It was February 2013 when culinary queens Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek teamed up on a joint cookbook, the first in a series of volumes that were affordably priced yet jam-packed with scrumptious triple-tested recipes, easy to understand instructions and pictures that were sure to start your tummy rumbling. Passover Made Easy was followed six months later by Starters & Sides Made Easy and Kids Cooking Made Easy debuted in December 2013. The latest addition to this series of specialized cookbooks is Dairy Made Easy, released just in time to adorn your Shavuos table with tempting treats and delightful delicacies that will wow even lifelong carnivores.
Both Leah and Victoria’s names are well known throughout the cooking world with Victoria being the driving force behind Ami Magazine’s Whisk section and Leah authoring Fresh & Easy Kosher Cooking as well as co-founding kosher recipe website CookKosher.com. In Dairy Made Easy, the two turn out a collection of recipes of all types, for all occasions. If you are looking for a fun cereal alternative for breakfast, try Sour Cream Pancakes, decadent Chocolate Croissant Rolls or a variety of breakfast shakes ranging from a Peach Cobbler Smoothie to the more nutritious Green Shake, or for the coffeeholics among us, the Blended Coffee Frappe.
Your dairy lunches and suppers are about to get a complete makeover with recipes reminiscent of your local dairy bistro but easy enough to make at home, including the Roasted Veggie Galette, Grilled Avocado Sandwich and Caramelized Onion Calzones. Old favorites like grilled cheese, pizza and eggplant parmesan turn up in novel ways including the Grilled Cheese Toast Salad, where cubes of pestoed grilled cheese stand in for croutons, the tomato sauce-less Pizza Bianca topped with sautéed onions, mozzarella, fresh basil and parmesan cheese, and the very satisfying Eggplant Parmesan Wraps.
No dairy cookbook would be complete without an array of sinfully decadent treats and there are plenty of those here as well, including three cheesecakes, one of which weighs in at a very slimming 180 calories or less. Save room for the Peanut Butter Creme Brulee, the Peach and Struesel Napoleon made with store-bought wontons, and the incredibly irresistible chocolate ganache topped Chocolate Cheese Muffins.
No cookbook in the Made Easy series would be complete without a whole host of extra features. Want recipes for staples like homemade marinara, pizza dough, Israeli pizza sauce and even ricotta and cream cheeses? Want to find out more about the many cheeses available today for the kosher consumer? They are all here and a very welcome addition is a Make it Light section which puts several of the recipes on diets and includes an eye-opening guide explaining how to use Greek yogurt in place of butter, oil, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese and heavy cream.
We took the opportunity to chat with Leah and Victoria about their latest cookbook.
What made you guys decide to take this one on?
Leah Schapira: It was a no brainer. Everyone loves dairy food. There’s something about dairy dishes that is very comforting.
Victoria Dwek: Like many people, I make dairy dinners twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I needed new ideas. If we need new ideas, I’m sure others out there do too.
What are your favorite recipes?
VD: I’m an ice cream fan, so if I was a reader flipping through the pages, I’d be rushing to make and dig into the Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. That’s my family’s favorite summer dessert. But the recipe that truly won my heart was the Tres Leches Cake. I can usually resist cake, but not that one.