Celebrate a Delicious Lag B'Omer or Memorial Day Picnic
On the 33rd day of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuos, many celebrate with a festive picnic. The explanations begin with the Omer period itself, those forty-nine days that are counted off one by one between the two festivals. This is a time of semi-mourning, when weddings and other celebrations are forbidden. There are several explanations as to why the 33rd day, Lag B'Omer is a happy day, interrupting the sadness of the Omer period.
Whether you are planning a Lag B’Omer picnic for Thursday, May 26, or one for Memorial Day weekend, or just enjoying a picnic at other times of the year, we have gathered ten suggestions for scrumptious picnic foods.
BEET SALAD: Peel beets and grate them (a food processor will keep the juice contained). Add pistachios or hazelnuts; dress with orange zest and juice, and olive oil. Add bits of goat cheese and chopped parsley. (Recipe adapted from the The New York Times)
PESTO CHICKEN ROLLS: Season and grill chicken cutlets. Brush lavash or any other wrap–type bread with pesto; layer with the chicken, sun–dried tomatoes and arugula; roll up and cut on the bias. (Recipe adapted from the The New York Times)
CURRIED EGG SALAD: Make egg salad with hard–cooked eggs, mayo, curry powder, Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion and, if you like, diced apple. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
CORNFLAKE CHICKEN BITES: Cut boneless chicken breasts into small pieces. Dip in parve rice milk; dredge in seasoned crushed corn flake crumbs, cornmeal or panko bread crumbs. Pan–fry in oil, drain, cool and eat cold with celery sticks, with parve ranch dressing such as Mauzone brand. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
COLD PEANUT NOODLES: Cook Chinese egg noodles or regular spaghetti. Drain and rinse. Toss with sesame oil, peanut butter , sugar, soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, black pepper (lots) and chili oil (optional). At the picnic, toss in some seeded cucumber, chopped scallion and if desired boneless chicken pieces or kosher faux shrimp. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
GAZPACHO TO GO: Combine a couple of pounds of ripe tomatoes, one of cucumbers, a slice or two of bread, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. Chill and pour into a thermos. (Recipe adapted from the New York Times)
ISRAELI SALAD: Toss green and black olives, parsley and mint, salt and pepper, bits of chopped–up lemon (rinds and all; preserved lemon is even better), chopped seeded tomatoes, chopped seeded cucumbers and chopped red pepper. When ready to serve at picnic, mix with olive oil and garnish with toasted garlic flavored pita chips. (Recipe adapted from The New York Times)
LAYERED PICNIC IN–A–JAR by Melissa D’Arabian of The Food Network.
We love this creative picnic creation – a meal layered in a classic glass Ball quart jar. The layers include cooked brown rice, green olives, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, chickpeas, eggplant cubes, tomatoes and chicken. There are many ingredients, but assembly is easy, and we think well worth the effort. For the entire recipe visit, Food Network.
PESTO POTATO SALAD by The Neely’s.
What’s a picnic without potato salad? We enjoy this pesto version from Food Network’s The Neely’s. It would go well with a corned beef sandwich and some slaw! (Just omit the parmesan cheese for a parve, dairy free version.)
CAPONATA PICNIC SANDWICHES
by Giada De Laurentis.
What a lovely picnic sandwich; Enjoy a bottle of chilled white wine as you munch this creation by one of our favorite TV chefs, Giada.
PICNIC TIPS and TRICKS:
• Pack foods in a thermal picnic basket if possible.
• Freeze water in old plastic soda bottles – fill to no more than 1-inch from top. These will help keep food chilled and to act as extra drinking water. Disposable too!
• Take along a citronella candle to help keep insects awa.
• Anti–bacterial hand gel (Baby wipes are great stand–ns for hand cleaner) or bring along some wet wash clothes, packed in a plastic bag.
• And Remember:Sunscreen, insect spray, trash bags, picnic blanket and/or table cover, and a first aid kit.
Let us know how you picnic, and share your favorite foods to go! May you enjoy Lag Ba’Omer, and may your spring and summer days be sunny – each day a picnic!
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Totally Bamboo Tree of Life - Cutting & Serving Board
What a beautiful gift for yourself or others! Each of these unique boards is a one-of –a kind crafted kitchen accessory. It is laser etched on one side for elegant serving, and smooth on the opposite side for cutting. It offers function, versatility and design – and goes from kitchen to table. If you look closely at this solid bamboo board, you can actually see over 800 laser-etched images of exotic and endangered animals.
The Tree of Life board is a product of Totally Bamboo. A percentage of each sale is donated to the National Forest Foundation; a U.S. based non-profit organization that has planted 4 million trees since its inception in 2008. For each dollar donated one tree is planted!
The commitment from Totally Bamboo is focused on reducing widespread practice of clear-cutting precious hardwood forests by giving consumers a sustainable alternative choice.
Bamboo is the alternative for all things wood. It is one of the world’s fastest growing plants. It is actually a species of grass that can produce more oxygen than hardwood forests of comparable size, and helps prevent soil erosion. It is growing in popularity due to its sustainable, renewable nature and beauty, and has become a cost effective and ecologically responsible choice for use in kitchen accessories, furniture and flooring.
The Unique Tree of Life Board:
- It functions as a cutting and serving board with beautiful and permanent laser-etched art. It features over 800 images of exotic and endangered animals which make up the tree ring design
- Easy on knife blades, bamboo is a natural alternative to wood, it is substantially stronger than hard woods and easier on the environment;
- It is 15 1/2" diameter by 1 1/2" thick and created from Moso, a type of bamboo known for its strength, density and high quality
- Easy to maintain; hand wash with warm water and occasionally use Totally Bamboo's Revitalizing Oil or a similar oil to extend life and beauty
More about Bamboo
Bamboo is actually a grass that grows to a harvestable height between 3 - 5 years. Some species grow up to 2 feet per day. After harvesting, bamboo does not require replanting, it has an extensive root system that continually sends up new shoots, naturally replenishing itself, making it one of the most renewable resources known. Bamboo is 16% harder than maple wood, 1/3 lighter in weight than oak, yet in some instances as strong as steel.
For more information or to purchase, click Totallybamboo.com or this board:
Challah – it is the signature piece de resistance of the Shabbos meal. Yes, we all enjoy the traditional chicken soup, brisket, roast chicken and more - but the challah is the star.
We present some outstanding challah recipes and instructions from colleagues, culinary stars and our KosherEye family on how to make delicious challah.
Each of the 15 challah recipes featured here are tested and quite delicious!
Why make challah? A word from Aish.com: About challah and why it is a special mitzvah.
Sharon Lurie, The Kosher Butcher’s Wife, Johannesburg, South Africa cookbook author, TV/Radio personality and the one of the global leaders and innovators of The Shabbos Project.
From thekosherbutcherswife.com: How to bake challah with Sharon Lurie
Scrumptious Apple Cinnamon Challah recipe from Montreal Mom TV. It is perfect for fall or winter – or any time apples are in season.
Prize winning challah by the much admired cooking instructor and author and all around food expert Norene Gilletz from her book Norene’s Healthy Kitchen.
The culinary star, journalist, and author Joan Nathan presents her recipe for "Ultimate Challah". It was shared by Tablet magazine.
Allison Josephs, online editor of Jew in the City, makes her yummy challah along with her children, and shares thoughts about challah-making in this video.
The much loved challah by the beloved Rebbetzin Kanievsky as printed in The Bais Yaakov Cookbook.
From Shoshanah Ohriner: Colorful, easy to follow challah braiding video tutorial from popular online blogger of Couldntbeparve.com
For a global treat we present Asian challah. . .found on MyJewishLearning.com Read the story about Molly Yeh and then enjoy the recipe for her Chinese style challah based on a traditional Chinese dish, the scallion pancake.
If you have a bread machine, or even if you don’t you will love this recipe from Susie Fishbein. The KosherEye team makes it often and everyone enjoys every bite.
Hot Pretzel Challah – by Cookbook author, Actor & Online Personality, the versatile Mayim Bialik
Rhodes Easy Pull-A Part Challah (Keep the Secret --So easy!)
Basic Honey Bread Machine Challah A KosherEye signature recipe
For more of our favorite challah recipes (yes there are more!) – including instructions on how to frost or add streusel to a challah, visit KosherEye.com and access this link: http://www.koshereye.com/best-kosher-recipes/challah.html
The Shabbos after Pesach is known as Shlissel Shabbos. The custom goes that a key is inserted into the challah is a centuries old tradition.
Learn about this tradition and get Renee Chernin’s recipe for her delicious challah.
Yes, Please share your favorite challah recipe with KosherEye.Add a comment
The Chosen Bean is a South Florida based artisan coffee roasting company, founded in 2009 by entrepreneur Moshe Ruza. The coffee became so popular among local fans, that a friend suggested growing the hobby into a business. And so the company was born, with the mission of providing customers something special in coffee.
The owners, Mendy Dalfin & Moshe Ruza are two Hasidic Jews and take pride in their coffee beans, which are chosen for high quality and exclusivity. The beans are selected from “the top 2% of all beans worldwide”, and they are sourced from farmers with small parcels of land and limited crop, ensuring the authenticity of the bean. “We ensure that the farmers are treated fairly (Fair Trade or better) and tithe all company proceeds.”
The Chosen Bean retains its focus on freshness and roasts beans to order. To do so they continue to work with a number of importers to source beans globally from regions in Central and South America, Africa, and Indonesia.
The company has expanded, and the products are now available by subscription and at Whole Foods Markets around the U.S. The best news,
Although the entire line of coffees is kosher for Passover, the Chosen Bean has introduced a signature line of kosher for Passover coffees, including several special blends -- the first ever produced exclusively for Passover.
- 100% Kona Estate Kosher For Passover
- Passover Edition Samson Espresso
- Passover Edition Colombia Single Origin Coffee
- Passover Edition Colombia Swiss Water Decaf Coffee
The Chosen Bean also sells coffee accessories such as manual coffee mills and pour over cups. We think that their coffee subscriptions make great Passover hostess gifts!
For more information or to order, visit thechosenbean.com
Follow them on Twitter:@thechosenbean or on Facebook: Facebook.com/thechosenbean
Beyond Meat's 100% plant-based products taste good, are widely available, and when labeled as such, are kosher certified by the Star-K. We could stop writing here, but want to share more on why this is a great addition to a healthy, kosher lifestyle. We remind you that we do love meat and poultry (the real thing) . . . braised, grilled, fried, seasoned, succulent. We are not vegans or vegetarians, however, we were delighted to discover a product as flavorful as Beyond Meat because it can reduce our meat consumption and help us serve healthier meals. Also, we always enjoy creating copycat kosher recipes, and these parve chicken and beef products help in our quest.
Many of Beyond Meat products are Star K certified when noted on the packages. We added the beefy crumble to our Mexican style rice, cheese and beans; We made “chicken eggplant parmesan” with the lightly grilled chicken strips; we crumbled beef-free crumbles over cheese pizza, and on quesadillas, and we made delicious cheesy lasagna. Beyond Meat products were named the #1 Food Innovation for 2014.
From the company: “Based in Los Angeles, California, Beyond Meat is on the cutting edge of plant protein research and development. With a goal of driving innovation and progress, the company provides plant-based protein foods - without sacrificing the taste, chew or satisfaction of meat.” Their impressive list of investors include Bill Gates, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone, and Evan Williams; Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea; and the Humane Society of the United States.
Visit www.BeyondMeat.com, Twitter @BeyondMeat, or Facebook.com/BeyondMeat.
Note: Beyond Meat’s much heralded Beast Burger is NOT yet under kosher certification. We can’t wait to taste it, and when it is kosher certified, we will let you know!Add a comment
When the weather outside is frightful. . .
SOUP is so delightful!
SOUPER SOUPS -- 10 of Our Cold Weather Favorites
Tomato Pea Bisque with Faux Kosher Crab
The Easiest Soup Ever
(Thank you Imagine Brand for doing all the work!)
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Healthy Eating with Whey Isolate Protein
Our first question is why whey?
The answer: Why not? It is a delicious and easy way to add protein to meals. We discovered Integrated Supplements Whey Isolate Protein last summer and have been shaking it up, mixing it in and sprinkling it on ever since. The product is kosher certified OU-D, and is available in several flavors – strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, and the newest flavor...chocolate mint.
Integrated Supplements Whey Isolate Protein powder is free of artificial additives and preservatives, and is recommended for the entire family, from toddler to senior. The product has been awarded the distinction of “highest quality protein supplement” through Labdoor, the prestigious San Francisco based company. This recognition is considered the “Academy Award” of the supplement world. Wow! The products can be purchased at Target stores across the U.S.
So, what exactly is whey? It is the watery part of milk separated from curds during the making of cheese. Whey was originally thought of as a waste product; in fact it was sold as inexpensive animal feed. Researchers eventually found that the protein portion of whey had remarkable health benefits for humans. And now, there is the convenient and flavorful whey powder.
We do try to eat well, but in our family of foodies, eating healthy has to include deliciousness. That’s what we feel makes Integrated Supplements Whey Isolate Protein so unique and special. Adding it to recipes enhances the taste and adds another layer of flavor.
Ways with whey
Some (like my daughter) enjoy protein shakes. She has one every day for breakfast; her favorite is chocolate. Some parents add whey to their children’s milk or hot chocolate, or they mix up a strawberry milkshake with fresh berries and strawberry whey. As for KosherEye, we like to mix it in as an easy flavorful, healthful addition to recipes. In some cases, it is our culinary secret, a hidden addition.
- Oatmeal: 1 scoop vanilla or strawberry whey into oatmeal before cooking
- Mashed potatoes: Use vanilla whey and add a spoonful of sour cream and a Tablespoon of melted butter. Whip or mash
- Soup: See a favorite recipe below for Creamy Vanilla Corn Soup
- Granola – Sprinkle whey over granola and use it to top yogurt
- French toast – Add a scoop or two to French toast batter.
- Chocolate pudding – Add Whey to Instant pudding – perfect for pie fillings too.
- Yogurt – Make a yogurt, whey, fruit parfait. Yumm!
- Muffins – Add to batter
- Fruit – Top with coconut and granola mixed with a scoop of whey
- Ice Cream – We mix some whey into the syrup.
- Cheese Quiche –Mix a scoop or two into the egg and milk batter
We have added 2 scoops of whey to dry cake mix batter. Whey protein powder mixes easily into batters. In addition to being healthful, it deepens the flavor. We add the vanilla whey to yellow cake mixes and the chocolate whey to chocolate cake mixes – and yes, chocolate or chocolate mint whey add a layer of flavor to brownies.
Pancakes or waffle mixes
Add just a scoop or two to boost the protein content; mix the whey into the batter and then place in an oiled fry pan or griddle, or add to heated wafflemaker. Check out our recipe.
Try these delicious recipes:
Breakfast Banana Bread
Pancakes with Integrated Supplements Whey Isolate Protein
As we head toward a new year, leading food trend forecasters have shared their predictions. We present some of these forecasts relevant to the kosher consumer. Mintel, the world's leading market intelligence agency reports that there is still a consistent rise in kosher product claims... the rationale: Consumers believe that kosher is more “wholesome”. Less than 2% of the US population is Jewish, but 41% of the country’s packaged food and beverages are labeled kosher. Many consumers buy kosher for non-religious reasons. Some such as positive health or taste perceptions, vegetarian reasons or to avoid allergens, such as shellfish.
2016 Culinary Trends
- 1. Food delivery services increase– delivery kits and chef prepared meals on the upswing throughout the country
- 2. Clean menus - Eliminating artificial ingredients, gmo’s, chemicals from restaurant menus and food products
- 3. Cutting down pasta intake - Pasta slumped 6 percent in 2015. More Americans want pasta made from vegetables, like zucchini and asparagus. Spiralizer sales are up!
- 4. Vegetables- Consumers are requesting more vegetables and eating more vegetables. Root vegetables are at the top of the list. Veggies are pushing animal protein to “the side of the plate”. Some predict that vegetables are the heroes this year. Vegetable portions are rising and meat portions are shrinking — something many Millennials see this as being gentler on the planet.
- 5. No tipping – restaurants are experimenting with the no tip policy and adding the charge to the bill.
- 6. Poke (pronounced poke-ay or poh-key), a Hawaiian dish. Poke ... pronounced poke ay and poh key ... is a Hawaiian mainstay that's migrating to the mainland. It is basically a bowl of chopped or cubed raw fish
- (traditionally ahi tuna over seaweed, seasoned rice ...tossed in a marinade: Combinations include soy sauce, macadamia nuts, green onion, seaweed, avocado, mango, sesame oil, ginger, chilies of varying degrees of heat, numerous Japanese seasoning blends.perhaps including kale and tofu.
- 7. Newish Jewish- a modern take on traditional Jewish cuisine- a popular mainstream trend that is not necessarily kosher; Chefs are preparing traditional Jewish food with a contemporary flair. The newish Jew-ish cuisine has been inspired by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Immigrants, 3rd and 4th generation Americans. Chefs are reinventing dishes and foodways that were once served only at holidays, juggling culinary traditions with modernity . Millennials and GenZs seem to be gravitating to their grandparents taste for fermented, deli and smoked foods - pickled herring, pickles, sauerkraut, and modern ferments such as kimchi, lox, pastrami and more.
- 8. Acai bowls: Move over, smoothies ... here come acai bowls. Using a fruit from Brazil, these are migrating from Hawaii across the country.
- They are basically big-bowl smoothies ... made from frozen acai pulp and soy or other milk- plus bananas, bits of other fruit, and lots of ice ... with toppings like granola, chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and peanut butter. It is eaten with a spoon and is said to taste fairly close to ice cream.
- 9. Fried chicken- we particularly like this trend. New variations of this southern classic range from hot and spicy versions, to chicken fried with the addition of fiery ethnic seasonings.
- 10. Spices take the spotlight; Turmeric is named as the up and coming spice of the year.
- 11. Discarded to Delicious- The new mission of zero food waste is taking over the country: The goal of repurposing yesterday’s food has entered the culinary scene. Chefs are trying to use all of the vegetable or fruit. from stem to leaf.
- 12. In-house made flours are becoming popular, a result of consumers’ desire for transparency in food ingredients.
- 13, Cucumbers are the “it” vegetables – Chefs and home cooks are sourcing all types to add crunch and freshness to dishes.
- 14. Sous vide machines – the newest way to cook. The machines are getting smaller and less expensive to entice the home cook.
- 15. Stuffed dough dishes like samosas and blintzes are gaining popularity
- 16. Indulgent breakfasts and brunch expand in restaurants and at home.
- 17. Iced Cream sandwiches- named the new “cupcake” of 2016!
- 18. Beer – craft and artisan breweries popping up everywhere. Women become beer’s newest, growing customer base.
- 19, Super premium and flavored whisky poised to surpass vodka sales
- 20. Rum tastings, fresh flavored rum cocktails, and sipping rums are gaining popularity.
*Some of the information and statistics for this article were gathered from online reports and various Internet sources.
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It was love at first sight when we first spotted the Emile Henry ceramic Chicken Baker. The sleek, curvy shape is a perfect fit for a whole chicken. The functionality of this kitchen ovenware complements its beauty. If we had space on our counter, we would leave it out all the time as a work of art. The Emile Henry HR Chicken Baker provides effortless cooking without the need to baste. Because of the lid, steam circulates perfectly around the ingredients. The shape of the lid is designed to fit the size of a chicken or roast so that the heat is diffused properly around the poultry or meat.
So how did we use it? We rubbed a 3-½ lb. chicken with olive oil and pepper. We inserted some rosemary sprigs and dried thyme into the cavity. (No we rarely salt kosher poultry because we think it’s salty enough!) We chunked carrots, onions, peeled potatoes and celery, and added a few cloves of peeled garlic. We placed the whole chicken into the baker, and surrounded it with the vegetables.
We preheated the oven to 400 and placed the covered roaster in the oven, and baked it for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was heavenly.
We also tried a 4lb. chuck roast in this baker using the same method. We enjoyed every bite. We used carrots, peeled potatoes and celery for the vegetables, and pepper, thyme and Worcestershire for the rub.
Yes, It’s an investment, but well worth it- and is one of those cooking accessories that can be passed down through generations and become a classic in the kitchen.
- Provides effortless cooking without the need to baste
- Capacity: 3.2 qt,
- Steam circulates perfectly around the ingredients
- Crafted of durable Emile Henry HR high-resistance ceramic
- Oven safe up to 520°
- Made in France- 10-year warranty
- Available in red or black
For more information:
Follow @emilehenryusa, Facebook.com/emilehenry, emilehenryusa.com
To purchase a chicken baker, click here:Emile Henry Chicken Baker
Simply the Best. Period
European-style Cultured Butter
While working on a dairy farm in Brittany, France, Allison Hooper took careful note of what happened to the milk. After each milking, she set the cream aside. Natural, lactic bacteria took over, ripening it into cultured cream — or crème fraîche. When the thick result was churned into butter, she knew she had learned something valuable. Today, almost 30 years later, Allison’s company Vermont Creamery is humbled. They have won more than 100 national and international awards. “Our butters and cheeses populate some of the most prestigious cheese boards in America.” Just as we are educating our palates to fine wines, special coffee brews and olive oil qualities, we are now exploring dairy and butter products.
Vermont Creamery has taken butter to the next level. Working with the local St. Albans Cooperative, a coop of 500 family farms in Northeast Vermont, cream is churned in small batches becoming a rich European-style butter with 86% butterfat content and unique farm-fresh taste.
What exactly is cultured butter?
It is butter, which can be used at a higher temperature than other butters. and is very baking friendly for flaky full flavor pie crusts, cookies, sauces and sautées.
And then there is the Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter Sea Salt Basket, chosen the Best Classic Product Winner at the 2015 Fancy Food Show. This butter is presented in a round basket and has the creamy richness of butter along with the fine crunch of Celtic sea salt. We smeared this on our whole wheat bread, our bagel and our favorite flagel. It is heaven! The rich consistency we assume is because of its high butterfat content. The cream is naturally cultured before churning – It is silky smooth with an extraordinary rich, nutty flavor.
Vermont Creamery produces several additional products including a tart and creamy crème fraîche, which is a thick, cultured cream with a tart, slightly nutty flavor. According the Food Network’s Dish Blog, ““crème fraîche is the richer, sexier and more talented relative” of sour cream. It can be whipped to soft peaks, scooped directly from the cup, and even piped onto desserts. It can also be mixed with a touch of sweetener to top fresh or stewed berries.” Another favorite from the Vermont Creamery is their Mascarpone – If you like Tiramisu, like we like tiramisu, you will love this creamy cheese.
Vermont Creamery products are certified kosher when labeled with Kof-k dairy. They are available at Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Fairway and supermarkets across the country.
For more information vermontcreamery.com
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