Archive | September, 2014

Applesauce Cake

30 Sep

Applesauce CakeMy first copy of The Joy of Cooking had a great recipe for applesauce cake – really a spice cake made with applesauce. When my first Joy fell apart from heavy use, I replaced it – but some of the content was different, and the applesauce cake was no longer included. When I had a large amount of applesauce to use up, I searched the Web and found this one, which looks similar.


3 ½ cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. cloves
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups applesauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a tube or bundt pan.

Sift together twice flour, soda, salt, and spices.

In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine. Add sugar gradually and cream well. Add beaten eggs; mix well.

Add flour mixture alternately with applesauce.

Pour into pan and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, on until a tester comes out clean. Allow to cool a little before removing from pan.

Serves 12 to 16


Koresh (Persian Chicken Stew)

23 Sep

Koresh 2I got this recipe from my daughter, who got it from her sister-in-law, who got it from a cookbook but I don’t know which one. The intro to the recipe says it’s a California version of a traditional Persian dish, a thick, saucy stew served with rice. In Iran the dish is usually made with lamb, which is hard to find kosher these days, so the California style is to make it with chicken.

The first time I made it I used chicken breast, which turned out to be a little too dry, so I recommend using thighs.

It’s a nice recipe for Sukkot, which we celebrate starting just over two weeks from now, because you need to bring just two serving dishes out to the sukkah, one for the stew and one for the rice.


½ cup green split peas
3 – 4 Tbs. olive oil
1 large or two small onions, finely chopped
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2¼ cups chicken stock
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
2 small eggplants, diced (use one large one if you can find small ones)
8 to 10 ripe tomatoes or 2 14-oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbs. dried mint
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh mint for garnish
Rice for serving


Put the split peas in a bowl, pour cold water over them to cover, and soak for about 4 hours. Drain well.

Heat a little of the oil in a pan, add two-thirds of the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides.

Add the soaked split peas to the chicken, then the stock, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook over medium-high heat for about 40 minutes until the split peas are tender.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the eggplant and remaining onions, and cook until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes, garlic and mint, and season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, stir the eggplant mixture into the split pea and chicken stew. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve with rice.

Serves 6 to 8

Maple Orange Glazed carrots

16 Sep

Maple-Orange Glazed CarrotsHere’s a nice and easy recipe for the holidays. It comes from


1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds — or use “baby” carrots
2 Tbs. unsalted butter or margarine
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup orange juice
½ tsp. orange zest
Pinch cinnamon
Parsley for garnish


In a large, wide sauté pan, melt the butter or margarine on medium heat. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the maple syrup. Cook for a minute more, than add the orange juice. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes more.

Uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Stir the carrots occasionally, and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.

Add cinnamon and orange zest and stir.

Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

Sweet Rice with Carrots and Nuts

9 Sep

Sweet rice with carrots and nutsIf you’re looking for something new for your Rosh Hashanah feast, consider this tasty dish.This comes from The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia. It’s the first recipe I made from the book.

The full recipe makes a lot of rice, so it can probably be halved if you’re serving just a few people.

Carrots are very traditional for Rosh Hashanah among Ashkenazi Jews (of Central European ancestry) because the Yiddish word for carrots, mehren,  sounds like mehr, the Yiddish word for more, and so it represents a wish for an increase in blessings in the coming year. And the honey, of course, represents a wish for a sweet year to come.


2 cups white basmati rice, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
3 cups water
Sea salt
2 Tbs. butter or refined coconut oil, at room temperature
3 Tbs. refined coconut oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 scant cups grated carrots (2 large or 3 medium)
½ cup slivered or coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped, plus 1 Tbs. for garnish
Grated zest of 1 orange (about 1 Tbs.)
¼ cup honey
½ tsp. saffron, ground and steeped in 1 Tbs. hot water


Drain the rice and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. In a large saucepan, combine the water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the rice, return to a boil, then turn down the heat to its lowest setting. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes, then dot with the 2 Tbs. butter or coconut oil and fluff with a fork. The rice should be dry and fluffy.

While the rice cooks, heat a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion in the 3 Tbs. coconut oil for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the carrots, almonds, cinnaomon, cardamom and turmeric, and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender.

Add ½ cup pistachios, the orange zest and the honey and cook for about 2 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt to taste.

Scoop the rice into a large bowl. Add the carrot mixture and drizzle in the saffron. Mix gently and season with more salt if needed. Garnish with the remaining pistachios.

Serves 12