Fo’ Shizzle My Fizzle

To all the loyal fans out there who’ve been beggin’ for more Cookin’, I’m proud to deliver this refreshing new episode featuring summer’s best companion: THE COLD DRINK.  That’s right, in honor of the warm weather we’re gonna cool you off with two beverages starring my all time favorite liquid…seltzer!  If you aren’t already a seltzer fan, I’m prepared to convert you.  So sit back, relax, and get pourin’…

Egg Cream:

Ingredients

Seltzer

Milk (Soy is ok too if that’s your thing)

Chocolate Syrup (Vanilla and Strawberry are great too!)

1. Pour milk in a tall glass, about half way to the top.  Pour in a generous helping of syrup.

2. Place a tall spoon in the glass.  Tip the glass to the side and pour seltzer almost to the top.

3. Twirl spoon with a flick of the wrist in small, even circles until foam forms on top (about 30 seconds).

Yum!  Recession friendly, Refreshing and Delicious!

Cocktail: (I invite you to play with ratios).

Whiskey

White Grape Juice

Orange Seltzer

Slice of Orange.

I serve mine over ice.  Get Boozin!

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Join Cookin’ on Facebook!

Hey everyone, get ready for another slammin’ episode of Cookin’ comin’ soon. In the meantime, be sure to join Cookin’ on Facebook to be updated on new episodes and other videos our production team is working on.

Join Here!

Love, Cookin’

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Twelve Months, Three Corners

Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Koshercom

Photo Courtesy of Flickr User Koshercom

I’ve starting posting once a week on the food blog, JCarrot!

For my first post, I made a video about my love for the three cornered cookies, hamantashen!

Check out the video here and put up a comment on JCarrot.

Chag Sameyach!

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I Love My Baby’s Puddin’: Recession Special Dessert!

Not sure about ya’ll, but I don’t mess around when it comes to dessert.  A little sweet at the end of a meal makes my troubles melt away (if only for an instant), even when times are tough. It is in this spirit that I bring you my first ever recession special Cookin’ dessert- BREAD PUDDIN’, made from things you have around your house.  Check out the episode, make the puddin’, and leave your comments.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 cups half & half, milk or combination of the two

9 cups bread cubes (combination of any of the following: white, french, challah, cinnamon raisin, croissant, brioche)

Personalize:

*One cup of any of the following mix-ins or a combination thereof can be added: raisins, berries, chopped apple, chocolate chips, banana.

*Two and a half tbsp of rum or whiskey can replace the equivalent amount in milk/cream.

1. Start by tearing up the bread into cubes.  In a separate bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients to make your custard.  Use an electric mixer if you have one, but it isn’t required.

2. Lightly grease your bread puddin pan (9x13x2 inch is preferable, but use what you’ve got!).  Place your bread cubes in the pan and ladle in the custard, filling to the top.  Let the puddin’ sit in the fridge for at least a half hour or as long as overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and prepare your water bath (place the puddin’ pan in a larger pan and fill up halfway with boiling water).  Bake puddin’ in water bath for an hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and no custard is bubbling up from the middle.  If it isn’t ready after an hour, remove from water bath and bake another 10-20 minutes.

4.  Remove from oven and let cool before you cut it.  Serve bread puddin’ with whipped cream, ice cream, or a dash of confectioners sugar on top.  Pairs well with tea and coffee.  Instant sorry relief!

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Hard Times! Cookin’ is Back with Recession-Ready Chili!

We know, we know…it’s been a while.  But thanks to our fans’ enthusiastic (and frequent) requests for another episode, Cookin’ has re-emerged (!), this time with a dish that’s sure to go well with your barely bulging (no doubt) wallet.  Admit it ya’ll, dining out just can’t happen as frequently anymore.

I hate to say “I told you so”, but cookin’ in your kitchen is going to be the key to your survival through these hard times.  So start with this SUPER simple chili that uses everything but the kitchen sink to make a quick, healthy, delicious meal.  Feel free to get creative and then share your personal touches.  I’d love to hear them.

So roll up your sleeves and turn up the volume…Welcome back to Cookin!

Ingredients:

2 (28 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (15 ounce) can beans (black, red, garbanzo), drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can of corn, drained

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

3 potatoes, cubed

2 tbsp. olive oil

1. Fry onion in oil until soft, about 4 minutes.  Add spices and cook another minute.*

2. Add all other ingredients, including your personal touches.**

3. Lower heat and simmer at least until all vegetables are soft, adding some water and/or more tomatoes if the liquid gets absorbed.

4.  The longer you simmer, the better it’ll taste so let that chili sit!  Chili will serve 4 people.  Recommended served topped with sour cream (or nonfat plain yogurt) and some chopped fresh cilantro.

*Spicing: A couple of tsp. of the following spices go great in chili: Chili powder, paprika, oregano, garlic (add extra!), cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander. Salt and pepper can be added to taste.

**Extras: Veggie ground round or ground beef, 4 chopped fresh tomatoes instead of second can of stewed tomatoes (highly recomended when available!), 1 carrot (chopped), 1 red pepper (chopped), 3 stalks celery (chopped), extra can of beans.

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Live from the Dirty Dirty a.k.a. Liz Gets Clowned!

In July, I helped lead a Civil Rights Journey of Black and Jewish teens across the South, following the trail of the Freedom Riders. The group that organizes the Journey (and an entire year-long program before and after the Journey) is called Operation Understanding DC (oudc.org). We began in New York and went to North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, hitting up spots of importance in the Civil Rights Movement, meeting with local leaders past and present and also checking out Southern Jewish Communities. Needless to say, it was an incredible experience.

The food along the way ranged from eye-opening and mouth-watering, to downright nasty. I ate some excellently authentic soul food, though being a vegetarian, I missed out on some of the most famed items. Highlights included warm biscuits and corn bread, sweet tea mixed to perfection, creamy mac n’ cheese, bread pudding and the bbq’d tofu prepared by the African Hebrews. mmmhhhhhmmmm. (You best expect some soul food on the show real soon).

Some of the low moments included questionably vegetarian items at a Chinese buffet in Mississipi, salads consistently covered with soo much cheese (!), weak and bitter coffee, and greens made with pork (no iron for me).

As you might have expected, my digestive tract and I were very excited to return home after eating on the road for so long and I had a homemade sushi feast waiting for me when I got back from the airport! I also had something else waiting for me when I got back.

So, without further ado, I give you, Bizzaro Cookin’

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Picture Me Rollin’

For a Hi-Definition version of this video click here: http://blip.tv/file/1130652

After busting in on some folks eating wack food, I head to the kitchen to make easy summer spring rolls and a spicy apricot dipping sauce. These rolls will impress your guests and taste delicious!

Ingredients for spring rolls:

1 Mango

1 Cucumber

Several Carrots

1 avocado

Fresh Basil

Rice Paper

Ingredients for apricot dipping sauce:

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger (you may add hot sauce if you want it spicier)

Slice mango, cucumber, avocado and carrots into thin strips. Remember to take seeds out of cucumber. Chop basil. Heat up water to almost boiling. Set yourself up on a table with your veggies, boiling water, rice paper rolls and two empty plates (one for rolling and one for the finished product). Place rice paper in water, leaving it until it becomes limp. Have fork on hand if water is too hot to dip your fingers in. Place rice paper on plate, place ingredients in center of paper. See video for rolling instructions. For dipping sauce, purée all ingredients in a blender or by hand until smooth. That’s it! Easy, lovely and delicious. Try adding fried tofu for a heartier spring roll.

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