Hello, May! {Good-bye, April!}

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April was a great month! From celebrating Passover, to some of my favorite things, to participating in a wonderful bake sale, it has been packed with lots of great events with fantastic friends! May is already getting packed with wonderful things, and I am taking on another month challenge. In the past I have made desserts with the Daring Bakers, and participated in NaBloPoMo. This May, I am taking on a new feat, the Photo A Day May. It includes taking a picture everyday and posting about it. I am excited about this challenge, since I have not only been looking for a way to take more photos, but it will give me a chance to try more photo editing as I will be putting the photos across the Interwebs. I also love this challenge because it allows me to think about photographs in a more creative way and, like the month challenges I participated in before, it makes me have to blog more often. In case you want to participate, too, and to make it easier to follow along, here’s what I will be taking photos of:

April Showers Bring May Flowers.

Can you believe that we are only a couple of weeks away from May, already?

I know that I was definitely busy between, uh, last July and now. :)

But now that I am all caught up on the exciting things I’ve made since then, I will now share what I made in April, since I spent the month posting about the past.

In the beginning of the month, I celebrated Passover. I even hosted a Seder for the first time! I made a (super delicious) pescatarian dinner that included veggies from the farmer’s market and fish from the San Francisco Fish Company and wine from The Wine Merchant. Here is a list of recipes I made/adapted for my Seder:

Baked Stuffed Zucchini (My favorite dish, besides the matzoh ball soup.)

Matzoh Lasagna (I added spinach to mine. Surprisingly good…almost as good as lasagna made with noodles)

Matzoh Brittle (made it twice…once for my Seder, and once for a friend’s Seder. The first time, I followed the recipe and the second time, with the inspiration from a friend that came to my Seder, I added some ginger to some pieces and some cinnamon to others)

The fish part of the meal was just some sauteed cod. I just cut the fish into pieces that fit into the pan, sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. No real recipe, just cook until fish flakes apart with a fork. I think it was about 2 or 3 minutes on either side.

Throughout the month, I also made some ice cream. I got the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, David Lebovitz. I added a chocolate fudge sauce to it while it was in the machine churning, but it turned out I added too much, because it caused the ice cream to soften and it separated. This made it a sort of micro-chocolate chip-caramel ice cream. All in all, it was pretty good. I would like to make more ice cream using his recipes and just stick with the recipe, because I have a feeling they will turn/churn out well. (See what I did there?!)

Some other things I made this month include a simple pasta dish, an orange-lemon pound cake,  and mini tartlets, again. The pasta dish was spaghetti, peas, tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil all tossed and heated/cooked together in a saute pan. First, the olive oil cooks the garlic, then the peas and tomatoes are added, and finally the pasta. Lunch or dinner is ready in minutes!

The orange-lemon pound cake was made with some orange sugar…which is just like vanilla sugar, but with orange zest. All you have to do is zest some orange (or any other citrus, or a combo would be good, too) into sugar and rub them together. It makes the flavor stand out more. The recipe I used was more or less made up. It is a simple 1:1:1 ratio, as you may have guessed. In this case, it was 8 ounces butter, 8 ounces sugar, 8 ounces flour, and an egg, some vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Bake in a buttered loaf pan in a 350-degree oven until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool in pan for about 5 minutes before overturning and cooling completely on a cooling rack.

The tartlets I made were basically the same as before, using orange curd and candied orange peel as garnish. The shells were made with a pie/tart dough recipe that used cream instead of eggs/water/other liquid. But you can go ahead and use sable dough if you’d prefer.

So, that’s what I’ve made in April (so far). I am excited for what the month of May will bring! What are some of the things that made April special for you? What are you looking forward to in May? Share your thoughts in the comments!

 

Lag b’Omer and Cinco de Mayo week

This week contained La b’Omer, a Jewish holiday highlighting the 33rd day of the Omer (33 days after the second day of Passover) and Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican Celebration. I like that both holidays have numbers as part of the title. Do you celebrate either of these holidays? Are there any other holidays that happened this past week? (Post responses in the comments.)

links x2

I hope you all had a good Passover and/or Easter this past week/weekend. This is going to be a long list of links because I am catching up on the articles from last week and adding articles from this week. By the way, I have it set so that all of the links open in a new window, so it is easier to come back to this page and click on more links.

Not a food-related article, but something I enjoyed reading, nonetheless:

Gluten-free cookies

I’ve only baked with gluten-free flour a couple of other times, and the products tasted good; you wouldn’t even know they were gluten-free if I didn’t tell you. Well, this time, I used a pre-mixed all-purpose flour that contains tapioca flour, two different types of bean flour, and potato flour. This is similar to the flour blend recommended in the Gluten-Free Baking book (from the CIA) which contains potato starch, and white rice four. Now, the bag that I bought said to use xanthum gum with the flour, which I did not do. I am no expert, so I am not sure how much of a difference it would make, but I am willing to try adding some next, since these cookies turned out a bit flat. These are supposed to be chocolate crinkle cookies. You know, the cookies that are balled up and rolled in powdered sugar before baking? Well, they looked okay before going into the oven, even like regular cookies, but after baking for 10 minutes, they looked quite different from ordinary cookies. I have yet to try them, as I am bringing them with me to Passover (which is why I went to gluten-free baking in the first place) so, upon return, I will update with the taste factor. In the meantime, if you wish to try the cookies with the original (recommended) flour blend, follow the jump for the recipe.

Continue reading

it’s the end of the month, & it’s Passover

These articles have as much to do with food as they do Passover, and/or kosher for passover food. I am celebrating in CT/NY with my family. This means that there will be no more posts (after tomorrow’s about this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge) until I get back to SF.

Play with toppings, make matzo brittle your own I was always a big fan of the chocolate covered matzah, but this brings it to a new level.

A Passover Seder with spring I like Passover Seder because of the homemade matzo ball soup. What’s you’re favorite part of the meal?

Beer for dessert: beer cake, beer candy, even beer ice cream It seems like savory and sweet are combining for better or for worse.

Passover classics get a makeover What makes this seder different from all other seders?