The Jewish People are a nation of traditions. Our customs sometimes travel back thousands of years.
The Jewish calendar is sprinkled with joyous holidays, celebrated in the synagogue with prayer sung to ancient melodies and in the home with family meals; recipes passed down from generation to generation.
Today a cook has a variety of resources when she looks to plan her holiday menu. She may turn to family heirlooms, recipes kept and cherished from years of old or she may gather recipes from friends, cookbooks, and weekly magazines.
The Kosher Spirit is excited to showcase Let’s Get Cookin’ a new and creative recipe organizer developed by Tzivi Eichenholz and Chavi Wilner, two “balabustas” [Yiddish for good homemakers] living in Brooklyn, NY. Let’s Get Cookin’ allows you to add, organize, share, and browse through all of your favorite recipes in one place. It takes old traditional recipes and thrusts them into the modern era and will instantly create shopping lists and help in planning your menu.
The Kosher Spirit sat down with Tzivi and Chavi to discuss Let’s Get Cookin’.
Kosher Spirit: What was the inspiration for this project?
Tzivi Eichenholz: I’d had enough of fruitless searching for recipes that I had scribbled on the back of envelopes. I wanted to create a place that would sort and assemble my recipes in a comprehensive and easy-to-use manner.
Chavi Wilner: My children grew tired of eating the same old chicken soup so I started collecting recipes and trying new foods but soon I had so many recipes in so many places I could not find what I needed when I needed it.
KS: How did you meet?
CW: Our children learn in the same school, and once while chatting I expressed frustration with organizing all my loose recipe clippings and Tzivi knew exactly what I meant. We decided that we would team up to find the best solution and the rest is history!
KS: How did you get started?
TE: We tried other recipe programs and weren’t satisfied, so we hired a group of programmers, put a lot of brainpower and “yiddishe kup” in one room and we worked to make it right.
KS: What is unique about this software?
TE: Let’s Get Cookin’ is the only kosher recipe organizer in the world! It is very easy to use, incorporates the Jewish Calendar so you can see when Yom Tov comes out and plan your menu, features video presentations on food garnishing, includes OK Kosher Certification’s Guide to Checking Vegetables, and as a bonus, has hundreds of kosher recipes included. It also does not require an Internet connection.
CW: We included Devorah Heller’s Challah Workshop in our program. Devorah is famous worldwide for her fast and easy method to make challah. Devorah takes you on a journey through the spiritual significance of making challah and describes the beauty of this important mitzvah. After learning to make challah using Devorah’s video tutorial, I now consider myself a pro!
KS: How are recipes added to the program?
CW: There are two easy ways to add recipes. You can manually enter recipes you’ve collected over the years, and, our software also allows you to select any recipe you’ve found from cooking sites, recipe collections and food blogs and easily import it into the program.
KS: How about printing and sharing recipes?
CW: We have a wonderful feature where you can print the recipes on index cards formatted to print in high design. Our import feature is a favorite! It allows friends to easily share recipes with just a few simple clicks, it is a real time saver!
KS: The variety of features is fascinating, please tell our readers more!
CW: For a timesaving specialty, check out our Shopping Lists. Just select the recipes you’ve planned to use for a Shabbos or Holiday meal and in seconds you will have all the necessary ingredients for all of the recipes you’ve chosen added to your shopping list. Additionally, recipes are customizable; planning a Bas Mitzvah? Need to feed a large crowd and your favorite recipe only feeds six? Simply adjust the recipe yield and it will automatically adjust the ingredient amounts.
KS: How has the OK been involved with this project?
TE: The OK has been so helpful! It has been such a pleasure to work with the staff of the OK on this project. Their dedication to kosher and their professionalism and sweetness impressed us. The OK contributed to this program by providing the user with quick and accurate kosher information, tailored to a recipe’s needs. For example, when you search for a vegetable using the search bar, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to inspect it properly for insects. When entering in a new recipe that includes a vegetable which needs checking, a reminder will pop up guiding you through the process. (It’s really cool!) A special tab was added to make the entire OK Vegetable Checking guide easily accessible at any time.
KS: Any final thoughts?
TE: Yes. This program can be used as a powerful fundraising tool for schools and charities as the recipes can be shared and customized to your community’s needs.
KS: Where can I pick up a copy of Let’s Get Cookin’?
TE: By the time you read this article, we expect most Judaica stores to be carrying it.
CW: You can also purchase a CD by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Tzivi at 917.455.2468 or myself at 347.846.8276.