Recipes from "Through My Father's Eyes"


Mark’s Shabbot Garlic Chicken

You will need one whole chicken, skinned, olive oil, garlic power, dehydrated onion, paprika, one whole elephant garlic and parsley. (If you want to also make garlic roast potatoes see my recipe below.) Oil the pan and place the chicken in the pan with the breasts facing up. (If making the garlic potatoes place the chicken on top of the potatoes in the center of the pan. Drizzle some olive oil over the top of the chicken and sprinkle with garlic power, dehydrated onion, paprika and parsley. You can also add some seasoned pepper if you like pepper. Cook chicken for one-half hour at 375 degrees convection or 400 degrees in a regular oven. Turn chicken over for 15 minutes and continue cooking and then turn the chicken back for the last 15 minutes. (If making the garlic potatoes with the chicken make sure that for the last half-hour there are no potatoes under the chicken. The chicken (and the potatoes) should be done at the same time.

Mark’s Shabbot Garlic Oven Roast Potatoes

Wash and cut-up 4-6 large potatoes (do not peel). Once clean cut potatoes in half and then each half into at least three pieces. You should have 6 pieces per potato. Oil the pan with olive oil and place the potatoes in the pan. Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the potatoes and then sprinkle with garlic powder, dehydrated onion and paprika. You can also add some seasoned pepper if you wish. Bake at 375 convection or 400 regular oven for one hour. The potatoes should have a crispy outside and a soft inside similar to steak fries but at a much lower calorie count, since they are not deep fried. Remember not to use too much oil or you will negate this advantage. If you cook the potatoes with the Garlic Chicken the chicken juice will also season the potatoes making them even more flavorful.

Oven Roast Vegetables–Carrots and Parsnip

Wash and peel several carrots and parsnips then slice them up into quarter size disks. Lay them on a pan sprinkle them with olive oil and a little pepper and kosher salt. Roast in oven with chicken and potatoes and serve when tender.

Cranberry Jello Treat

You will need 2 large boxes of red (my family prefers raspberry) Jello (or five small boxes of red geletin), 4 cups boiled water, 2 cans whole cranberry sauce, two 20 oz. cans of crushed pineapple with natural juice. Make jello with the 4 cups of water, add one cup of chopped walnuts, mix in the cranberry sauce and the pineapple (with juice). Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until set then serve.


I learned to make chili while in the girl scouts.  Yes, you heard me correctly, the girl scouts.  (For the record I was actually an Indian Guide, a cub scout through Weblos with all merit badges and a Boy Scout, though I never made eagle.)  While growing up I got “schlepped” along to many Girl Scout meetings and the Girl Scouts used to make something they called “Girl Scout Stew.”  This was really a form of sloppy joe which is itself a variation on chili con carne (chili with meat).  Over the years I have experimented with the recipe and varied the amount of spice till I have come up with, what our family considers, an excellent recipe and which can be spiced anywhere from mild to “where’s the fire extinguisher” hot.  I use one dried habanero pepper per pound of meat (or 2 if you are really brave–you can also use jalapeno or chili peppers depending on how hot you like it).  Take the pepper(s) and re-hydrate them.  (Remember to handle the peppers with latex or other gloves and don’t scratch your eyes whatever you do!)  Starting out with two to four large onions (Vidalia or Spanish–sweet onions) a few cloves of garlic and four large peppers (red, green, yellow–the color does not matter).  Saute the garlic then the onions and then the peppers together till they are soft and the onions begin to brown.  While that is happening in another pot put three cans of stewed tomatoes (one with jalapenos would be great if you tend to want it hotter.)  Once the peppers, onions and garlic have cooked put them in the pot with the stewed tomatoes and let them simmer.  If your habanero, chili or jalapeno peppers have re-hydrated you can place them in the pot as well.  (Make sure you keep a count of how many you put in as you will want to remove them before you serve.  You don’t want anyone eating one of those things.  They can do real damage!)  Now take the chopped meat, usually 3lbs., and brown it in the pan you sauteed the onions and peppers in.  Once the meat has browned add it into the pot stirring often.  Add ketchup until the mixture turns from brownish to reddish.  Add salt and other spices (Frank’s Red Hot sauce for example) to taste and simmer down until the mixture is the consistency you want.  It can simmer down for a long time.  Remove the Habanero (Jalapeno or Chili) peppers and serve.  You can serve it over rice, with pasta, in a potato or in a taco shell.  Enjoy!  

Mark's New Variation For 2014 In Honor Of The Superbowl Being Held At Giant's Stadium:  i have also developed a new variation on the theme.  instead of using three 8 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, use only two 8 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, one 4 oz. can of tomato sauce and one entire bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce, along with an entire container of Sabra brand peach mango salsa and an entire container of Sabra brand regular salsa (in whatever heat you like, mild, medium or hot).  The peach mango salsa adds some sweet to the mix along with the peaches and mango--I suppose you could also just add peaches and mango to the mix.  Experiment and enjoy! 


It is traditional at Rosh HaShanah to dip apples and/or Challah in honey. This is always my favorite time of the year when the apples are fresh off the trees and the Macintosh and Macoon apples are available. But did you know that the old saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has some truth to it. Aside from being delicious, apples with their skin are high in dietary fiber and antioxidants. They also have no fat, cholesterol or sodium and go great with honey as well as cheese and peanut butter. And in Israel at Tel Rehov, archeologist have found clay beehives dating back over 3000 years. It was truly a and flowing at least with honey. And most of the honey produced in Israel today is sold at Rosh HaShanah.


Prior to the start of the great fast of Yom Kippur, it is traditional to eat a meal of chicken and rice, common foods eaten the world over before starting a fast.  And, of course, the chicken is not highly spiced, so as not to promote thirst or indegestion.  For the same reason no other spicy food is served and at the end of the meal a small morsel of bread and water is consumed as a symbol of nourishment for the fast.  But once the fast ends its time to celebrate, usually with a dairy meal.  Most families I know serve an elaborate brunch of bagels, lox, cream cheese, herring, etc. and an apple or piece of challah dipped in honey, as well as other deserts.  Jews from Russia often served “schnecken” (a pastry rolled up with nuts, cinnamon and raisins which resembles snails.  The word “schnecken” means “snails” in German.)   Moroccan Jews made fijuelas, deep fried pastries oozing with honey (we won’t tell my cardiologist or endocrinologist).  In Eastern Europe they served a version of this called Tayglah.  However you celebrate the end of the great-fast please be sure that we wish you a G’mar Hatimchah Tova–a good sealing in the book of life.


Throughout our history we have celebrated the festival of the harvest, Sukkot.  My family comes from Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Austria, etc.) as do most of you.  The harvest there included cabbage, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and apples.  So dishes with these elements were often included in dinners served in the Sukkah.  This produced stuffed cabbage (among my favorites), pickels, tsimmes, and apple strudel.  Many of the same dishes prepared for Thanksgiving are also apprpriate for Sukkot since they are derived from foods which are harvested at this time, such as zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes.  This brings to mind ratatouile, a delicious side dish which includes zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes along with onions and peppers.


This recipe makes  8 apples: You will need the following ingredients
    8 apples
    8 wooden skewers (chop sticks work or popsicle sticks though they need to be trimmed to a point)
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup light corn syrup
    ½  cup hot water
    ½  cup red cinnamon candies, like Red Hots

FIRST: Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Then wash and dry the apples carefully. Remove the stems, and stick the skewers firmly in the stem ends.  (Try not to go through the apples completely but almost to the end). Then combine the water, corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 250 degrees. Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush occasionally to prevent crystallization. Once the candy reaches 250 degrees, add the cinnamon candies and stir briefly to incorporate. Continue to cook, washing down the sides, until it reaches 285 degrees. Then remove from the heat and stir the candy so that it is smooth and even. Hold an apple by the skewer and dip it in the candy, tilting the pan at an angle and rotating the apple to cover it completely with a smooth, even layer. Bring it out of the candy and twirl it to remove excess, then set it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples.  (Note: you can add chopped peanuts or other nuts to the baking sheet for a nut topping or shredded coconut for a coconut topping.)  Finally allow the apples to cool at room temperature. Candy apples are best enjoyed within 24 hours.


Grandma Dora’s Sweet Potatoes

Take the sweet potatoes (or yams), unpeeled, and boil them till cooked but firm.  Remove from water and peel once cooled.  Dip the peeled sweet potatoes in orange juice and then roll them in a mixture of crushed corn flakes and brown sugar.  Place them in a greased baking dish and dot with Crisco.  Bake at 350 degree oven till crispy (approximately 30-40 minutes).  

Mark's Acorn Squash

Take the acorn squash and cut them in half.  Nip a small piece (the point) off the bottom of one half so the squash will sit flat with the center facing up.  Scoop out the seeds and set in a baking dish.  Place butter (or margarine) and maple syrup (you can use sugar free syrup just as well to make them low calorie and suitable for diabetics) in the center of the squash and sprinkle the tops and center with cinnamon.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cooked.  (Use a toothpick to determine whether they are soft.)


Nut Horns

Growing up, my favorite cookies were nut horns (or maybe rugelach or poppy seed humantaschen, or toll house chocolate chip cookies–well, you get the idea).  Anyway, most countries have some form of the half-moon butter cookie.  This cookie was unique in its origins as it dates back to the late 1600's when the Ottoman Empire was first expanding into Europe and fighting for control of the city of Buda (now Budapest).  Bakers tipped off the authorities to the noise they heard in the early morning hours caused by the invaders digging beneath the city to gain entrance.  The bakers saved the city from invasion and were rewarded with the right to bake cookies in the shape of the Ottomon flag’s crescent, and thus the crescent cookie was born.  To make these delights you will need 1/4 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar, 2 cups all purpose flour–sifted, ½ lb. unsalted butter and 3 ounces of ground pecans or hazelnuts (my preference).  Combine the sugar, flour and butter by cutting the butter into the dry ingredients.  Add the nuts by hand, mixing as you go, until the dough is smooth and not sticky to the touch.  Roll a handful of dough into 1" wide tubes and slice into ½” long pieces which are then shaped into crescents.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake 10-15 minutes.  Remove to a plate and sprinkle with confectioners sugar.  What the connection is to Chanukah I don’t know, there is no oil used but they are the result of deliverance from an enemy of vastly greater numbers so I guess it works.  For me, any excuse to eat these cookies is o.k..  (You could, of course, just pick up some fried donuts for Chanukah and call it a day.)


The new year of the trees.  Judaism has many new years and Tu B’Shevat marks one of them.  It is the new year for the purpose of calculating the age of trees for tithing per Leviticus 19:23-25.  Under Jewish law you may not eat the fruit from a fruit bearing tree during the first three years' and the fourth years fruit is dedicated to haShem.  After that you can eat the fruit.  So, like most Jewish math, here is how it works: if you plant a tree on the 14th of Shevat, it begins its second year the next day, but if you plant it 2 days later it does not reach the second year until next Tu B’Shevat.  The custom is to eat a new fruit or one of the seven species; wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranites, olives and dates (or honey).  Many families have also adopted the practice of having a Tu B’Shevat Sedar, ala’ Passover.  This practice started in the Sephardic communities but has spread.  My personal favorite is a snack item, raisins and almonds (also a great Yiddish lullaby) alone or as part of a trail mix snack.  Anyway you eat them almonds and raisins are always perfect together.  And if you don’t like raisins, try dates instead. 


Cookie Dough Hamantaschen Recipe  (I yield--I couldn't even find a yeast dough recipe.  Its really just a sugar cookie cut into circles with poppy seed filling or jelly in the center and you turn three edges up to make the triangular shape.) 

    3 eggs
    1 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup vegetable oil
    2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 cup orange juice
    5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 cup jelly or fruit preserves, poppy seed filling or, what the heck, chocolate chips , any flavor  you like it seems, though the traditional
    flavors are poppy seed, apricot and raspberry.


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
    In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the oil, vanilla and orange juice. Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter to form a stiff dough. If dough is not stiff enough to roll out, stir in more flour. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into circles using the rim of a glass (about 3 ½” diameter). Place cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of filling into the center of each one. Pinch the edges to form three corners.
    Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
    And if you are like my family, eat them from the wire racks before allowing them to cool completely or make it into a cookie jar.


Mark’s Haroset

You will need three kinds of apples, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Johnagold (or Macintosh if Johnagold are unavailable), walnuts (shelled is easier), almonds (slivered or chopped), and pecans, Kosher for Passover grape juice, Kosher for Passover Wine (Extra Heavy Malaga seems to work best), pitted dates, shredded coconut (Kosher for Passover–be careful, it can be hard to find). Skin and core the apples, cut into pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped walnuts, the slivered or chopped almonds, and the pecans and chop and mix together. Add equal parts wine and grape juice and the pitted dates and shredded coconut and chop and mix again. Let stand in the refrigerator for several hours and serve. If you keep it in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic container it will last through Passover and can be served as a side dish throughout the week.


(Be certain that whatever spices you do use they are labeled “Kosher For Passover.”  Some authorities don’t allow anise so if yours is not labeled “Kosher For Passover” you may want to consult your Rabbi.)

STEWED: Combine 1.5 pounds of chopped fruit, one-quarter cup of sugar and a half cup of water in a skillet and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, stirring occasionally.  Add more sugar and lemon juice to taste.  Cool and serve.

CHUTNEY: Use brown sugar instead of white and substitute orange juice for lemon juice.  Add 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon curry powder and a pinch of ground cloves.  Simmer, reducing mixture to desired thickness.  Partly cool, then stir in one-quarter cup each of raisins and toasted nuts and serve.


BUTTER POACHED: Combine 2 and a half cups of sugar, 5 cups of water, 1 stick butter and the seeds of 1 vanilla bean in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and add 1 and a half pounds halved fruit, reduce heat and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove fruit from liquid.  Cool slightly and serve.


: Cut fruit into halves and brush with butter.  Sprinkle with sugar and equal parts star anise, cinnamon and allspice.  Cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes.  Serve.


: Use chopped fresh fruit.  Skip the nuts.  Use the juice of a lime and 1 teaspoon chili powder.  Add one-quarter cup fresh chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon sugar and one-half teaspoon salt.  Toss and serve.

MACERATED: Mix 2 pounds dried fruit with one-half pound blanched almonds, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 2 cups fresh orange juice, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2-3 star anise fruit.  Cover and stir every few hours for 12-24 hours.  Serve when the fruit is tender


In my wife’s ever hopeful quest at watching my waistline last Hanukkah she made a potato nik, essentially a potato pancake casserole. It was outrageously good, used much less oil than would have been used to fry up individual latkes and tasted the same.  This gave me the idea to see if we could do the same thing for Shavuot with the blintzes.  And indeed we came up with a Blintz Casserole using ricotta cheese, which I love.  Unfortunately it still has some sugar in it.

The first step is to make the filling.  You will need:
1 1/2 lbs. Ricotta cheese
2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, room temp.
2 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon and orange peel
1/8 tsp. salt
(1/2 c. almonds–optional.  For those with nut allergies leave them off, obviously)

Mix all ingredients for filling together until blended (can be made 1 day ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator overnight.)

The second step is to make the batter.  You will need:
1 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 sticks melted butter or 1 c.  corn oil
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (do not use almond extract if you have a nut allergy).

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.. Butter 9x13 inch baking pan.. Combine all the dry ingredients for the  batter in a large bowl then mix in the butter (or corn oil), sugar, eggs and extract. Pour 1/2 batter into the  prepared pan then spread all of the filling over the batter. Spread evenly and gently so that the filling doesn’t mix into the batter.  Then spread the remaining batter over the filling.  Again gently so as to avoid mixing the batter and the filling. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 300 degrees F. or until it sets. Sprinkle slivered almonds over top during the last 15 minutes of baking if you want. Serve warm, cut into squares.

And don’t forget the sour cream, strawberries, blueberries or any other berries or jelly/fruit preserves you like.  .Serves 12