Potato Kugel – Kosher Link up


So I’ll go out on a limb here, and let you all know, that I’m pretty much a pro at potato kugel. I know that’s a pretty brash statement right there, but I’ve been making potato kugel since I was about 13 years old. It was really the first step into my decent of food madness. However, it’s been 2 plus years on this here blog, and not one mention of potato kugel? No recipe? Nothing!? Well for some reason, my potato kugel is very hard to give over. I never had a recipe, and kind of am at the point where I make the kugel by feel. So why the change of heart? Why am I all of a sudden writing up a post on potato kugel? Well to be honest, this month’s kosher LinkUp theme is root vegetables, and I’ve been super busy lately, and really haven’t had the time to take pictures and write up a post, so I figured, I’d be making the potato kugel anyway for Shabbos, so like everything else in my life, I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone, and half ass it, awesome! I can already hear you in the background rolling your eyes, but fear not, I’ll be back with some quality posts once I can get my life in order…so in like 15 years give or take.

One of the nice things about not being consistent when making kugel, is that every week is a surprise as to how it will come out. Will it be too salty? Too garlicky? (which as my Hungarian compadres will know, is not really a thing) Too peppery? You get the gist. And another thing is, over the years I’ve tried different things. Different ingredients, different techniques, etc, but one thing that hasn’t changed – I grate the potatoes by hand. Yeah, call me old fashioned, but I can tell the difference between a potato kugel made by hand, and one made by machine. Now that’s not to say if it’s made by machine it won’t be good, but here at casa del Fogel we like our potato kugel to be just slightly chunky, not like a puree, and there’s no way you can get that with a machine.

All right, so let’s start with some potatoes shall we? I like to peel them and to prevent them from browning I keep them submerged in water. If I have my act together (which if you haven’t caught on yet, is never) I would actually put it in the fridge over night, because that’s how Bobby (ie – my grandmother) did it, and it also makes sense, a colder potato takes longer to brown, and while a browned potato will still make a good potato kugel, it’s still something I try to avoid.


Next thing up is the grater. Of course you can’t just use a normal box grater because that would just be too normal, you have to use one of these types of graters, which you can only buy from an old women on the side of the road somewhere in rural Hungary. This is the grater I’ve used every time (well almost, more on that in a bit) for the 16 plus years I’ve been making it.


So grate your potatoes (which by the way, would be a great idiom…I’m not sure for what, but I can totally imagine someone saying: “..and by the way, don’t forget to grate your potatoes”…it has a nice ring to it…but I digress) and you really want to work fast here (so it doesn’t brown), which can be a little tricky if it’s your first attempt at using one of those graters.


Look at that consistency, it’s not too mushy, not too chunky…just right

To be honest, up until recently I used garlic and onion powder, because that’s how Bobby does it, but the good food maniac (I’m trying to think of another word other than foodie, which I hate) I am, just couldn’t let it continue. So I grate an onion, and mince some fresh garlic in there, and it’s really stepped up the kugel in the past few months. However, another thing the onion might do is since it’s acidic, it prevents the potatoes from browning also, but that’s just an educated guess on my part.


Now for the piece de resistance. Before I start grating, I pre-heat the oven, and put the pan in there with some oil. I let it heat up, and when I’m done with all the grating, and adding my salt and pepper, I take the scalding hot oil out of the oven, and pour it over the spices (I make sure the pepper and garlic are on top), which allows them to bloom, and it sizzles, so that’s pretty awesome. Once that’s all mixed, I add my eggs. It’s hard to tell you how many eggs because most of the time I’m not sure myself. I would tell you 1 egg per pound of potato, but that’s not a hard fast rule. Eggs will help bind everything, and keep it more solid, but it will also add to the browning of the crust (as will the oil).


Anyway, I cook the potato kugel at 350 degrees until it’s ready, about 1.5-2 hours, depending on size, and type of pan you use, but you’ll know it’s ready when your house smells like Shabbos, and there’s a nice brown crust on the top. My favorite type of pan for the kugel is a glazed ceramic souffle pan, which gives a lot of interior, and makes a nice crust (because of the heat retention capabilities of the ceramic), but it is a little big for just the wife and I.


That’s pretty much all I’ve got for now. Oh, one more thing – I did mention that I would mention something about using the grater every time. Well to be perfectly honest, one acceptable alternative in our family is the Braun Food processor, using the “e” blade. I’ve used it if I was making a whole lot of potato kugels (like the 6 pans that I made for Daniella’s kiddush). But to be really honest, it’s good, but it’s just not the same.

Now for all of you not convinced, I openly invite/challenge you to come by any Shabbos and taste my kugel, and tell me that you can’t taste the difference. Now that’s brash right there.

As like last time – this is all part of the Kosher Connection LinkUp, with the theme of Root vegetables, and since I know you want to check out what other slightly more normal people have to say about that topic, and since you probably want something just a little more exciting than plain ole’ potato kugel, click on that little frog mentschey (man, I cannot tell you how long I’ve wanted to use the word mentschey in a post…normally mentschey is strictly used for lego men, but we’ve extended it to this guy…it’s a pretty great day)…so go ahead click on it.

Potato Kugel

We’ll assume you’re making kugel for a standar d Shabbos meal, for like 6-8 people, but you can obviously scale the recipe up/down for your needs


  • Potatoes (2.5 pounds), peeled
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small-medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons salt (total guess on that one)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (also a guess, and for the love of all that’s sacred, use freshly grated black pepper, it’s really not that hard to find, and unless you like the taste of saw dust, it really makes a difference)
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350, and when oven’s hot, add your oil to your pan, and heat up in the oven
  2. Peel potatoes, and place in water (if you want to do this the night before, place potatoes in fridge, in water)
  3. Grate potatoes and onions. Add salt, minced garlic, and pepper (making sure the pepper and garlic are on top)
  4. Being careful not to burn yourself (my lawyers told me I had to say that), pour oil over top of the potato mixture, let it sizzle, and mix it through
  5. Once cooled, add your eggs, and mix until incorporated
  6. Add to pan (if the pan has good heat retention [like a ceramic one, and not like an aluminum one] you should start to hear the kugel sizzle as it hits the pan).
  7. Bake for about 1.5-2 hours, or until it’s nice and brown and delicious (well maybe wait a little to decide for yourself how delicious it is, because it’s probably going to be hot)

Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel; Plus – A party..and wait, what’s that? A giveaway also?! Who in the what now?? Come on in!

Wow, that’s a mouthful. Anyway, it was quite a hectic weekend, the whole family was down for a kiddush for the daughter, and although I made a whole lot of stuff, I just didn’t have time to take pictures of everything. However, I knew that I had to make at least one thing that I could then post on the blog. I had bought these Key limes a while back, and have been trying to figure out what to do with it.

But before we get cooking, this post is part of this years Rosh Hashana’s Blogger Party, which means a bunch of us weirdos who like food just a little too much, come out with stuff that’s got something to do with Rosh Hashana. What does my post have to do with that? I have no idea, but you could make it and it eat on Rosh Hashana right?

blogger party

Plus there’s also a giveaway! Hooray, for free stuff! The people sponsoring this stuff are giving away 3 of Levana Kirschenbaum’s cookbook – Levana’s Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.

whole foods kosher

Here are the details –

Welcome to the first ever Jewish Holiday Blog Party, hosted by Jessie of Taste and Miriam of Overtime Cook, and sponsored by Kitchen Aid! As you may know, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year is coming up, and Jewish bloggers from all over the world are celebrating with all kinds of twists on traditional Rosh Hashanah foods.
To kick off the celebration, Levana Kirschenbaum is giving away a copy of her fabulous new book, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen to three lucky winners. To enter, leave a comment on this post. Limit one entry per reader per blog so click over to the other participating blogs below for your chance at additional entries! Giveaway ends 5 am eastern time on September 11th, 2012.
Prize is sponsored by Levana and available to readers from all blogs participating in the Rosh Hashanah Blog Party. Prize can only be shipped within the US.
This is the first of hopefully many exciting Holiday Blog Parties, so if you would like to join in the fun, please email holidayblogparties@gmail.com.
Stop by and check out some of these amazing Rosh Hashanah themed recipes on the following blogs:


Challah and Bread:

Marlene of The Jewish Hostess made Apple Challah
Amanda of The Challah Blog made Pomegranate Challah
Shelly of The Kosher Home made Apple, Honey and Pomegranate Challah!
Sides, Salads and Starters:
Sarah of Food, Words, Photos made Tzimmes (Rosh Hashanah Carrots)
Tali of More Quiche, Please made Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash
Roberta and Lois of Kosher Eye made Simanim Salad
Chanie of Busy In Brooklyn made Pomegranate Coleslaw
Rivki of Life in the Married Lane made Super Salad
Hannah of Cooking Manager made Beets Marinated with Ginger and Garlic
Sina of The Kosher Spoon made Pomegranate, Almond and Raisin Couscous
Shulie of Food Wanderings made Rosh Hashanah Salad
Hindy of Confident Cook-Hesitant Baker made Warm Roasted Beets with Farro
Sarah of Kosher Street made Sweet Potato Apple Tzimmes
Main Dishes:
Jessie of Taste made Smoked Salmon
Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen made Chicken with Dates
Michele of Kosher Treif Cooking made Coconut Chicken Strips with two dipping sauces
Melinda of Kitchen Tested made Key Lime Glazed Duck
Stephanie and Jessica of The Kosher Foodies made Chicken Braised in Pomegranate
Liz of The Lemon Bowl made Beef Brisket
Estee of Anyone Interested? made Easy Breazy 5 Minute Brisket
Desserts and Drinks:
Miriam of Overtime Cook made Mini Apples and Honey Tarts
Laura of Pragmatic Attic made Fresh Ginger Honey Cake
Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen made Honey Caramel Apple Galette
Danielle of Hugs and Cookies xoxo made The World’s Best Rugelach
Amy of What Jew Wanna Eat made an Apple and Honey Cocktail
Nick of The Baking Process made Apple and Date Honey Squares
Lisa of The Monday Morning Cooking Club made Honey Chiffon Cake and Traditional Honey Cake
Leah of Cook Kosher made Pomegranate Ice Cream
Nossi of The Kosher Gastronome made Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel


So anyway, back to business, I got it in my brain when I bought these, that I wanted to make some sort of cheesecake bar, but I pushed it off, and pushed it off some more, thinking to myself that I wanted to come up with something else, but alas my brain couldn’t come up with anything. Obviously, I could have made Key Lime Pie, but that would have been too obvious, so that was out (plus, traditional key lime pie is made with sweetened condensed milk, which back in the day since the Keys in southern Florida was very inaccessible was the only thing they had to use to make key lime pie (since milk wasn’t available), but I believe I’m in the process of digressing, so I’ll stop now).

I don’t know how well you know me yet, but I couldn’t just look up a recipe for key lime cheesecake bar, because I had to do it my way. I’m kinda stubborn that way. There were really two steps to the cheesecake bar, the “bar” part and the cheesecake part. For the bar part, I decided to go with a shortbread recipe, and followed the ratio of 1 part sugar 1 part margarine, and 3 parts flour.


Start by creaming the sugar and margarine, and in order to do that properly, the margarine needs to be at room temperature. I find that limes go well with coconuts, so I used half margarine and half coconut oil (which has the advantage of being at room temperature already, and in recent times has been touted as being better for you than margarine). So into your mixer goes 2/3 cup sugar with 1/3 cup margarine, and 1/3 cup coconut oil (which is a little more than 5 tablespoons by the way), and cream away, until a paste forms. The whole purpose of creaming margarine, is to allow the sugar to punch tiny holes in the fat, which will aerate the dough, which is why it’s crucial for the fat to be at room temperature.


Scrape that down, and add in your flour (2 cups), salt and vanilla, and continue mixing until it just comes together.

DSC_3206 This is very similar to making a streusal topping, but instead of sprinkling all of this over something, we’re going to press it into a pan, dock it (ie poke it a bunch of times with a fork) and bake it at 350 until nice and golden, approximately 15-20 minutes.

DSC_3207  Now for the cheesecake part. Again, my stubbornness was shining through, and I couldn’t just look up a cheesecake recipe, because that’s what normal people do. No, I had to do it by myself, like the 2 year old I am.

So by classification, a cheesecake is really a custard made with cheese. A custard is pretty much any liquid mixed with eggs, that’s cooked gently so the egg can set up into a solid gel. For a cheesecake, the cheese takes the place of the liquid, and in order to aerate it a little, we cream the cheese with the sugar, and then mix in the eggs. Since we’re going to be making this parve, we used dairy free cream cheese, and dairy free sour cream. Again, the cheese needs to be at room temperature in order to cream properly.

The ratio I normally use for a free standing custard is 2 parts liquid to 1 part egg, as in a creme caramel, or a quiche. If you decrease the amount of eggs and increase the amount of liquid, you get a looser custard (think ice cream, [which happens to be thickened by the process of freezing] or creme anglais [which can be a sauce, and thin, or thickened by a starch…]), or if you remove the whites, and just use yolks, you also get a looser custard (eg a creme brulee).


I started by creaming equal weights of the cream cheese and sugar (8 oz, or 225grams), until smooth, and then added in the 4 eggs one at a time. Then I added 1/4 cup of the key lime juice, the zest (more on that in a bit), some vanilla extract, and about 6 oz of the non-dairy sour cream, and mixed until smooth.


I poured it over the now cooled crust, and baked in a 300 degree oven, for about 30 minutes (if you can, bake it in a water bath because of how gently it heats it, but my pan didn’t fit in another container). You want to take it out when it’s still slightly jiggly because it continues to cook after it’s out of the oven, and if you take it out when it’s done, by the time it’s finished cooking, it will be overdone.


That’s it for the cheesecake bar, but wait there’s more!

Didja notice the “with key lime caramel” part of the heading? Were you wondering what heck that was? Well wonder no more my friend. I saw this idea on Gilt Taste, where they were talking about making caramel sauce, and traditionally it’s made by cooking sugar down to the caramel stage (320-350 degrees), and at which point you add heavy cream, to get what we normally call “caramel,” and they talked about instead of adding heavy cream, why not strawberry puree, and make a strawberry caramel sauce. Well that got me thinking, what about adding key lime juice? So guess what? That’s what I did.

I brought 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water to a boil, and let it cook, until color started to form



I didn’t use a candy thermometer, but just estimated when it was nice and dark, and added the lime juice. It will bubble like crazy, and that’s normal.


Then I poured that over the cooled cheesecake, and let it set up


There’s a lot more to say on the topic of candy making, and the science behind it, but I think I’ve taken up plenty of your time, so maybe another time.

Now for critique – the texture of the cheesecake and the bar, were pretty good in my opinion. I think it was a little too tart partly because of the lime zest (which I would leave out next time), and the amount of lime juice I used (I used a total of 1/2 cup [1/4 cup in the cheesecake, and 1/4 in the caramel sauce]) and I think next time I make it, I would decrease that amount also. Also the caramel sauce never set up into a hard candy like shell, which is what I was going for, and that could also be because I added too much lime juice, and it was more like a creme caramel topping consistency, which isn’t a bad thing, but not what I was anticipating.

Also, I poured it on the cheesecake right away, it to harden, but it never did. I don’t know what I would do differently next time. I would decrease the amount of lime, and possibly, wait a little more before pouring it over the cheesecake. Another thing that happened, was even though I added the caramel after the cheesecake was cool, it formed these cracks in the cheesecake, which was more an esthetic issue then anything else, and since the caramel was slightly runny, it seeped into the cracks. Another option is instead of using 1/4 water, I would use the lime juice. The only problem I see with that is, the whole time you’re cooking the sugar, you’re cooking off the water, so it will all but cook off, but maybe the flavors will stay behind just enough to shine through. I don’t know, but it’s definitely worth a try.

It was still servable, and I think the general consensus was that it was pretty good. Oh well, azoy gaytis, ammiright? Or instead of calling it a “caramel,” I would call it a key lime creme caramel, so it’s supposed to be runny, right? I’m a genius

Well that’s it for now, thanks for joining me for this years Rosh Hashana Blogger Party, and I hope you enjoyed, and don’t forget to comment away, and to visit the other blogs, which I’m sure you’ll be able to get real recipes, that you can actually use…at least you come here for the comedic genius, I know 😉

Non-dairy Key Lime Cheesecake Bar with Key Lime Caramel


  • 2/3 cup margarin/shortening/coconut oil (I used 1/3 cup margarine, and 1/3 coconut oil), room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package of non-dairy cream cheese (such as Tofutti brand) – 8 oz/ 225 grams , room temp
  • 6 oz non-dairy sour cream (1/2 a tub), room temp
  • 8 oz sugar (which I think comes out to 1 cup)
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 water


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. To make the Crust: Cream the room temp margarine, and coconut oil, with the sugar, until a smooth paste forms. Add vanilla and salt.
  3. Add flour and combine until it just comes together.
  4. Press the dough into a 9×13 pan, and dock with a fork all over
  5. Bake until golden brown. Appx – 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool.
  6. Lower the oven to 300
  7. To make the Cheesecake: Combine the room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar, and cream.
  8. Add eggs one at a time, waiting for each one to incorporate before adding the next one.
  9. Add 2 tablespoons lime juice, and vanilla extract, and combine
  10. Pour over cooled crust, and bake until just barely set, approximately 30-35 minutes. The center should still be slightly jiggly, so keep an eye on it.
  11. Allow to cool, and completely set, before adding the caramel layer
  12. To make the key lime caramel: Combine sugar and water, and bring to a boil, and allow to boil without touching the pot until color starts to form.
  13. Once there’s some color, gently swirl the pan, but avoid sloshing it around too much (if you do, you run the risk of having particles burn on the walls of the pan, but if you do have some sugar on the side, you can always brush it away with a wet pastry brush…).
  14. Lower the heat to medium, and allow to slowly get darker, and thicker, until really dark, but not burnt, turn off heat, and add the remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice. It will bubble vigorously. Wait for it to cool, but still warm, so it doesn’t set, and pour over the cheesecake to allow to (hopefully) set.

Scallion Pancake

You know what’s awesome? Scallion pancakes.


So you know how I’m always saying how I’m such a procrastinator? Well, my daughter’s 5 months now, and…oh you want a picture of her? That’s very kind of you…here


Isn’t she awesome?

So where was I? Oh yeah, me being a procrastinator…so I made these scallion pancakes, before she was born! And that wasn’t the first time I’ve made them, and I’ve been meaning to post about it since then. It’s not that I didn’t have time, and it’s not that I didn’t want to, it’s just I wanted to do nothing that much more. I think that’s the exact definition of procrastination.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s get down to some pancakes.

Of course, because I delayed, Hindy of Confident-Cook beat me to it. Harumph-a-doo.

The original recipe comes from the Food Lab on Seriouseats, which if you’re new to the show, is one of my favorite sites. Let’s dive in shall we?

Ok, so to be honest I hadn’t heard of scallion pancakes until I moved down to Baltimore, and had some from the local kosher chinese place (David Chu’s), and everyone raved about their scallion pancakes. So not wanting to offend any food item, I ordered some, and I’m not going to lie, they weren’t that great. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I proceeded to stuff my face, but there was something not awesome about it, you know what I mean? It was only after I made it myself could I put my finger on what was wrong with it.

Scallion pancakes is supposed to be shatteringly crisp, with many tiny layers of thin crisp dough, studded with scallion. You don’t want it to be chewy. Now we’ve been down the whole water + flour = gluten shpiel right? And normally that’s what you want…but not here. You see, gluten is great and all, if you’re looking for some chewy bread, but here we’re looking for crispy. So we have our first problem. We know that if you just add water and flour together in a bowl, with out even kneading them, they will form gluten on their own (ala no-knead breads), so how can we combine the two and not make gluten? Well since gluten is a protein, we can denature them, by mixing the flour with hot water. Gravysauce!

We are rolling now, we’ve figured out how to avoid making gluten, and decrease chew, but to move on to perfect-scallion-pancake-dom, we must also make them beautifully crispy, and to get to that, we must realize that this here pancake is part of a family known as laminated doughs, and it all has to do with how a dough rises. Lemmesplain.

Whenever we talk about dough that can rise, we usually refer to yeasted dough, and the dough will get it’s lift from the carbon dioxide spewed forth from the yeast, which gets trapped in the matrix of gluten. Then there’s another type of rise, which is more chemical in nature, where the lift will also come from carbon dioxide, but will come from the chemical reaction between an acid and a base, which produces carbon dioxide (namely stuff with baking powder or baking soda). And that leads us to our third type of dough, one that gets its lift from tiny layers of fat, which separate tiny layers of dough. Other examples include, puff pastry, or phylo dough. Puff pastry is made by taking a dough, putting a nice amount of butter (gasp! butter?!) and folding it over on itself. Each fold is known as a “turn,” and with the way that it’s done, after 9 turns, there are an amazing 6,561 different layers of dough, each separated by a layer of fat. That’s pretty awesome, but making puff pastry at home can be quite the pain in the behonkus. Which brings me to scallion pancakes.

These are really easy to do, and can literally come together in 10 minutes.

First we make the dough, which like I said before, requires some water boiling. Just combine the water and flour, and mix until a ball forms, and set aside. When it’s cool enough to handle, divide it into 4 portions, and working one at a time, roll it out into a thin circle-ish blob.


And paint on a layer of toasted sesame oil


Now for the laminating part. Roll it up like you’re making a jelly roll (which by the way, does anyone really make jelly rolls anymore? I say we change that to “roll it up like you’re making cinnamon buns” because everyone makes cinnamon buns, right? which by the way, that will hopefully be my next post, so stay tuned…), and after it’s rolled, roll the roll into a roll…I’m not even apologizing for that sentence, because it was awesome…anyway, here’s a visual aid.


So you see? First you roll it like a cinnamon bun (which I forgot to take a picture of), and then roll it like that. Cool? Then roll that out flat like it was beforehand, and we’re going to repeat this whole process again (once it’s flat, paint some toasted sesame oil, then roll like cinnamon bun, and then roll the roll…). Once you’re finished the second roll, we’re going to do the whole thing again for the a third time, but this time after you flatten it, and added the toasted sesame oil, we’re going to add the scallions before we roll it all up, and flatten it out. Confused?? Great!

IMG_9223 IMG_9224 IMG_9225

Then once, you’re finished all four pancakes, it’s time to fry it up in some vegetable oil, until it’s nice and crisp, and sprinkle on salt.


That’s it. If you want, you can make a dipping sauce, which I’ll put the recipe on the bottom.


Look at all of those layers! I know right?

Anyway, here’s to hoping Daniella isn’t 10 months the next time I post

Scallion Pancakes

from Serious Eats


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • Up to 1/4 cup toasted sesame seed oil
    • 2 cups thinly sliced scallion greens
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • Salt

For the Dipping Sauce:

    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon finely sliced scallion greens
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    • 2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Combine flour and hot water. You can do this in a food processor if you’re lazy, or you can just combine in a bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms into a cohesive ball. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a damp towel, and set aside for 30 minutes (or if you want, you can make this ahead, and transfer to the fridge now)
  2. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball.
  3. Working one at a time, roll the ball flat into about an 8 inch diameter circle. Paint a thin layer of toasted sesame oil, and then roll it up like a cinnamon bun, and then roll it on itself (see pictures above since I can’t really speak English).
  4. Flatten it gently, and roll it out repeating the previous step.
  5. Flatten it out, roll it out, and paint the oil on once again (for the 3rd time), and this time sprinkle 1/4 of the scallions over the disk; Roll it up like the cinnamon roll, and then roll it on itself again, and then flatten, and roll into pancake.
  6. Fry pancake in vegetable oil until crisp, and transfer to a cooling rack, and sprinkle on the salt.
  7. To make the dipping sauce: Combine all of the ingredients and set aside.

Blueberry Muffins

Here’s a slight perspective on exactly how big of a slacker I am. I made these blueberry muffins in September, and I’m just getting to posting them. September…that’s like 8 months ago. Whatever, somehow it’s all your fault, so you have yourselves to blame.

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a really big fan of America’s Test Kitchen, and this recipe is from them. Not only that, when I made them, I had posted a picture of it on twitter (I’m sure you remember, because I’m sure you’re following my awesomeness), and they actually posted it on their website…I’m like famous or something.

The reason why I like America’s Test Kitchen is because they actually do research into their recipes, and find out why things work, and what the best way to make something is. Being the nerd I am, I kinda like that sort of stuff. So I bring to you today the best blueberry muffin recipe.

With any cake like food, there are pretty much three different ways to bring the batter together. There’s the creaming method, the biscuit method, and the muffin method. Creaming, which is beating room temperature butter with sugar to aerate it, is more for airy stuff like cakes; the biscuit method, combining really cold butter with flour to form little specks of butter within the flour, is more for like biscuits and pie dough. The muffin method, which are for…wait for it…keep on waiting…you never know, I might say something different than muffin…keep on waiting…I’m stalling, I know…hey did I mention that I finished dental school, and I’m graduating in two week? I know crazy right?..where was I…oh right…wait for it…just a little more…ok this joke just got real stupid, real quick…muffins! Whoah…so yeah, the muffin method is for muffins, and the way that whole shebang works, is you combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet in another bowl, and combine the two, until they just come together (you know the shpiel, the whole over mixing the batter, leads to more gluten produced, and more gluten, means a tougher end product…). Can you use the creaming method for muffins? Yeah sure you can, but then you’d have something more like a cupcake, than a muffin.

Ok, now that we know the whole muffin thing, it’s time to talk blueberries. Blueberries are great, but they can be a little finicky. We want maximum flavor, but the more blueberries we add, the more likely it is that they’ll sink to the bottom. So the way around that is, by adding half of the blueberries fresh, and the other half we added as a jam. That way, each muffin is chock full of blueberry goodness, and I think if I say blueberry one more time, I just might go crazy…It’s just one of those words that has a limit to how many times it can be said in one sitting, you know what I mean? Like smidgen, or powdered sugar…I dunno call me crazy…but when you do, don’t say it to my face, because that’s just not nice.

All right, let’s get cooking.

First let’s start with making the blueberry jam.

Combine 1 cup of blueberries with 1 teaspoon of sugar, and cook over medium heat, until it starts to simmer. Start mashing the blueberries with a potato masher, or a wooden spoon, and continue to mash and cook, until it’s homogeneous, and thickened, and about 1/4 of a cup (it should take about 5-7 minutes), and set it aside.

Next, we’ll make the topping. Combine the lemon zest and sugar, and rub it together slightly, to allow the essential oils of the lemon to come (oh, “essential oils” is another one of those words), and set it aside.

To make the muffins, combine the dry ingredients – whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl, and in another bowl combine the wet ingredients. Start by putting the sugar and eggs in the bowl, and whisk until it’s foamy, and lighter in color. (Now, I know what you’re thinking, Nossi, I know you’re a dentist and all [oh hey, did I mention I finished dental school?? No?…Oh, I finished dental school…], but sugar is more dry than it is wet…and you’re totally right, and here’s where it gets tricky. Remember before how we mentioned the “creaming method” which was aerating the fat with sugar? Well that’s what we’re doing here, were combining the eggs with sugar, which aerates it, and those bubbles (ie the air) will incorporate into the batter, and make it airy, and fluffy..So how is this different than the creaming method? Well to be honest with you, I’m not 100% sure, maybe when you mix the sugar into the fat it produces an airy-er crumb…I’m not sure…and this might technically be called “creaming”..I’m not sure). Then slowly mix in the melted butter and vegetable oil, and then mix in the buttermilk. I decided to make this parve, so instead of using butter I used margarine, and instead of 1 cup of buttermilk, I used a cup of soy milk combined with a tablespoon of vinegar, and let that sit for 10 mins. (Just as a side – most “buttermilk” sold in the supermarket, is really milk with a culture added to it, and not the by product of butter [the real way to make buttermilk is take cream, churn it to make butter, and the liquid that’s leftover is buttermilk], so this soy milk plus vinegar is not so far off from the fake buttermilk you’d get in the supermarket anyway).


Once team wet and dry are ready to go, add the wet to the dry, and fold the mixture until it just comes together. Then pour in the remaining blueberries, and fold it in. There might be streaks of flour, and that’s fine, the alternative is over mixing, and that’s not fine.

Put the batter into the muffin tin; I like to use an ice cream scooper, but whatever works for you. Then spoon in the blueberry jam, and using a skewer or chopstick, swirl the jam around. Then top with the lemon-sugar mix.



Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven until they’re nice and ready, about 15 minutes or so, allow them to rest, and then eat every single one of them.

Sorry for the crappy quality pictures. I’m not the best photographer, and I was using my camera phone, probably because my actual slightly-less-crappier-camera was broken, because there was flour or something stuck in there…either way, enjoy.

Blueberry Muffins

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen


  • 1/3 cup sugar (2 1/3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries(about 10 ounces)
  • 1 1/8 cups sugar(8 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour(12 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine/butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk substitute, plus 1 tablespoon vinegar (or you can use “real” buttermilk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with potato masher or a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to about a ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. And set aside to cool
  2. Then make the topping – Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined, and try to rub the two together slightly, and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl, and whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, and lighter in color. Slowly whisk in margarine and oil until combined, and then whisk in your “buttermilk” (whatever you decide to use) and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the wet into the dry until just combined, and then fold in the remaining blueberries (If the batter is lumpy with a few spots of dry flour that’s fine, don’t over mix it)
  4.  Portion out the batter into the muffin tins, and spoon about a teaspoon of jam into the center of each mound of batter. Using chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into the batter.
  5. Sprinkle the lemon sugar mixture evenly over muffins.
  6. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17 to 19 minutes.
  7. Cool muffins for at least 5 minutes before chowing down.