Moroccan Meatballs from Tia Sarita

It’s the combination of Moroccan spices that makes this recipe so interesting. My Aunt Sarita uses two kinds of paprika here: Hungarian, with a sweet taste and a vibrant red color, and smoked Spanish (where peppers are smoked over an oak fire), with a richer taste and a darker red. Serves 4-6 For the Meatballs: 1 lb. (454g) ground beef 1 egg yolk 1 slice whole wheat bread, crust removed (about 32g) and cubed 1 onion, minced ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon ¼ tsp. ground cumin ½ tsp. Hungarian paprika 2 tsp. Spanish paprika 1 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1½ tsp. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper For the Sauce: 3 Tbsp. olive oil 4 small onions, peeled a

Meyer Family Perfect Potato Latkes

What's a Jewish cooking blog without a recipe for latkes? This is my grandmother's and mother's recipe. Works perfectly! Meyer Family Perfect Potato Latkes Ingredients 6 medium potatoes, scrubbed, peeled 1 onion 2 eggs 1/2 cup flour (or cup-for-cup gluten free "flour") 1 tsp. salt fresh pepper. (serves about 6) Directions Using the shredding blade of a food processor, shred the potatoes. Set colander lined with a dish cloth in the sink to drain. Place the potatoes in the cloth-lined colander, and squeeze out all the liquid you can. Grate or finely chop onion, mix in eggs, salt and pepper. Continue squeezing out as much liquid as you can, put half the shredded potatoes in with the onion

Grandma Anna’s Hungarian Beans

This has been an interesting process, thinking about family recipes. My mother’s parents were both college graduates. My grandmother always had help in the house, and I hardly remember her in the kitchen. As kids, my siblings and I always thought my mother was a decent cook, but as we got older and had our own families, it became obvious that love is blind, and mom was a lousy cook. Mom’s repertoire included macaroni and cheese made with Velveeta, Chinese food – using Chung King cans – and Salisbury steak TV dinners, which must be where my ongoing issue of keeping all my foods separated originated from. Both my brother John and sister Betsy have developed into wonderful cooks, and I consider

Charoset from Greece

Celebrating Passover: A Grandmother's Tale I am standing at my white kitchen counter feeding sticky ingredients into a food mixer: clumps of dates, walnut pieces from a cellophane packet, slices of Granny Smith apples, teaspoons of honey, clouds of cinnamon, splashes of orange juice. At my side is a handwritten recipe, scribbled on a curled sheet of lined and yellowed paper, torn from the kind of exercise book reminiscent of a first-grade primer. My grandmother originally brought that recipe with her from Salonika in northern Greece over a hundred years ago. Even though it wasn't written down for years afterwards, it became as much of a family heirloom as the hand‑driven Singer sewing machin

Ronnie Fein’s Grandma’s Challah

I have so many family recipes that I make over and over and have taught them to my children and grandchildren -- so many special ones, that it is difficult to choose one. But, as a start, I decided on my grandma’s recipe for challah. Many years ago I had lunch with a long-lost cousin on my father’s side who had been brought up by that grandmother (and grandfather). I hadn’t seen him in 40 years. We started to talk about his life with them and at some point, got to the cooking and of course, the challah. He told me that Grandma’s challah was legendary and that once, one of her challahs went up at auction for their synagogue and it raised $100. And that was in the 1930s! A fortune of money, bu

Nancy Weisberg’s (z”l) Amazing Noodle Kugel

I have long said that if I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, I would choose my mother Nancy Weisberg’s (z”l) noodle kugel. In fact, when I do make it, I find myself eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks, hot and cold. The result is that I’ve found myself making it very infrequently, so as not to become one giant noodle kugel myself. Instead, I’ve created a new ritual: Each year I make my mother’s noodle kugel on Mother’s Day as a way to honor and remember her sweetness and warmth. (And when I find that I’ve made too much, I make every effort to share it with friends. Why shouldn’t they also get to enjoy the best kugel ever?) My Mother’s Amazing Noodle

Home again

I walked into the office today and everyone asked me about my trip. I had many things to share, but in the back of my mind, I thought about how often so many people that I cross paths with take for granted the life they have. I am grateful for what I have and I try very hard to never lose perspective. I live in a beautiful town, I have three children that I adore and a wonderfully supportive husband. I own a lovely home and a brand-new car. My kids all went to great schools and attend or have attended college. I am quite frugal compared to most of my contemporaries, but I know for sure that I spend more than $200 a year on my children’s necessities. Each day when I go to work, I am grateful

Sacred work in the Holy City

We checked in late last night to our hotel in Jerusalem, which is wonderfully located just steps from the Old City and Ben Yehuda Street. We are looking forward to doing some sight-seeing at some point, but until then, we will spend our morning with Naava Shafner of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Accompanied by Naava, we had the privilege of visiting Susan’s House, an organization established in 2002 in memory of Susan Kaplansky, who dreamed of helping youth through art. Unfortunately, Susan became ill and passed away before she saw her dream become a reality. I can tell you first-hand that Susan would be proud of what was created from her vision. Today, Susan’s Hous

A fond farewell to Afula!

Today is our last day in Afula and staying at the Partnership House on Kibbutz Yizre’el. The rain held off and Rahel was finally able to give us the grand tour before heading out to our final destination. The view from the top of the kibbutz and from the dining room was beautiful; the valley below was so green and full of life. Kibbutz life is so close-knit and you really feel like part of the family, even while visiting. We were fortunate to meet so many wonderful people. Rahel, Karen, Ofri, and Avner made it impossible for anyone to feel like an outsider. We are grateful to Avner and Hila and their daughter, Ofri, and her family for opening their home to us for a delicious dinner. Ofri was

Ethiopian Jews and the SPACE program

We headed north to Karmiel with Grace Rodnitzki, Director of International Relations at the Ethiopian National Project (ENP). ENP unites global Jewry, the Government of Israel and the Ethiopian-Israeli community in its mission to advance the integration of Ethiopian-Israelis into Israeli society. The program provides social and educational opportunities to Ethiopian-Israeli youth ages 13-18 addressing their cultural, social and emotional challenges that constrain their advancement. Our first stop was the home of Qes Efraim Zion-Lawi, a spiritual leader in the Ethiopian-Jewish Israeli community. There, we met his family and were treated to a traditional Ethiopian lunch. If you missed the oppo

How On My Own builds skills

Although it was raining and cold, we were welcomed and warmed by the wonderful leaders and the incredible work of Be-Atzmi. Be-Atzmi (“On My Own”) is a social NGO that works to alleviate poverty and narrow socio-economic gaps in Israel, through employment advancement of underprivileged and excluded populations. They serve approximately 9,000 men and women each year, mainly from Israel’s social and geographical peripheries, helping them to achieve economic independence and break out of a life of poverty and reliance on social services and charity. We heard stories of those who suffer from various types of discrimination — ethnic, gender, etc. — which, along with cultural and personal barriers

How do you choose?

Today we visited with five deserving organizations where I asked the question, “What is your greatest need?” They all answered the same way, hands gesturing everywhere. As Ariel Rasovsky of Beit Singer said, “How do you choose? There are so many needs.” There are 97 children currently at Beit Singer, 70% of them victims of sexual violence. It is heartbreaking to hear the statistics, their needs unimaginable. They receive a stipend of $200 per child per year to purchase shoes, clothes, bedding, and towels. As you stand on the grounds, you see buildings that need renovations, a therapeutic zoo that needs new cages, and furniture that is old and worn -- along with staff who need to be paid. You

Israel, not so far from home

As soon as you land in Israel, you realize that, although we may speak another language and live many miles apart, the warmth and kindness of the people make you feel right at home. Beginning with Lev, our taxi-driver from the airport to Kibbutz Yizre'el. Once learning that it was our first time in Israel, he began naming all the sites we passed, telling us about his life, his career, and his twin daughters -- one who is now a sergeant in the Israeli army. We arrived at the Kibbutz Yizre’el Partnership House and were greeted with a hug and kiss from Rachel Piekarski, the Partnership House Manager, and Achiya Ben Ari Buganim, the Living Bridge Coordinator. Although it was late in the evening,

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