Category Archives: Recipes

Superbowl Superfood: Kale Chips

Photo of lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale for blog post on superbowl superfood kale chips by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Lacinato (dinosaur kale) has an embossed texture and is slightly less bitter than traditional curly kale

Consider baking kale chips if you’re hosting a Superbowl party. Kale chips are quick and easy to make, taste great and can be a healthy addition to your menu whether you’re watching the game on the big screen or at a tailgate party. It may take some COERCION to convince RELUCTANT guests who were expecting burgers and fries to go green. The ones who CAPITULATE will be glad they did.

If you are a diehard Italophile like me, you love lacinato kale, a staple of Neapolitan cooking. It’s classified as an heirloom plant because it’s no longer cultivated on a large scale. I enjoy the texture and taste of this superfood much more than the common VARIANT, curly kale.

Photo of kale chips recipe for blog post on superbowl superfood kale chips by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Photo of lacinato kale with two types of seasonings, walnut oil and cayenne pepper, or olive oil with curry powder and cumin, for blog post on superbowl superfood kale chips by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

I made half of my batch with walnut oil and cayenne pepper, and the other half with olive oil, curry powder and cumin

Photo of torn pieces of lacinato kale in salad spinner for drying, for blog post on superbowl superfood kale chips by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Dry the torn kale with a salad spinner or paper towels. Do not discard the central ribs...chop them into 1" pieces and add to your salad.

Photo of seasoned kale pieces laying on baking sheet, for blog post on superbowl superfood kale chips by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

It's o.k. to crowd the seasoned kale pieces on the baking sheet

Torn kale leaves can be arranged on the baking sheet with the edges tightly CONTIGUOUS, but keep them all on one layer for even cooking.

Photo of baked kale chips, ready to serve, for blog post on superbowl superfood kale chips by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Option: crush the baked kale chips and toss with freshly popped popcorn

New England Patriots vs. New York Giants . . . that’s tough for someone like me, who has roots in both of those places!

Charis

  • VARIANT = alternative
  • COERCION = pressure
  • RELUCTANT = opposed
  • CAPITULATE = surrender
  • CONTIGUOUS = touching

Molasses Lentil Soup

Photo of red lentils, brown lentils and green lentils for molasses lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

We used brown lentils because that's what we had at home

 “Too many cooks spoil the broth” isn’t always the case. CAMARADERIE makes “group cook” a fun time, and no matter how experienced you are, you can always pick up some culinary tips. My Mom and I and our friends Julie and Margot made lentil soup at a recent group cook, on a cold day when none of us wanted to go out.

Photo of Margot and Charis making lentil art before cooking organic lentil soup for blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., on group cook, lentil soup and legally blonde

Margot and I made some lentil art before cooking the soup

Julie is an INTUITIVE chef who doesn’t need a cookbook to whip up a great recipe. We started with lentils and threw in ingredients she had in her kitchen that we knew would work. Margot, Julie and I assembled the ingredients and chopped away.

Photo of jennie chopping garlic for molasses lentil soup recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

My Mom intensely chopping the garlic

My Mom, the only cooking-challenged member of the team, put all of her energy into chopping the garlic and then decided she would stick with taking photos.

Photo of molasses and olive oil in saucepan for lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Molasses is the ingredient that makes this soup special

Julie recommended we saute the spices in olive oil and molasses to bring out their flavor before adding them to the soup. I learned that molasses adds an interesting, SUBTLE (sweet) flavor to a standard lentil soup recipe.

Photo of julie eisenberg janson and charis freiman-mendel with pot of lentil soup on cooking on for lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Julie giving Charis some pointers

Photo of margot janson and helping hands working over the lentil soup pot for lentil soup post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Three sets of hands working on finishing touches. Margot was in charge of the lemon.

Molasses Lentil Soup recipe by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way through The S.a.T.

When you COLLABORATE in cooking, you can expand your culinary REPERTOIRE, and have lots of fun.

Charis (and Julie, Margot and Jennie)

  • CAMARADERIE = friendship
  • SUBTLE = delicate
  • INTUITIVE = instinctive
  • COLLABORATE = team up
  • REPERTOIRE = collection

Martin Luther King Day Southern Double Pecan Pie

Photo of Dr Martin Luther King Jr for blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t. on martin luther king and and Southern Double Pecan Pie
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Monday, when we COMMEMORATE Martin Luther King, Jr. for his contribution to civil rights in America, have a piece of Southern pecan pie in his honor. Southern pecan pie was Dr. King’s favorite dessert.

Photo of slice of southern pecan pie on a plate for blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., on martin luther king day and southern double pecan pie

Deep Dish Southern Pecan Pie

Most recipes for Southern pecan pie are made with corn syrup, which softens the pastry filling and adds texture to the pie. Here’s a tried and true recipe from Sherian Davis Weiss, handed down through generations of her family in East Texas.

Southern pecan pie recipe from east texas for blog by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., on martin luther kind day and southern double pecan pie

Thanks to Sherian Davis Weiss and her family for this authentic southern recipe

I make a version of Southern pecan pie that doesn’t use corn syrup. I make my crust from scratch and I decided to go all-nut, making the crust out of nuts instead of flour. Here’s the nut crust recipe, which I used for the “Cheesecake With Nut Crust” in Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.:

Nut Crust:

  • 3 cups pecans
  • 4 tbsp sugar

Combine the pecans and sugar in a food processor and process until the oil begins to release from the nuts (the nuts will resemble a crust).

Photo of surratt farms pecans for blog on martin luther king day and southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Surratt Farms pecans

Since I’m at school and have no ACCESS to a kitchen, I gave my Mom instructions and she did her best to follow my recipe. She used Texas pecans from Surratt Farms (recommended by Sherian Davis Weiss), which I had received as one of my Hanukkah gifts. They are really delicious. I call this recipe “double” pecan pie because both the pastry and crust are made of pecans.

Southern Double Pecan Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup Surratt Farms pecans
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.

Press the nut crust into a 9″ deep dish baking pan.

Pour the pie ingredients into the nut crust. Bake for 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm, directly from the oven, or cool.

My Mom decided she wanted to use another of my holiday gifts, the Williams and Sonoma fluted tart pan, to make individual pecan pies instead of a deep dish pie. Bake the individual pies at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Photo of ingredients for southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Mom lined up all the ingredients for Southern Double Pecan Pie

Photo of nut crust in williams and sonoma fluted tart pan for southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Nut crust before being pressed into Williams and Sonoma fluted tart pan

Photo of southern double pecan pie on plate by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

The finished product

My Mom had my brother, Ross, CONFIRM that the pie is delicious.

Photo of Ross tasting southern double pecan pie by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Thumbs up from my brother, Ross

Happy 83rd birthday, Dr. King!

Charis and Jennie

  • COMMEMORATE = honor
  • ACCESS = entry
  • CONFIRM = support

Chocolate Lava Cake Demo

http://youtu.be/hFtaheoQYaU

There’s still time to join the Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. – SLJ Teen writing contest for middle and high school students.

Hurry!

Charis 🙂

Possibly Pear Sauce

Photo of large pears, possibly Japanese La France pears, for blog post on Possibly Pear Sauce by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of COok Your Way Through The S.A.T.

Japanese La France pears, hopefully

My family has been on a sugar high, eating our way through an ELABORATE Harry and David holiday gift basket we received a few weeks ago. We just discovered a box of fruit hidden underneath the cakes, cookies, crackers and jams.

Photo of genetically altered tomatoes for possibly pear sauce post by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

If they look too good to be true, think GMO

The fruit looks like a gigantic pear but not quite. It might be a fruit HYBRID. I’d rather not eat any GMO (genetically modified organism) so I did a google search and convinced myself it looked like the Japanese “La France” variety of pears. Three of us shared one and found it to be super sweet. Since it took so long to find it, the fruit was overripe and we decided to SALVAGE it by making Mystery Fruit Sauce AKA Possibly Pear Sauce.

Photo of ingredients for possibly pear sauce blog post by charis freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Martinelli's mulling spices come in a tea bag for easy use

Photo of Possibly Pear Sauce ingredients including pears, orange juice, spices and mulled spices tea bag in a pot for post by Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

All wet and dry ingredients go into the pot, including the mulling spices tea bag

Adding a tea bag to pear sauce might seem COUNTERINTUITIVE, but it really adds great flavor and besides, what else will you do with mulling spices once the holidays are over?

Photo of Possibly Pear Sauce recipe for blog by Charis freiman-Mendel, author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

If you prefer a smoother texture, simmer longer or puree in a food processor

Photo of possibly pear sauce in serving bowl for blog post by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Possibly pear sauce, chunky style

 

 

Possibly Pear Sauce makes a tasty dessert but can also be used as an ingredient in baked goods and as a topping for a wide variety of foods.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Charis and Jennie

  • OBSCURED = hidden
  • ELABORATE = complex
  • HYBRID = crossbreed
  • SALVAGE = save
  • COUNTERINTUITIVE = contrary to common sense

Coleslaw Is A Cure For Holiday Overindulgence

Photo of cabbage patch for blog post on coleslaw recipe and coleslaw dressing recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Cabbage has a short (3 month) harvest cycle and is easy for farmers to grow, which makes it inexpensive

Cabbage is a superfood which offers an ESTIMABLE array of health benefits and for chefs needing to ECONOMIZE, can be had at a modest price. As long as shredded raw cabbage is used as the NUCLEUS,  the salad will QUALIFY as cole slaw, even when other vegetables and fruits are added. Prepare the coleslaw and dressing in advance of the meal (even overnight) to allow the flavors to MELD.

Photo of shredded red cabbage in a bowl for blog post on coleslaw recipe and coleslaw dressing recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Core and shred half of a head of red cabbage and place in large bowl . . .this time I shredded by hand, but you can also use a food processor or mandoline

Photo of a half green cabbage, shredded on a cutting board, for blog post on coleslaw recipe and coleslaw dressing recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Core and shred half of a head of green cabbage

Photo of raw ingredients for coleslaw in a bowl before dressing added, for blog post on coleslaw recipe and coleslaw dressing recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Peel and shred 2 large carrots and combine all ingredients in a large bowl

Coleslaw Dressing:
(for 1 medium head of cabbage, shredded)

  • 1 ½ c mayonnaise
  • ¼ c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • ¼ tsp dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour. Dress and toss the slaw and serve.

Photo of coleslaw with dressing in large white bowl ready to serve for blog post on coleslaw recipe and coleslaw dressing recipe by charis freiman-mendel, author of "cook your way through the s.a.t."

Refrigerate leftovers and the taste gets better and better during the next few days

  • ESTIMABLE = respectable
  • ECONOMIZE = cut cost
  • NUCLEUS = center
  • QUALIFY = meet the requirements for
  • MELD = blend

Have a healthy new year!

Charis

For more great vocab and recipes, order Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.

 

Hanukkah Apple Honey Cake

Happy Last Night of Hanukkah!

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of Hanukkah lights for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

In honor of the holiday, I made a festive apple honey cake loaf to usher in a sweet new year!

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of vanilla cake mix and loaf pan for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and choose your favorite vanilla cake mix (19 oz) before starting to bake

 

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of 2 green apples for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Peel, core and thinly slice 2 firm granny smith apples

 

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of honey and cinnamon for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Measure 1/4 cup honey and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of cake batter for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

To complete the batter, mix together the apples, cinnamon, honey, and the other ingredients listed on the box of your store-bought cake mix. Mine called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of cake batter in loaf pan for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth over the top. Bake according to the instructions on the box of your cake mix. To ensure done-ness, insert a toothpick and if it comes out clean, it's done!

Charis Freiman-mendel, author of cook your way through the s.a.t., shows picture of completed cake for blog post on hanukkah apple honey cake recipe.

Serve by itself or with your favorite frosting

Enjoy the rest of your winter break!

Charis

Leftover Christmas Turkey Soup

Photo of tupperware leftovers in refrigerator for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Tupperware wasteland or creative chef toolbox?

If you’re a foodie like me, it’s hard to stomach the idea of leftovers. Instead of looking at your fridge as a Tupperware wasteland, look at it as an opportunity to explore your creative potential. Christmas leftovers offer a BEVY of options for next day meals.

Drawing of turkey with suggestions for use as leftovers for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

I'm using the leftovers for soup and curried turkey salad

Don’t trash the turkey CARCASS… it’s a REPOSITORY of great flavor. Two simple ingredients, water and leftover bones and CARTILAGE, are a great place to start your “leftover Christmas turkey soup.”

Photo of leftover Christmas turkey soup for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

Hot soup and warm bread is a match made in heaven

“Leftover Christmas Turkey Soup” Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped, leftover vegetables (carrots, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, sweet potatoes)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 quarts turkey or vegetable broth
  • leftover turkey carcass and bones
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • Optional: 2 cups dry noodles, broken into small pieces

Prep:

  • Remove all turkey meat from the carcass and bones, shred
  • Sauté onion in olive oil in a large soup pot
  • Fill the pot with broth
  • Add turkey carcass and bones, simmer on low heat for 20 minutes
  • Remove carcass and bones from broth
  • Add turkey meat to pot
  • Add 3 cups leftover vegetables
  • Optional: add 2 cups noodles
  • Simmer until the pasta is cooked, about 12 minutes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with parsley
Photo of artisanal breads for blog post on leftover christmas turkey soup by charis freiman-mendel author of cook your way through the s.a.t.

You may have to brave the cold to get some of this bread

Warm ARTISANAL bread is the perfect vehicle for sopping up the soup. Not in the mood for next day soup? Freeze it for a cold winter day when you’re too lazy to cook.

Bon Appetit!

Charis

  • BEVY = group
  • CARCASS = remains
  • REPOSITORY = storehouse
  • CARTILAGE = flexible connective tissue
  • ARTISANAL = artistic

 

Christmas Fruit Crumble

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of frozen mixed berries for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Place 24 oz of frozen mixed berries into a bowl

 

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of sugar, flour, and lemon for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Measure 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

 

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of adding sugar to fruit for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Add dry ingredients and lemon juice and stir

 

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of ingredients for crumble topping for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

In a food processor, combine 1tsp cinnamon, 3/4 cup oats, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup packed brown sugar, and 7tbsp diced, cold butter

Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of Williams-Sonoma fluted tart pan for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

This Williams-Sonoma fluted tart pan was one of my Hanukkah gifts

 Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of Fruit crumbles ready to bake for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Distribute the fruit mixture into 6 pans and evenly spoon crumble topping on each. Bake for 45 minutes at 425 Fahrenheit.

 Charis Freiman-Mendel author of Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T. photo of Bubbly crumbles ready to eat for blog post on christmas fruit crumble.

Spoon each fruit crumble into a bowl and serve with vanilla ice cream

Have a CONVIVIAL, MIRTHFUL, GLEEFUL, JOCUND, and very MERRY Christmas!

CONVIVIAL = cheerful
MIRTHFUL = high-spirited
GLEEFUL = happy
JOCUND = jolly
MERRY = convivial, mirthful, gleeful, jocund

Charis and Jennie

Chicken Soup Cooking Disaster

You never know when disaster will strike in the kitchen.

I’m finally home for a much needed 2 week break from school. My Mom asked me to make some chicken soup to warm us up. We shopped for ingredients at the health food store. Choate doesn’t offer organic food so this was a treat. So far, so good.

Photo of Organic Chicken Soup In Pot for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Organic chicken soup

My Mom and I were catching up as I was cooking, which RETROSPECTIVELY was unfortunate.

Photo of McCormack Crushed Red Pepper Flakes for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

This jar was full when I started cooking the chicken soup

I was adding spices to the soup and reached for the red chili flakes. I meant to lightly sprinkle some flakes over the chicken, but accidentally flipped up the large opening of the pepper container and dumped about a half cup into the pot. I quickly tried to spoon out as much of it as possible, but it was too late. I tasted the soup to CONFIRM what I already knew: it was INEDIBLE.

Photo of chicken broth in ice cube tray to make chicken bouillon cubes by Charis Freiman-Mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.", for blog post on Chicken Soup Cooking disaster

Pour chicken broth into ice cube trays and freeze for future use

My Mom’s friend Julie was over and she had a great suggestion: pour half of the broth into ice cube trays, and freeze it into “boullion” cubes for future use. Take the other half of the soup and dilute it with organic vegetable broth. Thanks to Julie’s quick thinking, I pulled a save.

Photo of Leftover Chicken In Pot for blog post on chicken soup cooking disaster by charis freiman-mendel, author of "Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T."

Use leftover chicken to make curried chicken salad

MORAL of the story: Get creative to SALVAGE a cooking “disaster.”

SIMPLE CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium chicken, pre-roasted
  • 1/4 box of linguini
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 turnip
  • 1 large bunch  parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes (Careful!)
  • 2 (16 oz) boxes organic vegetable broth
  • water

Prep:

  • Chop the celery, carrots, pepper, onion and turnip into medium size chunks
  • Break up the linguini into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • Shred the parsley
  • Shred the chicken with your fingers

Cook:

  • Fill a large pot with the vegetable broth
  • Add water to fill the pot to 3/4 of the way up
  • Add all seasonings, linguini and chopped vegetables
  • Cook for 40 minutes on high
  • Reduce heat to low and add the chicken and parsley
  • Cook for 10 minutes + serve

Charis

  • RETROSPECTIVELY = looking back
  • CONFIRM = support
  • INEDIBLE = unfit to eat
  • MORAL = lesson
  • SALVAGE = rescue

Tip: There are more great recipes and useful vocab in “Cook Your Way Through The S.A.T.”