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A Day In the Life of a Wedding Caterer

 

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As a kosher caterer in Seattle, serving diverse expressions of Judaism, wedding planning is a time for me to sit back and listen, to “get” what a particular “Northwest Jewish Couple” envisions for their big day. My catering website is a mission statement and phone number. Trust me; we need to talk. A wedding is about logistics first, food second.  More important than the things people ask for are the things they really don’t want.

Northwest couples, with free-spirited abandon, opt for Sundays in our dubious summer weather months. The biggest request is for ‘no rain’, which is very different from ‘sun’. Overcast, drizzle, partly sunny, chance of sun….we’ll take any of those; just please Hashem, “NO RAIN!” Like a major league pitcher, I keep weather stats on my weddings. I’ve managed a near shutout career to date (knock on wood) with rain before, rain after…but, no rain during except once in the summer of ’03.


 

Kitchen Style – A Study in Contrasts

 

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Designer Pamela Jemal made this kitchen not only a functional workspace-but an oasis of glamour.  Contrast creates the drama, and high gloss marries the elements together.


 

5 Foods for a Healthy Picnic

 

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This time of year is the best time to bring our food outside.  Hopefully, if the weather cooperates we should have some sunshine days that are not too hot and not too cold.  So, let’s pack up our food and take the family outside.  Picnics are great for Shabbat afternoons if you have a nice park nearby.  They are also a great part of a Sunday activity.  Go sightseeing to a mansion where they often have picnic tables or find a state park.  Bring a ball, a deck of cards and a frisbee for a fun and relaxing day as a family, a couple or even on your own.

The trick to making this a really great day is packing colorful, healthful foods that will be the envy of all who pass by.  Don’t just pick up potato chips and dip or bagels, take a moment to prepare a few dishes you won’t regret.  Almost any dish can be portable if packed well in a sealed container, but some sit better than others.  It is best not to bring salads that have to be dressed fresh instead find salads that do better after a couple of hours. Don’t worry about a perfect menu either, pick a few different kinds of foods so that there will be something for everyone.


 

The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen by Levana *Giveaway...

 

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It’s finally here.  Chef Levana’s magnum opus.  Her masterpiece.  Levana has worked in the kosher food industry for over 30 years and has published four best-selling cookbooks.   The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen includes more than 350 recipes, 250 of which are gluten free and 250 can be made for Passover.  This cookbook has all the basics of healthy whole food cooking with tips and stories that make it a must have for every kosher home.

Caesar Salad


 

Drink Up! Herbal Water Is Fun *Giveaway*

 

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For a while now, I’ve been making my own herbal iced tea.  Stick a few fruit flavored teas in some water, put the pitcher by the sun and voila, flavored water everyone enjoys with no added sugar.  We barely serve soda at home, but recently the kids have been getting into seltzer.  It’s their special treat and since there are no calories or sugar, I’m happy to oblige.  But it’s starting to get a little boring.

Along comes Dr. Ayala, who recently introduced me to her line of herbal waters.  She is a mother and pediatrician who was looking for an alternative to the sugar laden beverages everyone  else was seeking.  In 2005, she started to blend her own unique blends of herbs with water.  When demand grew so did this company.


 

Blogger Spotlight: Lil Miss Cakes (Melissa Kaye...

 

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The blogger spotlight is posted every Friday and gives us a little peek into the person behind the blog.  We are grateful to learn about all the wonderful bloggers out there and hope they continue to help us grow this kosher food community.

Today we shine our spotlight on Melissa Kaye Apter from LilMissCakes.com.  Melissa has become a favorite guest blogger of ours with her ever popular Peanut Butter and Jelly Hamantashen and Passover Chocolate Chip Cookies.  She has been baking from a very young age and clearly is also artistically talented (take a look at some of the cakes on her site).  Now it is time to find out more about Melissa.


 

Garden Inspired Tablescape

 

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Want to set a formal table for a dairy Shavuos meal, yet the only options are a hodgepodge of breakfast bowls or, dare I say it, paper goods?  Let us help you.

Weekday to Holiday – White porcelain is the “black dress” of dinnerware and it’s also the best way to show off, or rather showcase, your food.


 

In the JOK Kitchen With Stephanie Pierson ...

 

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Stephanie Pierson recently wrote The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes.  This book is the first of its kind, the first book solely devoted to this cross-cultural wonder, brisket.  The Brisket Book compiles everything you ever wanted to know about Brisket and more.  From cooking advice, to chef interviews to butcher wisdom and it’s remarkable history way beyond the Jewish history of brisket we are more familiar with.  With colorful photographs and every different kind of brisket recipe you can imagine this book is a must have.  Note: not all the recipes in this book are kosher, but most can be adapted with minor substitutions.  Here we find out more about the author and what inspired this book.

1.       What inspired you to write a book about brisket?


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Amy Atlas *Giveaway*

 

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Sweet Designs – Bake It, Craft It, Style It, by Amy Atlas, brings the sweets stylist to the stars into your home.  Amy created this gorgeous book of sweets to help us make every occasion unforgettable.  The book is filled with 15 chapters, over 100 recipes, and 75 DIY crafts.  Learn to melt chocolate, work with fondant, use fabric to colorfully accessorize a cake pedestal and create a sweets centerpiece people will be talking abut for months to come.  Amy also happens to have a kosher kitchen. Today, we talk to Amy to find out more about her delicious new book.


 

Blogger Spotlight: Dinner In Venice – ...

 

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Today the spotlight is on Alessandra Rovati from Dinner In Venice our favorite Kosher Italian food blog.

What is your earliest cooking memory?
Making gnocchi while my mother was at work and I was at home with the chickenpox (I must have been about 8). Our housekeeper was a nice older lady who never tried to stop me from experimenting in the kitchen. Apparently, my mom knew what was going on as soon as she walked into the building – and we lived on the fourth floor! – because the traces of flour went all the way down to the street, at least that’s what she told me….


 

Thursday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including storage containers, a pizza stone, and cookware.


 

Wednesday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including toasters, storage containers and flatware.


 

Tuesday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including BBQ tools, stockpots and slow cookers.


 

Monday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including knives, a pizza stand and stemware.


 

Prime Grill Exclusive Recipes for your Passover...

 

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Wine and dine your guests this holiday, in the comfort of your own home.

Chef David Kolotkin, executive chef of The Prime Grill in New York City, brings his passion and innovation to your table this Pesach. Learn the secrets behind the unique flavors and flare Prime Grill diners enjoy. Chef David’s love for cooking didn’t sprout in a commercial kitchen. They were born in his childhood home, enjoying his mother’s delicious home-cooked meals and bonding moments with his parents in the kitchen. There, his deep respect for food grew, leading to his illustrious culinary career. Now, this Pesach, find that same inspiration—in your own home, around your own table with these recipes: