Archive | January, 2015

Coconut Citrus Cake recipe has been corrected

27 Jan

Apologies, fans! I left out the amount of coconut milk in my last recipe, so I corrected it. Go to the blog to see the corrected recipe, or if you’re already at the blog, just scroll down.


Citrus Coconut Bundt Cake

27 Jan

coconut citrus cake

Here’s a very nice cake recipe from Annabel Cohen that was recently printed in the Detroit Jewish News. I was hosting a brunch and had some aging coconut in my pantry, so this seemed an ideal choice.

The cake has a lot of flavor but is not-too-coconutty and not-too-citrusy. It has a fairly dense and moist texture. I made it without the glaze and it wasn’t too sweet. It would be very nice for brunch or dessert. There’s no milk or butter involved so if you’re kosher you can serve it with a meat meal.


2½ cups flour
1½ cups sugar
1 cup finely shredded sweetened coconut
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup orange juice
2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. graded lemon zest

Orange Glaze:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large tube of bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk well. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine coconut milk, oil, eggs, lemon extract, orange juice and zests, and mix well with an electric mixer.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl and mix until incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Make glace by whisking together confectioner’s sugar and orange juice. Pour over cooled cake.


Moroccan Baked Chicken and Couscous

20 Jan

chicken moroccan baked chickenHere is a yummy recipe from the folks at the MediterrAsian blog, which showcases healthy foods from the Mediterranean and Far East.

It’s not difficult, but there are a lot of ingredients, so I have a few suggestions:

  • Read the recipe through a few times before you start.
  • Mix up the spices for the chicken rub and the couscous at the same time, because both parts of the recipe use pretty much the same spices and that way you’ll have to take them out only once.
  • Prepare the chicken first, and  while it’s resting and then baking you can prepare the couscous. Combine the ingredients and boil the stock while the chicken is baking, and when it comes out of the oven to rest for 5 minutes, put the couscous salad together.

You may notice from the photo that there’s no red onion or red pepper in the dish. That’s because I didn’t have either one on hand, so I used regular yellow onion and yellow pepper. Feel free to do likewise.

The couscous salad can be prepared separately and served with other dishes or it can be a vegetarian main dish. It would be great with grilled salmon.

The chicken makes enough for two servings, unless you use huge chicken breasts, while the couscous salad will serve at least four. Save the leftovers for another meal. You can reheat it or enjoy it cold.

Ingredients for chicken:

1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. salt (can leave off if using kosher chicken)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts

Ingredients for couscous

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. salt
1 carrot, peeled and grated
½ red bell pepper, diced
¼ red onion, finely diced
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or 2 tsp. dried parsley)
1 cup quick-cooking couscous (not Israeli couscous)
¼ cup raisins
1¼ cups chicken or vegetable stock

Directions for Chicken:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix together the cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, chili, salt, and garlic until well combined. Mix in the oil to create a paste. Rub this evenly over both sides each chicken breast.

Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Place on a baking tray or in a baking dish lined with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into slices to serve.

Directions for couscous:

In a jar with a lid combine the olive oil, lemon juice and spices and shake until well blended.

Combine the carrot, bell pepper, onion, chickpeas and parsley and set aside.

In a heatproof serving bowl, combine the couscous and raisins.

Boil the chicken or vegetable stock and pour it over the couscous; stir, and cover with plastic, foil or a plate so it can steam. Leave for 5 minutes.

Fluff the couscous  and add the vegetables. Pour the dressing over all and mix well.

Chicken serves 2

Couscous serves 4

Cinnamon Apple Bread

13 Jan

apple breadI can’t give credit where it’s due because I can’t remember the publication from which I clipped this lovely recipe. I made it for a potluck a few months ago and it went over really well. In looking for a photo, I noticed I posted a similar recipe, Apple Dapple Cake, last August. This one is less sweet and doesn’t include nuts.


⅓ cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
1¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix in.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl and stir into the butter mixture. Add milk and mix until smooth.

Pour half the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Add half the apples and half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. Then add the rest of the batter, the rest of the apples and the rest of the brown sugar/cinnamon. Lightly pat the apples into the batter and swirl the brown sugar mixture through the apples with a finger or spoon.

Bake about 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Butternut Squash and Three-Bean Chili

7 Jan

Vegetarian Chili w butternut squashThis is a perfect recipe for these frigid days. You’ll know what I mean if you live anywhere in the top half of North America. If you’re one of the lucky ones who is not freezing your tushie off this week, you might want to save this one for colder days.

The recipe came from my friend Greta Zalman, who adapted it from a recipe in Cooking Light magazine from 2010. It’s very flavorful and – be forewarned – quite spicy.

Our synagogue recently hosted a group of homeless people for a week – Christmas week to be exact. Greta multiplied this recipe by four and served it for Saturday night’s dinner, where it was scarfed up by our guests.

Here a few comments and tips. It’s a lot easier to buy peeled-and-cubed butternut squash from Costco, Whole Foods or Trader Joe than to peel and cube your own, even though it’s quite a bit pricier. Ditto for roasted peppers; buy a jar of them from Trader Joe and save yourself a lot of hassle.

I like to roast the butternut squash before adding it to the pot, but if you’re pressed for time you don’t have to.

If you don’t have the three kinds of beans, use three cans of any kind of beans.


2 red bell peppers (or use a jar of Trader Joe roasted peppers and skip the broiling)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp.crushed red pepper (use less if you like less heat)
1 tsp.paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups peeled butternut squash cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
Shredded cheddar cheese and/or broken tortilla chips for topping, optional


If you want to roast the squash, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the squash cubes in a single layer on a lightly oiled  baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the squash starts to caramelize and brown. Set aside.

Do the next five steps if you don’t have a jar of roasted peppers.

Preheat broiler.

Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes.

Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 15 minutes, until blackened.

Place pepper halves in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes.

Remove the charred skin and chop the peppers.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cumin, red pepper, paprike, salt and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add bell peppers, broth, squash, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with green onions and, if desired, shredded cheese and tortilla chips.

Serves 6 to 8