Quick & Kosher Cooking

 

4 Simanim Inspired Quick & Kosher Holiday...

 

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So this is where it all comes together.  All the thought. All the planning. The testing. The tasting, the tasting, and the tasting. (That’s the best part).  A simanim-inspired menu brings added challenges, but also adds a level of meaning to your Rosh Hashanah meal.  I have been doing this for the past few years, using the opportunity as a Rosh Hashanah conversation starter with my kids during our cooking and prep time together. My guests, my kids, my guests’ kids – everybody loves identifying which simanim are on the table openly or “hidden” as an ingredient. Our discussion takes on a special Yuntif energy that only comes with Rosh Hashanah.

I hope you enjoy preparing and eating these simanim-inspired dishes and menus as much as I did creating them.


 

Carrot Apple Cupcakes with Parve Cream Cheese...

 

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So call me crazy –but one of my absolute all-time favorite dessert is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  It’s one of those inborn tastes, literally. My mom ate it incessantly when she was pregnant with me, so I was born craving the stuff.  She also swears that a glass of fresh-squeezed, cold carrot juice is better than ice cream. Try selling that to my six-year-old daughter! I mean she adores her Tavi (our version of “Savta” – don’t ask) but doesn’t buy the carrot juice thing.

Anyway, back to the cake.


 

Where The Wild Rice Recipes Are

 

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For a crunchy, nutty, slightly sweet simanim side dish try my Wild Rice with Carrots and Beets recipe.  Beets are a siman for “removing our enemies” and carrots for “increasing our merits.” I added rice and raisins just ‘cause I like ’em and pecans for crunch.  Some people have the custom not to eat any nuts on Rosh Hashanah and even through Simchat Torah.  We personally refrain only from walnuts so in our kitchen pecans are fair game!  Thankfully! But obviously follow your custom and keep or remove the pecans from the recipe as you see fit.  Rabbi Lawrence explains the nut custom here.

What’s your favorite Rosh Hashanah siman and why?  It could be your fave because of its taste, or because you gravitate to its symbolic meaning.


 

Enjoy the Siman of Leeks and Spinach in One Recipe

 

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Let’s not go completely nuts with sweeter-than-sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah. While we customarily don’t eat foods that are downright tart or bitter at this time of the year, I still feel the need to break the sweet symphony.  Leeks and spinach will do just that. Eating the siman of leeks symbolizes our heartfelt prayer that the Almighty will decimate our nation’s enemies (and I can think of a few.)  So here’s to my Spicy Sautéed Leeks and Spinach side dish.

The downside of both these veggies is the bugs. Bugs aren’t kosher. So you have to be very careful when it comes to checking them properly for infestation. (The OU published a guide entitled, “The OU Guide to Checking Fruits, Vegetables and Berries.” The book may be obtained on the OU Press website, www.ou.org/oupress/category/1676, or by contacting the OU Kosher Consumer Hotline at 212- 613-8241.)  Also, as fabulous as leeks are, they’re pretty gritty when you bring them home from the store. Give ’em, a good soak and rinse.


 

A Roast Chicken with Date Glaze Recipe

 

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Dates are super-duper uber sweet. Kinda over the top.  So when we walk through our simanim seder on Rosh Hashanah, everyone in my family takes about as much date as they do fish head. Nobody can manage more than a nibble, except for my Momma.

But let’s not sell dates short. They’re one of the Seven Species of Israel and a powerful siman. Besides, they’re good for you, with lots of potassium and, um, iron, and stuff. If you know how to use dates, they can be delish on chicken too. Take a look at this special Rosh Hashanah Date Glazed Roast Chicken I developed and tested for you today.


 

A Sweet Holiday Recipe for Beef Brisket

 

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Honey is the obvious go-to Rosh Hashanah condiment.  Who am I to buck tradition?  I work honey into my dressings, chicken glazes and desserts.  It goes on our challah, our apples and now… our brisket.

Worried about overkill? Listen, using honey in all these ways is fine if you use it in the right amounts and combine it with other ingredients to counter-balance it’s sweetness. Trust me, nobody will think you’re a one-flavor cook.


 

A New Way To Eat Apples and Honey

 

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It’s tough being creative year after year with holiday cooking. Every year I try to draw inspiration from the season and the holiday customs. And just when I come up with a fresh new idea, I realize I already did that, 5 years ago.

My personal custom on Rosh Hashanah is to make a simanim-inspired menu. The goal is to get the whole mind-body-soul-food connection thing to click in my stomach and then in my brain.  Sure, there are loads of simanim to work with – but the challenge is to use them in unexpected ways.  (And don’t tell me to do apple pie and a honey cake. I’ve gotta do those anyway, or hubby will pout.) I know y’all want a little something special.  Is that true?  Tell me now – so I can stop torturing myself if I don’t need to.


 

Rosh Hashanah Gefilte Fish Recipe

 

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Some things in life just inspire me – like fish. No really.  There are so many species of fish with different flavors, textures and colors: I look at ’em the way an artist views the paints on his palette. That piece of fish lying there is a raw material (literally!) just waiting to be turned into something fantastique.

So Rosh Hashanah is coming up and I start getting serious about the stuff in my life that matters: my family, my friends, my aspirations – my holiday menu. Okay, so maybe your Yuntif menu is not at the top of your prayer list. It’s not at the top of mine either, but it’s there alright.  I think of the food that I serve as a way of honoring these special days, and of giving my family and guests the good-in-your-gut feeling that helps them appreciate all the fab things G-d has given them.


 

The Best Kugel Recipes

 

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K is for Kugels. Kugels, kugels, kugels.

And we would not be a kosher site worth our weight in kosher salt if we didn’t try to bring you the absolute most comprehensive listing of kosher kugel recipes known to man, woman and child.


 

5-Ingredient Recipes

 

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Ok – so these are the 5-ingredient recipe rules: Salt, pepper, olive oil, canola oil, water and cooking spray don’t count. I expect you to have these essentials on hand. I won’t assume the same for toasted sesame oil (although you really should have this essential in your cupboard also, but I will forgive you if you don’t).

Western Breakfast Scramble


 

Easy Recipes – Only 15-Minute Prep!!

 

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So I may have mentioned this 1 or 100 times but the kids have off for three weeks, THREE weeks, between camp and school. That’s a lot time to occupy, not easy when you are working full-time. So I have to think of fun things to do – and I am not at all creative on the fun front – that don’t require me taking extended periods of time off.

California Roll Salad


 

New Video – The Best Challah Dough

 

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Introducing the first video of our new series: Quick and Kosher “in the Raw”. In this new series you will learn how to make Jamie’s challah dough, how to braid it, how to form a crown challah, how to make onion pockets and garlic knots, cinnamon buns…. The list goes on! Look out for a new video every Monday!

Pull up a chair – and watch how easy it is to make challah – you’ll be a pro at it in no time!


 

Chilled Summer Soups ***GIVEAWAY***

 

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I love soup.

I really love soup.


 

30 Minute Pizzas

 

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It all started about 7 ½ years ago when I met Hubby. As a bachelorette on a perpetual diet, my go-to foods were salad, fruit and yogurt. Bachelor food looks more like a slice (or 2 or 3) of pizza daily — could be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three.

Onion Lovers Pizza


 

Two Summer Salad Recipes

 

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Do I have a perfect summer salad recipe for you!

Actually, there are two – so take your pick!