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Bunless Fajita Dogs

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

What a week it’s been! I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous food photography class by Andrew Scrivani, food photographer extraordinaire and regular contributor to The New York Times. The class was hosted at the B&H Photo Event Space, which offers lots of free seminars and inspirational lectures. It was my first time going, and I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for more great workshops!

I took a lot out of the class, and I’m sharing it with you here, mostly in my pictures. Andrew spoke about many different aspects of food photography, but what really got me was how he said that our food photos should tell a story. They should evoke emotion in the reader, drawing them into the photo and the scene. I’m only fairly new to “decent” food photography, I’m slowly learning and growing with each blog post, but I really tried to incorporate that into these photos. Let me know what you think!

Now aside from the amazing food photography class, I also took part in a really fun fundraising event for the Ha’or Beacon school. I had never heard of Ha’or Beacon before, but just working with the thoughtful and caring staff on the Culinary for a Cause fundraiser, gave me a small glimpse into the type of people running the special needs school. Aside for a Chinese Auction, the entertainment for the evening was a roundup of cooking demonstrations by yours truly and a few other famous kosher foodies, including OvertimeCook, The Aussie Gourmet, Dini Delivers, Joy of Kosher Magazine Editor, Shifra Klein, and Victoria Dweck, cookbook author and editor of Ami Magazine.

Each of us was assigned a different course to demonstrate including Hors D’oeuvres, Appetizer, Entree, Side Dishes and Dessert. I made the hors d’oeuvres of mini Asian turkey sliders on a cauliflower bun with quick pickled cucumbers and spicy mayo. I really wanted to show people how easy it to make cauliflower-everything (rice, couscous, pizza crust and buns) so I decided on that dish. Needless to say, it was super fun and great to meet so many of my fans!

Now the one thing I didn’t do at the event, was eat. Yes, I tried my turkey sliders but Victoria’s braised short ribs were off limits, not to mention Dini’s quinoa-corn cakes and Miriam’s chocolate crepes. I’m going strong on The South Beach Diet, and I won’t cheat for ‘nothin!


In fact, I’ve really upped my ante by joining a fitness regimen at The Space Brooklyn. They are hosting a 60 day challenge, where they are encouraging participants to get healthy via the mind and body by doing 30 workouts in 60 days. Their amazing lineup of classes helps me mix it up, so that I’m not bored or dreading my workouts. So far I’ve done a yoga class, a circus arts class, a barre burn class, and pilates is on the schedule for tomorrow.

I’m charlie horse in muscles that I didn’t know existed, but I feel so strong and healthy! I’m looking forward to attending some of the other nutrition-based classes that they are featuring during the #30in60 campaign (one of which will include me and my spiralizer!)

So, back to the food, ‘cuz that’s what it always boils down to, right?! Today I’m sharing a favorite dish and a favorite trick. First, how on earth will I get through BBQ season on South Beach?! Well, I”ll tell you…BUNLESS HOT DOGS are the thing! Turning your hot,dog into its own bun is a diet lifesaver! You’ll be amazed at how a simple slit in your hot dog will open up when it’s heated and the filling possibilities are endless!


Fajita spiced peppers and onions are my absolute fave, and I’m sharing my own homemade spice mix below! With no carbs or MSG, it’s great on chicken or beef, perfect in tacos, and definitely over hot dogs. Finish with some sauerkraut (fermented foods are top of the food chain these days) and salsa, and you’ve got yourself a carbless meal that’s filling AND delicious!



Bunless hot dogs are best made with a nice hefty dog, so Abeles & Heymann’s knockwurst are my go-to. I love that they use natural nitrates found in celery and cherry, so there’s nothing artificial about them. In fact, ever since I went down to the factory for a tour, I don’t feel guilty about eating hot dogs at all. They start with real pieces of meat, not the fatty trimmings that I always imagined, to produce an extremely flavorful dog that is unmatched in the kosher industry. Quality and flavor? I”ll take two, please.

What’s your favorite way to top off your hot dog? Share it with me in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by Abeles & Heymann. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Other Hot Dog Recipes:

hot dog eggrolls
spiralized spud dogs
kid friendly dirty rice
fire roasted tomato rice stoup

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Lag Ba’omer – Best BBQ Potato Salad

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

I love Lag Ba’omer. Why do I love Lag Ba’omer? Well besides for the fact that it’s a good excuse for a BBQ, I love it because it makes me think of Meiron, which in turn makes me think of Israel, and Israel makes me feel like home. I spent seminary in the Holy Land over 10 years ago, and I just fell in love with its spiritual and physical beauty. Just looking at pictures of Jerusalem tugs at my heartstrings and I yearn to go back. When I got married, I told my husband, all I want is for you to take me to Israel! Well seven years and two children later, I got my wish. Last year we won roundtrip tickets (!) and we couldn’t imagine a better time to go then for Lag Ba’omer. We decided to spend Shabbos at Kibbutz Lavi in Tiveria, so that we could drive straight to Meiron after Shabbos. It turned out to be a beautiful hotel in an equally beautiful kibbutz, with nice accomodations and delicious food.

How can one describe the scene of Meiron on Lag Ba’omer? Thousands of people from every walk of life, pilgrimaging up the mountain towards the Rashbi’s holy kever…each person beseeching the tzaddik for their personal salvation, collectively asking for our redemption…a thousand glowing candles burning bright…prayers…tears…brotherhood…holiness…(I apologize for lack of pictures, but had I brought my good camera to Meiron, it would no longer be my “good camera”, but rather my “broken to pieces by throngs of people camera”).

As beautiful as it all sounds, practically speaking, it was anything but easy. We had two young children, a double stroller, thousands upon thousands of people, darkness (we went at night)…Going from parking lot to bus to the base of a verrrry steep hill which we needed to climb with our stroller. But we made it to the other side, and it was worth every push and shove!

After a late night in Meiron, we could not resist making the ascent to Tzfas to visit the kever of the Arizal. Tzfas is one of the four holy cities of Israel (Jerusalem, Chevron and Tiveria make up the other three), and it is truly magical. The scenery from the mountaintop, the ancient shuls and the holy sages that are buried there are just some of what makes the mystical city special.

Traditionally, we make bonfires on Lag Ba’omer to commemorate the light that the Rashbi brought to the world through his Torah learning. On our drive back down to Yerushalayim, we could not resist stopping for some “Al Ha’esh”. Decks, a beautiful restaurant located in Tiveria was the perfect spot to get our BBQ fix. It is situated on an extended Deck (hence the name) overlooking the kineret, making you feel as if you are on a boat. There are glass windows from ceiling to floor with blue crystal waters as far as the eye can see. Decks serves traditional Israeli fare, as well as an extensive “Al Ha’esh” menu which is served on a personal BBQ at your table. The food was incredible, the scenery breathtaking, and the day totally and completely unforgettable.

So, without further ado, in honor of the holiday of Barbeques, I give you my favorite BBQ potato salad recipe:

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