Middle Eastern Beef Kabobs

Kabobs are a great way to literally spice up the usual meatball or hamburger dinner. This recipe uses garlic, fresh parsley and mint as well as some traditional middle- eastern spices to create a warm and pungent kabob. If you don’t feel like making these on skewers, you can also turn them into sliders. Be sure to serve with the spicy parsley sauce on the side for dipping – some in my family think this is the best part! (Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis)
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This dinner salad has a delicious mix of salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth. The salty feta and pungent pickled onions are balanced by the sweet raisins, delicata squash and balsamic dressing, while the smooth avocado contrasts with the crunchy nuts. My kids love this salad and polished off the entire tray – you never know what might happen when you serve a filling salad for dinner…!

Easy (and Healthy) Rice Pudding

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When I made this last night, I told my kids: “this tastes like home!” I grew up eating rice pudding that my mom made. This version is a super simple and lighter version, where what you taste is the creamy and nutty rice along with the sweetness of the milk and a little vanilla. There are only a few ingredients here, so make it with your pantry staples. It is pure comfort food. I love to eat this warm, right after it is cooked, but it tastes great the next day as well.

Slow Cooker Unstuffed Cabbage

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Stuffed Cabbage rolls are a family favorite for special occasion holidays, but who has time on a weeknight to roll out each cabbage roll? My mother, who worked full time and had to get dinner on the table, used to make unstuffed cabbage for us to satisfy our desire to have this delicious meal more frequently. This meal has all of the essential ingredients and flavors of stuffed cabbage – a sweet and tangy sauce, rice, beef, raisins -yet you can put this recipe together in no time, and work while it cooks!

Stewed Purple Cabbage

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The secret to this dish is lots of onion and very thinly sliced purple Cabbage. My Grandmother, who always made this without a food processor, cut the cabbage into superfine thin shreds and it was also so tender. To give it some extra flavor, she would add a few tablespoons of her chucksteak gravy towards the end.

Palacsintas

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This is the Hungarian version of crepes, although much easier to make, once you get the hang of it, and much more fun to eat. These very thin pancakes are traditionally served with a mixture of ground nuts, cinnamon and sugar, which are sprinkled generously on the palacsinta, after which you roll it up and eat it like a long jellyroll! For a more updated version, swap out the cinnamon, nut mixture for your favorite Jam. You’ll never forget the recipe, as its 1:1:1: egg, milk and flour. I always make at least double, since there never seem to be enough to go around!

Hungarian Cabbage and Noodles

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This is a simple Hungarian weeknight pasta meal. Instead of the traditional tomato based pastas that so many of us are used to, this pasta gets its flavor from the sweet carmelized onions and salty sautéed cabbage that get mixed in with the noodles. When I make this, I like to have almost equal ratio of cabbage/onions to noodles. The cabbage and onions are the best part!

Michelle’s Hanukah Cookies

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For the past many years, my kids make these cookies with their nanny, Michelle. They are both delicious and a great Hanukah activity for kids. Have the kids decorate the cookies and enjoy the delicious cookies and the mess! (Adapted from Good Housekeeping)

Sweet Noodle (Lokshen) Kugel

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This is a great sweet treat for the Jewish food lovers out there. This version of lokshen kugel combines a sweet and cinnamon-y custard with raisins and noodles that bake up together for a cheesey and chewy bite. Even though it tastes like dessert, this is traditionally served as a main course – so enjoy! If you want to get in your greens, try serving this alongside my salad of mixed greens with roasted pears and spiced nuts.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

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I often throw this salad together when I am looking for a cooked veggie or salad with an international flair. The carrots are cooked in lemon juice and then dressed with cumin, garlic and fresh cilantro, turning the ordinary carrot into an exotic salad. This is perfect for a mezze platter with hummus or as a side dish for fish or grilled meats.