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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Fresh, Colorful & Tasty Sukkos Ideas

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

One year we went out for a meal and instead of bringing along the usual chocolates or wine, I offered the hostess an array of colorful salads. After seeing how muchthey were enjoyed, I thought it would be nice to recreate them. All these salads can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until serving time, making them ideal for a hectic, busy Yom Tov time of year. Besides, it’s always nice to have something different and delicious to serve when extra guests and family come over…

Colorful Baby Corn and Pea Salad

Serves 10

All Photos by: Reuven AnshServes 10

Ingredients for salad

3 cans of baby corn, each chopped into small, bite sized pieces
2 cups frozen peas, thawed, NOT boiled
1 medium size Spanish or red onion, sliced into half rings
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced

Ingredients for dressing

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

In a large bowl combine chopped baby corns and the frozen and thawed peas. (If you are pressed for time, simply rinse the peas for a minute under tap water, using an ordinary sieve. Then drain them briefly and add them in.)

Then add the peppers and red onion.

Pour the dressing ingredients over all and mix well. Place the salad in a covered container and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Presents beautifully every time!

Red & Green Cabbage Sala
Serves 8

Ingredients for salad

1 small head red cabbage, shredded (or use a half bag prepared shredded cabbage for each color), about 2 cups of shredded cabbage
2 cups of shredded cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small green apple, diced
1 scallion, diced
1 medium sized firm cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds, optional

Ingredients for dressing

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light mayonnaise, optional

Place all the shredded and diced vegetables and fruits in a large bowl and toss. Chill the salad in a covered container until serving. In a separate small bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, parsley, olive oil and mayonnaise. If you prefer the dressing thicker, you can whisk it up in a blender instead of doing it by hand. Directly before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss it well and serve.

And here’s to one more simple yet different salad…

Mushroom and Pepper salad
Serves 6

I’m a real fan of mushrooms in whatever form they come. I made up this recipe years and years ago and somehow never thought to publish it before now. It couldn’t be simpler.

Ingredients for salad

1 large can of mushrooms or two smaller cans OR 2 boxes of fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1-2 scallions, sliced

Ingredient for dressing

1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (you may need more salt if you are using fresh mushrooms, the canned ones have salt already added)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill

Directions

Just put all the mushrooms and diced vegetables into a large bowl. Add in the dressing ingredients and toss to mix well. Leave it to marinade in the fridge, covered, for several hours or overnight. Serve in a pretty dish and watch your guests enjoy!

If there’s anything left over, you can serve it the next day over some shredded lettuce or other greens…

This last recipe is an all time favorite in my family. I got the idea from my mother-in-law, Mrs. Gloria Ansh of Teaneck, NJ. No matter what the age, from two year olds to seniors, this recipe is always a favorite. I enjoy serving it as a second main dish to the Shabbos Chol Hamoed day meal but really, it can be used any time you want a kid friendly recipe that every person at the table will reach for…

Chicken Schnitzelettes
(Well, that’s my personal name for them! Others would call them ‘nuggets’)

Holiday Recipes

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Shank Bone Filled With Dried Fruit And Rice
(Serves 5)

Ingredients:

Lamb shoulder (ask the butcher to remove the bones and create a pocket for filling)
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 tbsp. heated honey
6 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
8 garlic cloves, sliced

Filling:

2 cups round rice, cooked
1 cup pitted dates, cubed
1 dried apricot, cubed
1 cup Granny Smith apples, cubed
1 cup shelled almonds (blanched)
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium ginger root, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

A bed of root vegetables:

3 parsley roots, coarsely chopped
3 celery roots, coarsely chopped
8 medium artichokes, coarsely chopped
6 carrots, sliced
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic, halved
1½ cups red wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Mix all the filling ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the pocket of the lamb shoulder with the filling.

Sauté all of the root vegetables in a frying pan until golden.

Pour the vegetables into a baking dish.

Place the meat on top of the vegetables.

Mix the honey, thyme, olive oil and garlic together and pour it over the meat. Pour the wine over the vegetables.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 90 minutes.

Uncover and bake again at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for an additional 90 minutes.

To serve: Slice the meat, place on a serving plate and add a spoon of vegetables.

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup corn oil
1 cup water
4 medium eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. instant coffee powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cloves
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ cup honey
¾ cup sugar
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed

Preparation:

In a standard mixer, mix all the ingredients (except apples) for about 4 minutes, until fluffy.

Divide into 2 long loaf pans (about ¾ of the way full) and sprinkle with apples and almonds.

Bake on 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes.

Cool and serve.

Can be kept in a cool place for up to 2 weeks.

Moti Buchbut is executive chef at Inbal Jerusalem Hotel.

‘Frumer’ than God?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Summer should be a time of relaxation, of allowing your body to get the needed rest from the harsh winter and yearly toil. While the majority of the Jewish world works through the summer, I am sure that some sort of vacation or time off is on the agenda as we would literally fall to levels of fatigue and overwork, not to mention not taking advantage of the summer warmth and sunshine.

Therefore, when a student asked to see me a few days ago, I assumed that she was intending to thank me, perhaps give me a gift and ensure that my blood-pressure remain stable, as should be during the summer months.

As you can already imagine, the opposite happened.

This former student met with me and was very disturbed. Her quandary revolved around her work in the Maternity Ward of one of Jerusalem’s hospitals. A woman was admitted after her contractions had become increasingly close and, in the midst of the pain and breathing, her “water broke.” At that moment, a moment that she would not only be allowed to violate the holy Shabbat [Code of Jewish Law, OC, 330/1] but must if she didn’t invite it and it was a necessity [Tractate Shabbat 129a],  this women began to look behind her, as if someone was following her.  About a half an hour later, this woman was…gone. All attempts to locate her were unsuccessful. The police were called, and finally, after a (long) hour and a half, she returned. When the aghast staff asked where had she disappeared to, her answer was “The Mikvah. When asked why, she matter-of-factly answered that she would never consider giving birth to a baby without immersing in a Mikvah first, as a segula for an easy birth!

This story, to my dismay, was not the only one that gave my former student cause for concern. She went on to describe other such events, asking if this was a form of higher religious observance, a sort of a מידת חסידות [acts of the pious].

As my blood pressure levels began to rise, I looked out to see the beautiful summer skies, and recalled a forgotten experience I had many years ago, when spending the summer in the USA. As a day camp counselor, my nights were fairly free, and therefore I joined a typical “Daf-Yomi” class that would meet after Maariv each night. Like any Tractate of the Talmud, this one dealt with real-life scenarios, amongst them a known discussion about the punishment administered upon a violator of a sin in the realm of inappropriate sexual conduct. The “Magid-Shuir” [teacher of the class] was a very sweet and modest Chasidic Rebbe, who would teach each “daf” clearly [in a mixture of simple English and Yiddish idioms], and devotedly taught us each night, even in the so-called summer “vacation” months of July and August.

Thus, to my surprise, upon stumbling on this particular folio of Talmud, instead of explaining it, he said: “Look in the English,” waiting about two minutes till all the participants did so. Being a bit “Israeli,” just visiting for the summer, I admit that I didn’t own a translated Tractate and thus a chunk of that evening’s page was left unlearned. As the class continued, I found it rather strange that a part of God’s holy Torah was relegated to “the English” rather than be learned. As I was about 20 years younger than the rest of the assembled, I stayed quite; while another participant, apparently as agitated as me, decided to speak: “Rebbe, why don’t we learn it together, it’s the Torah, after all?

The kind Rebbe smiled, and answered as follows; “When I was a kid, I asked my “Tatte” why don’t we Chasidim learn Tanach like the Litvaken? He answered that we don’t learn it because there are immodest episodes in Tanach that would not be appropriate.” Being young, perhaps (too) cynical, and surely naïve, but having just completed high school saturated in the study of the Bible, I just couldn’t contain myself; “Rebbe,” I asked, “Are you saying that we are frumer than the Bible? Are you suggesting that we are too frum to learn what God said to the prophets?”

How To Cook Without Measuring

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

There are two primary forms of measuring when it comes to cooking, and our goal is to wean you away from both of them to the greatest extent possible. (There is also a third form of measuring, but doing without it can be risky and, based on my own disaster-stories, I don’t advise it.)

The first is reading a recipe. The process of looking at the recipe, cooking, looking back at the recipe, going back to cook, is time-consuming, and, unless you’re aiming for perfection, often unnecessary.

The second piece of measuring is utensils, i.e. measuring cups and spoons (or weights, if you’re not American). Ditch them. We want to minimize dishwashing time and all the effort it takes to bring utensils out from the cupboard. In the next chapter we’ll go over tools to estimate measurements, like tablespoons and cups, which will be helpful if this step makes you nervous.

The third piece, which we don’t advise eliminating, is measuring time, as in checking the clock and using a timer. Because this is the least cumbersome and most risky measuring tool to do without (think burnt, inedible food), it’s advisable to hold off on eliminating this tool for now. I tried cooking without it for several months, attempting to get a feel for when my food was done, whether it was pasta, meat or chili. Well, the pasta was soggy, the meat was chewy beyond belief and the beans in the chili had an overcooked, ghastly flavor. (I didn’t even know you could overcook dried beans!) So if estimating time worries you or has burned you like it has me, focus on the first two pieces for now.

Getting Comfortable with the No-Measure System

In case you feel skeptical about your ability to discard recipes and measuring spoons, consider that you already cook without measuring in many ways. Have you ever made a sandwich? Scrambled eggs? A smoothie or a milkshake? You probably dumped together some ingredients, waited until they were done and served or ate it straight.

Take it further: if you ever made mashed potatoes, you probably didn’t measure the amount of butter, milk and seasonings that you included. Or when making French toast, did you calculate exactly the amount of eggs, milk and vanilla? (If you did, don’t worry. We’ll help you get more comfortable in your cooking skin in the next section.) So put your fears aside. You have what it takes to cook and prepare food using your own taste and senses.

No-Measure Recipe Number 1

To get you started on your journey to no-measureville, here is a non-recipe that explains how to cook a basic dish without using measurements. I wrote this recipe as if I’m standing with you in the kitchen, telling you what cooking moves to make. If you’re an experienced cook, much of what I write is already second nature to you. But if you’re new to the kitchen, read the instructions carefully and take your time while cooking.

Master Chili Recipe

Solid standby at tailgating parties, barbecues and hearty winter meals, chili is super-versatile and satisfying. This recipe serves four to six.

Ground beef, about 1 and 1/2 lbs.
Oil, a spoonful
Onion, about 1 medium, chopped
Green pepper, about 1/2 chopped
1 medium can of diced tomatoes or 4-5 chopped plum tomatoes
Kidney beans, about 1 can, drained (or cook your own from scratch! Use about 1 cup)
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper
Salt

Brown the ground beef and chopped onion in a spoonful of oil over medium heat. Stir often, breaking up the chunks, until beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat and carefully pour of fat. (A good way to do this is to position a pot lid over the beef, keeping it from coming out of the pan, while you tilt the pan to pour out the liquid.) Add the chopped green pepper, kidney beans and tomatoes (if using fresh tomatoes, you will need to add some extra liquid like tomato sauce or marinara sauce; just a pour) to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, seasoning with a good sprinkling of salt and a small palmful of chili powder. Add a dash of cayenne pepper; use caution as it’s very spicy.

Title: The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Title: The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine
Author: Irving Langer
Publisher: Gefen

Amusing as it is to read a book about wine from a publisher named Gefen, The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine warrants attention.

Many kosher wine drinkers lack what wine connoisseurs know: a knowledge of the history of grapes, how they’re grown, and the seasons best for buying them. It’s not enough to stick with the same old stuff you’ve always enjoyed or simply to buy what someone recommends. Knowledge lets wine drinkers explore and buy wine on their own.

An overview to the kosher wine-making industry’s information is presented by the late Daniel Rogov, in the introduction. Kosher Grapevine’s author Irving Langer augments the education with his own look at wine making plus the nature of the storage barrels used to age wines for taste perfection. Langer also teaches the surprisingly little-known but only correct technique for holding a glass of wine. He didn’t expound, though, on the meaning of a given wine bottle’s appearance. The color, neck, shoulders and shape of the bottle indicate the nature of a particular wine, cluing purchasers in to its sensory potentials.

The rest of the book holds historic tales of Jewish facts, figures and history, a few jokes and lovely photographs, plus advice on how to pair wines with specific foods. Non-Jewish and new-to-observant Judaism adherents can benefit from the Hebrew/English glossary that clues readers in to tenets of Jewish life and law.

Gedalya Persky, a co-owner of Israel’s HaMartaf shop that sells wines, whiskies and beers, comments, “The section on how to taste wines is well done. Facts about the Gemara and minhagim (Jewish customs) round out the book. It’s a nice start for beginners.”

The Kosher Grapevine: Exploring the World of Wine will enhance a reader’s growing appreciation for wine-making’s technicalities. Add this hardcover coffee table-sized book to your reading list and see what it does for your wine-drinking experience.

Yocheved Golani is the author of “It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge.”

Dennis Prager, the Torah, and Me

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

The happiest part of my day, every day, is studying the Torah (chapter and verse) with Dennis Prager (audio available here).

He dedicates about an hour and a half to each chapter in the Torah, and reveals astonishing levels of depth and delight that are contained in each verse.

I thank God each day for His teachings (the Torah) and I thank God each day for His teacher (Dennis Prager).

But there is a danger.  Because I know that I have certain weaknesses.

Throughout my life, I have always been drawn to great speakers.  As a word-lover, I have to keep an eye on this predisposition, the same way a wine-lover must be careful about that second glass.

And so I ask myself: do I love Dennis Prager – the teacher, the speaker – or do I love the Torah that he teaches?

After much introspection, I can honestly say: it’s the Torah I love.

No offense to Dennis Prager, but the great Christian Pastor John Hagee (founder of Christians United For Israel (CUFI)) is a better speaker than Dennis Prager.  I have worked with Pastor John Hagee (writing for the CUFI magazine The Torch), I have attended his sermons in San Antonio, I have read his books, downloaded his podcasts, and watched his programs on TV.  Before I decided to become a Jew, I gave Christianity, and especially Pastor John Hagee, a fair hearing.  I even used the Old Testament of Pastor Hagee’s Prophesy Bible for some of my Torah studies (the translation is quite good).  I even flipped ahead and gave the New Testament a try.

But, even when spoken by the great Pastor John Hagee, the New Testament failed to resonate with me.  Unlike the Torah, which lit up every part of me.

The verdict is in:

I love the way you teach, Mr. Prager.  But I love the Torah that you teach even more.

Jblogs: Five Ways to Show I’m not Pregnant and Then Some

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

It’s my second batch so far, and all I can say is I’m frustrated beyond belief, because there’s so much good, zesty stuff out there in Jewblogia, and I only get an hour or two to look for the best. For sure I missed great pearls today, and if you want to help me correct this inequity, a.) start a new blog against me, and, 2.) send me da links. I want my links to your work. Trip well, cruise safely, it should all be G rated, maybe PG-13, max.

Funniest Lady Blogger Today: Frum N’ Flipping

Actually, this funny ladyposted last Shabbat, but I’m a slow woman in my mid life, so on occasion the pigeon gets here late. But not too late to recognize a funny, funny concept.

“Five ways to show I’m not Pregnant”

I don’t want to copy and paste too much, cuz I hate it when others do it to me, but her first advise is sooo on the money:

“Throw back shots of whiskey.”

Do you want to do cigarettes, too? Don’t know, not sure it’s worth it. But as non-verbal communications go, it probably works.

Public Breastfeeding, Discuss Amongst Yourselves

Hannah Katsman, A Mother in Israel, bravely takes on the oldest public debate in human history (Eve’le, must you do it here? What if people show up? – What people? It’s just us, Adam). Almost 100 readers are in on the debate so far. basically, she wants to know:

“Why Can’t Breastfeeding Mothers Just Be Nice?”

She writes: “Seeing a mother breastfeeding, even if nothing shows, makes some people uncomfortable. That feeling is unlikely to change, at least in the short term. I believe this happens when people grow up without seeing breastfeeding as part of daily life.  Our culture associates breasts with sex, not with feeding babies.”

You can see the debate erupting already, right? Well, you’re right. Tell her you found her here and that she shouldn’t be a stranger.

Canadian’s Hasidic Bootleggers – or: You Learn a Lot on the Internet

David Sugarman describes his adventures in search of quality kosher wine in Montreal – where you wouldn’t think wine would be a problem, right?

So after he looks around and finds only two varieties of Kedem on the shelves, a guy sends him to a synagogue, where, after a short interrogation, a hasidic man leads him into “the side entrance, through several doors and hallways, and down into a basement filled with empty wooden wine crates.”

Sugarman continues: “I waited for a few minutes until a different man brought me through one last door, into a small room crowded with Hasidic men. Lining the wall was the single best selection of kosher wine I’d ever seen. ‘Can I make a recommendation?’ the shop-keep asked and held out a nice-looking Cabernet.”

Read the entire entry, it is absolutely delightful, and includes police raids and other adventures.

Putting their Money Where their Eyes Are

Emes Ve-Emuna’s Harry Maryles is investing a lot of meditation time into the question of what exactly bothers him about the Haredi “Antinet” assembly at CitiField May 20.

” There was something very troubling to me about it. But although I was dancing around it, I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly why,” he writes. “How could this be a bad thing? After all the purpose is a good one. The internet has its dangers. Everyone agrees with that. There are things that can be done to counteract those dangers. And the fact that the right wing has finally come around to accepting the reality that they will never be able to ban it is a step in the right direction.  And isn’t Achdus a good thing?”

It finally comes to him: “It is the idea that a group is spending in excess of a million dollars to hold this event – the purpose of which is to tell us what we already know. And then suggest that this is a uniting moment.”

Very well thought out piece, plus a great online debate – by the time I visited there were 50 comments already. Say hi for me.

Thank You for Setting the Record Straight!

Yoni the Blogger reacts to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appearance on CNN, where he said he didn’t trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reach the right decision for Israel regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Olmert told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “The Iranian regime has not gone beyond a certain line of developing (its) nuclear program. That shows that they are at least thoughtful, which means that they are not rushing, but they are calculating their steps – being aware of the possible ramifications of what they do to Iran itself – which is what we want them to understand.”

To which Yoni the Blogger (his blog is called Daf Yoni) reacts, possibly in the name of hundreds of thousands of us: “This is from the man that not only is a criminal, in several different ways. The first and most important is a tie, the retreat from Gaza and the Second Lebanon war. How many Jewish lives has Olmert destroyed?”

If you answered “Many,” you win first prize.

Braving Bravery – Bravo!

This is a little convoluted and will require a lot of online reading, but if you’re sitting there with a just-unwrapped sandwich and are looking for something to keep your interest while you’re chewing, do visit Rosner’s Domain for two items.

First, read his April 25 note on Paul Krugman’s review of Peter Beinart’s book (“The Crisis of Zionism,” which Krugman said was a brave book, because Beinart had opened himself up to “intense attack from organized groups that try to ‎make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.”

Rosener posted seven poignant points in response to the Krugman item, which you should read before you move on to Rosener’s latest entry, “Krugman’s bravery, second round,” in which he is responding to critics of his original item, because it “made some ‎waves, some understandable and expected, some the result of ‎misreading or misunderstanding.”

The reason I enjoyed both pieces is Rosener moderate style – I can just imagine him in person, speaking slowly and clearly, so no one misunderstands him, then seeing how everyone misunderstood him. It’s a blogger’s plight in life, I guess.

Benzion Netanyahu on a ‘Palestinian Arab People’

Thank you, Ymedad, for the translation of a 1998 interview in Ha’aretz with the recently departed father of Israel’s Prime Minister, the late Prof. Ben Zion Netanyahu. As the blogger puts it, “Netanyahu was quite explicit about his thinking on  a so-called ‘Palestinian Arab people.’”

The short item starts with: “I do not think that those Arabs referring to themselves as Palestinians possess a right to a state.  For me it is quite clear that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people.”

Go see the rest and leave a comment. It’s not a bad idea to support folks who quote and upload the unconventional truth.

Funny Toon, Go See

My policy is that I won’t steal good, punchy stuff from a blogger, but would instead encourage you guys to click over and look for yourselves.

This might be the funniest Jewish anti-Obama cartoon, titled: “Obama’s Reagan moment.” And, as always, if you’ve seen it before elsewhere – bad on you for not sending it to Tibbi. Either way, I win.

Now go take a look.

 

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