New Gourmet Flavored Cheeses *Giveaway*

 

May 1st 2014

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We will be giving away a cheese sampler every week during the month of May.  This post is sponsored by Sincerely Brigitte. I have written many articles about cheese and the evolution of kosher cheese, from a limited selection of slices that tasted like orange plastic to a world where kosher cheese has expanded from the kosher aisle to the gourmet aisle. The latest addition to our cheese board is on a plate of its own! Sincerely Brigitte has created a line of flavored cheeses that will complement almost any dairy meal or side dish. The six flavors include Jalapeno Cilantro and Chipotle, Parsley Chive and Garlic Basil, Tomato Olive and Blue Marble. They all have their unique taste, but they are made to complement, not overpower, with a mild Monterey Jack or Cheddar base.

Sincerely Brigitte cheeses are getting attention from cheese aficionados of every stripe, I have been using the cheeses over the past couple of months in all my Italian and Mexican dishes and my whole family loves it. The kids love choosing which cheese to sprinkle over their pasta or melt into their veggie taco. I love saving a step by using the flavor of these cheeses to transform an otherwise boring dish You better stock up, once I started with these flavored cheeses it makes it hard to go back to plain old cheddar. And stay tuned for more adventurous flavors to come, I am sworn to secrecy, but they sound amazing!

Brigitte, the cheese maker and longtime friend of Joy of Kosher, created these cheeses in hopes of creating a community of cheese lovers just like her. I know we have a lot of cheese lovers on this site and that is why we have teamed up to offer 4 CHANCES TO WIN!!

Over the next month we will be giving away four Sincerely Brigitte Cheese Sampler Sets including 1 of each of the 6 flavors with a little black cooler, a $40 value.

Enter below with Rafflecopter and you can enter daily or weekly to win, every Thursday in May we will pick one winner and share a new recipe featuring one of the cheeses.

Get started by commenting below, which flavor do you think will be your favorite?

The first winner is Erica S.

The second winner is Esti W.

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This post is sponsored by Sincerely Brigitte, all opinions are my own, to find out more about their cheese, click here.

 


 

Cooking With Joy: Ktzizot – Israeli Mini...

 

May 1st 2014

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Remember the last time you opened up a new jar of spices or coffee?

You know that amazing aroma that hit you?

Yah that happened here too.

For this recipe, I had to buy a few new spices that I have never had before. There is a new supermarket in Monsey (where I live) called Evergreen. Its an incredible new store that has every single item one could possibly need to cook kosher. Not only did they have every single spice that Jamie calls for in this book, they have a few varieties of each- walking down their spice aisle will be like learning a new language, one that I was very excited to be learning!

The Sumac I got came in a bag. I had never seen or tasted it before. It has a beautiful purplish color and had a surprisingly fruity scent. I brought it over to Hubs all happily, he said it smelled weird.

Our five year old heard that and said ” that’s not a nice thing to say”. :)

Hubs said, your right it smells “interesting”.

While I was mixing it, the delicious scents of cinnamon, allspice and sumac blended together with the onions, parsley and meat and turned hubs into a believer! Quite a deviation from his standard Hungarian fair.

I decided to pan fry the mini burgers. Hubs and I could barely wait for them to come out of the pan before devouring them.

Ktzizot (Israeli Mini Burgers) page 33
DRESS IT UP Hummus-Topped Ktzizot

At least we kept one for the picture!

Our five year old was hanging around the kitchen and wanted to get in on the action. He happily took a bite of the cute mini burger. I asked him if he liked it- he just nodded since he was too busy chewing.

This recipe was crazy fast and easy to prepare. Oh and did I mention DELICIOUS! I will definitely be adding this to my weeknight dinner repertoire.


 

4 Mother’s Day Brunch Menus

 

April 30th 2014

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This year the adage April Showers Bring May Flowers has proven to be quite true, and as May approaches so does Mother’s Day.  Brunch is a very special way to remind the special women in our lives that care.  Preparing brunch is a major task in and of itself, add to that the many delicious recipes out there, choosing your menu can at times be overwhelming.  Below are 4 menus to try this Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

1.  Mediterranean Inspired: All too often brunch is filled with too many heavy foods.  This Mother’s Day, get inspired by our friends in the Mediterranean by serving light, yet satisfying entrees. Start with the Bitter and Sweet Radicchio Salad and Mini Crustless Quiches with Asparagus and Oven Dried Tomatoes. For the main meal, try the  Mediterranean Baked Trout with Fennel Salad with a side of Roasted Spring Vegetables with Pesto Dressing and Israeli Potato Salad.  For dessert, try Molasses Cake Parfaits with Poached Pears or the delightful Babka Bundt Cake.

 

2.  Steak and Eggs: If you’re planning to make brunch your only meal of the day, then this menu will surely keep you full!  Start light with Spring Lettuce with Pastrami Croutons and Balsamic Reduction salad and Pickled Deviled Eggs.  If you still have room serve the hearty, yet healthy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup. Then try the Baked Eggs with Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash.  If you’re not tired of eggs yet, enjoy Vacherin or instead you could serve Bourbon Mousse and Gingersnap Cookie.

 

Wonton Brunch

3.  Wonton-Style: Brunch may not translate into every language, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating your own non-traditional brunch menu inspired by this classic dish.  Start with your choice of wonton soup, be it Vegetable Wonton Soup or this chicken based Wonton Soup. Keep the wonton theme strong with Tuna Tartar with Honey Sesame Wontons and Wonton Chips with Edamame Dip.  For the main course think outside of the box with Wonton Beef Empanadas and Sesame-Soy Steak Stir-Fry on Wonton Crisps. Serve pareve ice cream with Chocolate Raspberry Wontons to end the meal on a sweet note.

 

4.  Gluten-Free: This menu is based classic brunch options, but with gluten-free alternatives.  Create a grand brunch buffet or mix and match any of these delicious options. There’s the  Gluten Free Whole Grain Blueberry Scones or Flourless Banana Pancakes. While  Swiss Chard, Pear and Gruyère Tart, Fig and Onion Galette, Falafel Crusted Cheesy Croquets, and Smoked Salmon Rolls are great animal-based protein options. Satisfy that sweet tooth with Four “C” Tart with Gluten Free Crust or the Super-Moist Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake.


 

Kosher Parmesan: A Passion

 

April 30th 2014

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If you had asked me in my twenties what I would be doing thirty years from now, never in a million years would “cheese production” have crossed my mind. My story stems from a passion for travel and a love of good food; I left the finance world to pursue my dreams, and along the way, I found one of my favorite foods: Parmesan cheese.

A few years ago, I had the chance to taste the most incredible aged Parmesan from Argentina. It was Cholov Yisroel, aged 2 years, and made by a second generation Italian family who had immigrated to Argentina. I fell in love with the cheese and knew I had to find a way to bring this incredible flavor to my friends and family back home. But sadly, this foray into importing did not last long. A year later, heavy import duties, shortages of milk, and currency fluctuations made it impossible for us to continue.

My passion for Parmesan didn’t end in Argentina. I was convinced that there had to be a way to bring kosher Parmesan to the US. We looked at importing Parmesan from Italy directly. I found one cheese of a particularly incredible quality—it was authentic Parmesan Reggiano. There was one problem: import duties and the unfavorable dollar- Euro at the time meant that importing cheese would be like importing pure gold. I don’t have a problem spending money on food products, but even I, a gourmet food lover, have limits. The Italian adventure was cut short before even getting off the ground. However, my fascination for great aged Parmesan continued.

Seeing that I was having little luck in importing cheese from abroad, I discovered a great solution.  I was sure that we could make great Parmesan right here in the US. And I’m so happy we decided to try. I beamed with pride, when Anderson International Food’s inhouse rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Vogel, made our first production in Wisconsin. No more import duties, no more milk shortages. Here, we could shake hands with the dairy farmer, visit the farms, and make sure that we used only the very best quality milk for our cheese. I’ve learned from experience that making kosher Cholov Yisroel cheese is a very personal venture. We’ve created strong relationships with farmers across the country, and I feel so lucky to call many of these new business partners my friends.

After 12 months, our first production of cheese was ready to be cut and packaged.

We agreed to take our first wheels and chunk them. (We also added shredded and grated Parmesan.) I am partial to grating my own Parmesan; I always have a grater on hand and a chunk of Parmesan in my fridge.

I am so excited that Parmesan has become one of our staple products. My friends know how much I’ve learned about cheese over the past few years, especially Parmesan, so I am often asked to share my favorite serving suggestions.

Here are a few questions that I’m often asked:

How do you eat Parmesan?

A good Parmesan will add a dimension of flavor to any pizza, steamed or grilled vegetables, casseroles or salads. Sometimes I like to use Parmesan instead of salt. I cannot think of a dish that cannot be enhanced with Parmesan, except maybe fish, though I am sure my Italian friends would disagree with me. I am still discovering the versatility of this cheese.

Can Parmesan be added to a cheese platter or cheese board?

Yes! I use small chunks of Parmesan, especially when it is 12 months old and it is still fairly easy to cut into small bites. With a little jam and your favorite wine, you have an instant party.

Does Parmesan make a good snack – and is it healthy?

Absolutely! Sometimes when I am famished, I will slice an apple or a pear and eat it with a few pieces of Parmesan. With Parmesan, it is easy for me to show some restraint. The cheese has such intense flavor, a small piece is very satisfying. Unlike Brie which I love straight out of the fridge, since one bite can easily lead to half the wheel disappearing. Not a good thing!

Here are two of my favorite recipes with Parmesan:

Parmesan Crisps

Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Late Spring 2013) – subscribe now.

 


 

Easy Flourless No Added Sugar Banana Pancakes

 

April 29th 2014

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Way back when I was single and living in NYC I used to lose weight on Pesach. The story goes that I used the oven in my Manhattan apartment for storage – never turned the thing on. That’s not just some artistic liberty I took when writing my first book Quick & Kosher Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing, it was the G-d’s honest truth. I ate out, like it was my job and on Passover subsisted on yogurt, fresh fruits and veggies. All in all that made me a happy (skinny) TV Producer.

Now that I cook, for my family and for a living, I gain weight on Pesach (and sometimes year-round) and feel this crazy need to detox post-holiday. I discovered these flourless banana pancakes at about 1:05 into this cute banana mash up video I happened upon. Well wouldn’t you know that on Passover I loaded up on matzo brie (because I don’t have the nerve to inhale that heavy of a carb laden breakfast year-round), and decided to save these no flour banana pancakes for my healthy post-Passover mornings.

I really didn’t believe this recipe. Couldn’t imagine how it would work with just bananas and eggs. Now I am not gonna swear (cause it’s not good to swear) that this is a seamless stand-in for fluffy flour laden pancakes. But, for a pancake-lover who wants to indulge without the added carbs it certainly does the trick. You can add flavor and texture by mixing in semi-sweet chocolate chips, coarsely chopped walnuts (or pecans), blueberries, or pumpkin puree – YUMEEEEE!

Hip Hip Hooray for this Kosher for Passover pancake recipe that just happens to be my new post-Pesach, year-round, breakfast treat!

BTW – did you like the style of the banana video? I am thinking about producing some like that… let me know.

Get the recipe for these flour free Banana Pancakes.


 

4 Spring Salads That Wow

 

April 28th 2014

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Throughout the year, a common Shabbat side dish in America might be butternut squash pies made with store-bought crusts laden with shortening. A dessert might be I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-cream-cheese cheesecake. Chicken might be smothered in duck sauce (what sauce? You mean sugar and cornstarch?) or barbeque sauce (a.k.a. molasses, vinegar and cornstarch)

Hearty Salad with Gorgeous Mustard Greens

On Pesach, those very same people might find themselves making the freshest, simplest and most delightful dishes: Light salads with freshly squeezed lemon juice, chicken soup with healthy chunks of parsnip and kabocha squash, avocado blended in salad dressings to create creaminess in place of mayonnaise, and fruit-based desserts.  There is something beautiful about simple food, a mouthful of nature unto itself.

Bitter and Sweet Radicchio Salad

Bitter and Sweet Radicchio Salad

This type of eating doesn’t have to be limited to Pesach, or even just to spring. There’s a real beauty to eating seasonally. Imagine the feeling of having waited almost a year to finally eat a peach, or even a gorgeous, red, vine-ripened tomato. Throughout the winter, tomatoes are terrible and anemic-looking, yet people keep buying them and eating them like there’s no other produce to eat in the country. You can go ahead and eat tomatoes if they mean that much to you, but realize that they’ve probably traveled a long distance, which means they were picked while still green.

cashew ginger stir fried vegetables

Cashew ginger Stir Fried Vegetables

When fruits and vegetables are picked too early, they don’t get a chance to reach their potential — whether in nutrients or in taste. Compared to out-of-season imported fruit, local summer tomatoes are not only a flavor explosion, they’re also better for you. The recipes I’ve shared below use only seasonal spring produce. If you try to shop locally as much as possible, you’re also avoiding the extra costs of importing, you’re supporting your own country’s economy, you’re supporting local farmers (and, yes, you’re helping lessen pollution and reliance on Middle Eastern oil).

Roasted Spring Vegetables with Pesto

Roasted Spring Vegetables with Pesto

Use this opportunity to bring vegetables back into your diet in a wholesome and simple way. Instead of pumpkin pie made from canned pumpkin, baked in store-bought crusts, try basic pumpkin slices drizzled with a little olive oil and tamari, and roasted with sesame seeds. And when it comes to creating new dishes, remember: gorgeous, fresh, seasonal vegetables will speak for themselves.

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


 

Quick Survey

 

April 27th 2014

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In The JOK Kitchen With Beth Warren *Giveaway*

 

April 25th 2014

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There is so much nutrition talk out there in this age of information, but it is really hard for the average consumer to wade through and find the truth.  Beth Warren is a Registered Dietitian with a mission to break it down and make it simple to live a healthy life.  In Living a Real Life with Real Food, Beth shows us how to live healthfully and stay energized by eating real whole foods.  She includes 50 recipes in there too to help start us off on the right foot.   My health philosophy is very similar to Beth’s and I am so glad she came out with this book.  Let’s learn a bit more from Beth.

Your book is geared toward the kosher consumers who are always checking labels for kosher certifications, but the nutrition facts panel is left out of the buying equation.  Most people don’t even know how to use it, how does your book help?

I recognize how confusing different “health” messages are on products, including the nutrition facts label. In my book, I breakdown the food label in a way that simplifies what you should be looking for, especially in a time crunch. The way I prioritize the different categories of a food label may surprise some, but you are sure to walk out with the least processed, most healthful, kosher food choices… and fast.

How does your book and suggestions help people get energized?

Oftentimes, people come to see me in my private practice, Beth Warren Nutrition, to lose weight. But complaints of fatigue and lack of energy are usually a frequent part of their lives. As they begin incorporating more real food into their diets, or less processed, and eat the way my strategy explains in chapter 3 of the book, including eating on a schedule and balancing certain food groups, the quickest feeling they notice is more energy. They soon realize how much a lack of energy was effecting their quality of life and goals of weight-loss.

I love that you combine a recipe book with lifestyle guide, how do you feel your daily food and mood diary helps people?

There is so much more that goes into eating healthy then just the food. To quote some of my patients when they first see me, “I know what to do, I just don’t do it.” My book tackles all aspects involved in weight control and a goal of weight loss. It was never just about the food or we would be less likely to have these issues of obesity, in some cases also type 2 diabetes and other medical conditions that can be tied to weight. Adding a mood diary to a food journal, and also tracking progress of physical activity, water intake and other parameters, ensures you are tackling more than one aspect involved in weight control. By writing it down, you recognize not only how much you are really eating, but the why, how, when and other important answers to questions that help you achieve better long term weight maintenance. By also incorporating meal plans and recipes, I simply put the clincher on making people feel they can live a real life with real food, it is possible and realistic, and has something tangible they can follow and adjust to fit their real lives.

Do you address concerns that are specific to the kosher consumers? Can you give some examples?

Well, all my meal plans abide by the kashrut guidelines such as not including milk with meat in one meal, waiting the appropriate times after eating meat to have milk, when it comes to a meal plan, and also tackles practical tips for social events that are frequent in the Jewish Community, which includes the weekly Sabbath Meals. Each also incorporate the laws of Bible and Rabbinical authorities when needed, such as the appropriate challah portion on Shabbat and what that counts towards in terms of a starch portion on your plate.

I also look to use the discipline of keeping a kosher diet to use towards keeping a healthier lifestyle and discuss how they are similar behaviors.

What is your background from cooking? how did you learn? what kinds of foods do you like to cook?

I come from both an Asheknazic and Sephardic background (Syrian), so my cooking is eclectic. I then married into a Moroccan family, which further broadened my cooking repertoire. I try to use all the traditional recipes of each ethnicity, from chicken matzo ball soup to yebra and then Morrocan fish and chamin, but I look to make the recipes healthier while maintaining the quality of the heritage and flavors. And I fit them into a balanced meal plan. Also, maintaining simplicity is important to me so others can feel they can create these dishes while on a budget and time crunch.

Thanks Beth, I am so excited about this book and your Chicken and Okra Recipe

Now, who wants to win?  Enter below to win your copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Cooking With Joy: The Chicken Soup Test

 

April 24th 2014

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Hi! Welcome to my new blog, “Cooking With Joy“. No my name isn’t Joy, its Shoshie, (I see how that could be confusing). I am very excited about this project that I am about to embark on. My goal is to cook my way through every recipe of Jamie’s new cookbook, JOY of KOSHER Fast Fresh Family Recipes.

I want to cook every recipe, even the ones that I would normally not touch with a ten foot poll. Why? You’re right, it’s not like I have nothing else to do. Like many of you, I love watching cooking shows and reading any cookbook or food magazine that I could get my hands on. Its just that I never end up making the recipes. I read them more for inspiration or to learn some new techniques. So this time will be different, this time I will actually be cooking every single recipe from the book.

I am looking forward to exploring new ways of preparing delicious, fast meals for my family.

Once I decided to do this, I got to work. I started using the cookbook like a text book, highlighting things and putting those sticky things on the pages with notes like “need a substitute for this” or “half the recipe”.

I read and reread the intro section to make sure I knew what I needed to start.
Then I was off to the supermarket, the new Evergreen supermarket in Monsey, for my first shopping excursion, list in hand. I was looking for a whole bunch of things that I would never normally buy. Sumac, Prune Butter and Tahini Paste to name a few and that excited me!

The first recipe in the book is for Chicken Soup-  how bad could that be?

I was pretty anxious to get started on my new project so maybe I didn’t read through the directions as well as I should have.

Note for next time- READ ENTIRE RECIPE AND INSTRUCTIONS A FEW TIMES BEFORE STARTING. That may seem pretty obvious, but I was really excited!

Here are the few things I did differently:

I used 1/4 tsp of ground allspice instead of 4 whole allspice berries

I used a peppercorn medley of green, pink, black and white- because I already had it at home

I also made one major change- which made my soup not as crystal clear as it should have been. I put all the solids into “food mess saver” bags, in hopes that would alleviate the need to strain through the T-shirt, I was wrong!!!!

I boiled the soup for the directed time and gave my Hubs instructions to cool it off and put it in the fridge. Hubs later admitted to me that the soup chicken looked and smelled so good that he couldn’t help himself from eating some of it before he put it away.

I skimmed the fat off when I woke up and saw that my soup wasn’t so clear.

Crystal Clear Chicken Soup with Julienned Vegetables and Angel Hair page 25
DRESS IT DOWN: Chicken Noodle Alphabet Soup

Since for the most part I am a “Dress It Down” type of girl, I cut up some carrot and put in some whole wheat cous cous as the garnish.

Then I tasted it, WOW! The flavor was super intense, in a good way!

The bones, chicken and veggies being boiled to oblivion made the soup so rich in flavor and color!

I’m happy with the way things started, I learned a lot already and hope not to repeat the same mistakes.

From now on I will do what the recipe says (for the most part) and hope to see you next time when I try the recipes for Ktzitzot (Israeli Mini Burgers).


 

5 Must-Have Cupcake Recipes

 

April 23rd 2014

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As sad as it is to see a holiday come to a close (re: Passover), it is an exciting moment when the last of the leftovers are tossed and the new cooking can begin.  Now that Passover is over and we all have access to our beloved chametz again, why not make good use of it by trying one (or all) of these 5 unique cupcake recipes.

 

 

Carrot Apple Mini Cupcakes with Non-Dairy  Cream Cheese Icing

1.  Carrot Apple Mini Cupcakes with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese Icing: Ease back into the chametz with a cupcake that you can still tell yourself is healthy.  The parve cream cheese frosting is, no pun intended, the icing on the cake in this recipe, perfectly tying together the savory with the sweet.

 

 

 

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

2.  Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes:  This is a smart and easy way to update the classic cupcake.  The ice cream cone is an unexpected, yet delightful addition to the traditional cupcake + icing recipe.  I served these at a birthday party once where the kids got to choose their own icing, just beware that they might go back to add icing to the cupcakes when no one is looking!

 

 

Cookie Dough Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

3.  Cookie Dough Stuffed Dark Chocolate Cupcakes:  While these cupcakes take a few more steps to prepare, they are worth the work once you bite into the finished product.  Cookie dough plus the adult-friendly dark chocolate flavored cupcake make this a filling and enjoyable dessert.

 

 

Fig Cupcake with Pomegranate Frosting

4.  Fig Cupcakes with Pomegranate Frosting: Don’t be intimidated by the name, these fig cupcakes are easier to make than one might imagine.  While the usual suspects of flour, eggs, oil and sugar are the base of this recipe, they are elevated and bursting with flavor with the addition of fig preserves, lemon and pomegranate juice.

 

 

Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemonade Frosting

5.  Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemonade Frosting: These cupcakes scream spring!  If you are a fan of lemons, then this is the recipe for you.  The bright citrus flavor is mellowed by the butter and yogurt that provide the base to the recipe, with each bite proving to strike a balance between sweet and tart.

 

Check out more sweet treats here!

 


 

Can You Live Below The Line?

 

April 23rd 2014

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After spending a week celebrating our freedom and remembering our slavery it is time to turn our attention to a very real and current problem around the world. Next week is the kick off of a huge campaign to increase awareness and understanding of the 1.4 billion people living below the poverty line.  “Live Below the Line” is a campaign run by the Global Poverty Project where they challenge all of us to live off “$1.50 of food and drink for one to five days” between the dates of April 28 to May 2.

It is a great opportunity for synagogues, youth groups, or just a group of friends to get together and take the challenge as a team and learn to empathize with the cause.  The challenge will spark dialogue and raise money to help end extreme poverty by 2030, the goal of the Global Poverty Project.

Once you even start thinking about this challenge you will realize how hard it actually would be to live off of $1.50/day. Beans and rice are the mainstay for most people and say goodbye to olive oil and coffee.  I spoke to one of the people involved who has taken the challenge for the past two years and she said she went hungry most nights.  You can easily see how this initiative sparks change and I hope that some of you will take it on and let us know your experiences in the comments below.

For more information and to register for Live Below the Line, visit livebelowtheline.com.

 


 

Stop The Burn With Burn Jel

 

April 23rd 2014

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For the home cook to the famous chef, and everyone in between.
For over 25 years, Water-Jel® has been protecting firefighters, the military, and all areas of manufac-turing, from serious burns. Now it’s time to protect your home with Burn-Jel® Plus. Don’t let a burn slow you down when you are preparing food for your family this summer season.

Burn-Jel® Plus, when applied to the burn area,instantly cools and soothes. Formulated with Lidocaine, it provides fast-acting pain relief, and
lets you get back to what’s important this season.  Keep Burn-Jel® Plus in your kitchen, and enjoy the comfort of knowing that relief is at hand.

Get more information and learn where you can find it at Burn-Jel® Plus (www.burnjelplus.com)


 

After Passover Chametzfest

 

April 23rd 2014

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I hope you all had a wonderful Pesach.  I can tell you my stomach is begging for some bread or at least to stop feeding it any matzah.  I tried my best to eat healthy through the holiday, but there is just too much eating.  Today, I am giving myself one last splurge so I can eat all the carbs, grains, beans and chametz I can stand.

White-Chocolate-Cranberry-Scones-Tamar-Genger

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

I am not sure I really want to work so hard, but if I have the energy I will surely make my favorite breakfast scone.

Cacio e Peppe

I know we all miss pasta over this holiday and it is a quick and easy meal for any lunch or dinner this week.  I have been craving this past with black pepper and pecorino, but anything goes.

Truffle Rosemary Popcorn

Truffle Rosemary Popcorn

Okay, so I know this one is not chametz and it is not even really a splurge, but I love my popcorn and I really should have married a Sephardi, cause I miss me some popcorn.

Portobello Tacos

Portobello Tacos

My family are big taco fans, using beans, fake meat, or portobellos in our tortillas, I know that this will be the dinner of choice tonight.  And I can’t wait to make it with my new favorite salsa made with dried peppers, pictured above.

What dishes have you missed this week? What will your first meals after Pesach look like? Let me know in the comments below.

 


 

DIY – Fruit Filled Popsicles

 

April 18th 2014

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There is nothing like a cold refreshing fruit flavored popsicle in the heat of Summer, but you don’t have to wait for Summer to start enjoying these cool fruit filled pops.  Start mixing, pureeing and freezing now with these amazing flavor combos.

Enjoy these popsicles for dessert or a quick snack. You can use any popsicle molds you desire or you can simply freeze these recipes in cups inserted with popsicle sticks.  Start with these flavors and then go on to try your own, you will learn you can “Let It Go” and you can’t get too far off the frozen path.

MANGO-PEACH-BASIL

APPLE-KIWI-POMEGRANATE

AVOCADO-COCONUT POPSICLE

WATERMELON-LIME POPSICLE

Some of these recipes call for a simple syrup, and it can’t be simpler to prepare. Combine 4 cups sugar with 3 cups hot water, mix until sugar dissolves, let cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Make your pops in less time with Zoku Quick Pop Maker, a revolutionary tool for ice-pop lovers everywhere.  You simply freeze the mold for twenty-four hours prior to using, pour your ice pop mixture into the molds, and within minutes you have 100% frozen ice pops, ready to be enjoyed.

What’s your favorite flavor fruit pop?

Recipes by Dina Shwartz

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


 

A Trio of Passover Picnic Menus

 

April 17th 2014

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The interim days of Passover, chol ha’moed, are a great time to take trips and enjoy time with family and friends.  This year Shabbat falls in the midst of the interim days, still leaving three days to take chol ha’moed trips.  It may be hard to find kosher for Passover food while traveling, so consider packing a picnic basket inspired by the recipes below.

 

Israeli Inspired Passover Picnic Basket

1.  Israeli Inspired: Let the flavors of the holy land inspire your picnic menu.  Try serving an assortment of salads and dips as appetizers including Sabra Moroccan Carrots, Marinated Eggplant Salad, and Matbucha with Baked Root Vegetable Chips with Babaganoush.  Then try the Israeli Style Tuna and Beefed-Up Israeli Salad; enjoy sweet Madgooga (Date Balls) for dessert.

 

Dressed Up Passover Picnic Menu

2.  Dressed-Up: This picnic basket is all grown-up and packed with elegant options for your chol ha’moed picnic.  Start with crunchy Zucchini Fritters with Fresh Salsa and the always colorful Rainbow Salad.  Then try carpaccio two ways with Roasted Eggplant Carpaccio and Exotic Tomato Salad with the Beef Carpaccio with Tomato Vinaigrette and the refreshing Fennel Orange Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.  For dessert, chocolate chip cookies get a grown-up (and Passover!) makeover in these Salted Chocolate Chip Macaroons.

 

3.  Light and Healthy: Enjoy a break from the heavy (yet delicious) yom tov meals by packing a picnic meal that is light yet satisfying.  Try a little bit of everything with the Grilled Red Pepper Salad, Olive-Pepper Dip and Cauliflower-Carrot Latkes alongside lean protein such as Grilled Chicken Legs with Peach Salsa, Tropical Slaw and Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges.  You won’t feel guilty having dessert when it’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse.