Archive for the 'Fresh Frum the Kitchen' Category

Pareve Peach Pie

This entry is also posted on Dr. Sukol’s blog, Your Health is on Your Plate.

About a year ago, a friend of mine got interested in the raw food movement.  Raw foodists prefer their food, as advertised, raw.  Uncooked.  She said it changed her life.  OK, lots of people say stuff like that.  But I have to admit that I see the difference – she is more relaxed, and brimming with beauty and energy.  Four kids?  No problem!

Delicious, Flavorful, Versatile Yogurt

This entry is cross-posted at

Some time ago I wrote a post about store-bought, flavored yogurt and the absurd amounts of sugar contained therein,  called Everything You Wanted to Know About Yogurt but Were Afraid To Ask.  But the truth is there’s a lot more to know about yogurt, and don’t worry — it’s all good.

The first step to restoring yogurt to its healthful place in smart eating is to buy it plain.  You can try your hand at making your own yogurt, but you’ll still need some plain yogurt to get started.  “Plain,” by the way, is what I would have called yogurt if I wanted consumers to be more interested in other, fancier options, especially if I could increase profits by doing so.  But that’s not what I want for you, so  I would call it “pure” yogurt.  So the first step is to buy plain, whole-milk yogurt.  Now, if you aren’t ready to switch from low-fat to whole fat, we can compromise for now.  Just please make sure it’s plain yogurt, with live, active cultures (check the label).

Lacto-Fermented Borscht and Pesach

Thank you to Uri Laio for sharing this story and recipe  (cross-posted on his blog Old Growth Yiddishkeit).  Uri is an ADAMAH alumnus and is currently finishing his first year at UC Hastings Law School in San Francisco.


When my Grandfather, alav hashalom, was nearing the end of his long and fruitful life, I had the opportunity to make dinner for him once (which was uncommon because during that time my mother used to cook dinner for all of us mostly every night). He requested borscht, a dish that I was altogether unfamiliar with, but which was an essential part of the Eastern European Jewish food tradition my Grandfather had grown up with. In my good intention to fulfill his request, I opened a jar of canned borscht (Ingredients: Water, Beets, Sugar, Salt, Citric Acid.) and served it with sour cream, and love.

Flash forward to 2010.

Win A Copy of Eat Fresh Food – Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs

Eat Fresh Food by Rozanne Gold

Photos by Phil Mansfield

Every once in a while I feel sorry for myself because my kids won’t eat my lovingly prepared meals; for comfort, I seek out one of my fellow mom’s, specifically those with teen-agers. Invariably they look at me with a withering ‘well let me get you the violins and a stiff drink fast, your poor thing’ stare, reminding me that I am a mere amateur at kitchen rejection. When I hear their tales of trying to feed their teens, my load somehow seems lighter, more manageable. Snarky, picky, and sometimes downright nasty, it is no easy task to manage teens at the table.

Enter Rozanne Gold and her new book, Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs. I sat down with the author and discovered that the book’s appeal to teens is as organic as its recipes. Gold recently adopted a teen-ager and for the past few years they have been coming together as a family, in and out of the kitchen. Her daughter was one of five teen chefs engaged to prepare and test each recipe. Their collective industry and obvious enjoyment is evidenced throughout the book with hands-on pictures depicting their efforts.

Hazon CSA featured in The Jewish Week!

Eric Jewish Week

Check out this article in The Jewish Week that features the Hazon CSA at the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the Northshore in Long Island, NY. The syanagogue’s cantor Eric Schumiller highlights the cooperation between his synagogue and the farm, as well their emphasis on environmentalism.

Photo Credit to Lauren Pulver

Yid.Dish: Potato Salad, and Everyone Loves a Loophole

potato salad

As a high school student at my Jewish Day School, I fancied myself a little rebel. Pajama pants beneath long skirts. Adidas in spite of the no-sneakers dress code. Briefly, a safety pin in one ear. (My parents loved that.) I wasn’t the only one –- with the safety pin, OK, yes, but my friends dressed similarly –- yet rarely, if ever, did these infractions cause trouble. “You got away with murder,” my mother recalls, with admiration. “You and your friends.”

We did. I think the reason – aside from being nice girls from good families – is because we respected the letter of the law, but found our own way around it. In other words, we constantly searched for loopholes — a word that Merriam-Webster defines as “a means of escape, especially : an ambiguity or omission in the text through which the intent of a statute, contract, or obligation may be evaded.” (I also like, and did not know until this posting, that loophole can mean “a small opening through which small arms may be fired.”)

In my adult life, my interest in Judaic loopholes has found expression through my obsession with dishes that Taste As Though They’re Traif, or Should Be.

Shabbat Dinner Exploits: The Good, The Bad, and the Commonwealth


Months ago I had an idea for a themed Shabbat dinner: I would invite all of my friends from Commonwealth countries, and have a Queen’s Shabbat. I could serve Commonwealth inspired foods, and it would be a fun night to hang out with friends from all over the world. Since I host Shabbat meals all the time, the idea didn’t seem particularly daunting, but I never seemed to get around to setting a date and sending out an invitation.

Right before Pesach I met with Rabbi Yoni Sherizen, who runs the Jewish chaplaincy programs in the UK. Jewish chaplains (usually a married couple) are sent to live in a college town or on a university campus in order to help provide Jewish services to students at the local university. It’s a lot like Chabad, but without the rebbe, and it’s especially important in the UK, where there have been crazy amounts of anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Yoni and his wife Dalia were incredibly helpful to me when I was at Oxford in 2004, and I was concerned about how dire Yoni told me the situation was in so many British universities. Plus, the falling economy has meant a lot of funders have had to cut back, and some universities are in danger of losing their Jewish chaplains.

Yid.Dish: “Coolrabi:” Yeah, I said it.


The Undercover Vegetarian hummed softly to herself as she snipped and set aside the kohlrabi greens. They were to be roasted like kale and served up still crispy and warm. Humble Husband, skittish around root vegetables, eyed the proceedings warily. “Are those onions? Those look like onions. You know how I feel about those.” Shifting from one foot to the other, he seemed determined to underscore his discomfort, lest she think this experiment was welcome.  The Celeriac Debacle of 2007 had left an indelible mark on the family, and the spirit of culinary adventure had been slow to return….

Yid.Dish: Caramel Apple Spice Cupcakes


So, this year marked my first Thanksgiving as a newly wed in New York.  After all the amazing simcha of engagement parties, auf rufs (we had two), the wedding, and sheva brachot celebrations over the last month, a very small {quiet} Thanksgiving dinner with our downstairs neighbors seemed like a good way to detox.  Maybe there’d be a little Boggle, maybe a little football watching, and perhaps some crafting and good beer drinking.  But fuss?  That was definitely not on the menu.

My husband, Yosh, was psyched to make his first turkey – a Wise Organic Pastures (kosher, organic, free-range) 14 pounder stuffed with sage and oranges.  I was in charge of sweet potatoes, biscuits, a citrus, avocado, and raddish salad, and seasonal dessert of some kind.  Simple enough except, as a milchigtarian, I am used to having butter, milk, and cream as my building blocks.

I turned to my cookbooks looking for parve inspiration, and was delighted to find this amazing recipe for vegan caramel apple spice cupcakes in the pinnacle of all vegan cookbooks (thus far), Veganomicon.  Moist (very moist!), incredibly sweet, and studded with chunks of caramelized apple, they were the perfect end to a relaxing Brooklyn Thanksgiving.  I doubt that author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, intended for the recipes in her vegan treasure trove to accompany kosher meat meals, but I was certainly thankful to find them.

Check out the recipe below the jump…

Yid.Dish: Three Kinds of Shepherd’s Pie (Traditional, Vegetarian, Avant Garde)

Growing up, one of my favorite foods was my mom’s Shepherd’s Pie.  It was a great comfort food, perfect for a blustery fall day, or a Shabbat dinner in February.  I loved Shepherd’s Pie so much that when I went milchigetarian my mom took mercy on me and made up a vegetarian version of her traditional recipe.  The veggie version is fantastic, and has satiated many a carnivore in its time.  An added bonus for both of these recipes: they’re completely kosher for Passover, too.  Sherpherd’s Pie is a great dish to serve on the sixth day of Passover when everyone is sick at the mere sight of matzah.

This week I was really craving Shepherd’s Pie, but over the years I’ve found that I despise making mashed potatoes.  My mom used to use some instant mashed potatoes, but I couldn’t see myself buying instant anything, and anyway, I was kind of in the mood for sweet potatoes, too.  My solution was to come up with a re-imagined version of Shepherd’s Pie.  Instead of mashed potatoes, I used a combination of sweet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes, cubed and roasted.  Between layers of the roasted potatoes I had a nice thick layer of vegetarian ratatouille with fake ground beef.  Yum!

All three recipes below the jump!

Yid.Dish: Apple Butter and Anise Bread


Yom Kippur stirs my strongest Jewish food memory – it’s strange, but true. Since I was in the single digits I can remember walking to Ne’ila services with my mother and father, carrying a bag filled with two essential components of our holiday inside. One was a three-pound sack of apples, the then ubiquitous McIntosh variety. The other was six or so tiny butter sandwiches on my mother’s anise bread.

The bread was a high, oblong loaf shining from egg glaze and redolent of liquorice, which I despised as a child. On our walk, I would watch the plastic sack of break-fast food thumping against my father’s trousered leg, a reminder that holy space of Yom Kippur was about to close over us and leave us to our good intentions and the rest of the year. I couldn’t understand why they liked it so much, that sweet, seeded bread. (Now, of course, I know better.)

The Jew & The Carrot – in Icing


I’m feeling sluggish today. It’s rain-ish (not exactly raining, but close) this morning, which doesn’t help – and Yosh and I spent the last week on an engagement party tour – Tuesday and Wednesday in Silver Spring with his family, and Friday-Sunday in Chicago with mine.  There’s really nothing to complain about (both celebrations were great), but I am feeling a little bit “Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday” today.

While I pull myself together, I thought I’d share a picture of the amazing cake that Yosh’s sister made – complete with fondant icing carrots (for The Jew & The Carrot, of course) and a treble clef for Yosh.  It was hard to cut into such a masterpiece, but the carrot cake inside was worth it.  Check out another view below the jump.

Yid.Dish: Duck, Duck Goose(berry)!


As a chef, summer is my favorite time of the year. I do not enjoy the weather so much (read: I hate the heat), but I love the gorgeous, unusual fruits and vegetables in the market. This week I couldn’t wait to schlep home my bounty that included one of my summer favorites – the gooseberry.

Gooseberries are similar to currants in their tartness and texture. They come in a variety of colors ranging from bright green to dark crimson. Generally too tart to be eaten from hand, they are delicious combined with sweeter fruits and are an amazing addition to lighter wine sauces.

My recipe for Duck Confit with Gooseberry Sauce (see below the jump) is a dish I will be featuring this week at a wine degustation dinner at Puck’s at Spertus Institute. The sauce is similar to an aigredoux – sweet and sour – but with attitude. It also features one of my favorite shmaltz atlernatives: Duck Fat! Plan ahead if you are going to try this recipe, as kosher ducks are always frozen. You can also serve this sauce with chicken or fish if you use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

Eating Local on Shavuot – The Biblical Way


Thanks to Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster for this guest post.  Rabbi Kahn-Troster is Director of Education and Outreach for Rabbis for Human Rights North America.

Growing up, Shavuot for me meant lasagna – a delicious, cheesy creation that my mother would make for the one Jewish holiday on which we did not eat meat. (Actually, I was an adult before I realized that non-kosher lasagna was made with meat). I loved the lasagna, and Shavuot wasn’t bad either. Special food, staying up late the first night with my friends- Shavuot was a hit, and I didn’t think about it more than that.

One synagogue I went to hosted a “bikkurim (first fruits) procession:” they had people bring in baskets of produce and leave them on the bimah. I’d never seen a community mark Shavuot through any way but through a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (staying up all night to study) and by eating blintzes, and I didn’t really know what to make of it. It seemed a little pagan.