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.

To see amazing detail in any photo just click on it!
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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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Peach Pie Crumble

There's nothing more juicy, sweet, and delicious than a ripe peach.  Besides great taste they're good for you.  Peaches are packed with some fiber, beta-carotene, and Vitamin D.

This recipe is an adaptation of one from my dear friend, Judy Singer.  Just this month, Aug 2010,  Judy's Blueberry Crumble Pie was featured in the National Post here in Toronto.  She is respected both as a talented Canadian artist and a balaboosta.

The crust is so delicious you won't be able to stop nibbling on it.  You can use this crust recipe to base just about any pie.  Use whatever is fresh and available be it blueberries, strawberries/rhubarb, plum, pluots, cherries, or peaches. 

You will need a 9" or 10" pie plate and cookie sheet, 1 large bowl to toss the fruit, one medium bowl to mix the crumble topping, a pastry blender (if you have one), and a fork.  If you are using fresh peaches they must be blanched, peeled, and sliced.  To blanch... you will need a small pot of boiling water and a bowl of ice water.  Using a slotted spoon, submerge each peach in the boiling water for 45 seconds.  Then submerge it immediately into the bowl of ice water for about 20 seconds.  Then cut the peach in half, remove the pit, and then peel the skin off easily without wasting any fruit.
*You can use this crust for other pies that call for a pre-baked crust.  To pre-bake... prick the crust with a fork and bake in a 350 oven until golden, approximately 10 minutes.


For the Crust...
 Ingredients...
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon. vanilla
  • 2 tablespoon milk OR orange juice
Here's how you do it...
  1. Measure the flour, sugar and salt into pie plate.
  2. Blend the oil, vanilla and milk OR juice.
  3. Pour the oil mixture into the dry ingredients already in the pie plate.
  4. Stir with a fork to blend and then, with your hands, work it into a ball of dough.
  5. Remove a small handful of dough and set it aside.  You will add this to the crumble topping in a moment.
  6. With your fingers, press the dough evenly into pie plate, making sure it isn’t too thick around the bottom edge.


 For the Fruit Filling...
Ingredients...
  • 5 cups of sliced peaches
  • 1/2 Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
Here's how you do it...
  1. Onto the sliced peaches sprinkle the fresh lemon juice, sugar, flour, and corn starch
  2. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Pour into the pie crust.
 For the Crumble Topping...
 Ingredients...
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 ounces butter OR margarine cut into very small pieces (this will save you time and muscle)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • the handful of crust dough you set aside earlier 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
 Here's how you do it...
  1. Measure the flour, white sugar,  brown sugar, and salt into a bowl.
  2. With a pastry blender, blend in the cut up butter or margarine until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add the handful of pie crust dough to the crumble, blending it in with your fingers.
  4. Toss with the teaspoon of vanilla.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top of the fruit in the crust. 
Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to 375 for another 25-30 min. until pie is golden.


Serve warm or cooled and with or without a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I usually bake with the pie on a cookie sheet lined with foil that extends beyond the edge of the plate.  Fruit pies tend to bubble and this makes removing the hot pie from the oven, and clean up, easy.  Easy as pie!

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