Yeah all that dirty work, the peeling, the washing, the cutting, the vegetable/fruit grunge jobs…was done before we fired up those ovens and got down to the business of putting out more than 500 plates a day.
All that prep made things faster, simpler & let me be more creative, all because it was right there, ingredients ready for me to – just use.
Comment below if you have any other great tips for me on – How to make life easier in the kitchen.
Ramen Noodle Tokyo Soup
Now for one of my all time favorite keep-me-warm winter soup recipes.
I am one of those people who become obsessive with a favorite dish or meal. So much so, that from the very first time I ever try that dish, I am on a mission to experience the tastebuds euphoria that dish gave me, again and again and again…till I can shelve it away, with out feeling I am missing out.
I had eaten by a Tokyo/Japanese inspired restaurant many years ago, when I first came across the insperation for this soup recipe. I remember sitting at the table, taking my first bite, and just not being able to concentrate on anything or anyone, but the pure amazingness of the powerful yet subtle flavor of ginger and garlic that was the essence of my bowl. Add in my childhood desire for endless ramen noodles, and all my food love and happiness was steaming up in the bowl right in front of me.
I had to recreate it. And so after many, many tries, (who knew that a combo of sherry , shoyo or soy sauce, and a dash of sweet teriyaki was the trifecta of flavors) that helped make this soup one of the top five things I would eat every day, if I could.
It is a recipe that I make over and over and over again, with anything and everything that is in my fridge. (feel free to substitute and add vegetables to your hearts desire). Which is why if you start prepping your vegetables like I do when you get back home from your grocery shopping, you will find yourself just wanting to make something that is chock full of all those gorgeous fresh produce you just worked so hard getting ready. This soup – works for me every time. Also, in this cold harsh winter that we are having here in the east coast, this soup with all its healing ginger and garlic, makes the perfect cold remedy for the sniffles.
You can make this soup vegetarian (can add a hard boiled egg or two to your dish for the protein), but I love it with the flankin/steak and chicken, not only do they lend tremendous flavor to this already robust soup, they make this bowl into a full delicious meal.
2 tbsp. toasted sesame seed oil (or olive oil)
12 scallion stalks, whites and greens, washed
3 -4 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and quartered
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 6-8 ounce boneless steaks or flankin
5 Chicken legs
1 tsp. kosher salt
generous pinch of black pepper
1 extra large carrot, peeled and chopped into large bite size pieces
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 small parsnip, chopped into large pieces
1 medium zucchini, chopped into large pieces
1/2 cup of frozen endamamme
1 small onion, quartered
7 cups of water
1/2 cup cooking sherry or good semi dry red wine
1/4 cup sweet teriyaki
1/4 cup shoyo or less sodium soy sauce
a pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
4 packages of plain Ramen Noodles (do NOT use the packets that come with them just the noodles)
In a large wok or soup pot, add toasted sesame oil and heat on medium high flame. Add
the scallions, ginger and garlic, toss and coat in the oil. Let the mixture cook for about one minute.
Add the steak, and chicken legs to the pot, toss and season with the salt and pepper. Let everything cook together for about 3 minutes, making sure to mix with your spoon frequently.
Then add all the rest of the vegetables, mix and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the water, sherry, sweet teriyaki, shoyo and bring the soup to a boil. Lower flame to medium, and cover the entire pot, continue to cook for 70-90 minutes, or until meat is fully cooked through and the broth has darkened and reduced a little.
While the soup is cooking, boil water in a second small soup pot and cook the ramen noodles. Set aside till ready to serve. Once soup is ready, add noodles to the soup and serve hot. Garnish with crunch Chinese noodles.
if you have been reading my little blog for the last while
you know what a truly devoted fan I am
to the sweet & savory flavor combination.
the other day though, I even surprised myself….
exactly just how far I am willing to go
to achieve my ultimate taste bud experience.
You see, these days…
I am a frequent flyer on the “Food” as therapy plane
and spend hours in the kitchen working out my “issues”.
The other week, I noticed that I had bought way to many peaches.
Their gorgeous skin color and plump juicy little bodies, begging me to cook them into something glorious…was too enticing to pass up at the farmers market last Wednesday.
But, the days had quickly passed and I had yet to do anything with them.
Until I had an Oprah like Aaaha moment…
Peaches & Pastrami Facon Salad!
Now there is something I can really dig into!
But alas, the peaches once cooked, really do not hold up as a salad…
what else could I do or add?
Looking around my pretty well stocked kitchen, I decided it was time to reinvent
the Potato Salad.
Yes, that holy grail of BBQ side dishes, needed a makeover
and I was the Food Fashinoista!
Throwing a little bit of this, and a little bit of that…
for those 30 minutes in my kitchen…
I was the Richard Gere to my Julia Roberts Potato Salad…
Pretty Woman-ing the whole dish from skins to garnish.
I must say….
I am not bad at what I do…
I would totally bring this dressed up Roasted Potato Peach Salad
to any BBQ party…
it would hold its own – beautifully.
Potatoes & Peaches…. the perfect Muses for my Summer Salad.
Roasted Potato Skin Pastrami Peach Salad
3-4 lb. small red potatoes, washed well with skin on
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 package of Pastrami or kosher facon
1 small onion, diced
3-4 ripe peaches or nectarines, diced large
7-8 spears favorite pickle slices, diced (I love the bread & butter flavored pickles)
1/2 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
For the dressing:
2 tbsp. Mayonnaise
3 tbsp. honey mustard
2 tbsp. apricot
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ginger powder
Pre-heat oven to 400F.
On a large baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil. Lay your potatoes down on the tray, and coat them with the olive oil that’s on the tray. Sprinkle some salt & pepper generously over the potatoes. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until they are fully cooked, and fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the pastrami slices in a frying pan (you might need a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan, depending on how fatty the pastrami pieces are).
Cook the pastrami until they have released all their fat and have crisped up (about 5-6 minutes). Remove onto cutting border, reserving the pan and all its drippings, and chop the cooked pastrami into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Sauté the onions over medium high flame, in the reserved drippings pan. Let the onions cook for about 5-6 minutes and then add the cut up peaches. Mix well, and let the peaches and onions cook for another 5 minutes. Remove and place into a large bowl.
When potatoes have finished baking, let cool for a few minutes, and then dice into bite size quarters. Place into bowl with the peaches and onions.
Add the cooked pastrami, the sliced up pickles and the fresh basil. Mix everything together.
In a small separate bowl, add all the dressing ingredients.
Mix well with a fork or whisk, till smooth. Pour dressing over the warm potato salad, mix well and serve.
is it ever ok to be selfish?
these days I am finding myself in the dog house..
a self imposed time out…
for not wanting to engage on any level
with friends, family…etc.
I just don’t know how else to cope.
but to be selfish…and keep myself
it keeps me sane
the temporary bubble I hide in
When I can better process and deal with all the bad things my ex & his family continue to do to me…
I will emerge…but now my bubble, my cocoon,
My Tunie B & me world…
is the only place I feel any type of control…
something I am desperate for.
it’s not fair to all those people who are legitimately trying to be “there for me”
the ones who are fakers…well I just don’t give a dang what they think…
but …do I need to be fair right now?
I wish there was a way I could be selfish without hurting feelings…
but the world of selfish is not one
where I can go in and out of, at my leisurely will…
I am trying to find the balance…
any help would be
Dog & Bean Pie
talking about dogs….
This recipe inspiration must be credited to my 3 year old. If not for the need to put all her favorite things in one quick dish, I would never have thought of this as a possible thing to serve. It has now become one of my favorite side dishes to make at my backyard BBQ’s.
A combination of cooked rice, baked beans, hot dogs, fried onions and bbq potato chips, all served deliciously layered with my favorite relish honey mustard, this DOG & BEAN PIE, hits all the right BBQ party flavor notes. I even many times, add coleslaw as a bonus layer, for the added texture and crispy tangy flavor in the pie.
Bottom line, kids love this dish, (makes a great quick supper idea), it can be done in advance, cutting out the wait time for the kids to eat waiting for their dogs to be charred, and more often than not, I catch all the adults loving it to.
On the health meter, it is what it is. But, if you are looking to make things more nutritious, feel free to substitute with brown rice, chicken or tofu dogs, and still have a very good dish.
DOG & BEAN PIE RECIPE
2 cups cooked rice ( I use sushi rice or short grain white rice)
1 can vegetarian baked beans
1 package boiled Hot Dogs, sliced into bite size rounds
1 small onion, that has been sautéed in olive oil
1 bag, BBQ potato chips, crushed
- In a pie pan or aluminum round tray, layer the rice. Press down with the back of your wooden spoon to evenly distribute and pack down the rice compactly. (I burn mine a little on purpose because that is what my funny daughter likes)
- Next layer the baked beans, again distributing evenly and compactly
- Next layer your cut up hot dogs
- Next layer the fried onions
- Finally layer the crushed potato chips
- Serve warm (you can back for 5 minutes, uncovered in 350F oven to rewarm), with your favorite mustard relish
Chefs, Home cooks, regular every day people seem to love Balsamic Vinegar
many years, I was simply NOT a fan.
the smell alone could bring me to my knees.
But, when I got serious about this cooking thing some 13 years ago…
I had to make friends with my vinegar
& I did…best friends.
So lesson folks…
never Pass-Over things quickly just because they might frighten or intimidate you…
face them head on…
because you might have missed out on something really great!
Talkng about GREAT…
this Onion Balsamic Chuck Eye Roast is mouthwatering good!
The use of balsamic vinegar mixed with the crushed tomatoes gives the meat this delicious
not too tangy sour taste that blends perfectly with the sweetness of the honey & onions
There are really just no words to describe it…
YOU MUST MAKE IT!!
It is another great recipe for Pesach – Easy, Simple & One Pot!
Mouth-Watering Onion Balsamic Pot Roast
1 3-4 lb Chuck Eye Roast
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. pepper
4 Large White Onions, sliced into large pieces
1/2 cup sweet white wine
1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
Pre-heat oven to 300F.
In a bowl, mix together all the spices. Using your hands rub the spice mixture all over your roast, entirely coating it.
In a large frying pan or in a dutch oven, heat up 2 tbsp. olive oil. Using tongs, sear your roast on all sides for about 1 minute on each side all over. Remove the roast from pan and set aside for a few minutes.
Deglaze your pan with the white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom and mix all the leftover juices from the roast. Let the wine cook down for about 4-5 minutes and then remove from flame.
In another bowl, mix together the balsamic, crushed tomatoes, water, sugar and pour it into the wine pan and combine.
Place your sliced onions into the bottom of your pan. Lay your roast on top of the onions. Pour the balsamic tomato mixture over the entire roast, making sure to coat it well.
Cover the pan tightly with foil and cook in the oven for up to 4-5 hours, until tender to the fork.
To Freeze: Let the roast cool completely. You can then slice if desired and place into clean pan with the reserved juices or just freeze whole making sure it is tightly covered with saran wrap & foil.
To Reheat: Let defrost in fridge over night. Slice first, and then reheat in low temp oven for 45 minute to an hour covered.
(since I lost all my pics I took this past weekend – this photo is from pinterest which linked to this website. It is a Similar recipe to one that I had created.)
So be it…
the best laid plans are meant to never work out it seems…
lost all my pictures that I took for the last 2 weeks
while I was testing my Pesach Recipes…
spent the last 4 hours trying to recover them – to no luck!
Oh well – the Blogging…must go on!
ALWAYS download the pics the same day you take them!!!
my procrastination has FINALLY hit me in the head!
So you know how every food package that is for something you use to cook or bake with, comes with a BRAND recipe? Well, have you ever tried them?
I do! One of the main reasons, is because that is what I do for a living! My main source of income these days, comes from recipe development for companies that are looking for great recipes using their products, that they can put on the back of their packages, web sites and countless other promotional materials.
I know how hard I work on developing those recipes and how good they really are. So when I see a recipe on a box or bag, 9 out of 10 times I end up trying them if I can and of 7 out of 10 times I find that I have something useable – to put my own twist on.
There are also those very few times I find a real GEM of a recipe that becomes a staple in recipe box! Of course I ultimately put my own twist on those recipes & share them with you all!
This Ultimate Pesach Brisket came right off Lipton Onion Soup Mix package. I added a little sugar but other than that, this was a real winner and so perfect for Pesach.
Personally, I love to serve slow cooked roasts on Yom Tov. Not only are they full of unbelievable flavor, impressive looking when served, easy to prepare in advance, they also truly are more delicious when served the next day, rewarmed (the meat has more time to soak up all that yummy goodness in the sauce).
Pesach cooking and baking is stressful enough without having to make recipes that are complicated. This one is truly the ULTIMATE PESACH RECIPE!
pic from stock photography -closest thing that I found that looks like what I made.
The Ultimate Pesach Brisket
1 3-4lb Brisket
1 Bottle of Ketchup
1 packet of Onion Soup Mix
1/4 cup of packed brown dark sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
In a bowl, mix together well,the ketchup, onion soup mix, brown sugar & water.
Place your brisket in the aluminum tray or dutch oven, and pour the mixture over the entire brisket, turning it around and making sure both sides have been coated.
Place the pan in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 3-4 hours. Then Pre-heat your oven to 275F. Cover your pan tightly with foil and place in oven. Cook for minimum of 6 -8 hours, turning the meat over once half way through.
To test doneness – take 2 forks and insert pulling apart in opposite directions. If the meat falls apart easily than it is finished. If it is tough and gives you resistance, then put back in oven for another 30-45 minutes.
To Freeze: Let meat rest for at least 20-30 minutes, then remove to cutting board reserving all the liquid. Slice or pull apart according to preference, then put back into a clean plan. Take all the reserved liquid, and mix well, then pour over the sliced meat and the cover the pan very tightly with saran warp and then foil. Then place in freezer marked well, till needed.
To Reheat: Remove Pan from Freezer to Fridge the night before serving & let defrost in fridge overnight. Place in a low temperature oven for 45-1 hr to reheat, serve hot from oven right before serving.
I am constantly…
Looking for the shortcut
yup that’s me these days…
the shortcut to a fast & easy divorce (1 year & still NO get!)
the shortcut to master the juggle of single momdom
(who knew my wily 28 lb kid could TKO me every time we get in the ring?)
the shortcut to reestablishing myself solidly in a career that I never wanted (or thought) to leave in the first place…
the shortcut to …feeling at peace
with my everyday.
the wise say
“life is not about the shortcuts”
but the brave desperate …
the ones who have had to deal with the
unbending MIA irrational ex’s & their enabler family,
the ones who have to answer
the worlds greatest kid who has a million questions even at 3
the ones who are struggling & hustling the best they can in
the new financial adjustments & lifestyle
the ones who know what it means to start from scratch
life, business career & family……
we all would very gladly
use every shortcut we can find…
to make things even for a brief moment…
a little easier
a little simpler.
Looking for a shortcut…
Talk about shortcuts… I have been looking to perfect a bread that I can make with out having to deal with the hassle of yeast, rising & kneading. The perfect bread recipe that I can make right along with my soup an hour before dinner. I have played around with many Irish Soda Bread recipes, most of whom are originally dairy, but this Purim I finally created the perfect recipe that I truly LOVE.
Now I know that Pesach is around the corner and a bread recipe is the last thing you all are looking for… But the way I see things is this, we have a few weeks to go, wouldn’t you much rather make a small batch of fresh bread that is guaranteed to be devoured right away, than buy a whole loaf that will just sit and get stale, till you finish it or throw it out?
You can make this recipe plain – with out the mustard & parsley, for a great tasting plain bread to serve.
But I warn you all, Irish Soda breads get stale over night, and are really only delicious for the first day & then pretty ok toasted the 2nd day, but the 3rd day it is not edible. So that is why this recipe makes one loaf or a few small rounds – to enjoy right away!
NO KNEAD NO RISE Mustard Parsley Soda Bread
4 cups flour
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) of Margarine that is very COLD & cut into small pieces -(or 4 tbsp coconut oil)
1 3/4 cups Tofutti Sour Cream (or you can use coconut cream – but your mixture will be very wet)
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Favorite Honey Mustard (I like the Bone Sucking Brand)
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
Pre-heat oven to 375F. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda & salt. Then add the margarine to the bowl. On low speed mix until the margarine has fully incorporated into the flour.
Then in a measuring cup, add the sour cream, lemon juice, eggs, & mustard and mix well with a fork. Add the sour cream mixture to flour mixture and mix on medium speed till dough has formed. Add the parsley flakes and mix.
Dump the some what wettish mixture onto a well floured counter. Knead the dough just enough to shape into a round loaf. Or if you are making smaller rounds, cut portions and knead into desired small rounds.
With a knife cut an x lightly on top of the bread. Spray non-stick oil spray over the entire round bread and bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until bread has turned golden brown on top and when flipped over and banged on makes a hollow sound.
I neeeeed an MTL App!
you know …
a Moroccan Tolerance Level App…
one that people can download to their iPhones
Yesterday if I had such an APP
many many things could have just
It started with an order that I had to do for one of my favorite clients…
Something that I had ordered for them specifically…
came in all wrong!
I KNEW they were not going to be too happy…well
if they had an MTL App..
it would have told them…
this half Moroccan chic…was pretty upset for them already that morn!
when she called calmly to complain unsuccessfully to her deaf vendor…
my Moroccan Tolerance level needle was starting to inch up to the danger zone.
then my Tunie B. had a…
freaking out about wearing a HAT on top of her “piptails”
for 15 minutes I tried to convince her….. (it was 30 outside & she JUST got over an earache!)
“NO…you “piptails” will not be cut off if I put the hat on!”
lets just say I won the that battle….but the Tunie B….her war still was a raging….
Now if I had the MTL App…I would have known
with just one click….
My Moroccan Tolerance level needle heading out the door…
red danger line ….
I might have had a shot of something before I left the door!
an MTL app is currently unavailable at my iTunes store!
So when I was on the bus heading to NYC for work with Tunie B in tow…
(because of course why should her winter break …
coincide with mine?)
our 15 minute…tiff
well…we missed our first bus…
MTL App level would have read…right on the red line.
So if the bus driver would have had his OWN MTL app
he would have easily & with out a doubt have known..
with one click…
please don’t tell THIS mother with her already cranky pants kid
“NO EATING ON THE BUS!” …
huh? since when?!!
now I abide by the rules…I try not to argue…
but …really bus driver?
better to have a an already unhappy kid…
screaming for 20 minutes on top of her crying lungs…
“I WANT MY LEBEN!”….
than chance a spill on your “clean” bus!!!
My MTL needle started to creep its way into the RED ZONE!
Now any other full blooded Moroccan would have set off the WARNING button on that
bus drivers MTL APP….
but my half Ashkanazi blood kept things in check…
but I did not know how close to danger I really was….I had NO MTL APP!
So instead of being late to work and stopping at the nearest Starbux
to soothe my Moroccan nerves with a VENTI CHAI TEA LATTE WITH EXTRA EXTA WHIP…
I got in to a cab….and was 1 minute early to my job. (yes with Tunie B. still in tow!)
Now I can not entirely fault my co-workers….
they too are not
able to download an MTL app from their iTunes library selection…
So how could they possibly know…
that pulling me into a…
before I even got my coat off…
was going to ….
set my MTL needle spinning….
let’s just say….
never BLATANTLY LIE or try to “patronize” a Moroccan ….
normally she will tell it to you calmly and straight….that those things are just not going to fly…
but when her MTL needle is running hot in the fire zone….
well….she will sorta….EXPLODE!
& sorta…regretfully I did.
thankfully…all is good now.
I took my Tunie B. to eat
& we had waffles with whip for dinner!
piptais, vendors, buses, leben, patronizers….all melted into oblivion with each HIGH CALORIE BITE!
But if Only I HAD that MTL app…
I needed that MTL app…
I would have had…
a much much better day!
anyone know how to make such an app?
Moroccan Vegetable Couscous (with Lamb)
This recipe comes from my Father’s mother – my MEME (grandmother). She would never need an MTL app – she is a lady to her core…Moroccan or not. (darn I didn’t get her disposition!)
Her couscous, made from scratch not an instant package in sight, was one of the most savory and delicious dishes that I have ever eaten. It is the quintessential Moroccan dish, and my ULTIMATE favorite thing to have. It was made for every Holiday & Special occasion. It is my comfort food, and I make it when I need to just feel good and have something absolutely delicious and warm to eat for dinner.
From the perfectly cooked chickpeas, the buttery pumpkin, to the sweet hot raisins popping in your mouth with every bite this side dish was more than just an accompaniment to her dreamy tasting lamb. It was a M-E-A-L of pure-mouth-watering bliss!
Make it with or with out the lamb, you will not be disappointed. Feel free to substitute your lamb with chicken or beef.
Tips: in a real pinch I have used canned chickpeas –the dish was tasty – BUT not the same when I used real chickpeas.
- ½ cup dried chickpeas, that have been soaked overnight
- 4 large yellow onions, quartered and sliced
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh Black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- 4 -5 strands of saffron crushed
- 2 tbsp. Margarine
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2lbs lamb (you can use baby lamb chops, lamb neck or shoulder cut into pieces)
- 1 ½ lbs instant couscous
- 1 lb carrots, chopped
- 2 large zucchinis, chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 1/3 cups dark raisins
- 1 ½ lbs of butternut squash, cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp. melted margarine
- 1 tsp. ground thyme
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cup toasted almond slivers
In a large Dutch oven, cook the onions, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric, saffron, margarine and olive oil. Mix the onions with a wooden spoon, and cover and cook on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes until the onions have softened.
Once they have softened, uncover onions and let them cook until they have turned golden. Add the lamb and pan sear on all sides. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium –high heat for about 2 hours.
After 2 hours add the chickpeas, carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, sugar, raisins and cook for another 30 -35 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a large bowl toss your warm couscous with the melted margarine, thyme, & cinnamon.
To Serve: Spread out the couscous onto the plate and ladle heaping piles of cooked lamb with a little of its broth and vegetables on top. Garnish with lots of toasted slivered almonds.
MAKING ONLY THE VEGETABLE COUSCOUS Tip: if you just want to make the vegetable part of this couscous dish. Toss all your vegetables including the rasins in a large bowl with olive oil, and all the spices (saffron, thyme, salt, pepper, ginger & turmeric and the sugar). Lay them out on a well-oiled cookie tray and roast in oven on about 325 for 40-45 minutes. Serve them on top of couscous for a great side dish.
you would think that it is
and this would be
a healthy eating post
I hate such resolutions
they NEVER work…
I truly believe moderation
is the way to go…
so eat less carbs or more GF or more vegan & less sugar
what ever floats your boat
but DO NOT think if you
life will be better…
its baby steps…
and long term goals we need to think about.
so next year
at this time
we can resolute
for something way more fun
…like taking a few hours off once a week
just to do what
makes you feel
what ever that may be.
My NYC tuesdays
have been just that
I go to work
and then I take
and try a new place
A few weeks ago it was Mr Broadway
I had been there many many years ago
and it was not anything really memorable.
my menu came with yummy sour & dill pickles in a mason jar and some truly awesome coleslaw
But wow this time…
it was fantastic.
I can not tell you
how much I loved this joint.
It was what a NY Deli should be.
minus the sushi …
which I did not try
but I have one pet peeve
why is a deli – who does deli right
have to have a sushi counter.
It is so over done
we can go back to the days
where sushi was special
and not an everyday item
most sushi counters…lackluster & ho hum.
but enough of my gripes..and back to a truly terrific Jewish Deli Experience.
The place is clean and comfortable
my waitress was super accommodating & the service was quick & efficient
they have managed to pull off a
casual old world vibe with a totally modern feel
The food is generously portioned
fresh, perfectly cooked & most importantly the meal I had was DELISH!!
lip smacking good – in fact.
the prices are reasonable and actually surprisingly cheap.
Fantastic location if you need a quick bite before or after a play
and manages to be kid friendly & date friendly at the same time.
as you can see – I am a huge fan!
note: I did not get paid to write this post -this is totally my unbiased personal experience.
till next NYC tuesday!!
I once went to a chiropractor
on arrival in her office
as I laid face down on her table
“so…how is your soul today?”
huh? my soul?
well as I stammered and ridiculously answered – “yeah- um- great- thanks”
I remember thinking…
yeah… lady you are really, some- kinda wackadoo…I just have a bad back.
and I never went back.
But for some reason…
many years since I left that weird office visit
I frequently think of her question…
and ask myself…well…
how is…my soul today?
It’s a hard question to answer some days…
I have been having a hard time
I was what you can call…a little disenfranchised…with it all for a minute there
Yet I have never really lost my faith…just a little peeved…this whole getting my get fiasco…
BUT then there was Hurricane Sandy
and I remembered…
nothing feels better for the soul
doing a little good …for others.
So I jumped on the bandwagon…
concentrated my resources…collected and distributed what I could to those without…
spent a few hours in the trenches of jersey shore…me & my squidge mop
cleaning the muck out of a flooded basement…
hosted a family or two that did not have power…
in the end …
after each task…
nothing felt as good…
or tasted as sweet…
you helped a person out.
Chesed (helping others) is a wondrous thing…
because I can tell you…
the very little that I did…
did more for me….than for anyone else.
So…ask me that question right now…
How is my soul …today?
feeling better. thank you.
In the chaos that was getting help to people who need it, I virtually “met” some truly amazing people…who just know what it means to DO! These are the people that I am in awe of. The ones that don’t just sit back watching the devastation….but pick up their tushies and get things moving …no matter what the circumstances.
This includes my friends and random strangers of Lakewood who answered the call and donated what they could. The unbelievable generosity of a Mr. W who wouldn’t rest till I could arrange a him a place, where he could take his construction skills and help the displaced of far rockaway – He is currently lightly renovating an un-used house in disrepair, so TWO families who lost everything, can have a place to call home till they get one of their own – FOR FREE!
And then there was a Mr. Dave Weinberg of Silverspring MD, who arranged for 150 people of NY to come to his community and spend a warm Shabbos out of the misery from the storm. He is doing it again this week, including sending much needed supplies back.
Mr. Weinberg along with my fellow kosher food blogger, Dani Klien (www.yeahthatskosher.com) have come up with a truly fantastic way to HELP. After many hours talking to the JCRC, Met Council of NY, Achiezer & the people who were out there on ground zero in the heaviest hit areas, they came up with an ingenious way to rally the troops and all those people who want to help, but don’t know how or where.
They created a website called GIFTCARDRELIEF.ORG where you can donate any amount towards a giftcard to places like COSTCO, CVS & Bed Bath & Beyound. They then have partnered with local non-profit and relief organizations that have acute knowledge of their area’s situation and needs in order to distribute the cards accordingly. These gift cards will be delivered as promptly as possible to have the greatest affect on those in need.
So I urge all of you reading this post and who want to help…this is truly the most effective way one can do something from a far and to get that same incredible feeling I got this week…a good soulful one.
Crockpot Wednesday Recipe: BEEF STEW
There is nothing more comforting on a cold cold day then a hearty and delicious Beef Stew.
This stew takes minutes to put together and the abundance of fresh vegetables, good beef & spices slow cooked for hours…whose end result is served in a large bowl of yumminess that makes the belly full and comforts the soul.
I made it this week twice, one time to feed a crowd after a day out in the trenches and a 2nd time for my Tunie B. who gobbles up the potatoes like they are manna from heaven.
Tip: This recipe works great in a crockpot and on the stove top -and is a great meal to serve on Friday night. You will notice that I cut my own beef cubes, this way guarantees me fresh quality meat for my stew. The quality of the pre-cut cubes you find in most groceries is usually not up to par – and many times this may also be the cheaper route.
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. of the following spices: cumin, basil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder
2 lbs club steak or small roast ( diced into bite size cubes)
1 1/2 cup hickory brown sugar BBQ sauce
1/2 cup honey mustard
2 large carrots, diced
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large parsnip, diced
10-12 small whole red potatoes
kosher salt & black pepper to taste
Place the onions and meat on the bottom of the crockpot. Mix well. Pour the bbq sauce and the honey mustard over the meat.
Add the vegetables into the pot, ending with the potatoes on top. Cover and cook 4 hours on high.
Serve in a bowl with some great bread.
PLEASE NOTE: it has come to my attention that a few people who have tried this recipe have had to cook it in the crock pot for longer than 4 hrs – my recommendation is to dice your veggies small and/or add a little broth or water to the pot to cover the veggies and cook for 6 hrs on high. It seems every crock pot brand cooks a little differently – and in mine 4 hrs made this a very soft dish – so please adjust accordingly!
change is good…right?
I am not a fan of change
never have been
I like the familiar
I like the comfort …in the knowing…
but as the days go by
and I embrace my “single” life
change is here…
wether I like it or not.
it seems every day
there is some NEW change…
that I must embrace.
its hard…I can not lie
its scary…its lonely
but so far with each major life change …
and just maybe that saying
“its all for the best” is something I can take to heart now
the other day I cried in my pillow
I watched my Tunie B. watch other kids.. playing with their father…
and I saw her craving…her loneliness…her questions..
where is my daddy? he used to do this with me?
run across her precious little face…
and then she put her head down for a moment
then looked at me…
and gave me a shy, smirky, Tunie B smile…
with those crooked front teeth and half winking eyes…
as if she knew…
that this change… we are both working hard adapting to
kinda isn’t so fair ..for a 2 1/2 year old..
to us as a family…
but we have no choice…
this is life as we know it now
and the change is here…
and so Tunie B and me…
we have no choice – but to make the best of it
changing things up
the doing of it…it is the hardest step…
but once it is done and you learn to accept it…
life goes on…
and a new normal
one thing I know to be true though,
to survive any change
you need to bend with the flow…
and make your self strong from the inside out (I give myself daily pep talks – I am not kidding here)
and everyday… I see a change in me
I am taking each day and its changes
head on…and you know what?
Tunie B & Me -that is one thing that will never change
life is pretty ok…. and we are good.
changes and all…
What’s for Dinner Tonight? meat sushi
Talk about change up… the other day before the fast I decided to play with the traditional fish & vegetable sushi roll – and make it with some meat. I had gotten the idea from eating at a restaurant earlier this year. I figured it was really the perfect dish for before the fast, especially if the rest of the meal was meaty, it had the carbs, protein and was light enough not to make you feel like you went into the fast overly stuffed.
I actually really liked this meat sushi so much, that I am thinking of making it for dinner tonight again. Surprisingly, Tunie B. also really loved it (she would not go near the fish one.) Made with everything you make traditional sushi with, except I substituted the fish with some cold cuts, like roast beef, pastrami, turkey and tounge. I used one of my favorite mustard dressings and some frenches onions for some crunch and a new changed such dish was born!
It is a terrific way to use up our shabbat cold cut leftovers, and a really fun project to get the older kids involved in, and have them make their own Sushi roll for dinner tonight! It also travels great!
2 cups, cooked sushi rice (here is the recipe for sushi rice)
your favorite cold cuts
your favorite vegetables sliced thin ( I used: avocado, pepper, carrot, cucumber)
French’s Fried Onions
favorite mustard dressing (I am a fan of ken steakhouse honey mustard dressing)
1. spread your rice onto your seaweed evenly
2. Flip your roll rice down onto your mat
3. Fill the inside of your roll with the vegetables, onions, meat & dressing
4: Roll your seaweed together first by hand then with the mat, pressing the roll closed as you smooth the bamboo mat around the roll.
5: Slice off your ends first, then slice roll in half, then slice into small bite size pieces. Then serve & enjoy!