VIDEO How To: Hamantaschen

 

February 24th 2015

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As the JOK Taster I’ve been cooking up a lot of yummy’ness lately – but this project, well it’s one that I think you’re really gonna enjoy. We’ve made a really fun and quick video to boost your hamantaschen inspiration. If you’ve been having a hard time getting into the baking mood take a minute and watch the video, really it’ll only take you a minute, ok 90 seconds to be exact :) but truly, its worth it. And if you’re already uber excited about spending some quality time in the kitchen for Purim this video will at least bring a smile to your face.

The actual hamantaschen that I made in this video is a compilation of a couple of recipes (how could I, the JOK Taster choose only one?) The dough that I used in the video was one of Tamar’s wonderful recipes. I tried the recipe both with the optional lemon juice and without it. Both versions are great, and I was really amazed at how much crispier they turned out with the lemon juice – almost like a totally different cookie. So now you have a reason to make a double batch … ;)

I love how versatile hamantaschen are, you can fill them with just about anything. One of the recipes that I found when I was “researching” for this video (I mean come on, how can I really call it research? I got to pour over recipes, for hamantaschen and call it work?!?!?!) called for Junior Mints. I was sold on that idea right away. Chocolate & mint. Sold! However, the grocery store was sold out. They didn’t have the first package of them anywhere. So I looked for the next best alternative, something that was at least shaped similarly to the Junior Mint. Thus the Milk Dud made its entrance. And was it a WOW hamantaschen!!! I am SO glad I couldn’t find the Junior Mints that first time I ran to the grocery store for supplies. Because now I have two GREAT ideas and both of them include chocolate with some of its best parings!

We can’t leave out the faithful standby, the jelly filled hamantaschen. The filling that’s so quick and easy anyone can do it and bake hamantaschen that look like they are filled with jewels. If you still want some more ideas for fillings, something exotic maybe or one that you remember your bubbe making here is a list of six more filling ideas!

 

Chag Sameach!


 

The Secret Israeli Ingredient That Will Change...

 

February 24th 2015

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Not long ago I was eating a delicious Crème Brûlée at a popular restaurant in Tel-Aviv when I noticed the chef had used sesame as his main ingredient. As I savored my dessert, I started thinking about these flavorful little seeds and just how central they are to Israeli cuisine.

In fact, you could call sesame the king of Israeli cuisine.

Thankfully sesame is also good for you. Actually, sesame seeds are little energy bombs. They’re not only full of nutrients, but they’re also some of the best sources of calcium. That’s why I start my day with sesame. Along with my morning cup of coffee, I mix a teaspoon of raw tahini (made from 100% sesame) with a teaspoon full of silan (date honey). It’s my daily adrenaline shot. In the afternoon, when I need to raise my blood sugar, I also snack on some curly sweet halva or break off a small piece of vanilla halva.

There are countless delicacies you can prepare with sesame seeds and sesame products. I’ve chosen to share my secret recipes for fresh colorful tahini.

The good news is that instead of buying at the grocery the pre-prepared tahini paste, you can easily prepare at home healthier fresh tahini that contains no stabilizers and preservatives. While the traditional tahini spread contains only raw tahini, water, lemon and some salt – my colorful tahini pastes will upgrade every meal and surprise your guests.

Make your own colourful acorn squash, beet, spinach and silan tahini with this Colorful Tahini Recipe.

Colorful-Tahini


 

/RECIPE/ Broccoli Stalk Salad

 

February 23rd 2015

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This week I went for the pickled recipe straying from my normal sweet tooth. Really I am a health conscious person, one day I’d love to learn how to make a real loaf of sour dough bread. But for now I’ll keep perfecting yogurt, water kefir, and broccoli stalk salad.

 

If you have a food processor, it makes this recipe SO FAST! It’s the waiting on a watched pot to boil that will take you a long time. My one caution with this recipe: brace yourself for the scent of vinegar to be magnified 100 times. :) When I boiled it to dissolve the sugar it let everyone else in the house know I was in the kitchen.

The orange flecks you see in the jar in some are little bits of leftover shredded carrot. I thought while I had the food processor out that I might as well make good use of it, it is my least favorite item to wash. So, I made a shredded carrot salad for lunch.

These pickles are ready in an hour which is really great when your in a pinch, realizing you forgot to pick some up at the store. I’m thinking that they might be pretty good chopped up into relish sized pieces and put in an egg salad….hmmmm, something to try! I would consider the taste of these pickles to be somewhere between a half-sour pickle and a bread and butter pickle. Not too sour but just a light kiss of sweetness. If you’ve never pickled before this would be a great recipe to start with! And it’s a great way to use up your kitniyot Rice Vinegar before Pesach!


 

Win a Seat At Our Sabra Food Blogger Dinner

 

February 23rd 2015

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This March we will be hosting a dinner with all your favorite foodie bloggers and we are giving you a chance to WIN a seat at our table.  The pot luck style dinner is sponsored by our favorite Mediterranean Salad company, Sabra, and most of the food you will enjoy will be made with one of the Sabra salads. You won’t believe how creative our bloggers can be! Check out the variety of recipes we already have and know there are more to come.

Join Tamar Genger (Executive Editor of our site) along with the following bloggers:

Alessandra Rovati from DinnerInVenice.com

Liz Reuven from KosherLikeMe.com

Chanie Apfelbaum from BusyInBrooklyn.com

Melinda Strauss from Kitchen-Tested.com

Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox from MayIHaveThatRecipe.com

Shushy Turin from CookingInHeelss.com

Kim Kushner from KimKushner.com

Meghan Wolf from TheDomesticatedWolf.com

Jessica Matthews and Stephanie Hanan from TheKosherFoodies.com

Sarah Klinkowitz from SimplyInspiredKitchen.com

Melissa Kaye from LilMissCakes.com

Hindy Garfinkel from ConfidentCookHesitantBaker

Ronnie Fein from RonnieFein.com

Shannon Sarna from TheNosher.com

Bloggers will be bringing dishes such as Risotto Balls, Borekas and maybe even some Schug Brittle.  Special guest Chef Shlomo Schwartz from YourSoulKitchen.com will be cooking up Moussaka, Shakshuka and Roasted Chicken with Eggplant.  In addition to feeding us, Shlomo will be entertaining us with a cooking demo.

Follow along on all your social channels with #ShareSabra as we prepare for and attend the evening. Enter now for your chance to WIN a spot at our dinner along with a friend of your choice.  Dinner will be held on March 10th at 7:30pm on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Note: The event will not be certified by a kosher agency, all food will be prepared in kosher homes.

***Giveaway*** To win a spot share some of our Sabra Recipes on with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and/or Twitter, make sure to use hashtag #ShareSabra and then come here and submit with rafflecopter below.

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How To Decorate A Party Sweets Table *Giveaway*

 

February 23rd 2015

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Every party or Purim Seudah needs a dessert table. The best way to decorate for your party is to invest in the sweets. Now you can create a designer worthy display with these simple tips and tricks.

The first step in any party plan is to come up with a theme. Both a concept and a color or colors to enhance the table.

This party shows a twist on traditional Purim masks and groggers. Set a table with bright contrasting colors, like this blue and white chevron cloth paired with the yellow runner for a pop of color.

Use a customized, matching cake as the focal point of your table.

Get matching miniature cupcakes.

Lucite trays work to modernize the table and add height. Display color coordinated Rice Krispy Treat Pops.

What’s a party these days without cake pops.

Place color coordinated MIKE AND IKE® candies in mini treat cups with customized printed themed cookie pops.

More MIKE AND IKE® candies can be placed in plastic 2 section shot cups, those plus extra
MIKE AND IKE® packages can be used as party favors for adults and kids.

GOLDENBERG’S® PEANUT CHEWS® fill out the table placed in vertical lucite caddies, easily accessible and visually coordinated.

Get extra decorations like these blue and green vases at your local dollar store. Use a hot glue gun to add MIKE AND IKE® candies to white branches to complete the table.

**Giveaway** Now’s your chance to create your own dessert table with a little help from MIKE AND IKE®, win a $50 gift card to use on their online candy store.

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Thank you to everyone that helped make this beautiful table.
Table design by Chava Chase from Pret_A_Partee
Photos by Esti Photography
Lucite containers from HouseofLucites
Tablecloth rental from B & B Party Goods in Lakewood, NJ
Customized mini cake from Cup of Cake
Graphic cookie pops from PickACookie

This post was sponsored by MIKE AND IKE® as part of ongoing partnership.


 

Queen Esther Could Have Been Plant Based, Right?

 

February 20th 2015

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Who is to say whether or not the banquet Queen Esther planned for the King didn’t include some plant-based dishes? There is talk about her vegetarian stance in the palace and just maybe her switch to eating more fruits, vegetables, tubers, legumes, and whole grains impacted how she felt in her body and in the world.

Eating plant-based food might have

  • Stabilized her mood and energy levels throughout the day
  • Given her a taste of her own courage – showing her that she had the capacity to step outside of the mainstream (it is hard not to eat what everyone else is eating).
  • Maybe she even lost a few extra pounds that she had been carrying in the palace.

Back to the feast, she might have tried to serve less meat because she was concerned about the King’s cholesterol level, right?

Creamy Carrot Bisque

Maybe she served a creamy carrot bisque with a cooling cucumber salad. And why on earth wouldn’t she have made a healthier Hamentaschen using the smallest amount of coconut oil possible?  (okay maybe it is a stretch about the coconut oil in ancient Persian Empire).

I find the Talmudic story of Queen Esther’s vegetarianism compelling and inspiring.

For Purim, there are so many opportunities to highlight plant based foods in honor of this story and in honor of our own health.

The meal: Besides traditions of serving Ashkenazi Hamentashen and/or the Sephardi nut and filo pastries, the food that you serve is up to you.  I know that in reality, all the food we serve on Jewish holidays is up to us, it is just that some holidays have more of a script. The Purim meal is more free form so why not experiment with including a plant based dish?

Shalach manot:  Mishloach manot is an opportunity to share healthy food (homemade and store-bought) with people you love while supporting ethical companies who make food products you care about.  If you’re trying to help the people in your life make healthier choices this is another way to show it.  You can honor the spirit of Mishloach Manot while sharing healthy, beautiful and delicious food.

What are you making for your Purim feast.  I’d love to hear in the comments!


 

Week {16} Recipes

 

February 19th 2015

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The recipe list for week 16! This week’s recipe list has two parts to it, the first portion has the quick and easy recipes. The last two are more difficult and take a bit more time. Have you seen Jamie’s new YouTube channel yet? If you’ve not go check it out right here.

Winter Citrus Salad

Fish Bites

Orzo with Chicken, Dill and Chickpeas

Fried and Baked London Broil

Individual Meat Loaves

Broccoli and Walnut Pasta

Broccoli Stalk Salad (Pickled)

Tahini Pomegranate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Mimi’s Chocolate Salami Recipe

Here are a couple for those who want to take the cooking to the next level -
Spicy Szechuan Peanut Crusted Duck Wings  (can be made with chicken wings or even I would love to know if it would work for chicken breast, if someone is willing to try – if you can’t find szeuchan peppecorn it will be lacking though)

Olive Oil Mandarin Truffles


 

Expert Tips On Making Hamantashen

 

February 19th 2015

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Making hamatashen is a fun annual tradition! Whether it’s picking the fillings, deciding on if it will be savory or sweet or even figuring out what kind of drizzle is best, hamatashen are a big part of getting together and celebrating Purim. The only issue is that hamantashen can be very tricky to make. Sometimes the filling oozes out a bit too much or the dough won’t form or the hamantashen open up completely when baking and don’t look at all like Haman’s hat (or ears).  We asked around the kosher cooking world to find out what hamatashen experts do to make the perfect batch. Here are a few tips that will help you with your baking this year:

1. Alex Idov a.k.a The Kosherologist explains that it is very important to keep the hamenstashen dough refrigerated. Alex takes out a little at a time, so the dough will be easier to roll out and work with.

2. Shoshana Ohriner of Couldn’t Be Parve brushes around the edges of the dough circle with egg wash before folding and pinching. The egg will cook in the oven and hold the sides together so they don’t flatten during baking. (Shoshana also shares an all new way to make hamantashen, no rolling involved!! Check it out here)

3. After Tami Weiser of The Weiser Kitchen makes the hamantashen and they are on the tray, she covers them with plastic wrap and refrigerates for 45 min to an hour. After this the hamatashen bake up sturdier.

4. Ronnie Fein of Kitchen Vignettes let us in on the fact that the texture is better if you make the dough a few days ahead and refrigerate it.  Ronnie makes them mini-size and gives them away in small boxes or bags as Purim mishloah manot.

In addition to the tips from our experts, two very important general principles to follow:

1. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment and freeze for 10 minutes before cutting out the circles to keep them from getting sticky.

2. Don’t overfill the hamentashen or they won’t hold nice shapes.

Whatever type of hamatashen you make this year, try following these tips and see how they turn out. Don’t forget to let us know in the comments if these expert tips worked!

As a bonus, check out these exciting hamantashen recipes:

Cappuccino Hamantashen
Cranberry and White Chocolate Hamentashen
Cardamom Scented Hamantaschen with Pear & Goat Cheese Filling

 


 

/RECIPE/ Raw Date Brownies

 

February 19th 2015

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This recipe was just what I needed for a fast, pareve and easy sweet treat. This fit all of my needs very well and its gluten free to boot! I’ll be honest here, this week was very busy for me and I scanned the recipes list that we had this week and I found the one that sounded easiest :) and I’m VERY glad I did because I think I found a treasure here (Pesach is coming fast ya’ll and this will be a GREAT recipe) but then that’s just my opinion!!! :)

If you know me by now, you might realize that when it comes to recipes I don’t feel constricted to stay within the written recipe – I like to be a little um, free with it. And of course, I do have a few little tweaks for the next time I make these brownies. First off I would run the nuts in the food processor longer – until they were really fine. I would not take them to a nut butter consistency but the stage just before that. I feel that this would help the brownie “batter” be a little more moist. Secondly I might add some mint extract, Raw Chocolate Mint Brownies anyone? On Instagram I used the hashtag #rawdatebrownies, make some and join me!


 

5 Unexpected Hamantaschen Flavors

 

February 18th 2015

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Raspberry, poppy seed and chocolate all make for great fillings for those addicting little hamantaschen we get to enjoy each Purim, only thing is those are the only flavors we seem to receive.  I’ve seen some pretty exciting flavors of hamantaschen popping up on instagram pages of kosher bloggers and thought I would join in on the out-of-the-box hamantaschen party.  Below are 5 fun and unexpected hamantaschen flavors.

 

 

Chocolate Mint Hamantaschen: Keep it kid friendly with the perfect flavor duo of chocolate and mint. Make it a shalach manos with a bag of pretzels or chips for a balance of sweet and salty.

 

Cranberry and White Chocolate Hamentashen Recipe

Cranberry and White Chocolate Hamantaschen: These hamantaschen are even better than that time someone replaced the M&MS in your trail mix with crasins and white chocolate, these hamantaschen will become your new go-to treat for Purim.

 

Pareve Cinnamon Dulce De Leche Hamantashen

Pareve Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Hamantaschen: Eat these straight out of the oven with a scope of pareve vanilla ice cream, and you might find that there are none left to give for shalach manos!

 

Gingerbread Hamantaschen with Spiced Apple Filling

Gingerbread Hamantaschen with Spiced Apple Filling:  The weather will slowly be warming (please!) by Purim, but a winter-spiced treat flavored with gingerbread and spiced apples will still be a welcome and warming treat.

 

Cappucino Hamantaschen:  How about a little treat for the adults (ahem, mothers) who were up late making, or running to buy, piles of hamantaschen?  A little coffee and sugar rush will help lift the spirits to enjoy those late night Purim parties.

 

Check out more hamantaschen recipes here!


 

Mishloach Manot in a Jar

 

February 18th 2015

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Mason jars make an incredible gift basket for a variety of edible goodies. You can buy them in bulk (www.amazon.com or your local home goods store) for a mishloach manot treat everyone will remember. You can fill mason jars with anything you can dream up, from  soup to pasta sauce to sweets. Make it extra special by dressing up the jar with ribbon and a fun homemade gift tag.

Here are 10 great ideas for mishloach manot in a jar:

Salad in a Jar

1. Salad in a Jar (try this great tabouleh recipe)

2. Breakfast package (a jar of granola topped with a container of yogurt)

3. Cookies

4. Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Sticks

5. Homemade Pesto

6. Homemade Applesauce

7. Fresh vanilla extract: 4-5 fresh vanilla beans, split with a sharp knife

8. Homemade caramel or chocolate sauce

9. Chocolate bark in a jar

10. Cake in  Jar

 

Joy of Kosher Late Winter MagazineAs seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine

Purim 2014

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Cookbook Spotlight: Chocolate-Covered Katie ...

 

February 17th 2015

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Katie’s favorite food is chocolate. She doesn’t go a day without eating at least one square and one square can sometimes lead to cake for breakfast! She had always thought of chocolate as an enjoyable addition to her day, but while in college her sugar habit started affecting her energy levels. Realizing she couldn’t go on eating how she had been, she began to develop recipes that were sweet but had less effect on her physically. Katie started off by posting recipes online on her blog Chocolate-Covered Katie, which has become an internet sensation. After gaining quite the following on her blog and on social media, Katie has put out a cookbook: Chocolate-Covered Katie: Over 80 Delicious Recipes That Are Secretly Good For You.

Here are a few of the recipes from her cookbook:

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will never believe how easy these Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies are to make. They are scrumptious and full of good-for-you oats.

Chocolate Infinity Pie

Chocolate Infinity Pie is a delicious no-bake dessert. You can make your own Chocolate Cookie Pie Crust using Katie’s recipe from nuts and fruit or you can make it crustless.

Cookie Dough Dip

Although not from her cookbook, one recipe that Katie is famous for on her blog is her Healthy Cookie Dough Dip made from chickpeas! I can’t wait to try this one.

 ***Giveaway***  Win a copy of The Chocolate-Covered Katie Cookbook by commenting below and then getting more chances with rafflecopter.

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Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles: 4 Variations

 

February 17th 2015

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Sweet and sophisticated chocolate truffles are simpler to make than you might think. Earn yourself a compliment at the Purim seudah, or package them in a simple gift box for an elegant and delightful Mishloach Manot. Just don’t forget to save a few of these goodies for yourself.

Classic Chocolate Truffles

If you want to make these Classic Chocolate Truffles parve, you can use 72% chocolate as parve whipping cream is usually sweetened.

Peanut Butter Cup Truffles

Peanut Butter Cup Truffles are a salty but sweet treat that only have one extra step to the recipe but are a mouth-full of delicious flavour.

Almond Joy Truffles

The coconut adds a dynamic texture to the outside of these Almond Joy Truffles and the almond is the center is a delicious surprise.

Spicy Espresso Truffles

Spicy Espresso Truffles are the most exciting variation of these truffles. With a mix of cayenne, espresso and cinnamon, the truffles are full of flavour and delectable.

Truffles can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week, but I know they won’t last that long!

As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine

Late Winter 2014

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Lights, Camera, Cook For An Oscar Night Feast

 

February 16th 2015

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According to film reviewers, the 2015 Oscars Best Picture race is the closest in a decade. Whether it’s Boyhood or Birdman (the two front runners) or The Imitation Game, American Sniper, Whiplash, The Theory of Everything, Selma, or The Grand Budapest Hotel, you can be sure that the Oscars will provide audiences with glamour and plenty of nail-biting moments. While you are sitting at the edge of your seats waiting for the announcement of the winner of the Best Picture category why not try these recipes inspired by the 2015 Oscar Nominated Best Pictures.

 

Boyhood:

Pretzel Wrapped Brats

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood follows Mason Evans, Jr. (played by Ellar Coltraine) while he literally grow up before our eyes on screen. There are many great moments in this film that remind me of my own childhood, whether it be the music or activities like bowling and baseball games, such as the Houston Astros baseball game that Mason and Samantha’s Dad, Mason Sr, (played by Ethan Hawke) take the kids to. Our Pretzel Wrapped Brats with Cider Braised Onions is a perfect combination of two classic baseball foods, hot dogs and pretzels!

 

Birdman:

Stage Deli's Cheese Blintzes

In Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Riggan Thomson (Played by Michael Keaton) is a washed-up actor famous for playing a superhero character called Birdman. Thomson decides to reinvent his career by writing, directing and staring in a Broadway adaptation of a short story. With a movie set in New York City based around creating a Broadway play, it’s hard not to include a recipe for Stage Deli’s Cheese Blintzes. These blintzes are a New York classic.

 

The Imitation Game:

Barley Lentil Vegetable Soup

Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) helped solved the Enigma code during the Second World War. Clearly brilliant, but often unable to decide what food to order,  he was obsessed with his work and didn’t make friends very easily. Turing said he doesn’t like sandwiches, but he was known to order soup so here is a Barley Lentil Vegetable Soup recipe, which would hopefully be to his liking.

 

American Sniper:

Texas Brisket

In the film American Sniper, Bradley Cooper plays real-life Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. For the role, Cooper reportedly had to fill up on 8000 calories a day and he had to eat every 55 minutes in order to look the part. The film begins with Chris Kyle growing up in Texas where, at one point, he takes a job as a rodeo cowboy before he enlists. This Texas BBQ Beef Brisket may not be 8000 calories, even if you eat the whole thing, and it most likely won’t prepare you to be a Navy SEAL,  but I can promise you it will taste delicious.

 

Whiplash:

Not only is the acting superb in Whiplash, especially by Best Actor Nominee J.K. Simmons, the drumming in Whiplash is amazing! If only I could chop that fast in the kitchen, dinner would be ready in minutes. This quick recipe for Minute Roast With Pan Drippings will definitely get you to the couch on time to for the opening monologue by Neil Patrick Harris.

 

The Theory of Everything:

Coffee Cotini

Stephen Hawking (played by Eddie Redmayne) has incredible ideas and moments of inspiration that had to be represented in a visually stunning manner for this film to work. In an early scene of the film, a succession of visual metaphors is used to portray a moment of Hawkings inspiration, which include a swirling cup of coffee to represent light and dark matter. Serve up a delicious Coffee Cotini in honor of this moment.

 

Selma:

Selma is a historical drama focused on the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting-rights marches. The story of the Selma to Montgomery marches had mostly only been told in textbooks and newsreel footage, so filmmaker Ava DuVernay had to be sure to develop the perfect visual and emotional balance in order to create the right environment for the movie. The filming was done in both Selma, Alabama and  in-and-around Atlanta, and the flavour of the American south runs deep throughout the film. Sour Mash Whiskey Glazed Whole Roasted Turkey will guide your senses all the way to the American south.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel:

almond-macaroons

In his classic directorial fashion, director Wes Anderson uses unique ornate visual style to portray thought provoking ideas in the film The Grand Budapest Hotel. The prologue of the film begins in the fictional war-torn Republic of Zubrowka, but soon takes us back to the glory days of the Grand Budapest Hotel in 1932. One of the best moment of the film has to be when the inmates escape from prison using tiny sledgehammers and pickaxes  smuggled to them hidden in colourful dessert. Although I don’t think you will be hiding any tools in these Almond Macaroons, they will be a nice final course to your Oscar Feast.