Ask Jamie Geller


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)?”



Ask Us Anything *Giveaway*


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The other day, I was out with my sister-in-law Devorah (at that show I told you we went to see with our girls), when she wondered out loud if people are constantly asking me cooking questions.  I realized then that I actually don’t get too many cooking questions when I meet people in person.  I do get lots of questions though.  Most popular over the last year is “How did you leave that kitchen?” (Easy.)  “Where can I buy the chulent bowls I saw in your video?” (Target.)  “What’s your favorite restaurant in Israel?” (Gabriel in Jerusalem and Bodega Sushi & Plancha in Efrat.)

But you know, we have a few culinary stars on staff here that can answer your most pressing cooking Qs.


Host a Joy of Kosher Cookbook Club Get a Free Book


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The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Club is so delicious, it’s good enough to eat, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

We are looking for 10 volunteers across the United States to HOST Joy of Kosher Cookbook Club Dinner Parties.


New Joy of Kosher Cookbook Q&A *Giveaway*


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I figure you may be wondering about my new Joy of Kosher cookbook, like what’s the Mah Nishtanah this time. So I interviewed myself, asking the questions people ask me.   If I missed anything you just gotta know, ask in the comments and I will answer you – a whole lot more fun than talking to myself.

Q: So this is your third cookbook. Did you always want to write cookbooks?


Calling All Cooks In Israel


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Let’s help each other.  One of the most amazing things I love about our community is the immediate feedback.  Whether via Facebook, email or as a comment you all let us know how you feel.  And I love it, most probably cause the feedback is generally positive and often inspiring – both in the kitchen and in life.  Lately though, we have been getting a lot of comments like this one:

I love to read all your super recipes and hints but please — not all of your readers live in America and, as you must yourself know by now, not all the ingredients you mention are available here in Israel.
-Laura B. 


7 Tips for Prep Ahead Shabbat Meals/Recipes


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Dear Jamie,

I was hoping that you might want to focus on Shabbat meals – specifically, those that can be prepared in advance and rapidly warmed for Shabbat. I plan for Shabbat from the beginning of the week, and don’t have time to prep on Fridays. (PS – I love the cookbooks.)


Leftover Challah


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Q. What can I do with lots of old challah, aside from the usual French toast or breadcrumbs? Also, do you have a recipe for challah kugel?

While French toast or breadcrumbs may seem overdone, consider making creative versions of these typical bread-centered dishes.


Where Can I Find Kosher Rice Noodles?


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Q: Jamie I want to make your Vegetarian Pad Thai from Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes cookbook, but I can’t find kosher rice noodles. What do you suggest?

Amy, Skokie IL


What is Orzo?


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Q: What is orzo and how do you cook it?
Temi, Long Island, NY

A: Meet Orzo – what I call “Supergrain.” It looks like a large grain of your mild-mannered rice, but it’s really a form of pasta that can stand up to any recipe and leap tall buildings in a single bound. If it’s made from semolina (milled durum wheat, a “hard” variety) it will remain resilient in cooking, and can even be simmered in a stew or baked without losing its chewy character. Let it become your new all-purpose best friend in the kitchen.


Pareve Substitution for Sweetened Condensed Milk


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Dear Jamie, any idea how to substitute sweetened condensed milk? I am trying to make my own pareve (dairy free) Irish cream.
Shira, Baltimore MD

Mmmm, what a great idea! Shira, when you get this down pat, you’ll have to invite me over. Irish cream, folks, is a cream liqueur that can be served alone or mixed in other drinks. There are numerous recipes for this treat, but they all typically include Irish whiskey, cream, coffee, and sometimes sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk.


Tips for Cooking Fish


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Dear Jamie,

I love fish but I always seem to overcook it. How do I know when it’s done? Thanks.


How to Make Your Own Kosher Fish Sauce


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Q: I can’t find kosher anchovy paste or fish sauce. How do I make my own?
Amy, Tulsa OK

A: Amy, believe it or not, you are not alone. I hear this question often. It is hard to find these products with reliable kosher supervision just about everywhere.


The Last Suppers


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Hi Jamie,
I am a harried mom of 3 and find cooking healthy meals in the last few days before Pesach a real challenge. It’s no big deal to eat out once or twice – but the challenge is feeding everyone well while bringing minimal chometz into the house. What kind of suppers do you advise?
Thanks, Jenny in Boston

I am struggling with this too. For me it’s even harder because I “turn over” my kitchen to Pesachdig early on (to get a jump on the cooking) and it feels like Pesach here for 15 days, not 8.


How do I Lighten Up Recipes for Heart Health?


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Hi Jamie,
I love your recipes and would like to know how you might recommend “lightening” them to comply with heart healthy cooking. For instance, would love to make homemade hamentachen, but what can I substitute for all or some of the butter or margarine in a specific recipe and still retain the delicious taste it’s meant to have. Can you provide your readers with a list of appropriate substitutions that can be used if one is looking for more healthful versions of your recipes?
Thank you!

Hi Shoshanna,


Are There Kosher Culinary Schools?


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Photo Credit: Eric Michael Johnson for The New York Times

Dear Jamie: