Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

Kosher Ingredient of the Month: Mint It’s...

 

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Mint is so much more than just a garnish for desserts. In spring and summer, mint is my  herb of choice when I am looking for bright flavors.  Try mint with meat, fish and vegetable dishes.

Mint or Mentha is a genus of 25 species of plants with hundreds of varieties in each species.  Basil and thyme are well known members of the mint family with common culinary uses. What we traditionally call mint is a less well known herb but one of my favorites.


 

5 Quick & Kosher Desserts Perfect for Summer...

 

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I like summer desserts that are easy to make, portable and versatile. Whether you’re hosting or on the guest list, these non-dairy desserts will win you raves.

Quick & Kosher  Summer Dessert Recipes

What are you making for dessert this Memorial Day? Please let me know by leaving a comment.


 

Two Ways to Fill the Perfect Kosher Picnic Basket

 

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The weather is warming up and that means it’s a fine time to head outdoors and have a picnic!

I love picnics! Think about it, picnics are informal. The kids can run around, so no worries about being on “best behavior.” Everything is prepared in advance. There’s no timing of courses to worry about. And, clean up is a breeze Easy & effortless entertaining—my favorite.


 

So You Bought Quinoa – Now What?

 

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I talk with Jay about his experiences preparing Quinoa, an amazingly nutritious food you should be eating now.

Depending on who you ask, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), a grain-like staple originally grown in the  Andes mountains of South America, is kosher for Passover. Since quinoa is definitely not a grain—it is actually a member of the goose foot family related to spinach and beets—the question remains whether quinoa is kitniyot (“tiny things”), grain-like substances like rice or legumes similar enough to grain that Ashkenazi Jews deemed them forbidden on Passover centuries ago. The Orthodox Union (OU) thinks quinoa might be kitniyot and Star-K says it definitely is not kitniyot. In either case, kosher supervising authorities suggest buying quinoa that has been produced in plants that process only quinoa, so there is no possibility of chametz contamination. They also suggest checking the quinoa carefully to insure that there’s no chametz mixed in.


 

Kosher Ingredient of the Month: Beets, Baby!

 

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I confess to being a latent beet lover. I think was traumatized by a childhood experience as well as an unnatural fear of being stigmatized by eating “old” people food. Now, I am mad about beets. I love them and look for ways to incorporate them into salads, soups and entrees—I even made sorbet with them once

Buying Beets

Beets are root vegetables that contain high amounts of fiber and nutrient compounds that fight cancer, high blood pressure and a host of health issues. Beets are best known in their cultivated form as beetroot or garden beets. Other cultivated varieties include their leafy cousins chard and beet spinach. Beets are found in produce markets all year round. Baby beets are found in produce markets and farmer’s markets in late May and early June. Baby beets are small (golf ball size or smaller) and are very sweet and tender. Larger beets are harvested throughout the summer and fall. These late season beets are perfect winter vegetables. They are versatile and delicious.


 

Kosher Ingredient of the Month: Olive Oil –...

 

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil is kosher and delicious for Passover and every other day of the year

One sure sign that spring has sprung is the plethora of Passover products that start appearing on grocery store shelves. Each year I look forward to checking out what new foodstuffs have been invented. Usually these products are meant to counterfeit their non-Passover counterparts. Each year I hold my own personal contest to see what the strangest and most Passover-y thing will be. Last year I was thrilled and simultaneously disgusted by Passover soy sauce. I saved the bottle and put it in my cabinet just to remind myself of how scary things sometimes are in the world of food.


 

December 25th Brunch with an Asian Kick

 

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Stuck for something to do this December 25th? Why not host an Asian-inspired brunch.

Chinese food and a movie are popular December 25th diversions. Instead of filling up on take out, make more of an occasion out of it by hosting an Asian-inspired brunch. Here are 5 recipes (plus dessert) to get you started. (If these don’t strike your fancy, there are plenty more on Joy of Kosher. Just browse under Asian Recipes.)


 

Kosher Ingredient of the Month: Chocolate

 

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Often lovingly referred to as the “other food group” chocolate has found its way into our daily lives. Inspiring everything from recipes, stories, cravings and a host of products from eating chocolate to bubble bath; chocolate is an obsession.

Chocolate History

Cacao trees are native to Mexico, Central and South America. Cultivated for over 3000 years, Mayans drank chocolate both as an everyday beverage as well as for ceremonial purposes. The frothy bitter concoction was mixed with vanilla, chile peppers and achiote (annatto). Turning cacao beans into the tasty sweet confection we all know and crave is a complicated process with only a handful of companies all over the world truly making their own chocolate. Most candy shops buy chocolate in blocks, melt it and shape it into candies and other sweet treats.


 

Apple Country

 

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One of the cool benefits of living way north of the GW Bridge and the Big Apple is that we are in real apple country. On a whim, we can take the kids to a local orchard not ten minutes from my house, and become one with nature. It feels just like the olden days—only back then, the farmers would pay hired hands to pick the apples, while we actually pay the farmers to please, please let us harvest their fruit.

With our toddlers in tow, it took the better part of a leisurely hour and a half to collect our bushel’s worth. There were all kinds of folks up in those trees. You can easily spot the real apple connoisseurs: they come equipped with a knife and magnifying glass—and they taste each variety, talk about it, inspect it, thumb their noses at subpar apples, and toss them to the ground disdainfully. I think they had fancy foreign accents too, but that could be my imagination working overtime.


 

Raise the Steaks this Labor Day

 

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Labor Day: The Last Party of Summer

For many, Labor Day is bittersweet. We all love the long weekend, but we’re sad to kiss the endless days of summer goodbye. For the perfect send off, why not grill up some super steaks?