Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Passover matzoh kugel with bananas and chocolate chips

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I can't seem to escape the combination of bananas and chocolate. Not even at Passover.

Then again - why would I want to?

Banana chocolate chip bread pudding is a favorite in our house. (By the way, there's a reason I named it Better Than Make-Up Sex Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding. Because it is.)

The matzoh left over from last night's Passover seder got me thinking: Could I make a Passover dessert with bananas and chocolate chips?

Here you go. You can thank me later.

P.S. I made this version dairy, but if you wante a pareve dessert kugel to serve after your seder meal, substitute coconut milk or almond milk for the half-and-half.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Passover Matzoh Kugel
Just like our favorite banana chocolate chip bread pudding - but made with matzoh for Passover. This delicious Passover dessert will get you through a week without bread with no problem at all.
  • 4 squares matzoh
  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • whipped cream (optional)
In a large bowl, crush the matzoh into little pieces with your fingers. Warm the half-and-half in a measuring cup in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove until hot but not boiling. Pour over the matzoh pieces. Let sit 30 minutes.To the bowl, add the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the bananas, either slicing them or crushing them with your fingers as you put them in the bowl. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir again.Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.Spray a medium-sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the matzoh mixture and smooth the top. Let sit in the pan another 15 minutes.Bake the matzoh kugel for 45 minutes, until the edges and top are golden brown and the center is set. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if you like.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

California Sunshine breakfast sandwich with pesto and peppers

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For many years I made my boys a hot breakfast every single day.

But as they've gotten older and I've gotten busier, I've left them to their own devices in the mornings more and more.

They're pretty self-sufficient on school days. Neither kid loves cereal, but between leftovers, toast, smoked salmon (the elder), Nutella (the younger), and the Keurig, they do pretty well.

One morning not long ago, I saw my older son rummaging dejectedly through the refrigerator and took pity on him. While he got his stuff together, I threw together a quick open-faced breakfast sandwich: a Stonefire Mediterranean Pocket Pita with pesto, a fried egg, and a quick saute of colored bell peppers. It tasted great and looked even better.

Every time I see this photo it reminds me of mornings in our Santa Monica kitchen: sunny, bright, warm, and cheerful, with a pure golden light that slants in through the southeast windows. Thus the name: California Sunshine Breakfast Sandwich. May it bring sunlight and warmth to all of your kitchens too.

Disclosure: Stonefire sent me their flatbreads to try. I have to tell you - they're fantastic. The pita bread is soft, pillowy, with just the right amount of chew, and it's not dry at all. We also enjoyed the naan and pizza crust, but the pita was the hands-down winner. Other than the free bread, for which my family was very grateful, I got no compensation for this post. We ate the samples faster than I could photograph them. Luckily, Stonefire pita is now available at my local Costco, and possibly at yours too. 

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California Sunshine Breakfast Sandwich
Pesto, a fried egg, and sauteed tri-color bell peppers top a soft pita bread for this delicious breakfast sandwich that looks like California sunshine.
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mixed color bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 pita bread round
  • 1 Tablespoon basil pesto sauce
  • 1 egg
  • chives, for garnish
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers; cook until wilted and starting to brown around the edges, 3-4 minutes. Put the pepper mixture on a plate.While the peppers are cooking, put the pita in the toaster. Toast until warm and soft. Spread the pita with the pesto sauce.In the same skillet in which you cooked the peppers, crack the egg. Fry the egg until it is done to your liking.To assemble the sandwich, slide the fried egg onto the pita and top with the pepper mixture. Garnish with the chives and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 sandwich