{Dairy-Free} Halva and Pistachio Ice Cream

July 16, 2012

Unbelievably, it's mid-summer and I haven't posted a single recipe of the single most important part of the season: ice cream!

No one will argue that ice cream is the perfect way to cool down and treat yourself to something delightful. There are endless flavor combinations of ice creams floating around, but I'm pretty confident you haven't come across this perfect blend of halva and pistachios. I'm excited to introduce it to you. You might have had pistachio halva, but rest assured this halva and pistachio ice cream takes it up a notch. Mainly because the pistachio ratio is dramatically increased and complements the smoothness of the halva against the velvety texture of the ice cream.

What got me even more excited about this recipe is that I was able to make it without an ice cream maker. It's also healthy, naturally sweetened, and dairy-free. That basically means I can have as much as I want, whenever I want. And, I did.

I savored spoonfulls of rich, creamy ice cream that had a hint of a coconutty aftertaste.

I might have shared with the family a little, but mostly two baking dishes disappeared in matter of two days.

I promise, it's that good.

I hope you're enjoying your summer and creating memories.

You can find other ways to keep cool and check out the other links below! A group of great bloggers have launched a Kosher Linkup, and you can check them out here.

Also, in case you were wondering...we have a winner! Random number: 9. Nedra Weinreich! Contact me at thekosherspoon (at) gmail (dot) com

Mediterranean Frittata with Goat Cheese

July 11, 2012

Making frittata has been on my "to make" list every since I discovered it on the cover of a Williams-Sonoma catalog. That was about four years ago, when I was first married and started getting interested in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.

They made the frittata look beautiful, dressed in bright red bell peppers, sprinkled with cheese, and garnished with herbs. But I was apprehensive about using so many eggs, I didn't want it to taste "eggy".

Well, when I saw Jamie's frittata in her Meals in Minutes cookbook, I let myself trust her and tried her recipe. Let me tell you, it tastes just as good as it looks. This frittata is definitely going on my weeknight dinner repertoire.

It turned out light and fluffy and balanced the right combination of flavors. A real savory treat your whole family can enjoy.

The best part about this recipe is that leftovers are your friend. You can enjoy a slice cold the next day. 

{If you haven't already done so, you can enter to win Jamie Geller's two cookbooks here.}

Quick & Kosher: A Cookbook Review and Giveaway

July 6, 2012

I don't get many unannounced visitors during the day. So when the doorbell rings around 11am on a weekday, I know it's my favorite unexpected visitor: the UPS guy. The kids and I dash to the door to open it with jittery anticipation, as if we're each being surprised with a present. Being that I'm a hopeless online shopper, I know to expect packages popping up in front of my door, but I don't always know what's in them, so that element of surprise feels like we're getting fun, new things. The excitement usually ceases when I sign off on a package of diapers and wipes.

Except for last week when Mr. UPS handed over a heavy, square box when I know I didn't buy anything (I was on one of my short-lived self-imposed shopping breaks). I promptly opened it up to find two brand new cookbooks. That was a wonderful start to my afternoon.

While the kids were being ignored entertaining themselves, I sat on the couch to savor Jamie Geller's two cookbooks: Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing, and Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes.

Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing

In her very first cookbook, Jamie shares her journey from a career-driven cosmo girl whose idea of a meal is to order takeout from her favorite New York restaurant, to a young wife who navigates through the kitchen with ease and confidence, and can easily converse about the difference between beating your egg with a fork versus a whisk. She teaches you everything she's learned openly and honestly and humorously shares glimpses into her life so you can learn and relate.

Quick and Kosher features a wide variety of recipes that range from family style, traditional (think gefilte fish, kugel, and potato latkes) to modern gourmet (pistachio crusted baby lamb chops).  It's really an excellent cookbook for the novice as well as the experienced family chef. The recipes are simple, concise and practically foolproof. Jamie even gives you great tips along the way like how to keep your avocado from browning and how to pick the perfect eggplant.

I liked the clean layout of the recipe pages, as well as the organized way the sections were divided. Jamie even included interviews with various food experts at the end (butcher, winemaker, etc.).And if that wasn't enough, she simplified your holiday preparations by including a menu plan for each holiday.

Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes

Jamie wasn't done working, a few years later she brought us Quick and Kosher: Meals in Minutes, a much needed companion for today's busy women.

What stood out to me the most in this sequel is the quality of the styling and photography. What can I say, pictures are the first thing I look at in a cookbook. The photos entice you to write down the ingredients list and commit to actually making the recipe, and when it's promised to be under 30 minutes, it's a done deal.

Meals in Minutes is also packed with timeless information, inspiring wisdom, and down-to-earth advice. Written in Geller's upbeat, contagious positive spirit, you laugh at her tales and mishaps in the kitchen and learn how to effortless and elegantly entertain guests while keeping your cool and building spiritual Jewish home.

What I appreciated most in this cookbook is that Jamie didn't give you a shortage of ideas. Almost every page features two recipes (a main and a side dish) and a photo. She even divided each section by the amount of time it would take to prepare the meal, rather than by the food category the recipe falls under. So if you're looking to spend no more than 25 minutes in the kitchen (because you're allergic to the stove or just running short on time) you need only look in the 25-minute-meal section.

Now the true test of any cookbook is actually making a recipe and gauging its success. Well, dear friends, I made the Mediterranean Frittata from QK Meals in Minutes (it's on p. 201, in case you were wondering). I will share it with you very soon. Here's a sneak peek.

Overall, I would say these are two excellent cookbooks to add to your collection, present to a new bride, or gift to someone else. So I'm gifting one to you! 

At first, I thought I would keep one and give the other away, but I'm so indecisive and couldn't pick which one I'd rather you have so I decided to give you both.


1. Leave a comment. Tell me whatever you'd like: your own favorite quick and easy "meals in minutes" or how your life would be complete with this new set of cookbooks. Or just say hello.

For Extra Entries:

1. Follow The Kosher Spoon by subscribing to the email list here and/or to the RSS feed

2. Follow @thekosherspoon on Twitter

3. Tweet about the giveaway: Enter to #win @jamiegeller Quick and #Kosher Cookbooks @thekosherspoon #giveaway http://bit.ly/MNLtCE

4. Email and/or post on your Facebook wall about the giveaway: Win Jamie Geller's Quick and Kosher Cookbooks @ The Kosher Spoon http://bit.ly/MNLtCE

5. Follow Jamie on twitter @joyofkosher. I must add that she is one of the sweetest online personas I've come across. She answers all her comments on her and Tamar Grenger's website: joyofkosher and replies to all the tweets she gets. Superwoman! She's also moving to Israel, writing a third cookbook, and mothers young children.

So many ways to increase your chances!

Just leave a comment for every entry, and if you already follow TKS, then leave a comment saying so.

Giveaway starts on July 6, 2012 and will run until July 15, 2012 at 11:59pm PST.

Official Rules:

Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

To enter leave a comment.

One winner with a valid entry will be selected at random. I will email the winner and they will have up to 3 days to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. 

One winner will be selected at random via random.org

The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.

No purchase necessary.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with the cookbooks for the purpose of doing a review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Middle Eastern Salads: Tahini, Roasted Peppers, and Eggplant with Green Onions and Cilantro

July 5, 2012

These are the last of the Shabbat salads. Don't worry, there will be more, eventually. For now, I leave you with this flavorful, colorful trio. The homemade tahini (I really want to scream tchina in my inherited Israeli accent, but I'll leave it tahini for a more familiar pronunciation), has a creamy texture and a hint of garlicky taste.

The roasted pepper, depending on your preference and luck (yes, I consider it luck when you land a batch of seriously spicy peppers), add a boost of piquant, livening any bite from bland to interesting.

And finally, this roasted eggplant salad is something my father-in-law concocted in his own kitchen. Yes, he's an excellent cook and takes his Shabbat salads quite seriously. He has perfected each one and through various experiments, came up with this combination that became an instant success amongst the eggplant-obsessed in the family. Guests are instantly hooked as well.

I hope you will pick one, two or all to make at your next meal. These salads are great starters that are fresh, healthy, and flavorful. The perfect appetizers to nibble on while the meal is taking pace and conversations are flourishing around the table.

Middle Eastern Salads: Beets and Green Swiss Chard

July 3, 2012

I'm sure you've been waiting impatiently for these subsequent Shabbat salads posts. If you don't share that level of enthusiasm, you really aren't aware of what you're missing. I promise. Decorate your table with this Beet and Cumin combination, and a sauteed Green Swiss Chard salad.

They are both healthy and delicious, and easy to make. A perfect way to start any meal.

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