Jamie Geller's Blog

 

I Failed Again…

 

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I failed.
I did it again.

I didn’t fail because the cookies were dry.


 

A Simchat Torah Mexican Menu

 

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On Simchas Torah and Shemini Atzeres, it’s time to push your culinary daring to the limits. Consider the fact that we’ve just come through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, not to mention a Shabbos or two. Everyone at your table is thinking, “If I see one more potato kugel…” So have fun with the menu and try my simple recipes for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos (a mild chili pepper) and Mexican Brisket, a fab twist on traditional recipes.


 

The Best Stuffed Peppers With Variations

 

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Present a tray of multi colored stuffed peppers for an easy holiday dish that will surely elicit oohs and aahs. I am going to give you a few variations on this recipe that’s ready in 40 minutes: from start to serve.

Colors: Don’t stress on the colors – it’s just for presentation. Of course a green bell pepper is not as sweet as yellow, orange and red but after that consideration buy what’s on sale, available or pleasing to your eye.


 

Yom Kippur Pre Fast Meal

 

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Just before Yom Kippur, it’s important to eat foods that make fasting easier – in fact it’s a mitzvah. First, you want to minimize salt and spices that may induce thirst. But that doesn’t mean the pre-Yom Kippur feast must be bland or boring. This menu is simple and satisfying and can mostly be made in advance.


 

Watch and Make Your Own Lemon Lovers Hummus

 

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I have already told you more than once that I’m a sucker for hummus, on EVERYTHING – my eggs, my salads, my burgers, my bagels, my gefilte, my roasted veg and my falafel, of course! Sometimes I schmear it, sometimes I dip it. Sometimes I serve it with tahini and schug, sometimes with za’atar chickpeas, and sometimes with roasted red peppers. But most always I serve it with a dusting of sumac or paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of fresh torn parsley or coriander leaves.


 

Watch Me On The Today Show For Rosh Hashanah

 

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So exciting to be back on the TODAY Show! Kathie Lee and Hoda were sooooooo nice as usual. Really, they are kind and warm and welcoming and funny!


 

Joy of Israel 6 – City of David With Israeli...

 

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This here is part 1 of the amazing 2-part cooking show we produced with beloved Israeli Master Chef Tom Franz!!!!! (I know that’s lots of exclamation points but I am super-duper excited!!!! Can you tell?!??!?!) In the heart of Biblical Jerusalem, in the gorgeous City of David courtyard, under the shade of olive trees, in front of a live audience, we prepared (as in Tom cooked and I helped) 3 recipes featuring the 7 Super Foods of the Bible aka the Sheva Minim: wheat, barley, figs, dates, pomegranates, grapes (wine), and olives (oil).


 

All The Wonderful Things You Can Do With Broth ...

 

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One of my absolute most favorite go-to kitchen staples for quick cooking meals in minutes is broth – especially around the holidays, when I don’t want to feel like I am cooking around the clock (even if I am!). I always have about a case of Manischewitz All-Natural Chicken, Vegetable and Beef Broth in my kitchen cupboard. Yes, a case, of each. I kinda love to stock up on the things that I love.


 

A Simanim Inspired Rosh Hashanah Menu

 

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Simanim are so my thing. Now of course I know that on Rosh Hashanah they are everyone’s thing, but in addition to holding a Rosh Hashanah Seder where all the simanim make an appearance (even that fish head!)

I let them inspire my menu. This fish course features no less than 9 simanim (fish, honey, spinach, carrots, cabbage, pomegranate, apples, leeks and dates). I am nothing if not efficient. And all recipes are kissed with honey… well more than kissed. I call for generous measurements because why shouldn’t our cup runneth over with sweetness this new year?!


 

Joy of Israel 5 – City of David Tour

 

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I had lots of trouble writing this intro because my experience at the City of David, Biblical Jerusalem was so extraordinary, so moving, so breathtaking, so meaningful and so emotional. So… instead of continuing to try and put it into words I figured I would just show you. Watch this.


 

9 Tips for How to Be Your Own Sous Chef *Giveaway*

 

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Getting ready for holidays doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow my 9 tips for preparing and planning ahead and you will be cool as a cucumber.

Starting with Rosh Hashanah and prepping for a months’ worth of holiday meals for the masses can be  mentally and emotionally overwhelming even before you step foot  into the kitchen.  I find the best way I can help myself is to be my own sous chef.


 

Holiday Prep Tip #9 – Always Have Dressings,...

 

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On any given day my fridge is filled with no less than 3 homemade dressings like this Carrot Ginger Dressing or this Caesar Dressing or this Asian Cabbage Salad Dressing or a Mustard Green Bean Dressing.   I make triple and quadruple batches of dressing, store in sealable containers so I am ready to toss at a moment’s notice.  Similarly there is always a bag of Homemade Whole Wheat Croutons (made from my leftover challah) and sliced sundried tomatoes in the fridge alongside sliced scallions and chopped herbs plus all manner of cut up veg (see #5) to ensure an exciting salad is always a possibility.  Also, my favorite spice rubs like this MSG Free Homemade Onion Soup Mix makes making chicken as easy as pie. (Which really is not as easy as making chicken, but you know what I mean.)

Phew OK so these were my top #9 tips for helping yourself with holiday cooking.  Now it’s your turn.  Share the love and post at least 1 tip with all of us in the comments below.


 

Holiday Prep Tip #8 – Time and Place For Day...

 

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With all these prep ahead tips there are still dishes or elements of dishes that should be made day of.  Point here is to pre-prep the patchke stuff and leave the last minute cooking for dishes best served fresh and finishing touches.  I like to think of the day of work as assembly day.  I grab a my already cleaned and cut chicken, already in the baking dish, from the fridge, add a handful of already sliced onions, and rub with my ready-to go homemade rub (see tip #9).

Being organized like this including the essential step of having prepped your veg (ever notice how much longer a beautiful salad takes than a Brisket!) will save you from making each visit to the kitchen epic.


 

Holiday Prep Tip #7 – Label, Label, Label

 

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When you freeze label with detail: the dish, the date, and how many it serves. If I know I am having 15 for one meal and 25 for another meal I write “Fricassee for 25” or “Creamy Coconut Carrot Soup for 15”. This way I don’t get confused and pull out Creamy Coconut Carrot Soup for 8 when I am expecting double the number of people.

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Holiday Prep Post #6 – Cook Thematically

 

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It’s good to organize your cooking and prep work by theme:

Day 1 wash and prep your veg