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"Food for Thought . . . where food breaks down barriers and brings us all to the table!"

Food for Thought was created to facilitate dialogue with our neighbors and to embrace and highlight the diversity of our OWA members. Gathering together at the table promotes fellowship and provides a place of love and peace. If you have a recipe to feature in Food for Thought, send your submission to .


2021 Episodes

Cake Box Cookies with Mary Lanning

Ingredients
(Yield: 1 dozen cookies)

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Cookies
(Prep Time: 5 minutes)
(Time to Cook: 20 minutes)

  • 1 box cake, any flavor
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

Buttercream Icing
(Yield: 2 cups frosting)
(Prep Time: 10 minutes)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Optional: food coloring

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Directions

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Cookies

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix one box cake mix (any flavor), egg, and oil until dough forms.
  3. Scoop dough and form into balls. Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake at 350° for approximately 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Option: top with buttercream icing (recipe included) and sprinkles.

Buttercream Icing

  1. In a large bowl, whip butter on high until fluffy (approximately 3 minutes).
  2. Mix in vanilla and almond extracts, and salt.
  3. On low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar.
  4. Mix on high until creamy (approximately 3 minutes).

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Chocolate Almond Oatmeal Cookies with Jeannette Berman

Ingredients
(Yield: 24 cookies)
(Prep Time: 15 minutes)

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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup rolled old fashioned oats

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Directions

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Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before you start. Any cocoa powder you have will do. I have made it with regular, dutch processed, and black cocoa powder (kind used for Oreo cookies). They all taste good!

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment, silpat or lightly grease with unsalted butter.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  5. Beat in the egg, cocoa powder, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  6. Stir in the flour mixture.
  7. Stir in the oats.
  8. Arrange spoonfuls of dough on the cookie sheets, and then flatten with a fork dipped in cold water to make a cross hatch pattern.
  9. Bake 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. After you take them out of the oven, let the cookies sit on the pan for two minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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Arroz Caldo with Elen Rose Factor

Ingredients
(Yield: 16 8-oz servings)

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  • 8 qt Instant Pot
  • 4 qt water
  • 4 chicken thighs (approx 1.5-2 lbs)
  • 2" fresh, peeled ginger (7-8 big slices or julienne style)
  • 3 tbsp powdered chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
  • 2 cups of uncooked, rinsed rice
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Seasonings / Toppings

  • green onions
  • crumbled chicharon
  • fried garlic
  • chopped hard boiled eggs
  • kalamansi or lemon

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Directions

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  1. Rinse 2 cups of rice until water runs clear, approximately three times. Fill Instant Pot halfway with water. Add all ingredients (except for toppings).
  2. Pressure cook on high for 12 min. Be sure to turn off KEEP WARM function. Let it slow release, do not use the quick release function — soup will spew everywhere if you do! Add toppings.

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Challah French Toast with Liz Friedfeld

Ingredients
(Yield: 8-10 servings)

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French Toast

  • 1 loaf challah (but can use any type such as sourdough or French bread)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 stick cold butter, cut into 1/4" cubes

Serve With

  • Pure maple syrup
  • Confectioners' sugar for serving
  • 1 cup mixed blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries

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Directions

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Night Preparation

  • Additional butter needed for greasing a 13" x 9" dish. I use Pyrex. Grease the pan with butter.
  • Slice the challah into 1/2" slices and lay overlapping in the greased pan.
  • In a separate bowl, add the eggs, milk, half & half, cinnamon, and vanilla; whisk together.
  • Pour the mixture evenly over the challah, and press lightly with the back of a spoon or spatula to make sure all areas are covered by the egg mixture.
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Topping

  • Add flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the base of a food processor, and pulse gently to mix the ingredients.
  • Cut up a stick of butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine pebbles.
  • Place in a resealable bag and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

Next Morning

  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the pan containing the soaked challah from the refrigerator and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon / butter / sugar topping.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350° (or until a toothpick inserted comes out dry and clean).
  • To serve, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and top individual portions with maple syrup and fresh mixed berries.

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Whipped Cream with Alana Rossi

Ingredients
(Yield: 2-4 people, or 1 cup of whipped cream)

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  • Organic Powdered Sugar
  • Organic Heavy Whipping Cream

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Directions

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  1. Pour 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream into a deep bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar.
  2. Mix at a low speed until the sugar is mixed in.
  3. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of powdered sugar. Mix at a high speed until fluffy.
  4. Enjoy with fresh fruit or as a topping for pies, cakes, etc.

Want to spice it up? Add 1 teaspoon of sherry, brandy, rum, or your favorite liqueur.


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