Preserved Lemons and Recipes

Preserved lemons add a salty zing to any dish, especially in tagines or soups. They are available in some markets, but its also easy to make your own. The only hard part is waiting 4 weeks for them to be ready to use.

Preserved Lemons

Use them in these recipes. They add zesty, salty, freshness.
Roast Chicken with Shallot and Meyer Lemon Sauce
Baby Lamb Chops with Minted Meyer Lemon Spread
Add them to this tagine:
Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine

Four Steps to the Crispiest Cutlets

Hanukah is a time for frying everything, so why not give you some tips on classic cutlets for Hanukah too.

Fried meat just tastes good. But to unlock the wonders of breading and frying, I’m talking a seriously crispy crust, you have got to use the right technique.

1. Pound: Put meat between two pieces of plastic wrap, then use a meat mallet or the bottom of a skillet to pound to a ¼” thickness. This ensures quick cooking and plenty of surface area for big-time crunch. Or buy them pounded evenly.
2. Season: Liberally seasoning the pounded-out cutlet with salt and pepper before the breading process adds another layer of flavor.
3. Bread: The key to great schnitzel: Coat the meat in flour, then dunk it in beaten egg and let the excess drip off; firmly press cutlet into finely ground crumbs, turning to coat both sides and making sure there are no gaps. I use seasoned crumbs or season my own crumbs with garlic and onion powder, kosher salt and pepper, dried parsley, or whatever extra seasoning I’m in the mood for.
4. Fry: Heat ½” oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Test if it’s hot enough by adding a pinch of crumbs to the pan. If the oil immediately bubbles rapidly, it’s ready. Cook chicken in batches. Drain on paper towels; season with salt.

Try this recipe: Pretzel Crusted Chicken Cutlets

Hanukah Marshmallow Dreidels


What you need
Jumbo marshmallows
Stick pretzels
Nutella hazelnut spread or Pareve hazelnut chocolate spread
Chocolate candy kisses

Optional Toppings
Cake decorating gel
Chocolate or vanilla candy coating
Vegetable shortening
Candy sprinkles

Extra Equipment
Parchment paper, cookie sheet (for candy coated dreidels)

First, push a pretzel into the flat side of the marshmallow, sticking it in as far as you can without puncturing the opposite side. Next, spread a small amount of Nutella onto the base of a chocolate kiss. Use the Nutella as “glue” to attach the kiss to the flat end of the marshmallow. At this point, you can use cake decorating gel to write one of the four Hebrew dreidel letters onto the surface of the marshmallow… Nun, Hey, Gimel, Shin Here are the Hebrew letters if you need a guide: These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase, Nes Gadol Haya Sham– which means “A great miracle happened there.” Cake decorating gel takes a long time to dry, so give your letters a few hours to set… if your kids can wait that long! If you want to add a candy coating to your dreidel instead of the letters, make sure your marshmallow dreidels are prepped and ready to go before you start working with the chocolate. You will need to work quickly while the chocolate is soft. Place the dreidels on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, with at least an inch or two in between each dreidel. Melt your chocolate or vanilla candy coating according to the package directions at the lowest temperature setting possible. Ideally the consistency of the melted coating should be like chocolate syrup—not overly thick. If your candy coating seems too thick after melting it, you can thin it out using a tablespoon or two of vegetable shortening. Once it’s melted, transfer the melted candy coating to a cool bowl. Working quickly, dip your dreidels one-at-a-time into the coating and roll them until the surface is evenly covered. As you dip the dreidels, make sure you don’t leave them in the hot candy coating for longer than a few seconds at a time. If you leave it longer, the Hershey kiss will melt and you’ll have a flat-bottomed dreidel. Pull the dreidel out of the coating and hold it over the bowl, point side facing downward, for a few seconds to get rid of excess drips. Place it on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and coat immediately with sprinkles. Once all of your dreidels are coated, let them dry for 15-20 minutes until the candy coating has set. A slight “puddle” will form underneath each dreidel, so it won’t look perfect—but that’s not the point. It will still look dreidel-ish, and it will taste yummy! Have fun!

Calling ALL Readers…

I love when readers send me their pictures of the recipes they make. Send me your pictures of the recipes you make from CELEBRATE. I’m putting together a post of YOUR pictures of the recipes you make from CELEBRATE so send them over!

Thank You

Thank you West Orange, Englewood, Cedarhurst and Brooklyn for great events!

Kosherfest 2015

Kosherfest was certainly a foodfest, a cheesefest, a fleishfest, and an extravaganza filled with fantastic products to taste and enjoy. With record-breaking attendance, the aisles were filled with discriminating tasters hoping to find the best of Kosherfest. Kosher brands, old and new hoping to get the attention from markets, distributors and kosher media friends. Yes, tasting is fun, but connecting to other foodie friends makes the experience a super food day!

My Kosherfest 2015 favorites right here….
italian truffle
Squirrel Brand Italian Black Truffle Almonds: Crunchy, rich, delicious and my new salad topper. Italian Black Truffle Almonds® are a first of their kind. Aromatic black summer truffles are hand-harvested in Northern Italy and ground into flavorful sea salt so their distinct flavor permeates through the condiment. Once folded into our finest selection of sweet California almonds…the flavor transcends all senses. This product is VEGAN and GLUTEN FREE and Pareve.

The Cheese Guy, Double Ale Cheddar Cheese: Admittedly, I liked every cheese I tasted from the Cheese Guy, plus the Maple Apple Butter, which was even more amazing with a thin slice of cheese and a cracker, yes this is the snack of all time! Find these cheeses in your market, kosher cheese has never tasted this flavorful.

Malka Beer: Beer brewed in Israel with awesome chic logo and bottle. The pale ale is perfect. Currently in most states and coming to others but check your liquor stores and request it. It’s a taste of Israel, support of Israel and a great beer.

Mina brand Harissa and Shakshuka sauce: Great harissa, from mild (its harissa so mild has a good kick too) to apicy (WOW, serious heat and flavor). I’m adding it to so many sauces. Israeli inspired foods are super trendy. Shakshuka sauce, just add to pan, heat and poach eggs right in the pan. Creative product and definitely going to be a big hit.

Jack’s Gourmet Sausage: Of course his sausages are popular at Kosherfest, great taste and texture, smoky, and perfectly prepared. Their booth was crowded and happening, and their new Pulled Beef Brisket is a big winner. It makes an easy dinner and lots of sandwich leftovers.

Best Ingredients, Best Results, Best Chips by friend Estee Kaffra of Kosher Scoop has added an instant crumb topping (yes, just add to apples, pears, muffins, challah and bake for instant crumb topping), and all-natural .

Look out for these products too, pending distribution, but I’m sure they will be coming soon!

Ludwig Farmstead Creamery: More unbelievable cheese, made on an Illinois farm with no hormones, or antibiotics, and made with raw milk cheese to create award-winning Artisan cheese. Currently get it online but hopefully in stores soon.

Pure Genius: Brownies and blondies packed with beans, protein, fiber and invisible goodness. I liked the blondie made from chickpeas and lots of chocolate chips. Just certified kosher, and available soon in your markets. Boost your edible IQ with this treat.

I’m still full…okay not really, but I’m still bursting from happiness over so many foods, condiments, snack items, and opportunities in the kosher cooking world. We are so lucky and it certainly is not what it used to be. So eat up and support kosher brands!

Pumpkin Snacks and Treats

Pumpkin is in season and it’s one of my husband’s favorite flavors. Fall flavors are warm and inviting and the colors mirror the beauty outside. I love the fall leaves (really hate the winter weather!) and watching my yard come to life with color. In celebration of fall and pumpkin season, here are three great pumpkin treats, we love these as snacks or dessert. Next week, fall flavored meals. We just can’t get enough!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, vegan and gluten-free
Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Weekday Quick and Easy

I’m on the road…at the great challah bake, demo’ing, speaking on radio shows (did you hear me on Naomi Nachman’s Table for Two, it’s here, if you missed it) and having fun “Celebrate’ing” the book launch. Thank you so much for your emails and your wonderful support!

CELEBRATE is in stores now, check your local store or get it at:

Meanwhile, my weeknight repertoire needs to be fast and fresh. Yesterday, I picked up fresh fish and pasta and had dinner done in about 35 minutes just in time for school pick-ups. I made Flounder with Lemon and Garlic and Spaghetti with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Here are some a few others on my list for the upcoming weeks.
Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs with Zucchini and Summer Squash
Easy Mirin Glazed Salmon
Easy Dijon Chicken
Easy Italian Bean Soup
Asian Meatball
Chicken Caesar Skewers
Chicken Strips with Bow Ties
Vegetarian Chili Casserole with Cornbread Topping



IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE, the waiting is over. My cookbook, titled, CELEBRATE, food, family, shabbos has arrived and was worth the wait! The pre-order is over, its time for the real-deal. Celebrate is packed with over 200 original recipes, easy enough for everyday and special enough for Shabbos or any holiday. The photos are award-winning and the recipes are just what my readers asked for, simple in preparation and beautiful in presentation. It includes recipes in every category from soups, salads, chickens, meats, and desserts, to extra special sections like Kiddush, Shalosh Seudos, and a pantry, all packed with the recipes that are unique to those times.

Writing Celebrate has been a whirl-wind experience, actually a dream come true. I worked with the most incredible team of people, from my new friends at Emunah of America to every vendor and partner, the photographers, editors, graphics team, printers, testers, calligrapher/artist, and publicist. The best endorsement is to say I would choose to work with each of them over and over again.

I am especially proud that the proceeds of CELEBRATE will benefit Emunah’s Children’s homes in Israel. On my recent trip, I took pictures with some of the children that cooked with me months ago for the book. Watching their faces light up as they viewed the images of themselves on the recipe pages was joyous, uplifiting and inspiring. Look at some of these delighted faces!

People ask me what are my favorite recipes in the book…seriously? An impossible question, but a few faves include Good-as-a-Latte Mushroom Soup, Sesame Chicken Hand Rolls, Mini Moroccan Burgers in Grilled Pitas, Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds, Everything Bagel Chicken, Savory London Broil with Sweet Braised Shallots and Mushrooms, S’mores Pie, Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie, Coconut Macadamia Nut Biscotti, Vanilla Babka, need I say more?

Need a sneak peak? Sweet and Savory Champagne-Braised Brick Roast and Coconut Macadamia Nut Biscotti.

Get your copy today here for $29.95 or find it in your local store! It’s a great Chanukah gift. Purchase is tax-deductible and tax free.
I’m visiting Jewish communities around the country, check my schedule here or email me to invite me to your community. I’d love to meet you.

What’s With All the Coconut Oil?


If you’re a close reader of food magazines or healthy food blogs, you may have noticed that coconut oil is showing up in more and more recipes and articles. Years ago, you may remember that coconut oil was vilified, so what’s going on?

For starters, the coconut oil that caused an outcry, way back in the 1990’s was highly processed and full of bad for you trans fats. Today’s unrefined (or virgin) coconut oil does not contain trans fats and is even being studied for its positive role in everything from thyroid function and weight loss to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. And though it’s very high in saturated fat, its composition is different from the saturated fats in animal products and may actually improve HDL or “good” cholesterol.

While the jury is still out on health claims and long term benefits, everything I have read and tested leads me to believe that pure (not hydrogenated) coconut oil in moderation is fine for a few reasons: It’s delicious. I love it for its savory yet sweet, slightly nutty flavor. It’s amazing in curry dishes, stir-fry dishes, roasting vegetables, frying, and even baking. And you should use LESS than the equivalent other fat, i.e. oil or margarine, because when melted it has a greasier result than the other fats. I love it with sautéed carrots in a cast iron pan, tossed with sweet potatoes and roasted with spices, and especially in lots of cookie recipes. Finally, coconut oil is amazing as a moisturizer. I often find that my teenage girls take it from the pantry and use it in their showers.

Check out these recipes but try to use it in your favorite recipes too. And let me know your favorites. Coconut oil is available nationwide with kosher certification in most national markets.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peach Mango Coconut Oil Poundcake
Healthy Butterfinger Bars

A Quick Way to Peel a Ton of Garlic


I sometimes buy peeled garlic to save myself the peeling step, but many cities this is not available. I recently participated in a culinary tip seminar and I’m excited to share this tip I learned. To peel many cloves at once, put the cloves in a big metal bowl, and cover them with another metal bowl, bottom side up. Then while holding the bowls tightly together, shake like crazy, and really use your best strength. Not only does this relieve a little stress but it takes most of the skins right off.

Store Peeled Garlic: Store garlic in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Garlic Oil: Mince about 10 cloves and place in a jar. Then pour 3/4 cup olive oil over the garlic and set aside for a few days. Use in cooking and salad dressings for awesome garlic infused oil.

Use garlic in any of these recipes.

More Reader Q & A….

You ask great questions and I love sharing both the question and the answers with all of my readers. Best of summer q and a….

Q Why does basil die when I put it in my fridge?
Farmer market girl, Los Angeles

A Vibrant, lush fresh perfumey basil quickly becomes limp and brown after being stored in the refrigerator. Basil is a tropical plant, highly sensitive to cold. If stored below 40 F, and most refrigerators are set between 35 and 38. Instead, keep basil in a cool, shady place in your kitchen, stems submerged in a glass partially filled with water. Then place a large zip lock plastic bag over the top of the basil: this keeps the leaves moist while still letting the plant breathe.

Q What is that yellow spot on the watermelon and someone said it is important for ripeness? How do I pick a ripe watermelon?
Martha, Brookline, MA

A I just learned this myself! Although a ripe melon says “punk” when thumped and a green one says “pink or pank”, this can be very difficult. Look instead for a deep cream or yellow ground spot, where the melon sat on the ground as it grew, to show that it ripened adequately before harvest. Light green or whitish spots indicate underripe melons. Also, shiny melons may be unripe and dull rinds can be overripe. I like to smell them too, the fragrant melons, all types are usually riper.

Two Pre-fast Recipes

Here are two pre-fast items that are both refreshing and delicious. Watermelon is terrific because it contains a lot of …water, and is hydrating and filling. I’m serving it in this Watermelon Gazpacho but also as dessert alongside these adorable Mason Jar S’mores. My kids still love Caramelized Onion and Boursin Cheese Pizza and I like Pan Seared Cod with Creamed Corn. I’ll serve a simple green salad with a light lemon vinaigrette alongside these filling dishes plus lots and lots of water. Finally, back by popular demand, What’s Best to Eat Before a Fast.
Watermelon Gazpacho
Mason Jar S’mores

The Nine Days

The Nine Days are here again…and we have the GKC Nine Days Recipe Roundup Here with something for everyone, from pasta making tips and recipes, quiche, homemade pizza, to tons and tons of fish options, vegetarian chili, and more. Send me your favorites so that I can add it to our extensive collection. And don’t forget to search the index by ingredient too, like salmon, or flounder, or ice cream.

A few other favorites right here:
Pan Roasted Maple Halibut with Herbed Pistou
Mushroom and Spinach Frittata
Crispy Kani Salad with Cucumber and Spicy Mayo by Esther Deutsch
Salmon with Yogurt Zaatar Sauce

I know, I know…your kids won’t eat that, just for kids then, try these
Homemade Pizza Dough and Pizza
Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes
Greek Salad
Pizza Puffs
Mini Macaroni and Cheese Puffs
Vegetarian Chili and Taco Selections
Three Cheese Calzone with Balsamic Glaze
Pizza Loaves
Garlic Knots
Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza

I also like to make lots of bean dishes during the nine days. Try some of these.
Black Bean, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad
Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil Lime Vinaigrette
Black Bean Caesar Salad
Roasted Tomatoes with Fennel and White Beans

And Vegetarian Indian Dishes:
Indian Spiced Salmon
Indian Cauliflower and Tofu

Or Japanese Dishes too:
Cold Sesame Noodles with Vegetables
Make it a meal and add a piece of Mirin Glazed Salmon
Or Tuna Tartare

Whatever you make, end it with some delicious dairy desserts, like homemade ice creams or cookies made with butter! You might skip meat more often.

No-Mess Corn Cutting


Here’s a clean and easy way to remove kernels from an ear of corn.
Whip out your Bundt pan, but not for making a cake.
1. First, fit the tip of a shucked ear of corn into the hole in the center of a Bundt pan.
2. Then, firmly hold the ear near the top, and slide a sharp knife down the side to cut off the corn kernels.
3. Rotate the cob and repeat cutting, letting the cake pan neatly catch the kernels as they are removed.

Fresh corn is delicious this time of year while it’s in the height of season. Watch for Long Island white corn in August.

Try these terrific corn recipes:
Romaine and Corn Salad with Avocado Dressing
Summer Corn and Tomato Salad
Corn and Black Bean Salad with Basil Lime Vinaigrette
Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad
Fresh Corn and Avocado Salad

Burger Roundup Time

Father’s Day and graduation are definitely a terrific kickoff to summer. Burgers are an essential part of summertime and we make them any and all ways in our house.

Before starting any BBQ or burger night, start with these BURGER MAKING TIPS, to ensure perfect juicy results every time. And get more tips and the best Turkey Burger recipe on this GKC Turkey Burger Video. It’s a fan favorite on both Aol and Yahoo video, with over 200,000 views.

Next, we have a few burger recipes to keep on hand all summer! Serve them with different condiments, ketchups, chili sauces, tzatziki, or mustards, and assorted breads/buns, including pitas, Indian bread, wraps, etc. This way every burger seems like a very different meal and cuisine. Let me know your favorite burger recipe too, so we can share it with all GKC burger fans.

Easiest Father’s Day Burger
Mini Moroccan Lamb Burgers
Grilled Burgers with Lemon Margarine
Asian Burgers with Chili Mayonnaise
Beer Bathed Pulled Brisket Burgers
The New American Burger (Turkey and Veal)