Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stir Fry Kielbasa & Zucchini and Noah's Ark Fries

We love the spice packets!!
It’s been a while since I wrote a “Spice Packet Blog” so this week I was going to write about one of my favorite Spice Packet recipes – Stir Fry Kielbasa and Zucchini.  For those of you that may have seen it but didn’t know what it was, kielbasa is a fat, spicy sausage, around a foot long.  I usually buy the beef and chicken variety (a little healthier than the all beef kind).  They most often come in packages of two and can be found in the (kosher) deli section of your local grocery store.  With that in mind, and a plan for Thursday nights’ dinner, off to the store I went.  First store – no kielbasa!  Not panicking yet. Second store – no kielbasa (I’m telling you it was a conspiracy!).  I had to make do with my backup plan of a package of knockwurst sausages.  Although they work for the recipe, they are not as “sausagy” or as spicy as a kielbasa and it makes the recipe a lot milder than we prefer.  It was second rate Stir Fry “Kielbasa” and Zucchini (with Garlic Bread) for the Matten's Thursday night.

Erev Shabbat Fun!
Luckily it was “Fun Friday” for the Matten kids!  Getting ready for Shabbat and preparing for an up-coming article I had decapitated around 2 pounds of tiny red potatoes.  That means that each potato had a small piece cut off of the top and bottom (I know potatoes are round – I arbitrarily made one section the top and the other side the bottom!!) leaving the rest of the potatoes to be used creatively by the Matten girls.  By now you know that I am a bit of a “gadget queen”, and am raising a pair of “gadget princesses”. When the girls saw the potatoes they grabbed our handy curly fry cutter and proceeded to make curly fries!  They did fry them – in our defense they are just so much better that way!  I think I loved my girls a little more (if that’s even possible) when they asked for mini animal cookie cutters and proceeded to make Noah’s Ark Fries in honor of the weekly Parsha Noach!  Not only did they make really cute Noah’s Ark Fries, but they even fried the outer potatoes which they had cut the shapes from (it’s clearer when you see the pictures).  How fun is that??  I have to admit though that seeing the animals floating in the hot oil kind of made me think of the animals that didn’t make it on to the ark – so sad!

So sad...
but so yummy!!
(How long can you tread water...ha, ha, ha)
Mazel Tov to my son Nachum (ad meah v’esrim) on the anniversary of his Bar Mitzvah Parshat Noach! 

Stir Fry Kielbasa and Zucchini
2          large     kielbasa, sliced in half lengthwise and then in ¼” thick slices
4          large     zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then in ¼” thick slices
1-2                   Italian seasoning spice packets
1          tbsp      canola oil

1          pound   penne noodles

Cook penne according to package directions.  Drain – do not rinse.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the kielbasa and stir fry until it starts to brown.  Add the zucchini and spice packet(s).  Stir fry until the zucchini is tender (we like it a little mushier).  Add the cooked penne and toss to combine.  Cook until pasta is heated through an additional one to two minutes.  Serve hot.

1.      I like to use chicken and beef blend kielbasa for this recipe.  In the event that you can’t find some in your local store you can substitute Polish sausages or knockwurst.
2.      You can use more zucchini in this recipe if you like with similar results.
3.      If you like your dishes slightly more seasoned or if you are substituting one of the less spicy sausages for the kielbasa, use two spice packets for more flavor.
4.      I often use “healthier”, whole wheat or tri color penne for this recipe rather than the plain white pasta. It’s all good!!

I know that everyone knows how to make garlic bread…slice a French Bread in half, spread with margarine (I use Smart Balance because it’s a little healthier) and sprinkle garlic powder on top.  But in case there is someone out there that has never made garlic bread I’m including pictures just for you!  Enjoy!!

 This weeks Stir Fry "Kielbasa" and Zucchini with Garlic Bread....and pictures from the last time I actually made it with the real beef kielbasa!

All the ingredients 
(note the knockwurst...oh well)
If you had the Kielbassa it
would look like this
(it even looks spicy!):
Slice the zucchini...
Stir fry the sausages...
Then add the zucchini....
Add the spice packet...
 Add the colorful penne...
This is what it looks like with 
kielbasa & "healthy penne":
All done!  Hooray! 
If we only had the kielbasa
Thursday night....
Garlic Bread time!
You know what to do!!
Slice it before you wrap it...
Wrap it up and then 
bake for 15 minutes at 350°
It's dinner Thursday night
at the Matten's!!

 Noah's Ark Fries...cute and yummy
(and gluten-free for the GFE)!

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!

KosherEveryday is one of the finalists for the 
2011 CBS Most Valuable Blogger Awards!! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Colorful Pepper and Pastrami Salad

How pretty is that!!??
(Ok, I made it for dinner on 11/1/11)!
Have you ever had the bad dream where you are expecting company for a meal, realize that you forgot to cook all the food, and have nothing in the house except for tuna?  Well, I recently had an experience that came pretty close to that! This past Sukkot we were really blessed with having a lot of family staying with us and eating all the holiday meals.  Our Sukkah was pretty accommodating and we were able to actually invite a few additional people to further enhance our Yom Tov meals. I also try really hard to have all my cooking done before the holiday so that I can enjoy the meals with everyone rather than alone, laboring in the kitchen while everyone is having a grand old time eating the food I’m preparing!

On the morning that we were having 20 people in our Sukkah for lunch, I woke up and realized that I had forgotten to make an appetizer.  I realize that in the scheme of things it’s really not that big of a deal, but when having company I like to serve a nice meal – including an appetizer!  I thought about what I might have leftover in my freezer (shudder) and remembered that I had some “fish” fish left over from Rosh Hashana along with the accompanying sauce – great! (“Fish” fish is a puff pastry that looks like a fish, is filled with a salmon filling, and comes with a cucumber dill sauce – pretty, fun and delicious).  I opened the container and…oh no!...there were only 8 fish.  ARGH!  You couldn’t even cut the fish into pieces without having the appetizer appear barbaric – “Oooh look…I got the head”!   It was time to pull out the “Kitchen MacGyver” hat and see what I had left in the fridge that wasn’t already cooked for other meals and could pass as an appetizer.  With the action movie music playing in my head, I began searching for whatever I could find.  Hard boiled eggs for egg salad?  Only one hard boiled egg left…RATS!  Wait...I found exactly 6 leftover slices of the roasted Romanian pastrami from the night before – excellent…ingredient number one.  In the back depths of my extra basement refrigerator I found a long forgotten package of small colorful sweet peppers – SCORE!…ingredient number two.   I quickly put one of my guests (who luckily is a dear friend) to washing and cutting the peppers into long, julienne strips, while I cut the pastrami into similar shaped strips.  I grabbed 5 or 6 washed romaine lettuce leaves, cut them into long, julienne strips and added them to the incredibly delicious pastrami and peppers.  Wow!   It was gorgeous!  The colors of the peppers, contrasting with the pastrami and the lettuce was a thing to behold.  I grabbed the bottled Italian dressing from the refrigerator door, added a few squirts and…Tra La…my appetizer salad was done!  We plated the salad, and when it was time to bring it out there were ooh’s and ah’s from everyone…and the best part – it was really tasty as well as colorful and attractive.

Pick a pound of pretty peppers!
I knew that the makings of the next blog were born at that meal…sadly, because it was Yom Tov no pictures could be taken!  Unlike the real MacGyver show, there were no TV cameras following me around during my appetizer quest.  Oh well.  I know that I’ll be making that awesome Colorful Pepper and Pastrami Salad again soon and when I do – you’ll be seeing the results!

Colorful Pepper and Pastrami Salad
1   pound         colorful small sweet peppers, seeded, white inside parts removed
                       and cut into 2 ½ inch julienne strips
6   thick slices  pastrami (approximately 1/3 pound)*, 
                       cut into 2 ½ inch julienne strips
5   large           romaine lettuce leaves, washed and cut into 2 ½ inch julienne strips
3   tbsp           Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing (or more to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Toss gently to combine.  Allow to rest for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.  Serve on individual salad plates for an appetizer or in a beautiful bowl for a side salad.

*Note:  I used the leftover Romanian pastrami that I had roasted (unsliced) for dinner the day before.  Slow roasting the pastrami brings out the flavor of the meat and melts off some of the fat in the pastrami.  You can also make this dish gluten-free for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater) by using gluten-free Italian Dressing.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!

KosherEveryday is one of the finalists for the 
2011 CBS Most Valuable Blogger Awards!! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Egg Birds & Scrambled Egg Tacos

Warning: This weeks’ blog is absolutely the grossest blog I have ever written – but it’s also one of the most fun!!  It will have you covering your eyes with both hands…but secretly peeking through your fingers!  You get to do something incredibly “oogy” but amazingly the results are awesomely beautiful!  When you’re done you’ll have a stunning Sukkah decoration and a yummy breakfast/snack!

It's an egg... It's a bird...
It's an EGG BIRD!!
An all time favorite project of mine (and my kids) is Egg Birds!  Although it may seem incredibly disgusting, the most fun part of the project is blowing the egg out of the shell (ewwwwwww!!!) and using the remaining shell as the bird’s body.  It takes a certain amount of skill, and a very light touch to poke the holes in the raw egg without cracking or shattering the egg in the process.  It’s SO MUCH FUN!!  You can use any type of construction paper, aluminum foil, colored or clear cellophane gift wrap, or any other type of decorative paper for the wings/beak/tail…but I strongly recommend using a waterproof one, because if it rains instead of the most gorgeous birds you will have the saddest!!  We decorate the bodies with waterproof pens – and everyone loves to get creative with their personalization of the birds.  After carefully tying a long, thin ribbon around the birds, they are ready to be hung in your Sukkah!  You can sit back and admire them as your flying masterpieces twirl in the breeze.

Breakfast taco is served!! 
So what do you do with all the egg innards when you are done with your birds?  Don’t throw them away…you can use them for easy Scrambled Egg Taco’s or simple French Toast.  Although everyone can make scrambled eggs, I’m including a recipe anyway! When the eggs are done being scrambled, I put them in a crunchy, whole grain, corn taco shell and top them with a little shredded cheese and a crunchy healthy breakfast is served!  You can even top them with some salsa (the hot kind!) to add a little jump start to your morning.

For more yummy Sukkot recipes, check out my article on “A Sukkot Feast”.  Chag Sameach!!


  • 12 jumbo, raw, fresh, eggs – washed
  • decorative paper – cut into 
    1. 5”x5” squares for the wings
    2. 5”x3” rectangles for the tails
    3. 1” x 2” rectangles for the beaks
  • sharp tool, like a mechanical pencil with no lead or a well washed nail.
  • super glue
  • waterproof markers
  • toothpicks
  • thin ribbon
  • bowl to catch the egg insides 
  1. With the point of a mechanical pencil (no lead), or an extremely clean nail or pointed object, poke a 1/8 inch hole in each end of the egg. 
  2. Insert the toothpick into the egg and break the yolk.
  3. Blow into the smaller more pointy end of the egg – shooting the white and yolk into a bowl. 
  4. Rinse the egg out via the poked holes, blowing out any additional water that might be inside.
  5. Carefully poke another hole on either side of the egg for the wings.
  6. Roll the 1” wide strip into a beak and insert it into the hole at the pointed end of the egg.
  7. Fold the squares accordion fashion and twist the edges. 
  8. Using a twisting motion insert the wings and tail into the egg holes.
  9. Draw eyes with a waterproof black marker.
  10. Decorate with additional markers or whatever you like.
  11. Glue any loose wings with super glue.
  12. Cut the ribbon into 18” lengths.  Tie diagonally around the wings, knotting at the top of the birds. 
  13. Carefully hang your beautiful creations in your Sukkah!
Just to make it completely are two videos to demonstrate:

 Everything you
need to make 
Egg Birds!
Once the holes are in
the egg, pleat the
wings and tail...
Assemble the bird....
Then decorate....
A whole flock of Egg Birds!!

  • Eggs from egg birds
  • 1 tablespoon milk for every egg
  • 1 slice American cheese for every 2 eggs, torn into small pieces.
  • Dash salt
  • Corn taco shells (I use whole grain ones.  To make this gluten-free use gluten-free shells)
  • Extra shredded cheese (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)
  • non-stick vegetable spray
 Add the milk to the eggs and scramble with a fork.  Add the American cheese and salt, and mix with a fork until combined.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Spray the pan with non-stick vegetable spray.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet.  Immediately scrape with a spatula.  Cook until egg is dry.  Scoop scrambled egg into the taco shell.  Top with salsa and shredded cheese.  Breakfast is ready!!
A bowl of egg...
Add the milk, cheese and salt...
then scramble!!
You know what to do...
Scoop it into a taco shell,
and breakfast is served!

  You can even make 
French Toast with
the extra egg!!

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!

KosherEveryday is one of the finalists for the 
2011 CBS Most Valuable Blogger Awards!! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Gluten Free Oat Challah

It's Gluten-Free!
Perfect for the GFE ...

and everyone else too!!!
I just don’t want to be eating different things than everyone else” is one of the most frequently heard comments that I hear from people who eat gluten-free.  They don’t want to stand out or be different from everyone at the table.  A child that is at a birthday party or has friends over doesn’t want to be singled out as “the kid that can’t eat what all the other kids are eating.”  One of the bigger challenges is Shabbat or Yom Tov, when meals are the focal point.  After Kiddush, when Hamotzi is said over the challah, the GFE (Gluten-Free Eater) either can’t eat the challah or has to pull out something home made that doesn’t even come close to what everyone else is eating.  The Challah is passed around and the GFE has to say “no thanks”.  To some GFE’s it’s like wearing a sign that says “look at me…I’m a GFE!” When developing gluten-free recipes, I have found it’s important that the result is something that everyone will eat and doesn’t scream “gluten-free”.  This is especially important for challah!

Now according to many poskim (Rabbinic authorities), in order to say a Hamotzi bracha on challah it has to have a significant amount of flour made from one of the following five types of grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt.  Oats are considered a gluten free grain, which makes oat flour a good choice for gluten-free challah**.  The key is getting the oat flour challah to be light, fluffy, and to taste like the challah most people eat every Shabbat.  What makes baked goods light and fluffy?  Air…little pockets of air in the baked bread.  Some of the ways to get air into a recipe is to beat air into it, add a carbonated liquid, or add some sort of leavener such as yeast.  When dealing with a heavy flour, such as oat flour, we need all the help we can get.  I’ve added tapioca and potato starch to take the place of some of the oat flour in order to lighten the recipe.  Yeast and carbonated liquid will help with the leavening, but the beating option is out – beating will thicken the starches and be counterproductive. 

In a “gluten flour” bread recipe, the gluten acts as a binder and gives you the elasticity that you want in a good quality bread dough.  Since there is no gluten in oat flour we need something to actually bind the whole recipe together, which is why we add xanthan gum and starch.

Finally, there is the issue of the challah shape.  Many people resort to making little challah muffins because gluten-free challah dough is notoriously loose and sticky.  There are two easy ways to remedy this.  The first is to buy one of the cool braided challah shaped pans.  You can spoon the dough into the pan, let it rise and bake in the pan, and it comes out challah shaped!  Excellent!  The second alternative is to separate the dough into sticky dough balls, place them in a loaf pan and let them rise.  When the dough bakes it gives the appearance of being braided…just like a “normal” challah!  With this challah recipe, a GFE can become just an E (eater!)….exactly like everyone else!

Hey everyone!  My version of this recipe just appeared in the 2011 Rosh Hashana edition of Mishpacha Magazines "Kosher Inspired" (Hooray!!)!  If you didn't get the actual magazine (with my article inside!) I hope you enjoyed it here!!


2                      tablespoons      yeast
1                      tablespoon        sugar
½                     cup                   warm water

4 – 4 ½            cups                 certified gluten free oat flour (whisk to remove lumps)
2/3                   cup                   tapioca flour (starch)
1 1/3                cup                   potato starch
1                      tablespoon        xanthan gum
¾                     cup                   sugar
1                      teaspoon          salt

4                      large                 eggs    
½                     cup                   canola oil
1                      cup                   seltzer

1                      large                 egg
1                      tablespoon        warm water
                                                sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a small bowl combine the yeast, tablespoon of sugar, and warm water.  Allow the yeast to proof for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together 4 cups oat flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, sugar and salt.   Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add the eggs, canola oil, seltzer and yeast into the well in the dry ingredients.  Mix until the ingredients are just smooth and combined.  Allow the dough to rest for 2 minutes.  If the dough is particularly sticky or loose add the remaining ½ cup of oat flour and mix until the dough is smooth.  Spoon into braided loaf pan, or form small dough balls and place into standard loaf pan to form braids.  Cover the loaf and let rise for one hour.  If baking in a standard loaf pan, combine the large egg and warm water and brush over the risen loaf.  Top with sesame or poppy seeds if desired.  Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

**As with any food, please consult your physician to verify that the ingredients in this recipe are appropriate for your particular dietary needs.

Here are some helpful links:
  1. Braided Challah Loaf Pan:
  2. A great place to order super inspected gluten-free oat flour:
All the ingredients...
ready for the recipe!
Yeast, water and sugar ingredients....
Yeast combined with
water and sugar...not
ready yet!!
See how foamy it is...
now it's ready!
 Make sure to remove the
lumps from the oat flour...
 Combine all the ingredients
in a large mixing bowl...
 Sticky challah dough!
 It's a pan that looks like a
braided challah!!!
Dough in the pan...
rise dough...rise!!!
 It listened!  
(and rose!)
 Pop it in the oven...
and out it comes!
Make sure to cool before removing from
the pan....
 Can you believe it's Gluten Free!
Perfect for the GFE...
and everyone else too!!  

 Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday,,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!


KosherEveryday is one of the finalists for the 
2011 CBS Most Valuable Blogger Awards!!