Monday, January 27, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Almond Stuffed Dates.

It's time for another Secret Recipe Club post and despite the fact that my computer is broken and no longer lets me connect to the internet, I wouldn't miss an SRC reveal day. 

Plus, this month I have an delightful little treat to share with you from a really neat blog.  Dena is the author of "Oh, You Cook," a kosher blog.  Besides being an accomplished cook and a librarian, Dena is also the author of "The Everything Kosher Slow Cooker Cookbook" (find it at Barnes & Noble or on Amazon).

Dena's blog is filled with lots of fabulous recipes, including many traditional recipes for Jewish holidays. 

I'm always on the lookout for sweet treats that aren't *that* bad for me.  Well, these Almond Stuffed Dates may be my new favorite treat.  They are so easy and perfectly satisfy my sweet tooth.  The cream cheese cuts some of the sweetness and the almond adds a nice little crunch.  Dena originally made these treats to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shevat, the New Year for Trees.  On Tu B'Shevat it is customary to eat dried fruits and nuts.  The holiday just happened to land on January 15th, so besides being the recipe that I was instantly drawn to on Dena's blog, it felt appropriate to make for the January SRC.  Of course, there were plenty of other recipes on Oh, You Cook that I have bookmarked for later - Israeli Beet Dip, Sweet Potato Mini Muffins, and Challah.  For now, these stuffed dates will be on heavy rotation in my sweet treat snacking repertoire. You need to go make these now! Thanks for sharing Dena and for being such an amazing resource for kosher recipes!

Almond Stuffed Dates

From Oh, You Cook

8 ounces whipped light cream cheese
8 ounces dried, pitted dates
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 (or a handful) of raw, whole almonds (that's the only kind I keep in the house)

Whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice until well combined.

Carefully slice the dates lengthwise, being careful to not cut all the way through.

Using a pastry bag and tip, fill the dates with the cream cheese mixture.  Top each date with an almond, pressing the almond into the opening.  Refrigerate until serving or serve immediately. Enjoy!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Roasted Beet and Heirloom Carrot Salad with Goat Cheese Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet and Heirloom Carrot Salad with Goat Cheese Vinaigrette

Hello lovely K&K Test Kitchen readers!  Are you still there?  Did you think we'd ever be back?  I have to say, the holidays really got the best of me.  I was so busy having fun with my family that I just didn't get around to posting on this little old blog.  I even have a round-up to post still from the cookie exchange that I went to on... December 10th.  Oops. Well, I hope you all had an amazing holiday season, filled with family, friends and good food of course!  And now that we are a few days into 2014, I'm back.  I even wrote a goal for myself for 2014 related to this blog, so I think that means that I better get back to it!

To start our year right, I am giving you the most beautiful and delicious salad.  I devoured this salad.  Seriously, it should be about 4-5 servings, but I ate it in 2.  It is sweet, tangy, creamy, and oh so good. Vegetables don't have to be boring, that is for sure!

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Goat Cheese Vinaigrette

Adapted from Food & Wine

4 large beets
6-8 heirloom carrots, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme

Goat Cheese Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soft goat cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Cut the top and bottom off of the beets and scrub them clean.  Place the beets in on two sheets of aluminum foil, drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt and pepper.  Wrap the tin foil up into a package around the beets. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.

Chop the carrots, toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the carrots on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes (put them in 10 minutes after you put the beets in!).

Allow the beets to cool slightly, then peel the skin off.  I use a paper towel and just rub the skin off, so my hands keep from turning purple.

Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.  Mix the carrots, beets, and dressing together, then stir in the fresh thyme.

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