Matzo ball soup is a traditional Jewish food, usually served in chicken broth. Using the soup broth to form the matzo balls give them an extra rich flavor. Chicken soup has a reputation of having healing properties and it’s also a regular Friday night dinner dish. Every family has its own way of making it, and there are even variations within each family.
Bizir is the Arabic name for toasted pumpkin seeds. I’m not sure what the correct English spelling is; it can just as easily be bizid or bizit. There isn’t really a letter in the English language to substitute for the sound I’m trying to make, but it’s pretty much a combination of those three.
Anyway, bizir is something I grew up watching people around me eating. As a kid, it’s impossible to crack open the shell to leave an intact inside, so sometimes I would get frustrated and eat the whole thing (not a good idea). But now I’ve gotten the hang of it, and it’s a light and fun snack. My family often pairs bizir with dessert and after-dinner tea, but it can just as easily be a watching TV snack on its own.
An etrog is a very interesting fruit. You never really hear of it except for during Sukkot, and even then nobody eats it; we just shake it. It doesn’t help that they’re really expensive, and not that easy to eat.
This was my first experience cutting into an etrog. It’s a citrus fruit similar to a lemon, but you can’t squeeze the juices out. I guess you can use the outside like you would lemon zest, but it would be much harder, since the surface isn’t very smooth.
Jewish superstition connects etrog jelly to pregnancy and fertility. I have heard that it eases labor pains, helps a woman get pregnant, and can be eaten any time during pregnancy for health and luck.
If you’ve been following us since the beginning (or if you’ve checked out the archive), you know that our first recipe ever posted was raspberry jam. We couldn’t believe how easy it was to make, how delicious it was, or how quickly our friends and family gobbled it up; we had to make more jam!
Two recipes in one! Making my life a bit easier…
I love roasting vegetables. It really brings out the flavor and is very easy…but it also takes a long time, something that between work and school I really don’t have. About once a week I have enough time in the kitchen to roast vegetables, and this week I decided to really take advantage of it.
A few years ago I found a recipe in a magazine (I wish I remembered which one!) for roasted fall vegetables with two more recipes using those leftover vegetables in different ways. I roasted two half sheet pans of veggies and served half for dinner that night. The rest I saved to make soup for an easy and delicious weeknight meal.
It’s fall, which means my supermarket is filled with cheap varieties of squash. Spaghetti squash is kind of strange. But it’s also healthy, versatile, easy, and tasty.
The best way to extract the stringy-insides is to bake it first. I cut it in half, seasoned it with sprinkles of salt, pepper, and olive oil, and popped it in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. After letting it cool enough to be able to handle, all I had to do was take a fork and shred the insides (after removing the seeds in the middle, of course).
There are so many ways to eat a potato. Here is just one of them. It’s boring, we know, but it’s also easy and oh-so flavorful!
I often try to make granola bars, only to find myself with granola in the end. After watching Ina Garten so easily make granola bars for her friends, I decided to try it out again. I added dried fruits and flax seeds to her basic recipe, and omitted the nuts so I could bring them into school (nut-free) and snack on them while there.
I ended up with 17 granola bars. There should have been 18, but one completely crumbled. I had it with milk the next morning. These granola bars were pretty easy to make. I cut them after a few hours and wrapped each one in wax paper. I then stuck them in zip-top baggies and stored half on the counter and half in the freezer.
Next time I think I’ll lower the sweetness and add some chocolate chips.
Sometimes my refrigerator is empty and I have to go out and buy food. It gets expensive and truthfully, sometimes I just really don’t want to go outside. So I don’t. And I get very hungry/grumpy.
I already had some leftover vegetarian chili, and I was at the the supermarket and became inspired; tortillas were on sale and I didn’t want to pay the price of the kosher/vegetarian frozen burritos I saw there. So I decided to make my own frozen snacks. These are my emergency snack burritos:
Some are prettier than others, but they'll all keep me from starving.
I’m not really sure how it fits in to our Middle-Eastern style of cooking, but chili is a staple at the Blanco family’s Shabbat dinner. Our mom always makes it the same way, but when I make it I like to experiment a bit.
I had the perfect variety of fresh peppers on hand from my vegetable-picking trip to a farm in New Jersey so I decided to bring chili to my brother’s house for Friday night dinner. What I didn’t have readily available was ground meat. So I left it out.
I also wanted to put some chopped green pepper (also picked at the farm) in here, but when I cut it open I found a caterpillar, so I threw it out. It was green and fuzzy and still alive. And it freaked me out.