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We’re all familiar with how kosher cooking used to be (and sometimes still is) portrayed: an endless stream of yiddishe mamas talking about chicken soup and brisket. Now, I love chicken soup and brisket as much as the next gal but that’s just not me; I’m a different kind of yiddishe mama. And I’m not alone.
I do serve chicken soup and brisket, but love to mix it up with other, more exotic non-traditional fare – like creamy butternut squash soup with coconut milk and thyme, or avgolemono soup, a lemony chicken rice soup I call kosher Greek penicillin.
I love avocado and seared tuna steak salad with green and red onions and a light sauce made from lime juice and Tabasco; California avocado salad, dressed in rice vinegar, ume plum vinegar and toasted sesame oil; and beef sukiyaki.
Even simple fare like Caesar salad can be “dressed up” if you add sun-dried tomatoes and homemade whole-wheat croutons. Now, all props to the Salonika Jew-crew, but my ancestors were definitely not messing around with avgolemono soup and beef sukiyaki.
That’s why I think the Web has become the first stop for people looking for information about food and cooking. They can always find things that reflect their lives and interests.
The Internet combines an unprecedented ability to connect people with a treasure trove of information; it’s the natural home for virtual coffee klatches, recipe exchanges and cooking videos.
Whenever I am stuck for a recipe or looking for a creative way to update a traditional recipe, I usually look to the Web first. And there are lots of people out there who do the same thing. Gourmet Magazine, a staple for foodies since 1941, will no longer be appearing on magazine racks, though the name will stick around on the Internet.
Turn on your television and there are cooking shows 24/7 for almost every taste and interest. And while there are no cooking shows dedicated to strictly kosher viewers (there used to be one on PBS with Jeff Nathan, but now it only airs in Israel), the Internet is another matter all together.
I currently host two online cooking shows, “Quick & Kosher” and “Simply Kosher.” And if you need information, try running an Internet search on “kosher food websites.” You’ll get over two million results. Not all of them are kosher stores, blogs or online recipe resources, but the point is, there is a lot of material out there. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but I prefer to think of the surplus of information as enlightening, even educational and enough to keep us cooking our kishkes off forever!
Everyone is online these days (and I do mean everyone – kids, moms, bubbies, grand-bubbies and zaidies, too), or so it seems. Here are some statistics to boggle the mind: According to the website Internet World Stats, which features up-to-date world Internet usage, as of June 2009, 73.9 percent of all North American residents were using the Internet. Since 2000, usage has jumped 132.9 percent. The PEW Research Center reports that 66 percent of online Americans have purchased at least one product via the Web during their Internet lifetime.
In these tough economic times, large numbers of people are choosing not to frequent restaurants but are instead revving up their stay-at-home food repertoires. To facilitate this, many are turning to Internet recipe sites to enhance their home cooking in adventurous ways. And many Internet sites, like Kosher.com, often become online communities where people can share or exchange ideas as well as cost-saving tips like cooking in bulk and freezing ready-made meals.
According to the website comScore.com, which measures the digital world and offers digital marketing intelligence, there were 45.6 million unique visitors to food websites in September 2008, up 10 percent from 2007. Leading the pack is allrecipes.com, which had 7.3 million visitors just in March 2009 alone. In the kosher online world, we can also hold our heads up high. Visitors and their online orders to Kosher.com have tripled since our newly re-launched website went live before Rosh Hashanah.
About the Author: Jamie Geller was "The Bride Who Knew Nothing" - until she found her niche as everybody's favorite kosher cook next door. She is the author of the best-selling Quick & Kosher cookbook series and creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine. Join Jamie and the world's largest kosher food community of joyofkosher.com to discover 5,000 FREE kosher recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos, and more! Follow more of Jamie's Quick & Kosher cooking adventures on Twitter @JoyofKosher and on facebook.com/joyofkosher.
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But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.
If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.
One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.
While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.
We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .
Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.
The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?
The contrast between the mentality of Israel and the mentality of Hamas was never so loudly expressed as when the Arab killers became heroes and the Jewish killers became prisoners.
There is a threat today representing a new category of missionary:They call themselves “Hayovel.”
Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.
Is Woodstock still leading the world to destruction?
Cooking according to Chanukah tradition doesn’t have to be boring! Though it’s unlikely that any Maccabee ever saw a potato, latkes are traditionally made with potatoes and that particular “traditional” dish is based on a South American tuber that didn’t cross the Atlantic until the sixteenth century.
One of the cool benefits of living way north of the GW Bridge and the Big Apple is that we are in real apple country. On a whim, we can take the kids to a local orchard not ten minutes from our house, and become one with nature. It feels just like the olden days – only back then, the farmers would pay hired hands to pick the apples, while we actually pay the farmers to please, please let us harvest their fruit.
I love hosting backyard barbecues on sunny, cloudless days. Hubby at the grill. Me sitting poolside, sipping a pina colada as the kids splash around. After the party’s over, I’ll lounge a while with a novel.
I try to make it a point to work things into my life – including insane schedules, impossible goals and conflicting priorities – in the most upbeat way I can. OK, so it doesn’t always work. What surprises me is how shocked people are when I tell them I just can’t handle everything.
I sometimes — ok, often — envy my friends who cook daring, exotic dishes and throw crazy things like fruit into veggie salads. Innovative stuff like that doesn’t go over so well in my house. I can prepare it, but Hubby will stare down at the unfamiliar thing on his plate with suspicious distaste. He’s a creature of habit, even more so a creature of tradition. Not only does he want to eat the same things, he wants it prepared in the most traditional way. To him, it’s not really Shabbos without classic gefilte fish and chicken soup. And even when its 99 degrees outside, steaming hot cholent and potato kugel better be on the menu.
This is the final cleaning phase and your vacuum cleaner is going to be running all week long! Go over all the bedrooms, living spaces, offices, the dining room, kitchen – every possible area that needs to be vacuumed.
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