Levana’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie, Anyone

Cookie, Anyone (Photo credit: scubadive67)

Almost anytime I have a large group coming for Shabbat I try to include these winners. Last week, my son called from Jerusalem to say he was really looking forward to having me make him some cookies since he missed out on Shabbat the week before because of the “Epic Israeli  Snowstorm of 2013”.  I made them and they disappeared!

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies made with vegetable oil in Levana Kirshchenbaum’s cookbook, Levana’s Table.


  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups best-quality chocolate chips, the smaller the better


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugars together until
light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla and mix in thoroughly. Add the
flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix at low speed. Fold
in the chips by hand.

3. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart onto cookie
sheets lined with foil. Bake only one tray at a time. If your cookie
sheets are the professional heavy-gauge type, bake the cookies for 10
minutes. If they are lighter, bake for 8 minutes. The cookies will firm
up as they cool, so do not be tempted to bake them longer or they will
4. Store the cookies in tin boxes, separating each layer with foil or wax paper so they don’t stick.

YIELDS: 4 dozen cookies

SOURCE: Levana’s Table, by Levana Kirschenbaum. Recipe reprinted with permission from Levana Kirschenbaum.

1. If using pareve chocolate chips, the cookies will pareve. If using dairy chocolate chips, the cookies will be dairy.
I sprayed my cookie sheets with non-stick spray instead of using foil.
It is less expensive, and the cookies could still be easily lifted off
the sheet with a spatula.
3. I did not separate the cookies with wax
paper before storing. I let them cool completely on the rack, and then
placed them in an air-tight container. They did not stick to each other.


My French Twist to a Hannukah Party

I got a call in my office from T.G. about a home party celebrating a new home and Hanukkah.  It was going to be 20 friends and it just seemed to much for her to pull it off without my help. I asked her what her favorite cuisine was and she said French. I got off the phone and did a bit of research. I got back to her the next day with two pages of suggestions. It stretched my talents a little.  I am so Sephardi oriented and the French Mediterranean looked to be a little bland for my palate. Boy was I wrong!  I worked French grainy mustard, white wine and shallots.  The flavors were new to me, but I enjoyed the challenge.

T.G. picked the following menu: A French Buffet

A  Classic Cold Potato Salad and Sliced Roast Beef in a Mustard Onion Marinade on a bed of mixed field greens.  The large platter was surrounded by cooked chunks of roasted beets, blanched cauliflower and broccoli and then covered in chives and capers.

French Roasted Herb Chicken- a golden and succulent beautiful chicken cut into eighths.

Oven Roasted Green-beans with gently golden slivered almonds.

India – French Cumin and Garlic Roasted Carrots with seedless grapes and red onion.

Persian Rice with raisins, scallions and black olives with saffron spice and topped with pine-nuts.

Sourdough Homemade Bread Cubes- for the wash station.

French Orange Poached Pears

Sweet Parmiers

The whole party took me 12.5 hours to prepare, cook and pack up for take out.

By 10 p.m. I got an email that it was well received. Then I exhaled…..



What a Season of Memories We Have Had….


In the past month I have been blessed to cook for a Bar Mitzvah Shabbat, A Sheva Brachot, A Bat Mitzvah Shabbat and a family Sukkot. I can tell you that I have been very happy.  I love working in my commercial kitchen creating with love my special dishes. I love being part of the memories and the simhot.

I had a  tremendous fun with my adaptation of One Bowl Amazing Chocolate Cake taken from “Joy of Kosher’s by Jamie Geller “.  I am sharing it with all of you because I have made it a few times and it is a really reliable recipe. Buy her book and go to her website for more wonderful recipes.  In the meantime, if you don’t want to cook and you are entertaining- call me.

One Bowl Amazing Chocolate Cake

 Contributed by:


One Bowl Amazing Chocolate Cake

For a glaze, place 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup soy milk or non-dairy frozen ready-to-whip liquid topping, thawed, in a small saucepan. Heat until melted and drizzle over cake.

Serves 8


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup liquid non-dairy creamer or soy milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (4-ounce) package Osem Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a Bundt pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all ingredients. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into prepared Bundt pan or in a rectangular cake pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before serving.


Everyone has a go-to recipe for a one-bowl cake. Here’s mine. It’s a combination of three or four recipes and, yes, I think it’s the best. Or should I say amazing? The mayonnaise and pudding really moisten the cake, and you’ll also score beauty points with presentation because, as I always say, anything baked in a Bundt pan will impress your guests. It’s like a self-decorated cake.

Contributed by: Quick & Kosher, JAMIE GELLER

What I did in my version was to use the parve ubiquitous Israeli Chocolate spread that every Israeli kid takes to school.  I then took packages of Mike and Ike’s and Skittles and cover the cake and on the sides I used rainbow sprinkles.

 Happily, this was also the week that I was notified by Joy of Kosher I had won the contest sponsored by Mike and Ike. However, they wouldn’t ship to Israeli, so I have a lot of Mike and Ike’s waiting for me when I get back to my Mom’s house in Massachusetts. Anyone want to party on in June or July?  I look forward to making some really great memories of my own then.

What’s Happening at My Israeli Table….In the Beginning


I am getting ready to start my ” inaugural catering” job for a very dear Bat Mitzvah girl and her family. By my former standards it is a small job. Although, I have been cooking and sending out food for years – this job is special. With all the food I offer, I focus on the people I am preparing for, and I try to put as much love and care into my dishes.

This job is special because it is my newest incarnation. I was a hotel chef at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown for 8 years with top of the line equipment, a huge kitchen and budget. I had an appreciative and receptive built  –  in audience and all I had to do was give my heart and soul.

 I have worked for many high-end  caterers over the years. I have observed, up close, how they grew their businesses from a rented van to a fleet of trucks. I have watched how they built and rewarded loyalty with their staff and customers. I have had an incredible education in the trenches.  What I didn’t know I learned by taking a Hospitality Program at the local college. After Aliyah, I spent 14 wonderful sessions learning with the best entrepreneurs in Israel through the MATI/Jerusalem’s program, under Judy Fierstein, learning the ins and outs of the Israeli business climate.

Now, I am an Israeli!  I have what I have and I am determined to make it work. It is the essence of being a new immigrant – failure is not an option. So, I dust off my repertoire of delicious recipes and sharpen my knives and prepare to begin again.

I am home.



My Israeli Table is now open for business!


I am all settled in my new home in Maaleh Adumim, Israel. I’ve been to Ulpan/language training school and I have even welcomed the newbies. So what’s next?

I have opened up my own personal chef/catering business similar to the company I had back in the Old Country (USA). I love to cook local, fresh and healthy foods. Over the years I have taught cooking and I was blessed to spend 8 years in the Pearlstone Center in Maryland working both for The Associated and the Star-K. I had a lot fun making food for hundreds of people  with special diets and including picky eaters.

I have acclimated enough to have learned how to work with the local produce and spices and I look forward to sharing these culinary experience with you.Over the next few weeks I will be building my eCommerce website and designing my seasonal menus. I have a special place in my heart for new and busy moms and I can tailor foods to tempt anyone’s palette!

I am so happy to be back in the kitchen-as if I ever left- with two very special Bat Mitzvot coming up. Stay tuned it will be fun – I promise!