Calling All Cooks In Israel


June 25th 2013

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Let’s help each other.  One of the most amazing things I love about our community is the immediate feedback.  Whether via Facebook, email or as a comment you all let us know how you feel.  And I love it, most probably cause the feedback is generally positive and often inspiring – both in the kitchen and in life.  Lately though, we have been getting a lot of comments like this one:

I love to read all your super recipes and hints but please — not all of your readers live in America and, as you must yourself know by now, not all the ingredients you mention are available here in Israel.

-Laura B. 

So while I do live in Israel, I live in an American community with an American style store that stocks lots of my favorite American brands and products.  Additionally I travel back and forth often and have lots of products sent to me for recipe development.  So I can’t say that I have become an expert in cooking like I live in Israel in the last 10 months.  I can’t even claim to know what products are not readily available in stores across the country not situated in Anglo-communities.  So here’s where we help each other.

Please comment below with any and all cooking in Israel substitution Qs or otherwise and my new friend Dvora Rotter and I (OK mostly Dvora) will create a cheat sheet post listing substitutions – that we will research and test together.  This post will be a living one that we will constantly be adding to as your queries continue.  And you too can help by offering your tips and suggestions for substitution to each other in the comments.  We hope this will help you from getting frustrated with recipes using ingredients you can’t find.

How does that sound?

Start asking your questions now!!



BBQ Cauliflower Cream Sauce


June 24th 2013

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Posted 06/24/2013 by Melinda Strauss
If you're looking for a creamy sauce without the cream, this cauliflower cream sauce is perfect for you! For some extra tang, I added Gold's Barbecue Sauce to the cauliflower mixture. You can pour this sauce over pasta, vegetables or pretty much anything you can think of!

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Strawberry Jalapeño BBQ Chicken Wings


June 24th 2013

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Posted 06/24/2013 by Melinda Strauss
Instead of just marinating your chicken wings in plain barbecue sauce, jazz it up by adding chopped jalapeno and strawberries for a sweet and spicy kick. I use Gold's Barbecue Sauce for the perfect semi-homemade marinade.

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Kosher Rica – Jewish Travel in Costa Rica


June 24th 2013

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The winter snow was piled a foot tall outside of my New York City apartment, but I didn’t mind.  A cab was waiting downstairs to whisk me away for a week in Costa Rica.  Five hours cramped into coach wouldn’t bother me a bit.  It doesn’t take long to adjust to “Pura Vida” a popular local expression that rests somewhere between “Hakuna Matata” and “La Vida Loca” and essentially means “pure” or “real” living.  With Passover soon approaching and the prospect of preparing two seders for 25 people looming overhead, I thought I could use a little pure living. Costa Rica is a perfect place.

View From Horseback Riding

Costa Rica is located south of Nicaragua and north of Panama.  The waves of the Pacific Ocean to the west attract scores of surfers annually and boast a number of luxury hotels and resorts along the coast.  The area Guanacaste has its own airport (Liberia) and frequent flights from the United States.  The emerging tourist hot spot in Costa Rica is along the Caribbean coast where the province of Limon is attracting enterprising developers and nature lovers to unspoiled white sand beaches and far less crowds than the more popular beaches further north.

It is easy to see gorgeous Red Maccaws everywhere.

For Jewish travelers, Costa Rica boasts a fascinating history.  A group of Sephardic Jews first populated the country in the 16th and 17th century.  Another wave of settlers came from neighboring Central American countries in the 19th century pursuing mercantile interests in the Caribbean.  The present day community is more likely to trace its roots to Poland and Eastern Europe during the period before the Second World War when refugees still had an opportunity to flee Nazi persecution.

There is an active Orthodox synagogue in San Jose, Costa Rica, Shaarei Tzion, and the Centro Israelita Sionista founded in 1930 remains the center around which Jewish life in Costa Rica revolves.

For kosher travelers, Kosher Center S.A. is the only Glatt Kosher establishment in Costa Rica and boasts a wide range of top quality beef, poultry, cured meats, and bakery products in a sit down restaurant with takeout/delivery and catering services available throughout the country.  There is a dairy cafeteria at the Jewish Community Center.  Chabad of Costa Rica can also arrange food and amenities.

Tabacon Hot Springs (photo courtesy of Tabacon)

Costa Rica is a land of contrast with appealing beaches on both coasts and a dense rainforest in its center.  For a couple of nights, we stayed in the area surrounding Arenal, an active volcano about 2 hrs from San Jose.  While at one time explosive lava flows were a common site to tourists, things have quieted down over the past few years.  The geothermic activity beneath the surface created hot springs that are popular with tourists.  I stayed at the luxurious Tabacon Resort, a resort member of The Leading Hotels of the World and The Leading Spas of the World located in the rainforest at the base of Arenal Volcano.  The sounds of nature would beckon at sunrise outside my balcony each morning and the attentive staff made sure every need was attended to at this five-star property.  I cannot imagine a more beautiful setting to relax and unwind in Costa Rica.

Lion Face Monkey Posing For Us On The Beach

Manuel Antonio National Park is a must-visit on your Costa Rica vacation.  The diversity of wildlife is amazing and with a trained guide you can see several species of monkeys, sloths, exotic birds and more with relative ease.  When you grow tired of trekking through the forest, beautiful beaches await.  On the sunny February day when I was there, the water was warm, crystal clear and four feet deep for hundreds of yards in any direction.  There are a number of resorts, bars and nightclubs in and around the town.

Totally A Must Do

I was staying about an hour away in Jaco, a popular retirement destination for American expats with beaches, world-class fishing and a number of luxury accommodations available.  There were many day trips available from Jaco.  I enjoyed a 3 hour horseback riding trek (my tush is still sore) and ATV adventure – each offered unparalleled views of this beautiful coastal country.

Don't forget the ziplining!!!

Another highlight of my trip was a semi-private tour of a working coffee plantation.  The Finca Rosa Blanca Resort is an organic coffee farm plantation and luxurious inn overlooking the central valley mountain highlands of Costa Rica.  Its proximity to the San Jose International Airport makes it an ideal stopover upon arrival or prior to departure.  Led by an experienced barista and guide, our two-hour walking tour included a history of coffee cultivation, an in-depth overview of sustainable agriculture and an appreciation of the journey from bean to cup.

I hope I have helped to inspire your next vacation.  As a kosher traveler, Costa Rica is very welcoming and accommodating and it is easy to manage dietary and travel restrictions with hotel staff and tour guides who are more than willing to make your experience memorable.

Say hello to the wildlife for me when you go.


Oh and if you are looking to make some Costa Rican food, on of the national dishes is Ceviche, check out our recipes for Ceviche here.


What Are Hearts of Palm?


June 21st 2013

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Heart of palm, also called palm heart, aristocrat’s plantar and swamp cabbage, is a vegetable harvested from the inner core and growing bud of certain palm trees.

Hearts of palm are vegetables harvested from the soft core of a palm tree. They are extremely popular in Latin American cuisine, and are exported both fresh and canned to other parts of the world. France is the largest importer, with centers of export in several Latin American nations including Puerto Rico and Brazil. Many vegetarians use hearts of palm in their recipes, blending the vegetables to make spreads, eating them plain, or adding them to salads.

Hearts of Palm have always been considered an expensive menu item. Some of the cost is due to shipping. However, most of the cost is due to the fact that in order to harvest the heart the entire tree must be sacrificed. In response to this issue, several palms were domesticated and bred specifically for production of this vegetable. These trees have multiple stems, allowing farmers to harvest the hearts while allowing the rest of the tree to live. Still, Hearts of Palm are almost always found canned in the United States.

Tender hearts of palm have a mild buttery taste with a soft crunchy texture. Often used in salads, hearts of palm also can be found in some savory hot recipes.

Hearts of palm are high in protein, fiber, vitamin c and minerals. Because they are canned, palm hearts are also high in sodium. Before I use them in any recipe, I rinse the thoroughly in cold water to remove the “canned” flavor and excess sodium.

Modern Millionaire’s Salad with Hibiscus-Lime Vinaigrette

Here I am sharing a popular salad from the 1960’s, Millionaire’s salad. The salad had thinly sliced rings of tender hearts of Palm, lettuce and other items depending upon the chef’s whim. The salad was called the millionaire’s salad due to the fact that the ingredients were considered to be expensive. The salad usually consisted of palm hearts, artichoke hearts, pimentos and other items.

My version tastes like a million! I like the tropical flavor of palm hearts and have paired them with other tropical flavors.  After all, the ingredients that best together tend to grow together.

Hibiscus vinaigrette has a tart-floral flavor that pairs well with the buttery palm hearts. I have also included almonds for extra crunch and flavor. If you do not want almonds, feel free to substitute cashews or other nuts or seeds.


My other favorite way to use Hearts of Palm are in Fritters with Garlic Aioli.

How do you use hearts of palm?



Wasabi Flavored Recipes


June 20th 2013

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It’s hard to believe that ten years ago most of us had never even heard of wasabi.  Maybe we even piled it on our sushi before we knew what it was (guilty as charged). Now the hot green stuff, typically sold in powder or paste is a sushi staple.  Wasabi has come a long way from a sushi condiment, and it’s unique flavor can now be found in many foods, like soy nuts, potato chips and rice cakes.

Wasabi is Japanese horseradish.   It is actually very difficult to get fresh wasabi here in the United States.  Gold’s, already well known for their prepared horseradish, has brought the convenience and flavor of wasabi in a sauce that we can use to top our sushi and flavor tons of other dishes.  It does have some mayo mixed in, but a little goes a long way and you get the added benefit of including more horseradish in your diet, which if you have been paying attention is extremely healthy (click here for my article on the health benefits of horseradish).


Scallion Salmon Gefilte Fish with Wasabi Sauce

First, I want to share a pan-Asian twist on Jewish tradition by serving it with gefilte fish.  Not any old gefilte fish though, I made a baked salmon gefilte fish that I filled with scallions and a bit of wasabi sauce.  I served it alongside Gold’s wasabi sauce that I made even hotter by mixing a hot pepper and some parsley for texture and color.


Asian Salad with Wasabi Dressing

I also made a summer time Asian Salad and it is really a very simple combination. I love the mixture of textures between the lettuce, cabbage, bean sprouts and straw mushrooms.   I basically added the wasabi sauce for some spice and creaminess to the dressing and it was absolutely perfect.

How do you use Wasabi Sauce?

For tons of fantastic recipes using Gold's Click here

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post is part of a partnership with Gold’s. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.




Bar Snacks with Cocktails


June 19th 2013

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What’s better on a hot Summer day than an ice cold cocktail? I have been thinking up some delicious, fruity, Summer cocktails for a family BBQ that’s coming up, and I decided to make a little project out of it, so here we have it:
At Home Cocktails and Bar Snacks
Thankfully I have my husband to test all my kitchen experiments, especially now that the basketball finals are on- he loved watching the Miami Heat dominate the court the other night, while sipping my Mango Mojito! If you are having a BBQ this Summer, or a little get together with friends, try serving one (or both) of my yummy Summer cocktails and all of my homemade bar snacks.

Bourbon Slushie

I served these Bourbon Slushies to the adults at my son’s birthday party and people asked me to text them the recipe on the spot, it was so good!

Mango Mojito

Tasty, delicious and gorgeous, enjoy a Mango Mojito on a hot Summer day.

Maple Roasted Almonds

Maple Roasted Almonds

These Maple Roasted Smoky Almonds are definitely going to be made and served at every get together I host from now on. I sent a bag to my parents and they told me I should start selling them! Warning: these nuts are addictive.


Cheese Straws

These tasty twists were really fun to make, and even better to eat. Fresh out of the oven, the dough was flaky and the aroma from the cheese and pepper was out of this world. I am definitely going to make these Cheese Straws at my Superbowl party this year, they are the perfect addition to my usual menu of stacked Nachos and “faux” meat lasagna.

Hearts of Palm Dip

If you are looking for a new dip, look no further. This Hearts of Palm Dip is hands down the easiest, and most delicious dip I have ever made. It is perfect for chips and raw veggies, and when served in a bread bowl, it makes a beautiful centerpiece.
I so enjoyed preparing all these snacks and drinks for you all, I hope you will join me in a L’chaim and let me know what you think in the comments below.


GoForTheGold’s Recipe Contest *Big Prizes*


June 18th 2013

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Calling all Gold’s recipes!!!  We want your best recipes using Gold’s products and we know you have them and even if you don’t we know you can create some.  Get cooking and then come back here and submit your favorites.

Please SUBMIT your favorite recipes using any Gold’s brand product, from Duck Sauce, to BBQ Sauce, to Borscht, to the classic Horseradish and more we want them all.  Enter as many recipes as you would like.  Perhaps it’s your go-to chicken recipe that you cook when inspiration has left the building but you know will satisfy those hungry tummies. Perhaps it’s the recipe passed down from Grandma Zelda that has withstood the test of time. All recipes that include a Gold’s product submitted to this site between now and July 18th will be entered to WIN.

To see a list of recipes that have been entered so far click here.

After July 18th the JoyofKosher team will pick the top five finalists from the Gold’s recipes submitted. We will make all five of those dishes and on July 31st we will choose two recipes to go head-to-head for the top prize. You, our readers, will get to vote on who takes home the prize. Voting will take place from 9 am EST July 31 until 9 am EST August 14th.

The Winner will be announced on August 15th and featured in the Chanukah issue of our magazine.  The winner will also receive a prize package featuring $50 worth of Gold’s products, 1 copy of Jamie’s second cookbook, Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes, $100 Amex Card and a 1 year subscription to the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine.

Runner up will receive a 1 year subscriptions to the magazine and a copy of Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes.

Enter Now!


Winners must be over 18 years of age and US residents.


Easy Slow Cooker Dinners


June 18th 2013

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In many houses, crockpots are associated with Shabbos day Cholent. However, that is far from their only use. Slow cookers have earned themselves a prominent spot in the kitchen, and rightfully so.

The crockpot, originally called the Beanery because its original sole intended use was to cook beans, was first patented in 1970. It was not until 1971, when Rival, the company who owned the patent and was doing in-house testing, realized that this slow cooker was fantastic for slow cooking meat as well as beans and other foods. Finally in 1974, the crockpot that we all know and use was introduced to the market and has been a huge success ever since.

Personally, I have not made cholent in the crockpot in years –I prefer my Moroccan dafina (the type of cholent we eat in my house) made in a big, heavy cast iron pot that cooks first in the oven and then on the blech on the stovetop. So if I was going to jump head-first into the world of slow cooked meals, I was going to have to head out to the store and buy myself a new pot.

Luckily, kohls was having a super Savers Day and I got a terrific digital 5 quart crockpot for $20.27, which was such a great deal that I bought two. I designated one for dairy so I can try the slow-cooked lasagna I have always wanted to make. What I love about cooking things slow and long, is how soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious those meals are. Meats and chickens come out so tender and entirely infused with the
flavors that you have added, not to mention the unbelievable convenience of putting up dinner in the morning before you leave to work and coming home 4-6 hours later to a scrumptious, hot, perfectly cooked meal!

One-pot meals are the solution for us mothers for quick and easy cooking when you really don’t have the time or patience to cook, but you don’t really have a choice. Additionally, it is the perfect way to make a meal that is meant to be cooked slow and long, but not make you feel like
you are stuck in the kitchen the whole day babysitting your pot.

One-pot meals come in all shapes and sizes, but all with the common concept of putting a variety of ingredients into one cooking pot and then setting it and forgetting it.  There’s no anxiety-ridden moment about getting the timing right so that the various components of your meal are ready at the same time. This is, of course, a relief for all those who aren’t that proficient in the kitchen. Best of all, instead of a sink full of
dirty pots and pans to scrub after dinner, there is only one pot to clean.

tuscan eggplan tomato chickpea stew

For an every day dinner try my Tuscan Eggplant, Tomato & Chickpea Stew.  There is nothing more Italian in my very non-Italian mind than putting together eggplant and tomatoes. It is this quintessential pairing that makes this vegetarian stew so hearty and delicious. Adding the chickpeas or any other legume, gives it an old-world Tuscan flavor and heartiness, reminiscent of what the farmers, working the beautiful countryside, enjoy as their midday meal. I make this dish for lunch, and usually sauté some dark chicken cutlets and/or stew meat to add to the pot for dinner the next night.

Italian Wedding Soup – The term “wedding soup” is a mistranslation of the Italian minestra maritata, which is a reference to the fact that green
vegetables and meats go well together (“married”). I am not sure that in Italy they actually serve such a soup at weddings.  However, I will say that the marriage of meatballs, pasta, vegetables and flavor makes this soup a dish that my family  loves any night of the week.  It is a great twist on the classic American-Italian meatball and spaghetti dish that kids will devour!

This article was originally published in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Bitayavon Summer issue 2012) – to get more recipes like these and more easy slow cooker recipes subscribe now!


Easy Kosher Deli Roll Video


June 17th 2013

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Watch Jamie Geller show you how simple it is to make her Kosher Deli Roll.


Vegan Corn Chowder and Cold Soup Link Up


June 17th 2013

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As a general rule, chowders are laden with heavy cream and butter.  An 8oz serving of your average corn chowder packs 13 grams of fat (6 of which are saturated).  It also typically takes an hour to cook.  So if you ever needed a reason to avoid putting corn chowder on your menu, I just gave you two.  But I recently made a healthy and raw vegan corn chowder that tastes great!  While this recipe doesn’t require any cooking and is really good cold, which is how I am able to include it in this link up, it can also be gently warmed in the microwave or stove top.  With the heat of summer approaching and a need for easy, plan-ahead Saturday lunch and third meal options, I’m going cold.

I discovered this soup when I was reviewing a fabulous cookbook, Raw & Simple.  I loved how easy it was to make, how tasty it was and how it was filling enough for dinner.  I have added this recipe into our regular rotation and we have been enjoying it at least once a month.  It goes well with Mexican food and you can always add a bean and cheese quesadilla or soft taco when you need a little something more.

At under 200 calories a serving and less than 2 grams of fat you can enjoy this guilt-free soup all summer long and still fit into your favorite swimsuit.  I’ve been using frozen corn for convenience, but I can’t wait for corn season to really see how this soup can be enjoyed at its very best. It would also be fun to serve in shot glasses during a summertime party, I guarantee a lot of happy guests!

Get my recipe for Vegan Corn Chowder.



Homemade Pizza and Focaccia Recipes With...


June 14th 2013

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No matter how you slice it, pizza has gone mainstream and is now one of the most popular fast foods in North America.  Pizza was first made popular in the United States by soldiers who brought the concept back from Italy at the end of World War II. The literal translation for pizza is “pie,” but pizza pie is generally savory, not sweet. Pizza is usually round in shape and is made from crispy, yet tender yeast dough topped with
tomato sauce, grated mozzarella cheese and various toppings such as bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, even anchovies. Different cheeses can be used: goat cheese, feta, Monterey Jack, Swiss and Parmesan.

Gourmet-style pizzas might be topped with shiitake, porcini or Portobello mushrooms, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, capers, salsa, tomato slices, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini slices, fresh or dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme), sliced red onions or leeks, partly cooked eggplant slices, chopped spinach, garlic slivers, blanched broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus, grilled potato slices, green or black olives, even smoked salmon and cream cheese!

Pizza comes in various sizes and shapes – from mini pizzas which make excellent appetizers to large rectangular family sized pizzas baked on a sheet pan and then cut into squares. The crust can be thin and crispy, thick and chewy, or somewhere in between.  The dough is usually made with all-purpose flour but you can use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flours. Spelt flour has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor but it
works well as an alternative to all-purpose flour in pizza dough.

Pizza is usually baked on a round metal pan ranging in diameter from 12 to 15 inches, with a shallow, rounded raised rim.  If you prefer thick crusted pizza, there are deep-dish pizza pans with 2″ sides. Perforated pizza pans have dozens of small holes to allow moisture to escape and create even browning. Don’t expect great results if you bake pizza on a disposable foil pizza pan – the crust won’t brown properly and will be
pale and doughy.

Baking pizza in the lower third of the oven helps create a nicely browned, crispy crust. Pizza dough can even be grilled on a BBQ about 4 or 5 minutes on the first side, then flipped over, topped with tomato sauce, grated mozzarella cheese and grilled vegetables, then cooked a few minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and golden.

rosemary focaccia

Rosemary Focaccia with Other Appetizer Options

Focaccia is an Italian flatbread made from yeast dough that has been rolled very thin and shaped into a large, flat rectangle or smaller ovals. The dough is then generously brushed or drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Slits are cut into the dough or indentations can be made with your fingertips. The indentations are often stuffed with fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs before baking. Focaccia makes an excellent accompaniment to soups or salads and also is delicious served as an appetizer.

Pizza Pinwheels

This article was originally published in Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Bitayavon Summer issue 2012) – to get more recipes like these and more pizza variations subscribe now!


Build a Healthy Salad


June 13th 2013

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Salads are a great way to get in your daily dose of veggies. If you’re aiming for a light and healthy meal, you may think choosing a salad is a no-brainer. Although this CAN be the case, if made incorrectly, salads can contain more calories and fat than wanted. Whether you prefer making your own chopped salad, or going to the local deli and having them assemble it for you, it IS possible to make a super-nutritious salad that’s even waist-friendly. Here’s how to do it:

Start with a hearty foundation.

Start by choosing a base for your salad that provides important nutrients like folic acid and lutein. Ditch the iceberg lettuce for baby spinach or mixed greens for added vitamins and minerals. Plus, even if you chop up the big spinach leaves, you will still get all of the health benefits!

Load on the veggies.

Pile your favorite fresh vegetables on top of your greens for 25 calories or less per ½-cup serving. Paint the rainbow! Choose a variety of colors to get the most health benefits- think red and green bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. You get extra points for bright-colored vegetables as these are high in antioxidants. Tomatoes, for example, contain lycopene and beta-carotene which are carotenoids that act as antioxidants.

Top it with protein.

While the fiber in the vegetables can provide some satiety, protein is a great way to make sure your salad has some staying power. If you’re opting for animal protein, select a lean source such as skinless chicken or turkey breast, water-packed light tuna, wild salmon, or lean steak. Three ounces is the perfect portion size. If you prefer a plant-based protein source, choose half a cup of cubed tofu or ¾ cup of beans (chickpeas, kidney beans, or black beans).

Add some fat and flavor.

Fat is necessary for absorbing many of the nutrients in this salad, specifically the vitamin A and vitamin K found in the spinach and added veggies. Queue: salad dressing. The dressing that you choose can ultimately make-or-break your salad. When ordering a salad, it is best to request the dressing on the side so that you can control your own portion. Whenever possible, choose light, low-calorie, or low-fat options. I prefer making my own vinaigrette using one part olive oil and three parts vinegar mixed with some mustard, lemon juice, or spices for added flavor.

*And now for one of my favorite summer salads… This recipe is light and refreshing. It is perfect for a beach barbeque or backyard party.

Enjoy my Strawberry Spinach Salad

For more great salad recipes and ideas to help Build Your Own Salad Bar click here.


Father’s Day Recipes


June 12th 2013

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Based on everything I read and hear from my friends and neighbors, Father’s Day often involves grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. That’s also what I ate, growing up, when we spent every Father’s Day at my Uncle Herb’s house.

But those days are long gone. My daughters and their husbands come to my house for the Father’s Day weekend and, to tell the truth, the men would really rather have something else.

In fact, they prefer to eat un-grilled.

My husband Ed would much rather have Chinese food.

He would always rather have Chinese food.

peanut chicken

Kung Pao Gai Ding (Peanut Chicken)

And he would specifically wish for Kung Pao Gai Ding (Chicken with Peanuts). Of course he’d also love some homemade egg roll, fried rice and Sichuan Beef with Orange Flavor. But with the free-for-all going on in my house when the children plus 5 grandchildren come, that’s impossible.

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed Cabbage

Especially because one of my sons-in-law would really really really like Stuffed Cabbage with his Kung Pao rather than an all-Chinese menu. It’s like a combination plate I suppose.

Jesse loves when I serve Chinese food and he loves my modern, innovative recipes. But every once in a while, you know, you need to go back to the source — the Ashkenazi Jewish source — for some old fashioned comfort. And for him that means Stuffed Cabbage.

Because Father’s Day is for the men, so, okay. No problem. He’s going to get his wish. I already made the Stuffed Cabbage and have it in the freezer.

chocolate crinkle cookies

Brownie Cookies

My other son-in-law is one of those wonderful souls who eats whatever I make. Isn’t that a pleasure? So Greg has absolutely no problem feasting on the Kung Pao plus Stuffed Cabbage potpourri.

But Greg always wants something with chocolate for dessert. Every time he and his family stay over I make some chocolate dessert hoping it’s the perfect one. Brownies. Cake. Mousse. Black Bottom Pie. He likes them all but to tell the truth I haven’t created chocolate nirvana for him yet.

I’m hoping to do it this time with Brownie Cookies. I got the recipe from an online friend, Jami Curl, who owns the St. Cupcake bakery in Portland, Oregon and writes a blog called Sprinklefingers. This recipe is marvelous, so I am passing it on.

Get the recipes:

Kung Pao Gai Ding

Brownie Cookies

Stuffed Cabbage


The Long Island Kosher BBQ Championship 2013


June 11th 2013

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The 2nd annual Long Island Kosher BBQ Championship at Temple Beth Torah in Westbury hosted 22 teams and thousands of visitors this past Sunday on a gorgeous sunny day. The Joy of Kosher team including Tamar Genger, Executive Editor of, Shifra Klein, Editor-in-Chief of Joy of Kosher Magazine and Shlomo Klein, Chief Marketing Officer of Joy of Kosher Magazine joined over 30 others to judge this year’s competition which was sponsored by Fairway Market.

Back in 2010 I first wrote about the Asbee Kosher BBQ Championship in Memphis, then in it’s 22nd year and still going strong today.  It is amazing how much kosher BBQ has grown since then. As news of Asbee spread more cities decided to start their own competition and today there are several cities from Atlanta to Kansas City to Alabama and New York with their own Kosher BBQ championships and the Jewish people couldn’t be happier.

There were 22 teams participating in this year’s championship hailing from Long Island, Kansas City, Atlanta, Washington DC, Albany and Bridgeport.  Teams were judged on the creativity of their names as well as how they decorated their booths and many got very creative.  Team names ranged included Fifty Shades of Flayshick, OU Gotta Taste This Q, Macher Meats, Jew-nited States of BBQ, Hakadosh BBQ, Korbonos Kings, RaBBi-Q and 4 Moyals and a BrisKit, here are few pictures of some of the booths.

Then of course there was the food.

If you are wondering what it is like to be a judge, I can tell you that judging a BBQ championship is not very lady like, no forks allowed.   Somehow I did manage to stay clean with the help of many wipes, not to mention all the jokes I got for using a toothpick during the first round.  At least they did offer spoons for the beans.

Here is Fleish Gordon at the judges table, he dressed for the occasion.

I was also joined by Hadassah Sabo Milner from In The Pink, Ilan Kornblum from Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine and Dani Klein from, hope to see you all again next year.

In addition to the championship, there was a pickle-eating contest, a basketball skills tournament (got to work off all that food) and Kids play zone filled with bounce houses, face painting and more.

Finally, here are the winners.

Team Name: Grillin’ Tefillin
Best Booth: Grillin’ Tefillin
Beans: Uncle Mordy and the Meatzva Girlz
Chicken: Shloimy’s Shmoke House
Ribs: Grillin” Tefillin
Brisket: Hakadosh BBQ

Grand Champion: Grillin’ Tefillin

If you missed out on this fabulous event, but still want to get your kosher BBQ fix, find Brisket winner, Hakadosh BBQ at various locations around NY every Sunday this Summer.  Click here for locations and dates.

It is no secret that Jewish and BBQ go together, on this year’s Food Network Star, contestant Chad Rosenthal describes himself as a “BBQ Jew from Philly” he doesn’t keep kosher, but I am rooting for him, you never know maybe we can get him to join us at next years Kosher BBQ championship.