Leeks and Apples for Rosh Hashanah


September 3rd 2013

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As we are so close to Rosh Hashanah, there are so many things to say about it. I am focusing on food obviously. I come from a Sephardic family and both my parents are from Saloniki, Greece. I grew up on Jewish-Greek food. The holidays were the times when I could most see the differences between our customs and the others.


One of the most significant foods for Rosh Hashanah is apple dipped in honey. In my home my mother used to make many jars of apple jam to give to family and friends. We served this special apple jam with the prayer of a sweet New Year. Here’s the recipe, which you can also find in my cookbook.

When it comes to food memories, the holiday period is the time when they are strongest. Besides apple jam for Rosh Hashanah, my mother also used to make leek patties for the blessing:

יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּכָּרְתוּ אוֹיְבֵינוּ וְשׂוֹנְאֵינוּ וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ

May it be Your will, Lord our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that our enemies, haters, and those who wish evil upon us shall be cut down.

She used to make two versions – one vegetarian for me and one with minced meat. The recipe I share here and in my cookbook is for the vegetarian patties. They taste like heaven. No matter how many are made they’re gone in minutes without mentioning how many disappeared directly from the pan while making them. When I make them I keep counting them to reassure there will be enough to be served at dinner time.

Happy & Sweet New Year

Apple Jam Recipe

Leek Patties

Find these recipes above among other 100 kosher recipes with a whole section for Jewish Holidays: Cook in Israel – Home Cooking Inspiration.   For a limited time get $5 when you purchase a signed copy, here:  http://cookinisrael.ravpage.co.il/Cook-in-Israel


Infused Honey


September 2nd 2013

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One of my favorite experiences growing up in Seattle was driving to the Puyallup Fair every September. We admired the enormous prize-winning animals, rode the roller coasters, and walked through the booths of “As Seen on TV” products. What I looked forward to the most was the Snoqualmie Valley Honey, and every year we stocked up on a variety of flavors for Rosh Hashanah. My whole family and I stood at the honey booth, taste-testing each one, from Washington Wild Blackberry (my favorite) to Clover and Peppermint, while my mom loaded up on honey bears and honey sticks for us to enjoy year-round. Since I no longer live in Seattle and always miss going to the fair, I love to make my own infused honey to use for the holidays. Every drizzle is a trip down memory lane and there is nothing more gratifying than making your own artisan honey.

The directions are the same for any flavored honey you choose, and the options are endless!

You can also start with naturally flavored honey as the base, for more complex flavor.

In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the honey, add your herbs and spices, and stir. Cook on low for 10 minutes, remove from the heat, let the honey cool, and place in a glass jar to store.

Here are my favorite infusions:

Vanilla Bean Honey
1 cup honey
2 vanilla beans, sliced in half, lengthwise, to expose the inner seeds
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Honey
1 cup honey
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Rosemary Honey
1 cup honey
5 rosemary sprigs


As seen in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Fall 2012, Subscribe Now!


Potato Kugel


September 2nd 2013

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Watch Jamie Geller show you how to make a perfect Potato Kugel, so you can make it for this Shabbos.


7 Wines to Help You Celebrate The New Year


August 30th 2013

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We all know the Jewish holidays are never on time, they are either early or late.  This year they are early, very early and don’t even get me started about celebrating Hanukkah on Thanksgiving %@#$!

First, I have to get through cooking for Rosh Hashanah with three kids running around the house, bouncing off the walls and suffering from withdrawal from summer camp and my feeble attempts to limit digital time to a mere 3 hours a day… Did I hear a “good luck with that”?

But enough about me, I will stop pouring out my frustrations and start pouring out some wonderful new wines this year.  The best part of my August is being able to taste new kosher wines for the New Year from some of the top winemakers in the world.

This year at our Rosh Hashanah table we’re going to taste the fruit of the vine from the farthest reaches of the continental United States (Washington State) to the mountains of Mendoza in Argentina with a sampling of some of our latest favorites from the Holy Land.  Let’s raise a glass to some of the best kosher wines to add to your table for the New Year.

2009 Dalton Alma Shiraz-Mourvedre-Viognier (Israel); $27.  A classic Rhone-style blend that is another unique contribution to the Israel wine scene, this is a full-bodied wine showing rich earthy characteristics of leather and licorice with underlying floral notes and wild raspberries. The wine is medium bodied with a rich silky finish.

2011 Flechas De Los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah (Argentina); $24.  Deep purple colors reflecting a highly concentrated full-bodied wine, with plum and spice on the nose.  Delicate vanilla and smoky notes to follow.

French oak enhances this distinctive wine with touches of vanilla, mocha, cinnamon and chocolate.

2011 Pacifica Evan’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot (Washington); $28.   Flavors and aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and hints of vanilla. A layered wine that is luscious and soft.

2009 Psagot Merlot (Israel); $25.  Aged 13 months in French oak, this fruit-forward wine is packed with plum and cherry aromas, soft tannins and a nice spicy finish.

2010 Saslove Marriage (Israel); $29.  A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Nebbiolo. This unique combination creates a powerful wine with wild fruit flavors of cherry, raspberry and blueberry. The wine’s 6-month ageing in American and

2010 Teperberg Terra Malbec (Israel); $29.  Malbec is the grape of choice for the finest Argentinean wines.  This full bodied wine is characterized by its intense deep color infused with the flavors of forest fruit. The maturing of the wine in French oak barrels for 12 months enriches the complexity of the wine.

2010 Yogev Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot (Israel); $15.  Deep color and black fruit flavors and hints of desert spices, results in a wine with an interesting balance between fruitiness and oak influences, generous complexity and a pleasant finish.




Use Your Leftover Brisket For New Meals


August 29th 2013

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I hate wasting food. I hate throwing out leftovers. It’s a hangover from my upbringing. I can still hear my parents’ voice in my head, telling me about the poor starving children in Europe.

Usually there’s no waste at my house though because these days I’m cooking just for two, which means small portions and not much extra. But at holiday time it’s back to mama for my grown daughters and their families, and like most other old-fashioned Jewish mothers, I always cook too much of everything. My kids leave with doggie bags. Still, there’s always plenty of food left in the fridge.

My husband Ed is good about whatever I serve. He’ll eat sandwiches and warmed over meat (especially if I make gravy). But that can feel pretty sad after the festive celebrations. And I don’t want my meals, even if they’re leftovers, to be something we “have-to” eat instead of “want-to” eat. So I try to make those scraps of this and that into something delicious for two.

Brisket, one of the usual main dishes for us at Rosh Hashanah, is easy to rework. Most of the time I chop it up and add it to cooked bulgur wheat or brown rice casseroles such as Mujadarah, a favorite for us. Sometimes I mix it with cooked grains like farro or wheatberries, add leftover cooked veggies, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped dried fruit, chopped nuts – whatever I have in the fridge or pantry — make an appropriate vinaigrette and there’s salad for dinner.

Other times I feel the need to go beyond my old standbys. One year I mixed the chopped leftover brisket with veggies and made it into a stuffing of sorts, which I then placed inside the hollows of two acorn squash. It was all done ahead of time and when Ed and I wanted dinner, all I had to do was pop it into the oven to heat through.

I have to say here that this particular dish was such a hit I have made it in a variety of ways – different vegetables, depending on what was leftover. Matzo meal instead of bread crumbs during Passover. Once I made it without meat and mixed in about 3/4 cup of grated Swiss cheese (and topped it with some grated Parmesan).

Last year I made Brisket Chili. This is a hearty dish, perfect on a chilly autumn day, and I felt really clever and thrifty because not only did I use the leftover brisket, but also the leftover pan juices (instead of canned broth) and leftover onions from cooking the brisket (so I didn’t have to sauté onions first).

I always make a whole brisket. We’re a big family, but also I actually like leftovers. If we have any this year maybe I’ll try using the meat to make hash. Or a thick vegetable soup. I’ll keep you posted and you let me know how you use your leftovers in the comments below.  Shana Tova!

Brisket Stuffed Acorn Squash

Brisket Chili


New Joy of Kosher Cookbook Q&A *Giveaway*


August 28th 2013

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I figure you may be wondering about my new Joy of Kosher cookbook, like what’s the Mah Nishtanah this time. So I interviewed myself, asking the questions people ask me.   If I missed anything you just gotta know, ask in the comments and I will answer you – a whole lot more fun than talking to myself.

Q: So this is your third cookbook. Did you always want to write cookbooks?

A: I always wanted to eat.  But cooking? Not so much. I had to learn out of necessity, so I taught myself, struggling through epic failures till I could serve something edible.

Q: Is “Hubby” a real person?

A: Realer than real. He’s the reason I learned to cook.  Just my luck, he comes from a family of professional caterers and naturals in the kitchen.   What’s a girl to do?

Q: What about “Angel Face” and “Miss Bouncy,” are they real too?

A: Absolutely. They’re my kids – along with Little Momma, Bruiser and The Baby. This book is all about family, so naturally I brought my family into it. Their real names are a real mouthful since each kid has two names and one even has three, so the nicknames work well.  You’ll see them in full color throughout the book being themselves, enjoying life – jumping, laughing, running, eating. When it comes to prancing in front of a camera, they inherited that gene from me. I couldn’t believe it when the baby waited for the camera to be pointed at her before she would smile.

Q: ‘Scuse me, but cookbooks are about food. Where does your family come in?

A: Scuse me, but who eats all that food? I think food is very personal and has to fit your family dynamic. My family is a major influence on my cooking. Like all family cooks out there, I have to find healthy , satisfying recipes my kids will actually eat, taking all their biases into consideration (“Oooh, that looks too squishy.” You know what I mean.) So when people think of food, they immediately think of whom they’re serving it to and what the reaction will be. We all want to hear, “Yummy! More, please.” I had lots of fun translating my family’s favorite cozy weekday meals into fancy-shmancy dishes too. Now it’s my guests who say, “Yummy! More please.”

Q: The recipes are that good?

A: My best! I put together more than 100 of my go-to everyday foolproof recipes (I know because I’m the fool who worked them over again and again) as well as the ones I use for holidays and special occasions. They were tested over and over till we got them perfect. Hubby ate the mains; I did desserts. Somebody had to. Then we doubled the number of dishes by providing Dress Up/Dress Down options. So you’ve got over 200 possibilities here, all easy and all absolutely delicious.

Q: I’m glad you mentioned that. In the book’s title, what do “Dress Them Up” and “Dress Them Down” mean?

A: The whole idea of this book is that we don’t have to compartmentalize our cooking brains into “Everyday” and “Holiday.” We can build bridges.  I take those fave recipes of mine and show you how to dress them up as a tantalizing, elegant dish worthy of entertaining or dress them down for Wednesday night din din. And we’re not talking about boring “kid food.”

Q: You have said that this cookbook is your “most personal”? Why is that?

A: In my other books I told some personal stories, but in this one I tell a TON of personal stories.  I also share diary entries and pictures from our family albums and talk about my life and the people in it a lot, lot more – I guess because appreciating my approach to food has a lot to do with knowing what makes me tick.  My food and I are inseparable in more ways than one. And hey, it’s a lot of fun to write that stuff. People tell me, “This book is more than just great food; it’s a great read”. You’ll laugh with me. Some people even cry with me.

Q: So when will this book be released? Will there be a book tour?    

A: It will be published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, on October 15, 2013 G-d willing.  I think it’s a perfect release date; early enough to buy a copy for yourself, try a few recipes, then stock up on copies to give as Chanukah presents. Not to mention making your Chanukah party food a whole lot more creative, delicious and beautiful.  To make sure you get your copies on time, you should probably pre-order now. Click here to order your copy on Amazon and get it the minute it is released!

Q: Care to provide a preview of some of your fave recipes?

A: Yup, with pleasure and pictures too!

From left to right: Pecan Sticky Buns, Chocolate Chip Cookie Cream Stacks, Birthday Pancakes, Peaches and Jam Sweet Pot Cake, Soba, Sweet Sesame Tofu, and Vegetables, Moroccan Roasted Chicken

Q: Where and when can we see you on your tour?

A: All appearances, book signing, parties, demos and dates will be updated and added to this site. It’s all coming atcha soon, so check back. Sneak peak – You are cordially invited to the Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch Party on October 21.  More details a comin’.

To celebrate the upcoming release of the Joy of Kosher cookbook, we have partnered with Manischewitz to offer you a selection of  some of my favorite Manischewitz products valued at $50!!  You will get Chicken broth, Vegetable Broth, Rye Tam Tams, Almond Butter, and 10 Manischewitz Fabric Shopping Bags!

All you have to do is comment below.  Share your thoughts, ask your questions, just say hello and you will be automatically entered to win!!  Contest runs through September 10, 2013 11:59pm.  Open to residents of the U.S. over the age of 18.

Contest is now over – Yitty is the winner!!! Thanks to all and look out for more info and more contests in honor of the new Joy of Kosher cookbook.



New Chicken and Quince Recipe For Rosh Hashanah


August 28th 2013

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We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to do a guest post for Joy of Kosher. So much so, that we immediately started thinking of different dishes we could create. We wanted something unique,  something that would represent our cooking and also that would appeal to the Joy of Kosher readers. At the same time, we wanted to step out of “our” box a little bit. As some of you may know, most of the recipes you’ll find in our blog are vegan and vegetarian. And that is mainly how we cook at home… but the Holidays are always a bit more special. So we wanted to incorporate some meat this time and get creative with it.

That’s when the idea of chicken and quince came to mind.

Why quince you may ask?  It is not a very common fruit… and it’s kind of a  strange combination, isn’t is? Well, the idea came to us while looking at the pictures we took during our trip back home to Barcelona last summer.

One of our favorite things about going back home (besides seeing our parents, visiting friends, enjoying great weather, eating great food and shopping) is going to our father’s garden.  He has an extensive  selection of fruits and vegetables that we just love picking fresh and creating dishes with them along with our mom. Last year our father had some beautiful trees full of quince, so we though that chicken and quince would be perfect for the holidays. Since people are always looking for new chicken recipes and quince is a new fruit, we decided to put them together!  The result was really fantastic: a sweet and flavorful chicken with caramelized quince that makes you wonder…” Hmmm…  I don’t know exactly what it is, but I like it!”


Would you like to learn other ways to use quince? Stay tuned!  Our quince paste recipe will be coming soon to our blog http://mayihavethatrecipe.com


And Then There Was Cake, Cookbook From Montreal ...


August 28th 2013

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As the Hebrew Academy of Montreal looks ahead to their 50th anniversary they decided to assemble the new kosher cookbook, And Then There Was Cake, desserts to enjoy and impress.  Throughout the years the leaders of the parent association found themselves in kitchens and around food as they worked to build a better school.  Now they are passing on these recipes to the next generation.

Glazed Pear Tart

Along with the desserts showcased in this book, each chapter is prefaced by an inspirational message from one of the leaders and role models in the community.  The pictures include family keepsakes and the stories behind them.  This book showcases desserts from all the diverse cultures.  Within the rich city of Montreal, famous for its French flare and world class cuisine, is a thriving Jewish community that is a melting pot of different cultures and rich traditions.  And Then There Was Cake is a collection of more than 80 desserts from classic to modern that reflect Montreal’s unique Jewish heritage.

Simply Irresistible Rugelach

The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes are approachable. Even the last chapter called Fancy, with multiple steps, makes it look easy for a special occasion dessert.  Most recipes offer parve or dairy options.  Here is a sampling of three recipes form the book, check them out and then order your copy today!!

Pull-Apart Brioche

All proceeds from this book go towards Hebrew Academy of Montreal. Copies can be ordered at HA-Cookbook.com or by calling 514-489-5321.

Get a sampling of recipes from the gorgeous cookbook here:

Glazed Pear Tart

Simple Irresistible Rugelach

Pull Apart Bricohe

**Giveaway** You can enter to win a copy of this book by letting us know, what is your favorite dessert or asking any questions you might have about the Jewish community in Montreal in the comments below and submitting with Rafflecopter.  For this giveaways winners can be in Canada.

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The Ultimate Kosher Gift Basket for Rosh Hashanah ...


August 27th 2013

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There is something so exciting about receiving a kosher gift basket filled with unexpected (and delicious) gourmet goodies.   I am reminded of that magic Mary Poppins purse and wonder how they fit so many yummy foods in one basket and made it look so pretty!  As our thoughts turn to celebrating the Jewish holidays with family and friends and sharing our love with those who live too far away or aren’t able to join us around the table, I am reminded again why a specially made Rosh Hashanah kosher gift basket is the perfect gift to give or get right now.

Many kosher gift baskets come filled with store bought cookies and crackers and a bottle of generic Kiddush grape juice.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy opening these thoughtful gifts, but they typically get left in my pantry and forgotten or brought to work to share.  I knew there had to be a company out there that made gift baskets that I would want to keep all for myself!  That’s when I discovered Manhattan Fruitier, a 25 year old gift basket company offering kosher gift baskets filled with a combination of fresh fruit and gourmet goodies with a sense of style that will make Martha Stewart jealous.

Manhattan Fruitier takes pride in an attractive and elegant presentation and sourcing the kinds of products that you don’t find at the local gift shop.

They sent me a Kosher Honey Basket (these are my pictures above so you can see it really is that beautiful) this week and they must have known that I’ve got a special place in my heart for nougat.  The basket was filled with gorgeous fresh and delicious fruit (including an Asian pear, pomegranate, a perfectly juicy plum and much more), a jar of kosher honey from the Catskills and a package of sinfully sweet nougat!!!  My kids were literally buzzing with excitement over the contents in this gift basket and I suppose I may even have to share my nougat after all!

I love that Manhattan Fruitier offers healthy and elegant fruit baskets and that they dressed up their kosher fruit baskets special for Rosh Hashanah by adding locally farmed honey and honey nougat.  They also offer the Bee’s Knees, a combination of fresh fruit, honey and peanut butter toasted in vintage coffee roasters with just a pinch of sea salt or The Rugelach Nosher which includes a decadent assortment of hand rolled rugelach prepared with the freshest preserves, plump raisins, crushed walnuts, cinnamon and spices in a rich butter and cream cheese pastry dough.

Whether you are looking for a pretty, healthy centerpiece for your own table or the ultimate hostess gift, check out Manhattan Fruitier’s kosher gift baskets.  USE CODE JOYKOSHER TO GET 15% OFF (through September 4th)!

You can also win one here on JoyofKosher!  Prize basket is valued at $77, enter with Rafflecopter below.   The giveaway will run through September 2nd and contacted on the 3rd.  We will do our best to get the basket out in time for Rosh Hashanah.

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (except for Hawaii, Alaska, and Arizona).  If the winner is located in NYC, they will receive the above basket, otherwise, they will receive a closed basket with most of the same goodies.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Manhattan Fruitier. However, the opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Simanim Inspired Recipes For Rosh Hashanah


August 27th 2013

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I don’t like being put into a box, given a label or pegged as this or that.  Do you?  In food and life I appreciate the freedom to be creative and try new things and not let a single style define me.  Aside from words like fast, effortless and easy – which is how I characterize my cooking – I don’t fit into a movement or a mold in anyway, at least in my eyes.  When it comes to Rosh Hashanah though, I am more than happy to state my signature style – it has always been “simanim inspired”.  For a detailed explanation of simanim click here.  For my inspired recipes just scroll down.

Unstuffed Cabbage Soup

I used to make about 30 quarts of this soup every Rosh Hashanah.  I would freeze it in 2 quart containers and serve it throughout the Yom Tovim and beyond.  Now I have neither the freezer space nor the stovetop to accommodate all my big momma pots.  Point being it freezes well if cooking in bulk is your thing.

Non dairy Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup

For something lighter try my Creamy Carrot Soup.

Here are 3 of my favorite simanim inspired chicken dishes:

chicken with beets and sweets

Orange Chicken Thighs with Beets and Sweets

Date Glazed Roast Chicken


Not suggesting you make them all at the same meal, but this is a 3 day yuntif after all – so figured you need at least 3 new ideas.

Serve simanim sides like…

Wild Rice with Carrots and Beets

Wild Rice with Carrots and Beets

Spinach Noodle Kugel

Or the carb-free version Spinach Mushroom Kugel.

Whole Wheat Stuffing with Leeks

Whole Wheat Stuffing with Leeks

Pomegranate Glazed Carrots

 Apple desserts in the form of Tarts, Purses and Cakes grace my holiday table.

Apple Cardamom Tart

Puff Pastry Apple Purses

All are fresh and fast.  But for something really effortless try my Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Swirl..

Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Swirl

Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Swirl

If that’s too easy, you can always make my One Bowl Amazing Choc Cake and serve it with the Swirl on the side.

What’s your signature simanim inspired dish?  Inspire us all in the comments below.

K’Tiva V’Chatima Tova!


New Year’s Resolutions – Health and...


August 25th 2013

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In the year 5774, just about every holiday table features someone on a special diet. Whether it’s gluten free, lactose free, paleo, clean, vegan, vegetarian, and of course the new year’s resolution diet.  Unfortunately, it’s often the word die that gets the emphasis when you cook following the diet’s guidelines. It doesn’t have to be that way, especially with all the family, food and festivities on Rosh Hashanah.

This salad that eats like a meal is coming to the rescue.  It’s easy to make, healthy, satisfying, filled with nutrients, and diet friendly, whichever diet that might be.

Quinoa is a complex carb that is both gluten free and loaded with nearly as much protein as the lentils it’s partnered with in this recipe.  Together, lentils and quinoa make this salad substantial enough to satisfy any vegan or vegetarian guest, while at the same time be enjoyed by your regular meat eaters.

Like most people, I am going into Rosh Hashanah hoping to start a healthier and happier year and those two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  When the recipe is right, we can be happy with a colorful, flavorful, healthful salad as much as a comforting bowl of ice cream.   This recipe is a beautiful dish with bright fresh flavors, that’s as easy to make as a bowl of pasta and filled with nutrients.

Click here for the full recipe for Quinoa Lentil Salad.

A colorful addition to your Rosh Hashanah table it’s everything you need to not only take your first step towards all your New Year’s resolutions but discover how sweet they can be.

May you have a sweet new year – שנה טובה או מתוקה


A South African Rosh Hashanah Menu


August 23rd 2013

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Smoked Steak Sushi Cake

What do you do if your family believes that a meal is not complete without meat? Smoked Steak Sushi Salad was created for my son Ryan who loves sushi, but won’t eat fish. As most of the starters in our home are meat, I like to serve this with a plate of chopped liver puffs. The length of the ingredient list doesn’t make the recipe lengthier and harder, sometimes just a little tastier!

Choux Pastry Chopped Liver Puffs

I have gone choux pastry crazy! and all because of a demonstration I attended in New York by David Kolotkin, Executive Chef of the Prime Grill in New York.  Please don’t skip this one saying, “oy! it too patshkedik!” These Chopped Liver Puffs will give your dinner the wow factor.

Fresh Carrot and Corn Soup

Carrots are a goldmine of nutrients. For the best taste results, use fresh all the way. You want bright orange carrots, with feathery green ponytails, which seem such a pity to discard, and corn bulging with perfect rows of kernels that you slice off the cob. Now that’s what I call fresh! Believe me, you’ll taste the difference between that and anything frozen or precut. What could be better than the sweet taste of Carrot and Corn soup for Rosh Hashanah.


Sticky Ginger and Honey Lamb Ribs

It’s taken years but I’ve finally accepted that I will never get a brisket for Rosh Hashanah, they’re for the customers and that’s it! I’ve had one quietly tucked away for 2 months in my freezer but I know 3 days before Yomtov my husband’s going to say “Shar, have you got a brisket hidden anywhere?” So I’ve learned, they’re never short of lamb breasts and that is why it’s always Sticky Ginger and Honey Lamb Ribs for RoshHashanah at our house.

Tzimmes Stuffed Butternut Squash

Apparently there are some vegetarians out there! Being a ‘meataholic’, I find this quite horrifying! I tease my one and only vegetarian friend (only one, I wouldn’t allow any more!) that eating a piece of dried mango is no substitute for a piece of biltong! I’m sure she’s permanently hungry! Anyway, during the year I make her salads, but on Rosh Hashanah I make her something a little more traditional. For a different way to serve Vegetarian Tzimmes, try this.

Beet Fruit Salad

Beets and pomegranate seeds make this the perfect Rosh Hashanah side salad.

Apple Sorbet

This fresh Apple Sorbet is all one really needs after a Yomtov meal!

Have a happy and sweet new year and remember I am always available to answer your meat questions.


Introducing Orly and Her Poppyseed Cake


August 22nd 2013

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Before I start I would like to thank Jamie and Tamar for the opportunity to write a regular guest blog on Joy of Kosher. I have to confess that I’ve never written a blog before and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to write. If you’re reading me now please tell me what you would like to keep reading here.

I’ll start by telling you a little about me – I was born in Tel Aviv and lived my whole life in Israel. Food was and still is my passion. From a young age I used to bake and make all the dessert at home while my mother did the cooking. I started collecting recipes from friends, neighbors, magazines etc. I still have my first notebook where I used to keep all the recipes, which I marked so I would know whether to repeat them or not.

My mother left me in the kitchen to do all my baking with lots of confidence, which I really cherish and nowadays I realize it built my foundations in the kitchen.

When I was in the ninth grade a friend and I participated in a cooking competition and I won my first real cookbook. I had no idea that one day I would write my own cookbook.

Since food was my passion my mom suggested that I study nutrition science at university. I was also very much into the healthy side of the food and the value of the food to our body and soul.

Along with my studies I started baking healthier, which means that I used less cream, fat and sugar. I started using whole wheat flour, brown sugar and vegetable oil instead of butter.

I started cooking after getting married and found it very creative and inspiring. I enjoy everything about cooking except for the cleaning :) .

After this long introduction, I’d like to share here one of my oldest recipes for Poppy Seed Cake, my husband’s favorite cake, which you can also find in my cookbook among another 100 kosher recipes with a whole section for Jewish Holidays: Cook in Israel – Home Cooking Inspiration. If you would like to purchase a signed copy go to: www.cookinisrael.com/book.  For more of my recipes and information about my book, check out this interview, In the JOK Kitchen with Cook in Israel.

Click here for the Poppyseed Cake Recipe

Poppyseed Cake


Free Issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine Now On Your...


August 21st 2013

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Healthy Holiday Menus Under 600 Calories


August 21st 2013

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We all know the High holidays are filled with reflection, prayer and lots and lots of eating.  This September will essentially be a month of big meals.  There is no hard data on the average Rosh Hashanaha meal, but considering the challah, the honey, the meats, starchy sides and desserts it has got to rival those of Thanksgiving, which according to Caloric Control Council tops 4500 calories and 229 grams of fat.  That is more than double the average persons daily recommended calorie limit.  I know it is the holidays and we should be joyous and not think about fat and calories, but we are not just celebrating for one day, we have 9 of them!!!

So, go ahead and enjoy yourself on the first night and then consider lightening it up a bit for the other 8 holiday days.  If you are careful with serving sizes and plan to eat lots of veggies you can keep the calories down without missing any of the fun.  An average slice of challah will run you between 60 and 100 calories.  Excluding the challah, here are three menus to help you keep it light as we welcome in a new year.

600 Calorie Menu


Scallion Salmon Gefilte Fish with Wasabi Sauce

Sweet and Spicy Tomato and Pepper Chicken Stew

Sweet and Spicy Tomato and Pepper Chicken Stew

spiced broccoli rabe

Spiced Broccoli Rabe

Tropical Mango Sorbet

Tropical Mango Sorbet

500 Calorie Menu

cucumber gaspacho

Cucumber Gazpacho

Southwestern Turkey Breast and Green Chili Stuffing

Southwestern Turkey Breast and Green Chili Stuffing

Non Dairy Creamed Spinach

Watermelon Granita-Filled Lime Cups

Watermelon Granita-Filled Lime Cups

400 Calorie Menu

Pepper Tomato Soup

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken


Simply Sauteed Green Beans

Simply Sauteed Green Beans

Non Dairy Creamed Corn

baked no sugar apple sauce

Baked Apple Sauce

 I hope you enjoy these light menus throughout this holiday season or really any time.  Please join me in thanking my assistant Dahlia Milech,  for composing these menus to meet our strict calorie criteria.  Dahlia lives in New York with her husband Jonathan and her dog Sammy. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at Teachers College, Columbia University. When she is not studying, she enjoys working out, traveling, and of course, cooking!

If you like these menus and want to see more like them for other holidays, comment below.