Confessions of a Jewish Bride

 

The Ultimate Seder Checklist

 

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So picture this…

I am married for three years and had yet to make a Pesach Seder. Each year, we had been able to go to a relative or a hotel, where someone else did all the cooking and Passover prep. I was living in a fool’s paradise, but I didn’t know it.


 

Purim Confessions – Win an “Oh Nuts&...

 

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So I don’t really like hamantashen – but don’t worry, that’s not my confession of the week. My real secret is that …drum roll… I have yet to master making hamantashen. In fact, I have almost given up on it.

I am not sure which came first – my dislike of this particular pastry, or my failure to bake a decent batch. I have been delicately and creatively avoiding the need to make them all these years after my one failed attempt. Yet, if you can believe it, I only tried once. One Purim I tried a recipe from a very reputable cookbook that shall remain nameless. It was not a very good dough, even after two tries, and the taste was worse than the stuff from the bakery, so I just gave up.


 

1500 NEW RECIPES!!!!

 

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Crazy, major, recipe news flash!!

Yesterday we put up FIFTEEN HUNDRED new recipes on our website. That’s 1500 new ideas for you – main dishes, side dishes, desserts and appetizers and everything in between. You name it, we have it.


 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to FOX 5

 

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Sometimes it takes me a while to write my confessions. That shouldn’t be surprising, of course. How long would it take you to publicly ‘fess up to devastating moments and inconceivable blunders? So this story is not exactly as fresh as tomorrow’s news – but I must admit it lives in my memory as a perpetual prod for humility.

So I’m in a taxi on my way to FOX 5 for an appearance on a morning show. It’s a cold, rainy morning in December. On a good day with no traffic, it should take about 45 minutes to get to the FOX 5 studios in midtown Manhattan.


 

Stay Tuned for Some Exciting News

 

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I have to confess, I have so much to tell you all and so little time to put my thoughts into words. I have been travelling a lot lately and am so behind with my blogging. The funniest (craziest most laughable) thing happened to me on the way to FOX 5 which I hope to share with you next week along with an amazing post packed with tons of recipes for cooking with your kids – including cuisines from around the world.

We are all working around the clock on various site enhancements and we have a great big announcement coming soon. So stay tuned and in the meantime enjoy this round-up of my new favorite winter comfort foods.


 

My Snowman Cake Disaster Has A Happy Ending

 

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In my first cookbook, I confess to a lot of beginner goofs, and in my second I am still not ashamed to admit that I don’t know it all, in fact far from it. The most poignant example of which was the snowman birthday cake I attempted to bake for my husband. Oh , we can laugh now, but at the time it was the Queen of All Disasters. Picture this: Hubby is hopelessly nostalgic for a snowman-shaped birthday cake that his Grandma used to bake for him. He recalls every detail and subtly hints that he would love to relive that experience. As a loving wife –with more guts than brains – I decide to surprise him with this custom cake. But inexperience spells failure, and I’m forced to serve him a monstrous, ill-shaped, under-baked Snowthing, clumsily decorated with potato chips and candy sprinkles. It was my worst nightmare, and his best laugh, in years. You can read about the entire sordid affair, details and all in my new book. And for those of you, who think I make up these adventures, take a gander at this photo. Hubby captured it all in living color, and he never even tasted a bite of the mess. Not that I blame him. It was inedible.

But you know me. I don’t give up. So I tried again the next year and take 2 was — how should I say it? Sad. Not as pathetic as my first attempt because this time I used a real cake pan about a 1/4 of the size of the first cake I tried to “build” for him.


 

I Can’t Follow My Own Cooking Advice!

 

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It’s easy to give, but not easy to take, even when it’s your own. When it comes to culinary and entertaining tips, people think I’m Mother Wisdom. And it’s true — I give great advice! Now if I would only listen to myself…

Here’s a memorable example. A woman came up to me at my HASC event and said I gave her the best piece of advice in my first book, Quick & Kosher Recipes From the Bride Who Knew Nothing. It was in my chapter “Secrets of the 15-minute Chef” (page 21) where I say – NO EXCUSES!


 

Have a Happy Chanukah and Enjoy These Latke...

 

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Happy Chanukah!

Everyone at JoyofKosher.com joins me in wishing you a Chag Chanukah Sameach! May your holiday be filled with light, happiness and delicious food!


 

Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher: Meals in...

 

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My labor of love, my 5th child, my new cookbook has now arrived (thank you G-d in heaven above!), Quick & Kosher: Meals In Minutes, From The Bride Who Knew Nothing (yep, that’s still me!) And, to celebrate my new cookbook, I’m giving one away!

Quick & Kosher: Meals In Minutes, From the Bride Who Knew Nothing is filled with over 100 meals that look and taste like you slaved over them all day.  Only you didn’t. You don’t have time for that!


 

How Do You Start Your Day?

 

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So we’ve made it through an amazing month of holidays, and it’s time to get back to a normal life schedule. People have asked me how I manage a career, family, cookbooks, and all, so I’ll share my regular daily routine with you. You may take notes, if you wish:

I make it a point to wake up early, exercise, and daven (pray) before the kids get up, so I won’t be distracted. While sipping a latte, I cook them a hot, healthy breakfast and include myself in this terrific-way-to-start-your-day meal. I feel it’s important to be dressed in a nice, well coordinated outfit – just casual enough to be comfortable and just chic enough that I could go to a meeting on the spur of the moment, should the need arise. I dress the children, brush their hair while humming our special Good Morning song, and trot them out to the school bus. Then it’s on to my productive workday, bolstering a career too glamorous for words.


 

The Kindergarten Sukkah Hop – Jamie Needs Your...

 

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I can speak to an audience of 200 people, no problem. (Okay, in truth, I’m backed up by my entire family praying for me at the exact moment I’m to start my speech. But I can do it.) In fact, many of you know me through my speaking tours when my first Quick & Kosher cookbook was published. Now that I’m about to publish my second book, Quick & Kosher –Meals in Minutes, I hope to see you in the audience once again.

But I digress. Back to the hop and why I need your help. In a moment of total madness, I decided to be Mom of the Year and volunteered our family sukkah as the first stop on a 3-part Sukkah Hop for kids aged 3-5. I have to feed and entertain them for 10 long minutes.


 

Tea Biscuit and Sorbet Tower Made with Sharon&...

 

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I featured Sharon’s Sorbet in my June Quick & Kosher Bites, but it may shock you to hear that their coconut sorbet once gave me one of the great scares of my life. It happened while I was recipe testing for my first book, Quick & Kosher  - Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing. I was cooking up a storm, trying new ideas, and developing recipes. By the end of a day, I would have six or seven chicken dishes prepared, far more than Hubby and I could eat by ourselves. So I started handing out chicken and salads and desserts to my entire neighborhood – and it was great because I got tons of feedback. Now the scary part.

One Erev Shabbos, I gave my Tea Biscuit and Sorbet Tower, made with Sharon’s Coconut Sorbet, to a neighbor.


 

My Embarrassing Smart Fries Food Moment

 

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What’s your most embarrassing food moment?

Here’s mine, and I blush to tell it.


 

Yom Hashoah: Honoring My Grandparents

 

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As Holocaust survivors who thought in other languages, my grandparents sometimes had trouble expressing themselves to me in words, but they knew how to show their love with food.

My grandparents were skilled chefs who were always in the kitchen.  They cooked out of small spaces with old appliances and no special gadgets, yet they delivered the most luscious, unforgettable meals to their tables. The food they served filled everyone with love and warmth like a great big hug.


 

It’s a Sign

 

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Honestly, I’ve been baking challah for close to four years—to rave reviews and almost embarrassing oohs and ahhs at the Shabbos table. But you know me—I love every minute of it.

This time, I don’t know what happened, my challah lacked texture and shape. It was a bumpy, lumpy messy blob; ballooning at astronomical speed, then falling out of shape, falling all over itself and completely breaking apart.  They say that yeast is alive, but this was going beyond, into the unknown. The thing was living, breathing, multiplying—and mad at me.  My heart sank watching it succumb to itself and I was powerless to stop nature.  My eyes brimmed with tears…