Friday, November 1, 2013

Lasagne with Veggie Bacon (recipe, D)

Yummy tomato sauce, gooey cheese and healthy spinach are all layered together to form this wonderful lasagna.
6-7 cups tomato sauce
8 ounce package “oven ready” lasagna
32 ounces ricotta cheese
16 ounces mozzarella
5 tablespoons grated parmesan
6 ounces baby spinach
Optional-  one package veggie bacon-browned and chopped coarsely
12 cup deep baking dish
Naturally, homemade tomato sauce and fresh cheese are the best; but the results will still be good if you save yourself some time and work and use bottled sauce and packaged shredded cheese. I’m giving you guidelines for amounts; but this is a recipe you can truly adjust to your own taste. You can use more or less sauce and cheese as you wish.
Veggie bacon can be scattered over any layers you like. I added mine over the spinach.

  1. Preheat oven to: 375 F.
  2. Spread one cup of tomato sauce on bottom of baking dish. Lay three lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Cover noodles with 1- 1½ cups of ricotta cheese. Scatter about 2 ounces of spinach over the cheese. Sprinkle about 5 ounces of mozzarella and one tablespoon of grated parmesan over the spinach. Pour 1-1 ½  cups of tomato sauce over cheese. Press three more lasagna noodles into the sauce and repeat the process two more times. The top layer of noodles should be covered with tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan.
  3. Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15-20 minutes longer or until noodles are soft and cheese has melted and browned.

Kosher Whirlwind Roundup #kfbcon13 #kfeast13 #kosherfest13

Kosher Whirlwind Roundup
Our whirlwind started on Monday at the Kosher Food Bloggers Conference held at the NYU Chabad House. Melinda Strauss (@Kitchen Tested) and Special Event Producer for Joy of Kosher organized an amazing group of speakers : 1. Casey Benedict-“What Brands Won’t Tell You: Blogger Strengths and Insider Tips, 2. Dana Bonagura-Food Styling tip and Tricks, 3. Aron Schoenfeld- Networking and Branding, 4. Dan Rosenberg (Harvard Common Press) and Stacy Glick (Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency),  and 5. Mara Strom-Kosher On a Budget- How to Make Money from your Blog. The day was broken up with a beautifully presented lunch. As we left, we received a swag bag of assorted goodies! Off to Kosherfeast we went.
Kosherfeast was professionally chaired by Roberta Scher @Koshereye and Esti Berkowitz @Primetimeparent. What a crowd we were piling into JSoho. It was a very special evening not only because we were able to talk to so many people involved with kosher food; but some very special personalities were honored as Kosher Pioneers: Susie, Laura Frankel-@Chef Laurakosher, Norene Gilletz-@ Norenecooks,, David Herzog- Royalwine.com, Levana Kirschenbaum- @ LevanaCooks, Menachem Lubinsky, @Koshertoday, Gil Marks- @Jewishfoods,, and Joan Nathan- @ joan nathan, Joannathan.com These women and men have been at the forefront of Kosher food-ever pushing the envelope and making us all more informed for it. It was wonderful to see them honored. Each received an engraved soup ladle. I would love to be at any of their tables.
And then there was a surprise category of four honorees! I admit to being engrossed in conversation as I thought I heard my name-and I did! I was honored with the Kosher Cutting Edge award for my Kosher Cookbook App. Wow! Was I surprised as I stepped forward and was handed a Sora chef’s knife engraved with the words: Cutting Edge Kosher- KosherFeast-2013. This award was made even more special because my daughter was there and also because of the three other people also honored in this category: Jamie Geller-for creating the world of Joy of Kosher, Jesse Blonder-for starting the first Kosher Culinary Arts Program, and Alex Rapoport  for being the executive of  the Masbia  Kitchen Network which feeds the needy.
Much has been said, in fact, great grumbling has taken place, about the service and the food at JSoho. To be honest, neither was stellar. The staff seemed flustered and unable to handle the crowd; in particular the people who arrived late-due to traffic. Most people I spoke to were disappointed with the portions and the preparation of the food. I did speak to one gentleman who said his steak was moist and delicious-mine not. If you were fortunate to get a glass of delicious Merlot as I did, you were lucky. The pouring was helter skelter so you never really knew what you were getting. In past years, the spirit coming from the management  of the restaurants- Solo and Abigail’s- was very gracious. Different appetizers kept coming so that by the time you had your main course, it wouldn’t have mattered if it was small-and it wasn’t. That was not the case at JSoho. Maybe something happened in the kitchen that we don’t know about. Who knows? I can testify that the evening was a success. People enjoyed being together and there was a warm happy feeling in the room. I look forward to another Kosher Feast next year!

What can I say about Kosherfest? I should have studied the list of vendors before I went; but I didn’t-so I missed some I hope to contact in the future. I had the opportunity of seeing Norene Gilletz! I talked to so many amazing people that I will not name again because I posted pictures of them on my Kosher Cookbook page. We are an interesting community-we kosher food people. We represent all age groups and all levels of religious observance and we are all committed to making Kosher food as healthy, gourmet and beautifully presented as possible. Each of us has their own style and particular area of concentration; but we are all working together to bring kosher food to the highest level possible. I prefer to think of it as creating and preparing delicious food that just happens to be kosher.
The whirlwind is still whirling as we each document our experiences with pictures and prose. On a more personal note-my new is almost completed.  I hope you’ll all enjoy it and continue this journey with me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Creamy with some texture! This delicious soup looks like a sunset in a bowl and brightens up any meal.
Prep time: 20 min.  Simmering time: 35-45 min.  Puréeing time: 15 min.
2 large onions (about 1½ pounds)           
2 large cloves garlic                   
2 teaspoons olive oil                   
2 pounds carrots
2 large white potatoes
10 cups pareve chicken/vegetable broth
½ cup sugar
3 inches fresh ginger-root
Optional: diced crystallized ginger, croutons
4 quart soup pot
Electric food processor
Grater, ginger grater
  1. Peel carrots and potatoes. Chop them coarsely by hand or in processor.
  2. Peel onions and garlic.  Quarter onions. Mince together by hand or in processor.  
  3. Peel ginger-root and grate.
  4. Heat oil in soup pot over low flame. Add garlic and onions and cook until soft-about five minutes.
  5. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot. Simmer 35-45 minutes. While soup is simmering, rinse out processor bowl.
  6. After 35 minutes (or when vegetables are soft but firm when pressed with back of wooden spoon), remove from heat. Cool slightly. Ladle soup about two cups at a time into processor. Process eight cups of soup until they are completely puréed. Pour into a large bowl. Pulse the remaining soup so that there are some small lumps left. Add to bowl. Stir well. Check completed soup for seasoning. Add sugar, salt or pepper to taste. Return soup to stock pot and reheat before serving. Garnish each bowl with diced ginger and /or croutons if desired.
  7. To freeze: Let soup cool completely before freezing. Flavors intensify in the freezer so you may want to dilute soup with more broth after defrosting and reheating it.
NOTE: This is a great soup for Passover. Garnish with small matzah pieces instead of croutons.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin-Corn Fritters (recipe, pareve) #chanukah #thanksgiving #thanksgivukkah

Pumpkin-Corn Fritters P Yield: 25 Fritters
The goal for this recipe was to create a dish that would satisfy the menus for both Chanukah and Thanksgiving. Pumpkin and corn signify Thanksgiving.  Add a little cinnamon, allspice and ginger, turn it all into fritter batter, fry and you have the requisite oil for Chanukah.  Taste the pumpkin before you start to add the spices and honey. Adjust the measurements accordingly. The fritters are best when eaten right after they’ve been fried. They won’t last longer than that anyway!
2 cups puréed fresh pumpkin
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
15.5 oz. kernel corn-drained (about 2 cups)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup flour
1 egg-beaten
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (more if needed)
Medium mixing bowl
Medium/large skillet
Flat surface lined with paper towels for draining
  1. Mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium flame. Using the wooden spoon, drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil. Flatten slightly with the back of spoon.  Fry until brown on one side; then turn fritters over and brown again. Drain on towels and serve hot.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Zucchini Soup (recipe, pareve)

Zucchini Soup P Yield: 9 cups soup
What a perfect way to use up some of that zucchini in your garden! Choose the narrow ones which are more flavorful and not waterlogged. Adding a potato to the soup turns it into a zucchini flavored vichyssoise. Preparing the soup without the potato gives you more of a zucchini broth. Both are delicious and both can be eaten hot or cold. Garnish with home made croutons or fried zucchini.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion-peeled and chopped
1 ½ pounds zucchini- about 3 medium ones- trimmed, peeled and diced
Zest of small lemon
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Optional-1 large russet potato-peeled and diced
6 cups water (for a meat meal you can use low salt chicken broth)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
4 quart saucepan
Electric food processor
  1. Heat oil in pot over medium flame. Add chopped onion and cook until onion is translucent.
  2. Add zucchini, lemon zest, salt and pepper and optional potato. Stir until zucchini starts to wilt. Add liquid. Simmer mixture until potatoes can be mashed against the back of a wooden spoon- about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  3. Purée soup- no more than two cups at a time in processor. Pour back into skillet and stir in dill. Taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot or chill several hours and serve cold.
  4. Optional garnish: fried zucchini flowers, fried shredded zucchini, homemade croutons

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CREAM OF CUCUMBER SOUP (recipe, dairy)

Chilled and creamy, this soup is a wonderful starter for any Summer dairy meal. You can play around with the proportions of cream and milk to make it as rich or light as you wish.

It’s cold, creamy, delicious and fattening! Diet tomorrow.
Prep time; 30-40 min.  Puréeing time: 15 min.  Chilling time: several hours or overnight.
INGREDIENTS                        EQUIPMENT
4 pounds Idaho potatoes            6 quart soup pot
7 cups of water                          electric food processor                      
2 ¾ pounds cucumbers           
2 large white onions
2 ½ cups 1% milk
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 large bunch dill
White pepper
  1. Peel and chop potatoes coarsely. Put them into soup pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until tender- about 10-15 minutes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking- Peel, seed and cut two pounds of cucumbers into small chunks. Peel and chop onions. Rinse and chop dill.
  3. When potatoes are tender, reduce heat to a simmer and add cucumbers and onions. Cook ten minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  4. Add chopped dill to pot. Stir well.
  5. Pour soup, two cups at a time, into food processor. Purée soup so that only occasional bits of cucumber and potato remain. Pour soup into a large bowl. Add milk and cream. Chill. Taste. Season soup with white pepper and salt.
  6. Peel, seed and dice remaining ¾ pound cucumber. Pour soup into individual bowl and garnish with a tablespoon of diced cucumber.

Monday, July 15, 2013

BLUEBERRY LEMON LOAF (recipe, pareve)

Whether you serve this for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, everyone will be asking for  more. The combination of the sweet blueberries, lemon zest and lemon glaze is just perfect! Enjoy.-

It’s not too tart and not too sweet- just a perfect end to any casual meal or the perfect start to any day.
Prep time: 15 min.  Baking time: 45-60 min. Glazing: 5 min.  Cooling: 30 min.
INGREDIENTS                                           EQUIPMENT
1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon flour                      9” x 5” x 3” loaf pan
¼ teaspoon salt                                             electric mixer
1 teaspoon baking powder                            grater
6 tablespoons pareve margarine- softened    baking rack
1 1/3 cups sugar                                             cake tester
2 eggs                                                              long spatula
2 lemons: zest for cake, 3 tablespoons juice for glaze
½ cup water
1 ½ cups (almost 1 pint) fresh blueberries-washed and stemmed
non-dairy baking spray
  1. Preheat oven to: 325 F.
  2. Spray loaf pan and set aside.
  3. Mix 1 ½ cups flour with baking powder and salt in small bowl.
  4. Put margarine and one cup sugar in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition.

  1. Grate lemons directly into mixing bowl. Juice one or both lemons to produce three tablespoons of juice. Set aside for glaze.
6.     Add dry ingredients alternately with water. Beat well after each addition.    Remember to scrape batter down from the sides of the pan.
  1. Toss blueberries with remaining tablespoon flour. Fold them gently into cake batter. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes to an hour or until cake tester when inserted comes out clean. The top should be golden brown. Place cake on baking rack and pierce it all over the top with cake tester.
  2. Put lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar has completely dissolved. Pour over top of cake. Cool 30 minutes in pan. Run a long spatula around the edges of cake and then invert onto rack. Cake can be eaten while still warm or when completely cooled. You will have neater slices if the cake has thoroughly cooled.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


The toasted sesame seeds give a wonderful flavor to the puff pastry straws. You can substitute poppy seeds if you like or use grated parmesan cheese for a dairy meal.

Prep time: 30 min.   Baking time: 15 min.

1 package frozen pareve puff pastry- thawed       
8 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds               
1 egg-beaten
Rolling pin
Pastry brush
2 large cookie sheets lined with baking parchment
Cooking racks                           
  1. Preheat oven to: 400 F.
  2. Roll out each pastry sheet on lightly floured surface until it measures 10 inches on each side. Brush each sheet with beaten egg.
  3. Sprinkle each sheet 4 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Cut each sheet into twenty ½ inch wide long strips. Cut these strips in half before twisting them into straws. Carefully place straws on cookie sheets leaving ½ inch in between them. Bake 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on racks before serving. These straws can be made one day in advance or frozen for future use. To recrisp them:  Defrost straws and warm them in a 325 F. oven for about 5-10 minutes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chilled Fresh Tomato Soup (recipe, pareve) #summer

Chilled Fresh Tomato Soup P Serves: 8
This is a light refreshing soup with a little bite. The creamy texture and mellow flavor of chopped avocado are a wonderful addition to this seasonal treat.
Prep time: 30-45 min. Chilling time:  several hours or overnight
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup carrots-chopped (1-2 large carrots)
2 cups onions-chopped (2 medium onions)
1 tablespoon garlic-minced (2-3 large cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable broth
4 pounds ripe tomatoes-peeled, seeded, chopped
Optional-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe Haas avocados-peeled & diced
Electric food processor
Medium skillet
5 quart soup pot
  1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium flame. Add onions, carrots & garlic and sauté until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add vegetable broth and salt. Stir well and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, stir well and simmer 5-10 minutes-just long enough for tomatoes to warm through and soften. Remove soup from heat and cool.
  4. Purée soup two-three cups at a time until very smooth. Chill several hours or overnight. Taste. Add cayenne if you like a little heat.
  5. To serve: Stir soup. Taste. Add more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle soup into individual soup bowls and garnish with five or six pieces of avocado in the center. Serve immediately.