Matzoh Ball Cookin’

Passover is rough on JSL.  Most of the foods he likes eating aren’t allowed so he becomes even more restricted than normal.  Given that one of the foods that he loves are matzoh balls, I figured we’d make some.

First you start off with your ingredients: 1 cup matzoh meal, 2 teaspoons of salt, 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 4 eggs, and 4 tablespoons of broth or water.


Combine the ingredients in a bowl.


Stir well.


Then refrigerate for 15 minutes.


Next, roll into balls and drop into boiling water (or broth).



Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, drain, and your matzoh balls will be ready to eat.


Freshly made matzoh balls are delicious and really take minimal effort.  Given that we have a lot of matzoh meal left over, I think we’ll be making many more batches in the future.

Cooking With TechyDad: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshakes

Last year, I wrote about how I turned frozen bananas and dark chocolate peanut butter into a wonder ice cream.  I’ve made it quite a few times since then.  Anytime our bananas were looking too ripe, I’d peel them, break them into chunks, and toss them into the freezer.  Recently, I realized I had a problem.  We had too many bags of bananas in the freezer and not enough space to store a batch of ice cream.  What to do?

I thought over the problem and wondered if I could make it into a smoothie instead.  Only when I was done, I didn’t have a smoothie.  I had a milkshake.  What a wonderful surprise!

First, gather your ingredients.  You’ll need frozen bananas, milk, and dark chocolate peanut butter.  (I prefer Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.)


Get your blender and toss in your bananas, milk, and dark chocolate peanut butter.


I put in one heaping spoonful of peanut butter for every 2 bananas, but didn’t measure the milk out.  Use your judgment.

When the ingredients are in, close the lid and puree them until smooth.


Now just pour into a glass…


… and drink …


… until it is all gone.


This is so quick and easy that I think the kids will be begging for it often.  I might mix this up and use regular peanut butter and add some strawberries (also sitting in the freezer) for a non-chocolaty version.

Cooking with TechyDad: Spaghetti Squash Sauté

I love cooking squash.  It’s pretty easy to make and goes in a variety of dishes.  Spaghetti squash has a bonus, though.  It looks like pasta after it is cooked!  This means you can make pasta-like dishes with it.

For this recipe, you’ll need a spaghetti squash, some sliced mushrooms, onions, garlic, jarred (or homemade) spaghetti sauce, chickpeas, and ricotta cheese.


First, we’ll slice the squash in half and remove the seeds and "goo" (that’s a scientific cooking term) in the middle.  Don’t toss those seeds, though.  You can bake them later for a tasty snack.


Place the squash halves face down on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 30 – 40 minutes (depending on how heavy your squash is).


While the squash bakes, sauté some onions and garlic.  Then, add some mushrooms and cook them down.


When the squash is done, use a fork to pull the flesh off of the shell.  The spaghetti squash will string out just like… well, spaghetti.  Put this in a big pan.



Mix the squash with the mushrooms, chickpeas, sauce and ricotta cheese.


Then, you simply serve and enjoy.

I’ve made this dish quite a few times.  It’s relatively quick, easy and very healthy.  It also makes quite a bit.  One spaghetti squash can last make enough to last us for two or three dinners.

Cooking With TechyDad: Fudge

Last year, I wrote a pair of blog posts about some fudge I made.  During the year, I meant to do a Cooking With TechyDad segment about the fudge, but never got around to it.  With the holidays in full swing, I decided to pull out the old fudge recipe again and this time I took photos.  Let’s begin shall we.

First, of all, you’re going to need to devote your full attention to the fudge for 10 minutes or so.  So lay out your ingredients ahead of time and make sure there won’t be any distractions.  For the ingredients, you’ll need chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.  You can also add a mix-in.  I like using Andes baking chips, but you can also use mini-M&Ms (the big ones are nice too but leave the fudge tough to slice), peanut butter chips, nuts, etc.  If you don’t want to use a mix-in, no problem.  Plain fudge tastes good also.

IMGP1368 IMGP1731

Now that your ingredients are out, get an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan and line it with aluminum foil.  Lightly grease this with cooking spray.


Now, measure out 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of your mix-in (if using).

IMGP1373 IMGP1378IMGP1400

Put the chocolate chips in a small saucepan and pour in the condensed milk.

IMGP1374 IMGP1376 

Now stir it over low heat for about 10 minutes or until smooth.


It won’t look like it’s doing much, at first.  Then it reaches what I like to call the “chunky chocolate milk” stage.  (That’s a technical term.)


As you can see below, we’re almost ready, but it is still a bit lumpy.


Ok, *now* we’re done.


At this point, you need to act fast.  Removing the fudge from the heat long will cause it to harden up in your saucepan and nobody wants that.  First, toss in any mix-ins you might be using and give the fudge a few stirs to distribute it all around.


Now, pour the fudge into your 8 inch by 8 inch pan.  Smooth it out as best you can, but don’t worry about it looking perfect.  Jagged edges are part of homemade fudge’s charm.

IMGP1391 IMGP1393   IMGP1404  IMGP1403

Stick the fudge in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours (overnight is fine too).  This happens to be one of my favorite parts.  No, not putting the fudge in the fridge.  Scraping the pot and eating the bits of fudge left behind. YUM!


Once your fudge has set, take it out of the fridge, remove it from the pan and carefully peel off the foil.  (Some might stick to it, but it should all come off relatively easily.)


Now you have a big block O’ fudge.


This is nice and all, but I don’t think it looks nice to be nibbling on a hunk of fudge that size.  So let’s slice it.  Since it was in an 8×8 pan, it’s only fitting to cut it into 8×8 slices.  This way, each piece of fudge is 1 inch by 1 inch (approximately).

Make the first slice about halfway in.


Next, cut each of these pieces in half and each of the resulting pieces in half.  Now, you have 8 strips of fudge.


Turn the fudge 90 degrees and repeat the cuts.


There you go!  64 pieces of wonderful fudge.


Here’s a close up of the mint, plain and M&M fudge I made.

IMGP1425 IMGP1429  IMGP1432

This recipe makes a *lot* of fudge.


You could easily make a few batches, wrap them up nicely (e.g. using those Chinese food containers that you can buy from craft stores) and give them as gifts.

Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll eat a piece of fudge.  *om nom nom nom nom nom nom nom*

1 2 3 4