9 Great Gifts for Foodies
Nov20

9 Great Gifts for Foodies

This AWESOME iPad stand inspired me to put together a little Holiday Gift Guide. I hope you find something for yourself or your favorite foodie.  SWIVEL Kitchen iPad Stand     $36.95   My tech-genius hubby (you know… Sam, of Sam & Company) researched this before getting it for me, (we also tried two others) and I LOVE it! it rotates you can purchase extra bases and then move the stand around the kitchen (or remove it when not using it) looks way-cool in your kitchen also works as a cookbook stand!    Check out The SWIVEL Kitchen iPad Rack / Stand / Holder for all 7  – 10 inch tablets, e-readers and smartphones on Amazon >>   Minion Baker     $16.48   Great stocking stuffer for any-aged Despicable Me 2 fan! Mine sits on my kitchen window and it makes me smile.   See the cute little Minion Baker on Amazon >>   Sunbeam Cupcake Maker     $40 My hubby got us this last Hanukkah and it has become a favorite in this house! Great for summer cupcakes because no need to turn the oven on! Your littles will love it!   Check out the Sunbeam Cupcake Maker on Amazon >>   Trader Joe’s Swag Bag     $6.99 Stuff a super-cool (cool… get it?) TJ’s Insulated Bag with your favorite goodies. Your friends will love the personal touch. Some of my favs: Coconut Oil Spray (Fab on popcorn!), Trader Joe’s Seriously Stuffed Peppers with Olives, Capers and Garlic, TJ’s Everyday Seasoning, Dried Persimmons, Smoked Trout, Menage A Trois Wine Favs from peeps who posted on my Facebook page (thanks y’all for writing in!): fig butter, pumpkin coffee, mini gingerbread men (check OrnaBakes on Facebook for more ideas) Check my Trader Joe’s Shopping List for even more ideas >>    Post pics of your customized gift bags on my OrnaBakes Facebook page!   Oxo Cookie Jar filled with homemade cookies     $16.99 Try my South African “Crunchies” (oatmeal-coconut-squares-of-goodness) My most popular recipe—now shared 726 times on Facebook. (Thank you peeps!) But this awesome jar will keep any cookies fresh. Wrap it up in a bow and you’re done!   Check out the Oxo Cookie Jar on Amazon >>   Dutch Oven (Enameled Cast Iron Pot) My favorite pot to cook in. I started with a 5.5 QT red beauty, and just got this yellow 9 QT LeCreuset on sale from Sur La Table. Look around for deals. This is a great time to invest in one—trust me, it will bring you joy! Heats evenly and goes from stove to oven to table. Fab for making stews, soups, braises—you name it. ...

Read More
Old Tradition Meets New: Ginger Cutout Cookies
Oct28

Old Tradition Meets New: Ginger Cutout Cookies

I didn’t grown up with Halloween, so even after living in the US for 21 years (how did that happen?!), it doesn’t have the same meaning for me as the die-hards around me. (I’m sure if I had grown up collecting pails of candy with my friends, and dressing up in lavish costumes, it would be my fayyyvorite holiday!)  But I did grow up with a tradition of ginger cookies. My love for ginger “biscuits”—as we called them in South Africa—began with these very gingersnaps that my step-mom, Pam, used to make. They’re characteristically crunchy, but if you prefer a chewy cookie, just bake for less time. I like them perfectly crispy around the edges with just a little chew in the middle. Yum! If you’re not gonna frost them, painting them with egg gives them a glossy sheen, but if you forget this step (like I did) they will still be delish!   My favorite taster said they’re just right! (She’s munching on a ghost cookie—in case you’re wondering.)   I found the cute jack-o-lantern cookie stamp set at Sur La Table. Would you believe I FORGOT to use them and just managed to scrape three together with the last offcuts of dough!     And even after being rolled and re-rolled they were still pretty yummy! Though I did leave these in the oven for about 30 seconds too long so they’re crrrrrispy! Make sure to keep an eye on them because every minute counts!   In my recent trip to South Africa, I poured over Pam’s recipe book, taking snaps of all my childhood favs. (I sure wish I would’ve been more interested when I lived there.) How cool is this? The original recipe from her mom, Nan, who was a fabulous baker.   You know I just couldn’t stop there though, right? I modified the recipe (after my usual hours of research and testing) which called for creaming the eggs and sugar. (Yes, you read that correctly) There are so few recipes that require this step, that I decided to go with the simpler method of whisking and stirring—from Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book (fabulous book) . I mean, why bring out the mixer unless absolutely necessary, right? And this way my daughter can be involved in the mixing too—not just the cutting and frosting. You might be wondering why they call for such a large amount of baking soda (2 teaspoons). This is so that they rise dramatically and then collapse, leaving the cute crackles on the surface. It also allows for better browning and the cracks in the dough allow more moisture to escape, making them crispier. Refrigerating the dough deepens...

Read More
10 Recipes for a Happy New Year
Sep16

10 Recipes for a Happy New Year

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that OrnaBakes actually began with my bulkas—traditional cinnamon buns that we broke our fast on each Yom Kippur in South Africa—so it would only be right to kick off this list with my signature bake. Even if you didn’t read any further and just made these, your family would think you were a rock star! But each make-ahead dish has been tried and tested by me, and would be perfect for any holiday or family gathering. If you celebrate the Jewish Holidays, wishing you L’Shanah Tovah, from our family to yours.   Love,     Traditional South African Bulkas http://www.ornabakes.com/2012/09/cinnamon-bulkas-traditional-yeast-buns/ These soft, buttery buns, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, are just sweet enough, but not too rich—so you can enjoy them anytime. My favorite thing to do over the holidays is to make them with my little one. You can check out my YouTube vid for exactly how to make them. (Please give a THUMBS UP if you find it helpful!)   Cinnamon Raisin Challah http://www.ornabakes.com/2013/08/round-challah-for-a-sweet-new-year/ Did you know that Round Challah symbolizes the cycle of life, so what better a way to bring in a sweet New Year than to bake a fresh loaf to share with your loved ones! My cuz, Carla, taught me how to make this wonderful, sweet Cinnamon Sugar loaf, which then gave me the confidence to try other things with yeast… starting my love/hate relationship with yeast. But I will say that there’s nothing more satisfying than baking your own bread!   Chicken Marbella – from The Silver Palate http://www.silverpalate.com/recipe/store-favorites/chicken-marbella Our cousins, Leon & Judy, who live in Northern California, make their wonderful variation of this recipe for the holidays, because it feeds a crowd, you can make it ahead, and well… it’s plain delish! Make sure to marinate the chicken overnight to deepen the flavor and keep it moist. They use skinless breast halves (bone-in) and thighs, but I add some legs too—my personal fav. I love their take of using half prunes & half dried apricots. I just finely minced the garlic, or you could puree it, like in the original recipe. I use my favorite World’s Largest Olives from TJ’s and just leave out the pimentos. It’s a fabulous, easy recipe—you must try it!   Anne Burrell’s Brisket (without the bacon!) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/braised-beef-brisket-with-onions-mushrooms-and-balsamic-recipe.html This is a nice change from the usual, sweet, chutney, ketchup, or cola brisket recipes. Don’t freak out on me about the bacon, just leave it out! Yes, I did find it a little weird in her episode where she says, why would anyone leave out the bacon (hello… Chef Anne, do you not have...

Read More
Cauliflower Muffins (Gluten Free)
Apr14

Cauliflower Muffins (Gluten Free)

These low carb, high protein, gluten free muffins are a twist on Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites, but even tastier and easier! And good enough to serve for company.   Only 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for 2 muffins! I recently discovered Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute which is fantastic for jazzing up any veggies. It takes these muffins to a whole new level of yumminess!   Pre-Washed Cauliflower (Trader Joe’s or Costco) make this a snap!  My favorite Parmesan is Trader Joe’s Freshly Grated Parmesan, which gives them a great texture and fresh, cheesy taste. Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus) >> Click here for my Costco Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus) >> Cauliflower Muffins 2014-04-14 10:47:25 Yields 32 1 Weight Watchers PointsPlus for two muffins. Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 20 min Prep Time 20 min Cook Time 20 min 29 calories 1 g 20 g 1 g 3 g 1 g 22 g 140 g 0 g 0 g 0 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 22g Yields 32 Amount Per Serving Calories 29 Calories from Fat 13 % Daily Value * Total Fat 1g 2% Saturated Fat 1g 4% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 0g Monounsaturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 20mg 7% Sodium 140mg 6% Total Carbohydrates 1g 0% Dietary Fiber 0g 1% Sugars 0g Protein 3g Vitamin A1%Vitamin C5% Calcium5%Iron1% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Does this look wrong? Ingredients 2 x 12 oz bags cauliflower 3 large eggs 1 cup low fat cottage cheese 1 cup grated parmesan (freshly grated, not from a can please!) 3 - 4 teaspoons Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (or Italian Seasoning) 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt freshly ground black pepper (about 12 grinds) cooking spray Instructions Set the shelf in the middle and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray three non-stick 12-cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Working with one bag of cauliflower at a time: break any large pieces into smaller florets and pulse in food processor until it reaches a rice-like texture. Place all the cauliflower in a large microwave safe bowl (uncovered) and microwave for 8 minutes, stirring halfway. (Do NOT add water or cover!!) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork. Add cottage cheese, parmesan, and seasoning, and mix with fork to combine. Add to hot cauliflower; mix well. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and seasoning if needed. Fill...

Read More
Asian Cole Slaw
Apr07

Asian Cole Slaw

This versatile slaw is light, crunchy, and refreshing—fab for summer entertaining. (And waaaaay better for you than traditional Coleslaw!) Only 5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving. It pairs wonderfully with brisket or steak. (Perfect for Passover!) Goes great with Chinese Take-Out too. (Mix it with Lo Mein to bulk it up and reduce the calories.)   When I was in South Africa last November for my dad’s 80th, I helped my sweet Auntie Angie—visiting from Israel—make her popular, five-ingredient slaw for shabbat dinner. Auntie Angie’s Super Simple Slaw one green cabbage, shredded 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar (oy!) 4 tablespoons soy sauce It was surprisingly delicious. But a little too high in oil and sugar for me. Then, a few weeks ago, we introduced our close friends, the Hills, to Wood Ranch in Agoura Hills—the always packed BBQ joint in the LA West Valley—and the charming waitress, Mia, insisted that we try some of their most popular sides before proceeding with our order of grilled asparagus and Caesar salad. (I guess she didn’t approve!) Well, I was soooo glad that she did, because otherwise I would never have discovered their fabulous slaw! Refreshingly crispy and just a little sweet. (I wished that I had eaten more slaw and less ribs as I waddled out of there feeling like a stuffed piglet!) Idea! What if I combined Auntie Angie’s Super Simple Slaw with Wood Ranch’s Original Peanut Coleslaw, giving it an Asian twist…? I used the same colorful, crunchy veggies—and of course, the roasted peanuts, which give that sweet and salty bite.  I added ginger and garlic, and substituted rice vinegar (my fav) and lime juice, and reduced the sugar and oil.  Yummmm!!!! And totally addicting! (I have literally eaten pounds of the stuff—just cannot get enough of it!) Trader Joe’s carries Natural Rice Vinegar and Toasted Sesame Oil—both reasonably priced. You can find them in the Asian section of your supermarket.           Add a drop to brighten up any dish, or whisk with lemon juice and olive oil for a tasty dressing.                 Click here for my Trader Joe’s Shopping List (with Weight Watchers Power Foods and PointsPlus) >> If you’re in the mood for chopping veggies (I personally find it quite therapeutic)—go for it. But any 2 pound combination of pre-cut cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots—or even broccoli slaw—will work. I even saw an Asian Blend with Kale at Ralph’s. Make it a Meal Add Trader Joe’s Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Strips   Or StarKist Sweet & Spicy Tuna (Target)   Substitute edamame...

Read More
Guilt-Free Ricotta Cheesecake (fat/sugar/gluten FREE)
Mar12

Guilt-Free Ricotta Cheesecake (fat/sugar/gluten FREE)

Fat free, sugar free, gluten free, and zero points?! Now I bet you’re curious! Whip up this tasty treat when you’re craving something sweet, or need a baking fix. (You can even make them in your toaster oven.)   You get a more luscious, smoother texture with low fat ricotta cheese, but if you’re following Weight Watchers Simple Start or Simply Filling, it’s still super-delish with Trader Giotto’s Fat Free Ricotta—and would you believe, it’s a Weight Watchers Power Food?! (Therefore = zero points) I wouldn’t serve this if I was having the Queen of England over for tea, but this is my go-to when kettle corn just won’t cut it, and I feel  like baking something delicious that won’t make me feel one bit guilty… (Unless, of course, I eat the whole batch! What…?! I’ve never done that!) Actually, even if you ate all three, you’d only be eating a cup of ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of yogurt, and an egg. Not the end of the world. 🙂 WARNING: One of the criteria for determining if something is a Weight Watchers Power Food is by its abuse potential. So, while all of these ingredients are Weight Watchers Power Foods, if you do find yourself eating more than one serving—or it triggers the eater in you—I would recommend saving it for when you have other Weight Watchers over to share it with, or holding off until you can handle it better! Counting Points? It’s only 2 PointsPlus per serving. (Or 7 Points for all three!) It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 Whisk all the ingredients together until nice and smooth     Place in 4-inch ramekins and bake in toaster oven for 20 minutes   Cool. Chill. Enjoy. (Pin! Share! Comment! 🙂 )   Fat Free Ricotta Cheesecake (gluten free) 2014-03-11 18:18:22 Serves 3 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus for one ramekin or 7 PointsPlus for the whole batch! Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 min Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 30 min 184 calories 6 g 104 g 12 g 12 g 7 g 112 g 147 g 3 g 0 g 5 g Nutrition Facts Serving Size 112g Servings 3 Amount Per Serving Calories 184 Calories from Fat 108 % Daily Value * Total Fat 12g 19% Saturated Fat 7g 37% Trans Fat 0g Polyunsaturated Fat 1g Monounsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 104mg 35% Sodium 147mg 6% Total Carbohydrates 6g 2% Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Sugars 3g Protein 12g Vitamin A9%Vitamin C0% Calcium20%Iron3% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie...

Read More
Page 1 of 612345...Last »