Lunch and Dinner Recipes for the Nine Days


July 16th 2014

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The period known as the nine days, which lead up to Tisha B’Av, a day of fasting, are difficult for more reason than one.  The spiritual preparations leading up to one of the most tragic days on the Jewish Calendar is a hefty burden that includes the physical limitations including a ban on meat. In the hope of easing some of the difficulty of this time, below are nine days worth of meat-less lunch and dinner recipes.



Brazilian style rice and black eyed peas

Traditional Brazilian recipes like the Brazilian Onion and Garlic Rice with Black Eyed Peas and Slow Cooked Greens, Brazilian Style pair well with down-home favorites such as Chili Garlic Sweet Potatoes and maybe a small slice of Corn Bread.  This meal would be very filling and is probably best for dinner when the temperature is cooler and you can watch kids fall quickly into bed with full stomachs and smiling faces.



Eggplant Tomato Stacks

This is great as dinner and even the next day as leftovers.  These Middle Eastern flavors compliment each other, from the with a salad of Sabra Moroccan Carrots to the Eggplant Tomato Stacks and Persian Quinoa with Tadig.



Braised and Raw Kale

Depending on the portion sizes served, this meal could work for both lunch or dinner. It is Italian inspired, but with a twist.  Try the Braised and Raw Kale with Pine Nuts alongside the Baked Polenta Fries and Tofutti Fettuccine Alfredo.  If you want to keep things light, either serve a small portion of the alfredo or swap it for fish.



A very healthy lunch of greens and protein is the theme of this Asian inspired lunch of crunchy Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas and the Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Cups.




The Vegan Thai Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce are a hearty yet healthy lunch entree.  The Grilled Red Pepper Salad has a slightly different flavor profile, but makes a nice side try adding smoky almonds and a soy sauce mayo dressing to really pull the two dishes together.



Here’s another healthy Asian inspired lunch starting with the Asian Salad with Wasabi Dressing.  Then the tofu stands in for meat and fish in the Miso Glazed Tofu with Soba.



Portobello Tacos

The Vegan Portobello Tacos and the Refried Beans are a meat-free Mexican inspired meal that would be great for both lunch and dinner.




Avoid the added sodium and calories by making your own falafel at home withe the Homemade Dried Falafel Mix.  Serve it in pitas for lunch or alongside Freekeh Pilaf for Dinner.



This mediteranean inspired meal is great for lunch or dinner, get the most mileage by serving the Crunchy Curry Cauliflower with Tahini and Pomegranate, Quinoa and Lentil Salad, and Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas for lunch, maybe with fish, and then serve the leftovers for lunch the next day.



Meixcan Fried Rice

The Jalapeño Black Bean Quinoa Burgers and Mexican Fried Rice make for a really filling meal.  The textures and heartiness are perfect for midway through the nine days when those meat cravings kick in.



Vegan Enchiladas

The Black Bean, Potato and Cheese Enchiladas make for a hearty dinner and are pleasantly offset by the lightness of the Jicama Radish Mango Salad.



The Thai Noodle Bowl with Crispy Tofu is great for lunch or dinner.  Serve it alongside Lila’s Lunch Sushi for the refreshing crunch raw vegetables.


See more Nine Days recipes here.


5 of The Best BBQ Safety Gadgets *WIN a Grill*


July 16th 2014

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Every summer there are new ways to make BBQ season even more fun and even more safe.  Of course it all starts with a great grill and/or smoker, check out our full guide to choosing the best one for your needs here.  Then there are lots of fun gadgets like a hamburger press, a vegetable basket that can make things a little easier.  But the most important gadgets for a fun BBQ are the ones that keep us safe.  BBQ means an open fire and very high temperatures so we need to be extra careful when cooking this Summer.

Always have a meat thermometer on hand to make sure you are cooking your food the minimum temperatures for food safety. This one is digital which makes it extra easy to read and it is quick to measure too.

A Gas Watch is a handy tool for gas grills, it will let you know how much propane you have left so you won’t run out in the middle of your cookout, but it also has a safety mechanism that checks for leaks and limits flow in the even there is a leak.

Start your BBQ by making sure your grill master is extra prepared, with tools, condiments and lots of his favorite beverages.  This BBQ master apron has room for everything you need to grill for hours.

Stay safe and watch out for burns.  Try these awesome silicon gloves, I love the color most so you can easily find them.  You can actually use these gloves to touch hot food and pans directly without feeling a thing.

Even with all the protection available to us, accidents still happen.  Make sure to keep Burn Jel Plus® on hand to #StopTheBurn when it occurs.  Burn Jel Plus® will relieve the pain immediately so you can get right back to the fun.

ENTER TO WIN – right now as part of our partnership with Burn Jel Plus® you can enter to win a Weber Grill valued at $499. We are also picking winners weekly to win one of 50 gift baskets filled with fun BBQ items and products.  Check out the details by clicking here.

Win A Weber Grill (value at $499)


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Learn more about how Burn Jel Plus® works to #StopTheBurn and enter to win a gift basket and Weber Grill here.


Fruit and Cheese Quesadillas


July 15th 2014

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It’s hot.  Like really, really, really hot.  I wouldn’t call the heat oppressive, because I simply don’t like that word when describing Israel but yeah, it is hot.  The summer heat brings with it this need to feel lighter.  This naturally sweet and savory recipe is a perfect summer treat when a heavy sandwich can feel, well, heavy.

My Blueberry and Cheese Quesadillas make for a lovely summer lunch.  Filled with blueberries, sliced peaches, goat cheese, red onion and thyme you can savor them warm or at room temp.   In Israel (or anywhere else for that matter) you can skip the blueberries and instead add sliced plums, strawberries or event pitted cherries.  I also like using soft whole wheat flour tortillas for this recipe.  We are actually now, after 10 years of marriage, making the switch to whole wheat (everything) in our home (YAY – only took me a decade to convince Hubby!).

You can follow the instructions to fill the tortillas, fold them over, and warm them side by side in a large sauté pan.  Or you can simply toast the tortillas using tongs over an open flame on your stovetop for: 30 to 1 minute or warm them in the microwave, then just fill the warm tortillas.  Then eat.  Then give a little moan of delight.  Then eat some more.

Click for the full recipe here.

Share your super summer quesadilla ideas with us in the comments below.



Pick Your Own Blueberries and Make A Salad


July 14th 2014

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Summer is a time for playing outside, riding bikes, jumping in the pool, and of course fresh berry and vegetable picking.

As a child I never actually went to a farm to pick berries. There was a wooded area in our neighborhood that had wild berries. My siblings and I used to take strolls through our neighborhood to pick the unruly red berries right off the bushes. No washing was necessary. How we knew they weren’t poisonous, I don’t know! (That was the 70’s.) It wasn’t until I was an adult and had children of my own that I found out about picking berries and vegetables on farms.

One fall, before Rosh Hashana, when my oldest was in preschool, the school had a trip to a farm to pick apples. I had no idea that picking could be an actual school trip. In my day, a school trip meant a museum in DC or a visit to the Kennedy Center. Not an actual fun outdoor activity! Well, from that day forward, picking has been our family tradition. Every summer, we go to “the farm”. We have picked green beans, strawberries, sweet cherries, sour cherries, plums, peaches, black raspberries, red raspberries, dug for potatoes, pulled beets, you name it. But our absolute favorite things to pick are blueberries.

There is something about blueberries that bring a smile to our faces. From little kids to adults hearing that little “ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk” in the bucket just brings sunshine to our world. Perhaps, for me, as I hear the tiny “ku-plink, ku-plank, ku-plunk” it brings fond memories of the children’s book, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McClosky. It is about a loving mom, taking her child to Blueberry Hill to pick and store blueberries for the winter, and a mama bear taking her cub to eat and store blueberries for the winter as well.

My kids, like all kids, don’t just pick the blueberry and put the berry in the bucket; for every one berry that goes in the bucket 3 or 4 go in their mouths. Surprisingly, the laissez-faire environment of outdoor picking allows for fabulous family bonding and deep philosophical discussions. Perhaps, as a mother, that is what I really enjoy—seeing all my children getting along and having fun, forgetting about our everyday stress. There’s nothing like the “city mouse” going to the country for the day!

My children have grown. The youngest is 18, another is married, others have full time work, and yet blueberry picking is still a summer favorite in the Lebovic household.

When you bring home your free blueberries it is time to make my favorite Summertime salad – Corn and Blueberry Salad.

Order this bowl and/or spoon and to see my many other designs when you visit me at or on Facebook here.


A Quick and Easy Summer Meal


July 11th 2014

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It’s Summertime and the cooking is easy. There aren’t many days that I feel the urge to cook ad infintum over a fryer and multiple pots of boiling water. I tend to lean on the easy, which isn’t true the rest of the year – or of course for a holiday. I’m busy researching for a book so with time at a premium, I thought about a 15 minute soup.

I had an overload of dairy from recently kitchen testing, so I thought of a cooling White Gazpacho, like I had year ago in the Costa Del Sol, on the southern coast of Spain. It was quite a meal, but I had a bit too much Rosé wine and I can’t recall the entree.

greek grilled cheese

Greek Grilled Cheese

Dinner needed an easy centerpiece and it could not be Rosé. I thought about those yummy cheeses of the Eastern Mediterranean and wondered what my family might want. Voila! Grilled cheese. I had a few loaves of tart sourdough with a crispy crust and some cheeses and few scallions. A dish was born.
I tried it grilled, first inside, then outside and then again toasted in the oven. Roasted was a bit easier to handle logistically, but they were all under 10 minutes.  I tried it with cheese on one side, but it was even better with cheese on both sides of the bread.  If you’ve got a panini press, or a cooking iron, grab it now. If your old George Foreman grill is dairy,  now is it’s moment. You can switch out the cheeses as long as you avoid really oily cheeses (think cheddar) or super strong and stinky ones that don’t melt (think feta). The scallions are so darn good, it matches so many cheeses. So enjoy, cook quickly and cook well.
Don’t miss the full recipes:

Greek-style Grilled Cheese Hoagies with Scallions

Spanish-style White Gazpacho


Watch How To Make a Night Cap Cocktail


July 10th 2014

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Building on what we learned from Tomer in the first Morad Winery Video where we made the Summer Breeze Cocktail, here we learn to make a night cap.

Don’t miss all our Morad Winery recipes, cocktails and videos – click here.


Cooking With Joy – Stuffing and Mushrooms


July 10th 2014

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Today, I was home with my sick 2 year old. She had fever and was up the whole night. I took off from work to stay home, be a good Mommy and take her to the doctor. I was exhausted, but took the “day off” as an opportunity to cook full speed ahead.

I made the Chestnut Challah Stuffing and Hearty Mushrooms. I prepped the stuffing and while it was in the oven I made the mushrooms. Both dishes totally done in an hour.


Cranberry Chestnut Challah Stuffing
DRESS IT UP Stuffed Baked Onions page 79

I opted to make the stuffing Pareve since I had a carton of veggie stock that was expiring soon. The stuffing came out tasting great! I really like chestnuts and craisins, Hubs doesn’t like either, but there was enough other yumminess for him to enjoy (sauteed garlic, onion  and celery). He really liked the stuffing too and even wants me to make it next time with Turkey. It actually is much easier than making my usual thanksgiving stuffing, so I may take him up on it!


Hearty Mushrooms with Herbs and Wine
DRESS IT UP Mushroom Phyllo Cups page 84

I’ve mentioned before that I love mushrooms. While the mushrooms were sauteeing two other dishes came to mind. The first was Chicken Marsala. I know that Marsala wine and dry white are not very similar, but something about the garlic, onions, mushrooms and alcohol in the pan summoned up that flavor in my brain. And the other dish was the mushroom polenta from Abigaels in NYC. Hubs and I have been there many times and usually have that as an appetizer. The aroma of the herbs and mushrooms brought back that food memory!

 I decided to use the variation and make them Dairy. I used veggies stock, dry white wine and topped it with crumbled feta. Considering on a normal sick day I have random whatever from the fridge, today was a delicious deviation. The warm rich mushrooms topped with the fresh cold feta was SOOOOOO good!

I cant wait to try the mushrooms in the meat variation. Mushrooms, beef stock, red wine and steak- my mouth is already watering!

Don’t miss my other blog posts in Cooking With Joy, click here.



15 No Cook Recipes


July 9th 2014

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It’s difficult to not love the summer with it’s long sunny days and the abundance of ripe produce begging to eaten raw.  The summer heat is a welcome treat to those of us who live in colder climates and enjoying the great weather is reason alone to minimize your time in the kitchen, not to mention those blistering hot days when standing by the stove or oven can be very uncomfortable.  Below are 15 no-cook recipes to keep you out of the kitchen and enjoying the ever too short summer.



Raw Vegan Corn Chowder

There are certain summer days when a hot meal, let alone a hot bowl of soup, is simply unimaginable.  After spending a long day in the heat it’s important to give your body the nutrient it needs and soup is a convenient and tasty way to accomplish this goal.  Enter the summer gazpacho, such as the No Cook Tomato Soup with Cucumbers and Vegan Corn Chowder; all the flavor and nutrients you want minus the time spent by the stove.


In the summer there always seems to be a new fruit or vegetable popping up at the farmers market throughout the summer.  Incorporate both into salads that are satisfying enough to serve as a meal.  For example, there’s the Nectarine Tomato Salad, Simple Salad with Tehina and Yogurt Dressing, and the Alaskan Salmon Salad.



If you have access to high quality fish try serving it raw.  A rice cooker makes sushi is an hassle-free recipe that is easily customizable for all family members or guests.  Two other great options are the Ceviche with Pickled Beets or the Tuna Tartare with Avocado. There may not be fish in this recipe, yet the Summer Rolls would go great with both the ceviche and the tuna tartare.  If you’re not a fan of raw fish, enjoy a revitalized take on a classic with the Chunky Tuna Sandwiches.



Use fruit to help you stay hydrated this summer in a number of delightful ways.  The Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip are a fun way to serve fruit salad and are a great way to get the kids excited to enjoy a healthy snack.  Enjoy some guilt-free sweets by using greek yogurt to make Frozen Strawberry Yogurt or Mango Yogurt Parfaits.



blueberry lemon tarts

Raw fruit makes for a great summer dessert, but you can still enjoy pies and tarts without turning on the oven.  The No-Cook Key-Lime Pie and and Mini Blueberry Lemon Tarts take only minutes to prepare.  Chocolate lovers should try the Bittersweet Chocolate Agave Shots, which are great for a quiet dinner or are fancy enough to serve to guests.


Check out more No Cook recipes here!



5 Ways to Cook With Ground Turkey


July 9th 2014

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Ask Us: We just started buying more ground turkey. Any ideas? I’ve already done a few varieties of turkey meat balls.


Most recipes that call for ground beef can be made with ground turkey instead and anything that calls for ground chicken can be made with ground turkey.  Just be aware that it is leaner, especially if you are using white meat only there is very little to no fat in the meat, so some foods will be drier.  Therefore I like try recipes that are filled with texture and flavor and/or sauce.

Curry Turkey Burgers

Curry Turkey Burgers

Years ago I made my first turkey burger after watching this recipe on Rachael Ray.  I found that adding veggies, like peppers and green onions helped to keep the leaner turkey burger moist.  The addition of curry spices added a really nice flavor and using mango chutney instead of ketchup on top was the perfect match.

We have another 13 recipes for all kinds of Turkey Burgers including Jamie’s Spinach Turkey Burger pictured in the main image.   In general you will see they tend to have more flavor and more veggies added than traditional beef burgers.

Turkey Spinach Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce

Turkey Spinach Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce

Turkey meatloaf is another great way to cook with ground turkey that is also great to make ahead.  This recipe above is even made in the slow cooker and is incredibly moist with the addition of the tomato sauce.  Most meatloaf recipes will work with turkey or a blend of turkey and beef is also an option, but again make sure to keep it flavorful and add veggies for more texture.

Five Spice Turkey Eggrolls

Five Spice Turkey Eggrolls

Another use for ground turkey is to make egg rolls or even wontons for soup.  Both of these can be made ahead and frozen too, which can be really nice.

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

Meatballs with turkey are a no brainer.  Use your favorite recipe or anything nice and saucy and just sub in the turkey or follow the recipe above for either meatballs or light and healthy lettuce wraps.


Turkey Sheppard Pie

You can also make all kinds of casseroles, stews, chili and even Mexican burritos using ground turkey instead of beef.  Here Susie Fishbein makes a Turkey Sheppard Pie with a sweet potato topping.

What do you like to do with ground turkey?


Brisket Is Best When…


July 8th 2014

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…overcooked.  Really!  If you want that tender, soft, melt-in-your-mouth, fork tender, cuts like “butter” beef then brisket is your best friend, your baby, your #1.  Although in Israel it’s designated by the number #3 but that’s neither here nor there.  Most often we cookbook authors will end a brisket recipe with instructions to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving.  But really, there is a better way to do that and so much more.  Listen very closely to what I am writing and you are reading here:  No matter what the recipe tells you, mine included brisket is best when…

Rubbed and Seared.  If the recipe doesn’t call for a spice rub then do this with a little kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Sear a few minutes per side in a hot oiled pan or Dutch oven set over high heat.  Contrary to the oft repeated food myth that searing will lock in moisture it’s still an extra step worth the extra effort.  The caramelized surface of the meat will add an incredible depth of flavor to your brisket enhancing both the meat and braising liquid with layers of complex flavor.  The contrast in taste and texture to meat with a seared crust and soft interior makes the food more pleasing to the palate.  Brisket and meat dishes in general that have not been seared can taste flat and boring.

Braised Low and Slow.  This hands off method is a G-dsend for (busy) home cooks.  Heat + time + moisture breaks down the tough connective tissue making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts like brisket.

Ideally between 250 – 350 degrees F is where you want to braise your brisket, about 1 hour per pound.   I like to braise my brisket at 325 – 350 degrees F.  Best braised in a Dutch oven or tightly covered pan/roasting dish, liquid (usually something acidic – tomatoes, beer, wine, vinegar + water or stock) should not cover the meat entirely (that’s called boiling) but rather reach no further than 2/3rds of the way up the side of your brisket.  Tightly covered and cooked at a low temperature will yield fork tender brisket.  The braising liquid will become your sauce or gravy.

Made the Night Before at the very least. You can even make it several days or weeks or even months in advance.  Refrigerating or freezing sliced brisket in sauce and rewarming it will only further soften the meat.

Sliced Cold against the grain.  Far better than letting your brisket sit for a minimum of 15 minutes is refrigerating it overnight and slicing it cold.  This will produce beautiful thin slices in a way that slicing the ever-so-slightly-rested, semi-warm, soft brisket never can – if not sliced cold brisket often shreds.  Further, its little sleepover in the fridge makes removing the fat (that has congealed at the top) super easy – resulting in a far richer, more pleasant, full bodied sauce or gravy.

Submerged and Rewarmed.  Once sliced submerge into the pan sauce and cover.  Refrigerate overnight or for a few days or freeze for up to a few months.  Rewarm covered in a 250 – 300 degrees F oven.  No need to thaw completely before rewarming if you don’t have time.  (Brisket can take a lot!  It’s a resilient, tough eventually tender cut that can handle the oven to fridge to oven to table business well.)

Served with Gold’s Horseradish – really! In the food traditions of Ashkenazi Jews (such as myself) it would be considered something short of sacrilegious to serve gefilte fish without horseradish.  But what about with brisket?  My parents are from the old country (Transylvania) and until married I had always witnessed the horseradish come on and off the table with the fish course.  But about 10 years ago my new mother-in-law, born on Long Island, sweetly asked me to bring back the horseradish with the main.  She asks everything sweetly (she is the bestest!!!) but really insisted (sweetly).  She loves horseradish with brisket or flanken or roast beef or steak and now we do too.  It doesn’t matter the recipe or preparation the pungent, sinus clearing horseradish is spectacular with red meat, especially melt-in-your-mouth brisket.  And you already know I think Gold’s Horseradish is the BEST on the market by far with no competition.  Make sure to bring the bottle to the table, open it only to serve and immediately close it tightly after each use to preserve its strength.

My Brisket Recipes:

This post is sponsored by Gold’s, check out all our recipes using Gold’s products here, all opinions are my own.


My Radio Interview with Malkah Fleisher


July 7th 2014

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Listen to my radio interview (from my garden, post our first summer BBQ) with my dear friend Malkah Fleisher wife of the great Yishai Fleisher Host of The Yishai Fleisher Show, Galey Yisrael,106.5FM.


Click here to listen to the full interview.


Mexican Burgers


July 7th 2014

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Since moving to Israel I now eat hummus and tehina and schug with everything.  Everything.  My eggs, my salads, my burgers.  Growing up in the good ‘ol USA I loaded my burgers with the usual, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, plus lots of ketchup – nestled in the expected sesame bun sandwich.  One of the cool culinary perks of moving across the ocean is the exposure to a whole new world of flavors and food traditions.  I’ve become a lot more adventurous in the kitchen.  It goes without saying that regional foods have become staples but I am also exercising and opening up my palate in lots of new ways.

Here are my turkey ktzitzot before and after – a riff on my beef ktzitzot from p.33 of my new JOY of KOSHER Cookbook.   Loaded with onions, garlic and fresh parsley, spiced with sumac, cumin and cinnamon, and served with (you guessed it!) hummus, tehina, and schug.

My Mexican inspired burgers are filled with black beans and ancho chili powder and topped with guacamole and chili peppers.  Serve your burgers with warm flour tortillas, fresh lime wedges and rice with corn and peppers.  Spicy hot is the one new sensation I love adding to wake up lots of dishes.  So in my opinion hot sauce is a MUST here.  But then that’s only my opinion.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a burger?

Get my Mexican Burger Recipe here.


Morad Winery Fruit Wines and Liqueurs *Giveaway*


July 4th 2014

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Nestled at the foothills of Israel’s fertile Carmel Mountains Morad Winery is famous for their distinctive fruit wines and liqueurs made from nature’s harvest.

I met the owners Ellen and Gershon Bodner at Kosherfest this past year and we really hit it off — some might even call it a LOVE fest!  So then I tasted their Pomegranate Wine and LOVED, after which I tasted their Passion Fruit Wine and LOVED EVEN MORE, after which they invited me to visit the winery and meet Yaakov Morad a 4th generation wine maker and the artist behind this boutique winery’s unique fruit flavors.

In an instant we agreed to shoot the next episode of JOY of ISRAEL at the winery and make a signature summer cocktail together.  I then met, what we call in my house, the ganse mishpocha (that translates to the WHOLE FAMILIA!).   Ellen and Gershon’s son, Ari, Amir and Orit Bodner, Gershon’s brother and sister in law, Ettie, Yakov Morad’s wife and more Morad friends and family.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at our shoot.

This is what we call guerrilla filmmaking. Brian our cinematographer (and editor) is fastening a camera to the ceiling to catch overhead angles of our cocktail demo.

This is Tomer Narkis, from Duvdevan Events. He’s full of fun and personality and taught me how to make a Summer Breeze THE drink for summer entertaining!

This is Tomer again and Sivan from Morad Winery. Crazy story: I made sure to tell everyone more than once to dress nicely for the cameras. When we arrived and unloaded the car after our almost 2 hour drive I realized I had left my clothes and “jewels” at home. I was wearing a sporty north face zip up and Sivan literally took the clothes off her back. My blue wrap is hers. My earrings are hers I wanted to ask her for her bracelet (she was SO stylish) but I thought that would be a bit too much. Thanks Sivan!!!


Learn the whole story and get an amazing cocktail recipe when you watch the video here:

To purchase your favorite Morad wines go to

Please click here to donate to JOY of ISRAEL so we can make more great shows.

***Giveaway*** As part of our partnership with Morad Winery, is offering you a chance to win a $100 gift card for your next Morad wine purchase on Jwines.

To enter:

  • Watch the video
  • Share the video
  • Comment below, What flavor wine or liquor are you most interested in trying (can be one that already exists or suggest your own)
  • Then enter with rafflecopter and get more chances to win.


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Summer Magazine 2014 Sneak Peek


July 3rd 2014

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Everything you need this Summer can be found right in the pages of the latest issue of our magazine. BBQ with the experts, picnic for Shabbat and any time, salads, slaws and more vegetarian foods. Don’t miss our Ice Cream S’mores, Blended drinks and Melon cake for our favorite Summer time treats.

Subscribe Now!!!


Cooking with Joy: Potatoes


July 3rd 2014

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I say Potato, you say Potato

These recipes elevate the humble potato to great heights! No more simple baked potatoes here, have your pick- sweet, savory or my favorite cheesy! Since I made three potato recipes, I decided to change things up a little. I “dressed” one up, dressed one down and combined one. I find that most of the recipes in this book lend themselves nicely to combining.

Red Hasselback Potatoes
DRESS IT DOWN Roasted Red Potatoes page 98

First for my “dressed up” dish. I made Red Hasselback Potatoes. I have seen this in many pictures, but have never made or tasted them. I have to admit, it did take a little longer then 15 minutes to prep- undoubtedly due to my inexperience with the “not slicing all the way through” technique. I loaded up on the garlic, stuffing it into every crevice (Hubs and I really like garlic). They turned out very nice, we just needed to add a little salt.

Baked Sweet Potato Chips
DRESS IT UP Purple, Orange and White Chips page 66

I switched things up for dressed up/down I made the Baked Sweet Potato chips. Homemade chips is something I have been doing for a years. The slices remind me of the “chips” from Burgers Bar in Israel- they were my inspiration for making them at home with regular potatoes. So here to combine the two versions I used sweet potatoes and Yukon gold. I whipped up some of the honey mustard sauce in no time using equal parts honey and mustard I already had at home. This was really yummy- our 2 year old was very happily dipping away. Interactive food is just the best, isn’t it?!

Smashed Red Potato Nachoes
DRESS IT UP Nacho Potato Bites page 70

Finally, the Smashed Nachos. This is such a great idea, its like a riff on a classic baked potato with toppings! When I saw the picture of the dressed up version, I said “No Way”. Although I do have a melon baller, there was no way that I would be standing there prepping each one. They would still turn out delicious if I dressed it down. I love melted cheese on anything, and love guacamole almost as much. This was pretty easy to make and turned out really yummy!