Moroccan Chicken with Lemons and Olives

Want to impress some dinner guests? Or family? Or your boyfriend/hubby? This is the way to go. Its super easy to make, but tastes and looks as if you had been slaving away for hours. This chicken is always a winner.
Spices are the key in Moroccan cooking. Lots and lots of spices, and some slow cooking (and some love).
I don't recall my grandmother making this dish, although the aroma reminded me of her kitchen. I used to sit at the little kitchen table while she cooked. The table was used for everything since there wasn't much room for a cutting board near the gas stove. It was always really dim in that kitchen; must have been because of the 20-foot ceiling fixed with one tiny white bulb. But it worked, 'cause there was light.

Mighty Green Caesar

Table-side Caesar for lunch! This was a practice run before a couple of my friends come over for dinner when I shall put on my fantastic table-side Caesar salad show.

I recently watched an episode of Glutton For Punishment with Bob Blumer where he challenges himself to make over 100 table-side Caesar salads in less than an hour. I was inspired.

I heart salads. A lot. While living in New York City, salad was my go to lunch and dinner five days a week. I miss those salad bars. "I'll take the Romaine, grilled chicken, corn, celery, avocado, egg whites, bacon... Do you have goat cheese? No, I guess the blue cheese then. Balsamic vinaigrette... CROUTONS! Please. Thanks." And $12 later, I'm a happy woman.

Cookie Crispies

It always feels good to have something homemade to serve guests when they come over, even just when a friend comes over for coffee. I like to show off.

I created this slice and bake cookie recipe just for that reason.

"Hey! Yea, for sure. Come by for some coffee... 10 minutes?... ok, sounds good." Boom. Cookies.

I had to make these by hand because I left my Kitchen-Aid back in New York. Dumb move. Great work out but my shirts now fit a little tighter around my right arm. Cool.

The dough lends itself to any kind of addition. I love dark chocolate, obvs, so I made that and also a zesty kind for contrast. But throw in nuts, dried fruit, chopped up chocolate cover espresso beans, etc.

Mafalda Corta Bolognese

Pasta, PASTA, pastaaaaa!!! I'm a carb lover, guilty.

Saucy, thick, cheesy. I could eat it every day and be happy for the rest of my life. And the possibilites for what you could do with pasta are endless. Bolognese sauce is a classic and is super easy to make. This is gross, earmuffs... my brother called this "barf" when he was young because it resembles... well...barf. He is now almost 23 and still calls it barf.

Israeli Cheese Bourekas

Buttery pastry and cheese... what could be better??? Well, maybe cookie dough. But right now, salty feta and flaky dough are all that matter. My mom used to make Cheese Bourekas every Saturday morning and the smell would be the only thing that would get me out of bed at 9 am. It could also have been the crazy loud music my dad would play.

I usually eat one right out of the oven and burn the hell out of my mouth. I recommend waiting for them to cool.

These bourekas are made with potato and cheeses but can also be filled with spinach, mushrooms, "pizza" filling, or anything else your little heart desires. Apples and cinnamon, perhaps? Banana slices and Nutella?

I occasionally make them for breakfast or as an hors d'oeuvre at parties. Great for brunch too! Make them ahead, freeze, and just pop them in the oven. No need to defrost!

I use already pre-rolled puff pastry. Call me lazy but I just don't have the patience sometimes.

PS - I find that if you buy feta cheese as a block, not already crumbled, it's a heck of a lot tastier.

Israeli Cheese Bourekas
makes 12 pastries
2 sheets store bought Pre-Rolled Puff Pastry, thawed
1 Medium Potato, (whatever kind you have on hand), peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 cup Provolone Cheese, shredded
2 Eggs
Sesame Seeds (optional)
Salt & Black Pepper
Position rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 325˚F. Butter a baking sheet and set aside.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil potato cubes until fork tender but not falling apart. Place potato in a medium bowl and mash with a fork.
Add the cheeses and 1 of the eggs, a little bit of salt and a nice amount of black pepper and mix until well combined. I normally taste it at this point to see if it's missing any seasoning. Beat the other egg in a small bowl, this will be your glue.
Unroll the puff pastry and leave it on the paper it came on. This saves you from the mess of flouring your work surface. If the puff pastry you bought didn't come on a sheet of paper then just throw some flour on your work surface so it doesn't stick. Cut the sheet so you have equal squares. In my case i got twelve 4" squares from the 2 pre-rolled sheets of puff pastry. If you are making these as an hors d'oeuvre, I would cut 2" squares.
Fill each square with the cheese/potato filling. You only need to heap it onto half of the square on the diagonal since you will fold the other half of the dough over it.
With your fingers, best tools, brush the edges of each square on the diagonal that the filling is on. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and pinch closed with fingers. Move them onto the baking sheet right away.
Once they are all on the baking sheet, brush the tops of them with the beaten egg as well. If you are using Sesame seeds, sprinkle them on.
Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and flaky.