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Mini Pumpkin Pies for a Crowd

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

I’m really not much of a freezer person, but there is one recipe that I make every year for the holidays and it’s this one. These mini pumpkin pies are so festive and seasonal, and they’re great to have in the freezer as a pretty and delicious side dish. I always have them on hand for last minute company and they are so kid-friendly too.

What I love about this pie is that it’s very adaptable. If you are nut free, use oats in the streusel in place of nuts. You can make large or mini pies and swap in different types of milk or oils. You can make your own pie dough or pumpkin puree, if you’re so inclined, or go for the easy store-bought variety. In short, stock your freezer and you can thank me later!

Related Recipes:

cookie butter pumpkin pie
pumpkin banana souffle
pumpkin cake

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Stuffed Cabbage Bolognese

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

A couple of months ago, the kosher culinary school that I attended sadly closed down. I remember bumping into another alumni and we shared our disappointment in the school’s closing. “Do you realize,” she said, “that our diplomas aren’t going to be worth anything anymore? Don’t you care?” I thought for a minute and realized, that no, I didn’t care, because it wasn’t really worth anything to me to begin with.

Being a Chef isn’t something you learn and file away in a drawer. It’s something you become, irregardless of schooling. A true chef never stops learning. They are constantly honing their skills, reading, watching and improving. I don’t need a piece of paper to show that I went to culinary school. The love that I put into my dishes, the effort that I put into my technique and the taste of the finished product is all a testament to my knowledge and understanding of food.

And still, I have a hard time calling myself a Chef. I have so much more to learn. I’ve never worked a restaurant kitchen. Never smoked a piece of meat. Never butchered anything. OK – never butchered anything correctly. Forgot how to break down a fish. Have yet to make a Thanksgiving turkey. Chef? I think not.

I so strongly believe this, that in the hundreds of cooking classes I’ve given around the country, I refuse to wear a Chef’s jacket and wear an apron instead. I feel like I’m a cook, just like my audience, and we’re learning together.

It’s this attitude that has allowed me to learn about interesting dishes and techniques, not necessarily from other Chef’s, but from average cooks. I’m always open to chatting about food and recipes, and hearing what’s cooking in other people’s kitchens. I’ve come home with amazing recipes from people I bump into in the supermarket, or on the train. I belong to lots of Facebook cooking groups and I love to browse through the Pages and see what’s cookin’ in other peoples kitchens.

Alas, and getting back on track here… that’s precisely how this recipe happened. I saw a recipe for an unstuffed cabbage with noodles made by Danielle Cooper Lader on the What’s for Supper Facebook page and it looked so amazing that I had to try my own version! I used my Bubby’s amazing cabbage & flanken soup recipe as my starting point and just went from there! It’s kind of a cross between lokshin and cabbage and stuffed cabbage, both popular Hungarian dishes that I grew up eating. And you know me and mashup recipes. This one is a winner!

In five years of blogging, this is my first time posting on a Saturday night, I just really wanted to get this up for you in time for the seconds days of the Chag! Soooo much easier than stuffed cabbage, and dare I say even more delicious. Chag Sameach!

Related Recipes:

Bubby’s cabbage soup with flanken
Passover stuffed cabbage
how to stuff cabbage
spaghetti squash bolognese
veal marsala bolognese

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Spinach Matzo Ball Minestrone Soup

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

I’ve been making the most incredible spinach matza balls since forever. It’s always been my little secret for taking traditional chicken soup from classic to over-the-top and with the holiday of Shavuot approaching, I wanted to put a festive spin on another classic recipe – minestrone.

I’m a huge fan of classic minestrone soup because I feel like it has something for everyone. And when you’ve got picky kids, you need a soup like that! It’s got potatoes for my daughter who won’t eat colored vegetables, pasta for my son who’s a pasta-holic, beans for my husband who loves protein-filled legumes, and plenty of basil and oregano for a pizza-style flavor that everyone loves!

I’m always switching up my minestrone soup to make it more fun – like that time I lightened things up by omitting the potatoes and added zoodles instead of pasta. I’ve also added shredded mozzarella and alphabet pasta along with the zoodles because I’m the best. mommy. ever. But this time, this time I’m going festive and sophisticated for the upcoming holiday with an Italian twist on the classic – chicken noodle matzo ball soup.

Nothing screams holiday more than matzo balls, and I have to admit, that while I’m normally a do-it-yourselfer, made-from-scratch kind of girl, I have a weakness for matzo ball mix. I don’t need any seltzer tricks and I don’t have to worry about sinkers vs. floaters because Lipton’s kosher matzo ball mix comes out fluffy every time! Now of course I have to give it the do-it-yourselfer-touch, so I add in the spinach because it’s so beautiful, so festive, and so irresistibly delicious!

Julienning the veggies adds another layer of finesse, and using a julienne peeler, one of my all-time-favorite kitchen utensils, makes it a cinch! With these simple changes, hearty minestrone is elevated to a sophisticated holiday-worthy creation that’s great for kids and adults alike. Just ask my daughter – she had three bowls for dinner (and she hates spinach!)!

It’s hard to believe that Shavuot is just 24 days away, and with Pesach Sheini this weekend, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a fun twist on a matza ball recipe.

But Passover IS in fact behind us, and with the holiday of cheesecakes and roses coming up soon, lets brush up on some favorites. Shall we?

Shavuot recipes abound here on BIB, so you can get your menu started by browsing through my Shavuot category or skim through the recipes in my index. It’s so hard to pick favorites (can you have a favorite child?!) but I can never get enough of harissa, feta & zaa’tar, I’m obsessed with this salad dressing (I make it all summer long!), these make the best gluten-free no-guilt appetizers, and this is the most elegant seasonal dessert you’ve ever seen. Oh, and lets not forget this insane recipe that went all-out viral when I made them back in 2013.

I think we’re off to a good start my friends. And I’ve got even more amazing things coming. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, happy matzo ballin’!

This post was sponsored by Lipton Kosher. All opinions are my own. 

Related Recipes:

roasted tomato soup with muenster breadsticks
spinach white bean minestrone with zoodles
classic minestrone soup
cabbage soup with matzo meatballs

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Beer Braised Brisket with Onion Gravy

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

This post has been a long time in coming. And not just because it’s taken me a while to write it. But because it’s taken me a while to learn it. Like many home cooks, when it came to meat preparation, I was stumped. I didn’t understand the different cuts of meat or how to prepare them. After lots of reading, and a hands-on butchery class at The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, I feel like I’m finally beginning to understand where my meat comes from and how to cook it. With the holidays upon us, I thought I should share some of that invaluable information with all of you!

So, without further adieu, I give you my Guide to Kosher Meat: Cuts & Cooking Methods!

In my guide, I speak about the different cuts of meat and where they come from on the animal. In a nutshell, tough cuts of meat requires slow, moist heat cooking to help break down the connective tissue and tenderize the meat. Braising, a combination cooking method involving dry and moist heat cooking, is a popular method used.

This deliciously tender brisket is braised with caramelized onions and beer, resulting in a mouthwatering gravy. First cut of brisket will yield a drier, less flavorful dish, while 2nd cut will yield a more tender flavorful meat. If you choose to use 2nd cut of brisket, don’t remove the excess fat until it’s done cooking. As the fat breaks down, it adds moisture and flavor to the meat, so if you want to remove it, it’s best to do so by refrigerating the meat after cooking and removing the congealed fat after it solidifies. In addition, cutting the brisket when it’s cold, minimizes it’s propensity for shredding.

Keep in mind, that since braising is the best method for cooking tough cuts of meat, you can use any tough cut in this recipe such as the French Roast, Chuck Roast, Shoulder Roast, or Deckle.

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