What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Broccoli Mushroom Casserole - A Thanksgiving Favorite!


In December of 1987 I was in the supermarket shopping for the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner. I struck up a conversation with a woman standing next to me in the produce department. We were comparing tips and recipes that were our family favorites. This is one she shared with me. I've tweaked it along the way to my liking and I guarantee your dinner party guests will be asking for more.

Broccoli is the "wonder drug" of vegetables. After much research all opinions conclude that broccoli is one of the top 10 healthiest foods for you. It is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folates, and soluble fiber. It also contains cancer fighting nitrogen compounds and glucoraphanin. And, by the way, broccoli is so very versatile.

  • Use broccoli raw with delicious dips as a nutritious appetizer or snack.
  • Mixed with other vegetables, broccoli works great in stir frys.
  • Shred it for broccoli slaw and salads.
  • Don't forget the old standard of steamed broccoli as a simple and delicious side to any meal.
This is a super simple dish that tastes like you slaved over it.

Ingredients...


  • 5-6 cups fresh broccoli steamed to fork tender (Or you can use two packages frozen chopped broccoli, thawed & drained well.)
  • 1/2 Cup (2 oz) grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) grated Gruyere.
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise (use the lite variety to lower the fat content of this dish)
  • 1 Can low-fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
  • 1 sleeve Ritz Crackers (whole wheat where available), crushed
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
Here's how you do it...
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole (use cooking spray).
  4. Top evenly with the crushed Ritz Crackers.
  5. Dot with margarine or butter.
  6. Bake @ 350F 45 minutes and cracker topping is golden brown.
Helpful Hints/Suggestions...
  • For a simplified version use one cup of only cheddar instead of blending the two cheeses.
  • You can omit the mushrooms if you don't want the extra chunks.
  • And if you don't like nutmeg, just leave it out. I think nutmeg adds that certain something no one can put their finger on.
  • No matter which way you do it, they're going to love it.
  • Depending on the number of guests you can double or triple the ingredients to accommodate.
  • This is a great dish for bring-a-long or potluck dinners. You'll have them licking their plates!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All your recipes sound sooo yummy and like home. Can't wait to do the flanken! On the broccoli mushroom casserole (mm-mmm!) you say to put all ingredients together but then mention sprinkling cracker over the top. Is this additional Ritz crackers, part of the tube included in the recipe, or the whole tube? My e-mail address: bella@att.net - thank you!