Admittedly this year…
my passover prep is minimal.
It’s one of the perks of going away to family…
especially when my sister is a good cook – & has my mother’s disease..
NO ONE IS ALLOWED IS THE KITCHEN with her when she cooks!
kinda makes me laugh…but I have learned to just back seat cook from the kitchen stool as I watch her slave away
I do feel sorta badly that my sister is working so hard…so yesterday Tunie B & me went shopping for a present
in Mamila Mall we came across this Kitchen store called SOHO that had the coolest QUIRKIEST kitchen gadgets that
I just have to share with all of you!
Many of them made me laugh outright – some even had me knocking my forehead thinking
“why the heck didn’t I think of that!”
COOL & QUIRKY KITCHEN MUST HAVES:
#1 Carrot Sharpener
Now who doesn’t want a carrot sharpener that can not only peel your carrot, but also can give you a pencil sharp deafly point? But seriously if this things works imagine all the cool things you can do with beautifully curled carrot slices! Garnish salads, makes curly carrot crispy fries, carrot rollantinis…I could really get creative. Also, FINALLY I have a sharpener for those giant pencils I always won at my school carnivals!
#2 Dish Washing Gloves with Attitude: Or create your own “Soap” Drama.
Now who really thinks that doing the dishes can be fun? Well with these dish washing gloves, not only do you keep your hands from getting chapped, you can also star and narrate your own dish soap opera theater! Who knew all the Drama there could be when fork snubbed spoon for fish knife!?
#3 CoolAMARI Ice Cubes: Apparently these ice cubes are 8 times the FUN than regular boring square ones! How can you NOT want these for your next pitcher of homemade sweet ice tea?
#4 The Table Saw: Now I don’t know about you, but the last time I tried cutting through my 7 layer cake with my dinky cake knife and having a hard time cutting through all the gooey layers, I was totally wishing I had a table saw to do the job! Well I have to wish no more! I just don’t get the whole cross-cut the lettuce thing…But then again when I bought my ginzu knife from the late night tv commercial, I never realized how much I would use it to cut all those soda cans with!
#5 CORKERS: Cry no more! All those bottles of wine that we are going to be opening this Passover, will come to double use! or..at least their corks will. Now you and your kids can create corkers – cork animals that will be fun for the whole family & give you a terrific keepsake of your LONG seder meal this 2013! Imagine all the fun you can have with these babies during the Seder- reenacting some of the 10 Plauges! Move over Chia Pets – there is a NEW animal in town!
#6 The PLUNGE Cork: Now that you are making all the cork animals – you are going to need a way to close up your extra wine. How about this bottle closer? certainly very appropriate considering that plungers and Matzah go hand in hand for most people during passover! (just pointing out the obvious people! – please don’t write me hate letters)
#7 The Ring Peeler: Yes I know this is another carrot peeler gadget – but my sister could so use this on all those Potatoes she is planing on peeling this year!
#8 The Sardine Paperclip: (no oil added) I can’t begin to count the number of times I was in the middle of making a terrific new dish when I had to just stop cold because I did NOT have a paperclip to finish my cooking task. Thank you to who, ever invented these sardine paperclips – because now I can have an “office” supply blend in to my kitchen beautifully, instead of being a junk drawer eyesore!
#9 The Geppetto Pencil Sharpener: it is true I am always using pencils in my kitchen to mark up recipes etc.. My one issue – why is it named Geppetto? that sure looks like Pinnochio to me.
#10 Chefs’s Stand -The iPad Cooking Holder: OK I must admit – this is THE gift I ended up buying my sister (I also bought one for myself!) My poor iPad has been abused and for Pesach I had to really scour the crevices for all the dried up bits of dough, batter, & other food particles I left behind while cooking with it (I am serious!) I truly believe the best gift is one that you would give and appreciate if it was given to you – so my darling sister….ENJOY! maybe now she will actually get a chance to use her iPad for something other than letting her kids play angry birds!)
Now for a Really Quirky Recipe - I made this up because I just wanted something different that was NOT your typical potato or zucchini kugel!
Passover Sweet Potato Apple Fennel Onion Crumble Kugel
yields 2 small loaf pans
tip: This is my version of a sweet potato kugel that is meant to be served on a platter & sliced into loaf sizes on the table. The key to making this kugel is to make sure to pack your ingredients very tightly and compact into your baking pan. Make sure to use a disposable aluminum pan, for easy removal of loaf.
3 large onions, diced small
3 Tbsp. 0live oil
5-6 large sweet potatoes
2 cups diced apples (3 large apples)
1 head fennel, diced
3 tbsp. potato starch
1 tsp. cinnamon
salt & pepper to taste
For the crumble:
1.5 cups of crushed candied nuts (I used pecans)
1/2 stick of margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup of ground almonds
3 tbsp. Matzah Meal or Potato starch
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
- In a frying sauté your onions in olive oil on medium heat until they have turned brown and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, pierce the skin of your sweet potatoes all around with a fork. Place them in the microwave and nuke them for 5-8 minutes until they are soft. (you might have to do 2-3 potatoes at a time)
- When the sweet potatoes are soft, remove the skins and mask the potatoes until creamy smooth. Add 2 eggs and the 3tbsp. potato starch to the mashed potatoes, mix together well. Set aside.
- After your onions are finished cooking, set them aside on a plate. In the same frying pan sauté the apples and fennel for 5-6 minutes on medium high heat with 1 tbsp. olive oil until they are soft. Remove from heat.
- Whisk to eggs together and then add them to the apples & fennel and mix together.
- In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for your crumble. Using your fingers as you mix, crumble everything until you get a sand like texture with the mixture.
ASSEMBLE YOUR LOAF:
- Spray your loaf pans well all over with non-stick spray.
- On the bottom of your pan, layer your crumble mixture. Make sure to pack it in very tightly and evenly.
- Next layer is the apple & fennel mixture. Spoon on top of the crumble and then press down with the back of your spoon, until they are a thick compact layer.
- Then layer the sweet potato mixture. Pack in the mashed sweet potato almost till the top of the pan leaving about 1/2 inch.
- Lastly layer the fried onions over the sweet potatoes till the top of your pan
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan.
- To remove from pan, flip over onto your serving platter and then tap the bottom with the back of a knife until the kugel loosen. Gently remove from aluminum tin and serve. This kugel loaf can be served warm, or at room temperature.