Chatting with Miriyummy: Leah Schapira

Meet Leah Schapira.  I didn’t find Leah, she found me.  She must have one of the coolest jobs around, writing about food and also starting up her new recipe-sharing website, Cook Kosher.  Leah is good for my ego, asking me to write little bits and pieces for the site.  I’m so glad she agreed to be interviewed, so come and learn all about Leah with me!

Introduce yourself.  Who are you, what are you, why are you?

Hi, My name is Leah Schapira and I’m a food writer for a Jewish weekly. I started a free recipe sharing site called Cook Kosher . Cook Kosher is a website to organize your recipe in one easy place and join a community that loves food as much as you do. We feature a blog with guest writers, chefs, videos and bloggers. If you’re interested in guest blogging for us email me.

Where do you live and why?

I live in New Jersey. Why I live here? I have no idea. It was a fluke.

What is your family like?

I have four kids who are my biggest food critics. If they don’t like a recipe they don’t let me publish the recipe in the magazine 🙂

What is your relationship with food?  Do you like to cook?

I love food. I dream food. I dream recipes and I love to have other people feed me (as in restaurants). I also love junk food and salads (its a weird combo, I know). I love cooking and feeding people. Food is the one of the easiest way to make people happy.

What is your first food-related memory?

I wasn’t much of an eater in my earlier days. They said I cried and cried that I was constantly hungry and I wouldn’t touch any food. Every food item needed its own plate. If a sandwich had pastrami, I would never have the bread touch the pastrami. The bottom line is I drove my parents and grandparents crazy. Before my grandmother passed away she told me she cried every time she read my food column. She couldn’t believe it was the same girl who wouldn’t touch anything.

How would you describe yourself in the kitchen?  As a host/hostess?

I like hosting people in a relaxed and fun setting. I don’t go crazy as far as presentation goes. I think it makes people intimidated and I’d rather have everyone enjoy themselves. So I like to prepare a lot of food and a variety of choices. And always fresh food.

What is your favorite comfort food, and why?

Pizza and french fries. I’ve tasted pizza in every county I’ve been to and it’s always something I feel I can’t go wrong with. The only place that does not have decent pizza is Sao Paulo, Brazil. And french fries is my vice. If a restaurant makes bad fries then I figure the rest of the food can’t be too good either.

Desert island picks, name three foods you could not live without:

Pizza, sandwiches and romain lettuce.

Is there any food you hate?  Why?

I don’t like pargiot (baby chickens). I was pregnant with my first and I asked a waitress in Israel what does pargiot mean?  All she answered was baby chickens. I spend the rest of the night thinking of the poor baby chicken and every time I think of pargiot I get this nauseous feeling. So no pargiot for me.  (Actually, pargiot has two meanings, baby chickens, or poussins, and boned chicken thighs, which is usually what is sold in Israeli restaurants. — Miriyummy)

Do you have a food-related story you would like to share?

I loved food sites before I started In 2004 I sent an email to Recipezaar if they would sell me the software to start Cookkosher. They declined. A couple of years later they sold Recipezaar for 25 million. I guess they did better than if they would have sold me the program 🙂

I love garlic. If I had to choose only one spice to use for the rest of my life it would be garlic.

Garlic Fries

Photo by Dan Engongoro

For true garlic lovers, the ultimate is garlic fries. While some fries taste good with ketchup, these deserve a better dip: like a light Caesar dressing. In a pinch, a good mayonnaise works well.

  • 3 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ Tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp chili powder  *For less kick, reduce the black pepper and chili powder.
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Slice potatoes into evenly sized wedges.  Soak them in very hot water for 10 minutes. Dry well.
  3. Toss potato wedges with garlic and oil. Add the cornstarch and spices and toss well until evenly distributed.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread out the potato wedges and bake for 40 minutes.

Yield: serves 4

About Miriyummy

All I want to do is live happily ever after.

Posted on 24 July 2011, in Chatting with Miriyummy, Potatoes, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. What a great visit with Leah Schapira…. off to check out her cooking site!


  2. I totally agree with you that Leah has the best job ever. Thanks for the interview.


  3. Sheyna Ganzburg

    This is JUST the kind of site that I have been looking for. Thanks Ladies!


  4. Thanks for the interview Mirj! Hope you all put up recipes and try out others recipes from cookkosher.


  5. I love this website , this is what i was looking for a long time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Pingback: Chatting with Miriyummy: Yaara Di Segni « Miriyummy

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