After years in the making, it’s finally here! Real Life Kosher Cooking by Miriam Pascal!
Whew. I can’t believe I’m finally done with writing and photographing my cookbook, and that the day has come for me to really tell you all about it.
Real Life Kosher Cooking / Available November 2017
Published by Shaar Press – ArtScroll Mesorah Publications
Note: This post is super long. If you want to skip the details you can click here instructions on how to pre-order the book and get a signed copy and exclusive savings!
Firstly, let’s talk about the timeline. I know I told you about it back in May, but that isn’t even close to when I actually started on this book! Would you be surprised to learn that I started working on Real Life Kosher Cooking a few days after I finished writing Something Sweet! It’s kind of crazy, because writing a cookbook is the toughest, most stressful, most time consuming thing I ever did, but as I was finishing, I knew immediately that I wanted to write another one. And of course, I knew my next book would have “real food.”
When I say I started working on the book, I don’t mean that I got right to the kitchen to cook. Nope, first I started planning. I knew that if I was going to write a “real food” cookbook, it would have to be totally comprehensive. You guys know me. You know I’m a people pleaser. You know that when you ask for a recipe, I always want to have an option (or five!) for you. So I planned and I planned. I thought about all kinds of occasions. I thought about having recipes that you would need for weekday, and plenty for special occasions. I thought about extras that many cookbooks don’t have, like breakfasts, drinks, sauces, etc. And after weeks and weeks of planning, I started to cook. And cook. And cook. And two years later, it’s finally here: Real Life Kosher Cooking!
So here’s the breakdown of the chapters in Real Life Kosher Cooking:
1) Breakfast and Bread
In this chapter, I’ve got healthy weekday breakfast that you can eat on the go, I’ve got special occasion breakfast to make for a treat, and I’ve got delicious stuff for a leisurely brunch. In the bread section, I’ve got various delicious challah recipes, plus some interesting options like Cornbread with Onion Jam (I’m obsessed with that recipe!).
2) Appetizers and Snacks When working on this chapter, I wanted to make sure I had a good assortment of appetizers in pareve, dairy and meat. I made sure to have some healthy, some more of a treat. There are some that are fairly simple, and some that are really elegant – perfect for a yom tov meal or a fancy sheva brachos. I’ve also got a page with my secret to the easiest pulled beef EVAH, plus 8(!!!) different things to do with it! And for snacks? Oh you’re going to love my flavored popcorns, my homemade bagel chips, and more!
3) Salads and Spreads This chapter was so hard to write, because I wanted to include hundreds of salads and I didn’t have space! 🙁 I knew I wanted to include some really easy salads, but I didn’t want to waste a whole page spread for each one, so I found a great solution. I have a page with 4 different homemade salad dressings, then I put a note for each one what toppings and veggies to include in the salad with that dressing! So basically, it’s four super easy salad recipes on one page! For the other pages, I knew I needed to divvy it up carefully. I wanted meat/chicken salads, pareve salads, quinoa salad, cabbage salad, veggie salad, and of course, plenty of dips! You’re going to love the salads I came up with!
4) Soups and Stews Ah soups! If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know how much I love them, so naturally I needed to include a great variety of them. I have parve soups and meat soups, I have pureed soups and chunky soups, I have light soups and hearty soups, and I’ve got some meal-in-a-bowl soups. Basically, everything you need!
5) Meat and Poultry This is definitely the longest section in the book, with a ton of recipes for everyday and plenty for yom tov and occasions as well! Before I started working on it, I divided it up – some pages for chicken cutlets, some for chicken on the bone. Some for roast, some for every day meat. I’ve got a bunch of ideas for ground meat, I’ve got steak, I’ve got crockpot recipes, I’ve got sweet chickens and chickens without any sugar at all. Ditto for roasts – both sweet and savory. And something I’m really proud of? There isn’t a single fried recipe in the entire chapter!!
6) Dairy and Meatless Mains I think this is the chapter that people are most in suspense about, because everyone wants to know if I have fish recipes in my book. The answer is……yes! I do. Not tons, which is why I combined it with dairy recipes, but some of my foodie friends and family stepped in to help me create, test and taste the fish dishes to make sure they are perfect! Of course, I’ve also got dairy – weeknight pastas, fancier pastas, pizza, panini, and even a page with a DIY pasta bar – complete with sauce recipes, topping ideas and recipes, and ideas for setting it up! I actually photographed that page during the 9 days, and my family and neighbors had such a party!
7) Vegetables and Sides My family members who have seen (and tasted) much of the book say that this is my strongest chapter. I dunno, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but they have a point! If you’re always looking for new things to do with a potato, or if you’re in need of some new veggie ideas, you’re going to love the assortment I came up with here! It’s divided between starchy sides and veggie sides. I made sure to use all kinds of vegetables for variety. And there’s a crazy awesome new potato recipe that I served at a barbecue in the summer, and people there said they were buying the book for that recipe alone!
8) Desserts and Drinks Some of you might have thought that I wouldn’t include these, because I wrote a whole book of desserts, but obviously I have to include some! I tried to keep these desserts pretty easy, but there are also a few that are fancier, for those times that you need a WOW factor. I also did a few recipes plated fancy, to give you some ideas for your own simcha plating. And the drinks! Ok I need to admit that I probably tested the cocktail recipes in this book because after all the hard work I was doing, I needed an excuse for a drink! 😉 I also have a copycat coffee drink that my friend and I are obsessed with, plus my new favorite milkshake recipe. Ugh, I kinda want to go pull out my blender now and make it.
9) Baked Goods and Pastries Same as chapter 8 – I needed plenty of these, even though I wrote a book of them. You’ll find a bunch of no-margarine treats in this chapter, including some awesome cookie bars with a ton of variations! I made cupcakes with a no margarine frosting (I KNOW!) and some bundt cakes that are guaranteed to be your new favorites.
10) Sauces and Staples Is it crazy that with all the amazing recipes in my book, this is my favorite?! Firstly, I got so much feedback from people who loved the similar chapter I had in Something Sweet, with sauces, frostings and glazes, that I knew I needed to do a similar one. So while these aren’t necessarily recipes to enjoy on their own, I know you’re going to turn to this chapter over and over for things like my insanely good onion sauce, homemade croutons, dessert sauces, and what’s possibly my favorite page in the book: a page full of take-out style dipping sauce recipes!
Whew. And that’s the book. Two years. A billion pounds of fruits, vegetables, proteins, flour, sugar and more. Countless sleepless nights. Over 160 recipes, with a photo for each one. Each one was tested by myself, and at least one other person, to ensure they’re perfect. Each one is something I make and serve to my family. Each one is a part of my Real Life, and will soon become part of yours.
And now, let me answer some frequently asked questions!
Q: Are these new recipes, or previously published?
A: The vast majority of the recipes in Real Life Kosher Cooking are brand new, with a few favorites from the blog and my magazine column, and some of those have been given a whole new twist! Overall, at least 3/4 of the book are new, never published recipes!
Q: When will the book be in stores? What about international stores?
A: The release date for Real Life Kosher Cooking is mid November, and it will be sold in any store that sells ArtScroll books. If you don’t live in the US, don’t worry, ArtScroll has international distributors, so the book will be available in Canada, Israel, Europe, South Africa and Australia too! In the meantime, the book is available for pre order through amazon and ArtScroll – scroll down for links and info on how to get a signed copy!
Q: Are there fish recipes in this book?
A: If you’re a follower for a while, you may know that I don’t like or eat any kind of fish. Therefore, people have been wondering for a while whether or not there would be fish recipes in Real Life Kosher Cooking. And the answer is…yes! Some of my foodie friends (who’s names you may recognize) have contributed recipes. In addition, I came up with a few, and they were heavily tested and tasted to make sure they’re as good as the other recipes, if not better!
Q: Who came up with the title of the book?
A: It’s actually kind of a funny story, but the short story is that I did. It was originally going to be the sub-title of the book, but after months of desperately searching for a title, my publisher and I decided that Real Life Kosher Cooking was just the best option – it describes me and my cooking style so perfectly!
Q: Is the layout of this book similar to Something Sweet?
A: Yes! So many people remarked how much they loved the layout of Something Sweet, and how easy it was to follow, so we definitely kept it very similar! We changed some colors, some title fonts, and a few other small things, but overall, this will feel very similar to Something Sweet in terms of looks.
Q: Is there anything to look forward to aside from recipes?
A: You bet! As you have come to expect from me, every recipe has “plan ahead” instructions, which tell you if the recipe can be frozen, and gives details on how exactly you can freeze, reheat, etc.
I’ve also included a pesach guide, which shows you which recipes from the book you can make on pesach, and lists any necessary changes.
One of the questions I get all the time is about menus, so in this book, I have placed menus for various family and special occasions to help you plan. I’ve also included some general cooking tips, and tons of variations on the recipes!
Q: Can I get a signed copy?
A: You bet! Scroll down for info!
How To Preorder a Signed Copy:
Because so many of you asked, I worked out a deal with my publisher, ArtScroll, to give you an option to get a signed copy!
To get a signed copy, pre-order Real Life Kosher Cooking from ArtScroll – the kind folks at ArtScroll were kind enough to work out a special offer for my readers, where
- You get 20% off list price of my book!
- You get free shipping (in the USA)
- You’ll get your copy SIGNED by me!
- If you want it signed to a specific person, please write the name in the shipping instructions field and I will do my best to personalize it!
- Note that this is generally the fastest way to get a pre-order, as Amazon generally takes a few weeks to ship out the books.
To get this offer: simply place Real Life Kosher Cooking into your cart and enter promo code OTC at checkout and that will tell them to pull your copy aside and have me sign it.
If you don’t want your copy signed, you can also pre-order from Amazon with their pre-order price guarantee, so if they drop the price or run a sale between now and the release date, you’ll automatically get their lowest price!
If you prefer, you can also wait and pick up a copy at your local bookstore – they’ll be in stock mid-November. (See Q&A above for more info)!
Stay tuned for sample recipes, giveaways, upcoming events and more!
Note: I am currently booking demos, classes and events for November-January, with special rates for this period. I would absolutely love to come out to your community (yes! I’m willing to travel!) so please email overtime cook at gmail to reserve your date!
Thanks everyone for all of your incredible support as I pulled this off, and I am counting the seconds until you have my book and will be able to cook from it! Please order a copy for yourself. And everyone you know. Because there’s nothing like having all of my hard work recognized and utilized! <3 Miriam
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