Herb Marinade

1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, chopped (try basil, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro or any herb of choice)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Lemon and Shallot Marinade

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons oregano (for dried, use 2 teaspoons or more)
1 small shallot, chopped
1 minced garlic clove

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Soy and Ginger Marinade

1 tablespoon Sriachi sauce (use less for less spiciness)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons lime zest
¼ cup lime juice
3 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Espresso Barbeque Sauce


This bbq sauce has great flavor and depth from espresso. I love it on chicken, fish and grilled steaks.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
>4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds and membrane removed for less heat)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brewed espresso
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook the sauce over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With an immersion blender or a food processor puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the sauce to mellow.

The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Melon Gazpacho

This is a wonderful twist on traditional gazpacho from the Balaboostanyc.com. The restaurant is not kosher but the cooking classes are often worth it (even without tasting the food). A combination Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and flavors is really fantastic. This gazpacho is just one example of this.

1 ripe cantaloupe, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup white wine (I like to use sauvignon blanc)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced almond
1 fresh red chili, such as red jalapeno or long red chile, cored seeded and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
Store bought crispy fried shallots or onions
Chopped fresh mint
Finely chopped peeled jicama
Finely chopped fresh red chile (optional)
Almond Chile brittle

Cut the cantaloupe into small pieces and place in a food processor. Add the wine, vinegar, almonds, chile, salt and pepper and puree until the mixture is smooth.
Chill in the refrigerator before serving and garnish with the crispy shallots, mint, jicama, brittle and red chile.

Sweet Summer Fruit Soup

Serves 6-8

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen strawberries
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen mixed berries, or other summer fruit iike mango, papaya, mixed tropical fruit, or other choice or use more strawberries
1 (15 ounce) can sour cherries
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
¼ cup sugar

Garnish: Chopped strawberries and fresh mint
Place cherries and 1 ½ cups water in a 5 quart pot. Turn on heat and bring to a boil. Add strawberries and other fruit with juices, vanilla sugar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cool slightly. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled with chopped strawberries and mint on top.

Raspberry or Strawberry Lemonade

Makes 8-10 glasses

This is so refreshing in the summer! The fresh lemon juice give it so much more flavor than the prepared store-bought variety. Be sure to serve it in cute glasses with lots of ice and straws to make it look as good as it tastes.

4 cups fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 bag frozen raspberries or strawberries
Ice cubes, for serving

Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher.

In a pot, heated over low heat, stir together sugar with 3 cups water until sugar dissolves to make a syrup. Cool, than add sugar syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries or strawberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so be sure to sweeten enough!)

Fill mason jars with ice cubes and top them off with the lemonade.

Carrot Soup with Cucumber Pistachio Relish

Serves 5

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large (about 2 cups) onion, diced
4 cups (about 10) chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger or fresh ginger, diced
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons chopped mint

Make the soup: Heat oil over medium-high heat, add the onions, carrots, and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, curry, and cayenne and cook for 1 more minute. Add 5 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until carrots are tender — about 15 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and vinegar and set aside.

Make the relish: Combine the cucumber, pistachios, ginger, cilantro, mint, and remaining salt in a small bowl. Ladle the soup into

Cold Cucumber Dill Soup

Serves 6

1-1/2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup chopped onions
4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
1 (8-ounce) russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3-1/2 cups low-salt pareve chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 large fresh dill sprigs plus 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon (or more) salt
½ cup Tofutti sour cream

Melt margarine in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato; stir 1 minute. Add broth, dill sprigs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cucumbers and potato are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree soup in until smooth. Return to pot. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in tofutti sour cream and 4 tablespoons minced dill. Cover and chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Taste soup, adding more salt if desired. Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons minced dill.

Fresh Tomato and Avocado Soup

tomato-avocado-soup-deServes 4

1 pound,(about 4 tomatoes) tomatoes, chopped with their juices
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup seedless cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 avocados, diced (about 2 cups)

Combine all ingredients except avocado in a large bowl. Mash lightly with a potato masher, stir in 1 cup water, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 6. Stir in the avocado and serve immediately.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Chocolate Espresso Cookie

Makes 3 dozen

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 box Dark Chocolate Premium Brownie Mix
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1⁄2 cups dark chocolate pieces, semi sweet chocolate pieces
and/or white chocolate pieces (combined into the 1 1⁄2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl combine water and espresso powder, stir until dissolved; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine brownie mix, egg, oil, cinnamon, and the espresso mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, scraping sides. Stir in chocolate pieces by hand, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Drop dough by rounded tsp. onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 6-8 minutes or until edges are just set. (Centers may appear doughy). Do not overbake. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. If desired place a chocolate candy kiss or a caramel chocolate candy kiss into center of cookie immediately after removing from oven as a garnish.

Chocolate Raspberry Bars with Almonds and Icing


Makes 16 bars

2/3 cup raspberry jam
1 (21-ounce) box Chewy Fudge brownie mix (recommended: Duncan
Hines Chewy Fudge)
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup chopped salted almonds or other nuts of your choice

Position a baking rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
In a small saucepan, stir the jam constantly over low heat until pourable, about 1 minute. Set aside.
In a large bowl, blend together the brownie mix, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Using an electric hand mixer beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the jam over the top of the brownie batter. Using a small spatula, swirl jam into the brownie batter. Bake for 27 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted about 1-inch from the edge of the pan comes out clean. Spread with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with salted almonds. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool. Cut into 16 bars and store airtight in a plastic container for up to 1 week.

Anything In the Pantry Cookies


Makes 3 dozen

1 box cake mix (I use yellow), any flavor
8 ounces pareve or dairy cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons margarine, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips, or other chips or nuts or dried fruit (or coconut, butterscotch chips, M&M’s, pretzels, or anything crunchy and yummy for cookies)

2 cups chocolate chips, or other chips or nuts or dried fruit (or coconut, butterscotch chips, M&M’s, pretzels, or anything crunchy and yummy for cookies)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixer beat cream cheese and margarine until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until well blended. Stir in cake mix a little at a time until it’s all blended and then add any chips, candy or nuts, as you like.
Spoon large tablespoons full of dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until edges are brown.

Luscious Lemon Cookies


Makes 3 dozen

1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest (zest from about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon extract and lemon zest until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners’ sugar. Roll them around until they’re lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. They should look crackled on top and moist in the center.

Salmon with Green Herbs and Lemon

Serves 6

This is an adapted recipe from Ina Garten. The herbs add flavor and the lemon gives it freshness. I added Dijon mustard and lemon zest to her original recipe. I also added the roasted lemons and squeeze the juice over the cooked salmon. Roasted sweet lemon is delicious.

1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) salmon fillet, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (4 scallions)
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, cut in half
1 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the salmon fillet in an oven-proof dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill, and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet. Sprinkle the lemon zest all over the herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet. Dip the cut lemon (each half) in the sugar. Place in the pan next to the fish.

Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (I peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.) Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with squeezed sugared lemon on top.

Lemon Basil Sorbet

Makes 2 cups

 cups water
cups granulated sugar
 lemons, rind peeled into long strips
 cup packed fresh basil leaves
 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and lemon rind. Bring to a boil over high, stirring with a wooden spoon until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add basil leaves. Set aside until cool, about 30 minutes. Strain lemon-basil syrup; discard solids. Stir in lemon juice. Pour syrup into an ice cream maker; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions

Chocolate Rosemary Truffles


Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup almond butter (creamy roasted)
1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (minced)

In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, coconut oil, margarine, almond butter, and agave nectar.
Stir ingredients until well combined
Place bowl in freezer for 10-15 minutes until chocolate reaches cold, firm consistency
Remove from freezer and roll into 1 inch balls
Place walnuts and rosemary in a bowl and roll each truffle in mixture to coat
Be sure to store in refrigerator.

Stone Fruit Slaw

Serves 6
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (to taste, or optional)
1-½ pounds assorted firm stone fruit (about 5, such as plums, nectarines, peaches, all julienned)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt

Whisk the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add fruit and scallions, toss gently to coast. Season to taste with salt

Fish Fillets with Peppers, Onions, and Mexican Spices

Serves 4

1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 medium red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can diced and fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles ( from trader Joe’s or other brand, if not available use 1 can fire roasted tomatoes and 2 tablespoons canned green chilis)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ cup pitted green olives
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
4 (5 ounce) fillets of fish of choice, salmon, halibut, sole, or flounder

Slice onion and peppers into strips . Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, cook peppers, and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add can of tomatoes and chilis, then salt and a bit of water to loosen up the sauce. Add cumin and allow to cook for about 10 minutes on a low flame. Add olives and fish fillets. Cook for about 15 – 20 minutes until fish is cooked through. Keep spooning sauce over the fish. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve with basmati rice.

Mini Cheese Crepes with Cinnamon Pecan Cream Sauce

Serves 10

6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
dash baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups milk
pinch salt
Canola oil
1 pound farmer cheese
½ cup whipped cream cheese (4-ounces)
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup sugar
Cinnamon Pecan Topping:
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup toasted pecans

For Crepes:
In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients until smooth.
In a 6 inch sauté pan, heat ½ teaspoon oil. When oil is hot, add about 2 tablespoons batter and swirl around pan. Cook until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes, flip and cook on the other side. Remove from pan, and continue making individual crepes, using all of the batter. Cover to keep cooked crepes warm.

For Filling: In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Set aside. Spoon about 1 tablespoon filling into crepe. Spread a bit, leaving a ½-inch border. Roll gently and set aside.

For Topping: In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in cream, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens lightly, about 3-4 minutes.

To serve: Lay warm, filled crepes in a decorative 9 x 13 pan. Warm sauce and pour over crepes. Top with toasted pecans.

Chick Pea, Corn and Dill Salad

Serves 6

My friend Devora told me about this salad. The combination of chick peas, peas, dill and corn is super refreshing and the colors are bright and beautiful. I love that it comes together in a second and it’s a great side dish for Shavuot or any time.

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
One package fresh peas, steamed
1 (15 ounce) can of corn kernals, drained
2 sour pickles, chopped
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise or regular
1 tablespoon olive oil

Stir all ingredients to combine. Can be made a day ahead of time. Serve as a side dish, alongside some salmon or rice or at a BBQ.

Asian Bok Choy Salad

Serves 8

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 stalk bok choy, washed and chopped
8 scallions, chopped
2 packages ramen noodles (flavor package discarded)
½ cup toasted almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
½ cup craisins
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced
½ cup olive oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Mix dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Divide dressing in half.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, cook bok choy and scallions until soft, about 4 minutes. Add ramen noodles (uncooked). Add half of dressing and heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix cooked bok choy/noodle mixture with almonds, sesame seeds, craisins, and romaine. Add remaining dressing, a little at a time, until fully coated. Serve immediately.

Sesame Soy Semi-Homemade Salmon

Serves 8

8 (6 ounce) salmon fillts, skin on
½ cup Mikee sesame teriyaki sauce or other brand of same variety
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar

Place salmon in a 9 x 13 glass or non-reactive dish.
In a small bowl, mix teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Pour mixture over salmon and marinade for a few hours, covered in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to broil. Broil salmon for 14 – 20 minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn. The top should be nicely browned and the interior soft but cooked through.

Make It Yours Cheesecake

Serves 10 – 12
This is a wonderful basic cheesecake that I love to spruce up with wonderful stir-ins, mix-ins, and sauces. Use any combination that you like.

1 ¾ cups crushed graham cracker, ginger snaps, vanilla wafers, or chocolate sandwich cookies
¼ cup finely chopped almonds, walnuts or macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground allspice, cinnamon, ginger or apple pie spice (optional) – choose one or two
½ cup butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, peppermint extract, almond extract, lemon zest or orange zest (choose one or two)
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Optional Stir-Ins, Swirl-Ins, and Sauces:
Stir-ins: 1 cup semi-sweet, bittersweet, or milk chocolate pieces
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped or 1 cup berries, chopped

Swirl-ins: 4 ounces chocolate, chopped and melted and 2 tablespoons whipping cream, or 1 cup fresh berries, pureed and pressed through a sieve

Sauce: Caramel sauce, berry sauce, chocolate sauce

Preheat oven to 350.
For crust: In a bowl, combine crushed crackers, nuts, 1 tablespoon sugar, and if using, the spices. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 ½ inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For filling, in a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla (or other extract). Beat with mixer on low, until combined. Stir in eggs and if desired a stir-in.

Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place pan in a shallow baking pan, if using a swirl-in, drop by small spoonfuls onto filling. Use a narrow metal spatula to gently swirl the addition into a marbled appearance (don’t cut into the crust, just swirl it around filling). Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until it appears set but slightly jiggly.

Cool in springform wan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a sharp knife, loosen crust from sides of pan. Cool for 30 more minutes. Gently, remove sides of pan, cool an additional 2 hours. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Olive Oil Poached Cod with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Serves 4

Poaching hearty fish in olive oil creates a creamy, soft and delicious fish dish.

2 tomatoes (3/4 pound)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 zucchini—quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Four 6-ounce skinless cod fillets

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Score an “X” in the bottom of each tomato and blanch them in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and cool the tomatoes under cold running water. Peel, seed and cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch dice; transfer to a medium bowl.
In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the zucchini to the tomatoes. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and sherry vinegar and season with salt. Mix gently and keep warm.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the remaining 2 cups of olive oil over moderate heat to 180°. Season cod with salt and poach in the olive oil until just white throughout, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spatula and drain briefly on paper towels. Season with salt. Spoon the zucchini mixture into shallow bowls, set the fish on top and serve.