Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Matzah Crunch


Emily and I made a batch of Matzah Crunch, better known as Matzah Crack. We followed the recipe from Salt and Serenity (LOCAL). Emily had used another recipe which linked to them before. We followed it closely except we did about 1.5x the recipe. And we just kind of mixed milk and white chocolate on the top since we didn't feel like marbleing it. That did make it look like light-colored chocolate though.

Unsurprisingly, it was really good. And well received at the party we brought it to the next day. Every once in a while you get a bit that reminds you it is still matzah, but that is to be expected.

Pimento Cheese Puffs


Meredith and I made pimento cheese puffs. We used our regular pimento cheese recipe with the regular changes. While this turned out pretty good, Meredith wants to look for new recipes for next time.

Anyway, we stuffed them inside some Pâte à Choux. We tried to use the pastry gun but it was too thick so we had to cut it.

They worked out pretty well though were perhaps a bit too big. We will also made them smaller next time.



I originally made a double batch of Falafel on Saturday night with the intention of making Walafels/Fawafels. I followed the recipe as usual, except that I used a large sweet onion. That was a bit too much water and the dough came out very wet. Between the wet dough and overfilling the waffle iron, it made a huge mess, and didn't really cook. We decided we just didn't feel like it and saved the dough.

We made normal patties and Meredith made tzatziki.

Rasberry Crème Puffs


Meredith made raspberry crème puffs for work as a gender-reveal (see the photos below). She used the Pâte à Choux and Pastry Cream. For the cream, she added some raspberry puree (strained) and then some additional food coloring to really bring out the color.

They were really good!

Also worth noting, she made them smaller than the pimento cheese puffs

Pimento Grilled Cheese


Pimento Grilled Cheese from leftover pimento cheese. Also some store bought tomato soup

Pecan Pie


I made Texas Style Pecan Pie with homemade crust

The Crust

I used the same recipe as last time. It again needed more water than the recipe calls for. I think I ended up somewhere around 11 Tbsp. That may be been too much.

I also tried something new. I lined the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and then used non-stick aluminum foil on the sides.

The crust sat in the fridge overnight and then I figured I would try something new. After forming it, I put it back in the fridge for about 40 minutes before baking it. And as you can see in the below pictures, it was a disaster. I have no idea what happened but it was a total mess. I was able to use the spatula to reshape it as best I could but it wasn't pretty. And it was especially unfortunate since I worked so hard to get it further up the edges this this.

I really do not know what caused the issue. I suspect it was either the wrapping the edges or the extra fridge time. It is worth noting that the way I did the parchment paper in the pan meant it was slighly suspended above the pan at the bottom. I do not think that mattered, but maybe. I do not know if the non-stick affected it or not.

The Pie

Again, I used the same recipe with the same addition of salt as last time and also only ~8oz of pecans. I cooked it for 1:45 but I think it needed more looking at the center (I never actually saw it last time...).

It was well received and I thought it was pretty good still.

Tomato Soup with Cheddar Dumplings


I made tomato soup with cheddar dumplings. Overall, it was a much better idea than execution. For the dumplings, I used the same recipe as last time (again halved) but I added 3/4 ounces of cheddar cheese (I added it with the dry ingredients)

For the soup, I kind of threw it together. It was:

I did it all in the blender, except with only half the can of tomato past before adding the rest. The real problem is that I used way too much onion and garlic powder. It was a bit overwhelming.

I added the dumplings which was hard since the soup was so thick. But the dumplings came out ok. I couldn't really tast the cheese at all, but I still enjoyed them.

It made two servings

Brussel Sprouts and Tofu


Broccoli beef but with brussel sprounts and TJ's extra firm tofu

Carne Adovada


I made a big batch of carne adovada (which I moved to its own page from last time). The only real change was that I had ~4 lbs of pork loin so I 4/3 all of the ingredients. I started aiming for 10 oz of chiles and then realized that I was measuring with the stems trimmed off. I ended up with about 8 oz w/o stems.

Other than that, I just followed my recipe! I let it marinate for a while and then cooked it. The only problem is that I only cooked it for ~3.5 hours and I didn't do any uncovered (so it was thinner than I would like). The pork was fully cooked but really needed more time.

I think next time, I may try the slow cooker. Also, given that it cooks so long, I am not sure marinating it really matters much.

But it was really good! I like this recipe

Also, next time I think I will just blend all of the onions.

Curry Chicken Salad


Meredith made her normal curry chicken salad with cabbage instead of celery and greek yogurt instead of mayo.

Also, she used too much cayenne this time.

For the chicken, I souse vide cooked it at 155°F for around 2 hours and flash-cooled it. I should have salted it first (and maybe some curry powder).

Breakfast Hash


Meredith and I made a breakfast based on this Trader Joe’s recipe (LOCAL).

We basically just used the general idea and it was really good. We got the hash browns super crisp (probably too much oil) and used Pace for the salsa.

Pretty easy and the kind of thing we could use ingredients in the freezer or staples.

Spring Peas and Hotdogs


Meredith made spring peas and prosciutto as she has a few times before. And I grilled Organic (free range) hot-dogs

Marsala Mushrooms


Meredith made her Marsala Mushrooms (see original and with chicken) but also added brocollini. I grilled Trader Joes Jalapeño sausage and we had it on the side

Cream Biscuits


Meredith was really craving biscuits so she decided to try Easy Cream Biscuits from The Food Lab.

She followed the basic recipe with some slight adjustments to the time/temp, liquid, and flour as per the King Arthur. Actually, they have you lower the time, but even at the higher temp, they still needed extra. It was looking a bit dry so she wet the dough and then had to add some flour to get it just right.

They came out with a great texture and were pretty good. However, they could have used more salt. Meredith did some Maldon on top which helped but the dough needed it.

Hotdogs, Biscuits, and Salad


A nice mix of homemade and store-bought. Biscuts Meredith made with the BBQ ranch salad we like and hot-dogs.



I made 5-ingredient bagels after having them at Emily’s last weekend. I liked hers so I decided to give it a shot.

I followed the Skinny Taste recipe (LOCAL) with the only change being to do it in the food processor (way easier). I ended up needing to add some flour but not too much. I egg washed and coated both sides which may have been unecessary.

I did the suggested 25 min at 375°F but decided to add another 5 at 450°F. They came out nicely outside but when I cut them, they were more undercooked than I would have liked. On Meredith’s suggestion, I toasted them which seemed to help a little.

Looking at the original recipe Skinny Taste used, I think I will bump the time and temp next time.

I also didn't make any accommodations for altitude. Not sure if I should have or not.

Baked Potato Salad


Meredith made baked potato salad. She had looked at a few recipes and really just combined it all into what she wanted.

She diced and then roasted 4 russet potatoes at 425°F for about 35 minutes and then let it cool.

The key to this was to essentially make a ranch(ish) dip (there really wasn't enough ranch in there to call it ranch) and then add it to the potatoes. The dip was:

Made a ranch dip with

She added shredded cheddar and green onions (maybe around a scant cup) and (soy) bacon bits (~1/4 cup).

This worked much better than the first time

Sous Vide Sausage


Simple meal. Just sous vide sausage. I did it at 150°F for about 1 hour then finished it on the stove.

We were going to have some veggies but didn't get to making them