Jamie Geller's Blog

 

Gefilte Fish Recipes

 

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At most events I do, inevitably a woman comes up to me with a story.

She speaks of inheriting her grandmother’s gefilte fish recipe or some other such occurrence that leads her to following the directions of an old time version with the first instruction being:


 

Sweet Designs

 

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I feel like Amy and I are friends. Yes, we both do share a really good friend, Judy, who turned me onto Amy in the first place. But when you read her stuff and get the warm and fuzzies from her beautiful creations I think you’ll also feel like you’re friends with Amy. Amy’s first book is now available for pre order (it’s at the top of every list B&N, Amazon etc…) and I can’t wait to get my copy.

Sweet Designs, just like her Sweet Site will inspire you to no end. She’s actually a Sweets Stylist (to the stars) — is that the coolest thing ever? Now the question is how does she stay so skinny? While the book is not kosher per se, from following Amy I know there are so many recipes that are inherently kosher (Amy does keep a kosher home) and recipes that are easily adaptable so we can go ahead and recreate these in our kitchens. The book, her site, the picts will all make you smile.


 

Challah Recipes Galore!

 

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OMG I am rolling. I just made 20 pounds of challah. DID YOU READ THAT?! TWENTY!!!! POUNDS. Testing sweet and savory “challah” and “challah-esque” recipes for my new book. I am swearing off carbs for a year, or, well, at least a week, for sure until the end of today. One of my many goals in life is to see how many different things I can make out of my challah dough.

Here’s a recap of what I’ve done with it to date — plus a special PB&J challah somethin’ from Hadassah.


 

Do You Ever Feel Stressed?

 

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Just feel like writing now. I know it’s been a while. Have actually been kinda stressed. There is a reason superwoman and her superman are imaginary characters – it’s all just not possible. I am stressed to the point that I am now (as I am typing) eating an entire box of mini cream-filled sponge cakes. It’s a Weight Watchers box but I am pretty sure their intention was not to eat the entire box at once, probably why they individually wrapped each one. SO frustrating now that I am trying to eat them all (while typing). I can stop at any time, you know (just as soon as I finish this box).

I should get the mother of the year award for the yummy din din I made last night (considering all the stress)- the Cranberry Walnut Salmon over Wilted Spinach from my second book Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes*. Um.. the kiddies including my two year old who can’t even speak “asked” for seconds! Yay! Getting your kiddies to love salmon really should get me some kinda trophy don’t you think? I have two small pieces of salmon left in the fridge which I really should eat instead of struggling with this Fort Knox faux twinkie plastic wrap. But when I am stressed all I can think of is cream and cake. You do know that STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards?!


 

Brisket

 

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I have a little love affair with brisket. It’s been so good to me over the years. Save for one terrible, terrible (I mean tears kinda terrible) incident which to this day I can’t quite figure out exactly what went wrong (I’ll write about all the sordid details in my new book). That one bad episode aside (hey, even Seinfeld can have a bad episode or two and still be one of the greatest sitcoms to have ever graced the airwaves), brisket is most probably my best friend, my meat soul-mate, if you will. It’s so forgiving, it’s so tender (when sliced against the grain ), it’s so easy to work with (try searing it on the stove top first. No time? Then just throw it in the oven or even the slow cooker. Also try it shredded on a sandwich.) and lends itself to any and every possible preparation under the great big bright sun (sweet or savory, Asian or Argentinian inspired, with coffee or beer or wine and more).

So how did it become classic Jewish food? If I had to venture a guess (since I am too busy (read lazy) to look this up right now it’s most probably because it can be prepped ahead and lends itself perfectly to reheating (in fact is better when prepped ahead and reheated) which all coincide nicely with the prohibitions associated with cooking and rewarming foods on Shabbos and prepping in advance for a ton of company for 2 and 3-day holidays. If you are a bulk cooker and freezer, brisket is your friend too! Here go a few of my live-by-these-for-perfect-brisket rules.


 

Jewish Comfort Food – Chicken Soup

 

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My grandparents, both sets, made the best chicken soup. Same like yours, I imagine. My father’s side of the family made a deep dark richly flavored broth with spaghetti noodles. My mother’s parents a light bright broth with square luckshen (noodles) and alphabets for us kids in the later years.

Yes, it’s Jewish penicilin.


 

You’ve Been Asked to Cook Meals for a New Mom

 

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Kimpeturin. When I first heard that Yiddish word, I was totally confused. First of all, it sounds like a plural, but it actually refers to a woman (in the singular) recovering from childbirth. And it’s a term just loaded with compassionate implications: you take pains not to stress out this woman; she’s not expected to shlepp the laundry; and you cut her some slack when it comes to emotional triggers. Point being that new mommies can use a little (ok, a lot) of help from their friends, neighbors, in-laws, anybody! Doesn’t matter if the new baby is your first or if you have a house full of kids, getting it all together ain’t easy.

In our wonderful Jewish communities, aid comes in all forms – gifts of baby essentials, babysitting so the new mommy can nap, or help with din-din. I’ve also heard of a lady who comes over just to sort the laundry. What a G-dsend!


 

Watch Jamie on JLTV Tonight!

 

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We have some really great news for you – Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher online cooking show is now on television! JLTV is showing Jamie Geller’s Quick and Kosher show on Monday nights at 9pm ET & PT!

In tonight’s episode Jamie shows you how to:


 

Hot Chocolate and Apple Cider for Winter Time

 

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It’s cold out. Well kinda cold out. Not exactly bone chilling yet here in NY but I’ve got my coat on and that little chill that comes with a whisper of winter. This all means it’s time to warm the tummy, yours and your kiddies’ with special hot drinks. There are few things that say “I love you”, “I made this special for you” and give people that warm and fuzzy feeling –  a cup of homemade hot cocoa does just that. In this case it’s triple chocolate hot cocoa so that must mean you really, really, really love the beneficiary of this treat (ehm, yourself). A hot spiced apple cider is a slightly more sophisticated way to say “you mean something to me” unless of course your special somebody (ehm, Hubby) would prefer that hot cocoa. I love you all so here from my heart to yours some special warm winter recipes to fill your mugs.

 


 

Joy of Kosher: Best of Kosher Awards

 

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You, our dear readers, are the arbiters of taste in all things, but especially in all things kosher. Who better than YOU to select the best of the best in kosher? I can think of no one better suited and I present to you our first annual Joy of Kosher BEST OF KOSHER AWARDS.

Starting NOW you can nominate and vote for your favorite products, restaurants, kosher food personalities and more!


 

Vote For Your Favorite Fried Dessert Creation

 

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The dietician in Tamar wouldn’t let her run this contest. We showed her, didn’t we?! Fried desserts – hey it might be a small category but it’s a goodie. We tested 4 finalists and it came down to these two. One easy schmeazy Thai Fried Banana Dessert – hey it’s fruit! And one not so easy Eggnog Cranberry Rice Fritters, ok a total patchke, but beyond worth the time, effort and calories.

Throw out your scale and raise your glass to frying dessert by voting for your favorite.


 

Crispy Chanukah Delights

 

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So I am not at all embarrassed to admit that I love fried foods. After all I am not the official dietician on our site — I leave the uber healthy stuff to Tamar. When we were deciding what to do for the 8 nights of Chanukah – since the 8 nights of latkes concept felt so played out – (and in fact we have over 50 recipes for latkes) I said to Tamar “I’ve got it! 8 nights of Fried Desserts!” She was like “What? No way!” The professional in her couldn’t let go. But I did my duty and convinced her our readers and the world will love this. It’s Chanukah – it’s practically a mitzvah to fry. So since I covered Savory Fried Treats in the Nov/Dec issue of JoK magazine we are focusing on sweet crispy delights on Jok.com. So 8 nights, 8 treats from me and all our “professional” Jok.com friends, like Jeff Nathan, Alessandra Rovati, Chef Laura and more!! You may hate me for it, but after you taste my Nutella Banana Egg Rolls I do think you will be thanking me!

Don’t miss out on the rest of the recipes -


 

Chanukah Candles, Cooking and Customs

 

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Jamie’s Chanukah Sizzle Reel

 

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I wanted to share what we in the “industry” call a sizzle reel. Translation - a 2 minute clip of the pilot we shot for PBS. We actually shot this before Rosh Hashanah. My neighbors got a kick out of all the menorahs in the window in the middle of September and my kiddies loved opening their presents early. I was obviously uber-pregnant (could barely reach the counter) and collapsed at the end of the 14 hour shoot (feet throbbing, head aching, back burning kinda collapse). We are editing together the full half hour episode now, I am so excited.

The food star of this episode, my Caprese latke tower – cover of this month’s JoK mag and my new favorite way to dress up a latke. Tell me what you think? Of the latke and the sizzle. Don’t you just LOVE this song from the Moshav Band? I cried like a baby the first time I heard it and not just because I was an emotional pregnant mess. Every time Hubby plays it my oldest goes “oh is Mommy going to cry again?”


 

Chanukah Menu

 

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Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah! SO SO SO excited it’s finally here. Although, in all honesty I have been celebrating Chanukah since August, no joke. Between preparing for the Chanukah issue of the magazine and shooting a Chanukah themed pilot for PBS, before the first candle I have already made latkes 3 times, fried donuts twice, baked Chanukah cookies with the kiddies once, lit the menorah as a family, wrapped presents, and washed my clothes and sheital to rid them of the smell of fried oil that is the holiday. Now that it’s finally here, for real, I almost need someone to pinch me to prove it – although I’ll settle for opening some presents.

As is customary for the holiday we do dairy every night. Why you ask? I told you last year. You don’t remember? Read here. So to update my repertoire I’ve got some new dishes for your Chanukah parties.