A Miriyummy Cookbook Review: Kosher By Design Teens and 20-Somethings
I’m so excited, this is my first cookbook review! I feel very Anna and Kristina-ish. I already own two of Susie Fishbein’s cookbooks, the first one being the very first in her KBD series, Kosher By Design, and I suppose what you could call the prequel to her series, The Kosher Palatte, which is the most sophisticated fundraising cookbook I have ever seen or owned.
Let it be said that I am neither a teen nor a 20-something (nor do I play one on TV). What I am is the mother to one teen and three 20-somethings, and the step-mother to three 20-somethings, and one almost-teen (he’s 12) who loves to cook. I have a house full of this book’s demographic. One top of that, this past Shabbat we had many guests who also fit the demographic, including a teenage bride with a secret confession (you’ll have to read on to find out what it is).
The book was well-thumbed this Shabbat and here are a few of the comments I received:
From my daughter Tinky: OMG, you just have to make me the Cauliflower Cheese Soup, and the Pizza Soup, and the Spicy Garlic Bread! When I suggested that perhaps she might want to try cooking these recipes herself she was absolutely incredulous. So the recipes appealed to her, but not enough to get her into the kitchen. When Shabbat was over, however, I did manage to get her and her friend Famous Seamus to make the Easy Fudge. They followed the recipe, found it easy and quick to make, with the most difficult part being waiting for the fudge to set in the fridge.
Chip, Ju-Boy’s son, seemed interested in the book, but in his usual laconic manner just mentioned he thought there were too many recipes with mushrooms in them, and he doesn’t think teens like mushrooms all that much. Tinky agreed with him, but Didi, my lone teen, completely disagrees. She’s just discovered mushrooms, noshes on them throughout the day, and thought that the Layered Mushroom Ziti would be a fun project to make back in her national service apartment full of teenage girls. She also liked the idea of the Mushroom-Crusted Roast Beef, but would leave out the roast beef part.
Chip brought home a friend for Shabbat, Aussie-Boy, who is here studying for a year or two. He claims to be a baker, and I instantly fell in love with him over a discussion of the pros and cons of self-raising flour and the genius of Heston Blumenthal. Aussie-Boy turned his nose up at the Chocolate Tart in Pretzel Crust but did think the Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sticks were worth a try.
Son of Yummy Mummy, a 27 year old who does a bit of cooking on his own, leafed through the book and said there were many recipes in there he would like to try. He didn’t elaborate much, but is known as one of the quieter ones in his family, so I suppose that would have to do.
A few paragraphs ago I hinted a the secret confession of a teenage bride. Sounds like something out of the National Enquirer, doesn’t it? It’s not. Hadarina has been married a whole two months and in that time has developed a passion for feeding her new husband. She’s got a tiny little kitchen, not much bigger than the cookbook itself, but she grabbed the book, insisted everyone in the family enter the contest in order to win her a copy, and said that with the exception of a few icky recipes (she is still a teenager, after all), she would enjoy the book immensely. We were actually discussing the book as we walked home from shul on Friday night (her family was eating with us) and she confessed to me that her husband is a good cook on his own. And the reason she wants this cookbook? To be a better cook, she wants the compliments!
And finally, my co-worker Merbi, a true blue vegetarian, spent her lunch break perusing the book and said the word yummy quite a few times, especially over the Szechuan Noodles and the Chocolate Fluffernutter Quesadillas. Merbi is a newly-married 29 year old, still qualifies as a 20-something and makes the most amazingly deliciously aromatic lunches, so she knows what she likes, and she certainly liked a lot of recipes in this book.
Artscroll have been kind enough to offer Miriyummy readers a discount for anyone who wants to buy the book:
Preorder your copy today at ArtScroll.com – enter the coupon code KBDBLOG at checkout to save 10% and receive free shipping in the continental U.S. Join us online to find more reviews and giveaway contests! Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation is aimed at the young and digital-savvy fast-food generation and those who cook for them. Susie Fishbein is an everyday cook who loves to share her passion for cooking and entertaining with friends and family. Her enthusiasm for food and entertaining led to the creation of her best-selling cookbook, Kosher by Design, published in 2003 by ArtScroll Shaar Press. For more recipes and updates, visit our blog or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
I also oohed and aahed over a few recipes, and there are some days that I still feel like a teenager, chalashing for some pizza or munching on junk food while I watch MTV. One of the recipes that appealed to me most was the Spicy Carrot Sticks, which the good people at Artscroll have allowed me to reprint here:
Spicy Carrot Sticks
- 6 large carrots, peeled, ends trimmed
- 1 egg white from a large egg
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Cut each carrot in half to make 2 (3–4 inch) pieces.
3. Cut each carrot half in half lengthwise. With the cut-side-down on your cutting board, cut each half into 3 equal strips to make thin carrot sticks.
4. Place the egg white into a large shallow bowl or container and whip with a fork or whisk till foamy.
5. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, water, garlic powder, cumin, sugar, paprika, and white pepper.
6. Place the carrot sticks into the beaten egg; toss to coat the carrots in the egg white.
7. Stir the carrots into the spice mixture. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the salt.
8. Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
9. Transfer to a serving plate or bowl.
As a post script — I made these carrots on Monday night for a small get together in our house with some friends. I doubled the recipe and didn’t have any white pepper so I used black instead. I also left off the salt. I wish I could show you a picture of what my carrots looked like, but my piggy friends ate the whole thing before I could remember to snap a photo. So, yes, they’re good!