The Year in Review…

With the year almost over, I thought I’d do something different this article. In order to beat the rush of ‘Year in Review’ articles, I felt it might be nice to take my renegade spin on it. So, Ladies & gents, let’s get into the 2006 Year-End Renegade Wrap-up of Jewish Events! Sounds, nifty, yes? Then let’s get to it!

JANUARY brought us many changes in Jewish America. We sadly saw shades of things to come when Hamas won a victory in Palestine Elections. This is also the same month that some forms of whiskey stopped being kosher, much to the chargrin of Jewish Barflies everywhere.

Also, it seemed that Oprah wanted to be nice to the tribe, as she sent her minions to go read ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel in her Book of the Month Club program.

FEBRUARY started off strong when Lisa Loeb came ourt with a new reality show where she tried to find true love. As a fan of her music, I enjoyed the show, and cringed at some of the worse guys. It is sad that she and Dweezil Zappa didn’t stick together.

This month also saw a Jew tortured and abused in France, which ended up leading to protest marches in France due to the police claiming prematurely that the attack wasn’t influenced by hate. This, of course, also was just one more spark on the tinder box that help begin the large-scale class riots in France that so shocked the world. Finally, Kinky Friedman, the original Jewish Cowboy, threw his hat into the ring to become Governor of the State of Texas.

MARCH had the odd coincidence of Purim and Steak and a BJ Day happening on the same day. This also was the month that the Avian Flu reached Israel finally. We also saw Ehud Olmert elected as Prime Minister of Israel. Finally, Bacos were officially made kosher by the OU. ^^

APRIL started with May being named Jewish American Heritage Month. Also, showing it’s forward thinking, Jews in Canada worked to convince the government to make suicide bombing a recognized crime at the G8 conference in the summer. Due to Passover, there really wasn’t much other Jewish news, other than the fact that everyone outside Israel declared again to celebrate Passover in the homeland next year. Though, if we all did that, where would we sleep? Could Israel handle that!?

MAY gave us a politician shooting himself in the foot when Larry Darby, a candidate for Alabama attorney general in the Democratic primary stated that the United States military should “wipe Israel off the map… then come home and export a little payback to Mexico.” Yeah, he kinda killed any chances he had of being elected with gems like that.

JUNE began with the announcement by the OU to start a new training program for those wanting to run Kosher restaurants. It also saw many kashrut agencies cracking down on olive oil due to some companies trying to cut costs by using cheaper oils. All in all, an eventful month for food! This was also a sad time due to an Israeli soldier being kidnapped by a Palestinian raid into Israel. This, of course, started a conflict that led into…

JULY and the start of missile attacks by Lebanon into Israel. This was sad because most the world seemed to blame Israel for being attacked. It suddenly made me see why rape victims don’t want to report being raped. If this is how the world sees such things, as the victim is ‘asking for it’ or is guilty of ‘fighting back’, it saddens me greatly.

July also saw Mel Gibson deliver an Anti-Semitic tirade when caught drunk driving. Thus prompting many ‘Mad Mel’ jokes to swarm over the Jewish Blogsphere, and him to claim that it was ‘just the alcohol talking’. Let’s look at this realistically by comparing Mel to Arnold the ‘Governator’. Both have fathers who claimed the Holocaust never happened, and who supported white power movements. Arnold hated his father, distanced himself from the man, and did all in his power to prove he was NOTHING like the man who helped give him life. He donates time & money to Jewish charities, helps raise awareness for all forms of bigotry and hatred in the world, and is a good Person all around. Mel, on the other hand, is on record talking of how he loves & supports his father, how much he looks up to and respects the man, and how much of an influence he was on Mel’s life. Seems the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, at least to me…

AUGUST saw stronger retaliations to the abduction of Israel’s soldiers, and the attacks on the country from two sides. A cease-fire was called by the UN, and was proptly broken within a week by Hezbollah. Show of hands from any who were surprised? Anyone? Anyone at all?

SEPTEMBER saw the Bnei Menashe community in India allowed to immigrate to Israel as members of the lost tribe. Very nifty! It also saw an articl-e by Editorialist Larry Miller portrayed as written by Comedian Dennis Miller. An honest mistake, to be sure. What’s funny is the original editorial written in 2002 is still true today. Go figure.

OCTOBER gave us a Halloween fright when the OU approved Kosher Pareve Blue Cheese & Ranch Dressings as made by Walden Farms. Think about that for a moment, will you? To be Pareve, it can’t have dairy. So that’s dairy-free blue cheese and ranch dressing that doesn’t have ‘soy’ in the title. What the heck!? How the heck!? Yeah, this one caused some confusion, even though I can understand why they did it. Make the dressing Kosher Pareve, and those getting back to their faith can still have the dressing with hot wings while watching the Super Bowl. It’s Win-Win.

NOVEMBER saw some wierdo hosting the 1 year anniversary of the Kosher Cooking Carnival, a monthly blog carnival to showcase the best of the best each month in Kosher blogging. It also saw some misguided protesters attacking Mayor Uri Lupolianski due to opposition to a Gay Pride parade in Israel. never mind that the mayor was actually quite vocal AGAINST the parade, it must be HIS fault! Oy, vey… Violence solves nothing, people.

DECEMBER came with a nice Harry Potter Gift in which we find he’s a member of the tribe. While non practicing, he still is one of the tribe, none the less! It also saw the beginning fallout from the Conservative Movement’s vote to allow gay marriages & gay rabbis. Now, to help smooth the waves, I want to share a funny story about a Rabbi being gay. It made me smile, at least. It also saw XM Radio try the experiment of a Jewish Radio station all thru Hanukkah, with much acclaim and happiness from the Jewish community. The free service during it was a nice bonus. ^^

So, that’s a recap of 2006 from a renegade perspective. I’m sure I didn’t include EVERYTHING, but what I missed can be found on other blogs and sites. Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane, and see you next time on RKC! Until then, Shalom and good Cooking!

Advertisements

December 26, 2006. Jewish Links, Kosher Links, News, Year in Review. 1 comment.

Eggnog, The Final Frontier…

So, good news/bad news… The good news is that the blog is officially, and forever more, http://www.renegadekosher.com/ thanks to domain wrapping. No need to update bookmarks, it’ll do it itself. The bad news? In doing so, I lost my nifty e-mail addy. So, for those that e-mail me, you can contact me now at renegadekosher-at-gmail.com to discuss culinary topics.

So, Yule just passed, tonight is the last night of Hanukkah, and Monday is Christmas. This is a time of good feelings, joyful hearts, and love for one’s fellow creatures. So, i wanted to relax a little bit. Most are going to be going out with friends & family for the next few days, so let’s get together and have a bit of fun today, okay?

This time of year, the stores are also full of that delicious concoction eggnog. Now, if you buy too much and can’t drink it all, do you throw it out? NO! No, your friend at RKC is going to show Jews & Gentiles alike how to enjoy eggnog in a new way unheard of in ANY cooking blog! I give to you: Eggnog Bread! Now before we begin, I hate that carton stuff. THAT is not eggnog. Instead, go here and learn from Alton Brown how to make REAL eggnog. Got the real stuff now? Okay, I’ll wait…

Assuming you have REAL eggnog, or are forced to deal with the carton variety, let’s make our bread! In a large mixing bowl, bring together the following: 3 Cups AP Flour, Sifted; 1/2 Cup Sugar; 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder; 1/2 Teaspoon Salt; and 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Nutmeg. In a separate bowl, we’ll mix together 1 Egg, Beaten, 1 3/4 Cups Eggnog, and 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil. Now, fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until JUST combined. I know, you want to stir until all the clumps are gone, but you will pay for it! Trust me, okay?

Now, we want to add 1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped and 1/2 Cup Raisins and stir until mixed. Remember, don’t stir too much, just fold in the nuts & raisins with about 10 stirs, and walk away. Your patience will be rewarded! Now, turn the dough into a greased loaf pan, and bake in a 350 Degree F oven for 60-70 minutes. Let it rest on a cooling rack for at LEAST 10-15 minutes until removing the loaf from the pan to finish cooling. Once cooled completely, wrap the bread in foil and let it sit overnight in the fridge. This is important to help the bread finish getting solid inside! Now, to serve this, I will usually drizzle a mixture of 3 Teaspoons Eggnog and 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar over the top of the bread before slicing and serving. This delicious dessert bread goes well after any dairy meal, or fore a nice treat before temple. However you enjoy it, I hope you and yours have a WONDERFUL holiday weekend/paid day off from work. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 22, 2006. bread, dessert, recipes. Leave a comment.

More News, Jobs, and Another Salad!

We start this article with… A Kashrut Alert! Brivais Vilnis Fish Products are bearing an unauthorized OU symbol and are being withdrawn from the marketplace. Consumers spotting these products are requested to contact the Orthodox Union IMMEDIATELY! I also am glad to hear that the Menorah in Orange County was replaced, and people of all faiths came together to celebrate it’s re-lighting. For those that don’t know, last year vandals attacked the menorah and smashed parts of it in a hateful attack. My prayers also go out to those Catholics effected by the desecration of their Jesus statue. The man thought to be responsible was caught & arraigned, but is currently out on bail. I hope that, if found guilty, they receive the full punishment the law can provide. Vandalism and disrespect of ANY religion is NEVER any good, and we here at RKC hope our Catholic brothers and sisters the best of luck weathering this storm.

Also, on the job front, Aish International is looking for part-time (5-15 hrs p/w) follow-up
callers for Project Inspire, a worldwide initiative aimed at encouraging frum people to get involved in easy, highly effective outreach campaigns. You will be responsible for calling people who sign up on the Project Inspire website, reminding them of upcoming campaigns, as well as providing outreach coaching and encouragement for all new registrants. Although Prior Kiruv experience is a real advantage, we will provide full training. However, you must be highly-motivated, positive, able to demonstrate excellent people skills and have a great phone manner. To apply for this and to see more of their current vacancies, please log
on to vocaishion.com.

Now, Sunday when I was pseudo-catering, there was a salad I made that went over VERY well! Even those that disliked beets came up asking for the recipe! So, for my beloved congregation that has taken the wife & me in, I want to present it. And, a rarity anymore, I’ll even write it in the ‘traditional’ style. But, I also want to note it’s inspired in part by Marlena Spieler and her own beet recipe. I’ve modified it up, and I like how it turned out. She also gave some good suggestions that I want to try, as well. But, let’s get to the recipe!

Renegade-Style Beet Salad

6 Cans of Shoestring Beets, Drained Completely
1 oz. Fresh Mint
1 Chopped Onion
1 oz. Fresh Dill
The Freshly Squeezed Juice of 1 Lemon
1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 cup Virgin Olive Oil
Sugar to Taste

Start with the drained beet shoestrings and and pour them into a large bowl.

Now, in your food processor, add in the Mint, Onion, Dill, Lemon Juice, Balsamic Vinegar, and Virgin Olive Oil. Blend in pulses until the mixture has the consistency and color of a rich pesto.

Once blended, toss the pesto into the beets. Mix until the pesto-like dressing covers all of the beet shoestrings.

Start mixing in the sugar in small doses, tasting the salad each time until it reaches a level you like. At first, the lemon juice is going to make it bitter, but the stirred in sugar will combine with the mint and dill to make it sweeter.

Eventually, you’ll get a taste you like, and you can cover the salad before letting it ‘age’ in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This time is good because it allows the salad to mingle and share all the flavors. This light, refreshing salad worked well against the greasy latkes, and I think it’d make a good addition to any seder, as well!

Now, in e-mailing her for permission to use my modification on my blog, she gave some handy tips. First, she suggested using the vacuum-packed shelf-stable cooked beets, if you can afford them. She also suggested chopping the beets up into a relish and eating it with a garlic toast spread with soft goats cheese, a tasty treat I happily admit to having tried, myself. In closing, go buy some of Marlena Spieler’s books! She is a wonderful author and cook, and you can’t help but learn from her when reading one! Anyhow, until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 19, 2006. Jewish Links, News, recipes, salad, seder. 3 comments.

Give Us a Rebel Yell!

To start with, Me-Ander just released Kosher Cooking Carnival #13! Doesn’t look unlucky to me… Also, Sunday was tiring yet fun… I did learn several new things. When using frozen, pre-shredded potatoes, you need to thaw them overnight, and STILL strain the water out of them. Also, instant mashed potatoes don’t make good Pampushki. But, everyone liked the food, and everyone is happy! Also, check out The Sinai Mountain Boys & their Jewish Bluegrass music, “Jewgrass”. For a teaser of their music, here’s how they sing when they light the Hanukkah candles! ^^ Very fun, indeed!

In sadder news, publisher Judith Regan is blaming the tribe for her getting fired. No, no, no! You got fired because you wanted to publish OJ Simpson’s book! Stop taking the Mel Gibson defense, people! It doesn’t work! I’m going to listen to more Radio Hanukkah on XM Radio to calm down. This station is VERY good, and I wish they’d keep it after Hanukkah! I’m going to try to call into the live call-in show on the last night to tell them to keep the all-Jewish station! It’s good!

For today’s recipes, I’m going down south again. First off is a dairy casserole that I like to make with extra grits. Yes, my readers, it’s time for a Grit Casserole! We begin by bringing 2 Cups Water to a boil. Once boiling, we want to add 1/2 cup Grits. cook for 3-5 minutes before removing it from heat. Now, add in 1 Cup Garlic-Flavored Feta and 1 Stick Butter, and stir in until the butter is melted. Once melted, beat 2 Eggs in a separate bowl before adding 1 Cup Milk to the eggs. Stir into the grits, then spread the entire mixture into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 Degrees F for 30-45 minutes. When it nears finishing, pull it out and top with Shredded Cheddar Cheese before baking for the final 10 minutes or so for a tasty addition to any breakfast or brunch table!

But, let’s not stop there! Let’s say you want to continue the trip Down South, and add in some Fried Okra! Well, that’s easy, too! We’re going to start with 1 pd. Fresh Okra, Sliced into 1/4 in. Rings. We want to next put some corn meal in a container you can seal. Putting the okra into the container, close it up before shake, shake, shaking it up to cover every peace completely! I find pretending the okra is someone I want to shake sense into helps me de-stress! ^^ But, anyhow, when covered, we want to take out our trusty cast-iron skillet! Put about 1/4 in. of Vegetable Oil into the skillet, and let it warm up until a few droplets of water pop. (Don’t have a cast iron skillet? Go to the local camping store, buy one, season it, and use it! Call it a Hanukkah gift to yourself!) Once the oil is hot, use a netted scoop or slottes spoon to set the okra into the oil, turning it occasionally as it cooks for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown all over. Scoop the okra out with the netted or slotted spoon, and allow to drain grease & cool on a drying rack covered with paper towels. Salt lightly to taste before serving and enjoy with a dash of hot sauce!

While we’re on the topic of okra, I wanted to cover something that is a classic Down South. I speak, of course, of Gumbo. This is a dish that takes years to learn, but is worth it. Now, just because you can’t have Shellfish in it, that doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome gumbo! So, let’s slip away from the dairy to some decidedly MEAT meals with this good ol’ fashioned soup that’ll make your family happy!

We begin by taking a bot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water. Set the ice water by the stove, because we’re about to blanch 2 Cups Okra! Take the okra, and drop it all into the boiling water. We want to cook it for ONLY 1-3 minutes, and no longer! Once 1-3 minutes is up, scoop the okra out and immediately drop it into the ice water. A technique I use to aid in the blanching of okra is to bind it loosely in a pantyhose or cheesecloth bag before setting it in the boiling water. Then, I can use tongs to pull out the bag and drop it into the ice water easier. Letting the okra cool, we next need 4 pds. Dark Chicken Meat, Cut Into Small Bite-Sized Pieces. We want to cover the chicken in Flour in a similar way as the okra was covered for frying. And, once covered we’re going to FRY it in Vegetable Oil in the same way! Our final cooking preparation is 6 Links Hot Chicken Sausage, Sliced into 1 in. Pieces and 1 Cup Onions, Diced. Pan-fry the sausage & onions until cooked, and set aside. NOW, we are ready to cook gumbo!

Using your stock pot, pour 2 Quarts Water -or- Chicken Stock into it. To this, we want to add the following seasonings: Thyme, Salt, Hot Sauce, Black Pepper, 2 Bay Leaves, and Gumbo File. Quite simply, the last ingredient is Powdered Sassafrass Leaves, and a kosher supply can be purchased here. Just add the spices and herbs to your personal tastes, then add in 2 cans Whole Tomatos and bring to a boil. Turning down the heat to medium low, add in the dark meat of the chicken, okra, onions and sausage. Cover and let the soup thicken and cook for about an hour.

Once done, serve in a bowl over a scoop of cooked white (Or a mix of white and brown) rice. This is great with cornbread, and makes a filling meal anyone will love (As long as they can handle spices!). I hope you enjoyed this! Anyhow, until next time, I want to say Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 19, 2006. breakfast, Jewish Links, Kosher Cooking Carnival, main courses, News, recipes, side dishes. 4 comments.

A Proper Hanukkah Article…

‘Brothers and sisters… We are here for one reason, and one reason alone! To share our love of Judaica… I present to you Hanukkah without prejudice, hey!’ – Paraphrased from ‘Rollin’ (The Balad of Big & Rich)’ by Big & Rich

So let’s share the Hanukkah joy! To start with, Aish.com gives us this cute flash! Also, XM Radio has A Hanukkah station now! Plus, for during this event, WE get it FREE by using the promo code TheChosen! Good on XM for this!

Also, the OU has put up an article listing what Hanukkah is all about! Well, wasn’t that nice of them? Also, Jewbiquitous gives us Everything we ever wanted to know about Chanukiahs, but were afraid to ask. Links to the history, the differences between them & Menorahs, links to making your own, and more! All and all, VERY informative! And what’s up with me? I’m finishing my shopping list for going & getting ‘supplies’ for the coming holiday & temple shopping! ^^ But, let’s look at more treats for the holidays, okay? Also, I seem to get this e-mailed to me this time of year, so let’s spread the love of the funny e-mail!

Here is the difference between Chanukah and Christmas, from a strictly Jewish perspective:

Christmas vs. Chanukah

1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25. Jews also love December 25th. It’s another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days.

It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don’t look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.

2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos… Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukkah, Hannukah, etc.

5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.

6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.

7. Christmas carols are beautiful…Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful…. Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don’t Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?

8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.

9. Christian women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkas on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages.

10. Parents deliver to their children during Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.

11. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta whatever. No one can spell them or pronounce them.. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

12. Many Christians believe in the virgin birth. Jews think,”Yossela, Bubela, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn’t sleep with her, and now you want to blame G-d? Here’s the number of my shrink”.

13. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person. Better stick with Chanukah!

Anyhoo, We have to do the obligatory ‘Heya Hanukkah’ as it is amusing. And, as we depart, we have to do SOMETHING food-oriented… Hmmmmmm… What to do, what to do? How about we look to the Sephardic traditions for Bonuelos? That’s a definite renegade look at the traditional potato latkes! So let’s get to it! First we need 1 Envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) of Dry yeast that we allow to bloom in lukewarm water. Once bloomed, pour it into a large bowl before adding in add 1/6 Cup Soft Butter or Margarine and 1/4 Teaspoon Salt. Now comes the hard part. We want to start kneading in All-Purpose Flour until the mix comes to a soft dough consistency. You don’t want to add too much flour, so just be patient and add flour slowly until it feels like dough for you. Once it’s right, cover the bowl with a towel ant let it rise for 3 hours. This is a good excuse to light candles, open presents, hear the story of Hanukkah, and generally have a good time.

Now, we return and it’s gotten BIG! Taking a spoon, scoop it out of the bowl and fry it as you would any other latke! Drain on paper towels, and serve! Now, these are traditionally served with an Orange Dipping Sauce, so let’s get into that! While the latkes drain off excess grease, combine 2 Tablespoons Orange Extract, 2 Cups Water, 1 Teaspoon Sugar and 1 Tablespoon brandy in a saucepan. Simmer the sauce over low heat for 15 minutes or so, and then serve in small cups for dipping the latkes into! There! My Sephardic readers, if I have any, should be happy! Seriously, I hope you all have a WONDERFUL minor holiday, and me nice to those in the kitchens! They are working long and hard to give you all the tasty latkes and kugel you’re eating these next 8 days! Give them a hug, a smile, and a thank you, all right? Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 15, 2006. dessert, Jewish Links, Personal, recipes. 1 comment.

Female Friend in Need of Emergency Housing!

I dunno whether this is good or not to use my blog for this, but I’m doing it.  I have a female friend up in the Philly area trying to move to be with her fiancee in England within 2 years.  But she is trapped in a horrible, abusive rental situation and needs to get out NOW!   It’s emergency extraction time, folks, and we geeks tend to protect our own.  If ANY of my readers are looking for a female roomie, please let me know via e-mail (steven-at-renegadekosher-dot-com).  She’s willing to live anywhere at this point, we just need for her to be able to get out.  She can pay towards rent & bills, and I personally vouch she’s good people.  And, as for the git abusing her…  Migulgl zol er vern in a henglayhter, by tog zol er hengen, un bay nakht zol er brenen. *spits to the side* Anyhow, Shalom and Good Cooking, and I hope one of my readers can help.

December 15, 2006. Personal. Leave a comment.

Time to Share the Love!

I’ve been a fan of the Free Hugs Movement for a long time. Even in Israel, the movement spreads joy and love… I’ve been thinking on it, and i want to do a Free Hugs event. One day to just spread the love and joy, you know? And maybe even make it something that happens regularly.

In other news, do you want the same Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer I have? Need that last minute Hanukkah present for the culinary fiend in your life? The link I just gave you is to Amazon.com, who has it on sale for $199.99, when it’s normally almost $350. That’s not all! If you use the promo code HOHOSAVE when buying it, they knock off $25! PLUS, it also has no tax on it, AND free shipping. So, yeah… $174.99 for a $350 stand mixer. So you can give the gift that keeps giving when making bread, cookies, and any other baked goods! You get good food, they get a TOP OF THE LINE mixer, and everyone wins! Don’t say I never tried to help you out!

In closing, I wanna share an amusing passage to show just ho0w sickeningly sweet the wife and I can be:

Wife: I -love- juu!
Me: I love JUU!
Wife: No, I love a Jew!
Me: Jew love a Catholic, too!
Wife: Not for long, I’m converting!
Me: Darnit! We won’t be able to do that joke anymore!

Now that we’ve given you cavities, I hope you all have a Happy Hanukkah! Until next time, Shalom & Good Cooking!

December 14, 2006. advice, Personal. 1 comment.

GF For the Holidays!

So, it’s almost time for the festival of lights… But first, let’s look over the now Kashrut Alerts from the OU. First off, Quaker Crunchy Corn Bran is now listed as Kosher Dairy, contrary to the Kosher Pareve that it has been for years. Also Roberta’s American Gourmet Stealth Chips is Dairy, but was accidentally listed as Kosher Pareve. Also, I won a $150 roasting set from Chef Club.Net! See, you all need to get onto that BBS so you can win nifty prizes in their monthly contest, too!

So, rather than do the usual latkes, I feel the need to go a different route for this article. Partially because I’m busy as heck getting ready for Hanukkah, but also because I feel lazy right now over-worked. With that in mind, let’s do something few other Kosher blogs will touch with a 10 foot pole & make some Gluten-Free Latkes. This recipe was originally posted to the Celiac/Coeliac Wheat/Gluten-Free List, and all credit goes to the original creator. For those who are interested, the original post can be found here. I’m just sharing it at RKC because… Well… I seem to have a Gluten-Free following these days, and I want them to celebrate the holiday, as well!

Gluten-Free Potato Latkes

2 c. raw grated potatoes
2 eggs (large) — beaten
1 pinch (aprox. 1/4 tsp.) baking powder (I use Calumet)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 or 3 T. rice flour
1 small onion — grated (optional)
Pepper to taste (optional)

Grate, rinse & drain potatoes (add onion) — squeeze taters pretty dry!!! (NOTE: rinsing the starch off of the potatoes is important if you don’t want gummy latkes)

Add eggs, mix

Add baking powder, salt, and flour (NOTE: Add rice flour 1 T. at a time. The mixture should be somewhat watery. You may not need all of the flour depending on the stuff that makes cooking an art and not a science!)

Heat about 1/4″ (or a little more) in a frying pan, drop spoonfuls of batter into oil

Turn latkes when browned around edges (check to see if brown enough on bottom by carefully lifting the edge before flipping) — flip, fry second side til well browned (NOTE: flipping pancakes more than once toughens them)

Drain on paper towels.

So, this weekend I’ll be helping to make the latkes for Temple Beth Shalom in Chula Vista. Rabbi is quite excited, and put that they’ll be ‘gourmet latkes’. Oy, way to put the pressure on! But, I’ll be making fried potato latkes, baked potato latkes, apple latkes, cheese latkes, and a nice salad. If any of my readers find themselves in Chula Vista, CA on December 17th, stop by the temple between 4-7 PM! It’s free to enter, and a small donation satisfies your latke cravings!

Come eat, celebrate, and bug your favorite(I hope?) food blogger! Spin the dreidel! Light the menorah! Shlep your way back to the car to go buy some Tums from eating too much! Enjoy the nummy kosher & vegan Krispy Kreme Doughnuts! Watch kids bounce off the walls from chocolate gelt infusions! With that in mind, I am going to finish up my final preparations for the festival of lights. Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 14, 2006. Gluten-Free, Kashrut Alerts, Personal, recipes, side dishes. Leave a comment.

News and Salad… The Lunch of Champions!

Well, it’s time for another article! First off, let’s look at a new book to b published, Harry Potter and Torah, that ‘is a a collection of Jewish
insights into themes raised in the Harry Potter series’
. I dunno, I’ll have to look into it to see if it’s good or not. I’ve also been spending a lot of time on Chef Club.Net as of late… I encurage other food bloggers to join me over there as it’s a nifty BBS for foodies! One of my recipes is in a contest for $150 worth of cooking equipment, so… Yeah!

Also, in the news front, I want to share this story about a woman suing Kraft foods. Apparently she found out their guacamole dip didn’t have almost ANY avocado in it. While i do think this is an example of our sue-happy times, I also wag my finger at Kraft for this misdeed. Shame on you!

Also, some BIG news happened yesterday that will likely explode onto the blogospere. The American Conservative Rabbinical Council allowing gays into Rabbinical schools. Also, the same descion solidified that lesbianism is NOT against Torah, and that Gay males who are BORN gay are exempt from that law. Of course, if gay marriage comes from this, then gay & lesbian couples WILL be expected to live up to the other 613 laws. You know, no sex before marriage, having kids (Adoption is still having kids!), keeping kosher… So, I fully support this, myself. I believe in equal rights for all, and fully hope this begins the end to this fighting in a generation or so. But then, I’ve always been a bit too liberal for my own good.

So, I’ve been in a salad mood, as of late. Playing around in the kitchen, I came up with a new creation: Rice & Kidney Bean Salad! We start with 2 Cups Brown Rice, Cooked & Cooled, 1 (15 1/2 oz) Can Red Kidney beans, Drained & Rinsed, 1 Golden Delicious or Granny Smith Apple, Cored & Sliced Julienne-style, 1 Large Firm Avocado, Pitted, Peeled, & Cubed, 1/2 Cup Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Into Strips, 1/3 Cup Red or White Onions, Diced, & 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley and mix it together in a large mixing bowl.In a seperate bowl, stir together 1/4 Cup Thousand Island Dressing, 2 Tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil, 1 Tablespoon Vinegar, 1 Teaspoon Mustard, 4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice, & Salt & Pepperto taste. Pour the dressing over the first bowl, and then lightly toss to coat all the salad. Cover with cellophane and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving to let all the flavors meld together. Toss lightly again before serving, and it should make 8 side salads for any table.

Anyhow, I hope you all have fun! Next week is latkes for the festival of lights! So, until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 8, 2006. Jewish Links, News, Personal, recipes, salad. Leave a comment.