Spring 2014 Sneak Peek


March 20th 2014

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This Pesach issue is 100% Gluten Free. Get decadent dessert recipes to fancify your Seder plus a vegan miracle mousse you won’t believe has only 2 ingredients. Learn everything you need to know about meat and salmon for the holiday and beyond is in this issue. Wineries, wine gadgets, and cooking with wine with tips and recipes. Goat cheese recipes for your health and lots of Spring time salads, soups and fruit recipes.  Take a look at our sneak peek below and then Subscribe Today!


Putting More Joy into Kosher: Our Best Restaurant...


March 20th 2014

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The voters have eaten. And the eaters have voted.

Why did fans come out in force when Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed (named for an off-beat uncle and Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed) was in the running for Joy of Kosher’s Best Restaurant of 2013?

“I think it goes beyond the pulled brisket, or even our smoked ribs and Milt burgers,” said award-winning executive chef Bryan Gryka. The Chicago hotspot’s Facebook page and website confirm his modest assertion. Beyond foodie fever, many Milt’s customers seem ecstatic to be doing double mitzvahs. When every bite is kosher and every dollar of profit goes to tzedakah, it’s hard not to feel the joy.

Yes, 100% of Milt’s profits go to charity. The Community Gift of the Month supports nonprofit organizations that help people with special needs or lifelong diseases, work to eradicate abuse and sexual assault, fight poverty, and enhance educational opportunities. Recently Milt’s joined a customer loyalty program, through which it lets diners redeem points as donated “meals” to local food banks and soup kitchens rather than discounted drinks or free appetizers. The new Milt’s Night Out program seeks out spare sports or cultural tickets, pairs them with a free dinner, and creates a memorable evening for people who are going through trying times.

Locals may not care that Milt’s is kosher. They may happen in because it’s a trendy restaurant that has received top marks from reviewers and was named a New Restaurant of the Year by UrbanSpoon. They come back to satisfy their appetite for barbecue and to read more perplexities and brain teasers, conveniently placed on each table and hung on magnetized walls. They also may reserve a spot for an upcoming lecture on history, politics, spirituality humor, and other subjects by an expert from anywhere in the world. Milt’s acts, as described on its website, “as a community center without the pool.” With a fourteen-person Community Table, large booths, and regular tables, Milt’s is a hub of conversation.

All of Milt’s programs and charitable giving are facilitated by the Jeffrey F. Kahan Memorial Fund, a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, which receives and distributes Milt’s profits as well as gifts from other donors. Milt’s owner and founder Jeff Aeder established the JKMF in memory of a cherished member of the community. “Jeff Kahan loved Israel,” said Aeder, “and he had strong sense of Jewish identity. That, along with his passion for a good debate, continually inspires our programming.”

Under strict CRC kashrut supervision, Milt’s hosts Shabbat dinners for private groups and also for nonprofit groups that aim to bring together Jewish young adults and give them – quite literally – a taste of tradition. The JKMF makes these dinners possible through a donation that is worth part of the cost, thus enabling them to attract more participants.

Besides thousands of Facebook “likes” and shares, and the near-perfect customer ratings, Milt’s fans sometimes take the time to post adoring comments. One such comment came at the unveiling of the Milt’s Night Out program. “So glad you exist,” wrote Tammy Klein Bergman. “You are amazing!!!”

To learn more about Milt’s, sign up for emails, and stay abreast of developments such as the first-ever Chicago barbecue competition and festival, visit www.miltsbbq.com.

Bring a little bit of Milt’s into your home with Executive Chef Bryan Gryka’s cornbread recipe.

Main image from GreatKosherRestaurants.com

Other images supplied by Milt’s.

Article contributed by Sari Steinberg.



Win The Spice And Spirit Passover Book Set


March 19th 2014

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The famous purple cookbook comes in a Passover version.  One for all year round and one just for Passover with tried and true recipes using no processed ingredients whatsoever.  Now you can win the cookbook and Passover planner!!

Find out more on Amazon.

Enter to win below:
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Win A Taste of Pesach


March 19th 2014

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The New Pesach Cookbook is compiled by the wildly popular mailing to benefit Yeshiva Me’on Hatorah and features over 160 recipes (many of which have never been published before!), each with a beautiful, full color image.  Best of all, over 140 of the recipes are gluten and gebrokts free!

Enter below to win your copy just in time for the holiday.

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15 Salad Recipes for Passover


March 19th 2014

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This is how it works isn’t it: as soon as Purim is over we all start planning (stressing over) our menus for Passover.  After indulging in hamantashen and other treats during Purim the last thing I want to do is think about food.  I can make an exception for salads because they are my go-to for passover and are currently a main feature of my post-purim cleanse!

Pesach (Passover) is probably my favorite holiday to cook for; despite all of the restrictions it a great learning experience because it forces you to transform basic ingredients into meals worthy of the holiday.  These 15 salads are kosher for pesach and are a nice way to balance some of the heavier seder meals, or to serve at lunch with leftover fish or meat from the night before.

Creamy Broccoli Salad

1.  Chopped Broccoli Salad:  This salad is creamy without being overly indulgent, because avocado is substituted for the traditional mayo-based dressing.


Shaved Mustard Green Salad

2.  Shaved Mustard Green Salad: Mustard Greens are high in nutrition and pack a punch when it comes to taste.  This salad is simple and refreshing.



Modern Millionaires Salad

3.  Modern Millionaire’s Salad: In ’60′s a salad made of hearts of palm and lettuces was very popular.  This updated version includes mango, avocado and a zesty citrus dressing.



Bella Topped Salad with Balsamic Reduction

4.  Bella Topped Salad with Balsamic Reduction: Portobello mushrooms are the star of this salad.  As a popular substitute for meat, portobello mushrooms are known for their hearty flavors which make this salad satisfying, but never heavy.



Balsamic Cucumber and Carrot  Ribbon Salad

5.  Balsamic Cucumber and Carrot Ribbon Salad: The ribbons of vegetables look beautiful on the plate, and taste even better.  This salad is less work than it looks, all you need is a vegetable peeler to cut the veggies into ribbons.



Waldorf Salad

6.  Waldorf Salad: The famous Waldorf Salad is actually quite simple to make!  A satisfying salad of butter lettuce, walnuts and grapes would pair perfectly with most meals.  The blue cheese in the recipe is optional, giving this salad an added degree of versatility.



Fennel and Cucumber Salad

7.  Fennel and Cucumber Salad: I’m dreaming of serving this salad for lunch with a zesty, beautifully prepared fish.  The fennel is crunchy yet sweet, and pairs well with the minty dressing.



Avocado Salad

8.  Avocado Salad: Think of this salad as guacamole with more texture.  Try adding mango and serving it alongside a beef entree.



Passover Egg and Avocado Salad

9.  Passover Avocado Egg Salad: All it takes is some creative plating and this salad is a winner in my book.  This is great for yom tov lunch, boil the eggs before the holiday and you’ll have a delicious salad ready in a minute.



Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts

10.  Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts: I’m a little behind when it comes to the kale trend.  I never thought I would be a fan of it, but it’s amazing how soft and creamy kale becomes when you massage a little dressing into it.



Tropical Slaw

11.  Tropical Slaw: Pineapples and mangos liven up a traditional slaw.  It would pair well with fish, especially tilapia or sea bass.



Cabbage Fennel Radish and Orange Salad

12.  Cabbage, Fennel, Radish and Orange Salad: While salads are naturally refreshing, I find that citrus dressings really pack a punch and wake up the senses.  The bright flavors of the cabbage and radish are complemented by the mild fennel and sweet orange.



Pomegranate Salad with Berry Vinaigrette

13.  Pomegranate Salad with Berry Vinaigrette: It’s no surprise that I dream about being in Israel during Passover.  The pomegranate seeds brings a bit of the holy land to my plate, alongside the Caribbean flavors of jicama and mango.



Red Cabbage Salad

14.  Red Cabbage Salad: The striking colors of this salad will brighten up your table and draw in hungry guests.  It pairs well with your choice of white fish or a citrus-flavored chicken dish.



15.  Fennel Orange Salad: This salad is gorgeous enough to serve at any holiday meal, but easy enough to prep ahead.

Check out more ideas for Passover here.


Healthy Recipe Ideas You Will Love –...


March 19th 2014

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It’s become a healthy habit I can’t break — starting a meal with lots of Mediterranean spreads. With a crowd of hungry guests, a table set with an assortment of appetizing spreads and salads, along with the requisite items for dipping keeps the hungry wolves at bay while I’m busy in the kitchen finalizing the rest of the meal.

During Passover, when every meal starts with matzo, you really need something extra to make it special. Cream cheese and butter are nice, but they are dairy, lack nutrients and add extra fat and calories that we definitely don’t need on the holidays. That’s why the Mediterranean diet is so popular with nutritionists and dietitians everywhere. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes are in abundance and the spreads are tasty, low-fat and healthy.

Tomatoes hit the antioxidant jackpot. They are very high in Lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to cancer prevention. Tomatoes are also high in Vitamin A and C and vitamins that help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Eggplants are excellent sources of iron, calcium and fiber. Eggplant also contains important phytonutrients with antioxidant activity. Eggplant have been found to improve circulation, prevent cancer and lower bad cholesterol.

You can get all these health benefits with Sabra Mediterranean Salads including Spanish Eggplant, Turkish Salad, Matbucha, Babaganoush, Vegetarian Liver, Caponata, Roasted Eggplant, and Grilled Eggplant.

Stuffed Mushrooms and Artichokes

Stuffed Mushrooms and Artichokes

Don’t stop at just topping your matzo either. For a fantastic appetizer idea, you can create platters of veggies filled with spreads like I did here and keep your carbs down too. I also made amazingly easy Stuffed Mushrooms with Veggie Liver and Spanish Eggplant Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms.

I found these dips so flavorful and easy to dress up any vegetable.  Don’t miss our amazing Sabra contest.

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored as part of an ongoing relationship with Sabra, all opinions are my own.



Israel Joy of Kosher Cookbook Parties


March 19th 2014

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With the success of our Joy of Kosher Cookbook Parties in the US, we decided to do them in Israel too.  We had over 100 people from throughout Israel volunteer to host, we selected 12 participants spread out around the country and each host invited friends to share in a fun night surrounded by food. Here is a recap from some of our hosts with pictures so you can see how much fun it is, we encourage you all to host your own!!

Bracha Goldman from Beer Sheva

We had a great time sharing recipes, and trying out all the food that everyone made. I divided up the work, which made it easy and fun for everyone. We enjoyed trying out the recipes from Joy of Kosher. Our dozen participants ranged in age from 31 to 87, and from a brand-new bride (who LOVES Jamie Geller’s cookbooks) to a talented cook of over 60 years experience. All the recipes were a great hit, especially the challah, the raw root vegetables and the rice salad. Both chicken recipes were fabulous. Good friends, good food, good wine, Rosh Chodesh WOW!

Tziona Rand from the Golan

Thanks to Jamie Geller and Joy of Kosher, women from four communities in the Golan enjoyed an intimate dinner together on Thursday, complete with local wine and candlelight. Each of the participants chose a recipe (or two or four) to prepare for the gathering via the Facebook event that I set up. Since we are spread out, I sent the recipes in PDF format to the cooks. During the evening, we tasted from a three course meal consisting of appetizers, mains, sides and desserts. Conversation flowed freely (as did the wine) and besides talking about our kids and lives, we discussed the recipes and how to adapt them to the Israeli kitchen as we don’t have access to many American products in our local groceries. The evening was a great success and many of the woman have already prepared Joy of Kosher recipes from the evening for their families.

Beth Saar from Raanana

On March 3rd 2014 nine Raanana ladies got together to host a Joy of Kosher Cookbook dinner. The theme was dairy vegetarian based on recipes from the cookbooks. Appetizers were tri-color Hummus Trifle with wholewheat pita chips, veggie liver pâté, avocado and cucumber cream soup and nacho potato bites. The main courses were baked pumpkin penne, mock crab salad, rice salad with apples, walnuts and grapes, spiced apple challa kugel. Dessert consisted of black and white ice cream bomb and nutty caramel brownies served with home-made sangria. All in all we had a great time with great food.

Sara Mor – Beit Shemesh

The party was at my house on in Beit Shemesh with 10 women.  I assigned recipes from both Quick & Kosher and Joy of Kosher cookbooks.

We ate and discussed and critiqued and had a lot of fun! People explained if they made any changes (and what they changed) or followed recipe to a tee. The biggest hit was the ktzitzot. After the party I created a whatsapp group and we all discuss our weeknight dinners and other various food related stuff.

Esther Soltani from Tel Aviv

The first thing I did was to look for the right guests and as an olah chadasha (new to Israel) I relied on my good friend from London Erifyli to find real foodies among her friends. Ben, Vicky and Michael were ideal. They jumped on the opportunity to contribute to the meal and were enthusiastic critics.

My flatmate Fina also helped. We’re both passionate about food, especially how to cook healthy and tasty food, which looks good.
As soon as I received the book in the post I read it from cover to cover – yes, Jamie, there are people out there who actually do read a recipe book that way. I have to admit I have never done it in the past but I was so taken by the personal stories, the vivid descriptions of how each recipe came into being and the great concept of dressing down or up the dish that I read it like a memoir with some fantastic recipes thrown in.

I opted for a Mediterranean/oriental theme for the food and knew almost straight away the Moroccan Chicken would be the main course.

The starter was the Lemon Lover’s Hummus dressed up as the  Tricolor Hummus trifle.  I made the mistake of wanting to get a darker green layer than the one on the picture and used a bit too much spinach which made the base of the trifle a bit too liquid. Still it was polished off by everyone and we all agreed it was a fabulous idea of presentation. So simple and yet so effective.

Michael made the Eggplant Caviar which was delish. He said that he had replaced the kosher salt with sea salt and instead of coriander which was on the banned food list used mint. He went for the dress down option as we had already agreed to have pitas for starter.

Being a lover of all things Moroccan, I instantly loved the roasted chicken recipe which features spices I had at home. To make things easier, I prepared this one on ahead in the slow cooker and reheated for dinner.  I didn’t put raisins (banned) but dates and instead of honey used date syrup.  I used green jasmine tea instead of chicken stock and didn’t put the pine nuts since there was already some in the Easy Cranberry Pine Nut Couscous which I wanted to make as a side.

Fina loves cooking vegetables and made the Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Saute following the recipe but replacing the kosher salt with my Pink Himalayan salt.  It looked and tasted great.

Erifyli had told me Vicky was a wonderful cook and baker – she proved it with her amazing rendering of the brownies recipe which we all agree we’d be like Jamie and wake up at night to have an extra piece of given the chance.  She also made the chocolate chip cookies and with both she used whole wheat flour with very good results.

We talked about food a lot, our general aversion to all types of syrup and ready made stocks, food TV programmes, how to cook a chicken and how black tea makes a great stock for French onion soup among other foodie tips. The book was passed around and much praised. Vicky particularly loved the suggested Shabbat and Yom Tov menus and we all thought the dress down/dress up options were brilliant.
So this dinner was the occasion to make new friends, sample great food and find out the secret of the perfect British fish and chips.

Hadassah Levy

Thanks to the Israel Postal Service, our cookbook club took place much later than originally planned, but we still had a great time. There’s nothing like an excuse to get together with friends, schmooze and eat good food. Our entire meal was vegan, in deference to one of our friends. We started with garlic knots, made from a vegan challah recipe and topped with Joy of Kosher’s garlic spread. Along with the rolls, we had tomato bean soup, although our cook didn’t find fresh spinach and used frozen. We had a couscous salad which looked exactly like the picture in Joy of Kosher. The cook of the pepper and zucchini saute suggested that Israelis use fresh peppers instead of canned, since the canned ones sold here come in vinegar and even after washing they retained a bit of tartness. We passed the cookbook around and discussed what dishes we might incorporate into our own repertoires and I promised to share the recipes from the party with everyone who came.


9 Recipes To Use Up Your Chametz


March 18th 2014

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Chametzfest has become the common name for the parties before and after Passover when we all go carb crazy.  Before Passover it is typically any meal where we try to get rid of all our chametz.  We still have about 4 weeks to go, but the purge begins.  First we have to eat up all the candy and junk food we got over Purim, I always wonder why these holidays are so close to each other.  Then we have to clear our our freezers and our pantries.  After my last trip to the store stocking up on just enough granola bars for kids lunches I vowed that would be the last time I buy anything except for fresh product in the coming weeks.  The way to stick to that promise is that I have to use up all the pantry staples now.  So here goes ten recipes for our virtual chametzfest.


Whole Wheat Tuna Casserole with Spinach

1. Tuna Casseroles are a no brainer, easy, prep ahead meal that can be made with any kind of pasta you have laying around, canned tuna or even canned salmon would work and throw in some frozen veggies or fresh spinach.

Shiitake Beef and Barley Soup

Shiitake Beef and Barley Soup

2. Barley Soups – any kind of barley soup will do, or you can go for a salad or a spring risotto, all of them will help you use up that bag of barley while getting some veggie in you too.

no knead olive bread

No Knead Olive Bread

3. Bake homemade bread – if you don’t have time for challah or you want a change or you want have so much flour to use you can make a bread a day, go ahead and learn the no knead method and have bakery like bread every day.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

4. Oatmeal – Use up your oats with a baked oatmeal like this one or make overnight oats, apple crisp, or granola.

Orzo with Chicken

5. Orzo – Make this one pot meal to use up orzo and a can of chickpeas.  Can be served hot or cold and is versatile enough to be made with any grain, rice or Israeli cous cous would work too.

challah kugel

Challah Kugel

6. Challah  – use up leftover challah that you have been stashing away in the freezer making this kugel, bread pudding, stuffing or french toast.


Spinach Ricotta Quiche

7. Frozen Crust – can be used to make pie or a more practical solution is your favorite kind of quiche.  Use fresh or frozen vegetable and whatever cheese you have on hand.

Pot Pie

8. Puff Pastry – can be used for so many things, from empanadas, to pigs in a blanket to pot pie.

Fried Asparagus Rolls

9. Wonton wrappers are always in my freezer and since asparagus are in season this is a favorite recipe to enjoy them.  The kids fight over them.

I hope these help you clean out your fridge and pantry over the next few weeks.  What are your tips and fave recipes?



Skirt Steak Recipes


March 18th 2014

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I don’t eat meat often. Mostly I save it as a treat for Shabbat, when I can splurge a bit more on the price and the calories.  The trick is finding quality cuts of meat and great recipes that can be made ahead.

I found a winner a winner with skirt steak.

Skirt steak is a thin cut of steak that is prized for its flavor and tenderness, but you have to be careful because it can be very salty.  Most kosher meat is salty, but I still usually sprinkle a little coarsely ground salt and ground pepper before searing to help the meat get a nice char, but leave out the salt with skirt steak.  Instead just use black pepper or a salt-free spice rub.

grilled skirt steak

Skirt Steak with Smokey Pepper Sauce

The best part about skirt steak is its versatility.  It can be seared quickly  and served with any of your favorite sauces, this time I tried a smoky almond sauce. Delicious! You can try a chimichurri or just slice thin on top of a green salad.  Skirt steak works really well in steak fajitas or a steak sandwich.  Make extra for amazing leftovers!

stuffed rolled steak

Stuffed Rolled Steak (Braciole)

Ciao bella!  You have got to try this rolled Italian steak recipe for braciole.  A few years ago I saw a favorite chef on the Food Network make this rolled steak filled with spinach and cheese and it looked amazing.  When I got the Skirt Steak from Grow & Behold it was thin and wide and I knew I had to finally make this dish.

I wasn’t sure whether it would work without the cheese or how it would sit for a Friday night.  It was a huge success!  This recipe is pure comfort food and can even be made with matzah meal for Passover.  You can prepare in a slow cooker or keep on low in the oven for a few hours so it’s perfect for Friday night dinner.

You do have to pound the meat, but it’s a quick and easy step for an incredible dinner.

Bahn Mi Taco

Last, but not least, try this Bahn Mi Taco.  A lower carb version of the classic Vietnamese sandwich typically served on a baguette.  Prepare all the ingredients about 1 hour before dinner.  When dinner time comes, grill or broil the meat and serve.  These tacos work particularly well as an appetizer or as a side to a large salad or soup.


Win a free 4 lb. package of skirt steak (enough to make both of these recipes) from Grow & Behold. To enter, send an email to FreeSteak@growandbehold.com with your name and address – contest open until March 20th, at 5pm EST. US residents only over 18 years of age.

This article was sponsored by Grow & Behold Kosher Pastured Meat, all opinions are my own.




Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry


March 17th 2014

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Watch Jamie Geller show you how easy it is to make her Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry.


Baked Horseradish Gefilte Fish


March 17th 2014

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This month we are highlighting horseradish for our Kosher Connection Link Up to get us all in the mood to start preparing for Passover. I’ve made many recipes with horseradish over the last year so be sure to read my article about the healthy horseradish.  I became a huge fan of how horseradish adds a nice kick to so many dishes and the health benefits is a bonus.

When I think about horseradish for Passover I immediately thought about gefilte fish. To be honest, I don’t even usually put horseradish on top my gefilte fish, but the idea of putting it inside seemed too good to not try.

I generally prefer to bake the frozen gefilte fish loafs instead of boiling. It’s less messy and doesn’t stink up the kitchen. One of my favorite recipes for gefilte fish is my baked Spinach Gefilte Fish. For this recipe, I took a similar approach, defrosted the loaf, mixed with horseradish and chopped carrots for some zing I coated it in horseradish and parsley and baked it to a gorgeous golden brown! Enjoy!

Get the full recipe for Horseradish Crusted Gefilte Fish


Shabbat Menu – Purity and The Red Heiffer


March 14th 2014

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From the rejuvenating waters of the mikvah, to the memory of Miriam’s triumphant dancing after the splitting of the In this week’s Parsha Shmini we read of the purifying power of water and it is the first time we read in specific detail the kosher dietary laws concerning what animals are permissible and prohibited, the criteria for kosher fish and birds and a list of kosher insects (yuck!). This week is also called Shabbat Parah, the Shabbat of the red heifer, which describes the ways in which we purified ourselves to being to prepare for Passover. These days we are purifying our homes by purging them of chametz and so we will eat a chametz filled menu featuring the Red Heiffer.

vegetable barley soup

Vegetable Barley Soup

stuffed roll of beef

Stuffed Roll of Beef


Green Beans Almondine

chickpeas and chard

Chickpeas and Chard

Chocolate Turkish Coffee Cake

Chocolate Turkish Coffee Cake


Scent of a Moscow Mule


March 14th 2014

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A couple of months ago a cocktail-loving friend of mine mentioned the Moscow Mule. The name didn’t sound the least bit appealing to me, but I have to admit I was intrigued when he explained how he was going to a bar that serves the drink the old-fashioned way — out of a copper mug. Just like when you discover a new word and then hear it everywhere, over the past few weeks I’ve been followed by the Moscow Mule – in signs, news articles and bar menus so I had to try it myself and share it with you.

The Moscow Mule is made from vodka, ginger beer and lime. It was created in the 1940′s to help sell more vodka in the U.S. It was served in the iconic copper mug as a marketing gimmick. People would see others get a cool looking different drink and ask for the same thing. Today, with the resurgence in popularity of this classic cocktail bars are discovering customers walking away with the copper mug as a souvenir, says the Wall Street Journal. People love the drink and want to recreate it at home with the right vessel, but there is a way to do this without committing a felony .

The copper mugs are not cheap, this set of 4 runs $75 on Amazon, but if you are a true connoisseur it is worth it. The nice thing about this drink is how easy it is to make. All you need is some quality ginger beer. The basic recipe can be found here, DIY Moscow Mule, I used a beer mug and found it served me well.


This recipe using lime juice, vodka and ginger beer is the classic version, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own. Add some biters, use lemon instead of lime, swap bourbon or whiskey in place of vodka. No matter what you do and whether you have a copper mug or not, this drink is an easy and crowd-pleasing cocktail.

If you like this drink as much as me and you like it spicy, you can save a few dollars by creating your own ginger beer.  The easiest way I have found to do it is by making a ginger concentrate and mixing it with seltzer.  Here is my recipe for a Ginger Concentrate that can be used whenever you want to spice up your life.


Uses For Leftover Hamantashen Filling


March 13th 2014

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You have been diligently preparing for Purim making many Hamantashen with many different fillings. Your Shalach Manos baskets need to be filled with assorted treats and your Hamantashen are anticipated additions in your baskets.

Most religious institutions, when preparing for Purim festivities, enlist cadres of cooks to assemble scores of dozens of Hamantashen for their holiday carnivals. Along with the traditional prune (lekvar) and poppy seed (mohn) fillings, apricot, almond, chocolate, strawberry and other fruit flavors have become favorites.  When preparing hundreds or even thousands of Hamantashen at a time, bakers can easily use many different flavors and have no leftovers.

Day After Purim Chocolate Cake

Day After Purim Chocolate Cake

However, when baking in your own home, the multitude of flavors can cause a problem. Even if you narrow your family’s choices down to three or four, and you make dozens of Hamantashen, you will still find yourself left with half a can of one flavor and some of another.

This has been my experience more than I care to remember. So what was I to do? I knew that the fillings shouldn’t be left in the can because the acid in the fillings would react with the metal can and negatively change their taste. The leftovers could be stored in the refrigerator for a few days in plastic or glass containers but eventually I needed to find a use for them and making more Hamantashen wasn’t the answer!

almond poppy seed bundt cake

Almond Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

The following recipes use four different fillings to make two different cakes.  One cake is poppy seed (mohn)/almond in a dairy pound cake and the other uses leftover prune and apricot filling to make a chocolate cake that is not only pareve, it is also fat free.  Since most prepared fillings for cookies or pies are pareve you can interchange the flavors for either cake. However, I would not suggest prune filling for the butter/yogurt cake since it would alter its golden color.

These recipes are designed to be used with commercial fillings not jelly or jam as they contain less binding agents and more moisture than fillings and will alter the consistency and flavor of the cakes.  In general, I also recommend that jelly or jam never be used to fill Hamantashen as they melt when the cookies are baked and often cause the sealed sides of the dough pockets to open.

Eat in Good Health!


10 Add On Gift Ideas


March 12th 2014

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One of the mitzvahs of Purim is to give mishloach manot comprised of at least two different types of food.  In addition to a food basket, consider giving loved ones an extra little gift to enjoy along with their hamantashen.  Below are gift ideas for the ten “personalities” you might encounter among your friends and acquaintances.


Colorful Clip Table Holders

1.  Teacher: Thank your children’s teachers with this great hands-free Colorful Clip on Table Holder.  They can clip it to their desk while in class or to a picnic table during recess.


Joy of Kosher

2.  Chef: For the culinary inspired friend, give the gift of the latest Joy of Kosher cookbook.


Correspondence Cards

3.  Writer: Encourage your writer-friend to take up a different medium: letter writing.  It’s also a subtle way to tell them to stay in touch!


Aristotles Puzzle

4.  Science Nerd: For the philosophically or scientifically inclined, Aristotle’s puzzle is a great gift which push them to test their logical sensibilities.


Shany Cosmetics

5.  Aspiring Make-up Artist: A make-up lover can never have too many brushes!  These bamboo brushes from Shany Cosmetics are sophisticated and designed in America.


Kindle Cover

6.  The Avid Reader: For the reader with shelves full of books and a fully stocked Kindle, consider sending them a beautiful cover for their Kindle.


Trakdot Luggage Tracker


7.  The World Traveler: Your friends will be super impressed by Trakdot Luggage Traveler.  It is designed to provide a specific location for your luggage which can be tracked from your cellphone.


HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

8.  Politician: The new Hilary Clinton biography, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, traces the evolution of Hilary from First Lady to Presidential candidate.


Oster My-Blend Blender


9.  Health Nut: The Oster sport bottle blender is a great gift for the health conscious people in your life.  They can blend their favorite smoothie in their sports bottle, no extra dishes to worry about during the morning rush!


Holga Lens Filter


10.  Instagram Enthusiast: We all have that friend who documents most of her life on Instagram.  Why not give her more filters to choose from, with the Holga Lens Filter she can filter her photos as she takes them.