The Kosher Home

 

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


 

Dining Room Design Ideas – Out of the...

 

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Why does a dining room need to follow a template? The owner of this dining room wanted something fresh—a modern and cozy space where her family and friends would love spending lots of time together around the table come Shabbat and holidays. Designer Pamela Jemal did all that and made it practical too—with an entire wall of storage space.


Top Off the Room


 

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.


 

Gender and Social Order in the Kitchen

 

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In modern times, it is naïve and antifeminist to think of the kitchen as a woman’s place. After all, women have equal opportunities in the workplace, and especially since the global economic slouch, there are more stay-at-home dads than ever before. However, despite the rise of gender equality and a shift in social order, chefing has not changed much. The kitchen at home is considered the domain of the woman, where domesticity, femininity, and motherhood are nurtured. Just think of memories of you cooking with your bubbe or mom growing up. On the contrary,  the professional kitchen still largely remains the place for a man to take over. After looking at the polarization of chefing versus cooking, and negotiations of credibility for who belongs and is entitled to which kitchen, I believe that recent changes in gender and social order in the kitchen and at home have not affected chefing in recent past.

One issue that affects chefing is credibility. Before the surge of interest in institutionalized chefing, professional chefs largely consisted of those who could “handle the heat” of the kitchen. This standard of credibility excludes women. Anthony Bourdain’s book, Kitchen Confidential, depicts this more than any “scholarly” piece I have read on the subject. While the professional kitchen is at times a place of experimenting and creativity, it is largely a battlefield where one has to keep fighting despite one’s wounds. Gail Simmons’ memoir, Talking With My Mouth Full, also expresses this sentiment—she once cut herself while cooking on the line and asked for a band-aid, only to be humiliated by a male co-worker for her request. Priscilla Ferguson and Gary Alan Fine’s article “Sociology at the Stove” points out that the kitchen staff is a brigade, and the language and management of the kitchen are much like those of an army. With these tough terms and brute mentality, it is no surprise that women are often uncomfortable, unwelcome, and unaccepted in the professional kitchen.


 

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.


 

Refreshing Iced Tea Fruit Coolers, Smoothies, and...

 

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Tell the kids they are mad scientists, who get to alter the flavor profile by deciding which fruit and tea flavors to use. While your little chefs are concocting their own brew, they’ll also be creating summer memories they’ll never forget.


 

A Summer Celebration Party *Giveaway*

 

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“There were no days as glorious for the people of Israel as the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur, when the daughters of Jerusalem would come outside with borrowed white garments and dance in the vineyards” (Gemara Ta’anit 26b).

Tu B’Av, the 15th of the month of Av, which happens to be this Friday August 3rd, is a minor celebrated holiday on the Jewish calendar. In the days of the Second Temple, the day marked the beginning of the grape harvest and a matchmaking day for unmarried woman.  Immediately following the mourning period of the three weeks, today Tu B’Av has become one of the most popular days on the Jewish calendar for weddings—and celebrations of sheva brachos (literally, “seven blessings”), parties in honor of the bride and groom, are held for seven consecutive days after the wedding.
Whether you are hosting a sheva brachos or celebrating any number of happy occasions this summer, Shavy’s entertaining hints will inspire you for your own glorious day.


 

Adventures With My SodaStream

 

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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.


 

Kitchen Design – Let the Light Shine In ...

 

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In this busy kitchen, designer Pamela Jemal combines graceful beauty and loads of practicality. An arched ceiling maximizes the sunlight contributing to an open, inviting space for the whole family and a highly functional space for the chief cook—mom.


 

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.


 

The Alternative Grill

 

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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.”


 

Outdoor Tablescape Ideas *Giveaway*

 

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Let’s take it outside!!

The sun is shining, the trees are swaying, and your garden is in full bloom, so why are you dining indoors?


 

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef – Poor Kitchen...

 

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Convenience foods (heat and serve) are typically made with inferior ingredients; contain way too much salt and empty calories. I do not purchase convenience products-ever!  I do not use pre-made sauces, stocks or pre-made products at work and I would never feed that stuff to my family and friends.  I cook with the Cucina Povera (“poor kitchen”) mindset.

In the kosher kitchen we only have so many ingredients to work with, both at home and professionally.  Many ingredients that most chefs take for granted are not part of my daily repertoire due to kosher restrictions.  I have a meat and pareve kitchen and cannot just add cream to a soup or sauce to thicken it.  I have to work a bit harder and find other ways that fit into the kosher laws. I do not believe in using faux foods for substitutions and look to natural ingredients that are already kosher and in season.  In the spirit of Cucina Povera, I embrace my constraints, accept the materials I have to work with and move on.  I always say that if a recipe cannot be made without completely mutilating it, then do not make it.  I have never put soy crème brulees on my menu and never will.  I also do not sell faux crab or mock sour cream. Real sour cream is amazing and who doesn’t love crème brulee? The artificial stuff doesn’t come close and I have too much respect for my ingredients, clients and family to ever serve ersatz food.


 

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef – A Perfect Pantry

 

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Last week I shared the importance of having good quality knives.  Today we talk pantry.  A well-stocked pantry is essential.  I can pull off a healthy home cooked meal out of my pantry in usually less than 20

Minutes and you can too.  It all comes down to some staple items. Here are some basics I always have on hand: