The Kosher Home

 

Easy Food Preparations When You Freeze with Ease

 

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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!


 

How to Make Your Own Kosher Fish Sauce

 

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Q: I can’t find kosher anchovy paste or fish sauce. How do I make my own?
Amy, Tulsa OK

A: Amy, believe it or not, you are not alone. I hear this question often. It is hard to find these products with reliable kosher supervision just about everywhere.


 

Go Fishing! in Your Freezer

 

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Our busy lives take a toll on so much of our lives, including getting a homemade dinner on the table every night.  We feel forced to spend extra money on “takeout” food.  But that is not the only answer.  We can have our own “takeout” food right out of our own freezer.  All you need is a little forethought and some great tips.  That’s where I come in.

When you fill your freezer ahead of time, you won’t feel stressed out when holidays  or other busy days pop up in your life.   But, it is important to follow freezer safety tips and keep your freezer at zero degrees for optimum freshness of your frozen food.


 

Ten Tips for Designing and Building Kosher...

 

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Kosher or not kitchen design is as much a science as an art.  There are many essential concepts critical to any kitchen but for our purposes let’s look at what is essential for a functional Kosher Kitchen.

1)Materials:  Stainless Steel for all sinks and dishwasher interiors (with two sets of racks if in your budget).  Quartz resin or granite counter tops.  Quartz resin slabs can look like granite or not and almost any solid color is available.  This opens up the range of design possibilities to infinity!  Quartz counter tops can also contain an anti-microbial agent and is ten times stronger than granite.   Granite is beautiful and practical as well, but does need to be cleaned and treated with a water based sealant on a regular basis.


 

DIY Kosher – 3 Kid-Friendly Mother’s Day...

 

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Crafts - Painted Flower Pots

What can you give the woman who has it all for Mother’s Day?  Hair accessories?  A cookbook?  Perfume?  Nah. Better opt for something she can’t get herself (or return): kid-friendly craft projects made with love!


 

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

 

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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.


 

Mexican Fiesta Purim Seudah

 

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Go South of the Border for your Purim Seudah!  It falls on a Sunday, so no excuses!  CreativeJewishMom collaborates with Jamie Geller to help you create the perfect Mexican Fiesta Seudah with everything from the colorful vase to the poblanos. Ole!

It all starts with the right tablecloth, in this case, a Mexican blanket. and some bright crepe paper flowers. If you can’t find a Mexican blanket, any colorful (preferably woven) table cloth can certainly work.  Bring out all the colorful dishes you own, paint some whimsical styrofoam fruit, and make some napkin rings from plastic bottles and a recycled bleach bottle to match. Just look how great this table looks! If you don’t have any colorful glasses, or would like to add some to your table, it is super easy and a great project for the kids.


 

Adventures With My Pressure Cooker

 

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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

 

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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!


 

DIY Kosher – 4 Floral Shavuot Crafts...

 

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When Shavuot rolls around, most people think blintzes and cheesecake.  While Rivky Koenig, author of Crafting Jewish (Artscroll 2008), loves the holiday’s traditional dairy cuisine, too; flowers are the first thing that comes to her mind.

“Everything is so beautiful and fresh this time of year,” says Koenig, who recently launched a new line of Jewish craft supplies on craftingjewishstyle.com.  “Adding a floral touch to the holiday is an easy way to get creative for Shavuos.”


 

DIY Kosher – Lag BaOmer Crafts for the Whole...

 

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When Lag BaOmer rolls around, picnic baskets and bonfires take center stage, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting creative with these nifty holiday projects.

While the 33rd day of the Omer may not be a crafty holiday, all it takes is a little imagination—and a love of all things Jewish—for Laurie Bellet, an art specialist from Oakland Hebrew Day School, to come up with fabulous art fun.


 

DIY Kosher – How To Make The Perfect Pesto...

 

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On a hot June day, I open the freezer in my mother’s kitchen looking for a tray of ice. Instead of clear, slippery cubes, I find green, coarse ones. Although I am eight years old, I am puzzled how the cubes changed color and texture overnight.

At dinner that evening, my mother brings out a plate of steaming pasta the same verdant shade as the cubes. Like many cooks, she makes batches of pesto when basil is in abundance during the summer, storing and freezing them in ice trays and transferring them to Ziploc bags for use during the fall and winter. And so began my love affair with pesto.


 

DIY Kosher – Fresh Fruit Topiary for Your...

 

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PlaceholderAfter all that cleaning and cooking, why leave your seder table looking  drab? Easy-to-make fresh fruit topiaries are perfect centerpieces.

Topiaries are multi-dimensional “mini trees” fashioned from flowers, fruits and greenery. These gorgeous centerpieces herald spring in all its beauty while adding a unique touch of elegance to the Passover seder.


 

DIY Kosher – Purim Crafts, Costumes &...

 

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Purim is Rivky Koenig’s favorite time of year. When this scrapbooking specialist, who recently launched a new line of Jewish-inspired scrapbooking supplies, wrote her first book, Crafting Jewish, Purim was the hardest chapter to write.

“We came up with so many crafts for Purim that it was difficult to pick and choose which crafts to include,” says Koenig, of her book. “Purim gives people a wonderful opportunity to express their creativity. Every year I get inspired by seeing what my friends and neighbors do.”


 

DIY Kosher – Tu Bishvat Crafting with the...

 

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Laurie Bellet, an art specialist at Oakland Hebrew Day School, loves when Tu Bishvat rolls around. Besides the dried fruits and nuts, she uses this opportunity to fuse crafting and nature.

“Tu Bishvat crafts are a wonderful ways to help kids to get in tune to God and the natural world,” says Bellet. “When you look at a tree, it’s so easy to form a simplistic mental image of it. But really, there are many individual elements to a tree, leaf or flower. It takes real focus to understand the different components.”