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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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Fruit & Nut Mandel

Perhaps you've heard of Mandel Bread, Mandel Broit, or the Italian version Biscotti.

Perfect with a cup of tea, my Fruit & Nut Mandel is a variation somewhere between the cookie and a fruit cake.

These cookies make a eye pleasing addition to any holiday cookie gift box!


  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar (you can substitute Splenda for all or part of the sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure Vanilla extract
  • Rind of an Orange
  • Rind of a Lemon
  • 1 & 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Sliced or Whole Almonds
  • 3/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2-3/4 Cup Raisins ( I like the white raisin for this)
  • 3/4 C Pistachio Nuts (roasted/shelled)

Here's how you do it...

Prepare you pan...
Line a loaf pan with doubled parchment. (You will wrap the loaf in this paper later.)

Preheat your oven to 325F
  1. Beat the Eggs & Sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the Vanilla & Rinds
  3. Add the Flour
  4. Stir in the nuts and fruit.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the parchment lined loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 325F until lightly browned. 30-45 min.
  7. Lift loaf out of pan with parchment.
  8. Cool on rack.
  9. Wrap in the parchment and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
When ready...
  1. Slice thin using a serrated knife.
  2. Place slices on a parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 300F 15 min until light brown.
  3. When completely cooled store in airtight container. Freezes well.

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