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Tofu: the other white meat

October is the shoulder season — the High Holidays are over and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This is when you want easy snacks, quick lunches and no-fuss appetizers for unexpected guests. You want them to be delicious and filling, but you also want them come together quickly without too much effort. It would be nice if they were healthy and economical, too.

Wednesday 10/24/2018
Experimenting with new vegetables
Posted: October 24, 2018

The ‘bottled’ gourd

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Wednesday 10/10/2018
Falling in love again with apple cider
Posted: October 10, 2018

Along with pumpkins and hayrides, the best part of autumn is apple cider. Nothing tastes better than the juice of crushed apples.

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Wednesday 10/03/2018
On the grill: healthy burger dinner
Posted: October 03, 2018

After the indulgences of summer (ice cream! barbecues! cocktails!) and the High Holidays (matzah ball soup! challah! honey cake!), many of us feel the need to reduce.

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Wednesday 09/26/2018
Weeknight pasta recipes
Posted: September 26, 2018

As fall arrives and life gets busy, weeknight dinners can be a challenge.

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Thursday 09/20/2018
Easy-to-make Sephardic dishes for any occasion
Posted: September 20, 2018

Bagels and lox are wildly popular and easily assembled at the last minute for any event, but several years ago, I began adding Sephardi dishes to our buffets. Not only healthy and colorful, this cuisine pairs well with bagels and lox.

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Wednesday 09/12/2018
Simple, elegant break-the-fast meal
Posted: September 12, 2018

Everyone looks forward to breaking the fast, except for maybe the chef, who likely has plenty of other things to do in the days ahead. So with Yom Kippur just a few days away, here in advance are some quick and easy ways to break the fast in style.

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Thursday 08/30/2018
Consider the versatile, nutritious cauliflower
Posted: August 30, 2018

A diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables is generally recommended for optimal health, but that can be a challenge in our region during the dead of winter. The good news is that with some effort, we can find locally grown and stored produce at area markets.

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Wednesday 08/22/2018
Two insider tricks to make dinner better
Posted: August 22, 2018

I recently discovered two fantastic tricks: One involves the grill, the other a pie.

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Wednesday 08/15/2018
A fiesta of Mexican appetizers
Posted: August 15, 2018

Zesty and delicious, Mexican appetizers are so versatile. Sautéed or roasted vegetables, cilantro, scallions, salsa, avocado, corn kernels and refried beans can be easily added or substituted for a recipe’s suggested ingredients. Because Mexican appetizers are often finger foods, they set an informal tone. Perfect for summer fun.

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Wednesday 08/01/2018
Chicken so good, it’s addictive
Posted: August 01, 2018

R emember the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode where Larry David is obsessed with chicken from a Palestinian restaurant, but is wracked by guilt for supporting the establishment? “I know, I know, but this chicken, you can’t believe how good it is!”

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Wednesday 07/25/2018
The fresh flavors of Mexico in your kitchen
Posted: July 25, 2018

Since visiting one of my newly discovered favorite restaurants, I have craved Mexican food nonstop.

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Wednesday 07/18/2018
Refreshing no-bake desserts perfect for summer
Posted: July 18, 2018

There is something special about an elaborate dessert. Finishing a meal with a showstopper of a sweet treat makes everyone smile.

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Wednesday 07/11/2018
Peach season blossoms each summer
Posted: July 11, 2018

There is nothing better than biting into a ripe peach, even when the juice rolls down to my chin. With their sweet flavor tinged with a touch of tartness, peaches are my favorite fruit — not just for their taste but for their versatility, too.

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Thursday 07/05/2018
Hoisin chicken lettuce wraps
Posted: July 05, 2018

Pulled chicken is one of my go-to dishes for a crowd.

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Wednesday 06/20/2018
Revamping the Reuben
Posted: June 20, 2018

As a fan of sandwiches in general, I never gave much thought to the Reuben — that traditional deli concoction of corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese grilled on rye bread.

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A Shabbat dinner to serve all summer
Posted: June 20, 2018

I began with the best of intentions. For years, I made rich meals for Shabbat dinners all year-round, but in the summer, even with air conditioning, I became overheated preparing hearty food, which my family and friends didn’t feel like eating on sweltering days.

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Wednesday 05/16/2018
Jewish day school fights food insecurity
Posted: May 16, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”

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Wednesday 05/09/2018
A trip to the Roman Jewish ghetto
Posted: May 09, 2018

I had the good fortune to spend a week in Italy recently. I also had the good fortune to tour Il Ghetto, as it is still called.

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Wednesday 05/02/2018
Harissa: spice paste extraordinaire
Posted: May 02, 2018

Harissa, the North African spice paste that blends dried chilis, garlic, paprika and some other aromatic spices, is becoming my newest kitchen workhorse.

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Wednesday 04/18/2018
Just add chocolate
Posted: April 18, 2018

I am serious about chocolate: dark, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate with at least 72 percent cocoa. None of that milk or, God forbid, white chocolate for me.

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Wednesday 04/11/2018
Hail to kale
Posted: April 11, 2018

“Which kind of kale is better?” I asked the produce manager of the food store where I shop. I was holding curly kale (the most common variety) and lacinato kale (also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale).

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Wednesday 03/28/2018
Appetizers always a hit
Posted: March 28, 2018

By the time you get around to “the meal” after the matzah and charoses and egg and gefilte fish and chopped liver and the chicken soup, seriously, who wants more food?

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Wednesday 03/21/2018
A dinner for even the most finicky eater
Posted: March 21, 2018

We hosted a dinner guest last week who was on a complicated and restricted diet. He was undergoing a 30-day allergy testing period due to a variety of health issues and was unable to eat dairy, grain, acidic foods, eggs, sugar, most animal fats, fruit, alcohol, chilis or anything highly spiced.

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Wednesday 03/14/2018
Grain expectations
Posted: March 14, 2018

I’ve been playing around with whole grains lately and, prompted by an impulse buy at the farmers market when I saw a new merchant shivering in the rainy cold, I became the dubious owner of a bag of organic groats.

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Thursday 03/08/2018
Indian spice is nice in desserts
Posted: March 08, 2018

My book group prioritizes literature, food and wine more or less equally when we plan our monthly meetings. This month, we read the new Arundhati Roy book, “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,” which is set in India.

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Wednesday 02/28/2018
Comfort food after a funeral
Posted: February 28, 2018

Sadly I’ve gone to several funerals lately. Fortunately, I didn’t lose a close relative or friend, but this gave me the chance to see the food, much of it homemade, people bring to shiva calls.

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The J’s milk + honey now offers kosher sit-down dinner service
Posted: February 28, 2018

How does a cocktail sound the next time you finish working out?

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Friday 02/23/2018
Former Suns star launches new Israeli line of Passover wine
Posted: February 23, 2018

Former Phoenix Suns star star Amar’e Stoudemire effused over his new line of kosher-for-Passover wines, grown and produced in Israel.

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Wednesday 02/21/2018
How to use the leftover stuff from your Super Bowl party
Posted: February 21, 2018

Like football fans the world over, we provisioned generously for Super Bowl Sunday. As a result, we have a surplus of things that we normally do not overstock, including a glut of beer, several slabs of cheddar cheese and a large jar of mustard.

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Wednesday 02/07/2018
A toast to toast
Posted: February 07, 2018

While toast might be the most commonly prepared food, it can be tricky.

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Wednesday 01/24/2018
Israel’s wine industry grows better with age
Posted: January 24, 2018

Israeli winemakers say that, just like the beverage they produce, their industry is growing better with age.

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Wednesday 01/17/2018
How to enjoy winter produce
Posted: January 17, 2018

As the January doldrums arrive, we crave hearty, warming meals. Soups roasts and stews abound, but these heavy dishes can make us feel sluggish and want to hibernate even more. I’m all for warming from within, but don’t forget the veggies.

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Wednesday 01/10/2018
Afternoon tea: elegant yet easy
Posted: January 10, 2018

There is nothing cozier than inviting friends for afternoon tea. It’s a stylish way to host book clubs, bridal showers and people who like chatting. Admittedly, tea rituals are more popular with women than with men.

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