Archive for February, 2013

When you get sick, don’t you ever have a craving for a certain comfort food? For Andrew and I, there are usually two meals that make us feel better: Breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon and toast) or matzo ball soup. Last weekend, we joined my parents for a relaxing weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Wintergreen, Virginia. My Mom unfortunately caught the flu bug that has been going around the area (and now Andrew is recovering from bronchitis), so she was recovering the whole weekend. I knew what she needed to feel better was a great bowl of matzo ball soup. 🙂

Every Jewish family has a certain way of making matzo ball soup. Between different ingredients and cooking times, everyone has their own family version of this delicious soup. This recipe I am sharing tonight is the version my Mom taught me with my own spin on the final product.  My Mom’s recipe does not include vegetables in the final product because my extended family does not enjoy the soup with vegetables; however, I am a huge fan on vegetables, so I leave them in when serving it.

I decided to leave my camera at home for the weekend to really make sure to relax, so all the photos are done with my trusty iphone. 🙂

So, without further ado, enjoy Mama Abbey’s matzo ball soup recipe! 🙂

1) Prepare the matzah balls! In a mixing bowl, combine 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the matzo meal mix pack. If I had a lot of time on my hand I would make the matzo meal from scratch, but I don’t so the packet just works as well! Already seasoned so no additional salt is needed! The only thing I add is a little bit of dried dill before mixing.

photo 1I love Manischewitz mix! I would recommend buying this mix.

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2) After mixing the matzo ball mix together, place in the fridge for 15 minutes. While chilling, chop up some celery and carrots (peeled) to taste. Then place 10 cups of reduce sodium chicken broth into a pot with a bunch of dill sprigs. Bring up to a boil. Add about 2-3 teaspoons of salt to add flavor, but there will still be less sodium than regular chicken broth.

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 3) Take the mix out of the fridge. Use some olive oil on your hand to make sure the mix will not stick to your hands. Using a teaspoon, scoop up some of the mix the size of the spoon. Then use your hands lightly to roll the mix into the mazto ball into about a 1 inch diameter. Don’t pack it too tight or the matzo ball will be really dense after you cook it! After using all the mix to create the matzo balls, place them into the boiling pot of chicken broth. Be careful dropping them in so you don’t get burned by the boiling liquid! Cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer! Let it cook for 20 minutes. 🙂

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Thought I would share that while making the soup, it decided to snow!! Lovely view while cooking I must say. 🙂

4) After 20 minutes, remove the dill from the pot and the soup is ready to serve! Scoop up some matzo balls and vegetables with the broth and enjoy! If you would like a little bit of crunch, I love to use these soup croutons! They can be found in the Kosher section at your local supermarket.

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Bon appétit! 😀

panna

Andrew funded a project a year ago through Kickstarter called Panna. Since it’s been funded and released to the public, it is by far one of the best investments he has ever made! It’s a digital magazine that has 6 issues a year that is filled with delicious recipes from some of the greatest master chefs in the US today. Panna is still in it’s first year, and it has recruited some amazing chefs (Jonathan Waxman, Rick Bayless, Anita Lo are a few awesome ones to name!). Not only does the chef supply the recipe with super detailed instructions, THEY HAVE A VIDEO OF THE CHEF COOKING ALONG WITH EVERY STEP! Seriously, how amazing is that?? Not only do I get to learn a new recipe from a great chef, I can watch them cook it as well. We can hear the chefs explain why they used a certain flavor profile, what equipment to use and why (plus alternatives if you don’t have certain tools), and how they were inspired to create this certain recipe! These key things are great for us visual learners out there. Cookbooks are great, but sometime I like to see examples to make sure I doing a step or technique correctly (especially when it comes to cooking meat). 

 
pannachefs

Andrew and I already have plans to make Anita Lo’s Pork Bun recipe sometime in the next few weeks from our most recent issue, plus Nancy Silverton’s delicious biscuit recipe from the first issue. 🙂

If you have an ipad, then you should consider downloading this app! What’s great about Panna is that it’s really affordable! The app itself is free, and comes with one free recipe for each issue. A yearly subscription for all 6 issues is only $14.99, which costs less than a bunch of cookbooks out there on the market today. If you would love to expand your cooking knowledge, or just love to cook, then this app is for you! 🙂

Bon appétit! 🙂

 

It’s wonderful to watch a relationship of two people start and grow into something amazing. It’s even more special when it’s two of your friends.

I met Danny and Kristen years ago in our marching band days at Towson University. Danny played trumpet (and is also my husband’s little brother in our band service fraternity!) and Kristen was in color guard.  They became great friends, and after a few years began dating. It’s great to watch their relationship flourish into what it is today, and I couldn’t be happier for them to take the next step of their relationship by getting married! My gift to them was an engagement session, and what a better location to have it than our Alma Mater, Towson University! It was so nice to walk around the newly renovated campus, reminiscing our of our days, and going to the places that were meaningful to them. Danny and Kristen are getting married in June, and I can’t wait to see these two say “I do”.