Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Maple...Chocolate...Matzo...Passover Deliciousness

Passover snuck up on me this year. Since early February, the Good Cook Doris house has been abuzz with the activity of a new baby in the house. We welcomed taste tester #2 and have been having a blast with big brother and little sister in the house. Thankfully she doesn't mind hanging out in the kitchen with mom, but she doesn't have the patience for long drawn out recipes. When the time came to prepare for our two Passover seders, I knew a few sacrifices would have to be made.

Instead of peeling the hard-boiled eggs, a sign of spring and new life, for our gefilte fish platter I decided to spend my few minutes in the kitchen making this:

Maple Matzo Crunch! I think that it was a wise decision to forgo the stress of peeling eggs for this crunchy, sweet, addictive matzo treat. If you have about 15-20 minutes you too can be enjoying this! Perfect for Passover and honestly anytime of the year. 

The maple flavor gives it a unique New England twist. Top with nuts or leave it plain - either way it won't last long. Note, use Kosher for Passover products according your level of observance.

Maple Matzo Crunch
Serves ?? (not too many people if you are home alone with this!)
5 matzos (you may need more) 
1 cup of butter
1 cup granulated maple sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup (Grade A Dark Amber or Grade B)
2-4 oz. chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
1/4 cup toasted pecans (or your favorite nut), chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange matzo pieces in a single layer
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, maple sugar, and maple syrup
Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula
Remove from heat and pour evenly over matzo
Bake maple covered matzo for 4 minutes
Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the matzo pieces
Return to oven for 1-2 minutes, until chocolate is melted (the chips will still hold their shape)
Using a spatula, spread the chocolate on the matzo, creating a smooth layer
Sprinkle toasted nuts on top of the chocolate, if using
Allow to cool completely and break into smaller pieces
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Chag Sameach!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Breakfast for Dinner? Yes, Please! {Book Review}

I love breakfast food. When presented with the option to order breakfast at a restaurant, I usually take it no matter what time it is. It really isn't fair that breakfast gets hurried over, rushed, and forgotten about so often. In our house we have breakfast for dinner (or lunch) at least once a week. No need to relegate breakfast foods to the morning!

For the past few months I've been making recipes from a new cookbook called Breakfast for Dinner by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth. They write about their culinary adventures on the blog Love and Olive Oil. I received a review copy of their book from Quirk Books and from the moment I opened it I was excited to get cooking. Breakfast can be savory or sweet and I have a preference for the savory side. Because the recipes are geared for dinner, this book includes many savory recipes. I immediately picked a few to try - three the first week I had the book and quite a few since!

The recipes I have tried have been easy to follow and most importantly result in delicious dishes. My test for whether or not I would by a cookbook is how many recipes I would realistically make. With the exception of foods we don't cook at our house (shellfish and pork) we would eat almost all of the other recipes in this book. And the pictures are so nice that I find myself flipping through the book while I sit on the couch (although it does make me really hungry).

The recipes we have made so far include:

Chicken and Biscuit Waffles (made a few times!)

I love biscuits, fried chicken, and waffles. This is a perfect combination of all three. I keep mixing up the sides and toppings for this one. First way: side of spicy apple sauce, and salad with lemon-honey dressing. Second way: drizzled with habanero-infused maple syrup and a side of sauteed apples with cinnamon. With a base of chicken and biscuit waffles, the topping combinations are really endless!

Bonus? This fried chicken method means delicious fried chicken anytime - with or without the waffles! Same for biscuit waffles, when the craving hits I am now ready!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Glazed Banana Bread Bundt Cake

With a few bananas and a bundt pan, you can turn out a decadent dessert treat. This recipe uses my favorite flavor combination of chocolate and bananas. For an extra sweet twist, I made the glaze using chocolate peanut butter (plus, somehow no chocolate chips on hand).

Just like the authors' family recipe, my Aunt Patti's banana bread is always full of chocolate chips. This won't replace hers as a favorite but I can report that this cake did not stick around very long at our house.

Goat Cheese Monte Cristos

The idea of the Monte Cristo has always intrigued me. However I've only encountered them with ham. I was excited to find a recipe for a Monte Cristo that I would eat. Who wouldn't love a sandwich with creamy goat cheese, pepper jelly, and roasted turkey? I decided to make this on a whim and didn't have all the ingredients that the recipe called for but this was still great! We sandwiched fig jam, turkey and goat cheese between slices of whole wheat bread and cooked it up according to the recipe. The result was a flavorful take on the Monte Cristo!

All three recipes were kid-approved by our resident 2 year-old diner. Our little taste tester now gets excited when the waffle maker comes out - even if he calls them "awfuls" half the time. And even though he ate the sandwich in his own unique was as shown below, I know he liked it!

I received a complementary copy of this book for review. I was not obligated to post and received no other compensation. My love of chicken and waffles and banana, chocolate, and peanut butter is real and honest. Ask anyone who knows me! 


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