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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Pumpkin Date Nut Bars - Low Sugar

There are many date nut bar recipes out there.  They all claim to be the best one.  I'm sure they're good but they cannot top the flavor or texture of this one.  My Pumpkin Date Nut Bars are perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert table and an ideal bring along when you've been invited for turkey dinner.
Dates are chock full of natural fiber and it makes this sweet fruit beneficial to our health.
They are rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, oil, phosphorous, potassium, and sulfur which are all advantageous for good health.  And I must mention that dates help to keep you regular and fight constipation (just a bonus).  Also known as one of nature's candy, dried dates make a wonderfully sweet ingredient to many baked goods as well as being a great snack on their own.

This recipe for Pumpkin Date Nut Bars is modified from my Grandma Della's collection.


Ingredients...
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (OR white flour, or a combination)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup margarine (OR butter) (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 cup Splenda Sugar Substitute (OR granulated white sugar )
  • 1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (OR 1 cup packed brown sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup pitted chopped dates
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Here's how you do it...
  1. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment. I allow for a couple of extra inches of parchment so a tail sticks out making it easy to slide the cake out of the pan and onto the cooling rack.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt...set aside. If you are chopping the dates yourself, sprinkle some of the flour mixture on the chopped dates and toss until they are coated.
  4. Cream together the margarine (or butter) and both Splendas ( OR White and Brown Sugars) until smooth, fluffy, and pale.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add the pumpkin and blend.
  7. Scrape the bowl and beat another 10 seconds, then
  8. Beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  9. Stir in (by hand) the chopped dates and walnuts.
  10. Pour the batter to the lined and greased pan.
  11. Place the pan in the center of your oven and now reduce the heat to 300F.
  12. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
  13. Cook on a rack before attempting to remove it from the pan.
  14. Cut into desired shapes.
  15. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Be Creative...
  • Reduce the dates to 3/4 cup and add 1/2 cup white raisins.
  • Choose your favorite nut.
  • You can replace 1/2 the margarine with unsweetened apple sauce.

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