Summer, Summer, how could you leave and not take me?

I’ve gotten a few e-mails asking why I’m not addressing the Israel war, and I figured I’d explain that. I am a food blog. I know the pain over there, and I know that it is a sad thing. War is never good, and I’m opposed to war in all forms. I do hope the war ends soon, and will be praying for those hurt on BOTH sides. But, as I said before, this is a FOOD blog. You don’t come here for my political views, you come here for news on the Kosher industry and recipes! Oh, and my occasional Jewish music fanboying. So, no, I’m not going to go into the war on this blog. Call me a bad Jew if you want, but this is NOT the place for such topics! We’re a FOOD blog, and I’m sticking with that!

Okay! With the info out of the way, let’s do this week’s article! I want to look at some party treats that go well at any gathering since Labor Day is rapidly approaching. The first is a Spiked Lemonade that refreshes on hot summer nights, as well as tastes pretty darn good! First we need a package of Kool-Aid Lemonade. Kool-Aid, for those who don’t know, -IS- certified Kosher by the OU. Dropping it into the pitcher with one cup of sugar, we next go for the gin. Now, the important thing to remember is that most gin, with the exception of Sloe Gin & Flavored Gin, is Kosher. But, if you want flavor, I recommend Gordon’s as their flavored gins are the only ones the OU certifies Kosher. Me, I prefer just adding one to two cups of Gin to the lemonade before topping it off with water. Stir well, and serve in glasses over ice with a wedge of lemon on the glass. Simple, cheap, and effective party drinks! The pitcher can be chilled in the fridge, and can be kept for up to two weeks before going stale.

Now, another party favorite is the dips. Ah, something to shmear all over crackers and eat to your heart’s content. Something my family & I always enjoyed is this simple family dip. First we start with one softened block of cream cheese and chop it into cubes. Adding it to your food processor, we want to put in a dash of hot sauce (optional), one can (or 12 oz.) of artichoke hearts, and one can of sliced black olives, drained. Now, from this point we’re going to mix it in pulses, watching to make sure it doesn’t get too solid. If it starts to clump up, add about 1/16th cup of milk and continue to blend. This cold dip, when done, can be served in a bowl to be spread on your favorite crackers, pita bread, and even matzos during Pesach! (Well, that is if your branch allows you to put shmear of any sort on matzos. If not, well… Um… Sorry?) But if kept in a sealed container, this dip can keep for up to about a week in the fridge.

So we now have a drinks and dip for our last summer party. What else do we need? Well, a cheese and veggie platter always goes over well, but I have ANOTHER idea in mind. Using a small slow cooker, let’s make some BBQ beans & franks! First we need two packages of soy/vegan hot dogs sliced into bite-sized pieces. We then add them to the slow cooker with one onion, diced and one 28 oz. Bottle of your favorite kosher BBQ sauce. If you feel at a loss, The Kosher Blog did an article on different Kosher sauces to get you started. Finally, stir in one can of chili or kidney beans, drained. I’ll warn you, chili beans are CALLED chili beans for a REASON! They have a kick, so stick with kidney beans if you’re worried about heat. Now, cook this on LOW for 6 hours, or on HIGH for 3 hours. When done, stir and serve. This side goes over VERY well with kids, and even some adults, too!

Now, I’d get into BBQing, but we did that in another article. I prefer some nice ground chuck or bison, myself. What, you’ve never made your own patties!? FOR SHAME! *wags finger* Well then, before we go, let’s do this! Now, before doing this, I assume you all ate the dairy about two hours ago, and you’re now cooking the burgers in the evening, yes? I thought so. Okay! Just making sure so I’m not yelled at!

We’ll start with 2 pds. Ground check from a cow or bison. I prefer bison meat, myself, as its leaner and the flavor is so much more rich. To this we want to mix in one onion, minced, a pinch of kosher salt, 1/4 cup matzos meal, one egg, and a dash of liquid smoke. (For the record, the OU does certify several brands of liquid smoke. It’s a great addition to any kitchen!) After mixing up with your hands, shape the meat into 3-4 in. Patties that are about 1/4 in. Thick. If you are worried, just use a hamburger press to shape the patties, but my hands work fine for me. Cook over an open flame as you would regular patties, and enjoy! Yes, I know, they seem like little personal meatloafs, but in effect that is what a good hamburger SHOULD be! A mini meatloaf between two buns with ketchup, pickles, and horseradish mustard. Mmmm…

Well, no matter where the end of Summer finds you this year, I do hope you all have a safe and fun time at whatever parties you go to, and remember to have a designated driver. The 4th of July & Labor Day are the two biggest drunk pickups across the country as everyone spends all the weekend outside drinking beer like it was soda. Drive safe, or rent a towncar or taxi if you’re going to be drinking away from home. Anyhow, Shalom and good cooking!

August 11, 2006. drinks, main courses, recipes, side dishes.


  1. Suicidal Mickey Mouse replied:

    What about Hebrew National hotdogs? Those are kosher, and yummier than regular/soy/vegan, I think.

  2. Renegade Kosher replied:

    Yuhs, but the dip has cream cheese, IE dairy. Now if you toss out the dip and use a non-dairy side like salsa & chips, well… No worries, then, and the numminess of Hebrew National can fill your tummy! After all, they answer to a higher athority!

  3. KleoPatra replied:

    I am enjoying your blog, just want to say hello from an S.Diego vegetarian!!

  4. Renegade Kosher replied:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying reading! Now, let’s see if the wife & I can pull off a miracle & stay in S. Diego, or have to move to Texas…

  5. Trisha replied:

    Hey, RK, how you been…
    I think I am going to have to try the drinks…
    come visit me on the web

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