Gourmet & Kosher


Syrian Cooking With Poopa Dweck


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Today, I’m going to cook traditional Syrian dishes with Poopa Dweck, author of Aromas of Aleppo. Most of the dishes we’re going to make I have prepared before—one even weekly. As a Syrian Jew, it’s the food I grew up with as well. Yet, I still hope to unlock secrets of the Syrian kitchen, and bring access to this distinctive and tantalizing cuisine to Joy of Kosher readers. For all of you—we’re going to make maza (small delights) first, two types. Bastel, delightful small semolina pastries, filled with ground meat, and laham b’ajeen, mini meat pies, a favorite of all types of Jews everywhere. And for the main course—we’re preparing mehshi kusa, squash filled with ground meat and rice—with a surprisingly delicious side.

bastel-ground meat filled pastries



Pressure Cooker Stews for Succot


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I usually spend Succot in Seattle with my family and the weather is always really cold! I know I should be talking about how much I love spending time with everyone when I return to my hometown (and I really do), but all I can think about is putting on layers and layers of clothes to eat in the succah every night. We put on our heavy coats, enter the succah and hope the soup will warm us very quickly.

As a kid, my Succot memories in chilly Seattle always existed around my Savtah’s incredible cooking and her recipes are still in full-swing today. For years, I’ve been making her cous cous, tongue, meringues, ice cream and more! But until this year, I never tackled two of my favorite recipes that my Savtah made every Succot: Cabbage Borscht and Oxtail Soup. Making these recipes in my own home has brought back so many sweet memories I know you will love these hearty stews as much as I always have.


In Season – Concord Grapes


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For many of us, Concord grapes are associated with either peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Kiddush wine. I never really thought about eating the inky-colored, fragrant fresh table grapes until they started appearing in markets over the last few years.

Concord grapes are a dark blue/purple slip-skin (the skin separates easily from the fruit) variety of grape that is highly aromatic—yet largely ignored by consumers who prefer the seedless varieties.


Rosh Hashanah Recipes


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It’s that time of year again.  Who can believe that the summer flew by, the kids started school and we are planning Rosh HaShana menus? The mornings are just starting to feel autumn-y and there are some great seasonal flavors and ingredients to work with!  I have a delicious and impressive line-up for Rosh HaShana and hope you enjoy it.

Duck and Wild Rice Salad

Duck and Wild Rice Salad with Orange Shallot Dressing


School Lunch and Snack Ideas For Kids


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It’s those three little words that every parent loves to hear.

No, not “I love you,” although, of course, every parent, every person needs to hear that from someone, periodically.


Souffle Recipes – Sweet or Savory Made Easy


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I can think of few things that inspire fear in the hearts of many cooks more than a soufflé.

Maybe it is the meringue that makes people nervous, or the thought of a flat pancake dessert, or maybe it is the timing issue? I think it is all of the above. The fact is that a soufflé is actually easy once you understand it.


Southern Peach Streusel Bars (Vegan)


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Love biting into a ripe, juicy peach at the height of summer?

These delightfully soft cookie bars give you another way to enjoy one of this season’s favorite fruits.  Toasted pecans and fresh peaches, the star of the show, lend this treat their Southern flavor. These sweet squares caramelize lightly through the baking process and end with a subtle, toffee-like flavor, Southern Peach Streusel Bars.   Packed with fruit and nuts, ths is a better-for-you bar!  For something more decadent…


French Fries – Two Ways


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Sweet juicy fruits.
Crisp seasonal vegetables.
Ice cold lemonade.
A sizzling grill.
And of course, French fries.


Chef Jeff’s Fresh is Best Recipes


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Chef Jeff is the well known proprietor of the Kosher restaurant Abigael’s in New York City.  He really knows his food. After touring through the Farmer’s Market with Cheff Jeff Nathan of Abigael’s we get to cook and eat his fabulous foods.

Jeff Nathan's Asian Chicken Stir Fry


The Ultimate Veggie Sliders *Giveaway*


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Growing up as a vegetarian, there were two things I could expect to eat at school and community barbecues: Hamburger buns and potato chips.

Yeah, there didn’t tend to be too many veggie alternatives for people like me. Now don’t get me wrong, I really like potato chips. It’s just that something was always missing. Something like…my entire meal.


Shabbat Luau Menu **Giveaway**


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I am so honored to be contributing for Joy of Kosher. My name is Samantha and I write and cook for the vastly cultural blog The Little Ferraro Kitchen. I grew up as your typical Brooklyn Jewish girl next door, watching my mother roll grape leaves and living off of all the wonders that New York delis and Chinese take-out has to offer. When I was a teenager, my mother thought it would be fun (to say the least) to move to Hawaii and start a new adventure there. Now as an only child growing up with a single-parent, who wouldn’t take on such an amazing opportunity? So we packed our Hula-gear and coconut shells and whisked away to the tropical islands of Aloha…or as many Jewish people also call it, Shaloha!

I am now living in Southern California (can’t complain too much about that as well) and mom still lives on the islands. She has passion fruit trees and pineapples at her doorstep and we often hunt for guavas and papayas when I am visiting. As you can tell, Hawaii has been such a huge and powerful influence in my life. Aloha taught me peace, love, culture and appreciation.


Instant Fruit Sorbets


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Here is how to easily whip up a batch of all-natural fruit sorbet.  You can use frozen fruit from the supermarket or make your own.

Peel and cut up fruit such as pears, nectarines, peaches, cantaloupe, mangos, bananas, and strawberries. Place them in a single layer on a cookie tray lined with plastic wrap and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to a Ziploc bag and keep frozen until ready to use.


When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade


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Every summer the best of American capitalism is reborn when our children set up shop to sell lemonade. These youthful entrepreneurs seem to catch on to the spirit of things by the ripe old age somewhere not quite ready for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. It bodes well for their future, and ours too.

My own daughter Gillian was 11 years old when she and her friend Dana established their lemonade stand for the July 4th holiday one year. They wanted the best possible stuff, so they made real, from scratch lemonade rather than an instant drink made from packaged crystals.


Shavuot Non-Dairy Recipes



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When Tamar asked me what I wanted to write for Shavuot and if I ate dairy, I laughed and told her I don’t even have a dairy oven.  My family has all sorts of allergies and I am the Kosher Butcher’s Wife, dairy just doesn’t fit in.  How’s that for loyalty! As for Shavuot, every year our Rabbi stands up in shul and says, “Although dairy should be eaten on Shavuot, we must remember that it is Yomtov and we need to eat meat on a Yomtov, and by the way, this statement wasn’t sponsored by the butchers in our community!!” However, I do make cheesecake (in my mother in law’s oven) for the two of us.  She lives on our property so it’s convenient when I’m craving a slice of cheesecake.   I also make her batches of macaroni cheese which she always says is the best thing since cheesecake!!  But since my specialty is meat and parve, here are two non-dairy dishes that will satisfy even the chesiest among us.

When I think ”pasta’ somehow I picture a lovely macaroni cheese, or Fetuccine Alfredo, always a creamy, cheesey, dairy dish.  Well, this flavoursome, non-dairy creamy pasta has all the taste with the added bonus of being able to serve it as a main meal or a side dish to meat.

Non Dairy Creamy Pasta


Hot Dog and Hamburger Toppers


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There are so many creative ways to doctor up the regular old burgers and hot dogs.  We love toppings, anything from flavorful sauces to crispy onions are favorites around here.  Keep the burgers or hot dogs simple and then make it extra special with one of these fun toppings.