Happy Kung Fu Purim 2016


Kung Fu Purim Mishloach Manot ready to be delivered!


As is our Purim tradition, Zoe selects the theme for our Mishloach Manot (this year’s theme is based on the Kung Fu Panda movie), and I run around like crazy trying to find the necessary components and ingredients. This time around was only slightly different. Zoe really wanted a panda toy to add to the Mishloach Manot for her friends so she did visit 3 different Party City stores with me in search of said item.

And the results …


What’s inside our 2016 Mishloach Manot?


Here is a list of the items:

Purim 4 2016

Ingredients list and Kosher info for our 2016 Mishloach Manot.


I knew the process seemed way too easy this year until … I started making the noodle candy. I’m not a regular candy maker and had no idea it would be as challenging as it was. It took the candy a long time to set, I’m assuming thanks to the humid weather in Dallas last night. I also needed 30 pieces of each candy type, and the first batch did not produce enough. So, back to the store I went for more ingredients.


Kung Fu Panda stickers from amazon.com and ebay.com


Now, we of course, have way more candy than we need but the showstopper this year is the Ramen Noodle Candy from PinkCakePlate.com. I almost skipped it but am so glad I didn’t. That stuff is so delicious and will definitely become a regular in our household. Who knew ramen noodles were so versatile!

Now the real fun begins … delivery with none other than Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter!


Ginny Weasley ready to deliver Mishloach Manot.


Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Happy Purim!

The Kosher Crab Chip


The Crab Chip

I visited a local sandwich shop yesterday with a coworker who needed to get something for lunch. While I was waiting for her to get her food, I found the Utz Crab Chip, which is of course, OU Kosher. I didn’t try said chip but did have to snap this photo for proof.

I starting thinking of all sorts of things I could do this the Kosher crab treat. I’m pretty sure it could be crumbled-up to make a crust for most anything.

Has anyone tried this treif-like Kosher chip and if so, what did you think?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Beefy Kosher slow cooker black-eyed peas for the New Year



On New Year’s day (the other New Year), my husband and daughter came home from the grocery store and tossed a bag of black-eyed peas onto to counter.

“You always eat black-eye peas on New Year’s day,” he says.

“We’ll yes I do, but I’m generally not the one who cooks the black-eyed peas that I eat,” I respond back.

Time to find a recipe for black-eyed peas.

I browsed several options before selecting Slow cooker spicy black-eyed peas from Allrecipes.com.

I had to tweak the dish a bit to “kosherize” it but the switches were simple:


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed (I soaked mine overnight because I wasn’t sure how I was going to cook them)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (I skipped the heat because we are not lovers of super spicy food)
  • Jacks Gourmet sweet Italian sausage (2 links chopped into small pieces)
  • 8 ounces diced ham
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pour the water into a slow cooker, add the bouillon cube and stir to dissolve. Combine the black-eyed peas, onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, Kosher sausage, cayenne pepper, cumin, sale, and pepper to blend. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours until the beans are tender.

I also made cornbread, of course, to go with the black-eye peas. I am from the South after all. I felt so lucky to find a cornbread mix at WalMart that was OU Kosher pareve – Fleischmann’s Simply Homemade baking mix.

Cornbreak mix

Follow the instructions on the box and substitute 2/3 cup pareve soy milk for the real milk and use pareve margarine instead of butter. The cornbread was delicious and a perfect combo with the spicy black-eyed peas.

Happy New Year and Happy Kosher Treif Cooking!

Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas


It took me a while but I finally realized that some of the Jews I know typically eat Chinese food on Christmas. I was pulled into the Chinese food on Christmas tradition last year, but only realized it was a “thing” a few months ago when I saw the below sign posted on Facebook:

Jews eat Chinese food

As a Kosher-keeping girl living in Dallas, there’s not a snowball’s chance in you know where that I’m going to find local Kosher Chinese food. And by the time I decided to host the “traditional” Chinese food dinner, it was way too late to order said food from a Kosher Chinese restaurant elsewhere. So …..


I decided to make my own food. The funny thing is that there just aren’t that many recipes out there for Kosher Chinese food so I had to wing-it a bit.

Here’s the menu for our Christmas eve festitives. I’ll try to get the recipes posted over the next few weeks so everyone can have them in time for next year’s Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas celebration:

  • Hot and Sour Soup
  • Egg drop Soup (Made by our cousin)
  • Dumplings (or Pot Stickers) with dipping sauce, pictured above pre-cooked
  • Chinese cole slaw salad (made by my Mother in law)
  • Beef and Brocolli Lo Mein
  • Sweet and Sour Sesame Chicken
  • Tofu Fried Rice (recipe is for chicken but I used firm Tofu chopped into small cubes this time).
  • Rugelach and something with pastry sheets and cream (Made by my cousin and both delicious)

For the Dumplings, I started with a recipe from a cookbook I’ve had for years: The Dumpling Cookbook by Maria Polushkin. I used the Fried Pork Dumplings recipe on page 68 and switched out the pork for ground turkey.

I’ll post the recipe in a few days but if you are into dumplings, wontons and such, you should order this cookbook. The food is not Kosher but there are lots of very good, Jewish-like recipes that can be made Kosher with just a few switches.

What’s your Christmas eating tradition? Do you have Chinese food or something else?

Happy Kosher Chinese Treif cooking!



Kosher, cheesy lasagna soup with Italian sausage


As a treif-loving girl, one of the foods I’ve missed most since taking on Kosher status is Lasagna. Sure, I can make the all-dairy kind of Lasagna, and while it’s good, it’s just not quite the same as the meaty, cheesy treif version.

So I was more than thrilled to come across a recipe (I first saw this recipe via a Facebook post) for Lasagna soup from a Farmgirl’s Dabbles. I read the recipe and accepted the challenge to turn this treif dish into something eatable for us Kosher-keeping folks.

Here’s the ingredient list with my exceptions:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1-1/2 lbs. Italian Sausage (Kosher Substitute: Tofurky Italian Sausage)
  • 3 cups chopped onions (I only used about 1/2 of an onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 T. tomato paste (I assume the T. means tablespoons)
  • 1 29-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock (Kosher Substitute: Imagine Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth)
  • 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta (I couldn’t find either so I used the twist pasta I had in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (I used 3 or 4 leaves)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the cheesy yummy part:

  • 8 oz. ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces (I chopped up the Tofurky Italian sausage into small pieces) and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock (I used a skillet for the sausage mixture and then added it to the soup mixture in a pot). Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

For the next step, as suggested in the recipe, I cooked the pasta in a separate pot and then added some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them because I wasn’t sure if my daughter would eat the soup, but I KNOW she’ll always eat pasta and cheese. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

I used a slightly different method to serve. I first placed the pasta in a serving bowl and added the cheesy mixture (ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella). Next, I ladled the soup over the pasta and sprinkled extra Parmesan on top.

I served with baked mixed vegetables (sweet potatoes, etc.) and a bottle of what my friend likes to call “the Kosher version of two-buck chuck” wine from Trader Joes. I’ve recently learned they have a Kosher version of this wine so I decided to give it a try … sadly, it wasn’t my favorite so I probably won’t buy it again, which is a shame since it cost only $4.

Lasagna wine

Enjoy and happy Kosher Treif cooking!

What to do with leftover “new fruit” after Rosh Hashanah


Prickly Pear Margarita

I don’t know what happens to your “new fruit” after Rosh Hashanah, but in my household, said fruit lies on the counter for a week or so, begins to rot, and someone finally throws it out. Our new fruit selection is usually something unique that we never eat during the year and won’t eat again after taking the ceremonial taste to fulfill our new year’s ritual.

This year, we ended up with the prickly pear. It’s a fruit that has graced our new year’s table many times in the past, so I expected the 4 leftover prickly pears to eventually go the way of the trash can. But on Friday afternoon, I decided to search for recipes that called for prickly pear and … a new Shabbat happy hour tradition was born … the prickly pear margarita.

I won’t claim that getting the juice out of said prickly pears was easy, but it is possible although a bit time consuming. I used the Cactus Fruit Cocktails recipe by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee via the epicurious web site. Thank you Cecilia for this delicious treat!

Cactus Fruit Cocktails

  • 4 prickly pears, peeled (Peeling the fruit was surprisingly easy. Slice through the fruit lengthwise and peel back the thick outer peel with your fingers, leaving the juicy, seed-filled fruit.
  • Ice
  • 4 ounces tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces triple sec
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Coarse-grained salt for rimming (optional)
  • Lime slices for garnish (optional)

Place the prickly pears in a blender and pulse until liquefied. Strain the juice into a small bowl (you should have about 1 cup of juice). I used a very fine, mesh strainer. It took a while (and some pressing with a big spoon) to get all of the juice, but the seeds stayed behind in the strainer.

Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice, add the prickly pear juice, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar and shake vigorously.

Pour into glasses filled with ice, rimmed with salt or sugar, if you like. Garnish with lime slices.

What creative ways have you utilized your “new fruit” after Rosh Hashanah?

Happy Kosher Treif Cooking and Drinking!