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A Kindergarten's Cooking Commandments

May 16, 1996|BARBARA HANSEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Anyone hunting for Jewish holiday recipes will find plenty in the "B'nai Tikvah Nursery School and Kindergarten Cookbook."

Just released, the book starts with 52 pages of holiday dishes, including 12 for Shavuot, which starts the night of May 23. The spring festival began as an agricultural celebration but now commemorates the revelation of the Torah (Jewish teachings) to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Shavuot tradition emphasizes dairy foods and honey. Accordingly, recipes that call for sour cream, milk and cheese dominate the Shavuot section of the cookbook. There are several noodle kugels, a sour cream cake, cheese triangles and the signature Shavuot dish, two cheese blintzes presented side by side to represent the two tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Recipes were contributed by school personnel, parents, relatives, friends and by the children themselves.

A short but hilarious chapter gives a kid's-eye view of what mothers cook, including this recipe from kindergartener Mara Gold for alphabet cereal: "Put some milk in the alphabet cereal and it's so good that way." Rebecca Holzberg, another kindergartener, had a slightly longer recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich: "There's cheese in it and you put the bread on top. Put them in the oven and it changes the bread into a different color. Then you put the cheese on it then you put another bread on it. Then you put it in the frying pan then when you're done cooking it (that's what it looks like). It looks like a pizza but it isn't."

Much of the food in the 152-page book (with an additional 16-page section of helpful cooking information) is Jewish. There are wonderful-sounding honey cakes, challah, cholent, kishke-stuffed chicken breasts, briskets and more. But the book is general too, with some Mexican favorites, teriyaki, chocolate chip cookies and so forth.

B'nai Tikvah school is on the grounds of B'nai Tikvah Congregation, a conservative synagogue in Westchester. The book is available at the school. Call the office at (310) 649-4051 for information. Or send a check for $12.50 plus $1.25 for postage and handling per book to B'nai Tikvah Nursery School-Kindergarten, 5820 Manchester Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90045. Make checks payable to BTNS.

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CHICKEN JERUSALEM

4 whole chicken breasts

1 (6.09-ounce) package rice pilaf mix

2 (6-ounce) jars quartered marinated artichoke hearts, including liquid

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Tops of 3 to 4 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon ground tarragon

1 teaspoon onion salt

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Bay leaf

Salt, pepper

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

This recipe comes from B'nai Tikvah Rabbi Michael Goldberg.

Skin chicken breasts. Place in Dutch oven and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 20 minutes. Drain chicken. Measure 1 3/4 cups broth, adding water if there is not enough broth.

Prepare rice pilaf according to package directions, using broth from chicken as liquid. Combine pilaf with artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, green onion tops, tarragon, onion salt, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Place pilaf in 13x9-inch baking dish. Place chicken breasts on pilaf. Sprinkle with almonds. Cover and bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving contains about:

736 calories; 828 mg sodium; 85 mg cholesterol; 51 grams fat; 46 grams carbohydrates; 33 grams protein; 2.09 grams fiber.

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ISRAELI VEGETABLE SALAD

2 carrots

1 cucumber

2 tomatoes

5 radishes

3 green onions

1/2 head lettuce

2 dill pickles

1 large green bell pepper

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons salad or olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

Dash black pepper

Dash sugar

Make this salad and serve it at once. Freshness is the secret of its good taste, says Ruth Silkis, who provided the recipe.

Peel and grate carrots and place in large bowl. Peel and chop cucumber and add to bowl. Cut tomatoes in bite-sized chunks, chop radishes and green onions, shred lettuce, dice pickles and bell pepper and add to bowl. Add parsley. Toss to combine, then sprinkle with lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper and sugar. Toss again. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:

61 calories; 789 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 4 grams fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.96 gram fiber.

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NOODLE PUDDING

1 (16-ounce) package wide egg noodles

1 cup golden raisins

1/2 pound butter, cut up

1 pound cottage cheese

1 pint sour cream

1 (1-pound 4-ounce) can crushed pineapple

1 1/2 cups sugar

7 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups milk

2 cups crushed cornflakes

2 tablespoons sugar blended with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Marilyn Gold, "teacher of 4-year-olds," as the book describes her, contributed this quantity recipe for noodle kugel. Make the whole recipe for a potluck, freeze part of it or cut it in half, using 3 large or extra large eggs.

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain.

Plump raisins in bowl of boiling water.

Mix butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, pineapple, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk until well blended. Add noodles and drained raisins.

Pour into 2 greased 13x9-inch baking pans. Sprinkle top of each with 1 cup cornflake crumbs and 1/2 of cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees 1 hour 15 minutes. Can be frozen and reheated.

Makes 24 servings.

Each serving contains about:

335 calories; 147 mg sodium; 114 mg cholesterol; 15 grams fat; 41 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.27 grams fiber.

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