Cookbook by Chicago Hadassah chapter

By Sybil Kaplan

January 30, 2012

B’te Avon III Tasteful Treasures from North Boundary Hadassah, 3-ring binder, $25 plus $7 postage and handling; order from or North Boundary Hadassah, 4711 Golf Road, Skokie, IL. 50076

For the 40-some years I’ve been involved with food as a food writer, cookbook author and cookbook reviewer, I have maintained that cookbooks created with contributions by individuals were the best cookbooks. Grass roots contributors were creative, resourceful, original, imaginative and inventive.

Many of these were produced as fundraisers for organizations as is the case with this cookbook by a 40-year-old Chicago Hadassah chapter.

Having served as president of the Hadassah region adjacent to the big chapter of Chicago Hadassah gave me the opportunity to know and work with 10 of these women plus one recent new member from Kansas.

It was a great joy to peruse the pages and make notes of recipes I want to try. The three-ring notebook format is functional and user friendly and the enormous collection makes it an extremely practical book. Each recipe in this kosher cookbook has indication whether it is dairy, meat or pareve.

Whatever you want is here – 29 appetizers, 4 beverages, 43 soups, 39 salads, 5 salad dressings, 7 casseroles, 21 side dishes, 9 pastas and pizza, 20 rice and potatoes, 10 fruit relishes and molds, 36 vegetables, 26 meat, 47 poultry, 4 meat and poultry toppings/sauces, 28 fish, 18 dairy, 14 breads, 4 rolls and muffins, 23 bars and brownies, 32 cakes, 13 cheesecakes, 7 candy/nuts/seeds, 34 cookies, 10 frozen desserts, 14 pastries, 19 pies, 4 tarts, 23 microwave dishes, 8 slow cooker dishes, 36 holiday recipes, 4 challot and a Passover chapter that is like its own book with 70 recipes.

There is an index of contributors with recipe names and pages and an index of recipes by categories.

Among the many recipes I liked are: Couscous chicken salad; cheesy potato bake; chicken and vegetable tagine; chocolate chip banana bread; orange snowballs; and chocolate chip mandel bread for Passover.

Was there anything I would change? Yes. Many pages had blank space which could have been used for a sentence or two by the contributor giving the recipe’s origins, how long he or she had made it and why it was being included. Also the number of servings was missing from some of the recipes.

If you’re looking for a special gift, order a copy of this cookbook. It will delight anyone who receives it – a new bride, someone celebrating a birthday or anniversary, a house gift or a holiday present – and buy one for yourself. Below are some recipes from B’te Avon III.

Broccoli Noodle Casserole
8 oz. med. noodles, cooked and drained
1 env. onion soup
1 (10 oz) pkg. broccoli, thawed and drained
3 lrg. eggs, beaten
1 cup non-dairy creamer
1/8 lb. pareve margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray pan bottom of 8x8 ovenproof dish. Mix all ingredients and place in dish. Bake for 55 minutes.

Oh, Nuts!
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
1 (1-lb) bag pecans
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Froth the egg and water. Coat the pecans in this mixture. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Toss the coated pecans in this mixture. Spread into a greased 9x11 ovenproof pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. Spread onto a cookie sheet to cool. Store in a sealable bag or covered container.

Grilled Chinese Chicken Burgers
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 green onion, minced
1 tsp. five-spice powder
1/4 cup bread crumbs, ground fine
1/3 cup hoisin sauce

In a large bowl, place chicken, water chestnuts, cilantro, onion, five-spice powder, bread crumbs, and 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce. Mix until just combined. Form into 4 patties of equal size. Grill until done and brush with hoisin sauce.

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