At first I was a bit skeptical. First of all, I already love to cook, and I didn’t love the idea of a cookbook that created shortcuts. But once I went perusing through, I discovered it was a real gem, and not only for the helpful hints for new parents (which there are plenty).
For example, I love her recipe for Baked Macaroni with Ricotta, Spinach and Mint, a flavor combination I would have loved to whip up, parent or not. Or the Honey Soy Roasted Salmon – another delicious sounding dish with a simple, quality recipe.
But perhaps the best features of the cookbook are her tips for turning an adult meal into baby food, for each recipe. She also has a section of “Quick Suppers,” and a section for easy, entertaining food items to have on hand when people drop-in unannounced (which she says, they will), including jarred olives, marcona almonds, crackers and breadsticks.
Disclaimer: While the author is Jewish, the cookbook is not kosher though nevertheless packed with kosher-friendly and vegetarian dishes.
In short, this is a winner and I highly recommend as a great gift for the new parent or short-on-time cook in your life.
When I was a kid I was only aware of one cookbook. Not the Joy of Cooking. Not Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Not Kosher By Design. No, for me it was Alphabet Soup, the cookbook published by my Solomon Schechter school and featuring the recipes of my teachers and my friends’ parents. Later, when I was in college, my minyan put together a cookbook that I still use all the time. I still own both of these cookbooks and they are covered in flour and stains and have notes written in the margins the way any good cookbook should.
I don’t want to knock professionally published cookbooks. I just got Plenty and it’s divine. You’ve already heard me wax poetic about Leah’s Koenig’s Hadassah Everyday Cookbook. It’s drop dead gorgeous and chock full of deliciousness. The Book of New Israeli Food will make you drool. But, there is something so wonderful and authentic about a cookbook full of tried and true recipes from people you trust and maybe even love. That’s why whenever I am at a used bookstore I go to the food section and look for Bnai Brith cookbooks, and recipes collected by the Junior League of Cleveland or what have you.
For years now, the most used recipe source in my life has been a cookbook my sister’s and I made for my mom before she died. It’s called Vixens in the Kitchen (get it? Cuz we’re foxes) and it’s full of recipes that we love and have made hundreds of times. We included pictures, and notes, and used the fancy program at tastebook.com to create something really beautiful. Something that I still use to plan my Shabbat menu pretty much every week.
So what’s your favorite cookbook? And what cookbook taught you to cook?
This week on our book blog Members of the Scribe, we’re hosting guest-blogger Stanley Ginsburg, author of Inside the Jewish Bakery. In his first post today, he’s asking a question that’s astounded and confounded us for years — what exactly does calling something a “Jewish bakery” mean?
I have to confess, I was stunned: no one had ever asked me that question, nor, indeed, had I ever asked it of myself. In my world, everyoneknows what a Jewish bakery is – a bakery that sells Jewish baked goods.
But here’s where it gets complicated. What exactly are “Jewish baked goods?” The ones that come first to mind – bagels, rugelach, onion rolls, challah – appear to be no-brainers, but in fact all can be traced back through their
Yiddish forebears to the gentile Central and Eastern European societies in which the Jews found themselves living at various times.
And while you’ve got Jewish bakeries on the brain (stomach), here are a few of our favorite recipes:
Happy Hanukkah! Happy eating!
The Awl has an interesting post up about a cookbook called Political Pot Luck: A Collection of Recipes from Men Only, published in 1959 by the Peninsular Publishing Company in Tallahassee. The recipes range from sounding pretty good, to sounding obscenely sexist. There’s some good spoon bread, some racist turkey, and a “recipe” for chicken that will make your blood boil.
It got me thinking about Israeli politicians—is there a cookbook of their recipes? I vaguely remembered reading that Golda Meir loved to spend time in her kitchen. Are her recipes available for aspiring politicians and chefs? Turns out…not so much. She was kind of private with her gefilte fish recipe, and mostly drank coffee and smoked a lot. But I did find an article that gives her recipe for “Kibbutz Breakfast.” It doesn’t look particularly exciting to me, but it’s still kind of cool.
Incidentally, it’s hard to google search for recipes by Israeli politicians, because when you search “[Name of Israeli Politician] recipe” you get lots of hits that say “[Name of Israeli Politician]’s plan is a recipe for disaster.” Doesn’t matter which politician you use, they all are apparently recipes for disaster.
For the dressing:
3 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp oil
1 tsp mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper to taste
Head of lettuce,
1 green pepper
3 green onions
1 hard boiled egg
Chop up the green onion and tear the lettuce.
Grate the carrots and the egg and chop up the rest of the vegetables into small pieces.
Put them all in a large salad bowl.
Whip up the dressing ingredients and pour on the salad before serving. Toss gently.