Monday, December 19, 2011


Hanukkah is almost here! Therefore, I have been in a "Jewish food" mood.  Last night, we had a family get together at my brother's place to celebrate Hanukkah and my sister-in-law's birthday.  My mom made this great green bean dish that would make anyone crave veggies.  It was great!

Today, I am still in a Hanukkah-y mood and I've been wanting to try out a recipe for home-made challah.  What can I say, the Challah-days are coming up and I want to celebrate (so punny sorry!).  I found a recipe for a Harvest-Challah which is a loaf made in a spring-from pan and incorporates apples!  I LOVE apples.  This recipe does take some time so if you are going to make it for a brunch, definately make it the night before (so then you can sleep in!).  I think it would also be a great dessert served with some honey.

This morning, I woke up, went for a six mile run, and then decided I wanted to make that Challah.  This was great because I threw it together, then as it was rising for 2 hours, I showered and got everything else I needed to do out of the way.  Then I finished up the loaf!  Today has been a perfect day and a great improvement from my first day of break (see previous post).  Now, I'm off for a little date night: Portillo's and the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  I'll have to let you know how it is!

Green Bean Almondine

2 1bs green beans
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil (you can use 2 tbsp butter and no olive oil, but she likes to lighten things up)
1 cup sliced almonds

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a pinch or two of salt.  Cook green beans in boiling water until they are done.
2. In a skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add sliced almonds and brown them until they are fragrant about 5 minutes.
3. Drain green beans and place in casserole dish.  Add browned almonds and toss together!
Enjoy :)

Apple Challah

Yeast Mixture

Add the rest of the dough ingredients

Form into a ball and let rise

...until double in size!

mmm apples!'s gonna get messy

Oven ready!

Fresh out of the oven

We dug right in

1/4 cup honey (I only had a little bit left and I'm pretty sure I only put in 1/8 cup or so)
1 package instant yeast
1/2 cup warm water
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
6 tbsp canola oil
2 gala apples (my mom's favorite) NOT peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
honey to drizzle (optional)

1. In a stand mixer, mix the warm water, honey, and yeast until the honey is dissolved.  Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes until slightly frothy.
2.  Mix in flour, eggs, salt, and canola oil until just combined.  Switch to a dough hook attachment and knead until the dough comes together.  Ball up the dough on the bottom of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 2 hours.  Dough will rise to double in size and get a little poofy. 
3. Place a 9-inch spring-form pan on a cookie sheet and coat with cooking spray. 
4.  Mix cut up apples with cinnamon and sugar (I used more cinnamon than the original recipe because I love it).
5. Transfer dough to a greased surface and flatten in a rectangle (about 8x10 inches).  Place half the apples down the center of the dough (long-ways) and fold over half the dough.  Then, place the other half of the apples on the folded part and fold over the other side.  With a knife or pizza cutter (I thought the pizza cutter was easier) slice the dough down the middle long-ways and then slice about 8 times on the sides.  The apples will fall out, don't worry about it.   Place the dough pieces on the bottom of the spring-form pan so that they are all smashed together.  Place any of the fallen apples on the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Brush the top of the bread with an egg wash (1 egg and a tbsp of water) and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 55-60 minutes.  Mine took 60. Serve warm and drizzeled with honey if you want!
Enjoy :)