I love hearing from all of you and "celebrating" your successes. Please share you pics with me! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I love when readers send me their pictures of the recipes they make. Send me your pictures of the recipes you make from CELEBRATE. I'm putting together a post of YOUR pictures of the recipes you make from CELEBRATE so send them over!
Thank you West Orange, Englewood, Cedarhurst and Brooklyn for great events!
Introducing new fellow author friends at Kosherfest
Mia Ozair author of Eat, Pray, Eat Kosher
Family recipes and Jewish traditions
Beth Warren, author of Living a Real Life with Real Food
Meal plans and recipes for a healthy lifestyle
Kosherfest was certainly a foodfest, a cheesefest, a fleishfest, and an extravaganza filled with fantastic products to taste and enjoy. With record-breaking attendance, the aisles were filled with discriminating tasters hoping to find the best of Kosherfest. Kosher brands, old and new hoping to get the attention from markets, distributors and kosher media friends. Yes, tasting is fun, but connecting to other foodie friends makes the experience a super food day!
My Kosherfest 2015 favorites right here….
Squirrel Brand Italian Black Truffle Almonds: Crunchy, rich, delicious and my new salad topper. Italian Black Truffle Almonds® are a first of their kind. Aromatic black summer truffles are hand-harvested in Northern Italy and ground into flavorful sea salt so their distinct flavor permeates through the condiment. Once folded into our finest selection of sweet California almonds...the flavor transcends all senses. This product is VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE and Pareve.
The Cheese Guy, Double Ale Cheddar Cheese: Admittedly, I liked every cheese I tasted from the Cheese Guy, plus the Maple Apple Butter, which was even more amazing with a thin slice of cheese and a cracker, yes this is the snack of all time! Find these cheeses in your market, kosher cheese has never tasted this flavorful.
Malka Beer: Beer brewed in Israel with awesome chic logo and bottle. The pale ale is perfect. Currently in most states and coming to others but check your liquor stores and request it. It’s a taste of Israel, support of Israel and a great beer.
Mina brand Harissa and Shakshuka sauce: Great harissa, from mild (its harissa so mild has a good kick too) to apicy (WOW, serious heat and flavor). I’m adding it to so many sauces. Israeli inspired foods are super trendy. Shakshuka sauce, just add to pan, heat and poach eggs right in the pan. Creative product and definitely going to be a big hit.
Jack’s Gourmet Sausage: Of course his sausages are popular at Kosherfest, great taste and texture, smoky, and perfectly prepared. Their booth was crowded and happening, and their new Pulled Beef Brisket is a big winner. It makes an easy dinner and lots of sandwich leftovers.
Best Ingredients, Best Results, Best Chips by friend Estee Kaffra of Kosher Scoop has added an instant crumb topping (yes, just add to apples, pears, muffins, challah and bake for instant crumb topping), and all-natural .
Look out for these products too, pending distribution, but I’m sure they will be coming soon!
Ludwig Farmstead Creamery: More unbelievable cheese, made on an Illinois farm with no hormones, or antibiotics, and made with raw milk cheese to create award-winning Artisan cheese. Currently get it online but hopefully in stores soon.
Pure Genius: Brownies and blondies packed with beans, protein, fiber and invisible goodness. I liked the blondie made from chickpeas and lots of chocolate chips. Just certified kosher, and available soon in your markets. Boost your edible IQ with this treat.
I’m still full…okay not really, but I’m still bursting from happiness over so many foods, condiments, snack items, and opportunities in the kosher cooking world. We are so lucky and it certainly is not what it used to be. So eat up and support kosher brands!
Pumpkin is in season and it’s one of my husband’s favorite flavors. Fall flavors are warm and inviting and the colors mirror the beauty outside. I love the fall leaves (really hate the winter weather!) and watching my yard come to life with color. In celebration of fall and pumpkin season, here are three great pumpkin treats, we love these as snacks or dessert. Next week, fall flavored meals. We just can’t get enough!
I’m on the road…at the great challah bake, demo’ing, speaking on radio shows (did you hear me on Naomi Nachman’s Table for Two, it’s here, if you missed it) and having fun “Celebrate’ing” the book launch. Thank you so much for your emails and your wonderful support!
Meanwhile, my weeknight repertoire needs to be fast and fresh. Yesterday, I picked up fresh fish and pasta and had dinner done in about 35 minutes just in time for school pick-ups. I made Flounder with Lemon and Garlic and Spaghetti with No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Here are some a few others on my list for the upcoming weeks.
Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Summer Squash
Easy Mirin Glazed Salmon
Easy Dijon Chicken
Easy Italian Bean Soup
Chicken Caesar Skewers
Chicken Strips with Bow Ties
Vegetarian Chili Casserole with Cornbread Topping
IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE, the waiting is over. My cookbook, titled, CELEBRATE, food, family, shabbos has arrived and was worth the wait! The pre-order is over, its time for the real-deal. Celebrate is packed with over 200 original recipes, easy enough for everyday and special enough for Shabbos or any holiday. The photos are award-winning and the recipes are just what my readers asked for, simple in preparation and beautiful in presentation. It includes recipes in every category from soups, salads, chickens, meats, and desserts, to extra special sections like Kiddush, Shalosh Seudos, and a pantry, all packed with the recipes that are unique to those times.
Writing Celebrate has been a whirl-wind experience, actually a dream come true. I worked with the most incredible team of people, from my new friends at Emunah of America to every vendor and partner, the photographers, editors, graphics team, printers, testers, calligrapher/artist, and publicist. The best endorsement is to say I would choose to work with each of them over and over again.
I am especially proud that the proceeds of CELEBRATE will benefit Emunah’s Children’s homes in Israel. On my recent trip, I took pictures with some of the children that cooked with me months ago for the book. Watching their faces light up as they viewed the images of themselves on the recipe pages was joyous, uplifiting and inspiring. Look at some of these delighted faces!
People ask me what are my favorite recipes in the book…seriously? An impossible question, but a few faves include Good-as-a-Latte Mushroom Soup, Sesame Chicken Hand Rolls, Mini Moroccan Burgers in Grilled Pitas, Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds, Everything Bagel Chicken, Savory London Broil with Sweet Braised Shallots and Mushrooms, S’mores Pie, Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie, Coconut Macadamia Nut Biscotti, Vanilla Babka, need I say more?
Get your copy today here for $29.95 or find it in your local store! It’s a great Chanukah gift. Purchase is tax-deductible and tax free.
I’m visiting Jewish communities around the country, check my schedule here or email me to invite me to your community. I’d love to meet you.
If you’re a close reader of food magazines or healthy food blogs, you may have noticed that coconut oil is showing up in more and more recipes and articles. Years ago, you may remember that coconut oil was vilified, so what’s going on?
For starters, the coconut oil that caused an outcry, way back in the 1990’s was highly processed and full of bad for you trans fats. Today’s unrefined (or virgin) coconut oil does not contain trans fats and is even being studied for its positive role in everything from thyroid function and weight loss to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. And though it’s very high in saturated fat, its composition is different from the saturated fats in animal products and may actually improve HDL or “good” cholesterol.
While the jury is still out on health claims and long term benefits, everything I have read and tested leads me to believe that pure (not hydrogenated) coconut oil in moderation is fine for a few reasons: It’s delicious. I love it for its savory yet sweet, slightly nutty flavor. It’s amazing in curry dishes, stir-fry dishes, roasting vegetables, frying, and even baking. And you should use LESS than the equivalent other fat, i.e. oil or margarine, because when melted it has a greasier result than the other fats. I love it with sautéed carrots in a cast iron pan, tossed with sweet potatoes and roasted with spices, and especially in lots of cookie recipes. Finally, coconut oil is amazing as a moisturizer. I often find that my teenage girls take it from the pantry and use it in their showers.
Check out these recipes but try to use it in your favorite recipes too. And let me know your favorites. Coconut oil is available nationwide with kosher certification in most national markets.
I sometimes buy peeled garlic to save myself the peeling step, but many cities this is not available. I recently participated in a culinary tip seminar and I'm excited to share this tip I learned. To peel many cloves at once, put the cloves in a big metal bowl, and cover them with another metal bowl, bottom side up. Then while holding the bowls tightly together, shake like crazy, and really use your best strength. Not only does this relieve a little stress but it takes most of the skins right off.
Store Peeled Garlic: Store garlic in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Garlic Oil: Mince about 10 cloves and place in a jar. Then pour 3/4 cup olive oil over the garlic and set aside for a few days. Use in cooking and salad dressings for awesome garlic infused oil.
Use garlic in any of these recipes.
You ask great questions and I love sharing both the question and the answers with all of my readers. Best of summer q and a….
Why does basil die when I put it in my fridge?
Farmer market girl, Los Angeles
Vibrant, lush fresh perfumey basil quickly becomes limp and brown after being stored in the refrigerator. Basil is a tropical plant, highly sensitive to cold. If stored below 40 F, and most refrigerators are set between 35 and 38. Instead, keep basil in a cool, shady place in your kitchen, stems submerged in a glass partially filled with water. Then place a large zip lock plastic bag over the top of the basil: this keeps the leaves moist while still letting the plant breathe.
What is that yellow spot on the watermelon and someone said it is important for ripeness? How do I pick a ripe watermelon?
Martha, Brookline, MA
I just learned this myself! Although a ripe melon says “punk” when thumped and a green one says “pink or pank”, this can be very difficult. Look instead for a deep cream or yellow ground spot, where the melon sat on the ground as it grew, to show that it ripened adequately before harvest. Light green or whitish spots indicate underripe melons. Also, shiny melons may be unripe and dull rinds can be overripe. I like to smell them too, the fragrant melons, all types are usually riper.
Here are two pre-fast items that are both refreshing and delicious. Watermelon is terrific because it contains a lot of …water, and is hydrating and filling. I’m serving it in this Watermelon Gazpacho but also as dessert alongside these adorable Mason Jar S’mores. My kids still love Caramelized Onion and Boursin Cheese Pizza and I like Pan Seared Cod with Creamed Corn. I’ll serve a simple green salad with a light lemon vinaigrette alongside these filling dishes plus lots and lots of water. Finally, back by popular demand, What’s Best to Eat Before a Fast.
Mason Jar S'mores
The Nine Days are here again…and we have the GKC Nine Days Recipe Roundup Here with something for everyone, from pasta making tips and recipes, quiche, homemade pizza, to tons and tons of fish options, vegetarian chili, and more. Send me your favorites so that I can add it to our extensive collection. And don’t forget to search the index by ingredient too, like salmon, or flounder, or ice cream.
A few other favorites right here:
Pan Roasted Maple Halibut with Herbed Pistou
Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Crispy Kani Salad with Cucumber and Spicy Mayo by Esther Deutsch
Salmon with Yogurt Zaatar Sauce
I know, I know…your kids won’t eat that, just for kids then, try these
Homemade Pizza Dough and Pizza
Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Mini Macaroni and Cheese Puffs
Vegetarian Chili and Taco Selections
Three Cheese Calzone with Balsamic Glaze
Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza
I also like to make lots of bean dishes during the nine days. Try some of these.
Black Bean, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad
Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil Lime Vinaigrette
Black Bean Caesar Salad
Roasted Tomatoes with Fennel and White Beans
Whatever you make, end it with some delicious dairy desserts, like homemade ice creams or cookies made with butter! You might skip meat more often.
Here's a clean and easy way to remove kernels from an ear of corn.
Whip out your Bundt pan, but not for making a cake.
1. First, fit the tip of a shucked ear of corn into the hole in the center of a Bundt pan.
2. Then, firmly hold the ear near the top, and slide a sharp knife down the side to cut off the corn kernels.
3. Rotate the cob and repeat cutting, letting the cake pan neatly catch the kernels as they are removed.
Fresh corn is delicious this time of year while it's in the height of season. Watch for Long Island white corn in August.
Try these terrific corn recipes:
Romaine and Corn Salad with Avocado Dressing
Summer Corn and Tomato Salad
Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil Lime Vinaigrette
Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad
Fresh Corn and Avocado Salad
Father’s Day and graduation are definitely a terrific kickoff to summer. Burgers are an essential part of summertime and we make them any and all ways in our house.
Before starting any BBQ or burger night, start with these BURGER MAKING TIPS, to ensure perfect juicy results every time. And get more tips and the best Turkey Burger recipe on this GKC Turkey Burger Video. It’s a fan favorite on both Aol and Yahoo video, with over 200,000 views.
Next, we have a few burger recipes to keep on hand all summer! Serve them with different condiments, ketchups, chili sauces, tzatziki, or mustards, and assorted breads/buns, including pitas, Indian bread, wraps, etc. This way every burger seems like a very different meal and cuisine. Let me know your favorite burger recipe too, so we can share it with all GKC burger fans.
Easiest Father’s Day Burger
Mini Moroccan Lamb Burgers
Grilled Burgers with Lemon Margarine
Asian Burgers with Chili Mayonnaise
Beer Bathed Pulled Brisket Burgers
The New American Burger (Turkey and Veal)
What’s the difference between the variety of cucumbers you see in the market? Actually the difference is huge in terms of taste and crunch but all can be used interchangeably in a recipe, although I certainly have my preference. Check out these varieties and get your summer started with some Classic Cucumber Salad.
Knubby and mixed shades of green. About 3-inches long and often 2-inches wide. Tasty firm flesh and thin skin make it a natural for eating raw or pickling.
My personal favorite! High ratio of skin to flesh, resulting gin concentrated flavor and crunchy texture than can stand up to cooking but excellent as a snack or in salads. Great flavor.
Common Cucumber a.k.a. American cucumber
Thick, often waxed skin and big seeds, which means, peeling is a must. I seed them too because they often shed too much water in salads. Good for the American cucumber salad, but that’s about it.
Delicious, thin, crisp skin and a delicate aroma. Ideal for juicing and cocktails, salads, and eating. The skin adds color and flavor so leave it on.
Try these recipes with terrific flavorful cucumbers, perfect for sunny days of summer…
Chilled Cucumber Soup
Cucumber and Sesame Mixed Green Salad
Spicy Cucumber Salad with Peanuts
Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Sauce
Indian Spiced Cucumber Salad
Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad
Classic Cucumber Salad
Thanks for the great questions, it helps all of us become better cooks. Please send me your questions, and I’ll share the answers with GKC readers.
Fluffier Brown Rice?
Soak brown rice for 30 minutes before cooking for fluffier texture.
What can I use in place of an egg wash?
Substitute pareve cream, heavy cream, soymilk or milk. The result will be slightly less glossy. Sometimes I brush challahs with a combination of 1 tablespoon soymilk, ½ teaspoon honey and a splash of vanilla extract
Flakier pie crust?
Add a drop of white distilled vinegar to the dough for a flakier crust.
What can I use in place of pareve whipping cream?
This is tough because there are no products on the market currently that whip as well as the artificial product we currently use. However, I have been whipping the firm layer that forms from a can of chilled unsweetened coconut milk. Whip it just like heavy cream. After soft peaks form add ¼ cup sugar, very gradually and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
Crisper roasted vegetables?
For roasted vegetables, always use a low-sided baking sheet and high oven heat (400 degrees) or convection bake or roast (for convection, I use 375 degrees). Also, add a little oil to baking sheets and put them in the oven while it heats. When you add the veggies, they will immediately sear.
How much salad dressing do I need to make?
Count on 1 - 1 ½ tablespoons dressing per serving.
“My father-in-law’s mother, whom my daughter is named after, used to make this cake for my father all the time and it's been an honor to recreate it for him. It's become a fun recipe to make with my kids and I even make it with my own mom when I go visit my parents and siblings in Seattle. It's definitely a family favorite! “
Jamie Geller, from Joy of Kosher, makes this bright and fresh California Avocado Salad for her mom. It’s her mom’s favorite. Her mom is in awe of Jamie’s cooking skills as she doesn’t cook and did not pass that on to Jamie. Well, look at her now, mom! Tamar Genger, from Joy of Kosher, has a mom fave too. Her mom is great at making schnitzel and all kinds of latkes, but this is probably her specialty that she actually posted to the site in the very early days, Stuffed Veal Roast
Shoshana Ohriner, from Couldntbepareve.com shared two nostalgic and classic recipes. Her dad is the chef in their home but the original recipe is from her maternal grandmother who was a great cook. How cool is that, her dad makes a recipe from her mom’s family. It’s called World’s Best Brisket and is filled with flavorful ingredients like thyme, oregano and Manishewitz wine.
Shoshana’s husband’s grandmother comes to visit and makes these Grandma Rose Mandelbrot with her grandkids. Now that’s how memories and great recipes are shared.
Fellow blogger and friend, Ronnie Fein wrote this touching and memorable article for the yahrzeit of her mom. It would have been her 100th birthday. Ronnie’s mom was a wonderful cook (check out the recipes in her post, fried chicken, Fannies, apple pie, corn fritters!) and the Famous Nut Roll Recipe which is delicious and easy to make! Ronnie, it’s a beautiful tribute to your mom.
Vicky Cohen and Ruth Fox, sister bloggers and chefs from MayIhavethatrecipe.com shared these Sweet Semolina Borekas because it reminds them of their mom. The orange blossom syrup is citrusy and sweet and amazing on the borekas.
Honoring Moms…What’s the recipe you remember mom making? Have mom’s best recipe? Please share it!
My mom (now a grandmother) is famous with my kids for homemade pancakes and rugelach. As a kid, I actually remember her making lavish (or just very messy) Chinese food. She took a Chinese cooking class and became a wok master.
I also remember making Rocky Road Chocolate Fudge with my grandmother, but cannot locate the recipe L but my mother remembers her making excellent babka and cookies, like these Coconut Cookies. I actually have her old recipe binder with neatly typed out and handwritten recipes filed by recipe type. Yes, there is a big jello section, but tons of sweet cakes like Ethel’s coffee cake, or Sophie’s Barbkie (I guess that’s Babki, like Babka?)
It’s almost Mother’s Day and sorry to burst your bubble, but I don’t want breakfast in bed! I want to sleep in (what’s that?), I want someone to drive any and all carpools, I want a great cup of hot coffee, and I definitely want to eat one or all of these recipes. I’m easy, just make something I like ☺ that means, almost anything with chopped, toasted nuts, or crumble, maybe something chocolate, and definitely something moist, delicious and satiating. And…please clean up after you make it for me, tysm
I love being a mom!
Strawberry-Almond Cornmeal Cake
Carrot-Walnut Loaf Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Bites
Winter comfort food no more! Spring is finally here! The minute warmer weather arrives in NY, I’m motivated to create light and fresh recipes. I also enjoy the outdoors so I like spring recipes that are quick and easy and allow for more time to enjoy the sunshine. However, just like the lazy winter blues shouldn’t compromise your meals neither should spring fever. Try these simple, light, and super tasty salad recipes. Welcome Spring welcome ☺
Good luck! Share your favorite spring salad recipes or any spring salad ideas in the comments below!
Confessions….one of my favorite parts of teaching cooking classes is the pseudo therapy the women in the class give one another. Sometimes its hard to quiet people down because they are so passionate about the topics from how to feed picky eaters, how to make healthier meals without a fuss, dinner and Shabbos recipe suggestions, and very often lately, how to save money and still feed a family in a nutritious way.
I think these are very relatable. I very often go to the store for one or two items only to spend much more money than I planned for a couple of groceries. And I like to cook wholesome and healthy for a big family and often lots of company on Shabbos and want it to be affordable and time efficient.
As I've become more experienced in the food industry, I've come to realize there are lots of ways to make grocery shopping quick and less expensive (this applies to healthy eaters who like specialty stores like Whole Foods Markets, as well those who are looking for ways to spend less on organic and nutritious groceries).
Here are my tips on how to grocery shop efficiently and affordably without over spending:
1. Meal Prep! I cannot stress this tip enough. Every Sunday, take 10 minutes and create a few weeknight and weekday (for lunch makers) meals for that week. I usually plan Monday through Wednesday and then create a grocery list from these meals. I add in snacks, and the regular items that are standards, like milk, fruit, salad vegetables, and juice. It may seem a bit ridiculous, but meal prepping saves you time by not having to decide what to make each night and money by not over buying and shopping carelessly. It may be hard to incorporate what you want to make for Shabbos in your preparations, so don't worry you can also think about Shabbos meals on Wednesday or Thursday and shop for Shabbos then.
2. Order Online if possible. Unfortunately, many markets do not have this online feature. However, if your market allows you to make an order through email for pickup or delivery, I strongly suggest it. It saves both time and money. Most people walk through the grocery store and select unnecessary items that add up. Even sale items that you do not need, will add to a bill. How often are you surprised at the grocery bill when you check out? Some of that overspending at the market can be avoided with online ordering. Of course, I enjoy trying new products that catch my eye, but try to keep the "extras" to a minimum when I’m actually in the market.
3. If you are a fruit and vegetable lover like me, this tip is especially applicable to you. Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Many times we go to the market looking for artichokes, persimmons, cherry tomatoes, or mangos, look down at the price and they are double the usual cost. This is because fruits and veggies work with supply and demand. If they are in season, there is a greater supply so the cost goes down. And the opposite, when they are not in season, causing the prices to jump. Therefore, try to buy fruits and vegetables that are seasonal to get the best value for their cost.
4. Look for sales- this may seem a bit extreme, but don't ignore super market sales. Follow the advertisements and buy items on sale in bulk. I buy cereal on sale, always, granola bars, flour, sugar, and yogurts too. I don’t run from market to market because it just takes too much time, but I do watch the sales at my favorite market and make sure to put away my staple items at those time when I see a great sale. Even markets like Whole Foods has great sales. Last week I saw Kind Bars for 3 for $1, and Chobani yogurts for $.89.
5. Certain stores provide cash back for bringing your own bag (to avoid using plastic). This is a great and easy way to save money. Don't forget your canvas bags! And many markets have school “give back” programs where they give a % of the proceeds from every sale to the school of your choice. That way you can feel good about all that grocery shopping.
I love hearing your thoughts and learn so much from all my readers! Share the way you save time and money to become a pro shopper in the comments below. Happy shopping!
Classic, Gluten-Free, Filo Dough, Cake Mix, and TONS of delicious and creative filling options. See it all here.
Party Cocktails…Chocolate Martinis AND Easy Margaritas AND Tutti Frutti’s
Red Pepper Soup with Cumin
Beer Bathed Brisket
Mixed Green Salad with Avocado, Mango, and Champagne Vinaigrette
Cedar Planked Salmon with Dill Sauce
Asparagus Sesame Maple Dressing
Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms
Oven Roasted Greek Potatoes
Carrot Zucchini Muffins
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Box Cake