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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Linzer Tart, gluten free by Paula Shoyer (shh... it’s Kosher for Passover too)

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Planning for Pesach yet?

No???  Why the heck not?

Oh, yeah... because it's January.  Then again, when better to test out recipes so your family doesn't have to live with those thrown-together first-time "experiments" when yom tov rolls around?

And if you think of it as the most incredible gluten-free pie crust you've ever seen, EVER, then it becomes a little easier (so to speak) to swallow.

cover, The New Passover Menu, by Paula Shoyer Plus, hey, who doesn't love a new cookbook?  Especially when, like Maryland mom Paula Shoyer's brand-new The New Passover Menu, it's a totally user-friendly experience, complete with prep times, cook times, hints for advance prep and freezing... plus, get this:  equipment lists. 

image from, The New Passover Menu, by Paula Shoyer

Yes!  A cookbook writer who GETS what it's like to work in a bare-bones Pesach kitchen, not sure if you have a pareve sieve or not.  (Though she recommends that everybody run out to buy a waffle iron for Pesach, which may not be the most practical suggestion ever.)

I discovered Shoyer through an invitation to watch her cook in the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.  Who could I resist an invite like this?  (Not me!)

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

What to expect (maybe you know the feeling?)

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You know that feeling?  When you’re expecting something really, really good in the mail? 

Like a tasty treasure-trove of Starbucks instant coffee from your sister Canada?  Because there IS no Starbucks in Israel, only Aroma, which isn’t nearly as good?  (okay, only Aroma, and Greg, and Roladin and Maafah Na’aman, and a million other chains, which is fantastic, but they are NOT Starbucks)

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And everywhere you turn…

(and by the way, Starbucks is NOT not here because of antisemitic or anti-Israel or anti-Zionist anything)

Even nestled in the weeds…

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Hiding in the neighbourhood olive trees…

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And twisted into the branches of even weirder trees…

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Baking maven Paula Shoyer declares war on kichel. This killer recipe proves her wrong.

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Know what the most popular post on this site is, right at this very moment?  By far?

It’s a post called “Mmm… kichelicious.”

I adore kichel, the dry unsweetened European cookie that has been a staple of Jewish life since… well, probably since someone’s Bubby needed to make cookies and discovered that she was out of sugar.  Apparently, thousands of people out there on the Internet love kichel and want to know how to make it well at home.

okDSCN2421 But celebrity kosher baker Paula Shoyer does not.  Which is too bad, because in every other way, she’s absolutely perfect. 

I enjoyed a baking demo she did yesterday at the home of the U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro.  She did a really great job of preparing a couple of basic recipes that I hope to share with you very soon.

But the real reason for her crusade to bring simple, delicious pareve baking recipes to home cooks is because, as she said yesterday, “in the U.S., pareve desserts… are absolutely horrific.”

Foremost among the horrors?  The kichels on every table, at every shul kiddush.  Paula did not mince words, describing them as a “dog biscuit with sugar on top.”

Them’s fightin’ words, Paula. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

How many minutes till snack time?? Feeding hungry kids after school.

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What do you feed your kids when they walk through the door?

(Or do you feed them at all?)

I admit, this is one of my weaknesses as a parent.  One of the things I’m really not so good at.

Maybe you’re better than me at this (if so, I want to hear from you in the comments!), but perhaps the thing I’m worst at, as a parent, is feeding starving kids – my own.

When they walk in the door after school, they’re famished.  Not literally starving, as I’ve told them many times.  But they are very, very hungry.

Worse still is that they usually don’t realize it yet.  They don’t feel hungry – but they are.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Go soak your head… and NOT your beans!

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Here it is:  The bean snob’s guide to delicious quick-cook, no-soak beans.

Do you love beans?  Or do you just put up with them?

For years, in Canada, we were hooked on canned beans.  We put up with them, even enjoyed them, if they were seasoned heavily enough.

Blah.  Never again.

Here in Israel, I’ve become a beany snob. 

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(nothing delicious can come out of here…)

Canned beans may be easy, but they are also mushy and worse than flavourless – they’re tin-flavoured.  Here, canned beans practically don’t exist, so we don’t have any choice.  And the great news is that from-scratch beans are tastier, too.  By which I mean they taste like something.  As opposed to a tin can.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Powerful Secret of Thick, Rich, Homemade Winter Soups

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I’m sure you know how to make soup.  Good soup.  Maybe great soup. 

(It’s cold outside.  Just close your eyes and think of delicious soup…)

Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need more soup recipes.

I agree.  You don’t.  Here’s how you can make your current homemade soups even better, without adding a ton of more work.

I’ve been making soup for years.  Years and years.  Years and years and years.  But this year, I’ve discovered a trick that makes even good soups a million times greater.  It boosts the soup’s nutrition and flavour – and it’s easy.

The trick is…

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