Mixed berry + chocolate chip cookies are in my kitchen right now

This morning I felt a wave of need-to-create energy crash over me and because all the other DIY projects I’m pumped about starting require getting out of my house and buying materials, I decided baking something new would be part of that.

My freezer is currently stocked with kilos of frozen berries so I took that direction and googled and found this.

Inspired, but I altered a bit since it’s mixed berries and I prefer brown chocolate to white chocolate (seriously, who doesn’t?!).

So…

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven. Fluffed the butter + sugar. Added eggs and vanilla. Added flour/baking powder. Added the chocolate chips, mixed, and then added berries.

It was super quick and I actually used a hand mixer – whoa!

Super quick Nutella cupcakes

Inspired by Pamela’s promises of how easy it would be, we tried out these Nutella cupcakes to celebrate abba’s unbirthday. (Kids + easy cupcake recipe + abba not home = it’s abba’s birthday!)

Essentially Nutella replaces a boxed brownie mix, except slightly cheaper and more Nutella-y.

Super simple instructions:

  • 10 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (280 grams) of Nutella

Mix, dump in cupcake holders or cake pan, bake for +/- 30 minutes. Makes 12.

Delicious!

 

The time I made muffins! Sweet Potato Banana CHOCOLATE CHIP Muffins!

Oven disco!When a lazy person loves muffins, and has a motivated friend who loves muffins, amazing things happen. In the mouth.

Yesterday, inspired by a friend who refuses to give up on my baking potential, I made the decision to bake these incredibly simple Sweet Potato Banana Muffins. Except, I realized all too late, I wasn’t prepared… so I made these incredibly simple No Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies instead.

Which should have meant I wasn’t to bake again for another 3 or 4 months. But in a total bakethrough, I went for the muffins today, making this a two-day streak.

For the lazy non-bakers like myself, you’ll need to prep a little in advance to make sure you have sweet potatoes (already baked BEFORE you want to start, right Yesterday Liz?), ripe bananas, and in my case, whole wheat flour (or flour of any kind) in the house.

And, naturally, I did not keep to the recipe completely in that I added chocolate chips. I tend to do that.

So… here’s what I used based on Kristina’s original recipe:

  • 2 chunky sweet potatoes
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (except it spilled and was probably more)
  • 1/2 cup butter/margerine (originally called for coconut oil, but wha-?)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/1/2 -2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Chocolate chips! I chucked in whatever I had left which was 1/3 of a bag. Scientific, I know.

Kristina offers a few other optional ingredients, and I took her up on the vanilla extract. Check the original for the rest of the process. Her recipe’s amounts made about 20+/- smallish muffins. Perfect size for kiddies.

These were great to bake with the kids since it involved a masher. Also, they’re a lot healthier than, say, yesterday’s chocolate chip cookies. Not overly sweet, but the amount of chocolate chips I used was enough to make it awesome with no overkill.

Hello there, delicious breakfast dessert.

 

 

Double Oreo Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes… yes I did.

This. I did this.

Two Oreo cookies. A whole buncha peanut butter. Brownie mix. Sandwiched, layered, gooped. Muffin pan. Oven for 25 or so.

Freakin. Yes.

My thoughts post-operation: Might have been better with soft Oreos, so if you live in the States and have access, go for it. Next time I might dip the Oreos and milk to soften for the re-baking. A bit too hard this way. Also, I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the brownie mix stuck to the paper cups so the bottom layer didn’t work out.

Bottom line: Do it.

The difference direction makes.

The recipe for aliyah success is a complicated set of characterstics; not because what is required but because I think attaining what is required is seeded way before making aliyah.

I’ve mentioned creativity, open-mindedness and flexibility before. One other major ingredient in this recipe, I’ve discovered, is direction.

Now, direction is an ingredient for many successes: making the move from high school to college, making the move from college to being employed, independent and stable. Transitioning to the next stage of life, whichever that is, is a lot smoother if you know where you’re going, why you’re doing it and that you’re equipped.

Which is why, I find it funny when Israeli-borns are so impressed that in three years, I moved here, started a masters, got a steady job, got married, settled in a suburb, etc. They say, “Wow, I know tons of Israelis who haven’t gone that far…” Right. Because direction matters whether you’ve lived here all your life, or just for a few years.

A lot of people make aliyah because they lack direction. Some work it out, some don’t. Some people don’t make aliyah because they have direction and know it’s not in Israel; that’s not being anti-Israel, it’s honesty.

I also wonder if Israeli-borns view us as wealthy Anglos who obviously got this far because we had money coming into it. It couldn’t be more false; we were/are opportunists who are liberal when there is a knock at the door. Anyone can do that too, whether new oleh or vatik.

Opportunism, creativity, open-mindedness, direction, flexibility and honesty. It all works in hand-in-hand when you make it work that way.

Happy Australia Day!

Nah, I’m not Australian just because I’m married to one… But the Aussie I’m married to was given Lamingtons today by an Aussie coworker in hono’u’r of Australia Day this Saturday, and he brought one home for lil ole American me. Another benefit to “mixed” marriages.

The Lamington is an Australian pastry consisting of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and coconut. Here’s a Lamington recipe for the patriotic.

Australia Day Lamington

Homemade kreplach, courtesy of husband.

Never again can I declare that I never win anything. Somehow I won the biggest contest there is and life has never tasted so good.

My husband is right now making kreplach, home food he’s been missing since he left Australia. He’s the type to miss a dish and then think to himself, well, why don’t I just make it? Me, I miss a dish, marry a guy who likes to cook and hint strongly. He’s a doer. That’s why we keep him.

Here’s the tasty outcome:

Here’s the kreplach recipe he used. B’teavon!

Dough: 1 egg, 1/3 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, about 2 cups of flour.

Meat filling: 150-200 grams of ground beef, 2 spoons of oil, 1 big onion, salt, black pepper.

~ Put egg, water, salt in a bowl and add flour. Mix into dough, starting with wooden spoon and then by hand.

~ Finely chop the onion and put in a pot over flame. Add oil and fry until the onions brown. Add the beef. Lightly cook for 5 minutes or when the colour changes. Add salt and pepper.

~ Put flour on the base you’re working on and roll out the dough on the flour to a height of approximately 2 millimeters. Make circles from the dough with the mouth of the cup.

kreplach ready for boil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Take small spoonfuls of the meat mixture and put in the center of the
dough circles. Fold the circle in half and press the two ends together to create a tight closing along the seam. Take the two end corners and bring towards the back of the half circle (the straight side) and press together.

~ Place the kreplach in boiling water (with oil, salt and pepper) for fifteen minutes. Remove and let cool. A word from the chef: It’s easy enough to do, just time consuming. Make a big batch and freeze what you don’t need. 

P.S. The cookbook he used is a Hebrew charedi Shabbos collection. I think it’s funny that it assumes a woman is making the recipes, according to how its worded. Clearly, its authors have not met the two of us.