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When Life Hands you Thanksgiving Make…

24 Nov

…Thanksgiving Pie!

I’m an idea person. I come up with plenty. Sometimes implementing can be somewhat fishy, or turkey as the case may be. I’ve been watching The Chew and reading Thanksgiving recipes online and I was inspired to try something new. A sort of “dyslexic thanksgiving meal,” as one friend put it.

And so I created the Thanksgiving Pie.

Starts out with a layer of oatmeal mixed with brown sugar.
On top of that, canned pumpkin, mixed with pumpkin pie spice.
Sounds good so far…right???
But this is where it gets a little too weird…
Browned ground turkey with salt and pepper.
Homemade stuffing, i.e. sautéed carrots and celery with sage and rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, with some toasted bread crumbs and chicken soup stock.
And on top of that, canned cranberry sauce topped with a little bit of brown sugar.

The bottom layers were quite excellent, but when the turkey meshed with my wierdo stuffing a big thumbs down. BOOOOO!

Even though this was not a total success, I still learned a lot. Maybe hold off on combining sweet and savory?  Maybe I just should not have had the stuffing? And maybe I’ll try this again?

Until next time, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dina and Julia

13 Nov

When I was little and saw Julia Child on TV (and I was always watching TV), I thought she was weird and boring and always flipped past the channel quickly.

A few years later, while watching Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, I got reintroduced to Julia Child through her Belgian waffles and chocolate cake, which looked killer.

And then a few years ago, I saw Julie and Julia. Since then I have been a wee bit enamored with the legend. Meryl Streep was amazing and dead on, especially compared to the lackluster “Julie” portions of the film. Later on, at a book reading at my local Barnes and Noble (R.I.P), when I saw the real Julie Powell describing cheating on her husband and making cased sausages…the feeling was equally lackluster.

In the film, I love Julia’s passion for food, Paris and life. I was so inspired that I bought My Life in France, from which the film was partially adapted. In it I learned that Julia only found her passion for food when she was 36. Isn’t that amazing! It took Julia Child and her partner, Simone Beck, ten years to complete the manuscript and get Mastering the Art of French Cooking on book shelves 50 years ago. There was plenty of rejection, but Julia and Simone stuck to their guns with encouragement from another friend, Avis DeVoto.

I also learned that she spent a few years in Germany and Norway. Her husband’s career as a USIS (United States Information Service) officer forced them to move around the world based on his assignments, which is how she wound up in Paris in the first place.

When I was in Paris, I had the privilege of visiting Julia and Paul’s first apartment in Paris, 81 Roo de Loo (81 Rue de l’Universite) It was so cool to see the place where she first started cooking and slept as she fell in love with French cuisine. Walking around the quiet neighbor sandwiched between the Musee d’Orsay, Musee Rodin and Les Invalides, its no wonder she had such a wonderful time in the City of Lights.

Bon Appetit!

Eat the Chicken. Take the Broth.

4 Nov

I know Rosh Hashanah was a while ago but I must tell you about this amazing pomegranate chicken I made. It is from Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design, a great book with phenomenal ideas and very awkward commentary that I sometimes find myself copying (like when you try to describe wine with a hint of cherry in an oak barrel, but really it just tastes like wine.)

While the recipe was great, I had all of this wonderful chicken, pomegranate broth afterward that I just felt to guilty to throw out. Not only do I hate wasting food but stocks are some of the best ways to make soup or marinade meats.

So, after some thought, I saved the broth for about a week in a rubbermaid container and took out my Le Crueset dutch oven and went to my local butcher and asked for 1 lb. of brisket. They looked at me like I had 9 eyes and said how many people are you cooking for? I said 2 and they happily cut off a slab of beef. And so, I put the broth (after skimming the fat)  in the dutch oven with the brisket, let it come to a boil and simmered for 2-3 hours and VOILA a yummy flavorful slice of meat that was super easy to make and eat 🙂

Watermelon and Feta-What Could be Betta!?

12 Aug

OK, OK… I know summer is coming to an end (sob, sob…) and I totally missed National Watermelon Day, and Mark Bittman shared his fabulous recipe in the beginning of July, but it’s never to late to enjoy watermelon and feta.

Some people might say ewww, but this mix is just delightful. Seriously. And it so easy. Just cut watermelon and add feta cheese. If you hate cutting watermelon, just buy some pre-cut in your local supermarket.

If you feel like being fancy, check out some super duper tips on how to carve your watermelon into a masterpiece.

Other things you can add to watermelon and feta to make it terrific are:

Mint

Tomatoes

Chile powder

Quinoa

Ah, so refreshing!

Don’t Cry over Spoiled Chicken

29 Jul

Don’t you just hate it when you go to the supermarket (Jubilee) and buy spoiled chicken? I know I do. I was so excited to try this salad recipe from Real Simple which feature chicken as the star protein, when low a behold I opened my chicken that I had just purchased and it smelt a little ammonia-ish. I googled “spoiled chicken ammonia” and of course the Internet said it might be spoiled. Being that I love my stomach and hate food poisoning, I decided to forgo the chicken. But I didn’t feel like going back out to the supermarket. It was super hot and already 9 o’clock. So what’s a girl to do? Alas, in my freezer was frozen hamburger patties from Fairway. I quickly ran them under hot water so they would thaw a little and stuck them on my grill pan, sprinkling salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder on top.

Crisis averted! But what do I eat with these?? It was carb-free Monday so I reverted back to the Real Simple recipe, except I made a few changes as I don’t eat milk and meat together and I did not have said chicken. So here it goes:

2 cups Spinach (I get pre- washed, that’s how lazy I am)

1 avocado

2 corn on the cobs

¼ red onion chopped

½ lime

2 hamburger patties

salt and pepper to taste

1.Cut corn off the cob and microwave for 60 seconds.

2. Plate spinach, avocado, onion and corn and lie hamburger on top of salad.

3. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Squeeze lime on top of salad.

I enjoy a “grapefruit spritzer” on the side. Just a mixture of grapefruit juice and lemon/lime seltzer.

 

Doesn’t this look like a vacation in a meal? Where’s the pool?

 

As Seen on TV: Swivel Store

22 Jul

A few weeks ago, unwilling to embrace the heat, I went into a TV watching marathon. Part of this marathon included commercials. Never really someone to buy some of these things that are seen on TV, I decided to give it a go, because it looked useful.

One of the items I purchased was the Swivel Store. As someone who lives in NYC, space is a rare commodity. While most suburban homes have some sort of pantry, I have a few shelves to store my food. I usually try to buy what I need, but alas I end up storing things so that I don’t have to always run out. And so I purchased a swiveling spice rack.

Before my pantry had little space to spare with things sometimes falling out the cabinet.

And here is the after…

I like it! It holds up to 20 spices. And I can use it for crafts! (That’s what the commercial says.) The only problem is that not all spices fit into the space. A lot of them did, but the ones that did not had to clumsily sit where they usually are.

The final review: Good! If space is limited this is a great buy for $19.99 (plus S+H). They are pretty sturdy and they hold my spices nicely. The swiveling is not too awkward. However, if you do decide to purchase it be aware to think about the size of your spices. After all size does matter!

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

17 Jul

On the third Sunday of every July we celebrate National Ice Cream Day!

In honor of this awesome holiday put into effect by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, here is a round up of some yummy ice-cream/icy desert related announcements that I thought were worth a mention:

The View– Yummy ice-cream from around the country!

Real Simple– Blogging about ice cream never sounded sweeter. Great ideas to add a little umph to your fave flavor.

The New York Times– Ice pops gone wild with Mark Bittman.

 

In addition, I am posting an article I wrote for Tablet Magazine last summer. It’s all about Chozen Ice Cream, a company that incorporates Jewish themes  in their very tasty deserts.

Ice Cream Goes Kosher, and More

Approximately 1.54 billion gallons of ice cream are produced in the Unites States annually, according to an International Dairy Foods Association spokesperson. “Every major brand you can think of has a kosher symbol on most (not all) of its products,” Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, who oversees dairy product certification for OU Kosher, told me in an email. “A brief walk through the ice cream freezer aisle of any supermarket will testify to this.”

Now, kosher ice cream is getting a new face with Chozen, a Jewish sweets and holiday-inspired artisanal ice cream line that hit supermarket shelves this month with flavors like Matzoh Crunch, Coconut Macaroon, and Ronne’s Rugelach. (You’re probably thinking, didn’t I just see this today in that other daily Jewish magazine of life and culture? Yeah, well, Tablet Magazine tasted Chozen at its offices all the way back Monday afternoon. Just sayin’.)

Chozen is the brainchild of 62-year-old Ronne Fisher and her daughters, Isabelle, 34, and Meredith, 30. One evening in 2008, Ronne tells me, the family was doing a homemade mix-in of rugelach and vanilla, one of their typical culinary innovations. “We joked, ‘Wouldn’t it be delicious to just have ice cream with rugelach already in it?’” recalls Ronne. “‘Wouldn’t it be great to have sweet noodle pudding with ice cream, or potato pancakes with ice cream?’” (Let’s just stick with the rugelach for now!)

The company combines pastries from Green’s and other kosher bakeries in Brooklyn with ice cream produced at a kosher dairy in Ancramdale, New York, a small town near the Massachusetts border. Ronne Fisher drives a couple of hours to the dairy every other month. There she helps pour the delivered baked-goods into the churning vats of ice cream and labels the containers.

“I have never, let me say that again, never purchased processed desserts,” says Fisher. To determine which flavors Chozen would include, Ronne Fisher went to kosher markets and tasted hundreds of kinds of rugelach, babkas, macaroons, hamantaschens, and blintzes. “Invariably, I would taste something and then decide that I could make it better,” she says. The Fishers scoured kosher cookbooks for pastry ideas as well. “It’s not just about throwing a blintz or rugelach in vanilla ice cream,” says Fisher, “it’s about finding the essence of the rugelach.” Even if you don’t get a bite of rugelach in a given spoonful, for example, the ice cream itself should invoke that taste.

Fisher is at work refining Chocolate Babka and Apples and Honey ice creams, and is considering adding further new flavors down the road, including Chanukah Gilt, a milk-chocolate with edible gold sprinkles, and a halvah-flavored one.

For now, ice cream lovers in New York City who hunger for a taste of Passover can find Chozen at Garden of Eden, Pomegranate, and West Side Market. Come July 1, you can buy it online.

Margarita Korol

 

 

Go Nuts! Go Bananas! Go Ice Cream!