The Kosher Home

 

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.

 


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Tina Wasserman *Giveaway*

 

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Tina Wasserman has been in the food writing business for a while, but two years ago when she wrote her first cookbook, Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of The Jewish Diaspora, she really appeared on the map.  Tina loves to share the history of our food and helps us all connect to our Jewish roots through food.  Her new book, Entree to Judaism For Families, is filled with the tools to help kids of all ages learn to cook in the kitchen and learn bits of history too.  I had the chance to meet Tina recently and I came away with so much amazing knowledge.  Let’s see what we can learn now.

Your books are filled with little history lessons connecting the food to Jewish history, how did you learn all these facts?


 

The Best Citrus Squeezer/Juicer

 

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For the longest time all I had to squeeze lemons was a little plastic piece that was so flimsy I didn’t even like using it.  I use lemons and limes often in food, but usually it is one at a time so I just did it with my hands.  Then I started getting into cocktail making and I really enjoy a frozen mint mojito in the Summer and other citrusy drinks in the Winter.  I finally got myself a real lemon/lime squeezer and I can’t believe it took me so long.


 

Family Game Night Menu

 

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It has been a really cold Winter so far and Winter hasn’t even started yet.  A friend told me that she heard this is going to be the snowiest winter in years and I can’t even begin to guess what the Jerusalem snow storm is supposed to tell us.  The lesson I am choosing to glean is to start planning some fun nights in.

Even without snow, when it starts to get really cold, people just want to cuddle up in their pajamas and stay warm.  That doesn’t mean the fun has to stop, instead, it is time to host a game night!!  Get the kids or your friends together and enjoy your winter at home.  You have to work a bit to prepare some fun food, but we will keep it easy so you don’t miss out on any of the action.


 

How To Use Gefen Wonder Melts and Cookbook...

 

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Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracle melts… Versatile, creamy, colorful and easy to use, Gefen Wonder Melts can be used to satisfy all your candy-making and candy-dipping desires.  Gefen Wonder Melts are mouthwatering melt-in-your-mouth candies that come in a variety of bright colors and are non-dairy — so they can brighten your baking and crown your cookies in so many different ways.  Here we have a few ways that you can use these versatile sweet treats in your kitchen:


 

Edible Holiday Gift Ideas

 

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I love presents! I love giving presents. I love figuring out the perfect present. I love seeing the smile on peoples face when they receive the present. Perhaps that is why I make giftware for a living!

It is truly better to give than to receive. And so whenever I am invited to be someone’s guest, I feel it is appropriate to show up with gift in hand. Living in a large, hospitable community I have ample opportunities to exercise my gift giving passion. But frequency comes with a price. And although I specialize in giftware, I am like the shoemaker whose children go shoeless. I rarely feel comfortable just giving my own creations.  So what is an appreciative guest to do?


 

Let’s Have a Chanukah Party

 

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Hosting a Chanukah party?

We have 3 gourmet menus suggested by premiere caterer, Esprit Caterers.  Get some ideas, try some of the recipes and use them for your party.


 

How To Make Kosher Paella Without a Paella Pan

 

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Paella is one hearty dish! Typically filled to the paella-pan brim with rice, chicken, seafood, spices, vegetables and more. There is no minimum and no maximum to how many ingredients are combined to make a Paella. Since I keep kosher, my paella was a little more tamed. Seafood- outta the dish! In place of the “shrimp” I used incredible sausage. By sautéing the sausage first, my Paella base of flavor was born. Salty, briny and meaty sausage flavor; I’m a fan of that!

Before I continue with the plethora of aromatic ingredients, let me begin by how to cook a paella. Sadly, I do not own a paella pan. I even asked for an extension to write this article so I could buy cute mini paella pans for individually served dishes. Tamar, the wonderful editor at Joy Of Kosher told me “You don’t need to buy a paella pan… how many people will have this in their kitchen’s already? Just use a wok, or a deep frying pan.” Thanks to Tamar, I saved some money, and realized that my good ol’ giant meat frying pan would do the job.