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A Perfect Summer Picnic

 

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Nothing says summer like a picnic at the park or at the beach. Grab a basket and pack up some of these delicious light recipes!

I remember my very first beach picnic.  The gorgeous weather and clear sky provided the perfect backdrop for our blanket filled with delicious sandwiches, salads, and other treats. My friend and I high-fived one another; surely, this was a picnic that would go down in history.  But no sooner had the rest of our friends arrived, that we watched in horror as half of our spread disappeared into a huge, errant wave and was dragged out to sea. What remained got ravaged by a gust of briny wind.  We stood by in disbelief as these events unfolded in rapid succession, in the span of only a few minutes.


 

Cheese Appetizer Recipes

 

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Cheese appetizers are very easy to prepare—and very gourmet. These are some of my favorite ways to turn Les Petites Fermieres and Natural and Kosher cheeses into company-ready appetizers (in no time at all).

Brie with Fruit Brigitte


 

DIY Tea – Make Your Own Blends

 

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Have you ever dissected a tea bag? I did and found myself in a magical world of aromas, flavors and colors.

I remember a time when Starbucks sold crushed tea in paper pouches and my cup of tea was nice, but a total stranger to me. Those days fill me
with much nostalgia for many things passed…but as far as tea is concerned, I’d never go back. See, unlike kids growing up in, say, Southeast Asia, the only teas we had in the house were Celestial Seasoning’s Red Zinger and a couple bags of Lipton. Life was beautiful, but my beverages were a drag.  Through G-d’s kindness however, years later, a simple encounter would transform me from a naive paper tea bag consumer
to an enthralled and impassioned tea enthusiast.


 

Uncork The White Wine

 

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In the middle of summer, when the height of harvest season is still a couple months away, the green grapes used in white wines are collected from the vines. Unlike reds, which are fermented with their skins to achieve a deep, burgundy color, white wine grapes are quickly pressed and only the remaining juice undergoes fermentation, without any skins or seeds.

The fermentation process is quicker, and white wines aren’t aged in oak—they go quickly to market so you can enjoy them when they’re young and fresh. The result is a tart, crisp, and refreshing wine that can be enjoyed with light foods or on its own. Always check the year of your bottle of white—if it’s more than two or three years old, pass. Because a shorter fermentation process results in less labor, you can typically enjoy high quality white wines at a lower price point than their red counterparts.


 

Gourmet Gifts and Gadgets – Giveaway

 

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1 Zyliss Tomato Stem Remover sized to nest comfortably in the palm of your hand, this tool’s serrated edge gives clean entry into tough skinned tomatoes to easily remove the stem with less mess and minimal effort. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
2 This Amco Corn Desilker takes the aggravation out of de-silking corn. It works for all sizes of corn on the cob, and the flexible bristles remove the silk without damaging the kernels. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
3 French Bull’s debut in January of 2002 marked the return of melamine but with a modern spin. This 13.5” x 8” rectangular platter is one of our favorites from French Bull’s large creative collection.  Available at FrenchBull.com and BreezysNY.com.  WIN (see below for entry details)
4 Norpro Mini Cheesecake pan has 12 individual nonstick cups with removable bottoms, ensuring easy food release. In addition to cheesecakes, use it for muffins, quiches, or mini tarts.  Available at BreezysNY.com. WIN (See below for entry details).
5 Mircroplane Zester Originally a woodworking tool, the Microplane works wonders on zesting citrus fruits, grating cheese to fluffy perfection and grating nuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. Available at most kitchen stores.
6 Squish 2-Quart Collapsible Colander is easy to open and close, and features a self-standing base and a generous handle and rim.  Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
7 Casabella Be Gourmet Cutting Boards are graphic and color-coded to prevent cross contamination. These versatile cutting boards feature a functional, modernized hourglass shape and flexible material to make transferring chopped food easier.  It also has a non-skid back for stability.  Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
8 KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment roll homemade pasta dough into thick or thin sheets to create exquisite lasagna noodles or hand cut into fettuccini. Adjustment knob lets you change distance between rollers to knead and roll pasta to desired thickness.  Roller creates 6” wide sheets.
9 villaware v150 Imperia Pasta Machine is one of the highest-quality pasta machines produced for home use today. It features a 6” roller, removable double cutter for 1/16” spaghetti and 1/4” fettuccine noodles, and an easy-lock dough roller adjustment. Includes a detailed recipe book and directions. Available at TheBuzzElectronics.com.

Thank you to Breezy’s for sponsoring our favorites, check out her Long Island store for all your kitchen and dining needs.

*******Giveaway*** Enter to win one of two prizes, the French Bull 13.5″ x 8″ rectangular platter or the Norpro Mini Cheesecake Pan, there are many ways to enter, see rafflecopter form below. a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Easy Strawberry Shortcake Dairy or Parve

 

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The coconut whipped cream in the parve version of this Strawberry Shortcake tastes so incredibly good, you won’t believe that it’s pareve. Use this recipe to replace any whipped cream for your guests who are vegan, soy free, or those who just don’t want to eat the chemicals known as non-dairy whipped topping. If using frozen strawberries, make sure to only buy the Bodek PREMIUM frozen strawberries, which come in re-sealable black and peach bags in the frozen aisle of your kosher supermarket. These strawberries are pretty enough for garnishes, even though they are frozen. Other frozen strawberries won’t be as nice. Make sure to follow the directions for defrosting them, so that they retain their naturally pretty shapes.  All you have to do is arrange whole frozen strawberries in one single layer, over a double layer of paper towels. While still frozen, so as to retain the shape of the strawberries, slice half of the strawberries into thin slivers. Allow strawberries to defrost.

Enjoy the recipes for whichever one works for you:


 

A Mom Inspired Blend

 

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Nothing super juicy about this confession. Except well, the juice. Just an honest answer to a common question. People come up to me and say, with a little wink, “…So what do you actually make most of the time?”

The answer really depends on the day and my mood and my mom.


 

Summer Rolls Recipe with Two Dipping Sauces

 

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I’ve always been enamored with the colorful flavors of Southeast Asia. The layers of sweet, salty and spicy inspire so many of the dishes that emerge from my kitchen. Over the past several years, it’s become possible to find kosher ingredients to recreate some of the best-loved foods from Thailand and Vietnam. I make a regular pilgrimage to the Asian food markets that dot the outer boroughs of New York City and I am constantly amazed at the low prices and variety of fresh produce that are available.

In the summer, when I’m looking beyond soups and stews to satisfy family and friends, I turn my gaze far eastward. In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, they know how to beat the heat with bright salads, cool fruit drinks, and the Summer Roll.


 

Kitchen Design Ideas – Zen with a Fresh...

 

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In this busy kitchen, nature meets modernity and functionality. The kitchen is this home’s central stage, and the modern yet cozy nature-inspired style make it the place everyone loves to be. Homeowner Leslie Chera and her husband Jackie love to entertain—so the three ovens are always busy. Leslie’s four young girls join her in the kitchen as she hosts cooking classes, and all the food prepared is donated to the needy.


 

Cooking with Kids – Strawberry Salad

 

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Long, summer days are the perfect time to introduce colorful, fresh produce to young palates. Adding kid-friendly fruits like berries to nutritious greens like spinach and asking them to help prepare the vinaigrette makes it much more likely that they’ll gobble it down. Let them create a clever recipe title that includes their own name, like “Joshy’s Rainbow Salad,” so they’ll be more open to eating it.

This salad can be modified to your family’s tastes by switching the nuts for seeds or the cheese for chicken. The fantastic thing about salads is that kids can make the entire dish from start to finish since it doesn’t involve working with heat.


 

Light Recipes For Summer

 

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You all know I was away for Pesach, in Tiberias with Eddie’s Kosher Travel.  Well this Pesach hotel was exactly what I imagine a kosher cruise to be like.  (Since I’ve never been I can’t say for sure, only what I’ve heard.)  We were totally and completely surrounded by great food all day, every day. I haven’t made an appointment with my scale since I returned and really should just excuse myself now and go on a liquid diet. But alas, since that is neither practical nor the healthiest of solutions, I am lightening up my food over the next few weeks so I can actually eat together with my family with these four light recipes for Summer.

Pictured above is a delicious and bright Tropical Slaw.  Beautiful and incredible on its own, this tropical slaw is also superb on fish or chicken.


 

Kosher Charcuterie

 

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It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Salami Anymore

For most diners, there’s nothing new about charcuterie, but for kosher eaters in the United States, there is suddenly a whole new world. A revolution in artisanal meats was a logical extension of the explosion of interest in expanded kosher possibilities that brought us Camembert,
Gruyere, and sushi.


 

Shopping Guide for Kosher Charcuterie

 

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In New York City:

Prime Butcher Baker
1572 2nd Ave
(Between 81st and 82nd)
New York, NY 10028
www.primebutcherbaker.com


 

Making Horseradish – A Visit to Gold’s...

 

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The food world is finally catching on to what Steve Gold has been saying for years. Horseradish is a superfood. In addition to its incredible earthy and sweet flavor, horseradish is full of health benefits ranging from cancer prevention (horseradish has ten times more cancer-fighting compounds than broccoli!), to respiratory and headache relief. Horseradish has been used for medicinal purposes for years, yet the research on horseradish has become more established and well-known in recent years, while the Gold family has been touting the benefits of horseradish since 1932. Horseradish is creeping up in produce sections throughout the USA, as the demand for horseradish is increasing and will continue to increase in the coming years.

 


 

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: