The Best Meat Chili


January 26th 2014

Contributed by:


2 comments | Leave Comment


Jamie Geller shows you how to make Chili in this Quick & Kosher video. Find the recipe here.


The Best Ways To Serve Chips and Dips


January 24th 2014

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Whether you are having people over to watch the big game or just for snacks, we all love serving chips or veggies and dips.  Sure you can use any old plate and bowl, but let’s make life a little easier and serving a lot more fun.

This chip and dip set keeps your dip bowl away from the chips so that you won’t crush any chips.  The curvy bowl adds a little bit of style to your party and the depth can fit a whole lot of chips.  If you like to serve more than one dip try this Chip and Dip Set from Prodyne that comes with two attachable dip bowls.   Both bowls are great for salads too, you can keep the dressing or other salad toppings in the dip bowls.

If you prefer a more elegant glass look try this Luigi Bornioli 2 piece set that is dishwasher safe.  This shape also makes it easier to offer different veggies or a two different kinds of chips around the dip bowl.

For a greener/more natural look go with Core Bamboo, this version has 4 separate sections so you can really offer variety.

If you want to go with something more unique and hand made try something from Enrico.  This divided tray can work for a small gathering and would look absolutely gorgeous.


How To Make The Best Stuffed French Toast


January 24th 2014

Contributed by:


1 comment | Leave Comment


I used to think French toast was made on the stove. Soak the bread, stick it in a skillet, and you’re done, right? Wrong. The thing is that when French toast only gets a few minutes of stove-top cooking, the insides don’t have a chance to properly bake. For truly perfect, cakey insides, you also need the oven. Try it this way and you’ll have a hard time going back!

To take French toast up yet another notch, you can get a stuffed effect by French toasting sandwiches instead of plain slices of bread. Here, I used a combo of  homemade cream cheese and date spread (you can also use store bought) in some and peanut butter and date spread in others. You can do this with basically any sandwich filling, savory included (but if you go that route, replace the sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon with a pinch of salt and pepper and some herbs).

Stuffed French toast makes a great breakfast or brunch, but it’s so filling that it also works as a cozy “breakfast for dinner” dish. A mug of hot chocolate on the side is optional but totally recommended.

Here is the full recipe for the Best Stuffed French Toast.


Two New Winter Cupcake Recipes


January 23rd 2014

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


I love cupcakes and once you get in a cupcake groove, it’s hard to get out.  They’re just so cute, so versatile, and so easy to whip together!  The only way to deal with this addiction is to feed it.  Usually bad advice to offer to addicts, except in the case of cupcakes.
I love trying out new flavor combinations and recently started “Cupcake of the month”.  It gives me the opportunity to use different themes and ingredients to bring out the true feeling of that month.
January right away makes me think of winter.  I live in California, where winter is mostly sunny and warm but I know somewhere out there, it must be cold and snowy.  When I think of winter, the first thing that comes to mind is the crisp fresh air.
chocolate peppermint cupcake
For my first cupcake, I chose a Chocolate Cupcake topped with a Peppermint Buttercream, drizzled with melted chocolate and pieces of peppermint candy.  The cupcakes have a dark chocolate flavor and are super moist.  Piled high on top is the peppermint buttercream.  You can add crushed peppermint to any of your favorite vanilla buttercream recipes.  By using actual crushed peppermint instead of a peppermint extract, you get that slight crunch in the cream that screams that cool & crisp wintery fresh taste. You might want to use a round tip to frost the cupcakes; otherwise, the pieces of candy will get stuck inside a typical swirl tip.  The optional melted chocolate drizzled on top helps bring together the flavors of chocolate and mint together.  For an extra crunch and a pretty finish, sprinkle on the remaining pieces of candy.
chai latte cupcake

For the second cupcake I made Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes.  When it is cold outside I will most likely not leave the house without a hot drink in my hand.  I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I absolutely love chai lattes.  They are so comforting; the aroma itself warms you up.  Every sip gives you a beautiful blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamon that, when combined all together, make one incredible drink.

The vanilla cupcakes came out light with a fluffy texture and not overly sweet, which is perfect because it will be covered with just a simple yet rich buttercream. The buttercream is made with the chai spice mix that you make before hand using cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and cardamon.  Once iced, the cupcakes were lightly sprinkled with white sugar sprinkles and small white snowflakes giving off that snowy look as well. When you bite into this cupcake, the full flavor of a vanilla chai latte stirs all of your senses.
Enjoy my cupcake recipes!


15 Best Game Day Ideas


January 22nd 2014

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


The key to a great Super Bowl party is variety.  Whether you prefer classic superbowl party favorites or like to add a twist to your game day recipes, these 15 game day ideas are guaranteed crowd-pleasers!

Empire Kosher Wild Wings

1.  Empire Kosher Wild Wings

Chicken wings are the ultimate Super Bowl party food!  Small in size, but they pack a punch in taste.  You can broil or fry a large batch of chicken wings and prepare them with an array of sauces to please all party guests.

Sweet and Tangy Chicken Wings

2.  Sweet and Tangy Wings

These Sweet and Tangy Wings hit the right balance of sweet and savory.

French's Classic Sliders

French's Classic Sliders

3.  French’s Classic Sliders

Personally, I could survive Super Bowl Sunday with Buffalo Wings and ”Football” Acordion Potatoes.  But I might have to step away from the wings, because these sliders are delicious and fun for both adults and kids at a Super Bowl party.  They may not be mess-free, but they are delicious to eat!  Add a toppings bar with that includes Special Sauce to make the sliders extra special.

Short Rib Sliders

Short Rib Sliders

4.  Short Rib Sliders

An alternative to the Classic Slider is the Short Rib Slider, it packs amazing flavor and will look great on your Super Bowl party table.

Potato Kugel Cups

5.  Potato Kugel Cups

These Potato Kugel Cups will be flying off the table.  They are super delicious and a perfect finger food, plus they add an elegant touch.

Avocado Egg Rolls with Spicy Dipping Sauce

6.  Avocado Egg Rolls with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Another great pareve recipe are the Avocado Egg Rolls. The crunch of the fried egg roll plays well with the smooth, rich texture of the avocado.

Derby Deviled Eggs

7. Derby Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs are a great Super Bowl party recipe.  The eggs can be boiled in advanced, leaving minimal prep-time on game day.

Twice Baked Potato Skins

8.Twice Baked Potato Skins

However you make them, be it dairy-free or vegetarian, potato skins are a versatile option. With these Twice Baked Potato Skins recipe there is plenty of room to customize your super bowl potato skins with whatever toppings you prefer.

Idaho® Potato Spinach Balls

Idaho® Potato Spinach Balls

9.  Idaho® Potato Spinach Balls

Another great potato recipe are these Idaho Potato Spinach Balls.  Similar to the Potato Kugel Cups, they add an elegant touch.  They can easily be made dairy-free by substituting the cheese with vegan pepper jack cheese.

Chili Nacho Cups

10.  Chili Nacho Cups

A Super Bowl party is a great excuse for breaking out all of your favorite finger food recipes.  The Chili Nacho Cups pack all the fun of nachos, but without the mess!


Guacamole and Chips

11.  Guacamole and Chips

Place the Guacamole and Chips and Fresh Tomato Salsa next to the Chili Nacho Cups for a great south of the border flavor profile.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

12.  Fresh Tomato Salsa

Portobello Tacos

Portobello Tacos

13.  Super Bowl No Meat Tacos

Approximately 8 million pounds of guacamole is served on game day, so why not pair it with these scrumptious (meatless) tacos.

Chocolate Pudding

Dirt and Worms Chocolate Pudding

14.  Dirt and Worms Pudding Pie

When it comes to dessert on game day have just fun with it!  Serve an all-time kids’ favorite the Dirt and Worms Pudding Pie in individual tins or clear plastic cups as a fun treat.  There will squeals of delight coming from the children (and possibly the adults) when they find the gummy worms baked inside.


Peanut Butter Football

15.  Peanut Butter Football Dip

For guests not watching football on T.V., give them a football to look at on the table!  Shoshanna from Couldn’t be Pareve created this recipe for the latest Kosher Connection Recipe Round Up.  For any of you rib lovers you can even enjoy them this time of year without freezing to death, try these Beef Ribs made in the oven.  Check more Super Bowl ideas here.


Game Day Recipes From South Africa


January 22nd 2014

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


When Tamar asked me what we would eat, in South Africa, if we had the equivalent of the super bowl, the first thing that came to my mind, and confirmed by ‘my butcher’, was The Curry Cup Final. This annual inter-provincial rugby match is held in either of the two finalists province. What we would eat, needed no confirmation, most South Africans gather around a braai (Bbq) either before or after any sporting match. The charcoal braai is normally started up at half time and by the end of the match the braai is ready to cook the meat. Just the aroma of boerewors can excite the senses and arouse even the most avid vegetarian’s desire to take just ‘one bite’!

Boerewors in South Africa is mostly served on pap (mielie meal/corn meal) with a tomato and onion gravy. It’s the tomato and onion gravy that most pride themselves on. It’s one of those old, traditional and sometimes secret family recipe’s that’s inevitably shared after a couple of beers.


Boerewors (boor-uh-vors) – literally means ‘farmers sausage’ in Afrikaans. A savoury sausage developed by the farmers some 200 years ago. Spiced predominantly with coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper. If you are unable to get Boerewors then your favourite delicately spiced beef sausage will still do the trick.

Pap ( ‘pup’) is known as mielie meal or maize meal in south Africa. Once this corn meal is mixed with water and boiled until firm (almost like Polenta) it starts taking on it’s characteristic ‘pap’ form.

‘Pap and wors’ served with a savoury tomato sauce is South African food at its most traditional!

This recipe is a simple twist on traditional “pap & wors”. The novelty being that the boerewors and mealie ‘pap’ are threaded onto a stick, glazed and then braaied (grilled on the BBq). The only problem with this finger friendly way of serving the ‘pap and wors’ is the braaier (griller) and his friends stand around the fire chatting, sipping on beers and eating the kebabs before they even get to the table! So you may as well give them the dipping sauce upfront!


These corncob muffins became a real hit, quite by accident. We were going to friends for dinner and she had asked me to bake some of my corncob muffins for her. They were cooling on the rack whilst I was preparing lunch. It was one of those chilled Sundays when a ‘few extra friends’ arrived for lunch. So out came some extra chicken but we were a little short on the bread rolls. ‘What about these” said my son pointing to the corncob muffins ‘Corn goes well with chicken, let’s try’. Needless to say there were plenty of rolls left over and a couple of crumbs from the muffins.

Did I make another batch for my friend? Of course, in fact I always double up on them now and we even serve them covered in tomato and onion gravy as an accompaniment to boerewors as well.

Enjoy these South African classics to give your guests a real treat this year.


Cooking With Fresh Mozzarella *Giveaway*


January 21st 2014

Contributed by:


139 comments | Leave Comment


Before I traveled to Rome for the first time a few years ago, I fantasized about all the amazingly delicious Italian food we were going to have. The fresh pasta, the authentic pizzas, the sweet gelatos, it was all going to be perfectly delicious. On our first night in the historic city, we strode into a bistro just outside the Jewish ghetto. There, I had the only thing still available from the menu, the most tasteless spaghetti in marinara.  It was quite disappointing. I should have known better when I heard the chef and waiter speaking to each other in Russian.   Thankfully, the rest of the trip was beautiful, but I didn’t leave with such fond memories of the food, save for a few exceptional restaurants in the Jewish Ghetto where ironically I ate Middle Eastern food.

When I came back, I made pizza at home just like I imagined I would have had in Rome.  I made a flavorful, airy dough and topped it with a garlicky sauce, baked it until the fresh mozzarella was melted and the edges were charred. It was perfect!  I continue to make that same pizza, just  playing around with the toppings, but fresh mozzarella is consistently a favorite.

Fresh mozzarella has such a delicate, soft texture and a clean, fresh taste. It can be marinated in different flavors and it pairs well with sweet or savory foods.   Try it with strawberries and dress it up with an earthy balsamic sauce. Both recipes are a great way to enjoy fresh, delicious Mozzarella cheese.

Learn more about Natural & Kosher’s full line of fresh mozzarella with this short video here and then enter to win a special cheese prize!


Win a selection of Natural & Kosher fresh mozzarella. Enter with rafflecopter below and let us know how you like to eat fresh mozzarella in the comments below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post was sponsored by Natural & Kosher, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


Super Bowl No Meat Tacos


January 20th 2014

Contributed by:


8 comments | Leave Comment


It’s confession time.  I hate sports.  You would never believe that I grew up in a house where Sundays meant my dad and brother were jumping and screaming in front of the TV rooting for the Miami Dolphins.  My dad can’t understand where I came from and how I could have absolutely no interest in watching any sporting event.  I’d rather watch paint dry.

Well, the joke is on me. My husband enjoys watching football and baseball, but generally let’s me run the show.  But now I’m outnumbered.  Help!

My two oldest children are 7 and 9, boys and they run the show now. Sundays are all football from 1pm until midnight and then there’s Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football.

All I can do is wait for the Super Bowl.  Not to watch it, but because it means I get my Sundays back until September.  But I do like one other thing about the Super Bowl.  The food.

For years we hosted our own Super Bowl party just so I would have a good excuse to be in the kitchen instead of the couch.  Now, our party is usually just the five of us, but I still like to get creative for the big game and here is one of my newest recipes for the Super Bowl.

Portobello Mushroom Tacos

Everyone serves guacamole for the Super Bowl, 8 million pounds get consumed that day.  Let’s enjoy our guacamole with these scrumptious tacos.  You can serve these with or without cheese, they are perfect for any vegans you might have over and you can still chomp on your chicken wings and chow down on your chili.

Enjoy this roundup of finger foods and Super Bowl foods from our monthly kosher connection link up of Kosher bloggers:



Football Finger Foods


January 20th 2014

Contributed by:


4 comments | Leave Comment


Tamar thinks my elegant dressed up “Accordion” Potatoes aka Hasselback Potatoes look like footballs. When I developed this recipe for the Passover Seder it certainly wasn’t my intention to serve ‘em up at a Superbowl party, but now looking at it through Tamar-colored glasses I see how it can work for this occasion too.  Get my recipe for “Football” Accordion Potatoes here.

But these little spuds, my Nacho Potato Bites or the dressed down Smashed Potato Nachos from my new book JOY of KOSHER Fast, Fresh Family Recipes are perfect for your Sunday sports entertaining.

As are these cutie pie – meat and pareve – finger foods:

beer braised sausage

Beer Braised Sausages

These beer braised bites have deep layers of flavor and get a nice balanced kick from the spicy mustard.

turkey meatballs with cranberry sauce

Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Turkey and cranberry are not just for Thanksgiving. Enjoy this great combo mid-winter (and year-round).  Turkey Meatballs Recipe.

zucchini bruscetta

Zucchini Bruschetta

Bruschetta doesn’t have to include tomatoes. It’s officially bread, rubbed with olive oil and garlic. We’ve got that—and here, zucchini and a smear of creamy hummus stand in for the classic basil-and-tomato topping.

greek chicken kebabs

Greek Chicken Kabobs

Red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and oregano are a delicious Greek-inspired departure from the typical Italian or teriyaki flavored versions.

Go Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos!!! Want to see him get his 2nd ring!


The Best Gadgets For DIY Vegetable Chips


January 17th 2014

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Do you ever make your own veggie chips? It is my favorite snack and almost all vegetables can be turned into a chip.  I don’t even really like potato chips, but I love hot and fresh from the oven baked potato chips which my husband requests practically every Saturday night.  Sometimes I can convince him to have my Zucchini Chips  or my Carrot Chips.   The issue with all of these recipes is that they need to be cut thin and evenly.  The trick for the slicing is a good mandoline.

This mandoline from OXO has a nice guard and a sharp blade with a few different slicing options, you can use it for julienne cutting too.  With all mandolines be careful and make sure there is a good guard and they are very safe.

Then I usually bake them in the oven, but I need a really large pan and a little oil.  Unless you use the microwave.  What!?  I thought this would never work, but it really does and the best way to microwave your chips is to get this Mastrad Chip Maker set, this one even comes with a mandoline, but I recommend getting them separate and make sure to get two trays, they stack!!

Get your snack on this year the healthy way.




Day In Jerusalem – Entertaining Teens


January 17th 2014

Contributed by:


1 comment | Leave Comment


Whether it’s Winter Break Vacation, Pesach or Summer Vacation here are some ideas for entertaining teens in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a city that the whole family can enjoy together but very often the teenagers in the family are looking for something more extreme, a challenging or unique activity that’s worth getting out of bed for.

What was once a hard task; is now a fun endeavor. There are so many exciting activities in Jerusalem that even your teens will be asking to come back for more.

Exciting “High Energy” Activities: Teens like to show off their extreme nature through participating in what we call in Israel “extreme sports”. Here are some safe yet fun ideas.

  • Ropes Course: Give them a challenge and reserve a Ropes Course in Park Gilo. Ride the sky swing, walk the tightrope and slide down the omega. If they still want more, then you can arrange a special rappelling experience for them overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Locally we call that snappling!
  • ATV: Whether your teen sits behind the wheel (with a driver’s license) or is the passenger in a Jerusalem ATV, the experience is exciting. Drive a two seater buggy fully equipped with safety helmets through the back hills of Jerusalem. Ride through areas you have never had access to before. Ride behind the zoo, between Malcha and Moshav Ora. Eli, your guide will take you up the hills on dirt roads to beautiful outlooks, down by the streams for a quick dip in nature’s pool and through the forests to see the beauty & nature in Jerusalem.
  • Segway: Teens over the age of 16 can enjoy a Segway tour of Jerusalem, either on the Tayelet overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem or into the Old City itself. A Segway provides a fun feeling of flying and your teens will enjoy the ride, learn about the history of the city and be inspired by the view.

Fun “Low Key” Activities:

  • Kibbutz Tzuba:  If you are looking for an activity that is a bit more low-key, then take a half day trip to Kibbutz Tzuba with your teens.  Located 15 minutes outside Jerusalem, near Ein Kerem, Kibbutz Tzuba recently opened up a branch of the Galita Chocolate Company. They offer chocolate workshops for the entire family. Their professional staff runs great workshops for teens and the best part is that if you have younger kids they can do workshops for their age at the same time and even at the same table. Tasting the chocolate is encouraged. Once you have licked enough chocolate and created some delicious gifts to take home, you can arrange a hike with a guide in the hills around Tzuba. The views are spectacular and there is even a spring you can dip into on hot days.

  • Spa Day at Cramim: Very few teens will pass up the opportunity for a day of relaxation and exercise at the SPA. Located a 15 minute drive outside Jerusalem, the Isrotel Cramim Spa Hotel is pure luxury. The large spa facility includes an indoor and outdoor pool, Turkish Hamam, sauna, exercise rooms, weight lifting room, spa treatment rooms and relaxation area with a full tea bar. So whether you have a teenage girl who would appreciate a massage & swim or a teenage boy who would enjoy the exercise/weight room & pool, everyone will enjoy the generous kosher buffet at the Cramim Hotel. The facilities at the hotel are open to kids ages 16+. They may need to wait till they are older to enjoy the Wine Bar but Cramim, which means vineyards, is a really special “day out” right near Jerusalem.

I hope this blog post has given you the inspiration to spend your next vacation in Jerusalem, especially with your teens.

To see my other ideas for a Day In Jerusalem click here.




How to Cut an Avocado


January 17th 2014

Contributed by:


2 comments | Leave Comment


Jamie Geller shows you how to cut an avocado in this Quick & Kosher video. Use this technique to make California Avocado Salad.


2014 Manischewitz All-Star Cook-Off


January 16th 2014

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Have you been waiting for the Manischewitz Cook-Off?  Working on your perfect recipe? This year they have changed things, so go ahead and submit your recipes here for us all to enjoy while we take a look at the new All-Star Cook Off.

For the past 7 years, the Manischewitz® Cook-Off contest has searched the country for the tastiest and most creative kosher recipes prepared by at-home cooks. Over the years, more than 10,000 people nationwide of all ages and from all walks of life have entered the competition. This year, the top competitors from previous Cook-Off events will compete in a new head-to-head competition for a 2nd chance to win the Grand Prize. This year the event will partner with Saveur, a leading American food and travel magazine with a focus on heritage and authenticity.

The Cook-Off’s prior finalists will prepare dishes that have been a family recipe shared for generations or new dishes that could be a family favorite for years to come.  The All-Stars are personally invited to submit a new recipe from January 15, 2014 to February 12, 2014 and then four finalists will be chosen by the company.

A fifth contestant will be a “People’s Choice” vote chosen by fans via between February 21 to February 27, 2014. All five finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to compete live on March 27th, 2014 at the Manhattan JCC in New York City in front of a live panel of judges.

The event will being with a cooking demonstration led by Helen Rosner, editor at Saveur. She will showcase two Saveur dishes that feature Manischewitz All-Natural Broth.

The official rules for the 2014 All-Star Cook-Off can be found at   Good luck to everyone!


Discount Tickets KFWE 2014


January 16th 2014

Contributed by:


1 comment | Leave Comment


It is time to get your tickets for this year’s eighth annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience once again taking place at Pier 61 in NYC.  Every year Royal Wine Corp. puts on this fantastic night to showcase over 200 wines and over 20 restaurants and caterers.  The whole Joy of Kosher team will be there and we would love to see all of you.

Join us on February 24, 2014 and use coupon code JOYOFKOSHER20 to save 20% off right now!!  Go to KFWE to purchase your tickets.

If you have not been before, here is a peak at our favorites from last year: Kosher Food and Wine Experience 2013.

Most of my pictures are of the food, but the crowd is amazing too.  Check out a few more pics from Royal Wine below.

So many people.

So much wine to taste.

So much food to eat.

Hope to see you there.  Don’t forget coupon code JOYOFKOSHER20 when you buy your tickets here.



We Love Avocados For Game Day


January 16th 2014

Contributed by:


1 comment | Leave Comment


Call us dopey. Call us weird. But when my husband Ed and I get together with my brother Jeff and sister-in-law Eileen every year to watch the Super Bowl on TV, we don’t eat chili con carne or chicken wings, tacos or burritos. For us, a dairy meal is easier, more enjoyable and more flexible (especially when it comes to dessert). Besides, Eileen hates spicy food, so any of the usual Buffalo anything is out. Jeff won’t eat any dish that’s made with chopped meat, so there goes the chili.

In fact, the only thing that we do eat that comes remotely close to being the usual Superbowl “Tex-Mex” or Southwest cuisine is the avocado. There is always some avocado something.

Guacamole? Of course. Hey, we fit right in with that, don’t we?

I make two recipes; one is hot with jalapenos, the other is the same dish minus the peppers. Years ago someone bought me a molcajete, the stone, 3-legged mortar and pestle used for crushing the solid ingredients (onions, garlic, peppers and so on) and mixing in softer items. I use that for one version, and keep the guacamole chunky. I use my food processor for the other kind and process it into a puree. Guacamole is very forgiving.

We never have a regular, at-the-table sit-down dinner for this occasion. It’s a much more casual kind of grab-your-meal from the kitchen and bring it into the family room type of day. So the food is very casual. One of our favorites is a sandwich of some kind. Not loaded with corned beef or turkey, but cheese. Grilled Cheese, cheese paninis, roasted veggies and cheese. You get the picture. Once we had a delicious egg and cheese sandwich with – you guessed it — avocado. I’ve made this sandwich several times since for other meals.

Maybe you’re like most folks and will have a hearty meat fest for Superbowl. But if you’re not, try the sandwich (which is a good Sunday afternoon lunch anytime). The Guacamole is pareve, so it’s suitable no matter what else you serve.

Guacamole Recipe

Avocado, Egg, Tomato and Pesto Mayo Sandwich