Tag Archives: review

Chicken – it’s what’s for dinner!

Last night’s chicken dinner was awesome. In fact, my 15 year old son said to me, “no offense Ima, but this tastes better than anything you ever made”. Ouch. But that was after he said “Mmmm, this chicken tastes………DEAD” so you can’t necessarily trust his opinion.

I did technically cook the chicken – but it came from Empire Kosher. And I cooked it in the microwave. It’s great – it’s a whole 3 lb chicken, pre-seasoned (garlic and hhhhherb*), you take it out of the packaging, pierce two small holes in the special microwave wrap that’s around the chicken, put it on a plate, in the microwave, press 20 minutes and DONE. No muss, no fuss. Easy Shmeasy. The way I like it! For busy parents, this is an easy dinner on a school night – just throw together some sides, and you have a great nutritious meal in TWENTY MINUTES.

Very soon after I put the chicken in the microwave, the delicious aroma of the cooking chicken wafted through the house, bringing boys running from all quarters. By the time that chicken came out of the oven the boys were salivating.

It really does look like that. Except no grapes and greenery!

I carved up the chicken – juices were leaking everywhere, which is a good thing! I served dinner – the chicken along with starch and a veggie, and we dug in.

The chicken was moist (“Wet” as one as the kids said…oy) and tender, flavorful and just plain perfect. Seriously. The only problem was that there wasn’t enough of it. It’s a 3 lb chicken. I have a husband, THREE teenage boys with hollow legs, and a nine year old. Plus myself – and we all know I love to eat. Luckily the oldest teen wasn’t here, or there would not have been enough.

The verdict was unanimous. Delicious and please can we have it again tomorrow.

So here’s what I have to say to the folks at EMPIRE. Awesome product – thanks for sending it to me. My kids had a blast telling their friends that we received a chicken in the mail. I am so thrilled to hear you have a BBQ version coming out soon – we plan to try that one as well. I hate carving chickens and turkeys and ducks – could you perhaps use the same awesome microwave technology and sell these fine fowl in pieces? Also – for those bigger families – can you sell bigger chickens – like 5 lb-ers – so that there is enough to go around?

Folks – this “microwaveable” chicken retails at around $10.99 in my area – which is good value seeing as it is pre-cleaned, pre-seasoned, pre-prepared and all you have to do is press a button or two on the microwave.

So from us here at the Hearts / Diamonds Palace – five thumbs up! (or should that be ten?)

*there is an H at the start of HERB – it needs to be pronounced.

Note: I was given this product free of charge. My review expresses my honest opinion and I was not paid in anyway for it.

AWESOMENESS – was just informed that this fall / winter season there will be microwaveable cutlets available – cook for 2 minutes 15 seconds each.  Those will be perfect for my son that eats lunch and supper in school!!

Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes – a Review

This is the second recipe book in Jamie Geller’s portfolio. I will apologize in advance for any gushing I do – her writing style, her honesty, her humour, her family stories, the hint of cooking aromas wafting around – they just totally pull me in. I can hear her voice in my head as I read her introductions and comments. When I first cracked open the book to read I was not in the best of moods, but by the time I had finished reading the introduction there was a huge grin on my face. Jamie’s easy writing style just resonates with the reader.

We were so excited when her book – yes I got a free copy – arrived at the house. My boys think I am now this huge cookbook expert. Nah, just an Ima who loves to cook and feed her family and is always looking for new recipes. When I told them that I had actually met Jamie, they were in awe. (Jamie – you have a few fans over here!)

What struck me as I initially paged through the book was that there were a lot of recipes that I knew the kids would enjoy as much as us adults. There are many books out there that you just know the kids are not going to even try most of the dishes because they look different, are unpronounceable, or, horror of horrors, don’t contain meat or potatoes!!

What I love about this book is that it was written with the busy mom in mind. We don’t all have six hours to prepare a gourmet supper, but we want to feed our families well, and healthfully. There is a 20 minute section, a 40 minute section, and a 60 minute section and none of the recipes are complicated. Jamie is a very busy mom herself – she knows firsthand that we moms don’t have time for complicated. (Truth be told, her kids are little – how she even has time to cook AND write a book I don’t know!! I take my (chef’s) hat off to her).

In this book, with most of the main dishes, she has added the recipe for a complementary side dish on the same page. This makes life so much simpler – instead of scratching your head about what to serve the answer is there right in front of you. Of course, as in her previous book, there is a wine recommendation for every main dish.

Something that we will be trying soon is the Beef and Green Bean Stir Fry – my Squiggy has started creating in the kitchen and loves Chinese food. This recipe is easy enough for a teen to follow, but sophisticated enough for adult taste. Also on the list for next week is Beef Sausage and Pepper Rolls – anything with sausage in it will go down well. I just recently introduced my boys to red beans and rice. We cook it up and add shredded cheese, some veggie sausage – delish. Jamie has a recipe in this new book entitled “Skillet Red Beans and Rice with Ground Beef” – it’s almost as if she heard one of my boys when he complained that we always had beans and rice as a dairy meal, can’t I make it a meat meal one time?! Thanks Jamie!

As many of you know, if you follow me on facebook and twitter, I cook up a storm every Friday, for Shabbat. I also do this for the holidays too. I generally cook a 3 or 4 course meal plus I bake challahs. I try to make something different every week for Shabbat and for the various holidays, but there are a few dishes that are staples. In Meals in Minutes Jamie has put in a section called Holiday Meals where she provides you with recipes for the entire menu – fish through to dessert, no wondering what to make, all you have to do is cook it. There are recipes for Shabbat, Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot etc. All mouthwatering, and all guaranteed to wow your family and guests!

Jamie brings her own unique voice to cooking – you feel her with you as you cook, or as I like to say “create”, in the kitchen. She understands your culinary needs. This book Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes will be a great addition to your kitchen. Every recipe I have ever made from her books has always succeeded. Her recipes are fool-proof. In fact, I have a buddy who is a single guy, and he swears by Jamie’s first book – he says that if he can cook successfully from her recipes, then anyone can!!

This would make a great Chanukah gift for the cook in your life, or even for yourself. Go on, treat yourself. There are 134 mouthwatering photos in this book and 215 recipes. This is not just a functional cookbook – it is gorgeous too!! This book is available online at Feldheim.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Kosher.com and your local Jewish bookstores.

Visit Jamie’s kitchen on kosher.com.

Happy Cooking!!

Kosher by Design – Teens and 20- Somethings.

A Review

The above titled book is the newest in the Kosher By Design series by Susie Fishbein. This book is aimed at the younger crowd, giving them the knowledge of how to make some of their favourite take-out treats at home in their own kitchen as well as teaching them how to make some more sophisticated dishes.

Within 10 minutes of me opening the box containing the book, my oldest son begged me to pass him on the book when I was finished with it. He is 15 and this book is right up his alley. I saw him poring over the recipes, salivating with delight. At one point he even said “this cooking business doesn’t even seem so complicated”. I had hoped that before this review went up I would have a chance to cook with him, but school gets in the way.

As usual, the food photography in this book is out of this world. The pictures can almost get you to smell the delectable treats portrayed on the page. The pages are brightly designed and give the book a fun feel. However, none of us in this house like the cover. I understand the vibe that they were looking for, but we think it missed its mark. What is that? A lemon? A melon? A squash?

I like the fact that the recipes are (as usual) easy to follow, but not dumbed down at all. Susie knows that her readers need certain things explained as they are the less experienced-in-the-kitchen crowd, but she does it without any condescension.

Chocolate Tart in Pretzel Crust

As readers of this blog know, I am all about feeding my family and love to cook up a storm, and I am always looking for new recipes. Out of all the recipes that I saw the one that I absolutely have to try is the Parmesan Quinoa – I have been looking for a way to cook Quinoa that we all will like and this looks easy and oh so yummy!! I am thinking I can add in some red or pink beans to add some protein to it, and it’s a great lunch!

There are recipes for fun stuff like Pizza Soup, Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast (nom nom nom), Frozen Banana Pops, Cappuccino Mousse, and recipes for salads, meat and chicken, fish too. Your budding chef will have a lot of fun choosing recipes to make to impress their friends.

Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast

I hover over my boys in the kitchen. I do. I need to trust them more, but most recipes are written for the experienced cook and the teen people can get confused. When they will use this KBD book to cook from, I can take more of a back seat. There will be less confusion and a lot more fun. Of course, I will want in on the fun….Aren’t I still a teen at heart?

At the end of the book she has written a section on parties – different ideas, what to serve, what to do – it’s the all inclusive how to throw an awesome party and serve yummy eats and be the most popular teen on the block!!

Chanukah is coming – this book will make an awesome gift for your kids, nieces and nephews. I give it two thumbs up.

(Can I make a confession? When looking through cookbooks sometimes I imagine cooking with the author. I have dreams of having a marathon cooking session with 4 phenomenal chefs/authors. Susie Fishbein, Norene Gilletz, Pam Reiss and Jamie Geller. Oh the skills we could learn from these fabulous chefs!! I also dream of having my own cooking show…..But I digress.)

Please enter my giveaway in order to be eligible to win a copy of this fabulous book. You can also download the recipe index here for free.

Preorder your copy today at ArtScroll.com – enter the coupon code KBDBLOG at checkout to save 10% and receive free shipping in the continental U.S. Join us online to find more reviews and giveaway contests! Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation is aimed at the young and digital-savvy fast-food generation and those who cook for them. Susie Fishbein is an everyday cook who loves to share her passion for cooking and entertaining with friends and family. Her enthusiasm for food and entertaining led to the creation of her best-selling cookbook, Kosher by Design, published in 2003 by ArtScroll Shaar Press. For more recipes and updates, visit our blog or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.