Archive for the 'iPhone' Category


Apple Tart

[Gloria Kobrin, who graced our internet broadcast on August 15th – just a few weeks ago – graciously agreed to share one of the recipes from her Kosher Cookbook app for iPhone and iPod. Gloria shares her recipes and cooking tips on her Kosher Cookbook page on, on Facebook:, and on her blog at: While this dessert can be enjoyed at any time, it acquires special significance during Rosh Hashana. CS]

Apple Tart

Photo by: Gloria Kobrin

Serves 10-12

The sweetness of the apples and vanilla contrasted with the tart marmalade and Grand Marnier baked in a rich crust is spectacular. The extra hand work is worth it.



  • ¼  pound pareve margarine
  • ½  cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons  ice water
  • 1 ¼ cups flour

Apple Filling

  • 8 large Golden Delicious apples
  • ¼ pound pareve margarine
  • One inch piece of fresh Vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup tart orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (see comment and substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Optional: 3 ounces toasted sliced almonds


  • 11 inch flan ring (or quiche pan with removable bottom)
  • Cookie sheet
  • Baking parchment
  • Electric food processor
  • Large skillet
  • Fine sieve
  • Pastry brush


  1. Line cookie sheet with baking parchment and place flan ring on top of it. Set aside.
  2. Put flour and ½ cup sugar in bowl of processor with steel knife attached. Pulse a few seconds.
  3. Cut ¼ pound margarine into slices and add them to bowl. Pulse again until mixture resembles crumbs.
  4. Beat yolks with water.  Pour this mixture through feeding tube while the processor is running . Turn off processor when a ball of dough has formed. It will be quite soft.  Scrape all dough into the center of flan ring and press it around the ring and up the sides until you have formed a tart shell. Chill for one hour at least.
  5. Prepare apples while crust is chilling. Peel, quarter and core 3 apples. Slice them paper thin by hand or in the processor.
  6. Melt ¼ pound margarine in skillet. Slice the Vanilla bean in half but leave its spine intact. Add vanilla bean to melted margarine. Add sliced apples to pan and stir constantly until apples have browned. Press down on the vanilla bean to make sure that it has released all its seeds onto the apples. Remove vanilla bean.
  7. Remove tart shell from refrigerator. Arrange sautéed apples in an even layer on the bottom of shell.
  8. Preheat oven to: 400 F.
  9. Peel, quarter, core and slice remaining apples thinly. Place these apples in consecutive layers on top of the sautéed ones. Keep layering apples until they are all used up.
  10. Sift ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar over top of tart. Place tart in oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. Watch it carefully to be sure crust doesn’t burn. It will darken considerably.
  11. Place apple tart on cooling rack. Melt marmalade with one tablespoon water (can be done in microwave).  Stir in Grand Marnier. Brush glaze gently over the top of the tart. Sprinkle with toasted almonds if desired.  Chill. Serve tart at room temperature.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Yeshiva University Museum – Part 2

Graphical Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish WomenAugust 14, 2011 – April 15, 2012

Jews were among the pioneers of the comics genre. Superman, created in 1932 by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, started the superhero character and established its supremacy in the mainstream comic book market. Seventy nine years after its creation, Superman still fights the never ending battle for Truth, Justice and the American Way. This past May it placed first on Imagine Game NetworksTop 100 Comic Book Heroes.

Superman has fascinated scholars, cultural observers, commentators and critics who have explored the character’s impact  in the United States and around the world. Even Italy’s renowned novelist,  university professor Umberto Eco discusses the mythic qualities of the character.

In 1952 a new type of comic joined the mainstream when editor Harvey Kurtzman and publisher William Gaines launched MAD, first as a comic book and then as a magazine. Widely imitated and influential, it impacted the satirical media as well as the entire cultural landscape of the 20th century.

Jews continued to break new ground in the comic book genre and in 1976 Harvey Pekar started writing (with the assistance of various artists, most notably Robert Crumb, Aline Kominski-Crumb‘s husband and sometime collaborator) a series of autobiographical comic books under the title American Splendor.

Starting out with a three page strip in Funny Animals (an underground comic published by Apex Novelties) it took Art Spiegelman 13 years to complete Maus, a Survivor’s Tale. It was published in 2 volumes, the first in 1986 and the second in 1991; in 1992 it became the only comic or graphic novel ever to win the Pulitzer Prize!

While mainstream comics were read mostly for escapism and satire, underground comics reflected a bit more of the real everyday world we live in, yet both remained men’s realms until 1972 when Wimmen’s Commix made its appearance. A  core of its contributors, including the first editor (Trina Robbins), were Jewish. As comics evolved with the times; women started ascribing personal, confessional sides to their characters, including health issues, intimate moments, and emotive reflections on parents, family and the world around them.

Catholics had the confessional box with the forgiving priest at the ready but Jewish women had visceral needs to publicly air their clothesline of examined, analyzed, dissected attitudes, and guilt ridden deeds. This exhibit, Graphical Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women at the Yeshiva University Museum substantiates that.

Eighteen artists are represented here, some with almost four decades in the field. They are:

One of the showcases…

  • Aline Kominsky-Crumb                                            
  • Vanessa Davis
  • Bernice Eisenstein
  • Sarah Glidden
  • Miriam Katin
  • Miss Lasko-Gross
  • Miriam Libicki
  • Corinne Pearlman
  • Sarah Lightman
  • Sara Lazarovic
  • Diane Noomin
  • Trina Robbins
  • Rachel Rottner
  • Sharon Rudahl
  • Laurie Sandell
  • Ariel Schrag
  • Lauren Weinstein
  • Ilana Ziffren
A sampling of the graphic books published by these artists...

A sampling of the books published by the artists represented in this exhibit

Drawing styles vary greatly, including some with very marked influences by MAD Magazine‘s artists and others. Subject matter ranges from “coming of age” stories, to  heartbreak over miscarriages, to attitudes in the Israeli Army;  all share bluntness mixed with inescapable vulnerability. Going through the exhibit – as a proudly frum male – I was sometimes discomfited by the naked lack of subtlety in getting to the heart of the matter. Considering, that we live in the age of Androids and iPhones, where we have but a few seconds to catch the viewer’s attention, these women artists are remarkably adept at making their public statements with overt clarity. Some artists peeled layer after layer in their onion-skinned confessional revealing startling beauty and depth of core amidst the unprettiness they expose.

There is almost nothing in the whole exhibit that is of a religious nature, and when religion is discussed it is not done in favorable terms.

Having spent my undergraduate years at Yeshiva University, I couldn’t help but wonder why my alma mater‘s museum would present this exhibit… But when I suddenly thought back to my own pudgy, awkward, teenage self in Uruguay where, falling prey to the constant taunting of fast running bullies, I steadfastly kept a journal recording my most private thoughts and feelings, confessing insecurities, and the emotional upheaval of my youth, I remembered what a cathartic therapeutic process it turned out to be. I truly believe there is a need to give voice to these artists who represent an important facet of American Jewish culture. They, however nonreligious, are included in what our sages taught us “Kol Yisrael achim, arevim zeh lazeh – All Jews are brothers and are responsible for one another;” are we not also collectively responsible to exhibit the hurt, pain and alienation that these women feel? This exhibit exposes the subtle souls of the artists who through language and the drawing of  their various frames cannot help but reflect their Jewishness and the spiritual healing they crave. Should not the Yeshiva University Museum be a partner to that healing?

This exhibit may not be everybody’s cup of tea but it is more than worth seeing, precisely because it will disturb and cause us to reflect on what it reveals about the artists and about ourselves.



Yeshiva University Museum – Part 1


Going Paprikash

Ofer Vardi‘s Going Paprikash is a nicely organized cookbook in the form of an app for the iPhone and iPad…

Above are the title page and the index as they appear on the iPhone.

Ofer Vardi is a journalist with 25 years of experience, currently the Life Style Editor at Israel Hayom. Having always been a foodie who’s been gravitating more and more to write about Israeli and Hungarian cuisines, this app is a loving tribute to his late Hungarian grandmother whose food and kitchen aromas he grew up with. It is based on a well worn notebook of recipes he found after she passed away.

Here are two recipes from this app:

Last eve I broke the fast with the following soup, a perfect summer dish:

Dud-va-vanil’ Soup

Grandma passed away on a Saturday afternoon. Her apartment remained empty for many long days afterward. The aroma of her cooking was no longer there, and the fridge, where we’d always rush on a Friday afternoon to see which cake awaited us for dessert, was now bare.

On the balcony table sat her well-worn notebook of recipes, with which she’d concocted her delicacies like only a grandmother can. The yellowed pages are still adorned with her notes and comments. Five eggs instead of eight, she wrote alongside the ingredient list for a chocolate cake. Here, it turned out, is where the secrets of her success were hidden.

We called her Nana; this was the name I gave my grandmother the day I started to speak, and that’s what it remained, though her name was actually Rózsi.

Armed with this culinary inheritance that Nana left behind, along with countless memories, I embarked on a quest: to try and recreate the beloved flavors of a time gone by.

I gained a lot over a year spent in Budapest, and not just when it came to my weight. During my long stay in the Hungarian capital I became even more connected to one of, if not the, world’s best cuisines.

Grandpa, who passed away when I was four, was known as a ‘leveses’ – ‘soupy’ or ‘soup lover’ in English. That’s how Grandma liked to tell it. Every meal began with a steamy and comforting soup course.

Hungarians love soup, and every self-respecting meal begins with a liquid course, or at least offers one on the menu, even in the middle of summer. Only soup, they believe in Budapest, properly awakens the appetite.

The most famous and beloved of the summer soups, which Grandma often prepared, of course, is meggyleves (MEDGE-LEVESH) – Cherry Soup, or, as my grandmother called it, ‘dud-va-vanil soup’, because, despite 50 years in Israel, she never could say the Hebrew word for cherry, ‘duv-de-va-nim’, correctly.

Cherry Soup :: MEGGYLEVES

What you need (for 4 servings)

  • 1 lb. 2 oz. (½ kilo) cherries (pitted)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup (250ml) whipping cream or 1 cup (200ml) sour cream
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 level tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick

What you do

  1. In a large pot, cook cherries with water, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, cloves and sugar for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate dish, mix flour and sour cream or whipping cream well until a smooth and uniform mixture forms.
  3. Keeping pot over heat, add the flour-sour cream mixture to the pot very slowly while stirring continuously. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Important: if you are using sour cream, do not to boil the soup because boiling will cause the sour cream to separate.
  4. Cool thoroughly. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Preparing the soup one day in advance is recommended.

Here is another great recipe, (I have to try it!) and a delightful little story to go with it:

What do Dragons Eat?

Once upon a time, many years ago, there lived a huge dragon with 24 heads that ate 24 beautiful young girls every day for lunch, fed to him by residents of the town in the valley. If he wasn’t given what he wanted, threatened the dragon, he would breathe 24 flames of fire onto the village. When the time came for Balaton, one of the village men, to feed his beloved to the monster, he flat out refused. “Over my dead body,” he declared.

The dragon grew very angry. The hills shook with 24 ear-splitting roars and the dragon, with his 24 fire-breathing heads, emerged from his lair. In a rage he scraped at the earth until he’d dug a deep crater. Water seeped into the crater, turning it into a large lake whose water seeped over, filling the valley, and whose waves almost drowned the village. Balaton donned his sword and armor and set out to fight the dragon. There was a mighty battle. One by one, Balaton valiantly cut off the dragon’s heads. But when the last head fell, Balaton collapsed, fell into the water and died. In his memory, the village people named the lake after him – Lake Balaton.

During the hot Hungarian summer, the natives retreat to the shores of the large lake. While the lake appears to be dressed for a party, the guests themselves are entirely stripped down. As the seasons change, it isn’t just the clothing that changes in Budapest, but the menus as well. In summer there’s no need for an insulating layer of fat, and even the traditional Hungarian dishes make an attempt at dieting. A favorite main dish for a blazing hot day is Paprikás Krumpli (PAP-RIH-KASH KRUM-PLI), a potato dish in a juicy smoked sausage paprika sauce.

On a boiling day, cooking is done in a bogrács (BO-GRATCH), a traditional cast-iron cauldron, hung over a fire. On the shores of the Balaton, while half-naked revelers grow red from the sun, the boiling potatoes get some color of their own. Though Grandma Nana made do with her made-in-Israel stove and pots, the Paprikás Krumpli she made in the middle of heat wave – a hamseen, as we call it in the Middle East – is impossible to forget. Perfectly square cubes of potato, soft to chew and swimming in purplish pepper sauce. After we’d cleaned our plates with the soft white insides of a loaf of bread, we too were flushed with warmth and pleasure.

Potato Paprikash :: Paprikás Krumpli

What you need (for 4 servings)

  • 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, peeled and diced
  • Water as needed
  • 9 oz. (¼ kilo) kolbasz (dried or smoked Hungarian sausage) or 2 fresh sausages, sliced into rounds
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika
  • Salt to taste

What you do

  1. Brown onion in oil. Remove from heat and season with paprika.
  2. Add a cup of water, pepper, tomatoes and salt – to taste – and return to low heat to cook for half an hour. Add more water as needed during cooking to prevent burning.
  3. Add potatoes and enough water so that the potatoes are completely immersed. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft.
  4. Add sausage and cook for another five minutes.

Some people also add crushed garlic, a pinch of marjoram or hot pepper.

Well organized, with a nice search feature, the recipes are easy, delicious and do not demand any “rich” ingredients, as super Chef and four times piblished cookbook author Lévana Kirschenbaum puts it, “it’s evocative, short and to the point!

On the minus side, however, sometimes the ingredients are not in the order in which they are used. All in all a delightful little app for your iPhone or iPad. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!


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