web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Geller’

Soup Recipe Contest

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

With each submission of your favorite soup recipe, you are entered into the raffle to win a copy of Jamie Geller’s Joy of Kosher.

In the form below, include exact measurements, possible substitutions, a detailed ingredients list and exact directions.

You can optionally also send us a photo of the finished product.

Networking, Note-Taking and New Ideas at the Temech Conference

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

“Are you going?”

“Wouldn’t miss it. Are you?”

We’ve been looking forward to this year’s Temech conference for Women in Business for quite a while – practically since last year’s conference was over. But first, a recap for the ladies who were there, the ladies who didn’t make it, and the men who, nebach, aren’t allowed in.

The Temech Conference (according to the little booklet we get on signing in) has three main goals:

1. To give us the tools, knowledge and inspiration to grow our businesses.

2. To help us form valuable business connections with other women like us

3. To help us gather strength and inspiration for the months to come.

I must admit that I’m coming with no great goals in mind for this conference. I want to learn from the speakers I’ve known before (Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits), speakers I’ve heard of but never met (Jamie Geller and Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi) and more. I want to spend a fun day off from work (taking notes during lectures and doing interviews during lunch doesn’t count as work, right?). Did someone mention lunch? A classy lunch at the Ramada sounds good, too. In fact, as a work-at-home mom, any lunch I don’t have to prepare myself sounds good to me.

So – are we set? Four of us band together and order a taxi to get us there on time. All of us busy ladies climb in, tell the driver our destination, pull out our siddurim and begin to daven. After a few minutes, one woman asks the taxi driver to stop talking about Itzik. Who is Itzik? We have no idea, but it’s clear from our driver’s cell-phone conversation that whoever Itzik is, he’s in the doghouse. “Tomorrow, maybe they’ll talk about you!” our brave friend cautions the bald, burly man who’s steering, talking and fiddling with the buttons of his radio. Luckily, our driver laughs and changes the subject. He stops fiddling with the radio, too, and gets us where we’re headed, safe and sound.

We arrive a few minutes after the scheduled starting time, but still have a few minutes to sign in and snag a coffee (the one with extra caffeine, please!) and a croissant (is this the one with no calories?) and schmooze – er, network! – for a few minutes before being shooed into the large hall. Naomi Elbinger, the conference organizer (and author of myparnasa.com – the Jewish business blog), greets us and gives a brief intro to featured speaker Jamie Geller – yes, she of “Quick and Kosher – the Bride Who Knew Nothing” fame.

Expecting nothing is a fantastic way to go into a day because you’ll never be disappointed. I expected something better than last year, and not only am I not disappointed, I come away wowed. Jamie Geller is entertaining and down-to-earth, teaching us all about how to build a successful brand. Step by step, she takes us from markets and messages through naming the business, logos, WIIFM (“What’s in it for me?”), websites and more.

“If you remember nothing else from today, remember this,” she concludes, and explains that what makes a brand extraordinary is its “why” – the emotional reason that makes a person want to purchase that item. Simple, right? Basic, too. What’s more, it works.

On to the next speaker: Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits, renowned posek and founder and Rosh Kollel of the Jerusalem Kollel. (He also taught me in seminary, more years ago than I’d like to admit.) “The Gemara says that someone who wants to join the Jewish people has to be told the difficult things, and also the easy ones,” Rabbi Berkovits begins. “This is because there is no situation that the Torah does not deal with. Everything fits with the goal of coming closer to the Creator.”

“Business law is complicated,” Rabbi Berkovits explains, “and halachah is even more so.” He proceeds to mention a few subjects for us to be aware of, to be careful about. Among other topics, he touches on honesty and integrity, dealing with the government, selling your product, responsible investing, work relationships, technology and more. “Make sure you conduct your business in a way that’s allowed and encouraged by halachah,” he concludes, promising that if we do so, we can be sure that our endeavors will find favor in Hashem’s eyes.

US Queen of Kosher: “I’m a Jewish Person and it’s the Jewish Homeland, and I Want to Go Home!”

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

With great emotion and to the joy of Jewish foodies throughout the world, the Queen of Kosher cooking is coming home to rule the roast/roost. Jamie Geller is making aliyah and though she used to think that life in Israel was “so not me”, she is now encouraging others to take the plunge, too.

The kosher cooking magnate, mom, and returnee to Jewish tradition made the announcement that she is moving to Israel at the Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah organization’s June 25 ‘Tweetup’. Since then, Geller has begun to share her experiences with her loyal followers on her ‘Joy of Kosher’ website and in reality-tv-style ‘Joy of Aliyah’ videos.

In an interview with the Jewish Press’s Yishai and Malkah Fleisher, Geller spoke frankly about her opinion of life in the “galus” (Diaspora) and what is driving her to make the move.

“My grandparents survived the Holocaust, and I just don’t feel like they did that so I can live in Spring Valley,” Geller told Jewish Press. “The end is not to achieve it here in America or wherever you may be, and I just feel like I’m a Jewish person and it’s the Jewish homeland, and I want to go home!”

From Highschool to HBO

Geller shared her earliest memory of wanting to live in the Jewish state, remembering a call she placed to her mother during a high school semester in Israel. “I’m not leaving, and if you’re going to make me leave then I’m going to come back after high school, and I’m going to join the army, and I want to live here forever,” Jamie told her mother.

Yet she neither stayed nor donned IDF fatigues after high school as she had planned. “I had that feeling, and it was so strong… [but] by the time I graduated high school, it wasn’t even on my radar anymore. My whole life was just taken up, and I was going to NYU, and I was going to become famous…”

And taken up she became. In just a few years, Jamie had soared to the top of her industry, writing and producing for CNN, Entertainment News, the Food Network, and HBO.

But Israel wasn’t done with Jamie Geller. It wasn’t long before she had a date with a nice young man who told her he wanted to live in Israel. “I was like ‘no way, absolutely not,’ it was almost a deal breaker. I laughed at him – and I was someone who had had those feelings!”

The Persistent Husband

It wasn’t a deal breaker. The couple married, and her husband’s dream of making aliyah did not fade. “My husband has always said – you’re not building a house in galus” and even when they bought their own house, Israel was a frequent topic of conversation.

“I think it was like water on a rock,” Geller said. “We would be Chol HaMoed (interim days of Passover and Sukkot) at Six Flags Great Adventure, an amusement park, and then [my husband] would show pictures of his brother in Hashmonaim… doing a tiyul [hike] in the land… [and it was as if he was saying] ‘it’s Chol HaMoed – what are we doing at Six Flags?’”

But while her husband talked aliyah to Israel, Geller’s career was taking off in America. In 2007, she authored her first cookbook, Quick & Kosher Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing, with her second, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes soon to follow. Now, Jamie publishes the largest online kosher cooking website, JoyofKosher.com, and a top-of-the-line accompanying magazine, Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller.

Saying Goodbye to the Serving Dishes

Yet with all that American success, Geller told the Jewish Press that she is ready to take on the challenges of life in Israel. “I’m not going out of a position of weakness, I’m leaving a 3400 square foot home behind to go live in something double the price that’s half the size, but I’m doing it because I believe it is the right thing and the best thing for our family… I know that I’ll be working extra and double, but it’s a small price to pay to be there.”

Along with the smaller space, Geller does not much lament the little things she will leave behind, including her oversized American furniture and special serving dishes (“ain’t no room for once-a-year serving platters in Israel”, she said in one of her Joy of Aliyah videos). “I don’t think that’s a reason, just because I love blueberries, not to live in Israel. Those are silly to me… that’s not on my top list of worries. I’ve got other ones.”

From Joy of Kosher To Eretz Yisrael

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Celebrity chef Jamie Geller joins Yishai and Malkah. Geller, who was dubbed the “Kosher Rachel Ray” by the Miami Herald, is the founder of Joy of Kosher, one of the largest kosher food information sources worldwide.  They talk about Geller’s experience in becoming religious and also how important her impending Aliyah is both personally and for her family.  The segment wraps up with a discussion of the Geller family’s upcoming Aliyah.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Summer Barbecues

Friday, August 12th, 2011

            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.

 

Well, ok, we don’t exactly have a pool. Ours cost $20 bucks and we blow it up with an air pump every summer, but to the kids, it’s a pool. And I’m not sure when was the last time I sipped a drink – certainly not when I’m entertaining. I’ll probably be scuttling back and forth from the kitchen, bringing out all the things we forgot to set on the table outside. And to be honest, I haven’t read a novel in the 7 years I’ve been married. But a girl can dream, right?

 

This season, we need to look at burgers and dogs (and even chicken and steaks) as blank canvases. Think of yourself as a culinary artist. (This does not mean painting with ketchup!) Get your creative juices flowing by imagining all the creative condiments that will totally put zing into your barbecue fare.

 

For burgers, I came up with Corn and Avocado Relish and deliciously Spicy Fried Onions. (I would add fried onions to anything except oatmeal. And yes, I’ve been known to eat them sans burger or steak. Yummy.)

 

For your dogs, think steak sandwich and do a Peppers and Onion Saut? – so easy and so colorful. It makes for a hot doggie that’s all grown up! And spice up your ho hum slaw with Poppyseed Slaw. Just don’t forget the toothpicks!

 

 

Peppers And Onion Saute 

 

Times: Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Ready time: 20 minutes; Serves 2

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sliced bell peppers, assorted colors

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (check for a non-fish designation)

1/2-teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Directions

In a medium saut? pan over medium high heat, add oil, peppers and onions and saut? for 4 to 6 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add garlic and Worcestershire and saut? 5 minutes more or until wilted. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine. Serve on hot dogs or hamburgers.

 

 

Poppyseed Slaw 

 

Times:Prep time: 5 minutes; Ready time: 5 minutes; Serves 2

 

Ingredients

2 cups shredded green cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrot

4 green onions, chopped

1/4-cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1-teaspoon kosher salt

 

Directions

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and stir well to evenly coat and combine. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve as a topping for burgers, hot dogs or grilled chicken.

 

 

Spicy Fried Onions 

 

Times:Prep time: 5; Cook time: 24; Ready time: 29 min

 

Ingredients

2 red onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1-teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 – 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Canola oil for frying

 

Directions

Combine onions, flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bag and toss to coat onions with seasoned flour.

 

In a large pot, heat oil until it reaches 360 F. Shake excess flour off onions and fry in batches for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue with remaining onions until all are fried.

 

Serve immediately as a topping for burgers, hot dogs or grilled steak.

 

 

Corn And Avocado Relish 

Confessions Of a Jewish Bride

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

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’ve discovered that people who know my story expect me to be Superwoman. If you’re not familiar with my tale, let me clue you in: Three years ago I went public, confessing that when I got married I was the Bride Who Knew Nothing – I didn’t know a spatula from a saucepan and that I didn’t really care. I wrote unabashedly about how I was raised on takeout and never expected to use anything more than the phone to get dinner on the table.

Then I committed to my full Jewish heritage and got married. As a newlywed, I needed a map to find the stove and detailed directions on using it. As a ba’alas teshuvah, I needed a crash course in kosher cooking. I found that nobody – absolutely nobody – could give me recipes that would meet my one main requirement: get me out of that kitchen fast!

I had two excellent reasons for that criterion. First, my professional life in television meant constant pressure, long hours and crazy deadlines. Second, I didn’t like cooking and the less I could do of it, the better. But Hubby was expecting home-cooked cuisine like Mommy used to make, so I flung myself headlong into learning all I could about cooking.

What emerged from that effort shocked even me. I wound up as the author of a bestselling cookbook, Quick & Kosher: Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing. Now I’m the Chief Foodie Officer at Kosher.com (an online kosher delivery service), I produce an online kosher cooking show and food magazine at blog.kosher.com, and my second book, Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes, was just released.

So I must have figured it all out, right? Wrong. As unprepared as I was as a bride, I was equally clueless about being a wife, mother and career woman in the space of a 24-hour day. Unless you join the circus, nobody teaches you how to juggle.

I mean, this is the stuff they never teach in kallah class. My life is a circus, but I’ve had to manage with on-the-job training. And I can’t get away from Jewish Mother’s Guilt, which just keeps gnawing away at me. You don’t have to be raised as a frum balabusta to have it. It’s passed down from mother to daughter like a great family recipe. JMG is simply the feeling – no, the certainty – that you’re not able to do it all. Moreover, you’re convinced that everybody else is getting it just right. Especially Jamie Geller. She’s done it all, gone beyond the average Jewish woman’s turf, so she must have everything in hand.

So let me put my cards on the table. I’m obsessed with easy cooking because I find so much else in life challenging. And it only gets more complicated.

Listen, two and a half months after I first met my husband, I was Mrs. Geller. Five years later, we have four kids, a mortgage, tuitions, babysitters – and I’m still running around the country on book tours. (I’m not complaining, just explaining.) “Quick & Kosher” is not just the name of my book; it’s a metaphor for my entire life. It’s hectic, and I have my days when the place is a mess, no dinner is cooked, and everyone is crying, including me. As Alice remarked in Wonderland, I have to run just as fast as I can to stay in the same place.

So while it is wonderful, challenging and rewarding, my life is no fairy tale and neither is yours. If your bio reads anything like mine, you’re on the same treadmill. A 21st century Jewish woman is likely to be working hard, in her home and out of it. And more often than not, it’s because she has to. I actually enjoy my work but don’t be fooled: it’s work. It means stress, time away from my family, and preoccupation with office problems. I have to remember to turn off my Blackberry when I put my children to bed. It means not whining after staying up until 2 a.m. working on a project and then being woken up by the baby at 4.

* * * * *

 

Today’s Jewish woman has to watch her behavior in the workplace – her tznius, her decorum, lashon hara – while ensuring that she is heard and taken seriously. When she darts home, she carries the burden of having forgotten to make the pediatrician appointment – or worse, having made the appointment and forgotten it. She races to carpool, rehearsing excuses in her head for why she’s late this time. And like every mommy, she wants her children to mature spiritually, mentally and physically; she worries if they don’t have a best friend, whether or not this year’s morah fully understands her little one, and if the school bus is a fun place and not a scary one. It all swirls around in her head – constantly.

And then some magazine article tells her she should be taking better care of herself, going to the gym every day, or that she’s poisoning her children with food additives.

I’m not saying they’re wrong, but give me a break! Some days I’m glad if I can carve out the time to give the baby a bath. I really do want to do it all – and perfectly. We all want that. Whether you are the momtrepreneur of your own media empire or the CEO of your own home, you have to figure out a way to be successful, happy, and have rewarding relationships with your family, with friends and with Hashem.

I’m in the same boat, but I’m wearing a lifejacket I fashioned myself. It’s made of things I’ve learned in the past few years, and I want to share them with you. Actually, beyond the recipes and menus, that kind of help is the point of my new Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes cookbook.

So here are a few of my solutions, or, more accurately, life principles that should be engraved on your mind.

Delegate: We’re talking about delegating on a daily basis as well as for special occasions. Don’t be a martyr. Involve your family in age-appropriate household chores. Children grow up more independent if they contribute to the family, so let them dust, vacuum, set tables, even do their own laundry, once they’re old enough. (I know some people think that kids doing laundry is unthinkable, but you have to ask yourself if you really need to be the sole Queen of Bleach in your house. And don’t worry that they’ll ruin it. They’re smart enough to play those computer games, program a phone, and memorize mishnayos. Don’t tell me they can’t figure out a washing machine.)

Depending on your husband’s schedule and inclination – dare I say it? – let him make dinner once in a while, or do the shopping, run errands or bathe the children. Some husbands have been raised to do this from childhood; others need to be, shall we say, coaxed. The truth is that if you are feeling overwhelmed, a quiet discussion about how he might be able to alleviate at least some of the pressure usually will be taken seriously.

Parties, Yomim Tovim and family events mean you’re the captain of a team, not the whole team by yourself. Involve as many people as possible, without having them step all over each other. You friends and relatives will welcome your invitation to bring a dessert, or shop for paper goods, or shlep the soda. In families that are really big, it is customary for each household to bring at least one of the dishes on the menu, a side or even a second main course. But that means you’ll have to coordinate who’s bringing what, so you don’t have to make a meal of six Caesar salads. But it’s worth it. It’s a lot easier to make up a list on paper, place an order at kosher.com, followed by e-mails or phone calls to the family cooks, than to undertake the whole banquet in your kitchen.

And at the end of the meal, don’t be too proud to let them help you clean up.

I must modify the above suggestion with one caveat. It’s something learned the hard way, so I’ll tell you one of our classic family stories.

When my husband was single, he liked to hang out at his brother and sister-in-law’s house, often staying for dinner, including Shabbos meals. On Thursday nights, he was gallant enough to call his sister-in-law to ask what to bring for Shabbos. It was “the usual” most of the time – a mile-high heimish challah (from Williamsburg, where he worked), a babka, and wine. But one blistery cold Thursday, she gave him a whole supermarket list. He dutifully ran to the store and bought everything.

Now, it happens that his voice and his brother’s are nearly identical, so when he called his sister-in-law on the phone on Friday, she mistook him for her husband. No sooner had he said, “Hi, how are you?” when she yelled, “How am I? Terrible! You brother totally messed up. I told him to buy tomato sauce and he brought me tomato paste; I told him olive oil and he brought canola oil; I told him sugar and he brought confectioners sugar. Shabbos is in two hours, the baby is sleeping so I can’t leave the house, and I have no time to cook anything. This is a disaster!”

After all the apologies, it’s taken ten years but now we can laugh. So the amendment to rule 1 is always make sure who is on the other end of the phone, before and after you delegate.

Fix Your Attitude: You are not going to hit every ball out of the park – even if you’ve written two cookbooks and sound like you know what you’re doing. The sooner you realize that everything will not be exactly perfect – and that it’s OK – the sooner your life will be simpler and more pleasurable.

I’m one of those “I can do it!” people. It’s a good thing, mainly, but it sometimes leads me into phenomenal blunders on a grand scale. Take Hubby’s Birthday Surprise. As a loving and thoughtful wife, I decided to make my husband a birthday cake. The trouble was that it didn’t occur to me until after he left for minyan the morning of his birthday. But I thought it through. It would take about 50 minutes for him to daven. Add a half hour for him to do his Sunday errands. No problem!

Just a few days before, he had been reminiscing about the terrific “snowman cake” his grandmother always baked for his birthday parties. Just talking about it put such a happy, boyish grin on his face that I resolved to recreate that cake. How hard could it be?

It’s a rainy morning, too close to 7 a.m. I load my sleepy toddlers into the minivan and we tootle over to the supermarket. We race through the aisles looking for the essential ingredients, at least the ones I can remember. After three clerks and a manager tell me they don’t stock specialty items like snowman cake molds, I strap the kids back into the car and dash home.

Back in the house, I decide to improvise the snowman using circular challah pans. I whip up the batter, pour it into the pans, and throw them in the oven. I change the kids out of their pajamas, feed them breakfast, and smell the cakes burning. The canned white icing I bought covers only half of this singed, drooping, 20-pound monster, so I make some chocolate cupcake frosting and slap it all over the rest. It already looks terrible – what can I lose? So I give the kids sprinkles, chocolate chips, Twizzlers, and potato chips and they throw the stuff all over the cake with wild abandon.

I manage to lug the Snowthing to the table just as Hubby walks in the door. The kids are giggling and jumping up and down. I’m covered with sweat and flour, but I try to smile as we lead him to our masterpiece. Singing Happy Birthday in our party hats, we watch Abba try to figure out what the monstrosity on the table is supposed to be. “It’s a snowman cake, Abba, just like Great-grandma used to make!” they shout.

Birthday Boy gives me a quizzical look then manfully takes a cake server in hand. Next, he tries a chef’s knife (another option would be a chainsaw) to hack through the hard, crusty shell of the cake. The batter inside oozes out, totally raw, onto the table. He doesn’t even take a lick of the icing. Instead, he runs for his camera. Staring after him, my eyes are a bit teary. And that’s when my daughter climbs on my lap and whispers, “I told you, Mommy, we should have bought a cake from the bakery.”

And she was right. If I didn’t think I had to do it all myself, and perfectly, the fiasco never would have happened. But the best result of this experience is that I learned to let go. Everything doesn’t have to be the very best it can be all the time. Accepting the second-best alternative can be a lifesaver.

Find Help and Use It: There are tons of how-to books and articles out there; lots of household management gurus and even more cookbooks. Don’t be shy. Seek out the ones that make sense to you and use them. I’d like to think that among all the options, mine will rate high on your list. So park yourself at my blog, make me your homepage (blog.kosher.com) – from there you can watch my cooking videos, participate in “Ask Jamie,” read my Confessions of a Jewish Bride and, yes, buy my books, if you want.

I don’t mean this as a shameless plug. I truly feel I can make your life easier; that’s why I write my books and why I made my blog as interactive as possible. At the very least, you will realize you are not alone – ever. We share our insights, our failures, and our successes with a camaraderie that will lift your day and brighten your smile.

Now who can’t use that?

Jamie Geller is chief marketing officer at Kosher.com and author of the newly released “Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes” as well as “Quick & Kosher: Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing.” For more than 1,000 recipes and to watch Jamie’s Quick & Kosher cooking show, visit her online at blog.kosher.com.

Rule The Kitchen!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Cookbook Review:

Quick & Kosher:  Meals in Minutes by Jamie Geller ($34.99, Feldheim)

 

Ever since I got my copy of Quick & Kosher, Jamie Geller’s first cookbook, I’ve been hoping for a sequel.  And after meeting this adorable, down-to-earth powerhouse (and interviewing her for the Jewish Press) back in 2007-she was working on new recipes even as she was out promoting that debut volume-I was even more eager to see what else she would have in store.   Three years in the making, Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes hits stores this month.  

 

This time around, Geller offers 200-plus recipes presented in pairs-main dish and accompaniment, usually a side dish but sometimes a beverage, soup or dessert (as well as a wine recommendation). The recipes are divided by preparation time:  20-, 40- or 60-minute meals.   That is a somewhat artificial construct, which juxtaposes chicken dishes with cheesy pastas.   It reminds me of a cookbook I own that divides recipes by months of the year, a cute but not exceedingly helpful concept.  In both cases, if you tend to seek out recipes based on what type of meal you’re after-meat, fish, dairy, etc.-you will end up relying on the Index at the back of the book most of the time.  But for those times that your palette is wide open (pardon the pun), it is fun to browse the chapters and get inspired.  Each page has a full-color photo of the corresponding recipes; though we home chefs can’t quite replicate the same level of aesthetic perfection.

 

The estimated prep times include cooking time; not surprisingly, the faster recipes rely heavily on frying and grilling rather than baking.   Geller unabashedly calls for shortcut ingredients, such as chicken broth, frozen garlic cubes and canned tomatoes. Given the plethora of table-ready kosher products available, and the endless ways they can be combined with fresh or from-scratch items (as she does so well), only the most old-school cook could object.   There’s also a special chapter devoted to Shabbos and Yom Tov menus.   Meals in Minutes has a more international flavor than its predecessor-think Spicy Spinach Miso Soup and Wonton Crisps (Asia) or Lamb Meatballs in Pita (the Middle East).  

 

 If you have Geller’s first cookbook, or know her from her online perch at Kosher.com, you will not be surprised to find more than just recipes.   She includes a few brief, cheery chapters on topics like essential kitchen tools and types of oils.   There is also a healthy dose of humor and plenty of personal glimpses into Geller’s happy, hectic life as a Jewish wife/mother/kosher cooking celebrity/entrepreneur.   A sense of humor, and humility, are clearly staples when you’re in Geller’s kitchen, which is what it feels like to read the commentary sprinkled throughout the book. 

 

Meals in Minutes is classy, colorful, and chock-full of ideas to play around with and make your own.  A perfect Chanukah gift for those who love to prepare creative meals without a lot of fuss.

Quick & Kosher with Jamie Geller

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Chanukah is such an exciting chag to look forward to.  Not just because of the presents and the menorah, the lights and the chocolates – and the fact that I feel like it’s a really fun kids’ holiday – but it’s so exciting to actually be able to serve freshly baked food.  Hot food served right from the oven or stovetop directly to your guests.  The Shabbos blech situation has ruined even the best of my creations on several occasions.

My husband, whom I will refer to as Hubby is the one who always pushes me to do articles and keep my connection with the readers going.  I so enjoy the emails and feedback from people I run into on the street. But I often get stressed about writing, wondering when on earth will I have time to write and what on earth do I have to write about? 

So, when grappling with my big comeback article I was at a loss. I wondered what few paragraphs I could write about, this time.  But Hubby was quick to remind me that, “hey honey it’s Chanukah and we are throwing a Geller Chanukah party.  So write about that and give out the recipes for our menu.  Great idea!

So, here’s the official Geller Chanukah Party Game Plan.. 

First, we do the Guest List, which will include all the Geller relatives, by birth and by marriage, and all the “Gellers-by-association” and extended “families” from a number of re-marriages.  At present count, it’s about 60 – if everyone decides to show up. 

I am, herewith, sharing my entire game plan/menu and some make-ahead tips. We’ll also give you the steps, outlining the menu and recipes so you can make a Geller-esque Chanukah party (or most probably, even a way better version) of your own.  Hopefully, you’ll at least love the yummy recipes and work some of them into your repertoire.

The Menu

First we’ll start with the appetizers, followed by the main dishes and then, by side dishes, salads and desserts.  We’re opting for a buffet-style appetizer table so that we can have a free flowing, un-pressured arrival time and open house for about an hour to an hour-and-a-half.  The first treat that I must include, are Auntie Rachey’s “Auntie’s Spinach Tidbits”. They are deliciously decadent and Auntie Rachey served them at the first Geller Chanukah soiree I attended so they are a bit nostalgic for me. 

We also plan on having these fabulously adorable Crudit?s – flowers growing out of their very own planters. They will be strictly courtesy of Hubby Geller, passed down from his daddy and, you’ll probably need to come from a similarly talented, long line of caterers to even contemplate the assemblage of one of these.

Courtesy of my Israeli born Geller sister-in-law’s Iraqi born Grandma – we will be serving homemade Hummus with Pita Crisps.  Once you have Pita Crisps you have to throw in a colorful array of additional dips – guacamole and either a Turkish Salad or Charif – all scrumptious and with terrific eye appeal.

I wanted to throw my Macaroni Cheddar Salad into the mix, but Hubby is screaming, that any self respecting chef should know that you don’t put a pasta appetizer on a buffet table if you plan to serve pasta for the main. So I’ll just give you the recipe anyway and you can decide what to do with it.

Appetizers:Spinach TidbitsPrep Time: 14 minutes; Cook Time: 15 minutes;

Chill Time: none; Yield: 6 servings.

1 (16-ounce) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food//2008/12/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: