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Showing posts from 2017

The most yummy coleslaw–even for people who hate coleslaw

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How do you feel about coleslaw???I’ll be honest – I’ve always hated it.  I just found it bland and uninspiring.  Of course, I was used to the KFC style of coleslaw, which is essentially pureed or finely chopped-up cabbage with a ton of mayonnaise.  Just not much to get excited about there.This one’s from Popeye’s, not KFC, but I’m sure you get the idea:One more complicating factor in our coleslaw lives was this:  one of our kids hates mayonnaise with a passion.  Cannot stand to be

The taste of fall: Easy homemade apple cider without a juicer!

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Here in Israel, we miss lots of the familiar tastes of the seasons, but mostly, we get by.  We adapt and learn to enjoy new flavours, like the way Naomi Rivka will stash a few fresh dates in the freezer for a couple of hours and then take them out and mash them into “sorbet.”  Or like chummus – NOT!One of the things I love in the sukkah, besides a cool breeze (since there’s no hope for that where we are) is real apple cider.  We drink it, but it’s also a crucial ingredient in my Yom Tov Squash Soup.  Or at least it WAS, before we moved to Israel.There really is no substitute for cider.  If you’re from the Northeast or some other fall-colours, cool-weather kind of place, hopefully you’ll agree.  They sell alcoholic cider in the liquor stores here, but it’s more like bubbly-sweet apple juice than anything I would call cider.  Apple juice is kids’ stuff, but cider has sass – it’s all grown up.  It’s sweet but spicy; spunkier than apple juice and fuller in body and texture.And since we ca…

Baking in Israel? Beware of FAKE condensed milk

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If you didn’t know any better – like I didn’t when we first came here – you’d probably assume, with good reason, that both of these tins contained condensed milk:But that’s where you’d be wrong.  Sure, at least at first glance, the Hebrew text is exactly the same: חלב מרוכז וממותק / chalav merukaz umemutak / concentrated sweetened milk.  But the English is different, and therein lies the key difference between the two – the one on the right is FAKE.Here are the ingredients of the real thing (on the left):Milk (55%), sugar (45%).  That’s it.  Pure and simple.Now, here are the ingredients

Kanafe כנאפה Knafe Kunafe Knaffe Kanafa كنافة - A sweet bonus for Rosh Hashanah (with video)

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Sick of pareve desserts for yom tov?  Ready for something a little less ho-hum?  I love my classic Second Helpings cookbook honey cake to death and look forward to it almost all year (it has a cup of sugar, 1 1/4 cups of honey, and a cup of coffee – what’s NOT to love????).  But sometimes… you just want something creamy.  Usually, my grandmother’s Neapolitan Cake fits the bill very, very nicely, and I totally recommend it if you haven’t tried it already.Usually, a few of our Rosh Hashanah meals are dairy, because especially when it’s bumped right up against Shabbos like it is this year, it’s just TOO MUCH MEAT.  The fact that we can have dairy desserts is a totally wonderful bonus.  While there are a couple of specialized ingredients in this dish (kadaif noodles – see below; rose water) but beyond that, this super-special Israeli dairy dessert is also super-easy to throw together.Here’s a dessert that was new to me before we came to Israel which plays on this region’s love of filo (ph…

Easy, tender, and affordable roast in Israel… yes, it IS possible!

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I wasn’t a big meat cook in Canada.  We ate a lot of chicken, but I was kind of shy about beef.  Still, I managed to make some acceptable roasts from time to time – meat that was tender enough and tasty enough that we could enjoy it together on special occasions.All that changed when we moved to Israel, where all the meat cuts are different from what I was used to and nothing, it seemed, was tender and tasty except the most expensive bits, like steak (which always seems to turn out tough when we make it at home, but we don’t mind because it’s delicious).But some of the English speakers here were chatting on our WhatsApp group last week about roasting beef, and it made me really want to try it again –even after having been burned numerous times.  So on Thursday evening, we bought a nice little #6 roast, which according to this indispensible meat chart is called Fillet Medumeh (פילה מדומה), petit tender, or foreshank.  The page's owner, Marc Gottlieb, says it’s good for “Grilling, s…

Awesomely delicious (and EASY!) kosher vegan peanut-butter cookies

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Vegan guests coming for Shabbos dinner?  No problem!  Forget trying to make or buy some kind of special vegan dessert.  Try this adaptation of a classic favourite – your family will probably never notice the difference!  If you’ve got these SIX magic ingredients (not counting water; you do have water, right?), you’ve got what it takes to make these awesomely delicious peanut-butter cookies.  They’re butter-free, margarine-free, and you can control the amount of sugar by choosing a healthier brand than the fancy name-brand sugar-added peanut butter than I have used here.  Because this recipe is so incredibly simple, it would also be a good one to play around with.  Try adding chocolate chips, if that's your thing (and whose isn't it???), or little jammy thumbprints.  If it comes out great, let me know!Ready?Here are these SIX magic ingredients…Kosher Vegan Peanut-Butter Cookies(Adapted from Spoon University)(makes 20 generously-sized cookies)What you’ll needThe wet stuff:Combin…

Sometimes, things don’t work out as planned (video)

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Here’s something you don’t see all the time on today’s ultra-slick cooking blogs.  A confession:  sometimes, things don’t work out as planned.For Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) this year, I decided to make one of those fabulous checkerboard cakes I’ve seen all over the Internet.  Sure, they sell special cake pans to make them, but that’s just kitsch, right?Special pans:  Who needs ‘em, amIright?Anyway, all the pans do is let you mix and match the bits and pieces a little more easily.  Surely, I can do that on my own, at home, with nothing more than my own ingenuity?Nope.You can’t really see from this picture how wonky and falling-aparty these cakes really were.  But don’t take my word for it… you can see the whole thing coming together (and/or falling apart) in this delightful real-life video

I made the hot viral muffins! Flourless, pareve, practically instant… but are they tasty???

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I did it – I couldn’t resist even a second longer:  I made the hot viral muffins!Don’t you love the way eye-catching food has gone viral lately?  If you’re like me, you’ve got videos all over your Facebook feed of recipes assembled in seconds using healthy, colourful ingredients.  Just drizzle stuff in olive oil, into the oven it goes, and thirty seconds later, you’ve got the World’s Best Popsicles – or something.(I’m sure this is a product of my demographic – if I was a teenage boy, no doubt I wouldn’t get quite so many recipes, and quite a few more brightly animated game images or whatever.)From starters to entrees, from soups and salads to stews and desserts, I’m sure seen these videos and sat there drooling like me, wondering if it could possibly be THAT easy and taste as good as they say.  Today’s gorgeous post, the one which caught my eye, at least, came from a site called Averie Cooks, promised Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Mini Blender Muffins. Which has got to be a r…

Too salty? Not enough? Quick n’ Tasty Kugel-Making Tip

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If you’re like me and cook by intuition, it can be hard to know when a kugel is just right to go into the oven.  How do you know you’ve added enough salt and other seasonings?  You don’t want to accidentally go overboard, but how much is enough?  And you certainly don’t want to invest all that effort and bake the thing for an hour or whatever only to discover that it tastes bland as paste.Of course, you could just take a taste of the raw mixture, but somehow, that option has never seemed appealing to me.So what can you do?This isn’t a fancy tip, but it’s one has helped me so much over the years.  I think it will come in handy for you in all sorts of ways – not just with kugels, but also with gefilte fish, cakes, cookies, breads; anything you don’t want to sample raw for whatever reason.(Lots of real bakers eat raw bread dough, even sourdough, and claim to love it… I am not one of them, and the thought of eating raw flour products seems just icky to me.  My 9-year-old son GZ, on the ot…

Making Kosher (dairy!) Croissants – A baking dream come true

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Most of the baking I do is pareve, and usually, I don’t mind.  But sometimes, I come across a baking or bread idea that absolutely must use dairy.  Must must must.  No substitutions.  Naomi Rivka is taking a baking course right now and she bakes a lot of dairy.  She’ll bring home the recipe and excitedly ask, “Can we make this for Shabbos?”  And I look at the kilo of butter or whatever in the ingredients and say, “Not this week, we’re having fleishiks…”  She keeps saying we can use margarine instead, and my standard line for this is:“Margarine is NOT pareve butter.”I think you’ll agree.  Margarine can be USEFUL in kosher baking, but it most definitely isn’t butter.  And when what you want is the flavour of butter – there’s nothing like it in the world – then what you need to start with is… butter.Like croissants.  I read about making croissants years and years ago.  You take a super-thin layer of butter, sandwich it between super-thin layers of dough, and then fold and fold and fold u…

Want to make homemade bread but can’t stand touching flour? Perfect tool for sensory issues (yours or kids’)

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I keep forgetting to write about this and I SHOULDN'T, because this is a very cool product that I’m excited to tell you about.I actually bought this on impulse and didn't expect to like it so much, but I really believe it offers an interesting solution for some people (not everybody).Do you adore getting your hands into a fresh, powdery batch of dough?  If so, maybe this post isn't for you.  This post is for people who LOVE fresh bread, but HATE getting flour on their hands.  You know – like this:(if that picture, with all those floury fingers, makes you uncomfortable, you NEED to read on!)Powdery textures usually make me nuts (sand!!!), although for some reason, I'm okay with flour and bread-making.  But I have known a few people who are totally NOT okay with it, and for them, this product might be ideal.So… what is it?It's a silicone dough bag!  I saw these a while ago, first on Amazon and then on AliExpress, my preferred get-things-cheap-from-China site.  AliExp…

More delicious kosher morsels!