KIDDOCJJ
KIDDOCJJ
EAT. LEARN. EXPLORE. INSPIRE.

EAT.

 
 
 
 

EASY BLACK BEANS

 BLACK BEANS - so many ways to enjoy them in just a few minutes!

BLACK BEANS - so many ways to enjoy them in just a few minutes!

 

KEY WEST FRUIT SALAD

 Bright and bold citrus blend with creamy avocado for this delightful, nutrition-packed salad.

Bright and bold citrus blend with creamy avocado for this delightful, nutrition-packed salad.

 

PBJ CAKE

 PBJ Cake - made with peanut flour and green peanut oil. The Jelly is actually roasted grapes.

PBJ Cake - made with peanut flour and green peanut oil. The Jelly is actually roasted grapes.

 

BASIC CHALLAH DOUGH

  CHALLAH - braided in a round for the High Holy Days

CHALLAH - braided in a round for the High Holy Days

 

really EASY Veggie Stock

 

CELEBRATION VEAL STEW

 One of the dishes my mom did best!

One of the dishes my mom did best!

 

RICH BEEF STOCK

 Here's a great way to make a rich beef stock for your fall soups, stews and risottos!

Here's a great way to make a rich beef stock for your fall soups, stews and risottos!

 

mY MOM'S SCALLOPED POTATOES

 My mom had a limited repertoire of dishes, and this one, by far, is my favorite.

My mom had a limited repertoire of dishes, and this one, by far, is my favorite.

 

Virginia Willis' Black Pepper Cream Cheese Biscuits!

  Virginia Willis  likes to serve hers with a pear mostarda and ham....for me, it's Cali Style: prosciutto, fresh tomato jam, and if you have it, a little fresh goat cheese!

Virginia Willis likes to serve hers with a pear mostarda and ham....for me, it's Cali Style: prosciutto, fresh tomato jam, and if you have it, a little fresh goat cheese!

 

KidDocJJ's YELLOW TOMATO JAM

 We've had a bumper crop of Tomatoes in Los Angeles, so enjoy another recipe to get you through Tomato-Mania 2018!

We've had a bumper crop of Tomatoes in Los Angeles, so enjoy another recipe to get you through Tomato-Mania 2018!

 

SUMMER MARINARA

 With so many of us having bumper crops of tomatoes, but not wanting to labor over the stove these hot summer months, I thought it prudent to come up with a summery, easy marinara (meatballs optional!).

With so many of us having bumper crops of tomatoes, but not wanting to labor over the stove these hot summer months, I thought it prudent to come up with a summery, easy marinara (meatballs optional!).

 

CLANCY'S FAMOUS LEMON ICE BOX PIE

 Clancy's in New Orleans, is famous for this tart, refreshing and easy to make favorite. Click the button below for the recipe. You can make it now and freeze it for later, too!

Clancy's in New Orleans, is famous for this tart, refreshing and easy to make favorite. Click the button below for the recipe. You can make it now and freeze it for later, too!

 

BAYOU GATOR BREAD

 Normally folks in New Orleans serve their gumbo with 3 foot-long loaves of soft Italian white bread. The problem? They lack flavor, and their super light texture just doesn't sop up the sauce very effectively. Moreover, their lack of personality is no match for a flavorful gumbo. So after taking a bayou tour with a local Cajun, who, with a distinct whistle and a bag of marshmallows, summoned up some gator visitors to thrill and scare us, I thought this loaf might add some mojo and fun to your gumbo night! Click the button below for the recipe.

Normally folks in New Orleans serve their gumbo with 3 foot-long loaves of soft Italian white bread. The problem? They lack flavor, and their super light texture just doesn't sop up the sauce very effectively. Moreover, their lack of personality is no match for a flavorful gumbo. So after taking a bayou tour with a local Cajun, who, with a distinct whistle and a bag of marshmallows, summoned up some gator visitors to thrill and scare us, I thought this loaf might add some mojo and fun to your gumbo night! Click the button below for the recipe.

 

POK POK STYLE STICKY WINGS

 My version of POK POK (Portland, OR) spicy sticky wings. Click on the button below for the recipe. You won't regret it!! Bring extra napkins!

My version of POK POK (Portland, OR) spicy sticky wings. Click on the button below for the recipe. You won't regret it!! Bring extra napkins!

 

LAMB MEATBALLS

 I love these lean, herbaceous meatballs - filled with mint, parsley and garlic and spiced with cumin and coriander, these are a perfect appetizer for your summer  mezze  platter, or can serve as a main course with a light tomato sauce and some pasta or rice. The best thing is, a pound of lamb goes a long way - and these meatballs are gluten and egg free!

I love these lean, herbaceous meatballs - filled with mint, parsley and garlic and spiced with cumin and coriander, these are a perfect appetizer for your summer mezze platter, or can serve as a main course with a light tomato sauce and some pasta or rice. The best thing is, a pound of lamb goes a long way - and these meatballs are gluten and egg free!

 

BOB ARMSTRONG QUESO

  THis SIGNATURE DISH AT MATT’S EL RANCHO IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, IS NAMED AFTER FORMER TEXAS LAND COMMISSIONER BOB ARMSTRONG, WHO ONE DAY ASKED THEM TO MAKE HIM “SOMETHING DIFFERENT.”...and boy did they ever!    Without further ado, the best queso I have ever eaten - just for you! Just click below for the recipe! I wholly recommend making this for Father's Day, year-round parties, or a large graduation gathering. It's just so perfect!

THis SIGNATURE DISH AT MATT’S EL RANCHO IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, IS NAMED AFTER FORMER TEXAS LAND COMMISSIONER BOB ARMSTRONG, WHO ONE DAY ASKED THEM TO MAKE HIM “SOMETHING DIFFERENT.”...and boy did they ever!

Without further ado, the best queso I have ever eaten - just for you! Just click below for the recipe! I wholly recommend making this for Father's Day, year-round parties, or a large graduation gathering. It's just so perfect!

 

POBLANO MAC & CHEESE

 If you are a Zingerman's Mac & Cheese fan, and love the heat of a good Poblano, this Poblano Mac is for you. It's made on the stovetop and is sure to be a hit when you are craving a little South-of-the-Border meets Comfort Food! Enjoy!

If you are a Zingerman's Mac & Cheese fan, and love the heat of a good Poblano, this Poblano Mac is for you. It's made on the stovetop and is sure to be a hit when you are craving a little South-of-the-Border meets Comfort Food! Enjoy!

 

Rolled Mediterranean Boneless Leg 'o Lamb

  ROLLED MEDITERRANEAN LEG OF LAMB   I really love lamb. Baby spring lamb. I don't cook it much at home as my husband isn't as much a fan as I. It certainly is my go-to when eating out. Chops are one thing, but a succulent leg of lamb is quite another - juicy, flavorful and sweet - and when stuffed with all that is Mediterranean (feta, tomatoes, olives, lemon, rosemary, parsley, mint and garlic), it's a memorable dish that your family and friends will covet for a long time. This recipe will serve 4. Simply double the filling for a larger leg of lamb.   WHAT YOU NEED:  - mixing bowl - roasting pan - butcher's twine and a sharp knife or scissors   INGREDIENTS:  - 6 large garlic cloves - 1 cup feta cheese (regular or fat free is fine) - ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil - ¼ cup pitted, chopped Kalamata or other Greek olives - Juice of one lemon - 2 TB each chopped fresh mint and rosemary - ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley - Pepper - 2 ½ - 3 pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied by your butcher (or if you're a surgeon, do it yourself)   INSTRUCTIONS:   1. Quarter the garlic cloves and set aside  2. Combine the cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, mint rosemary and parsley in a bowl. Mix until combined and slightly creamy. Add ½ tsp freshly ground pepper.  Tip: if you have sundried tomatoes that are not in oil, add a TB of olive oil to this mix)   3. Open up the lamb with the fat side down. Salt and pepper the interior of the lamb.  4. With the tip of a small knife, make several slits on the inner surface and insert the quarters of garlic into them.  5. Spread the cheese, olive, tomato and herb mixture evenly over the lamb, leaving a 1/2-3/4" margin around the edges.  6. Start at narrowest end and re-roll your lamb and tie with butcher’s twine so that the roll is tight. Salt and pepper the outside. At this point, the roll can sit in the fridge, uncovered, overnight if needed.  7. When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  8. Put rolled lamb in a roasting pan, fat side up, and cook about 20 minutes/pound (weight prior to stuffing) until the interior temperature is about 135 degreesF at the thickest point (if you like your lamb pink) or 140-45 degreesF (if you like it medium/well). Remove and put on a cutting board and tent with foil for about 15 minutes to let the meat settle, the interior to cook a little more, and juices re-distribute.  Remember - your cooking time will increase if you are taking the lamb roll out of the fridge - make sure you account for that if planning to make this later.   9. To serve, slice the roll and serve a slice or two atop or alongside some  Israeli couscous , rice, potatoes or your other favorites!   KIDDOCJJ Tip: You can also cook some fresh spinach with garlic, wring the moisture out, chop it and mix with the feta, olives and tomatoes for a more savory and vegetal option.

ROLLED MEDITERRANEAN LEG OF LAMB

I really love lamb. Baby spring lamb. I don't cook it much at home as my husband isn't as much a fan as I. It certainly is my go-to when eating out. Chops are one thing, but a succulent leg of lamb is quite another - juicy, flavorful and sweet - and when stuffed with all that is Mediterranean (feta, tomatoes, olives, lemon, rosemary, parsley, mint and garlic), it's a memorable dish that your family and friends will covet for a long time. This recipe will serve 4. Simply double the filling for a larger leg of lamb.

WHAT YOU NEED:
- mixing bowl
- roasting pan
- butcher's twine and a sharp knife or scissors

INGREDIENTS:
- 6 large garlic cloves
- 1 cup feta cheese (regular or fat free is fine)
- ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
- ¼ cup pitted, chopped Kalamata or other Greek olives
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 TB each chopped fresh mint and rosemary
- ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Pepper
- 2 ½ - 3 pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied by your butcher (or if you're a surgeon, do it yourself)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Quarter the garlic cloves and set aside

2. Combine the cheese, sun dried tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, mint rosemary and parsley in a bowl. Mix until combined and slightly creamy. Add ½ tsp freshly ground pepper. Tip: if you have sundried tomatoes that are not in oil, add a TB of olive oil to this mix)

3. Open up the lamb with the fat side down. Salt and pepper the interior of the lamb.

4. With the tip of a small knife, make several slits on the inner surface and insert the quarters of garlic into them.

5. Spread the cheese, olive, tomato and herb mixture evenly over the lamb, leaving a 1/2-3/4" margin around the edges.

6. Start at narrowest end and re-roll your lamb and tie with butcher’s twine so that the roll is tight. Salt and pepper the outside. At this point, the roll can sit in the fridge, uncovered, overnight if needed.

7. When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

8. Put rolled lamb in a roasting pan, fat side up, and cook about 20 minutes/pound (weight prior to stuffing) until the interior temperature is about 135 degreesF at the thickest point (if you like your lamb pink) or 140-45 degreesF (if you like it medium/well). Remove and put on a cutting board and tent with foil for about 15 minutes to let the meat settle, the interior to cook a little more, and juices re-distribute. Remember - your cooking time will increase if you are taking the lamb roll out of the fridge - make sure you account for that if planning to make this later.

9. To serve, slice the roll and serve a slice or two atop or alongside some Israeli couscous, rice, potatoes or your other favorites!

KIDDOCJJ Tip: You can also cook some fresh spinach with garlic, wring the moisture out, chop it and mix with the feta, olives and tomatoes for a more savory and vegetal option.

 

JOYCE'S (melt in your mouth) BRISKET

 This recipe was passed down by my mother-in-law Joyce. I never got to meet her; sadly she passed away before I met my husband. But her  melt-in-your-mouth Brisket  lives on and I wanted to share it with you!

This recipe was passed down by my mother-in-law Joyce. I never got to meet her; sadly she passed away before I met my husband. But her melt-in-your-mouth Brisket lives on and I wanted to share it with you!

 

mATZOH BALL SOUP

  KIDDOC JJ'S CHICKEN SOUP (with a twist) and JOANNE'S MATZOH BALLS   (Thanks to Ina Garten for inspiration!)  A traditional matzoh ball soup starts with a clear, flavorful chicken stock. Depending on your crowd, allow at least 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups of soup per person with either 1 large or smaller matzoh balls. Make sure you have extra! If you need a great chicken stock recipe (that is made in a crockpot),  click here . You can make it weeks ahead and freeze it until the day before your Seder. I've twisted my typical plain chicken soup with a few Asian ingredients, as my buddy Joanne's Matzoh Balls are laced with ginger and ground almonds. This is a fresh, springy twist on an ageless favorite.  (If you prefer a "classic" version, just use salt and pepper and a handful of fresh chopped parsley, dill, and tarragon in your soup, and brighten your broth with a couple of squeezes of lemon juice. I would keep the matzoh balls the same, except use all chopped parsley).     JOANNE'S MATZOH BALLS  (makes 18, enough for 6 people)    KIDDOCJJ Tip :  This recipe can easily be adapted to Gluten Free by using Gluten Free Matzoh, and grinding them in your food processor.   WHAT YOU'LL NEED:  - large bowl, whisk - pot of boiling salted water (I add a chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor)  I NGREDIENTS:  - 4 large eggs - 3 TB schmaltz (I just took the chicken fat off that rose to the top of my stock - easy peasy!) or veggie oil - 1 cup Matzoh Meal (if you can't find it, grind up a few plain matzoh in your food processor) - 1/2 cup chicken stock - 1/4 cup finely ground almonds (if you are nut allergic or don't like almonds, skip this) - 1 tsp fine sea salt or Morton's kosher salt. If using Diamond Kosher salt, use 1.5 tsp - 2 TB finely chopped parsley, and 1 TB chopped cilantro (eliminate this for "classic recipe) - 3/4 tsp ground ginger (eliminate this for "classic" recipe)   INSTRUCTIONS:  1. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, ad the schmaltz or oil and whisk until smooth. 2. Add the matzoh meal, chicken stock, almonds, salt and chopped herbs and mix well. 3. Refrigerate, uncovered 45-60 minutes. 4. Put your water and bouillon on to boil and with wet hands, roll the matzoh mixture into 18 balls. 5. Place them all at once into the boiling water, wait until they rise to the top. Turn the flame down to simmer, cover (NO PEEKING), and cook for 20 minutes.    KIDDOCJJ Tip:   I use a heatproof glass plate to cover matzoh balls, rice, and anything else I need to monitor visually. It makes it so much easier to follow the progress!  6. If serving immediately, add 3 matzoh balls to each bowl of hot soup. Sprinkle with more chopped herbs.  If preparing way ahead,  you can freeze the matzoh balls. Just wrap them tightly in saran, and heavy duty foil. To cook, just add the frozen balls to your hot chicken soup, turn to low, cover, and defrost/reheat in the flavorful stock.  If cooking 1-2 days ahead,  add the balls to your soup, cover, and keep in the fridge. Then heat up on low, covered, for about an hour before serving.   KIDDOCJJ CHICKEN SOUP  (feeds 6)    KIDDOCJJ Tip:    This soup is amazing without matzoh balls, especially on cold days or when you are under the weather. You can add rice or rice noodles (or even ramen) to the broth for a satisfying Asian soup.    INGREDIENTS:  - 3 quarts chicken stock - 2 carrots, sliced thin into coins - 1/2 small brown onion, sliced thin - 1/4 cup rice vinegar* - 2 TB soy sauce* - 1 tsp chili paste (Sambal Oleek is what I used)* - 1/2 tsp sesame oil* - salt and pepper to taste - chopped parsley and cilantro* or if going "classic", parsley, dill and tarragon   INSTRUCTIONS:  1. Heat up the stock to boiling, then turn to low/simmer. 2. Add the carrots and onions, and cook until al dente. 3. *If opting for the Asian flair - add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, and sesame oil. Stir and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more rice vinegar if you prefer a brighter taste. Put the matzoh balls into the broth to reheat now. Right before serving throw in some chopped cilantro and parsley, and 3 matzoh balls/bowl. 4. If going "classic", just season the soup with salt and pepper and brighten the flavor with some freshly squeezed lemon. Reheat the matzoh balls in the broth. Right before serving, add some freshly chopped parsley, dill and tarragon and serve immediately.

KIDDOC JJ'S CHICKEN SOUP (with a twist) and JOANNE'S MATZOH BALLS
(Thanks to Ina Garten for inspiration!)
A traditional matzoh ball soup starts with a clear, flavorful chicken stock. Depending on your crowd, allow at least 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups of soup per person with either 1 large or smaller matzoh balls. Make sure you have extra! If you need a great chicken stock recipe (that is made in a crockpot), click here. You can make it weeks ahead and freeze it until the day before your Seder. I've twisted my typical plain chicken soup with a few Asian ingredients, as my buddy Joanne's Matzoh Balls are laced with ginger and ground almonds. This is a fresh, springy twist on an ageless favorite. (If you prefer a "classic" version, just use salt and pepper and a handful of fresh chopped parsley, dill, and tarragon in your soup, and brighten your broth with a couple of squeezes of lemon juice. I would keep the matzoh balls the same, except use all chopped parsley).

JOANNE'S MATZOH BALLS (makes 18, enough for 6 people)

KIDDOCJJ Tip: This recipe can easily be adapted to Gluten Free by using Gluten Free Matzoh, and grinding them in your food processor.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- large bowl, whisk
- pot of boiling salted water (I add a chicken bouillon cube for extra flavor)

INGREDIENTS:
- 4 large eggs
- 3 TB schmaltz (I just took the chicken fat off that rose to the top of my stock - easy peasy!) or veggie oil
- 1 cup Matzoh Meal (if you can't find it, grind up a few plain matzoh in your food processor)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup finely ground almonds (if you are nut allergic or don't like almonds, skip this)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt or Morton's kosher salt. If using Diamond Kosher salt, use 1.5 tsp
- 2 TB finely chopped parsley, and 1 TB chopped cilantro (eliminate this for "classic recipe)
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger (eliminate this for "classic" recipe)

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, ad the schmaltz or oil and whisk until smooth.
2. Add the matzoh meal, chicken stock, almonds, salt and chopped herbs and mix well.
3. Refrigerate, uncovered 45-60 minutes.
4. Put your water and bouillon on to boil and with wet hands, roll the matzoh mixture into 18 balls.
5. Place them all at once into the boiling water, wait until they rise to the top. Turn the flame down to simmer, cover (NO PEEKING), and cook for 20 minutes.

KIDDOCJJ Tip: I use a heatproof glass plate to cover matzoh balls, rice, and anything else I need to monitor visually. It makes it so much easier to follow the progress!

6. If serving immediately, add 3 matzoh balls to each bowl of hot soup. Sprinkle with more chopped herbs.
If preparing way ahead, you can freeze the matzoh balls. Just wrap them tightly in saran, and heavy duty foil. To cook, just add the frozen balls to your hot chicken soup, turn to low, cover, and defrost/reheat in the flavorful stock.
If cooking 1-2 days ahead, add the balls to your soup, cover, and keep in the fridge. Then heat up on low, covered, for about an hour before serving.

KIDDOCJJ CHICKEN SOUP (feeds 6)

KIDDOCJJ Tip: This soup is amazing without matzoh balls, especially on cold days or when you are under the weather. You can add rice or rice noodles (or even ramen) to the broth for a satisfying Asian soup.

INGREDIENTS:
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 2 carrots, sliced thin into coins
- 1/2 small brown onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar*
- 2 TB soy sauce*
- 1 tsp chili paste (Sambal Oleek is what I used)*
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil*
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley and cilantro* or if going "classic", parsley, dill and tarragon

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Heat up the stock to boiling, then turn to low/simmer.
2. Add the carrots and onions, and cook until al dente.
3. *If opting for the Asian flair - add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili paste, and sesame oil. Stir and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more rice vinegar if you prefer a brighter taste. Put the matzoh balls into the broth to reheat now. Right before serving throw in some chopped cilantro and parsley, and 3 matzoh balls/bowl.
4. If going "classic", just season the soup with salt and pepper and brighten the flavor with some freshly squeezed lemon. Reheat the matzoh balls in the broth. Right before serving, add some freshly chopped parsley, dill and tarragon and serve immediately.

 

 

  IS IT SOUP YET?  Here's a vegan/vegetarian minestrone that's EASY to make, loaded with tons of flavor, nutrient dense, and simply DELICIOUS! Enjoy the soup and there's plenty to share with friends and family.  Photo: courtesy of  Jeremy Lee Photography

IS IT SOUP YET? Here's a vegan/vegetarian minestrone that's EASY to make, loaded with tons of flavor, nutrient dense, and simply DELICIOUS! Enjoy the soup and there's plenty to share with friends and family.

Photo: courtesy of Jeremy Lee Photography

 
 I fell in love with these light-as-a-feather apple tarts while attending a Holiday appetizer and dessert cook-off at Melissa's Produce. I've finally procured the recipe and wanted to share it with you. During this long Winter and flu season, hope this apple-a-day treat keeps the doctor away.

I fell in love with these light-as-a-feather apple tarts while attending a Holiday appetizer and dessert cook-off at Melissa's Produce. I've finally procured the recipe and wanted to share it with you. During this long Winter and flu season, hope this apple-a-day treat keeps the doctor away.

 
 It's championship game season, and pretty soon, on February 4, the most SUPER of all BOWLs will be on our calendars. Here's a healthy and delicious dip that will have your guests clamoring for more. It's called....LABNEH!

It's championship game season, and pretty soon, on February 4, the most SUPER of all BOWLs will be on our calendars. Here's a healthy and delicious dip that will have your guests clamoring for more. It's called....LABNEH!

 
 It finally feels like Winter in Los Angeles....and with this shift I have a gnawing need for some comfort food. Tonite we're having guests from Canada, and a MUSHROOM RAGOUT on top of polenta will be just the right dish to cuddle up to!

It finally feels like Winter in Los Angeles....and with this shift I have a gnawing need for some comfort food. Tonite we're having guests from Canada, and a MUSHROOM RAGOUT on top of polenta will be just the right dish to cuddle up to!