Gadgets for the Kosher Cook

 

Gifts and Gadgets and Giveaways

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Chanukah is fast approaching, the first night (less than a month away) is December 9th and now is the time to gather the best gifts and gadgets that your friends and loved ones will be thanking you for.   That is why we have compiled some of our favorite gift ideas from our kitchen to yours including some that you WIN right here, right now.

 


 

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes

 

Contributed by:

 

3 comments | Leave Comment

 

There’s something to be said for that infomercial that instructs you to “Set it and Forget it.” The infomercial promises lifetime fulfillment in the kitchen.

The recent demise of my slow cooker had me rethinking the way I prepare dinner. To be honest, I have never been a power user of the slow cooker. The bulky appliance was more or less relegated to cholent or stew cooking on Shabbat and then shoved in a cabinet for the rest of the week.


 

Adventures With My SodaStream

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

My family and I love seltzer.  It’s more fun than water.  It’s soda without the calories.  Over the years, the supermarket aisle has expanded from the ubiquitous lemon-lime and orange varieties of seltzer to ever more complex and sophisticated flavors of carbonated water.  As my three kids started requesting seltzer with every meal, the plastic bottles kept piling up outside our recycling bin and I started to feel a little guilty.  It was also getting expensive.

It was time to give Soda Stream a try.


 

The Alternative Grill

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

This season, everyone is grill obsessed—especially the guys. But what’s a gal to do if she just can’t stand the smoke? Or if she’s tired of hot dogs and steak? Faige Sprecher from Kitchen Clique takes us way beyond your Weber or your grill pan on a tour of grilling’s coolest tools and appliances—indoors and out.

For Cozy-in-the-Kitchen Cooks
BREVILLE ELECTRONIC GRILL WITH REMOVABLE PLATES $349.95 at KitchenClique.com
“Yes, there are less expensive indoor grills.  Panini makers will also give you grill lines,” says Faige. “But this is the king of electronic grills—it’s large, stateof-the-art, and will give food that authentic BBQ flavor. It’s just like bringing your fancy barbecue indoors.”


 

Which Ice Cream Machine Should You Buy?

 

Contributed by:

 

5 comments | Leave Comment

 

You’ll Love Your Ice Cream Machine!

Think it’s hard or time-consuming to make your own ice cream? Ice cream machines like the ones below do the magic for you. Faige Sprecher from The Kitchen Clique fills us in on the best options for the at-home ice cream chef.


 

Favorite Kitchen Gadgets – 8 Tools for...

 

Contributed by:

 

3 comments | Leave Comment

 

With Shavuos upon us, our menu focus, at least to some extent, is on dairy and pasta dishes, and luscious cheese and crème filled desserts in different shapes and sizes.  To ease meal preparation, great tools are the key.  Join us to  view a collection of cheese tools, some of which  you might not have used in the past.

Did you know that you can get more taste from your favorite cheese with a cheese slicer (also called a cheese plane)?  The Boska Holland cheese slicer is handsome, well-priced, and perfect for semi-hard and hard cheese.


 

Adventures with My Pasta Maker

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

I always dreamed about making my own pasta, but it seemed way too daunting.  An Italian family in our building invited us over last year for dinner and served three different kinds of homemade pasta.  My foodie son (who won’t eat dried pasta) licked his plate.  Soon afterwards, my friend David revealed that he also makes his own pasta.  Apparently, his mom used to sell pasta machines and he ended up with an extra and offered to let me try it out.

What David had was actually what they call a Pasta Extruder.  The best way to describe it is like one of those play dough machines you used to enjoy as a kid. You take the dough and push it through a tube with the shape of your choice to make ziti, penne, tubitini and macaroni.  I found a recipe and tried it out. The kids had fun, we made a mess and we ended up with a nice bowl of fresh pasta that everyone loved.  Still, it felt like a lot of work for not much more than small bowl for each of us, but I knew I had to try it again.


 

Cool Kitchen Gadgets for Apples

 

Contributed by:

 

4 comments | Leave Comment

 

When the weather’s just right, my husband and I take the kids out to the apple orchard. Apple picking is the perfect outdoor family activity in September and October.

The Sprechers are an apple-picking family, and for that matter, we love picking any fruit or vegetable that’s in season. When we come home with  bushels of apples, what do we do with them? Well, first we eat some of them raw – delicious!


 

Household Tips to Live By

 

Contributed by:

 

3 comments | Leave Comment

 

Summer fun is here and so are these fantastic tips to keep you out of the kitchen.

Here is a list of “Quick Hints” that I share at my Tupperware demonstrations with my customers.  I am sure you will find them very interesting and useful, so bookmark this page and save them for future reference.


 

A Taste of the Illy Francis Francis Y1

 

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

Do you love the idea of a shot of convenience to go with your morning coffee?  I do, and I also like the idea of a no mess, one-touch single cup brew.  But to be perfectly honest, I haven’t been blown away by the quality of the coffee capsule competition.  My counter needs a little more flair and my coffee needs a little more flavor.  I’ve been using a Bodum French press for as long as I can remember and I never tasted a good reason to change.  So naturally I was curious (and hopeful) when my favorite espresso entered the single-serve coffee market.

Based in Trieste, Italy, illycaffè is led by chairman and CEO, Andrea Illy, the third generation of the Illy family.  If you are on the prowly for a high-quality single-cup automatic machine for under $300, their Francis Francis Y1 machine is exactly what you are looking for.  It has a simple, one-touch design – just what my tired eyes need in the morning.  Insert a capsule (Medium, Dark or Decaf), press the button, and a concentrated, full-bodied espresso topped with a rich crema is all yours in about a minute. The Y1’s aluminum body, tempered glass cupholder and compact silhouette (9.5 inch base) and fire engine red color make it a perfect fit in almost any space.  Because extraction takes place entirely inside the capsule, the coffee and machine never come in contact, so clean up is a snap.  All in all, it is an impressive package.  Although I am not ready to throw my French press away, Italy and France are going to get along just fine together in my kitchen.


 

Favorite Things

 

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Here are some of our favorite things, featured in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine.  All are available from our favorite store, Kitchen Clique, owned by our favorite gadget girl, Faigie Sprecher.

Charcoal Companion Pizzaque Pizza Stone Grill

Rather munch on veggies while everyone else is wolfing down the meat?  Make a veggie cheeseless pizza.  “Often, non-meat eaters don’t have something filling they enjoy at a BBQ.  This PizzaQue makes brick oven pizza using your grill.”  It just might be worth getting a second dairy grill-so you can make brick-oven style cheese pizza too!

Bodum Fyrkat Cone Charcoal Grill

“Isn’t it cute?” For anyone who doesn’t have a lot of space, or is tired of gas fumes or empty canisters, this is a charcoal grill that’s easy to clean, compact, light – and stylish.  There’s two cooking surfaces, a rotisserie, and the cone at the bottom screws off so you can remove the ashes without getting your fingers balck.”  The Bodum comes in a bunch of fun colors.

Breville Electronic Grill Removable Plates

“Yes, there are less expensive indoor grills. Panini makers will also give you grill lines,” says Faige. “But this is the king of electronic grills – it’s large, state-of-the-art, and wil give food that authentic BBQ flavor. It’s just like bringing your fancy barbecue indoors.

Camerons Beer Roaster

For Chicken Lovers. Tired of dry grilled chicken breasts? For the best, most moist chicken ever—pour your favorite marinade in the middle (or your favorite beer, the inspiration for this nifty cooking tool). “Stick the chicken on top, and cook over the grill or in the oven. The fat also drips down, resulting in a healthy BBQ option,” says Faige. That’s way cooler than chicken burgers.

WIN THIS! Contest ends August 17, 2011 at 9 am.

Cuisinart Griddler Grill Centro

For Shish Kebab Lovers “This indoor electronic grill has a cool feature that rotates the skewers so they cook evenly,” says Faige. “The top can convert from a grill to a griddle.”


 

Easy Food Preparations When You Freeze with Ease

 

Contributed by:

 

3 comments | Leave Comment

 

I meet many people who are simply “afraid” to freeze any food merely because they have had bad “freezer-tasting” food in the past.  That is a false assumption.  The food they ate was just frozen and stored the wrong way.  It’s like trying to make cholent in a frying pan!

With summer rapidly approaching, we look forward to spending more time outside with our families.  Whenever my family and I would spend a great day outdoors, all I do is go to “Mom’s Diner”—my freezer—and pull out our dinner!  We never have to experience the “instant heartburn” some people get from takeout food!


 

10 Essentials for my Passover Kitchen. Win our...

 

Contributed by:

 

166 comments | Leave Comment

 

There’s nothing that annoys me more than not having the right tools for the task at hand. There are enough stresses and headaches cooking for Passover that I make sure my kitchen is equipped with everything I need. Here is a list of the tools I must have in my kitchen. To some they may be superfluous but for me each item is very important. The one thing I haven’t listed here that is probably the most important thing to have in your kitchen is a good set of knives. Without good, well-sharpened knives it’s hard to do anything.

1. Potato Ricer
If you haven’t used or seen one, a potato ricer is like a giant garlic press – you just place cooked (boiled or baked) potatoes into the ‘bowl’ of the potato ricer and press the handle down, squeezing the potato through the small holes that line the bottom of the press. Out comes smooth, lump-free potato. It’s perfect for mashed potatoes, making filling for potato blintzes or topping Shepherd’s Pie or Chicken Pot Pie – two of my favourite meals for Chol Hamoed.


 

Adventures With My Pressure Cooker

 

Contributed by:

 

5 comments | Leave Comment

 

What is round, eco-friendly, and full of hot air? Not Al Gore.  A pressure cooker!  A pressure cooker is a pot with a locking lid that creates an airtight seal to suppress the steam created when food heats up.  It allows liquid to boil at 250°F rather than the usual boiling point of 212°F.  The higher temperature reduces the cooking time for most foods and the steam tenderizes the ingredients making it an ideal cooking method for soups, stews, rice and beans.

I’ve heard pressure cookers are a convenient cooking tool, but I didn’t know much about them.  I also heard scary stories about exploding pressure cookers!  Last year, at a nutrition workshop, I met a colleague who was raving about her pressure cooker.  It was easy to use, cooked foods in half the time and safe, she explained.  It was time to investigate.  I learned that the stories of pots exploding were decades old, when manufacturers used inferior materials to save money.  The days of exploding pressure cookers are over, the modern pressure cooker is filled with safety mechanisms that provide all the advantages of pressure cooking without the risk of sauce on the ceiling.


 

SodaStream – The New Bubbly

 

Contributed by:

 

2 comments | Leave Comment

 

When I was a child growing up, there were frequent visits to my grandparents apartment in the Bronx, New York, for dozens of memorable holiday meals. And while the drinks on the table at our yom tov gatherings in suburban Long Island were soda in all kinds of 1960’s pop-art colors (think lime green, razzy purple and cherry red), the tablescape at my grandma’s house was noticeably different. For one thing, there were lacy tablecloths, dainty silver spoons, tea cups made of glass, china plates with gold rims (no plastic or paper here!) lots of sugar cubes – and not a soda bottle to be seen. The choice of drink was seltzer, an unflavored, bubbly fizzy thing that the adults guzzled and the kids avoided at all costs. We did try doctoring it up with lots of sugar cubes and sliced up oranges but we never managed to make it palatable. We would eventually become cranky enough so that our good-natured Grandpa would take us downstairs to the corner grocery and let us pick out a few bottles of soda (this was way before Snapple, Vitamin Water and organic Pomegranate juice hit the market).

Fast forward a generation and we find ourselves around the holiday table, with our octagenarian-parents, a tableful of children and bottles of…seltzer. If you are like me, in pursuit of healthful, kosher products, you are probably looking for natural products that eschew artificial dyes, too much sugar and ingredients that you would need a freshman chemistry textbook to pronounce. And, somehow it just didn’t seem right to eat Jamie’s delicious Brisket in Wine Sauce and wash it down with Coke!