Ready for the best part of my weekend? I woke up Saturday morning to an email from my Dad. The title "It's a Boy!". It said it all. My sister-in-law gave birth on Friday to a healthy baby-boy. Welcome to the family, Myles - we can't wait to meet you!!
Saturday went off without a hitch. The chicken from Friday night (recipe below) went well with our Shabbat salad (recipe below). I managed to make a good pumpkin spice syrup meant for my coffee but I won't post a recipe until this one is perfected (I really don't like tasting bits of nutmeg). We also rooted my uber-annoying eReader (don't ever ever ever buy a Pandigital eReader). Craig's reward for rooting my POS eReader: pasta bake. This pasta bake turned out SO well that even I was surprised! Here are two things you should know about me: I loathe pasta sauce and I don't like pasta. But I still ate this and it was SO yummy!
So, all in all, my weekend was pretty great but that's not really why you're here - is it? Here are some recipes...
Easy Garlic Chicken
4 chicken legs and thighs
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sweet paprika
3 cloves garlic - sliced
1 tbsp. honey
1 oven bag
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400f. Take your chicken and place it in the oven bag. Place the granulated garlic, pepper, cumin, sweet paprika, and sliced garlic cloves in the bag. Twist the bag a few times so it's closed and shake it really well. The ingredients will disperse among the chicken. Open the bag and drizzle the honey into the bag. Spin the bag closed, shake it, then tie it off with a knot.
Place the oven bag in a receptacle like a disposable aluminum pan or a glass baking dish - then place it in the oven. Bake it for 50 minutes then take a look at the chicken to see if the chicken is browned. Shake the bag up carefully (wear oven mitts!) and cook it for another 10-20 minutes. When the chicken is done, carefully cut off the top of the bag (where the knot is) and use tongs to get the chicken out.
We had a lot of chicken left over (we're only two people) so lunch for Saturday was a special Shabbat salad. If you have chicken left over, you can decide to warm it up - then cut it off the bone or cut the meat off the bone when it's cold. No chicken? No problem - tuna salad also works well.
Easy Shabbat Salad
Leftover cut up chicken or tuna salad
Bag of salad or cut up romaine lettuce
2 cucumbers, cut up
A handful of dried raisins or cranberries
1 can of cold mandarin oranges (drained)
A handful of french fried onions (optional)
2 tbsp. Dressing of your choice (we like sweet honey mustard)
Place your lettuce, cucumbers, dried fruit, and mandarin oranges in a big salad bowl - then lightly toss. Add in your chicken or tuna, pour on your dressing, then toss it again. Once you dish out your salad into bowls or on to plates, sprinkle your french fried onions onto the top of the salad as a garnish. Then eat it. We guarantee you'll eat another bowl.
Come Saturday night, after Shabbat ends, I'm usually drained and don't feel like cooking anymore. This weekend, I decided that the opened bag of pasta in our pantry had to go. I really wasn't feeling like our normal pasta bake made with a cream sauce so I opted for a rose sauce. Israel makes it easier to portion out things like pasta sauce and cream because they come in little containers instead of large cartons or jars. Here's how it went...
Easy Pasta Bake (Kosher)
1 small bag of pasta (your choice - we like shells)
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup of cooking cream
1 cup of garlic pasta sauce (plain)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
Bring a big pot of water to a boil and boil your pasta (around 7 minutes). You want it to be just under cooked. Drain your pasta and set it aside. In a small saucepan, melt your butter then add your cream and pasta sauce. Mix it well and get it hot without boiling it. Add in your Parmesan cheese, ground black pepper, and salt. Mix it well for about a minute. Right before you take everything off the stove, add in your garlic - stir it in well. Place your pasta in a big mixing bowl, then add in your sauce and mix it well. Transfer the mixture to a big baking dish (we like glass baking dishes). Once the pasta is nicely sorted out, sprinkle your cheese on to the top. Add more if you like more cheese, add less if you like less but try to do this with your hands instead of sprinkling it on with the measuring cup itself. Place the mixture in the oven set at 200C/400F and bake it for about 15 minutes. If your cheese hasn't browned, turn up the heat to 250C/500F for about 10 minutes (maximum).
Take it out and serve it hot!