Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah-Egg-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Honey Cake

Honey cake is one of the traditional desserts that we eat on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year! My mother always made her honey cake using a cup of strong black tea and added chopped walnuts to the batter.

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My cake is similar to my mother's recipe, but I've adapted the ingredients to be plant-based. Although some vegans do not eat honey, I do. 

I heard somewhere that they call honey-eating vegans,"bee-gans. " 

Honey cake

The cake brings back memories of when I was a young girl. We always had a slice of honey cake for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee before we left for the synagogue for the religious holiday service. It's wasn't a super sweet cake and it tended to be a tad dry.  I'm not sure if that was intentional, or my mom's cake just came out dry! Well, we spread it with a little extra honey and were very happy.

honey and slice of cake

I made my honey cake and guess what, it is a tad dry. I found a way to moisten it up. I cut it into squares and stored it in a large  Zip Loc baggie. That night, the cake was much moister!  I didn't add the walnuts because my grandkids are not happy when I do. 
It's a tasty dunking cake! We will enjoy it for breakfast on the holiday. 

If you are looking for, or are just interested in reading about other Rosh Hashanah traditions and recipes, see my Rosh Hashanah post from 2106.

This honey tea cake is egg-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah

2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour 
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
1/2 cup of coconut crystals or sugar of your choice
1 cup of dark tea
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of avocado or olive oil
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce 
1 teaspoon of lemon zest 
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Optional: 1 cup of chopped unsalted walnuts 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, cocoa, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Using a whisk, mix well and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oil, applesauce, lemon zest, tea, vanilla, and honey and stir with the whisk. 
Slowly begin adding the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing with the whisk until all dry mixture is absorbed, but do not over mix. Add the lemon juice and stir.
Pour batter into an 8X8 brownie pan that has been lined with parchment paper on the bottom and grease the sides. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a pre-heated oven until testing with a toothpick comes out clean.

I used 1/2 cup of oil in the recipe. For a moister cake, perhaps try 3/4 cup of oil? 
Drizzle some honey over each slice before eating! 

Let me know if you try. You can leave a comment below- just click on comments.

Looking for a Gluten-Free Challah Recipe? Check out the 20 Top gluten-free Challah recipes as Gluten Free Easily.  Really an amazing round up from many gluten free bloggers!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Fall Potato Dill Vegetable Soup- Vegan

Fall vegetable soup

We loved our flavorful potato dill vegetable soup! 
The weekly local outdoor farmer's markets are thriving and have lots of beautiful seasonal vegetables and herbs for sale! This week I decided to make a fragrant fall vegetable soup with the produce that I bought from the market.

The key player was a beautiful bunch of dill. As soon as I spotted it, I knew I wanted it! However, I really don't have many recipes that call for dill. 


I have used dill in potato salad before, so I decided to make a potato based soup. I just went with the flow of what I had purchased. I had potatoes, onions, garlic, zucchini, fresh dill and fresh kale- all from the organic farmers at the market!  The only vegetable I added to the soup from my refrigerator was some carrots.

So Fast and Easy
Seriously, what I calling my early fall potato dill vegetable soup came out delicious. I made it in my Instant pot with a cook time of 5 minutes!! If you don't have an IP just follow directions, and cook longer covered until potatoes are soft ( you might need a little more liquid).

The Freshly Chopped Kale Melted into The Cooked Soup 
The outcome was a nice broth-like soup with lots of chunky vegetables and a mellow flavor. The dill gave it a nice fragrance and taste and the kale just melted into the pot after the soup was cooked. The turmeric brightened it up to a lovely yellow color!

potato dill vegetable soup

We are talking quick, easy, and healthy here!! A comforting easy plant-based, oil-free, soup that is naturally gluten-free too! Just the way I like it..!!
This soup tastes even better the second day!

Author of the blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time in Instant Pot: 5 minutes + pre-heat time
Serves: 5 

1 cup of onions, diced
4 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup of zucchini, diced
1 cup carrots sliced
3 cups of potatoes, diced
1/2 cup of curly parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or more)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups vegetable broth + 1/2 cup for sauteeing
3 cups water
1 cup of kale, sliced thin ribbon style 
1/2 cup dill, chopped fine (reserve a little for garnish in each bowl)

Add a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the bottom of the Intant Pot insert liner to sautee the vegetables. Add onion, garlic, zucchini, and carrots. Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, parsley, turmeric, and garlic powder. Mix well. Add vegetable broth and water. Secure lid, close steam valve, and set to pressure cook for 5 minutes. When done, carefully release steam manually. When all steam is released, carefully remove lid. Add kale and dill and stir. Garnish with some extra dill. Tastes even better the next day!

Sharing on Souper Sunday  at Kahakai Kitchen where anyone can share a soup, stew, salad, or sammie recipe. Party begins every Sunday!

I feel like it is officially fall since I've seen pumpkins and the leaves are starting to turn around here! Just saying!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Monday, August 31, 2020

Peach and Cardamom Breakfast Tea Cake

small cardamom bundt tea cake

Looking for a nice breakfast cake to eat with a cup of tea? 

The simple cake is not too sweet, and it is laced with a touch of aromatic cardamom. 
I used a bundt pan and filled it half way. The small delicate gluten-free| egg-free| dairy-free tea cake yields 8 medium slices.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Fresh Peach Bellini

Have you ever had an Italian "Bellini" Cocktail?
It's an incredible drink made with fresh summer peaches and mixed with prosecco. (I made a virgin version too that I mix with seltzer for the kids).

The first time I was introduced to a beautiful Bellini cocktail was many years ago at the exquisite Bellini Bar inside of the The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas. It was a memorable cocktail and memorable experience!

Monday, August 24, 2020

A Falcon in My Neighborhood

Last night, when returning from my evening walk, I looked up and there on the roof of my next door neighbor's house was a large magnificent bird that I'm guessing was a peregrine or prairie falcon (professional photo from free Internet site)

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Plant-Based College Cookbook -Review and Recipe

The Plant-Based College Cookbook

I'm thrilled to have a copy of The Plant-Based College Cookbook in my cookbook collection! Although the book is intended for college students, I think that any vegetarian household would welcome these recipes.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Mashed Cauliflower Hummus

low carb dip using cauliflower

This is an interesting idea that is all over Pinterest for making cauliflower hummus. You simply use a recipe for homemade hummus but substitute steamed cauliflower. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Vegan Sephardic Shabbat Dinner

Tonight is Shabbat (our Sabbath begins) and I made a Jewish vegan dinner "Sephardic" Style. Our dinner may remind you of Greek or Arabic cooking and that is because my husband and his family came to the US from Egypt in August of 1966. The food that I cooked for tonight's dinner are recipes that I learned from my Middle Eastern mother-in law. Recipes included at the end of the post.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Vegan Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

vegan spring rolls

I'm on a roll experimenting with foods that I previously only ordered in restaurants. It's been almost 6 months since I've eaten in a restaurant or ordered out, so I'm now attempting to make my own restaurant favorites.

Last week I made these awesome vegan Vietnamese spring rolls with a delicious peanut sauce. They were actually fun to make using the thin little spring roll wrappers that they sell in all the supermarkets in the Asian section.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Peek At My Week 8/1/2020

                                My Week                                     

Book review, Prime Video review, 2 salad recipes

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Vegan Peach Caprese Salad with cashew basil dressing

vegan caprese salad with peaches

Seasonal fresh farm  produce such sweet peaches, red juicy tomatoes, and aromatic basil are the perfect fixings for this beautiful summer peach caprese salad with a creamy vegan dressing.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Cashew Basil Cream

Creamy cashew basil sauce

I am excited about this simple cashew creamy sauce that not only can be made using a variety of ingredients, it also can be used on a variety of different dishes! I'm sharing my favorite way to prepare it which is the basic cashew basil cream. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

A Peek At My Week 7/26

a beautiful hydrangea bush

This has been a really hot week with temperatures rising to the mid-high 90's all week. I haven't felt much like cooking, so I've been making salads. 
We are still sheltering at home and my routine is pretty much the same: walking in the morning, reading, blogging, watching Netflix, and cooking, and having my older son and his family for dinner on the deck on Friday nights!  The hydrangeas are definitely thriving in this weather!

What I'm Watching:

Hamilton: On Disney+ through July 
They are showing an actual live performance  of the Broadway Play- Hamilton filmed in New York City prior to Covid. It is excellent and so worth taking the opportunity to watch it if you have Disney+: It's through July. 

Also Watching a Netflix Series:   

Quantico is a fast moving action packed series about a woman training to work for the FBI. She finds herself victimized by a terrorist group. It is fascinating to see the way she works her way out of the mess and the long tangled story of her life before she joins the FBI. I thought it was a new series, until my son told me her watched it on television at least 6 years ago. Regardless, I'm enjoying it and recommend it!

What I'm Cooking: 
Corn, Cucumber and Olive Salad (Recipe Here)
This is a really different and tasty summer salad made with freshly cut off the cob raw crunchy kernels of corn, whole pitted black olives, red onion, celery, cucumber and spices. Summer corn is in full season here in Pennsylvania now.

corn, cucumber and olive salad
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Red Cabbage Potato Salad  (Recipe Link)

Summer red cabbage and potato salad
This photo was taken before I mixed the salad

Another very tasty salad that is made with potatoes, red onion, red cabbage, and parsley. This hearty salad is vegan so there is no mayonaise, but it is dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. It's kind of like two sides in one- the starchy potato and the raw salad veggies.

Sharing this post on Sunday Salon 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Kasha Varnishkes Like Bubbie Made

Have you ever heard of Kasha Varnishkes? No one made Kasha Varnishkes like my "Bubbie" (grandmother) who emigrated from Russia alone to the USA in the early 1900's. At the age of 16, she brought little with her except her courage and her recipes.

kasha varnishkes @ www.realfoodblogger.com

Her hearty and savory recipe is a mix of pasta, sauteed onions, and buckwheat groats (kasha). 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

A Peek at My Week 7/17

We have started to a little more active outside ( not indoors anywhere)
This week I'm reviewing "100 recipes to live to 100! from the Blue Zone Cookbook- 2 Netflix Shows, and a Middle Eastern dessert and a yellow beet soup. 

Yellow Beet Borsht

Yellow beet borsht @ www.realfoodblogger.com

Traditional beet borsht has a bright brilliant red color. Red beets can be hard to work with because they stain everything, including your hands and the countertop. This borsht recipe was made using golden yellow beets, which produced a beautiful yellow soup that tasted lovely and didn't stain anything. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Easy Strawberry Mint Popsicles

popsicles from fresh strawberries and fresh mint

You might think popsicles are just for kids, but in this heat, my husband and I really enjoy them. During this pandemic, I am especially focusing on "individual" ways to serve friends and family outside on my deck. Popsicles qualify!  

Sunday, July 5, 2020

A Peek At My Week 7/3

This post is about another week of sheltering at home, book review, Youtube documentary review, and two amazing summer salad recipes. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Creamy Strawberry Soup- Vegan and Gluten Free

creamy vegan strawberry soup

I'm addicted to this light delicious chilled soup that I've been enjoying in this hot humid weather. I know there are many people who just can't wrap their finger around the idea of "chilled soup". I used to be one of them. I guess it's an acquired taste and concept. Call it a smoothie if you don't like the idea of "chilled soup."

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Peek at My Week 6/28 - Books, Netflix, Cooking

Yes, it's been 3 months and I'm still staying at home. We have done some socializing on our deck, but with just one friend at a time or with my kids and grandkids and 6 feet distance. I do grocery shop as well, but that's it.

Mah Jong tiles (these are flowers)

This post has book reviews, 2 recipes, and Netflix review: 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Zucchini Noodles and Tofu

zucchini noodles and tofu in sauce

Can you imagine the taste of the fresh ginger, tomatoes, onion, and zucchini in this flavorful Asian dish?  If you like Asian cuisine, you will love this quick and easy zucchini noodles and tofu recipe that I make every summer.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Peek At My Week 6/19

I can't believe that it's been 3 months since we have been sheltering at home.
People are beginning to ease up a bit and are venturing out somewhat more and actually going into other people's homes and restaurants. 

I haven't ordered any food or eaten out yet, whether inside or outside.

This week I'm sharing 2 book reviews, 1 Netflix review, 2 roasted soup recipes.

My friend Vicki sent me a chart that rates activities according to their risk factor. According to her chart: 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Strawberry Blondies-Gluten Free and Vegan

If you like blondies, you will love these hearty strawberry blondies that I made with local organic strawberries that were big, plump, sweet, and juicy.

I bought 2 pints yesterday and after eating quite a few of them, I decided to bake my strawberry blondies for my grandkids who are coming to dinner tonight. (We will be eating outside on the deck and six feet apart.)

Saturday, June 13, 2020

A Peek At My Week 6/13

We are back home, after being away 6 months and a day snowbirding in Florida, well over a week now, and we are just about finished settling in.

Grocery shopping is done, we set up the deck, planted flowers, visited my older son, daughter-in-law, and the grandkids on their deck (had not seen them in 6 months), and have enjoyed the cooler weather (as compared to Miami) for taking walks and sitting outdoors. 

I'm sharing a book review, A TV series review, and 2 vegan/gluten-free recipes.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

How To Cook Rice In the Instant Pot

Did you know you can use your Instant Pot as a rice cooker? Your rice will be hot when you are ready and it frees up your burners if you are making a big meal and need the stovetop space,

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Why and How I Freeze Packets of Cooked Rice

freezing rice

Do you love rice, but don't always have time to cook it? 
This is a convenient and economical time saver that has been a game-changer for me. With this method, I only cook rice once a month for the two of us. We like our rice made with aromatic cumin seeds. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

A Peek At My Week 6/4

This week my husband and I "flew the coop" from our condo in South Florida to begin the 19 -hour ride home to Pennsylvania. Between the Coronavirus and the unrest in the cities right now, we were a little nervous, to say the least. In this post, I'm sharing a book review, movie reviews, and vegan Pad Thai and a fabulous cherry tomato, avocado, and chickpea salad.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Savory Indian Vegetable Pancakes

Indian vegetable pancake

Savory Indian Vegetable Pancakes are delicious and very easy to make. 
It's been over 77 days since I've been "staying in." (Although I have been taking daily walks with a mask, and I have been doing my own grocery shopping, but not too often)

Since we are not eating or ordering out, I am doing a significant amount of daily cooking. I've been experimenting with recipes that I wouldn't ordinarily make. We do really like Indian and Asian food, so out of desperation, I've started to give some recipes a try! Two weeks ago, I made an Asian recipe called Mongolian Mushrooms and Tofu that was fabulous. This week I thought I would try an Indian pancake.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Peek At My Week 5/30

This magnificent rainbow, which was visible right outside my condo balcony, was the highlight of my week. I'm not sure that I've ever seen one as bold and striking. It wrapped from one side of the horizon to the other and was bright and clear. I was sure there was a pot of gold at the end of it! This week I'm sharing a book review, a Netflix review, 2 gluten-free/ vegan recipes, and some photos of a walk in the park in Florida.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Frozen Banana Bites Filled With Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Can you imagine how good these frozen banana bites, which are filled with chocolate and peanut butter, taste? It's the freezing that changes everything in this easy healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free, and Weight Watchers friendly dessert. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Lemon Broccoli and Crispy Tofu

Asian vegan recipe for broccoli and tofu

Lemon broccoli and tofu is one of those recipes that I make in a variety of ways depending on my mood and what I have in my kitchen. If I'm in a hurry, I stirfry everything in one skillet; if I want to spend a little more time, I crispy bake the tofu in the oven and then add it to the mixture. Sometimes I use cornstarch to make a creamy sauce, and sometimes I don't. I'll share all my different versions with you and then you can decide which one to try. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Peek At My Week : May 24

It's been way over 60 days since we've been staying inside (except for my morning and evening walks). Many of my friends are starting to go out to eat in restaurants, getting together with friends, and possibly resuming playing mahjong or cards outdoors on their large decks.

Am I going to be the last person to start joining in? Personally, I still feel kind of reluctant to re-join society just yet!. I'm thinking I'll give it 3 more weeks and see how those who have led the way are still fairing?

Friday, May 22, 2020

Butternut Squash Fries with Chinese Peanut Sauce-

Baked butternut squash fries http://www.realfoodblogger.com

First let me say that you can use butternut squash or sweet potatoes- both work and!
taste great with this AMAZING peanut sauce!

I am becoming extremely creative with my cooking since we have been cooking and eating home for the past 60 + days.  Can you imagine how good these crunchy baked butternut squash or sweet potato fries taste drizzled with gingered peanut sauce?

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Peek at My Week 2

Things are status quo here in South Florida. As of this weekend, our beaches are still closed, and most stores are closed. I have noticed some restaurants with outside seating beginning to opening up!

Sunset from our balcony on the 15th floor -
Ocean to the left;
Intracoastal to the right

I just heard that our mall and stores like Tj Maxx, Homegoods, etc are opening on Monday~but for some reason, not our beaches- Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to really enforce wearing masks or social distancing. I will still be staying at home!

This week I'm sharing a book review, a Netflix review, an exceptional salad and a vegan/gluten free soup recipe plus photos of my walks.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Pop Popcorn Right In Your Serving Bowl

Popping popcorn in the microwave right in the serving bowl?  It works great! 

It seems we are always looking for snacks while we are stuck in the house. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Quick 2 Ingredient Ice Cream- No Machine

Creamy strawberry ice cream, made from fresh fruit and nothing else, can be whipped up in your food processor in just minutes! It's a rich refreshing dessert that is not only delicious, it is also good for you. If you want to restrict the amount of sugar that your kids (or you) eat, then this is a great alternative to store-bought, high sugar, dairy-rich ice cream.  

Saturday, May 9, 2020

A Peek at My Week

                                            Happy Mother's Day!

 A Peek At My Week

Today is like day 52? of the Pandemic, and we have been staying inside and sheltering,  except for our morning walk and evening walk.

I usually walk with my neighbor from 7:30 to-8:30 am. We walk with masks and get we get REALLY agitated by all the people who are out walking and are not wearing masks.  I think the masks help reduce the risk of contamination. 

What do you think? Shouldn't people be considerate to others and wear a mask when walking outside on a street where many people pass each other!