Rhapsody for a Pot


I’ve rhapsodized about my Breville Smart Oven, expensive but well-worth the price especially since my full-sized oven is broken, but the Breville’s place in my culinary heart may have been taken over by the Instant Pot. This appliance, available under several brands, is essentially an electric pressure cooker with added features so that it’s great for making a meal in one pot.

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Shomrei Latke Crew (and John’s recipe)

Photo in Hanukkah Party! - Google Photos 2018-12-13 17-12-37

This year the Latke Crew baked 720 (gluten free) latkes for the Hanukkah party!  Thanks and “yasher koach” to the entire hardworking Latke Crew: Charlie and Alan Breslin, Adrienne Shulman and Michael Sag.  A number of people asked me for my recipe, so here it is:

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By Request – or Not

Chickpea-Saladsoup11_10 recipes

Just in time for Thanksgiving and for a change from the same old menu, here’s a new round of recipes from the Shomrei kitchen.

The following recipe for vegan chickpea salad is one of the most requested in the almost nine years that I’ve been in Shomrei’s kitchen. It’s so simple to make and blends flavors nicely. A well-stocked kitchen should have almost all the ingredients on hand. It’s also slightly magical: close your eyes and you might even think you are eating chicken salad! Continue reading

Heart Healthy for Heshvan

penne potato3pennepenne2 dressing

I’ve had several requests for the potato salad recipe served on a recent Shabbat. There’s no magic to it except that there is no mayonnaise (or if you wish, just a little bit).  I must confess that I didn’t use a recipe but combined items to get the taste I was looking for.  But here’s an equivalent with changes made in the Shomrei kitchen. Continue reading

New recipes for the New Year


This month’s recipe selection focuses on dishes that will enhance your holiday celebration.

It seems that I spent days and multiple trips to the market,  as well as phone calls and whispered  secret tips about the availability of brisket for my twice a year homage to this traditional holiday cut of beef. If you’ve been lucky enough to score a brisket, this easy recipe is for you.   It allows you to even sit back and relax a little (after all that running around) by using the secret formula for brisket: low and slow.  The recipe is from the Joy of Kosher site developed by Jamie Geller. Continue reading

Summertime and the Cooking is Easy


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


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