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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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Passover Prep. One day at a time

18 Mar

From 2 years ago. this bears repeating.
I am putting together recipes for a client (seder for 14), and my own family (two seder for 3 to 7 people.0

Since my client wants brisket, poached salmon for 5 , gefilte fish, brownies (no nuts!) and many of the usual side dishes, i am checking for the best possible recipes. I also have to plan on containers for each of us, foil pans, heavy duty foil(LOTS OF IT) for the counters as well as wrapping food for the client, parchment paper, special dish soap, a new salt, pepper, sugar, paprika, cinnamon etc.
So many of these staples need to be kosher for passover, extremely detailed laws concerning this….

Got recipes and most of shopping list together, but it is too early to shop. Need to be rid of all chametz. Such a challenge.
More on chametz tomorrow

gremolata (for string beans)

13 Mar

gremolata (for string beans).

Passover/Pesach Cooking and Preparation

11 Mar

I am reposting this from 2 years ago… counting down to Pesach/Passover.
To the observant Jew, preparing for Passover has many challenges and opportunities.  I will plan ahead and not drive myself crazy.. I took an hour this morning and went through my pantry to review what I wanted to use up prior to the holiday (2 started boxes of whole-wheat pasta and one of lasagna noodles).  I look through packages, especially baking items and spices to see they are not expired (the experts suggest keeping the dried spices no longer than 6 months),  I HAD TO DIVEST MYSELF OF THE CREAM OF TARTAR.  A recent client asked me to make baking powder biscuits , insisted she had baking powder and found at the last minute that it expired in 2002, long before she moved to Florida!

.I also go through the medicine chest and find expired over the counter meds and prescription meds. We don’t use a lot of meds so this was a quick process.

By Wed evening there will be no food going out of the kitchen and dining room….I hope.

 

Chef Helen
Helen@helenshomecooking.com
561-676-2078

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12 Jan

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Gluten Free “blondies” for Pesach

12 Jan

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Since my husband has Celiac and can’t eat wheat, I was making brownies with potato starch and tried several recipes. Then, hubby decided no more chocolate or cocoa!

 

I looked over other brownie recipes and came up with this  which is enough for a small brownie pan.  It would be doubled or tripled for a 13 by 9 pan.

 

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2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/3cup oil
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Beat eggs lightly, add oil, and mis again. then potato starch and coconut and add to greased paN, bAKE IN OVEN AT 350 FOR 20T 25 MIN UNTIL GOLDEN BrOWN . cool.cut and enjoy

Chef Helen Gottesman
561-676-2078 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 561-676-2078 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
helen@helenshomecooking.com helenshomecooking.com

Gluten Free Brownies ..One-Dish

8 Jan

I found this recipe when preparing for Passover/Pesach years ago..  So easy and requested all year.  the potato starch is best to buy right after Passover when it goes on sale!  Requested weekly by my husband who is Gluten-Free

Passover Brownies

3 eggs

sugar

oil

potato starch

cocoa

chopped nuts such as walnuts optional

chcoolate chips optional

raspberry jam optional

 

even better with coconut!!

Pesach Kosher Dinner Menus

8 Jan

I am starting to get calls about catering seders for groups for the Passpver seder. This year (2013/ 5773) Passover begins on March 26th. I am able to prepare food in my client’s home or kosher commercial kitchen. The most requested dinner items have traditionally been turkey or brisket. This year I have have been hearing from people looking at options at a lower cost (also healthier) such as shicken or capon..
I would of course prepare the traditional Seder plates, sides such as tsimmes and potato kugel,appetizer such as as gefilte fish and desserts as well as traditional matzoh ball soup. I have not figured out pricing exactly but we are probably talking about $36/per person with 10 or more people.

Mom’s Chicken Fricasee (via Chefhelen’s Blog)

29 Dec

Really easy for beginner cook!

This is my go-to dish for Friday night.  Cheap, easy and it can simmer an extra hour if dinner is delayed.

Mom’s Chicken Fricasee

1 chicken cut into eighths

1 lb. ground beef or turkey 1 onion, diced

1 jar tomato sauce oil spray.

Saute onion in oil and brown chicken pieces on both sides.  Add in the tomato sauce.  when sauce is simmering, (medium flame) add walnut-sized meatballs to sauce and cover.   Cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  Add a small … Read More

via Chefhelen’s Blog

Mega Chunky Vegetable Soup

17 Dec

I have always liked vegetable soup and did not want the “Campbell’s” style.So. I made my own recipe.  It is based on butternut squash , carrots and sweet potatoes

1 medium Butternut squash

1 Tbsp olive oil or other veg oil

Curry Powder or Garam Masala

3 to 5 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 onions, large dice

2 to 3 cloves garlic

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2  to 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 green or yellow squash sliced optional

few  mushrooms sliced optional

Peel butternut squash, cut off ends. scoop out seeds and cut into large chunks.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot. add onions, garlic, ginger and spices, Saute onions until onions take on color of curry powder.  Add Potatoes, and other vegetables and stir long enough for veggies to brown a little and start the carmelization.  Add 6 cups or more of water, a cup of water at a time until water is absorbed.   salt, and other spices and simmer for another 30 minutes until potatoes break down.

If you like your soup smooth, use an immersion blender for a few seconds and make soup as smooth as you like and reheat through.

 

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Kosher Personal Chef in a Non-Kosher world

4 Sep

Kosher Personal Chef in a Non-Kosher world

Chef Helen Gottesman cooks in South Florida

Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls..Traditional!!

12 Apr
matzo ball soup

matzo ball soup (Photo credit: derek7272)

Fill a small stock pot with water and add a bit of salt.  While this comes to a boil add chicken necks and backs (if you like not wasting the chicken) or some chicken thighs,  Once it comes to a boil, add 3 to 4 peeled and roughly chopped carrots, 2 turnips and 2 parssnips (also peeled and roughly chopped along with 2 ribs of celery. a large onion and few cloves of garlic.  allow to simmer for at lest two hours (covered or not).

The recipe on the package of matzoh meal lists 3 eggs, e/4 cup of matzoh meal and 1/4 tsp salt,  my rercipe is just a bit different.  Beat up the eggs in a small bowl, add the salt, water (1/2 an eggshell full for every 2 eggs) and some fresh chopped dill and or parsly.  Then add the matzoh meal.  When it is mixed, chill it in the fridge for an hour or more and the matzoh meal wuill have a chance to absorb the liquids.  At that time, with wet hands, make mrble walnut sized matzoh balls in your hands and drop them into the slowly boiling soup.  (If the soup is not boiling, the matzoh balls fall apart in the soup….yuck) Cover the soup and let it cook for another hour .  then serve with matzoh balls…

Tov Ta’am…yummy

For more details. call Chef Helen at 561-676-2078 or http://www.helenshomecooking.com helen@helenshomecooking.com

As my friend Jeff Popper answered when asked what a Matzoh Ball was, he answered, the only edible part of the matzoh

Don’t Make a Tzimmes Out Of It! Making Tzimmes is easy!!

10 Apr

Tzimmes April 2012The Jewish expression of “making a Tzimmes out of something” means making a mountain out of a molehill.  Making this dish is not as big a deal as most people think it is.  In fact I made it twice already during Pesach/Passover.

The best part of a dish like this is that it is adaptable.  a liitle more of this, a little less of that and it will be fine,

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 -3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 apples, peeled and chopped (any type)

handful of dried fruit such as prunes, apricots, apples)

water to cover in saucepan

pich of salt

1 to 2 Tbsp honey

potato starch as needed, less than a Tablespoon

2 tsp cinnamon.

Place potatoes etc in saucepan and simmer for about 45 minutes. As it simmers, add a tsp or two of potato starch to thicken.  Taste for sweetness and add more honey as necessary.  Since the dish is pareve/vegetarian it can be served with any meal.  It is traditionally served with brisket or other holiday meal.  This serves about 4 people.  It can be made for many more, just multiply the amounts of ingredients for many more.

Need more info?  call Chef Helen at 561-676-2078 or email at helen@helenshomecooking.com

Gluten Free Passover Foods

2 Apr

Gluten Free Passover Foods.

Baked Meatballs…Yum

2 Apr

Baked Meatballs…Yum.

Gluten Free Brownies

11 May

I will be making these for Thanksgiving and adding in a few spoonfuls of raspberry jam to  the mixture.  Cant wait!

Gluten Free Brownies

4 whole eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 cup potato starch

1/2 cup chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips

Mix eggs just until yolks and whites aree mixed then add the rest of the ingredients, mix until smooth. Bake in a 9 by 13 inch pan for 45 minutes at 350.

helen@helenshomecooking.com  561-676-2078

You can also order these to go from chef Helen as well as potato kugel and other side dishes Call in advance to make sure there is enough!

Chametz Free

18 Apr

We cleaned everything up for Pesach and cooked up a storm…My son burnt the chometz outside on the grill and the garbage is being picked up now.  officially chometz free.

No bread ..oatmeal, cereal etc no regular salad dressings, soy sauce, mustard etc…..all packed up .  Since we planned ahead, there is less stuff packed away!  Organization has advantages!

Matzoh Balls for a Crowd

17 Apr

I am making 2 seders for 5 (my house) and a seder for 14 (client).  I had to multiply my usual matzoh ball recipe, using just 2 eggs.  I used 10 eggs and an appropriate amt of water, oil. salt. pepper, and matzoh meal.  I ended up with 78 small matzoh balls which are now cooking separately from my already cooked soup.  they will be puffing up as they cook.  I will package them separately from the soup (and the chicken) for my client…can’t wait to eat tomorrow night.

Chef Helen

helenshomecooking.com

helen@helenshomecooking.com

Charoses without nuts!

17 Apr

I found a recipe I will be using for my client and myself.

I got this recipe from “entrée to Judaism by Wasserman

8 ounces Medjool Dated

2 Fuji or Gala apples

water

1 cinnamon stick

Place dates in a 2 quart sauucepan with water and cook covered on medium high while you prepare apples. Water should be reduced to below the level of dates and dates should begin to soften.  Peel, core and dice apples into 1/2 inch chunks.  Add the apples and cinnamon stick and cook until apples are soft.  Don’t let water evaporate.  If it does, add 1/4 cup water.  Pass through a food mill or processor.

If the mixture is too watery, cook on low to desired thickness.

Gluten Free Passover Foods

16 Apr
Potato flour.

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you that are on a gluten-free diet, get all you can of the potato starch and cake meal for Passover/Pesach on sale.  It is naturally gluten free!  Just look up the recipes on my website or on the net.

Sponge Cake

Potato kugel

zucchini kugel

Matzoh balls

Pesach cookies made with potato statch, ground nuts or cake meal (from the cakes made with potato starch).

Yum.

Cleanup for Pesach

16 Apr

Rob is packing up 90% of the pots and pans while I make the last of our pasta and tomato sauce for dinner.  I also popped the last of the popcorn in the micro so he some thing to nosh on later.  Realizing how small the kitchen is and how much I have to do!

Closing in on Pesach

15 Apr

I was rushing around to get  ready and clean up the kitchen .  I cleaned out all the shelves and bins in the fridge and as I put one back, I knocked into the Pyrex bowl than has my meat balls and tomato sauce.  Oy. all over the fridge, the floor, broken glass etc.  And try to keep the dog away from, it while I cleaned it all up.  then I cut my finger on the glass.

Of course if hubby had done his part cleaning the fridge, this would not have happened.  We are having a skillet dinner with another package of ground turkey.  I am so glad I bought lots of extra meat at Costco!

Right after Shabbat, about 8:30pm we will clean and kosher the kitchen and put the Pesach stuff in the kitchen..   OY. Sunday will be CRAZY!

Chef Helen

Passover Preparation Continued

15 Apr

Dinner for tonight was made already.  Turkey meatballs, pasta leftover from last night, lentil soup,  salad, challah, wine . I will pick up some Stella D’oro cookies for tonight and tomorrow.

I cleaned off some of the shelves in the fridge and have little left to save that is chametz.  Still have a lot of fresh fruit.

If you did not already do the sale of chametz or need info on that go to www.chabad.org and look up Passover.  That way any Jew that inadvertently had chametz after thorough cleaning and search, will be ok.  You can also do this with your local Rabbi.  I did this online a week ago.

Chef Helen Gottesman

561-676-2078

Passover Brownie Recipe

14 Apr

I got this recipe from “The Haimishe Kitchen”  volume 2.  I have seen some variations since then,, The beauty of this dish is no separating the eggs, cheap ingredients and nuts are optional.

4 whole eggs

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup oil

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

3/4 cup potato starch

Mix eggs just until yolks and whites are combined, but not foamy. Add rest of ingredients and mix just until mixture is smooth. Do not over mix. Bake in 9 by 13 inch pan for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy and let me know how you enjoy it.

Day 3 Passover Prep

13 Apr

Today I plan on finalizing and printing all recipes.  Vegetables and fruits will be purchased following our Free Networking International meeting.  I have a long list for making the seder and all of the quick meal that are vegetable oriented and chametz free during the week.  We also stay away from the convenience meals during the holiday due to prices and unacceptable quality. (A typical cake mix during the year is under $2.00, during Passover, they are $6.89 in Publix.  So, I bake a lot.  Fortunately it is something I really love to do.  Most of the cakes involve beating egg whites….time consuming.  So < I use my stanby brownie recipe.  Cheaper easier and better than year round.  Nuts are optional.  Recipe to post later

 

By the way, I love feedback and would appreciate if you would LIKE my posts…..

Day 2 Pesach Preparation

12 Apr

Today, I shopped for the pantry items at Wal-Mart., I got heavy-duty foil and foil pans, Glad ware containers in varied sizes (to package for my client and mu own), a new salt, pepper paprika and cinnamon (all kosher for passover. Also, we got kosher for passover margarine. Next we scoped out Costco in Boca Raton, great brisket from 1.5 to 6 pounds, 1st cut…at 11.00 per pound. yes.!!

Passover/Pesach Cooking and Preparation

11 Apr

Passover/Pesach Cooking and Preparation.

First shopping trip

11 Apr

If everything goes according to plan (how often does that happen?) I will be going to Wal-Mart to get a lot of Glad ware or Ziploc containers as well as Ziploc bags in larger and smaller sizes today.  I also plan on getting at least 2 large rolls of heavy-duty aluminum foil , parchment paper, garbage bags, matzoh meal, potato starch and spices (paprika, salt, pepper and cinnamon) for Pesach.  Rob picked up 14 cartons from the liquor store yesterday (now stacked in the garage) to pack up dishes. I will be using my “good dishes ” for Shabbat and have my regular stuff packed by dinner Friday…..Then again..”man plans, G-d laughs”.

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