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:

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“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.
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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

Transitioning in the Kitchen

The weather should be cooling off and we will be looking forward to heartier dishes in the coming months. This recipe selection is a pastiche of tried and true heartier dishes perfect for the cooler transitional weather.

Elegant appetizers can still be relatively simple to prepare. Beryl Hiller discovered this delicious stuffed mushroom recipe which can be easily made vegan with slight changes.

Sept27 recipes mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms Continue reading

Summer’s Bounty and More

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Tomatoes beg to be paired with basil; zucchini and cucumbers creep across the yard with abandon; watermelons are sweet as sugar as August winds down. The unofficial end of summer is around the corner and we will soon celebrate the harvest season.

But we still have many weeks to enjoy earth’s bounty with recipes from Shomrei cooks and Kiddushes.

This month the recipe column features one of Shomrei’s most well-known members. Rita Singer and her late husband Eric practically kept the synagogue going. Eric took care of the building and grounds while Rita supervised the flowers and indoctrinated many members in the secrets of hallah. Rita is also a regular on the Kiddush prep squad, specializing in perfectly sliced tomatoes. In addition, Rita is an expert quilter, baker, community activist and a generous and gracious hostess. Enjoy this dish which is a perfect accompaniment to almost anything.
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Beat the Heat

The dog days of summer are here. Cool chicken salad or baked salmon certainly make perfect summer suppers. But who wants to slave over a hot stove preparing? Not I, said the Little Red Hen. So she searched for ways to cool her kitchen since she knew she’d not get any help from her barnyard friends.

IMG_0659My favorite solution has been my Breville countertop oven. It’s on the expensive side and does take up counter space, but this appliance is a marvel. It’s big enough to bake a 13 inch pizza or a 9 by 13 inch pan. It will also toast one slice of bread or one bagel. It broils, it, bakes, it toasts. It has a defrost setting, a reheat setting and a convection mode. In addition, the newer models have a slow cook setting. Best of all it doesn’t heat up the kitchen, a boon for those of us with old homes without central air conditioning. I’ve barely used my full sized oven since I got this appliance. So save your pennies and look for a sale. Continue reading