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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!
Don't forget to SIGN MY GUEST BOOK at the bottom of this page and/or LEAVE A COMMENT (be sure to leave your email address if you'd like a response)

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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Joyce's Ruggelah - The real thing.

When my mom and dad (Rose & Martin) married they lived in a basement apartment in Brooklyn. They quickly made friends with the other newly married couple (Joyce & Robbie) living in the basement next door. This was a friendship that would last them the next 60+ years.
Fast forward to Florida 1975, when I became engaged. My parents threw a big party! They rented tables, hired an keyboard player, and had the food catered in, except for the desserts.
My mother's lifelong friend, Joyce, wanted the honor of making the sweet table herself. She flew down from New Jersey, stayed with us, and taught me how to make the most amazing ambrosia, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate pudding cake, and the mouth watering recipe that I will share with you here...Joyce's Ruggelah.

While that party will always be remembered for how it rained that night, how the rented tables got soaked and all the guests were crowded into the covered patio and family room of my parents house, it will also be remembered for the magnificent sweet table that my mom's best friend in the world, made for me. Before Joyce & Robbie left to head home the following week, she handed me all the recipes we had made typed onto 3x5 cards. That was 34 years ago and I have those very cards in front of me on the desk right now.

Both my parents are gone now but Joyce & Robbie are still married and living in a senior residence. We talk on the phone, from time to time, and they share stories and memories with me of my mom and dad and how it was back in the day.

Ruggelah are those little rolled up cookies you will see in bakery cases. Often filled with apricot, chocolate, or cinnamon/sugar/nuts.

I promise you, if you follow this recipe to the T you will be the proudest ruggelah roller this side of the Mississippi.


For the dough:

  • 3/4 lb softened butter (you can substitute a healthy spread but the truth is it tastes better with real butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups sifted flour (you can use half white and half whole wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • waxed paper
For the Filling:
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (Splenda if you're avoiding 'sugar')
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • White raisins
Here's how you do it...
  1. Mix the softened butter with the eggs.
  2. Add the salt, sifted flour, and baking powder alternately with the sour cream.
  3. Then add the vanilla. Blend well.
  4. Divide the mixture into six even balls.
  5. Wrap each ball in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to prepare...
  1. On wax paper press down a ball of dough and using a rolling pin, roll into a disc approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Cut into at least 16 wedges (like a pie).
  3. Sprinkle with Filling mixture.
  4. Place a couple of white raisins on the wide end of each wedge.
  5. Roll from the wide end to the point and form a crescent.
  6. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown.
Makes 96 pieces.
Freezes very well.

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