Jamie Geller's Blog

 

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.


 

My New Kitchen Confessions

 

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The truth.

Israel is amazing.


 

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.


 

Joy of Aliyah – The Finale – Living...

 

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Thank you to everyone for sharing this journey with us.  There was no way for us to know how many of you would be touched by this series and surprisingly how meaningful and helpful your comments have been.  To all of you who have taken the time to express your feelings, in writing through comments, tweets and blog posts  – you must know, and I can’t say it enough times – what strength it has given us as a family.  This one experience has drawn us all (and I mean you, my Joy of Kosher/Aliyah Family) closer and for that I will be forever grateful.  I will do my utmost to continue to share our experiences here on JoyofKosher.com through blog posts, recipes and videos so that we may all live the dream together.  While this is the finale episode, I promise you this is not the end… it is only the beginning.

With love and best wishes for a Great Shabbos and a Gmar Chasima Tova
Jamie and Family


 

Joy of Aliyah – The Israel Lift Teaser

 

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Mazel Tov! Our lift has arrived. Hubby and I had a bet going… how much of our furniture would end up on the curb in Israel due to lack of space. Well I will have you know we both lost! So far we have found a home, albeit a cozy home, for just about everything save for one dresser. It’s still moving around looking for a permanent spot.

There were something like 400+ items that were unloaded from our 40ft lift, in the span of about 4 1/2 hours. You gotta check out the video to see how one of the movers balances a box on his neck – he apparently has been doing this a looong time my friends.


 

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


 

Joy of Aliyah – Welcome to Israel Episode

 

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This episode takes a look at our first 2 weeks in Israel.  We leave the airport, fried and crying (well at least me and my two youngest kiddies were cranky) and fall asleep on the 45 minute cab ride to our new home, Ramat Beit Shemesh.  As we pull up to our house for the first time I notice the beautiful tree lined street and the u-shaped complex of cottages around a parking lot-courtyard that will be my new address.

My sister-in law Devorah and her husband Rabbi Maslin and 6 kids are there to greet us (my other brother-in-law Greg and sister-in-law Chanie and their 6 gorgeous kids met us at the airport!).  Devorah was so considerate and set up a table with bagels (where’s the pita?!), cream cheese and fresh cut up veggies.  We all downed it, again while I was crying.  I was just so emotional, and overall completely drained.


 

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.


 

Todah Rabah – Thank You To Everyone

 

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I am so sorry I have not been able to respond to all the beautiful blog comments, Facebook messages, tweets and emails.  Please let this post serve as a thank you from the deepest recces of my heart.

Thank you all for sharing this experience with us and more importantly for the incredible love and support you have shown us.  It’s been amazing  to meet so many of you (you know who you are) around the country — at Malcha Mall, at Holy Bagel, at the Gas Station outside of Beit Shemesh, on the street corner in Ramat Shiloh and a shout out to the people that came up to Hubby in the supermarket yesterday (HI YAEL!).  Hubby called me and said today only 1 person recognized him, lol — he really is so shy and does the videos for me, for shalom bayis (read: happy wife, happy life :-) .  I thank you all for letting us know you are watching and that you love it.  We love you!


 

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.


 

New Rosh Hashanah Magazine On Stands Now

 

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On Rosh Hashanah we start fresh, daring to look at the future with renewed hope. New initiatives, even unspoken dreams take shape as realistic possibilities.   And this year, a new level of achdus – Unity with a capital U – has just entered the Jewish publishing world.

Two former “competitors” – Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller and Bitayavon magazines – have joined forces to create a brand new Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine. Such an exciting partnership! The talented Shifra Klein of Bitayavon will continue as editor-in-chief, and we will work together to bring you, the fans, favorites from both magazines. As the magazine morphs into its new form over the next few issues we welcome your input, so please let us know what you’d love to see.