kosher cooking 248.88.
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Many people who like to cook have a habit of cutting recipes out of newspapers and magazines but never seem to find time to glue them onto cards or into notebooks. Computers are a solution for calling up existing recipes and typing in your own for long-term storage. This disk focuses on the kosher crowd, with 100 different recipes, leaving space for adding new ones, plus generating grocery lists according to the number of portions you want and printing the recipes on index cards or any-sized pieces of paper. They are also listed according to the level of difficulty in making them and preparation and cooking times.
The recipes range from proven Shabbat recipes to gourmet foods, as well as "Beauty's Secret Recipes" for minimizing puffiness around the eyes, soothing rough elbows and preparing natural skin masks. There are no photos of the completed dishes, but you can add some you've snapped to the data bank if you like, as well as any tips. Everything you want appears in a split second.
The recipes, alphabetized from appleberry cobbler to zucchini mushroom kugel, are varied and interesting, although a large number are desserts (apparently the favorite part of American Jews' meals).
I really enjoyed three cooking videos of several minutes each, apparently not made by TES but obtained from others. One shows a young religious woman making the easy, low-calorie cobbler. Another presents a professional chef turning melons and pineapples into gorgeous dessert displays. The third shows a businessman who creates attractive food topiaries of dried fruit, chocolate and other food items stuck with toothpicks into a large Styrofoam ball and topped with artificial flowers. If you have collected cooking videos, you can store them in the program as well.
There are enough obese children out there without the need for a DVD to teach youngsters to make junk food full of sugar, empty calories and artificial coloring. That is what this disk - apparently the beginning of a series - does, apparently without even thinking about the damage such a diet could cause. It stars Yehuda Lazarus, a South African Orthodox Jewish boy around bar mitzva age, and his sidekick and sister Rivkeh.
Both are charming and intelligent kids, but he - wearing a tall chef's hat and uniform - is absolutely obese and the owner of a double chin. They demonstrate how to prepare a "Shabbat party" based solely on fattening desserts they whip up in their well-equipped home kitchen. Being religious, they dot the content with halachic items such as the need to sift flour to remove bugs, check raw eggs for blood spots and recite the correct blessing on the food.
On the menu are chocolate cupcakes heaped with artificial whipped cream and decorations, caramel popcorn, ice cream "floats" combining blue, green and orange frozen parve cream and artificially colored soft drinks and more. No sign of fresh fruits, vegetables or any other recipe that adds nutrition. The format did not allow printing out of instructions - which probably is a blessing.
To his credit, when told about my verdict on the DVD, the head of TES said he took the criticism to heart and would produce a nutritious sequel.