Quick Beet Salad

Quick summer salads are a must for you right now. During the last meal on Shabbos, all I serve is salads and I always have beet salad as one of them. It’s great after a heavy lunch meal. You can prepare it the day before and have it handy in the fridge for those niblers who are never “full”.

You can also bring this one to a picnic, tailgate party and family BBQ. It’s great cold and at room temperature.


1 14 oz can sliced beets, drained

1 tsp dill weed

1 tbsp Kedem wine vinegar

1 tbsp diced red onion

Sea Salt to taste


Drain beets and add to bowl. Drizzle vinegar over top. Add dill weed and red onion. Sprinkle sea salt to taste.

People don’t think of beets as a salad that often, but they are refreshing. I hope you try this one.

Any questions, send me a shout!



Cherry Shiraz Duck

People are often afraid to cook duck. This one isn’t that hard. It’s inspired by Jamie Oliver and I tweaked the juice with Cherry Shiraz Preserve

The average guide to cooking duck is 20 minutes for each pound at 350F. Scoring a duck is important because it allows all that extra fat to run out and into your pan. That’s no worry, because you will take it out half way through, drain the fat and save it in a nice mason jar with your favourite herb (I added poultry seasoning to my jar…but fresh rosemary sprigs would be great). Use the fat anytime when frying onions or add to cholent.



One duck (4-5 pounds)

2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Dry contents of 1 orange pekoe tea bag

Olive oil

Cherry Shiraz Gravy:

1 jar Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Preserves

Three cloves garlic

Three small red onions cut in quarters

2 medium carrots cut in 3 inch long chunks

1 cup steeped orange pekoe tea (Note: throw out the bag when done and use the tea)


Preheat your oven to 350F

Score the top of your duck in a cross cross fashion with a sharp knife. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Mix all spices including tea leaves and rub all over duck (including legs, wings and underneath) It should look like this:

Place into 9×13″ pan and pop it into the oven uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350F

Take out and drain all the duck fat into a mason jar as described above. Add garlic, onions and carrots to the bottom of the pan making sure they are covered with a bit of duck juice. Turn duck over with breast down this time placing it on top of the veggies and re-insert duck into oven for 45 minutes. For 5 lb duck add 15 minutes.

Take the duck out and let it sit.

Cherry Shiraz Gravy:

1 7.7 oz jar Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Preserves

1 cup steeped orange pekoe tea

Cooked onions, garlic and carrots from duck

3 tsp flour

1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger


Remove duck from pan and set it onto a clean platter or plate, leaving cooked veggies in the bottom. Place pan onto your stove element.

(Transfer veggie mixture to a stove top skillet if you can not place your pan directly on your element)

Sprinkle flour around pan and blend it with veggies

Add tea, Tishbi Cherry Shiraz Preserves and ginger to pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. This will give you a chunky gravy.

Serve your duck on a board. It’s not something you daintily slice. You will tear it apart with two forks and dip the pieces in the gravy. (You can always tear the pieces off the duck and put it in a serving bowl, mixing it with the gravy).

This is a great Friday night meal. Serves 4. The average kosher duck is $25 and we had pieces left over for our Shabbos day meal.

You can find “Tishbi’s Cherry Shiraz Preserve” at Fruit of the Land Store in Toronto. It’s worth it for this recipe. When I opened the jar, the smell was like heaven. The mix of cherries and Shiraz added the right flavour to this spicy duck. It blends with the ginger and garlic to give everything a extra kick. (#sponsored)

Let me know if you have any questions


Healthy Breaded Chicken

It’s super hot in Toronto right now and everyone is thinking picnics and family get togethers. Why not bring along this simple, healthy breaded chicken to the party?

I made my own bread crumbs (inspired to do so by @raizyscookin on Instagram) by putting left over bread (that was on the verge of going stale) on a cookie sheet. I sprinkled them with garlic powder and salt and turned the over to 200F. I let them bake until they were hard (it took mine 1/2 hour but depending on how much you have on your pan it could be less. (Watch them that they don’t burn but dark brown is fine because they are just bread crumbs). When they were hard I crumbled them into a food processor and pulsed until finely ground. I ended up with enough crumbs to fill a litter container. You can always buy your own breadcrumbs and skip the step

Now onto the chicken:


1 whole chicken cut into 8ths

Canola oil

Bread crumbs

1 tsp Garlic

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper


Wash the chicken and lay it bone side down onto a 9×13″ foil baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Take canola oil and drizzle onto each piece of chicken

Sprinkle bread crumbs over chicken so that they are completely covered

Sprinkle spices over chicken

If you find it looks too dry, you can add a little more canola oil over the bread crumbs but not too much. You don’t want the pan swimming in oil…you just want it to cover the chicken.

Put into 400F preheated oven uncovered for 1 hour.

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. The chicken will be crispy and flavourful. It will taste like you deep fried it without the deep frying.

Have fun experimenting with the spices. You can add what you like to your chicken and if you have any questions, just let me know.



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Easy Summer Salad

How are you today? In Toronto’s it’s hot out. We’ve had such cold weather (I know…it’s Canada), but I was hoping for spring weather. (after all, it is May). Today I woke up to see the temperature is absolutely balmy out. I have no time for cooking today. I had a wonderful time food-hopping with a bunch a great kosher foodies in Toronto. Naomi Nachman (Author of “Perfect for Pesach”) came to Toronto for “Kosher Chopped” competition and stayed to hit the Kosher Toronto restaurants. I didn’t even go to every one of them, and I’m tired.

Also, tonight is the Jewish festival of Lag B’Omer. “Lag” for the number 33 which is the number of days since the first night of Pesach (Passover). One of the ways we celebrate it is by lighting bonfires and roasting s’mores. There’s lots of singing and dancing. So tonight calls for an easy salad that will go with bbq hotdogs. This salad is not dairy because I’m serving it with meat and I stick to kosher dietary laws, but feel free to add a dairy dressing if you like! 😘


1 pint cherrie tomatoes

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 whole peeled cucumber

1 tblsp mayonnaise – dairy free

1 tsp dill powder

Salt and pepper to taste


Cut cherrie tomatoes in half and cucumbers into 1 inch pieces. Add diced onion. Mix mayonnaise with spices and mix into salad.

This is SUCH a refreshing salad. It goes with burgers, hotdogs, the last meal on Shabbos …anything.

Remember to have fun with your cooking. Don’t get caught up in the “amounts”. Play with things until they get to where you like them. Eating is supposed to be fun. Reach out to me if you have any questions and follow me on Instagram Kosheriffic


Challah — It’s More Than a “Bread”

This week I attempted a six-braided Challah for the first time. I didn’t have a cookie sheet, and had to put it in a 9×13 pan. My Challah just grew and grew and grew. It’s not perfect, but neither am I. I can’t let how my Challah looks stop me from the Mitzvah of making it. Jewish women have three “Mitzvahs” that they are ultimately responsible for, and one is “taking challah”. Each week, we prepare for Shabbos by preparing our Challah dough and kneading it, all the while davening for those who we have in mind. When the dough is ready to separate into loaves, we remove an amount the size of an egg (a k’zayis). We take this, wrap it in foil and place it in an oven to burn. Nothing else can cook while this is burning. This act is called “taking Challah”.We can purchase our Challah from a bakery, but there is something so wonderful about being able to take all your prayers and giving them to Hashem while you knead away at the end of your week. There has been so many tragedies lately, and I just want to be able to continue to daven that Hashem will hear our prayers. It’s so amazing how food is connected to something so spiritual. Here is my recipe for Challah in which Challah is taken without a bracha (blessing)


4 1/2 tsp yeast

1/2 cup honey

2 1/2 cup warm water

3/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp salt

4 eggs

10 cups flour

Mix yeast, water and honey in bowl and allow to sit until yeast bubbles (30 minutes).

Add checked eggs to oil and salt and mix. Add to yeast. Gradually add flour to dough mixture, incorporating it one cup at a time.

Continue kneading until you get a smooth ball. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 2 tablespoons at a time. Knead until smooth. Cover with oil and place plastic wrap over the bowl. Cover with a clean dish towel to keep in the heat and let sit in a warm place for 15 minutes. This is where you take it and knead it one more time to activate the gluten. Once it’s kneaded and smooth, add some more oil to the dough, wrap again and let sit for an hour.

*Take Challah dough, wrap it in foil and place it fo burn in a high oven.

Separate dough into equal parts. Roll out and braid. The easiest is the three braided Challah.

Cover and let rise until double in size. Take one egg beaten with a little water and brush into Challah.

Place into 350F oven for 20 minutes. Turn up to 400F and let it bake until it’s brown (an additional 5 -10 minutes).

(recipe adapted from old Lubavitch cookbook. I’ve been using this for years)

Hearty Meat Borscht (Beet Soup)



(Guest Recipe Post by Batsheva Asbell)



Large soup pot (6 quarts)
4 quarts of water
6 extra large beets
2 large carrots
4 medium onions
3 medium potatoes
1/2 cup sweet red wine
3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
2-3 steaks


Peel the beets and put into the pot of boiling water.
Add whole peeled carrots.
Add onions diced.
Add potatoes that are peeled and sliced into 1 inch non-uniform
Add red wine, lemon juice and honey.
Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Add cubed meat pieces (meat scissors work well with this).
The meat should be 1 inch cube cuts and can even be larger cuts.
If the steak has bones, add them for flavour.

Put a large soup pot on a low boil for 1 – 2 hours or until beets are soft enough to cut and all the contents are tender and cooked. Add more salt or pepper for flavour if needed according to personal taste.

Remove beets and slice into hearty chunks or slices. The inner part of the beets should be red and juicy and placed back into the soup to eliminate the brown colour and replace it with a dark pink colour. Serve in a white bowl with portions of meat, potato, beet and carrot distributed in the magenta pink soup broth.

Hints: if you loose the pink colouring on a reboil for another meal, you can open a can of beets and pour the beet liquid into the soup. Also, there are some companies that pre-peel and cook the beets and they can be cut and added.


Lemon/Olive Chicken


Try this one for Shabbos. You can use two chicken breasts or four thighs. The juice is awesome with Challah 👌 (Pinterest inspired📌)


4 chicken thighs or two large chicken breasts

4 tblsp canola oil

1 lemon

1/4 cp green olives (I used sliced but unpitted whole are great. If using whole 1/2cp olives)

one medium onion sliced


1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

a pinch of turmeric

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

1 minced garlic clove

1/4 cp water



warm oil in skillet on medium heat. Wash lemon well, slice and place in pan until the edges become soft and a bit translucent (don’t  cook too long or you will lose the pulp). Remove lemons to a dish. Place chicken into warmed skillet. Brown on both sides (8-10 minutes per side. You want the chicken a nice golden brown ). Remove chicken. Add onions to skillet and fry until translucent. They should brown with the chicken juices. If need more oil, add here.

Take all the spices and add to the water.. Add spice/water mixture to pan with onions, and mix. Return chicken to pan. Bring chicken to boil then cover and reduce  to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until your chicken is done (depends upon thickness of piece). Add olives and cooked lemons. Stir. I let mine simmer on low heat to get the flavour of the olives and lemons by adding a bit more water and covering until ready to serve.  Serve over steamed rice or couscous. The smell is amazing.