Kosher Tips

 

A Shabbat Derby Party

 

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Jewish life is rife with traditions which shape so much of our culture. I often find inspiration in these traditions and weave them into meals for friends and family. On occasion, inspiration comes from unexpected places, as is the case with my Kentucky Derby Shabbat lunch- now a long-standing tradition in my family.

charred asparagus

Charred Asparagus


 

Make Ahead Recipes For Third Meal

 

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With Passover just behind us, we can relax and enjoy the easier pace of spring and summer. The days are getting longer, a fact we notice most on Shabbat. Whereas the end of the Sabbath once arrived while we were still groggy from our naps and surfeited from second meal, we now find we can’t make it to sundown without some stirrings of hunger.  That’s where third meal comes in.

Not the heavy, meat-laden, many-coursed repasts we enjoy at first and second meals, third meal is a lighter, more casual affair. There is the obligatory challoh, but we can now accompany the bread with simple cold salads based on vegetables, grains, eggs, or fish. The long gap between second and third meals means we may also be past the maximum 6-hour wait between meat and milk and can have a dairy meal, if we like.


 

Shifra’s Cooking Tips – Take 2

 

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The secret to a moist cake:

  • Cover cake immediately after taking out of oven and cake will become soft and moist on top.
  • Use a sifter to enhance the fluffiness and texture of cakes and cookies.

Baking tips:


 

Cashew Cream and Tomato Sauce For Pasta

 

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Creamy cashew cream, vanilla, and fresh tomatoes. Ever think you would hear that combination? Well if you are used to my website, I Want That For Dinner, you know I am very creative in the kitchen. If eating healthy and gluten free without creativity, life can taste very bland. I hope you are up to try something new tonight for dinner and follow this delicious recipe!

Bakto flavors were kind enough to send me delicious vanilla products for me to create dishes for my blog. Thankfully, the extremely fragrant ground Madagascar vanilla bean made its way into the package. I chose to make a recipe that was not a typical dessert with vanilla. I thought about savory dishes and realized tomato is considered a fruit, but eaten in a savory dishes. I then Googled adding vanilla bean to sauce, and hundreds of websites popped up… I wasn’t crazy after all! After reading many of the comments, the consensus was that vanilla added a warmth and flavor without the usual sweetness.  To finish my sauce, I chose to add a little spicy chili flakes and cream to balance all of the flavors together.


 

Cooking With Chicken Like A Pro

 

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How many people have cooked for years or are newly married but really never learned the secrets of cooking and not getting frazzled or despondent when a recipe doesn’t turn out like it says in the book.

Cookbook recipes are only a guideline.


 

Taking Stock – Learn to Make Your Own Stock

 

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“Worries go down better with soup than without.” (A Jewish proverb)

I love winter’s crisp-cold air and the way the sunlight casts shadows. I enjoy the long dark nights and I especially love to cook during the winter months. I hunker down in my kitchens and bring long cooked soups and stews together with aromatic herbs, dried mushrooms and root vegetables


 

How and Why To Reduce Wine

 

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When cooking with wine, don’t use that bottle of cooking wine you’ve grabbed from the supermarket shelf. Use a wine you would drink, not the most expensive wines, but an enjoyable cheaper one.  And don’t worry about serving wine-infused desserts to non-drinking guests. The alcohol content disappears when wine is cooked, leaving only the concentrated flavor.

To use wine as a sauce, make a wine reduction, turning a glass into a delicious, thick syrup. Use a frying pan instead of a saucepan when reducing wine—it will go quicker if there is more surface area. And be patient!


 

Secret Chef Tips When Making Soup

 

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1. Start With Delicious Liquid

  • Soups are mostly water, but it’s often disguised as broth or stock, wine, milk or cream.
  • The vast majority of the time, the liquid in soup is stock or broth.
  • When adding wine to soups, add the wine after you have sweated off the vegetables.
  • Be sure to bring it to a boil and let it cook for at least 10 minutes to cook off the harshest of the alcohol.
  • For cream- or milk-based soups, use fresh dairy products.

2. Sweat the Roots Man!


 

Shifra’s Cooking Tips

 

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For Parmesan to top a salad:
Peel the parmesan cheese lengthwise, using a vegetable peeler to get long strips of parmesan cheese to top off the salad.


 

Cooking Meat in Oven Bags

 

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Cooking a roast in a transparent cooking bag must be one of the most effective ways of keeping a roast moist without compromising on it’s golden brown look. And, once the roast is cooked you can make the most wonderful gravy from the juices left in the bag! What could be easier than placing a piece of meat with all your favourite herbs and spices into a sealed bag to cook? The convenience of not having to scrub the roasting pan once it is cooked! A double delight, a wonderful tasty, moist roast with no mess.

Bronzed Bag of Beef

Bronzed Bag of Beef


 

Budget-Minded Holiday Celebrations

 

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The holidays are wonderful. And they can be very stressful. Suddenly there are so many more expenses than the month before! For a family on a tight budget, that can be very tough. One of the keys to living frugally is sticking to a budget, and holiday expenses can make that very, very difficult. But careful planning makes it possible.

Holidays don’t come as a surprise. If we plan and budget for them, we can still save money AND have a  festive celebration.


 

Leftovers

 

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The big to do after Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers.  You either love em or hate em.  Some people pile all the traditional thanksgiving grub into a big sandwich.  Some can’t look at it again and just start the cooking from scratch for a nice Shabbat dinner, but those people are crazy!  Let’s use those leftovers.  Here’s how.

Leftover Turkey Chili with Loaded Corn Muffins

Leftover Turkey Chili with Loaded Corn Muffins


 

How To Braise Meat

 

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I always feel a little glum on the day we switch the thermostat from air conditioning to heat. It means we’re bracing for winter and cold weather, heavy clothing and darkness by 4:00. There’s a smell too as the oil burner turns over for the first time to send hot air through the house.

But after a day or so I remember the bright side. First, I live in New England where the foliage is so glorious that people from everywhere drive up to take a look. So outside my window the view is entrancing.


 

Ending Food Waste

 

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I very sadly threw out a whole stalk of celery last week. It was a completely wasted purchase. Frankly, I had forgotten about it, and it had gotten buried in the vegetable drawer under some squashes. When I found it, it wasn’t salvageable.

Do you sometimes throw out vegetables, too? Or maybe fruit? At times, I’ve bought gorgeous fruit, only to find it later, after it had grown fuzzy because I had forgotten about it. Statistics show that I am not alone (According to the EPA, in 2010, about 34 million pounds of food was thrown out in the United States!).


 

Freezer Tips For Your Collection

 

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With Yom Tov upon us, it’s important to review all the FREEZER TRICKS I share in my cookbook and at my Tupperware Freezer Class demonstrations.  I often give out a sheet like this at my demos, called ‘The Deep Freeze” with many freezer tips and tidbits. Bookmark and save these for future reference!

1- Always leave ¼” – ½” at the top of the container to allow for food expansion.
2- Never “burp” before freezing Tupperware freezer containers – seals will pop off quicker when food expands due to reduced air space.
3- Your freezer runs much more efficiently if packed full – (check previous month’s tips).
4- Save money by buying in bulk and flash freezing vegetables and meats – pull out only the number of pieces of amount that you need.
5- Add cornstarch to shredded cheese and then freeze – cheese will not freeze together.
6- Put coffee in freezer in Tupperware and it will not freeze solid and retains the natural oils in the bean which make for a better cup of coffee. One pound of coffee will brew 40 to 50 cups.
7- Use (Tupperware) Jelring for homemade ice cream cakes (layer whatever you please – try adding flavored liqueurs….!)
8- Use (Tupperware) Ice Tups for baby’s boo boos and teething; and don’t forget frozen pops for yourself!
9- More ice crystals form on cheaper brands of ice cream, therefore buy the best!
10- When you remove a Tupperware container from the freezer, wipe the inside of the seal before replacing the container – air temperature change will cause condensation that will drop back onto food causing ice crystals.
11- Always let food cool down before sealing and placing in freezer – because the steam will form condensation which will drop down onto your food and form ice crystals.
12- Make freezer jams and put into 12 oz. tumblers – no cooking or processing needed and tastes like fresh fruit.
13- Freeze juice, iced tea, milk in tumblers for minimum of 2 hours and then put in cooler or lunch bag – they will serve as your ice packs (no others needed-Perfect for Pesach/Succos trips!)
14- Put an onion in the freezer for several minutes before slicing “for no more tears!!”
15- Put a block of cheese in freezer for a half hour and it will not crumble when grating.
16- Cook soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, etc. in bulk and freeze in smaller quantities – it’s cheaper and much easier to clean up one big mess than to clean up 5 little messes!
17- Make extra batter when having waffles or pancakes – cook while you’re eating, then flash freeze on a foil-lined tray and place in large rectangle container. You’ll always have a quick “nosh” ready to heat and serve!
18- Freeze candles to make them burn more slowly and last longer. Works great for tapers—very thick candles may crack.