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10 Healthy(ier) Snow Day Treats

 

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Being a New Englander I should not have been so surprised to see snow this winter, but it hasn’t been quite so cold and snowy around here for a few years.  When I was at home in Cambridge, MA for the first snow storm of the season I saw the local news covering the blizzard non-stop during the news broadcast.  That was when I realized that we are in for a long, cold winter which calls for warm, hearty meals and treats. For those of us who don’t spend our snow days shoveling snow or sledding (I wish!) for hours on end, here are 10 healthy(ier) snow day meals and treats.

 


 

Using Greek Yogurt In Pesto Sauce

 

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Let’s face it. Most ingredients that promise to taste better than its non-healthy counterpart are usually and sadly not as good. Greek yogurt is one of the sole exceptions. It is an ingredient rich in protein, potassium, vitamin B, and probiotics. While boasting so many nutritious qualities, it is also quite a spectacular ingredient to cook with. Beyond yogurt and granola, there is so much you can do with Greek yogurt.

As the first chalav yisrael Greek yogurt, Norman’s Greek yogurt has revolutionized the kosher market with a high quality, good-for-you product.  Norman’s Greek  yogurt is rich, tangy and can be substituted for cream in many recipes, from sweet to savory.  Pesto in cream sauce is a favorite pasta dish of mine. It is creamy and herbaceous and hits all the right notes. I have been making this dish for years every Shavuot and for family dinners. I experimented with substituting heavy cream for Norman’s plain Greek yogurt and this dish was born. I am always ecstatic when I can say that using a healthier ingredient not only achieves the desired results but actually tastes even better.


 

Best of Kosher 2013 Winners

 

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Thank you to all who nominated and voted in our third annual Best of Kosher awards and to thank you all for your time we have three prizes to giveaway to the voters.  Congratulations to Sarahintx, winner of the Emile Henry Tagine, Gertrude, winner of the Emile Henry Fondu Pot and BusyInBoca, Winner of the Emile Henry Stewpot.

Now here are the final Best of Kosher 2013 Winners:


 

Ask Us Anything *Giveaway*

 

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The other day, I was out with my sister-in-law Devorah (at that show I told you we went to see with our girls), when she wondered out loud if people are constantly asking me cooking questions.  I realized then that I actually don’t get too many cooking questions when I meet people in person.  I do get lots of questions though.  Most popular over the last year is “How did you leave that kitchen?” (Easy.)  “Where can I buy the chulent bowls I saw in your video?” (Target.)  “What’s your favorite restaurant in Israel?” (Gabriel in Jerusalem and Bodega Sushi & Plancha in Efrat.)

But you know, we have a few culinary stars on staff here that can answer your most pressing cooking Qs.


 

Host A Joy of Kosher Cook Book Club In Israel Get...

 

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Following the amazing JOY of KOSHER Israel Launch Party at the Cinematheque in Jerusalem in December we decided that we all enjoy getting together with friends over good food too much to let too much time go by before getting together again.

 


 

Spice Up Your Super Bowl

 

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This year we want to spice things up.  I just love the little bit of heat and flavor that comes from adding just a bit of horseradish to almost any dish.  The most popular foods to serve for the Super Bowl are wings, chili, pizza and guacamole.  The main idea is to serve food that is easy to eat in front of the television.  And easy to snack and enjoy as the game goes on.

 Veal-Sliders-with-Red-Slaw.

Veal Sliders with Red Slaw


 

How To Make The Best Stuffed French Toast

 

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I used to think French toast was made on the stove. Soak the bread, stick it in a skillet, and you’re done, right? Wrong. The thing is that when French toast only gets a few minutes of stove-top cooking, the insides don’t have a chance to properly bake. For truly perfect, cakey insides, you also need the oven. Try it this way and you’ll have a hard time going back!

To take French toast up yet another notch, you can get a stuffed effect by French toasting sandwiches instead of plain slices of bread. Here, I used a combo of  homemade cream cheese and date spread (you can also use store bought) in some and peanut butter and date spread in others. You can do this with basically any sandwich filling, savory included (but if you go that route, replace the sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon with a pinch of salt and pepper and some herbs).


 

Two New Winter Cupcake Recipes

 

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I love cupcakes and once you get in a cupcake groove, it’s hard to get out.  They’re just so cute, so versatile, and so easy to whip together!  The only way to deal with this addiction is to feed it.  Usually bad advice to offer to addicts, except in the case of cupcakes. I love trying out new flavor combinations and recently started “Cupcake of the month”.  It gives me the opportunity to use different themes and ingredients to bring out the true feeling of that month. January right away makes me think of winter.  I live in California, where winter is mostly sunny and warm but I know somewhere out there, it must be cold and snowy.  When I think of winter, the first thing that comes to mind is the crisp fresh air. chocolate peppermint cupcake For my first cupcake, I chose a Chocolate Cupcake topped with a Peppermint Buttercream, drizzled with melted chocolate and pieces of peppermint candy.  The cupcakes have a dark chocolate flavor and are super moist.  Piled high on top is the peppermint buttercream.  You can add crushed peppermint to any of your favorite vanilla buttercream recipes.  By using actual crushed peppermint instead of a peppermint extract, you get that slight crunch in the cream that screams that cool & crisp wintery fresh taste. You might want to use a round tip to frost the cupcakes; otherwise, the pieces of candy will get stuck inside a typical swirl tip.  The optional melted chocolate drizzled on top helps bring together the flavors of chocolate and mint together.  For an extra crunch and a pretty finish, sprinkle on the remaining pieces of candy. chai latte cupcake

For the second cupcake I made Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes.  When it is cold outside I will most likely not leave the house without a hot drink in my hand.  I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I absolutely love chai lattes.  They are so comforting; the aroma itself warms you up.  Every sip gives you a beautiful blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamon that, when combined all together, make one incredible drink.

The vanilla cupcakes came out light with a fluffy texture and not overly sweet, which is perfect because it will be covered with just a simple yet rich buttercream. The buttercream is made with the chai spice mix that you make before hand using cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and cardamon.  Once iced, the cupcakes were lightly sprinkled with white sugar sprinkles and small white snowflakes giving off that snowy look as well. When you bite into this cupcake, the full flavor of a vanilla chai latte stirs all of your senses. Enjoy my cupcake recipes! Vanilla Chai Latte Cupcakes Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream


 

15 Best Game Day Ideas

 

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The key to a great Super Bowl party is variety.  Whether you prefer classic superbowl party favorites or like to add a twist to your game day recipes, these 15 game day ideas are guaranteed crowd-pleasers!

Empire Kosher Wild Wings


 

Game Day Recipes From South Africa

 

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When Tamar asked me what we would eat, in South Africa, if we had the equivalent of the super bowl, the first thing that came to my mind, and confirmed by ‘my butcher’, was The Curry Cup Final. This annual inter-provincial rugby match is held in either of the two finalists province. What we would eat, needed no confirmation, most South Africans gather around a braai (Bbq) either before or after any sporting match. The charcoal braai is normally started up at half time and by the end of the match the braai is ready to cook the meat. Just the aroma of boerewors can excite the senses and arouse even the most avid vegetarian’s desire to take just ‘one bite’!

Boerewors in South Africa is mostly served on pap (mielie meal/corn meal) with a tomato and onion gravy. It’s the tomato and onion gravy that most pride themselves on. It’s one of those old, traditional and sometimes secret family recipe’s that’s inevitably shared after a couple of beers.


 

Cooking With Fresh Mozzarella *Giveaway*

 

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Before I traveled to Rome for the first time a few years ago, I fantasized about all the amazingly delicious Italian food we were going to have. The fresh pasta, the authentic pizzas, the sweet gelatos, it was all going to be perfectly delicious. On our first night in the historic city, we strode into a bistro just outside the Jewish ghetto. There, I had the only thing still available from the menu, the most tasteless spaghetti in marinara.  It was quite disappointing. I should have known better when I heard the chef and waiter speaking to each other in Russian.   Thankfully, the rest of the trip was beautiful, but I didn’t leave with such fond memories of the food, save for a few exceptional restaurants in the Jewish Ghetto where ironically I ate Middle Eastern food.


 

Super Bowl No Meat Tacos

 

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It’s confession time.  I hate sports.  You would never believe that I grew up in a house where Sundays meant my dad and brother were jumping and screaming in front of the TV rooting for the Miami Dolphins.  My dad can’t understand where I came from and how I could have absolutely no interest in watching any sporting event.  I’d rather watch paint dry.

Well, the joke is on me. My husband enjoys watching football and baseball, but generally let’s me run the show.  But now I’m outnumbered.  Help!


 

Football Finger Foods

 

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Tamar thinks my elegant dressed up “Accordion” Potatoes aka Hasselback Potatoes look like footballs. When I developed this recipe for the Passover Seder it certainly wasn’t my intention to serve ‘em up at a Superbowl party, but now looking at it through Tamar-colored glasses I see how it can work for this occasion too.  Get my recipe for “Football” Accordion Potatoes here.


 

Day In Jerusalem – Entertaining Teens

 

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Whether it’s Winter Break Vacation, Pesach or Summer Vacation here are some ideas for entertaining teens in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a city that the whole family can enjoy together but very often the teenagers in the family are looking for something more extreme, a challenging or unique activity that’s worth getting out of bed for.

What was once a hard task; is now a fun endeavor. There are so many exciting activities in Jerusalem that even your teens will be asking to come back for more.


 

Discount Tickets KFWE 2014

 

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It is time to get your tickets for this year’s eighth annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience once again taking place at Pier 61 in NYC.  Every year Royal Wine Corp. puts on this fantastic night to showcase over 200 wines and over 20 restaurants and caterers.  The whole Joy of Kosher team will be there and we would love to see all of you.

Join us on February 24, 2014 and use coupon code JOYOFKOSHER20 to save 20% off right now!!  Go to KFWE to purchase your tickets.