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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Marinade

This sweet and spicy chicken marinade is so easy and bursting with flavor! Chipotle peppers, brown sugar, whisky, BBQ sauce, and lime are a perfect combo.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Marinade- This sweet and spicy chicken marinade is so easy and bursting with flavor! Chipotles, brown sugar, whisky, garlic, BBQ sauce, and lime are a perfect combo. passthechallah.comHello!  I feel like I haven’t talked to you in so long!  With all the Purim prep last week, I barely had a chance to tie my own shoes, let alone share this new and addicting chicken recipe with you.  (BTW- everybody loved the chocolate covered strawberry hamantaschen in their mishloach manot!  I also included a real chocolate covered strawberry and a fancy brownie.  Check them out here!).

So now that I’ve had a few nights of real sleep, I can finally debut my Sweet and Spicy Chicken Marinade!  But before I jump into the recipe, let’s talk about spice:

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Kosher Tex Mex That Tastes Like the Real Deal

GUYS. I have been dying to share this with you! For the last several weeks, I worked on a feature for Joy of Kosher (umm somebody pinch me)! It has been so much fun recreating my “Tex Mex” favorites, but it felt so strange not sharing these mouth-watering recipes with you!  It’s like I was cheating on this blog or something.

Kosher Tex Mex

But now my feature has been shared on Joy of Kosher and I can FINALLY share it with you!  Check it out here!  I talk all about my memories growing up in Texas and feasting on the best, most authentic Tex Mex you could ever imagine.  Think hot and fresh tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole, and queso, cheesy enchiladas with rice and beans, and sizzling plates of fajitas with homemade tortillas.

Now that I keep kosher, I can’t really go to those hole-in-the-wall Tex Mex restaurants that Texas is known for, but you bet I’m gonna recreate the amazing flavors in my own kitchen!  Trust me, I have a very well trained Mexican palette.  And these dishes totally hit the spot.  Here are the recipes:

Cheese Enchiladas

Cheese Enchiladas

Mexican Mashed Potatoes

Mexican Mashed Potatoes

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

But really, you just need to read my whole story here.  Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hamantaschen

Chocolate covered strawberry hamantaschen are sure to impress! A great way to jazz up your favorite hamantaschen recipe while also hiding the imperfections.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hamantaschen- Chocolate covered strawberry hamantaschen are sure to impress! A great way to jazz up your favorite hamantaschen recipe while also hiding the imperfections. passthechallah.com

 

It’s hamantaschen time!  With Purim less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about what type of hamantaschen to include in your shalach manot this year.

(For those of you reading this and thinking that I’m speaking a bunch of gibberish: Purim is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the saving of the Jewish people from an evil man named Haman, who plotted to kill the Jews in Ancient Persia.  On Purim, we deliver gift baskets called shalach manot to friends, family, and neighbors.  And these gift baskets often include hamantaschen, the traditional dessert of the holiday!  Does that clear things up?)

Now back to the hamataschen.  They are a totally delicious triangular-shaped cookie, traditionally made with a sugar cookie dough and filled with sweet and fruity jams.  What could ever be wrong with that?  Yum.  Hamantaschen always taste amazing.  But making them is another story.

Hamantaschen are complicated.  And tedious.  And bound to fail from the start.  First, you have to find the perfect dough that both tastes amazing and will hold its triangular shape.  The first batch I made had a great shape coming out of the oven, but the cookie was too crunchy.  The second batch had a delicious, soft dough, but most lost their shape after baking.

Second, you have to form them perfectly.  If you don’t pinch the sides together well, they will open up while baking (the epitome of a hamantaschen nightmare).  But if you pinch them too much, they won’t have that beautiful, classic shape.

Third, you have to find a filling that isn’t too thin and runny, because it will bubble out of the center.  But if the filling is too thick, it will dry out while baking.  And if you add too much, it will also bubble out or cause the sides to open up.  Making hamantaschen is pretty much like walking through a minefield.

And to make matters worse, the hamantaschen from the bakery or grocery store always look perfect.  I mean PERFECT.  Now they don’t always taste great (in fact, the mass-produced hamantaschen are often quite awful), but they look spot-on. Perfect size, perfect shape, perfect amount of filling.  How do they do it?  And why do they have to be so perfect?!  Don’t they know that they set the bar way too high for little home cooks like me? I just can’t live up to these standards!  I don’t know why I even try…

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hamantaschen- Chocolate covered strawberry hamantaschen are sure to impress! A great way to jazz up your favorite hamantaschen recipe while also hiding the imperfections. passthechallah.com

 

And now that I’m thinking about it, other Jewish holidays have difficult foods too!  For example, sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) on Chanukah. You make the dough, let it rise, shape it, fry it, fill it.  That’s way too overwhelming.  I won’t even attempt to make them (which is why I made my Chanukah Gelt Cookie Cake instead).    There’s also the time-consuming latkes on Hanukkah, kreplach (meat-filled dumplings served in soup) on Yom Kippur, and stuffed cabbage on Sukkot (hence my Unstuffed Cabbage recipe).  GUYS.  What the heck are we doing to ourselves?!  Make the madness stop!

Anyways.  Enough of my ranting.  What I am trying to say is that hamantaschen are hard to make and often don’t come out perfectly.  But I have come up with the perfect solution!  The perfect way to fix your not-so-perfect hamantaschen.  Chocolate covered strawberry hamantaschen!  Here’s the secret—the chocolate dipping hides the imperfections.  Find the corner you like the least, dip it in chocolate, add some white chocolate drizzles, and all is well with the world.  MIND BLOWN.  Your imperfect hamantaschen are given some leeway, and they come out looking super fancy and impressive!  That’s a win-win if I ever did see one.

And if you really want to make a win-win situation for yourself, you could even dip store-bought hamanaschen.  Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

Happy hamantaschen making (if that exists).  Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hamantaschen
 
Recipe type: Parve
Serves: 40
Ingredients
  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves (I like Bonne Maman brand)
  • 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. To make the hamantaschen: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in small batches, alternating with the water. Mix until a smooth batter forms.
  5. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  6. To roll out the dough, sprinkle a large, clean surface with flour. Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin, until the dough is ⅛ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass, cut dough into 3-inch circles. Gather scraps and re-roll until all the dough is cut.
  7. Fill each circle with 1 teaspoon of strawberry preserves. Pull up the sides and pinch together, to form a triangle. To seal the edges, rub a small amount of cold water on each dough seam.
  8. Place hamantaschen on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are just golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. To dip the hamantaschen: line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
  10. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl (you want a bowl that is narrow and deep, so you have enough room to dip the hamantaschen in the chocolate without hitting the bottom of the bowl).
  11. Microwave for 60 seconds on 50% power. Stir chocolate and return to microwave.
  12. Microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power. Stir and return to microwave.
  13. Repeat step 12 until chocolate is smooth and just melted.
  14. Dip one corner of room-temperature hamantaschen in the chocolate. Lay on wax paper. Repeat with remaining hamantaschen.
  15. To melt the white chocolate and 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, follow steps 10-13.
  16. Pour melted white chocolate into a small Ziploc bag. Cut off a tiny tip of the Ziploc bag and move white chocolate towards the corner with the tip cut off.
  17. Drizzle white chocolate over the chocolate-dipped hamantaschen (as pictured above). Let the hamantaschen cool in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened. Enjoy!
Notes
Feel free to substitute your favorite hamantaschen recipe.
They freeze beautifully!

 

 

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Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Tender meatballs, juicy chicken wings, and the classic sweet and sour sauce make this sweet and sour meatballs recipe totally irresistible.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs- Tender meatballs, juicy chicken wings, and the classic sweet and sour sauce make this sweet and sour meatballs recipe totally irresistible. passthechallah.com

Today is a great day.  Because today I’m sharing a recipe that is super near and dear to my heart.  It’s my grandma’s sweet and sour meatballs recipe.  Every Jewish household has a version of sweet and sour meatballs– it’s the epitome of a Jewish classic.

While the sweet and sour sauce ingredients can vary family to family, they all have the same flavor profile– a tomato-based sauce that’s slightly sweet and slightly tangy.  Our recipe accomplishes this using the perfect balance of tomato sauce, onion, garlic, sugar, and lemon juice.  And this heaven of a sauce doesn’t just show up on meatballs.  It’s also used when making stuffed cabbage (check out my easier unstuffed cabbage version) and brisket.  Any other recipes I’m forgetting, fellow Jewish readers?  Needless to say, sweet and sour sauce is required in every family’s recipe box.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs- Tender meatballs, juicy chicken wings, and the classic sweet and sour sauce make this sweet and sour meatballs recipe totally irresistible. passthechallah.com

I feel so lucky to have shared my family’s recipe on The Nosher this week!  Such an honor!  Our sweet and sour meatballs include moist, cloud-tender meatballs and chicken wings.  That’s right, we throw chicken wings in with the meatballs!  They get so irresistibly juicy.  You just have to try it.  And we always serve those perfect meatballs and chicken wings over a big bowl of wide egg noodles, with a ladle of extra sauce.  Get the full recipe on The Nosher (plus the story of how we finally got this recipe written down, instead of trapped in my grandma’s head).  Enjoy!

How does this compare to your family’s sweet and sour meatballs recipe?  I’m dying to know!

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White Wine Cake

An unexpected combination of white wine and cinnamon makes this white wine cake totally addictive. It’s beautiful, ultra-moist, and so easy!

White Wine Cake

One night last week, I was scrolling through Yummly and Pinterest as I was about to fall asleep.  I think it was around 1 or 2AM, which is when I typically do the bulk of my recipe browsing.  Around that time of night I should probably be sleeping because I do have a full time job and therefore need to wake up at a reasonable hour in the morning.  But I just can’t help myself.  I have to recipe browse.  And what am I doing up until 1 or 2 in the morning to begin with?  Cooking, of course.  Because I always come across recipes that I just HAVE to try.  And since I sit in an office all day, when else can I try these recipes besides during the hours of 9 PM and 1 AM?

And why do I come across these recipes?  Because I’m recipe browsing on Pinterest and Yummly.  Hmm, I think I’ve pinpointed the problem here…  It probably would help the cause if I didn’t scroll through Yummly and Pinterest before going to sleep, so then I wouldn’t see all these recipes that I must try.  But where’s the fun in that?  Recipe browsing is a full-on hobby for me.

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Paprika Chicken and Rice

My grandma’s paprika chicken and rice recipe is so easy and so delicious! It’s all made in one pot, so the rice gets unreal chicken and paprika flavor.

Paprika Chicken and Rice- My grandma's paprika chicken and rice recipe is so easy and so delicious! It's all made in one pot, so the rice gets UNREAL chicken and paprika flavor. It's classic flavors done exactly right. passthechallah.com

Here comes another delicious recipe full of classic, feel good flavors—my grandma’s paprika chicken and rice.  I know this isn’t the only recipe I’ve posted were I rave about the amazingness of classic chicken flavor (see onion roasted chicken and roasted chicken thighs), and it probably won’t be the last.  Because who can ever get enough of the pure bliss that is clean and simple, perfectly cooked chicken?!  And to make this dish even better, rice is cooked in the same pot as the chicken so it absorbs all the amazingness.  Amazing.

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Roasted Salmon with Spiced Brown Sugar

An incredibly easy and insanely flavorful roasted salmon recipe. Just brown sugar, chili powder, salmon, and my secret ingredient for perfectly moist salmon.

Roasted Salmon with Spiced Brown Sugar- An incredibly easy and insanely flavorful roasted salmon recipe. Just brown sugar, chili powder, salmon, and my secret ingredient for perfectly moist salmon. passthechallah.com

I wish I could tell you that I came up with roasted salmon with spiced brown sugar recipe, because it is ah-mazing.  I would pretty much be able to call myself THE master of flavor if I dreamed up this flavor combination of brown sugar and chili powder.  Like I would probably make a bumper sticker for my car and make an award to put in my cubicle at work so everybody would know that I am the master of flavor.  Because this combination of brown sugar, chili powder, and salmon is ingenious and insane and out of this world (more on that to come).  But alas, I did not come up with this flavor combination.  I got it from my one true addiction in life—The Food Network.

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Creamy Ravioli Soup

A thick and creamy soup full of cheesy ravioli. Creamy ravioli soup is quick, easy, and a recipe your whole family is guaranteed to love.

Creamy Ravioli Soup- A thick and creamy soup full of cheesy ravioli. Ravioli soup is easy, simple, and a recipe your whole family is guaranteed to love. passthechallah.com

I created this recipe by accident.  Actually, by force.  Or more like desperation.  Ok let me explain.

I decided that I really wanted to make a creamy tortellini soup.  Because what could be bad about the words creamy and tortellini and soup all together in one recipe?  So I went to the local kosher grocery store to pick up the ingredients.  But this is where the issue started—with the kosher grocery store.

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Chocolate Chip Pomegranate Cookies

Pomegranate seeds truly shine in these unique chocolate chip pomegranate cookies.  Chocolate, pomegranate, and orange zest are the perfect combination!

Chocolate Chip Pomegranate Cookies

Next week is Tu B’Shvat and I am so excited! If you haven’t heard of Tu B’Shvat before, it probably looks like I accidentally had my fingers in the wrong place on the keyboard and typed a bunch of random letters.  Let me explain.  Tu B’Shvat is a minor Jewish holiday (yes, another holiday) that celebrates the beginning of a “new year” for trees, when trees will emerge from their winter slumber and start to blossom.  Isn’t that nice?

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Beef Stew with Parsnips

A classic beef stew recipe, made even better with parsnips!  It’s easy, comforting, and the sweet parsnips compliment the hearty beef perfectly.

Beef Stew with Parnsips- A classic beef stew recipe, made even better with parsnips! It’s easy, comforting, and the sweet parsnips compliment the hearty beef perfectly. passthechallah.com

It’s soup weather.  Enough said.  The question isn’t if you are going to make soup or not, but what type of soup you are going to make.

For my most recent soup weather craving, I wanted to make a classic and satisfying beef stew but with my own touch—lots of parsnips!

Parsnips have a history in my family.  When we make chicken soup, my mom and I always bicker about how many parsnips to use.  I stick to my grandma’s age-old chicken soup recipe which calls for 2 or 3 parsnips, but my mom likes to put in 4 or 5, or more.  Honestly, she’ll add however many she can sneak in while I’m not looking . . . probably because I’m texting.  Oops.  But I’m a millennial so you can’t even blame me.

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