Tag Archives: food

HSM is Guest Blogging over on Kosher Eye

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Time saving – not really

Us busy mothers use some shortcuts sometimes in order to get good meals on the table. Friday night I was planning to serve a chicken pot pie. It needs pastry. With everything else I was cooking for Shabbat, I just didn’t have the time to make a pastry from scratch, so I bought frozen pastry. I defrosted it so I could spend 5 minutes rolling it out. Imagine my surprise when I found lumps of margarine still within the dough. It had not been blended properly. So I now had to spend time that I didn’t budget for remixing this pastry. How did this save me time? Do they not have quality control at these manufacturers? I was most ticked off.

Plus there was eggshell for the second week running in our gefilte fish. I buy the frozen loaves and boil them up – I will be writing to the company to complain. At the prices I pay for their fish there should be no egg shells anywhere in my food.

I guess I have yet to take my Grumpitol and Snarkitol this morning….

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Food and Mood

Do you eat more when you are sad or depressed or lonely? Or do you not eat? What food makes you feel better? What food makes you feel worse? Does eating actually improve your mood or your outlook?

Personally, when I am in a dejected and low mood, food is the last thing on my mind. I have no appetite. I eat really well when I am happy. Just curious how it is for other people.

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Meatloaf Discussion

Over Pesach I made Pam Reiss’s delicious meatloaf (I would post the recipe here, but I already put the book away with the Pesach stuff….). It was a huge hit – so much so that I made it twice, and the second time, I made two – one with Pam’s delicious tomato sauce topping, and one without for the purists.

So the KoD got to reminiscing about his mother’s meatloaf that he insists she used to make with mashed potatoes in the middle of it. I told him it’s impossible as the meatloaf would squash the potatoes as it cooks. We even asked his mom, who maintains that she put the mashed taters on top and hard boiled eggs in the middle of the meatloaf. KoD is sure we are all wrong!!

In your experience, is it possible to make a meatloaf with mashed potatoes in the middle?

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Honesty about food costs

I shouldn’t be surprised by folk any more. Yet I am.

A friend of mine had updated her Facebook status yesterday about how gosh darned expensive kosher for Passover food is. A friend of hers responded with a question – whether she would share that information with her husband, or keep the amount spent to herself.

Why on earth would anyone keep secret the amount of money spent on food? It’s not like she went out and bought 17 pairs of shoes. That might be something that she would need to hide (although hiding any info from a spouse is big no-no in my book).

This is food for Passover and her husband, any Jewish husband, knows that it costs an arm and a leg, and maybe another arm besides. IMHO anyone that believes they need to hide this cost from their spouse needs to seriously take a look at the honesty in their marriage.

Do you keep ANY secrets from your spouse?

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Passover, a Kosher Collection (Book Review)

Passover, a Kosher Collection, by Pam Reiss.

Ever since this book arrived in my mailbox I have looked forward to having the time to just sit down and devour it without disruption. I love cookbooks. I love the pictures, I love the recipes, I love the stories behind the recipes. I love feeding my family in new and clever ways. I finally found the time to indulge and was in food nirvana.

Pam Reiss’s new cookbook, specially aimed at Passover (Pesach), is a delicious romp through culinary heaven. The decadent chocolate tart on the front cover is a real taste of things to come.

I am a traditionalist at heart, especially when it comes to holidays. I used to have  this mind set that Pesach cooking has to be difficult and complicated, so why bother doing anything out of the ordinary. The kids fill up on matzah, and potatoes and eggs, I will make a huge chicken soup and that’s it. No longer.

Reading my way, nay, savouring my way through Pam’s book I was struck by how simple the recipes are. Ok, some do call for a lot of ingredients, but that’s just how recipes are on Pesach. The majority of the ingredients are those a good cook would have on hand and there aren’t many complicated procedures to go through.

Pam mixes the traditional with the new. There are recipes for gefilte fish and chicken soup alongside Greek Stuffed Mushroom Caps and Kabocha Pear Soup. She has included recipes for 13 salads – one must have variety through all those holiday meals. There are side dishes galore – and they aren’t all potato related! Plenty of kugels for the traditionalists from potato, to apple raisin farfel kugel to cauliflower, leek and zucchini kugel.

Pam’s main courses are mouth watering. Unlike all the other Pesach cookbooks in my library, Pam includes dairy dishes as well as meat and poultry, fish and vegetarian too. She has included the traditional briskets and roast chickens. However I cannot wait to try the shakshuka, and eggplant parmesan, and was thrilled to see directions on how to make my own ricotta. Didn’t know one could do that so easily!! One recipe I look forward to trying this Passover is her Chicken Pot Pie with Mashed Potato Crust. My family loves my chametzdik CPP – I am sure I can wow them with her Pesachdik one. I always use the chicken left over from making chicken soup for my pie, and that is exactly what Pam suggests.

There are so many main dishes to choose from – we could eat a different meal every night of Passover and still have plenty recipes left to try. I love that there is an Osso Bucco recipe – who would have thought to make that on Pesach, but there is absolutely no reason why not. Change it up a little bit!

One thing I have never done for Pesach, is baked desserts. The amounts of eggs that go into everything coupled with no flour or magic baking powder, it was always much easier to buy the desserts. Reading Pam’s yummy dessert recipes and seeing photos of her confections has helped changed my mind. I will be attempting to replicate at least some of her delectable desserts. There are biscotti and mandlebroit, pancakes and matzah rolls, meringues and cookies, cakes and macaroons, cheesecakes and birthday cakes, several different types of tortes, crème brulee, brownies and pavlova. No one even needs to know that they are eating Passover desserts. There is no way that they could tell the difference.

Pam guides you through her recipes step by step. You do not need a degree from culinary school in order to whip up these delicious meals. You just need patience and time to spend creating wonderful meals for your family. Your family will look at Pesach in a whole new light after you cook for them from this book. You will be creating even more awesome family memories.

This book makes an awesome gift for any chef who is planning to be cooking for the upcoming holiday, or a must buy for anyone that truly wants to feed their family better food on Pesach from now on. Personally, I cannot wait to have my kitchen all Pesachified and full of the Kosher for Pesach food, so that I can start cooking up a storm. For me, Passover, a Kosher Collection, will be front and center, a major part of my pre-Pesach preparations and Pesach celebrations, not just this year, but every year.

To order your copy online, please go to www.pamreiss.com.

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WWYD – mealtime

My kids go to their dad for dinner one night a week. They are always complaining they never get fed food that they like and it’s always healthy stuff, sometimes vegetarian foods including tofu. (My boys are very much meat and potatoes types of guys) It has got to the point that before they leave they take inventory of my fridge to see what there is to eat when they come home. I feed them healthily, but never tofu because, well, I just don’t do tofu.

They invariably come home ravenous. They do not ask me to cook anything for them on those nights, because they know I won’t (it’s my night off), but they descend on the fridge like vultures. I have told them to discuss their culinary concerns with their dad and step mom. I would feel awful if I cooked them a meal and they didn’t eat. Doesn’t matter if I am biologically related or not. It’s rude not to eat food put in front of you.

Is this my concern, or not? By allowing them to eat when they get home am I sabotaging their mealtime at their Dad’s? They say they do eat there, or pretend to, and are not rude.

What would you do?

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Is there an elf in there?

My refrigerator is once again full of food, ready to cook for Shabbat, and to keep the boychik’s tummies filled for the next few days. Seriously, there is no more room in there for anything. I feel fortunate and blessed (and tired and broke).

So if the fridge is FULL, tell me why it is that each and every one of my four boys will come home from school, tell me about their day, and within the course of one conversation will have opened and closed the fridge seventeen and a half times. Then they will go over to the pantry, well stocked and overflowing, open that door eleventeen times. Then they will go back to the fridge, ask what’s for supper and when (it is always at 6 pm in this house. Rarely changes. But they still have to ask) and then they complain there is nothing to eat. Just to make sure of this, they have to open the fridge one more time.

Sometimes I put out a tray of carrots and celery and cut up cucumber with chummus to keep them going until all are home and supper is on the table. But that still doesn’t stop them opening and closing that fridge. What do they think? That the contents will change in between looks? That all of a sudden it will be filled with soda and barely-nutritious snacks? That if they open it real fast they will catch the fridge elf drinking beer sitting with his feet propped up on the margarine?

Why do they do this?

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Enjoy your food

Enjoy your food. What a concept! Food should be tasted before being swallowed. One inhales fragrances and such, not food. Savour it, taste it, enjoy the textures on your tongue before swallowing. Sigh.

What the heck is the rush with eating and teenage boys? They shovel the food in, as if there is no tomorrow, as if they have not been fed in months! You have spent an hour slaving over a hot stove, and the food is gone in sixty seconds. 2 hours later (if I’m lucky) the bottomless pits are hungry again. There should be a revolving door on my pantry and my fridge. Even better, we should live at the grocery store.

Thank God I am able to feed them healthy food as often as they need it. Thank God I am healthy that I can spend inordinate amounts of time cooking in the kitchen, preparing them their favourite dishes. Thankfully they have learned how to wash dishes and clean up after themselves because all this food preparation exhausts me some days. At least they go to school so my kitchen can stay pristine for a couple of hours in the day!!

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Food Poll

grocery1Help me out here. I am doing a very informal poll amongst those of us who do the shopping, or most of it,  for the family. How much do you spend per person per week just on food. Please say if you are kosher, vegetarian etc. How many meat meals per week do you serve? What is the age spread of the people in your house? If you have teenagers – how do you manage to keep them fed? Do boys eat more than girls? What is your cheapest meal to make, but that satisfies all the people in your house? Do the kids eat school lunches, or do they pack a lunch? Is there anything else you want to add – any tips and tricks?

Edited to Add – please pop over to fill out the Jewish Economics Survey, and check out the posts on SerandEz about the economic future of the Jewish Community.

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