Blueberry Cobbler Challah

For the last chametz hurrah before Pesach, I wanted to make a sweet mashup. And, since this weekend is officially the star of spring and my birthday, I wanted it to include fruit.

What you will need:

Challah dough {recipe here}

Filling

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Flour or vanilla pudding powder

Topping

3/4 cup flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

Directions:

Prepare challah dough according to directions.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.


Divide dough into 4 equal parts and then roll each part into a log, long enough to fit a loaf pan.

Gently flatten each log so that it is about 2 inches wide. Sprinkle with vanilla pudding powder, or toss your blueberries in some flour, before placing blueberries down in flattened logs. This helps the blueberry juices thicken a bit like a cobbler and prevent it from oozing everywhere. Pinch the edges to seal, and then braid the logs.

Place the challah in a greased loaf pan and let the challah rise 30 minutes.

While the challah is rising, prepare the cobbler topping. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl.

Once the challah has risen, plop little dollops of the topping all over the top of the challah.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the challah is cooked through.

Enjoy!

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Matcha Challah

I love playing with new challah creations. All it takes is a few tweaks to my staple challah recipe.

For this weeks challah, and in honor of green for St. Patrick’s day, I wanted something festive with sprinkles and maybe a little healthy and green. That’s where matcha comes in. Matcha green tea lattes are so delicious! The matcha gives the challah a green hue and you can taste the earthy green tea. Plus, matcha has many health benefits, like antioxidants, but that’s not why I chose it for this week.

Matcha Challah ~ The Dreams Weaver

What you will need:

2 tbsp yeast

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/3 cup warm water

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp matcha powder

4-4 1/2 cups flour

Rainbow sprinkles

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, sugar, and water, stir to combine. Add the 2 eggs and mix the eggs with a beater attachment. Then add the oil and mix together again.

With the mixer on the lowest speed, add flour cup by cup until the dough starts forming a ball and pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl. At this point, swap out the beater attachment for a dough hook and add the salt and matcha powder. Keep adding flour cup by cup until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch. In total this should be roughly 4 cups of flour.

Knead the dough together by hand to make sure everything is incorporated together.

Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the top of the dough with a thin layer of oil and cover with a wet towel.

Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, this should be about an hour, or in the fridge up to 24 hours.

Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.

At this point, you are ready to form the challahs. I like to do simple 4 strand braids.

Once all of your challahs are formed, let them rise for an additional half hour, or up to an hour in colder weather.

Top each challah with egg wash (one egg with a little bit of water) and some rainbow sprinkles.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

French Onion Soup

There is nothing better than homemade soup during the winter! I love French onion soup and would always get it at restaurants growing up. It has great flavors, with layers of croutons and toasted mozzarella cheese. I always thought it was so difficult to make, and would only be able to enjoy it if I went out to a fancy shmansy restaurant. 

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

You are not going to believe how easy this is to make! And, it costs way less to make a whole pot of it than one bowl at a restaurant. I always make a GIANT pot of it and freeze part of it to enjoy later. 

What you will need: 

4 large onions
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. sugar
4 tbs. flour
1 envelope of onion soup mix 
1 tsp. salt
4 tbs. paprika 
4-6 cups water (or you can use vegetable stock to give richer flavor) 
1 package mozzarella cheese
Any leftover bread

In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat. While the butter is melting, slice up 4 large onions. Once the butter is melted, add the onions to the pot. Let the onions sweat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. I add the sugar halfway through. 

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

Once the onions have a nice brown sheen to them add the flour, onion soup mix, salt, and paprika. Stir the mixture until it’s all incorporated and is a thick paste consistency.

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

Slowly add the water. I start with ½ cup at first so that the water mixes with the thick paste mixture. Once the water mixes completely, I add the remaining cups of water and stir it all together. 

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

Let the soup simmer on medium heat for an hour with the lid propped on top, but slightly open to let steam out. 

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

While the soup is making, cut any bread you have up into medium size squares. Sprinkle some paprika on the top. Toast on 350°F for 10 minutes.

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

Once the soup is ready, it’s time to assemble it in the bowls! I love using these little handled crocks like they do in the restaurants to get the full effect! 

Ladle the soup into your bowls; sprinkle some mozzarella cheese, then a layer of croutons, and finally another {heaping} layer of cheese. Bake in the oven at 350°F until the cheese bubbles and turns brown.

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver

I let the remainder of the soup cool down, then I pour into freezer safe containers to enjoy when I just don’t feel like cooking.  They can last months in the freezer like this.

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver


Enjoy! 

French Onion Soup~ The Dreams Weaver


Pretzel Challah

Another week, another challah creation! We have been loving making pretzel dogs, pretzel sausages, and even meat filled pretzel bites, so why not dunk an entire challah in the pretzel solution?

What you will need:

Challah dough {recipe here}

Pretzel solution:

4 cups water

1/4 cup baking soda

Optional: 1 tbsp dark brown sugar (helps exterior to brown more)

Directions:

Prepare challah dough according to directions.

After the dough is formed and has risen, bring water and baking soda to boil and reduce heat to low.

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place challah dough in pretzel bath and cook about 30 seconds; flip and boil another 30 seconds. The longer you boil, the chewier the baked pretzel will be.

Remove from bath and place on baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt.

Bake 30-35 minutes until the challah is a deep pretzel color.

Enjoy!

Coffee Filter Flowers

I am sure that I am not the only one out there that loves having bright flowers in the house, especially on gloomy winter days! However, fresh flowers are always such a hassle, and never live long enough. 
 
I have tried the fabric flowers, but they always look so fake and cheap looking no matter how hard you try! That is where my coffee filter flowers come in. To me, they look like a carnation, or a bunch of hydrangeas, maybe?  I had these coffee filters in the house and I only own a Keurig…

Coffee Filter Flowers~ The Dreams Weaver

Learning how to make paper flowers is so much fun and the creative aspects are endless! They can even be dip dyed for different affects. These homemade flowers are easy and are perfect for budget decorations, easy homemade gift ideas, or to help brighten your home. I whipped up my bunch today while watching the Food Network, they really take zero thinking. 
 
What you will need: 

  • Several coffee filters, each flower will take 6. 
  • Clear drinking straws 
  • Scissors 
  • Tape 
  • Stapler  
Coffee Filter Flowers~ The Dreams Weaver

Flaten the coffee filters so that they are easier to work with. (#1 below) 
 
Take 3 coffee filters and fold them into quarters. (#2 and #3) Now cut scallops. (#4) You don’t need to be precise, this is just adding some dimension! Do this with 3 more coffee filters; each flower will use 6 total. 

Coffee Filter Flowers~ The Dreams Weaver

Stack all 6 of the coffee filters. Scrunch the bottom up as shown in the top left photo (#5) and staple it down. 
 
Open up your flower as much as you can. It won’t lay flat but you’ll need to know where the center is. (#6) 
 
Take the top layer and scrunch it up tight, squeezing the bottom of your flower. (#7) 
 
Continue scrunching each layer, one at a time. (#8) 

Coffee Filter Flowers~ The Dreams Weaver

Lastly, staple a straw to the base of the flower and wrap some tape around it to stabilize it. 
 
Do this for each one of your flowers, until you get the amount of flowers you would like for your bouquet to have. 
 
I made a total of five flowers for mine. I also made two flowers with only 4 coffee filters to give my bouquet variation in sizes so they look more realistic. 

Sit back and enjoy your new flowers! 

Coffee Filter Flowers~ The Dreams Weaver


 

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Front Porch Remodel

We purchased our home in July of 2016 and have been renovating it with projects here and there ever since then. The projects started off small, with adding recessed lighting to our main living area, fencing in our yard, landscaping…to adding an entire 3rd floor master suite edition {will talk about that another day!}

The AFTER

Our home was built in 1927 {almost a century old} and I always try to blend the new with the old.

This summer we finally splurged and replaced our old rounded door with a new one, and finally no more bugs and water escaping into our home. At the same time we added a much needed front porch, since we had no overhang to shield us from the elements when entering or leaving. Plus, it gives our home even more character!

We used salvaged 6’ x 6’ beams in front with a brown shingle skirt – all in the same brown to blend with the rest of our home. And I really wanted the cedar beam and V detail front and center!

The BEFORE – the day we moved in, and Jet photobombing
Another BEFORE – our dog Jet proudly balancing a stick on his nose

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks

Our dog, Jet, has a wheat allergy. Every time we need to pick up new treats for him, it is a long process. We need to read the labels for the ingredients to make sure that there is no flour, oats, or any other form of grain in there that could give him a tummy ache. Oh, and it is also important to look at where the treats are made. Remember the Waggin Train company treats that were causing kidney failure? Those were from China, threw all those out. After that, we do not buy treats that are made in China, Japan, or anything like that.
These links have other important information on dog treats:
Treats that made dogs ill
Waggin Train Recall

We had bought Jet these dried fish skin sticks at an upscale gourmet dog store. He loved them, but our wallets did not. They were $2 a stick!  

I have been thinking for ways to make him fresh and healthy treats, without spending a fortune. So, when I bought a 3 pound package of smoked salmon, I hit the jackpot. Hidden under the slices of salmon was the whole skin it was sliced off of, and I didn’t even know it! 

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver

This was the easiest treat to make for Jet, and he watched me the whole time salivating.  It’s like he’s a cat or something. 

What you will need: 
Salmon skin (or any other fish skin)

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver
Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (trust me you are going to want it lined, the fish oils come out of the fish and smell very fishy) 

Slice the salmon skin in half, and then into thin strips.

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver

Twist the strips, or make knots with the strips, or however else you would like them to look. 
Bake in the oven for 1-2 hours, or until they are crispy and dry. Make sure to check on them midway. 

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver

Remove from the oven. Once cooled, lay on paper towels to remove the excess oils. I let them sit out overnight to dry even more. 

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver

Tell your dog to sit, roll over, or any other command as you got his/her attention with this amazingly easy homemade treat for them. 

Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver
Dog Lovers Salmon Twizzle Sticks~ The Dreams Weaver


Watch them enjoy! 

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Ginger Snap Cookies

This was my first attempt at ginger snap cookies, and they were a success on my first try! Each individual cookie is rolled in sugar, which gives it a great coat of sugar armor that protects the soft and slightly spicy ginger interior.

Ginger Snap Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

This recipe makes 3 dozen cookies, or 2 dozen jumbo size cookies. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 12 minutes   Total Time: 40 minutes

What you will need: 
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup canola oil
¼ cup maple syrup (or molasses) 
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsps. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbs. fresh ground ginger
1/3 cup white sugar for decoration

Ginger Snap Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Preheat oven to 375°F. 

In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil, molasses, and egg. 
Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger; stir into the molasses mixture. 

Ginger Snap Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Roll dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Roll each ball in white sugar before placing 2 inches apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. 

Ginger Snap Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until center is firm. Let cool on wire racks. 

Ginger Snap Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver

Enjoy! 

Ginger Snap Cookies~ The Dreams Weaver
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Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror

 
Our room was in need of some DIYing and a more feminine touch {it’s mostly black and white, modern and clean, but it needed a little me added to it} So I headed over to my Pintrest page to my “For the Home” board of DIY projects I would love to complete, but just end up sitting there forever waiting, and waiting for me to get around to. I landed on this fun, cheap, and easy mirror made from the tops of plastic spoons.

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver

What you will need:

  • A LOT of plastic spoons
  • Hot glue
  • Round mirror {mine’s 3”}
  • Cardboard
  • Spray paint, any color you want the sunburst to be {I chose Satin White}
  • Hook to hang it {I used a soda tab}
Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


First, cut the base of the mirror out of a large cardboard box. I used my dog’s water bowl, as it looked like a good size for my mirror.

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


Next, you need to break the handles off of all your spoons. I actually needed to put on a pair of gloves, since it felt like I was going to get blisters from the spoon snapping back at me. That really helped! 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


I drew a circle 2” wider in diameter than my mirror in the center of my cardboard. This way I know where I should stop gluing my spoons. 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


Now comes the fun part, gluing all the spoons to the cardboard. Start from the outside of the circle and glue around and around, until you reach the center where you traced for your mirror to be placed. When you finish the outer circle and are starting the next layer, stagger the spoon petals so that they are layered between two spoons.

 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


For the last layer of spoons, I actually glued the spoons to the back of the mirror.  

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


I took my sunburst outside to be spray-painted. This step is totally not necessary, but I wanted my sunburst to look less like cheap shiny plastic, and give them a more matte {expensive} finished look. I used a satin finish, off-white spray paint from Krylon, and sprayed two coats of paint. 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


I sprayed the mirror with its one layer of spoons separately. I first covered the mirror with a sheet of paper the same size as it, and taped it in place to protect the mirror from the paint. 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


Once both pieces were completely dry, I glued the mirror center to the rest of the sunburst. 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


Last, I needed to find a small hook that I could glue to the back {since you can’t nail into cardboard!} I was stumped as to what I was going to use for this! Then, as I was drinking a can of seltzer, I decided to use the can’s tab! GENIUS! Voila, we have a hook! Just glue the soda can tab to the backside of the cardboard, leaving the top of the tab hanging off to hang from a nail. 

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver


I am so happy I finally completed one of my Pintrest projects that have been sitting there for forever!  Next stop, back to the Pintrest board.

Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver
Upcycled Plastic Spoon Sunburst Mirror~ The Dreams Weaver




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Falafellah

I was taking out ingredients to make dinner for the night, as well as starting to prep my challah for shabbas, and had another mashup challah idea. {Was about to make Trader Joe’s falafels to be served with hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, and pickles.}

What you will need:

Challah dough {recipe here}

Trader Joe’s falafel mix, or any falafel recipe or store bought

Tahini

Pickles

Egg for egg wash

Zaatar seasoning

Directions:

Prepare challah dough according to directions.


While the challah dough is rising, prepare and bake your falafel balls according to package instructions. I baked mine for a little less time {and smaller} than the box says since it will be going back in the oven again and you don’t want your falafel too dry.

While the falafel is in the oven, cut up your pickles and set them out on a paper towel to remove any excess pickle juice.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Divide dough into 4 equal parts and then roll each part into a log, long enough to fit a loaf pan.

Gently flatten each log so that it is about 2 inches wide. Schmear a thin layer of tahini, but leave a border so it’s easy to seal up after, and top with falafel and pickles. Pinch the edges to seal, and then braid the logs.

Place the challah in a greased loaf pan and let the challah rise 30 minutes. Then brush with egg wash and sprinkle with zaatar seasoning.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the challah is cooked through.

Enjoy!