Jamie Geller's Blog

 

Our Where’s Waldo? Purim Theme

 

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We’re doing it again.  I am not too cool to be seen in the same outfit twice.  No siree.  Not even on TV.  Not even if it’s a super memorable statement piece like an animal print cardigan.  Case in point:


 

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.


 

Ask Us Anything *Giveaway*

 

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The other day, I was out with my sister-in-law Devorah (at that show I told you we went to see with our girls), when she wondered out loud if people are constantly asking me cooking questions.  I realized then that I actually don’t get too many cooking questions when I meet people in person.  I do get lots of questions though.  Most popular over the last year is “How did you leave that kitchen?” (Easy.)  “Where can I buy the chulent bowls I saw in your video?” (Target.)  “What’s your favorite restaurant in Israel?” (Gabriel in Jerusalem and Bodega Sushi & Plancha in Efrat.)

But you know, we have a few culinary stars on staff here that can answer your most pressing cooking Qs.


 

Host A Joy of Kosher Cook Book Club In Israel Get...

 

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Following the amazing JOY of KOSHER Israel Launch Party at the Cinematheque in Jerusalem in December we decided that we all enjoy getting together with friends over good food too much to let too much time go by before getting together again.

 


 

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.


 

Brunch with An Asian Kick

 

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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:


 

The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Israel Book Party

 

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It’s quite incredible that you all came out on the first cold and rainy night we’ve had in months, thank you, truly.  And thank you for making memories with me just outside the walls of the Old City.  Scroll down for a recap of the food, film, friends and fun.

The evening was magical, the food was stunning and the people, oh the people, were so warm, and happy and friendly and fabulous!  Part of the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, the SOLD OUT Israel JOY of KOSHER Book Party was an emotional and festive evening, one I will never forget!


 

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.


 

How My Creamy Baked Ziti Saved the Day

 

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It’s easy when you live in Israel to forget.  Halloween came and went without a word.  It’s November 7th and a warm 81 degrees F, gone are the long New York winters.  And Sandy – while big news here last year, was not commemorated in any major way at the one-year anniversary mark.

But while in New York 2 weeks ago – it was impossible to forget.  News programs were flooded with “1 Year Later” stories, specials and features.  And everywhere you went someone told their tale.  Tamar and I were out to dinner with our dear friend – Brigitte Mizrahi, the fabulous French woman behind the Natural & Kosher, Les Petites Fermieres, and Sincerely Brigitte line of cheeses.  Her story was intense and inspiring and shocking even one year later.