Sister Blog

I’m honored this week to have my sister Gillian blogging!  She has had much input into my Shabbat menu planning over the years, most notably through introducing me to the wonders of baked ziti and teaching me how to make cholent, though somehow she credits me with the recipe, while I credit her (see below).  This post features the classiest food pictures this blog has seen, plus pictures of my adorable nephews.  Enjoy!

Greetings from New York City! I’m excited to be guest blogging this week, and my husband Mark is also excited because he has a new camera and spent the week reading about how to take photographs of food. You will all reap the benefits of his study.

Shabbat dinner this week was a pretty standard meal for just the four of us: honey chicken, boiled potatoes, and veggies. The chicken was especially good, and it made the whole apartment (and at least half of the hallway outside the apartment) smell fabulously like Shabbat. It’s my mother-in-law’s recipe:

Mix together ¾ c. honey, ¼ c. soy sauce, ¼ c. olive oil, 1 tbsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Pour all of this over one chicken cut in pieces. Cook for about a half hour and then flip over the chicken pieces. Cook for another 45 minutes or so until the chicken has a dark crust.

Mark and I agree that this photo is a bit TOO close, but the chicken really did look appealing if you were more than a few inches away. It turns out that food photography is harder than it looks!

(Advertisement: our chicken always comes from KOL, a place that produces ethically-raised, humanely-slaughtered, and environmentally-friendly kosher meat. They also ship to your door. It’s not cheap, but you’ll feel virtuous. www.kolfoods.com).

For lunch, I had luckily planned a healthy vegetarian menu, which was great because the d’rash at shul was about healthy eating and the environment, and I would have felt very guilty serving up a big slab of beef after that!

We started with whole wheat challah with homemade guacamole (a little too much lime juice, but still good) and homemade hummus, which the boys helped me make in the blender. The blender is a source of endless entertainment for my kids, so we end up making a LOT of hummus.

Then we had black bean and corn salad with bell peppers, couscous salad with chickpeas and fresh veggies, Miriam’s vegetarian cholent, and my favorite easy spinach pie:

2 packages frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
½ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. milk or almond milk
¾ c. feta
¼ c. shredded mozzarella
1 tsp. oregano
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs

Beat the eggs for a few minutes until they’re frothy. Then add all the other ingredients and mix well. Pour into a greased 9×13 casserole and bake for 45 minutes at 350 until brown around the edges. This is also really good cold the next day.

The couscous pictures also turned out well, so here’s one of those too:

Our terrific company brought along fresh figs in honor of Tu B’Shevat, so we served those, along with a fruit salad of pears, apples, bananas and strawberries with “fruit salad dressing,” which I learned from my friend Chani and is so good that I can’t believe I ever made fruit salad without it. Just mix a bunch of fruit in a bowl and pour on a little orange juice, a little honey, and some cinnamon. It really brings fruit salad to a new level.

OK, that’s it for the sister blog. Looking forward to more recipes from the rest of you soon. Shavua tov!

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