Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

9 Favorite Seder Mains – Chicken and Beef...

 

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Here go my favorite Seder Mains


 

Shortcut Matbucha Shakshuka Video *Giveaway*

 

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I’m kind of a connoisseur when it comes to Shakshuka.  The fact that I have ordered it in most every restaurant that serves it should certainly qualify me as an expert of some sort, dontchya think?

I have had Spinach and Cream Shakshuka at Café Rimon in Mamilla, an open air mall outside the Old City of Jerusalem.  I have had Leek and Eggplant Shakshuka at Gavna an outdoor cafe overlooking the Judean Hills in the Gush and I have had the traditional tomato and pepper Shakshuka at café chains across the country and at Ikea’s kosher cafeteria in Rishon L’Ziyon.  I have eaten Shakshuka both with and without both  Feta and Bulgarian cheeses, both with runny and firm yolks and both spicy hot and not spicy enough.  I love it.  In truth, I just adore it still, this after 18 months of making it my mission to try every Shakshuka in Israel.


 

Fresh, Fast and Fancy Passover Sides

 

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I had a blast tasting and testing these 7 sweet and savory Seder sides for Passover. All ingredients are easily accessible in both the U.S. and Israel, and all recipes are non-gebrochts. Watch these simple Seder side dishes become staples at your table year-round!

Salad with Pastrami Croutons

Spring Salad with Pastrami Croutons and Balsamic Reduction


 

A Cowboy Themed Menu

 

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Irony of all ironies, the year before we made Aliyah we were dressed like Israelis (don’t ask) and delivered mishloach manot full of pitas and hummus.   Then when I got to Israel I went for a cowboy and cowgirl costume for the family and made a down home all-American meal. Now, I’m not all that creative, and not all that country, I just stole a page out of my friend Aliza’s playbook. A few years ago she hosted a food-from-the-frontier shindig and together we created a menu similar to the one you see here. I’m not embarrassed to admit it because, on this side of the pond, I’ve got a whole new crew to share it with. These recipes already had a test run, and I know this meal is going to make y’all scream yeehaw (or at least yummy!).

sweet spicy chili

Sweet and Spicy Chili


 

DIY Chai Latte and Giveaway

 

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I cry…
…when I leave on tour. I actually think it’s getting harder not easier as the kids get older. They understand that I am going, I understand how much I will be missing. How everyday something new, sad, exciting happens to them and I so badly want to be part and privy to it all. My daughter asked “why can’t you have a normal job?” “Like what?” I answered/questioned, “like a teacher” she said (duhhh?!?!). Between us chickens I can tell you with as much certainty as a human being can muster, that I was definitely not born to be a teacher.

When I go to New York for business and events I have some routines that comfort me while I am far from home. My most favorite of which is landing at JFK and heading to Central Perk in Cedarhurst for 2 soy chai lattes. The first I enjoy on site with my egg white omelet and salad breakfast. The second I take to go as I race to my first meeting.


 

Best Recipes for Shabbat Lunch

 

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The Shabbos lunch menu must feature make-ahead dishes that can withstand the oven-to-fridge-to-hot-plate-to-table cycle with leftovers returning right back to that revolving refrigerator door. Follows are a few of my secrets to Shabbos lunch success.

First thing’s first, the first course. I sometimes serve a bang it out starter akin to the last supper. You’d think that I think that we’re never gonna eat again. But I feel the first course is the most Shabbos lunch friendly and when done right allows to you to satiate the hungry humans around your table and simplify the main – which by all accounts is certainly the trickier of the two.


 

Football Finger Foods

 

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Tamar thinks my elegant dressed up “Accordion” Potatoes aka Hasselback Potatoes look like footballs. When I developed this recipe for the Passover Seder it certainly wasn’t my intention to serve ‘em up at a Superbowl party, but now looking at it through Tamar-colored glasses I see how it can work for this occasion too.  Get my recipe for “Football” Accordion Potatoes here.


 

Favorite Tu B’Shevat Recipes

 

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This year Tu B’Shevat, translated as the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, begins in the evening on Wednesday January 15, 2014 and ends in the evening on Thursday January 16th, 2014.  This “New Year for the Trees” holiday marks the beginning of the slow process when the trees begin blossoming and flowering with new life and new fruit.  In our home we find it especially meaningful to eat something from all of the Shiv’at HaMinim, seven species of the land of Israel – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates – that have a special significance in Judaism.

So now that you know what’s what, I’m sharing my favorite recipes featuring each of the seven species.


 

Being Good and Loving It With Poached Pears

 

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Sometimes I behave. Sometimes I don’t. When I am being good, poached pears taste like a beautiful sweet gift from G-d. A light, pleasant, end to a meal — elegant enough to serve on Shabbos easy enough to prepare in about 20 minutes.

Growing up compote was a staple at my grandparents home – served both as a side to the main or as a sweet dessert. I like to think of my Orange Ginger Poached Pears as a dressed up version of the fruit stew I grew up with.


 

Make Your House Smell Amazing With A Healthy Treat

 

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On many a cold winter New York mornings I would drop my then 2-year old son off at his play group to the smell of hot, homemade granola.  It was intoxicating.  Sweet and syrupy the power of suggestion was enough to make me demand that his teacher let me taste, just a little, for research purposes of course.  Teacher Rivky as she was known ran the play group out of her home and was all too happy to cater to my “research”.  She was such a giving person and always sent me on my way with a granola care package big enough to feed me and the growing baby in my belly.

I love the simplicity of the recipe and the fact that almost any substitution works.  Instead of raisins use dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries.  Instead of almonds try walnuts, pecans or peanuts.  If you have the palate of a pregnant woman you can just add all of the above.  Warning – don’t burn that precious palate of yours – wait at least 15 minutes for your granola to cool before taste testing, for research purposes of course.


 

Comfort Comes In Many Forms

 

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In the Winter time no matter what the weather, we all enjoy some comfort.  So many foods make me feel comforted, whether for the memories associated or the flavors they provide, here are my favorite comforting foods.  What are yours?

SWEET:


 

My New Favorite Turkey and Stuffing Recipes

 

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I will now share with you one of my absolutely NEW favorite recipes – Sour Mash Whiskey-Glazed Whole Roasted Turkey.  I love this recipe and picture so much that I wanted it to be the cover of my new cookbook JOY of KOSHER: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2013).  (Please buy your copy and gift copies, now!  And if you already did – THANK YOU!)   I was out voted only because it said “Thanksgiving” and was not “universal” enough.  I get that – but still wanted it.

There is a story behind this bird that didn’t make the book – it was cut for space – but I am happy to have all the space in the world to share it here.


 

Israeli Salads – Not 1 Leafy Green To Check

 

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What makes a salad Israeli?

After all, Israel is the ultimate melting pot of Jewish cuisine. To go even further and peg these salads as Middle-Eastern is so vague since each region from Turkey to Yemen has such a unique flavor profile. In fact, the signature “Israeli” Potato Salad is almost exactly like my Romanian- Hungarian grandparents’ chicken salad – go figure. Look, I’m no culinary anthropologist but I have a simple, straightforward way of defining Israeli salads… roll that drum… salads that are commonly eaten in Israel.


 

8 Ways to Enjoy Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews ...

 

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I’m a Philly girl – born and raised.  But y’all know that already.  What you didn’t know is that Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are from Philly too. At the time, I didn’t know that they were being made in my backyard.

Peanut Chews were developed by the Goldenberg Candy Company, which was founded by Romanian immigrant, David Goldenberg in 1890.  My parents are also Romanian immigrants.  (Oooooh the plot thickens!)  That peanut-molasses chocolate-coated delight is a major throwback to my childhood – a real old school thing!


 

Watch Mike and Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies ...

 

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So for this one I had a little help from my friends.  First I needed a great recipe.  That’s where my neighbor, who just happens to be a professional baker stepped in.  Meet Amy Schneider of Amy’s.  She makes cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more sweet treats exclusive and made-to-order for everyone’s simchas and celebrations in these parts.  Mike and Ikes are her favorite candy, maybe that’s what we get along so well.  Her favorite flavor is blue, mine is red – so maybe that’s really why we get along so well.  I asked her to “make something sweet, something special and something easy with Mike and Ikes”.  She happily obliged.