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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

Cooking Like A Pro For Pesach

Monday, April 18th, 2016

If you’re anything like me, just thinking about Pesach is enough to send shivers down your spine. The “P” word can conjure up images of having to prepare a seemingly endless number of meals in a marathon cooking spree in order to feed a virtual army of hungry friends and family members who are hoping that you will somehow wave your enchanted kitchen wand and make gourmet meals magically appear out of your limited Pesach grocery supply.

Well, never fear, my intrepid readers. Paula Shoyer is here to save the day with an all-new Pesach cookbook, and with 65 gorgeous new recipes, the legendary kosher baking guru might as well be wearing a shiny superhero cape with a big “P” emblazoned on the back as she banishes those Pesach blues forever.

Eller-041516-Shoyer-CoverThe New Passover Menu is a gorgeous book, loaded with enticing pictures. Almost as exciting as the recipes themselves (and trust me, there are some awesome ones here) is the way the book is laid out, with eight individual menus (updated Ashkenazic Seder, International Seder, Shabbat, Yom Tov, French Dairy, Italian Vegetarian, BBQ Dinner and Easy Chicken) as well as two sections that make short work of both breakfast and dessert. Shoyer also graciously offers up additional lunch menus in the introductory section of the book, allowing you to cross “prepare Pesach menus” off your pre-Yom Tov checklist. A pantry section includes a handy list of Pesach-friendly substitutions for items like corn syrup, cream of tartar and even flour. For those who are less familiar with holiday customs, there is a quick primer on how to prepare for Pesach and a multi-page guide to demystify the Seder. Finally, recipes are clearly marked to let you know how many servings you can expect to get, preparation and cooking time estimates and a list of necessary equipment. Many, but not all, of the recipes let you know right up front if they are suitable for those who don’t eat gebrokts or are on a gluten-free diet.

But as always, it is all about the food and the recipes offer contemporary twists on traditional foods; some look so good you might just be tempted to make them all year round. There are some fun riffs on Pesach classics, with charoses that includes both apples and bananas and an innovative Seder plate salad that incorporates elements of the most memorable night of the year into a novel Chol Hamoed lunch or dinner. The gefilte fish of the alte heim is completely inverted in a unique loaf that has a whole salmon fillet embedded in the center of a stick of frozen gefilte fish. Coconut shnitzel with almond butter sauce, lamb stew with apricots, pears and mint and potato gnocchi with pink sauce all prove that Pesach food need not be boring.

Needless to say, dessert is the best part of every meal and there is no reason to settle for sponge cake when you can indulge in Shoyer’s fabulous linzer tart, which incorporates three different kinds of nuts instead of matzah meal. Need something chocolatey to top off your meal? Whip up a flourless chocolate cake with marshmallow icing and, for those of you who are really adventurous, feel free to pull out your Kosher L’Pesach blowtorch to toast the marshmallow topping and really knock this one out of the park. For a lighter option, check out the lemon cream-laced meringue fruit tarts, a real showstopper that will let you indulge without totally wrecking your diet.

Packed with creativity and fresh ideas, The New Passover Menu, published by Sterling Epicure, may just be the answer to your Pesach dreams.

Sandy Eller

The Maccabeats’ Latest Chanukah Tune is a Real Sizzler! [video]

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Some Chanukah holiday music videos provide dynamic melodies, interesting lyrics and if you’re lucky, a few good visuals thrown in for good measure.

But how many can you honestly admit actually include a decent latke recipe?

The Maccabeats a capella all-male singing group has done it again, bringing together all the best elements of great Jewish holiday entertainment in one tidy little music video for Chanukah.

Chomp on!

Hana Levi Julian

Overcoming Grief through Cooking

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

OneFamily is an Israeli national organization which assists Israeli victims of terror by providing emotional, financial, and legal assistance. Since 2001, One Family has supported 1,322 families of injured terror victims, 1,340 bereaved families, and 983 injured and bereaved children and teenagers. The OneFamily organization was started upon the initiative of a 12-year-old girl, Michal Belzberg, who decided to cancel her Bat Mitzvah after the Sbarro Pizzeria terror attack during the Second Intifada, choosing instead to raise funds for the victims of this particular terror attack.

The Belzberg family rose over $100,000, thus establishing OneFamily. OneFamily presently consists of 37 professionals and over 700 volunteers, who helps’ Israeli bereaved families struggle with the Israeli bureaucracy, deal with the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, and even to host social events, providing a community for bereaved families to receive support from one another, among other things. Recently, OneFamily has compiled a cookbook, featuring the favorite recipes of Israelis who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. The initiative for this particular cookbook was orchestrated by Dina Kit, office manager at OneFamily.


According to Rachel Moore, spokesperson for OneFamily, Dina Kit’s

oldest son died from illness, and her other children were then exempt from the army. Her middle son insisted he wanted to volunteer for the army anyway, and while serving was killed by a suicide bomber near his tank. Dina realized that she simply stopped cooking some of her most frequent recipes since they reminded her so much of her sons, and all that she had lost. She knew from her experiences at OneFamily that she wasn’t the only mother that had a connection between certain recipes and their lost children, and she decided that they should create a cookbook together.

Moore explained,

She found that in preparation of the cookbook, she found a way to cook the foods that she had completely stopped making – as did other mothers. It was through Dina’s insight as a bereaved mother herself, her personal relationship with the other bereaved mothers through her work at OneFamily and her understanding that so often healing comes through doing – and sharing – that she understood the need for this unique project.


Recently, OneFamily hosted an event for a group of Americans and South Africans, where the Israeli bereaved mothers got a chance to present their recipes and the stories behind them. Among the stories featured were that of Erez Turgeman, who was killed when Palestinian terrorists attacked his military outpost on February 19, 2002 (represented by no-bake biscuit cake); Staff Sergeant Dvir Emanuelof, who was killed by a mortar shell in 2009 (represented by challah bread); Idit Mizrahi, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists who ambushed her vehicle, and Shahar Mizrahi, who was killed while serving in the IDF (represented by potato latkes).

The Americans and South Africans who attended this event responded quite well to it. Moore explained,

The program allows them to learn about OneFamily, learn about those that have been killed, but breaks down barriers and connects them in a powerful way with other mothers through the universal experience of preparing food for one’s family. They really have a chance to get to know these mothers and it is an uplifting experience that is touching and fun. They see how these women are celebrating the children they lost, not just grieving. Many of the women said they were determined to go home and continue to support these families through OneFamily as well as pass along the memory of these fallen children by sharing their stories at home…. and they all want the recipes when they are done!”

The publication of the cookbook is pending on increased donations to OneFamily.

The bereaved mothers, however, had varying reactions to the event. According to Moore,

Some of the bereaved mothers who come and participate in this workshop do so because it lightens their heart, they are passing along the memories of their children; they are making new friends and sharing their stories. It is a part of their healing process. But for others, it is very difficult to take off a Thursday morning and struggle with retelling their story and with the language barrier. It isn’t always easy or pleasurable for them to share. But they do it happily, and want to come; they are motivated by their tremendous gratitude to OneFamily for all that has been done to support them and their families. They voluntarily choose to participate as a way of giving back to OneFamily. We are grateful for their participation.

Visit United with Israel.

Rachel Avraham

Potato Latkes: The Recipe

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Let’s get this out of the way up front; I’m a shredded potato latke man. Ground up or processed potatoes have their loyal following, but for me, it just doesn’t taste the same. And frankly, fried baby food sounds nasty.

Latkes have a reputation for being messy, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. I have a few tips I’d like to share with you to help you keep your latke-making adventures, quick, clean and simple.

Latkes should be enjoyed at least once during the holiday. They’re not the healthiest, but they’re certainly among the yummiest. As my friend Fred defined them, calories are a unit of measure of flavor.

The hardest part about making latkes is keeping your family’s hands off of them while you’re cooking them.


Marc Gottlieb

Basmati Rice with Broad Beans and Dill

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

    Whether it is a day out with the children to the zoo or a casual al fresco meal in the garden, this recipe for rice and broad beans is very tasty.  It tastes delicious hot or cold. The fresh dill adds both color and flavor.  


     Cooking rice is a special skill, but I have found that bringing the rice water to the boil, simmering it briefly and then completing it with the heat of its own steam, provides the perfect texture – soft but not overcooked and mushy.  


    This is extensively used as a meal accompaniment in many Sephardic Jewish households, as it goes with most dishes. For a dairy meal, serve a sauce of yogurt with herbs.


This recipe serves: 6 people



3 cups frozen broad (fava) beans

2 cups basmati rice

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons fresh dill


Garnish: 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil



      1. Rinse the rice several times and then leave to soak for 2 hours.

      2. Defrost the broad beans and remove the outer skin.

      3. Drain the rice. Place in a saucepan and add sufficient water so that it covers the rice by the length of your thumbnail!

      4. Add the salt and begin to heat. Once the rice starts to swell and comes to the surface, add the broad (fava) beans. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes or until soft.

      5. Place the lid on the saucepan, turn the heat off and leave for 8 minutes.

      6. Stir in the dill and drizzle a little vegetable oil on top.

Denise Phillips

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/basmati-rice-with-broad-beans-and-dill/2008/08/07/

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