6 Unexpected Asparagus Recipes


April 22nd 2015

Contributed by:


17 comments | Leave Comment


Is it really finally Spring?

After this cold, snowy Winter, I am really enjoying watching the tulips start to bloom.  We need to get some color back in our life.

Summer will bring us the rainbow with blueberries and raspberries and peaches and plums, but it all starts in Spring with strawberries and mangos and lots of Asparagus.

It’s the little things that get us excited over here at JOY of KOSHER, so we are celebrating Spring with 6 unexpected Asparagus recipes.  Sure you can just steam them, but that is boring.  You can grill or roast them and we do that all the time, but if you are looking for a change or get a big tub of Asparagus in your CSA and don’t know what to do, we really love to wrap them.

Lamb Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Oh, yeah, we went there.  Wrap your asparagus with some incredibly flavorful kosher lamb bacon or if you can’t get that go ahead and use pastrami.  The flavor is elevated even more with a brown sugar topping in these Lamb Bacon Wrapped Asparagus.  A must try.

Crispy California Asparagus Straws

You can also go dairy with these Crispy California Asparagus Straws wrapped in puff pastry and sprinkled with parm.  Perfect make ahead for your next Brunch. (Can you say Shavuot?)

Ever wonder what else you can do with wonton wrappers?  Try wrapping them around asparagus and pan frying them.  For a little added flavor spread some spicy mustard on before you wrap for these unbelievable Fried Asparagus Rolls, just make sure to make an extra batch, they go fast.

Going a little lighter for our Spring picnics is also a good idea and that is when these Asparagus Spring Rolls With Sweet Red Chili Dipping Sauce come in for the perfect waist watching choice that does not skimp on flavor.

Now that we’ve wrapped and rolled you can take it easy with an Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Sandwich.  Pack this gorgeous baguette in your brown bag and watch everyone else covet.

Green Bean and Asparagus Fries

Last, but not least go ahead and turn them into fries!!  Just a dusting of panko and a roast in the oven and you can have Asparagus Fries With Dipping Sauce any day you want.

Hope you enjoyed all our unexpected recipes.  If you can’t get your kids to eat asparagus with one of them then you never will, but that’s okay more for us :) .

Note: Some kosher authorities do not allow the use of the tips of green asparagus, but do allow white asparagus, all these recipes would work with white asparagus.

***Giveaway*** Now it’s time to announce our giveaway brought to us by Winn-Dixie!!  Win a gift bag of kosher food products plus a signed copy of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller.

Comment on this post and enter here with Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{This recipe roundup and giveaway is brought to you by Winn-Dixie, your neighborhood supermarket.  All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow us to create new and special content like this for JoyofKosher.com.}

6 Unexpected Asparagus Recipes - Get ready to Wrap and Roll and Crunch!


A Special Israeli Menu for Yom Haatzmaut


April 22nd 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Every year my synagogue has a big program to celebrate Yom Haatzamut.  The night the holiday begins all the men get together and enjoy a free BBQ.  I am sure it is not only for men, but in my circle the wives stay home with the kids and the men gorge themselves on steak.  Don’t worry we girls have plenty of nights out.  Anyways, the next day the families all come together after school for bounce houses, face painting and mediocre food.  I know I admit to being a food snob, but I would rather make my own.  Despite the busy day I like to have something special to celebrate Israel, be it Israeli flavors and/or blue and white desserts and/or something grilled to celebrate like they do in Israel.  Here is what I have in store this year.

shawarma carrots roasted

I love the flavors of Shawarma so much that I can eat it on anything, but I really love it on roasted carrots.  Try this recipe and go ahead and grill some boneless, skinless chicken thighs coated with the same seasoning to serve along with it.  I am eating light these days, so I’ll stick to the carrots.  You can also make it like the salad above if you prefer, Shwarma Chicken Salad.

Serve the chicken and/or carrots with your favorite lentils, I like Beluga, but you an choose.  Here is a great Lentil Salad recipe you can try.  Don’t forget to serve with some Tahini.

Braised and Raw Kale

I also like to add in some lemony kale aside the chicken, carrots and lentils, now we have a complete yummy meal that celebrates Israel and is good for our bodies.

I will probably just enjoy some mint and lemon in my water as special homage to Israel’s Limonana, but you could try one of these Limonana inspired treats or go real crazy with this Tahini Cake – just top with blueberries instead of raspberries so you can show some Blue and White spirit.

Happy Israel Day!


Get In Your Greens On Earth Day


April 21st 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Earth Day is tomorrow, April 22nd, and it’s the perfect day to appreciate the amazing food that comes from the earth. This year is the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day and the theme is “it’s our turn to lead”. Take tomorrow to think about how you can lead the food revolution and add in more greens and less processed foods into your diet. Whether its crunchy kale and green beans or green tea leaves and mint, you can taste so many different flavors when you eat food that comes directly from the ground. On this Earth Day, I thought it would be fun to give you a days worth of green dishes. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, you can go green all day.


A Healthy Green Smoothie is a great way to start off your Earth Day! This smoothie is made of 5 simple ingredients, one of which is ice. 4 cups of spinach is what makes this smoothie green and a cup of diced pineapples adds a sweet, yet tart taste. Add some Greek yogurt and almond milk and you have the perfect combination of fruits, vegetable and protein, which makes for a delicious smoothie.


Start off lunch with a refreshing Iced Green Tea With Mint.  By adding a little bit of honey, your tea will be sweet and don’t forget the touch of mint. Pair your green tea with a Shaved Mustard Green Salad alongside a Red, White and Green Grilled Cheese. This jazzed up grilled cheese recipe adds onions, tomatoes and spinach to make it full of healthy “from-the-earth” ingredients. The recipe serves 4, but you can also double or even triple the recipe so invite over your family and friends. Also, you bake it in the oven instead of frying it so no need to worry about having enough room in the frying pan!!


For dinner, start off with a Beans and Greens Soup, featured in the main image. This soup is a gorgeous way to get in your spinach greens and cannellini beans. Next, have your breakfast for dinner with Kale and Potato Hash With Fried Egg. This recipe uses the goodness of kale as the base and then you add potatoes and spices and top it with a perfectly fried egg. The recipe is super simple and you can add some spice with cumin and chili powder if you would like. Finally, for dessert, try my favorite Green Tea Ice Cream. I got introduced to green tea ice cream when I was in elementary school and it was love at first lick.


I’m sure there is no way you thought I would forget about a snack. These Tahini Sesame Kale Chips are perfect to take to the park or any of the outdoor settings you may be heading out to. The tang of lime and the nutty-flavored tahini is a delicious combination. This crunchy kale makes for an amazing snack.


Israel is 67 – Time To Celebrate!


April 20th 2015

Contributed by:


8 comments | Leave Comment


I always know how old the modern state of Israel is since it was born in 1948, the same year as my dear daddy, making them both 67 this year (he should be healthy and happy until 120!).  Called Yom HaAtzmaut in Hebrew, Israeli Independence Day, marks the establishment of the modern state of Israel. It is observed on or near the 5th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Iyar, which falls out this year on April 23, 2015.

This will be our 3rd Yom HaAtzmaut since we made Aliyah to Israel in August 2012 and we have the custom of celebrating it with the Chashmonain Gellers (my brother- and sister-in-law and their kids) not to be confused with the Ramat Beit Shemesh Gellers (that’s us!).  Like most Israelis we spend the afternoon having  a good ‘ol fashioned BBQ in some fabulous sprawling Israeli park.  Our first year we went to Tel Aviv, our 2nd year Jerusalem, this year we are still in planning mode.

But it’s never too early to plan the menu.

I’m thinking this year, I want to dress up the “hot dogs” a bit and go all Italian meets Israeli with Beef Sausage and Pepper Rolls and Limonana aka Fresh Mint Lemonade.

There are many different terms for this type of sandwich depending on which region of the United States a person in from; submarine or sub, hoagie, hero, grinder, bomber, torpedo, poorboy, blimpie and wedge.  In Philly we called it Sausage and Peppers so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

In Israel we get fresh lachmaniot – soft, crusty rolls – and grill hot dogs (for the kids) and some American beef sausages (for the adults).  The onions and peppers are seasoned simply with a splash of balsamic and dash of S + P.  Perfect served with watermelon slices and Fresh Mint Lemonade for a refreshing contrast to the heaviness of the sausage and peppers.

Happy Israeli Independence Day!!!

Check out the Beef Sausage and Pepper Rolls here and Fresh Mint Lemonade here

Beef Sausage and Pepper Rolls


Week {25} Recipes


April 19th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Now that we are back to “normal” pantry’s how is everyone settling in? This week sounds SO Delicious!



Triple Layer Blueberry Mousse Cake  (for Israel’s day, but not so easy)

Oven Roasted Falafel

Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas

Simple Baked Salmon with Sauce

Sweet and Spicy Chili 

Mandarin Spinach Salad with Chicken

Warm Chicken and Lentil Salad

Turmeric Rice


Week {24} Recipes


April 17th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Back to chametz! With a whole hag of chametz free food I still didn’t get to try all the recipes I wanted to! I guess they get saved for next year or I’ll sneak them in ;)

Baked Chipotle Crisped Chicken

Beet Pepperoni Pizza

Healthy Samboosak Stuffed with Chickpeas

Tuna Salad with Chickpeas and Fresh Dill

Simple Poached Salmon

Simple Beer Basted Chicken

Simple Asian Beef Salad

Simple Spelt Pancakes

Chive Biscuits


/RECIPE/ Flourless Chocolate Cake with Dark...


April 16th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Chocolate cake. Passover friendly chocolate cake. Passover friendly chocolate cake with a chocolate glaze. I’m hooked!!!! And I have a wonderful tip for you!!!

I just HAD to try this recipe, it was as if it called my name or something… ;) Looking over the pictures again has my mouth watering! Don’t make this cake with the mindset of fluffy, light sponge cake. Instead, think “Brownie Cheesecake” because this recipe is like a marriage of a brownie and a cheese cake all wrapped up into one! Wonderfully fudgy, with a creamy smooth texture. And such a rice chocolate – be sure to serve with a cold glass of milk or fresh coffee!

The cake require a little bit of patience – its not a box mix ;) But your patience will be rewarded with a beautiful little slice of this delicious cake. It was the hardest thing not to devour this cake right away. We all had to stare at this until Shabbos afternoon!!! That was hard.

Are you ready for your tip? To keep you springform pan a little cleaner and to help it get a better seal wrap the bottom disk in foil. Lightly press it around the sides just so it can hold. Then when you snap on the ring of the pan it will help create a tighter seal, preventing some leaks. After it’s wrapped in foil and the pan is assembled place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan (you can see in the picture where I pointed it out.)

All the mixing and melting it very worth it! And on the servings I would say you could safely serve this to at least 10-12 people. This is such a delightfully rich cake a little slice is perfect!

All the best!


/RECIPE/ Creamy Spinach Torta with Potato Crust


April 16th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


This is now the secret weapon in my kitchen! Who knew you could get non-spinach lovers to happily eat spinach?!?!? Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE loved it!

This one could spoil you for pesach – you don’t miss chametz with all this amazing recipe (and all the others found here on joyofkosher.com) this one takes the prize! Those of you who are gluten-free will adore this recipe! The potato crust give you the carby-ness and crispiness that you want in a crust without the chametz or gluten!

I bought a springform pan for pesach just so I could try out this recipe and a flourless chocolate cake recipe. It was very much worth it! These recipes may even get my year-round springform pans more use.

For ease of making I’d say it’s moderately-easy. Making the spinach mixture is easy and can be done while the potatoes are precooking. Layering is pretty straightforward but here is one little tip; once you get to the rim layer of potatoes you might need a second hand to hold up the last potato slice while you pour in the spinach mixture. It takes a little extra time (the precooking of the potatoes take 20 min itself) but the little extra steps make this one outta-this-world recipe!

All the best!


Cooking With Joy: Loaded Burger With Special Sauce


April 16th 2015

Contributed by:


1 comment | Leave Comment


Who doesn’t love a good burger? Our family does! The way I prep burgers at home is by making a patty of ground beef, seasoning it on either side with some BBQ sauce and grill seasoning and searing it in a sauté pan. (We live in an apartment, so grilling isn’t always an option). When we go out I love experimenting with new flavors on my burgers. I have had spicy caesar burgers, burgers with fried eggs and crispy pastrami and some really great chili burgers, just to name a few.

While the delicious aroma of sautéing onions filled the kitchen, I began prepping the special sauce made of pickle relish, ketchup and caesar dressing (the recipe called for pareve ranch but I had a really yummy caesar dressing already opened in the fridge). I lightly mixed the onions, ground beef and sauce in a bowl until they were just combined. Like I mentioned, grilling wasn’t really an option so I cooked the burger in a sauté pan on the stove. I did find the burger to be a little “wet” from the sauce being mixed in.  The sauce added a really nice flavor, just a different texture than I am used to, still very yummy though.

We served the burgers topped with the sauce, pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce on chiabatta rolls, while it is less traditional than a sesame seed bun, I am a sucker for good bread and love to find excuses to enjoy it. The burgers piled high with the sauce and toppings were super moist and delicious! As our 6 year old bit into his burger he said “this is the best meal ever, Mommy you should be a chef AND a nurse”.  For that alone, this was all worth it!

Loaded Burger with Special Sauce

Loaded Burger With Special Sauce page 205
DRESS IT DOWN Unloaded Burger

Note: This blog series, Cooking With Joy, is meant to be a companion to the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller cookbook.  Most of the full recipes are only available in the cookbook.


67 Israeli Food Recipes You Need To Try


April 15th 2015

Contributed by:


2 comments | Leave Comment


Yom Haatzamut is just around the corner and Israeli is turning 67!!!  Let’s celebrate with some Israeli food.  It might intimidate you to try making your own Israeli food, but it is easier than you think and JoyofKosher has got your back.

Prepare a breakfast so delicious it will transport you to a hotel in Jerusalem eating in the sun. Go all out with a three course feast, or take it easy with a simple on-the-go Israeli salad in pita. Whether it’s making homemade tahini or hummus or tackling Israeli meatballs simmered in tahini, choose from these sixty seven Israeli recipes to create an authentic and fun Yom Haatzamut and celebrate Israel.

Meat Mains: 

Lamb Shawarma with Pomegranate Mint Salsa

These 16 mains will bring you to the streets of Israel with the first bite.  Consider a classic Shawarma or go for this spiced up version served with pomegranate salsa.  Try your hand at any of our Kabob recipes and don’t shy away from a challenge.  The Kataifi Nests with Mauritanian Ground Lamb are made with store bought nests from the freezer!!  They not only look elegant, but you will WOW you guests with their flavor.

1. Israeli Meatballs Simmered in Tehina
2. Homemade Schwarma
3. Kataifi Nests with Mauritanian Ground Lamb
4. Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken 
5. Roasted Chicken Thighs with Grilled Eggplant and Mint
6. Herb Crusted Lamb Shoulder
7. Sumac Dusted Beef Skewers with Spicy Mango Chutney
8. Beef Moussaka with Matbucha
9. Lamb Shawarma with Pomegranate Mint Salsa
10. Adena Kabab Lamb
11. Kebab’s with Pistachios 
12. Lamb Chops on a bed of Couscous
13. Schnitzle and Pititeem Israeli Cous Cous
14. Falafel Crusted Chicken with Tahini Sauce
15. Pomegranate Chicken
16. Mediterranean Braised Beef


Black Olive Falafel from Taim

Ever think you could make your own falafels from scratch? You don’t even have to fry them if you don’t want to.  Take a lesson from the chef behind Taim restaurant and use olives or harissa instead of herbs if you like with her Falafel recipe.  You can even make our Chocolate Falafel.

17. Black Olive Falafel
18. Indian Red Lentil Falfel
19.  Oven Roasted Falafel
2o. Chocolate Falafel


Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

From traditional Israeli Salad to our non-traditional Israeli Fruit Salad, we have everything.  Pack it up for lunch, go out for a picnic or stuff it in a pita to celebrate like the Israelis.  Don’t miss the Jerusalem Artichoke Salad pictured above. You won’t regret it!!

20. Israeli Salad
21. Israeli Cabbage Salad
22. Israel Pepper Tomato Salad
23. Jerusalem Artichoke Salad
24. Middle Eastern Carrot Salad
25. Zucchini and Dill Salad
26. Eggplant Maple and Soy Sauce Salad
27. Beefed Up Israeli Salad
28. Israeli Fruit Salad
29. Couscous and Cranberry Salad
30. Mediterranean Bulgar Salad
31. Israeli Inspired Leafy Green Salad

Mediterranean Dairy Lavash Nachos

Apps, Sides, and Breads:

WOW your guests and make your own pita bread or surprise them with crunchy Mediterranean Lavash Nachos. You can never go wrong with Turmeric Rice and make sure to snack on our Tahini Sesame Kale Chips.

32. Whole Wheat Couscous
33. Turmeric Rice
34. No Knead Whole Wheat Pita Bread
35. Mediterranean Lavash Nachos
36. Cauliflower Couscous
37. Pita Bread
38. Roasted Eggplant with Tahini
39. Tahini Sesame Kale Chips
40. Cauliflower with Tahini and Silan
41. Zaatar Flatbread


Hummus, Hummus, Hummus… can go way beyond chickpeas, try out one of the Hummus recipes below, including the beautiful TriColor Hummus.  Don’t forget Tahini, pure sesame paste can be livened up more than you realize!

42. Zesty Walnut Hummus
43. TriColor Hummus 
44. Pinto Bean Hummus
45. Zucchini Babaganoush
46. Edamame Hummus
47. Colorful Tahini
48. Babaganoush with Tahini
49. Matbucha



Frozen Slushy Limonana is filled with lemon and mint and the best icy treat

Yum!! Dessert is a great course to try something new like the this Frozen Limonana Slushy or these Limonana Bars based on the famous Israeli combo of lemonade and mint.   You can also try the festive Kachol V’lavan Cheesecake Squares, which highlight the blue and white colors of the Israeli flag. You can’t go wrong with a Bamba snack based Peanut Butter Mousse. If you’ve never tried Bamba it’s the leading snack food produced and sold in Israel according to Wikipedia and it tastes like a peanut butter cheese puff and makes for a delicious mousse.

50. Basbousa Semolina Cake
51. Kachol V’lavan Cheesecake Squares
52. Chocolate Swirl Bread
53. Limonana Bars
54. Israeli Style No Bake Cheesecake
55. Peanut Butter Bamba Mousse
56. Tahini Olive Oil Cake
57. Tahini Pomegranate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies


Whole Baked Trout with Fennel

Flavor your fish with Israeli spices, like our favorite Zaatar.  You can even use it on Gefilte Fish.  You can also keep it simple by baked a whole fish.

58. Zaatar Crusted Gefilte Fish
59. Pan Seared Salmon with Sour Cream and Zaatar
60. Mediterranean Baked Trout with Fennel Salad
61. Mediterranean Style Sea Bass
62. Steamed Cod with Olive Tapenade




Our last 5 recipes give you a range of ideas for Shakshuka. If you don’t already know, Shakshuka is a popular Israeli dish of eggs poached in tomato pepper sauce with spices, which is said to have been introduced in Israel by Tunisian Jews. You can even change things up with a Baked Portobello Shakshuka recipe. The portobello mushrooms acts as the perfect bowl to hold a delicious recipe which is made easy by using premade matbucha salad.

63. Lamb and Swiss Chard Shakshuka
64. Shortcut Shakshuka
65. Baked Portobello Shakshuka
66. Shakshuka with Haloumi Cheese
67. Classic Shakshuka

We hope you enjoyed our 67 recipes for Israel – let us know what you are doing to celebrate this year.

Main image is Beefed Up Israeli Salad


Post Passover Chametzfest Desserts


April 15th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


I hear people groan about Passover food, particularly when it comes to desserts. But honestly, back in the day all we had was some aunt’s dry-as-dust sponge cake and two kinds of canned macaroons. In recent years there’s been much more, thanks to those wonderful cooks who created flourless chocolate tortes and mousse-filled Vacherins and so many other choices grandma never could have contemplated. Even the canned macaroons are better now and with many more flavors.

Still, when you can’t use regular flour or yeast, baking powder or cornstarch, our favorite desserts don’t taste the same as they do during the rest of the year. After a week of even the best of Passover sweets, most of us are ready to get back to normal eating. A post-Passover dessert chametzfest as it were.

Take brownies, for instance. Right after the holiday, wouldn’t it be swell to sink your teeth into a dark, sweet, chocolate-y brownie? That’s one of the first items on the list at our house. The grownups in my family like the brownies moist, fudgy and candy-like — the kind that horrifies the dentist. The grandkids like their brownies somewhat chewier because those are better for dunking into milk. My recipe is flexible enough to suit all of us, but to make it easier here is my recipe for my Fudgy Brownies and my Chewy Brownies (more flour plus baking powder).

Chocolate-Raisin-Nut Babka

Then, there’s Babka. There’s something magical about the fragrance of yeast cake baking after eight days without. But beyond the captivating perfume coming from the oven, babka’s crumb, tender on the tongue, is incomparable. For dessert or afternoon break or even breakfast, hot coffee and a slice of yeast babka – cinnamon or chocolate – is a most welcome treat after the holiday.

pudding cake

Pudding? Oh yes. Like grandma used to make from a box, but so much better homemade (and without all the additives and artificial ingredients). Or layered with graham crackers for Graham Cracker Pudding Cake.

I always make a fresh bunch of these Chocolate Chunk Grand Finale Cookies (nut free version) after the holiday because these are the absolute family favorites and my freezer is never without them, except during Passover! I also follow my grandma’s tradition to make something sweet using phyllo dough. She made apple strudel, but I like a sophisticated dessert such as Almond Phyllo Snails (M’Hencha), which are beautiful, so they’re a good bet if you’re having company over for dinner or coffee and …

Ah, Passover is so joyous. But when it comes to an end we sure love our Apple Pie and Fresh Ginger Cake, our Blueberry Muffins and Doughnuts. And all the rest!

Welcome back!


How To Make a Shlissel Key Shaped Challah


April 14th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Shlissel Challah, or Key Challah is customarily made the Shabbos after passover. It is said to be a Segula for livelihood and Parnasa (income). A key is placed into the Challah dough while being braided and some even shape their Challah like a key. Here is a step by step tutorial on how to shape your challah dough into a key using our favorite Challah Recipe (Jamie’s Geller’s famous dough).

Now, how to shape the key, check out our step by step instructions (using play dough for illustration purposes, but it is also fun to play with):

Step 1

Once your dough is risen and ready to use cut a small piece from the dough and roll out into  a long rope.

Step 2

Form the long rope into an upside down U shape.

Step 3

Cross the one side over the other at the top.

Step 4

Leaving the left side long, bring the bottom of the left rope through underneath the twist at the top as if making a knot, then either tuck the piece sticking out at the top over and under the challah (like the challah at the top) or bring the right side up the same way and then attach another rolled rope of dough to the top of the key shape.

Step 5

To finish up your key, take two small piece of dough (about the size of two quarters) and role them into small ropes, place them at the bottom the long rope like pictured above.   Place on a baking sheet, allow to rise and then bake as instructed in the challah recipe of choice.

Browse through all our challah recipes here.


key Challah



Cookbook Spotlight: Spiritual Kneading *Giveaway*


April 14th 2015

Contributed by:


57 comments | Leave Comment


Spiritual Kneading Through The Jewish Months is Dahlia Abraham-Klein’s newest cookbook. In it, she features an evocative collection of challah recipes, Jewish spiritual insights, and Torah study as it relates to each Jewish month. The separation of Challah, in addition to baking challah, is a a woman’s mitzvah (commandment) and Rosh Chodesh, the first of each Jewish month, is traditionally a women’s holiday. In Spiritual Kneading, Dahlia focuses on women’s spiritual growth via the tradition of challah baking while meditating upon the Jewish theme of the month.

The book covers all twelve months of the Jewish year, with specific Torah text for each month. The book also features  a specific challah that relates to the Torah theme for that month, such as a Spiral Challah with Apple and Silan for Tishrei, a  Rainbow Shaped Challah for Cheshvan, a Cheese Loaf  for Kislev and a Star of David Challah for Tevet. Dahlia believes that kneading is an action meditation and so she also includes a meditation guided through the kneading of the challah dough.

Spiritual Kneading is also the perfect book for a Rosh Chodesh group. Each chapter gives sources, ideas, and questions to be discussed by the group while the challah dough is rising. The purpose of baking challah in this particular way is to develop ones own personal spiritual growth within the context of a Rosh Chodesh group.

Here are two delicious recipes from Spiritual Kneading Through The Jewish Months cookbook:

Basic Challah

In her Basic Challah Recipe with Dry Yeast Dahlia includes details on how to knead the dough as well as  how to freeze the loaves to bake at a later date, which is extremely helpful for those new to challah baking. It also makes 8 loaves so you can make the full recipe and freeze the challahs for the upcoming weeks.


Her Pita (round pocket bread) recipe is the perfect recipe for the month of Nissan, for which it is is featured. The recipe yields 30 pitas, which is excellent if you are cooking for a crowd. You can also always freeze the pitas you don’t use up.  The cooking time is quick (only 3-4 minutes for each batch) and so your pitas will be ready in no time.

***Giveaway***  Win a copy of Spiritual Kneading Through The Jewish Months by commenting below and then getting more chances with rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Shabbat Recipe: Shemini


April 13th 2015

Contributed by:


1 comment | Leave Comment


In this week’s parsha, Shemini, Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu offer a sacrifice to God, but bring “alien fire.” “Fire came forth from the Lord and consumed them: thus they died at the instance of the Lord” (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz, Jewish Theological Seminary). After their deaths, Aaron was instructed by Moses, “you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the impure and pure; and you must teach the Israelites all the laws which the Lord has imparted to them through Moses” (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz. Jewish Theological Seminary).

Commentary about the episode, notes, “Aaron is the gentle man of peace who never reprocess but only tries to bring people to God through love and kindness.’” (Reuven Hammer in The Classic Midrash, p. 189).  Being a disciple of Aaron is a daily challenge for each of us. Through our humble behaviors and speech, we can live in relationship with God as his vessels spreading the light of Torah to the darkest corners of the world.  Rabbi Brad Artson notes, “Our minds cannot master God, but the quest is essential nonetheless. . . . But to seek God, to yearn for holiness and to strive for righteousness, these orient our lives as a magnet positions the needle of a compass, providing us purpose, direction, and hope” (Rabbi Bradley Shavit ArtsonZiegler School of Rabbinic Studies).

The dish that I prepared for Shemini is about recognizing and integrating God into our lives. The dish includes two main ingredients: couscous and tomato stew. The couscous is symbolic of the Israelites while the tomato stew is the consuming fire. The two are blended together after presentation to represent the bringing of God into our daily lives. Rabbi Lazer Gurkow on Chabad.org comments that, “Aaron’s dominant trait was Chessed, kindness” (Rabbi Lazer Gurkow, Chabad.org). The concentric circles of the ingredients are also symbolic of the idea of chessed (loving-kindness) and the envelopment one feels when it’s expressed in relationship with another.

Find My Shemini Couscous and Tomato Stew recipe here.

Coucous and Tomato Stew


Cooking With Joy: Garlic Honey Brisket


April 9th 2015

Contributed by:


0 comments | Leave Comment


Most people I work with are used to me talking about “The Blog” and what I have cooking up that week. One of the cool things about me doing this project is people asking me for recipes and cooking advice. It is a nice feeling for sure, but the nicer feeling is them giving me feedback saying that I was helpful. My go to recipe to offer people when they ask what’s good in the book is this Honey Garlic Brisket. I have told many people at work that this is a no fail recipe and everyone who has made it agrees. I am going to say that it is probably my favorite recipe in the cookbook so far!

I actually made this recipe twice with different variations, once for Pesach and once for a regular Shabbos. All of you who have cooked for Pesach know that almost everything that you need is available. One thing that is available for Pesach, but never ceases to gross me out, is Pesach mustard. I was very skeptical putting that yellow “stuff” on a beautiful piece of meat. Since the original recipe calls for Dijon, I knew that the Pesach stuff needed be tanged up a little. I figured I could add some white wine vinegar to achieve that flavor.  I marinated the brisket in the fridge overnight and cooked it in the morning. I was really pleasantly surprised with how the sauce came out even with this Pesach substitution. Of course, at that point, I had nothing to compare it to, I just knew that it came out delicious!

I really wanted to try the recipe again, but this time with the Dijon to see if it could get even better.  This time I forgot that I needed to marinade the brisket so it only ended up marinating for 2 hours. When Hubs came back from work he said he just followed the aroma home- it smelled so good. When I was slicing the meat I just couldn’t stop tasting it (What? It was amazing!!!!!) The brisket tasted out of this world- people at the Shabbos table went back for thirds!

Both times I left out the thyme and skipped the step of reducing the gravy on the stove. The au jus that filled the bottom of the pan was so scrumptious that we didn’t want to do anything to it! Hubs would have drank it straight had I let him. We served the brisket along with mashed potatoes smothered with sautéed onions and the sauce from the pan- my mouth just started watering. I will definitely be making this recipe again and again and again!

Honey Garlic Brisket

Garlic Honey Brisket page 198
DRESS IT DOWN Honey Brisket Pita Pockets

Note: This blog series, Cooking With Joy, is meant to be a companion to the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller cookbook.  Most of the full recipes are only available in the cookbook, but this one can be found here.