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Mus, a Danish Cookie Game

pebernodder

Here is a little pre-holiday gift for you, it is a Danish cookie game that must come with a warning, for there will be some shrieking, some startling and hopefully lots of laughter .

For this we usually use tiny spicy button sized cookies called peppernødder (see recipe below), but you could use any kind of small candy or cookie, even a bunch of nuts would do…

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Making Your Chanukah More Sustainable

Reibekuchen

We’re big fans of the blog Neesh Noosh (“A Jewish Woman’s Year-Long Journey to Discover Faith in Food’). Neesh Noosh means “tasty treats” in Hebrew, and LA-based blogger Sarah Newman loves to share her passion for cooking, health, and sustainable agriculture.

Chanukah begins tomorrow night, and for those of you observing the Jewish holiday, Sarah has eight great tips for making the celebrations more sustainable.

Here’s a quick suggestion — use organic apples and potatoes. As Sarah explains, “Apples and potatoes are ranked #1 and #12, respectively, on Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the highest levels of pesticide residue. Take pesticides out of Chanukah and prepare your latkes and applesauce with safer, healthier and tastier organic apples and potatoes.”

Check out “8 Ways to Make Your Chanukah More Sustainable” for more helpful tips.

Chanukah Sameach/Happy Chanukah!

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Sweet Potato Latkes

latkes

When I was a kid I loved potato pancakes so much I would get a stomach ache before I ate them because I was so excited! And now it is time to get excited again for ‘tis the season of Hanukkah and latkes!

Here I tweaked them a little, replacing potatoes with the superfoods cauliflower and sweet potatoes. They are tasty, crunchy, pretty, and make me just as happy as a little kid…

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Using Olive Oil Instead of Butter for Baking

spoonful of olive oil

A commenter asked: “I’m aware that olive oil is a ‘good’ fat and that butter is an animal fat and therefore a ‘bad’ fat for your health. Is it possible to substitute olive oil for butter in cake recipes or will it change the consistency of the cake or the cookie?”

If you are looking to cut back on cholesterol in your baking, olive oil can be a good alternative choice to butter. You just need to bear in mind that the texture and flavor of your baked goods will be a little different.

Pick recipes that do not rely on a lot of butter to give the batter “loft” and flavor (like shortbread cookies and pound cakes).

Use a mild flavored olive oil, generally labeled as “pure” or “light” (not to be confused with low calorie, it is not, it is just light flavored).

And you will need to change the ratio a bit, olive oil expert and cookbook author Carol Firenze gives us this conversion table for measurements of up to 1 cup of butter in her book The Passionate Olive:

Butter Olive Oil

1 teaspoon ¾ teaspooon
1 tablespoon 2 ¼ teaspoons

¼ cup 3 tablespoons

1/3 cup ¼ cup

½ cup ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons

2/3 cup ½ cup

¾ cup ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup ¾ cup

Another substitution for butter is coconut oil, which when cold can mimic the texture of butter, making it useful for pies and tarts. It will also give you some of the “loft” olive oil does not.

Just like olive oil, coconut oil comes in different stages of purity. “Virgin coconut oil” has much more coconut flavor than “expeller pressed coconut oil,” so pick according to how appropriate that “coconutty” flavor is to your baked goods.

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