I’ve got a feeling that SHABBAT’s gonna be a good night…

The title of this post inspired by this video…I am hosting a Shabbat Dinner tonight and it’s gonna be a good night. The dinner will be paid for by the Birthright Israel NEXT team. I am making vegetable matzo ball soup, roasted chicken, lasagna, some veggie sides, and of course, some awesome dessert including a pumpkin pie and chocolate cake. Recipes are either from Gourmet or Bon Appetit magazine or from other blogs or from my mother’s old recipes. (click on links for more information) This is the first dinner I am hosting, and hopefully not my last.

thanks to Rob, Zoe, Staci, Jason, Michele, Peter, and Aaron for making this night a special Shabbat to remember!

Homemade “Funfetti” Cake

For those of you who don’t know what Funfetti is: http://www.pillsburybaking.com/products/ProductDetail.aspx?catID=297&prodID=701

Since I needed a good way to use up the sprinkles that were given to me after theĀ  holiday cookie party my friend had about a week ago, I decided to make a Funfetti cake. I used a basic yellow cake/vanilla cake recipe and added the sprinkles typically found in the cake batter-the “crunchy” bigger ones…if you do know Funfetti cakes…you know what I’m talking about…if you don’t know…go to your local grocery store and pick up a box. Now, I would not normally say that Pillsbury makes good products, or that you should make cake from a box, but I see it as the Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese of cake. (Not that I would advise to buy/eat that either) but my point is that it is a cake that I grew up knowing from attending various birthday parties. It’s all about the nostalgia for this overly sugared cake.

Anyway, I made the frosting from scratch as well, and used blue (smaller, sugary) sprinkles to help “dye” it green because it is the holidays after all. Then I frosted and added the final layer of sprinkles. Like I said before, a sugary cake (typically made for kids). Continue reading

Butterscotch Blondies

I made these blondies for a potluck/housewarming/birthday party that I am going to later today. The recipe is simple, and except for the butterscotch chips, (unless you are like me) involves ingredients that you have on hand. If you’ve baked brownies before, (or any other cookie) then this recipe will come really easily to you. I got it from the Hershey’s website, and it is listed as beginner. It also lists the butterscotch chips as Hershey’s brand, but I used Nestle. (Is that wrong? to use one brand and then follow another brand’s recipe?) I will be tasting them later, since they just came out of the oven, but I am sure they will be tasty, since the batter was good. :) Continue reading

Hamentashen

As promised from my last dessert post, this next post is about Hamentashen!

Sure, Purim was a week ago, but Hamentashen could really be eaten year-round. I made these little goodies for the Oscar-watching event that took place last night. They are basically little pies/turnovers that are triangular in shape. The process is quite simple, that you make the dough, let it chill, cut out circles, add filling, and place on the cookie sheet. Then the forming of triangles and egg washing the outsides. I found the recipe in what has now become one of my favorite cookbooks, The Field Guide To Cookies.

Continue reading

Almond Brown Sugar Cookies

I already made these brown sugar cookies for the Hanukkah party (Dec. 2009), but I decided to make them again for two reasons:
1) I wanted something simple, and I had all of the ingredients already
2) I had almonds leftover that I wanted to use up.
These are the two main reasons I find myself in the kitchen. The only other time I am baking something, it is for a special occasion, and now, since January, the Daring Bakers’ Challenge every month.
Anyway, if you want to know more about the cookies, you can check out the original post. If you want to check out the recipe, click here. Sorry for the short and lazy post. I promise the next one will be better. I am going to be making Hamentashen, which are cookies usually served for Purim, but I am a week late. But better late than never, right? :)