Jamie Geller's Blog

 

Family Dinner, A Must

 

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My parents are European.  Which means lots of things, for instance, we yell a lot.  When I’d ask my dad “why are you and mommy and grandma and grandpa and Aunt Pat and Uncle Frankie and everyone always screaming at each other?”  “We’re not screaming” he’d answer loudly, “this is just how we talk.”  Apparently we’re a rowdy bunch.  My AMERICAN husband is always shushing me.   Making that lower-your-voice-waving-motion with his hand when I talk to him, on the phone, to the kids, I like to think I am just full of joie de vivre but I guess I do kinda come across as noisy.

I also inherited the old country habit of eating the day’s main meal EARLY.  On the weekends we always ate dinner (which was really lunch you see) at 2 o’clock and on the weekdays we ate dinner at 4.  Which means during the week we almost never ate together as a family, with my dad, cause he was ALWAYS at work.


 

A Light Pasta To Break A Fast

 

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People think of pasta as heavy – but it can be light. Ok so you probably already knew that but until recently I always preferred super heavy, creamy, cheesy, saucy, pasta dishes. So whenever I thought pasta I thought about an off-the-diet, carb and cream laden, comma-inducing feast. Always one to overdo things I would roll out of a pasta meal feeling like I never ever wanted to eat again.

Now that I am trying to take an overall healthier approach to food and not just completely cutting the carbs when I am being “good” and subsisting solely on carbs when I am being “bad” I have started to change the whole house over to whole grains and have begun to enjoy lighter, whole-wheat, summer pasta dishes.


 

Smoked Salmon Salad *Smokey Linkup*

 

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For those of you that have been paying attention you know we do monthly, theme based, recipe link ups with bloggers from around the world.  This month’s theme is smoky.  I decided to ditch the obvious BBQ direction in favor of a light summer salad featuring smoked salmon – that counts, right?!

I am going to breakdown the salad ingredients here and give you the “WHY” of each:


 

I Stop Eating After 6ish

 

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That’s my goal, most every night.

But now that the kids are getting older and staying up later and our dinner time has been pushed from around 4pm to around 5pm, I have turned my no eating after 6pm “rule” into a no eating after sometime between 6 and 7pm.


 

Fruit and Cheese Quesadillas

 

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It’s hot.  Like really, really, really hot.  I wouldn’t call the heat oppressive, because I simply don’t like that word when describing Israel but yeah, it is hot.  The summer heat brings with it this need to feel lighter.  This naturally sweet and savory recipe is a perfect summer treat when a heavy sandwich can feel, well, heavy.

My Blueberry and Cheese Quesadillas make for a lovely summer lunch.  Filled with blueberries, sliced peaches, goat cheese, red onion and thyme you can savor them warm or at room temp.   In Israel (or anywhere else for that matter) you can skip the blueberries and instead add sliced plums, strawberries or event pitted cherries.  I also like using soft whole wheat flour tortillas for this recipe.  We are actually now, after 10 years of marriage, making the switch to whole wheat (everything) in our home (YAY – only took me a decade to convince Hubby!).


 

Brisket Is Best When…

 

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…overcooked.  Really!  If you want that tender, soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fork tender, cuts like “butter” beef then brisket is your best friend, your baby, your #1.  Although in Israel it’s designated by the number #3 but that’s neither here nor there.  Most often we cookbook authors will end a brisket recipe with instructions to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.  But really, there is a better way to do that and so much more.  Listen very closely to what I am writing and you are reading here:  No matter what the recipe tells you, mine included brisket is best when…


 

Mexican Burgers

 

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Since moving to Israel I now eat hummus and tehina and schug with everything.  Everything.  My eggs, my salads, my burgers.  Growing up in the good ‘ol USA I loaded my burgers with the usual, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, plus lots of ketchup – nestled in the expected sesame bun sandwich.  One of the cool culinary perks of moving across the ocean is the exposure to a whole new world of flavors and food traditions.  I’ve become a lot more adventurous in the kitchen.  It goes without saying that regional foods have become staples but I am also exercising and opening up my palate in lots of new ways.


 

Morad Winery Fruit Wines and Liqueurs *Giveaway*

 

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Nestled at the foothills of Israel’s fertile Carmel Mountains Morad Winery is famous for their distinctive fruit wines and liqueurs made from nature’s harvest.


 

The Kitchen Is Closed

 

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Growing up it was just the two of us girls, my younger sister and I.  My sister, always the pickiest of eaters never really ate at dinner time (she inconveniently was never hungry for what we were all eating when we were all eating it), but was always hungry for something other than dinner later in the evening, prompting one of my mom’s famous lines…

“THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED!”


 

I Like My Food All Rolled Up

 

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A couple of years ago Pesach, we did an “All Rolled Up” article, featuring Steak Rolls, Eggplant Rollatini, Kishka-Stuffed Chicken, and lots more. It was super popular. To this day, my Chicken Pastrami Rolls get more comments than any other recipe.


 

No Food In The Car

 

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It’s a rule.  A real rule.  One we never break.  Mostly cause it’s a dad rule.

There’s always one (disciplinarian) in the family.  In this family it’s Hubby.  After selling our dirty-like-a-dumpster minivan Hubby instituted the no eating in the car rule when we got our new wheels.


 

Hubby Picked The Shavuot Menu

 

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We usually have meat for some of the Shavuot meals, although I love dairy so this meat menu was picked by hubby.

In the past 6 years I have put together 9 Shavuot menus for you: 3 book menus, 3 magazine menus, and 3 website menus.   After 9 menus it’s kinda (super) hard to keep creative.  Truth is after 8 menus I started having menu block.   Menu block looks like this:  After developing and testing over 200 recipes in under 10 weeks for my new book (my skirt tooooo tight to button), looking into the book is like looking into your closet (busting with shmatas clothes) and screaming feeling like you have NOTHING to wear!!!


 

Grocery Shopping In Israel

 

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Ask Us: Dalesusan asked, “Where do you find the “same” ingredients in Israel that you used in NY? When I visit for a month, I miss some of my “staples”, although other items are better in Israel (like soft cheeses)?”

Answer:


 

I Am An Israeli Woman

 

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In honor of this Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s 66th Independence Day, Haaretz, put out a list of 66 Israeli Women You Should Know.

It’s my biggest surprise and honor to be counted among them. Thanks to all of you because if you weren’t here I wouldn’t be there. And with immeasurable gratitude to G-d that our family has been able to realize our dream of living in Israel.


 

Easy Flourless No Added Sugar Banana Pancakes

 

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Way back when I was single and living in NYC I used to lose weight on Pesach. The story goes that I used the oven in my Manhattan apartment for storage – never turned the thing on. That’s not just some artistic liberty I took when writing my first book Quick & Kosher Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing, it was the G-d’s honest truth. I ate out, like it was my job and on Passover subsisted on yogurt, fresh fruits and veggies. All in all that made me a happy (skinny) TV Producer.

Now that I cook, for my family and for a living, I gain weight on Pesach (and sometimes year-round) and feel this crazy need to detox post-holiday. I discovered these flourless banana pancakes at about 1:05 into this cute banana mash up video I happened upon. Well wouldn’t you know that on Passover I loaded up on matzo brie (because I don’t have the nerve to inhale that heavy of a carb laden breakfast year-round), and decided to save these no flour banana pancakes for my healthy post-Passover mornings.