The Kosher Home

 

A Passover Tablescape

 

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Before I can sit down to plan my seder night menu (or maybe we should leave that one to Jamie), I like to design my tablesetting for the evening well in advance of Pesach, as let’s face it, who has time later. Make it fun and easy so the entire family will enjoy. All you need is some cardstock, scissors, corks for the placecards, a good craft store and dollar store (shekel shop for those of us living in Israel), a computer and a little imagination.


 

Passover Placemats Craft

 

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Supplies:

  • One sturdy, brightly colored piece of thicker construction paper, size
  • 8 X 11 (A4), per kid
  • One good photo of each kid who is making a placemat
  • Stickers for decorating the edges
  • Magic markers in various colors
  • Stencil for writing the letters of the name, optional

Instructions


 

How To Eat Pizza Like an Israeli

 

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A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Jamie Geller.  As the resident adviser to new (and not so new) olim, I get all kinds of questions about cooking and baking in Israel.  But this one made me realize, the questions are about eating in Israel, too!

Jamie wanted to know if I had a recipe for the delicious dipping sauce that frequently accompanies pizzas here in Israel, and while I was at it, if I knew how to make the tavlinim – spices – that come with every delivery.  It occurred to me that the way we eat pizza has changed since we made Aliyah. It used to be plain pizza, with a side of French fries.  Here, French fries are rarely available in pizza shops, and it is the condiments that make the meal.  Spices are sprinkled on top (green or the more spicy red combination), and sauce is drizzled over the top or on the side for dunking your slice.  But while I have a sufficient number of spice packets to cover a football field of pizzas, I would prefer to make my own spice mixes, leaving off the ubiquitous MSG and controlling the amount of salt, for a healthier result.  The same is true for dipping sauce – I can use lower fat and sugar ingredients, and minimize the sodium.


 

Uses For Leftover Hamantashen Filling

 

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You have been diligently preparing for Purim making many Hamantashen with many different fillings. Your Shalach Manos baskets need to be filled with assorted treats and your Hamantashen are anticipated additions in your baskets.

Most religious institutions, when preparing for Purim festivities, enlist cadres of cooks to assemble scores of dozens of Hamantashen for their holiday carnivals. Along with the traditional prune (lekvar) and poppy seed (mohn) fillings, apricot, almond, chocolate, strawberry and other fruit flavors have become favorites.  When preparing hundreds or even thousands of Hamantashen at a time, bakers can easily use many different flavors and have no leftovers.


 

10 Add On Gift Ideas

 

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One of the mitzvahs of Purim is to give mishloach manot comprised of at least two different types of food.  In addition to a food basket, consider giving loved ones an extra little gift to enjoy along with their hamantashen.  Below are gift ideas for the ten “personalities” you might encounter among your friends and acquaintances.

 


 

Unique Chocolate Treats for Mishloach Manot

 

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Everybody that knows me is familiar with my chocolate obsession. The darker and richer, the better! Every year I make a few special treats to put in my mishloach manot. These two are at the top of my list! The chocolate bark is simply delicious and always looks festive and the chocolate dipped honeycomb fits in with my Bee theme. Both are incredibly easy to make and will completely jazz up your mishloach manot!

honeycomb candy

Chocolate Honeycomb Candy


 

10 Candy Recipes for Purim

 

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I’m a big fan of sending, or receiving, candy in my mishloach manot.  Although it is easier to find your favorite kosher candies in the supermarket, it is fun and rewarding to make your own candy at home.  Below are 10 DIY candy recipes.

 


 

Create The Perfect Purim Gift Basket *Giveaway*

 

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Even though we had an extra month of Adar this year I still feel like all of a sudden Purim is creeping up on me.  I have been undecided about my plan for Mishloach Manot this year when I got a call from Oh! Nuts.  I knew all about Oh! Nuts, I love the gift baskets they sell, but I usually prepare my own baskets and I didn’t realize the extent of what they sold.  Turns out they are are a mecca of supplies to help make any food gift basket, especially though for Purim.  They have homemade hamantashen, tons of chocolate specialties and tons of candy if every different color.


 

Bread Making Kitchen Tools

 

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I have fully hopped on the no knead bread bandwagon and my family loves it.  I make the best, tastiest and cheapest bread at least once a week that tastes like it comes from a baker and it only takes about 10 minutes active time.  Read about my experiences and get my favorite no knead bread recipes here.

In addition to the various no knead breads that I make, once in a while I still take time out for Challah.  Whatever kind of bread you are making the right kitchen gadgets can make it easier and better for you.


 

The Best Salad Tools

 

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We love salads, they can be made up of any mix of vegetables, the options are endless.  The popularity of salad bars all over have consistently grown over the last 30 or so years because we also all love to make it our own and choose from lots of toppings.  You don’t have to go out to have salad bar fun, consider making your own.  Check out these kitchen gadgets to make salad bar creations that much more fun.

 


 

The Best Slow Cookers

 

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Brrr, It’s cold outside.  This is the coldest winter in years and that means we need hot comfort food more than ever.  Slow cookers make our lives easier during these short winter days.  All we have to do is throw our ingredients in the pot and set it and forget it until we come home out of the cold for piping hot dinner.  Oh and we have 135 slow cooker recipes for you to browse through on this site.

Even if you already have a slow cooker, I recommend considering another one.  First of all you might finally decide it is time to buy a dairy one.  There are lots of wonderful vegetarian dishes that you will want to top with cheese.  Second, check out some of the fun new features, some might not be ok for Shabbat (ask your Rabbi), but they are all great for every day.


 

The Best Ways To Serve Chips and Dips

 

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Whether you are having people over to watch the big game or just for snacks, we all love serving chips or veggies and dips.  Sure you can use any old plate and bowl, but let’s make life a little easier and serving a lot more fun.


 

The Best Gadgets For DIY Vegetable Chips

 

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Do you ever make your own veggie chips? It is my favorite snack and almost all vegetables can be turned into a chip.  I don’t even really like potato chips, but I love hot and fresh from the oven baked potato chips which my husband requests practically every Saturday night.  Sometimes I can convince him to have my Zucchini Chips  or my Carrot Chips.   The issue with all of these recipes is that they need to be cut thin and evenly.  The trick for the slicing is a good mandoline.

This mandoline from OXO has a nice guard and a sharp blade with a few different slicing options, you can use it for julienne cutting too.  With all mandolines be careful and make sure there is a good guard and they are very safe.


 

The Best Immersion Blender

 

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One of the best inventions of all time has got to be the immersion blender.  I mean how many people have burned themselves pouring hot soup into a blender and who can wait for the soup to cool off?  Not me, that is for sure.  One of my very first kitchen gadgets was one of these hand held blenders.  It came with a nice large cup that I loved to puree anything from smoothies to eventually babyfood.  The best part is, these little gadgets don’t take up any space.  So even in my small kitchen with two sets of everything, I can have two of these, the question is which one to choose.

I really love my Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Hand Blender you can read about here, but it does take up a bit more space and so for today I am going to talk about the basic ones, that just come with a cup.


 

Candy Wrapper Hair Accessories *Giveaway*

 

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We have a very strange candy minhag in my home every Friday night when my brother in law comes to stay with us…. which is pretty much every weekend! After the dishes are cleared and the table cleaned, out comes the candy. Mike and Ike’s ALWAYS make an appearance. When I was asked to come up with a craft using candy wrappers I was so beyond excited since I’ve been thinking about doing something with them for so long. I loved the idea of creating hair accessories out of the old boxes and wrappers. It’s such a great party craft for girls or the perfect mom and daughter project to bond over.