Category Archives: Holiday Recipes

Candied Yam Souffle (Easy Peasy)

sweet potatoes pre marshmallows

I just found this recipe. I’ve made this souffle in the past. It is easy and I just felt I owed it to all of you to pass it along. It is especially good for those of you who need to bring something to someone’s house, and don’t have time for fuss and muss.  I am still not 100% sure which yam dish I am going to make, but will make a decision soon. So here you go. And those darn mini marshmallows which you just gotta have.

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 large cans of yams or app. 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, drained

1 small can (I like 8 oz.) crushed pineapple (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

mini-marshmallows (1 bag will more than cover it) or one jar of marshmallow topping

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and pecans. Simmer for a  few minutes. In the meantime, place drained yams in a large bowl and mash them (you can leave a few chunked pieces.) If you’re cooking your sweet potatoes , peel and cut into quarters (cubes) fill a large pot of water to cover potatoes , add a little salt to water and bring water to boil. Boil for about 12 minutes till you can pierce potato with a fork easily. Remove and drain potatoes. I always place my potatoes back in pot to steam off excess water.

Pour sugar/pecan and pineapple mixture over the yams. Stir until combined thoroughly. Add in cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to a pie pan, actually any baking dish will do. Oven to Table is perfect here. Bake for about 15 minutes. Then remove, put mini marshmallows on top to cover, and raise the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes to brown the marshmallows. Don’t let it burn.

Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes (gotta have ‘em)

1/2 eaten Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

1/2 eaten Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

pre marshmallow topping

We always have to have a sweet potato dish with those darn marshmallows! This has a little twist which makes it a bit more interesting. It’s easy, tasty and unique, because I make it with both marshmallows and pecan halves on top. There are probably a million different recipes for mashed sweet potatoes, but this one goes on my table this year.

Ingredients:

3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks. Cook Sweet Potatoes (If you want to cheat with the canned ones, I won’t tell anyone, and what’s more is no one will know with all the other stuff in it.) Just drain them well.

1/2 cup whole milk (no skim please)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (when I double I just add 2 tblsp. butter no need to add 8)

1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

20 big marshmallows or mini marshmallows ( as many as you can fit on top)

*40 pecan halves to cover top (you can use only marshmallows if you want)

Directions:

Cover sweet potatoes with cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are knife tender. Drain and return to pot. Mash potatoes with a masher, then stir in milk, butter, pineapple, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

Transfer mixture to a 2 1/2 quart oval casserole dish, smooth out on top. If you want to make a checkerboard top, start at the top left, and alternate one marshmallow with 2 pecan halves until the entire casserole is covered. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until marshmallows are browned and puffed. If you don’t feel like doing the checkerboard, you can also sprinkle mini marshmallows on top, or some large ones. Whatever you like. This is pretty loose, but you gotta have marshmallows!

*this recipe serves about 8 – 10 as a side

Apple and Cranberry Cake on my Table for Thanksgiving

It’s so hard to make a choice of Thanksgiving desserts. Usually by the time dessert rolls around everyone is so full . Somehow though everyone seems to rally for dessert, no matter how full. It’s been on my mind what to bake? I already baked my apple pie which is in my freezer from my Baking Class at ICE.  I know so nice and light right??? Well it’s Thanksgiving, and no one is eating the whole cake, so don’t moan and groan. This is an easy one to do. Pumpkin Cheesecake, not so easy. So if you haven’t finalized your decision, this is a great way to go.  I got this recipe from Barefoot Contessa. (Ina Garten). How easy is that? cookbook. This is a wonderful recipe to make for as long as you have those wonderful cranberries, so stock up in the freezer while they’re around.

Ingredients:

10″ glass (Pyrex) pie plate

1 bag of fresh cranberries (rinse and pick out stems, etc.)

1 Apple peeled, cored, and diced (Granny Smith is a good choice here

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 tablespoon orange zest (probably need 2 average size oranges)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1 1/8 teaspoons ground cinnamon,( divided 1 Teaspoon for fruit mixture and 1/8 teaspoon for topping)

2 xtra large eggs, at room temp.

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon  granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup sour cream (lite OK) not fat free please

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Combine the cranberries, apple, brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add 1 cup of the granulated sugar, the butter, vanilla and sour cream and beat until just combined . On low speed, slowly add in the flour and salt.

Pour the fruit mixture evenly into a 10 inch glass pie plate (Pyrex) Pour the batter over the fruit, covering it completely. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and sprinkle over the batter. Bake for 55 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Delicious with vanilla ice cream.

Sweet and Spicy Nuts – Perfect for Thanksgiving

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My inspiration for this recipe came from Barefoot Contessa. I make these and keep them in a baggie or a container. Awesome, thanks Ina. These nuts make the perfect appetizers, no one who eats nuts can resist. I also like mine with a little “kick”, you can manage the heat on these.

ingredients:

vegetable oil

7 cups of nuts (you can break it up any way you want. You can do 7 cups of roasted mixed unsalted nuts or any other combination as long as they equal 7 cups. if you can’t find unsalted nuts, adjust the salt on this recipe as per direction below) 

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

3 tablespoons orange juice (fresh or container. fresh is always best (and one orange will do the trick,) but honestly no biggie.)

2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder–I use 2 teaspoons but if you really like them mild use a little less.

4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves (divide 2 tablespoons for now and 2 tablespoons for later)

4 teaspoons Kosher salt (also divided 2 for now and 2 for later. don’t add second 2 teaspoons of salt if you bought salted nuts)

Preheat oven to 350

Brush a sheet pan (prefer one with sides) generously with vegetable oil (use a brush, love the silicone brushes)

First, combine nuts, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder in a large bowl (I prefer a large metal bowl). Toss to coat the nuts evenly.

Add 2 tablespoons of the minced rosemary and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and give it a good toss (a large metal spoon works the best b/c it can get a little sticky with a wooden spoon.)

Spread nuts in a single layer on sheet pan.

Roast nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice. You will want to take them out of the oven to stir them b/c they may slide off the tray. Use a metal spatula. Roast for the rest of the 25 minutes until nuts are glazed .

Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of kosher salt (only if they were unsalted) and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.

Toss well and set aside at room temp.

While they are cooling, stir them up a few times b/c they may stick together.

Taste for seasoning. They really don’t achieve full flavor until they fully cool. So you won’t know how spicy they are until they sit for a while. I’ve made these a million times and can tell you that this amount of chipotle has kick, but not psycho hot.

Serve warm, or let them cool. Put them in a container and serve whenever you like. They stay good for a long time.

*just a note: you can adjust salt, rosemary, and chipotle to your liking. I have recipe for Union Square Nuts and they don’t have chipotle and are also delish but I prefer these b/c I love the heat of the chipotle!

Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Corn Bread Pudding

My friend Audrey gave this to me many years ago, and it has become a staple on our thanksgiving table ever since. It just wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it. It is a favorite in the Kolen household. Can be doubled easily.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (unsalted) 1 stick

8 oz. sour cream (lite ok but not fat-free)

8 oz.  can sweet corn (drained)

8 oz. can creamed corn

8 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter, mix in beaten eggs, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Pour into glass baking dish (Pyrex is good and I spray it first.) 9 x 12 works fine, it’s not a very deep pudding.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Aunt Pammy’s Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

 

Fully Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

This recipe belongs to my sister, Pamela. She is a great cook, and this is her signature Thanksgiving Dish. We count on it every year as her contribution.  I highly suggest it if you like spicy because it is! It definitely packs some heat, be careful when you buy the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce , just make sure they don’t say Hot or you might be blowing the roof off of your Thanksgiving Dinner! Be prepared for a lot of flavor !  If your family likes spicy this is an awesome recipe, and you all know how much I like spicy by now.  This is certainly a new take on Sweet Potatoes because they aren’t sweet.  I also make a Sweet Potato dish with Marshmallows (* see recipe) and the two are always on my table, one sweet and one spicy.  Thanks Aunt Pammy.

Ingredients:

5 lbs.Yams or Sweet Potatoes

Kosher Salt ( about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)

Heavy Cream ( about 1 1/2 quarts)

Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce (canned) *look in Mexican Food Aisle in most supermarkets

Directions:

Slice Potatoes thinly and add salt. Place in baking dish you are going to use and cover with kosher salt, start with 1/4 cup and go to the 1/2 cup. Use your clean hands and toss together.

Puree Chipotles in small food processor .* you can keep pureed chipotles in fridge for up to 2 months. So you can do this step ahead.

Put approximately 1 – 2 tsp. of chipotle pepper puree in heavy cream and mix together

Pour Cream Mixture over Potatoes in an ovenproof baking dish ( earthenware is nice for this)

Place in 375 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven.

Potatoes should be somewhat set and browned on top when ready.

Enjoy! and Happy Thanksgiving

One Very Easy Kugel

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Uncooked Noodles in Glass Pyrex Baking Dish

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Uncooked Noodles in Custard before topping

IMG_5330 My Sister in Law Susan found this recipe and told me to try it a while ago. I finally got around to making it, writing it up and photographing it. Perfect timing for the Jewish Holidays. I think this is a perfect recipe for everyone, both beginners and experienced cooks alike.

The awesome thing about this kugel is that you don’t have to cook the noodles before you use them.  I love the one pot meals and have posted a few on my blog already. The noodles will cook in the liquid perfectly. I probably took the kugel out of the oven after 50 minutes. Of course we will heat it up again before we serve it.

I used whole milk but you can probably use 2%. You can probably get away with a little less butter but I used a whole stick and I used reduced fat not fat-free sour cream. I mean this is Noodle Pudding we’re talking about , the calories are off the charts! At least I will be fasting on Saturday so I can rationalize the amount of calories in this insanely delicious noodle kugel once I sit down to eat it.

This is not a cloyingly sweet kugel, you can add an additional teaspoon of vanilla to egg mixture if you’d like

Thanks to Susan for turning me on to this delicious concoction. I always appreciate a new recipe.

Ingredients:

1 bag of wide egg noodles ( 12 oz. bag)

1 cup dark raisins

5 large eggs ( at room temperature please)

1 cup sour cream ( reduced fat OK no fat free please)

1/2 up ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup sugar

4 cups whole milk ( 2% would probably be fine)

*tsp of vanilla extract ( optional)

topping

3 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees ( I sprayed a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with Bakers Joy Spray ( love).

Spread uncooked noodles over bottom of prepared dish and sprinkle with raisins.

Whisk eggs, sour cream, butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in milk and pour over noodles. Let kugel stand for about 5 minutes.

I put cornflakes in a large plastic bag and crushed them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Mixed the crushed cornflakes with the 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar and sprinkled evenly over the kugel.

Bake kugel until set in center, app. 1 hour. I baked for less and just until kugel was set. Be careful that it doesn’t burn on top, if you see that happening throw a piece of tin foil over it for the last few minutes.

Cut kugel into squares, serve warm or at room temperature.

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Finished Product

Break Fast Food – Blintz Souffle

Here we go again…another holiday to cook for. Most of breaking the fast is taking in bagels, fish, etc. Easy to do. But I still try to make a few dishes and this recipe is an oldie but a goodie. I have been making this recipe since 1975 and it never gets old.  This dish can be assembled ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator and baked right before eating. This is a keeper and a tradition in my house. Always delicious. You can buy almost any of the frozen blintzes. Some stores have homemade ones, but it doesn’t really make that big of a difference with this recipe. Enjoy! This is super easy, with excellent results.

INGREDIENTS:

6 blintzes (you can use cheese or fruit-filled, whichever you like. Depending on how many people I’m feeding, I usually make 1 fruit and 1 cheese tray)

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine

3/4 cup sour cream (lite is fine but I wouldn’t use fat-free)

1 tsp. vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Spray baking dish with Pam spray (Original). Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl together. Place frozen blintzes in baking dish. I usually use a 9×13 size dish but anything close to that will work. You can double the recipe, in which case you’d obviously need a larger baking dish (you need room for the blintzes to expand a little and for the egg mixture to rise around it. Don’t spread it too thin.) Pour the melted butter on top of the frozen blintzes, followed by the sour cream mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 30-40 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes out of the oven before cutting into it.

Baked French Toast — all time best

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DSCN4294I posted this originally back in October 2011 for Yom Kippur break fast. It is truly one of the best French toast recipes I’ve ever made.  I include it every year since my friend Ilene Stern gave it to me. I never have a single piece left. Delicious and decadent, perfect brunch and breakfast food. I almost always include it in my Mother’s Day Brunch as well. Once you’ve made this recipe there is no turning back, your whole family will love it and you’ll have to make it every time.

The only downside is that you must prepare and refrigerate the night before without cooking it, you cannot cook this dish till you’re ready to eat it, the bottom will get hard like a caramel candy would. So cook right before you’re going to serve. Enjoy!

*recipe as is should serve 6- 8 if you have more people make 2 trays!

Ingredients:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

2 tbsp. corn syrup ( I use Karo Original light corn syrup)

5 eggs (room temperature please)

1 1/2 cups milk ( you can use low-fat, I use Skim Plus)

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 package of sliced cinnamon bread. ( Pepperidge Farm is fine) if you can get thick slices it’s great , but the thin kind will work just double stack them it will be fine) You probably will use 12 slices of bread per tray. You will have 6 stacks of 2 slices each, 12 slices total, or 6 thick slices of cinnamon bread. If you can’t find just cinnamon bread use raisin cinnamon bread it’s easier to find .

Directions:

Melt butter, add brown sugar and corn syrup and combine well. Spray a 9×13 baking dish, Pyrex works well here. Pour butter mixture into baking dish and arrange bread slices flat in the mixture ( you will double stack the thin sliced bread) Unless the bread is 1″thick you will be doubling the standard sliced bread. Squeeze the bread to fit–it should hold 12 slices ( 6 double stacks), 3 on each side of a 9×13 baking dish.

In a blender mix the eggs, milk and vanilla and pour over the bread slices, covering them completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The bread will absorb all the liquid by the morning, so if you need to travel with it will be fine.

Uncover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Once it’s out of the oven you can dust with powdered sugar, but not necessary. Serve right from the baking dish.

*if you let this sit out too long before serving, the bottom may get hard like a praline candy. It never ever lasts long enough for this to happen at my table.

Look at my original recipe post on October 5 2011. More Break Fast: the all-time best Baked French Toast, I swear.

Old School Meatballs (sweet and sour)

       Here is a last minute addition for Rosh Hashana. They are “old school” but still hold up.  If you’re looking for an easy addition to your menu this could be it.  L’Shana Tova from our house to yours. Enjoy!

Sweet and Sour MBalls with Turkey

I have been making this recipe since I got married in 1975. It is really a perfect recipe for holidays or any time. You can use these meatballs with rice or anything like that. They are good for a big crowd when you have poultry and want another main. A lot of you are probably very familiar with this one and have different versions of it. Believe it or not, I still have the very original recipe. I’ve made a few changes to it: I now add my own bread crumbs, which I always make from whole wheat bread but feel free to use store-bought seasoned bread crumbs; If you want you can make these for* Passover by substituting matzo meal for bread crumbs.  I also grate in a little onion (spanish); and my mother taught me to grate in a little potato so I always do that, as well. Now and then I’ll use turkey in this recipe too. Otherwise, this is  the original and it’s super easy. I  used turkey this time out, and they came out perfectly.

INGREDIENTS: (This is for one pound but you can definitely double and these freeze beautifully.)

1 lb. ground beef (Whatever kind you like. I sometimes use ground turkey. In 1975, we all ate beef, but today you might want to use ground turkey or ground chicken.

1 egg (room temp. works best)

1/4 cup bread crumbs (if you’re using from the can) I use 3 slices of whole wheat bread crusts removed. (when I doubled I used 5 slices and it was enough)

*For Passover – omit the bread crumbs and replace with matzo meal

Kosher Salt,  app. 1 teaspoon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon)

1 clove garlic, minced (the original calls for garlic powder but I’ve changed this as well. If you prefer, try 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon)

1/8 cup warm water (just to moisten it) when you double just add up to 1/4 , I don’t usually use the whole 1/4 cup.

1/4 spanish onion, grated

1/4 potato, grated

1 bottle (12 oz.) Heinz chili sauce

6 oz. grape jelly

Directions:

Mix meat, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and water all together. I then grate in the onion and potato too. Next, shape into small balls about 3/4 inches in diameter. Heat the chili sauce and grape jelly until they blend and bring to a low boil. Then drop the raw meatballs into the sauce and simmer, covered, for approx. 45 minutes. Again, these can be made ahead and frozen. They are quick, easy, and so good. The larger the pot the more balls you’re able to get in, so a large dutch oven works out best for this.

* serves about 8 – 10

*Some people have been known to throw a can of sauerkraut in the sauce, which is also delicious, but you hafta like that flavor. (Just saying…)