Monday, November 01, 2010

More Apple Adventures

cross posted on Foodiscovery

I step inside the front entrance, unlock the next door with my key dangling from my neck, and enter the dim, narrow hallway. I gingerly make my way to to the machine that will prove I'm here at work today and clock in....

...I leave my stuff in my office, as usual. It's another typical Sunday at my job working with people with developmental disabilities. While I serve breakfast, some consumers ask, as usual: "Are you doing computers today?" I answer, "Probably."

Or is it a typical Sunday? The supervisor in charge today announces, "We're going apple-picking today!" My face lights up at this opportunity to take my people outside and pick some fresh fruit right off the trees!...

...As we walk and pick through the pick-your-own apple "store" at Wilkens Farm, concentrating on finding the best apples, the usual arguing, fighting, and teasing amongst the consumers at my program gradually fall away and we just enjoy the experience. I raise my arms with our picking pole, successfully knocking an apple into the basket; and another staff teases me by asking me to get an apple that's too high up for me to reach. I'm having such a wonderful time that the supervisor photographs me holding the picking pole up to a treetop!

How incredible it is to say the blessing "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the tree," then bite into a beautiful, juicy apple bursting with sweetness half a second after taking it off, with my own hand, the tree on which it grew!...

...I surprise my husband with a bagful of apples. I say to him, "Good thing I didn't buy apples already!" I use one large apple to make my promised apple honey pie (with fat-free plain yogurt), a recipe that I found one year right before Rosh Hashana to use instead of the traditional apple slices dipped in honey....

...My husband eats a few apples over the next couple of days; I use the rest to make applesauce that I use to make another baby cake (see previous post). Pancakes (made with whole wheat flour and with Truvia instead of sugar) are next, with the leftover applesauce used instead of margarine in the recipe, instead of canola oil for frying, and served on top. Yum!...

...We buy more apples. Good, because my husband has requested granola for breakfast (which I make with Truvia instead of sugar and instead of brown sugar; and without vanilla or cooking spray and just a small amount of almonds since those can get expensive), and I always serve it with fruit! I will layer two bowls -- one for me and one for my husband -- with one serving of granola, an apple cut in small chunks, and -- oops, we forgot raisins -- a banana instead of raisins. I pour fat-free milk into both bowls. My husband has also eaten his granola with watermelon and raisins, and also with pineapple and raisins; but granola with an apple and banana is my favorite so far!

What else could I make with apples or applesauce? Please leave comments with your suggestions!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Heads Up Everybody!!!

I've been offered an advance copy of Susie Fishbein's new addition to the Kosher by Design cookbook series, entitled Kosher by Design Teens and 20-Somethings to review for my readers.

On top of that, I'll be running a contest and one lucky winner will receive their own copy of the book absolutely free.

Everybody else will receive a coupon code for 10% off the price of the cookbook and free shipping. All readers will also have the exciting opportunity to download a PDF version of the Kosher By Design recipe index – a guide to more than 900 recipes in the Kosher By Design series.

So get ready! A give-away is on its way (some time next week). Tell your friends and stop by Guess Who's Coming To Dinner soon.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Russian Vinaigrette

I work with a gentleman named George. George is Russian. George is often giving me recipe ideas, most probably because we all know that I have absolutely no interest in or affinity for cooking (snort). Most of George's recipes involve vodka or large quantities of beef. Some of George's recipes involve vodka AND beef. I seldom even listen to make George's recipes.... until this week.
George told me about a fascinating recipe entitled Russian Vinaigrette. It appealed to me because it is yet another one of those salads that, if served on Friday night, will still remain palatable as leftovers on Shabbos day.

Russian Vinaigrette
  • 1-2 large bunch beets, cooked and cubed small
  • 4-7 red potatoes, cooked and cubed small
  • 3/4 - 1 bag baby carrots, cooked and cubed small
  • several scallions, chopped
  • 1 bag sauerkraut, drained
  • 4-6 pickles, chopped
  • splash of olive oil
  • salt - only if needed... test first (mine needed)

hmm..... I wonder how it would go with a shot of vodka......

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Cheese"burgers and "Pepperoni" Pizza

Cross posted on Foodiscovery

My husband, who did not grow up keeping kosher, reminisces about cheeseburgers, pepperoni pizza, shellfish, and other delicacies he hasn't tasted in years. I wonder: What can I make for Shabbat this week to bring back those memories for him in a kosher way?

This week at Fairway, I head upstairs to the section with the soy products. It's incredible: One can buy so many foods made with soy that look and taste like meat or dairy but are actually completely parve! Sure, I've used soymilk in my meatballs recipe that calls for milk -- but oh, the possibilities of soy! I can buy any of several soy cheeses: cheddar, nacho, mozzarella....I pick mozzarella to make "cheese"burgers. Having never had a cheeseburger in my life (I grew up mostly kosher, so I never had anything that was a clear no-no), I have no clue what's the best cheese for a cheeseburger. Maybe I'll use cheddar next time. All I know is that I'll slice the soy cheese and melt the slices on top of the meat once it's been mostly cooked into burgers, according to my husband.

Ok, that takes care of one meal. I'm thinking for the other meal I'll do a pizza with real cheese and some kind of fake meat made of soy. Let's see what there is....OMG, there's fake pepperoni! Perfect! I'll make my pizza crust (with whole wheat flour, of course), spread it with sauce (I use spaghetti sauce), and lay the pepperoni slices over it. I can still use my usual cheesy veggie pizza recipe for the veggies this time, and perhaps I'll just put some mushrooms over the "pepperoni" next time for a change.

Wow, my husband is going to be so happy this Shabbat!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

cheesecake perfection

Found this realllly great article over at that gives you the Top 5 Tips for Kosher Cheesecake Perfection - a must read while you're baking for Shavuot this year!!!


Sunday, April 18, 2010

easy/yummy/healthy quinoa pilaf

Quinoa is becoming the biggest food trend among today's health conscious. Because it's high in protein, fiber and iron, and because it's also gluten-free, it's truly a super-food that you should try.

If you've never made Quinoa before, I would highly recommend starting with this super-easy recipe. It's DELISH!

  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cups quinoa,
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp chicken soup flavoring (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put frozen peas in a bowl and set aside to let thaw.

Chop onion, garlic, carrots and red pepper into tiny pieces.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add onion, garlic, carrots and red pepper, cooking until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

Add quinoa and water and chicken soup flavoring (if using).

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low.

Simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Stir in frozen peas and salt and pepper.

Serves 6.

Per serving: 319 calories, 9 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 50 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 13 g protein, 94% Vitamin A, 55% Vitamin C, 6% calcium, 34% iron

Sunday, April 04, 2010

pesach chocolate fudge brownies (nisht gebrochts)

These are really fudgey, gooey brownies, almost lava-cake like. I like to serve them warm!

1 cup oil
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar (optional)
1 cup cocoa
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 9" baking pan.
Combine all ingredients and pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eggplant Fritters (Gebrokts)

My family will tell you that I'm always willing to try an interesting recipe - - - once. After that, we have a family "post mortem" and decide if it's a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down".

I find that with pesach recipes, there are more in the "thumbs down" category, simply because in my opinion, the best recipes are NOT the ones that have been altered to substitute and compensate for chometzdik ingredients. The best recipes are those that never required chometz in the first place (think my individual chocolate fondues, instead of pesachdik cookies....).

Every once in a while though, I will try a new recipe that becomes a keeper.
These eggplant fritters are best, as with most fried items, straight out of the pan, but they reheat very well and are even great cold as a snack straight out of the fridge. Although it's a bit of a bother, I make a double batch and it is enjoyed by everybody because it doesn't taste like everything else, if you know what I mean.....

Eggplant Fritters

1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons course salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup matzo meal
1 medium eggplant -- peeled, thinly sliced, salted & drained
potato starch
oil for frying

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, water, 2 tablespoons oil, salt, paprika and pepper. Beat until frothy. Beat in matzo meal. Set aside.

Eggplant slices should be salted on both sides, then allowed to drain on absorbent towels for at least 20 minutes. Press to drain more.Wash and dry eggplant slices after draining.

Coat eggplant slices lightly on both sides with potato starch. Dip into matzo batter. If the batter thickens too much, add enough water to make the desired consistency.

Fry oil in preheated pan containing oil until lightly browned on both sides. Drain.

eat out in the city - on pesach

Koshertopia presents a list of restaurants that will open this Pesach in New York and New Jersey.

If you're someone who's more than ready to mish, click here for this year's guide.

Happy Eating!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Potatoes

Oh boy! Are you all in for a treat!!
I made the most fantastic Broccoli Cheese Potatoes this week and I'm going to share the recipe with you.

6 large potatoes
1 cup sour cream (I used "light" sour cream)
16 ounces frozen broccoli, defrosted and pulsed in a food processor
6 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Pierce the potatoes and bake them at 400 degrees until they are soft (about 45-50 minutes). Gently remove a bit off the top of each potato and scoop the contents into a bowl, leaving only the shell. Mash the contents with the sour cream. Add the broccoli and two thirds of the cheese. Add salt and pepper. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
Stuff this mixture back into the shells and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes more.

These were soooo good. You've got to try them.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Sautéed Flanken



4 pounds flanken
2 whole onions, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole bay leaf
1 tablespoon paprika



1.    heat oil in an 8 quart pan

2.    add all vegies and sautee for 20 min

3.    add flanken and rest of ingredients

4.    sautee untill meat is rather tender

5.    add water to cover meat

6.    simmer for 2 1/2- 3 hours

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hazelnut-Dijon Crusted Salmon

I found the original recipe from the Gatherings cookbook (definitely a must-buy) - I used hazelnuts instead of pecans and olive oil instead of margarine, and changed some of the measurements. 

That photo above was taken tonight when I made this dish for my family. As you can see, I served the salmon with a side salad and my own dill sauce (just mayo + fresh dill).

6 medium Salmon fillets, no skin
4 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons Honey
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 cup Hazelnuts, ground (or substitute pecans, crushed)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place salmon fillets in a foil-lined baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard, honey and olive oil. Pour mixture on salmon and marinate for 30 minutes.

In a second bowl, combine nuts, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper. Sprinkle this mixture on top of glazed salmon, covering the fish completely.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Delicious, Dairy, and Greek (sort of)

Spanakopita is a Greek pastry made of phyllo dough that is filled with spinach, feta cheese, and onions and baked until puffy and golden brown. It is somewhat similar to a bureka. I recently came upon a food blog post in which the blogger describes his efforts to create an open faced version of this treat, sort of a cross between spanakopita and pizza. He named it, of course, spanakopizza. He used layers of phyllo dough in place of pizza dough, and even rolled up some phyllo sheets to form a rimmed crust around the pizza. The phyllo is topped with spinach, feta, onions, red peppers, dill, and mozzarella and baked like a pizza. The end result looks absolutely delicious.
While the blog itself is not kosher, all of the ingredients in this particular recipe are kosher. Clear, step by step instructions are provided, along with beautiful pictures that will make your mouth water:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the BEST hershey's chocolate cake ever!!!

This isn't my recipe at all. The only thing I added was the chocolate liqueur to the icing. But I made this cake this past Shabbos and it was honestly the best cake I've ever made. (and one of the easiest!!!)

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon chocolate liqueur

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla and liqueur. About 2 cups frosting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

caesar salad made easy

My first-ever attempt at Caesar Salad was a success! The idea of using raw eggs and anchovies always turned me off... but then I discovered this recipe that calls for neither! 

You can make this salad either Milchig or Pareve (it is absolutely divine served with grilled chicken breast).

For the croutons - you can buy those ready-made, but I love making my own and adding them to the salad when they're hot out of the oven. Just dice up some 'old' bread and toss with garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper, and a dash of olive oil. Spread out your croutons on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes, until golden and crispy.

(Side note: This recipe calls for Worcestershire Sauce... the brand I used does contain fish, but if you're concerned about mixing fish with dairy/meat, there are many other brands that are strictly 'veggie')


1 cup Light Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Milk (or Soy milk)

2 heads Romaine Lettuce Hearts, diced
1 cup Croutons

In a large salad bowl, mix first 8 ingredients until well-blended. Add more milk if dressing is too thick. 
Add Lettuce and Croutons and toss.
Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Monday, February 01, 2010


Welcome to Foodiscovery! :)

I LOVE food! I love to eat it. I love to cook it. It allows me to be creative and to do acts of kindness. It makes me and others happy. It is the most basic need of every creature and is one of the biggest pleasures in the world. But like almost anything, it must be handled well or it can cause problems. It can be used as a comfort, even when you’re not really hungry. Improper eating can cause sickness. Extra weight can lead to obesity, which can lead to diseases such as diabetes. Food is thus a neutral entity, and it is up to each of us to use it in good ways. I hope that readers will be able to learn from my blog to use food in good ways and to avoid using it in bad ways. I seek to inform and inspire as well as to entertain.
I welcome you, my fellow food lovers, to Foodiscovery – and invite you to join me on my journey.

Thank you, Maidel, for inviting me to post to your blog! :) So far, Foodiscovery has the following five posts:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just a Banana?

Today's the day: I've gotta make three sales or this job isn't worth it for me. Why bother? Because you never know what can happen if you just keep trying! I'll go check out those big apartment buildings down the street....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Surprise On-the-Job Lunch

I'm loving my new job! It's my second day doing door-to-door sales for Culligan drinking water systems ( ) in my own territory -- I was training in other peoples' territories last week -- and while I haven't made any sales yet in Teaneck or elsewhere, I've sure learned a lot! The more "doors" (businesses such as stores, salons, or doctors' offices) I see, the more confident I become. I think I'll do just another block or two of Cedar Lane and then stop to eat my usual Luna nutrition bar ( ) and drink my Naked juice ( ) for lunch....

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Our First "Date" Without the Baby

A new spark of romance kindles within me as my husband and I walk hand-in-hand around Inwood, the Manhattan neighborhood we call home. Strange as it is for us to be just a couple again for a bit, at the same time I feel free skipping along the sidewalk excitedly and joking with my Sweety-Pie....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Warm Your Belly

The howling winter wind bites at my face like an angry dog as I trudge through the icy white mounds on the ground. My whole body is frozen solid. Just one more block until I'm home, I tell myself. Finally I push open the door to my apartment building, and when I pass through the portal between the merciless open air and the secure shelter, my skin begins to thaw....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Quest Begins...

…at my late-childhood home in Cincinnati, Ohio.

December 2002.

I’m in 12th grade this year. Sometimes I can’t wait to get out of here, but now is one time I love being at home with my parents and five cats. The Jewish holiday Chanukah starts this evening. Festive music emanates from the living room as I dash up and down the basement stares to gather decorations that are stored there. While helping my parents put them up, I sing and dance joyously with the music. I search through drawers to find the dreidles, special spinning tops that are used for a game that is customarily played on Chanukah. I look forward to playing it again with my parents this year. Even the cats are excited, what with all the new toys for them that have appeared....