Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

No-Bake Desserts PLUS Smiley Cookie Giveaway

 

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You should know by now that I am not a baker (nor a butcher or candlestick maker) Actually, my grandmother was baker, but the gene skipped me entirely. I really don’t like to patchke (fuss fuss fuss) too much in the kitchen. But you knew that already. It’s what I’m all about.

But I do love desserts, especially the baked kind. Think pies, cakes, cookies, soufflés, people. Next, of course, you think of your oven.


 

Summer Smoothies

 

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It’s summer, time to dust off that blender and whip up some cool, healthy, icy drinks. Nothing like the sound of ice being crushed to send goose-bumps up your spine. It also puts my mind in RELAX mode; I start looking around for a chaise lounge and a floppy straw hat.

Pina Colada Smoothie


 

Father’s Day Hot Dog and Burger Topping Recipes

 

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Father’s Day is coming up. I look forward to hosting a backyard barbecue for my dad on a sunny, cloudless day. Hubby is grilling. I sit poolside, sipping a pina colada as the kids splash around. After the party’s over, I’ll lounge a while with a novel.

Spicy Fried Onions


 

Father’s Day Unique BBQ Sauces

 

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Let’s get real. We all know how uber important good BBQ sauce is to the success of your grilling. If you’ve got the right one, it’s all the seasoning you need; if you’ve got the wrong one, ain’t nothin gonna save your meat.

There are great bottled brands on the market, and “best” is a matter of taste. But if you are feeling a bit adventurous, why not try your hand at an easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe? I admit I never thought of creating my own BBQ sauce until I was inspired by the “DIY (Do-It-Yourself ) Diva” columnist, Felisa Billet, in my Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine. It turns out there are some DIY recipes which are easier than you or at least I thought.


 

The Perfect Shavuos Menu

 

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Shavuos is just around the corner. Quick – what do you think of first? Me too. Images of cheesecakes start dancing before my eyes, calling my name as they do every year. I love them and they love me so much they just plant themselves on my hips, forever – now that’s love. This year Shavuos begins the evening of June 7 and ends the evening of the 9th. I wonder, how many cheesecakes I can squeeze into 48 hours?

Creamy Polenta


 

Jams, Salsas and Chutneys **GIVEAWAY**

 

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Jams, salsas and chutneys add zing to even the most boring foods. Though they originated in different parts of the world (England, Mexico and India respectively), they are all essentially sauces made from fruits, vegetables or herbs and/or spices. It seems that in every culture there’s a need to spice up food with something gooey. They all belong to the same family, so to speak – and I love family (even more than I love food).


 

Comfort Food – Chinese Style!

 

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Is there any cuisine more traditionally American-Jewish than Chinese food? American Jews have embraced far eastern foods to such an extent that it seems just as natural to run to the Chinese takeout as the kosher deli. Once considered an exotic and rare alternative, today most cities with a significant Jewish population can boast at least one Chinese restaurant.

And why not? I, for one, was born with a penchant for Chinese food. There’s a reason, of course. Legend has it that when my mother was expecting me she had a crazy craving for Chinese food and my father would take her out to the Chinese place every night! It was my favorite food until I was 5; even after I was introduced to other cuisines it remained one of my childhood comfort foods.


 

Light Version of a Deli Roll

 

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Just like the color black, the classic shoe and cashmere – deli meat never goes out of style. Add mustard (or mayo, depending on your preference) and the deli craving is satisfied whether you go with rye or go bun-less.

To the best of my knowledge, the traditional deli roll is only traditional in a kosher kitchen, sort of like gefilte fish. G-d bless the balabusta who invented this little bit of heaven: take a bite of the layered deli meat rolled in flaky, savory puff pastry with a shmear of mustard – and you’ll know what I mean.


 

Fun Ethnic Recipes to Make with Your Kids

 

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Know what I love? I love that my kids love to cook. They love their personalized aprons; they beg to peel a potato. I met my first peeler at age 25, and that’s not even a joke.

They love the process — and the results too. They are so proud when they pass their own homemade dish around the table with their soft little round hands. And I admit to being a real kitchen stage mother. When everyone takes a bite and goes “ooh, yummy!” I’m not sure whose heart is fuller at that moment.


 

7 Recipes for Cooking with Mushrooms

 

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I love mushrooms. Really, I do.
And Hubby hates them. He really does.
And the kids are split.
I am working on them.

Mushrooms are a delicacy, I tell them, especially when prepared the right way. My grandfather, a”h, was an outstanding chef and he really knew what to do with a mushroom. Unfortunately, he passed away before I could learn the recipes for his mushroom masterpieces.


 

The Indulgence of Grilled Cheese

 

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So we were snowed in during the first blizzard of the season here in Rockland County, New York. I have to confess that when I see snow piling up like that, I’m suddenly ten years old again. Something inside me goes, “Gotta get out there!” So I got bundled up with my kiddies and we all went out together. We ran around, reveling in the joy of the first snow, making snow angels, building a snowman and ruining the pristine white blanket of snow with our bold boot tracks. We braved the wind and trekked all over – laughed, got cold, got wet and came inside giggling uncontrollably.

In the kitchen, I turned back into a Mommy and served up hot cocoa with whipped cream and grilled cheese for lunch. We love to see that gooey cheese ooze out when you cut the sandwiches in half. It’s so warm and comforting. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or me.


 

A Shortcut for All-American Apple Pie

 

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Is there anything more quintessentially American than apple pie? Somehow it’s the perfect dessert, whether you serve it Thanksgiving, on the Fourth of July or anytime else.

My wonderful mother, who is clever in everything but cooking, used to make up for that little deficiency by cornering the market in organic frozen foods. And she knew how to make the most of them. She would bring home little individual apple pies, and we kids would heat them, unashamedly salivating as we pulled the flaky delicacy out of the oven. It was always piping hot, sweet and cinnamon-y. Just the thought of it takes me home.


 

December is Comfort Food Month

 

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In our world, I have inaugurated December as Comfort Food Month. The cold weather and my cravings have dictated this official announcement but you know I can’t do anything without a twist, not even comfort food.

The more I thought about standard comfort foods — apple pie, mac & cheese, tuna casserole, Chinese takeout – the louder my mental calorie alert sounded! Code red! Too much comfort food cannot be a good thing! So throughout December, I’m going to be giving you both traditional takes and lighter versions of those recipes, so you can indulge in authentic comfort foods just the way they were meant to be enjoyed and also have the option to enjoy the same classic tastes without the same classic calories. All the recipes will be Quick & Kosher and absolutely delicious, of course, but you’ll also have no-guilt options to grace your table, not your hips. Although guilt really has no place in my kitchen and shouldn’t in yours either.


 

Sweet Shabbos Side – Roasted Sweet Potatoes...

 

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Shabbos sides are typically loaded with fat and calories, which is what makes them so yummy, of course.  And we indulge, trying to forget about the guilt this one day of the week.  I’ve even heard people rationalize that since our tradition teaches that every Jew is given a second soul (neshamah yeserah) on Shabbos – presumably to absorb the holiness of the day – it’s ok eat double portions.  After all, we’re eating for two!  Some go so far as to say that the second soul even takes the extra weight away with it as it departs this world.

Somehow, my bathroom scale doesn’t agree.  So the ideal Shabbos side, as far as I’m concerned, is something sweet and luscious, very special for Shabbos, but not loaded with sugar or couched in a pie shell or puff pastry.  Folks, I now present you with the recipe that meets all my criteria and more!


 

Jamie Geller’s 8 Tips for a Fabulous Fall Picnic

 

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Beautiful autumn days are great for hiking, apple picking, visits to the pumpkin patch, and drives in heavily wooded areas to appreciate the magnificent colors of the fall foliage.  It’s the ideal time for a picnic lunch – so do it right!

Here are my 8 Tips for a Fabulous Fall Picnic!