Shavuot

 

Chilled Israeli Labane Soup

 

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It gets very hot very quickly in Israel. By the time Shavuot comes around there is no way you can serve your guests a hot soup as an appetizer. The heat and the cheesecake we all know is around the corner makes a light dinner that much more appealing. This soup is light, easy and incredibly delicious; not to mention its mosaic mix of colors.

There is always that debate over where you want to put most of your efforts, making fancy food for the holiday, or actually enjoying your vacation. When I made this soup I was surprised at just how quick it was done. It basically requires no cooking, just a bit of roasting, five minutes of chopping, a flick of wrist to mix it all together, and you’re done. The best part, when your family takes its first bite they’ll think you spent hours laboring over it.


 

Shavuot Kosher Traditional Lasagna

 

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Most people associate the upcoming Shavuot holiday with buttery blintzes and dense delicious cheesecakes. The custom to eat dairy is an ancient one. It speaks to the event marked by Shavuot: the giving of the Law, the Torah.

The story goes that before the Jewish people received the Torah at Sinai; the laws of Kashrut would have been unfamiliar to them. Once they received the Torah, however, the people became aware of the vast body of law related to meat, for instance, ritual slaughter, how to identify kosher animals, kashering techniques, and the need to separate milk and meat.


 

No Bake Cheesecake Recipes

 

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Classic cheesecake with all the cream and eggs is really nice, but sometimes you want to keep out of the oven and that is when a no bake cheesecake will come to your rescue and no one will complain when you serve up this Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake.

If you like a peanut butter cup you will like this cheesecake and it is so easy to make.  It is best made with a mixer so make before the holiday, but it can be kept in the freezer as long as you like.  This one can be made in large or as inidividuals, or once made you can cut it into bars and keep in the freezer like little peanut butter cup cheesecakes.


 

Making Dairy Healthy This Shavuot

 

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Holidays bring family and friends together to celebrate traditions while socializing, eating, and drinking. But with so many people struggling to maintain a healthy body weight, it is important to balance holiday meals with healthy nutrition. The essential thing to remember is that it is a “holi-DAY,” not a “holi-WEEK.” If you indulge a little bit more than you would on an average day, do NOT let it affect your whole week.

When I think of Shavuot, I think of gooey cheese blintzes, creamy cheesecake and other high-calorie dairy dishes. But it doesn’t have to be that way… Don’t get me wrong; dairy is not the devil! In fact, many dairy products are high in calcium, which is critical for good bone health. Still, high-fat dairy products contain excessive amounts of calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat that we are better off limiting. In fact, diets rich in high-fat dairy products are linked to chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


 

The Best French Toast Recipes

 

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A few years ago, when my two oldest grandchildren were still toddlers and were visiting for a few days, they asked for French Toast for breakfast.

Unfortunately it was Passover.


 

Easy Strawberry Shortcake Dairy or Parve

 

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The coconut whipped cream in the parve version of this Strawberry Shortcake tastes so incredibly good, you won’t believe that it’s pareve. Use this recipe to replace any whipped cream for your guests who are vegan, soy free, or those who just don’t want to eat the chemicals known as non-dairy whipped topping. If using frozen strawberries, make sure to only buy the Bodek PREMIUM frozen strawberries, which come in re-sealable black and peach bags in the frozen aisle of your kosher supermarket. These strawberries are pretty enough for garnishes, even though they are frozen. Other frozen strawberries won’t be as nice. Make sure to follow the directions for defrosting them, so that they retain their naturally pretty shapes.  All you have to do is arrange whole frozen strawberries in one single layer, over a double layer of paper towels. While still frozen, so as to retain the shape of the strawberries, slice half of the strawberries into thin slivers. Allow strawberries to defrost.

Enjoy the recipes for whichever one works for you:


 

Savory Crepes or Blintzes

 

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What’s the difference between crepes and blintzes?  I was wondering the other day while thinking about the traditional Shavuot recipe for cheese blintzes.

I never cared for cheese blintzes, the only blintzes I liked as a kid were potato blintzes.  Those frozen potato blintzes that used to spark riots at summer camp now seem like carb overload.   Plus, they’re kind of boring.  Yet, on my first trip to Paris, I couldn’t wait to get a taste of the classic French Crepe.  Amazing how changing the name makes all the difference!


 

Cheese Blintzes Recipes – How To Make Your...

 

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Cheese blintzes are quintessential Jewish food especially celebrated on the dairy holiday of Shavuot.  Sure you can buy a package of frozen blintzes and even use them to make a classic Blintze Souffle, but don’t you want to show off this year and make your own?   It is easier than you think if you give it a shot and 100% worth it.

Once you master blintzes you are can go ahead and make crepes too, really they are the same thing and you can fill them with anything you desire from fruit to cheese even to meat if you want.


 

Gnocchi Mac & Cheese For Chanukah

 

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When I think of Chanukah, latkes are always at the forefront of my mind! Shredded potatoes and onions pan-fried in lots of oil. What could be wrong with that?!? But there are so many other ways to highlight potatoes for the holidays so I decided to try something a little different this year. Potato Gnocchi stirred together with a luscious cheesy béchamel to create the richest and decadent Mac & Cheese you can imagine! Using a simple recipe for gnocchi on Joy of Kosher, you just grate the boiled potatoes and add eggs, flour and herbs. Next, you roll and cut the dough in to little dumplings then boil for 3-4 minutes! At this point, you can sauté the cooked gnocchi in a frying pan and eat with fresh herbs or you can do what I did and bake with the super-cheesy cream sauce. I use a version of this béchamel to bake macaroni & cheese for my kids so I knew it would be perfect for the adorable little potato dumplings.


 

Gougeres for Chanukah

 

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There’s always a bagful of cheese-and-herb gougeres in my freezer. Everyone loves them – they’re basically small, savory cream puffs. When my family or company comes and I need a quick hors d’oeuvre, all I have to do is pop them into a hot oven and wait for a few minutes until they’re ready. My daughter Meredith eats them cold, straight from the freezer (but they’re much better hot and crispy).

Cheese-and-herb gougeres are a must for Hanukkah at our house. Not just because they are well-loved but because of the tradition of celebrating Judith, the ancient daughter of the High Priest, and her role in the Hanukkah story.


 

Happy Shavuot and Memorial Day!!

 

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Enjoy your long weekend, the overlapping of the American and Jewish holiday this year has its pros and cons.  We are celebrating the pros with all sorts of menu ideas and recipes to celebrate both.

We hope you have enjoyed our many Shavuot menus and have found ways to incorporate cheese into your weekend as a Cheese Plate Appetizer or as a Cheesey Dessert.  We gave you Shavuot wine recommendations and fun gadgets to buy.   Our new friend Michal shared some of the history of the holiday and a slew of Romanian Recipes for us.  Tutorials for making your own Cheesecake and Rolling Blintzes help even the best of us remember what to do.  And don’t forget the Dairy Cocktails.


 

Dairy Indian Recipes To Spice Up Your Menu

 

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Just in case you didn’t notice, you can actually sort by cuisine on this site.  So, when you are in the mood to try something different or something not so different, in any cuisine we got you covered.  Today, we were thinking it might be fun to travel to India.  In Indian cooking they use a lot of dairy.  Whether it be in the flavorful clarified butter, Ghee, they use in most their dishes, the cream or the paneer cheese, a Dairy Indian menu is a wonderful way to spice up your Shavuot, especially since these foods sit well (think Indian buffet).

You can definitely substitute regular butter for Ghee, but there would be something missing and if you are going dairy, go all out.  Ghee is a clarified butter that you might find in the store, but is just as easy to prepare at home.  To prepare ghee, butter is melted in a pot over medium high heat. The butter begins to melt, forming a white froth on top. It is then simmered, stirring occasionally and the froth begins to thin slowly and the color of the butter changes to a pale yellow shade. Then it is cooked on low heat until it turns a golden color. The residue solids settle at the bottom and the ghee, which is now clear, golden and translucent and fragrant, is ready. The ghee is then filtered, and it will solidify when completely cool. Ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration, provided it is kept in an airtight container.  (from Wikipedia) For a step by step photo guide to making your own Ghee check this out.


 

Shavuot Non-Dairy Recipes

 

 

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When Tamar asked me what I wanted to write for Shavuot and if I ate dairy, I laughed and told her I don’t even have a dairy oven.  My family has all sorts of allergies and I am the Kosher Butcher’s Wife, dairy just doesn’t fit in.  How’s that for loyalty! As for Shavuot, every year our Rabbi stands up in shul and says, “Although dairy should be eaten on Shavuot, we must remember that it is Yomtov and we need to eat meat on a Yomtov, and by the way, this statement wasn’t sponsored by the butchers in our community!!” However, I do make cheesecake (in my mother in law’s oven) for the two of us.  She lives on our property so it’s convenient when I’m craving a slice of cheesecake.   I also make her batches of macaroni cheese which she always says is the best thing since cheesecake!!  But since my specialty is meat and parve, here are two non-dairy dishes that will satisfy even the chesiest among us.

When I think ”pasta’ somehow I picture a lovely macaroni cheese, or Fetuccine Alfredo, always a creamy, cheesey, dairy dish.  Well, this flavoursome, non-dairy creamy pasta has all the taste with the added bonus of being able to serve it as a main meal or a side dish to meat.

Non Dairy Creamy Pasta


 

The Cheese Course with Wine Pairings

 

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The Shavuot holiday and really this time of year with picnics and parties offers the perfect opportunity to pamper your guests with a gourmet cheese plate and wine pairings—it’s an  elegant, no-cook, no-fuss hors d’oeuvre or even dessert course.


 

Romanian Dessert Recipes

 

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Yesterday I shared the background to Shavuot and why many of us eat dairy for this holiday in Savory Romanian Recipes for Shavuot.   Since I am a vegetarian I eat dairy for every holiday and love to make these classic Romanian desserts I learned from my grandmother.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.