Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas


October 17th 2013

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If your life is anything like mine your mornings are crazy and getting everyone to sit and eat their breakfast before the bus comes is the worst part of my day.   I know breakfast is important for all of us and in case you missed it you can get some great breakfast tips and cereal advice here.  This year we have tried to implement a schedule, Monday is oatmeal, Tuesday is eggs and Toast, Wednesday is waffles and veggie sausage, Thursday is bagels, and Friday we decide the night before.  Having a schedule has definitely helped, but I still wish I could get more veggies in since none of my kids do well with lunch at school and some days even just toasting a waffle seems to take too long. Oh and did I mention they don’t really do healthy cereal.

What I have discovered is that there are some breakfast ideas you can make the day before and either serve cold or quickly heat in the microwave, the days that I cook ahead I find I have a minute to twiddle my thumbs (yeah right, maybe a minute to put away the laundry).


Hazelnut Chocolate Chia Pudding

We are a major chocolate loving family, so I give in to the craving especially when I can get my kids to eat other healthy foods with it.  You prepare this chia pudding the night before and it is so easy, even your 5 year old could do it. Leave it in the fridge and you are ready to go in the morning.  We like ours a little warm like a thick hot chocolate filled with protein, fiber and omega 3′s from the chia.  You can also make with your favorite flavors and serve with fruit.

Baked Quinoa and Oatmeal

Baked Quinoa and Oatmeal

Try a Baked Oatmeal.  This version has quiona too for added protein, but either way, you make it the night before, leave it to cool overnight and serve room temperature in the morning.


Spinach Ricotta Quiche

Instead of eggs, I am going to start making quiche.  This way I can make it ahead and I can add veggies.  Quiche can be made with or without crust, it can be made large or in muffin tins, you can even freeze individual ones for later. They are really easy to make if you leave off the crust.

Polenta Sausage Casserole

Polenta Sausage Casserole

Here is an unusual breakfast idea especially for those of us not used to eating meat for breakfast.  Take polenta and layer it with cheese and and veggie sausage.  You can even add some cooked frozen spinach or mushrooms.  It is hardy for an every day meal, but can be made ahead and reheated quickly.  High in protein and fiber.

Carrot and Apple Latkes

Carrot and Apple Latkes

Maybe I am just getting ready for Hanukkah early, but we all like anything fried and they reheat well and are filled with veggies.  I am totally happy if my kids start their day with a couple of these babies.

Don’t discount dinner leftovers and other savory foods as good breakfast choices.  Hummus is incredibly filling on a slice of bread or in a pita and is another great breakfast option.  I didn’t even include breakfast muffins, yogurt parfaits, regular oatmeal or cream of wheat in the list above, you already know about those.  I hope these ideas inspire you to think differently about your breakfast options and to work ahead.


Choose The Best Cereal To Eat For Breakfast


October 17th 2013

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Hear the word “breakfast” and you may conjure up a picture of the archetypal cereal bowl and milk or perhaps you envision a mad morning dash where you’re just lucky to get all the kids out along with their lunches.

Breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day, with very good reason. Besides for providing the needed start up for a long day (we have been fasting for at least 7 hours), it also…

  • Provides us with key nutrients we may not be able to make up later in the day (such as iron, calcium, B vitamins and fibre)
  • Keeps us eating less fat and cholesterol
  • Reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes, as indeed one large study found that men who skipped breakfast had higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease mortality.
  • Boosts brain power- keeping us alert through the morning
  • Preserves our feeling of satiety and prevents snacking on less nutritious foods.

While some people may avoid breakfast in the hopes of losing weight, skipping breakfast may in fact increase one’s risk of obesity as eating breakfast puts us on track for making healthier choices throughout the day and gives us extra energy to be more physically active.

So now that we know the whys of eating breakfast, what should we be eating? Should we go stock up on cereal and dust off our bowls and spoons?

The breakfast meal should include foods from three of the four food groups (grains; fruits & vegetables; milk & alternatives; meat & alternatives), and include fiber and protein to keep us feeling full for longer.

Some breakfast ideas:

  • French toast topped with yogurt and sliced peaches
  • A whole wheat English muffin with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes
  • A homemade muffin and fruit smoothie or even warmed-up supper leftovers!

If you go the cereal route, choose varieties with less than 5 grams sugar and 2 or more grams of fiber. Eat with milk and a handful of berries or dried fruit and you have 3 food groups!  Look for cereals high in fiber (2+ grams) and low in sugar (less than 5grams). Keep in mind that a low fat cereal has less than 3 grams of fat.  Use the chart below to help you choose the best cereals.

Flake Cereals  

Flake cereals are usually low in fat, but they do vary in fiber and sugar content.

Children’s/Sugar Cereals

Even with the use of whole grains these cereals are too high in sugar and should be limited maybe to once a week.

High Fiber Cereals

Cereals with 6+ grams of fiber are perfect for adding fiber into the diet, keeping you feeling full longer, and helping with regularity.   Just be sure to drink lots of water.


Most granola style cereals are highly caloric with added oils and sugars.  A better option may be a home-made granola of rolled oats, sliced nuts, seeds and fruit to control the sugar and fat while increasing fiber.

Make Your Own

Combining cereals can give you the best of both worlds; high fiber, low fat and sugar.  Minimize the amount of high fat or sugar cereal and combine with a high fiber cereal to make your own tasty creation.  Add fruits, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds or other boosts for flavor and fiber.  Get experimenting and think outside of the cereal box!


Day In Jerusalem – Volunteer Tourism


October 16th 2013

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Did you know there is an easy and fun way to do some good while you travel?

Jerusalem is not only home to some of Judaism’s most historic sites but it is also an epicenter for goodness and chesed.

Take the opportunity while you are here to plan a fun activity for your family where your kids give back to people in need. I assure you that your family will gain even more than they give.

These are a few of our favorite volunteer activities in and near Jerusalem:

Pantry Packers:

Create your own personal branded rice to be distributed to the poor. Recently opened in the Talpiot area of Jerusalem, this wonderful chesed is run by Colel Chabad. Groups are invited into the warehouse to individually pack bags of rice for poor families in Israel. Each person is given a task from labeling the bags, to pouring the rice into them and then sealing the bags before packaging them in large boxes. Participants are given aprons, hairnets and instructions to use the industrial size factory equipment. Families or larger groups are invited to come and take part in this mitzvah and then they are given a chance to add personal labels to the bags of rice for example “Packed by the Shebson Family”.

This great activity was the brainchild of Rabbi Traxler, who coined the phrase “Volunteer Tourism” and he personally guides your group through the process. Don’t forget to ask to see the movie at the beginning and you will see where the food goes and how many people it helps.  This activity is great for all ages and takes 2 hours. It’s a great way to start the day before heading off for a Jerusalem adventure. To book your activity email


Pina Chama:

This wonderful snack house for soldiers and police stationed near Tzomet HaGush was built to supply the men and women on duty in the Gush Etzion area with a warm drink and a sweet snack. The Pina Chama “warm corner” was set up in 2001 in memory of two locals terror victims – Dr Shmuel Gillis of Karmei Tsur and Tzachi Sasson of Rosh Tsurim. It has become a very special place where locals are able to show their appreciation towards soldiers and police who protect them on the roads. The Pina Chama is manned by volunteers (including my Mother in Law, Shirley) from the Gush Etzion area. Although they do not have an official tourist activity, you can contact them in advance and offer to serve the soldiers for a few hours. As an added touch you can offer to bring in some special food like popcorn, cakes, cookies or your favorite treat from back home.

When you have finished volunteering at the Pina Chama there are many great tourist activities in the Gush Etzion area including Deerland and the new Gush Scavenger Hunt.  For more information and to reserve at Pina Chama call 02-993-9917.   (photo provided form Pina Chama)

Yvel Jewelry Factory:

You may be asking how come Yvel a world renowned jewelry company, based just outside Jerusalem, is on my list of charitable activities? Orna and Isaac Levy the founders of Yvel, were looking for a way to give back to society. They chose to open a jewelry school for unskilled Ethiopian immigrants to teach them the art of Jewelry making and empower them to create new and successful lives in Israel. The school, Megemaria takes 21 participants a year and together with the non profit organization Yedid, they help the students with their absorption. When you visit Yvel’s visitor’s center you will see a 3D movie about pearls and jewelry making as well as a movie about the Megemaria School. You are then able to go behind the scenes and watch the students as they learn from master craftsmen. The cost of the tour at the visitors center (25 NIS) and the profit from the sale of Megemaria jewelry goes back in to the school to support the program. When you visit the company store with your guide make sure to ask them to tell you the inspirational stories about the pieces of jewelry, especially about the pieces inspired by the solidarity march for Gilad Shalit.

The Yvel visitors center tour is available for ages 12+ by advanced reservation

Stay tuned for next month’s Day in Jerusalem…”Celebrating Hanukkah & Thanksgiving- Fun In Jerusalem Style”



A to Z of Thai Cuisine


October 15th 2013

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What is it about Thai cuisine that makes it so very irresistible?  Anyone who has travelled in Thailand will be captured by the smells alone.

It’s the mixture of hot, salty, sweet and sour flavours that makes the food so very distinct and it’s a taste that we can replicate and make kosher when we get home from a magical Thai adventure.

Let’s have a look at some of the dishes you may have come across in your trips to Thailand and, if you haven’t been lucky enough yet to experience Thailand first hand, Krabi Holidays can always be found at decent prices  if you’re prepared to put a little online research in – we promise it’d be worth it!

We’ll pick just the highlights of the A-Z of Thai food, but remember that there is much, much more that you can create at home and plenty that you can make sure is kosher.

Paad Thai – this is probably one of the best known Thai dishes in the West. Every Thai restaurant and many Chinese too, will offer a version of Pad Thai. A noodle base with a delicate balance of flavours distinguishes a good Pad Thai from a great Pad Thai. All the skill is in the sauce which, of course, uses fish sauce.

Fish sauce is a stalwart of Thai cooking and is made of a mixture of salt, water and fermented anchovies. There is no fish sauce on the market with a hechsher but you can always substitute the fish sauce out for an alternative that gives the correct umami flavor or make your own, either try this Kosher Fish Sauce recipe or this Vegan Fish Sauce recipe. The taste does need to be replicated though as it’s the basis for the dish.

It’s definitely possible, with a few adjustments, to make Pad Thai kosher and we suggest you do, it’s a lovely dish that fills your mouth with bursts of true Thai flavour.

Som Tan – this dish comes from north east Thailand and is basically a spicy papaya salad that has become incredibly popular throughout the whole country. You will probably find small differences from region to region, particularly when it comes to how sweet or sour the overall taste of the dish is. The common ingredients are always shredded green papaya and a lot of heat. Barbecued chicken and sticky rice are the usual accompaniments.

We’ve barely scraped the surface of the amazing food out there in Thailand – check out all the other dishes you can make at home by browsing for our kosher versions of Thai favourites.





The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Now Available *Cheese...


October 15th 2013

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TODAY IS THE DAY!!! I am flipping, I am freaking, I am crying – tears of joy! My new cookbook Joy of Kosher is on shelves TODAY!!! If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, what are you waiting for? Click here to order your copy on Amazon and get it in two days!! Quick before the first printing sells out!

I am a woman of many words – 73,802 words to be exact – laid out over 384 pages in 207 recipes. Want another sneak peek?

This here is the cover…

And this is quite obviously the back cover…

And I threw in lots and lots of pictures of good, great, glorious food too, because I love ya.

Recipes that will never ever ever let you down. There’s even a holiday section and wine suggestions and a knock- those-socks-right-off-your-feet crazy cool sweet and savory challah section.

Some of my favorite Israel Inspired Dressed Up Recipes…

Hummus-Topped Ktzitzot

One day, Hubby asked me to make these itsy-bitsy beef patties. Super unfair. Never met a ktzitzah in my life.

Anita’s Pretty Lachmagine with Parsley Tahini

Anita says you don’t have to make your own pie dough on a flat rock in your backyard either — that’s why I love this woman!

Falafel Poppers with Lemon Sesame Schug

Yemenite schug is a spicy paste consumed for centuries by people with iron guts. Traditionally, it’s eaten straight. I double-dare you.

Yerushalmi Raisin Ring Kugel

If you like it than you shoulda put a ring on it, uh uh oh… sorry can’t help myself. Ok, who here gets this reference – and will admit it?

A family heirloom recipe that took me over 30 years to write down.

Daddy’s Mititei (Romanian Garlic Meat Kabobs) with Peach Salsa

What gives Daddy’s mititei authentically Transylvanian flavor is the loads and loads of garlic – not at all for the faint of heart.

A hot sweet bite of heaven that should be illegal.

Cherry Bourbon Hand Pies

Hubby made the monstrous mistake of getting between a crazy cookbook author and her pie. He will never do it again.

And, this time, I just can’t resist sharing my life and love with you. In this book, you’ll get to know not only me and Hubby, but my kids too. They’re just plain (adorable) normal kids, who happen to have a mother who writes cookbooks, among other things. Somehow they now expect a photographer to be recording their every move. And they’ve taken to tasting a new dish and remarking, “Needs a bit more something, don’t you think?”

A typical moment in the Geller household. Well, actually, we got this shot by promising, “Whoever hugs Mommy the hardest will get double desserts.”

Just because we nicknamed him Angel Face, doesn’t mean he’s an angel. Our photographer busted him right in the middle of this heist.

My Dad. Master chef and keeper of family recipes that were top secret – until I put them in my book. He still loves me, but…

Does this little darlin’ look like she would keep Mommy up all night?

It’s not bread. It’s challah. What could be more special than sharing this ancient tradition with your own children?

The desserts in this book are so yummy, the kids fight over who will serve them to our guests.

Look who won!

So much went into this book. I’m happy for you that it’s finally here. And happy for me too. Another notch in my belt – with every book, I have to let out another notch. Goes with the territory.

If you want all the delicious details, read this Q&A and read The Joy of Kosher Cookbook, It’s Personal.

Did I say to make sure you get your copies now, today is the day!! Click here to order your copy on Amazon and get it in two days!


***Giveaway*** Win a Cheese Basket from Natural and Kosher Cheese!! Win a selection of cheeses valued at $50. Enter with rafflecopter below.  Leave a comment and make sure to share this post with all your friends so they all go buy the book. 

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In the Joy of Kosher Kitchen with Balaboosta


October 14th 2013

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I know what you are thinking, aren’t we all balaboosta? Or maybe you are thinking I am in a no way a balaboosta or what is a balaboosta? A balaboosta is the Yiddish term for the perfect housewife. The dream of little girls long ago was to be a balaboosta just like their mothers.

Some of that changed with the feminist movement, but just as women have evolved, Einat Admony believes that the term “balaboosta” is to be embraced not embarrassed. A twenty-first century balaboosta navigates the pitfalls of life with courageous heart, a head filled with determination, and a spirit of risk and adventure. The modern balaboosta can be anyone, young or old, male or female, religious or not who lives with gusto, shuns fear and relies on instinct over precision.

Einat was born and raised in Israel, she is now a wife, mother of two and successful owner of three busy New York City restaurants. She is also the winner of a Throwdown with Bobby Flay (according to Bobby Flay) for her take on falafel. In this new cookbook Einat Admony shares 140 of her favorite recipes. Most recipes are the same she cooks for her family at home with a few fancy ones thrown in for special occasions.

Although Einat talks about her intuitive cooking style, she does put measurements and helpful instruction in her recipes. If you like Israeli food you will love her cookbook!

Note: Einat’s restaurants are not all kosher and the cookbook does have a few non-kosher recipes. Taim, her Israeli falafel shack in the West Village, is certified kosher by UKS.

We asked and Einat answered:

I love all the little anecdotes before each section and recipe, how do you feel about sharing so much of yourself in this cookbook?

It was not hard for me, I am not a reserved person and I have no secrets. The hardest part was talking about the way I met my husband, there was a lot of emotion, but it is part of my life and I had to share it.

Why did you separate chapters based on types of food, grown-ups versus kids, quick versus slow rather than appetizer, main, side and dessert?

I thought that this division was more fun and more me.  It gave me the opportunity to write about myself and my many moods.  Sometimes I am with my kids and in the mood to cook kid food, sometimes I am alone with my husband and I want to cook more for romance.  Sometimes I want to cook slow and sometimes I want to cook fast.  I also like the idea of occasions and specific foods for each one.  People can take a recipe from each section to make their own meals of course.

Can you tell me a bit about your Israeli upbringing and how that influenced your cooking?

In my restaurants, Balaboosta, I cook a lot of Mediterranean, including a little Spanish, French etc. and even sometimes infusions of flavor from my travels, like Thailand, where I have visited 9 times.  My core is Israeli style, but I like to collaborate and connect flavors from other places and bring them into my Israeli soul.

I grew up in Bnei Brak surrounded by many different Jewish cultures.  My parents became religious when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.  I never really liked the religious school and all the laws, but I have tremendous respect for Judaism and I love the culture and traditions.  I still do Shabbat dinner with challah every Friday night.  I really appreciate the Jewish values and the family and we celebrate all the Jewish holidays.

What is your earliest memory in the kitchen?

I really have so many crazy memories, many are in the book, but mostly I recall being a slave in the kitchen every Friday.  From 8 am until the time Shabbat started I was cleaning and cooking like crazy with my mom and then if I was finished early with my neighbor.  I loved going to my neighbor and learning her Moroccon style of cooking, that is when I learned to make real couscous, the kind that takes 3 hours instead of 5 minutes.

What do you think about the rise in popularity of Israeli cusine?

I know people have asked me about this trend, and I say, it is not a trend, it is here to stay.  Israeli food is really more about culture, about bringing beautiful food from all different cultures together.

Black Olive Falafel from Taim

Thank you so much for talking with us and for sharing your these recipes.  I am so excited to try out your famous falafel, any tips?

I tested the recipe with a food processor and it works well, if you have a meat grinder, that is even better.  I use olives in my classic falafel instead of cilantro and herbs, but you can really swap in anything, I also love using harissa instead of olives for my spicy version, I make that at Taim too.  Play around with it and make it your own, you cant’ go wrong.



I actually made your hamin recipe last week, everyone loved it, but I was unsure the best way to serve it, any suggestions?

I like to place the bags on a big tray and cut them open for people to spoon out what they want.  Just make sure to leave enough space when tying the bags, the beans and barley do expand.

I can’t wait to try your Homemade Kit Kat recipe, but I would love to make it parve for after a Shabbat meat meal, any thoughts?

The beauty of this recipe is how easy and delicious it is.  Sure you can try making your own nutella and maybe substituting coconut oil instead of butter, but I haven’t tried it and it takes away from the simplicity.

You are well known for your TV appearances, winning twice on Chopped and appeared on throwdown with Bobby Flay. Would you ever want your own cooking show?

Who doesn’t? But I would want something fun, not in a set teaching recipes, I need people, doing something fun.  Maybe one day.  And you should know I didn’t actually win the throwdown, the judges picked Bobby’s falafel, but later he came out and said my falafel was the best and officially declared me the winner.

Now that we learned all about Einat and Balaboosta it is your chance to win a copy of this cookbook. 

Leave a comment below to win and get more chances with Rafflecopter.  Tell us what you think of when you hear balaboosta, do you think you are a balaboosta, do you want to be?

Don’t miss Einat’s recipes for


Homemade Kit Kat


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Tips To Dress Up Your Table *Giveaway*


October 11th 2013

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Malky is the founder of the Silverspoon store and website Born from a passion for entertaining, the Silver Spoon first opened the doors of its boutique in 2000. Malky had a desire to offer fine quality tabletop at the most competitive prices available. It soon became obvious that more than a few shared her appreciation for beautiful tableware and her passion for stunning presentation.  Malky shares her tips and recommendations to help you create a one-of-a-kind table setting. Malky and her staff are always available to assist you with any of your tabletop needs.

  1. Salt and pepper cellars or grinders scattered around the table make them easy to reach.
  2. Make homemade place cards. Use lady apples or small pears, insert a toothpick with your guests’ names in each one for an innovative place card or card holder, adding an element of interest to the table.
  3. Use stamps to mark cardstock with pretty designs for an instant place card solution.
  4. Don’t be intimidated by white china; white china is now trending and looks good with everything.
  5. Emerald green is the color of the year.
  6. Use inexpensive large leaves as chargers.
  7. Use random material like burlap to wrap flatware or silverware and bring a new dimension to any table setting.
  8. Napkin rings add a wow factor.
  9. Use placemats orrunnerseven though you have a tablecloth; it adds another dimension of color, texture and level of design to your table.
  10. Accent color plates create an instant upgrade to any china or dinnerware set; great to use with a basic white set.
  11. Use an elegant bowl filled with seasonal apples as a surprisingly easy, yet show-stopping centerpiece.Placement:
    The napkin is lightly starched, pressed, folded — and placed to the left of the plate.
    Glassware is at the top right of the plate: water glass in front, white wine glass for first course next, then the red wine glass.

***Giveaway*** Silver Spoon Store is giving away a set of 12 Lady Anne Signature By Gorham Iced Beverage Glasses (retail value $120)!!  Share your tips or ask your questions for setting the perfect table below, Like Silver Spoon on Facebook, and Tweet about this giveaway to be entered to WIN!


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This article appeared in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Fall 2013) – Subscribe Now.


Light the Menurkey and Celebrate Thanksgivukkah


October 11th 2013

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If you haven’t heard or realized it yet, Hanukkah is really early this year.  So early, that the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving here in America.  While the anomalies of the Jewish calendar never fail to amaze the casual observer, the confluence of one of America’s most popular secular holidays with one of the best known Jewish holidays occurring on the same day in a happenstance that will not happen again for over 70,000 years* has led to a feathered flurry of holiday mashups.

In the spirit of gobbling good fun, here are some of our favorite Hanukkah/Thanksgiving articles, products and recipe ideas.

Have you heard about the Menurkey?  A Menurkey is a mash-up of a menorah and a turkey.  There is a song about it and here you see a turkey menorah that you can actually buy – did anyone get one yet? Find out more at


BuzzFeed shared a whole menu with recipes and pictures for How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah.  Not sure why they had to put butter on their turkey, but they did include some fun table decorations and many recipes that are kosher.

Modern Tribe is selling this shirt and similar posters for your November gathering.

If you are too cool for a tee or miffed about the Menurkey, sharpen your #2 pencils, crack open your calculator and join Jonathan Mizrahi for an explanation of the past, present and future of the Thanksgiving and  Hanukkah holiday calendar at:

Not to be outdone (or overdone) Jamie worked on some recipes for you, too.  We’re still working on the pictures, but check out these yummy ideas….  Individual Sweet Potato Pies with Tam Tam CrustCaramelized Corn, Thyme, and Onion Donut HolesCranberry LatkesTurkey Latkes with Black Pepper Gravy, and Jumbo Potato Pancake with Sage.

*Note that the first night of Hanukkah will coincide with the night of Thanksgiving Day slightly more frequently, but still not for another 60 years or so.


Versatile Kale Recipes


October 10th 2013

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Every once in a while my daughters, now grown up and married with children will ask, “how come we never ate [fill in the blank] when we were kids?”

The answers vary, of course, depending on the particular food.

Items such as soy nut butter didn’t exist.

Quinoa existed, but only natives in the far reaches of Chile and Peru knew about it.

Coconut oil? It was considered unhealthy at the time.

Kale. Ah, there’s a biggie. I’d heard of it back in the day but don’t recall it ever being in the produce section. If it was, I passed it by, unthinking.

That’s all changed. I cook kale all the time, and so, it seems, does everyone else. Kale is so popular now that, like so many American products, it shows up almost everywhere and in almost everything. Kids even take kale chips to school as a snack.

Kale ice cream anyone?

The truth is, kale has captured our attention for lots of important reasons. Without getting too scientific, let me simply say: it’s healthy; one of those nutrient-dense “superfoods” loaded with fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidant flavonoids, calcium, Vitamins A, C and K. It has both anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering properties.


kale egg salad

Kale Egg Salad

For those of us who love to cook, there’s this: kale is versatile and easy to use. Most of the time I cut the leaves and stir-fry them in olive oil and in 5-6 minutes I have a side dish. Kale is slightly chewy this way, which is nice with dishes like salmon or other fish.

Kale and Potatoes


If I have more time I braise the leaves. The liquid adds flavor and softens the vegetable so it is particularly good if I’m serving meatier roasts or poultry.

I also find it easy to add an ingredient here and there to change basic kale into something with more character, like garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, golden raisins, pignoli nuts. It all goes.

One of kale’s best qualities is that it keeps, which makes it suitable for people like me who usually cook for two people. I keep some separate and chop it into a salad, which we enjoy when we’re in the mood for something light. I cook what’s left, use some as a side dish and use the leftovers in other recipes during the week: for a frittata or omelet or with pasta or any whole grain. I’ve mixed it into mashed potatoes, added it to vegetable soup.

There are two popular varieties of kale, curly leaf and Lacinato (sometimes called black, Tuscan or Dinosaur kale, with darker, flat leaves and thinner stems). Curly kale is somewhat stronger tasting than Lacinato and may take a minute or so longer to cook. Before you cook with kale, wash each leaf carefully, discard thick stems and cut the leaves into julienne strips.

I think the kale trend is here to stay for a long time. Jump on board!

What’s your favorite way to eat kale?


Best Rice Cookers to Buy


October 9th 2013

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From my experience it doesn’t really matter which one you buy, all rice cookers make good rice, it is really more about you.  No matter what, getting a rice cooker will change your life.  Sure you might say, I make great rice on my stove top or in my microwave, what do I need another gadget for.  If you only make rice once in a while then sure you are right. If you only make rice out of a box with a mix of flavors then you probably don’t need it either.  However, if you like rice regularly, a rice cooker is a valuable gadget and doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money.

Here is a pretty basic rice cooker that only costs $16!!!  The Aroma rice cooker even includes a little steamer basket on top so you can have your rice and eat your vegetables too. This cooker even has a stay warm feature perfect for Shabbat night.  This one only fits up to 6 cups cooked rice and it doesn’t have any special settings for cooking different types of rice.  (The larger model is only $24.99)

Here we have the Zojirushi rice cooker.  This one has all the bells and whistles and is the king of all rice cookers.  Zojirushi has been known for quality products for years, the only catch is the price.  This one is $173 on Amazon.  It has all the settings so you can get perfect sushi rice versus brown rice, versus sticky rice.  There is a timer so you can have perfectly cooked rice, hot and fresh when you get home from work.  And it makes up to 10 cups of cooked rice.  This is the rice cooker I have, but I don’t remember spending quite so much money on it.  Still I have to say it is worth it.

If you want a slightly larger rice cooker that is more mid-priced, try this Aroma model.  It cooks 16 cups of rice, has a timer and clocks in at $49.95.

Whichever model you choose, I know you will enjoy it.  Good quality plain rice comes out steaming hot and fluffy, you won’t need anything else, but if you end up with lots of leftover rice like I do getting so excited by how easy it is to make then check out my 4 Easy Meals Using Leftover Rice.




4 Easy Dinner Recipes Using Leftover Rice


October 9th 2013

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Do you ever wonder how rice seems to multiply.  Maybe it is just me, but I can never make the right amount of rice, there is always too much.  Don’t get me started on leftover Chinese take out.  Luckily for you and me I discovered that leftover rice is actually like a surprise present.  You can even stick it in the freezer and take it out later to turn into a whole new dish that practically begs for day old (or even weeks old) rice.

Mushroom Fried Rice

Mushroom Fried Rice

Chinese fried rice is nothing new, that is for sure what those take out places do with their extras.  The difference is you can get much more creative when you are home, no peas and carrots for my rice.  Try this Mushroom Fried Rice with a little egg and some tofu it is a full meal.

Mexican Fried Rice

Mexican Fried Rice

Now, consider this, you don’t have to stop with Asian cuisine.  All flavor profiles go with rice.  When I realized that all flavor profiles go with rice, that opened an even larger world for fried rice.  Start with this Mexican Fried Rice with beans and peppers and move on to your favorite flavor combinations.

Get inspired by 8 Fried Rice Recipes.

bean and rice fritters

Rice and Bean Fritters

Use your leftover rice in another way and turn it into fritters.  Again there are many ways to go here flavor wise.  In this recipe I was inspired by a veggie burger, but I found them to be more like fritters then a burger.  Still filling enough to be a meal, I just wouldn’t want to put them on a bun.

vegetable biryani

Vegetable Biryani

My latest find is this Indian specialty,Biryani.  From what I could find online, this is not an authentic recipe and you are not supposed to use leftover rice, but it tastes authentically delicious so I am okay with it, hope you are too.  The best thing about this rice is that the longer it sits the better it tastes, so it is perfect for these early Shabbat Friday night dinners we will be preparing for soon.

Note: all these recipes can be made with white or brown rice.

If you love rice I highly recommend getting a rice cooker, check out the Best Rice Cookers to buy and treat yourself.

How do you use your leftover rice?


RSVP For The #ChosenCandy Twitter Chat and Win


October 8th 2013

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You’re invited to join our  Twitter chat!
Hosted by @JoyofKosher and sponsored by Mike and Ike and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews

On the agenda

Fun questions and lots of Prizes – Win 1 of 5 copies of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine for Hanukkah just by RSVPing below, then Retweet during the chat to win 1 of 2 $25 candy prize packages and 1 of 2 copies of the new Joy of Kosher Cookbook.

We will be talking about our favorite ChosenCandy!!  Reminiscing about Peanut Chews, discussing the Mike and Ike breakup and return with new flavors.  Bring your sweet tooth and get ready to talk candy.  Recipe suggestions, crafting and gift ideas to come too.


Thursday October 10 from 1-2pm EST


@JoyofKosher @Bitayavon @KosherFoodBloggers @KitchenTested

Moderator @TamarGenger

How to participate
Use hashtag #ChosenCandy
Use Twubs for easy chatting.

Anyone can participate, but you must be following @JoyofKosher and RSVP before the chat in order to win!

Follow us here


Let us know you are coming to the party in the comments below to be entered to win 1 of 5 copies of the Hanukkah issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine, make sure to include your twitter handle.


The Joy of Kosher Cookbook, It’s Personal…...


October 8th 2013

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You’ll hear people say my new Joy of Kosher is not exactly a cookbook – what they really mean is it’s not just a cookbook with the yummiest most delicious, most glorious food – it’s a book about life, my life.  Literally. I ripped pages out of my diary and swiped pictures of my family and put them into this book.  Nearly 400 pages of food, family, life and love.

You’ll want to hug this book.  I do.  I really wrote it for you ‘cuz I want to hug you.  You have no way of knowing how YOU keep me going, keep me writing, keep me honest and keep me cooking.  Without your cheering and support I would have thrown in the towel a long, long, long time ago.

I revel in the applause, comments like “my kids started saying, ‘more please, Mommy’”; “I cried all through your aliyah video”; “Thank you for this brisket recipe: it changed my life.”  And believe me if anyone knows, I know just how, exactly, a brisket can change one’s life!

This book is my most deeply felt, heart-baring, honest collection of recipes and stories.  I cook the way I do because of who I am: my background (didn’t grow up kosher); my journey (pampered kid, TV producer, workaholic); my evolving story (becoming religious); my mom (allergic to the kitchen but my biggest fan); my husband (a kitchen natural with an incredible sense of humor); my grandparents (gourmet chefs who loved us to pieces with food instead of words); my kids (my absolute life and the inexplicable cause of all those happy tears); and, of course, my kitchen (so I don’t have a dishwasher yet, I’ll manage).

This book is where all that love, life and laughter converge. Not to mention the food. Mmm, that fabulous food. It’s one, precious, happy, deliciously big book. ENJOY! I wrote it with every fiber of my being for you – yes you!

So please, please, please if you haven’t already done so pre-order your copies of the book NOW for just $18 so you have them in time for Chanukah and before the first printing sells out!

And to celebrate all this goodness we have a giveaway from one of my favorite condiments and book party sponsor French’s (click here for more recipes using French’s) ! In my new book I use mustard, mustard and more mustard. Dijon, Honey Dijon, Spicy Brown, Yellow – I use ’em all! So French’s has graciously offered a HUMUNGO prize package valued at $125 just for JoK readers featuring:

A French’s Prize Pack Valued at $125

  • 5-piece stainless steel grilling tool kit
  • 2 French’s pot holder mitts
  • Aan assortment of French’s mustard certified OU Kosher (Classic Yellow, Spicy Brown, Honey, Honey Dijon, Horseradish, Dijon with Chardonnay Wine)

Here’s How To Enter To Win

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Make a Healthier Pot Pie


October 7th 2013

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Hi, I’m Rena! I recently started blogging over at my No Way That’s Healthy! where I give ideas on how to live a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing time and taste. I’m all about easy and delicious foods. We shouldn’t have to deprive ourselves of the foods we once loved. We just need to make healthier versions which can be enjoyed without the guilt. With a husband who is your typical “meat and potatoes” type of guy and kids who we all know can be picky, I need to be sure the food is good. Luckily, they all seem to love what I make and don’t ask for anything else. On my blog I also share tips to making healthy eating easier and ways to make exercise doable for our busy lives.

Today, I decided to share with you a classic American comfort dish, but this recipe comes without any guilt.

Chicken pot pie is one of those recipes that I call “comfort food.” But it is usually packed with more calories than an average person should eat in a whole day.  This version has been changed to give you the comfort and yummy taste you want, but without the heavy feeling and unhealthy ingredients.

I have two options for the cream sauce and lots of recommendations, but the choice is yours to make it your own.  Don’t get overwhelmed by the long recipe, it’s just to give you lots of options and it is really very quick to pull off. You’ll be glad you made it!

Here’s my recipe for a Healthy Chicken Pot Pie.



An Early Fall Menu


October 4th 2013

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Now that the craziness of the holidays are behind us and Summer is officially over, it is time to get back to normal, every day life.  Of course, that doesn’t mean we are going to stop planning and cooking and celebrating with food.  I know you all like to browse through my interesting menu ideas and so here is one specially made for you to use right now.  Whether you use it for Shabbat or maybe you are having the girls over for a fun night in, this menu is seasonal, flavorful and ready to be savored and enjoyed by family or friends.

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

When I think of October, I think of pumpkin.  I mean everyone is doing it, have you seen those new Dunkin’ Donuts commercials?  We don’t need them to get our pumpkin on.  Pumpkin is filled with vitamins and a great source of fiber too.  Let’s leave out the sugar and enjoy this quick to make, hearty Pumpkin Black Bean Soup.


Pan Seared Salmon with Soy Sour Cream and Zaatar

I like to keep my main courses simple, with fresh and high quality ingredients and nothing does it better than salmon.  If you are not a fish person, try my simple Rosemary Balsamic Chicken.

Garlicky Kale

All my kids eat kale these days, so it has become our go to side.  Have you tried it?

You could serve anything as a starchy side here, a simple pasta, some orzo or rice, but when possible it is best to get in some whole grains.  I would suggest this Bulgur with Carrots, Nuts and Dates and if you don’t like dates or don’t have any, just substitute to make it your way.

Healthy Apple Pecan Crisp

Comfort Me With Apples is not just the name of one of my favorite books by Ruth Reichl, but is also how this dish will make you feel.  We didn’t use any pumpkin spice up in the soup, so let’s get some of those fall flavors in this apple crisp.  Serve this dessert piping hot and feel the comfort.

Have a fantastic fall!!