Manischewitz! Denverite competes in national cook-off

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When I last talked with Deborah Leebove, daughter of Joyce Foster (the former city councilwoman who is now a state senator), she'd just reached the finals of the third annual Simply Manischewitz Cook-Off.

And now Leebove, pictured here with her entry, elaborates on the experience:

"I desperately wanted a new kitchen," she says, pointing out that the winner of the contest received a kitchen setup from GE. "With an oven from 1979 and a refrigerator the color of brown mustard, entering the Simply Kosher Manischewitz cook-off was the answer to my kitchen dilemma. My Mani Meatloaves didn't bring home the grand prize -- but by that time, the kitchen was the last thing on my mind. In the three months I spent adapting old family recipes to include delicious Manischewitz ingredients, I reconnected with special family traditions. The hours in the kitchen helped me remember my grandma who planted the 'cooking' seeds in me a long time ago. Call it serendipity, but the experience in New
York inspired me to teach Jewish cooking classes in Denver. Who knew that a little meatloaf could change my life?"

"I'm so grateful to Manischewitz for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," she concludes." One day, I know I will have that new refrigerator and oven -- but for now, doing what I am meant to do is all I need."

Best of luck to her in her new teaching endeavor. I could probably use the class -- I'm Jewish, and here's the extent of my knowledge of the Chosen cuisine: A) how to make latkes and B) how to scrounge mass amounts of coupon books for the best restaurant deals.

More information on the event can be found here, and the recipe for Leebove's entry is below.

"Mani" Meatloaves

¾ cup Manischewitz borscht
1 box Manischewitz garlic tam tam crackers
¼ cup Manischewitz onion soup mix
1 ½ lb. Ground beef or Ground turkey
½ cup Ketchup
1/3 cup Yellow mustard
1 Egg
2 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
2. In large bowl, whisk the egg.
3. Pour the garlic Tam Tam crackers into bag. Release all the air and close the bag. With rolling pin or mallet, crush the crackers until they are the size of crumbs. Measure out ¾ cup tam tam crumbs and add them to the large bowl with egg. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl stir together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and onion soup mix.
5. Place the strainer over the empty mixing bowl and pour the borscht through the strainer.   

6. Measure out ½ cup beets and add to ketchup mixture. Next, measure out ¼ cup borscht liquid and stir into same mixture.
7. Add 1 cup of the ketchup mixture into the bowl with Tam Tam crumbs and mix all ingredients well.
8. Reserve the remaining ketchup mixture to spread onto "Mani" meatloaves before baking.
9. Add the ground beef to ingredients. With hand, mix everything together.
10. Separate meatloaf mixture evenly into 8 muffin cups
11. Add a few more squirts of ketchup to reserved mixture, mix and with a spoon, spread over the top of each mani meatloaf.
12. Bake for 20 minutes.
13. Remove from oven and let cool on counter for 10 minutes.

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