Challah Hot Dogs

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Its officially hot dog season if ever there was one, and I freely admit: I love hot dogs. I have even found a way to combine a love of hot dogs with a love of challah with my famous challah dogs.

What are challah dogs you might be wondering? Well it’s my answer to the bagel dog, or the pretzel dog. And one of the great things about this recipe is you can use any challah recipe you prefer. The key is rolling your challah into roughly 3 oz size pieces and then snaking it around the hot dogs. I brush them simply with a beaten egg before adding toppings.

challah dog process1

Photo credit Emily Goodstein Photography

And the challah dogs are all about fun toppings. I like making an “everything bagel” topping by combining 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp poppy seeds, 1 Tbsp dried garlic (whole pieces, not garlic powder), 1 Tbsp dried onion (whole pieces, not onion powder) and 1/2 Tbsp thick sea salt and then sprinkling it on top.

You can also top with poppy seeds, black sesame seeds or even caraway seeds.

These are such a fun appetizer for your summer parties, Shabbat dinners, game-watching nights or even kids’ birthday parties. Make a big batch and don’t count on leftovers. Can you make them and reheat them? Yes actually you can. They are always better immediately out of the oven, but I have also served them several hours later either reheated or at room temperature. Abeles & Heymann are my favorite hot dog to use (have you entered our giveaway yet??) but like the challah dough, you can use any brand you like.

challah dogs3

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Posted on June 25, 2015

FREE STUFF: Abeles & Heymanns Hot Dogs for Your 4th of July Barbecues

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The 4th of July is just around the corner, and so we are all starting to menu plan for the picnics, barbecues, and cookouts (or whatever you call them) we will be hosting. Hot dogs are a quintessential 4th of July food, and three very lucky readers are about to win a whole bunch of delicious kosher hot dogs and deli meats from the award-winning brand Abeles & Heymann.

Never heard of Abeles & Heymann? In addition to being our favorite brand of kosher hot dogs, they make pastrami, corned beef, salami, bologna, beef fry, kishka, and even reduced fat and sodium hot dogs. Although they are a small company, they have been ranked No. 1 by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, The New York Daily News and The Forward. Not too shabby.

assorted Abeles & Heymann

Each winner will receive a box that will include at least 8 different Abeles & Heymann’s products valuing $75. So even if you weren’t planning a party, now might be a good time to invite a few friends over.

Please note, you must live in the U.S. in order to be eligible. Winners will be notified on Sunday, June 28th in order to receive the package in time for July 4th weekend. To enter to win, please click below to follow directions. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on June 23, 2015

Lemon and Herb Roast Potatoes with Harissa Mayo

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I love roasted potatoes for Friday night, but sometimes they can get a bit boring. Of course you can dress up your potatoes with za’atarmustard or even truffle oil just to name a few of the hundreds of ways you can make roasted potatoes.

But I have been perusing a lot of middle eastern cookbooks lately and I got it into my head to make a harissa dipping sauce to go with potatoes. What is harissa? It’s a spicy chili paste native to North African cuisine and varies from country to country but typically includes dried chilis, garlic, olive oil and spices like coriander, cumin, caraway and mint.

harissa

If you have never made harissa before, don’t get scared. It is much easier than you might imagine. I really liked this how-to guide from The Kitchn which explains how to use various ingredients to make the spicy paste. When I went to make this recipe for Shabbat last week I opened my cabinet and was like “Oh f@$%ck! I don’t have any of the right kinds of peppers.” But I ended up using two different kinds of dried peppers that I did have, a regular old red bell pepper I roasted under my broiler, garlic cloves, fresh mint, olive oil and tomato paste. There are countless ways to make harissa, so you can use what you have on hand, research your favorite combination or (gasp) just buy some at the supermarket.

lemon potatoes marinating

At the last minute I decided to marinate my potato wedges in lemon, herbs, garlic and olive oil for a complimentary flavor to the spicy harissa and I was not disappointed. If you have the time, I would recommend marinating your potatoes 1-2 hours ahead of time to intensify the flavors.

These were anything but boring Friday night potatoes and there wasn’t a single leftover potato during cleanup. You can go back to simple roast potatoes next week, but why not try something a little different this week.

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Posted on June 18, 2015

Check out the Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair in New York This Weekend

Digital Street Fair2

For the second year in a row I’ll be out of town and missing out on The Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair, taking place this Sunday, June 21st in New York City. And I am seriously bummed. Last year there were so many delicious-looking Jewish eats on hand and this year there is going to be even more.  More Jewish food!

Vendors will include Mile End Deli, who are serving up smoked meat and turkey, Breads Bakery, who will have their famous rugelach, babka and borekas on hand, Kossar’s will have their famous bialys, Shelsky’s of Brooklyn will be serving up sandwiches once again and Georgian restaurant Marani will be serving traditional khachhapouris.

Photo credit Clay Williams

If you’re not sure what to do with dad on Father’s Day,  I can’t think of anything better than a Jewish food street fair. Did I mention there is going to be an egg cream competition at 2:00 pm? This is literally the definition of FOMO.

But just because I can’t go doesn’t mean you can’t. The Taste of Jewish Culture will be taking place from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sixth Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets in Manhattan. It is free and open to the public and will include the following list of vendors, the ones with a little star * are certified kosher. If you go make sure to snap some photos on your phone and post them to our Facebook page or tag #noshthis on Twitter and Instagram so we can follow along (and drool).

Full list of vendors:

Baz Bagel
Black Seed Bagels
Breads Bakery
Brooklyn Seltzer Boys with Gefilteria
Brooklyn Sesame
Court Street Grocers
Dassara Brooklyn Ramen with Scharf & Zoyer
Guss’s Pickles*
Judy’s Knishes
Kossar’s Bialys*
La Newyorkina
Marani*
Mile End Delicatessen
OddFellows Ice Cream Co.
Sage Kitchen*
Shelsky’s of Brooklyn: Appetizing and Delicatessen
Taim*
Photo credit Clay Williams

Photo credit Clay Williams

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Posted on June 16, 2015

Sweet Potato Quinoa Veggie Burgers

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You’re back in your summer BBQ groove and have invited friends for a day of sizzling fun. Just as you’ve settled into your menu choices, you realize that one of your guests for that “easy” fete you’re planning is vegetarian. Now what!? You’ve been down this route before, serving plenty of vegetable centric sides and maybe even those dry, vegetarian patties you find in the frozen food aisle.

Newsflash- vegetarians would rather not eat those faux burgers. So don’t bother with those thin, cellophane wrapped stand- ins for the real deal. Instead, show some love by making these moist vegetarian burgers from scratch. Yes, you need to use your food processor but you can make this mixture a day in advance and then forget about it until you fire up the grill. You may even find other guests peering over your shoulder wondering what smells so darn good.

sweet potato burger ingredients

In these easy vegetarian burgers, sweet potato and quinoa lends structure while healthy walnuts ensure that they remain moist. Cumin, turmeric and curry balance the sweetness of the potatoes and pair perfectly with this Roasted Poblano and Heirloom Tomato Salsa.

And while you’re celebrating summer’s bounty set aside a few ears of corn for this Corn Salad. Double up on carbs and consider this Classic French Potato Salad (sans mayo, of course). Both are easy do- aheads so you can be free to sip cold brews and tend to the coals.

While thirst may be slacked by lemonade, iced tea and chilled brews, everyone hankers for watermelon at a summer gathering. This farm fresh watermelon corn salsa is a refreshing compliment to the sweet potato and quinoa base of the veggie burgers.

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Eating dessert after a BBQ always feels exciting. Maybe it’s the setting sun or the waning heat, but there’s something magical and festive about it. If you’re a frozen dessert type of person, check out these Strawberry Basil Popsicles with a creamy mid-layer of vegan sour cream. If you’re picking or buying local strawberries for a frozen dessert but think that the herbaceous mid-layer won’t suit the kids (it probably won’t), consider buying double the amount of strawberries and make these super easy, all-fruit Strawberry Pops for the kids.

And while you’re shopping your local market for fruit, you may want to keep your grill going for dessert. Relish those juicy summer stone fruits with Grilled Apricots and Herbed Strawberries over slices of angel food or pound cake. You can even buy the cake. With perfectly ripe summer fruit, nobody will notice.

Note: This proposed menu is dairy free and may be served alongside traditional burgers.

sweet potato quinoa veggie burgers

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Posted on June 14, 2015

Herb Marinated Meat and Potato Skewers for Your Favorite Dad

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When it comes to husbands there’s no doubt I hit the jackpot. For nearly seven years of marriage, Kenny has proven to be an incredible partner. He humors me when I’m down, encourages me when I’m afraid, supports my wild, imaginative tendencies, and loves me unconditionally.  Because he is a good partner, I had a hunch Kenny would be a good father, too. Still, I never could have anticipated how good, until we welcomed our little bundle of joy two months ago.

Kenny gave me a preview of his fatherly ways while I was pregnant, as he would send messages to our baby through “the portal” (also known as my belly button). He spent hours perusing our entire library, reading to my growing belly, and even got in a good round of pat-a-cake, once the baby started kicking. He accompanied me to every pre-natal appointment, and when our son surprised us three weeks early, Kenny was beside me the entire time, beaming with pride and joy.

Our first few days as parents were tough. As I recovered from the delivery and got a taste of the sleep deprivation that would become my new normal, Kenny was right on cue to help pick up any slack. He handled diaper duty like a pro, and made sure we got to our post-partum appointments on time. I never thought I could love my husband more, but observing him grow so naturally into his new role as a father has made my love for him grow immeasurably.

kenny and baby Stempel

My only hope on his very first father’s day is that Kenny feels appreciated, loved, and cared for, which is why I’ll definitely be spoiling him with my marinated meat and potato skewers. When it comes to food, my husband has very simple tastes. His favorite foods consist of meat and potatoes, and let’s be honest…everything tastes better grilled on a stick. The vinegar in the marinade helps to tenderize the beef, leaving it moist and easy to bite. Fresh herbs perfume the potatoes, and the char marks left by the grill add a distinctly smoky flavor that is sure to be a hit.

There isn’t anyone else I’d rather be on this journey with than Kenny, and hopefully, this fan favorite recipe will help make his day extra special.

meat and potato skewers cooking

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Posted on June 10, 2015

Whole Wheat Banana Zucchini Bread

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I’ve never been a huge zucchini fan. I have found that it is generally not prepared well and turns out mushy and rather tasteless, even though it can be quite sweet and delicious when sautéed simply with butter, or delightful and fresh when served as a raw salad. But it was this zucchini bread recipe from Chef Ashley Christensen that really turned my view on the subject of zucchini.

And I have always loved banana bread. It was probably the item my mother baked most often throughout my childhood. After all, what’s better to do with mushy bananas? And inevitably, there is always a mushy banana leftover from the weekly bunch.

whole wheat zucchini banana bread

The recipe I have created below is really a hybrid of Ashley Christensen’s perfect zucchini bread, which is delicious and easy, and my favorite childhood banana bread. In my never-ending quest to eat copious amounts of baked goods, with butter, while tring to remain healthy I have added whole wheat flour and ground flax seed  to make this a little less of a guilty indulgence. Did I mention this delicious treat is also nondairy?

The whole flax seeds, oats and pumpkin seeds on top add a nice crunch and yes add a little extra health factor, but you can leave those off if you prefer. And don’t you worry, even though this bread is packed with whole wheat, flax, fruit and veggies, I still slather mine with plenty of butter. You should too.

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Posted on June 9, 2015

Rosewater and Pistachio Cheesecake Bars

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Rosewater had always been one of those ingredients that frightened me a litte. It was exotic and unfamiliar, but there was also a certain allure that kept me wondering what I might do with it. When I came across a display of Turkish rosewater in the Levinsky market of Tel Aviv last summer, I decided to conquer my fear and bring some home.

Rosewater is traditionally used in a variety of Middle Eastern dishes including a popular pudding called malabi, Syrian stuffed pancakes called atayef and Syrian candied gourd for Rosh Hashanah just to name a few. Since procuring my own rosewater  I have tried my hand at making several desserts including a rosewater and pistachio cake and even rosewater pistachio hamantaschen (both delicious)!

A quick search on Pinterest reveals an array of beautiful desserts, smoothies and even beauty products made with rosewater including rosewater pistachio cupcakes, rosewater and pistachio pavlova and rosewater cheesecake mousse parfait. So while it might seem a little different or scary, it appears that lots of people, both who grew up with the flavor and not, are using it in diverse ways to create fragrant, delicious and beautiful treats.

rosewater pistachion cheesecake bars

One note about rosewater: a little goes a long way. I always add just a 1/4 or 1/2 tsp at first, and then depending on the potency will add a bit more. But adding too much can make your dessert or dishes taste like soap. Not ideal.

I chose to use a little pink food coloring to evoke a little more rose-ness in this dessert, but this is totally unnecessary if you prefer not to use food colorings. You could also opt to top these sweet treats with edible rose petals for an extra special touch. Or just dive right in with a big bite.

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Posted on June 4, 2015

15 Father’s Day Gifts For the Jewish Foodie in Your Life

Father's Day Foodie Gift Collage1

You got through Mother’s Day, Memorial Day weekend and even Shavuot. But it’s not quite time to relax yet folks, because Father’s Day is almost here. Another weekend to reserve for family celebrations and another round of gifts to procure. If the special dad or guy in your life loves to be in the kitchen, at the grill or engrossed in a good cookbook, then we’ve got a couple of great gift ideas to show him how much he is adored.

For the meat lover

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Facon Beef Bacon from Jack’s Gourmet Sausage. The dad in your life will love adding beef bacon to his burgers, to Sunday breakfast, to sandwiches or just because. You will also reap the benefits of this delicious gift.

Meat Claws. These meat claws are the perfect accessory for the cook who likes to shred brisket for sandwiches or for pulling large hunks of meat off the grill more easily.

Infrared Laser Thermometer. It might not be a shark with a laser beam attached, but this infrared laser thermometer will accurately measure the inside of your meat without wires, spikes or opening the oven. This is the ultimate gadget for someone who loves their meat perfectly cooked every time.

 

For the cookbook fiend

Cookbook collage Father's Day foodie gifts1

The Brisket Book. This book has 30 brisket recipes perfect for your very own brisket lover and includes stories, history and tips for perfecting the beloved Jewish dish.

The Book of Schmaltz. Ruhlman’s acclaimed book will teach you to render your own schmaltz and use it in countless old-school Jewish recipes and a few newer ones as well. A must addition for any Jewish cookbook lover’s collection.

Genius Recipes. This collection of recipes from food website Food52 shares an arsenal of tried-and-true recipes from great chefs and provides extensive technique and how-to sure to improve any home-cook’s repertoire.

 

For the griller

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Two-in-one Vertical Chicken Roaster. Crispy skin on the outside, moist chicken in the middle, delicious veggies and potatoes on the bottom – this vertical chicken roaster does it all.

No Burn BBQ Sauce Pot. No need to run inside while you are grilling – cook your beans or BBQ sauce right next to the grill. Your grill master will love adding this tool to his grilling arsenal.

Yeti Oven Mitt. Safety first! A Yeti oven mitt will keep your guy safe and might make him laugh too.

 

For the trendy guy

ipad stand w stylus

Ipad Stand and Stylus for the Kitchen. If your guy loves keeping his iPad nearby while cooking, this stand and stylus will help him read recipes and keep the screen clean from his grubby, grease covered fingers.

Molecular Gastronomy Set. This gift is for the most adventurous of home cooks! Your guy can experiment making mint caviar, chocolate spaghetti or horseradish foam.

DIY Pickling Set. Pickling your own veggies and fruit is all the rage and the trendy dad in your life will love keeping up with the hipsters. Get ready to hit up the farmer’s market for potential pickling projects.

For the alcohol lover

sunscreen flask

Coast Coasters. These coast coasters are simple but funny – perfect for the stylish dad who likes to keep a cocktail close by without fear of watermarks on the furniture.

Beerisms Pint Glasses. These beer glasses will delight the dad who just wants to happily enjoy his beer. Save water, drink beer!

Sunscreen Flasks. Dad can smuggle booze almost anywhere with these silly sunscreen flasks – dance recitals, vacation with the in-laws or just hanging by the pool.

 

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Posted on June 3, 2015

Ramp Chimichurri Challah

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Spring has finally sprung and I had my first sighting of ramps at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago. If you are new to ramps, they are a mild type of garlic with a slight onion taste that grow in the early spring. They are coveted this time of year and have a very short season.

I came home on a Thursday night with these beautiful ramps but no plan. As I was putting my dough in the bread maker (I have a love affair with making challah in the bread machine) I realized the ramps would create a chimichurri perfect for a spring-inspired stuffed challah.

ramps

It is rare that I get to have my parents come for Shabbat so it was an extra pleasure to share this with them. They typically prefer plain challah but both commented on what a great addition this challah was to the spring table. Not only was this challah beautiful with streaks of green throughout, but it was incredibly soft and flavorful. And the smell was just outrageous.

chimichurri challah

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Posted on June 1, 2015