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

Dec 21, 2016: Congregation AABJ&D

AABJ&D Presents a New Jewish Culture Series

Beginning in September, AABJ&D will be offering the community four classes on Jewish Culture. Each course in this new series will offer an opportunity
to explore a topic in depth. Depending on the class, classes will meet weekly or monthly. We will begin a pilot trimester in September that will run through December. A second trimester will start in January and go through March, and our final trimester will run from April through June. Participants will pay a fee to cover expenses of instructors and materials. Please complete and submit the registration form (with a non-refundable payment as indicated) to the shul office by September 5, 2016. ALL CLASSES WILL MEET AT AABJ&D.

Jewish Culture Fall Offerings

~ Israeli Dance for Women – Taught by Elyse Litt, this class will meet weekly on Tuesday nights. There will be a beginners class from 7:30- 8:30 pm, followed by a class for intermediate dancers from 8:45- 9:45pm. Classes will meet on November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; and December 6, 13, 20.

Fee: $56 for shul members, $72 for non- shul members
~ Israeli Dance for Men- Taught by Jake Altholz, this class will meet weekly on Tuesday nights. 7:30 – 8:30 pm. Classes will meet on September 6, 13, 20, 27; November 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; December 6, 13, 20.

Fee: $84 for shul members, $108 for non- shul members
~ Jewish Life Around the World- Taught by Rabbi Sacha Pecaric, this course will meet 4 times on Wednesday evenings, from 7:15- 8:30 pm. Classes will be September 28, October 26, November 16 and December 14.

Rabbi Sacha Pecaric was born in the former Yugoslavia. After studying in Prague, Rabbi Pecaric continued his studies at the rabbinic department of the Yeshiva University where he obtained rabbinical ordination, the department of philosophy of Columbia University (M.A.) and FAMU Charles University (Ph.D.). Rabbi Pecaric previously lived in Kraków where he ran the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, aimed at providing education to the local Jewish community as well as local non-Jews. While in Krakow, he established Pardes Lauder, a Jewish religious publishing house that has so far published more than 30 books, including the first translation of the Torah from Hebrew to Polish made by a Jew after World War II. He has been teaching at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School since 2013.

The course will examine four fascinating countries where Jews have lived for centuries – Italy, Greece, Poland and Czech Republic. Rabbi Pecaric knows the histories of these countries intimately and their languages fluently. The course will examine the past and present Jewish communities with practical information for those intending to visit these countries. The course includes an in- depth presentation of the Jewish historical presence in Venice, Athens, Krakow and Prague.

Fee: $25 for shul members, $36 for non-shul members.

~Sephardi Cooking- Taught by Elizabeth Kurtz. Ms. Kurtz started in 2009. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, CELEBRATE, and contributes regular cooking columns to several publications. Classes will meet on Wednesdays: September 14, November 30 and December 21 from 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Fee: $75 for shul members, $100 for non- shul members (includes materials)

Congregation AABJ&D
700 Pleasant Valley Way | West Orange, NJ 07052
T: 973-736-1407 | F: 973-736-8006

What’s for Dinner ?

I get a lot of cooking questions, especially now that I am fortunate enough to personally meet so many people at my demos. The questions range and of course fall into every category, but what is actually downloaded from my website (thank you loyal readers for 9 amazing blogging years!) is more narrow. Readers want meats, chickens and desserts. Yes, salads and soups are popular too (especially in my book 🙂 but that evil question, “WHAT’S FOR DINNER?” weighs heavy on every family. Don’t worry I’ll keep posting lots of different types of recipes and always bring you the latest in food trends, but this week, I’m helping with a few new dinner ideas. Simple skillet chicken dishes that are quick and full of flavor. The first, Chicken with Paprika, is a traditional Hungarian recipe, that I’ve updated with a bit more garlic, a little cayenne, and a pinch of sugar for contrast. It’s a one skillet recipe and goes great with any terrific bread to dip in the sauce, baked potatoes or my favorite, basmati rice. The second is a Pan Roasted Chicken with Tropical Sweet and Spicy Glaze, flavored with cumin, pineapple, and chile. It’s robust and complex flavors make it very satiating.

A few other weeknight tips. Keep side dishes simple, make sure they pair well with the main, i.e. simple rice, potatoes, roasted vegetables and make a fresh salad, one night spinach, another kale, another cabbage or romaine to keep it all interesting. Remember complex flavors mixed with whole grains and veggies keep people full and well nourished. I love soups this time of year too but I’ll get to more of that when the weather gets colder.

Remember, send me recipes you would like to share, send me questions, or other types of recipes you want to see more of, at

Skillet Pan Chicken with Paprika
Pan Roasted Chicken with Tropical Sweet and Spicy Glaze