The Nosh Pit

A Warming Middle Eastern Staple

Don't skimp on the spices in majadra, a hearty mix of lentils, rice and onions.

12/13/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Right now, you're probably thinking, "What's majadra?" Well, I'm here to tell you. Aside from being a Middle Eastern staple, it is a mix of lentils, rice, onions and a hearty and tasty mix of spices.

It's a classic at traditional Israel and Arabic restaurants, and even served to kids in schools. It's vegetarian and filling, and especially welcome on a cold day. Sometimes spelled mujaddara or mejadra, it comes from the Arabic word for smallpox, because of the resemblence of the lentils against the rice.

Majadra. Photo by Amy Spiro

Deep-Fried Apple Fritters

Try a new twist on the doughnut this Chanukah.

12/06/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

If there's one thing I look forward to every Chanukah season, it's doughnuts. While some people likely venture into deep-fry territory more often than once a year, I can't justify such a... less than healthy indulgence more than that. But evey December I dream up new and more delicious sufganiya-like creations to celebrate the holiday. It's all about the oil, baby.

Apple fritters. Amy Spiro

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Pick your own gourd and bake a quick, seasonal treat.

11/30/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Tis the season ... for pumpkin desserts. Wherever you go this time of year, pumpkin flavors abound, and for good reason - they're delicious. There has even been an outcry over the recent shortage of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. It's caused people to go into seasonal withdrawal.

Chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Photo by Amy Spiro

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Turn leftover chicken (or Thanksgiving turkey) into a hearty, filling soup

11/22/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Got any leftover chicken in the fridge? How about leftover turkey? If you've just finished a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, chances are there is some turkey hanging around in the fridge. And once you've made some sandwiches, turn the rest into this delicious and hearty soup. Of course, if you managed to finish off the turkey, you can cook some more to make the soup from scratch, just let it cool before shredding it with two forks.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Photo by Amy Spiro

Chocolate Cake Balls

Turn leftover cake into a repurposed treat

11/15/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Leftover cake - sounds crazy, no? But it can happen to the best of us - so here is a great way to extend its shelf life, create something totally new and have fun while you're at it. If you read any food blogs or magazines you've probably come across cake balls or cake pops in your life, but did you know they're so easy to make?

Chocolate cake balls. Photo by Amy Spiro

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Try a fun, tasty and speedy alternative to tomato sauce.

11/09/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

There's nothing like a classic bowl of pasta and tomato sauce. But sometimes it is nice to switch things up a little and try a different sauce. Topping your noodles with this rich sauce based on pureed roasted red peppers is a fun alternative. I roasted my own peppers before blending them up with the other ingredients, but you can also buy jarred roasted red peppers and use those.

Roasted red pepper pasta. Photo by Amy Spiro

Mini Oreo cheesecakes

A quick, simple, impressive dessert

11/01/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist
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Some recipe innovations are just so simple that you wonder why you never thought of them before. That's how I feel about these mini cheesecakes.

Everybody knows that cheesecake and cookie crumb crust go together like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese... you get the picture. But if you could skip the step of crushing up the cookies, mixing them with butter and sugar and pressing it into a pan, wouldn't you? And if you could make super cute mini cheesecakes with even less effort than a whole one, wouldn't you?

Mini Oreo cheesecakes. Photo by Amy Spiro

Chicken-filled Buns

Pair bread with a savory filling for a cute, one-stop meal.

10/25/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

I love to flip through new cookbooks, leaf through culinary magazines, check out the latest food blogs and, of course, tune into the Food Network. Since I keep kosher, I come across plenty of recipes that I can't ever make - but that doesn't mean I can't find inspiration!

Chicken-filled buns. Photo by Amy Spiro

Blueberry, Lemon, White Chocolate Shortbread

Bright flavors combine in this year-round cookie

10/19/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

Here in Israel, fresh blueberries are basically never available. You can find extremely expensive frozen ones, or, if you know where to look, slightly less expensive dried ones. Since I don't want to miss out on delicious blueberry flavor simply because I live here, I used the dried ones in these sweet, buttery shortbread cookies.

Blueberry, Lemon, White Chocolate Shortbread. Photo by Amy Spiro

Roasted Red Pepper Focaccia

Try out your bread-making skills, the fresh out of the oven taste, mouthwatering smell and sense of accomplishment can't be beat.

10/11/2012
Online Jewish Week Columnist

I believe there are two types of people in the world, those who bake bread, and those who don't. Those who do know how simple, delicious and rewarding it can be. Those who don't, imagine it a time-consuming, temperamental undertaking, hardly worth it considering the wide availability of store-bought loafs. 

Roasted red pepper focaccia. Photo by Amy Spiro
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