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In the JOK Kitchen with Tina Wasserman *Giveaway*

 

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Tina Wasserman has been in the food writing business for a while, but two years ago when she wrote her first cookbook, Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of The Jewish Diaspora, she really appeared on the map.  Tina loves to share the history of our food and helps us all connect to our Jewish roots through food.  Her new book, Entree to Judaism For Families, is filled with the tools to help kids of all ages learn to cook in the kitchen and learn bits of history too.  I had the chance to meet Tina recently and I came away with so much amazing knowledge.  Let’s see what we can learn now.

Your books are filled with little history lessons connecting the food to Jewish history, how did you learn all these facts?


 

10 Ways To Eat and Love Beets

 

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Growing up I never really liked beets.  I really had only ever seen them out of a jar usually in a salad bar.  Never had a I seen them raw or with green tops. Apparently, that is still the case for most people living in the U.S. where most beets consumed are from a can and even when sold raw they are often sold without their tops.  Only recently did I discover a love for beets and then a greater love for their green tops.

I have been reading a new book all about the history of vegetables and how to choose, store and cook the best ones for maximum nutrition.  The book, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, is a wealth of information that I will share when I can.  So, while I already loved beets, I found even more reasons that you should love them too.  Beets are a rich source of boron, which is good for bones and apparently may be an aphrodisiac too.  And beets, even without their greens (but, please eat the greens they are so good) are one of the healthiest vegetables.  People who eat beets on a regular basis have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.  Robinson also mentions that the nitrates in beets have been shown to enhance athletic performance, a glass of beet juice with Wheaties might be the true breakfast of champions.


 

Gluten Free Travel Inspired Coconut Chicken

 

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Hey, everyone!

I’m really glad to be joining you here on the Joy of Kosher and I just wanted to introduce myself formally — as I sit at home in my PJs — before we embark on our culinary journey together, otherwise… you know…it could be awkward.


 

Healthy Resolutions You Can Keep

 

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Happy New Year! Welcome to a new year and a new you! January has long been a time for resolutions and plans to improve ourselves in the coming year. The most common resolutions made are losing weight and getting fit. The most common resolutions broken are losing weight and getting fit. However, this doesn’t have to be true for you this year. Making a resolution to become healthier can be as easy as changing your focus and creating a healthy lifestyle.

Now while that may sound intimidating to completely change the way you live, it really doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. All it takes is changing your mindset and setting up your day to minimize temptation and maximize good habits. This can be as simple as throwing out that ashtray, and putting your running shoes where you’ll see them (and use them).


 

How To Cook Turkey London Broil

 

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There are three things that intrigue me… first and foremost is food and the many ways it can be turned from nourishment into an edible work of art.  Next is words… the written, the spoken, the meanings.  And finally there is history.  The history of our people, my people, antique furniture and old photos.  Along with these very separate subjects is often a chance for them to come together, especially for us food writing chefs.

Old recipes and those with interesting names are also fun for me to work with.  Where did they come from, and what has made them endure the test of time and the counting of calories?  Who was the first one to create a dish, and who was the first one to put it in a cookbook?  A modern day favorite is the Caesar Salad, which does not hail from the Roman Emperor Caesar, but from the Grand Master Maitre d’ Hotel at the brand new Waldorf Astoria of the 1930′s.  Or was it the Italian Chef Caesar Cardini, living in Mexico in the 1920′s?


 

Healthy and Gourmet Popcorn Recipes

 

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Who was it that first discovered the magical potential hidden within every kernel of corn?

That healthy snack, light as air…  that burst of white, crunchy happiness?


 

Make Your House Smell Amazing With A Healthy Treat

 

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On many a cold winter New York mornings I would drop my then 2-year old son off at his play group to the smell of hot, homemade granola.  It was intoxicating.  Sweet and syrupy the power of suggestion was enough to make me demand that his teacher let me taste, just a little, for research purposes of course.  Teacher Rivky as she was known ran the play group out of her home and was all too happy to cater to my “research”.  She was such a giving person and always sent me on my way with a granola care package big enough to feed me and the growing baby in my belly.

I love the simplicity of the recipe and the fact that almost any substitution works.  Instead of raisins use dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries.  Instead of almonds try walnuts, pecans or peanuts.  If you have the palate of a pregnant woman you can just add all of the above.  Warning – don’t burn that precious palate of yours – wait at least 15 minutes for your granola to cool before taste testing, for research purposes of course.


 

A Taste of Puerto Rico

 

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The warm Caribbean sun that seems to kiss the sand of Puerto Rico shined brightly on us when we landed a few weeks ago for a long-weekend far from the falling temperatures and falling leaves of New York in November.  To be completely honest, Puerto Rico was never on my must-see list.  I tend to go for more exotic travel, (see my article about Thailand and Costa Rica) but the combination of a cheap direct flight and free babysitting (thanks in-laws) was too much to resist.

The beaches of Isla Verde are located about 8 minutes from San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and since you don’t have to go through customs you can take off at 9 and dip your toes in the warm sand by lunchtime.  Although the Jewish population is only around 2,000, it is the largest community in the Caribbean islands and boasts a Reform and Conservative synagogue and a Chabad that is within easy walking distance to many beachfront hotels, including the El San Juan Hotel and Ritz Carlton, both of which I was able to experience during my stay.


 

DIY – Homemade Bubbly Cocktails

 

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This time of year sparkling wine and champagne are in high demand.   We love to toast with champagne and we love to mix it up too.   Light and fruity wine cocktails are the perfect complement to any celebration. When you have some bubbles, a bit of spice, and some succulent fruit, you can’t go wrong.

How to choose good wines to use in cocktails?


 

Go To Easy Dinner For Hectic Days

 

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Every mom has one: a go-to recipe for hectic days. It may be a casserole, or a one-pot meal, it might even be a main course salad. And of course, we’re always on the lookout for a new go-to recipe because, we get bored eating the same thing all the time.

For the working moms at Oorah, never was such a dish needed than during Oorah Auction season. There’s barely a moment to breathe, let alone cook as we put it all together—the auction that is. This is the major event of our organization, which funds over 49 programs for Jewish children and their families.


 

Make The Best Strata For Your Winter Brunch

 

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When winter sets in, we want heavy, soul-satisfying food. The days are shorter, and we may be feeling sluggish, so we don’t want to work too hard in the kitchen. That’s especially true of Sundays, when we don’t have to go anywhere and the day stretches before us unhurried and unpressured.

A strata is just the thing for a lazy winter brunch with friends. It’s gorgeous straight out of the oven, all golden and puffy, a real show-stopper. It’s basically a savory bread pudding. It’s called “strata” because the ingredients are layered like the stratosphere.


 

Brunch with An Asian Kick

 

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Curry, Caramel, Coconut and Chocolate Tart *Dear...

 

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Chocolate together with smoked chiles?  Chinese five spice?  Curry???  Well, yes, yes and yes!  But before we plunge into flavor adventures, let’s back up a bit.

As you know, there’s nothing else like chocolate.  It is great in both sweet and savory applications; it can be melted, chopped, grated and pulverized into nibs and powder for a multitude of uses; it can be used straight up and intense or blended with sugar and milk for a lighter taste.  And best of all, its deep, universally-loved essence blends beautifully with so many other flavors, each enhancing the other.


 

Wild Rice Recipes

 

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Wild Rice is actually the seed of a grass plant. The plant grows in shallow lakes and slow moving streams. Wild rice is native to America and China and is a staple of Ojibwa Native Americans.  Wild rice is endangered in many areas due to loss of habitat and it varies a lot in quality. The term wild does not accurately describe the growing environment and much of the rice we buy is cultivated and mechanically harvested.  True wild rice is river grown and hand harvested.

The perennial plants produce delicious and fragrant seeds each year. The seeds are very fragile and are susceptible to shattering which drives the price of the seeds up, that is why true wild rice is expensive, full flavored and elegant, but worth out.  Seek out a sustainable true wild rice that is hand harvested and you will be rewarded with a delicious and nutritious side dish. It is high in protein and dietary fiber so that is an added bonus.


 

Nominate Your Favorites – 2013 Best of...

 

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We’re Back.  We love to hear from you and learn about new and not so new chefs, wines, products, blogs etc.  Nominate yourself, nominate your friends and nominate your favorites.  The third annual  Best of Kosher awards are here!!!

This year we have a few changes including fun prizes to giveaway to all of you.