If ever a name was perfectly suited to a cookbook, this is it. The book is a spectacular array of photographs of artfully arranged food. Oh yeah, and there are recipes too. But I think that somehow the recipes are beside the point. This is a book that you want to look at – over and over again. We have a few cake decorating cookbooks in our home. I am not being modest when I tell you that I will NEVER make any of the cakes featured in those books. I don’t have the creative skills, the time or the patience. But my kids and I just love to look at them. It’s art in food form. I feel the same way about Kosher Elegance. It is just such a pleasure to look at the pictures. And the truth is, I may actually try some of the recipes. But I guarantee that my Pistachio-Liver Paté will never look like the swirled mousse that Efrat Libfroind’s does. It takes a special talent to present food so artistically and Mrs. Libfroind clearly possesses that skill. It’s a beautiful book from start to finish. And maybe I could try the Crown Jewel Rice or the Lettuce, Sweet Potato and Apple Salad. Perhaps even the Bite-Sized Rolls with Chicken-Pine Nut Filling. Check out our Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of this special book.
There is really no logical reason why grilling has become a man’s job. But hey, who are we to complain? And if men love barbecue tools as Father’s Day presents, all the better.
They are a gift for all of us. And the bbq accessories and recipes just keep growing and growing. Here at GKC, we are still purists and can’t quite bring ourselves to bake a cake on the grill but there remains a broad range of recipes to try and we’d like to share just some of them with you. The weather is perfect, the day long and lazy. Fire up the grill, make some margaritas and watch dad do his thing. Or if you prefer beer, try this:
Lemonade Beer Chiller
And these barbecue recipes:
Grilled Corn, Avocado and Cilantro Salad
Rum and Coke-Simmered Ribs
And how about this old favorite: Grilled Burgers with Lemon Margarine
Do you ever gaze at those displays of rich fudge at farmer’s markets and wish all of it was kosher? Do you fantasize about the plain chocolate fudge or the marshmallow or even the peanut butter flavors? Have you ever wondered how to make fudge yourself, or if it’s even a possibility? Shavuot is the perfect time to turn that fantasy into reality by making the fudge of your dreams in the privacy of your own kitchen. New and unique Shavuot recipes are always fun to introduce into your repertoire, and fudge is yet another dairy delight that helps you get in the spirit of the holiday. And one of the best things about this chocolate fudge recipe – other than the taste – is that it’s super easy. So indulge and enjoy.
Not sure how to make fudge? Always wanted to try it for yourself? Try these easy chocolate fudge recipes with condensed milk.
18 ounces semisweet chocolate – either chips or coarsely chopped squares
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Line an 8-inch square pan with heavy-duty foil. Melt chocolate and sweetened condensed milk together – either in the microwave or in a small saucepan on top of the stove over low heat. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour in prepared pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into squares.
Walnut or Pecan: When you stir in the vanilla, also add a cup of chopped nuts.
Coconut: Along with the vanilla, stir in 1 cup toasted coconut.
Peanut Butter: Drop ½ cup peanut butter by teaspoonfuls on top of fudge and swirl with knife to marbleize.
Marshmallow: When you stir in the vanilla, add 2 cups miniature marshmallows.
Rocky Road: Same as above, only also add 1 cup chopped nuts.
Enjoyed this chocolate fudge recipe? Try another of our delicious Shavuot recipes for dessert!
One of the songs my kids used to listen to when they were younger was about the Jewish holidays. I no longer recall most of the words (maybe I’ve blocked them from my mind after hearing them so many times!) but I do remember the singer cuing the children, “On Shavuot we love to eat…” and they would yell out “Cheesecake!!!!!!” (Yes, it was very loud). But they were correct and old or young, Shavuot cheesecake is our favorite treat and a memory we are creating for the holiday. My husband likes the plain classic cheesecake recipes (he also prefers vanilla ice cream!) whereas I prefer the more interesting variations. So here is a list of a few different cheesecake recipes, with something for everyone. And of course, we always welcome your contributions.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups toasted shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs and melted butter or margarine. Press into bottom of 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool on rack. Beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually adding sugar. Beat in cream of coconut and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Pour into pan and bake for about 1 hour, 20 minutes – just until set. Cool on rack and loosen sides. Refrigerate or freeze. Sprinkle with coconut before serving.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup finely chopped peanuts
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (store bought or make your own)
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, peanuts and melted butter or margarine. Press onto bottom and slightly up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and vanilla and continue beating. Add eggs, one at a time. Mixture should be very creamy. Toss chopped peanut butter cups with the 1 tablespoon flour. Stir into cream cheese mixture and pour into crust. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack. Loosen sides and refrigerate.
Garnish with extra chopped peanut butter cups if desired.
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Amaretto liqueur
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup roasted silvered almonds
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and press into bottom and slightly up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat cream cheese until fluffy, gradually adding sugar. Beat in eggs, one at time. Stir in Amaretto and pour over crust. Bake for 45 minutes. Mix together topping ingredients and gently spread over cheesecake. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or until set. Cool completely and loosen sides. Refrigerate or freeze. Just before serving, sprinkle with roasted slivered almonds and chocolate shavings.
On Lag B’Omer, we make bonfires to remind us of the light of the Torah and Zohar taught to us by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. It’s a day of outdoor celebration and outdoor feasting. So it seems like the perfect time of year to dust (or scrub) off the barbecue grill and fire up the coals (or in my case, the gas). Here are some great bbq recipes to get your summer started.
BBQ Sliced Steak Sliders
Balsamic Glazed Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
Spinach and Grilled Corn Salad
This book showed up on my door step at the perfect moment. I was having a hard time motivating myself to get back in the kitchen. I felt all cooked out!! Pesach seemed to have exhausted my creative spirit. But PERSIAN FOOD from THE NON-PERSIAN BRIDE was just what I needed to restart my engine. I needed something completely different and Reyna Simnegar provided it. As her subtitle (AND OTHER KOSHER SEPHARDIC RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE!) suggests, the recipes were not solely Persian. I tried my hand at homemade Chummus, Babaganoush and Matbucha. They were all a big hit, especially the later two. I’m not in general a big fan of Babaganoush but somehow when I roasted the eggplant myself and it was freshly made, the taste was much more vibrant and flavorful. The Matbucha was superb with diced jalapeno adding a nice kick. I also tried the Moroccan-Style Beet Salad; a big favorite with me especially since I love anything with cumin and cilantro. I don’t really eat meatballs but the rest of the gang really enjoyed the Persian Mega Meatballs (I actually caught someone eating them directly out of the refrigerator!) I’ve always wanted to make Persian rice, with the crusty bottom, but I wasn’t feeling quite that ambitious so I skipped the book’s Persian Rice Tutorial and made instead the Oven-Baked Super-Easy Basmati Rice with Dried Cranberries and Saffron. Super-Easy were the magic words and they were accurate. But it wasn’t just easy, it was delicious also (and I was the one that could be caught sneaking bites as it sat on the counter cooling). I can’t wait to make the Matbucha again (maybe it will become a regular at our Shabbos table) and to try some of her other recipes. I’m especially appreciative that this new cookbook got me out of my slump. Try it; it may work for you too!!
Click here to purchase.
Whether it’s a Hallmark creation or not, all mothers like to be pampered. And while the recipes that the kids churn out are bound to be delicious, she might be in the mood for something a little more elegant and sophisticated later in the day (when she returns from the spa!) Here are a few treats that a more enterprising husband (and some older children) can whip up:
Chili Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Rich Pound Cake
Chocolate Bread Pudding with Warm Caramel and Chocolate Sauces
Just in case your wife isn’t a chocolate fan, try this simple but oh-so-delicious pound cake. Serve with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream. This is a dessert that is much better when made dairy but if that is a problem use margarine instead of butter and soy milk or nondairy creamer instead of the regular milk.
1 pound butter, softened
3 cups sugar
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs until well combined. Combine flour and baking powder and add to mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and end with the dry ingredients. Stir in almond extract and vanilla and pour into greased 10-inch tube pan. Bake for about 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.
½ cup margarine, softened
3 ounces tofutti cream cheese
1 cup flour
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup margarine, softened
¼ cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons nondairy creamer or soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat together margarine and tofutti cream cheese. On low speed add flour until completely combined. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour. Shape dough into 24 balls and press each ball along the bottom and up the sides of ungreased muffin cups.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt together chocolate chips and margarine and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix well. Spoon 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons filling into each pastry-lined muffin cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes – filling with puff up but will settle down again upon cooling. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; carefully remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
When tarts are cool, make frosting. Beat together all frosting ingredients until smooth. Pipe or spoon frosting onto tartlets. Mom will be so impressed!
It seems like a cliché, the children making mom breakfast for Mother’s Day. But it doesn’t seem to matter because (most) mothers appreciate the effort and (most) children want to give it a try. If you suspect that your family has a secret brunch in mind, you might want to give them a nudge in the direction of this website so that they can try these simple, elegant recipes. Nudge dad also. Depending on the age of your kids, some of these recipes require his help. And, just in case he doesn’t realize it on his own, we’d like to add our own message to dad and the kids: Mom will really appreciate it if you don’t forget to clean up the kitchen after you make breakfast!!
Ice Blended Coffee Malted
Mother’s Day Goat Cheese and Spinach Omelette
Baked French Toast
Chocolate Pistachio Bread
2 (8 ounce) containers Rich’s whip
2 pints strawberries, sliced or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen strawberries, defrosted
1 (19 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 (4 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
½ cup coconut, toasted
Beat whip until stiff peaks form. Mix with fruit and refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon into martini or champagne glasses. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Variation: Feel free to add other fruit if you desire. Some people add maraschino cherries or grapes. Some even add miniature marshmallows (Yes, I know, those don’t count as a fruit!)
2 big handfuls baby spinach
2 tablespoons butter
8 pieces sun-dried tomato packed in oil, drained and finely chopped (alternatively, use ¼ cup sliced shitake mushrooms)
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs
2 ounces goat cheese (1/2 a small log), cut into thin slices (or use Alouette or Boursin cheese)
Wash and dry the spinach then chop it coarsely.
Heat the butter in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sun-dried tomato and scallion and cook, stirring, until the scallion is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted and all liquid is evaporated, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
Lower the heat to medium. Pour in the eggs and let them sit a few seconds until they start to set around the edges. Using a plastic spatula push a piece of the set edge gently toward the center. Tilt the pan and let some of the unset egg from the top fill the little gap you just made. Keep going around the edge of the pan like this, until there is no more unset egg on top.
Scatter the goat cheese slices over the top of the omelet. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the goat cheese. Put the skillet under the broiler and leave the oven door open, cook just until the top of the omelet is set and puffed, about 2 minutes.
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup margarine, melted
¾ cup soy milk or regular milk if you want it to be dairy
1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pistachios
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together sugar, margarine, milk and egg. On low speed, beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then remove onto wire rack to finish cooling.
Adapted from original recipe by the Hungry Girl
2 teaspoons malted milk powder (find it with the cocoa powder at the market)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules or instant espresso granules
1 – 3 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda or Truvia) or 3 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup light vanilla soymilk
1 tablespoon half and half or whole milk
5 – 8 ice cubes or 1 cup crushed ice
Whipped cream for the top
Put all dry ingredients in a tall glass. Add 2 oz. (1/4 cup) hot water, and stir until ingredients have completely dissolved. Add 5 oz. cold water.
Add soymilk, half and half, and ice, and stir well. Top with real whipped cream and a straw.
MAKES 1 SERVING
Here’s how I know that the Almighty has a sense of humor. On the Shabbos after Passover, just when you think you may never want to see the inside of a kitchen again, there is a particular custom to bake schlissel challah. For those whose Yiddish is a little rusty, schlissel means key – and baking a key inside the challah is meant to be a propitious sign for livelihood. That’s the humor. We all want a decent livelihood so how can we ignore this opportunity? Here’s one of our favorite challah recipes to make your forced return to the kitchen especially delicious. If this doesn’t open up the gates of income, I don’t know what will!
Perfect Challah with Sweet Crumble Topping
This is the most delicious challah ever – promise. The only “complaint” expressed is about starting the meal with dessert!
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups warm water
2 cups sugar
2 cups oil
2 tablespoons salt
12-14 cups bread flour (hi-gluten flour)
In a large bowl pour water over yeast. As it is proofing (bubbling), add sugar. After yeast has tripled in size and is no longer bubbling (about 5 to 10 minutes), add oil, eggs and salt. Whisk everything together. Then begin stirring in flour, 3-4 cups at a time. Continue until it is no longer possible to stir in anymore. Take dough out of the bowl and on a clean work surface, knead dough until it is elastic, about 5 minutes. If it is sticky, add more flour. Sprinkle oil around bowl and roll dough in oil to keep it moist. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 2 hours in a warm place. Punch dough down, braid and place in greased pans. Cover again and let braided challahs rise for another hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle loaves with streusel topping. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Optional Streusel Topping:
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup margarine, cut into pieces (alternatively, you can use ½ canola oil)
Mix sugar, flour, and margarine with fork or in food processor to form a crumble. Sprinkle on top of challah before baking. (I usually double it and just keep remainder in the freezer to use week after week)
Purim is here…what are you making? What are you sending? And what are you drinking? Share your favorite Purim recipe for the Favorite Purim recipe contest for a chance to win a cookbook
It’s funny though that just as soon as we bring in and send out all this candy, we cannot wait to use it up and get it out to get ready for Passover. So In addition to all these great Purim ideas, GKC has got the answers to what to do with leftover candy in 2011. Last year we suggested:
Candy Bar Blondies
Tootsie Roll Cheesecake
Hershey Bar Banana Treat
Potato Chip Baked Chicken
This year we’ve added a few more suggestions Leftover Candy Cupcakes and Leftover Candy Chocolate Bark. (Remember the local schools love wrapped, marked candy donations to use as treats for the kids – check with your local school. In New York, JEP (the Jewish Enrichment Program) collects the wrapped, marked candy at many of the schools in the tri-state area to use for their kiruv programs. If you do not have a collection at your school you can mail it to them at JEP 110 Rockaway Turnpike, Lawrence, NY 11559.)
Make a batch of mini chocolate cupcakes and top with vanilla frosting; decorate with your favorite candies.
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
3 (2.1-ounce) Butterfinger candy bars cut into irregular 1-inch pieces, or other candy bar of choice
3 (1.4-ounce) heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular ½ inch pieces or other candy of choice
8 (.55 ounce) peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges, or other candy bar of choice
¼ cup honey-roasted peanuts
3 ounces high quality white chocolate, chopped
Reese’s Pieces and/or M & M’s
Line baking sheet with foil. Stir chocolate chips in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Pour chocolate onto foil, spread to ¼ inch thickness (about 12 x 10 inch rectangle). Sprinkle with Butterfinger candy, toffee, peanut butter cups, and nuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere (or use whatever candy you have leftover).
Put white chocolate in heavy small saucepan. Stir constantly over very low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Remove from heat. Dip spoon into chocolate, wave from side to side over bark, creating zigzag lines. Scatter Reese’s Pieces and M&M’s over, making sure candy touches melted chocolate.
Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes. Slide foil with candy onto work surface. Peel off foil and cut bark into irregular pieces.
Homemade Purim gifts are not only made by adults but also with kids. GKC loves cooking with kids so we tested these ideas on our own children. They each got rave reviews and looked super elegant and sophisticated when wrapped in clear cello bags and tied with big ribbons (my kids like to do that part too). We think your friends will never believe that these gourmet mishloach manot gifts were made by your kids. Try them all.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
Crunchy Nutty Caramel Popcorn
Easy Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge
3 quarts freshly popped popcorn
1 cup cashews (or other nut of choice), unsalted and roasted
1 cup salted and roasted macadamia nuts
1 cup whole almonds or pecans
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup margarine
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine the popped corn and nuts in the pan, mixing well. Place in the heating oven while preparing the glaze.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine, orange zest and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until l the sugar dissolves. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla and baking soda. Gradually pour the glaze over the popped corn mixture, stirring to coat well.
Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven. Using a metal spatula, free the popcorn from the bottom of the pan. Let cool completely in the pan.
Break into clumps. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.