queenscook's Profile

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What Kind of Shabbat Meal Host/ess Gifts Do You Like to Receive?

I once got a really ugly havdalah candle as a hostess gift. I don't know if you really need a separate havdalah candle for Pesach, but I decided to use it only for Pesach, so I only saw it once a year. Then, a year or two ago, I noticed it was missing. What a shame. ;)

1 day ago
queenscook in Kosher

Kitchen towel system?

1 day ago
queenscook in Cookware

Can someone please open an upscale Italian Kosher Dairy restaurant with excellent fish dishes in Teaneck?

I'm not sure if this is the thread you were referring to, but Chef Moshe does discuss fish in his post in the thread. But based on what he said, a $20 fish entree might not be realistic with the price of fish being far higher than meat.


Nov 17, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Best recipes/approaches for gluten free desserts - Shabbos worthy

Another idea: macarons.

Also, the two fanciest desserts I make are from a really old issue of Bon Appetit (October 1990): Cappucino Torte and Chocolate-Peanut Butter "Pound Cake."

The latter is not a real pound cake, but a loaf-shaped combo of chocolate and peanut butter mousses, spooned into a loaf pan propped on an edge, so the mousses form two diagonal triangles in each slice. The Cappucino Torte calls for graham crackers in the crust, but would be fine with some kind of substitution. Unfortunately, Bon Appetit's own website does not go back that far, but here's a link to the Cappucino Torte

Nov 13, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Best recipes/approaches for gluten free desserts - Shabbos worthy

Chocolate mousse is the first thing that comes to mind.

Nov 13, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Overnight crockpot Shabbos soup?

We leave many soups up on the blech until shabbos day; most of the soups I make stay perfectly fine. Some thicken up a bit, but I can't recall any that really didn't work.

Nov 13, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Hibachi Express Queens, NY

Oh, OK. I don't think of tempura as traditional "fried" chicken. It's a much thinner batter, and a different type of coating when fried.

Nov 11, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Hibachi Express Queens, NY

I didn't see any fried chicken on the menu. Did I miss something?

Nov 11, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Hibachi Express Queens, NY

I don't get the "express" or the "hibachi.". I ate there last week and was very unimpressed. I guess I wasn't really thinking, but I actually expected at least some of the food to be made on a hibachi. No such luck. And it wasn't quick either; after I ordered, they told me it would be a 10-15 minute wait. When it finally came, it was really nothing special.

And one other thing that I found really annoying is the seating . . . they have two high counters that you sit at on a high bar stool. And when I say high, I'm not exaggerating. I admit I am on the short side, but I could barely reach the step to get up to the seat. I can't imagine how kids could possibly get up without being lifted, let alone anyone with any kind of leg problem. I probably won't go again, if only for that reason.

Nov 11, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Portable, not easily spoilable and festive

Don't know if you would consider these big cities, but it was either Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA where they were very clear to point out that they didn't have a local Chabad--and were very happy about the fact! For whatever good Chabad does in far-flung places, they sometimes are unwelcome in less far-flung places because they draw from an already small community, and can divide the community. Even here in New Hyde Park, where Chabad has a house to house and feed family of hospital patients at LIJ, the local Young Israel is pretty pleased that Chabad does not have a shabbos minyan.

Nov 06, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

long-keeping travel bread for lechem mishna ??

One further comment . . . I just had one of the rolls. Certainly edible, not stale or hard, just not as soft and fresh as when they were first bought.

Nov 05, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

long-keeping travel bread for lechem mishna ??

Just got home and checked my rolls. They look fine and not too hard, though perhaps not as soft as when I first got them (probably just before Sukkot). They are whole wheat, by the way, for whatever it's worth.

Nov 05, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

long-keeping travel bread for lechem mishna ??

I've always heard bread should not be refrigerated. And by the way, I have a package of Zomick's rolls sitting on the countertop for at least two weeks. They look fine, certainly no mold. Don't know how hard/stale they are; I can check when I get home tonight.

Nov 05, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Keeping Kosher on a Cruise question: Royal Caribbean vs. Norwegian

Your question seems to be answered above.

Nov 04, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Is there a decent store bought or packaged honey cake?

Are you saying they also make honey cake?

Oct 30, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Notes on catering our son's Bar Mitzvah

I'm not clear on why you took the time to go into such detail if you are not going to mention the caterer. It doesn't really help anyone to know there is some unknown caterer they should avoid . . . except no one knows which one it is that they should avoid. If you feel strongly that you will negatively affect his business, and refuse to name names, then why write about it at all?

By the way, it doesn't seem odd to me that all the "good" desserts would be gone; that's what most people go for. Still, maybe your contract should have spelled out what was to be done with the leftover food. If you were paying for all the food, why would the caterer be taking any of it back? And why would the caterer have informed your husband about the problem one guest had? Shouldn't it have been the other way around? You're right when you say "Good luck to me on that one." Once you pay, you're pretty much out of luck; your payment is essentially saying that you agree you owe that money.

Oct 26, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Best Kosher Bakery in the world? Willing to travel!!

I would hardly use the word "unfortunately" in terms of their pastry being dairy. It may, indeed, be unfortunate that you can't serve it as dessert with a meat meal on shabbos, but to have an authentic milchig cannoli instead of the parve abominations served as cannoli is anything but unfortunate!

Oct 21, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Lunch near Lord and Taylor in NYC (mom can't walk far)

Far be it for me to spend anyone else's money, but Manhattan is full of cabs.

Oct 20, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting

You can see my responses above (Aug 18, 2009 & Feb 21, 2010). Four and a half years later, I still make it, and stand by my responses; I leave out the milk, and have never had any trouble with it melting, even though I use the Earth Balance margarine.

Oct 13, 2014
queenscook in Recipes

Kosher at LAX ??

I'm pretty sure the halacha is that travelers may eat out of a sukkah . . . and I can't imagine anyone better fitting the description of a traveler than someone waiting for a flight at an airport!

Oct 13, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Bravo pizza sukkah

And I thought five dollars was a lot recently at Grill Point.

Oct 13, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

I probably used russets before, but I think I'll go with Yukon golds next time; I think the creaminess will work well in this dish.

Oct 12, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

I like them both a lot, though I have made the Lentil-Orzo Casserole many more times. I think I only made the Samosa Casserole once or twice.

If you make them, I'd love to know what you think.

Oct 12, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

With pleasure:

Indian Samosa Casserole (from Vegetarian Times January 2010)
Everything you love about Indian samosas is here in one low-fat, easy-to-make pie. Serve with Cucumber Raita or Tofu Raita.
Serves 6

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
6-10 Tbs. cold water

1 Tbs. black or yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered (1¼ lb.)
1½ tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (½ cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tsp. agave nectar or sugar
2 Tbs. soymilk

To make Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together flours and salt in bowl. Stir in oil until clumps form. Add 6 to 10 Tbs. cold water, 1 Tbs. at a time, until dough holds together. Shape into ball, cover with damp towel, and set aside.

To make Filling:
2. Stir together mustard seeds, curry, ginger, cumin, and red pepper flakes in bowl; set aside.
3. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to pot, and mash, leaving small chunks.
4. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes, or until carrot is tender. Move onion mixture to side of pan, and add mustard seed mixture in center. Toast 30 seconds. Stir in peas and broth. Fold onion mixture into potato mixture; stir in agave nectar. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread filling in 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.
5. Roll out crust dough to 11-inch circle on floured work surface. Cover filling with dough, pressing down to make sure no air pockets remain. Trim away excess dough, and crimp edges with fingers. Cut X in center to vent steam; brush with soymilk just before baking. Place pie on baking sheet, and bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
6. Frozen cooking instructions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Place casserole on baking sheet, and bake 75 to 90 minutes, or until filling bubbles and crust is golden. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Lentil-Orzo Casserole

2 T. olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (1 cup)
6 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
3 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
6 oz. dry orzo pasta (1 cup)
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/3 c. plain dry bread crumbs
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. In large saucepan, heat 1 T. oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots; cook, stirring often, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook, stirring, 30 to 60 seconds. Add lentils and thyme; stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, 25 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Coat deep 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
3. Transfer lentil mixture to prepared casserole. Add pasta, tomatoes, and salt & pepper to taste; mix. Pour in 1 1/4 cups boiling water.
4. Cover and bake until lentils and orzo are almost tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover and stir to redistribute ingredients. (Casserole can be made ahead to this point. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Reheat on stovetop, adding enough water to achieve stewlike consistency. Return to casserole dish.)
5. In small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, parsley and remaining 1 T. oil. Bake uncovered until bubbly and top is crusty, 15 to 20 minutes more. Serve hot.

Oct 12, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

I make the following recipe for Pesach; it comes from the NY Times Passover Cookbook. I have no idea why it's called ratatouille, as it doesn't have the standard ratatouille stuff, but it's a great recipe.

Butternut Squash Ratatouille

2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 tsp. oil, divided
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup leeks, chopped
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup Golden Delicious apples, peeled and diced
½ cup minced shallots
1 cup broth
2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the squash in a roasting pan and toss with 2 tsp. oil. Roast until just tender, tossing from time to time, about 25 minutes.

Heat the remaining teaspoon oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add the roasted squash and the carrots and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the leeks and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the zucchini, apples, and shallots and cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the vegetable broth and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until the vegetables are tender but not too soft, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Oct 08, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

Pasta, Lentils, and Artichoke Hearts
from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites

1 c. dry black (French?) lentils (3 c. cooked)
1 bay leaf
3 c. water
1 t. olive oil
2 c. diced onions
2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 t. curry
1 t. coriander
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 c. canned tomatoes (18 oz. can), chopped and liquid reserved
1 1/2 c. quartered artichoke hearts from jar of marinated artichokes,
washed off, or frozen artichoke bottoms, or a combination of both
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. farfalle, rotini, or spirali
salt and ground black pepper to taste
crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Bring the lentils, bay leaf, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

While the lentils cook, heat the olive oil in a separate pan. Add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lemon juice, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and crushed red pepper and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Drain the cooked lentils, reserving the cooking liquid, and add the lentils to the tomato and artichoke heart mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes more, adding about 1/2 c. of the reserved liquid if the sauce seems dry.

Cook the pasta. Drain and top with the lentil and artichoke heart sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

NOTES: The first time I made this, I used red lentils, but they got extremely mushy. The next time I used small black (French?) lentils, and they were great. I substitute curry for cumin because I don’t like cumin. Because of the bug situation, finding artichokes can present a great challenge. I’ve never seen them in a can with a hechsher. Easier to find are marinated artichoke hearts in jars, so I use those, but I wash off a lot of the oil. And I have also used frozen artichoke bottoms, so this time I used a combination of the jarred and the frozen. I did not serve over pasta, but offered it on the side, so my guests could choose to have it with or without. It’s perfectly fine without. Finally, this was made for a fleishig meal, so I skipped the feta cheese, but in truth, I don’t like cheese, especially feta, so even for a milchig meal, I’d pass on that.

Oct 08, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

I have recipes for all of these, but at the moment, I can't access my recipe file. I'll try to post the recipe tomorrow.

Though I am not vegetarian, I have a number of veggie and vegan cookbooks, and subscribe to Vegetarian Times. I also think of these recipes as potential mains, which is what I figured the OP meant when she referred to the word "substantial;" that's why I listed these.

Oct 07, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

Vegetable dishes for sukkot and beyond

When I think of "substantial" veg sides, quiches and kugels are not what comes to mind. Looking through my sides/vegetable dishes file in my digital recipe box, the things I think of as substantial are things I've made like:

barley pilaf with caramelized onions
Indian samosa casserole
lentil-orzo casserole
pasta, lentil and artichoke hearts
root vegetable tagine
warm butternut and chickpea salad

Oct 07, 2014
queenscook in Kosher

ISO kosher tamarind paste

Very good to know this; I may drop by there later to pick some up. Thanks for the info.

Oct 07, 2014
queenscook in Kosher


First off . . . here is the Turtle Blondie recipe:

Turtle Blondies
from One Smart Cookie by Julie Van Rosendaal

1/4 c. margarine, melted
1 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 large egg whites
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

15 caramels
1 T. milk
1/4 c. chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine melted margarine & brown sugar; mix well. Add egg whites & vanilla and stir ‘til well-blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt to sugar mix and stir ‘til just combined.

Spread half the batter into a sprayed 8” x 8” pan. Bake for 10 mins.

Combine caramels and milk in microsafe bowl. Heat on medium power for 1-2 mins, until melted & smooth, stirring about every 30 seconds or so.

Drizzle caramel over partially baked blondies, sprinkle with chocolate chips & nuts, and drop the remaining batter in spoonsfuls over top. Spread gently over the caramel, but don’t worry about covering it evenly or completely.

Return to oven for 25-30 mins, until edges are barely golden and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Cut into 16 squares

By the way, since it's milchig anyway, I often use milk chocolate chips, since I like milk chocolate better than semisweet. Obviously any type will work. Never tried white chocolate chips, but I'm thinking about it right now!

As far as where I get them . . . the candy aisle of any supermarket, Target, Kmart, or any other similar store. Seriously, I can't imagine a supermarket that wouldn't have them. As avitrek mentioned above, they do sell them unwrapped so you don't have to do it yourself, but to be honest, I don't think I've ever bought them that way. Unwrapping 15 caramels isn't all that tough.

Oct 06, 2014
queenscook in Kosher