Frugal Feasts with Matzo Meal by @Donna_Fasano

Matzo MealAfter Passover, matzo meal is sold for under a dollar a box, so it’s the perfect way to make frugal feasts. What is matzo meal? Matzo (also known as matzah or matza) is an unleavened flatbread that is part of Jewish cuisine and forms an integral element of the Passover festival. Matzo meal is made by grinding up this flatbread. It can be described as cracker crumbs. Matzo meal can be used to replace cracker crumbs or dried bread crumbs in almost any recipe. Here are two of my favorite recipes where I have incorporated matzo meal.

Salmon Cakes

  • 1 6-ounce can skinless, boneless salmon, drained  salmon cakes
  • 3/4 cup matzo meal, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, for frying
  1. To a mixing bowl, add the salmon, 1/2 cup of the matzo meal, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, onion, celery, salt, and lemon pepper. Mix to thoroughly combine. Form into 2 patties.
  2. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of matzo meal onto a plate and coat both sides of the salmon cakes.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook until heated through and golden, approximately 4 to 5 minutes on both sides.
  4. Serve with topping of your choice—tartar sauce, hot sauce, fresh lemon wedge, etc. Makes 2 large cakes. Serves 2.

Zucchini Brunch Casserole

  • 2 medium zucchinis, washed and patted dryzucchini casserole
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Trim the ends of the zucchinis. Do not peel. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the zucchinis into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the matzo meal, onion, salt, pepper, herbs, garlic and onion powders, and cheddar cheese to grated zucchinis. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sour cream until combined. Pour egg mixture over zucchini mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit for 5 minutes. Cut into squares.

Notes:

When creating this zucchini casserole recipe, I used a sweet onion. You can substitute any onion you have on hand—yellow, red, white, even scallions would work. For the herbs, I used Herbs De Provence because that’s what I had on hand, but you could substitute any herb or herb mix you prefer. Italian Seasoning would work well. If you like your food on the spicy side, you could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes or a few shakes of hot sauce.

Chocolate Sponge Cake #Recipe by @KatyWalters07

I do love this recipe for Chocolate Sponge Cake. It is easy and always has perfect results. This cake is a good size and will last a family of five approximately four to five days. It is also the base for a number of sponge cakes; for instance, the Victoria Sponge with a delicious strawberry jam filling.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Sponge Cake:

For the cake- Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 6 ozs Self-Rising Flour
  • 6 ozs Butter or Margarine, softened
  • 6 ozs Castor Sugar (Granulated)
  • 50 gm Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Medium-Size Eggs

For the filling and top (see image)-

  • 175 gm Butter
  • 375 gm Icing Sugar (Confectioner’s)
  • 90 gm Cocoa Powder
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Milk

Directions to make the Chocolate Sponge Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C (350F) – Fan Gas 4. Spray two 7-inch round cake tins with baking spray, then set aside.
  2. Add flour, butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and eggs into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  3. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and creamy.
  4. Divide into two 7-inch cake tins and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Let the cakes sit for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans. Allow cakes to cool on a cooling rack before filling and icing.

Directions for the filling/top:

  1. Add butter, sugar, and cocoa to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Mix on low, adding only enough milk to make a spreadable icing/filling (see cake image).
  3. Spread half of the mixture on top of one layer. Top with second layer. Spread remaining mixture on top of the cake.

Hurrah! Chocolate Sponge Cake is decadently rich. However, it is a fantastic treat for the family, or for your hubby. Above all, it is a wonderful treat for YOU. Why? Because you can’t have too much chocolate.

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Look for A LADY IN DISTRESS, Book 1 of the Lords of Wessex

An exciting Regency Suspense Romance

Grab a copy for only £0.80 in the UK Kindle Store

Or 99¢ in the US Kindle Store

Katy Walters

African Sweet Potato Soup by @Donna_Fasano

This recipe for African Sweet Potato Soup comes from my novel Two Hearts in Winter. My protagonist, Heather Phillips, cooks an international meal for her friends to celebrate the holiday. This soup is served as part of that meal in the opening scenes of the book. There is nothing more comforting during the cold winter months than a bowl of hot, flavorful sweet potato soup. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Soup

African Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth (store-bought is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, minced fine

Directions:

1. Add the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté the onion until golden, about 8-10 min. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.

2. Pour the broth into the saucepan. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes.

3. Remove the soup mixture from heat. Using a food processor or blender, blend the soup and peanuts until almost smooth. Return to the saucepan. Whisk in the peanut butter, and cook on medium heat until just heated through. Serve warm topped with minced parsley.

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Sweet Potato Soup

Loss and betrayal have caused Heather Phillips to give up on love. She’s thrown herself into running The Lonely Loon, her Bed and Breakfast located on the boardwalk of Ocean City, Maryland. The “off season” in this tourist town is usually a time of rest and reflection for her; however, DB Atwell, a famous author, arrives at The Loon for the winter to finish his long-overdue novel. Daniel, too, has faced grief, and tragedy continues to haunt him. Once Heather and Daniel meet, their lives will never be the same.

Reminiscent of Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks and culminating in a happily-ever-after similar to the great Nora Roberts, Two Hearts in Winter is a story about learning to let go of the past, about realizing that, though hardship affects us, it need not define us, and about coming to understand and truly believe that beauty is sometimes covered in scars. The human heart has an amazing ability to forgive, to heal, and to hope, especially when touched by love.

Titles in the Ocean City Boardwalk Series:
Following His Heart, Book 1
Two Hearts in Winter, Book 2
Wild Hearts of Summer, Book 3

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Scones by @Donna_Fasano

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon SconesHello! Donna Fasano here. Recently, a good friend of mine told me she’d made a batch of cheddar cheese and bacon scones, and the recipe sounded SO delicious, I had to try it for myself. For my first batch, I used cheddar cheese. I will soon try the recipe using Swiss cheese and I’m certain that will taste good, too. My Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Scones adventure resulted in a light, flaky, and extremely flavorful biscuit-like treat. As you can see from the picture, I cut my scones into triangles rather than the circles called for in the recipe. (When I traveled to Europe, every scone I ate was 3-sided not circular. But you cut yours however you wish.) I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Cheese and Bacon Scones

Makes 1 dozen

  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 T butter
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss or Cheddar cheese
  • 6 slices bacon crisply fried and crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly grease cookie sheet. 

  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter in chunks and work into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the bacon and cheese. 

  Mix the egg and buttermilk together and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms. Do not overwork the dough. 

  Roll or pat the dough on a floured board to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Place scones on cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until scones are golden and well risen. 

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There is nothing better on a chilly autumn afternoon than a cup of hot tea, a yummy scone, and a good book. Here are a few of my romances that are very inexpensive… less than $1 each.

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Scones

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Scones

Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Scones

HAPPY EATING! AND HAPPY READING!