Category Archives: Friends

Bonfire and Corn Bread

A fire pit is one of the great memories that brings me back to my summer camp days.   In camp, the days were hot, but nights were freezing.  The temperature outside, on this particular November night this year, brought back those nostalgic memories.  The smell of the cold air lent itself to the aroma and feel of the warm and crackling fire pit. As we were all sitting around the fire chatting and feeling the cool breeze and the contrasting warmth from the fire, an epiphany came to us that no fire pit is complete without utilizing the heat source for cooking!  We had marshmallows and definitely went through a bag of those, but we wanted to be more adventurousness   My friends had just purchased cast iron skillets for the fire pit.  We whipped up a batch of corn bread (passed down to me from a dear friend, John Flemming) and tried it out in the fire.  We added a bit of cheese to give it a nice gooey texture.  The first few came up either raw or burnt, but once we got a hang of the timing and the proximity we needed to put the cast irons in the fire, the corn bread turned out delicious!

For those who don’t have the privilege of using a fire pit, I created an easier and home friendly version! I added pumpkin seeds to the loaf of corn bread, but feel free to add in whatever you like. Corn bread is very versatile in flavor and can interchangeably switch from sweet to savory.

Shifra and Aron Srolovitz (owners of the fire pit) and me and my fiance, Matan 

Corn Bread
1-1/4 C. Milk

2 Eggs
1/2 C. Flour
1-1/2 C. Corn Meal
1/2 C. Sugar
1-1/2 t. Baking Power
1 t. Salt
4 T. Butter

Melt butter on bottom of loaf pan.  Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together and pour into pan with melted butter.  Bake for 45 min till toothpick comes out clean. 

Introducing…Chef Alison!

This past Monday my lifelong dreams became a reality when I graduated culinary school and became a professional chef!  
Our final project was to create a banquet, or as Orthodox Jews may call it, a shmorg.   My class and I made an abundance of delicious freshly made foods.   We were each assigned to make two or three original recipes and had the entire day to complete the mission. I made Jamaican spring rolls with spicy mango dipping sauce and my infamous mojito hamantashen, all of which were not kosher.  My parents flew in all the way from Columbus, Ohio to partake in my graduation celebrations.  Since my parents, two sisters, and a bunch of my friends were coming, I brought along kosher pots and pans so I was able to make them some Kosher treats.  I seared up pomegranate-citrus glazed salmon and lemon-curry mashed potatoes (I snuck in some frozen lemon meringue bars too). 

The day was hectic and such an adrenaline rush.  We were each called up individually and were given a book and a toque.  I think I donned my toque quite well if i do say so myself!

Here I go, out into the culinary world, armed with knives and a uniform.  Some would describe that as going out to war, but I would call it living my dream!

Lemon-Curry Mashed Potatoes

Serves 8-10 people
8 Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
½ Cup Butter
¾ C. Milk
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (adjust to your desired spiciness)
1 TBS. Curry
1 Lemon, juiced
Salt and Pepper
Walnuts, crushed  (Optional)
Boil potatoes in water till soft.  Drain.   While hot, mash in the butter, milk and spices.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.   

Chef Alison 

Starting Monday I will be interning at Solo 🙂

Note To Self: Don’t Bet On Bowling

These past few weeks, I have learned not to bet on bowling.  Coming from the Midwest, I should have an innate ability to bowl.  I think that gene was left out.  I am not only a terrible bowler, but I foolishly bet people that I can beat them.  My dear friends, let’s just say I need to control my Midwest ego and focus on reality.  I owed not 1, not 2, but 6 people a home cooked meal for losing!  Since the meal was scheduled for the middle of my busy work week, I decided to make something tasty yet super simple!  After brainstorming for a bit, I conjured up the idea to make french onion soup!  Buttery, savory, sweet and just gosh darn tasty…french onion soup was perfect! I served fun and classic pizzas as well: fig, goat cheese and arugula pizza, basil, tomato and mozzarella pizza, blanca pizza, and mushroom pizza.   All were delicious!  French onion soup usually uses red wine, but I like to use white wine because I actually prefer the white and clear color of the soup.

French Onion Soup
Makes 8 Servings

4-6 TBS. Oil or Butter
4-5 Large Onions, sliced
1 1/2 C. White Wine (not sweet)
5 TBS. Apple Cider Vinegar
4 C. Vegetable Stock
4 C. Water
1 TBS. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Pepper
2 TBS. Miso Paste
1 Bay Leaf
1 Sprig of Thyme
4 Sprigs Parsley
1 Loaf of French Bread, sliced and toasted
4-5 Slices Gruyere, Swiss or Mozarella Cheese

In a large pot, heat up oil or butter on low heat and add onions.  Saute until onions reduce in size and become carmelized and soft, about a half hour. Add the wine and apple cider vinegar.  Cook and reduce, about 10 minutes  (boil out the acid smell).   Add the rest of the ingredients up till parsley.  Simmer for 2 hours.  Taste and adjust Seasonings. (If too sweet add more miso and pepper).  Ladle onion soup into bowls, place a piece of toasted french bread on top and add cheese.  Place the bowl in a broiler for about 3-5 minutes until the cheese bubbles and browns.  Enjoy hot!