Do it Yourself

 

DIY – Make Your Own Applesauce

 

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When I was growing up, Thursday afternoon was applesauce day. I can still picture the fragrant pot of simmering apples holding court on the stovetop. Once the softened apples burst out of their skins, my siblings and I used to fight over who got to churn the cooked fruit through the food mill.

With kids of my own, I’ve come to value the simplicity of homemade applesauce and its complex, aromatic taste that is so superior to store-bought brands.


 

Make Your Own Puff Pastry Dough

 

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Whether you’re making your own puff pastry dough to avoid trans-fats, or because of soy allergies or the high cost of store-bought pastry, here is a phenomenal recipe to try.

DIY - Puff Pastry

Homemade Puff Pastry


 

Glitter Fruit Sukkah Decoration

 

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What You will need:


 

DYI Distressed Simanim Plate Stand *Giveaway*

 

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Before we know it the summer will be over and our children will be back at school. Instead of being consumed with new shoes, backpacks, uniforms, and school supplies, we will readily turn our attention to our Rosh Hashanah menus.  As a crafter of sorts my brain works a bit different.  I see the Yom Tovim in texture and color, and I think to myself what can I make (AKA CRAFT) that will add vibrancy to my table and get my children excited about the upcoming holiday.

What I love about the craft that I am about to show you, is that you can not only do it by yourself, but you can also have your children join you too. It’s easy, simple, and a super inexpensive serving piece that can be used all year long!


 

How to Make Homemade Bread Better than a Bakery

 

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When I first read Hadassah’s story about bread baking with Alan, I was so sorry I missed it.   I was really intrigued by no knead bread.  I kept it in the back burner and it took a few months to finally try it out for myself.  I wanted to make an olive bread, my favorite kind, so I found a recipe similar to Alan’s but that left out the salt.  My plan was to make it for Shabbat, but as I am prone to skim through recipes without reading the whole thing (I know, rule number 1, read through the recipe) the 18 hour rise time passed me by and on Friday morning after I already put the ingredients in a bowl, I discovered this bread would not be ready for Shabbat.

No Knead Olive Bread

No Knead Olive Bread


 

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


 

Homemade Vegan Granola Bars

 

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How do you like your granola bars?

As hectic schedules grow only more crazed when the new school year begins, it’s a challenge just to find time to squeeze in three square meals, let alone healthful snacks. There’s no need, however, to slow down when you have wholesome, lightly sweetened, and completely customized granola bars in your pantry. Whether you like them crunchy or chewy, chocolaty or fruity, there are endless flavor options for both. Perfect for busy kids and adults alike, this easy and satisfying staple is always good to have on hand and can be made nut free.


 

French Fries – Two Ways

 

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Summer

Sweet juicy fruits.
Crisp seasonal vegetables.
Ice cold lemonade.
A sizzling grill.
And of course, French fries.


 

Do It Yourself Pickles and Pickled Veggies ...

 

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While hamburgers and hot dogs are requisite barbeque fare, in my family, a summer gathering isn’t complete without pickles.  After reading the labels on commercial varieties made with ingredients whose names I can’t pronounce, I promised myself to never buy another jar of processed, neon green pickles again.  Whether utilizing produce from your garden or purchasing veggies from the store, making pickles is a relatively simple way to preserve summer’s harvest. Get into do-it-yourself mode and think beyond cucumbers. Okra, tomatoes, peppers, snap peas, carrots, summer squash, radishes and cabbage, make wonderful pickled vegetables.


 

Father’s Day Gift Ideas – Make Condiments, Get...

 

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To be honest, I usually don’t do much in the way of actual gift giving for Father’s Day.  My dad lives in Florida and so I usually just call him on the phone.  My father in law lives nearby and we usually get together and maybe buy him a book or CD.  A few years ago, though, I did send my dad a gift.  I found cedar planks and kosher certified spice rub at William Sonoma.  It was the early days of cedar planks and my dad never heard of it before and loves to barbecue, it was the perfect gift!

He now loves using a cedar plank to barbecue and has even replenished his spice rub at least once.


 

Dairy Cocktail Recipes

 

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My parents were pretty strict with alcohol consumption through my teenage years. The two exceptions were wine during Shabbat meals (though I was limited to one glass) and any cream liqueur. For some reason, Godiva Chocolate and Irish cream liqueurs didn’t count as alcohol, since they were so rich and in my mother’s opinion, you could only drink it in a glass, on ice, at times when you wanted to indulge.

The issue with these creamy libations is that for most Kosher-observing families, opportunities to drink a dairy cocktail are rare, unless the kids are asleep and you have an hour of free time to rest. Thankfully, Shavuot is right around the corner, so here are some ideas for dairy cocktails that I encourage you to try!


 

Cheese for Dessert

 

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Yesterday, we learned how to construct a cheese plate.  The basic concept is the same when you are serving cheese as a dessert.  With a few minor changes in accompaniments you will be good to go.  Don’t be afraid to try something new.  Serve a light lunch, salad and quiche and save some room for dessert.


 

The Making of a Cheese Plate

 

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Coming soon to a table near you: long summer days, outdoor entertaining and Shavuot.  All of these occasions lend themselves to enjoying cheese.  I realize that the concept of a cheese course is fairly new to most Jews having grown up in America with very little kosher cheese to choose, but the time is right.  There has never been more kosher gourmet cheeses available than there are right now. So, even if you don’t think you’re a cheese person, give it a chance, you might surprise yourself.

Now, the question is when to serve this fabulous course, it really is suited equally to appetizer or dessert.  Take your pick, would you rather come home from shul, say Kiddush and sip your wine with cheese and crackers and nuts and olives while waiting for the food to warm up.  Or consider an easy dessert that will satisfy everyone.


 

DIY – Make Your Own Ricotta and Cream Cheese

 

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I look forward to Shavuos and planning my menu around delicious dairy cuisine. Comforting foods like lasagna, blintzes and cheesecake always draw admiration from friends gathered around our table.

It’s one thing to make homemade blintzes, but who actually makes the cream cheese in the blintz, or, for that matter, the ricotta in the lasagna?


 

DIY – Coconut Milk with Step by Step Photos

 

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I don’t believe there is any kosher for passover coconut milk on the market yet, at least I haven’t found it.  I remember last year there was a big deal over Almond milk that was certified.  It is so nice to be able to make non dairy desserts without using chemical filled artificial creamers.  Almond milk is a great option, but it can get pricey and sometimes the flavor is not ideal or you might need something with a little more fat.  That is when I turn to coconut milk.   On passover coconut is a big part of many desserts, think macaroons, how could there not be kosher for passover coconut milk.

Then I happen to be talking to a woman from Ghiana who told me she always makes her own coconut milk and it is not a big deal.  Especially if you start with already grated, which of course she doesn’t.  Then I remembered that our food blogger friend, Shoshana gave us a recipe last year for Passover pudding where she tells us how it is done.  Shoshana says to pour boiling water over the coconut and then puree in a blender and strain it in cheesecloth.  However, many recipes on line suggest soaking it in warm water and then straining it and that you can even go through the process twice with the second batch being thinner.  I thought that would be even easier, not to have to puree it, but I was not happy with the results. I think if you can get fresh coconut and grate it yourself you would not have to puree it.  But if you want to go the easy way we will still with Shoshana and here is how it is done.