Summer Barbecue 101: Planning a Healthy Cookout

 

July 2nd 2014

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Summertime is the time when many of our spouses love to don their chef’s apron and light up the barbecue grill to cook outdoors.  Personally, I love it!  I do prepare the foods in the house, the marinades, salads etc.   I set up everything in individual Tupperware containers with seals, so they stay bug-free outdoors, than I let “hubbie” take over!  I am free to enjoy my guests without worrying about the cooking. All the men also love to congregate around the barbecue grill sharing their opinions.

Grilling is a favorite summer cooking technique that enhances the flavor of many dishes, including lean meat, skinless chicken breasts, fish, veggies, and even fruits. Whether you’re already a grill master — or aspiring to become one — you’ll still benefit from using the right grilling utensils. If you are a“newbie”, make sure you have the following equipment on hand before you get started. (clicking on the links will take you to our Amazon store page)

  1. Long-handled metal tongs: A pair of extra-long tongs is essential for picking up and turning pieces of food on the grill. Metal tongs won’t burn, and long ones will keep your hands at a safe distance from the heat. That said, many people like to wear a heatproof grilling glove as an extra precaution.
  2. Long-handled two-prong fork: Like the tongs, a long fork is good for flipping large pieces of lean meat or poultry.
  3. Metal spatula: This tool is especially helpful when flipping chicken breasts or fish steaks or fillets. Unlike tongs, a spatula will keep delicate food intact.
  4. Basting brush: Use this tool to mop, or baste, foods with marinades. Look for a brush with heat-resistant silicone bristles that won’t shed. Since your brush may come into contact with raw meat or poultry, make sure you clean it well with soap and hot water before you baste veggies, fruits, or other foods that you may be cooking along with, or after, the meat or poultry.  Tupperware just came out with a Clip-N-Click Silicone Brush. It’s great for spreading sauces over BBQ foods, decorate bakery goods or glaze fruit quickly and completely. The brush head folds away inside the handle for safe storage. It is dishwasher safe.
  5. Instant-read thermometer: This important tool works just as well in the backyard as it does in the kitchen. Use it to determine when your meat is cooked to perfection.
  6. Grill racks and baskets: Perforated nonstick grill racks (also called grill toppers), grill baskets, or shaped fish baskets can be used to grill small or delicate vegetables and fruits, whole fish, and more, ensuring that the food won’t slip through the grates or stick to the grill.

Once you have all your tools assembled, you are ready to grill!

When hosting a cookout, there’s no need to miss out on your favorite eats just because you’re following a healthier food plan. Grilled burgers, dogs, and veggies, and grilled fruits, can all be enjoyed on your plan. We love grilling because it’s a healthy way to cook, and you won’t be slaving over a hot stove.

Here are some great ways to make traditional cookout food with an emphasis on healthier eating.

Hot-Dog with Peppers and Onions

Hot-Dog with Peppers and Onions

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
When cooking up burgers, choose lean ground round or ground sirloin, ground turkey or chicken breast. Ground salmon and tuna also make great patties.  When on a healthier food plan, you can occasionally enjoy hot dogs made with beef, poultry, or soy, as long as they are at least 97 percent fat-free (3 to 6 g fat per serving). Aaron’s Best makes these amazing frankfurters that taste like fleishig but are made from karp!  They are Pareve and delicious!  They were just introduced to the market at Kosherfest this past October.   It is an Asian recipe, with omega-3, a healthier food indeed!  Shelf life on the product is 90 days, and yes, it can be frozen. They looked AND tasted like a good frankfurter!  I served these at our family Chanukah party, and no one could tell the difference!

Serve the burgers or hot dogs on 100% whole-grain or whole-wheat buns.  Last time I grilled hamburgers, I wrapped them in lettuce leaves and sliced tomatoes.  . You can also use romaine lettuce leaves, or portobello mushroom caps as your “bun.” When it comes to toppings, skip sugary condiments and go for Dijon mustard, sugar-free ketchup and sliced tomatoes, and onions. Or prepare your own healthy topping: Try a sun-dried tomato mayonnaise or jalapeño salsa as an alternative.

Chicken and Veggie Skewers

Vegetable Skewers

Veggies on the grill
Grilled or steamed corn is a cookout favorite that is rich in vitamins and fiber, but because of its natural sugars, it is recommended you stick to 1/2 ear and eat it only on occasion. For a nutritious and delicious alternative, prepare grilled vegetable kebabs. (Soak the wooden skewers in water for several hours beforehand to prevent them from burning.)  Marinate chopped pieces of zucchini or other summer squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers, in a mixture of fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. Place the veggies on skewers, in a grilling basket, or on a grill topper so they won’t fall through the grates. Try making grilled sweet potato fries with olive oil and some salt.

Grilled Plums with Kale Salad

Fruit on the grill

Summer fruit favorites like watermelon and pineapple should be avoided when first planning your healthier menus.  Because these fruit contain a high concentration of natural sugars that can affect blood-sugar levels and cause cravings, there are many other delicious fruits that can still be enjoyed on most food plans. Try making fruit kebabs with peaches, plums, nectarines, and/or mangoes, and grill over medium heat. Keep an eye on the fruit and turn frequently so it doesn’t burn. If you like, melt dark chocolate for a delicious fruit fondue.  Some dieters must avoid fruit but can enjoy a sugar-free frozen fruit-flavored pop as a sweet summer treat.

gorgeous mushroom salad

Umeboshi Mushroom Salad

Summer Salads

My nutritionist recommended I should stick with a fresh green salad or a mixed bean (or other legume) salad when starting on my food plan. I add to it a variety of vegetables, like chopped bell peppers, kirbies, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes. I also add whole-wheat or whole-grain elbow or penne pasta instead of the white-flour varieties for macaroni salad. Be sure to stick with 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise per serving when you’re making the dressing — for Pareve or use low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt (Dairy) or vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Roasted bell peppers are also a nice addition. For a healthier diet-friendly potato salad, use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, and mix with nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt, scallions, chopped fresh basil, red-wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt for a tasty dressing.

Get my recipe for Hawaiian Chicken 

 

 

 

 

 


 

In Loving Memory of our Beloved Boys Eyal, Gilad...

 

July 2nd 2014

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In Loving Memory of our Beloved Boys
Eyal, Gilad and Naftali HY”D

I am not equipped to eloquently comment on the tragic loss of our boys Eyal, Gilad and Naftali HY”D. I won’t pretend that I have the words. Instead I will now share two exceptional pieces I read with you here today.

This first piece from the desk of Rabbi Yakov Harowitz of Project YES and KosherJewishParenting.com is a source of strength for both children and adults and is especially insightful when it comes to explaining the inexplicable to our children.

One from Rabbi Yakov Harowitz is here.

This 2nd piece from the desk of Rabbi Milston of Midreshet HaRova is a more personal account which I found moving.

May the families be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.  May we never know of such sorrow and sadness.


 

The Kitchen Is Closed

 

July 1st 2014

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Growing up it was just the two of us girls, my younger sister and I.  My sister, always the pickiest of eaters never really ate at dinner time (she inconveniently was never hungry for what we were all eating when we were all eating it), but was always hungry for something other than dinner later in the evening, prompting one of my mom’s famous lines…

“THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED!”

I just now realized I do the same thing, kinda, sorta.  I don’t announce loudly that “the kitchen is closed” to all within earshot, I don’t hang a “sorry we’re closed” sign on the front door, but what I do, is turn off the lights.  At a certain point in the evening it’s lights out in that part of the house.  Signaling to all that undoubtedly, unequivocally, and assuredly the kitchen is closed.  Save for a cup of water should someone be thirsty.  I am VERY into hydration.

Do you treat your kids and kitchen like a 24-hour diner? Or do you have your own throw in the towel kitchen is closed routine?


 

Cooking with Flowers

 

June 30th 2014

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It is fascinating to eat a plant in every stage, from a micro plant, to a blossom and then finally to a fruit. Each step of the way, the plant is giving its all, and we can enjoy it, every bite of it!

I remember as a kid, my father told me that the huge Tiger Lilies growing by the side of my childhood home were edible. I was fascinated
as we stood together watering the huge garden of the showy, bright blossoms. I was spellbound as I watched my dad pluck a petal off one flower and pop it into his mouth. Immediately I was hooked.

That summer, I was eager to show off my edible garden to neighbors, relatives and anyone who came to the house during the prolonged Tiger Lily season. Each summer after that, I would impatiently wait for the blooms to appear. I still smile every time I see the dramatic flowers. It was a magical time in my childhood and so much of what I do daily has everything to do with my father and his enjoyment of all things gustatory.

Flowers are not just intended to look lovely in a vase; many are delicious to eat, and add an extra depth of flavor to food.  Edible flowers are classified as herbs. Flowers have enjoyed a prominent place in culinary history and are in fact referred to in the torah. Eating blossoms has also been a part of almost every culture. Mediterranean countries enjoyed eating capers which are the flowering buds of an evergreen shrub. Romans used violets, mallow and roses in many dishes, the Chinese use Lilies and Chrysanthemums in their kitchens and the Victorians used Borage, Violets, Primroses and other blossoms for their salads.

While eating and cooking with flowers is common in many parts of the world, the practice seems to go in and out of fashion in America. Though, recently as the organic food movement has gained momentum and farmers’ markets are common shopping destinations, flowers and flower recipes are popping up on chefs’ menus and in home kitchens as well. Americans have renewed interest in growing and consuming local and homegrown produce instead of nutritionally- empty fast or prepared foods. Flowers are part of that movement and with big flavor and visual interest; I would say flowers are here to stay.

Notes for eating flowers:

  • Be sure to use flowers that have not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides.  (I freak out when brides want to decorate their wedding cakes with flowers from the florist. Those blossoms have been heavily sprayed and should not be anywhere near FOOD!)
  • Fresh flowers are delicate in texture and flavor, but dried flowers are more assertive and a little can go a long way.   You can always add more, but you can’t take out what has already been added. Go easy until you are familiar with the flavors.
  • Not all flowers are dibble; in fact some are toxic.  Be sure to check with a reliable source before you add blossoms to your recipes.
  • Flowers are not just garnishes. They add flavor and texture to dishes. Have fun with them and turn your food into a botanical masterpiece.
  • Plant an edible garden with your kids.  Even small city apartments can grow a window box. Your kids will benefit from seeing their seeds turn into delicious homegrown food.
  • Edible flowers are east to check for bugs and are different from any other herb.  Check with your rabbinical authorities for exact procedures.
  • Home cooks can have the same quality of amazing edible flowers and micro plants that chefs enjoy.   The most amazing selection comes from my friend Farmer Lee Jones. www. farmerjonesfarm. com

Here are some recipes to try with fresh flowers:

Fried Zucchini Blossoms

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Bloomin Salad with Lavender Honey Dressing

Potato Salad with Chive Garlic Blossoms

Hibiscus Sangria

For more recipes like Rose Granita, Salmon with Hibiscus Cream Sauce and Lavender Vanilla Bean Cupcakes subscribe to our Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine.

 

Fried Zucchini Blossoms



Fried Zucchini Blossoms

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine – Subscribe Now


 

The Independence Day and Molasses Connection

 

June 27th 2014

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It’s almost July 4th and every American is thinking fireworks and parades or lemonade and fried chicken but my mind turns to molasses.

Really.

Because molasses is inextricably tied up with the American Revolution.

John Adams said so, so I’ve got the day covered historically, politically and gastronomically.

Really.

Here’s why.

Right after Europeans settled in the Americas, the production of sugar cane (brought to the West Indies by Columbus) became big business. Molasses is the liquid left over after cane is processed for sugar. The colonists bought tons of molasses because it was much cheaper than crystal sugar (and continued to be until after the Civil War). They used it for sweetener, but also to distill it into rum (which gets its name from saccharum, the sugar in molasses). That became big business too.

Unfortunately, the colonists bought their molasses from French planters, rather than English ones, because the French sold it at bargain prices. And that, made the British furious, so Parliament passed the infamous Molasses Act, which imposed a stiff duty on all molasses imported into the colonies from foreign countries. And, unfortunately that led to cries of “taxation without representation” and anyone who ever went to school in America knows that one.

So, molasses.

It’s a real treat too, for July 4th or any time. I find its rich, robust flavor a big plus for countless items from cookies to barbecue sauce to baked beans to pudding to gingerbread. There are several kinds but for cooking, unsulfured molasses (light or dark) is the finest and sweetest. Try using it, at least in part, instead other liquid sweeteners for such recipes as corn bread, pecan pie and spice cake. Or for these: Fresh Ginger Cake and Grilled Chicken Wings with Molasses Barbecue Sauce: both perfect for any July 4th celebration.


 

Eating Healthy With Red, White and Blue

 

June 26th 2014

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Fourth of July is a patriotic time to celebrate with family and friends. But it can also be a time to eat healthy, nutritious, red, white and blue food! This dish incorporates purple [blue] potatoes, red beets and white goat cheese. As a Registered Dietitian, I’m more than happy to serve up a healthy [and All-American!] dish this year. Purple potatoes are rich in the same antioxidants found in blueberries and pomegranate seeds. Red beets are rich in fiber, vitamins A, B and C, and folic acid [an especially important nutrient for mamas-to-be]. Goat cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, and offers a tangy and creamy bite. The cheese pairs nicely with the different textures of the potatoes and beets.

I always tell my clients to try and “eat the rainbow”, and this dish definitely fits the bill. And it doesn’t hurt that this recipe could not be simpler to put together!

Red, White and Blue Potato and Goat Cheese Salad

What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes and beets? Are you serving red, white and blue food this Fourth of July? Fill us in! We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Independence Day.


 

Cooking With Joy: Soups

 

June 26th 2014

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Hubs and I went away for a long weekend without the kids. While it was thoroughly restful and enjoyable, the minute we picked up the kids from the grandparents, everything became hectic again. Such is life, vacation over, what’s for dinner?

While Hubs unpacked and did the laundry (he is super awesome like that), I went grocery shopping. I have been really organized and made myself cooking and shopping lists for the next 4 weeks. On tap for this week was soup. Poppy’s Potato Sour Cream potato Soup and Creamy Cucumber Avacado. So I grabbed my list and got the ingredients for the two soups.

Since it was already pretty late in the day, dinner needed to be ready fast. The Cucumber Avocado Soup needed chilling time, so I decided to go with Potato Soup.

Poppy’s Sour Creamy Potoat Soup
DRESS IT UP Poppy’s Potato Soup cups page 72

I don’t usually cook with butter, so this was quite a treat (I even added in some extra to make up for not using it that often). We don’t cook dairy dishes that often (not counting pizza). Hubs doesnt like creamy cheesy things. The one time I made an alfredo sauce he added tomato sauce, so since then all white creamy things have been put on the back burner (literally!) The soup was very good when hot, but once it cooled, it congealed and became really heavy. While it was still fresh and hot I had like 3 bowls. It was really hearty and filling- the perfect fast meal for the end of a long day.

One weird thing about me is that I go to sleep super early every night. By 8pm every night I am falling over and ready for bed. One of the benefits of this, is I end up waking up really early, which allows me to accomplish things before work!

Cool Cucumber and Avocado Cream Soup
DRESS IT UP Cool Cucumber and Avocado Cream Shooters page 68

I knew the Cucumber Avacado soup would be really quick to prep (it barely took me 10 minutes). I prepped all the veggies and threw them in the food processor. Since I dont have a dairy food processor, I poured the puree into a bowl before adding the yogurt.
I cant put my finger on it, but for reason I was not excited about tasting this. I like all of the ingredients separately, but seeing and smelling them together was not at all appealing.

I put the soup in the fridge to chill and tasted it when I got home from work. Just like I thought, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t bad, I just found the raw garlic to be a bit overwhelming and the texture was not for me. This is all part of the experience, so I’m happy I did it.

 

If you have missed any of my blog as I work through the Joy of Kosher cookbook, find all my articles here on Cooking with Joy.

 

 


 

10 Savory & Sweet Sandwiches for July 4th

 

June 25th 2014

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When I first started becoming religious it was a real challenge to sort through the secular holidays to decide which ones I still felt comfortable celebrating.  Certain holidays got the boot, but I’m proud that July 4th is a holiday that my secular and religious cohorts alike celebrate with relatively equal vigor.  Now, I’ll stop myself from going on a rant about how great America is and what a blessing it is that American Jewry has flourished so beautifully.  I will be newly arrived in Israel this 4th of July where my celebrations will be much more subdued, but I plan to celebrate by giving thanks for the simple, and often overlooked, pleasures that we enjoy in America.  With that simplicity in mind, here are 10 sweet and savory sandwiches, the ultimate marriage of simple and satisfying, to enjoy this 4th of July, no matter where in the world you happen to be.

 

Non Dairy Cashew Ice Cream Sandwiches

Teriyaki Beef Banh Mi with Sesame Cucumber Salad + Cashew Ice Cream “Sandwiches”: No need to be intimidated, these seemingly complex sandwiches are composed of food that is likely already in your kitchen.  After enjoying the mild heat of chili sauce on the beef bahn mi try these one-bite pareve cashew ice cream sandwiches; think of this meal as the distant cousin of the steak sandwich and tofutti ice cream bar.

 

 

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich + Orange Chocolate Meringue Kiss Sandwich: The sandwich is so versatile, as evidenced not only by this post, but by the buffalo chicken sandwich.  Whether you are transforming leftover chicken or have been dreaming about buffalo sauce, the buffalo chicken sandwich is a cinch to make.  Picky crowd? Make a sauce station where guests can choose sauces ranging from sweet to spicy according to their preference.  The orange chocolate meringue kiss sandwich is a small sweet treat to enjoy after the spicy buffalo chicken.

 

 

Spinach Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich + Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies: This sandwich combination seemingly encapsulates childhood, but with a grown-up twist that makes them fit to serve to guests on July 4th.  The spinach pesto grilled cheese will knock your socks off, it’s so simple yet so delicious.  Similar to the grilled cheese, the almond butter and jelly sandwich cookies are a breeze to prepare.  Make extras and freeze them so you always have a tasty treat on hand.

 

 

Kouftikes de Prasa Sandwiches + Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches:  Don’t worry, I also am confident that I will butcher the pronunciation of the kouftikes, but that won’t matter once you get a taste of these lovely leek patties with harissa and preserved lemon red cabbage.  On the bright side, brownie ice cream sandwiches are super easy to pronounce and even easier to watch them disappear into the hands of giddy children and adults alike.

 

 

Mini Chocolate Coconut Sandwiches

Grilled Blackened Barramundi Sandwich + Mini Chocolate Coconut Sandwiches: Fish and coconut are such a perfect match, although perhaps not as good as chocolate and coconut.  Break out the grill this 4th of July and enjoy grilled blackened barramundi, or the fish of your choice, in this delightful sandwich.  End on a sweet note with mini chocolate coconut sandwiches that are reminiscent of the all-American favorite, the whoopie pie.

 

Check out more 4th of July ideas here!

 

 

Pinterest July fourth

 


 

Burn Jel Plus Works To #StopTheBurn *Weber Grill...

 

June 25th 2014

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A few moths ago, Jamie was doing a cooking demo and ended up burning herself on a hot pan.  Afterwards she learned that one of the attendees worked for a burn relief product and a new relationship was born.  All regular cooks know that burns are just par for the course, but the pain doesn’t have to be.  Burn Jel Plus® is a pain relieving gel that instantly cools and soothes.  If you have ever burned yourself you know how painful it can be and you feel like there is nothing you can do.  Water-Jel® Technologies the manucacturer of Burn Jel Plus® has been making emergency burn care products for more than 25 years and now they are bringing their products to us.

When a burn occurs it is important to act immediately to #StopTheBurn and relieve the pain.  That is why it is our mission to make sure everyone has this necessary tool on hand when they need it.  Just after I got my first sample of Burn Jel Plus® my 9 year old son was cooking and got a minor burn on his arm.  He yelled out and immediately put it under running water.  Then I remembered my sample and ran over to give it a try.  Within seconds his pain was gone and he went on with what he was doing.

Burn Jel Plus® stops the burning process and instantly cools the skin.  It really is a must have kitchen and on the go product available at Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walmart or online at BurnJelPlus.com.

We have teamed up with Burn Jel Plus® this Summer to help everyone #StopTheBurn.  Starting next week we are giving away 30 Burn Jel Plus® Gift Baskets filled with Burn Jel Plus®, Oven Mits, Aprons, Spatulas and More!!  Every Wednesday through August we will choose 3 winners and then on August 27, 2014 1 Grand Prize Winner will win this Weber Grill valued at $499 (or equivalent Lowe’s Gift Card).  Open to residents of U.S., ages 18+. See detailed terms and conditions on entry form.  Enter here with Rafflecopter:

The first winners are: Melissa, Carolyn, and Gerald.

The next winners are: Pam, Tandi, and Gary.

The third set of winners are: Debbie W, Tammi, and Joe Jo

The fourth round of winners are: Sari, Ken G, Keith B

The fifth round of winners: Bethany S, Robyn W, and Traci B

The sixth set of winners: Linda F, Shalom K, Annette T

The seventh set of winners: Judith W, Louly, Debbie R

The eighth set of winners: Adele S, Robin S,  Marta H

The ninth set of winners: Mike P, Cohen, T Michelle

The final set of gift basket winners: Bryn, Richard H, Karen H

The Big Winner of the Weber Grill is Tandi C – Congratulations!!!
Win A Weber Grill (value at $499)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Four Fantastic Summer Salads

 

June 25th 2014

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Delicious fresh salads using all your favorite vegetables and some new ingredients you will want to add to your pantry.

MILLET

Millet is a nutrient-rich grain that is incredibly under-used. Unlike fluffy rice which is so good it can be steamed and eaten plain, millet benefits from being combined with strong flavors and spices.

I promise you, though — once you learn what millet is good for and how to bring out its best qualities, the grain will grow on you. It looks like couscous, but it isn’t soft and it certainly doesn’t have that melt-in-your-mouth quality.

Millet is similar in taste and texture to quinoa. Millet can be very clumpy, so it works well for shaping pat- ties, but mostly, millet just needs love and attention. Fat does wonders for this grain. rather than cooking it in water, use chicken soup or beef stock. Or make it creamy, polenta-style with butter and cheese.

Roasted Chickpea Millet Salad

This is a vegetarian dish but can be easily served warm next to a hearty beef stew or saucy roast. it can also stand on its own as a complete meal. I generally roast each vegetable separately, but you can steam, blanch and sauté any of the vegetables you choose or even use leftover veggies.

Light Summer Salsa

A really simple fresh salad to augment the other complicated ones. Serve with tortilla chips or with pita and falafel in place of israeli salad.

ARAME

Arame is available kosher (OK certified) under the eden Organic brand. Arame is a sea vegetable that has been a traditional part of the Japanese diet since ancient times. arame is a low calorie, low-sodium food that is rich in dietary fiber and a good source of vitamin
a and is fat and cholesterol free. Arame may be cooked with whole grains, in soups, stir fries, vegetable dishes, home- made breads, stuffing, salads, croquettes, and in making grain, tofu and tempeh burgers.

Arame doubles in size when cooked.  To use, rinse quickly, soak for 5 minutes in cold water, chop if desired, and add to your recipe. Arame makes an excellent side dish when cooked with sautéed sweet vegetables, seasoned with vinegar or soy sauce.

Salmon Arame Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Crispy Salmon Skin & Seaweed Dressing

Fresh summer tomatoes are the best thing ever — you don’t need to do much to a tomato to enjoy it. When I sat down to write up some summer salads I racked my brain to think of the best salad I’ve ever had with tomatoes. Sliced with basil and fresh mozzarella or with a little olive oil and salt is always great, but I wanted to think of something that surpasses even that. Chef Moses from Pardes restaurant in Brooklyn suddenly sprang to mind. I worked in his kitchen for a bit of time where he taught me many things, including this amazing dressing and salad. This is my version of his recipe — a more rustic home-style version. (the real thing comes with smoked salmon skin, some rouille, and fancy foam stuff which you’ll have to actually venture out of your house and to Pardes restaurant to eat.) In the meantime, try this recipe.

Roasted Ratatouille

Roasted Ratatouille

Roasted Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a longstanding family tradition. It’s also sort of a family joke. Growing up, my mother made ratatouille every single Friday night of my life — and now all my siblings and I make it as well. Ratatouille is not traditionally roasted, but I find it easier and less sweaty, and it elevates this dish by adding a depth of flavor that can only be achieved with roasting. My ratatouille is a gour- met version of my mother’s, but I incorporate her secret touch: roasting fennel in olive oil with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

 

 

As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Shavuot 2013) – Subscribe Now


 

RSVP For #SummerWithGolds Twitter Party and WIN

 

June 24th 2014

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You’re invited to join our #SummerWithGolds Twitter chat!
Hosted by @JoyofKosher and sponsored by Gold’s.

On the agenda

Summer time BBQ, Condiments and The Fourth of July – Win 1 of 5 copies of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine for Summer just by RSVPing below, then Retweet and engage during the chat to win 1 of 2 Gold’s product prize packs valued at $50 each or equivalent gift cards.

We will be talking about: Favorite Summer BBQ recipes, condiments with horseradish, the Fourth of July party ideas and more.

When

Tuesday July 1st from 1:30-2:30 pm EST

Who

@JoyofKosher @JoyofKosherMag @KosherFoodBloggers @TamarGenger @JamieGeller

Moderator @MommyBlogExpert

How to participate
Use hashtag #SummerWithGolds
Use Tweetchat for easy chatting.

Anyone can participate, but you must be following @JoyofKosher and RSVP here below!

Follow us here

RSVP

Let us know you are coming to the party in the comments below to be entered to win and make sure to include your twitter handle.


 

Morad Pomegranate Wine for Dinner and a Cocktail

 

June 24th 2014

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We all know that wine isn’t just for drinking (you can cook with it too) but did you know that it’s important that the wine you cook with should be just as tasty as the wine you want to drink? In fact, when you open up a bottle of wine to pour into your favorite stews and sauces, it’s a good idea to pour yourself a glass to drink while you cook. That’s an order! And since I must practice what I preach, I’m opening up a bottle of Morad Pomegranate Wine right now to drink while I write about this incredible sweet and sour wine made entirely of the finest pomegranates from Israel.

Instead of adding dry red wine to this classic Osso Buco, I used the sweet and sour Morad Pomegranate Wine to add an extra layer of flavor and tang to this rich and heavy dish. The pomegranate wine is cooked together with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, crushed tomatoes, sausage, fresh rosemary, bay leaf and more! There is so much love there.

Like I said, every wine-infused dish needs a matching drink to go with it and this Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine with pomegranate seed ice is perfect to lighten up the heavy Osso Buco and cool you down on these hot summer days. Instead of just drinking the wine right from the bottle, you can infuse it with tangy and savory flavors to give it new life. I steeped the pomegranate wine with citrus, cinnamon and fresh rosemary then chilled it down for a few hours before drinking. So refreshing and it will last for at least 2-3 days in your fridge…unless you drink it all before then!

Gey your bottle of Morad Pomegranate Wine from Jwines.com 


 

The Story of Bat Shlomo Winery

 

June 24th 2014

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In 1889 Baron Edmond De Rothschild started a new town in the ever growing Zichron Ya’akov.

This picturesque little town by the name of Bat Shlomo, sits on the lower slopes of Mount Carmel, and still features its original buildings (and in most cases descendants of the original families that lived there). It was named after Betty Salomon, the daughter of Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (the Baron’s grandfather).

It was here in 1889 that Baron Rothschild planted some of the first vineyards in Israel, which were eventually abandoned.

Fast forward to the modern day. Serial Entrepreneur Elie Wurtman made Aliyah and soon after achieved significant success in high tech. He then decided to follow his dream and become a ‘pioneer’ by opening his own winery. In his search for the right location, Elie stumbled upon Bat Shlomo and decided to rejuvenate the vines planted over a century ago.

Overgrown Vineyards

Now with the vines in hand, Elie called on a friend of his – Ari Erle, who studied winemaking for six years in Napa Valley.

Together with some of Elie’s other friends and colleagues, they cleaned up the Vineyards and rejuvenated the vines for a proper crop.

Elie then went and purchased one of the original houses in Bat Shlomo with the goal of renovating it and converting it into a Visitors center. In the process, however, he uncovered an ancient Roman house. Once he was granted clearance from the archeologists, he converted that house into the barrel cellar.

 

Elie then found a school nearby that works with troubled religious kids, and after meeting with the head of the school, a program was started whereby the students study agriculture and the religious laws of farming, combined with working in the vineyards.
Here’s what came of all this effort…

Bat Shlomo Sauvignon Blanc – Probably the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted. A clear crisp wine with well-balanced citrus flavors, this is a perfect wine for a fish dinner or as a classy wine for a nice hot day. (95 NIS) – Avaialbe in the US via Amazon for $30, click here.

Bat Shlomo Rosé – This perfectly balanced rosé in deep blush, it’s on my list of the top 5 rosés in Israel. The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc is sure to compliment pasta, tomato based sauces, or fruit. (95 NIS)

Bat Shlomo Chardonnay – Complex and buttery, this wine has so many great things going on! For those who don’t want a completely oaked chardonnay, you can’t go wrong! Good to go with heavier cheesy meals or Turkey dinners, or just sit and sip with some good friends on a hot day. (120 NIS)

Bat Shlomo Betty’s Cuvee – The first red wine from Bat Shlomo – This red blend is exactly the same as the rosé in its composition (The rose is simply removed after a short time and fermented without the skins). This in turn means an even deeper color and texture for the red. The wine is young, and needs substantial time to breathe before drinking. In my opinion this is a great wine for the collector as it will continue to improve in the bottle over the next 4-5 years. If you are a collector – it is a great wine at the great price of 160NIS, as this vintage bottle will be worth much more as it matures.

Bat Shlomo Wines are only available in restaurants or in the winery, but most exclusively through the Jerusalem Wine Club!

Eli Poch is the Founder of the Jerusalem Wine Club.

You can book all your Israeli Wine tours and/or purchase wine through the club through their website:

www.jerusalemwineclub.com


 

10 Sweet and Savory Honey Recipes

 

June 24th 2014

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This post and giveaway is sponsored by The National Honey Board.

Honey does more than sweeten tea and suppress a cough. Honey has many versatile benefits in the kitchen, from replacing other granulated sweeteners in baked goods and other desserts to balancing the acidity and salt of salad dressings with a natural sweetness and mouth-filling texture. For many home cooks who think about honey during breakfast, they may be surprised to learn that many savory dishes will also benefit from adding honey.

Honey enhances browning and helps food retain moisture. That is why honey is a common ingredient in many marinades and sauces for meat, chicken and fish. Honey is sweeter than other granulated sweeteners – so you can use less – and it has a unique flavor profile that enhances every dish. There’s actually more than 300 varietals of honey in the United States. (check out www.honeylocator to find varietals from your region)

Try these sweet and savory recipes to discover how honey can bring out the best flavors in your kitchen.

Asian Vegetables with Quinoa

Asian Vegetables with Quinoa

Honey is a common ingredient in many Asian foods.  Not only does it offer natural sweetness to counterbalance the salty and spicy flavors, but it also provides a thicker coating that sticks to the food.

Herbed Meatloaf

The flavor and juices of the meatloaf are sealed in by the extra coating of tomato paste mixed with honey that is slathered on top.

Honey Pecan Chicken

Honey Pecan Chicken

Honey and mayo combine to coat the chicken before being dredged in pecans and breadcrumbs.  The honey helps keep the chicken breast moist while also working to cling to the breading.

simple salmon

Neshe's Simple Salmon

Salmon never got easier than this recipe and a little honey goes a long way to make a salmon everyone will love.

Red Snapper with Asian Noodles

Red snapper is marinaded in a an asian blend of sauces for a balance of sweet, spicy and salty.

Apple Honey Marinade For Chicken

A chicken marinade from our BBQ professional, honey works great on the grill.

Cider Glazed Vegetables

The honey balances the apple cider vinegar in this vegetable side dish.

Apple Crunch Bread Pudding

This breakfast bread pudding is perfect to use up leftovers.  Honey is a surprise  ingredient in the custard used to soak the bread

Curried Coconut Couscous

This flavorful coconut and curry couscous filled with apricots is laced with the sweet taste of honey.   It can be served warm or prepared ahead and served cold the next day.

Whole Wheat Challah

This whole wheat challah recipe has a great texture due to the use of honey.  Give it a try.

honey recipes

**Giveaway***

Win a Honey Culinary Kit to include a few different samples of honey varietals, 1 cookbook, 1 apron, 1 honey dipper.  To enter to win, leave a comment below with your favorite honey recipe.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more information on honey and more recipes go to Honey.com

This post and giveaway is sponsored by the National Honey Board, all opinions are my own.


 

Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine with Pomegranate...

 

June 23rd 2014

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Posted 06/23/2014 by Melinda Strauss
Instead of drinking your wine right out of the bottle, spice it up for summer with some citrus, cinnamon sticks and fresh herbs. Add some homemade pomegranate seed ice cubes to cool you down and impress your friends.

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