Peanut Butter and Jelly Challah

A quick share! I won’t be making this today but I will definitely be adding this to my list of recipes to try! 🙂

http://www.kveller.com/recipe-peanut-butter-jelly-challah/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=nosherfacebook

A Girl Called Jack: 100 Delicious Budget Recipes

A Girl Called Jack: 100 Delicious Budget Recipes

This budget recipe book was recommended to me a year or two ago when we had a rough patch before we sold our house, and I will have to look at it again as we are struggling to budget in our reduced circumstances.

It’s a good collection of cost-cutting ideas and clever, simple recipes, although obviously cooking from scratch where economically viable. (Sometimes it works out more expensive, since there is economy of scale with packaged foods.)

Please note though that it isn’t a Christian book (although oddly, she uses a Bible quote at the beginning). I don’t remember anything particularly offensive, but I followed Jack on twitter for a while and found her to be quite foul-mouthed and unpleasant 😦 I didn’t follow her for very long though, so hopefully I just caught her in a bad mood and got the wrong impression. She was, though, very political and very ‘liberal’ (in quotes because ‘liberals’ tend not to be very keen on liberty unless it suits their purposes, but that’s a discussion for another post!).

As always though, take the ‘meat’ and leave the ‘bones’.

I would love to hear any tips you might have for frugal homemaking and cooking, as well as any other book recommendations.

Recipe: Home-made Muesli

Shalom!
How was your Hanukkah? How was your summer?
I apologise for neglecting ‘The Messianic Housewife’ for so long.
Unfortunately, having been forced from our home by an unscrupulous landlord in the spring, I have been ill ever since with a relapse and am currently housebound/ partially bedbound. Your prayers would be deeply appreciated.

I would love to become more active here, posting more regularly. As a family, since my husband is not a believer, we have become less and less observant since we moved so far away from a Jewish community. I have been thinking of how I might do something about that, but it is really dependent on me getting well.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you a very simple recipe for healthy breakfast Muesli (and if you prefer granola, it would be easy to convert it – just add a liquid sweetener to make it stick together, and pop it in the oven).

muesli

This couldn’t be easier!

I have been trying to wean my children off sweet sugary breakfast cereals, so occasionally I make my own healthy and naturally sweet muesli:

Ingredients:

3 cups oats, or
1 cup oats,
1 cup barley flakes
1 cup millet flakes (see which you prefer)

2 cups of mixed dried fruits (you can buy a bag of mixed fruits from the health shop, or select your own)

1 cup of desiccated coconut (if you / your children like it)

1 cup of mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, hemp, linseed etc.)
You can also experiment with quantities of low carb alternatives such as chia seeds)

1 cup of mixed nuts (if you / your children like it)

Something else that is recommended is cinnamon, if you like it, since it works naturally to stabilise blood sugar.

 

If you really need extra sweetness, try Agave*, erithrytol, stevia (wtih caution – it is reported to cause infertility and/ or miscarriages) or demerara (raw cane sugar, containing natural chromium, which also works naturally to stabilise blood sugar) rather than the processed varieties.

(*A note about fruit sugar: fructose is marketed as natural fruit sugar, but in fact it is just about the worst form of sugar available – think high fructose corn syrup – our bodies are just not designed to digest this in its processed form. In fruit, it’s fairly innocuous because the fibre slows it down, but it is still recommended to go easy on the fruit.)

Directions:

Mix together in a big bowl! Easy-peasy! You can store it in a plastic cereal container, or a glass mason jar.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Thrown together bean pie

lentilbeanpie

photo source: the vegetarian society

 

I would have liked to make a special meal for shabbat last night since it was also Rosh Chodesh, but it turned out it was such a busy day and I had forgotten to get the meat out of the freezer, so I treated my family to a vegetarian version of the British staple, Shepherd’s Pie (which is traditionally minced lamb topped with mashed potato, and I usually make it with chopped carrots and peas. Cottage Pie, conversely, is made with minced beef.)

Ingredients:

2 tins of green lentils

1 tin of butter beans

1 tin of spicy mixed beans

1 jar of tomato-based pasta sauce

a few chopped tomatoes

Potatoes for 6 people

optional: butter / milk / cheese

mixed herbs

Method:

1. We like our potatoes unpeeled, so we boil and mash them in their jackets. So peel if you want to, and chop roughly. Boil (approx 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces)

2. Place the lentils, beans, tomatoes and pasta sauce and mixed herbs in an oven-proof dish, heat in the oven at 180 degrees while you wait for the potatoes. (Alternatively, you can use a saucepan to heat the bean mixture to save using the oven).

3. Drain and mash the potatoes. If you like, you may add a small amount of milk or butter to make the potatoes more creamy. This makes it easier to spread over the base, but it isn’t necessary. (leaving these out makes it a low-fat, vegan recipe)

4. Take the bean dish out of the oven and place the mashed potato over the top of the bean mixture, making sure it is completely covered. If you eat cheese, you may like to top the potato with grated or thinly sliced cheese.

5. Transfer the dish to the grill on a medium heat to crisp up the top of the mashed potato and melt the cheese.

6. Serve with peas or petit pois.

Voila!

It’s one of my most favourite, quick and easy family meals, and even though my family aren’t vegetarian, I didn’t get any complaints and everyone cleaned their plate (which is unusual)!

Variations include a selection of vegetables instead of beans and lentils, vary your types of beans, mix lentils and vegetables. Have fun and experiment and see what you prefer. The lentils give quite a good ‘meaty’ texture for people who aren’t usually vegetarian.

 

Chag Purim Sameach!

I really wanted to experiment with some Persian cooking for this Purim but as it turned out, it was a very busy week and didn’t have a chance, so in the end we had chicken (and vegetable for the vegetarians among us) korma as our Purim meal.

We did manage to make Hamantaschen – chocolate flavour this time!

But I am still interested in learning about Persian cookery, so perhaps by next year I’ll have something appropriate to make.

What do you eat at Purim? What have you had this year?

Not all the traditions are ‘kosher’ but parties are nice! Did you get together with others for fellowship?

How do you celebrate?

Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Shavua tov! How was your shabbat?

The weather here is frightful so, apart from a couple of errands I have to run, I want to stay indoors today, so baking seems like a good idea. I thought I might try this recipe later:

http://gnowfglins.com/2013/07/24/chewy-chocolate-coconut-cookies-allergy-friendly/

What are you baking in your kitchen right now? I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Refrigerator Oatmeal Yogurt Pudding!

Just a quick share – this looks so cool! I’m going to have to get me some mason jars tomorrow! 🙂 have fun experimenting with flavour combinations!

http://www.theyummylife.com/Refrigerator_Oatmeal

The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking

I have a lot of cookery books – I’m something of a collector! I have many Jewish and a couple of Israeli cookery books. But when we were at the library yesterday, this book caught my eye because, although I recognised the name of the author – Marlena Spieler – I don’t have this particular volume

The Complete Guide to Traditional Jewish Cooking – An extraordinary culinary encyclopedia with 400 recipes and 1400 photographs celebrating Jewish cooking through the ages, including influential cuisines and dishes inspired by Jewish foods, featuring dishes from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Israel, the Middle East, India, the United States and Latin America.

IMG-20140114-00168

It really is a beautiful big book, what you might call a ‘coffee table book’, with mouth-watering photographs – not only of every recipe, but often with several photographs of different stages of the recipes. There are also 30 pages of culinary history detailing the different influences on Jewish cuisines around the world and how food relates to and is interwoven with Jewish life and identity.

This book will definitely be added to my wish list, and I will certainly endeavour to try out some of the recipes before I have to return it to the library.

Which are your favourite recipe books? Which do you use most? Who are your favourite culinary authors? I would love to hear from you.

Review of the Week

Shalom!

Having moved house, and with the new secular year starting, I haven’t quite managed to get into the swing of a new routine yet. I haven’t done much baking or cooking in my new kitchen yet, but we did manage to celebrate a low-key Hanukkah after we moved in with the help of the fantastic kosher delivery service provided by Titanics in Manchester.

I am baking bread in the bread machine today, but it’s not quite challah. It shall be my goal this coming week to get the kitchen in order so I feel comfortable and confident about baking in there.

I feel as though I am fighting a bit of a losing battle with the clutter, although I know I am winning the war, it is just going very slowly. As I mentioned in my previous post, although we have a bigger house we are without a garage or shed, and not allowed to use the loft in this rental property (is that normal?!) so I really want to sort out, de-clutter, streamline and minimise. In short, to make the most of the space, I want to ‘downsize’ our possessions.

I have discovered that I achieve much more when I have a goal or a deadline, and accountability definitely helps.

What about you? Do you set yourself goals every day? every week? every month? every year? How do you manage to reach your goals, and how do you provide accountability?

I would love to hear from you!

Wishing you a productive Preparation Day, and a restful, blessed Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!

 

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