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3 Tips to Make Pasover Easy and Avoid the Expensive Stuff!

13 Apr

For many years I heard the complaints and gave in.   I kept kosher and like so many other people I found that my husband and son  thought that they could not survive without pasta or Cheerios for 8 days.  So, I gave in,  I bought the Pesach version of pasta (yuck!) and the Pesach version of Cheerios (3 or four times the price per volume!) and found they were not very good.

I found some basic steps I could take to minimize the expense by avoiding the prepared or convenience items which I rarely use anyway and maximize the taste by using more fresh products.So, no cake mixes.  No paying extra for broken matzoh (crumble it yourself if you need to!). Enjoy my brownie recipe using potato starch rather than flour!

First, think in terms of the Mediterranean diet or the Oriental diets.  More vegetables, prepared different ways alongside smaller portions of proteins for dinners especially during the week. I love roasted vegetables (white and sweet potatoes, zucchini and more) alongside roasted or baked chicken as well as a stir fry of onion, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and yellow squash and more.  There is always salads like spinach with strawberry to spice things up.

Secondly, think a bit of flexibility on your menus. Burgers don’t need fillers such as matzoh meal or bread crumbs.  Without that, they don’t need the egg t hold it together. Mix the ground beef with chopped onions and garlic and shape the burgers into sliders. Bake, grill or fry as normally would and enjoy!  You can also add herbs in the mixture as you choose!

Thirdly, since my husband is now Gluten-Free as we found out he has Celiac I prepare his food without wheat. We love to make potatoes several ways.  I make potato kugel (with or without carrots, zucchini or sweet potatoes for color), I make mashed potatoes with sauteed onion (using olive oil and no dairy or dairy substitute).  Now according to many authorities quinoa is acceptable during Passover!! Hooray as we love it.

If you are in the area of Palm Beach County, Florida you can hire ChefHelen as your Personal Chef.  ChefHelen can do the shopping for menus we have planned out together and prepare the meals in your home on YOUR equipment

 

Just call, email or text me to set up your free consultation.  Chef Helen Gottesman

561-676-2078 .chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com

Check out my website at http://www.helenshomecooking.com

#matzo #KOSHERCHEF #Pesach #Passover #Recipes

 

 

 

Enjoy Dinners Professionally Prepared in Your Home

21 Mar

Chef Helen prepares weekly meals for you and your family

Meal plans from as little as $25.00 per person!

Experienced in kosher, Gluten-Free, Salt Free and Sugar Free Diets and more.

Call today for your free consultation! 561-676-2078 helen@helenshomecooking.com

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Valentines Day Dinner for 2 Gift Certificates

1 Feb

Are you still trying to get the right gift for your wife, husband, significant other or best friend?  Maybe a gift for someone who just needs a lift? Maybe you want it for yourself?

Relax over a meal made in your home with your pots, pans etc. by a professional Personal Chef.  You can choose from our most popular rib steak, salmon en papillote , chicken Marsala or something else.   We can prepare the meal of your choice including a soup, salad, side dish and dessert.  Valentine’s Day will go quick so order now.  We c an arrange other days according to your needs.ChefHelen

Gluten Free, Special diets (salt free, low fat etc) and Kosher are my specialties

We do all the shopping, cooking ,serving and clean up.

Call 561-676-2078 or email valentines@helenshomecooking,com

Why I Love to Cook for my Clients

31 Dec

In a world where most jobs have us as “cogs in a wheel” working for low wages, without sight of a final goal for the company or ourselves, as a Personal Chef I do everything soup to nets for each client. I find out what
Instead, as a Personal Chef I speak to people about what food means to them that would determine the choices of foods we will prepare for them. Is it simply for nourishment? Must it be a work of art for them to enjoy it? Are there specific dietary needs such as diabetic diet or salt free diet for clients that have been through heat failure or similar issues. Vegetarian or vegan is easy for me since I keep kosher I am very conscious of any indication meat, dairy and shellfish ingredients that would make a dish non-kosher or trayf.
Within the limitations of these health related issues, I find the dishes they most enjoy (or won’t go near). I am able to prepare some of my client’s favorites (and mine) with minor adjustments.
Two weeks ago I prepared one of my signature salmon dishes that normally is marinated in lime, ginger, garlic.oil and soy sauce for a salt free client. I removed the soy sauce for the recipe (I may try the liquid aminos in the future). It was delicious. The husband and wife said they never had such delicious food. I will be back in their kitchen this week to refill their fridge with the foods they most enjoy.
My most requested dishes include roast chicken, beef stew, chicken picata, baked marinated salmon. Roast vegetables, brownies, chicken matzoh ball soup, lentil soup. peanut butter cookies .and meat loaf.
People want healthy well prepared home-style dishes. They can’t believe how good this food tastes. When they tell me this, it is SOOO satisfying. Of course, making money doing what you love is pretty cool too!!
I can use the knowledge I acquired in college studying nutrition as well as the latest trending diet programs to tweak recipes and food choices to an individuals needs.

Call me, tell me what you need, or want. Chef Helen can put together weekly meals, dinners for 2, dinner parties, and of course baking. Always open to new ideas.

Call me at 561-676-2078 or email chefhelen@helenshomecooking.com so I can talk about helping you.

 

Rosh HaShanah Dishes for the Soul

6 Sep

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul

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Personal chef Helen Gottesman of Helen’s Home Cooking prepares a kosher holiday meal. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Before Helen Gottesman looks into the depths of the new year, she glances back to remember the sweetest, most flavorful dishes of her childhood.

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul photo

The most vivid culinary memory of Rosh Hashanas past: Pflaumenkuchen, her Czech-German grandmother’s special plum tart.

“I remember the smell of the plums. My mother made a couple of dishes wonderfully, and one of them was my grandmother’s plum tart. She would use Italian prune plums. They came into season shortly before Rosh Hashana – and it was a short season,” recalls Gottesman, a New York native who works as a personal chef in Boynton Beach.

This is the great motif of Gottesman’s home cooking – comfort foods that pay homage to family memories. And as the Jewish New Year begins at sunset tonight, ushering in 10 days of reflection and repentance, she will greet it with prayer, introspection and kosher dishes reminiscent of her younger years in the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of Queens.

Rosh Hashana inspires dishes for the soul photo

“We would always have the matzo ball soup and, typically, challah,” says Gottesman, 55, who now bakes eight loaves of traditional challah bread at a time.

Helen Gottesman prepares her plum tart (or pflaumen kuchen). (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

And because Rosh Hashana exalts the sweetest of foods – as in honey-dipped apples to beckon happiness – there was always a piece of that ­fragrant, open-face plum tart, a culinary prayer for a sweet life.

Today, in accordance with her Orthodox Jewish faith, Gottesman keeps a kosher kitchen. But “kitchen” is a movable notion for a woman who turned a love of cooking Shabbat dinner for friends – and a knowledge of nutrition and kosher standards – into a small enterprise she calls Helen’s Home Cooking ( helenshomecooking.com).

Usually, she cooks in other people’s kitchens.

“Because I focus on kosher cooking and I keep kosher myself, I’m aware that people are particular about anything that comes into their house,” says Gottesman, who shares her home with husband. Robert, an educator, and 16-year-old son, Adir.

So when she cooked an early Rosh Hashana dinner at a friend’s home on a recent weeknight, Gottesman worked with fresh ingredients her friend had shopped for and brought only the items her friend was missing. While other mobile chefs may carry their own knives and trusty spice kits, she used her friend’s cooking vessels and kitchen utensils.

On the menu that day: one soul-warming comfort dish after another. She roasted a chicken with sweet potatoes, white potatoes and carrots, a sweet noodle kugel with sugar and apples, a batch of almond-flecked green beans, a steaming pot of matzo ball soup and her grandmother’s plum tart.

It’s the kind of cooking that stirs easy conversation with friends and clients.

“If I’m in their kitchen, I hear their food stories, what they like and what they don’t, what their idea of comfort food is. For some, it’s lasagna. You never know. It all depends where and how they grew up,” says Gottesman.

She says a lot of her clients are seniors who don’t cook for themselves anymore. “And they don’t like the takeout places. Typically, what they want is the comfort foods they grew up with,” says the chef.

She dreams of opening a healthy kosher café one day, “a place of coffee, homemade breads and vegetarian items.” But for now she cooks wherever a kitchen welcomes her.

“I love cooking,” says Gottesman. “When I start cooking, I can get a little carried away and my husband tells me, ‘Don’t you realize there are only three of us in this house?'”

PFLAUMENKUCHEN (PLUM TART) WITH MUERBETEIG DOUGH CRUST

TO MAKE THE CRUST:

1 cup margarine

3 cups flour

2 egg yolks

1 lemon

1/4 cup sugar

Cream margarine and sugar, add flour then egg yolks along with grated rind of lemon along with the juice. Chill dough for at least half an hour and then pat into large pie tin with fingers.

TO MAKE THE PLUM TART:

Muerbeteig dough

6-9 Italian prune plums

1 teaspoon sugar

Cut plums into eighths and place them skin side down in the pie pan starting with the outside going halfway up the side. When all of the space is covered, sprinkle with sugar and bake for about 30 minutes at 350º. Tart is done when crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before serving.

ROAST CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES

Serve with vegetables on the side.

1 chicken cut into eighths or serving size pieces

1 large sweet potato or 2 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 large onion sliced or cut into chunks

1 zucchini, sliced

Garlic, a few cloves

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced or diced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Paprika, to taste

In a roasting pan place bed of vegetables and mix them up and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then, top with chicken pieces skin side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and paprika.

Place in preheated 350º oven. After 30 minutes, turn chicken pieces over and sprinkle salt and pepper and paprika on the chicken if you have not already done so. When this is done (it will be browned) turn chicken pieces back to skin side up and cook for another 30 minutes. (Cooking time is about 1 hour, 15 minutes to 11/2 hours.)

STRING BEANS ALMONDINE

1 to 11/2 pounds string beans

1 tablespoon margarine

1/4 cup almonds, slivered or sliced

1/4 red pepper, slivered

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut tips off string beans. Either leave beans whole or slice into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Place into boiling salted water until they are tender, but still bright green in color.

Drain the string beans. In the same pot, melt margarine and lightly sauté almonds. Add red pepper and cook to soften slightly. Then add the string beans to heat through.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon, and serve.

Recipes by Helen Gottesman,   http://www.helenshomecooking.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kosher Personal Chef in Non-Kosher World

7 Aug

Kosher Personal Chef in Non-Kosher World.

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