Now that the cold weather is here, I enjoy preparing comfort food. One of my favorite dishes is very easy and economical. I use frozen green beans and freshly ground beef to prepare my favorite winter casserole.
The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls to divest from Israel, to boycott Israeli products and academics, and to attack Israelis and Jews, is gaining strength every day.
One meaningful way that we can all fight back is by supporting Israel financially, one purchase at a time.
Whenever I celebrate an occasion here in the U.S., I make it more special with purchases from Israel. By purchasing Israeli products, I support Israel’s domestic economy and its international image, and get to share the bounty of the country of my birth.
If you order Israeli products from Amazon through the links in this article, The Philadelphia Jewish Voice gets a percentage of the sales, so we can support another good cause at the same time!
I invite you to join me in investing in Israel.
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Healthy butterfingers are candy bars that defy all logic. They are perhaps one of the most underrated chocolate candy bars in the market. Many people claim that they are palatable and nothing more.
My homemade raw butterfingers have the same toffee-like crunch as do the commercialized butterfingers, but unlike the original version, these butterfingers candy bars are whole grain, high in iron, and completely void of high-fructose corn syrup. Plus, the filling does not stick to one’s teeth as much.
Learning how to make homemade butterfingers is not a far stretch from making homemade snickers bars. The methods are quite similar and the flavors are comparable.
This vegan butterfingers recipe does not get any easier. Unlike many vegan butterfingers recipes, mine does not require any cooking. Peanut butter and peanuts are recommended for this recipe, but you can use almonds and almond butter if you have a peanut allergy.
Ingredients for 8 to 10 bars:
- 1 1/2 cup of bran flakes, corn flakes, or dried white mulberries. (You can use rice cakes, although the texture would not be as authentic.)
- 3/4 cup of peanut or almond butter
- 1/2 cup of pitted, soaked dates
- 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts or almonds
- 2 tablespoons of agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- Bittersweet chocolate chips
- Pulse the bran flakes, corn flakes, or dried white mulberries in a food processor until crumbly.
- Add the remaining six ingredients and pulse until large, sticky clumps form. Add more agave or syrup if the dough is not holding together.
- Pour the dough and spread it out evenly onto a prepared 8×8 pan.
- Cover and freeze for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.
- In the meantime, melt chocolate chips, in a microwave or over a double boiler, and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the freezer and cut into bars while they are still in the pan.
- Gently pour melted chocolate over each bar.
- Return them to the freezer and freeze for an hour before serving. Store them in the freezer if you wish to retain their crunchiness.
Challah Maidel blogs about healthy kosher eating.
— by Elana Horwich
Brisket is incredibly easy to make and pretty hard to mess up: You can add a little too much of this, or a bit too little of that, but as long as you have a few basics, all of the flavors will meld perfectly with time in the oven to bring you a delicious, juicy brisket.
The problem with many briskets, however, is that they are either too sweet, too dry and/or too fatty. Furthermore, they can be both too dry and too fatty.
The brisket cut of meat is historically poor man’s food; it cost less than tender cuts of meat like filet mignon, but if cooked long enough will be just as tender.
One of the most exotic foods for Rosh Hashanah comes from the Ethiopian Jewish community, or Beta Israel.
Yemarima yewotet dabo is a special type of bread, sweetened with honey and infused with spices.
The Kaffa province, located in southwestern Ethiopia, is famous for its mountain rainforests covered with coffee trees. This is where coffee originated. The province also has Africa’s largest population of honeybees. These bees produce a very special type of honey, flavored with the nectar of the coffee tree flowers.
The coffee plant is related to the gardenia family, and the honey produced from its nectar is light and aromatic. Ethiopians have historically taken advantage of this abundance of honey and incorporated it into their foods and drinks.
Baking yemarima yewotet dabo is a very ancient tradition. The dabo is baked in a traditional clay pot called a shakla dist. The Beta Israel women are renown for their pottery making skills, a craft which is passed from mother to daughter.
The inside of the shakla dist was lined with fresh banana leaves. This was to prevent the dough from sticking to the vessel.
After the dough was poured in, more banana leaves were layered over it. Then the pot was tightly covered.
This “Dutch oven” was placed on the hot coals, and then some coals were positioned on top of its lid. After about 30 minutes, the pot was removed from the fire. The banana leaves were peeled off, and the aromatic bread was ready.
In 1984, Beta Israel came to Israel with Operation Moses, and brought their distinctive Rosh Hashanah bread with them. You may bake some honey dabo in your oven.
Yemarima Yewotet Dabo: Spiced Ethiopian Honey Bread
Adapted from What’s 4 Eats
- 5 cups flour
- 1/2 cup organic wildflower honey
- 2 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the yeast in a bowl with ¼ cup warm water. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the honey, egg, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and coriander.
- Add the yeast mixture to the honey and spices.
- Pour in 1 cup of warm milk and 6 tablespoons of melted butter.
- Mix in the flour.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the bowl, and knead.
- Shape into a round loaf.
- Place the loaf on a cookie sheet covered with banana leaves or parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake the bread for 60 minutes.
I chose to bake the bread much as it had been prepared in Ethiopia.
I purchased frozen banana leaves and followed the package directions. First, I defrosted them for a couple of hours. Then, I rinsed them with cold water, and dried them off with paper towels. This removed the sap and white powdery substance that naturally occur on the leaves.
I lined my baking dish with the leaves, and using scissors, cut them to the desired size. I placed the dough in the baking dish and put it in the oven. As the bread started baking, the banana leaves imparted a smell reminiscent of tea steeping. The leaves themselves are not edible.
After one hour, the dabo was finally ready. I pulled out the golden, crusty loaf, which gave off an earthy aroma. Impatiently, I sliced it while it was still hot. It had a wonderful, moist, spongy texture, with a crackly crust. It was not too sweet, with only a hint of spices.
This bread is delicious on its own, or with more honey, and of course, a cup of Ethiopian coffee.
Melkam Addis Amet: Shanah Tovah!
Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of love, is believed to be a fortuitous time to find one’s bashert, or “soulmate.”
Throughout history, people have tried to help move the process along by concocting love potions.
This year, the holiday begins at sunset on August 11. Below are three of the most popular “love potions.” [Read more…]
Let’s face it, when we are stressed out, food is a great comfort. When we are talking comfort food, how can chocolate not immediately come to mind?
Chocolate brownies are a great way to deliver the king of all sweets. I have been through many brownie recipes. Some I like because they are very quick to make, others, because they are just decadent and over the top. Recently, I found a recipe that I think has to be the Holy Grail of brownie recipes. It is everything a real classic brownie should be. It uses lots of chocolate and then a little more, and the result is one of the most chocolaty, lush, rich brownies you will ever eat.
So for times like these, as well as for times that are less stressful but just call for a good brownie, here is my recipe for Lush Chocolate Brownies.
Lush Chocolate Brownies
- 275 g (10 oz) dark chocolate
- 225 g (8 oz) butter or margarine
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (225 g/8 oz) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 115 g (4 oz) or just under 1 cup self raising flour
- 115 g (4 oz) chocolate chips (dark or white)
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
- Melt the chocolate and butter together over low heat till smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla, and then stir in the melted chocolate.
- Fold in the flour, chocolate chips and pecans.
- Line a 30×20 cm (12×8 in) baking tin with baking paper, and spray with cooking spray. Pour the mixture in and bake for 35-40 minutes. Do not over-bake if you want a gooey brownie.
- Leave to cool and then cut into squares.
Makes 12 large brownies.
Nothing says summer at the Jersey shore more than a mouthful of sticky salt water taffy.
Salt water taffy originated in Atlantic City in the summer of 1883. That year, a powerful storm caused flooding, soaking all the taffy for sale in the shops along the boardwalk. As the storm subsided, children still wanted to purchase taffy. One enterprising store owner named David Bradley jokingly told them he could sell them “salt water taffy.” When the customers tasted the ocean-soaked candy, they loved it. A Jersey shore summer tradition was born.
You can make your own salt water taffy at home. You won’t need any ocean water, just some sea salt.
Salt Water Taffy
Adapted from The Exploratorium
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup water
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- A few drops of grape juice, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, or blueberry juice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the sugar and cornstarch in a large pot over medium heat.
- Stir in the water, sea salt, corn syrup, and butter.
- Keep stirring the mixture until it begins to boil.
- Continue cooking the mixture until it reaches a temperature of 270 degrees Fahrenheit (check with a candy thermometer).
- As the taffy is cooking, dip a pastry brush in warm water and paint the inner sides of the pot with it.
- When the taffy reaches a temperature of 270 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pot from the fire.
- Mix in a few drops of fruit juice for color, and the vanilla extract, and baking soda.
- Pour the hot taffy onto a buttered cookie sheet.
- Once the taffy is cool enough to be handled, butter your hands.
- Pull the taffy for about 10 minutes to aerate it.
- Roll the pulled taffy into a rope.
- Butter a sharp knife, and cut the rope into candy-sized pieces (about ½ inch).
- When the salt water taffy has cooled completely, wrap each piece in wax paper, twisting the ends.
|— by Sarina Roffé
We get so many of our eating habits from when we are children, that it is important to teach them good habits at a young age. It seems that childhood obesity has become a national epidemic. In my granddaughter’s school this year, junk food was forbidden with lunch. The rule was a protein, a veggie and a fruit. No chips, pretzels or cookies. Lunches became more difficult when the school became a peanut free zone, and we now had to think harder about lunches. The no snack rule permeated the school and because it was a school-wide, the children learned not to expect junk food. Teaching children these good habits helps them to live a healthier lifestyle. It also helps your children avoid being overweight.
|There are many ways to make healthy food fun for your child. A few hints. Make sandwiches fun by using cookie cutters and letting them cut out shapes in their sandwiches. Slice carrots and use cherry tomatoes or other veggies to make faces on a sandwich. Use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and banana slices to make food art – a butterfly, or caterpillar. Make faces out of rice cakes using apple slices for ears. Make orange juice ice pops during the summer. As parents, it is our responsibility to promote healthy eating in our children so that it becomes a habit. Check out the recipes on our website and in our app, due out later this summer.Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisine is a collection of kosher family recipes derived from Esther Cohen Salem, Sarina’s grandmother, and Renee Salem Missry, her mother. The authentic recipes in the cooking app were handed down from mother to daughter with love and are traditional foods found in the Levant.|
A wonderful way to extract all the vitamins from broccoli is to eat it raw.
My refreshing summer salad combines cut-up broccoli, roasted peanuts, and an Oriental-style dressing for a delicious, crunchy treat.