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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!!  Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008.  Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved.  Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.

[Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes]  [Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection]  

(¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·-> Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection 23<-·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯) - Shavuot

from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection

Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site - so you are getting a "sneak peek" of future additions. We hope you enjoy these recipes!!!

Shalom, from Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress 


[] Shavuot is the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai - 3,314 years ago. The holiday begins at sundown Thursday, May 16, and continues until nightfall on Saturday, May 18, 2002 (In Israel, ends Friday evening, May 17). Learn more online at: []


Makes 10 servings (from the Portland Oregonian)

This recipe evolved from three continents. My mother began making it when we lived in Washington, D.C., as a cream cheesecake with a sour cream topping. In Jerusalem, where she has lived for the last 30 years, she gave the cake a more pronounced citrus accent and added nuts to the crust. She chose pecans, which are very popular in Israeli baking. I added a Gallic touch after I tasted a creamy cheese tart from the Auvergne region in central France. To make the cake softer and creamier, I stirred sour cream into the cream cheese mixture instead of putting it all on the top. Fresh berries make the perfect accompaniment and a reminder that Shavuot is a celebration of cheese and fruit. -- Faye Levy 

1/4 cup pecans 
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided) 
5 ounces graham crackers (about 20 squares, to make 11/4 cups crumbs) 
1/3 cup butter, melted (see note) 

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut into pieces and softened 
2 cups sour cream (divided) 
3 eggs 
11/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 
11/2 teaspoons grated orange zest 
2 teaspoons strained fresh lemon juice 
2 teaspoons vanilla (divided) 
Fresh raspberries or small halved strawberries, for optional garnish 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 9-inch spring-form pan and set aside. In food processor, finely chop pecans with 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Transfer to a medium bowl. Process graham crackers in food processor into fine crumbs. Add crumbs to pecan mixture and mix well. Add melted butter and mix well. 

Press crumb mixture in even layer on bottom and about 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Leave oven at 350 degrees. 

Beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sour cream at low speed in bowl of electric mixer until very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice with rubber spatula. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir in lemon and orange zests, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully pour filling into cooled crust. 

Bake until center is just firm, 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. 

In small bowl, mix together remaining 11/2 cups sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Carefully spread topping on cake in even layer, without letting it drip over the crust. Bake 7 minutes longer to set topping (it will still look soft but will firm up as it cools). Remove from oven and cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate cake at least 2 hours before serving. Just before serving, remove sides of pan and garnish cake with berries. 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results. 


[] I hope I don’t end up in court. All of today’s recipes are taken from the Portland Oregonian. Actually, newspaper items, with credit given, are fair game. (or in this case, “fare” game!) []

Makes 8 to 12 servings 

Like macaroni and cheese, noodle kugel is a satisfying comfort food and has always been one of the dishes I love most. This kugel gains its good flavor from well-browned onions and mushrooms, and therefore the sautéing step shouldn't be rushed. Even when I substitute oil for all or part of the butter to sauté the vegetables and use low-fat versions of the sour cream and cottage cheese, the kugel is delicious. Still, for Shavuot, I follow my family's tradition and prepare it the old-fashioned way. – Faye Levy

1/2 cup butter (1 stick; divided) 
2 large onions, chopped 
11/2 pounds mushrooms, halved and cut into thick slices (about 7 cups) 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 teaspoons sweet paprika, plus a little for sprinkling (divided) 
Cayenne pepper (optional) 
14 ounces medium egg noodles 
2 cups creamed cottage cheese 
11/3 cups sour cream 
4 eggs, beaten 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3-quart baking dish. 

Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until very tender, 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 teaspoons paprika and a dash of cayenne and cook until mushrooms are tender and onions browned, 10 minutes. If liquid remains in pan, cook over high heat, stirring, a few minutes until it evaporates. (If you don't have a large enough skillet, you can divide ingredients between 2 skillets.) 

Cook noodles uncovered in large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until nearly tender but firmer than usual, 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer noodles to a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and mix well. Add cottage cheese and sour cream and mix well. Taste and season mixture generously. Stir in eggs. 

Transfer noodle mixture to prepared dish. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle lightly with paprika. 

Bake kugel uncovered until set and lightly browned on top, 1 hour. Serve from baking dish. Portland Oregonian


[] We must be careful and eat all dairy items in site, especially the desserts. After all, we don’t want to waste away to a mere ton! []

Makes 10 to 12 servings 

White layer cake takes on a new look, flavor and texture when poppy seeds are added to the batter and sprinkled onto the frosting. 

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup milk (divided) 
1/3 cup poppy seeds 
21/4 cups sifted cake flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
11/4 cups plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar (divided) 
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick; see note) 
2 teaspoons vanilla 
3 egg whites 

Cream cheese frosting: 
6 ounces cream cheese, softened 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick) 
2 cups sifted powdered sugar 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
2 tablespoons toasted poppy seeds (see note) 

To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans; line each with parchment or wax paper. 

Bring 2/3 cup milk to a boil; remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup poppy seeds; cool to room temperature. 

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. 

In large electric mixer bowl, cream 11/4 cups sugar and butter together; beat until light. Add vanilla. 

Combine poppy seed mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Add with flour to creamed mixture, adding 1/3 of each mixture at a time. 

Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Fold into batter. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans. 

Bake until cake pulls away from side of pan or cake tester comes out clean (about 30 minutes). Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling. 

To make frosting: Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar and lemon juice; beat until creamy. If frosting is too thin, stir in more sugar; if too stiff, stir in a little milk. 

Spread frosting over bottom layer; set second layer in place and frost top and sides of cake. Decorate with toasted poppy seeds 

Note: To toast seeds, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to brown. Stir occasionally. Be careful not to burn. Portland Oregonian


Makes 8 servings 

[] We live in the Central Valley of California. Just now we are able to buy Vidalia Onions, most of which are grown in Georgia and Texas. We look forward to the Vidalia harvest each year. It is very brief, and always a treat. It is one of the few edibles that don’t grow here in our Valley. []

"This traditional potato accompaniment can be prepared with butter, but this recipe uses vegetable oil," Marlena Spieler writes. "The use of oil rather than butter also means that this tasty kugel can be enjoyed with meat dishes, for which it is a perfect partner." 

4 1/2 pounds potatoes 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
8 to 12 tablespoons medium-grind matzo meal (see editor's note) 
2 teaspoons salt 
Freshly ground black pepper 
3 to 4 onions, grated (see editor's note) 
1/2 cup vegetable oil (8 tablespoons; divided) 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Peel the potatoes and grate finely. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and add the beaten eggs, matzo meal, salt and pepper. Mix together until well-combined. Stir in the grated onions, then add 6 tablespoons of the oil. 

Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons oil into a baking pan that is large enough to spread the potato mixture out to a thickness of no more than 11/2 to 2 inches. Heat the pan in the oven for about 5 minutes until the oil is very hot. Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven. 

Spoon the potato mixture into the pan, letting the hot oil bubble up around the sides and on to the top a little. (The sizzling oil helps to crisp the kugel as it cooks.) 

Bake the kugel for 45 to 60 minutes, or until tender and golden brown and crisp on top. Serve immediately, cut into wedges. 

Editor's note: The Tribune test kitchen used a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Tasters thought the grated onion was too strong. We recommend using only 3 onions and thinly slicing them instead of grating. Or use sweet onions such as Walla Wallas or Vidalias. We found 8 tablespoons of matzo meal was enough to bind the mixture. -- From "The Jewish Heritage Cookbook" 
by Marlena Spieler 
Portland Oregonian


Makes 16 servings 

Although jalapenos, cumin and cilantro recall Mexican cooking, these seasonings are equally popular in Jewish cooking from the Middle East. If you're not sure how hot you would like the dip, use only 2 or 3 jalapenos, then season the finished dip to taste with cayenne pepper if needed. The dip is good cold, hot or at room temperature. If you'd like to add a baked or grilled fish to your Shavuot menu, this dip makes a terrific sauce to accompany it. 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
2 large green bell peppers, diced into 1/2-inch pieces 
1 large red bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces 
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced into 1/2-inch pieces 
21/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (see note), or two 
ounce cans tomatoes, drained and diced 
5 large cloves garlic, chopped 
2 to 4 jalapeno chilies, seeds and ribs removed, chopped WEAR GLOVES
1 teaspoon ground cumin 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (divided) 
Cayenne pepper (optional) 

Heat oil in large, wide, deep pan over medium-low heat. Add bell peppers and cook until softened, 10 minutes. Remove peppers with slotted spoon. Add tomatoes, sprinkle them with salt and cook over high heat until they begin to boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. 

Return peppers to pan and add garlic, jalapenos, cumin and paprika and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until bell peppers are tender and sauce is thick, 10 minutes. Add half the cilantro and cook 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding cayenne if you like. Stir in remaining cilantro. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature. Stir before serving. 

Note: To peel tomatoes, plunge into boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into cold water. Skin should slip off easily. 

-- From "The Jewish Heritage Cookbook" by Marlene Spieler Portland Oregonian


Makes 12 servings 

18 Nabisco chocolate wafers, finely crushed 
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick; see note) 

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature 
2 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten 
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (divided) 
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped and reserved 
11/2 cups sour cream 

Stir together crushed wafers and cinnamon with a fork. Pour in butter, and stir until mixture is moist. Press mixture into a 9-inch spring-form pan, forming a crust just over 1 inch high around the sides. You might think you need more wafers, but you don't. Press patiently until a tight, thin layer forms. Chill until needed. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with baking sheet on center rack. 

In an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese until creamy and fluffy. Add eggs, 2/3 cup sugar and seeds from vanilla bean, and whisk until very smooth. Scrape bowl with a spatula to break up lumps. Pour into crust and place on baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, blend sour cream with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. After 25 minutes, remove cake from oven and let sit 5 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Gently spoon sour cream mixture on top and spread evenly. Return cake to oven and bake 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 

Note: Use real butter or stick margarine. Do not substitute reduced-fat spreads; their higher water content often yields less-satisfactory results. -- From The New York Times Portland Oregonian


Makes 1 serving 

Vanilla syrup: 
1 vanilla bean, split 
1 cup water 
1 cup granulated sugar 

Milk shake: 
3 tablespoons vanilla syrup 
2 large scoops vanilla ice cream, slightly softened 
3/4 to 1 cup very cold milk 

To make syrup: Soak bean in the 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Pour the water, bean and sugar into a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves; bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Let cool to lukewarm. Pour through a strainer into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Keeps almost forever. 

To make milk shake: Put syrup, ice cream and milk in a blender and process until smooth and thick, adjusting the amount of milk for the thickness desired. 

-- From "Make Mine Vanilla" by Lee Edwards Benning (Fireside, $10) 
Portland Oregonian


Shalom, from Spike and Jamie


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