Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

One Skillet Dinners

 

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Cozy, No-Fuss Family Meals… In One Pan!

To me, there’s nothing worse than having to wash every pot and pan you own after preparing a terrific meal. Give me a good one pan recipe, and I’m your BFF! These five savory recipes were designed to serve four hearty portions using only your average kitchen staple—a 12-inch skillet. Now here’s my little secret: I am the proud, doting owner of an extra-large 13½- x 3-inch (6-quart) sauté pan. This oversized darlin’ allows me to double these recipes so I can serve family and guests in half the time. One great pan = one great meal. Who needs the extra clean-up?


 

The Search For Chinese Food In Israel

 

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I have favorites just like everyone else — when it comes to food its avocados, caviar, cheese and dark chocolate.  When it comes to cooking I love roasting veggies, braising a brisket and frying just about anything.  5 building block ingredients I can’t live without are (Kosher) salt, (fresh cracked) black pepper, (good-quality) extra virgin olive oil and lots of onions and garlic.  Israeli fast food speaks to my soul.  I think everything is better with chummus, and amba, and wrapped in a laffa.  And all-in-all I have enjoyed great culinary satisfaction (my oven notwithstanding) in this country these past few months.

smoky chicken and sausage stew

Stir Fry


 

Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki

 

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My recent obsession with zucchini knows NO bounds.  I make the Zucchini Spaghetti from the summer issue of the magazine almost weekly.  And for lunch, when I am in a rush (which I always am) I just julienne some Zucchini, quickly sauté it and top it with a little marinara and grated Parm.  It’s not unheard of that both my lunch and dinner, on any given day, feature this member of the squash family that looks like a cucumber’s cousin.

The infatuation all started with my commitment to eat right (zucchini is a “free” veg on most healthy eating plans) and my handheld julienne peeler.  I cried when we had to part ways for 6 weeks when I moved to Israel, Hubby put it on the lift, I wanted to bring it in my makeup case.


 

My (Not So) Tiny Gift of Life – Chanukah...

 

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The best Chanukah Gift I ever received weighed exactly 9 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 22 inches long. That was three years ago, when my son was born on the fifth night. We named him Avraham Yitzchak after both of my grandfathers, two strong, warm human beings—and both exceptional chefs! AY’s Chanukah/ first haircut/ Birthday Party will include festive delights that are kid-friendly, yet so elegant even my gourmet grandfathers would be impressed!

Join our family celebration with this Chanukah menu:


 

Savory & Fried – 4 Hanukkah Recipes ...

 

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It’s that time of year when deep frying is practically a mitzvah! So even if you usually avoid deep-fried foods, I say go with the flow and embrace the customs of the holiday.  You’ve got eight guilt-free nights to savor these sizzling delights—it would almost be a sin not to.

Caraway Noodle Pancake

Caraway Noodle Cakes with Red Cabbage


 

My Favorite Stuffing Recipes

 

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So I never heard of stuffing being called dressing until I met my mom-in law.  Granted I never cooked till then either.  Mom-in-law differentiates the two by explaining that stuffing is cooked in the bird and dressing on the side.  Further research (read google) shows that Joy of Cooking (with whom Joy of Kosher is NOT affiliated) confirms her definition but The Food Lover’s Companion, one of America’s best-selling culinary reference books, uses the terms interchangeably.  So being the peacemaker that I am, I like to satisfy both opinions by cooking my stuffing/dressing in the bird and extra dressing/stuffing in a casserole dish, on the side. Truth be told I do this more so I can load it up with tons of mushrooms, which Hubby and the kiddies don’t like.  Well at least we can all agree that we love the Thanksgiving meal, mushrooms notwithstanding.

You know it so happens that I am both genetically predisposed to my affinity for Turkey day and married into it.  On the DNA side, my immigrant mother loves Thanksgiving so much that when she was due with my sister within days of the big Thursday she insisted my grandparents make her the entire meal, earlier in the month, just in case.  Well who were they to argue with a lady in her 3rd trimester.  So they dutifully prepared the full on Thanksgiving spread for her.  My dear sister didn’t show up until the end of December (someone, somewhere calculated wrong… momma vehemently denies planning this) so in 1980 my mom had the special zchus of enjoying 2 Thanksgiving meals.  My immigrant grandparents really made the best Thanksgiving food I have ever had in my life.  And you know I have eaten my way around this world.  They completely embraced American culture and customs and had the added benefit of being born intuitively knowing how to cook.  I so desperately miss their food, their table, their gravy!!!!  And they ALWAYS had mushrooms in their stuffing.


 

Turkey Day in the Holy Land *Giveaway*

 

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My friend Rachel, a new oleh from Jersey, having made aliyah just weeks before us, emailed me with an idea.  She’s one of those types, so many great ideas, so little time.  Anyhoo Rachey emails me and writes, and I quote: “I have a project idea for you that I think would work NEXT year, but would be a great PR opportunity, which is “A Jamie Geller Thanksgiving” in Israel, for Americans living here. Think about it. Lots of Americans make Thanksgiving dinner just for fun.”

And I wonder why after all this time people don’t get that I want OUT of the kitchen.  I politely email Rachel back – as politely as one can type “there is no way in this world or any other that I want to turn myself into a caterer.”


 

My Soy Cinnamon Hot Cocoa Trick

 

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I have been stressed (did you read about my oven?).  And unfortunately I don’t have the gift of losing my appetite under such situations.  I just want to eat.  First savory then sweet, then savory again then back to sweet, you know the game I’m sure.  Between the holidays, the move and all the changes I have definitely gained a few unwanted pounds, in more than a few unwanted places.  I am really bummed about it but am trying to focus on bringing my life back under control this month including my eating.

A little trick I use is this hot cocoa.  When I want something sweet and need to tell my body “we are done eating” and it’s time to “stop and step away from the refrigerator” – I have always found this filling hot drink is my friend.


 

DIY – Make Your Own Greek Yogurt *Giveaway*

 

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Because we are new olim, Hubby started going to Ulpan. As you probably know, that’s a crash course in spoken Hebrew, but the immediate payoff is a circle of friends – people who are as clueless as you are about how to say in perfect Hebrew, “I think I’m on the wrong bus and I don’t want to go to Solomon’s Mines.”  At least, you’re supposed to learn how to say this fast enough to get off before the bus hurtles into the Negev.

A true Israeli, the Ulpan teacher has a habit of introducing inexplicable grammar rules with the preface “This is how it is; if you don’t like it, start a revolution.” Now of course this all goes down in Hebrew but the word for revolution she uses is “revolutzia.” That’s not one of my classic vocab words from 6th grade Hebrew class, but I love the sound of it.


 

Butternut Squash and Arugula Pizza

 

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I often talk about how Hubby and I are polar opposites.  In food and in life.  And at the pizza shop.

He is a crazy connoisseur of all things pizza and has his favorite shops and favorite toppings and even knows exactly what time to show up where for the freshest out of the oven pie and the best selection.  He likes plain, Sicilian and Chicago.  He likes ziti, onion rings, spicy fries and falafel balls ON (yes you read right ON!) his pizza.  He also douses his pizza in tahina.


 

Simple Starters That Impress

 

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First Impressions – Excite your company from the get-go with these simple starters

You won’t catch me moving into the kitchen for a full month before a Yuntif, catching my zzz’s between kitchen timer alarms. But that doesn’t stop me from kicking off each meal with an impressive dish. You can do it too! Go for one simple starter that makes a bold statement in taste and appearance.


 

Honey Sesame Glazed Chicken – Honey Recipe...

 

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Honey is the most universal symbol of Rosh Hashanah.  As everyone looks to wish one another a Sweet New Year.  We take that phrase for granted as we have heard it so many times over for so many years running but it is such a beautiful wish.  We use adjectives like good and great and wonderful to describe experiences, hopes and dreams but sweet is a quite beautiful word, for me, it conveys something more than the commonly used positive adjective, it conveys something warm, something homey.

Date and Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

Date and Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs


 

Five-Ingredient Dinners Go From Everyday to...

 

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Dress them up, or dress them down—these dishes do double duty for either a holiday or weeknight meal.

We all have our go-to recipes that are easy, foolproof crowd-pleasers. Now you’ll have even more. These recipes use only 5 ingredients—doesn’t get much simpler than that—for weeknight family dinners. But I’ll also show you how a simple presentation tweak, garnish, or an extra ingredient or two can dress ‘em up for Yom Tov.  (And no, salt, pepper, oil, water, and cooking spray don’t count as ingredients.)  I promise these will become part of your tried & true recipe inventory, and now they’ll do double duty as everyday or holiday dishes.


 

A Simanim Filled Menu For Rosh Hashanah

 

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Simanim Inspired – Taste your way into a blessed new year.

Simanin (literally signs or indicators) are foods that we eat on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our hopes for the coming year. I like to work simanim into my Rosh Hashanah recipes for the added blessing, sweetness, and mazal they represent.  This menu is exquisite in its simplicity and great-tasting dishes.


 

I Make the BBQ Sauce *Kosher Recipe Linkup*

 

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I don’t really grill. Except when it comes to interrogating Hubby.  I leave the actual BBQ to the experts.  My Hubby and BFF Anita (Rabbi Lawrence’sbetter half) are the grill masters on the block.  Come to think of it, in Anita’s house she’s not only the griller (yes, I realize that’s not really a proper word), she’s also the garbage taker outer and the driver and the discipliner (yup, I know that’s not correct either… but it flows). Rabbi L just sits and is served, plays good cop with the kids and rides shotgun while she chauffeurs him around town. But she loves it.  Anita and Hubby are twins separated at birth.  Come to think of it Rabbi L and I are quite similar (aside from the facial hair of course — I will admit to having NONE!).

Peach BBQ Sauce

Peach BBQ Sauce