Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

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


 

Joy of Aliyah – The Airport Teaser

 

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This is it. We have been waiting for this day for a lifetime. The one way ticket to Israel for my entire family and 350 additional olim chadashim courtesy of Nefesh B’Nefesh and the Jewish Agencey for Israel and the Israeli government.

We are feverishly working on the next episode which premieres next Wednesday Aug 22nd at 7pm. And will include our last 24 hours in the US, our airport goodbyes, the flight and landing in Israel.


 

6 Summer Party Appetizers *Giveaway*

 

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I love a good party.  But easy laid back open house style entertaining.  Which I find perfect for summer.

I recently hosted (together with Nefesh B’Nefesh) my own Goodbye BBQ.  But the kicker, as I have oft complained here for the last few weeks, is that my kitchen contents are all packed up on a lift and anything that was left I gave away in haste forgetting that I had 4 weeks left to feed my family.  So with only a stockpot a HUGE serrated bread knife and oversized cutting board to my name I hosted a party for a hundred and do what I was brought up to do… made my momma proud and called the caterer.


 

Preparing To Move with 6 Israeli Recipes *Giveaway...

 

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I am moving.  Have you heard?  I know it’s hard to ignore something I am shouting from every roof top but as usual I can’t help myself.  Well let me tell you as I have told anyone who will listen I have but a pot, a cutting board and a rusted bread knife plus a bunch of fancy once-a-year serving platters to my name in my NY kitchen.  So cooking has been a more difficult than usual challenge.  But surprisingly while not pretty to watch I can get a respectable slice and dice out of my overgrown serrated bread knife.  So in honor of my aliyah to the Holy Land I share my favorite Israeli Salatim (translate: salads) that I really should practice in anticipation of my arrival.  When I get there I bet my Israeli-Iraqi sis-in-law will surely tell me I am doing these all wrong, but until then they are authentic in my book.

israeli chopped salad

Israeli Salad


 

9 Meatless Dinners for the 9 Days *Giveaway*

 

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My first love – before I knew hubby and had my delicious kids, was dairy.  If it were up to me I would only use the meat side of my kitchen for Shabbos and short ribs and that’s about it.  But G-d forbid don’t let it be suggested that I am celebrating over dairy dinners on the 9 days.  These 9 days are an acute time of mourning for the Jewish people.  Read JoK Rabbi, Rabbi Lawrence’s clear and concise explanation of why we eat dairy leading up to Tisha B’av.

What I’ve done for you here is suggest a number of dinner ideas for this week that I am sure you will try, because you are forced to, but I am sure you will be pleased with and work into your year round repertoire.