Real Life Kosher Cook­ing: Fam­i­ly-Friend­ly Recipes for Every Day and Spe­cial Occasions

Miri­am Pascal
  • Review
By – March 21, 2018

Today’s home cooks are busy. They want healthy, tasty meals that are quick and easy to make. In Real Life Kosher Cook­ing, Miri­am Pas­cal, a self-taught cook and cre­ator of Over­time Cook, pro­vides a selec­tion of recipes for the time-chal­lenged. She assumes a basic knowl­edge of kashrut and labels the recipes meat,” dairy,” or pareve.” Her intro­duc­tion gives cooks basic infor­ma­tion about select­ing qual­i­ty ingre­di­ents, meal plan­ning and cook­ing ahead, pur­chas­ing a good chef’s knife, and choos­ing the appro­pri­ate salt and oil.

The book is divid­ed into sec­tions: break­fast and breads, appe­tiz­ers, soups, etc. Each recipe includes a sim­ple ingre­di­ent list, clear instruc­tions, and a love­ly col­or pho­to­graph of the fin­ished prod­uct. Notes pro­vide use­ful infor­ma­tion about vari­a­tions, what can be done in advance, and hints about using frozen rather than fresh veg­eta­bles. (The recipes fre­quent­ly include canned, frozen, and pre­pared items to save time.)

Dish­es such as Oat­meal Pump­kin Pan­cakes and Cin­na­mon Apple Beer Bread will make break­fast inter­est­ing, and the author notes that the pan­cake bat­ter can be refrig­er­at­ed or frozen for lat­er use. Crock­pot Beef Faji­tas can cook all day while one is at work, and pop­corn served with assort­ed fla­vor­ings (choco­late sea salt, BBQ, gar­lic herbs) makes for a pop­u­lar snack. Mac and Cheese, Lemon Dill Salmon, and Gar­licky Toast­ed Mush­rooms and Snow Peas are exam­ples of entrées and side dish­es. Desserts include Mar­bled Choco­late Mint Cup­cakes and PB&J Sand­wich Cook­ies. Pascal’s dips and sauces, spice rubs, and crou­tons will enhance any meal. The Pesach Guide at the end of the book offers help­ful hints for mod­i­fy­ing the recipes for hol­i­day use.

Real Life Kosher Cook­ing is a use­ful book for novice cooks and those new to keep­ing kosher. Busy par­ents and work­ing peo­ple who want to eat well and quick­ly will enjoy it as well.

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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