Sep 28, 2017

Coffee Craze

Coffee has taken on a life of its own. Aside from the coffee-based drinks that run the gamut from a basic $1.25 simple cup to complicated gourmet drinks costing as much as $10, coffee flavored foods are chosen more often than anything else. Ice cream, mousse or candy flavored with coffee will outsell vanilla, chocolate or caramel any old time.

Just smelling coffee can wake you up.  A group of scientists reported that simply inhaling the aroma of coffee can causes change in brain activity, reducing the effects of sleep deprivation. And when you actually drink that cup of coffee, caffeine reaches your blood super-fast, within 10 minutes. But if you are about to enjoy your yom tov seuda, a cup of coffee is probably not on the menu.  So go ahead and try our coffee-flavored dishes this Sukkos. We think you’ll find them pretty good substitutes for that “cup of Joe!”

For the rub:

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

For the brisket sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

¾ cup strong brewed coffee

½ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon mustard powder

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Combine the rub ingredients. Season the brisket evenly all over with the rub, spreading evenly and working into the meat. Place the brisket in a pan and bake covered for 2 hours.

In a medium saucepan, combine sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove brisket from oven and baste with half the sauce. Bake for an additional 2 hours, uncovering it for the last hour. Cool and slice. Serve warm with the remaining sauce.


½ cup margarine (1 stick)

¼ cup brown sugar—not brownulated

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon instant coffee grounds

1 tablespoon sugar, for rolling

For the ganache:

5 ounces good quality pure chocolate, chopped

4 ounces whipped topping

1 teaspoon instant coffee

For the coffee mousse:

½ cup soy milk

4 ounces white marshmallows

1½ teaspoons instant coffee

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur

4 ounces whipped topping


For the garnish:

1 cup whipped topping

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a long rectangle tart pan with baking spray.

In a food processor, cream the margarine and sugar. Add the flour and pulse only until incorporated. Add the coffee grinds and pulse to combine.

Transfer the shortbread dough to a prepared tart pan, and pat it into the pan. Sprinkle it with a pinch or two of sugar to make the job a bit easier. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly into the tart pan and up the sides. Place a sheet of parchment paper into the tart shell and fill it with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and carefully remove the parchment and pie weights or beans. Return the crust to the oven and bake the crust for an additional 10 minutes. Cool the crust slightly.

Prepare ganache:

In a small saucepan, combine the topping and coffee; stir to dissolve. Heat just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate and emulsify the mixture. Let stand 5 minutes to cool. Pour into cooled crust.

For the coffee mousse:

Combine the milk and marshmallows in a pan over a low heat and stir until the marshmallows have melted. Add the coffee and liqueur and stir until smooth and combined. Cool completely.

Whip the topping until firm peaks form and fold into the marshmallow mixture.

Pour into the tart shell and chill for 2 hours or until set.

Prepare topping:

Whip the topping and sugar in a mixer until firm peaks form. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a plain round piping tip.

Pipe small mounds of topping as desired to cover the mousse. Dust slightly with cocoa.

This tart can be prepared in advance and frozen.

Sep 14, 2017

Honey of a Cake

Added to cake or cookies, drizzled on chicken or vegetables, cooked with carrots or used for dipping challah and apples, honey will be at the top of every shopping list during the Yom Tov season.  The significance of honey in our Rosh Hashanah traditions is well known.  In our efforts to uphold tradition, honey will find its way into everything from salad to dessert. 

You have undoubtedly tried honey cake recipes from many sources.  You’ll find the textures vary widely from recipe to recipe.  Of course, everyone has their favorite.  You’ll want to try all of ours to choose your preferred style. 

Honey Cake-Three Ways

1 cup seltzer

1 teaspoon coffee granules

4 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

5 eggs

1 cup sugar

2 cups honey

¾ cup oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour three 8 inch loaf pans.

Dissolve coffee in seltzer and set aside.  Combine flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add oil and vanilla and mix to combine.  Add remaining ingredients, alternating between dry ingredients and dissolved coffee.  Mix until just combined.  Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out dry.  Cool and serve.

1 1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon coffee granules

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

6 eggs, separated

2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup honey

¾ cup oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour three 10 inch loaf pans.

Dissolve coffee in water; set aside.  Combine flour with baking soda and cinnamon. 

In the bowl of electric mixer, beat egg yolks with 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add honey and then add oil. Add remaining ingredients by alternating the flour mixture with the coffee.  Mix after each addition.  Set aside.

 In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Slowly add remaining sugar until you have firm peaks. 

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture.  Divide batter evenly among 3 10” loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool.

1 cup water

2 teaspoons coffee granules

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

6 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar, divided

1 cup honey

1/3 cup oil

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Have ready a full size tube pan or 3 8 inch loaf pans.  Do not grease them.

Dissolve coffee in water; set aside.  Combine flour with baking soda and baking powder. 

In the bowl of electric mixer, beat egg yolks with ½ cup sugar, honey and oil for 10 minutes, until light and frothy.  Add orange juice, whiskey and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and dissolved coffee, alternating between the two and mixing slowly between each addition.  Set aside.  In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Slowly add remaining ½ cup sugar and continue beating until you have firm peaks. 

Fold the whites into the yolk mixture.  Pour batter into the ungreased tube pan or loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and cool.

Wishing you a shanah tova!

Aug 24, 2017


Think summer is coming to a close?  Check the forecast. It looks like summer heat has finally made its way here—just in time for back-to-school! When the weather has got you “hot under the collar” enjoy a glass of refreshing freshly brewed iced tea. Brewed iced tea is nothing like the bottled stuff. Bottled teas are often filled with preservatives and artificial flavorings and can be costly.

Whether you like it sweet or unsweetened, mild or strong, it's hard to deny the allure of a perfectly-chilled glass of iced tea.

There are a few ways to make iced tea. You can brew traditional hot tea and chill it in the refrigerator, or just cool it fast by pouring it into a glass over ice. You could also make sun tea by adding tea bags or loose tea to water in a glass jar, and setting it outside on a hot day; the heat of the sun will slowly brew the tea. Finally, you could go for the cold-brew method: let it steep slowly in the fridge overnight.

If you're sweetening cold iced tea, you'll need to choose a liquid sweetener. Granulated sugar doesn't dissolve completely in cold liquid, so choose maple syrup or agave, or turn your sugar into simple syrup. To whip up simple syrup, just heat equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pot, stir to help it dissolve as you bring to a boil, then let cool. It really is, um, simple. The liquid sugar will combine nicely with your tea—or any other cold beverage that happens to need sweetening. 

Perfect Brewed Iced Tea

This is the classic. Add berries or fruit slices to give it unique flavor.

8 regular tea bags (orange pekoe or green tea or a combination)

4 cups cold water

½ cup granulated sugar

1 more quart water

Ice cubes

Lemon slices (optional)

Tie the tea bag strings together and place the bags in a heat-proof 2-quart pitcher.

Bring 4 cups cold water (always start with fresh cold water) to a rapid boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour over the tea bags. Add baking soda. Allow tea to steep for 20 minutes or more. This process simply forms the concentrate or tea “essence”. Add sugar as directed, or to taste.

You can store the mixture in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Remove tea bags, squeeze out excess liquid, being careful to not break open the bags and discard. Fill the pitcher with enough water to equal 2-quarts. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before serving. Add a dozen or so ice cubes if you like.

Makes 16 servings.

The mild pink color may fool you, but the taste is amazing!

8 stalks rhubarb, cut into 3-inch lengths or 4 cups frozen, thawed

6 white tea bags

8 cups water

1/3 cup sugar, or to taste

Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb and 8 cups water; bring to a boil, lower the heat.  Add the tea bags and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the liquid, add sugar to taste, stirring to dissolve, and allow to cool. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.

The gorgeous color of this tea will wake up any table

6 cups water

4 Red Zinger tea bags

4 Raspberry Zinger tea bags

¼ cup sugar

1 orange, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 lemon, sliced 1/4 inch thick


Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add tea bags and steep for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Add sugar and remaining 2 cups water. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

Fill a large pitcher with ice. Add orange and lemon slices and chilled tea. Pour into glasses with ice, and serve.

Aug 17, 2017

Instant Dessert

Everyone loves summertime entertaining. Whether you are enjoying a meal outdoors or at your Shabbos table, dessert is a must. But who wants to stand in the kitchen for hours? We’ve got some simple and delicious desserts for you to create at home using a few store-bought items. All ingredients are available at our store or in your local grocery. (And we won’t tell anyone you cheated!)

Coffee Toffee Ice Cream Pie       

For the chocolate pie crust:

12 chocolate sandwich cookies with cream centers
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup margarine or coconut oil

For the filling:

6 cups coffee ice cream, softened
10 ounces Viennese Crunch candy bars, crushed (2 cups)

For the topping:

12 ounces Belgian chocolate spread
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a food processor blend cookies and nuts to crumbs. Add margarine or coconut oil and process until blended. Press in a 9 inch pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Chill in freezer.

In a large bowl, combine ice cream and Viennese crunch pieces with a wooden spoon. Freeze mixture for 1 hour. Spoon into pie crust and mound. Freeze 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm or overnight.

In a saucepan combine chocolate spread and liqueur. Heat thoroughly.  

Soften the pie for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Cut into wedges and serve with sauce poured over each wedge.

2 graham cracker pie crusts
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened

1 pound lemon cream, divided
8 oz. whipped topping, thawed

Sliced lemons for garnish

In a mixing bowl combine ice cream and half of the lemon cream, stir until completely blended. Spread one half into each pie crust. Freeze 1 hour.

Mix remaining lemon cream with topping and spread or pipe on ice cream.  Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon.  Serve.

2 cups Rice Krispies
½ stick margarine, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flake coconut
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
8 ounces baking chocolate

Line a 9x9 inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.

Combine the Rice Krispies, margarine, brown sugar, and coconut. Spread half of the mixture in the prepared pan.  Spread ice cream on top of rice krispies mixture.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Pour the melted chocolate over the ice cream layer. Cool. Top with the other half of the Rice Krispies mixture. Cover and freeze until hardened. Cut into squares to serve.

For the crust:

18 graham crackers

½ stick margarine, melted or ¼ cup coconut oil


6 cups vanilla caramel ice cream

1/4 cup chopped peanuts, plus extra for serving 

½ cup peanut butter

8-10 pieces peanut and chocolate candy, chopped

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup almond milk or soy milk 

1/2 stick margarine or ¼ cup coconut oil 

1 tablespoon vanilla 

For the crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or resealable plastic bag. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and stir in the melted margarine or coconut oil. Press into a pie pan and bake 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

For the filling:

Remove the ice cream from the freezer and soften slightly. Mix in peanuts, peanut butter and candy into the ice cream and pour into the crust. Cover with foil and freeze until very hard, 1 to 2 hours.

For the caramel sauce:

 Mix the brown sugar, milk and margarine or coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, while whisking gently, until thicker, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and cook another minute. Pour the sauce into a container and refrigerate until cold.

To serve, cut slices of the pie and serve on with cold caramel sauce spooned over the top and sprinkled with additional chopped nuts or candy.

Aug 10, 2017

Marvelous Mangoes

Known as “King of the Fruit,” more mangoes are eaten throughout the world than apples.

Mango arrived in Florida in the 1830's and in California in the 1880's.  Today mangoes are grown in most warm area all over the world with India leading the way.  There are some 1000 different varieties of mango, each with its distinct degree of woodiness, varying skin colors and different sizes.

Mangoes are actual comfort food—the can really can make you feel better! Beyond being delicious and rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, mangos contain an enzyme with stomach soothing properties. These comforting enzymes act as a digestive aid and may reduce abdominal ailments. 

Mangoes are now at peak season.  Their delicious flavor is the perfect accompaniment to ice cream and they shine in fruit salads. The best way to choose a ripe mango is by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma emitting from the stem end.

The best way to ripen a mango is at room temperature, on the kitchen counter. Mangos are ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yielding to gentle pressure, like a ripe peach.  Store ripe mangoes in the refrigerator.  When stored properly a mango should have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks. 

Cutting mangoes can be messy. Some people will opt to purchase precut mango slices at their local grocer.  But that can defeat the fact that mangoes are well priced now during the summer. Try a mango splitter. This kitchen-tested gadget cuts the flesh neatly away from the large pit and allows you to neatly slice each half. Its way more cost effective than buying it precut!

Use mangoes in salads, desserts and try it on the grill. Now is the time to enjoy!

Serve this tasty sauce over simple grilled chicken breasts that have been seasoned with salt and pepper.

2 tablespoons canola oil 

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

1 ripe mango, peeled & cubed

1 cup mango nectar or orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Sauté chopped onions and red bell pepper over medium heat for 5-8 minutes until soft. Stir in flour and mix until completely dissolved. Add mango, mango nectar, ginger, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring over medium heat until sauce boils and is thickened. Serve hot over grilled chicken.

A sweet twist on a summertime favorite!

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a food processor, blend the mango, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and a splash of water until smooth. This will make the purée for the lemonade. In a pitcher, combine the water, lemon juice, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the puree. Serve over ice in tall glasses.

These pops look like ice cream but are dairy-free!

1 cup coconut milk

1 mango, diced (about 1 cup)

2 teaspoons honey

1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed

Blend coconut milk, mango and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into half of 6 ice pop molds.

Add strawberries to remaining mixture and blend.

Fill the molds to the top. Freeze for at least 3 hours.  Enjoy!

Aug 3, 2017

BBQ Breads

Yes, we all grill beef, chicken and a variety of vegetables. We have even toasted hot dog buns and pita pockets on the barbecue before building the sandwich. But did you know you can actually bake the bread from scratch on your grill? Grilled bread has amazing flavor and smoky aroma that will take your dinner over the top.

These breads are usually simple affairs that can be mixed by hand. You don’t need to be a baker to stretch and flatten a piece and throw it on the barbecue. No special skills or equipment required.

Top them with shredded beef, chummus or other bean puree or grilled vegetables.

1 pound pastrami or homemade brisket, in one piece

3 Vidalia onions, sliced in rings

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the dough:

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1-1/4 cups hot tap water

2 tablespoons olive oil

Barbecue sauce of your choice for topping

Heat grill to medium high. Brush grates with an oil-dampened paper towel. Turn down one burner to low. Place pastrami or brisket on the hotter side of the grill.

Place sliced onions in a pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place on the cooler side of the grill and allow it to cook until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2-3/4 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add water and oil; mix just until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Divide into 6 portions. Roll or stretch each into a 6-8” circle.

Remove beef and shred using 2 forks. Set aside.

Brush grate with a little more oil. Grill each circle, covered, over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on one side or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Spread barbecue sauce on each flatbread. Top with shredded brisket and sliced onions. Place back on the grill to crisp up. Serve immediately.

For the white bean puree:

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, slightly drained

3 cloves garlic, smashed

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Sun-dried Tomato salsa:

6 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and julienned

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

4 roasted shallots, sliced thin

For the flatbread:

1 teaspoon instant yeast

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups hot water

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil, plus more for bowl

Puree the beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and thyme in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Set aside.

Mix together the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, honey, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the flatbread:

Combine flour, salt and yeast. Add water and oil; mix just until smooth.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Divide into half. Heat grill to high.

Flatten flatbread dough and gently press into a large rectangle and place on grill. Grill on 1 side until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from grill, turn over, and spread each flatbread with a thin layer of bean puree, roasted shallots, and salsa. Return to grill, close cover and cook for 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

Jul 27, 2017

Man oh Man…icotti!

Tired of baked ziti and eggplant parmesan? Try some our favorite dairy recipes using manicotti. This large tube-like pasta is perfect for holding cheeses, tomato sauce, vegetables and a host of other ingredients.

Manicotti is an Italian American pasta used to recreate Italian dishes that were traditionally made with crepes. Using manicotti saves the work of preparing crepes for these filled dishes.

Goat Cheese Manicotti

1 box manicotti

2 tablespoons light olive oil

2 large Spanish onions, diced

1 box fresh white button mushrooms, diced

2 tablespoons chives, checked and chopped

8 ounces goat cheese

1½ cups ricotta cheese

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

 2 teaspoons kosher salt

 ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

16 ounces marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought, divided

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fill a 6 quart pot with water and bring it up to a boil.

Heat a large skillet over a medium-low flame. Add oil and onions. Cook onions on low heat, stirring often until they caramelize.  Once the onions are cooked add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Using a large mixing spoon or a mixer set on low add chives and goat cheese. When the cheese is soft and creamy, add ricotta, 1/3 cup of parmesan, salt and pepper. Set aside.

 Add manicotti pasta to the boiling water. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain well. Prepare a piping bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Fill the bag halfway with the cheese mixture.

Pour 1 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.

Carefully pipe the filling into its center of each manicotti tube.

Lay the filled manicotti on top of the sauce in a neat row.  Cover with 1 more cup tomato sauce, and 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake manicotti for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

This dish is light flavorful and even those who shy away from fish will enjoy it.

1 box manicotti

for sauce:  2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
for the salmon: 2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
kosher salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
30 ounces salmon fillet cubes

make the sauce: Heat butter in a small heavy saucepan over low heat.  Butter will foam; cook until foam subsides. Add flour and cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Add wine and water in a slow stream, whisking, then bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in cream, zest, and pepper, and then remove from heat. 

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add kosher salt. Cook manicotti until al dente—about 12 minutes.  Drain and allow manicotti to dry a bit.

Heat butter in a large skillet. Add shallots and sauté until golden. Add salmon cubes and cook just until seared on the outside, 2-3 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Butter a 9”x13”glass or ceramic baking dish and spread half of sauce in dish. 

Pack salmon mixture into manicotti, pushing toward the center.  Place in the baking dish, arranging to fit all. Spoon the remaining sauce over manicotti. 
Bake until salmon is just cooked through and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes.   Serve immediately.