourself with love and happiness. It is contagious and others will feel it as well.

Look up from your phone, hey….. turn it off for an hour then two. Talk, laugh with friends and look around you. We miss out on so much being connected all the time to electronic devices.

Post beautiful pictures and positive thoughts on your facebook page. They will stand out in all the stress and negativity. Learn a joke and tell it to someone.

Learn something new everyday. Do not fear challenges. They will help you grow.

While writing this, I wanted to add a poem and found this absolutely perfect prayer/poem from Zen Habits

Be Thankful
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

 

I think it says it all.

Be grateful, be happy!

Veterans Day

Every country I know takes the time to think of the veterans as well as of the fallen and of its soldiers.

Every country does it in their own way.

Some have a day off to contemplate. Some have sad songs playing on the radio, and many documentaries about the fallen on TV. Some have ceremonies in schools, grave yard and public places.

The USA, is the only place I know that has sales. Everywhere “Veterans Day Sales”. It is also known as the kick-start to Black Friday, or the beginning of the holiday sales.

Growing up in a country that takes its fallen very serious, that talks a lot about them and that grieves every year, as if  they have just died, it is very hard for me to get used to celebrating Veterans Day. Strange idea.

I think this is a day to think what we can do differently to end the endless needs for soldiers. To not have to send out more dedicated people into battle, to not leave so many families broken or soldiers broken. What can we do to live together, in this beautiful place, with others, even if they look, think or believe differently then we do.

photo(14)The Unknown Soldier By Emily Moralez

There’s a graveyard near the White House
Where the Unknown Soldier lies,
And the flowers there are sprinkled
With the tears from mother’s eyes.

I stood there not so long ago
With roses for the brave,
And suddenly I heard a voice
Speak from out the grave:

‘I am the Unknown Soldier,
The spirit voice began
‘And I think I have the right
To ask some questions man to man.

‘Are my buddies taken care of?
Was their victory so sweet?
Is that big reward you offered
Selling pencils on the street?

‘Did they really win the freedom
They battled to achieve?
Do you still respect that Croix de Guerre
Above that empty sleeve?
‘Does a gold star in the window
Now mean anything at all?
I wonder how my old girl feels
When she hears a bugle call.

‘And that baby who sang
Hello, Central, give me no man
Can they replace her daddy
With a military band?

‘I wonder if the profiteers
Have satisfied their greed?
I wonder if a soldier’s mother
Ever is in need?

‘I wonder if the kings, who planned it all
Are really satisfied?
They played their game of checkers
And eleven million died.

‘I am the Unknown Soldier
And maybe I died in vain,
But if I were alive and my country called,
I’d do it all over again.

Take a moment and appreciate where you are, who is around you, who is missed and think, what can you do to make this world a better place.
With my greatest respect!

 

Dairy-Free Alfajores

Alfajores is my absolute favorite cookie. Can’t remember the first time I had one, but it was love at first sight and taste. Yes, also sight. It is a beautiful little pale cookie, 2 layers filled with Dulce De Leche, and coconut all around.

photo 1(13)As you probably know by now, I like figuring out how to turn recipes into Dairy Free, Gluten Free, or both. In this case I wanted to try coconut oil, for 2 main reasons (for  more on baking with coconut oil click Here)-

1. It is much better for you than butter.

2. It will make it dairy-free and open new options…..

My main concern with Alfajores was the very delicate texture of the cookies. They are, as is, very soft, breakable and crumble. Not adding butter raised the question of if they would still be similar in texture and if they would not completely collapse.

I decided to try a recipe I have made before, based on an allrecipe.com I found way back.

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups cornstarch – yes it is a lot but this is where the texture comes from……
2 tsp.baking powder
1 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, room temperature – if you love the taste of coconut as much as I do, you might like to add raw coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon zest from a whole, medium sized lemon (ONLY if you like a scent of lemon, if not leave it out)

optional- a Tbsp. coffee, liqueur you like or another flavor

Very Cold water as needed

For Dairy Fillings:

Dulce De Leche
Nutella
For Non Dairy Fillings:
Favorite jam
Non dairy chocolate spread
Biscoff spread
Melted chocolate
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
round, heart shaped or any favorite cookie cutter. i like to make bite sized Alfajores as well as medium sized ones.
To bake the cookies, turn the oven to 350F/180C. Place baking paper on 2 baking pans
          photo 1(14)
Mix  the sugar and coconut oil until well combined.
Add yolks one at a time.photo 2(15)
Add vanilla, lemon zest and if you like another flavor (coffee, liqueur etc about a tbsp.)
Place the bowl on the table, from here it is all by hand…..
In a sift place flour, corn starch and baking powder and sift it into the bowl. In this recipe sifting is very important to keep the very delicate texture. photo 3(16)Sift in the flour mixture and slowly incorporate it into the eggs.
Add very cold water until you get a nice soft dough.
Wrap the dough well and cool in the fridge for an hour.photo 5(8)Spread the dough the thickness you like, taking into account it does double in the oven because of the baking powder. I find it is easiest to roll the dough in-between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut your cookies, place on a baking pan and bake for about 8 minutes- until they are very light brown. They need to be baked but stay almost white.
photo 1(12) photo 2(13) photo 3(14)
After baking, cool completely and then match couples.
On one, spread your filling- I use piping bags and find it easiest as they break easy and tend to break when spreading with a fork or knife.
Place the 2nd cookies on top and roll in coconut.
photo 4(10)With Dulce De Leche
photo 2(14)With Nutella
photo 5(7)
 photo 1(13)
IF you don’t finish them right away, you can store in a sealed container either in room temperature or in the fridge. I find that in the fridge makes them even better, similarly to Macaroons, they become a bit harder (still crubmle and delicate) and easier to eat.
These are beautiful and delicious!
 
Enjoy and I would love to hear from you.
 

Sharing – 30 Things to Start Doing For YourSelf!

I came across this list on the internet and loved it. I read them all and thought – which ones do I already practice today, and which ones do I need or want or wish, to be more aware of and strive to live by.

It is a great personal test to do, very recommended. What I appreciate is it is all about YOU. Yes YOU, the one reading it. Self test, self reflection, things that you are in control of and can do, change, adopt to be happier and a better version of yourself. Take some time, read it and think about it. Let me know if it as meaningful to you as I found it. More on Marc and Angle’s website.

Enjoy!

30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself. #4 Is Absolutely

Vital

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Marc and Angel are the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their amazing list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. If you enjoy this, be sure to visit their website for more inspirational advice and tips for life.

#1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

#2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.

#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.

#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.

#6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

#8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

#10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

#11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.

#12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

#13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

#14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

#15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

#16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

#17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

#18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

#19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

#20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

#22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.

#23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

#24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

#25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

#26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

#27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

#28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

#29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

#30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

This is such a wonderful list. If we take little steps every day and practice these things, we can make great improvements in our lives. Share this post with your friends and loved ones. 

Credits: 

marcandangel.com

lifebuzz.com

Comfort

On a rainy, grey, dark, cold day like today, only ONE food is Comfort food in my opinion.

No, it does not have melted cheese, it does not have cream or butter, it is not fried, and it is not full of carbs.

It is the oldest, most widely known comfort food – Chicken Soup!

Maybe I find eternal comfort in chicken soup because it always reminds my of ‘home’. It immediately takes me back to my parents kitchen, to my grandmother’s kitchen and probably to almost every holiday dinner I have enjoyed. It reminds me of family, love, friendships and health. Yes, health. who doesn’t know that the BEST medicine for the flu, any cold, depression, sadness, fever etc. is chicken soup. Not store-bought, not one with sodium over-load and no flavor, but the real thing.

The best thing about chicken soup is that it is easy to make and delicious to eat.

There are 2 types of chicken soup makers…. those who make the soup and just before serving, take out all the vegetables to serve clear soup and those, like me, that think that the more vegetables the better. I never understood the clear soup thing. I love the taste of vegetables cooked together with a pinch of salt.

My Chicken Soup:

photo 4(9)

 

 

I usually boil a pot of water with chicken (drum sticks or breast – NO skin) for about an hour.

After 30 minutes, I like to place a bunch of cilantro on top of the water and place the lid over so they just cook for the flavor, but I can take them out before serving.

This is my broth. I do not use chicken broth or powders to add flavors- no need!

 

While the chicken is cooking, I cut as many vegetables as possible:

5 carrots – I cut medium thin rounds

6 celery – medium thick cuts

2 leeks – just the white part – thinly sliced rounds

3 green zucchini- cut in half, length wise, and then medium thick slices

2-3 cups of pumpkin – cut into squares

I love love love sun-chokes, and add  4-5 in soup, cut them in halves

In  our house we are not big fans of potatoes or beans in chicken soup, but you can add them as well.

I add the vegetables to the boiling chicken and boil for another 20-25 minutes. I add salt as needed.

 photo 3(13)

Lastly, to make everyone happy, today I made Kneidalach (Matzo Balls). A VERY Jewish tradition. What can I say…… it just makes it even better.

Kneidalah – NEVER but really, NEVER use the mix. It does not taste good. It is too easy to make them yourself to justify using a mix.

Matzo Balls:

3 cups matso flour (matzo meal)

2 eggs

Salt and pepper

about 2 cups boiling water – might need less or more.

Pour the Matzo meal/flour into a bowl, add 2 eggs, salt and pepper. Add 1.5 cups boiling water and mix with a spoon. Add water as needed until you get a well combined mix that is easy to roll into bowls. Set aside.

Take a wide pot and fill with water, add salt and 3 tbsp. oil. I like to add 2 cups of the chicken soup (no veggies).

Bring to a boil. Make small to medium balls out of the Matzo mix with the palm of your hands, and put in the boiling water. They are ready when they float to the top.

photo 2(12)

On a day like this, this is what we have for dinner. Delicious, healthy and a real family comfort.

Stay Warm!