It's that time of year again...post-Labor Day Pop Up Foodie Shabbat at BZBI! We were back at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philly to do another Marom Shabbat and Pop Up Foodie Shabbat dinner. Last year was a huge success, so we're doing it again with a new menu. this year's theme? BBQ. Can you say "yum"?
We thought a good, Southern style barbecue menu would be great for a celebration of the end of summer, plus feed lots of hungry foodies! The most important part of the menu was the sauce. How can you cook bbq without a good bbq sauce? We cooked up a big batch of a sweet and spicy peach bbq sauce. What could be bad about that? That same bbq sauce was used go baste and glaze the main dish of the night: BBQ Chicken. Now, no bbq dinner is complete without some side dishes. We also cooked up some BBQ Baked Beans with smoked turkey hocks to flavor them, tangy and creamy Southern Style Potato Salad, cool and sweet Cucumber Salad, freshly-baked Cornbread, and warm Peach Cobbler for dessert. The food was so good we had to take some home for leftovers! But first, we feast. Nomnom!
As we continued to celebrate J2Food's 1st anniversary, we hosted another event in NYC. Shabbat Under The Stars ended up being a rousing success, especially thanks to the support of OneTable and Moishe House Without Walls, and we had over 100 people come for delicious Mediterranean food and an awesome rooftop Shabbat experience. We had young Jews from a variety of backgrounds, and it was wonderful to see so many new faces and bring the Pop Up Foodie Shabbat experience to the masses. Moroccan Spiced Grilled Chicken, Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad, Roasted Vegetable and Pesto Pasta, Mediterranean Citrus Rice as well as a Spicy Chickpea and Eggplant Stew were on the menu, followed by decadent, homemade Peach Cobbler. Yum! We can't wait for the next event. Stay tuned!
In honor of J2Food's one year anniversary, we returned to Philadelphia--the City of Brotherly Love--where it all began last year, and partnered up with Hillel's Jewish Graduate Student Network for a Summer In The City Shabbat. We decided to go with an old school theme, and what's more old school than Italian? We got 40 people to come out for a delicious and homemade Italian buffet made up of some our signature dishes. Freshly baked garlic bread challah, tangy Caesar salad, pasta with slow cooked veal and beef bolognese, roasted chicken thighs with sun-dried tomato aioli, spinach and caramelized onions as well as a moist vanilla cake with macerated strawberries with balsamic. Mangia!
We had a blast last night at Tribe12 Fellowships's 2017 Launch Night at NMAJH! We're proud to have started our J2Food journey through Tribe12 and to be part of the Fellows' alumni.
Passover is one of our favorite holidays. Why? It's all about eating: three sheets of matzah, two Seder meals, gefilte fish, matzah brei...you name it! And, personally, it's all delicious. This year's holiday was an especially busy time for J2Food. Not only was there cooking to be done for two large Seders, but each of us hosted a Shabbat dinner in a different city across the country from each other! The first was the "Judios Unidos Seder" in Philadelphia featuring a delicious, Latin spin on the traditional Seder. The menu featured flavorful dishes like ropa vieja, "gefilte fish" ceviche, rice and beans and more.
Our second Passover Shabbat dinner was "Shabbat On The Bayou" in New Orleans' French Quarter, a special Cajun edition of Pop Up Foodie Shabbat with a bold menu of matzah meal fried chicken, spicy chicken and sausage gumbo, braised greens and more. Big flavor in the Big Easy! The food ended up being delicious, and might have to become a regular event!
Exciting news: J2Food was live on Empire Radio on February 24, 2017. Listen to us talk all about J2Food, our foodie mission, our Pop Up Foodie Shabbat program, and the future for J2Food's culinary journey.
Chanukah is a wonderful holiday. Is it because of the eight days of presents? Nope. The shiny gelt (chocolate coins) that you can win from playing dreidel? That's good, but still not the best. It's because everyone loves latkes. I mean, they're basically fried potatoes, and on Chanukah we're commanded to eat fried things. How awesome is that? But there's always the great latke debate: sour cream or applesauce? I've seen families and friendships torn apart over the answer...very sad. In our house, we are very diplomatic and serve both with out latkes (though personally I'm a bit more #TeamSourCream. #SorryNotSorry.
For this year's Chanukah, we teamed up with the Moishe House in Murray Hill, NYC. They provided the space, we made the food, and the people came and had an awesome time. On the menu was Baked Ziti wth Roasted Tomato Sauce and Ricotta, Homemade Pesto Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Parmesan, and, of course, latkes. To make it extra special, we came up with a new latke recipe we like to call Spanilatkas, made with spinach and feta cheese. They were super delicious and perfect with some sour cream tzatziki sauce. Thanks for having us Moishe House, and Happy Chanukah everyone!
Not to brag, but we pretty much rocked the house at this year's Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festival. J2Food had its own table in the Community Marketplace and, of course, we had to bring something delicious for everyone to taste. We made over 300 Stuffed Mushrooms that people seemed to love--they were vegetarian and stuffed with a mixture of cheeses, textured vegetable protein, bread crumbs, and spices. By the end of the day all the mushrooms were gone, which I guess means we did our jobs. It was great connecting with other Jewish foodies from Philly as well as the surrounding areas, and it was great to feed the masses :)
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We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend--we definitely did! It was filled with lots of eating, cooking, family, friends and shopping! Did you remember to get a great Black Friday deal?
The weekend started out with a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with all the traditional favorites: Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing, Green Beans Almondine, Lemon Pepper Crescent Rolls and Pumpkin Pie. If that wasn't enough, the weekend continued with Shabbatsgiving, a special holiday edition of "Pop Up Foodie Shabbat," with support from OneTable.
Finally, on Saturday night we catered a pre-game party and provided delicious appetizers like Buffalo Chicken Bites, Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Stuffed Mushrooms, Sweet Potato Pancakes garnished with Soy Sour Cream and Black Olive Tapenade, Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad, Meatball Sliders as well as Vanilla and Peanut Butter Cookies. They were all a big hit and there wasn't much left at the end of the night.
Overall, a very successful and exhausting holiday weekend! And....we can't wait to do it again! Stay tuned for more great events with delicious dishes and fabulous feasts. Don't forget to check out J2Food's table at the Hazon Philadelphia Jewish Food Festival on December 11th!
So our first official Pop Up Foodie Shabbat event in NYC was a big success with almost 50 people attending! We were originally planning for about 20-30 people, but people were very excited to come for delicious dinner and it ballooned from there. Luckily, we were able to partner up on this event as hosts for Moishe House Without Walls and OneTable. OneTable is a program to help people attend or host a Shabbat dinner by providing hosting nourishment for food or entertainment costs, and Moishe House Without Walls has a similar program for community members who have participated in their retreats and Moishe House programs in the past.
We had access to a beautiful, large sukkah and courtyard on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and tons of people came out for our Italian themed meal. There was lots of wine, lots of delicious food including Pasta Bolognese, Chicken Marsala, Spring Pea Risotto, Brownie Pie, and even homemade Garlic Bread Challah with an Arugula Pesto. Yum! The night ended up being great with the weather clearing up just in time for a beautiful Shabbat dinner in (and out of) the sukkah. Stay tuned for the next event!
Sometimes we're in a funny mood--and we can be extremely punny, and funny. We promise.... We got a submission through our Contact Form about catering a special Shabbat dinner for Repair The World: Philadelphia and were super psyched. For those who don't know, RTW is a grass roots organization in various cities around the country aimed at mobilizing young Jewish adults to give back and help people and neighborhoods in their city. On October 7th, they were having their first event of the year, Turn The Tables: An Intersection of Racial and Food Justice, "Nourished by OneTable". OneTable is another great organization that aims to make Shabbat more accessible to people in their 20s and 30s. They wanted the food to be accessible to whoever attended the event, so we decided to go with an all Kosher, all vegan, all delicious menu. Roasted Butternut Squash soup with a hint of curry and cinnamon was followed up by a Moroccan Eggplant and Chickpea Stew that had a bit of a kick from the Harissa paste folded in. To go with the stew, we had a jazzed up rice with roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, raising and spices, along with Roasted Brussel Sprouts with caramelized onions and fresh apples. It was a true Shabbat feast, and definitely not your ordinary Friday night dinner. Another successful event, this time vegan-style!
We've made it to the big leagues! Tonight was the Marom Kabbalat and Pop Up Foodie Shabbat for Young Professionals at Temple BZBI. As the number of attendees steadily climbed all week before the event, we were a little nervous...especially as half of our duo was going abroad the day of the event. Luckily, we have awesome friends (Thanks Polly!) and were working with an amazing partner in BZBI so there were two amazing sous chefs to prep for the over 80 people that came to the event. We wanted to make the menu festive, so we baked challah from scratch that was perfectly dippable into our trio of spreads: the most delicious chopped liver, smoky and spicy roasted eggplant babaghanoush, and smooth and creamy lemon hummus. Each table got its own set of dips so no one felt left out. Next the buffet was opened with platters of Moroccan Chicken Tagine (succulent spice-rubbed chicken braised with preserved lemon, roasted carrots and onions, green olives, dried apricots and chicken stock on the stove until the meat was so tender that you didn't even need a knife. In addition, we had couscous studded with roasted pistachios, dried cranberries and caramelized onions on the side, and as a vegetarian (or non-veggie) alternative was old-world style stuffed cabbage in a sweet-and-sour sauce made from raisins, tomatoes, brown sugar and lots of love and stuffed with a seasoned blend of soy ground and rice. For dessert, we had hot apple crisp fresh from the oven. Afterwards, guests got to participate in a beautiful, spiritual Kabbalat Shabbat program together as a community. Everyone seemed to have loved the food, so mission accomplished!
[Special thanks to Alicia for being an amazing sous chef and letting us take over your kitchen for almost two days. Could not have done it without you.]
Our friends Tamara recently moved into a new house in South Philly and what better way to break in a new home than with food? And she knows that we make some of the best food around! The menu was eclectic--lemon hummus, chunky guacamole, pasta with homemade pesto sauce, and chicken satay skewers with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce. The food was a hit and we now know that the kitchen is up to par. Can't wait to feed you again!
It's been such a busy summer for us, but it was a farewell Shabbat dinner at Moishe House Philadelphia, so of course we had to make a special meal--and we were feeling Italian last week! Homemade garlic croutons were made from Ciabatta bread to go into a classic Caesar Salad with crisp romaine and a zesty, tangy homemade Caesar dressing. Up next was a grilled flatbread with garlicky, herb-roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella and basil. For the main course, we made a couple of large roasted vegetable lasagnas layered with mozzarella cheese, spinach and ricotta, parmesan, roasted onions, squash and zucchini, and a homemade mushroom marinara sauce. If that wasn't enough, for dessert we used Giada di Laurentiis' recipe for tasty Tiramisu. It was a delicious dinner and everyone went home filled to the brim with food and nourishment. Buonissimo!
What an awesome night! Our friend Danielle really wanted to do something to help Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, and came up with the idea of having a fundraising dinner--that's where we came in. This was no ordinary dinner, rather it was a special edition of Pop Up Foodie Shabbat, a Battle of the Chefs! J2Food's owners and chefs Jonathan Hartig and Jonathan Schechter cooked head-to-head, knife-to-knife in order to impress the judging panel by creating beautiful, gourmet dishes while also utilizing a new secret ingredient for each round. We went all out! Crispy salmon cakes with a mustard vinaigrette and caviar, spicy Thai chicken curry with coconut rice, fresh pasta with a veal bolognese, whole grilled chickens with a spicy hoisin glaze, and a collaborative tropical coconut blondie with caramel and strawberry coulis for dessert. Yum, how good does that sound! Battle of the Chefs for Hillary was a big success and we raised almost $1000 for the campaign! #ImWithDinner