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Kids Recipes – Cooking with Kids

 

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In the Purim issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller, Julie Negrin shares the perfect Mishloach Manot filler, Mini Quiches.   (more…)


 

Spin the Globe Dinners with Your Kids

 

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Everyone is always talking about getting the kids in the kitchen.  Get them involved in the preparation and they will eat the food, the theory goes. WhileI love cooking with my kids, for most weekday meals, it just isn’t going to happen.  They make such a mess and we have so little time after school and homework.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to get your kids involved.

A few months ago, my kids came up with a game.  It was one of the many yom tov days that I was hoping the kids would sleep in and let me relax a bit.  When I awoke (much later than normal) I found them enjoying a game of spin the globe.  On their own they thought up this game where one of them would close their eyes and point a finger on the globe while spinning it.   When it landed they would open their eyes and read where on earth they were.  Then they would talk about all the food they would eat if they went to that country (they are my kids after all, foodies from birth).


 

Chanukah Placemat Designs You Can Print

 

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When I design my placemats I always make a front with a fun design and space to put their name and a back that they can draw on with washable markers.

Print out these designs, fill in your child’s name and have them laminated.  Now you have a decoration that doubles as an activity for your kids.


 

Easy and Gorgeous Do-It Yourself Chanukah Table...

 

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Calling all Jewish Hostesses! Let’s use our year-round Jewish holidays to express our creative passions, as well as our desire to keep our families coming back for yummy food and a great Jewish holiday atmosphere. With so many table setting shopping resources at our fingertips, its exciting to set a fun holiday table that combines the old with the new, has a dash of color and sparkle, while also making sure to connect to the Jewish holiday theme at hand. No matter what your own personal style, budget, and the table decor that you already own, there is always a creative, yet easy way to update your holiday look.

This year, I decided to stick with the traditional Hanukkah blue and silver color combo mainly because I already owned blue water glasses given to me by my consuegro (Syrian word for son-in-law’s mother) as a Rosh Hashanah gift, plus I happen to own a set of blue and silver rimmed Greek style dishes (a perfect Macabee theme!). Wanting to add some holiday knicknacks to my Chanukah table, I decided to check out the local Ikea and West Elm stores and see what I could pick up without too much of a dent to my wallet.


 

Quick & Crafty Chanukah Decorating With Pom...

 

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With Chanukah just around the corner, now is the time to pull out some quick and crafty decorating ideas to get your home ready for the holiday! Not to worry, I’ve got a few ideas that will get you started in no time, and your house will look more festive that ever without too much effort. Sounds great, right?

Chanukah Pom Pom Chandelier JOK


 

Homemade Granola

 

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I remember the first time I realized that granola ain’t exactly a low cal diet food.  SO disappointed!  I mean, it just screams healthy, doesn’t it?  Shouldn’t a girl be able to eat all she wants of the stuff and go on losing pounds & inches? But I got over it. In an incredible feat of denial, I decided granola shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure.  I still categorize it in the “good-for-me” food group.  Hey, better granola than Godiva.

My recipe for Homemade Granola includes flaky light coconut chips and is sweetened with brown sugar, maple syrup (with its rich, earthy flavor) and raisins.  You can swap in an equal measure of craisins or chopped apricots, or pineapple, or any dried fruit of your choice in place of the raisins.


 

Easy Rosh Hashanah Crafts To Dress Up Your Holiday

 

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Rosh HaShana is just around the corner and I’m so happy to be here on Joy of Kosher! Now of course, you came here looking for recipes for the upcoming holidays, which is certainly a great start, however in my biased humble opinion, no holiday table or home is complete without some holiday specific decorating! And now you’re thinking “well of course she thinks that, she’s the crafting queen!” But let me tell you, you don’t have to be an expert crafter to make crafts or introduce creativity to your family— I’m here to help you!

And most importantly of all, I can tell you from personal experience, that when I sit down both with and without my kids to make craft projects for upcoming holidays, our enjoyment of the holidays themselves are so much more meaningful. Anticipation and preparation are key, and craft projects not only add joy to our timeless traditions, but help make lasting memories for children and adults alike. So do give it your all and prepare some amazing meals for your family and friends, but this year set aside just a bit of time to complement your delicious cooking with some touches of creativity that will make your holidays extra special.


 

Cool Kitchen Gadgets for Apples

 

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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!


 

How To Spatchcock Turkey and Chicken

 

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Ok, the name is funny, but this is serious cooking. Spatchcocking poultry is the process of removing the backbone and sternum of a bird. The bird is then flattened out by pressing on it. (more…)


 

Get Cooking With Your Kids

 
 

Many parents find it challenging to incorporate nutritious, well-balanced meals into their children’s diets. They complain that their kids want the same thing for dinner every night or that the only vegetables they eat are peas and corn. It can be difficult for parents to work on improving their children’s diets day in and day out, but teaching children healthy eating behaviors at a young age is essential.

As a dietitian and nutritionist, I get so much enjoyment from seeing the interest and excitement that children have when it comes to food. Teaching them at a young age about nutrition, where food comes from, and how to use food is a very important part of child development. Research has shown that cooking with kids and assigning them tasks surrounding mealtime promotes independence and a sense of responsibility. It also encourages them to build their strengths wherever they are in the course of development – coordination, use of utensils, and learning about foods and certain kitchen objects. As kids get older, cooking with them is a great way to reinforce subjects that they are learning in school, such as math and science. Another amazing benefit of cooking with kids is that they tend to be more excited to try a new food or dish that they helped make than something you just put in front of them. And if these aren’t enough reasons to start cooking with your kids, focus on the fact that it is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy!


 

The History of Kugel

 

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When the word kugel first appeared in Webster’s Dictionary in the early twentieth century, it was defined as “a suet pudding,” a characterization derived from similarities between kugel and British steamed puddings. Later, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary updated the definition to “a baked pudding.” Baking, however, was actually a late step in the kugel’s evolution. For the kugel’s (kuglen plural) origin lay not in a casserole, but rather as bread dumplings in a stew pot.

By the 12th century, the concept of dumplings spread from China along the Silk Road to Italy then Germany, around the same time that cholent reached Germany from Spain by way of France. Within a century or so, German cooks began dropping a bread batter containing a little egg as a binder into the center of the Sabbath stew, the dumpling developing a rich flavor and texture as it simmered overnight and, after morning services, served warm alongside the stew for lunch.


 

How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

 

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Although it is true that the best way to make smooth creamy ice cream is with an ice cream maker it is possible to get very good results without one as well. The key to creamy ice cream is to freeze the mixture quickly. In order to get the best results it is essential that the ice cream is well chilled before freezing. While this method may seem a bit strange it produces a creamy ice cream that is almost as smooth as one made with an ice cream maker.

Make ice cream according to the directions in the recipe, making sure to chill the mixture at least several hours but preferably overnight. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with plastic wrap. Pour half of the mixture onto each pan and freeze until completely firm. Remove one pan from the freezer. Working quickly, peel the ice cream off the plastic and break into medium-large pieces. Place them in the bowl of a food processor fit with a metal blade. Process until the ice cream is the texture of soft serve. Place in a container and freeze until firm. Repeat with the remaining ice cream. If making a recipe with a mix-in, such as cookie dough, fold the mix-in into the ice cream after removing it from the food processor.


 

Household Tips to Live By

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.”