October 2, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Remember the TV sitcom the Addams Family?

Most of you are probably too young to remember all the ghoulish characters of this group that included Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Cousin Itt and the THING.

I was a little taken by Cousin Itt and on occasion wake up looking like him in the mornings. Here’s what I’m talking about….

cousin it

So what am I getting at here? Let me tell you. I’m not much of a dark chocolate lover. In fact, I’m not much into chocolate AT ALL. I know you must think I’m weird. Not as weird as Cousin Itt but nonetheless WEIRD.

I like chocolate chips in cookies but don’t give me a huge slice of chocolate laden anything. My husband Steve, eldest son Jayme, boss Alan and my work colleague Eve on the other hand would KILL for chocolate. I usually bring in the treats I make at home to my work peeps so when I created this chocolate Oreo tart this weekend I knew it would be descended upon the second I put it in front of these folks.

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Getting back to the ghoulish stuff. I really don’t usually photograph in the moody mode. You always see bright, cheery and light photo’s on here. (and just an FYI…..I know I overdid the amount of shots on this blog today but come on, I just couldn’t help myself)

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This dessert deserved to be shot in a sultry style because, I mean….just look at it. It screams Morticia Addams all over it. Dark and appealing looking with a certain “je ne sais quoi” indefinable, elusive quality.

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When using pure dark chocolate in baking it entertains an aspect of romanticism.

Uh huh…that’s right…I know you want it.

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and oh so sexy.

This was bar none one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made. If you are a chocolate lover YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS.

Like now.

Right now.

Right now.

No Bake Dark Chocolate Oreo Tart

For the Crust
350 g (10 oz) package Oreo cookies (set aside 4 or 5)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Chocolate Ganache Filling:
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 30% or higher fat whipping cream
7 oz good quality dark chocolate, chopped – (I used 70%)
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
For garnish:
4 or 5 chopped Oreo cookies
chocolate chips
optional – frozen berries & grapes

For the crust: using a food processor, give those Oreo cookies a whirl until they are the texture of fine crumbs.
Combine crumbs and the melted butter and blend well.
Place the mixture into a fluted tart pan (mine is an 8 x 8 tart pan with a removable bottom)
Press cookie crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides evenly.
Freeze the crust while you prepare the chocolate ganache filling.
In a medium saucepan, bring cream to a slow boil. (careful not to scorch the cream)
Remove from heat, add chopped chocolate and butter, and let sit to slowly melt for 5 minutes.

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Then stir until melted (you should have a lovely sheen to the chocolate)
Pour the chocolate ganache filling over the firm Oreo cookie crust.

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Decorate with some chopped Oreo cookies and chocolate chips.
Chill for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
Unmold from tart pan.
Optional – garnish with frozen berries and grapes and enjoy!

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See ya next week!
debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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September 24, 2015

Weeknight dinner partying


Do you ever entertain during the week? It can be challenging right?! I had a couple of friends over the other night for our “last supper” before the start of Yom Kippur. I had a boatload of work to do before dinner so I needed to come up with a super simple game plan as my timing for prep was limited. Here’s how I pulled together this gorgeous table and a dinner that was absolutely to die for…


First off – raid your cupboards. You don’t need to buy new silverware or plates. Mix and match with what you already have!


I like to have name cards at my dinner table so I whipped these up really quick with all the apples I had leftover from apple picking with my kids last weekend. You can find the DIY for my apple place cards in the post here.


Second – come up with a menu that requires minimal prep. Since this particular dinner party was for Yom Kippur I made my Grandmother’s gefilte fish which is requires a lot of cooking time BUT I planned in advance and made this the night before.


For dinner I had a menu that was incredibly easy and beyond delicious:
Apple & Rosemary buttermilk quick bread
Spatchcocked roasted chicken
Autumn salad
Aunt Debi’s Crispy Potatoes

For the chicken, I made it up….and boy did I nail it! Here’s my made up recipe….
1 whole chicken – I asked the butcher to spatchcock it for me. But if you want to try this yourself then I would refer to Martha Stewarts Tutorial.
I chopped up a handful of rosemary and thyme and combined with Kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder and sesame seeds. I went a little heavy on the sesame seeds but this worked to my favor because they tasted DEE-LISH!
I massaged my chicken with this paste that I made and then put the chicken in a roasting pan that I filled with rosemary and thyme sprigs, carrots and onions.
I roasted the chicken for 40 minutes at 450 degrees. It was PERFECT.



For dessert I made an apple crisp using my Aunt Marissa’s recipe with all the leftover apples we had in the kitchen.


The day of prep work for my dinner was about 3 hours. We ate this dinner in about 6 minutes. It was a success!

xx, Seri
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September 18, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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First I need to tell you something. I took over 158 shots of these rose tarts and I was verrrrrryyyyyyy tempted to just post all the pictures on here instead of giving you the recipe.

BUT, I know that wouldn’t have gone over too well so instead you are going to get both – a ton of pics AND the recipe.

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Do these look complicated to you? Well…..I’m not going to lie…THEY ARE NOT.

In fact, they are super easy to make and just take a look at the end result.

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I mean.



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I’ve been eyeing these beauties on Pinterest for a while and finally had a good reason to make them.

Every year for Rosh Hashanah I’m on the cooking and baking team. My 93 year old mother still does the bulk of the work believe it or not. She is truly amazing and we look forward to sitting around her dining room table to ring in the Jewish New Year together.

The family is growing and the table is expanding. We are now a group of 17, including the new kid on the block who is only 2 weeks old.

My kitchen was in full swing and this was the last of the desserts on the list for me to complete. Along with these tarts, I made some baseball size chocolate kit kat/reeses peanut butter cookies, an apple strudel, noodle kugel, potato salad and a carrot/prune/pineapple  tzimmes. I was literally in my pj’s at 7 p.m. after this cooking and baking extravaganza.

Check out the step by step process below for these rosey poseys. They are simply perfect for any FALL event and you will be the new tart hero in the family.

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Woah. They really are nice looking…..If I do say so myself.

Rose Apple Tarts – Recipe adapted from Cooking with Manuela

1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed
2 red organic apples (I used red delicious)
half lemon, juice
1 tablespoon of flour, to sprinkle the counter
3 tablespoons of apricot preserve
cinnamon (optional)
powdered sugar for decorating (optional)

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Thaw the puff pastry – should take about one hour at room temp.
Prepare a bowl with some water and the lemon juice.
Cut the apples in half, remove the core and cut the apples in paper thin slices.

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Leave the peel so it will give the red color to your roses.
Right away, place the sliced apples in the bowl with lemon and water, so that they won’t change color.
Microwave the apples in the bowl, for about 3 -5 minutes, to make them slightly softer or you can also simmer the apple slices in the water in a small pan (on the stove).
Unwrap the puff pastry over a clean and lightly floured wooden board.
Using a rolling pin stretch the dough a little, trying to keep it in a rectangular shape.
Cut the dough in 6 strips. These are about 2 in x 9 in (5 cm x 22 cm).

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In a bowl, place three tablespoons of apricot preserve with two tablespoons of water. Microwave for about one minute, so that the preserve will be easier to spread. Spread the preserve on the dough.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Drain the apples.
Place the apples on the dough, as shown in picture above.Sprinkle with cinnamon if you’d like.

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Fold up the bottom part of the dough.

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Carefully roll, seal the edge, and place in a greased muffin cup. (This recipe makes 6 so I used a six cup muffin tin}
Do the same for all 6 roses.

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Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40-45 minutes, until fully cooked.
I drizzled mine with a bit of honey and powdered sugar.

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See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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September 14, 2015

How We Rosh Hashana


Every year (or so) it seems as though the guest count at our Rosh Hashana dinner grows. August 29th we welcomed the newest member of our team, Baby Dylan.


I don’t always have the opportunity to join my Canadian family for the Jewish holidays, but with the recent arrival of my niece I wasn’t missing this dinner for the world.


My Boobie Frieda, 93 years old, is still hosting the Jewish holiday dinners. With my NYC family added to the table we’re at 17 people. Luckily Boobie has a couple of gals in her life who work behind the scenes to pull this all off flawlessly.



After spending hours shadowing Boobie in the kitchen, her secret recipes have been perfected and table set beautifully.





Tonight’s dinner also went off without a hitch thanks to Aunt Debi. Deb prepared the most beautiful desserts (I mean rose apple tarts?? C’mon!), strudel, kugel, fruit salad, potato salad, cookies……..(the list goes on) and she was the woman behind the camera tonight capturing it all.


There’s nothing more important to me in life then my family and the fact that I can live in a different country but still share in these memories every now and then, is priceless.






From my family to yours…L’Shana Tova. Hope it is a happy, healthy and sweet new year!



Photography by: Debi Traub of Simply Beautiful Eating
Simply Beautiful Eating Blog
Simply Beautiful Eating Instagram

xx, Seri
Party conversation
  1. Caroline

    This is beautiful and touching, I’m so glad you got to go!!

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September 11, 2015

Jacked up Pop Tarts

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When I was little I used to eat some pretty random things for breakfast and lunch. One of which was pop tarts. You would unwrap the foil, toast them and then wonder why they tasted like the cardboard box they came out of. I would still eat them because I was only 6 years old and what did I know? That was then and this is NOW. I finally got my act together.

Today my breakfast consists of fruit, yogurt and the main ingredient – bran buds. Don’t ask why. You can guess that one for yourself. Those buds ARE my buds.

On the weekends I like to treat myself and the family to something a bit different. Pancakes, waffles, eggs, french toast….the list goes on and on. You have witnessed some of my creations on this blog so you know I don’t fool around with brunch.

I wanted to try making homemade pop tarts for a long time now. I also wanted to fill them with something other than standard jam. Strolling through the market the other day I spotted some blueberry and mango preserves made by Sarabeth’s. Blueberry and mango ? Fruit and berry? Perfection in a jar.

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While in the same aisle I grabbed Nutella because Nutella is Nutella and needs to be stuffed inside of almost everything. Right?

Can we please just stop for a second? Look at these. I can’t. I really really can’t.

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Not only were they super simple to make – even if you choose to make your own dough – they were delish too!

Now take note. In the directions I am going to tell you to cut them 5 x 3 inches.  I hate measuring and I hate math. Just cut them into 8 pieces for each roll. You will end up with 16 pieces. Each tart requires two pieces. The top of the tart and the bottom, which are technically the same because if you flip them over they look identical. Oh just forget it. I don’t even know what I’m saying but you get the gist of  it. Look at the pics and follow along. It’s real easy.

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See? 16 pieces….

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Check out this example above. I didn’t cut them very straight either. What’s wrong with me? I think I may have been a bit too excited to get these into the oven quickly. I also forgot to prick the top of the dough to let some steam escape. This resulted in a bit of a boob effect in the middle.

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Okay, but really? Who cares?

One last thing. Sprinkles are always an optional topping- but why would you even consider not putting them on everything?

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1 recipe homemade pie dough or store bought refrigerated dough (two rolls)
for the dough:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water
for the filling
6 tbis Nutella
6 tbls blueberry mango preserves or any flavour of your favorite jam
For the icing:
I cup powdered sugar
2 – 3 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon nutella

For homemade dough: Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form.
Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.
Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13×11 inches. Trim to 12×10-inch rectangle, then cut into eight 5×3-inch rectangles.
Arrange 4 rectangles, spaced apart, on each sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons preserves or nutella in row down center of each rectangle. Top preserves with second dough rectangle.
Using fingertips, gently press all edges of each tart to seal; press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal.
Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough rectangle.
Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack.
For the icing: divide powdered sugar into two bowls. Mix one tablespoon of nutella into one of the bowls with milk until it reaches a nice glaze consistency, not too thick and not too runny.
Repeat with the other bowl of sugar and milk for a white glaze.
I topped the nutella stuffed tarts with the nutella icing and the other tarts with the plain icing.
Garnish with sprinkles. Serve warm.
Note – if you are using store bought dough, unroll both rolls and cut off edges so you have a square to work with. Then cut each square into 8 pieces so you have 4 tarts from each roll ( 16 squares giving you 8 tarts in total). *see picture
For the store bought dough version you can bake immediately without freezing the dough first. Pop the tarts into the oven for 7 to 8 minutes at 425F. Makes 8.

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See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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