baking for Purim – Hamentaschen

Next week is Purim, I haven’t yet started cooking, so thought I’d link last year’s post on hamentaschen (and Pi Day) and some links for new combinations that have caught my eye.

Last year I used my favourite pie crust for the cookie. They were easy and amazing.

Hamentaschen step 5

The traditional fillings are lekvar (prune butter), apricot jam, and poppy seed filling.

That has not stopped many from coming up with different and unique fillings. I’ve not any of the following, but they definitely sound interesting!

These savory easy pulled BBQ brisket hamentaschen would be really good in my parve/vegan pie crust.


These Egg Roll Hamentaschen would be easy and yummy for the seudah (meal).

soup season

Winter is soup season. While I would enjoy a soup, stew, or porridge at almost every meal year round, E prefers more variety. Last week I was craving something different to fill my weekly soup meal slot and this vegetable wonton miso soup recipe caught my eye. I’ve not made wontons in many years, so I knew it would be different.

What I didn’t expect was how amazing it would taste.


I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, my wontons were filled with tofu, bok choy, carrot, ginger, all mixed with a bit of soy sauce. E helped me finish making them and reminded me that they didn’t have to be folded and sealed to a traditional perfection, they’d still taste great. He made various shapes from envelopes to x-wings and I forget all he made. And yes, they were all great.

For the soup, I followed instructions and ingredients more than not. It is a different method than how I normally make miso, and I’ll probably continue to follow in the future as it led to a rich and flavorful broth. In a splash of seasame oil I briefly sauteed the rest of the carrot, white parts of the bok choy, and some more ginger. To that I added 2 TBS of miso paste which I dissolved by slowly stirring in 2 TBS of soy sauce and a box of No-Chicken Broth (I need to replenish my stock of homemade stock in the freezer).

We made 24 wontons with the expectation that we’d eat a few and I’d eat the rest for lunch later in the week, however that didn’t happen. We ate everything! I can’t think of any better compliment to a meal.

It’s pie season!

As the weather is finally starting to become seasonal, my desire to turn on the oven and bake has returned. While on occasion I love a fruit pie, my absolute favourite is a root vegetable pie, with or without a smothering amount of cheese. I made the first one of the season for my birthday last month and saved some for lunch the following week.

Root Vegetable Pie

How do I make it? I cut up my vegetables and toss them with olive oil, salt, and a bit of pepper. Then I put them in a roasting pan, place it in the oven, and turn it on (to 375°F) while I prep the dry ingredients for the crust. Once the oven is preheated I take the vegetables out and finish preparing the pie crust. When it’s ready, I dump in the vegetables and add in some liquid. Lately I’ve been adding a quarter cup of apple cider. Then I roll out the top and depending on how nicely I rolled things, crimp a neat edge after plopping it on. Bake until golden brown, probably about 45 minutes.

A few more tips on the crust as I’ve been making it somewhat regularly for the past year:

  • It comes together so quickly do not bother with a power tool and I don’t even think a spoon or fork is necessary. Use your fingers. The oil is good for your hands!
  • Use very cold icy water. Sometimes I pop the dough (or the bit I’ve decided will be the top) into the fridge for a few minutes to keep cool if the kitchen is hot.
  • I find it easier to just keep mixing new batches instead of doubling.
  • I’m pleased to report that if you wish to use olive oil instead of canola, it seems to have no apparent impact on taste and worked quite well in my opinion for this savory pie. Of course your mileage may vary based on your olive oil. I used Fairway Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which we’ve been buying in a larger size container because I go through it quick.
  • Do you need to crimp a neat and tidy edge? No. While I have the odd superpower and have always been able to crimp beautifully if I want to, the goal for this sort of pie is to make a decent enough seal so it doesn’t blow out and boil over. But that’s why I always bake on an extra tray. I’d rather clean another dish than my oven! This is where I also stick all those odd bits of crust that I’ve cut off for some reason or another. Those are the best parts when baked!

I’ll save you clicking to older posts, here’s the recipe again:
Root Vegetable PieOil Pie Crust
yield: one crust
2c flour
1/2c oil
1.5tsp salt
1/3c icy cold water

Mix. Roll out. Enjoy.

note: salt is based on table salt (common when this recipe came to me in the late ’80s). I dropped it to heaping 1/2tsp kosher salt and it still tastes fine.

easy oven fries

While I cook almost every meal we eat, I don’t often have a large amount of time available for prep work. We’ve been moving away from processed food shortcuts and the latest food on my quest has been fries. I’ve finally found a method that tastes better than what I made when I pulled a bag from the freezer, and doesn’t take considerably more time. Even better, they taste better!

I use whatever potatoes I have on hand.

My aha moment the other day was to use my apple slicer. I slice the “core” piece in half lengthwise. This is so much faster!


Boil in salted water until soft & drain well.
Toss gently in olive oil. Spread on lightly oiled pan and sprinkle with (garlic) salt or other seasonings.

Baking instructions are because I always pair fries with veggie burgers; they’re next on my hit list!

Place in cold oven. Turn oven to desired temperature, I like 425°F. After oven has preheated set a timer for 10-12 minutes.
Add burgers and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy your golden fries.


it’s time

It’s that time of year. School buses are back, leaves are starting to turn, and the holidays are upon us. I’m scrambling to finish work and meal planning so I thought I’d share some photos of challot of years past.

This photo tutorial is one of the clearer ones I’ve found for braiding a round challah. Yes, there are many videos online, I prefer this style of tutorial.

I haven’t decided if I’ll follow my standard basic challah recipe or make fig, olive oil and sea salt challah instead.

l’shanah tovah!