Sunday, April 19, 2015

A review of "Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months"

Passover.  A time of redemption.  Exodus.  Freedom.  Liberation.  By the time Pesach is over, although I’m super happy with having spent time with our family and friends (all 120+ of them), I’m pretty tired.  By the time the kitchen is sort of back to it’s pre-chametz status I’m blitzed.  Tired.  Wiped.  The “E” word (the “E” word is a restricted word in our family, only to be brought out under extreme circumstances due to frequent overuse of the term...ok, it’s exhausted).  In all the chaos, preparation, antibiotics, and re-cleaning, I managed to begin to lose focus regarding the purpose of all the prep.  I needed some Spiritual Kneading!



A while before Pesach I received the book “Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months - Building the Sacred through Challah” by Dahlia Abraham-Klein.  I put it to the side with the intention of reviewing it after the chag when things weren’t quite so crazy. So, last week, I made a much needed cup of coffee, grabbed a pencil, highlighter, post-its and made my way to the Lazy-Boy recliner, put my feet up and started to read.  THANK YOU DAHLIA!!!


The book begins with a beautiful description of the concept of the first Mitzvah, to mark/sanctify the months of the year.  Dahlia then eloquently brings you into the celebration of a Jewish woman’s role in this important mitzvah, then ties it into the very important mitzvah of taking/baking Challah.   


While the writing is incredibly beautiful, there is a lot of practical information in this book as well.  I was blessed to be able to do a Challah Braiding class last week for Chai Lifeline here in Chicago.  I came prepared with my Spiritual Kneading book in hand.  With it, I was able to give clear explanations for most of the questions that the group had.  I also had the brachot, tehillim, and mitzvah specifics handy.


Spiritual Kneading is also a guide for Rosh Chodesh Challah groups, with Jewish Monthly themes, challah recipes, and braiding tips.  As a guide for groups, it’s excellent.  It’s also fun to have a new, seasonal/holiday theme ready to prepare.


I was very excited to try recipes after reading the rest of the book.  I tried the  basic Egg Challah recipe - pretty straightforward. I ended up having to add a little extra water, but once I did the dough was smooth and elastic .  I’m a little lazier and use my mixer to knead, so I probably didn’t get all the spiritual infusion or exercise I might have had I kneaded the dough completely by hand.  Also, in the interest of full disclosure, my plan had been to make the dough early in the morning on Thursday, let it rise, braid all kinds of cool and fun challot for my demo, then bring them all baked.  HA!  Let’s just say that didn’t happen, and I ended up leaving a big bowl of challah dough on the counter to rise as I left for the demo.  When I got back I was ready to braid!  The dough was wonderful after it rose (even though it rose longer than it was supposed to).  It was so nice to be able to pop open the book for the brachot and have them handy.  My friend and I had a blast trying out a bunch of the cool braiding techniques in the book.  


The challot were gorgeous after they baked and tasted great.  They were less sweet than the challot I bake regularly, but that's a matter of personal preference.   

I would highly recommend this book for the new baker to the experienced chef.  Especially for a new bride as a shower gift.  It’s a great way to bring you back to the origins of why we are making challah to begin with, connecting us with our spiritual “needing” via Spiritual Kneading.

You can find "Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months" on amazon.com


Egg Challah
4 tablespoons active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
¾ cup organic sugar plus 2 tablespoons organic sugar
4 cage-free organic eggs
5 pounds organic white flour
1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
1 cup neutral-tasting oil, such as safflower oil


2 cage-free organic eggs beaten


  1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the warm water.  Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to start activating.  Yeast activation should take about 10 minutes; it will be bubbling and foamy.
  2. In the meantime, break 1 egg at a time into a small glass bowl and check that there are no red spots on the yolk.  Transfer the egg into a larger bowl and, when all the eggs are cracked, beat with a fork.
  3. Set 1 cup of flour aside.  Sift the remaining flour, sugar and salt into the bowl.
  4. Pour the eggs and oil onto the flour.  Combine all the ingredients, using a spatula.  When it begins to form a dough, it is time to knead.  At this point, you can remove the dough from the bowl and knead on the kitchen counter if it’s easier for you, or knead directly in the bowl.
  5. To knead the dough: grab the side of the dough furthest away from you and fold it toward yourself.  Fold the dough in half and use your body weight to push the dough into itself.  If you find that the dough is sticking to much to the surface and preventing you from kneading properly, dust the dough with flour.  Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees).  Grab the other side and fold it in half. Again, with a lot of weight behind it, push the newly folded half into itself.  Repeat this process for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, silky, elastic and it does not stick to the surface.
  6. After the dough is thoroughly prepared, lay it on the countertop while you grease the bowl with a fine layer of oil. Next, turn the dough in the oil several times so that the dough is greased lightly on all sides.
  7. Cover the bowl with a large plastic garbage bag or kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
  8. Make the blessing on hafrashat challah.
  9. Knead the dough again for a few more minutes.  Use the remaining flour for the surface area and hands to prevent sticking.  Form it into shaped loaves of your choice.
  10. cover the loaves again and let them rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough as doubled in volume from its original size.
  11. If you cannot bake the challahs immediately then this is the time to wrap the shaped dough in plastic wrap to prevent drying.  You can store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.  On the day of baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand on kitchen counter until it comes to room temperature, about one hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350℉.  Brush your challahs with beaten eggs and sprinkle with the topping of your choice.
  13. Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-36 minutes, or until loaves turn golden brown and shiny.  Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
  14. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.  Wait at least one hour before serving.  If you are freezing the challah, wrap in waxed paper and foil.  It can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Mix the ingredients - Love the new, fresh, yeast bubbling!!!
  Set it in a warm place to rise....

AND THE FUN BEGINS!!!!





Another one:


Next....It was "Shlissl" Challah Week!!!



More challah fun! 


 Into the oven....
 And they came out great!!! 
(If I humbly say so myself ;-) )





Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at www.koshereveryday.com,
JewishExponent.com, aish.com, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.


These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Food, Family and Tradition - Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances" Review with Marble Cake & Prunes With Rice Recipes

Recently, my buddy, pal, all around awesome gal, and favorite publicist Trina Kaye sent me an email asking if I was interested in reviewing a brand new cookbook “Food, Family and Tradition- Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances” written by Lynn Kirsche Shapiro.  I think I shouted YES so loudly that Trina actually heard me all the way in California!  Let me explain, Hungarian Kosher is in CHICAGO (OK, technically Skokie but for all intents and purposes it’s the same difference).  I have a longtime history and relationship with the store and its owners and this review is a very personal one.

As you all know by now I was born and raised in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.  As a child the area between the north/south streets of California and Western along the main east/west street of Devon avenue was heavily Jewish and very gentrified.   There were many kosher bakeries, a few butchers, department stores (Crawfords, Cover Girl, Gap) and the famous Cut Rate Toys (don't touch the toys!).  One of the best small kosher grocery stores on Devon Avenue was Hungarian Kosher run by Mr. Sandor Kirsch. He was the nicest man, and I remember going into the store as a kid with my mom to buy the kosher products that we needed.  It was close enough that if the weather was good I could walk there myself.

Sadly that part of Devon avenue began to change (you can buy fabulous sari's there now), and in the interest of maintaining and growing the business Hungarian moved to Skokie.  Truthfully, not that far away - just not walking distance.  Impressively the store grew into the premier Kosher full service grocery store in the Midwest, carrying a wide assortment such that you didn't even need to shop anywhere else.  No matter how large or busy the store got Mr. Kirsch was still the same kind, calm, sweet man he always was.  He was always willing patiently to answer any question you might have (and I'm sure some of mine were really annoying), I remember having one particular conversation with him about chicken feathers.  Yes, chicken feathers. 

Mr. Kirsche passed away several years ago, and now the store is run by his son Ira.  The cookbook “Food, Family and Tradition” is written by Mr. Kirsche’s daughter Lynn.   The book is really a fascinating historical cookbook with an in depth documentary of the Kirsche family’s experiences dating back from World War II.  The recipes are typical Hungarian family recipes including favorites like Gefilte Fish, Sweet and Sour Gizzards (Pupiks), Schmaltz, Kindle, Sponge and Honey cakes.  It’s the real “Hungarian” deal. 

I chose two recipes from the book to make for my family to review, Rice with Prunes and Marble Cake.  My family was a little hesitant about the Rice with Prunes...particularly the prune part.  The rice was relatively easy to make, and was really sweet and delicious.  Even the doubters were pleasantly surprised.  The marble cake was a huge hit! Light, fluffy and flavorful everyone wanted seconds, and thirds! 

This is a great cookbook for those that are looking for a super traditional book with the something more of a fascinating historical account.  You can find "Food, Family and Tradition" at Hungarian Kosher foods, your local bookstore, and online amazon.com and at my house...but I'm not giving up my signed copy!




Rice With Prunes
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water
8 to10 pitted prunes
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a 2 quart pot over medium heat, add the oil and the rice and cook, stirring, until rice is opaque, about 3 minutes.   Add 2 cups of water. Add the prunes, sugar if using, and salt.  Bring to a boil, cover, decrease heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve as an entree or a side to meat, poultry, or fish.

Marble Cake
Makes 1 cake

1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
7 eggs separated
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a small bowl, mix cocoa and baking soda in the 1/4 cup hot water until it is a thick paste.  Reserve.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Reserve.

In the work bowl of stand mixer, pour oil, egg yolks, the 3/4 cup water, and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until white and fluffy, and soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.  Donot beat stiff or dry.  Carefully fold the whites into the cake batter.  Divide the batter in half. Fold the cocoa paste into half the batter, mixing well so no streaks remain.

In an ungreased tube pan, pour half the white batter on the bottom, then half the cocoa batter, and repeat, first the white batter and then the cocoa batter.

Bake at 375°F for 55 minutes.

Remove from oven and let the cake cool.  Cut out and serve.

 Marble Cake


 All the super simple ingredients!
 Make the cocoa paste...
 Mix the dry ingredients...
 Blend the batter...
 The light and dark side of things...
 So cool!!!
DONE!!!
Looks just like the picture!!!!

Rice With Prunes
  All the super simple ingredients!
 Brown the rice... 
 Add the water and the prunes, cover & cook. It
doesn't get easier than that!!! 
 YUM!
 Close up YUM!!


Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father

Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at www.koshereveryday.com,
JewishExponent.com, aish.com, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!




Sunday, March 1, 2015

Purim, Wedding & Green Garlic

Yes!  I made it!!!
Mazel Tov!  We have a new daughter!  No, I didn’t have to go through nine months of pregnancy for our addition. Baruch Hashem we were blessed with the simcha of our son’s marriage to our beautiful new daughter-in-law a few weeks ago!  This is the first wedding in our family and boy was it fun!  We danced and danced and danced some more until the band finished playing with overtime. The shtick our friends and family came up with was magical!  I even made the wedding cake, which was definitely a labor of love.

With the wedding feasting over, I really wanted to do a reset to healthier eating.  I was also a little worried that things would be too slow, too quiet, too boring!  Then I realized - in the Matten home life is never boring!!  There are always things happening between the usual chaos in our home and my work, plus with Purim around the corner there is lots of planning and baking to be done. 

To embrace the healthier eating goal, I made a trip to my favorite mega produce store - Jerry's.  Trips to Jerry's are always inspirational as there are regularly new and interesting fruits and vegetables to be found.  I drive the workers there a little crazy asking about how to cook some of the wackier produce I’ve discovered.  This time one of the new items I came across was Green Garlic.  It looks a lot like scallions, has the smell and zesty flavor of garlic, but with a milder garlicky taste.  Healthy and delicious.  In addition to the recipes below, I used it in roasted vegetables which gave them a rich, but not too strong, garlic flavor.  You could probably use it in any salad or side dish that requires crushed garlic.

Fresh Green Garlic-looks like scallions right?
With my healthy eating plan in place it’s time to plan for Purim.  Our family loves embracing the fun of having goofy costumes and a silly theme for our mishloach manot.  Last year our theme was Good “Purim” Humor, and we all dressed up with an Ice Cream Truck theme with our kids as Ice Cream Bars, Ice Cream Cones, Ice cream Sandwiches and Ice Cream Truck men.  Our mishloach manot contained types of mock ice cream treats.  It was chillingly good.  We even dressed up our minivan like an Ice Cream Truck and loudly played the Ice Cream Truck song out of our open windows while making our Purim deliveries!  Clues about this years Purim theme are: our family loves sci-fi, blue boxes, and things that are bigger on the inside. 


Here are some of our Purim (and everyday!) favorites that you can make for family and friends for your Purim seudah . I’d love to hear about your own creative Mishloach Manot Themes.  Chag Sameach & Healthy Eating!

Green Garlic Asian Green Bean Salad      (6-8 servings)
Ask your local produce seller for green garlic.  I had to ask a manager who knew where to find it.  If you can’t find it at your local produce store you can substitute a clove of regular garlic for 2 stalks of Green Garlic.  Also, make sure you use toasted sesame oil.  It give a stronger “sesame” flavor and allows you to use less oil than the untoasted variety.
3 pounds fresh green beans trimmed
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoon (gluten-free) soy sauce
2-3 stalks Green Garlic, thinly sliced diagonally
¼ cup sliced almonds

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Working in two batches, add the green beans and boil for 3 minutes.  Immediately remove the beans from the pot to a strainer and rinse with cold water.  Transfer the beans to a large bowl.  Using the same boiling water that was used for the first batch, boil the second batch of green beans for 3 minutes, rinsing with cold water when done.  Transfer to the large bowl of beans.  Add the toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, green garlic, sliced almonds and toss until combined. Serve cold as a salad or warm as a side dish.


Green Garlic Spinach Penne (serves 4-6)
This is a particularly pretty dish with the bright green of the garlic, scallions and spinach bursting through the penne.  If you can't find green garlic locally you can substitute a clove or two of regular  garlic.  You can make this dish gluten free by using gluten free penne.  To make this dish lighter use two tablespoons of butter instead of four.
1 pound (gluten free) penne, cooked & drained
3 green garlic stems, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons butter
10 ounces fresh spinach
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Melt butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the green garlic and spinach, then sauté until the spinach is wilted.  Toss in the scallions and salt.  Serve warm topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


Puff Pastry Hamentashen Two Ways (makes 3-4 dozen each recipe)
4 sheets puff pastry, defrosted

Filling Options:
Salmon
1 14.75 ounce cans salmon (pink or red)
1 ¼ cups bread crumbs, or more if necessary
2 large eggs
1 small onion, finely diced
½ cup ketchup
Place the cans of salmon in a large bowl. Do not drain. Crumble the salmon with your hands (I wear kitchen gloves) to make sure there are no lumps or hard pieces. Add the bread crumbs, eggs, onion, and ketchup. Mix until smooth. If the mixture seems too moist add more bread crumbs – but make sure that the mixture isn’t too dry.

Cucumber Dill Sauce
2 medium cucumbers, peeled
1 ½ cups lowfat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
Process the cucumbers in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add mayonnaise and dill and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate until ready to serve with the Puff Pastry Salmon Hamentashen.

Potato
2 pounds Idaho Potatoes (around 6 medium)
1 large Vidalia or Sweet onion, finely diced (around 2 ½ cups)
1 garlic clove, minced (or one frozen garlic cube)
¼ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cover pot and reduce burner temperature to low. Cook the potatoes covered for 45 minutes until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove the potatoes from the water and allow them to cool completely. This step can be done a day in advance, just keep the potatoes in the refrigerator until ready to use. Peel the cooled potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large (preferably non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and sugar and sauté until the onion is golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, around 20 minutes. You may need to reduce the temperature of the flame if the onion starts to burn rather than caramelize.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash the potatoes until there are no large lumps. Add the caramelized onions. Reserve the skillet from the onions – you will use it to caramelize the sliced onions. Mix the onions and potatoes until thoroughly combined. Add the salt and eggs. Stir until smooth with a fork, removing any remaining lumps.
To make the Hamentashen:
Preheat oven to 400˚F or 375˚F if using a convection oven. Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
Roll a sheet of puff pastry dough to 9x11 inches. Use a round (fluted if possible) cookie cutter to cut circles from the puff pastry dough. Using a scooper or tablespoon to scoop the salmon mixture or potato mixtureonto the puff pastry circles. Pinch into triangle hamentashen. Bake for 15 minutes until browned. Serve warm or cold with topping the salmon filled ones with Cucumber Dill Sauce. 



Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at www.koshereveryday.com,
JewishExponent.com, aish.com, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Kosherfest 2014

Hello All!  For the past six months or so I have had the privilege of writing for the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.  When they approached me to write for them I was super excited - I mean, YES!!! So...in addition to my articles and recipes that you find here you can also find some new, fabulous ones at jewishexponent.com!  

Today, the Jewish Exponent published my article on Kosherfest 2014 (which was incredibly fun!) but due to space limitations they were only able to publish a limited version of the article (which you can fine here) and sadly wasn't able to list all the vendors and their products I wrote about, and publish all the cool and exciting pictures.  Those are the breaks of newspaper print.  The good part is that I get to give you the WHOLE ARTICLE here on my blog.  I really want to acknowledge all the vendors who spent time and energy speaking with me and giving me all kinds of samples.  SO...here is the article in full, but please make sure to go to the Jewish Exponent and like my article there.  Thanks!!!

Kosherfest 2014 was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Imagine a bigger than a football field Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory, where instead of chocolate...there is every kind of Kosher food imaginable.  Welcome to the world of Kosherfest 2014!  Kosherfest is a Kosher food wonderland that takes place every year around the beginning of November.  The past few years Kosherfest has taken place at the Meadowlands Convention Center in New Jersey, with vendors from all over the world coming to show the Kosher (and non-kosher) consumer their new (and some not so new) exciting Kosher products.  There were wines from Argentina, plantains from Costa Rica, Zelda's caramel corn from Chicago, truffle pate' from Italy, Gus' famous Kosher Pickles from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and Bamba snacks from Israel. There were even a few vendors from Philadelphia!  Nearly every exhibitor has a sample table so you have to come prepared to spend an entire two days eating.  There is SO much food that I, like many others, split the sampling into a "dairy" day and a "meat" day so that I wouldn't miss a single sample.  When it was over I was stuffed!

The plantains were really good!
Who knew???
In addition to food exhibits there were also famous Kosher Cookbook authors introducing and signing their new books, like Leah Schapira with  "Secret Restaurant Recipes from the World's Top Kosher Restaurants", Estee Kara with “Cooking Inspired”, and Chicagoan Lynn Shapiro with her book “Food, Family, and Tradition: Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Rememberances”, to name a few. If you needed a break from the sampling there were lectures about Kosher food, Kosher food marketing, and even an "Iron Chef" type competition with Paula Shoyer (“The Kosher Baker”, “The Holiday Baker”) as MC, and Naomi Nachman (The Aussie Gourmet), Jack (from Jack's Sausage) and Center for Kosher Culinary Arts pastry expert Chef Phileppe Kaemmerle, as the judges and famous Kosher Chefs as the contestants.  It was exciting to watch the chefs dish up fragrant lamb dishes, sides with Jack's famous "Facon" (a kosher beef bacon), and other unique ingredients. The food they prepared smelled incredible! 
The "Iron Chef" Judges...they don't
look too intimidating!

My personal method for going through Kosherfest is to go up and down each row talking to each vendor, finding out about the unique attributes of each product, and getting a  feel for what makes each sample special. There was a general theme of healthier, better-for-you products.  This Kosherfest featured a significant number of gluten-free products, great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater). Many of the vendors that generally prepare products for the Passover market have come to realize that there is a huge demand for gluten-free foods and have started to make their goods available year round.  Some have developed gluten-free baking products like coconut and sesame flours, and flour mixes that are touted to work better as a one to one substitute for wheat flour.  All better alternatives for the GFE consumer.

There were some definite winners and some products that warrant an honorable mention.  I'm happy to share my top picks with you.



PHILADELPHIA HOME TOWN HEROS
Burning Bush Hot Sauce - Neil D. Wenick President: This hot sauce is awesome on it’s own as a dip, or added into your favorite foods like soups, pizza, hummus, eggs, burgers, chicken wings, or even hot chocolate! burningbushhotsauce.com


RC Fine Foods Soup Bases & Mixes - Steve Byruch Director of Sales & Marketing: Delicious Kosher soup bases that you don’t have to be hesitant to use.  Why?  Because they are gluten, egg, dairy, and msg free...but not flavor free!  www.rcfinefoods.com

SHARON MATTEN'S KOSHERFEST TOP PICKS
Gus' Pickles “Imitated But Never Duplicated” - This old timer is one of my all time favorites.  It brings back memories of buying Gus’ pickles straight out of the barrel on the Lower East Side of NY.  It’s the first booth I always stop at, there’s nothing like a super sour pickle for breakfast to start your day! www.gusspickle.com


Aromaville Iced Cappuccino - The indisputable winner for the nicest vendors. Somehow I found myself magically in front of the Aromaville Iced Cappuccino sample machine, and every time I just had to have another sample of the awesome Aromaville sugar-free iced coffee.  If you don’t have the Aromaville Iced Cappuccino in your local store make sure to ask for it - I did and now my local store will be carrying my new beverage of choice! aromaville.com


De La Rosa Products “Bringing the ‘Soul’ back into food” - One of best “healthy” vendors, I was so impressed by the quality of De La Rosa toasted oil varieties, traditional and black hummus, sesame flours, coconut products, juices, and vinegars that I became the food writer waiting for samples at the end of the show.  I wasn’t disappointed!  Stay tuned for some exciting sesame flour & black hummus recipes!  www.delarosa613.com


Chocolate Chips -  With the “demise” of high quality, easy to find pareve chocolate chips on the market several vendors came out with some excellent options.  Califonia Gourmet premium quality 45% cocoa chocolate chips www.californiagourmet.net and Best Ingredients for Best Results - Five Star Foods made from 100% Barry Callebaut chocolate.  Wait for these to arrive on your local shelves...they will be worth the wait!


Cheese:   It’s hard not to be a fan of my local Chicago “landsmen” Oneg & Shtark Cheese company.  Fabulous smoked and spicy cheese blends were my favorites.  Kosher cheese used to be limited to your yellow or white American Cheese.  Fresh Mozzarella Cheese and other gourmet cheeses were prevalent at the convention.  A new company Milano’s Isaac’s is a taste straight from Italy!  It has no fillers, is gluten free and delicioso!  


Manischewitz Company It used to be that Manischewitz meant matzo and gefilte fish.  Not any more!  The winner of the best new Kosher for Passover product (Carrot Cake Macaroons) and Best new Pasta, Rice & Grain (Gluten Free Matzoh Ball Mix) the company is a leader in gluten free products. I expected the gluten free brownies to taste like the old, dry, tasteless, passover brownie mixes we all remember.  These were not your grandmothers passover brownie mix...they were moist and chewy! Although not gluten free, Manishewitz even has a “Chanukah House” kit for fun with kids of all ages! manischewitz.com


Empire Family Farm Raised Poultry Company Another company keeping up with the times is Empire, socially responsible dedicated to the principles of sustainable farming, antibiotic free, with truly natural products.  Empire is not just a chicken roaster and turkey company anymore.  You can find tasty, speedy-to-use marinated chicken and turkey products, and awesome chicken sausage. My favorites were the Gourmet Mild Italian Chicken Sausage and the Honey Barbecue Chicken Thighs.  www.empirekosher.com


Gevina Farms Greek Yogurt - Rich and creamy you would never guess that the 100 calorie version was only 100 calories.  The company also makes a fruit on the bottom Yo Pri that is made with real fruit and no artificial colors in “9 ridiculously delicious flavors”.  gevina.com


Zelda's Sweet Shop Caramel Corn - Winner of the Best New Sweet Snack, Cookie or Cracker.  Zelda’s, based in Chicago, run by my friend Linda Neiman, makes the best caramel corn anywhere on the planet.  Guests often will bring me a tub when invited for a Shabbat meal, and my family knows I don’t share the caramel corn!  Get your own tub! zeldas.net


Blends by Orly Gluten Free flour mixes - Winner of the Best New Mix.  Orly is a professionally trained pastry chef and has developed a line of specialty gluten-free flour mixes to suit every type of baking need at a one to one ratio to regular flour.  I have my package of London blend which is perfect for cookies etc.  It actually stood up to my chocolate chip cookie test!  Now my gluten-free cookies will “Taste as good as they look!”  www.blendsbyorly.com


Setton Farms pistachio bites and chocolate covered pistachios.  Yum.  Just Yum. settonfarms.com


Mikee We all love Mikee’s vast selection of sauces and now there’s a new one to love, Srirachanaise, Sriracha spicy mayo hot sauce.  I begged a bottle to take home to put on sushi, and everything else!  Vegan & non-dairy. www.mikee.com

These guys were having a blast!
Sushi baby!
Maztola  “The trail mix of the exodus” - You’d think that Mazto granola would taste like, well, matzo.  Matzola is unexpected and a great crunchy snack...even when it’s not Passover!  www.foodmannosh.com

Maccabee Italian Breaded Mozzarella Sticks - so simple but OMG, they are SO good!!!  Crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. www.macabeefoods.com

This just says it all!
Allies GF Goodies Gluten free cakes and pastries.  Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake Brownie. Nothing else needs to be said.  

DeeBee’s Tea Pops - Winner Best Overall New Product and Best New Frozen Dessert. 100% Natural, made from tea, organic, non gmo, and naturally non-caffeinated these popsicles taste fresh and gourmet.  Made with the best ingredients they are low in calories too ranging from only 25 to 50 calories, with enticing flavors like Tropical Mango (my favorite!) and Southern Iced Tea.  www.deebeesorganics.com


Azuma Gourmet Seaweed Salad - Never.  Not in one hundred million years did I ever expect that I would eat seaweed.  And like it!  Azuma Gourmet makes several beautiful, super unique and interesting salads that taste great.  I especially liked the hijikiquinoa and seaweed salads, really.  www.azumafods.com

Chocla-Taschen “A Sweet Twist on a Classic Treat” Save yourself the time and effort of baking hamentashen this year!  Chocla-Taschen chocolate hamentashen are nut free, gluten free, soy free, non-gmo, rich and creamy goodness.  They come caramel filled milk or caramel filled dark chocolate.  Hamentashen never tasted so good!  info@chocla-taschen.com


Marzipan Rogelach - Straight from the back of Machaneh Yehuda in Israel, the famous best-in-the-world Marzipan Rogelach are now available here in the U.S.!!  That’s a relief, now I don’t have to bring an extra suitcase with me the next time I go to Israel to bring back kilos of Marzipan Rogelach!  www.MarzipanBakery.com


Osem Gratify Gluten Free Cookies & chocolate covered pretzels.  For the Gluten Free Nosher, these simple snacks are the perfect grab-and-go, or tea and coffee accompaniment.  The chocolate covered pretzels were crazy good.  https://www.osem.co.il/en/brands/osem-products


HONORABLE MENTIONS
*Toffuti ravioli, pizza & lasagna - I even got to see the “cutie car” www.tofutti.com


*Quick Lemon Pure not-from-concentrate lemon juice www.derivadoscitricos.com
*Tofurky products tofurky.com


*Shay's Chocolate Old Fashioned Soft Caramels www.shayschocolate.com
*Smokinlicious Gourmet Wood Products Smokin' Dust www.smokinlicious.com

Use it in your smoker box on your grill!
*Jack's Gourmet Beef Merguez  jacksgourmetkosher.com


*Dr. Praeger's Kale Veggie Burgers www.drpraegers.com


*Chilla Beverage Co - Smoothies, Frappes, Coffees, Lattes, and Belgian Waffle Mix www.chilla.com
*Connecticut Coconut Sugar www.ctcoconut.com
*Dodilly Elegant Desserts ElegantDessertsNY.com

SO pretty I brought it home and
am using it this Shabbat!

I told you Kosherfest 2014 was FUN!!!
My new favorite wine...sweet!
Awesome liqueurs!  My favorite was the Dulce De Leche...right
after the pickles (HA!)
Hot Dog!
Black Mushroom Truffle Paste.  Holy Cow! This is a
mushroom lover's fantasy.
In case you wondered why they called it a truffle PIG!
Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at www.koshereveryday.com,
JewishExponent.com, aish.com, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
 or on Facebook at Edible Experience by Sharon Matten.

These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!