Archive for the 'Kosher by Design Teens and 20-Somethings' Category

28
Nov
10

We Have a Winner!


Since we posted The Contest, So Far…, until this past Thursday at midnight, we received 19 additional photos. Some were quite good, some mediocre. None of these photos were shot by professionals, none spent hours food styling and we certainly didn’t aexpect such, the three top ones are quite good. Before we show you the winning picture and the two runners up, here is one photo that I wish could have been at least a runner up. The colors are beautiful, it is very sharp but the lighting is uneven, distracting and there is no definite overall pattern…

Extreme closeup of Rainbow Salad - Kosher By Design Kids in the Kitchen, page 42

While the specific angle of the picture avoided harsh shadows, it was obviously shot with flash as opposed to available or natural light. As a result there is some glare which greatly detracts from the photo. It could have been a very good shot… It was taken by a teenager in Providence, RI. We truly thank you for your efforts and interest!

The second runner up, took the following:

Braised Turkey - Kosher By Design Lightens Up - page 140 (Photo by: Chani U; Brooklyn, NY)

Sharp with no unseemly shadows and taken with available light; the turkey definitely looks inviting. It could have used some colorful garnishing to make it stand out, but it is a good shot.

The First runner up took what seems like a very busy tablecloth and used it to enhance the look of the actual subject of the photo…

Pastrami Burger - Kosher by Design Teens and 20 Somethings, page 104 (Photo by: Chezky R; Queens, NY)

The tablecloth picks up the colors of the pastrami, directing the eye to the food itself. What could have been a very distracting item on the photo actually gives it a warm tone and makes the pastrami burgers look mouthwatering. The flower like pattern of the pickle slices effectively breaks up the almost monochromatic tones of the rest of the photo as it adds interest. Well done!

And the winner is…

Cauliflower "Popcorn" - from Passover by Design, page 197 and Kosher By design Entertains, page 225 (Photo by: Zivah A; Lakewood, NJ)

This particular recipe, by itself, has no interesting colors, in fact it would be boring. The photographer compensated for this shortcoming by putting it in a red glass bowl, contrasting it against a deep blue multi-tone background, and a tablecloth that complements the colors of the food. Putting the photo at a roguish angle makes it truly interesting. Definitely a winner. Mrs. Zivah A. a copy of Susie Fishbein’s latest cookbook, Kosher By Design: Teens And 20 Somethings, will arrive soon at your doorsteps in Lakewood.

We are very grateful to every single one of the 33 people who submitted, thank you for your interest!!!

CS

14
Nov
10

The Contest, So Far…


We’ve gotten only 14 entries, so far, for our photo contest on your interpretation of any one of Susie Fishbein’s 900 plus recipes. Some were shot from afar, centered on an otherwise empty table (thus it was hard to see the actual dish). Some were shot directly from above giving the food a very flat, uninteresting look. Some were out of focus, but two pictures actually stood out. Both came from Lakewood…

Cauliflower Popcorn, from Passover by Design

Why do I like this photo? Though the photographer obviously did not spend time food styling the shot, nor hours setting up the lighting, the shot is interesting because of the choice of colors which only enhance the actual dish and direct the eye to the food itself. The shadows are soft and the photo was obviously shot with available light rather than flash. The colors of the cauliflower popcorn lack contrast on their own, but the surroundings add interest, so does the slanted angle which brings considerable drama to the shot. Well done!!

Another interesting shot, taken by my granddaughter Leah after she baked it…

 

Confetti Cake from Kosher By Design - Kids in the Kitchen

She opted for a more traditional angle and relied on the cake’s own colors for interest, resisting the temptation of adding unnecessary elements in the foreground or background.

By the way, I was in Lakewood for the weekend, she made the cake on Thursday evening and I got to enjoy its moistness and great taste on Shabbos. It may not have looked fully professional but it was truly delicious, a great testament to Susie Fishbein’s cookbooks and Leah’s dedication to producing a delectable cake for her zeydeh. She knows I have a sweet tooth!! Very nice!

Is there no one in the 5 New York boroughs capable of taking a memorable food shot? There is still time, we’ll extend the deadline from November the 18th to the 25th (one additional week). Please send us your best photos of any of Susie Fishbein’s 900 plus recipes to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

Meanwhile, let me repeat a few pointers about food photography:

  • Try to get as close a shot of the finished dish as possible.
  • If your photo will include something other than just the dish you prepared, make sure that the main object of attention in your composition still remains the item you made from one of theKosher by Design recipes.
  • Make sure the lighting (available light, flash, etc.) does not give off some ugly, distracting shadows. If at all possible try to photograph your dish during daylight hours, by a window letting in natural light. If you are using flash bounce it off the ceiling or a wall, as that will balance out the light and diffuse harsher shadows.
  • Prepare your settings in advance. Food looks its best during the first few minutes of preparation and its looks deteriorate as the clock ticks. Colors may change, the way you stacked it up may collapse and so on.
  • Remember, when you photograph food you want to make it inviting, you want the viewer to imagine and taste it with the mind’s eye. As you put the food on the dish, pay attention to the colors, the shapes and the positioning of each piece.

Look at the photos in some of your cookbooks, or look at line at some great food photography by the pros: Lou MannaChristine PetersDiana DeLucia, or Michael Ray. You’ll find these photographers have different styles, yet all presents their subjects in mouth watering ways.

Look at how the pros do it, and get ideas. We know you will neither spend hours adjusting the light nor doing heavy food styling. We do not expect professional photos, but we do expect a little bit of imagination and interesting shots. Download your free recipe index, cook up a storm and send us your best photos.

CS

02
Nov
10

Thank You!!


Photo by: Aquafornia

How time flies! When we started (on November 2nd, 2009) we were not sure if we’d still be blogging a year later. Would we get any regular readers? Would anybody really be interested in our thoughts? Could we say something, could we sound different, from far more established bloggers and existing websites? A 171 posts and a later later, we realize our hopes are slowly materializing. Most of the exhibitors we spoke to, at last week’s Kosherfest, had heard of us; an impressive number of them had actually seen and read these pages here and abroad.

We constantly meet people who follow our musings regularly. As beginning bloggers, who wondered for how long we would be able to post once or occasionally twice a week, we suddenly find a lot of material that interests our readership. We’ve been told our writing styles are refreshing, our photography mouth watering. Even non-Jewish publications and blogs have noticed us. But I must confide in you, IF we are any good at what we do it is only because we love our subject matter… we are foodies!

During this past year, we’ve sampled some of the top kosher eateries, (from Chinese to Middle Eastern cuisine, from Japanese to French, to Italian, to American, to Fusion, we’ve tasted them) met some amazing chefs – people full of creative energy and an uncanny understanding of the nuances of flavor. We’ve learned and continue learning a lot, about food, about wine; above all, as we forge new relationships with chefs, with restaurateurs, with manufacturers of kosher products, with cookbook authors, with winemakers around the world, etc., we are often told personal stories that prove that even those who excel at their craft are just humans like the rest of us. What drives them to succeed? What fuels their drive? Simple, it is their passion for food, their passion to prove that kosher need not be a second class cuisine. Yes, cooking kosher, manufacturing kosher products, may be a bit more challenging… but, it is precisely those challenges that spur them on, that excites their creative juices. Kosher has come a long way!!!

But what SYR and I are most grateful for, gentle reader – what helped us the most – were your suggestions, your words of encouragement.

What lies ahead is exciting, we plan many a contest for this upcoming year and are at this very moment negotiating the prizes. We plan on bringing you guest posts by well known Chefs, as well as outstanding recipes from professionals and from housewives who almost daily improve, create, or adapt delicious new dishes. We will also bring you reviews of amazing new products. And, of course, we will continue to review kosher restaurants and often we will write about our revisits to favorite eateries.

Right now and until November the 18th, we are running a contest based on recipes from any of Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design series. Send us your best photo of any of Susie’s 900 plus recipes and you may win her latest cookbook: Kosher by Design Teens and 20 Somethings, meanwhile you can download the complete recipe index at: http://bit.ly/KBDrecipeindex. Email us your best to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

Our first year was productive and we are proud of how we grew, but there is so much more to accomplish. Thank you, gentle reader, we could never have gotten here without you.

CS

18
Oct
10

Contest!!!


We are hereby announcing a contest… What does it involve? Cooking and photography. You may download the Kosher by Design whole 900 recipe index at: http://bit.ly/KBDrecipeindex. Find a recipe you like – from that index – prepare it, photograph it and send us your best photo.

A few pointers about food photography:

  • Try to get as close a shot of the finished dish as possible.
  • If your photo will include something other than just the dish you prepared, make sure that the main object of attention in your composition still remains the item you made from one of the Kosher by Design recipes.
  • Make sure the lighting (available light, flash, etc.) does not give off some ugly, distracting shadows. If at all possible try to photograph your dish during daylight hours, by a window letting in natural light. If you are using flash bounce it off the ceiling or a wall, as that will balance out the light and diffuse harsher shadows.
  • Prepare your settings in advance. Food looks its best during the first few minutes of preparation and its looks deteriorate as the clock ticks. Colors may change, the way you stacked it up may collapse and so on.
  • Remember, when you photograph food you want to make it inviting, you want the viewer to imagine and taste it with the mind’s eye. As you put the food on the dish, pay attention to the colors, the shapes and the positioning of each piece.

Look at the photos in some of your cookbooks, or look at line at some great food photography by the pros: Lou Manna, Christine Peters, Diana DeLucia, or Michael Ray. You’ll find these photographers have different styles, yet all presents their subjects in mouth watering ways.

The Prize…

The best photo will win a hardbound copy of Suzy Fishbein’s Kosher by Design – Teens and 20-somethings.

Wake up that award winning photographer inside. We can’t wait to see your entries!

CS

RELATED POSTS

A Talk with Susie Fishbein

Maple Roasted Pears and Sweet Potatoes and More

13
Sep
10

Maple Roasted Pears and Sweet Potatoes and More


Susie Fishbein, best selling kosher cookbook author, graciously consented to share two of her recipes – from  her upcoming Kosher By Design – Teens and 20-Somethings – with our readers. I tried the first one last evening, after the fast, and loved it (and… I’m quite a few hours past my 20-somethings):

Maple Roasted Pears and Sweet Potatoes

DAIRY OR PARVE – YIELDS 6 SERVINGS

I adore these soft sweet pears and the way the sweet potatoes become sticky and sweet. You can try this with cubed butternut squash in addition to or in place of the sweet potatoes. While you have the maple syrup on hand, put the Pineapple Maple Glazed Salmon (page 134) on your menu for another night.

Ingredients

  • 8 mini pears, such as Seckel, or 4 ripe Anjou pears, peeled, halved, cored, quartered
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, (about 2 pounds) peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into
    chunks the same size as the pears
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, NOT pancake syrup
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
  2. For easy cleanup, completely cover a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  3. As you cut up the pears and sweet potato, place them into a large bowl. Set
    aside.
  4. In a medium pot, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Whisk in maple
    syrup and salt. Cook until it starts to bubble.
  5. Remove from heat. Pour over the pears and sweet potatoes. Toss to coat.
    Transfer to prepared pan
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 11⁄2 hours.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter.

…and one more, can’t wait to try it!

Pineapple Maple Glazed Salmon

PARVE – YIELDS 6 SERVINGS

Ingredients

  • 6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, without skin, pin bones removed
  • 1⁄4 cup maple syrup (NOT pancake syrup)
  • 1⁄4 cup crushed pineapple, from a small can, squeezed dry
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Rinse the salmon and place it on a parchment-lined jelly roll pan. Pat dry with
    paper towels.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup, pineapple, soy sauce, mustard, olive
    oil, and garlic.
  4. Pour over the salmon and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with pan juices. Serve hot or at room
    temperature.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!!

CS

Maple Roasted Pears and Sweet Potatoes

06
Sep
10

A Talk with Susie Fishbein


Chatting with Susie Fishbein was just delightful. The woman is the consummate kosher icon, renowned for her best selling Kosher By Design series. Unpretentious and generous, food talk flows from her like honeyed streams of culinary consciousness.

All you KBD lovers out there are going to love Susie’s new cookbook Kosher by Design Teens and 20-Somethings, cooking for the next generation, it’ll arrive on shelves near you on October 27th. Susie was amazed at just how savvy her new target audience was. Many of these kids had grown up on her recipes, and possessed rather cultivated refined palates. This generation of teens and early twenties had choices we never had; they’ve grown up with a wide array of kosher fast food and fine dining choices; many of them developing knowledgeable health conscious preferences. The expansion of the kosher product landscape and the extraordinary array of new kosher products hitting supermarket shelves has made designing fresh new recipe ideas so much easier as a result.

Susie held 14 tasting parties for audiences of this demographic and was impressed with the sophisticated and intricate comments she received on the recipe evaluations. Desserts of course had big appeal, but taste testers were enthralled with almost all of the recipes included in the final version. Her upcoming book speaks to her young fans and tweenlings who want to get involved in the kitchen preparing fun, healthful, easy to make recipes. The new cookbook even includes markation features for vegetarian, gluten and nut free recipes.

Nowadays, most families have two working parents, three meals a day to put on the table; it’s a great gift for the kids to get involved in the kitchen preparing meals and lightening the load. I expect that we’ll love this new KBD entry, and can’t wait to be dazzled by the table-fare our kids will be easily preparing, as we relax –feet up-with our martinis after a long day at the office, waiting for the supper call. Hey, I can dream can’t I? But just think, we can send our young adults off to college, seminary, and their new apartments armed with a handy kitchen survival manual that will keep them happily healthfully engaged in Bistro Mio 101.

Taking full advantage of the moment, I asked Susie if she could give us a few pointers for the up-coming Yomim Tovim and how to avoid getting overwhelmed. Organization and advanced planning seemed to be the keys to success. Susie’s appreciates an artful elegantly set table. Don’t overdo the presentation by making too many dishes. Plan for a soup or salad, no more than two main dishes, a side dish and vegetable; end with an exciting delicious dessert at each meal. “You’re not looking to kill anybody at your table”; the courses should resemble service at a fine restaurant. “They don’t overwhelm you with tons of dishes, but rather serve singular aesthetic dishes that you’ll remember.” Prepare what you are comfortable with; tried and true recipes, with something new to add to the mix. Keep to fresh and healthy ingredients, don’t freeze, do your chopping and sauces in advance where possible, and have 80% of the food prepped and ready for the oven or stove. Don’t overcook; almost every culinary faux pas can be saved except for overcooking. Susie does her math, she takes the time to figure out how many 4- 6 ounce servings she’s going to need, so that she doesn’t overbuy or over prepare. “If you’ve put too much food on the table, people are going to eat more than they should.” With the four grand meals of Rosh HaShana plus Shabbat, it can really become too much of a good thing.

We look forward to reviewing Susie’s Kosher by Design Teens and 20-Somethings. Judging by the series popularity, by Susie’s passion for cooking and infectious enthusiasm I have no doubt it’ll be very successful. I’ll venture that even those of us a few days, or so, past the 20-somethings might also learn a thing or two.

SYR




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