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Favorite Stories From Kosherfest

 

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I love to meet people who have a real passion for what they are doing.  There is nothing like talking to the owner of a new product line, their enthusiasm and passion for what they have created emanates through everything they say and do.  I am passionate about food and can talk about it all day long, so it is so nice to meet others who can do the same.

This year at Kosherfest I met a few new people and learned about a few new products with heart and soul behind them.


 

Using and Taking Care of Copper Pots

 

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What home cook hasn’t dreamed of owning an extravagantly expensive copper cookware set and feeling like a romantic French chef in a Paris kitchen? Let’s admit it: even if you don’t cook at all, such a shiny and gorgeous set would make your kitchen look designer fabulous! In addition to adding a decorative flair, copper conducts heat better than any other material, propagating the heat quickly but evenly through the whole utensil, without any of those annoying burns you get with stainless steel. Copper also lasts practically forever, and like cast iron and clay it boosts the flavor of some particular foods.

And how could I not mention polenta, the symbol of cucina povera (peasant cooking) in Northern Italy – which has recently made inroads in the trendiest New York City restaurants? A basic cornmeal and water mush served on a wooden cutting board, delicious with hearty stews or artisanal cheeses, the best polenta is always made in a heavy-gauge unlined copper pot with flared sides, a paiolo. It’s hard to explain, but the “flavor” of copper is part of “real” polenta, and lends it a depth that’s a
far cry from the blandness of any prepackaged and instant versions.


 

Join Us For The Shabbos Project

 

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Last year The Shabbos Project took South Africa by storm with a weekend dedicated to getting as many people as they could to keep Shabbat from sundown to stars out.  The weekend kicked off with a mass challah baking lead by our dear friend and regular contributor, The Kosher Butcher’s Wife, Sharon Lurie.

The Great Challah Bake


 

A Menu That Is Easily Brought Outside For Sukkot

 

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When it comes to Succot, I think it’s really important to choose a menu that is a simple as possible. The tradition and fun of eating in a Succah is best highlighted by fill in your table with easily transported dishes and foods that taste best at room temperature. By removing the stress of serving hot foods and finding adequate space to place it, you can enjoy your family and friends and focus on what the holidays are really about!

The recipes below can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature- what more can you ask for?


 

DIY Rosh Hashanah Hostess Gift *Giveaway*

 

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Make your own hostess gift or centerpiece. Filled with candy this vase doubles as a gorgeous table decoration and a candy dish filled with edible goodies for the kids.

This year the first night of Rosh Hashanah falls on the night of September 24th, 2014.  A big relief after last year’s early holidays, we have time to plan and prepare.  Still, hopefully we will all get a little break and be invited out for at least one of the meals and that is when this amazing do it yourself hostess gift will come in handy.


 

A Healthy Rosh Hashanah Menu *Giveaway*

 

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This year get all your kosher shopping done in one place. Winn-Dixie is committed to providing kosher foods and works to add more products every day.


 

5 Healthy High Holiday Main Courses

 

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I refuse to admit that the summer is quickly coming to a close, but instead I’m focusing on the upcoming simcha of the month of Tishrei to distract me from my end of summer blues.  While in Israel my waistline benefitted from the hills of Tzfat and the generally low-cal mediterranean diet.  I hope to continue this healthy trend back here in the states, and I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one looking for healthy, satisfying and holiday-worthy main courses.  See just five of our many holiday recipes below, and check out more ideas here and here.

 


 

8 Back To School Dairy Lunches

 

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It is time to start thinking about getting the kids back to school and transition for Summer fun/vacation to our normal busy lives.   One of the things I dread most with school starting is packing my kids lunches.  Sure my school actually offers a hot lunch program, but they are expensive and my kids won’t eat them.  One of my kids won’t really eat anything for lunch, the other makes it easy for me with a standard yogurt, granola bar and fruit and the third could probably eat pasta with cheese in a thermos every day if I let her.  With her and you all in mind I have compiled this list of 25 back to school lunch ideas, no nuts, no seeds and no meat.


 

Burgers 101

 

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For such a simple, classic sandwich, there are a surprising number of competing theories on how to make the perfect burger. Chef Mike Gershkovich insists that a true hamburger is made from 100% ground beef. But over at Pomegranate, Brooklyn’s most prestigious supermarket, “meatologist” Ari Heinemann disagrees. At Pomegranate, the most popular ground beef blend is the so-called Perfect Burger, a closely guarded secret recipe involving salt, onion powder, soy sauce and minced onions. And at Wolf & Lamb, Chef Daniel favors a simple mix of salt, pepper, garlic and onion— “seasonings that enhance the natural flavor of the meat, and don’t compete with it,” as Wuensch explained. Both Heinemann and Gershkovich recommend using ground chuck, an affordable and reliable choice.

At Wolf & Lamb, the chefs put aside scraps as they trim top-notch meat cuts like rib-eye and ribs, and then grind those scraps into their famous rib-eye burgers— Wuensch recommends home cooks try the same trick for an affordable way to have burgers made of top-quality meat.


 

Tuna, Trendy and Gluten Free

 

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Believe it or not, growing up I used to look forward to the 9 days. Not that I enjoyed the fact that we were in mourning and that we couldn’t go swimming and that Tisha Ba’av was the longest fast of the year, but I did look forward to a week without Shabbat leftovers. The 9 days and their prohibition against eating meat meant no Shabbat leftovers on Sunday, and no leftovers on Monday and no leftovers on Tuesday, not to mention the occasional spill over to Wednesday and even Thursday.

Leftovers were not how my early childhood started. Our dinner menus changed when my youngest brother was born. 16 years my junior, with no one in-between, my brother and his dairy and soy allergies revolutionized dinnertime. My brother was so allergic to dairy and the proteins in dairy that you could not even touch him if you were eating dairy or washing dairy dishes. So my mom would make enough chicken and meat on Shabbat to last the whole week! No joke! Dairy took a back seat in our home. Because of my brother’s allergies, our dinners became more routine – chicken – Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, and if my memory serves me correctly probably Wednesday and Thursday night as well. Gone were the pizza and the lasagna, the eggplant Parmesan and my personal favorite — tuna casserole. Yet, once a year, in the heat of the summer, we stocked up on milk and cheese and feasted on my old dairy favorites. It was a dairy lover’s paradise for the whole family except my younger brother who still ate his chicken night after night.


 

5 of The Best BBQ Safety Gadgets *WIN a Grill*

 

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Every summer there are new ways to make BBQ season even more fun and even more safe.  Of course it all starts with a great grill and/or smoker, check out our full guide to choosing the best one for your needs here.  Then there are lots of fun gadgets like a hamburger press, a vegetable basket that can make things a little easier.  But the most important gadgets for a fun BBQ are the ones that keep us safe.  BBQ means an open fire and very high temperatures so we need to be extra careful when cooking this Summer.


 

15 No Cook Recipes

 

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It’s difficult to not love the summer with it’s long sunny days and the abundance of ripe produce begging to eaten raw.  The summer heat is a welcome treat to those of us who live in colder climates and enjoying the great weather is reason alone to minimize your time in the kitchen, not to mention those blistering hot days when standing by the stove or oven can be very uncomfortable.  Below are 15 no-cook recipes to keep you out of the kitchen and enjoying the ever too short summer.

 


 

Cooking with Flowers

 

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It is fascinating to eat a plant in every stage, from a micro plant, to a blossom and then finally to a fruit. Each step of the way, the plant is giving its all, and we can enjoy it, every bite of it!

I remember as a kid, my father told me that the huge Tiger Lilies growing by the side of my childhood home were edible. I was fascinated
as we stood together watering the huge garden of the showy, bright blossoms. I was spellbound as I watched my dad pluck a petal off one flower and pop it into his mouth. Immediately I was hooked.


 

10 Savory & Sweet Sandwiches for July 4th

 

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When I first started becoming religious it was a real challenge to sort through the secular holidays to decide which ones I still felt comfortable celebrating.  Certain holidays got the boot, but I’m proud that July 4th is a holiday that my secular and religious cohorts alike celebrate with relatively equal vigor.  Now, I’ll stop myself from going on a rant about how great America is and what a blessing it is that American Jewry has flourished so beautifully.  I will be newly arrived in Israel this 4th of July where my celebrations will be much more subdued, but I plan to celebrate by giving thanks for the simple, and often overlooked, pleasures that we enjoy in America.  With that simplicity in mind, here are 10 sweet and savory sandwiches, the ultimate marriage of simple and satisfying, to enjoy this 4th of July, no matter where in the world you happen to be.

 


 

Burn Jel Plus Works To #StopTheBurn *Weber Grill...

 

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A few moths ago, Jamie was doing a cooking demo and ended up burning herself on a hot pan.  Afterwards she learned that one of the attendees worked for a burn relief product and a new relationship was born.  All regular cooks know that burns are just par for the course, but the pain doesn’t have to be.  Burn Jel Plus® is a pain relieving gel that instantly cools and soothes.  If you have ever burned yourself you know how painful it can be and you feel like there is nothing you can do.  Water-Jel® Technologies the manucacturer of Burn Jel Plus® has been making emergency burn care products for more than 25 years and now they are bringing their products to us.

When a burn occurs it is important to act immediately to #StopTheBurn and relieve the pain.  That is why it is our mission to make sure everyone has this necessary tool on hand when they need it.  Just after I got my first sample of Burn Jel Plus® my 9 year old son was cooking and got a minor burn on his arm.  He yelled out and immediately put it under running water.  Then I remembered my sample and ran over to give it a try.  Within seconds his pain was gone and he went on with what he was doing.