BAKE FOR A BLESSING.

Dear Friends,

This event was very close to my heart and so, being that it was similar to a Mega Challah Bake but so very different at the same time, I decided to add details and a more personal affect to the layout, decor, ingredients and energy of the evening.

I called this Challah Baking event “Bake for a Blessing” and I think that this can easily be used in smaller communities as well, where ‘MEGA’ Challah Bake may seem too overwhelming to coordinate and put together. (Not that this wasn’t detail oriented but I was not accommodating hundreds of women, therefore I could take the time to make it extra special).

So, I will begin sharing all the details and how-to’s in various posts. I welcome you to make this event yours and see how your Mega Challah Bake or Bake for a Blessing can take on a different look.

A very special thank you to Rochie Pinson, author of ‘Rising – The Book of Challah’, who’s recipes, braiding techniques and insights were used throughout the event.

I will begin by sharing the recipe I used (from Rising – The Book of Challah) and will post additional posts on the details and decor shortly.

Good Shabbos!

CHALLAH RECIPE CARD

 

 

 

 

Sweet Simple Centerpiece.

Thankfully in midst of intense kitchen preparations I was able to capture a quick picture of the centerpieces which I had made on each table for our Rosh Hashanah dinner and subsequently used throughout the various meals to follow.

This has a rustic fall look and captured the flavors of Rosh Hashanah.

The tea light holders are from crate and barrel and reflect light beautifully through the crystal cut diamond shapes.

The honey jar was purchased form a local store but use any jar of your choice!

Wood rounds are from http://www.michaels.com and the mini small rounds are from http://www.saveoncrafts.com

Wishing everyone a Gmar Chasima Tovah and an easy fast!

HONEY STICKS!

My new favorite? these cute plastic , food safe plastic tubes! They come in all different sizes and I have decided to make things super easy and package up a bunch of these to have on hand for Mivtzoim, gifts paired with apples or a mini honey cake.

You can make these in advance, mail them safely with no sticky mess!, or keep them in your purse for some ‘Sweet wishes’ on the go!

All you need are:

  • Honey sticks (CLICK HERE)
  • Plastic Tubes (there are a variety of places to purchase these on line, but I used the following link so I could test them out: CLICK HERE
  • Add a label if you wish from http://www.evermine.com or go with a ribbon and your business card!

You should measure your honey sticks and then choose the correct tube size. I decided to go with a larger tube to test this out, but then didn’t like how the honey sticks fit inside, since there was extra space. These tubes were easy to trim using a scissors and then I simply fit the lid back on!

Wishing everyone a good shabbos and sweet beginnings to a SWEET new year!

Hamburger Buns!

As I hold onto the last tastes of summer, I found this incredible recipe for homemade hamburger buns. Trust me…these will take your summer bbq’s to the next level.

I always double this recipe and if by any chance there is one left over, I toast it in the morning and top it with peanut butter!

Hot summer days, carefree moments and delicious memories!

p.s these are equally amazing with bbq miami ribs or minute steaks for the ultimate steak sandwich !

Hamburger buns 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons warm milk (I used coconut milk)

1 cup warm water

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast (I use active dry yeast)

2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour (do not substitute this)

1/3 cup (1.5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt

3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I use earth balance)

For topping:

1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Sesame seeds

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, and egg. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until frothy, before continuing. Add the flour to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the salt and butter. Knead on medium low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together into a soft yet tacky dough (should not be unbearably sticky). Avoid adding too much extra flour because it will create tough buns, it’s better to be sticky than dense I promise!

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again until puffy and almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Let defrost at room temperature before reheating in a 350°F oven until warmed or toasting.

Tea Cup Salads!

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It was a beautiful warm day so I planned for a fresh summer salad in tea cups for an extra creative take on a regular old tea party!

I placed quinoa, corn, hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, radishes and cilantro in each cup and drizzled a nicoise dressing on top.

Ladies loved walking around and chatting while holding their salads!

Wooden forks can be found on Amazon.com and the tea cups were from HERE.

 

Tea Party Cookies!

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A sweet little platter of tea bag cookies added that special touch to the tea and coffee bar and dessert table!

All you need to do is make some cookie dough, roll it out, cut out an almost rectangle shape. Place cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and using a knife, cut top two corners off cookie dough. Then use a straw to poke a hole. Bake and let cool. String with ribbon and using double sided tape, stick a cute tag onto the string.

Melt chocolate chips and a little vegetable oil in a bowl and dip cookies in and lay flat on a cookie sheet and place in freezer. When the chocolate has set (about 20 minutes) place in an airtight container in freezer until your party or simply place on a platter and serve.

Here is a pdf of the tags you can print, cut and use and stick to the cookies!

Etiquettes-the pdf

And of course….. the best cookie dough!
Basic Cookie Dough
3 eggs
1 cup margarine (Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups flour
2 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
3 tsps. baking powder
Yields 7 to 8 dozen (if dough rolled thin, 4-6 dozen if kids are making them:)
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixer bowl, beat eggs. Add margarine and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder and mix well.
Roll out dough on a floured board to 1/4″ thickness and cut into desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet.
Press sprinkles onto cookies.
Bake 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly browned.
Remove from Cookie sheet to cool.
(Recipe credits: Spice and Spirit The Complete Kosher Cookbook)

Shine A Little Light

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These jars were packed with pink matchsticks and a label that read ‘Shine a Little Light”.

A take home favor with a Shabbos candle lighting card to match.

Dina Hurwitz was our incredibly inspiring speaker and the label here is the name of the song her husband wrote which was shared at the event.

You can find matchsticks in a variety of colors on Etsy (or use regular colored matchsticks) and you can purchase the bottles Here.