Gourmet & Kosher

 

Flavored Ice Cubes

 

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In the insane summer heat in Long Island, I pretty much drink everything ice-cold. But watered down drinks are a pet peeve of mine so I’ve been having some fun with the solution to that problem. By making my own flavored ice cubes, I have control over the flavors that keep my drinks cool and my kids love helping fill the ice cube trays with their favorite fruits and drinks! Here are my 6 favorite ice cube flavors but the options are endless! You can even make savory and spicy ice cubes for whiskey and tomato juice.

Strawberry and Blueberry Flavored Ice Cubes


 

Authentic Healthy Italian Food

 

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My husband jokes that I should sell weight-loss tours of Italy. The idea goes back a couple of decades ago, as soon as I moved to the States and
started bringing American friends and family with me when I returned to Venice to visit my mother. Almost every one of them would confess, as they got ready for the trip, that they were excited, but also worried about gaining a few pounds with all the great food and gelato; and regularly they would come back to the States a couple of weeks later five to ten pounds lighter!

To me the concept always seemed pretty clear: in Italy the food may be decadent, but it’s hard to eat more than three times a day because snacks are not so readily available or portable. Besides, the portions are tiny compared to American super-sizing.  (I love to give the example of
lattes, which are just 6 ounces at Italian cafes and a whopping 12 to 20 ounces at Starbucks.)  What remained shocking, though, was the misconception that my friends seemed to have about what constituted Italian food. They envisioned loads of pasta, smothered in tomato sauce, cheese, and cream. Not to mention major olive oil dipping.  (The dipping myth really annoys me. Growing up in Italy, I’ve only been offered olive oil with bread when tasting it before a purchase.  Certainly not at a restaurant before a four-course meal!)  How did the Americanization of
Italian food, which has given it such a bad rep, originate?


 

Semi-Homemade with Gold’s Barbecue Sauce

 

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When it comes to classic barbecue sauce, my go-to brand is Gold’s “Really, Really Good” Barbecue Sauce! It has the perfect balance of sweetness and tang with a mixture of tomato puree, molasses, honey, vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder and natural smoke flavor. And to top it all off, the barbecue sauce is gluten free and fat free. My pantry is practically lined with Gold’s Barbecue Sauce so I can use it at a moments notice. But even with the incredible richness and color of Gold’s bottled sauce, I sometimes like to jazz it up with my own herbs and spices. So with that in mind, I’ve come up with a few recipes that will definitely take Gold’s Barbecue Sauce to a whole new level!

Strawberry Jalapeño BBQ Chicken Wings


 

Jalapeno Pepper Recipes – Get Sweet and...

 

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The people in this world who know me best know I don’t really love fruit.  I know, I know, what kind of foodie doesn’t love fruit?

Here’s the thing, I’ll eat my fruit if it’s in smoothie form or maybe in a dessert even.  I mean, I’m never going to say ‘no’ to apple pie.  However, I’m not reaching for fruit if I’m hungry.  What I am reaching for are veggies—-especially peppers.


 

BBQ Cauliflower Cream Sauce

 

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BBQ Cauliflower Cream Sauce Posted 06/24/2013 by Melinda Strauss
If you're looking for a creamy sauce without the cream, this cauliflower cream sauce is perfect for you! For some extra tang, I added Gold's Barbecue Sauce to the cauliflower mixture. You can pour this sauce over pasta, vegetables or pretty much anything you can think of!

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Strawberry Jalapeño BBQ Chicken Wings

 

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Strawberry Jalapeño BBQ Chicken Wings Posted 06/24/2013 by Melinda Strauss
Instead of just marinating your chicken wings in plain barbecue sauce, jazz it up by adding chopped jalapeno and strawberries for a sweet and spicy kick. I use Gold's Barbecue Sauce for the perfect semi-homemade marinade.

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What Are Hearts of Palm?

 

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Heart of palm, also called palm heart, aristocrat’s plantar and swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees.

Hearts of palm are vegetables harvested from the soft core of a palm tree. They are extremely popular in Latin American cuisine, and are exported both fresh and canned to other parts of the world. France is the largest importer, with centers of export in several Latin American nations including Puerto Rico and Brazil. Many vegetarians use hearts of palm in their recipes, blending the vegetables to make spreads, eating them plain, or adding them to salads.


 

Homemade Pizza and Focaccia Recipes With...

 

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No matter how you slice it, pizza has gone mainstream and is now one of the most popular fast foods in North America.  Pizza was first made popular in the United States by soldiers who brought the concept back from Italy at the end of World War II. The literal translation for pizza is “pie,” but pizza pie is generally savory, not sweet. Pizza is usually round in shape and is made from crispy, yet tender yeast dough topped with
tomato sauce, grated mozzarella cheese and various toppings such as bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, even anchovies. Different cheeses can be used: goat cheese, feta, Monterey Jack, Swiss and Parmesan.

Gourmet-style pizzas might be topped with shiitake, porcini or Portobello mushrooms, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, capers, salsa, tomato slices, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini slices, fresh or dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme), sliced red onions or leeks, partly cooked eggplant slices, chopped spinach, garlic slivers, blanched broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus, grilled potato slices, green or black olives, even smoked salmon and cream cheese!


 

Light Pasta Recipes

 

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A lot of people would consider it comforting to dig a fork into a bowl of spaghetti covered in hot marinara or cream sauce. I wouldn’t argue! Still, those steamy, filling dishes seem so—winter. In the summer, when produce is so sweet and we’re energized by light, healthy foods, I rather dig my fork and swirl it around, and pick up something…that’s just like these.

 


 

Scrumptious Summer Salads

 

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Beat the summer heat by adding plenty of fresh summer vegetables to your plate. Eating seasonal vegetables is not only convenient, but according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it actually helps your body acclimate better to the current season, since you are eating foods that are
grown in a climate similar to where you live. Eating seasonally also supports local farmers and is easier on the environment, since produce does not have to travel far for you to enjoy it.

During the summer season we become active. We travel, we play outdoor sports and we engage more with the people and activities that are going on around us. This activity is reflected in thriving summer produce, when plants are at their peak, bursting with vital nutrients.
We crave these water-rich vegetables, like crispy green lettuce, juicy cucumbers, succulent marinated asparagus and fresh corn on the cob.


 

4 Easy Meat Recipes For Dinner Tonight

 

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Come dine with Sharon Lurie from South Africa, as she cooks meat every night of the week.

Cooking for a family with gluten and lactose intolerances would seem like a nightmare to most. But, serving only meat in our home is actually quite convenient for me. My friend Liora always says, “G-d knew what He was doing when He gave you a butcher for a husband. If my family was gluten and lactose intolerant they would have lived on apples!” Well, I say Thank G-d, less options means less decisions and just more meat-eating!


 

Hot Recipes With Wasabi Sauce

 

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Wasabi is a Japanese horseradish typically available as a dry powder we reconstitute to use as a topping for sushi.  It’s strong pungent flavor pairs perfectly in many recipes from vegetables to chicken to fish.  Gold’s, long famous for horseradish, uses their sharp vegetable to make flavorful sauce with just the right bite.  We have prepared a tasty Pan Seared Salmon basted with Gold’s wasabi sauce that everyone will love as well as Hot & Spicy Wings covered in this liquid green gold.

I always look for a way to change the standard Shabbat menu without taking away from the classic elements of a fish, soup, and chicken.  I find that gefilte fish isn’t always a crowd pleaser, yet a fresh piece of salmon tends to have adults and children asking for more.   After continuously eating dairy, dairy, and more dairy during Shavuot, it’s nice to give  yourself a break with a low calorie, yet flavorful appetizer.  Finding a way to get your family to eat healthy can be difficult, but searing the salmon allows the fish to become crisp on the outside, and juicy on the inside.


 

A Perfect Summer Picnic

 

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Nothing says summer like a picnic at the park or at the beach. Grab a basket and pack up some of these delicious light recipes!

I remember my very first beach picnic.  The gorgeous weather and clear sky provided the perfect backdrop for our blanket filled with delicious sandwiches, salads, and other treats. My friend and I high-fived one another; surely, this was a picnic that would go down in history.  But no sooner had the rest of our friends arrived, that we watched in horror as half of our spread disappeared into a huge, errant wave and was dragged out to sea. What remained got ravaged by a gust of briny wind.  We stood by in disbelief as these events unfolded in rapid succession, in the span of only a few minutes.


 

The Best Thing I Ever Ate – Rack of Ribs

 

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It is a challenge to commit to one thing, honestly, as I there are quite a few dishes that come to mind when thinking about ‘the best thing I ever ate’.  To narrow it down, I contemplate which food truly makes my mouth water, has some nostalgic value, and is something unique that can easily be made by the home cook.

As a teenager, Dougie’s restaurant (the original location on the upper West Side of Manhattan) truly transformed the way I thought about food. Kosher in the 90’s was just starting to go gourmet and I had never before experienced the flavors of southwestern, American grill. I remember those Sunday afternoons, waiting on a line of at least an hour with my friends or family to taste juicy buffalo wings, crispy fries and the most coveted item on the menu: THE RIBS.


 

The Best Meat I Ever Ate – Pepper Steak

 

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The answer to this question is quite simple, without any hesitation of a doubt: ’A  Biltong Bagel’. (Jerky bagel).   Nothing makes me happier than my husband’s famous shredded biltong, piled high on a bagel.  No tomato, no cucumbers, no condiments just meat ‘n bread!   And, what a meal it is.

However, not everybody is as meshugga as me so I’m going to share another favourite that comes a very close second.   BBQ flame grilled pepper steak.  If a race was on between the two,  the mouthwatering steak, grilled to personal perfection with a baked potato I may just pip the biltong bagel at the post in colder weather!