Cheesecake Bars or Squares

I promised Noah that I’d make his favorite dessert  -cheesecake – for the Jewish holidays, and I decided to make some cheesecake bars since it seemed so easy. I looked at a few recipes, and put them together with my “Newest Cheesecake” recipe to come up with my own recipe. I’m surprised at how creamy and yummy they turned out.

Butter sides and bottom of 9 inch square pan. Then line pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, pressing down on sides and bottom. Grease the foil- the  bottom. Then make the graham crack crust. Pat firmly down, and bake at 325 degrees for about 10 min. Put in fridge to cool down crust quickly.

graham cracker crust:

  1. Melt 5 tablespoons salted butter
  2. Add 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  3. Add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. Add pinch salt

filling:

  • about 18-19 oz. regular, not light, Philadelphia cream cheese (about 2 bars and 1/4th (2-3 oz. more) of another bar (room temp)
  • about 1/3 cup Daisy full fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs or 2 1/2 extra large (I did this)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon flour
  • pinch kosher salt

Directions:

Cream room temp cream cheese till lump-free in mixer. Add sugar and blend. Add eggs one at a time till blended. Add lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and flour, and mix only till blended. On low speed blend in the sour cream. Pour into cooled crust. Bake for 35-40 min. till set and a little jiggly in center. Let sit on counter till totally cooled, and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Newest and Most Amazing Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Very Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes (Made most recently for Benji and Titi and me on Sept. 1, 2019 and for Noah, Ezra, and Hannah on Sept. 3, 2019)) 

Now made on Sept. 3, 2019 for Noah, Ezra, and Hannah while I’m babysitting for them. Since there was no buttermilk, I made my own by adding 4 ½ teaspoons (1 T plus 1 ½ t or 1 ½ T ) of apple cider vinegar  to each scant 1 cup of whole milk to fill up the dry measure 1 cup which I used instead of a pyrex measurer. I let that sit for about 30 – 45 min at room temp. I added the 2 egg yolks to it and the 2 T melted butter.  I also just whisked the egg whites by hand and they were just soft peaks. So I put all the dry ingred in my pourable blue pancake bowl. Then I lightly used whisk to mix wet ingred in till moistened well. Then I lightly folded in the whites with the whisk because i couldn’t find a rubber spatula.  For some reason, these pancakes came out even better than the ones made with the buttermilk!!! My gosh, Ezra said, “They are the best pancakes I have ever had! They are epic!” Ezra loves his with butter and syrup. Noah eats his pancakes plain, and Hannah just has hers with butter. Ezra ate 4, Noah had 2, Hannah had 2, and I had 2. I just said to Ezra, “if I had offered one more to you, could you have eaten it?” He said emphatically, “Yes. Of course!” That’s why I schlep all my cooking stuff here- to please the kids! Just like I loved doing with my own 3 when they were little.    

I tried a new recipe for buttermilk pancakes that’s very similar to my other ones.  I was very happy with the result and so was my own personal Alex Si Hente (from the old Savarin Coffee commercial), my son Benji.  I also made them for my mother’s best friend Adele, and she enjoyed them as well, commenting that she loved my pancakes, but no others!

  • 2 cups organic King Arthur brand unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2  large (the biggest ones in box though or smallest of extra large) eggs, separated
  • 2 cups Friendship 1.5  percent fat (make sure you shake before using) buttermilk 
  • 2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (either salted or unsalted- I happened to use salted)  

First, melt butter in small microwave-safe dish and set aside to cool.  Put dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Measure buttermilk in pyrex glass cup measurer.  Then add egg yolks to the buttermilk. Add melted butter and mix till well blended.

In separate glass bowl by hand with wire whisk or using a hand-held mixer or mixmaster- which is much easier than by hand),mix egg whites till almost stiff, but not quite.

Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and fold in with rubber spatula till almost smooth- but batter still has some lumps.  Then fold in egg whites gently.

Heat non-stick griddle.  Then coat very lightly with safflower or other oil. If you don’t have the oil, use butter, but do not let your butter brown! Scoop 1/4 cup spoonfuls onto hot griddle.   Leave alone till there are a few bubbles on surface of pancakes, and you have the idea that the undersides are brown, use a spatula and peek under.  If sufficiently browned, carefully flip with a wide spatula. Cook till browned nicely on other side.

Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup.

Shirley’s Delicious Garlic Bread

Try This Soft and Garlicky On The Inside And Crunchy On The Outside Garlic Bread!

My mother made this garlic bread to go with one of her Tuesday or Thursday night dinner specials, spaghetti with meat sauce.  Although my mother got the recipe for the meat sauce from her sister-in-law (and my aunt), Sally Hindes, my mother used her own recipe for garlic bread rather than making my Aunt Sally’s amazing garlic toast recipe.  We all loved my mother’s garlic bread in our house, but I know my father loved it best.  In fact, I think the reason my father enjoyed the spaghetti dinner in the first place was because of how much he adored the garlic bread.  My father ate this meal with his fork in one hand and a piece of garlic bread in the other.  When there was no more bread left, he was done eating.  How he loved his bread, and in this case his garlic bread!

  • 1 loaf of Italian bread
  • one stick of Fleischmann’s margarine or 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  • good garlic powder (I use organic McKormick)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the bread once horizontally all the way through so that you have 2 halves.  Then spread a good amount of margarine or butter on each cut side of the bread.  Then sprinkle each side heavily with garlic powder.  Put the bread back together again.  Wrap the bread up in heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Make sure that you use a big enough piece of foil.  Place the bread right in the center of the foil.  Then bring up the foil on each side of the bread so that you can close the foil at the top of the bread.  This way, none of the margarine or butter can leak out of the aluminum foil package as it is baking.  Bake about 30-45 minutes until the bread is starting to get crunchy on the bottom. (I always check the bread after about 25 minutes to see if it is getting too brown.)  When it is done, take it out of the aluminum foil, and cut slices, and serve.

Aunt Sally’s Amazing Garlic Toast

This is my Aunt Sally’s famous garlic bread recipe that she always made to go with her delicious spaghetti with meat sauce. My cousin Janie (Sally’s daughter) makes this as well. I never formally asked for this recipe, but I watched my aunt and my cousin while they made this, so I’m reasonably sure this recipe is accurate. In Janie’s house, this garlic bread is a staple, because Janie still serves her spaghetti and meat sauce once a week (it is her family’s absolute favorite meal), and what good is spaghetti and meat sauce without garlic bread to go with it? I just made this garlic toast for a family get together, and I got lots of compliments. This tasty treat is definitely worth the calories!

    • One loaf of Italian bread (or 2 loaves)
    • at least 2 sticks of margarine or butter, melted
    • lots of garlic powder (use a good brand such as McKormick)
  • paprika (adds color and flavor)
  • kosher salt (I’ts important to add a little, but ONLY if you are using unsalted margarine)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the bread about one inch thick. Then melt the margarine or butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Then sprinkle a good amount of garlic powder into the bowl with the melted margarine or butter. Add a good sprinkling of paprika and mix. The color will look a pretty pinking orange. Then dip each slice of bread into the melted butter/margarine/garlic mixture pretty thoroughly on both sides. Place each piece of bread side by side on a half sheet pan that has been covered with aluminum foil. Place in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until the bread starts to brown on the underside. Then turn each slice of bread over. Bake another 10-15 minutes till brown on the bottom.

Rich and Delicious Spaghetti and Meat Sauce (with or without Meatballs) with Benji’s Version Too

This recipe was adapted from my Aunt Sally’s recipe for her spaghetti and meat sauce.  If I had to name the all-time favorite family recipe of my immediate family and my Aunt Sally and Uncle Nat’s family, it would be this recipe for spaghetti with meat sauce.  My cousins Paul, Bobby, and Janie, and my brother Kenny and I all loved this dish.  And when you are dealing with picky eaters, and my cousin Janie and my brother Kenny would both get first place in that category, that’s pretty good.

My mother made this recipe at least once or twice a month.    My father (Murray Fried) also adored this dish, and it was one of the few meat dishes he really loved.  I can picture my wonderful father sitting across from me eating his spaghetti and sauce with pure delight as he sopped up some of the extra sauce with one piece of garlic bread after another.  My father always had a piece of garlic bread in his left hand at all times!  I still remember the bowl that my mother used to serve the sauce in.  It was a pink, plastic bowl.  (Just the other day when I was over my mother’s house, I checked up in the kitchen cabinet to make sure that pink bowl was still there.  I was actually relieved when I found it.  It’s amazing how we can associate certain inanimate objects with some of our most treasured memories.) Anyway, back in the day when my mother brought that bowl of steaming, red, thick sauce over to the table, I thought I was in heaven!  I couldn’t wait to spoon a ton of that sauce on top of my plate of spaghetti.

When I began to cook for my own family, of course this became one of my children’s favorites.  Of all my children, my youngest son Benji was the one who really went crazy for this.  He literally would (and still does at 18 years old) pick the plate up and lick every last drop of sauce off the plate.  Benji could eat this 3 times a week and never get tired of it.  I loved watching Benji eat his food!  Of course, I also enjoyed cooking this dish for my parents.  I got such pleasure looking across the table at my parents as they enjoyed my spaghetti and meat sauce the same way my parents kvelled  as they watched me devour my plate of spaghetti when I was a child.

The meatballs were something I added because my children started to request them.  My mother contended that there was no need for meatballs, since there was so much meat in the sauce.  But my father loved the meatballs, and so did my children, my husband, and I.  So the meatballs stayed, and I’ve been making the meatballs ever since.  These meatballs are light and juicy and tasty.  Everyone who eats them says they are the best meatballs in the world!

for the sauce:

  • about 2  pounds chop meat- 85% – 90% lean (original recipe called for 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 medium onions or 1 large onion
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 4-26 oz. boxes of Pomi strained tomatoes or 4-28 oz. cans whole plum tomatoes in either thick puree or tomato juice – You don’t need to do anything with the Pomi strained tomatoes; they are already pureed.  If you are using the plum tomatoes in the can, then you will need to put the tomatoes into the bowl of the food processor with the metal blade, reserving the puree or juice in the cans, and pulse until the tomatoes are just slightly chunky- about the consistency of chunky applesauce.  If you use tomatoes in thick puree, your sauce will be thicker.  If you use tomatoes in juice, then your sauce will be a little less thick.  I use the Pomi strained tomatoes because they are amazing, and they don’t need to be chopped or processed in the food processor!)
  • 3 6-oz. cans of tomato paste- I usually use Contadina or organic if I can find it.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • kosher salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • red pepper flakes to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • herbes de provence or Italian seasoning (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • light olive oil- about 1/4 cup

for the meatballs (meatballs are optional):

    • 2 pounds of chop meat (85% – 90% lean)
  • 2 eggs, large or extra large
  • 1/2-3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup ketchup
  • kosher salt, ground or freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and cut onion into quarters.  Put quartered onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse until onions are very finely chopped and look about the consistency of apple sauce.  (In the original recipe, the onions were not this finely chopped, but I started to do this because my children did not like to see pieces of onions in their sauce.) Then peel and crush garlic cloves and set them aside.  Put about 1/4 cup oil in bottom of very large pot.  Sprinkle the red pepper flakes in the oil  Heat for a minute.  Add the onions, and saute for 5 minutes or so until totally translucent.  Add the crushed garlic.  Cook for one minute more.  Add the 2  pounds of chop meat.  Cook for 2 minutes or so.  You do not really want to brown the meat too much.  (I use a potato masher to make sure the meat does not clump up while it is starting to cook.)  Add all of the Pomi strained tomatoes, or all of the plum tomatoes which you have processed as well as the reserved puree or juice.  Then add the tomato paste.  Mix well with a spoon or a potato masher to totally incorporate the meat with the tomatoes. (I use a potato masher because it works great!)  Add salt and pepper.  Cook covered over a low flame for about an hour, mixing every 15 minutes or so.  Then add some more seasonings, the 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a light sprinkling of herbes de provence, and maybe some more salt.  Cook for another half hour to hour,  mixing every 15 minutes.  If you are not adding meatballs, continue to simmer over a very low flame for another 1-2 hours until the sauce has turned a deeper red, and the sauce is done.  Check for seasoning every so often, and add more salt or red pepper flakes if you like your sauce a little hotter.  Your sauce should have cooked somewhere around three hours altogether if you are not making meatballs.

If you are adding meatballs,  prepare them while the sauce is simmering.  You will want to add the meatballs about 1 1/2 hours after the meat sauce has been simmering.  So you have plenty of time to get them ready to go into the pot of sauce.   In a large bowl, place the 2 pounds of chop meat.  Add 2 eggs, about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, about 1/2 cup of ketchup, and about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper .  Mix gently with a large fork or with your clean hands.  If the mixture seems too dry, add a little more ketchup.  If it seems extremely loose, add a little more breadcrumbs.  Do not over-mix.  Make your meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Set them aside on a large plate until you are ready to place them in the sauce.

As mentioned above, add the meatballs into the pot after the sauce has been simmering for  to 1 1/2 hours over a very low flame.  Carefully place the meatballs in the sauce.  Cover the pot, and after about 20 minutes, take the top off, and rotate the meatballs gently.  You can be less gentle after the meatballs have cooked and firmed up some.  Continue to simmer the sauce covered on the lowest flame possible for another 2 hours or so after you put the meatballs in.  During this two hours, mix every 15 minutes or so.  Taste periodically, and add more salt, pepper, hot pepper flakes if you think it’s necessary.  When you mix, be sure to get to the bottom of the pot to insure the sauce doesn’t burn. Serve over pasta.

Note #1:  This sauce is very meaty.  You can reduce the meat to 1 pound or 1 1/2 pounds and the sauce will still turn out great!

Note #2:  Freeze any leftovers in quart containers, dividing the meatballs evenly between the containers.

Note #3:  I usually double this recipe when I make it, and I use 1 huge pot or 2 very large pots.  If you are doubling the recipe, you can reduce the meat in the sauce from 4 to 3 pounds, but still use the 4 pounds of meat for the meatballs, because you can never have too many of these meatballs.

Note #5:  If you enjoy casual entertaining, make this and serve it with salad and garlic bread, and everybody will be happy!  

After I made a batch of the sauce, my son Benji, loved it so much (I think he was a senior in high school around 2007) that he actually sat down on the floor of the family room with me and asked me exactly how I made that particular batch, and wrote down the recipe- so that he could make it someday himself.  I just found his written copy of the recipe (he is now going into his senior year of college), and as a tribute to how much he adored eating it and even more how much I love making it for him and watching him lap it up, I am writing it down here- exactly as he wrote it.

Judy Kahn’s Meatballs & Meatsauce

1) Coat bottom of big pot with olive oil.

2) Crush and put in 7 large garlic cloves.

3) Sautee 1 minute.

4) Put in 2-3 very large chopped in prosessor onions (very fine).

5) Sautee 1-2  min.

6) Put in 2 1/2 – 3 lbs chopped meat.

7) Use potato masher to mash meat.

8) Add 6 boxes of Pomi strained tomatoes (I recently used 3 boxes of Pomi and 3 28 oz. cans of Cento crushed tomatoes in puree)

9) Add 4 small cans of tomato paste (Contadina).

10) Mash up.

11) Add salt & pepper, herbs de provence (1/4 tsp.), 1 tsp. sugar, crushed red pepper (I have since eliminated the herbs de provence)

12) Simmer w/top on (low heat) 1 1/2 hours.

Meatballs

1) 3 lbs. chopped meat.

2) Add 3 eggs.

3) Add 1 cup ketchup.

4) Add 3/4 cup Jason’s plain breadcrumbs ( I now use Trader Joe’s organic bread crumbs)

5) Add salt, pepper.

13) Add meatballs to sauce.

14) Cook 1 1/2 hours low heat (covered).

Delicious Chicken Fricassee

Make this tasty chicken dish that is similar to a stew!

This recipe was adapted from my Aunt Sally’s recipe for chicken fricassee.  My memories of this dish are from when I was growing up.  Chicken fricassee was one of my Aunt Sally’s specialties.  Almost everyone in her family loved that dish, but I think my cousins Bobby and Paul especially loved it.  I don’t think my cousin Janie liked it as a child, because as I recall, Janie only liked 2 things, plain noodles with butter and spaghetti with sauce.   Well, when my Grandpa Hindes was living with my Uncle Nat and my Aunt Sally after my grandmother died, my parents, my brother Kenny and I would go every Friday night to my aunt’s and uncle’s house to visit my grandfather.  Sometimes when we got to the house, the chicken fricassee leftovers from dinner would still be sitting out on the counter.  As I walked through the kitchen to go into the porch where my grandfather would be sitting and watching tv, I would literally stare at the plate of leftovers.  Yes, my mouth would start to water just looking at the chicken.  The smell was incredible, and aesthetically, I just liked the way the dish looked. My cousins Bobby and Paul would usually be watching tv in the porch too.  Inevitably, they’d get up and make themselves plates of the leftover chicken fricassee.   I was so jealous.  I wanted a plate too, but I never had the nerve to ask.  Sometimes, I’d go in the kitchen and steal a little taste.  It was so delicious!  Another memory I have associated with this dish is that when my Grandma Fried died and we were sitting shiva at my Aunt Florence and Uncle Larry’s house, my Aunt Sally made a hug shissel of her chicken fricassee for our whole family.  Even in the midst of mourning, I specifically remember how delighted I was that my Aunt Sally cooked this for us.  How I was loved eating this chicken!

  • 2 largish or 1 very large onion- medium dice
  • 5-8 garlic cloves- chopped
  • 5 large chicken breast pieces on the bone or one whole chicken cut up in eighths
  • 1-  28 ounce can of whole peeled organic tomatoes in tomato juice (crush by hand or roughly chop), including juice in the can
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)- (I don’t use the wine!)- Sept. 2011)
  • 1 bunch fresh organic carrots, peeled and cut up into large chunks
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil – extra virgin- organic preferable- or light is fine too
  • rice or egg noodles for serving

Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper,  garlic powder, and a lot of paprika.  Set aside.

Peel and chop onion to your liking, either diced or roughly chopped.   (If your children don’t like to see pieces of onion in their food, you can chop the onion finely in the food processor, using the metal blade.)  Then peel garlic, crush it, and set aside.

Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven, or a large and deep frying pan, or large saucepan.  Put onion in, and saute over medium flame.  When onion is almost translucent, put the garlic in.  Season the onion and garlic mixture with salt and pepper.  Saute for another minute or two.   Place the chicken pieces in the pot or pan, and brown lightly on one side over a medium-low flame.  Turn the chicken, and brown on the other side.  (After you turn it, sprinkle it with a little more paprika.) After chicken in lightly browned on both sides, pour the chopped tomatoes and juice in- I just squeeze the tomatoes by hand as I drop them in, put the cut up carrots in, and add the white wine (optional).  Put the top on.  Cook about 45 min. or so, over a low to medium heat to maintain a definite simmer.  Give chicken a light sprinkling of paprika once or twice.  Take the breasts out, and turn off the flame.  Let the chicken cool so you can handle it.  Then take the skin off, and take the meat off the bone, breaking it by hand or cutting it into nice bite size pieces.  Then put all the chicken back in the pot.  Put the top on, and simmer over lowest flame another 30 minutes or so.  Start preparing either rice or noodles to serve it with.  You can keep dish at a simmer while the rice is cooking ; the chicken won’t dry out if it cooks a little longer.  You may do a few things at this point.  You can serve the chicken on top of rice or noodles on a platter, or you can serve the rice or noodles separately.

If you like, you do not have to take the meat off the bone- just cook the chicken in the pot initailly about 15 minutes longer and serve on the bone.

Note:  If you want to make this according to my Aunt Sally’s recipe, serve the chicken on the bone.    

Delicious Potato Kugel (for Passover or Anytime at all)

Make this  kugel- it’s like making a giant potato latke!

When I hear the phrase “potato kugel”, I remember back to when I was a very little girl.  My Grandma Fried lived in a small apartment in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  Maybe once a month, my father would take my brother Kenny and me to visit her.  My Grandma Fried was a very kind, sweet woman who had had a very hard life.  She was a very loving grandmother.  What I remember so well is when we walked into the apartment building, I immediately smelled the delicious aroma of my grandmother’s potato kugel.  I know that my father loved her potato kugel.  When I got married, I started to develop my own recipe for potato kugel.  My goal was to create a dish that would taste just like the best potato latke only bigger.  I achieved my goal.  This potato kugel recipe is perfect.  When you take a bite, it’s a little greasy, a little crunchy, and oh, so good! I like to make this recipe as a side dish for Rosh Hashana, Passover, or Shabbat.  It is so easy to make, and everyone loves it!

For a 10 x 15 baking dish                        For a 9 x 13 baking dish 

  • 5 pounds baking potatoes                              9 large potatoes

  • 7 extra large eggs                                            4 extra large eggs

  • 4 medium-large onions                                   3 med.-large onions

  • heavy 1 1/3 cups matzoh meal                     2/3 cup matzoh meal

  • 1 cup corn oil                                                    3/4 cup corn oil

  • additional oil for greasing dish                       additional oil

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt                                 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper                                  1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut potatoes into quarters.  Peel onions and cut into quarters.  Place one third of eggs, potatoes and onions into a blender.  Blend until mixture is the consistency of applesauce.  Pour the mixture into a very large mixing bowl.  Repeat this two more times to use all potatoes, onions, and eggs.  Then add matzoh meal, salt, and pepper to the potato mixture.  Mix with rubber spatula.

Grease the sides and bottom of either your 10 x 15 or the 9 x 13 pyrex baking dish with oil .  Then pour either the 1 cup or the 3/4 cup of oil into the dish.  Place in oven for about 5 minutes to get the oil really hot.  (If you think you might forget that your oil is  in the oven, skip this step and just pour the room temperature oil into the batter; otherwise, you will have a fire if you leave the oil in the oven too long!) Then take the dish with the hot oil out of the oven and pour the hot oil into the potato mixture.  Mix with a rubber spatula to incorporate the oil.  Then pour the batter into the greased baking dish.  Bake for about 1 hour.  Take out of oven, and shmear a few additional tablespoons of oil over the top of the kugel.  Place back in oven for another 15-30 minutes until the top is very brown.  The kugel should be well browned on the bottom, the sides, and the top.

Note:  You may make this a day or two in advance, and then reheat it in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.

Shirley Fried’s Easy Hot Dog and Baked Beans Casserole

My mother got this recipe from my Aunt Sally.  My Aunt Sally made this every year for her Mother’s Day barbecue. My mother started the tradition of including this recipe every year for our annual Father’s Day Barbecue when I was growing up.  Father’s Day was the one day of the year when we had both my mother’s and my father’s sides of the family over.  It was a wonderful event even though it was a lot of work.  The guest list included my father’s wonderful family- my Grandma Fried, my Uncle Larry, my Aunt Florence, and my three cousins, Karen, David, and Debbie.  Then we had my mother’s equally wonderful family- my Grandma and Grandpa Hindes, my Uncle Nat, my Aunt Sally, and my three cousins, Paul, Bobby, and Janie.  The reason the occasion was so wonderful and so meaningful for me and for my brother Kenny was because it honored my father, Murray Fried, who was absolutely the best father in the entire world!

Our menu on Father’s Day was pretty simple.  We had vegetables and dip, chopped liver with party rye, whitefish salad, barbecued london broil (little rolls from Margie’s Cake Box for steak sandwiches), sauteed mushrooms and onions, hamburgers and hot dogs, french fries, potato salad and coleslaw, sliced Jersey tomatoes, sliced red onions, sliced pickles, this hot dog and baked beans casserole in my mother’s brown Dansk 9 by 13 dish, homemade blueberry pies with vanilla ice cream, chocolate chip squares, and fresh fruit.

This casserole was so easy to make, and it was such a crowd pleaser. Everyone always asked if it was on the menu!

  • 12 kosher hot dogs (Hebrew National or Shofar), cut up into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cans Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans
  • 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Heinz ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together; you can do this right in the 9 x 13 baking dish you will be baking and serving this in.  Bake this uncovered for 1 hour or until it is bubbly.  Half way through the cooking time, mix once.

Note:  You may do all steps except for the cooking 1 or 2 days ahead and keep refrigerated until you are ready to bake it.

Shirley’s Refreshing Lime Jello Mold

Add this refreshing and colorful treat to a  brunch buffet!

This is a recipe that I loved as a child and still love as an adult.  My mother, Shirley Fried made this recipe for some special occasions.  When my sons, Danny and Benji had their brisses, I made full brunches that were served buffet style.  I included this jello mold, and it really made a hit.

    • 4 3-oz. boxes of lime jello
    • 6 cups of liquid (liquid which was drained from crushed pineapple along with boiling water)
  • 16 oz. crushed pineapple in natural juice
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 20 maraschino cherries, cut in fourths (optional-I prefer it without)

Dissolve jello in the boiling water and pineapple juice in a large mixing bowl.  Place bowl in refrigerator.  When the jello has cooled, but has not begun to jell, take it out and add the sour cream.  Mix in the sour cream using a whisk or the whisk attachment of your mixer.

By hand, add the pineapple and the cherries.  Pour mixture into a large mold.  Refrigerate overnight.  When you are ready to unmold, put the stopper in the sink.  Add a little warm water in the sink.  Put the mold in.  The water should come up halfway to the top of the jello mold.  Swish in water for about 30 seconds.  Then take out of sink.  Place serving platter on top of mold.  Invert.  Jello should come down.  If it doesn’t, then put it back in the warm water for another 30 seconds and repeat.  Refrigerate the mold until you are ready to serve it.

Shirley’s Delicious and Easy Beef Stew

My mother, Shirley Fried, loved this recipe.  She got it from her best friend, Adele Hochheiser.  Adele was a wonderful Jewish cook.  As a child, I loved going over to Adele’s house because of all the delicious food preparations and food goings on there.  I especially loved being there for one of her Friday night (Shabbat) dinners.  The smells in her house were intoxicating.  One of my vivid childhood memories is going over for dinner to the Hochheiser’s on the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth.  We ate dinner in the beautifully decorated succah at least 3 times during my childhood.  What a treat!  Those dinners in the succah were so delicious.  The whole experience of eating dinner with the Hochheiser family, with Al and Adele and their three girls, Gail, Rhonda, and Nancy was wonderful.  The dinner I remember best is when Adele made duck with a cherry sauce. It was elegant and delicious.  Now, getting back to this stew recipe, I really have not changed Adele’s original stew recipe at all.  My ex-husband, Joe Kahn loved this stew, but my mother loved it the most.  I have made this stew for my mother often.  She freezes it and eats it for much loved meals during the winter.  My mother likes to eat it over brown rice.

    • 2-3 pounds chuck stew meat
    • 2-3 cans Condensed Rokeach Mushroom and Barley Soup
    • 2-3 small 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
    • 1 large onion, peeled (whole)
    • kosher salt
    • pepper
    • corn or light olive oil

Put a little corn oil or light olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  Put the stew meat in pot, and season the meat with salt and pepper.  Brown the meat.  Pour off any fat, or drain the beef in a colander and then return to the pot.  Add the soup and the tomato sauce.  Peel the onion, pierce it with the prongs of a fork to allow the juices to flow out of it as it cooks, and add it to the pot.  Add a little water, so that the meat is almost covered with liquid.  Bring to a simmer over a medium flame, and then cover the pot.  Cook about 2 1/2 to 3 hours over a very low flame or until the meat is very tender.  Season to taste with additional pepper.

Note:  You don’t need to go too heavy on the salt, because the salt content in the soup is very high already.