New Recipes Using Homemade Dried Falafel Mix


December 12th 2013

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It really doesn’t get any better than homemade falafel fresh out of the oil! But making falafel can be a bit of a pain and I find myself wanting to just go out and buy falafel or use that boxed mix to make them at home. Instead of using that sodium-filled falafel mix from a box, I’ve created my own easy recipe for homemade dried falafel mix using garbanzo bean flour. The falafel mix is filled with the flavors of cumin, parsley, paprika, garlic, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder and it tastes good on just about anything.

Falafel-Crusted Chicken with Tahini Sauce

There’s nothing better than a juicy piece of chicken, especially with some serious crunch from the skin! For the Falafel-Crusted Chicken with Tahini Sauce, I drizzled the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper then dipped it right in the dried falafel mix. It has some major flavor impact from the homemade dried falafel mix and cooking the chicken at a high temperature created the perfect crust. Inspired by the flavors of the mediterranean, I mixed together a quick and flavorful tahini sauce to drizzle over the chicken.

Falafel-Crusted Cheesy Potato Croquettes

Falafel-Crusted Cheesy Potato Croquettes

So not only can you make delicious falafel balls and crunchy chicken, you can practically dip anything in the homemade dried falafel mix so make a big batch! Instead of frying up your average croquette, try dipping leftover creamy mashed potatoes in homemade dried falafel mix for a new spin on the classic. These Falafel-Crusted Cheesy Potato Croquettes have a crunchy exterior and a creamy and cheesy mashed potato filling. Perfect as an appetizer or side dish!



Spread The Joy with Masbia and Get Cookbooks and...


December 12th 2013

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Masbia is a non profit soup kitchen and food pantry located in New York.  They have four locations around Brooklyn and Queens and work daily to bring hot, nutritious meals for hundreds of people in need.  Masbia works to not only feed the hungry, but to provide free, wholesome, and delicious meals for people in a restaurant-style environment, with volunteer waiters serving each person with respect and dignity.

Jamie, Shifra and I spent a few hours out in the Masbia Kitchen in Flatbush.  We were so impressed by everything they are doing and the quality of the food and cleanliness of the restaurant that we knew we had to share it all with you as part of our ongoing effort to Spread The Joy.

Now, we have teamed up with Masbia to make it even more fun to give.  Right now when you donate to Masbia we will give you a free gift.  Here is out it works.

For every $180 donation, we will send you a 1-year subscription for our Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine.

Donate $360 and we’ll send you a magazine subscription along with our new cookbook, Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh, Family Recipes.

For a $540 donation, you can choose several gifts.  So for every donation of 30 meals at $180 you will be eligible for a gift of your choice.

You can also follow our lead and volunteer in the Masbia kitchen, cooking nourishing meals for the needy who eat there every night. Or, donate a single meal at $6, or a meal for four at $24. Every little bit helps. Please act now!

For more information and to donate to Masbia click here and continue to Spread the Joy.


A Hot Winter Drink From The Middle East


December 11th 2013

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The first time I encountered saklep (also known as sachlav, sahlab, sachlab, salep and several more) was about 15 years ago visiting Israel during my school break.  My boyfriend was studying abroad in Jerusalem at Hebrew University and I was visiting for a week.  We spent the entire week eating our way through Israel (not much has changed, I was a foodie even then).  I remember my first kosher Kentucky Fried Chicken and kosher McDonald’s plus hidden gems like The Waffle Lady, who would hand out hot Belgian waffles from a storefront in Jerusalem that was the size of a walk-in closet.  But one of my most interesting food experiences that trip was discovering a hole in the wall in the Old City on a cold February afternoon where I ordered a hot Saklep.  It was a memory I will never forget.  Aromatic and soothing and filling with texture and a rich creaminess that I can still picture 15 years later.

I’m not sure why now, perhaps it was the cold temperatures that plunged New York City into a deep freeze a couple of weeks ago, but I finally decided to try and recreate the memory at home after seeing it appear in Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, and in addition to a delicious recipe I also learned that a chilled version is actually Malabi (which we already have on this site), so now I have a treat for the summertime.

Saklep is a popular winter drink throughout the Middle East with endless regional variations.  The main thickening agent should come from an orchid tuber and you can generally find it in the shuk, but for those of us in the diaspora, corn starch can be a pretty good substitute.

To make saklep, thicken your milk of choice. I use almond milk, mix in some rose water (some people also like orange blossom water), a little sugar and top with cinnamon, nuts and raisins to taste.  I even made a version with a tablespoon of pumpkin puree mixed in — not so authentic, but delicious!

Here is my Saklep recipe, give it a try.


Homemade Dried Falafel Mix


December 10th 2013

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Posted 12/10/2013 by Melinda Strauss
I love snacking on falafel balls but they are usually such a process to prepare and I never get around to making them. With this easy homemade dried falafel mix, all you have to do is mix together a few ingredients and it's time to nosh! This mix is also great on chicken and fish.

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You’re Invited To Our #ChosenCandy Pinterest...


December 10th 2013

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We have been working with the good people from Mike and Ike and Goldenber’g Peanut Chews for the past couple of months and it has been so much fun, we thought we would host a pinterest party for all of you with pins to inspire family activities, amazing recipes and gorgeous decor with candy.

In addition, we will be giving away 3 exciting prizes for you all to enjoy.

Three lucky pinners will be selected to win one of the following fabulous prizes:

  • 1 year subscription to the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine
  • $25 candy prize package
  • $50 candy prize package

The Hosts (make sure to follow all of us)

Amy from What Jew Wanna Eat
Melissa from Lil Miss Cakes
Sina from The Kosher Spoon
Chani from Busy in Brooklyn
Abbey from Not 2 Shabbey
Shoshana from Couldn’t Be Parve

To Join:

1.  Follow the #ChosenCandy Party board on Pinterest  by clicking here.

2. Look out for the party question pins …  winners will be chosen at random during the party and then announced at the end of the party via the comment box in the party question pins.

3.  Re-pin, like and be inspired by the #ChosenCandy pins during the hour and tag #ChosenCandy in any of your pins.


Disclaimer:  This post is part of a sponsored campaign.  All opinions are my own.



Contest Rules

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Pinterest. We hereby release Pinterest of any liability. All contests are valid for US residents only, unless otherwise stated.  Winner(s) will be announced on pinterest and should email us at with  48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!


8 Different Ways to Cook Carrots


December 10th 2013

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Eh, What’s Up Doc?

Carrots are an under valued vegetable.   They are pretty much staples in most homes, everyone seems to have a bag of baby carrots in their fridge and they are an excellent, crunchy and healthy anytime snack.  They are high in Vitamin A and have a sweet taste most people enjoy.  Still, I never think of serving them as a side dish.  I use them in soup and I pack them in lunches, but I rarely serve them for dinner.

Things are about to change, I have a whole new appreciation for carrots, serve them raw, roasted, mashed or fried, carrots are back.  I have even found that not all carrots are created equal.  I enjoy the convenience of the baby carrots, but I really love the flavor of Jumbo carrots and they are surprisingly filling.  It is time to reconsider carrots and bring them back to our plates.  Here are 8 different ways to feature carrots in your upcoming meals.

Pomegranate Glazed Carrots

Pomegranate Glazed Carrots

Carrots served with a tangy Pomegranate glaze accompany this brisket beautifully, but would be great with chicken or fish too.

maple glazed carrots

Maple Roasted Carrots With Goat Cheese

I would not have thought of this combo, Maple and Goat Cheese Carrots, but it totally works and is almost a meal in itself.  Serve with some dark leafy greens and fish for a satisfying and healthy meal.  If you want to keep them even simpler, try these Cinnamon Glazed Baby Carrots.

carrot muffins

Carrot Muffins

Of course carrots bake up real nice in dessert, hello Carrot Cake, make it easier with these muffins you can serve for breakfast or dinner.  I love squeezing some carrots into my kids at dessert time.  Get the recipe.

Non dairy Creamy Carrot Soup

Creamy Carrot Soup

Cook and puree those carrots for a hot and creamy soup.  This one is a real keeper, you can even enjoy the leftovers for lunch.

cucumber and carrot salad

Balsamic Carrot and Cucumber Ribbon Salad

Shave your carrots with a peeler into ribbons for a new way to add to salads.  It changes the visual and the texture.  Carrot Ribbon Salad Recipe.

Cajun Carrot Fries

Try roasting carrot strips and turn them into fries, who can resist these.  If you don’t like cajun use your favorite seasoning, I hear Shawarma seasoning works well too.  Get the recipe. If you prefer chips to fries, make Carrot Chips

This salad uses grated carrots mixed with tarragon and a little cayenne for a unique flavor.

Roasted Carrots Gremolata

Roasted Carrots Gremolata

Finally, one more roasted carrots with a lemony gremolata sauce.

That’s all folks!


A New Educational App For Your Kids


December 10th 2013

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If your kids are anything like mine, they can’t get enough of your phone.  At this point my older boys have their own devices, but my 5 year old daughter is stuck stealing my phone whenever she can get her hands on it.  I wish I was a more disciplined parent, but when I have to get some work done, nothing works as well as handing over that phone.  The compromise is finding games for her that are at least educational.

That is where Animal Alphabet Singers comes in.  Developed for 2-6 year olds, this educational app will keep your little one busy and leave you with a little less guilt.  From the singers and songwriters of Sesame Street, including Emmy and Grammy winning writer Christopher Cerf, renowned animator Jane Aaron and internationally recognized reading specialist and educational expert Marilyn Jager Adams, Ph.D. , I want to introduce you to the new app for all iOS platforms Animal Alphabet Singers set to debut today, December 10th.

The way this app works is through the “learn by association” style that makes learning fun and easy. Each letter of the alphabet has its own animal, with its own unique personality, voice and story. Children not only learn the alphabet, but will be able to distinguish lowercase and capital letters, and become familiar with 26 different animals.

Truth be told my 5 year old is a little old for this game, she knows her letters and is already reading, so she called the game babyish, but she still played it and kept going back to it more than most of the non educational games she has, so that is saying something.   With 4 interactive activities there is something for each kid to learn from.

Check out the Animal Alphabet Singers app, available on all iOS platforms for $3.99 on the iTunes App Store.

Disclaimer: I received a free preview of this app in order to conduct this review, all opinions are my own.



The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Israel Book Party


December 10th 2013

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It’s quite incredible that you all came out on the first cold and rainy night we’ve had in months, thank you, truly.  And thank you for making memories with me just outside the walls of the Old City.  Scroll down for a recap of the food, film, friends and fun.

The evening was magical, the food was stunning and the people, oh the people, were so warm, and happy and friendly and fabulous!  Part of the Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival, the SOLD OUT Israel JOY of KOSHER Book Party was an emotional and festive evening, one I will never forget!

Gabriel kosher restaurant israel

Gabriel, one of Jerusalem’s absolute finest restaurants run by Executive Chef supreme Haim Sandler put out an exquisite spread featuring delicacies including Pickled Salmon, Chicken Liver Pâté, Roast Beef on Toast with Garlic Confit and Salsa Verde and Dark Chocolate Mousse.  Hubby and I have celebrated every special occasion at Garbiel – our anniversary, birthdays and book pub party for two with Chef Haim’s chateaubriand – prepared to perfection it is the absolute most flavorful and tender steak we have tasted in ALL of Israel.

New friends Menachem and Ruth Katz of cool NEW Efrat eatery Bodega Sushi & Plancha set a Mexican Asian Fusion spread including: Salmon Avocado Sushi with a Confit Relish of Spicy Peppers, Sushi with Jalapeño Pepper in Panko Crust and Freshly Made Tortilla Chips.  The fusion food was so impressive we ordered 2 sushi platters for our big family Shabbos the next day.  Hubby and I can’t wait to steal a night out and hang at this cozy Bodega in the Gush.

Holy Mamma!  Holy Cacao showed up with a crazy extensive selection of bean to bar crafted chocolates.  And chocolate maker Jo Zander of Joy of Israel Ep #3 fame was there live and in-person to meet and greet and chat chocolate with each guest.

Head honcho of Jerusalem Wine Club, founder (and Geller family friend!) Eli Poch (pronounced “Posh” – no, not his stage name), was SO in his element as he poured and discussed the evening’s selections: From the mid series of Gvaot Winery (elegant fruit forward wines),  Saslove Winery (well developed full bodied wines with a smokey finish) and Gush Etzion Winery (fruity crisp whites and full bodied flavorful reds).  We are proud card carrying members of Eli Poch’s Jerusalem Wine Club, a full-service, one-stop wine experience, including winery tours, and a store located in Efrat.

There would be no party without out our incredible hosts the Jerusalem Cinematheque.  They selected Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller  to be featured at a special screening during their Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival and they graciously offered to host the JOY of KOSHER book launch party in conjunction with the screening.  It is a true honor to have been featured at the festival, recognized as a filmmaker, and welcomed into the Cinematheque family.  Daniella, Daniel, Alon, Sivan and Eran bent over backwards and went out of their way (if it’s possible to do both at once) to accommodate every single detail.  I love them and thank them!

A super special thank you to professional photographer extraordinaire Debbi Cooper.  She truly captured the energy and excitement of the evening.  Her warm and inviting smile on the other side of the lens made it easy to smile back!

Thank you to everyone who came out and made the evening so very special.  My favorite part is meeting all of you, talking to all of you, and hugging (most of) you!  The Cinematheque promised us the ENTIRE floor next year which means more food and more room for everyone. Can hardly wait!

Check out this coverage of the party from JN1.


Traveling And Keeping Kosher


December 9th 2013

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Name a country and one of the first things that comes to mind is the local cuisine. Italy is synonymous with pasta and basil, France has its baguettes and cheese, and what would Spain be without its famous tapas? However, for the Kosher Traveler, the thought of local cuisine in a foreign country doesn’t always elicit such a positive response. Often times, after a long day spent marveling at the beauties of a small village in Andalusia or a large city like Paris, the Kosher Jet-setter often finds himself longing for a simple meal in a local tavern, only to be confronted by walls of pork. And of course, when you do find a kosher restaurant, it’s often an over-priced imitation of Israeli food that you might as well have made at home.

There are, of course, a number of creative solutions. I visited Spain recently for research purposes and had very few kosher options at my disposal. With a little creativity and foresight though, I managed to eat fantastically. There were meals of delicate ceviche, fresh salads, wraps, the best tuna salad ever made and even soup made in an electric kettle! With a few simple ingredients, one can transform a hotel kitchenette into a mini gastronomic experience (see recipes below).

However, most people find that meticulously planning ahead, bringing dry goods and a pot and pan in their suitcase and dealing with local kosher certification is less than ideal.  Indeed, washing a fishy cutting board in a hotel bathroom sink using their tiny bottles of soap is one of the more frustrating experiences life has to offer. Most Jews I know travel to get far, far from their own kitchen. In fact, most Jewish Mothers I speak to tell me that their idea of a perfect vacation is one where they don’t have to set foot in a kitchen.  And at the end of the day, most Glatt Kosher Globetrotters still don’t get to experience the fresh pasta of Italy, the vinegar-cured sardines and spicy olive oil of Spain, or the exquisite French pastries.

Kosher Culinary Adventures was born to fill this culinary void. It started off rather innocuously–chef Avicam Gitlin was invited to Italy to cook for friends and family. The guests loved getting such an authentic travel experience, and he loved the challenge of sourcing the best kosher products and creating local dishes. Kosher Culinary Adventures has now expanded to include cycling trips in Tuscany (as well as regular vacations there), Spain, and Provence, and will be adding Greece and Croatia to its repertoire this summer.  We specialize in using the freshest local ingredients and years of culinary know-how, to create menus that are authentic, delicious, and best of all, KOSHER!

For those of you who will be traveling and keeping kosher, we have a great recipe for a ceviche that can be made in your hotel room. The only equipment you need is a cutting board, bowl, and knife. This recipe was inspired by a desire to create a colorful, simple appetizer that incorporated different textures–crunchy, bright red, sweet and sour beets, a fresh, white, slightly chewy fish, and a smooth, creamy, green avocado puree.

For those of you who just want a recipe to wow your guests at a shabbat meal, we have a slow-braised asado recipe. Asado is a popular cut of meat in Israel. It’s a short-rib cut, highly flavorful and full of delicious fat, which makes it wonderfully succulent and tasty. it works best when braised for long periods of time. We made ours with pomegranate juice and garlic, and served it with fried disks of polenta and a mushroom-fig ragu.

Ceviche with Pickled Beets and Creamy Avocado

Pomegranate-glazed Asado

For more recipes, blog posts, and information, visit us at or send us an email at

**All photos courtesy of Bracha Arnold and Nechama Jacobson**


Recent Travels and Demos


December 6th 2013

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We had so much fun this year with the once in a lifetime convergence of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.  On the site, in the magazine and even in person.  Although Hanukah goes way beyond the externals of the “traditional” foods, Thanksgiving is very much tied to the official “Thanksgiving dinner,” and as such, people were looking for interesting ways to have their turkey with their latkes.

That’s where Shfira Klein comes in.  Many communities called upon Shifra, the editor-in-chief of the Joy of Kosher magazine to demonstrate various Thanksgivukkah menu options. She had a lot of fun, check it out.

On the menu in both Chabad of Cobb, GA and Chabad of Chattanooga, TN:

Eggplant with Tahini Sauce topped with a Fresh Herb Salad and Supremed Lemon
Naturally Sweetened Iced Tea
Stuffed Latkes
Chicken Roll-Ups with Cranberry Sauce
Kale Quiche
Chocolate Parfait

On to Chabad of Atlanta.  The glamorous event featured the same menu, but with a Shabbos twists, like 6 types of cholent and 4 types of challah with dip.

The cooking demonstration combined Chanukah, Thanksgiving, and Shabbos all rolled into one, including all of the above plus more.

At the Chabaad of Westport, CT, I hosted a unique event for teens – A Kosher “Chopped” contest where the teen contestants, were divided into four groups, and each given a closed box of regular and unique ingredients consisting of potatoes, kale, fresh cranberries and prepared horseradish along with regular pantry ingredients with which to make an original latke and sauce.

The contestants were given a basic latke recipe to use as inspiration. Midway through the competition, they were also given a curve-ball ingredient – fresh parsley or mint which they had to incorporate as well.

The final dishes were judged by Shifra Klein, food blogger Liz Rueven of and 2 other local foodies and the teams scored points for taste, creativity and presentation. The contest proved to be a lot of fun for the teens and a wonderful way to get them into the Chanukah spirit and some very interesting and tasty dishes were created.

Comment below if you attended any of these demos and stay tuned for for more info on upcoming events:

February 4th and 5th in San Diego

March  3rd and 4th in  Maryland

March 6th in Merick, Ny


For more information or to bring Shifra Klein to your community, email:


Whole Grain Farro Recipes


December 6th 2013

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Whole grains have become wildly popular in recent years but I don’t think this is just another “hot” culinary trend. Spelt, farro, wheatberries, quinoa and so many other grains that once seemed so weird or exotic are now everyday staples in our kitchens. Recipes abound.

That’s good news, not only because whole grains are healthy, but because there are so many of them. Each has a different taste and texture, so it’s a certainty you’ll find at least one or two to your liking. They also add amazing variety to our diets, which helps ease the boredom factor when it comes to dinner.

When my children were young and still living at home, the staple starch side dish was either white rice or egg noodles. But I served them too often.

Don’t we all do that?

Fortunately, the “please-don’t-make-this-anymore” came at a good time: the growing awareness of whole grains. I tried several kinds, just to bring something new and different to the table. This was a big, important find for the Fein family. It opened up new vistas for us and, I must confess, it took longer to convince my husband, but he gets it now too.

Our favorite? Farro. Brown, nutty-tasting, toasty-flavored farro. Filling, like a starch. Full of nutrients and fiber. Satisfyingly chewy.

I have to be careful not to make it too often or it will become the new white rice.

farro salad

Farro Salad

Farro is sometimes called Emmer wheat and, in fact, is a wheat-like grain (although it is lower in gluten than wheat). Some people also say it is the same as spelt, but it isn’t (although spelt is also in the wheat family).

I’ve used farro for practically every course. No desserts yet, but I’m not finished experimenting. I’ve found that it makes a good, plain side dish, doused with olive oil or butter, depending on the meal, and you can dress it up easily with some chopped fresh herbs such as dill or thyme. You can add all sorts of stuff to that: crushed toasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, cooked peas, and so on.

I’ve added farro to soup (instead of rice) and made pilafs with it. In fact, sometimes I now make Mujadarah, one of our very favorite dishes, with farro.

farro pilaf

Farro Pilaf

Most of my farro recipes are salads. I cook the grain, add some vegetables, raw (tomatoes, cucumber, celery) or cooked (carrots, asparagus, broccoli) or packaged (beans, thawed frozen peas or corn), douse with a vinaigrette and I’m done. Meat salad? I just add some chopped, cooked leftover of whatever I cooked for dinner the night before; this is an amazing use for leftovers.

Dairy? I add cheeses such as feta, goat, mozzarella, Fontina. Sometimes I mix in a few dried cranberries and/or chopped nuts. Usually, when I make a cheese-based salad and include dried fruit, I also make a sweeter dressing, typically including orange juice in place of some of the wine vinegar.

If you’re cooking for two – as I do mostly these days – farro can be an especially good friend. I make a batch, use half as a side dish for one dinner and the other half for the next day’s salad or casserole.

Get the recipes for Farro Pilaf and Farro Salad

For more farro recipes browse here.


Meir Panim’s Free Restaurants Spread The Joy


December 5th 2013

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One cool Jerusalem morning last month, I met Aryeh, the head of operations at the Meir Panim Free Restaurant near the city’s Central Bus Station. As part of Meir Panim’s efforts to ease the burden of poverty for many of Israel’s impoverished residents, this particular Free Restaurant – one of seven across Israel – serves approximately 250 meals daily.

Before Aryeh begins directing me and the rest of the volunteers, he gives me a tour. There’s a large industrial kitchen, plus a storage area for food. He shows me the collection of clothing that people have dropped off for him to distribute.

I’ve volunteered at other soup kitchens in Jerusalem and in the US, but something’s different here at Meir Panim. The dining area is set up in an attractive and homey manner, and there are decorations on the walls. This soup kitchen is not traditional – rather it is more like a restaurant.

Throughout the course of the day, volunteers peel, chop and prepare vegetables, set tables, and put the finishing touches on the day’s meal. I’m intrigued by a young family speaking Dutch. Israel is definitely a melting pot of cultures, with residents and visitors coming from all corners of the globe. I meet Abigail, who came to Israel for a three-week vacation with her husband and two children. While in Jerusalem, the family decided to volunteer. Through Twitter, Abigail found Meir Panim.

“We came as a way to meet the people of Israel, and teach our children to be giving,” she said, “We wanted to give to those in need.” Her husband, Michael, and 11-year-old son, Gregor, routinely volunteer at a local soup kitchen in their home city of Gouda. Michael said the experience at Meir Panim is much different than in Holland, where people must pay a small fee in order to receive meals. In just a few days, Gregor has connected with some of the diners and is greeting them with high-fives and big smiles.

As we finish preparing the meal, Aryeh opens the front door and lets diners in. They are a mix of Israeli society –young and old, religious and non-religious, people sitting with others and people who choose to sit alone. As we serve the meals, which are complete with bread, soup, chicken, vegetables and fresh fruit, a few women speak with me. I ask them about their families, as they ask me about mine.

Eighty-five-year-old Ruth tells me that Meir Panim is “something extra,” because they provide her with a warm lunch every day. Widowed, Ruth said she fell into a depression after her husband passed away four years ago. Now, Meir Panim helps her stay active, social, fed and satisfied with her life. “They take care of us and are kind,” she said. “This institution is doing a huge mitzvah taking care of us – the people of Jerusalem who have no family or work to sustain them.”

Many of the diners are Holocaust survivors, Aryeh told me. Menachem, a soft-spoken man, tells me he remembers going to school in Poland. With a smile, he laughs about how incredible it is that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren study in yeshivot in Israel, especially after he lived through the Shoah.

“We know that there is a great need for poverty assistance in Israel and we do our best to provide food and other services,” Aryeh told me. Nearly 20 percent of Israeli families are living in poverty, according to the National Insurance Institute’s latest report. It revealed that a staggering 1.8 million people, including 860,900 children, live below the poverty line. Since 2000, Meir Panim has been responding to this urgent demand in a variety of ways.

Annually, the organization serves at least 300,000 free meals out of restaurant-style soup kitchens, which also prepare meals-on-wheels for delivery to an additional 125,000 people. Meir Panim also targets children in impoverished areas, offering hot lunches, after-school clubs and summer day camps. All programs give dignity, respect and relief to many of the country’s neediest residents.

Looking to better serve Israel’s impoverished population, the organization is constructing the Mortimer Zuckerman & Abigail Zuckerman Israel Nutrition Center in Southern Israel. This center will prepare and distribute up to 30,000 meals daily. Once completed, it will be Israel’s largest food production facility, feeding thousands of people in need and creating hundreds of new jobs for local residents. Meals at this 50,000 square-foot facility will be prepared by a renowned Israeli catering company, which will provide high-quality, healthy and balanced meals.

There are various ways to help Meir Panim’s efforts. If you live in Israel or are planning a trip to Israel, you can coordinate to volunteer at a Meir Panim Free Restaurants by emailing To donate to Meir Panim, click here!

See Jamie’s visit in this video below:


Photos provided by Meir Panim


10 Hearty and Warming Soup Recipes


December 4th 2013

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It has been pretty cold in the Northeast so far and it isn’t even Winter yet.  Warm yourself and your family up with these recipes for hearty soup.  These soups are rich enough to be a one pot meal with some nice crusty bread on the side.  Try them all, it is a long Winter ahead.

wonton soup, italian bean

Chicken Gumbo Soup

Chicken Gumbo Soup

Pair up chicken and okra to make this New Orlean’s style Chicken Gumbo.  Not your regular chicken soup and much heartier.

French onion soup

French Onion Soup

It is very hard to get a great French Onion Soup unless you make it yourself.  What are you waiting for? Here’s our Quick & Kosher Recipe.


Escarole and Chicken Meatball Soup

Sort of like an Italian Wedding Soup, this soup has little meatballs made from ground chicken and fresh greens mixed in.  Serve as is or with a side of steaming hot rice.  Get the recipe here.

turkey sausage and lentil soup

Turkey Sausage and Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is healthy and filling.  This version gets spiced up with some turkey sausage and don’t forget the carrots for that gorgeous splash of color. Here is the soup recipe.

Italian Vegetable Soup with Cheese Bread

Italian Vegetable Soup with Cheese Bread

Here is another version of Minestrone for you.  Try orzo in this soup and lots of veggies, the kids love this soup.



This recipe won the Manischewitz Cook-Off last year for it’s unique flavor fusion.  Give it a try.

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup is a classic for a reason. It really is a great soup that can be made with or without meat, added beans, or anything you like, even Kale.  Try this version for Mushroom Barley Soup.

creamy pumpkin soup

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

This soup gets an added flavor boost from porcini mushrooms in the broth. You can make it using fresh or canned pumpkin.

baked potato soup

Baked Potato Soup

Baked potatoes are fluffy and tasty especially when stuffed with all the goods.  Turn the whole thing into a soup for a real warming treat. Get the recipe.


Ribolita - Tuscan Bread Soup

Use up leftover bread in this vegetable filled soup. Surprise yourself with this gem of a recipe.

Main Image: Spiced Chicken and Lentil Soup


How To Use Gefen Wonder Melts and Cookbook...


December 4th 2013

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Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracle melts… Versatile, creamy, colorful and easy to use, Gefen Wonder Melts can be used to satisfy all your candy-making and candy-dipping desires.  Gefen Wonder Melts are mouthwatering melt-in-your-mouth candies that come in a variety of bright colors and are non-dairy — so they can brighten your baking and crown your cookies in so many different ways.  Here we have a few ways that you can use these versatile sweet treats in your kitchen:


Decorative Flower Shape


9 Fun Colors (create your own unique colors by combining them)

Let Your Creativity Flow with Homemade Confections

For more fantastic ideas using Gefen Wonder Melts with step by step instructions visit our friend EstherODesigns.

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5 Minute Party Food


It’s party time!!  Even though Hanukkah is almost over, there is still lots of time to party.  With these cold Wintery nights ahead, it is more fun to invite everyone in rather than go out.  That doesn’t mean you want to spend hours preparing.  Enjoy these recipes for 5 Minute Party Food.

When feeding a crowd it is always great to serve mouthwatering food with distinctive flavors that leave people wowed and make the food and party a memorable experience; good food really has that power. There are many exciting new kosher products available for the ever-growing palate of the kosher consumer. Jack’s Gourmet provides high-quality kosher charcuterie that is authentic and provides the kosher cook with flavors and textures that weren’t always available.  In addition to great flavor, the products are versatile, contain NO fillers, are gluten free, and contain no MSG. As the items are ready to serve in a matter of minutes, they make for a versatile and epicurean ingredient that can be prepared in many ways.

Enjoy these 5 – 5 minute part food recipes here:

Facon Wrapped Chicken Breast

Bratwurst Sliders

Spicy Italian Style Salami Crostini

Facon with Maple Syrup

Chorizo Tacos

As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller – Subscribe Now.