There is absolutely no reason why kosher food and desserts have to be anything less than what everyone else is eating. Share with me your baking and cooking sucesses, challenges, and disasters. I will share my recipes, shabbat and holiday menu planning and my love of food.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pledge 25 Jewish Baking Class

Ohr Kodesh Congregation in Chevy Chase is celebrating the 25 years of Rabbi Lyle Fishman. To commemorate this milestone the synangogue launched "Pledge 25" asking each member the pledge 25 of Jewish learning or activity during the next year. I was asked to do a Jewish baking class and we did two classes. During the first class, we had about 16 people and baked challah and babka. Everyone made their own mini babkas to take home. I enjoyed watching several people 80 plus rolling out their babkas!

Yesterday we made rugelach and doughnuts for chanukah. I presented them with what I call the rugelach filling buffet: several jams, nuts, dried fruit, coconut, etc. with which to fill their rugelach rolls. The doughnuts were way too good. During the class I demonstrated how to make the dough that I cooked after everyone left. We ended up with about 30 doughnuts sitting around the kitchen that had to be eaten within 24 hours, or they get stale, PLUS I knew I had to make a fresh batch Friday for Chanukah. I keep hoping to get tired of eating them but that hasn't happened yet. Happy Chanukah!

Friendship Circle

The Chabad Lubavitch organization has a national program called "Friendship Circle" that matches up teens to special needs kids and does different projects with them. I ran two cooking programs for the group during November as part of their Cooking Circle program. On the first day, we made chicken matzoh ball soup, a chopped salad with creamy dijon dressing and an easy fruit tart. The second day we made cheese borekas, pizzas and the kids assembled and decorated their own layer cakes. I learned from working with special needs kids at Camp Ramah last summer that this group LOVES cake decorating. I gave them stacks of vanilla cake slices, bowls of icing and pastry bags with several icing colors and let them do what they want. Many adults are afraid of pastry bags, but not these kids. Although the result was more icing than cake, the kids had fun designing their cakes and squeezing the icing out of the bags. The helpers, including my daughter Emily, had a great time too.