Summertime and the Cooking is Easy

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Summertime is perfect for cool food especially when the temperature soars as it has these last few days.

So we’ll start our meal with a cool soup. As they say…”cool as a cucumber.”

Technically gazpacho is a Spanish-style soup made from tomatoes and other vegetables and spices, served cold. But today all kinds of cold vegetable soups are called gazpacho. Continue reading

Before the Fast

220px-NinthAvStonesWesternWallTishaB’Av, a fast day and day of mourning, occurs Saturday night through Sunday evening. The day marks great tragedies for the Jewish people. The destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem, the beginning of the First Crusade, the expulsion of the Jews from England, the expulsion of the Jews from Iberia and the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were among the tragic historic events that took place on that day on the Jewish calendar.

Since one is supposed to abstain from food and drink, various Jewish cultures have come up with recipes for the meal before the fast. They are always meatless as the nine days prior to Tisha B’Av are solemn and mournful, marking the period between the breaching of the Temple walls and its actual destruction. Continue reading

New Treats from the Shomrei Kitchen

IMG_0559The Shomrei Caterers have been busy these last few weeks. Congregants have discovered that we can do an excellent , creative job for them for kiddushes both large and small.  We customize menus, provide creative plating and table set-ups.

So think of Shomrei when you plan an event.

Here are some recent successes from Shomrei kiddushes and MESH meals. Continue reading

Kugels Rule

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The weeks of anticipation were almost over. Shavuot was just a couple days away. Shomrei’s preparations for the community Tikkun were in high gear especially in the kitchen where the refrigerator shelves were overflowing with butter and eggs, vegetables and fruit.

The quiches had been baked; the cheesecakes were here, too. The blintzes were being prepped.

But what about the kugel? It’s not Shavuot without kugel. And why kugel and other dairy dishes? Continue reading

For a Sweet Pesach: Recipes for Passover and Beyond

Easy No-Bake Chocolate Matzah Cake

Easy No-Bake Chocolate Matzah Cake

Passover is almost here. If you are like me, you either cook old family favorites or look for new ideas for the seder and beyond.

Here are a few recipes that I’m going to try this year. After Passover, we can compare notes.

Let’s start with dessert since that seems to be the hardest course to make satisfying . Here’s a no-bake, make ahead, three ingredient cake that takes its inspiration from old fashioned icebox cake. Continue reading

Winter Treats

Are you looking for items to enhance a winter menu? You might want to try some of these recipes. They have been featured at Kiddush, MESH, and Shabbat across America. So they’ve been thoroughly taste- tested.

febrecipe1Carrot Hot Dogs
Beryl Hiller constantly finds creative, economical dishes to enhance our Kiddush lunches – don’t you miss them? The following dish might sound a little odd, but it was a hit at a recent Kiddush and perfect for anyone including vegetarians and vegans. That cook-out in the middle of winter might be just the thing to get rid of the winter blahs. Continue reading

Recipes for the New Year

january recipes dipThe parties may be over, but it’s never too late to look for the next best recipes for the future gatherings.

Here’s an eclectic selection of tested recipes for a multitude of occasions. Each is a new twist on some familiar ingredients.

Let’s start with a really easy –and attractive- appetizer I sampled at a recent dinner party.  This Greek dip is a riff on the familiar Mexican 7-layer dip. It’s relatively healthy and looks great in a clear glass bowl. Continue reading

Shomrei Latke Crew (and John’s recipe)

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The Latke Crew Baked 630 latkes for last night’s Hanukkah party!  Thanks and “yasher koach” to the entire hardworking Latke Crew: Leon Berman, Charlie, Kate and Alan Breslin, Adam Dembrow, Yechiel Felder, Fern Heinig, & Aaron Task. (see a gallery of photos below).  A number of people asked me for my recipe, so here it is:

Continue reading

“Thank You” at Thanksgiving

Aileen Grossberg

Aileen Grossberg

Thanksgiving is a day for thanks although we Jews often give our thank yous at the New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

So I am taking this opportunity to put the THANKS back into Thanksgiving and express my thanks to people involved in activities that I have a stake in.

So thank you to all the volunteers who help to get food on the table for those weekly kiddushes. Even when I am not directly involved, I thank them. Without our volunteers we would have no bountiful weekly spreads and the fellowship that comes with sharing a meal.
Continue reading

Tradition? At the Table

thanksgivingrecipe4Thanksgiving is coming up fast. I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for some updates to my standard holiday recipes even though I usually serve a pretty traditional menu.

At one point Thanksgiving was a questionable holiday for American Jews. There is a charming children’s book, Rivka’s First Thanksgiving that tells the story of a Jewish immigrant family and how they came to celebrate Thanksgiving. Indeed, many ultra-Orthodox Jews still do not celebrate the holiday, with schools in session and business as usual. And the issue is still argued. Just do a web search for “is Thanksgiving a Jewish holiday?” or something similar. You’ll find opinions from scholars and pundits in every shade of Judaism. Continue reading