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  • High Holy Days Food: Welcoming new breaking-the-fast traditions

    August 29, 2013 | 11:12 am

    On Yom Kippur, after the day’s hard spiritual work is done, the break-the-fast meal poses its own challenges. An upside: No one is terribly picky about what they’re taking in after 24 hours of fasting. Preparing a tantalizing spread can be almost an act of cruelty; better to keep...

  • Making cookies ... And a difference

    August 28, 2013 | 5:39 pm

    Left destitute overnight when the Nazis confiscated his life savings in 1941, Ben Lesser’s father, Lazar, used a 100-pound bag of flour and some salt — a housewarming gift from a friend — to bake pretzels for the local bars in Niepolomice in southern Poland. 

    While his family of...

  • Let them dat (honey) cake

    By Judy Zeidler

    August 28, 2013 | 12:40 pm

    Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is considered a High Holy Day, but it’s also a happy holiday, full of hope and optimism.

    I am always impressed by the fact that food plays such an important part during one of the most sacred of Jewish holidays. The traditional foods — apples,...

  • ‘Breaking’ Kosher: Is Los Pollos Hermanos certified?

    August 20, 2013 | 9:57 am

    Jewish fans of “Breaking Bad,” fear not: There’s finally a Jewish angle to the show.

    The fry batter used at the fictional fried-chicken chain Los Pollos Hermanos — run by drug kingpin Gustavo Fring — apparently is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union.

    Except, as...

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  • Has the era of the kosher cheeseburger arrived?

    August 7, 2013 | 3:27 pm

    When the world’s first lab-grown burger was introduced and taste-tested on Monday, the event seemed full of promise for environmentalists, animal lovers and vegetarians.

    Another group that had good reason to be excited? Kosher consumers.

    The burger was created by harvesting...

  • Heirloom Caprese Salad [Recipe]

    By Elana Horwich

    August 7, 2013 | 9:00 am

    Everyone and their mother thinks they know how to make a caprese salad but they do not. The irony is a caprese salad is so simple that it seems impossible that it is not always made correctly and well. First and foremost, I would like to let the world know that a caprese does not...

  • Blogger Geller testifying before Toronto police board over nixed shul talk

    August 5, 2013 | 3:53 pm

    Blogger Pamela Geller said she will testify over a complaint she filed against a Toronto-area police force in the cancellation of a synagogue appearance.

    Geller told JTA via email on Monday that she was scheduled to testify Wednesday via Skype before a hearing of the Office of...

  • Give Polish Jewry a kosher choice

    July 31, 2013 | 1:51 pm

    Remember “Had Gadya”? What satisfaction when, onto the scene of carnage, walks the Holy One of Blessing, and destroys the angel of death that slew the butcher that killed the ox that drank the water that quenched the fire that burned the stick that beat the dog that bit the cat...

  • Empty nest, full fridge

    By Judy Zeidler

    July 19, 2013 | 2:00 pm

    My son Paul and his wife, Amber, were the original baby boomers, graduating from college in the ’80s, getting married and raising four children. 
     
    They both love to cook, and when their kids were growing up, they always ate family dinners together, every night.  The only rule...
  • The problem with prayer

    By David Suissa

    July 17, 2013 | 11:39 am

    If the practice of Judaism is based on synagogue attendance, and if synagogue attendance is based on the passive recitation of prayer, then Judaism is in trouble.

    The ritual of repetitive communal prayer might have worked in the shtetls to keep Jews Jewish, but it doesn’t work in...

  • Reading Lamentations with Gush Katif Evacuees

    By Orit Arfa

    July 15, 2013 | 1:12 pm

    I couldn’t see his face through the mechitza (the wall separating the men and women), but I heard him, the tears in his voice, the deep sorrow, as the cantor read Jeremiah’s Book of Lamentations poetically remembering the horrific tragedies the Jewish people have suffered.

    His...

  • Letters to the Editor: Gay marriage, Mandela, food cover

    July 10, 2013 | 12:50 pm

    Rabbi Wolpe’s Stand on Gay Marriage

    I write to express appreciation to my colleague Rabbi David Wolpe on his public stand to officiate at gay marriages (“The Gay Marriage Debate,” July 5).

    For those of us serving liberal synagogue communities, our challenges are different from...

  • Celebrating the Big Cheese on July 4th

    By Michael Israel

    July 1, 2013 | 9:18 am

    Happy Birthday USA! This week we celebrate July 4th, American Independence Day. Before we get into this week’s recipe, I would like to state how grateful I am to be living as a free Jew in the United States of America in 2013. Also, unlike the past few blogs this week’s recipe will...

  • Kosher food is on the roll

    June 26, 2013 | 4:03 pm

    In a way, Michele Grant’s unfortunate Hollywood ending — she experienced an injury on a movie set while serving as an assistant director — turned into a beautiful beginning for the Los Angeles kosher community.

    While she had been passionate about cooking since her childhood, when...

  • Blending Persian, Jewish cuisine

    June 26, 2013 | 3:45 pm

    Chef Louisa Shafia has been crossing culinary borders and bridging gastronomic gaps all her life. Shafia’s father, a Muslim from Iran, and her mother, an Askenazi Jew, raised a family around a very full dinner table laden with traditional Persian dishes right alongside the Jewish...

  • Los Angeles’ top Jewish chefs under 40

    June 26, 2013 | 12:06 pm

    What do the young Jewish star chefs in Los Angeles have in common? For those on the cutting edge of the city’s food scene, it’s not the laws of kashrut. Instead, for each of the 10 chefs and teams profiled here, all under age 40, the foundation of their cooking is seasonality,...

  • Piazza Palatucci

    June 24, 2013 | 10:06 am

    Last weekend, on a gorgeously sunny afternoon in a remote (and extraordinarily picturesque) village high in the mountains of central Italy, I attended a ceremony that, in signature Italian style, was operatic in its mix of hyperbole and sincere commitment.

    The occasion was the...

  • Calling All Fressers

    By Michael Israel

    June 18, 2013 | 6:18 pm

    After a long hiatus from writing the blog, I have recommitted to creating new entries each week. As a reminder, this blog is an account of my journey reinventing the classic recipes found in Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Recently, my wife and I launched a new popup restaurant called...

  • Loving Aunt Ruth: Recipes for a Life Well-Lived

    By Honey Lazar

    June 18, 2013 | 10:49 am

    Loving Aunt Ruth: Recipes for a Life Well-Lived offers one woman’s ingredients for living a life of caring, authenticity, and love along with great recipes, humor, and Aunt Ruth’s thoughts on Jewish traditions.  The blog introduces the lessons and photographs found in our book...

  • Schwartz Bakery leaves RCC for Kehilla

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    May 29, 2013 | 10:31 am

    Schwartz Bakery, a kosher bakery and caterer with six retail locations across Los Angeles, has dropped the Rabbinical Council of California (RCC) as its kosher certifier. The 59-year-old family-owned business announced the news on May 20, posting on its Facebook page a photograph...

  • Kerry samples Palestinian shawarma and sweets

    May 23, 2013 | 10:46 am

    Secretary of State John Kerry stepped off the diplomatic track on Thursday and onto a West Bank street where he sampled a shawarma sandwich and a pistachio-sprinkled Palestinian sweet.

    In a rare gesture for a U.S. secretary of state — but a staple of U.S. political campaigns —...

  • A talent agent turns yogurt maven

    May 22, 2013 | 12:52 pm

    Talk about the Big Chill.

    Amy Salko Robertson — producer of such films as “The Oh in Ohio,” “Lab Rats” and “When Do We Eat?” a comedy set at a Passover seder —realized that she couldn’t continue to rely on the speculative indie film world for income after her husband, John, was...

  • Pescespada alla Mamma di Edo (Edo’s Mother’s Swordfish) [Recipe]

    By Elana Horwich

    May 13, 2013 | 9:00 am

    A word about the boy and his mom:

    American girls can’t help but fall in love with Italian men like Edo. He has long dark curls that bounce in joy when he walks, grayish blue eyes that sparkle with depth and intelligence, and a smile that loves to come out and parade itself around...

  • The Stardust Margarita [Recipe]

    By Elana Horwich

    May 9, 2013 | 9:00 am

    It’s a little known fact in the world that I used to work as a bartender. If you want to garner experiences that will shape the unique spiritual being that you are, it is imperative that at least once in your life you work nights for a raging alcoholic boss.

    For me it happened at...

  • Q&A with Rabbi Ed Feinstein

    By Susan Freudenheim

    May 8, 2013 | 6:37 pm

    On Sunday, May 11, Rabbi Ed Feinstein, senior rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom, will be feted for his two decades of service to the synagogue. He talks in this edited version of an interview about changes in synagogue life, his theology and what he prays for.

    Jewish Journal: Twenty...

  • Torah Flight

    By Michelle Azar

    May 6, 2013 | 4:50 pm

    I watched as my Torah portion flew out into the street. The pages were in the basket of my bicycle as I rode to Milky’s on Friday afternoon to study in advance of chanting this Shabbat. Milky’s boasts frozen yogurt with lots of choices for their special food needs clientage like...

  • Bomb threats called in to Houston synagogues

    May 2, 2013 | 9:32 am

    Two Houston synagogues received bomb threats.

    The bomb threats were called in to Congregation Beth Israel, a Reform synagogue, and Congregation Or Ami, a Conservative synagogue, on Wednesday afternoon.

    Both synagogues canceled Hebrew school classes for Thursday but said they...

  • Adding Israeli spice to the burger mix

    April 24, 2013 | 11:34 am

    Southern California could be considered the epicenter of the hamburger universe. It’s where burger innovation was immortalized — the first cheeseburger allegedly was invented in Pasadena — and where every possible type has already been there, done that. (One Santa Monica restaurant...

  • BBQ Tofu Salad

    By Arielle Adelman

    April 22, 2013 | 9:50 am

    My meat loving-iron pumping brothers often refer to tofu as “hippie food”. I guess I can’t argue that going to a steakhouse and ordering a bone-in Tofu filet would be rather anti-climactic, however, there are plenty of ways to prepare tofu that are easy, healthy, great tasting, and...

  • Ingredient Number One: Love

    By Elana Horwich

    April 22, 2013 | 9:00 am

    They say in Italy that each sauce or each dish comes out differently depending on who is cooking it. Even with the exact same ingredients and measurements. Just the way someone stirs the sauce and connects with the sauce is enough to create a unique and personal outcome. In other...

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