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One-Pan, One-Ingredient Kosher Vegan Refried Beans


I don't know what I did right, and I certainly don't want to ask too many questions for fear of jinxing it, but the truth is... shhh... my family LOVES beans.

And that has made refried beans (or, as the people who invented them call them, frijoles refritos) one of our go-to favourites for after-school eating, especially in chilly weather, that both warms them up and tides them over until suppertime.

The truth is that refritos are sometimes good enough to make converts even of devout non bean lovers.  Try it and see, even if other bean recipes haven’t gone over as well.  The long cooking time gives the beans a magical “powdery” texture that isn’t really beany at all (at least, in our opinion here!).

These refried beans are basically a one-ingredient, one-pan recipe.   I strongly recommend a

Easy No-Bake Pareve Key Lime Icebox Cake


Is there anything better than the taste of lime in the summertime?  If you've read many of my posts here, you'll know I'm obsessed with lime flavoured anything, especially after a few years here in Israel with NO LIMES (waah!). Now that they're readily available and seasonal, I make sure to take advantage, gorging on amazing fresh Israeli limes before they're gone for the rest of the year.

(We do freeze some juice as cubes to use in sauces, salads, etc.)

I know what you're thinking, though.  It's NOT summertime.  By now, mid-October, we're well into fall.  But here where we live, temperatures are still in the 30s (celsius, I guess mid to high 80s F?) and we haven't really had our first good rain.  So it's still summer in my mind, though to be honest, I often forget what season it is.

In any case, the air conditioning is still running -- and that's what really counts.
And when it's hot outside, there seriously is nothing like lime.  And also, nothing like a quick, easy no-bake dessert.

Oogat Biskvitim, which literally means Biscuit Cake (in the British sense of cookie, rather than the American meaning of a savoury roll), is super-popular here, almost as much so as the ubiquitous Kadurei Shokolad, literally chocolate balls

In searching for recipes to tweak to get what I wanted, I found out that outside of Israel, it's most commonly known as

Sunny Side Up Rice: Weekday Asian skillet fried rice for one (pareve)


Need a little something to bring an ordinary weekday over to the sunny side?

Here’s a way to elevate rice from a humble side dish to a glorious main course for one person, perfect for weekday lunch or light supper?  I don't usually talk about cooking for one, for the obvious reason that I live with several other people.  But when the kids are off at school all day, sometimes I want to invest a few minutes into making something truly delicious that’s just for me.

There aren't many foods as simple and comforting as rice, and though this fried rice dish has a number of steps, it's simple enough to prepare in the background while I’m working, and the end result is flavourful and incredibly comforting.  There are two possible variations -- "Indian" and "Chinese" (I'm using quotation marks because I don't want to pretend that these are authentic flavours...) that are equally simple to prepare.

This is why I love working from home – I can’t stand

What to eat when you're sick of Yom Tov food... (hint: Israeli-style Indian!)


When I was little, my father went to India for a few weeks with his best friend.  There was some sort of classic Bollywood plot -- an arranged marriage for the friend which needed to be thwarted so he could marry the love of his life back in Toronto, something like that.

The actual plot doesn't matter.  What matters is that he came home with a love of all things Indian, from delicate little nose rings to Bollywood cinema to the delicious, flavourful treats he'd eaten all over the country.  We were lucky because Toronto had a nice little Indian village where you could browse in sari shops before or after eating your fill of spicy curries and savoury flatbreads of all kinds, topped off with an unbelievable fudge my brother and I couldn't stop making fun of because of its unfortunate name:  Barfi.

Yes, there is an actual dessert with the word "barf" in it.  As tiny tots,

EASY potato-peasy pareve-or-meat-or-vegan oven-baked samosas for Sukkos


When you’re overwhelmed with yamim tovim and absolutely desperate for flavour and CRUNCH, there’s absolutely nothing like samosas!  I’m making these as part of an India-themed sukkah meal, which I hope to post the entire menu for at some point over the next little while, but you could absolutely serve these delicious crunchy bites all on their own, and fill them up with whatever savoury filling you happen to enjoy.

I happen to think Indian flavours go particularly well in the sukkah – whether your sukkah nights are chilly, like ours were in Toronto, or a little on the warm side, as they definitely are here.  If your meal is pareve, there’s lots of opportunity for delicious milk-based Indian sweets for dessert – otherwise, whatever you normally serve is just fine.

One reason I love these samosas is that you bake them in the oven, making them slightly healthier than a deep-fried treat, while these wrappers stay super-crispy no matter how you cook them.  It’s the satisfying texture of deep-fried, without all the oil.

The filling for these savoury could-be-vegan samosas is actually too easy for a recipe, but here goes:

Super-Easy Thick, Spreadable, Bakeable DIY Cream Cheese in Israel


Cream cheese can be a hit or miss affair here in Israel.  Sure, some brands are okay for eating, but where the native product fails is usually when it comes to baked goods that call for genuine cream cheese, as I discovered at Shavuos a couple of years ago.  It's too thin, too gummy, too shiny, whatever.  It's just... WRONG.

In case you’re wondering, sour cream is called “krem gevina shamenet,” and as you can see, there are lots of flavour choices…


…but none of them are anything I’d want to bake into a cheesecake.

But then this year, I found out I could make my own.  And not only does it taste great, it works perfectly in recipes!

I won't bother calling it a RECIPE, because it's too easy to be a recipe! 

It only works if you're in Israel, simply because you can’t get Israeli dairy products here.  Then again, if you're outside of Israel, you can probably just buy Philly.  The truth is, you can buy Philly here in a lot of places as well, as well as some good brands that substitute reasonably well.  But if you're turned off by additives like

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