Surprising Dishes with Pomegranates

 

October 4th 2013

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Did you know that pomegranate seeds can complement so many dishes? You’ll find it surprising that just 2 spoons of pomegranate seeds will enrich even a simple Israeli salad.

When it comes to Israel, especially at this time of year, New-Year pomegranates flood the markets with their beautiful shapes and colors.  So, before I share some recipes from my ‘Cook in Israel’ cookbook  I’d like to share with you a little more about these wonderful fruits.

Do you know that there are about 400 types of pomegranates around the world?

They differ in color, size and taste.  Some are very sweet, while others are sweet and sour or just sour and tart. Sometimes you find the pale seeds are actually sweeter and the dark red end up sour. In Carmel market in Tel Aviv, where I feel at home and host all my guests, you can taste the seeds before buying them or sometimes just trust your vendor as I do :) .

Along our food tours of the markets in Israel we find several species of these amazing fruits. Having a pomegranate turned into fresh squeezed juice right in front of us is one of the highlights of my food tour in Israel.

Pomegranates symbolize abundance and I assure you that by adding pomegranate seeds to your food you will enrich it and make it look amazing on the table.

Cauliflower with Tahini and Silan

The cauliflower with tahini and silan (recipe from ‘Cook in Israel’ cookbook p.84) is one of the very popular dishes in my cooking classes. It looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It is always a successful dish, see what Ada Beth wrote me: “I think the cauliflower with pomegranate seeds is a good one (big hit at RH lunch)”.

Also, try my President’s Salad made with pomegranate seeds and pictured above.

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments on pomegranates.

 

 

Photos by Katherine martinelli


 

8 Ways to Enjoy Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews ...

 

October 3rd 2013

Contributed by:

 

91 comments | Leave Comment

 

I’m a Philly girl – born and raised.  But y’all know that already.  What you didn’t know is that Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews are from Philly too. At the time, I didn’t know that they were being made in my backyard.

Peanut Chews were developed by the Goldenberg Candy Company, which was founded by Romanian immigrant, David Goldenberg in 1890.  My parents are also Romanian immigrants.  (Oooooh the plot thickens!)  That peanut-molasses chocolate-coated delight is a major throwback to my childhood – a real old school thing!

I thought this revelation (about how we’re both from Philly, and both children of Romanian immigrants, aren’t you listening?) was kinda cute and funky, so I decided to celebrate this little-known factoid by fessing up to 8 ways I like to eat my GPCs.  (That’s shorthand for Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. I feel like I can call them GPCs since we’re practically like twins separated at birth).  Why 8? ‘Cause there are 8 peanut chews in a package and I wear a size 8. Um, wore a size 8, once, I think.

Anyway here are 8 ways to enjoy ‘em:

  1. Standing at the kitchen counter prepping dinner
  2. Curled up on the couch with a good book
  3. One at a time
  4. All 8 at once
  5. When the kids are asleep and I don’t have to share
  6. When the kids catch me and I do have to share
  7. Dipped in warm milk
  8. Baked into Peanut Chew Vanilla Cake made by my friend Amy.  If you don’t know Amy, you can bake your own.

I’m gonna share Amy’s top secret recipe with you now ‘cause that’s what you do with sweet treats – you spread the love, share the wealth, bake up a batch and put a smile on someone’s face.   Ok, so it’s not really top secret. I just like saying that. But it is an important recipe that I know you’ll treasure.  So we’ll call it Amy’s (formerly) Top Secret Famous Peanut Chew Vanilla Cake.  I think it takes longer to say it than to make it.

***Giveaway*** Win a $25 Mike and Ike and Goldenberg’s Prize Package to satisfy all your sweeties!!  Share any of your memories with peanut chews and how you enjoy them.  Enter below with rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

KosherFeast Honors Chef Laura Frankel

 

October 2nd 2013

Contributed by:

 

4 comments | Leave Comment

 

The third annual kosher social media dinner that precedes Kosherfest will be held on October 28th at the J Soho restaurant.  Tons of food bloggers, writers and personalities head to NY for Kosherfest.  The dinner is a time for them to get together, socialize and learn about some of the new products even before the show.  It follows our day long, Kosher Food Bloggers Conference, an event for food bloggers and professionals to openly discus, learn and network together.  This year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kosherfest, they are honoring some of the kosher food pioneers, Susie Fishbein, Chef Laura Frankel, Norene Gilletz, Gil Marks, Levana Kirschenbaum, Menachem Lubinsky, Joan Nathan and several more.

Chef Laura contributes regularly to our site (click here to see all her article and recipes) and our magazine and we are so happy for her recognition along with so many other of our talented foodie friends, all of whom have paved the way for the rest of us.

A little bit about Chef Laura: LAURA FRANKEL is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons (Wiley) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Wiley).  Chef Laura is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce.  Chef Laura is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. She has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. After Frankel had a family and began maintaining a kosher home she found that there was nowhere in Chicago serving the quality of food that she knew she could offer. She opened her first restaurant in 1999, offering kosher fine dining with a produce-driven menu. Frankel opened Shallots NY in 2000 in midtown Manhattan. In 2004, she moved her Chicago restaurant to Skokie, (a suburb with a large Jewish population outside of Chicago) and created Shallots Bistro.

Chef Laura has cooked for many dignitaries, including: Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman, Presidential Candidate Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Spielberg, Senator Hillary Clinton, Ivanka Trump, and many more.

Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played and taught both alto and baritone saxophones professionally. Frankel has three children: Zachary (24), Ari (21) and Jonah (17), who all love to cook and eat great food.

Her website is ChefLauraskosher.com. Follow her on Twitter: @cheflaura1

The KosherFeast dinner is brought to us by Esti Berkowitz (primetimeparenting.com) and Roberta Scher from KosherEye.com. And a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a kosher food bank.

 


 

How To Cook and Eat an Artichoke

 

October 2nd 2013

Contributed by:

 

6 comments | Leave Comment

 

Growing up in the 70’s, my mom always tried new dishes, from, sweet breads, tongue, calf’s heart, caviar, and liver. My family had a sophisticated palate. I on the other hand would complain if I tasted pepper. Although, my taste buds were not as sophisticated as the rest of my family, I was pretty sure I was exposed to a cultivated selection of food choice.

I was wrong!

Fast forward a bunch of years – I met my husband, a native Californian, 4 years my senior. After dating for a year, he invited me to come to sunny California to show me his turf.

I was a nervous young 20 year old girl who had never been to the West Coast. After stepping off the plane and being thrilled by the huge palm trees and luxurious homes. I settled in at my future in laws modest house. Looking out their dining room window, beyond their pool, was the view from LA LAW.

My future husband gave me a tour of his house and his backyard. Besides, the standard California pool, there were orange, lemon and fig trees, Birds of Paradise and stunning tropical flowers. As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz said, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore.” That is exactly what I was feeling; this was not the Atlantic Seaboard.

That week, I was your typical tourist, Rodeo Drive, Universal Studio, NBC Studio, Disney Land, Hollywood Stars, you name it.

Yet, what made me realize, that I was not as savvy as I thought, was not the avant-garde attitude of the West Coast, but what my future mother in law served at dinner, sitting on my plate was this bulky green flower. I had never seen this green pedaled bowl of food before. Everyone started peeling the leaves, dipping, scraping and discarding what appeared to be the whole piece. What was this leafy dish? My new prospective family was stunned that I had never eaten an artichoke before. I felt like the unsophisticated girl from the other side of the country. The Irony was that these people were the ones eating like animals. They were eating their food with their fingers and chucking their leftovers on their plate. And picking what appeared to be hair out of the bottom of the vegetable, and then proceeding to eat the base. Yet, I was the one to feel inexperienced and unrefined. What was going on?

27 Years ago, it was almost impossible to find artichokes at a super market on the East Coast. Before visiting California, I never had seen such a food. I came back home, and told my family and many others about this exotic vegetable native to the Mediterranean. Hardly anyone had heard or tasted it before. It is amazing how something so rare, over time has now become a weekly staple at our Shabbat table.

It took years for the artichoke to arrive in Maryland. When it finally did, one could only purchase this expensive edible bud in May at certain health food markets. In more recent years, artichokes are found at almost all super markets, at reasonable prices. I purchase them year round at Trader Joes for $2.99 for 4 artichokes. Although, it is a popular food in our home, I still find myself teaching many of our guests how to eat this thorny vegetable.

I am so thankful that 27 years ago I was introduced to this green plant. It is one of my favorite foods to eat. I am always trying new dips and usually go back to old favorites. Sophisticated or not, I found my prized fare on the pacific coast.

How to cook an artichoke

  1. Slice ¼ inch to ½ inch off top of artichoke.
  2. Wash artichoke well.
  3. Fill a large pot with 4-5 inches of water.
  4. Squeeze lemon over artichokes and water.
  5. Place a small plate over the artichokes, so the artichokes will stand up straight, cover pot.
  6. Cook for 25-45 minutes until outside leaf is easy to pull off. Remove from water.

Favorite dips:

  1. Mayonnaise, soy sauce, pickle juice, lemon juice and mustard.
  2. Sour cream and a bit of salt.
  3. Melted butter and salt

When was the first time you had an artichoke?

Note: Many halachic authorities do not allow the consumption of fresh artichokes due to the difficulty in checking for bugs.  Please speak to your local Rabbi if you have any questions in this matter.  If you don’t eat fresh artichokes you can buy frozen artichoke bottoms and here you can browse through artichoke recipes.


 

Joy of Kosher by Jamie Geller Cookbook Trailer

 

October 1st 2013

Contributed by:

 

9 comments | Leave Comment

 

Order my new cookbook on Amazon.


 

You’re Invited To The Joy of Kosher Cookbook...

 

October 1st 2013

Contributed by:

 

11 comments | Leave Comment

 

The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party is currently SOLD OUT. If you would like to be added to a wait list, please email Melinda@joyofkosher.com

Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party

Monday, October 21, 2013

7:00-9:00 pm

Millesime Brasserie

The Carlton Hotel, 92 Madison Avenue (29th street), located on the mezzanine level

Catering by Gemstone with Star K Kosher Supervision

All tickets include a copy of the Joy of Kosher Cookbook . Limited early bird registration  available through October 7, for only $54.  Use Discount Code EARLYBIRD.

The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party is currently SOLD OUT. If you would like to be added to a wait list, please email Melinda@joyofkosher.com

We are celebrating the release of the NEW Joy of Kosher Cookbook (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2013)!!!  Join us for an exclusive evening of food and wine, fun and swag.  Have your book signed and be the first to taste Jamie’s new favorite recipes.

Ari White from Gemstone Catering (also known for Got Cholent and the Wandering Que) will be cooking up a selection of Jamie’s favorite recipes pulled straight from the pages of the NEW Joy of Kosher Cookbook.  Enjoy the show as Ari and his talented team of chefs work magic in the open kitchen at Millesime Brasserie.

This is an exclusive tasting experience that will include at least 10 different pass around hors d’ouvres, sampling stations, desserts, wine and a special Joy of Kosher cocktail (sponsored by Royal Wine Corp.).  Start drooling over…

  • Cilantro Corn Cakes with Avocado Aioli
  • Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Skewers with Herbed Curry Mustard
  • Blackened Tilapia Wraps with Cumin Avocado Sauce and Apple Cabbage Slaw
  • Latkes with Caviar and “Cream”
  • Toasted Marshmallow Nutty Caramel Brownies

Included in the ticket price you will be going home with a bag full of goodies, your own copy of the NEW Joy of Kosher Cookbook plus the Hanukkah issue of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine.  In addition to fabulous products from our sponsors, Mike and Ike, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, French’s, Sabra, Gefen, Shibolim and more.

Meet Jamie, take pictures together and have her sign and personalize your new cookbook.

A night out with friends and loved ones- not to be missed.  We can’t wait to see you there.  
get your tickets now!

Can’t attend? Pre-order your copy of the book for just $18.

Use Discount Code EARLYBIRD and get your tickets for just $54!! The early bird special is only available through October 7.  Don’t forget to bring your friends.

 Meet Our Sponsors

   

 

Rethink Your Salad with These Creative Fall Salad...

 

September 30th 2013

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

Salads refer to a whole category of dishes that include raw vegetables but can also include: cold, cooked vegetables, including grains and pasta; ones which add cold meat or seafood; sweet dishes made of cut-up fruit; and even warm dishes. Though the prototypical salad is light, a dinner salad can constitute a complete meal. These dishes are served dressed with vinaigrette.

Vinaigrettes are an emulsion of oils and vinegar sometimes flavored with herbs, spices and commonly used as a salad dressing or cold sauce. Salads are complex and vexing for most chefs who write menus. In America, the salad starts the meal and as a chef, I want my first impression to be a good one. In Europe, a salad ends the meal and the last impression should also be a good one. A salad can be exciting and palate stimulating. I urge all home cooks to rethink their salads. This can be a make-or break course and can become the course that everyone looks forward to.

6 different types of salads:

  • Green salads are salads consisting mainly of leaves and vinaigrette.
  • Vegetable salads are made of vegetables and some or no leaves.
  • Bound salad consists of ingredients held together by a thick dressing such as aioli (mayonnaise).
  • Main course salads are also called entrée salads and often include a protein such as beef, fish or chicken and for vegetarians, tofu or seitan.
  • Fruit salads are made of one or several different fruits.
  • Dessert salads rarely contain leaves and are often sweet and can contain fruit purees, jellies and whipped cream.

Chef’s hint for vinaigrettes: 

Salt your vinaigrette before adding the oil. Once the oil has been added, the salt will not dissolve and your salad will not be evenly seasoned.

Try these new salad recipes this Fall with flavorful salad dressing recipes that will make everyone scream for salad.

Apple, Fennel & Roasted Beets with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Poached Pear, Pickled Shallots, Baby Spinach, Popped Wild Rice & Cranberry Vinaigrette

Grilled Plums with Chopped Kale & Warm Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette

 

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Fall 2012 – Subscribe Now.


 

DIY Grilled Cheese Bar

 

September 25th 2013

Contributed by:

 

2 comments | Leave Comment

 

Ahh grilled cheese. The perfect meal for Fall, that’s easy and makes you feel like a kid again. I recently went back to work and unfortunately my classroom is “nut free”. I usually am a PB & J kind of girl, so I needed a new work sandwich and I found that you can have so much fun with grilled cheese!

For a fun Yom Tov meal or any time for kids or adults you can try a grilled cheese bar.   All you need is a griddle or large frying pan ready to go.  Set out plates filled with a selection of different breads, cheeses and other fillings.  Fillings can include anything from fried eggplant to grilled veggies to fake bacon.  You can also offer a variety of spreads, like sweet preserves, spicy mustard, pesto or tapenade.  Then let everyone create their own!!  Maybe serve a few salads and pickled veggies and your done.  Have fun and let your guests play chef.

For every day, here are some of my favorite combos:

Avocado and White American Cheese Melt

This sandwich works best with over ripe avocados- which is how I created it! I was trying to think of something to make using my last, super ripe avocado and this was delicious!

Veggie Bacon and American Grilled Cheese

I love Morning Star fake bacon!  Once upon a time when I was on weight watchers,I discovered that two strips was only 1 point! I felt that I had to incorporate these yummy strips into one of my grilled cheese creations.

Grilled Cheese Pizza Bites

All I can say is..yum! These bites were a happy accident.  I meant to experiment with cheese and pita bread, but I had given my son the last piece of pita. I DID have one small package of pizza dough, thawing in the oven and decided to have fun with it! These grilled cheese bites were so easy to make, and were gobbled up in under 5 minutes.

What is your favorite way to make a grilled cheese?

Don’t miss this guide to grilled cheese gadgets.


 

Best Grilled Cheese Gadgets

 

September 24th 2013

Contributed by:

 

1 comment | Leave Comment

 

The classic grilled cheese sandwich has saved many a harried person of all ages.  It is my go to lunch for busy days when the kids are home.  College kids practically live on them and now there are even restaurants popping up that pay tribute to them.  Everyone always has cheese and bread on hand and now you can even make them easier or better with these great grilled cheese gadgets.   Grilled Cheese Toaster Bags

I discovered this neat little tool at the Fancy Food Show.  It is not something I would have ever though to buy especially since I have a toaster oven, but since I got the sample, I let my son try it out.  My toaster oven has a nasty habit of burning things, but using this little bag, the grilled cheese came out perfectly crisp with a gooey center and not burnt.  It worked so well and was so easy for kids to use especially if you have a regular toaster.  Saves on mess too!!

Remember these? Maybe you have one already, the classic sandwich makers (click to see a few at Amazon).  The perfect addition to any college dorm room.  Great for kids learning to cook.  You can really make any warm sandwich in there too and doesn’t everyone love to eat little triangles.

Take your sandwich maker up a notch and opt for a Panini Press, instead of little triangles you can get grill lines.  Use any bread and any fillings and enjoy it hot.

I have also read that you can use a waffle maker to make grilled cheese, albeit a funny looking one, so a better option is this Big Boss Grill, which comes with removable inserts so that you can use it as a sandwich maker, a waffle iron or even a skillet.

Finally, if you are looking for some new grilled cheese ideas you can get this book with 50 grilled cheese ideas.

Hope you find some new ways to make your grilled cheese even easier and tastier.  Come back tomorrow for our Grilled Cheese Bar idea for a fun DIY meal you can even do on Yom Tov.


 

The Heart of The Cocktail

 

September 24th 2013

Contributed by:

 

5 comments | Leave Comment

 

It isn’t just for ad execs on Madison Avenue, cocktails have always been a part of popular culture.  Until now, I had only ever tried the basics, Martini (not my thing, Bond can keep it), Gin and Tonic, Screwdrivers, Margaritas and Mojitos.  Once I started to really enjoy wine I didn’t even consider cocktails except on vacation to a tropical destination.  Over the years, friends and Shabbat guests would enjoy single malt scotch and bourbon, but straight liquor was never that appealing to me. Maybe I owe a debt of gratitude to Don Draper, but we are living during a renaissance of the cocktail culture and my rocks glass will never be the same.

My most recent concoction was a mint and lime Julep

Taking center stage alongside the food at any fine new restaurant, are creative cocktails featuring fresh fruit, herbs, artisanal liquors and savvy combinations from thoughtful bartenders.  The most interesting menu in town, more often than not, is the cocktail menu.

Craft distilleries, small producers making their own whiskeys, rum, gin and liqueurs, are leading the way and encouraging wine drinkers to put aside preconceived notions of mixed drinks and try something new.  Bartenders are shaking things up with new flavors, from savory to sweet and spicy.

For kosher consumers, we have it pretty easy for a change.  Most spirits, including Rum, Tequila, Scotch, and Bourbon are considered kosher by most authorities, even without a hechsher.  Liquors, bitters and other mix-ins raise a number of kosher issues and you should seek out a kosher symbol on the bottle or consult your local Rabbi for guidance.  On my quest to learn the art of the modern cocktail, I stumbled upon Koval, a craft distillery in Chicago making kosher-certified spirits and liqueurs.

Koval was established in 2008 and is the first craft distillery within Chicago’s city limits since Prohibition.  Al Capone would be jealous!  At Koval, they make everything in house and entirely from scratch.  Koval was founded by Robert and Sonat Birnecker with a passion to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian grandfather to America.  Their products are 100% organic and OU kosher certified.  They offer five single-grain whiskeys: Rye, Oat, Wheat, Millet and Spelt, and an impressive selection of liqueurs, including Coffee, Ginger, Jasmine, Orange Blossom and Rose Hip.  The name Koval is Yiddish for “blacksmith” and was the nickname of Sonat’s Great-Grandfather.   You can find Koval in many wine and liquor stores or you can even order online.  If you happen to live in or are visiting Chicago you can even get a tour and that includes tastings!!!

The same week that I started exploring Koval,  I received a sample of Keep It Simple Syrup – KISS – an all- natural spearmint infused simple syrup, with OU certification.  While simple syrup is an invaluable ingredient to have around the kitchen as it can be used to sweeten cookies, baked goods, teas and coffees, it is also is the perfect addition to start your own bar.  The trick to a good cocktail is the mixers.  Koval provides the liquor and liqueurs, but they typically need a little simple syrup.   This spearmint syrup from Kiss is perfect for mojitos, daiquiris, juleps or any other drink where mint is desired.  KISS is available at select markets and online, click here.

For a cocktail with a Middle Eastern flare, I created a fabulous drink based on Jallab, a refreshing blend of water, date syrup and rose water, I used The Date Lady Date Syrup and you can get my recipe here.

As you start building your bar, buy some bitters.  Say that three times fast!  Bitters add a lot of flavor to drinks and Angostura, found near the soda aisle in most grocery stores is certified kosher.  Soon we will try making our own, but until then get a small bottle and start experimenting.

Koval has a lot of recipes on their site, if you need some inspiration.  Cocktails don’t have to be overly complicated or require a lot of ingredients, all you really need is some fresh lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, some craft whiskey or rye a and a few dashes of bitters and you can make it a Mad Men night.

I hope to share more cocktail recipes, tips and tricks, if there is anything you want me to work on let me know in the comments below.


 

A Kosher Oktoberfest Menu

 

September 24th 2013

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

A few years ago I wrote all about my experience at Oktoberfest which was a really fun two day layover on my way to Israel for Sukkot.  Read the full Oktoberfest experience here.  When I got back I couldn’t help but make these classic German recipes and they have since become a regular go to menu for Shabbat or any night of the week.

soft pretzels

Soft Pretzels

If making this menu for Shabbat you can go ahead and make Susie Fishbein’s Hot Pretzel Challah, click here. Don’t forget an assortment of mustard.

German Sausage Saute

German Sausage Saute

Easy German Red Cabbage

Easy German Red Cabbage

 

german-radish-salad

German Radish Salad

Spaetzl

Herbed Spaetzl

apple strudel eggroll

Baked Apple Strudel Eggroll

Still working on the perfect strudel, if you have a recipe, please share it by submitting it here.


 

Shemini Atzeret Menu

 

September 23rd 2013

Contributed by:

 

3 comments | Leave Comment

 

In our family, whenever there is something that needs doing and it hasn’t yet been done, my husband Ed says “what are you waiting for, Shemini Atzeret?” It was meaningless to our children when they were young but they understood what he meant. There is a finality to things, an ending, when what we need to accomplish, we must accomplish.

On Shemini Atzeret the year has ended, the annual cycle of Torah readings has come to its end. I like to think of this joyful “ending” as akin to school commencement, which of course means “a beginning.”

It’s time to begin again, fresh.

There are no particular food traditions for Shemini Atzeret. But because it comes on the heels of Sukkot, in the autumn, we always have a festive, celebratory meal that feels right for the new season. I always bake a homemade challah of course, using my grandma’s award-winning recipe, and my Mom’s chicken soup and apple pie recipes. Then I add a few more modern additions of my own. Here’s the menu:

 

Hummus with Pine Nuts and Zaatar
Traditional Challah

Traditional Challah

old fashioned chicken soup

Lily Vail's Old Fashioned Chicken Soup

roasted moroccan spiced chicken breast

Roasted Moroccan Spiced Chicken Breasts

apricot chutney

Dried Apricot, Date and Ginger Chutney

Your favorite Roasted Potatoes and Green Vegetable and

Apple Pie

My Mom's Apple Pie

Enjoy the last of the holidays and have a very Happy and Sweet New Year.


 

Watch Mike and Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies ...

 

September 18th 2013

Contributed by:

 

62 comments | Leave Comment

 

So for this one I had a little help from my friends.  First I needed a great recipe.  That’s where my neighbor, who just happens to be a professional baker stepped in.  Meet Amy Schneider of Amy’s.  She makes cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more sweet treats exclusive and made-to-order for everyone’s simchas and celebrations in these parts.  Mike and Ikes are her favorite candy, maybe that’s what we get along so well.  Her favorite flavor is blue, mine is red – so maybe that’s really why we get along so well.  I asked her to “make something sweet, something special and something easy with Mike and Ikes”.  She happily obliged.

Next came my friend from FuninJerusalem.com Joanna Shebson.  I said “I know your husband is in real estate and probably has a  bunch of gorgeous kitchens he can secure for me to use as our set… but… what I really want… is to use yours.  So do you mind if we come in with a crew of 7 and take over your house for 10 hours?”  Thankfully she obliged.  Maybe that’s why we also get along so well.

So this here is the fabulous finished product.  Finally we reveal our top secret recipe for Amy’s Mike and Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies – they are perfect and pretty and now all yours.

Get the recipe in detail here, Mike and Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies.

***Giveaway***

We are so excited about our new partnership with Mike and Ike and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews and we have lots of fun things planned for you all, starting with this video and this giveaway.  Enter here for your chance to win a Candy Gift Box filled with all our favorites!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: This post and video are part of a partnership with Mike and Ike, all opinions are my own.


 

Day in Jerusalem: Scavenge for FUN and FOOD

 

September 18th 2013

Contributed by:

 

2 comments | Leave Comment

 

Next time you visit Jerusalem, consider a new way to see the city. Interactive games and hunts bring the city and its past alive. The Jerusalem scavenger hunt is one of my favorite activities to recommend for tourists & locals because it keeps the kids and the adults entertained, challenged and working as a group to “feel” the history of the streets of Jerusalem.

The Old City of Jerusalem is the oldest residential area in the city dating back to Biblical times. When the Jews of the Old City were encouraged to move out and start new communities outside the walls, they began with the areas of Mishkenot Sheananim/Yemin Moshe and Nachlaot. Today a scavenger hunt in these areas encourages you to search for ancient Jewish artifacts using some of today’s most modern technology.  Learn about the famous residents of each neighborhood and you may even find out where Clinton, Madonna and Churchill stayed when they visited Jerusalem.

When you book a Scavenger Hunt through Fun In Jerusalem, you are able to choose the location: Old City, Nachlaot or Mishkenot Sheananim. As a team you will choose players to fulfill the following roles: a teacher, a reader, a navigator and a photographer. Take your mission pack and begin to explore the alleyways, learn about the history by reading the street signs and understand the meaning behind the street names. Even the trees play a part in the hunt. The kids will love following the clues to their next destination; the photographer in your group will enjoy snapping pictures, while the navigator guides the way. The Jerusalem Scavenger Hunt is one of Fun In Jerusalem’s most popular activities.

Anyone who is traveling with kids knows that you have to have a lunch plan close to your activity. In Jerusalem there is no need to scavenge, the city is filled with amazing kosher restaurants!  The hardest decision will be which one to choose. Here are some kosher restaurants near the the scavenger hunt locations:

Old City: In the center of the Jewish Quarter you will find Burgers Bar, Café Neeman, and some delicious ice cream & frozen yogurt shops.

Nachlaot: Head into the shuk (Machane Yehuda) across the street from Nachlaot where you can enjoy fresh Fish n Chips, Pasta Basta or an authentic Moroccan meal.

Mishkenot Sheananim: Head down the street to the First Station (aka Old Train Station) for a fun experience. Hamiznon and FRESH are some great dairy lunch options. If you are just looking for a snack or something sweet, hit Re-Bar for a refreshing yogurt drink or frozen yogurt.

Stay tuned for next month’s Day in Jerusalem “FUN ways to volunteer in Jerusalem”.

 Updated picture of the windmill


 

Types and How To Melt Chocolate with Parve...

 

September 17th 2013

Contributed by:

 

0 comments | Leave Comment

 

What better way to end a meal than with decadent chocolate desserts?

Here is your source for all things chocolate:

Types of chocolate

Chocolate chips are made differently than baking chocolate, which is the reason they keep their shape when baked. They are best used in recipes where you need to keep the shape of the chocolate as is, whether it is mixed into cookie or cake batter, used as a topping or for added crunch in desserts.

Semisweet baking chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate contains (at least 35%) cocoa butter, sugar, soy lecithin and vanilla extract. Do not purchase chocolate that contains any fat other than cocoa butter. For optimal results, do not substitute chocolate chips in recipes calling for semisweet baking chocolate, since chocolate chips are meant to hold their shape and don’t melt as well.

Bittersweet baking chocolate has a higher chocolate ratio than semisweet, is less sweet and has a stronger chocolate flavor.

Unsweetened baking chocolate, called chocolate liquor, is produced when roasted cocoa beans are ground and processed into liquid. After additional processing, the liquid is hardened into blocks. The packaging label for unsweetened chocolate should list one ingredient: chocolate. Unsweetened baking chocolate is not eaten on its own, but is a core ingredient in many chocolate products.

Unsweetened cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is produced by hydraulically pressing unsweetened chocolate in order to remove most of the cocoa butter. It is not totally fat-free because it does contain residual amounts of cocoa butter. The only ingredient listed: cocoa.

White chocolate is different than other chocolates as it does not contain cocoa solids, but rather is made from cocoa butter, the fat removed from cocoa beans. While in other chocolates, the fat is recombined with the cocoa solids, white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. As a result of its lack of cocoa, it doesn’t contain any of the antioxidants that is found in dark chocolate, and is a richer, higher caloric form of chocolate.

Milk chocolate is made from a combination of cocoa butter, cocoa solids, milk powder and sugar. It is also richer than dark chocolate.

Cocoa nibs. Cocoa nibs are ground, roasted cocoa beans and have a bitter taste and a crunchy texture. Cocoa nibs have been gaining popularity in the culinary world and add a chocolate flavor and crunch to desserts and savory dishes.

How to melt Chocolate

Timing is everything when it comes to baking, and more specifically, melting chocolate. A few seconds over optimal time can ruin the makeup of the chocolate.

Microwave time may vary depending on the model of the microwave; it is better to start off on the lower end, starting with the lesser amount, and adding a bit more time as necessary, because once the chocolate overcooks and becomes grainy, your chocolate is basically fit for the garbage. Once melted, the chocolate should stay in liquid form for 30 to 60 minutes in a warm kitchen. In a cool kitchen, keep the melted chocolate over warm water until ready to use.

When purchasing chocolate, make sure to verify that you are buying the best quality possible, as this will have a tremendous impact on your chocolate dish. The best way to ensure top quality chocolate is to read the ingredients. The only source of fat in your chocolate should be cocoa butter. This applies to all types of chocolate including chocolate chips. Palm oil or coconut oil, for instance, is no good and may compromise the end result of a chocolate dish. Store chocolate in a cool, dry place. If storage is too warm, the chocolate can develop gray surface streaks caused by the cocoa butter rising to the surface. It is okay to eat, but not ideal to use for baking as you are not guaranteed optimal results once the makeup of the chocolate has been altered.

chocolate melting times

Time to Get cooking:

chocolate bread puddingChocolate Bread Pudding
This dish has a rich chocolate flavor that makes great use out of a typically leftover staple, bread.

chocolate covered fruitChocolate-Dipped Fruit
A satisfying, fun and healthy dessert.

Chocolate Carrot Cake
Chocolate is a great flavor addition to the classic carrot cake. This cake is moist and satisfying and really simple to make. A great option for a Rosh Hashana (or anytime) dessert, celebrating the tradition of eating carrots on the Jewish New Year.

Chocolate Parfait
This dessert tastes like a molten chocolate cake, but with much less work. The inspiration for this dessert is from Glatt
a la Carte in Brooklyn, N.Y. It can easily be made ahead and will wow your guests with its gloriously rich, chocolaty flavor.

 

As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine Fall 2012 – Subscribe Now.