Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dr. Praeger's House Call... A review of the latest & greatest Dr. Praeger's products (great for Thanksgivingakkuh!)

I’ve missed you!!  I’ve missed chatting, corresponding with you, and keeping in touch.  It seems that life, work, life, and more work, have gotten in the way of Kosher Everyday!  Sigh.  Thank G-d, our family had a major milestone last week - our youngest daughter’s Bat Mitzvah (KIH)!  Considering that with a few minor exceptions, I personally catered the Shabbat Kiddush at shul, the extended family meals, and our Sunday brunch, and tried to keep up with Edible Experience and my family (oh right…the family!)  it’s a wonder I was still standing after it all!  It was SO CRAZY that I needed the help of a doctor, preferably one that made house calls!  Well, sometimes you get sent exactly what you need.  A while back I received an email from the Dr. Praeger’s rep, asking if I would be willing to review some of the new products the company was introducing.  I was very interested and also asked if the company had gluten-free items as well (I’m a GFE along with quite a few of my readers).  It turned out that most of the products were actually GFE friendly.  The representative was so accommodating and offered to send me samples of a large selection of their products.  Cool, right?  Then I promptly forgot about the whole thing and got back to trying to keep up with my super hectic life.  One day, amidst the chaos, a huge box arrived at my door.  We opened it up, and guess what - just when there was complete pandemonium in my house the doctor made a house call!!  There were all different types of latkes, fishies, little fun shaped vegetable patties, and fish sticks.  There was vast variety and most of the products in the boxes were individually wrapped so that everyone could pick their favorite, with the rest saved for another dinner (no spoiling!).    

Dear Son, was kind enough to prepare dinner for everyone and take the pictures for this article (I should have had him write the review…hmmm….).  

We had a great time sampling the different Dr. Praeger’s  flavors (I grabbed a few in between work recipes), and overall we thought they were just great!  We especially liked the California Veggie Burgers (GFE!), the Roasted Corn Cakes, and the Asian Veggie Burgers (it had a delicious oriental flair).  The Sweet Potato Pancakes (GFE!), Broccoli, Spinach, and Potato Pancakes would be great to eat as latkes on Thanksgivingakkah - flavorful and no mess!  
Dear Youngest Daughter was super happy with her one of her favorite foods – fish sticks (go figure!) being on the healthy menu.    The Potato Crusted ones were even gluten-free!

The food was quick and easy to prepare and I didn’t have to worry that my family wasn’t eating right.  Dr. Praeger’s has a great philosophy: “… good-for-you food should actually taste good, especially if you don’t let artificial ingredients, colors and fillers get in the way. That’s why our products are made with ingredients you recognize, including flash-frozen vegetables and fish from cold Northern waters. Our hearty California Veggie Burger doesn’t conceal its tasty spinach, broccoli, peas, carrots and onions – it puts them right where you can see and taste them! And our gluten-free options are an easy way to keep wheat out of your diet, while keeping the good things in, like fiber and taste bud-pleasing flavor.”  Even Dr. Oz recommends them so they must be good for you!! Thanks Dr. Praeger’s – your house call was the perfect prescription for success in our house!

For more information about Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods go to:

Well, the Bat Mitzvah was wonderful (B”H)!  We were incredibly proud of the Youngest Daughter who had spent months Learning outside of school and prepared a beautiful d’var torah.  She also did an awesome chesed project with a few friends, creating an upbeat music CD – Songs of Strength and Hope, to give to Chai Lifeline girls. Baruch Hashem!!

So…here are a few pictures of some of the things I made.  And yes…they taste as good as they look!  Mazel Tov!!

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,, 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, August 25, 2013

Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies (Great for Rosh Hashana!) & Stuffed Vegetarian Zucchini

A while back I was perusing the latest Living Social deals when I came across a “deal” for $12 a night in Indiana at the Twin Mills Resort.  It just so happened that I was looking for something to do with my girls (KIH) after they were done with camp and the guys in the family were still working.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Living Social, it’s a web site similar to Groupon.  They have deals from all over the place and you can specify the location you are interested in.  Being from the Midwest (Yay!) I was looking for fun things to do that are nearby, or within a relatively short car ride.  When the Twin Mills deal came up I immediately clicked on the link.  It turns out that the $12 deal was for reserving a camp site on the resort.  Tents, no personal bathrooms, no beds, no kitchen, no way.  I read further and also available was a “Deluxe” Cabin that would sleep 6-8 people, that came equipped with beds, a “kitchen”, refrigerator, sink, linens and towels, and a bundle of firewood for each night, for less than $65 per night!  Awesome!  It was just the kind of thing I was looking for, the perfect adventure that was just 2 to 2 ½ hours away by car.  The resort boasted a pool, boating, miniature golf, internet, and enough sleeping space that the girls could bring friends along if they wanted to.  Located in Howe, Indiana, Twin Mills is right in the heart of the Indiana Amish Country.  How cool is that?  We had never visited any Amish Country, so combining all the fun activities (including fishing!) at the resort and the appeal of investigating the areas Amish attractions, proved to be enough of an incentive for me to book a 2 night stay.

When it was time to go, we loaded up the car with our gear - including fishing poles, a toaster oven, and small George Foreman grill (they had a kitchen…just not a Kosher kitchen).  I had also packed super long wooden skewers and metal extending forks for roasting marshmallows over our campfire.  The resort was super cute and very rustic.  Our cabin was probably the size of my living room and dining room combined (and believe me they are not all that big!) with the kids bedroom being just big enough to literally hold 2 bunk beds with space to stand between the beds.   The living/dining/kitchen room held a pull out couch for campers number 7 & 8 if you happened to bring them along.  Luckily there were only 4 of us (one of the girls brought a dear friend) so the cabin was perfect!  The first day and a half we spent boating, fishing, swimming.  We build campfires every night, grilled, roasted awesome pierogies on the super long sticks the first night (the girls are very creative), and made authentic s’mores, all while the girls played music on their ipods. The second evening we went blueberry picking nearby.  Between the four of us we picked around 18 pounds of fabulous, juicy, fresh blueberries!  The owner of the blueberry patch gave us a dozen ears of Incredible Corn (it’s really called Incredible Corn).  We wrapped a few ears in foil and tossed them on the hot campfire coals to roast.  They were truly incredible!!

Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies
Our last day on the “Matten Girls Excellent Adventure” was spent at an interactive exhibit that explained Amish culture (we were in Amish Country, at least we should understand what it’s all about right?), and at the incredible Shipshewana Flea and Farmers Market.  The Shipshewana Flea/Farmers market is a huge multi-football field sized market that takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week.  There are rows and rows and rows of booths/stalls where people sell their wares, crafts, and fresh produce – usually super cheap.  We found some beautiful hand crafted items, and purchased several to decorate our Sukkah with in another month.  There were quite a few Amish vendors, and a number making Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies. I was super intrigued.  I didn’t ask to take pictures because after our Amish educational session that morning I learned that the Amish don’t like to be in close up personal photos, so out of respect I refrained. I did go over and watch them make the pies and asked some questions – I mean fried pies??  Basically they made a pie dough (probably with butter and lard), rolled out a small circle, placed them on a small pastry tool, brushed some water around the edges, put a spoonful of filling in the center of the dough, pressed the edges together with the tool to seal the “pies” and make a fluted edge, dropped each one in a hot vat of boiling oil (or lard), then drizzled a glaze over the top.  They smelled amazing and looked delicious!  The cool part was that I actually had the tool at home!  It turns out the pie making tool they have is a very inexpensive one and I had bought mine as part of a kit for less than $6.  I knew that these pies were totally going to be something I would try when we got home.  Filled with apple filling they would also be a fabulous Rosh Hashana dessert or grab and go treat (not terribly healthy though!).

At the farmer’s market part of the market we found awesome produce – yellow tomatoes, fresh delicious apricots and peaches, small yellow watermelons, orange zucchini, and huge fresh green zucchinis.  We left Shipshewana that day after having an amazing time.  I left with a mission to make some Amish inspired recipes.

Stuffed Vegetarian Zucchini
I knew I wanted to do something fun and delicious with those zucchinis – they were outrageous!  A while ago I had purchased some large zucchinis at a local farmers market and had cut them in half lengthwise, hollowed the halves and stuffed them like large zucchini boats.  It didn’t work as well as I had hoped.  The boats didn’t hold their shapes and although they tasted great they weren’t as pretty as they could have been.  I decided to cut the large zucchini’s into pieces to cook more evenly, hollowed each piece, then stuffed them with some rice with seasoning, mock meat, vegetables, and topped each with flavorful salsa.  I baked them uncovered, and after the pieces were cooked through I sliced them into large disks and re-baked the disks.  They were pretty, held their filling, and delicious!  Keeping the pieces as filled disks helped the Stuffed Vegetarian Zucchini to keep its shape and hold the filling. I didn't realize it at the time but I had used a little spicier salsa so the Stuffed Zucchini had a little kick to it – even better!

Now school and Rosh Hashana are just around the corner and it’s time to put the summer behind us.  We were blessed to be able to get a way for a few days for some much needed fun and R&R.  I also came away with a few new great recipes. The Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies went over so well that my crowd requested that I make them again and they literally disappeared in a blink.  I know I’ll be making them during the year, bringing back a little bit of our great summer in each delicious bite.

Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies
Pie Dough (You can use chilled margarine instead of butter)
Flour for rolling
Canola oil for frying
Your favorite pie filling

2 cups powdered/confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon corn syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Boiling/hot water

Powdered sugar (optional)

Pie making tool (You can find it on Amazon) or a fork

Divide the dough into small pieces.  Sprinkle a little flour on a pastry board.  Roll each piece of dough into a small circle.  Sprinkle a little flour over the pastry tool.  Place a dough circle on the tool, brush the edges with water, place a teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough, then close the tool to seal the pie.  If you don’t have the pie making tool, simply fold the dough over the filling and crimp with a fork to seal. 

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.  Set aside.

In a large stock pot, dutch oven, or deep fryer, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350° F.  Drop pies into the oil and fry each, turning occasionally, until brown on each side.  Remove from the oil and place on the prepared baking sheet.  (Be careful not to put the baking sheet too close to the burner with the pot…I’m just saying the paper towels covered with oil might just catch on fire, and you might just need to use baking soda to put out the fire.  I’m just saying…not that it happened to me Erev Shabbat making the pies or anything…)

Prepare the glaze:  Place the powdered sugar in a large bowl.  Add the corn syrup and vanilla and enough hot water to make a thick glaze.  Drizzle or spread the glaze over the pies, and if you like sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

Stuffed Vegetarian Zucchini
This recipe makes enough filling to have some as an additional side dish at your Shabbat meal.
1 or 2 super large zucchinis cut into 6” pieces
2 cups brown rice (or 14 ounces Instant Uncle Bens Brown Rice)
4 cups vegetable stock (or 3 1/2 cups if using instant Uncle Bens Rice)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound imitation ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed (I use a frozen cube)
4 colorful peppers, diced
1 package taco seasoning
1 16 ounce jar salsa
Nonstick vegetable spray

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spray with nonstick vegetable spray.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Hollow out the center of each zucchini piece with a long, thin, sharp knife, or a long apple corer.  Reserve the hollowed center pieces, and set the cored zucchini chunks aside.  Dice the reserved hollowed center pieces and set them on the prepared baking sheet.

In a large pot bring the vegetable stock to a boil.  Add the rice, return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes (or according to package directions) until all the liquid is completely absorbed.  Set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the diced onion, garlic and mock meat.  Sauté until the onions and “beef” are browned.   Add the diced zucchini and peppers and sauté until the vegetables are soft.  Sprinkle with the taco seasoning and stir until completely blended.   Mix the cooked rice with the sautéd vegetables.

Stuff each of the hollowed zucchini sections with the rice mixture.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and top with the salsa.  Bake for 30 minutes until zucchinis are soft.  For super large zucchinis bake a little longer.  Remove the zucchinis from the oven and allow to cool until cool enough to handle.  Slice each zucchini log into 1 ½ inch thick rounds.  Return the rounds to the original baking sheet and spread the cooked pan salsa on top of the rounds.  Bake for an additional 30 minutes until lightly browned.  Serve warm with additional salsa if desired.

Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies
Here's the kit...I paid $5.49!
 Make the dough...
 Cut it into 16 pieces...
Roll each piece into a circle...
 Press in onto the dough press then
add the filling...
Brush the edges with water...
(Or use a fork to seal)
A pie! 
 Pop it into the boiling oil...
 Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble...
(wait until they are golden brown!)
Golden brown & ready to be glazed...
 Make the glaze...
(You can make it a little looser if you want to
glaze the entire top of the pie)
 Drizzle the tops of the pies...
 So pretty they needed a close up!
 YUM!! Shipshewana Fried Amish Pies!!

Stuffed Vegetarian Zucchini
All the ingredients...
These zucchini are HUGE!!
 Saute onion, mock beef & garlic...
 Cut up the zucchini so it's easier to work with
and bakes more evenly...
 Core the zucchini then chop up the part
you removed...
Add the peppers & chopped zucchini...
 Add the taco seasoning...
 Stir until combined...
 Add the rice...
 Now it's time to stuff the zucchini...
Stuff one side then turn it around and
stuff the other side...
 Cover the stuffed zucchini with salsa...
 Bake then slice...
 Put the slices back on the original tray...
 Fresh & healthy & delicious!

Here's some stuff I did this week...

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,, 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!!