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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Black Bean Soup "Chili"

I grew up in Miami where the Latino culture permeates.  I've also lived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where black beans, rice, and plantains are daily staples.  Black beans are inexpensive, low in calories and fat, delicious, and chock full of nutrients.
For diets watching blood sugar levels, black beans are a good choice because of their high fiber concentration. Did you know that a single, 1-cup serving of black beans provides nearly 15 grams of fiber? That's impressive!
You've heard the rhyme "beans, beans, are good for your heart..."  Well, guess what?  It's true! Black beans ARE good for your heart. Eating black beans can actually minimize your risk of developing coronary artery disease.
This is another simple recipe.  Great for make ahead events. The ingredients are things I stock in my pantry so when the mood strikes, as it does from time to time, I'm ready!

Black Bean Soup "Chili"
Ingredients....
  • 8 strips finely chopped Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon.  (I'm specific about the brand because it makes a difference. The flavor of this turkey bacon is in a league of it's own.)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (this can be the seasoned type)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 cans black beans (drained, not rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped  cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Splash of fresh squeezed lime juice  (For fun, you can splash the soup with tequila too!)
Here's how you do it... 
  1. On medium heat, cook the finely chopped turkey bacon for 4 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add the chopped onion.  Cook until translucent for 2-4 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic, stirring for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, Chili Powder, and Cumin. Stir till blended.
  5. Gently stir in the drained black beans.
  6. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add the splash of lime juice and serve.
I like to serve this black bean soup with brown rice but, be creative, use what you like. Try a garnish of finely sliced green onions, or a dollop of salsa and/or sour cream.


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