Marinade or Dry Rub?

I am so glad to be back at the grill this week. It’s easy, tasty, and the smoky smell just makes me feel summertime happy. I teach a lot of grilling classes every summer and love learning new techniques too. Here’s a common question I’m asked.

Marinade or Dry Rub? Here’s the meat of it…

Marinades are liquids that are made of herbs, spices, and an acid—usually a citrus, vinegar, or alcohol. They not only add flavor to your meat, but also tenderize it. The acids breaks down connective tissues and make meat more tender. If you are cooking a protein that is already tender (fish, chicken breasts, or individual steaks), then you should marinate briefly for 2 hours or less. Tougher cuts of meat (briskets, roasts, London broil) should be marinated in the fridge anywhere from 4 hours to overnight. Don’t leave your meat marinating for longer than overnight. Room temperature meat can cause food poisoning, so do not leave your meat marinating at room temperature for longer than 40 minutes. Large sealable plastic bags or non-reactive dishes such as a glass or ceramic with plastic wrap over the top are perfect for marinating.

Use leftover marinade to baste the meat or chicken. DO NOT use it as a sauce, it is not food safe to eat uncooked. It can be used if you boil it for 3 – 5 minutes.

Rubs are mixes of spices and seasoning that add flavor but don’t tenderize. Dry rubs are, in fact, dry and powdery. Paste rubs are mixed with enough of a wet ingredient, like oil, soy sauce, or mustard, to form a paste. Both kinds of rubs should be patted onto the meat to form a coating or crust. Dry rubs are wonderful on individual steaks, and dark meat boneless chicken. I also use them on white meat chicken pieces.

Rubs can be applied just before cooking, but for more impact you can put a rub on a few hours before you plan to cook and store the meat in the fridge.

Here are a few great marinade and dry rub recipes below to enjoy.
My Go-To Grilling Marinade
Fresh Herb Marinade, Summertime Favorite
Pineapple Soy Marinade
Dried Herb Rub
Smoky Spiced Sugar Rub
Red Wine BBQ Chicken
Garlicky Lemon-Thyme-Marinated Lamb Chops

Recipe Ideas For The Nine Days

This time of year I get many requests for recipe ideas for the Nine Days. People seem tired of their teriyaki salmon. I’m excited about all the international food trends and using them as inspiration for my Nine Days menus. From fish to vegetarian options, these recipes are infused with wonderful herbs and spices that will make you feel like you’ve experienced international street food from all over the world.

Salmon Schwarma with Peppers, Onions, and a Tahini Sauce
Simple Za’atar Salmon
Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew
Tuna Poke Bowl
Fish Tacos with Mexican-Slaw
Mexican Cabbage Slaw

Salmon Schwarma with Peppers, Onions, and a Tahini Sauce

Serves 6

1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons grill seasoning, recommended brand Montreal OR sumac
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 lbs. salmon, cut into pieces of your choice or a whole side
1 large onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Juice from ½ lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
Parsley or dill, optional
olive oil, kosher salt and pepper
Toasted pita, optional

In a bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, chili powder, paprika and grill seasoning. And the lemon juice, the garlic and 4 tablespoons oil and stir until it is paste-like. Place salmon on a large baking sheet. Slather the mixture all over the salmon until it is well-coated. Set aside for 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes until soft and slightly browned. Add lemon zest, cumin and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Make the sauce: In a bowl, combine the juice of the remaining half lemon, the tahini, yogurt, some salt and pepper and a small drizzle of olive oil. Add parsley, if using. Mix to combine.

To assemble, atop a toasted pita, place some of the salmon. Top with some of the pepper and onion mixture, and a good dollop of the yogurt-tahini sauce

“Cook with Confidence” FREE Online Event

Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us.
Life is so endlessly delicious.

– Ruth Reichl, food writer, editor “Gourmet Magazine”

I’m obsessed with cooking shows! My photo library and Instagram are filled with photos of exciting dishes that I’ve bookmarked to test and try? And I love learning from other chefs, readers, and experts in various fields. I’m so excited to share a project that will bring some of those experts right into your home.

Please join me for a FREE online event called “Cook with Confidence”. Tips, tricks and secrets from expert chefs, food bloggers, cooking teachers, and more to help you find inspiration, passion and success in the kitchen, created by my friend Lisa King. I’m the kosher expert, Click here to see the full array of experts.

My friend and colleague, Lisa King, has put together a delicious blend of chefs, food bloggers, bakers and nutritionists to share some of their best secrets. Armed with their tips, I guarantee you will quickly gain confidence in the kitchen!

I’m inviting you to participate as my guest in the entire Cook with Confidence event for FREE!
Register here

We will encourage you learn to love the process of cooking. Peeling, chopping, stirring, smelling, tasting and feeling – it’s an experience that is not only personally satisfying, but one that will fill your table with friends, family, light and love.

You will learn how to:

• Stock your pantry, depending on your eating style, for quick and easy meals;
• Make adjustments to a recipe when you don’t have all the ingredients
• Create healthy meal plans for your family to save time and money;
• Make amazing raw, vegan and paleo dishes
• Get inspired to create your own recipes

And so much more…

Click here to access “Cook with Confidence”

By the end of this event, you will have many of the tools you need to jump in, start dicing and chopping and Cook with confidence!

Send me feedback! Let me know your favorite shows and most of all, get inspired and feel the confidence that I know you possess!

Dips for BBQ Season

I’m getting started with summer entertaining. I always put out some chips, salsa, guacamole, and assorted dips for guests to enjoy. I have a plethora of choices and love getting feedback from my guests on which dips they like. My new favorite thing is to change up something old and make it tastier or healthier. The Roasted Carrot Hummus is a great example of that. Alter traditional hummus with roasted carrots and cumin. Edamame Dip is packed with soy protein and flavor. And Tomato Dip is just a family favorite! Happy Summer.

Edamame Dip
Tomato Dip
Roasted Carrot Hummos

Shavuos Cooking

Tons of recipes perfect for Shavuos! Shavuos index here
Cheesecakes – SOOOO many to choose from.

Salmon With Orange Pistachio Sauce and Apricot Glaze
Salmon with Pistachio Pesto
Tuna and Fruit Ceviche
Salmon Baked in the Oven
Poached Salmon
Green Goddess Dressing
Tzatziki Sauce

I’m booking events for summer and fall. Email me to book a cooking demo, a Chopped Party, personal chef time, or private cooking lessons.

Getting Ready for Shavuos

Getting ready for Shavuos, some make-ahead salmon basics with sauces. I like both poached or baked salmon with flavorful sauces because they are easy to prepare and can and should be made ahead of time. They are great cold or at room temperature or even re-warmed properly (slowly and not for long).

Want to get a little more formal with what you serve? Try these Shavuos recipes or any of these fish specialties. And have course these Cheesecakes.

Salmon Baked in the Oven
Poached Salmon
Green Goddess Dressing
Tzatziki Sauce

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to the Best Mom’s in the World! I love my mom readers. You are terrific in every way. You not only work at being the best moms, wives, friends, sisters, daughters, aunts….but you also work so hard to prepare healthy, wholesome and delicious meals for everyone you love. Thank you for making my work meaningful.

A few of my favorite Mother’s Day posts. Enjoy!
Mom’s Day recipes from friends and bloggers
My Mom’s Rugelach – YUM! Great for Shavuos
My Mom’s Pancakes – Serious kids favorite any day
Salt and Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast – Lots of moms voted its their favorite
Fruit Filled Ice

BBQ Season

My BBQ is finally open, two propane tanks are ready to go and I’m testing new recipes every night to get ready for an exciting summer teaching season. This week I’m mastering chicken cutlets with wonderful marinades, sides and sauces. I had to share these two winner recipes! (and of course more to come, like Kale Pesto BBQ’d Chicken, Roasted Garlic Marinade Grilled Chicken and more)

Traditional Mexican and California flavors come together in Mexi-Cali Grilled Chicken and Mexican Cabbage Slaw. Both are perfect bright and delicious spring dishes that are packed with flavor. Buy lots of in season avocados, tomatoes, and corn (if available in your area this early in the season) to serve alongside this terrific flavor profile. BBQ season is officially open 🙂

Mexican Cabbage Slaw
Mexi-Cali Grilled Chicken

Happy Spring

Time to lighten it up with spring recipes. From weeknights to Shabbos, I’m using seasonal ingredients, like wild mushrooms and fresh tomatoes, to make my meals flavorful and a little lighter. This spring salad is both healthy and fresh tasting and easy for Shavuos and this weeknight chicken is fast and easy and sure to be well-liked. Happy Spring!

Spring Mixed Greens with Lemon Vinaigrette (Dairy Option for Shavuos)
Chicken with Wine, Mushrooms, and Capers

Cleaning Out My Freezer

I’ve got a few things in my refrigerator and freezer and about once every three months I decide that I not only need to empty the freezer, pantry and fridge, but I must USE those ingredients including frozen meats that I bought during sales, and frozen fruits and vegetables. Here are a few recipes that I came up with to use some items lingering in your kitchen. Yes, they may serve a purpose but you will be thrilled with the results and use these recipes over and over again.

Minute Steak with Sweet Creamy Mushroom Marsala Sauce
Rainbow Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze
Any Type of Fruit Upside Down Cake

Midnight Munching

I know I know, so many doughnuts and latkes, its time to watch what we eat, be healthier, walk more….okay, I get it, I’m with you. But still, I have a bit of a nighttime sweet tooth. I like a little treat, not a piece of cake, or even a bowl of ice cream, just a crunchy, chewy cookie as an evening snack. I’ve added these new ones to my repertoire plus listing a few old favorites.
Happy Midnight munching!

New Recipes:
Rich Brownie Drop Cookie
Great Go – To Ice Box Cinnamon Pecan Cookies

Love these!
Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies
Cheater Easy Peasy Lemon Cookies
Pareve Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Hanukah O’Hanukah A Few of My Favorite Things…

Every cook needs a great Cast Iron Skillet. Most brands are adequate but the cast iron is an amazing surface for browning and searing. They are oven and broiler safe and most importantly retain heat while cooking. This one is preseasoned so it’s ready to use.

At every cooking class my students ask me about knives. YES, they are super important and a good quality knife will both save you time chopping and be much safer while cutting. I love Global Knives, they are made of stainless steel in one piece and stay sharp. A good size is important and I like the indentations on the sides to prevent vegetables from clinging to the knife. Start with one, but you will go back for more at every holiday.

My new favorite cooking toy…Sous Vide Precision Cooking, with wifi and phone connection. Rub your meat, turkey, veal, fish…with a great dry rub, seal it in an airtight bag and let the sousvide work its magic in the water bath. This one knows exactly how long and at what temperature to circulate the water, and BAM! A few hours later, the perfectly, soft, juicy recipe is done. I sear the fished meat, for some great texture and served it Shabbos day at room temperature. So far, I’m on a roll, with amazing London Broil, veal breast, and pastrami. Stay tuned with exact recipes, but get into the new craze!

If you don’t have a copy of my cookbook (WHY NOT?!?!) Get one now or remember it makes a great Hanukah gift or Shower gift or Hostess gift or just anytime gift It’s on or directly from

I’m a big fan of kosher salt and finishing salts. I use this marble holder to easily toss in a nice pinch of salt to every dish. This is both chic and functional. It keeps the salt dry and fresh too. Available at

I still love the Thermapen or Thermapop for those on a budget. A thermapen: Good quality, instant read thermometers make everyone a better cook. They are so helpful when making chicken, turkey, caramel and so much more. Again, get one that’s got a bright color and have fun with it! You’re giving it as a gift so wrap it up in a fun way too! This one is a bit of a splurge so it’s a great gift and it’s the best one out there.

I still love these too.

1. A sorbet machine: My kids bought this for me last year and we all reap the benefits. I use it almost every week and have so much fun experimenting with different flavors. I’ve made pareve Italian straccata and tons of fruity varieties for summer Shabbos and dairy versions for Shavuos. My favorite machine is the Cuisinart, it’s small and easy to use. Watch for specials, mine came with two bowls as a promotion.

2. An immersion blender:
If you don’t already have one of these, then you must be given one as a gift. Every household needs a juzer (that’s my word for what it does, juz the food)! It’s the best for pureeing soups and making salad dressings. Have fun, buy it in a funky color. Immersion blenders come in all sorts of colors and prints. I like the Cuisinart immersion blender and they go on sale often too.

3. A grill pan: I use this pan all-year long but especially when it’s too cold to grill outside or you just have a small amount to grill. It’s great for people who don’t have the space for a grill or simply don’t own one. I have one for Passover too!

4. Photo gifts: This is a good idea for the mom who does not want another kitchen item. My mother-in-law’s favorite presents are anything with photos of the kids on it. We have created them all, umbrella, blankets, ties, photo books and this year personalized oven mitts. That’s perfect for the kitchen lover too.

5. An ihome: One of my favorite childhood memories is singing and dancing in the kitchen with my sisters while we helped my mom prepare dinner. Lucky for me, my children and I continue to do the same thing all the time. Cleaning dishes and setting the table has become so much more fun when we play music and sing along. With technology today there are so many ways to get music going in your kitchen and share the good times. Costco usually has a good deal on some kind of ihome too.

6. A Bosch Universal Mixer (for Challah):
Admittedly, I was married for 15 years before I got one, but now, wonder why I waited to get one. This is the best and easiest way to make challah. High capacity, high quality, great challah!. I highly recommend this to anyone who frequently makes bread or challah and even for those who are interested in starting to make challah but find the kneading time too daunting by hand or a smaller machine.

7. A peppermill: This kitchen essential is not only helpful but super chic too! I love finding different pepper mills that match the season or the kitchen space. These are gorgeous and decorative.

8. A thermapen: Good quality, instant read thermometers make everyone a better cook. They are so helpful when making chicken, turkey, caramel and so much more. Again, get one that’s got a bright color and have fun with it! You’re giving it as a gift so wrap it up in a fun way too! This one is a bit of a splurge so it’s a great gift and it’s the best one out there.

Edible Dreidels

Thank you to reader, Esther Chanowitz for this fantastic edible craft.

Fresh radishes, washed and trimmed off the bunch, dried, cut the top and tail stem
Strong Plastic Toothpicks

Hold the radish in your hand and visualize four sides on the radish, each side being a side for a letter

With adult supervision ONLY:
Using a small pairing knife, held VERY CAREFULLY as a pen, engrave, or cut out a Nun ,
next to it, a Gimel, then a Hay, and finally a Shin.
Each letter, removing the red, exposing the white flesh of the radish. It takes some practice to perfect the carvings, but its fun.,
Esther says to practice writing the letters on paper first.

Press the plastic toothpick into the middle, all the way down, so it has a draydel like bottom..

Soak in a bowl of cold water, and keep in fridge until needed. These are adorable as garnishes on a plate and fun to play with too.

Thank you Tori Avery for this Marshmallow Chocolate Edible Dreidel recipe.

And these are a cute way to make everything yummy and looking like Hanukah!

A Few New Hanukah Recipes

A celebratory decadent roast for Hanukah, Salt and Herb Crusted Standing Rib Roast.
For either dairy or meat seuda, this is wonderful comfort food at it’s best,
Dairy or Meat Potato Casserole with Sauteed Onions.

Shredded Brussel Sprouts with Sauteed Pastrami Bites is a great seasonal side dish alternative. And super fast and easy, cake mix dessert when you are too busy to fuss over dessert too.Cheater Cake Dessert.

DONUTS and Lots of Hanukah Desserts HERE