Football Finger Foods

 

January 20th 2014

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Tamar thinks my elegant dressed up “Accordion” Potatoes aka Hasselback Potatoes look like footballs. When I developed this recipe for the Passover Seder it certainly wasn’t my intention to serve ‘em up at a Superbowl party, but now looking at it through Tamar-colored glasses I see how it can work for this occasion too.  Get my recipe for “Football” Accordion Potatoes here.

But these little spuds, my Nacho Potato Bites or the dressed down Smashed Potato Nachos from my new book JOY of KOSHER Fast, Fresh Family Recipes are perfect for your Sunday sports entertaining.

As are these cutie pie – meat and pareve – finger foods:

beer braised sausage

Beer Braised Sausages

These beer braised bites have deep layers of flavor and get a nice balanced kick from the spicy mustard.

turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Turkey and cranberry are not just for Thanksgiving. Enjoy this great combo mid-winter (and year-round).  Turkey Meatballs Recipe.

zucchini bruscetta

Zucchini Bruschetta

Bruschetta doesn’t have to include tomatoes. It’s officially bread, rubbed with olive oil and garlic. We’ve got that—and here, zucchini and a smear of creamy hummus stand in for the classic basil-and-tomato topping.

greek chicken kebabs

Greek Chicken Kabobs

Red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and oregano are a delicious Greek-inspired departure from the typical Italian or teriyaki flavored versions.

Go Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos!!! Want to see him get his 2nd ring!



 

The Best Gadgets For DIY Vegetable Chips

 

January 17th 2014

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Do you ever make your own veggie chips? It is my favorite snack and almost all vegetables can be turned into a chip.  I don’t even really like potato chips, but I love hot and fresh from the oven baked potato chips which my husband requests practically every Saturday night.  Sometimes I can convince him to have my Zucchini Chips  or my Carrot Chips.   The issue with all of these recipes is that they need to be cut thin and evenly.  The trick for the slicing is a good mandoline.

This mandoline from OXO has a nice guard and a sharp blade with a few different slicing options, you can use it for julienne cutting too.  With all mandolines be careful and make sure there is a good guard and they are very safe.

Then I usually bake them in the oven, but I need a really large pan and a little oil.  Unless you use the microwave.  What!?  I thought this would never work, but it really does and the best way to microwave your chips is to get this Mastrad Chip Maker set, this one even comes with a mandoline, but I recommend getting them separate and make sure to get two trays, they stack!!

Get your snack on this year the healthy way.

 

 


 

Day In Jerusalem – Entertaining Teens

 

January 17th 2014

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Whether it’s Winter Break Vacation, Pesach or Summer Vacation here are some ideas for entertaining teens in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a city that the whole family can enjoy together but very often the teenagers in the family are looking for something more extreme, a challenging or unique activity that’s worth getting out of bed for.

What was once a hard task; is now a fun endeavor. There are so many exciting activities in Jerusalem that even your teens will be asking to come back for more.

Exciting “High Energy” Activities: Teens like to show off their extreme nature through participating in what we call in Israel “extreme sports”. Here are some safe yet fun ideas.

  • Ropes Course: Give them a challenge and reserve a Ropes Course in Park Gilo. Ride the sky swing, walk the tightrope and slide down the omega. If they still want more, then you can arrange a special rappelling experience for them overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Locally we call that snappling! snappling@funinjerusalem.com
  • ATV: Whether your teen sits behind the wheel (with a driver’s license) or is the passenger in a Jerusalem ATV, the experience is exciting. Drive a two seater buggy fully equipped with safety helmets through the back hills of Jerusalem. Ride through areas you have never had access to before. Ride behind the zoo, between Malcha and Moshav Ora. Eli, your guide will take you up the hills on dirt roads to beautiful outlooks, down by the streams for a quick dip in nature’s pool and through the forests to see the beauty & nature in Jerusalem.  atv@funinjerusalem.com
  • Segway: Teens over the age of 16 can enjoy a Segway tour of Jerusalem, either on the Tayelet overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem or into the Old City itself. A Segway provides a fun feeling of flying and your teens will enjoy the ride, learn about the history of the city and be inspired by the view. Segway@funinjerusalem.com

Fun “Low Key” Activities:

  • Kibbutz Tzuba:  If you are looking for an activity that is a bit more low-key, then take a half day trip to Kibbutz Tzuba with your teens.  Located 15 minutes outside Jerusalem, near Ein Kerem, Kibbutz Tzuba recently opened up a branch of the Galita Chocolate Company. They offer chocolate workshops for the entire family. Their professional staff runs great workshops for teens and the best part is that if you have younger kids they can do workshops for their age at the same time and even at the same table. Tasting the chocolate is encouraged. Once you have licked enough chocolate and created some delicious gifts to take home, you can arrange a hike with a guide in the hills around Tzuba. The views are spectacular and there is even a spring you can dip into on hot days. chocolate@funinjerusalem.com

  • Spa Day at Cramim: Very few teens will pass up the opportunity for a day of relaxation and exercise at the SPA. Located a 15 minute drive outside Jerusalem, the Isrotel Cramim Spa Hotel is pure luxury. The large spa facility includes an indoor and outdoor pool, Turkish Hamam, sauna, exercise rooms, weight lifting room, spa treatment rooms and relaxation area with a full tea bar. So whether you have a teenage girl who would appreciate a massage & swim or a teenage boy who would enjoy the exercise/weight room & pool, everyone will enjoy the generous kosher buffet at the Cramim Hotel. The facilities at the hotel are open to kids ages 16+. They may need to wait till they are older to enjoy the Wine Bar but Cramim, which means vineyards, is a really special “day out” right near Jerusalem. cramim@funinjerusalem.com

I hope this blog post has given you the inspiration to spend your next vacation in Jerusalem, especially with your teens.

To see my other ideas for a Day In Jerusalem click here.

 

 


 

How to Cut an Avocado

 

January 17th 2014

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Jamie Geller shows you how to cut an avocado in this Quick & Kosher video. Use this technique to make California Avocado Salad.


 

2014 Manischewitz All-Star Cook-Off

 

January 16th 2014

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Have you been waiting for the Manischewitz Cook-Off?  Working on your perfect recipe? This year they have changed things, so go ahead and submit your recipes here for us all to enjoy while we take a look at the new All-Star Cook Off.

For the past 7 years, the Manischewitz® Cook-Off contest has searched the country for the tastiest and most creative kosher recipes prepared by at-home cooks. Over the years, more than 10,000 people nationwide of all ages and from all walks of life have entered the competition. This year, the top competitors from previous Cook-Off events will compete in a new head-to-head competition for a 2nd chance to win the Grand Prize. This year the event will partner with Saveur, a leading American food and travel magazine with a focus on heritage and authenticity.

The Cook-Off’s prior finalists will prepare dishes that have been a family recipe shared for generations or new dishes that could be a family favorite for years to come.  The All-Stars are personally invited to submit a new recipe from January 15, 2014 to February 12, 2014 and then four finalists will be chosen by the company.

A fifth contestant will be a “People’s Choice” vote chosen by fans via www.manischewitz.com between February 21 to February 27, 2014. All five finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to compete live on March 27th, 2014 at the Manhattan JCC in New York City in front of a live panel of judges.

The event will being with a cooking demonstration led by Helen Rosner, editor at Saveur. She will showcase two Saveur dishes that feature Manischewitz All-Natural Broth.

The official rules for the 2014 All-Star Cook-Off can be found at www.manischewitz.com.   Good luck to everyone!



 

Discount Tickets KFWE 2014

 

January 16th 2014

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It is time to get your tickets for this year’s eighth annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience once again taking place at Pier 61 in NYC.  Every year Royal Wine Corp. puts on this fantastic night to showcase over 200 wines and over 20 restaurants and caterers.  The whole Joy of Kosher team will be there and we would love to see all of you.

Join us on February 24, 2014 and use coupon code JOYOFKOSHER20 to save 20% off right now!!  Go to KFWE to purchase your tickets.

If you have not been before, here is a peak at our favorites from last year: Kosher Food and Wine Experience 2013.

Most of my pictures are of the food, but the crowd is amazing too.  Check out a few more pics from Royal Wine below.

So many people.

So much wine to taste.

So much food to eat.

Hope to see you there.  Don’t forget coupon code JOYOFKOSHER20 when you buy your tickets here.

 


 

We Love Avocados For Game Day

 

January 16th 2014

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Call us dopey. Call us weird. But when my husband Ed and I get together with my brother Jeff and sister-in-law Eileen every year to watch the Super Bowl on TV, we don’t eat chili con carne or chicken wings, tacos or burritos. For us, a dairy meal is easier, more enjoyable and more flexible (especially when it comes to dessert). Besides, Eileen hates spicy food, so any of the usual Buffalo anything is out. Jeff won’t eat any dish that’s made with chopped meat, so there goes the chili.

In fact, the only thing that we do eat that comes remotely close to being the usual Superbowl “Tex-Mex” or Southwest cuisine is the avocado. There is always some avocado something.

Guacamole? Of course. Hey, we fit right in with that, don’t we?

I make two recipes; one is hot with jalapenos, the other is the same dish minus the peppers. Years ago someone bought me a molcajete, the stone, 3-legged mortar and pestle used for crushing the solid ingredients (onions, garlic, peppers and so on) and mixing in softer items. I use that for one version, and keep the guacamole chunky. I use my food processor for the other kind and process it into a puree. Guacamole is very forgiving.

We never have a regular, at-the-table sit-down dinner for this occasion. It’s a much more casual kind of grab-your-meal from the kitchen and bring it into the family room type of day. So the food is very casual. One of our favorites is a sandwich of some kind. Not loaded with corned beef or turkey, but cheese. Grilled Cheese, cheese paninis, roasted veggies and cheese. You get the picture. Once we had a delicious egg and cheese sandwich with – you guessed it — avocado. I’ve made this sandwich several times since for other meals.

Maybe you’re like most folks and will have a hearty meat fest for Superbowl. But if you’re not, try the sandwich (which is a good Sunday afternoon lunch anytime). The Guacamole is pareve, so it’s suitable no matter what else you serve.

Guacamole Recipe

Avocado, Egg, Tomato and Pesto Mayo Sandwich


 

What To Do With Blood Oranges

 

January 15th 2014

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Winter is the season for citrus.  If you haven’t noticed yet, there are all sorts of new oranges out in the market now, not sure if it is the Dietitian in me or the foodie me, but I get really excited for new seasonal produce.   I also grew up in Florida, so a love of citrus is in my “blood” (pun intended).

Blood oranges are a variety of orange with a crimson tint to the skin and a dark, red, almost blood colored flesh.  Just like all oranges, they are rich in antioxidants―including vitamin C, which aids in healing, boosts your immune system, helps your body absorb iron, and even helps reduce the risk of cancer.   It is also a good source of fiber especially if you eat some of the pith and rind (more on that later).

They can be a bit pricey, but I just love getting my kids excited about fruit and who can resist having some fun with these suckers.  Yes, oh yes, I had to go there, sink your teeth into a blood orange wedge and go ahead and say it, “I want to suck your blood”.

Candied Orange Peel

After we have have our fun I find I am left with tons of gorgeous orange rind I am reluctant to throw away.  So, I came up with this recipe for candied orange peel that also yields the most flavorful orange simple syrup for my cocktails or mocktails.  The peel has lots of nutrients and fiber, a perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Looking for more creative ways to use blood oranges this season? Here are 5 recipes from around the web I thought had real potential.

1. Blood Orange and Vanilla Bean Bars

Squeeze some juice, bake up these bars, try subbing coconut oil for butter if you want to make it dairy free and eat for Breakfast or dessert.

2. Blood Orange Marmalade Three Ways

Marmalade is an obvious direction to go and here there are three versions for you.  You can’t go wrong.

3. Barley Porridge with Maple Glazed Almonds and Blood Orange

Try something different in your porridge today or your breakfast hot cereal.  This version adds tons of unique flavor.

4.Blood Orange Salad with Blue Cheese and Pecans

Don’t forget to add these succulent wedges to your salads.

5. Arugula Blood Orange Salad with Blood Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Even try it in your salad dressings!

What is your favorite type of orange? Have you tried a blood orange yet?

 


 

A Healthy and Sweet Tu B’shvat Treat

 

January 15th 2014

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I grew up in a ‘healthy’ house. What is a ‘healthy’ house, you may ask? Well, my mother, a former nurse, believed that we were only to put food that was good for our body into our mouths. There was never candy or junk food to be found in our home. There was no sugar cereal in the cupboards. There was no soda or juice in the fridge.

If we were thirsty, we drank the same liquid we used to wash our hands with, bathe in, wash our clothes and fill the dog’s bowl with: H2O from the tap. Despite all the limitations on what we could eat, my mother was a good cook.

Her favorite culinary color of course was green, as her dishes relied heavily on vegetables. But despite her busy schedule as a nurse, she always made sure that we had a family dinner every night. And with that dinner always came … dessert. If we ate our supper, (there was no leaving any food on our plate.) my siblings and I were treated with our choice of either a crunchy, mouth-watering apple or a juicy, sumptuous orange. Oh joy!

But life wasn’t always so ‘healthy’. Occasionally my siblings and I felt like we won the lottery when my mom would offer us her homemade baked apples. (I now realize, she probably made them when the apples were going bad, but we loved them nonetheless.)

My mother never added sugar, but the natural sweetness of the apple mixed with just a dash of cinnamon was all it took to fill the house with a sweet and delicious aroma.

Now that Tu B’shvat is around the corner, I think Baked Apples are a perfect way to compliment the day. These are not my mother’s baked apples, but the smell sure reminds me of how lucky we felt when baked apples were being offered for dessert!

Enjoy and have a Tu B’shvat Sameach!

 

Serve these tasty apples on a Swirl Gifts plate, check out my designs for and pick up amazing gift ideas for you or your friends, please visit me at SwirlGifts.com or on Facebook here.


 

Favorite Tu B’Shevat Recipes

 

January 14th 2014

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This year Tu B’Shevat, translated as the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, begins in the evening on Wednesday January 15, 2014 and ends in the evening on Thursday January 16th, 2014.  This “New Year for the Trees” holiday marks the beginning of the slow process when the trees begin blossoming and flowering with new life and new fruit.  In our home we find it especially meaningful to eat something from all of the Shiv’at HaMinim, seven species of the land of Israel – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates – that have a special significance in Judaism.

So now that you know what’s what, I’m sharing my favorite recipes featuring each of the seven species.

Shivat Haminim Salad
Shivat Haminim Salad

This here is my signature Shivat Haminim Salad. There certainly is somethin’ for everyone here to the tune of all 7 agricultural products enumerated in the Torah as special to the Land of Israel. Barley, wheat, figs, dates, grapes, pomegranates and olive (oil) are all represented in this salad. The honey is a nod to the land of milk and honey and even the red wine vinegar is a further play on the grape theme. Make this and you will have done this holiday proud. For single ingredient inspiration continue to scroll down.

Kosher Beef Porridge Soup Recipe

Kosher Beef Porridge Soup Recipe

My soothing Beef and Barley Porridge is a hearty winter soup that eats like a meal.

Chicken Thighs with Roasted Winter Fruit
Chicken Thighs with Roasted Winter Fruit

Roasted grapes adorn chicken thighs along with winter fruit for a sweet and savory main.

Date Glazed Roast Chicken

Date Glazed Roast Chicken

For a sweeter chicken dinner do my Date Glazed Roast Chicken.

Green Beans with Walnut and Green Olive Tapenade

Green Beans with Walnut and Green Olive Tapenade

A light (green!) side, serve this warm or at room temp and double the tapenade for an awesome olive dip that will last in the fridge for a week.

 White Chocolate Bark

White Chocolate Bark

Featuring figs this beautiful bark combines creamy white chocolate with delicious dried fruits and nuts for an elegant but simple dessert, treat or gift. Goes great with semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate too!

Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Swirl

Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Swirl

Semi-homemade Pomegranate Swirl ice cream is brilliant with a fudgey brownie or slice of rich chocolate cake.

Leave a comment and let me know how you celebrate Tu B’Shevat.

Follow us on Pinterest, check out our Tu B’Shevat Board:

Follow JoyofKosher’s board Tu Bishvat on Pinterest.


 

Gluten Free and Natural on Tu B’Shevat

 

January 13th 2014

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It is customary to celebrate Tu B’Shevat by eating the Seven Species of fruit and grains which are native to the land of Israel. When I think of Tu B’Shevat I think of slicing open a pomegranate, eating the seeds over Greek yogurt and drizzling it with honey for breakfast, while for dinner I’d imagine Moroccan chicken marinated and then baked in olives and prunes.

Tu B’Shevat is a special day not only for celebrating trees but also for celebrating everything the earth provides for us; all of our fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wheat and barley, etc. Tu B’Shevat is a day to celebrate our health and maybe even re-evaluate our eating habits.  The perfect time to introduce new fruits and vegetables into our daily meals.  After all Tu B’Shevat is a new year, and on New Years we make new resolutions.

Fig and Onion Galette

I decided that this would be my Tu B’shevat resolution: From now on I will try to incorporate more natural ingredients and cut out unhealthy processed sugars as often as possible. My first recipe is a Flour-less Brownie which is sweet and rich, made up of ground nuts and dates to make the perfect brownie texture, and has a kick of rich dutch cocoa and espresso. The second is an Almond Galette glazed with a fig and onion balsamic reduction. Both recipes are Gluten free, without sacrificing flavor or presentation. All the ingredients are festive for Tu B’shevat and help create a sweet and natural celebration.

No Bake (Raw/Vegan) Date and Nut Brownie

Almond Galette with Fig and Onion Glaze


 

The Best Immersion Blender

 

January 10th 2014

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One of the best inventions of all time has got to be the immersion blender.  I mean how many people have burned themselves pouring hot soup into a blender and who can wait for the soup to cool off?  Not me, that is for sure.  One of my very first kitchen gadgets was one of these hand held blenders.  It came with a nice large cup that I loved to puree anything from smoothies to eventually babyfood.  The best part is, these little gadgets don’t take up any space.  So even in my small kitchen with two sets of everything, I can have two of these, the question is which one to choose.

I really love my Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Hand Blender you can read about here, but it does take up a bit more space and so for today I am going to talk about the basic ones, that just come with a cup.

Kitchen Aid also makes this 2 speed blender.  Really you don’t need anything more. And if your kitchen is color coded for meat and dairy this one can fit right in, it comes in quite a few colors.  It purees soups easily, blends smoothies and gets the job done and at under $50 it can fit into anyone’s kitchen.

The Cuisinart basic hand blender is also a great choice.  It comes in a multitude of colors too and with its own beaker.  At only $35 you can’t go wrong.

This Hamilton Beach model includes a whisk attachment and is only $20.  It is a perfectly good hand blender without any bells ans whistles.  It does not come in any color, but white.  It does not come with a handy beaker and the bottom is made of plastic, so you might not want to put in a soup that is on direct heat.  Based on your needs it could be a fine blender for smoothies and light use maybe as your good for Passover.

Do yo have an immersion blender? Which one is your favorite?


 

Candy Wrapper Hair Accessories *Giveaway*

 

January 10th 2014

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We have a very strange candy minhag in my home every Friday night when my brother in law comes to stay with us…. which is pretty much every weekend! After the dishes are cleared and the table cleaned, out comes the candy. Mike and Ike’s ALWAYS make an appearance. When I was asked to come up with a craft using candy wrappers I was so beyond excited since I’ve been thinking about doing something with them for so long. I loved the idea of creating hair accessories out of the old boxes and wrappers. It’s such a great party craft for girls or the perfect mom and daughter project to bond over.

 

Supplies

  • plastic hairbands
  • clips
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue
  • empty candy boxes
  • empty candy plastic wrappers
  • scissor
  • pen

Headband Instructions

Cut up plastic candy wrappers into small pieces. Hot glue them to the headband in an overlapping pattern. Have fun! Mix and match colors and designs. The more variety of labels used the more interesting it will look!

Flower Clip Instructions

Open the empty candy box length wise. With your pen draw large petals. You can either do a straight edge or a pointed one. Repeat the process again with a different color candy box, but this time make the petals a bit smaller.

Starting at the top, hot glue the petals one at a time in a clockwise direction. Once you have your base flower put together, hot glue it to you clip. Next, hot glue the smaller petals in between the larger ones. Scrunch up a bit of a plastic candy wrapper and glue onto the middle of the flower. A button would be cute too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by Mike and Ike, all opinions are my own.


 

Essential 6 Ingredient Soups

 

January 9th 2014

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When temperatures drop, nothing is more comforting than cozying up with a hot bowl of soup. As a personal chef, I find myself making these three recipes weekly for my clients, and who would ever guess they only require 6 ingredients? These soups take no time to prepare and freeze wonderfully for an easy, last minute dinner. Immersion blenders are essential here, creating a creamy consistency without the extra calories. Want to jazz them up for a special occasion? See starred comments on the recipes for some unique ideas that will impress your guests!

Minted Pea Soup

This soup couldn’t be easier and takes minutes to prepare. I love making this soup during the summer season as well when fresh peas are abundant and fresh. The flavors are crisp and bold creating a fabulous soup that works any day of the week, and any time of the year.

Creamy’ Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is chock full of vitamins and antioxidants and what better way to get a healthy dose of nourishment than in a delicious soup? The vibrant color of this soup looks elegant when served, and the flavor from the basil complements the asparagus perfectly. Your guests will love this one, that is, of course, if you’re willing to share!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Nothing compares to the texture of silky butternut squash soup. It’s velvety and incredibly comforting on a cold winter day. I make this soup for many of my client’s kids. They adore this soup and don’t even realize that they’re eating a healthy vegetable. If available, buy pre-cut butternut squash-huge time saver!


 

Vote Now For Your Favorites and WIN

 

January 9th 2014

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Thank you all for nominating your favorites for our Best of Kosher 2013 awards.  The winner of the kitchen gadgets from Lekue is huviepoo and the kitchen gadgets from Rosle goes to davises88 .  Now, the real fun begins – voting and more great prizes!!

Check out all our 8 categories on our Best of Kosher 2013 page, vote for your favorites, every day until January 27th.

Every vote gets you another entry and there will be three winners, one for each prize, the Tagine ($135), 4.2 qt Stew Pot ($170), and Fondue Pot ($130) all from Emile Henry.

Start Voting Here.