Finger Food Desserts

September 20th, 2017

Earlier this month my husband and I hosted Friday night’s Jewish services. It is called an Oneg Shabbat [oh-neg shah-baht], which literally means “Sabbath Delight,” but more descriptively from, it is a noun phrase that means: a Jewish celebration in honor of the Sabbath that takes place on Friday evening or Saturday afternoon and usually includes a program of songs, a lecture, and refreshments.

We did the refreshments and since my husband lived in France while in the service, he always likes to serve wine & cheese with baguettes. At the cheese shop I found (vegan) mini fillo shells from a company called Athens. The tiny shells are pre-baked and can be filled with sweet or savory foods. I also made ginger snaps, a spice cake and a melon bowl. (The ginger snaps and spice cake were not my original recipe and I don’t have the necessary info to get permission to reprint.)

The “recipe” for the shells is actually not a recipe, but general directions. I used both plain yogurt sweetened with a little honey and Coco Whip! a coconut whipped topic that is also vegan.

Each mini-fillo shell held about one tablespoon of either yogurt or the CocoWhip, and about one or two berries. I used organic raspberries for the yogurt and organic blackberries for the CocoWhip. (Blueberries was also on my list since they are tiny, but no organic blueberries were available in the store I shopped.)

For the triple melon bowl, I purchased a small watermelon, a medium-sized honeydew, and a medium-sized melon from the cantaloupe family and cut them into small pieces or used a melon-baller. If you know about food-combining* from previous postings, you may remember that melons are recommended to be eaten alone, since their high water content may create digestive problems when eating them with other foods, so I focused on the melons for my dessert. I used decorative toothpicks so people could spear them and eat them one-at-a-time. This recipe idea is already listed under Just Melons.

*To read more about Food Combining in my  Nobody Eats Like Me category, you can click on these links:

Part I –
Part II –
Part III –
Part IV –
Food Combining Menu Ideas-

Remember: Just melons!!!

Every seemed to enjoy the foods, especially the wines and cheeses. My husband is a “maven” in these two departments. (Maven is a yiddish term meaning an expert or someone who “knows his stuff.”)  And he does know his wines and cheeses!

Melons and berries are still available, so eenjoy then while you can!

NOTE on cooking Mini-Fillo Shells: I filled the shells right before serving so they would stay crisp. The back of the box notes that you can bake the shell prior to filling (unless the recipe itself requires backing) by preheating your oven at 350 degrees F.,placing the shells on a baking sheet and bake 3-5 minutes. Allow top coolbefore serving.

End of Summer Reading: Review with Recipe

September 17th, 2017

All summer long I have been reading Diane Mott Davidson’s culinary mysteries in anticipation of reviewing one of her latest mysteries, The Whole Enchilada. I wanted to figure out the chronology of her life, since I read the books in the order they are available in the library, rather than by date of publication.

Basically, the books are a culinary soap opera, with many of the same characters appearing in each book. The murder victims show up while the main character Goldy is working in her caterering business in her Aspen, Colorado community, and generally getting into trouble with her snooping around.

While her books appear light on the surface, the character Goldy is actually a former victim of domestic abuse from her ex-husband and now living with her homicide detective second husband Tom and son Arch by first husband Dr. Korman. Her desire to help others because of the abuse she suffered is at the heart of her sleuthing.


In The Whole Enchilada, the first page of the book starts with the death of Goldy’s friend Holly and the rest of the book is how Goldy finds the murderer while catering her son’s and his friend’s (son of the deceased) 16th birthday potluck party. There are many characters under suspicion and like Mrs. Marple’s mysteries by Agatha Christie, figuring out who is the murderer is not easy, since there are many suspects.

Since cooking helps Goldy think about the events leading up to the murder and who is the killer, her books contain the recipes for each event she caters in her books. I am including one of her recipes from the book. There are several, with all the recipes for each mystery at the end of the book. (Earlier books had the recipes in the story, but later ones have them at the end. Easier to find.)

The recipes are generally not simple. The one I planned to post from Crunch Time, another mystery with Goldy, was quite lengthy, so I decided not to include it. Instead, I chose the Cinnamon Toast recipe from The Whole Enchilada, since I would more likely make this, because the ingredient list is short and it’s also in the book I will be reviewing.

*Her recipes do use more sugar than I would, so feel free to cut the amount in half or more.

Crunchy Cinnamon Toast

Photo from the Internet

*1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter(you may not need all of this)
8 thick slices best-quality bread, preferably brioche
Applesauce (I would use org., unsweetened-es)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter 1 or 2 large cookie sheets, or lay silicone mats on them.

Mix the cinnamon into the (reduced – es) sugar and set aside. Melt the butter.

Lay the bread slices on the cookie sheets so that they are not touching. Place them in the oven and allow the bread to toast for 5 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven, but do not turn the oven off.

Flip the bread slices so that the untoasted side is facing up. Using a pastry brush, brush extra slice of bread generously with butter. Carefully sprinkle each piece of bread generously with the cinnamon sugar. You want a thick layer of cinnamon sugar on each slice.

Return the sheets to the oven and watch carefully. In about 10 to 20 minutes, the cinnamon sugar will begin to bubble. Remove the sheets from the oven.

Serve immediately with applesauce on the side.

My Note: This recipe uses no milk or eggs and if your bread is also without milk or eggs, it can be vegan, if you substitute melted coconut oil for the butter. It is also baked, not fried, which makes it more user-friendly for those who avoid frying for health reasons, as I do.