Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

Israel is 67 – Time To Celebrate!

 

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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.


 

Passover Dairy Lunch Mains

 

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Whether you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a Passover hotel dairy lunch buffet or just heard about what it’s like in (great!) detail, you know that those chefs put out a spread like nobody’s business. I have been to quite a few in my day whether for work or as a guest and can tell you the recipes are so impressive, so creative and so delicious that everyone walks around exclaiming (to themselves, to each other or to anyone within earshot) “I can’t believe this is Passover food!”


 

Passover Make Ahead Breakfasts

 

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Effortless entertaining while often seemingly elusive can actually, easily be achieved with make-ahead meals.


 

Eggplant Roll Ups Recipe Video

 

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Yes, the rumor is true. I did eat 6 of these all by my lonesome when testing the recipe. Now in the interest of full disclosure I ate 3 for breakfast (was a late breakfast, more like brunch) and 3 for lunch (was a late lunch, more like linner). And yes you may have heard that I also fried up some extra eggplant to snack on in between. And while some people may be embarrassed to admit this I think it just proves how much of a winner this recipe really is. So hang on to your hats folks and watch me fry and roll and bake your new favorite Passover and year-round brunch, lunch, linner or dinner dish.


 

5 Hot Cocoa Drinks For Winter Warmth

 

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I love tummy warming hot drinks, even in the summer, but especially during the cool winter months. I drink about 3 large glasses of green tea a day (I have appropriated Hubby’s big beer mug for this noble effort) and a tall hot cocoa a few times a week. The kiddies have followed suit and regularly beg for tea, which someone usually manages to spill and when I say usually, I do mean always!

Last night, the boys were out and my 3-year old was busting out of strapped safely in her high chair so I decided to make something warm and sweet and chocolaty for my girls.


 

My 11 Latke Loves *Giveaway*

 

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Fried in oil and or dipped in chocolate are two of my general criteria for favorite foods.  Lucky me it’s Chanukah and there will be no shortage of fried in oil (dipped in chocolate) sweet and savory treats.  Here are my 11 latke loves:


 

8 Perfect Pumpkin Recipes

 

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11 years ago this January I met my husband for the first time.  It was a blind date.  Two weeks later we were engaged and spent our first Shabbos together at Uncle Morse and Aunt Judy’s.  I don’t remember exactly what Aunt Judy served but it prompted met to blurt out “Oh I just LOVE orange food!” really, really loudly and dramatically. (Did you just hear the record player screech?)  As it turns out I do love all things orange – sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkins, oranges… but it came out kinda flakey and ditzy sounding.  To this day whenever I think about it and even now as I write about it my shoulders hunch and I physically cower in embarrassment.  I am sure Aunt Judy doesn’t remember it – unless of course, she does.

So in honor of the season and my love for all foods orange – especially pumpkins which top the list – here are my favorite pumpkin recipes.


 

A Simchat Torah Mexican Menu

 

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On Simchas Torah and Shemini Atzeres, it’s time to push your culinary daring to the limits. Consider the fact that we’ve just come through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, not to mention a Shabbos or two. Everyone at your table is thinking, “If I see one more potato kugel…” So have fun with the menu and try my simple recipes for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos (a mild chili pepper) and Mexican Brisket, a fab twist on traditional recipes.


 

The Best Stuffed Peppers With Variations

 

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Present a tray of multi colored stuffed peppers for an easy holiday dish that will surely elicit oohs and aahs. I am going to give you a few variations on this recipe that’s ready in 40 minutes: from start to serve.

Colors: Don’t stress on the colors – it’s just for presentation. Of course a green bell pepper is not as sweet as yellow, orange and red but after that consideration buy what’s on sale, available or pleasing to your eye.


 

Yom Kippur Pre Fast Meal

 

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Just before Yom Kippur, it’s important to eat foods that make fasting easier – in fact it’s a mitzvah. First, you want to minimize salt and spices that may induce thirst. But that doesn’t mean the pre-Yom Kippur feast must be bland or boring. This menu is simple and satisfying and can mostly be made in advance.


 

Watch and Make Your Own Lemon Lovers Hummus

 

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I have already told you more than once that I’m a sucker for hummus, on EVERYTHING – my eggs, my salads, my burgers, my bagels, my gefilte, my roasted veg and my falafel, of course! Sometimes I schmear it, sometimes I dip it. Sometimes I serve it with tahini and schug, sometimes with za’atar chickpeas, and sometimes with roasted red peppers. But most always I serve it with a dusting of sumac or paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of fresh torn parsley or coriander leaves.


 

A Simanim Inspired Rosh Hashanah Menu

 

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Simanim are so my thing. Now of course I know that on Rosh Hashanah they are everyone’s thing, but in addition to holding a Rosh Hashanah Seder where all the simanim make an appearance (even that fish head!)

I let them inspire my menu. This fish course features no less than 9 simanim (fish, honey, spinach, carrots, cabbage, pomegranate, apples, leeks and dates). I am nothing if not efficient. And all recipes are kissed with honey… well more than kissed. I call for generous measurements because why shouldn’t our cup runneth over with sweetness this new year?!


 

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

 

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A while back I went looking for brown bags in Israel, not for lunches for a project that I can’t even recall now, and guess what?  I’m still looking.  So if anyone knows where I can find some just say so in the comments.  Maybe by then I’ll remember why I needed them.

But in terms of interesting “brown bag” lunch ideas for our linkup this month we always have dribs and drabs of leftovers in small little cute Snapwear containers in our fridge.  Not enough to feed the whole family for dinner (again) but just enough for one or two lucky customers.


 

The Best Way To Use Leftover Chicken

 

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My husband has this thing he’s always saying. Ready for it?

He’s always telling me to “eat the house”. It really drives me nutso. It just sounds so barbaric. When we were younger my sister always said “busted” when I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I always thought “busted” especially the way she delivered it sounded kind of truck driver-ish. And I pretty much thought nothing could annoy me more than her “busted”. Comes along hubby with “eat the house” and I almost forgot about “busted” until now.


 

DIY Cake Decorating

 

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I’m not an artist by any stretch of the imagination. Yes you can call me creative, however I am creative in a theoretical sense. But when it comes to hands-on artistry I cannot be relied on to do much more than color in the lines. I never took a course (or even a class) in cake decorating nor do I own my own set of pastry bags and tips. I always borrow from my kind and patient neighbor Robin. She is patient because sometimes it takes me days to return her cake decorating equipment and she is kind because she never says anything about it.

When it comes to my kids’ birthday cakes, I feel so much pressure. People can’t wait to see what I turn out. They expect cakes of grandeur and beauty, cakes that are whimsical and delicious and most of all professional looking. But I wasn’t trained for this. Suddenly you become a mom and you’re expected to be able to do something fun with frosting. But because I am creative in the theoretical sense, I’ve figured out a way to make my kids and myself look good. Now with no skill or fancy equipment (other than an offset spatula) you can too!