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Homemade Treats for Purim – Win a Gift Basket!!


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So it’s nearly Purim and the excitement in my house is rising every day. I’m not a great one to fuss with costumes, but my mind is bubbling over with ideas for Mishloach Manot. Depending on what neighborhood you inhabit, these gifts also can be called “shalach munis” or simply Purim treats. It’s more than mere “tradition” to give goodies to friends and family. The practice of giving food – specifically two different types — was mandated as a mitzvah at the suggestion of Queen Esther (you’ll find it in the Megillah), and we’re still obeying to this day. I like to go out of my way to give Mishloach Manot to people I just met or to new friends: it’s a great opportunity to break the ice with new neighbors too.

When it comes to your goodie basket, you can go from cheap and cheerful to expensive and exotic. The only things that limit you are your imagination and your wallet.

Now don’t stress out over this. Technically, you only have to give to one person, not your whole town, but chances are you’ll want to do more. I’ve been there, believe me.

Exhibit A — the easy way: The first year I was married, I borrowed (ok, stole) the easiest Purim idea from a friend. I sent cute little boxes filled with purple yummy stuff along with a card wishing everyone a “Grape Purim!”

Exhibit B – the hard way: When we moved into or new house 3 years ago, Purim fell on erev Shabbos. I made an individual challah roll, a quart of fresh chicken soup and added a small bottle of grape juice for 60 families – yes, 60 – in our new neighborhood. Let me tell you, that was a little intense and a lot crazy.

Overboard, yes, but I was on the right track because there is something special about giving a homemade treat. But I’ve made a solemn promise to myself (and to my husband, to keep our household peaceful) that if I go this route, I’ll do it with a lot of planning and forethought. No last minute panic.

At first, I couldn’t decide between two ideas, so I developed two EASY recipes for you and me. (Not like making 60 homemade challah rolls!) Again, I “borrowed” a few ideas from my friends, Tamar and Hadassah, but I can’t remember which was which. Anyway, you’re welcome to borrow these ideas from us, and we won’t tell a soul.

Option 1: an English Tea Time Shalach Manos.
Homemade jam is so easy to make, so (literally) sweet, and a perfect way to use up all those bits of frozen berries in your freezer. You can package homemade jam and some biscuits, crackers, scones or English muffins (you can buy all of these) and a box of tea. To that end, I present you with a recipe for Homemade Mixed Berry Jam.

Option 2: a “movie night” theme is fun and family friendly.
You get to satisfy all your cravings for Twizzlers, soda and popcorn. But not just any popcorn: we’re talking homemade, gourmet Maple Almond Popcorn. Don’t worry – it’s truly Quick & Kosher and so easy you’ll do it again and again.

I decided to go with this one, so I picked up some plastic movie style popcorn tubs, and I’m rounding out the package with a can of soda tucked into a Coke cup with a lid (got ‘em from the pizza store). And of course, I’ll add a pack of Twizzlers. As soon as I put it together, I’ll take a pic for you and post it here.

But I need your help to complete this Mishloach Manot package. I’m missing one key ingredient to make this just perfect (because I am so lacking the creativity gene of this type): I want to create an “admit one” ticket of some sort with a poem or catchy line inviting people to the greatest movie now playing, “The Purim Story” and — Coming Soon – “The Exodus from Egypt.”

Please reply with a catchy rhyme, a witty turn of a phrase, or a great (really) short poem. The one I use will WIN a gorgeous gift basket worth $50 from Libby & Laura!* Contest open to US Residents only. Contest closes Wednesday March 16th 2011 at 9 am.

If you’re fresh out of ideas, but want to join the conversation anyway, you can just let us know what has been your favorite homemade item given in a Mishloach Manot basket.

And hey, if you don’t go for the ideas above and you’re looking for some other recipes for homemade Mishloach Manot treats, click on these links:

Caramelized Crispy Bark
Asian Popcorn Medley
Dilly Lemon Munch Popcorn
Cocoa Nib Brittle
Raspberry Lemonade Marshmallows
White Chocolate Bark
Brown Sugared Nuts
Ginger Spicy Nuts
Macadamia Candy Corn
Toffee Crunch

While you are making all of that to send out on Purim, be sure to allow yourself a taste for quality control. Don’t you know that every good cook takes a taste before the goods leave the kitchen?

*Libby & Laura Boutique Bakery specializes in handmade, kosher baked goods. The company first became famous for its delicious soft baked mandelbrot, and then expanded its product line to hamantashen, brownies, blondies and more! Libby & Laura products are available in gorgeous gift baskets and custom party favors, the perfect gift for any special occasion. Visit www.libbyandlaura.com to order today!

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About Jamie Geller


Jamie Geller is the only best-selling cookbook author who wants to get you out of the kitchen – not because she doesn’t love food – but because she has tons to do. As “The Bride Who Knew Nothing” Jamie found her niche specializing in fast, fresh, family recipes. Now the "Queen of Kosher" (CBS) and the "Jewish Rachael Ray" (New York Times), she's the creative force behind JoyofKosher.com and "Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller" magazine . Jamie and her hubby live in Israel with their five busy kids who give her plenty of reasons to get out of the kitchen - quickly. Check out her new book, "Joy of Kosher: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes."




31 Responses to Homemade Treats for Purim – Win a Gift Basket!!

  1. avatar says: dmeese

    Sleepless in Shushan

    There’s a new drama coming to Shushan Town,
    Starring Esther, Mordechai, and King Achashverosh in a golden crown.
    Actors Bigsan and Teresh plotted treason behind the scene,
    But they proved no match for Mordechai and the Queen.
    Even the evil man Haman makes a cameo appearance,
    With crooked nose and a devilish plan for disappearance.
    But the producer soon cut his part,
    And all of his diabolical plans soon fell apart.
    A war broke out, with unbelievable special effects,
    But no one was prepared for what happened next.
    The Jews prevailed over those who sought to wipe them out,
    And once more, happiness reigned throughout.
    This Purim story is guaranteed to be a box office sensation,
    And on the big screen it will reach the entire Jewish nation.
    With a stellar cast and a director like HaKadosh Baruch Hu,
    This film is bound to win an Oscar or two.
    So while you find a seat, kick back, and watch the show,
    Enjoy this Movie Manos from a long time ago.
    This feature presentation is coming soon, to theaters near you,
    To wish a “freilechen Purim” to every Jew!

  2. avatar says: IMA2FOUR7

    Now showing:
    The Purim Story.
    Spoiler alert:
    Esther saves the Jews!
    So these treats now come to yous.
    Coming soon:
    The Exodus from Egypt…
    Make sure to eat your Hametz up!

  3. avatar says: abgsay

    Admit one to the Purim story
    Don’t miss all the guts and the glory!
    Stay far from Haman, he’s a hogger,
    But have fun with your loudest grogger.
    Soon it will be time for the next show,
    Where Moses declares, “Let my people go!”

  4. avatar says: Leah

    Just sit right down enjoy T.V., as time permits please think of me.
    To find the gift that was just right, I spent so many a sleepless night.
    It got quite late, ’twas almost morn; I took a break and popped some corn
    I took a cup and poured a drink. It hit me quicker than a wink.
    I loved my snack so then I knew the perfect gift to send to you.

  5. avatar says: Steve

    We hope you enjoy this light snack as you view
    Your favorite movie, perhapse even two.
    A movie of Purim would be apropos.
    It’s the story of Esther who lived long ago
    But if in the listings of movies on cable,
    You try hard to find it but still aren’t able.
    You finally give up though so hard you did look.
    Don’t worry you always can take out the book.


  6. avatar says: Simcha

    We hope you enjoy these manot which we send
    It’s an honor to know you and call you a friend.
    And just like Queen Esther who lived long ago,
    May our love for our People continue to grow.

  7. avatar says: Chani

    cute shaloch manos idea!


    * Oscar Winner for Best Picture *
    The Queen’s Speech:
    (or The Queen’s Feasts)
    How Esther saved the Jews


    Special Sneak Preview!

    Gone With the Matzoh:
    The Exodus from Egypt
    (or The Shechting of the Lambs:
    The Pesach Story)
    Coming Soon…


    You can write the whole thing out on a piece of paper that looks like a ticket! so cute!

    I get really excited about these things :)

    • Guys! I am beside myself here. These are beyond fab and head and shoulders above anything I would have broken my teeth over! Now what to do. Is it wrong to make a booklet with everything???

  8. You can go with a haiku:

    The “reel” megillah:
    “The Purim Story!” A treat!
    (Eat it pre-Pesach.)


  9. avatar says: Simcha

    I’m sure none of the authors would mind if you decided to incorporate multiple selections. They’re yours to use as you see fit. But, you could always award multiple prizes. :)

  10. Simcha! – don’t I know it…
    Chani – just noticed the link to the “admit one” ticket – I was totally envisioning something like that! Just didn’t know where to start looking

  11. avatar says: Chani

    Nice idea Simcha!

    In my mind, I was thinking something more old school like this:
    You can write out the info and then make photocopies

    or this:

    or this:

    in the last 2, you can play around with the text to make it look like you want and then print a bunch.

  12. avatar says: kukl96

    I would like to win the gift basket because I am in the process of converting and it would be nice to get a little kosher to help me out.

  13. avatar says: Yehuda

    Don’t cry Poor Im, Poor Im this year. Rather eat and drink kosher with Jamie’s fabulous recipies. Eat healthy, hardy and kosher from Purim through Pesach. Gebroks, no gebroks, it all there in the kosher cook book of the year. Munch and crunch as you go. Hey man watch out for kosher.com’s new recipies, designed to dazzle your tastebuds and brighten your table. Feel liberated and free this Pesach and eat like a King. Try kosher.com.

  14. avatar says: Yonitdm

    Lights, camera, action! A special blockbuster attraction:

    Dim the lights & take a seat for “A Purim story”, what a treat!
    It’s curtains to Haman & sons,every one a rogue,a plotter, a fiend
    Courtesy of Esther, the secret Jew who was Queened.
    And now for a commercial break, drink your soda to stay awake
    You won’t want to miss the show that’s coming soon:
    The Exodus from Egypt, on Nissan’s full moon.

  15. avatar says: peekababy

    Here’s a little ditty
    About the famous story in Shushan city
    A king, a Queen, a bad guy and some Jews
    Turned what could have been a disaster into much better news
    In order to celebrate this fantastic feat
    We share with you his tasty treat
    Feel free to munch, crunch and enjoy at will
    As you check out this film which has been given the top bill
    “The Purim Story” is the first show
    and after that “The Exodus from Egypt” is the next to go

    Ok, not my best work, but it rhymes ;)

  16. avatar says: ky2here

    The Kreplach that ate Purim!

    ky2here at msn dot com

  17. As a child, Purim was always
    A little frustrating.
    Only one part for girls -
    But it was a great one –
    Queen Esther.
    Now as an adult,
    It might be more fun
    To play Haman.
    Just kidding!

  18. Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway! Would love, love, LOVE to win this!

  19. avatar says: smilo143

    When life throws you lemons, make lemonade :)

    Milo johnston

  20. avatar says: HOPE131


  21. avatar says: yehudist

    Shushan Theater: Admit one.
    We’re glad to see you here.
    “The Purim Story,” two thumbs up,
    The best film of the year!

    The critics called this one a treat,
    An instant classic hit,
    So sit back, watch the scenes unfold
    ‘til all the pieces fit.

    We packed you up some goodies
    To munch for the movie,
    We hope you’ll come again next week for
    “Egypt: Jews Go Free!”

    Alternatively, if you don’t mind a longer poem, you can replace the last paragraph with the following:

    The drama’s there, suspense abounds,
    You’ll love it, that we know,
    We even packed you goodies,
    To munch during the show!

    So regards from the Gellers,
    We hope you’ll come to see
    Our next exclusive masterpiece:
    “Egypt: Jews Go Free!”

  22. avatar says: Emma Peel

    Admit One
    It’s not about Attila the Hun
    Ancient Ruins
    Kings Tombs
    Only in Egypt
    the Sphinx looms

  23. exodus movement of jah people

  24. avatar says: april

    This looks wonderful. Good luck everybody..

  25. avatar says: jjmurray

    It would be nice to win

  26. avatar says: Jamie

    The Purim Story coming to Shushan
    starring: Esther, the Jewish beauty with her agent, Uncle Mordechai
    Hamon,just hanging around
    supporting role Vashti
    hamantachen will be sold in the lobby.

  27. what a delightful website

  28. avatar says: arlene

    As a religious school teacher I relish any site like yours that provide info,
    recipes and fine foods that represent our fine heritage!!

  29. And the winner is….

    CHANI! not because we share the same name (my Hebrew name is actually Channah!) but because she gave me the entire kit and caboodle ticket and all! I am so sorry that everyone couldn’t win – some of the entries were so fantastic I wish wish wish I could give prizes to all as this competition was especially personal and dear to my heart. Thank you SO much for all your comments and poems, ideas and rhymes. And if you didn’t win, don’t fret. On this blog Purim is the holiday that just keeps on giving – so we are continuing our giveaway streak with a $100 gift basket from Oh! Nuts, enter here: