Batch Cooking Techniques That Don’t Require 48 Straight Hours of Cooking

August 9, 2009

This article was so helpful – great ideas!  I’m definitely going to try this as I begin cooking for the holidays.  As a kosher meat consumer, finding “deals” are harder (ok, let’s be real: impossible), but I’ll try to post $$ saving things I find as I go.


Shavuot Dairy Fest

May 29, 2009

Oh, what a delicious holiday!  I love, love, love dairy foods.  Here is what the Caruso family and friends inhaled ate in the last few days.  Caveat: serve all of this with a side of Lipitor :-)

Erev Shavuos:

Salad of sweet greens (bibb & red leaf lettuce) with an orange vinaigrette
Homemade pizza* with fontina, wild mushrooms, carmelized onions and gorgonzola

Yom Shavuos:

Amy Joy doughnuts pretty much all day.  Sour cream coffee cake with glaze is my personal favorite.  For Jewish holidays they make some with blue and white sprinkles.

French toast casserole for breakfast (courtesy of Paula Dean and deserving of a triple-bypass all on its own)

Blintz casserole (my mom’s recipe she was lovely and made it for me!)
Tuna salad
Lots of veggies and hummus

Aunt Rivky’s Kicked-Up Nachos for dinner, with guacamole and sour cream on the side; SO EASY:

1 bag tortilla chips
2 cups black beans
10 oz bag of frozen sweet corn
1 jar of salsa
10 0z  CABOT CHEDDER CHEESE, shredded (I don’t like the bagged stuff, I like to grate my own)

1) In a large bowl, mix beans, corn (no need to defrost) and salsa.
2) Layer in 9 x 13 pan put a layer of chips, spoon some salsa mixture, and a layer of cheese.  Repeat.
3) Heat in a 350 oven until melted and bubbly as desired!
4) Serve with great guacamole and sour cream on the side.

All products from Trader Joe’s, except the Cabot cheese, which a bunch of us ordered 2 cases of at Pesach and I still have about 5 bars in my freezer.

Also, the next time we have guests for shabbes, I’m going to make these nachos and add grilled chili-lime tilapia.  Like, next week.  I could eat these all the time.

*Trader Joe’s sells pre-made refrigerated hechshered pizza dough in regular, whole wheat, and herb SO DELICIOUS!  Without Trader Joe’s, the Caruso family might starve.  Seriously.

Ruth Goes Undercover

April 28, 2009

Ruth Reichel Does it Again!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ruth Goes Undercover“, posted with vodpod

New Adventure: Using Only Whole Foods

April 22, 2009

The Caruso family will be making an attempt to use only whole foods for the majority of meals and snacks.  We eat well to begin with; I buy almost no frozen foods [vegetables are the notable exception – they’re often better than fresh], very few prepackaged items or snacks.  Since pesach forced me to clean, clean, clean, I was able to empty my fridge and both freezers of hametz, and any frozen meals I saved for after pesach.  Which is what we have been eating since Thursday.  I still have a brisket and 2 chickens in the freezer in the garage.  We have gone through all the leftover pesach stuff, and we are down to a small package of brown rice I found in my garage freezer, some red peppers and about 2 cups of milk.

SO! Today is time to shop (considering when my kids came home from school yesterday I offered them . . . um . . . nothing).

I’ll be getting our usual staples of cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, OJ, tofu and fruits/veggies.  I usually buy a chicken or some fish for Shabbes, and our Friday night tradition has evolved to chicken soup with greens and turkey meatballs (think kosher Italian Wedding Soup – we are Carusos after all :-))

The hard part for us will be the sandwich bread and other processed food such as peanut butter, pasta and crackers.  We like good crackers with our cheese here at Casa Caruso.  Trader Joe’s has an excellent selection that have ingredient labels of actual food, and I think I can be guilt-free about that.  So far I have not been successful in weaning the kinder off of Jiff, but I’m willing to keep trying.  I’m experimenting with my own bread (thanks to the loaf pan I bought inspired by The Farmers), but there is no way I’m making my own pasta at this moment.  So I’m on the hunt for good quality, fresh pasta that doesn’t cost more that the GNP of a small nation.  Also, no one likes any kind of beans, so I’m going to work on changing that.  Wish me luck.

The other challenge is that I have three growing children, two of whom are boys that seem to have hollow legs, the oldest of whom is hungry. all. the. time.  He gets the equivelant of dinner upon his arrival home from school, and then 2 hours later eats . . . dinner.

I’ll post a menu later this week after I figure out meals and the details of the shopping.

Breakfast Pizza

April 20, 2009


Michael Ruhlman has a wonderful recipe for bacon and eggs pizza.  Clearly, I’m leaving the bacon off, but I’ll find something else yummy instead.  I’m thinking of breakfast pizza florentine with spinach, tomato and eggs.  Topped off with some parmesan – I’m actually looking forward to waking up!

S’meeps: the First Thing I’m Eating After Pesach

April 6, 2009

Oh, Lord it’s going to be a long 8 days until this:



Seder Menus

April 5, 2009

First Night (only 15 people)

Gefilte fish
Mazah ball soup
Cornish hens stuffed with a charoses made from apricots, dates, pistachios (Gourmet Magazine)
Sweet potatoes
Mashed potatoes
Broccoli with shallots and garlic
Fruit plate
Chocolate mousse cake
Pavlova with lemon curd and berries

Second Seder (about 8 zillon people)

Potluck!! THANK GOD!!!!