It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but since the start of the school year I’ve lost track of how many meals I’ve served, how many guests have slept over, how much food has been put together in my kitchen, how many hours I’ve spent with students, how much challah has been baked in my oven and how much sushi has been rolled at my table.  Did I mention that I had a baby? So yes, I’ve been a little busy.

Finally, however, Kislev Bein HaZmanim for American college students (read: Thanksgiving Break) has rolled around and, oh joy, I find myself in bed with a cold – “oh joy” because now I have no excuse but to sit back, blow the dust off my laptop and get back into blogging.

Did I mention that I had a baby? (I know I did, but Baruch Hashem he’s so fat and cute that it’s definitely worth another mention…) Returning home from the hospital to a town where we are one of only a few strictly kosher-keeping households, and with everyone around here knowing that fact about us,  the last thing I expected was to be sent a ‘meal’ train by the fabulous Mums at my older children’s preschool.  For days, sacks of whole, raw fruits and vegetables kept appearing outside our front door and on top of my kids’ cubbies at gan. Genius. And that happens to be how I ended up facing off with a cauliflower for a good two weeks, before deciding late this morning to throw it into a pot with some other stray vegetables, and call it a soup. See below for said recipe.

On another note, I was lucky enough to have a nice write-up in this past week’s Mishpacha Family First magazine. Included were two of my favorite salad recipes, which I’m also adding below.

Cauliflower, Celery and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 8-10 stalks of Celery
  • 4 medium Potatoes, peeled
  • 5 cloves of Garlic
  • 3 cups of Chicken or Vegetable stock (can substitute with water)
  • 2 cups water
  • dash of salt, pepper and onion powder

Clean and chop celery and peel and chop potatoes and place into a pot with the broken-up cauliflower. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil in an uncovered pot. Cover pot and simmer on medium-low for approximately 1 hour. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Chinese Orange Salad (For a Crowd)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Baby Lettuce
  • 2 large Cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 lb Bean Sprouts
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb Roasted Cashews
  • 7 Oranges

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Sesame or Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 5 cloves Fresh Garlic or 3 Tbsp Dried Garlic’
  • Squeezed Orange Juice from Oranges (see below)

Arrange the first 5 salad ingredients in a bowl, then cut both ends off the oranges, cut in half and slice out the flesh, leaving 1/4 inch of flesh inside the peels. Slice the orange halves into bite-sized chunks and add them to the salad. Squeeze the peels with the remaining flesh into a small cup, and add the remaining ingredients for the dressing. Blend the dressing, and toss into the salad.

Baby Spinach Salad with Balsamic Onion Vinaigrette (For a Crowd)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Baby Spinach
  • 7 cups Sweet Potato ( medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled, diced and cooked (I saute mine in 1/4 cup Olive Oil for 20 mins on a medium/high heat.
  • 1 large Cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 lb Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/2 – 1 lb toasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 cups Dried Cranberries

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 small Onion
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Salt to taste

Blend the dressing ingredients together. Arrange the salad components in a bowl. Toss the dressing into the salad.

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