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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Easy Veal Shank Stew - Pot Roast - Osso Buco


If you're a fan of shank of any type you're going to love this simple recipe. It's also perfect for a slow cooker. The only time consumption is in the preparation. Once it's in the oven there's nothing to do but enjoy the aroma.

Veal Shank Stew makes a beautiful and welcoming company meal. It's a perfect winter warming comfort food. This stew recipe can be used with any stewing beef, lamb, veal, and even chicken.

Ingredients...

  • 2 pounds of boneless shank
  • whole wheat flour for dredging
  • Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can low fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 packet dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 cup liquid (use Water, Wine, or Broth)
That's all you need to put it together, however, here are some...
Optional Ingredients... (Use as many as you like and have on hand. It's fun to be creative, especially if you have the time.)
  • 1 cup coarse chop or thin sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup canned stewed or chopped tomatoes
    And like the song ...
  • 1 teaspoon dry parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dry sage
  • 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme
Here's how you do it...
  1. Cut the shank into large chunks
  2. Sprinkle the meat on all sides with salt & pepper
  3. Dredge in the flour (HINT: I use a hand held sieve and sprinkle just like when you put confectioner's sugar on cakes) This uses less flour and keeps the carbs low.
  4. Put the oil into a heated skillet on medium heat and brown (caramelize) the chunks of meat on all sides.
  5. Remove them to a foil lined roasting pan.
  6. If you are using the optional vegetables and herbs...
    Sprinkle the vegetables with the herbs and brown them in the same already hot skillet, with a tablespoon oil for 5 minutes. Then distribute them on top of the chunks of meat.
  7. For the sauce...In a separate bowl.. (you can do this while the meat is browning) Blend the Golden Mushroom Soup, Cream of Mushroom Soup, packet of onion soup mix, and your choice of liquid (water, wine, or broth).
  8. Pour all over the meat in your roasting pan.
  9. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Cook in preheated oven at 375F for 15 minutes, Then reduce to 325F for at least 2 hours. A little overcooking only makes the meat even softer so if it cooked for 3 hrs it wouldn't hurt.
Additional Optional Suggestion: If you have a potato (I use sweet potatoes) on hand, peel and cut it into large chunks. During the last hour of roasting take the pan out of the oven, carefully open the foil being cautious of the steam and add the chunks of sweet potato. Reseal the roasting pan and put it back into the oven for the last hour.

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