Happy Thanksgivukkah


November 28th 2013

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Enjoy this once in a lifetime event!! Have fun with your family and eat lots of Thanksgivukkah treats.   The Joy of Kosher team sends you best wishes for a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you are.

In case you missed any of our Thanksgivukkah recipes and need some last minute ideas, here are our holiday favorites from this year and year’s past.


Enjoy this recipe from the new Joy of Kosher cookbook featuring my new favorite stuffing and my Whiskey Glazed Turkey.  Both of these recipes are perfect for any special occasion with dress up and dress down options.

8 Nights of Idaho Potato Pancakes, from traditional to unusual, this roundup of latkes all use potatoes.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping

Turkey Day in the Holy Land

For those American’s living abroad, consider a special Thanksgiving inspired meal for Shabbat.

Peanut Chew Doughnut

A Hanukkah Brunch Menu

Having a Hanukkah Sunday Brunch? Try this menu on for size, filled with latkes, eggs and donuts. Get the Menu.

Non Dairy Thanksgiving Desserts

Make your favorite Thanksgiving Desserts parve for after your Turkey Dinner.

savory baked donuts

8 Nights of Dairy Delights

Delight in dairy.  After Thanksgiving and then Shabbat, we still have 5 more days of Hanukkah to celebrate with traditional dairy treats.  Don’t miss any of our favorites here.

Swiss Chard Frittata

5 Ingredients Hors Doeuvres for 8 Nights

Having a big crowd? Want some easy snacks to serve? Try these 5 Ingredient Hors Douevres.

My Not So Tiny Gift of Life

Last, but certainly not least, is Jamie’s Hanukkah Birthday Bash with a full menu of recipes.


Choosing The Right Types of Oil


November 27th 2013

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Chanukah may be the holiday of olive oil, but take a trip down your grocery aisle, and you’ll see as many different oils as there are colours of Chanukah candles. What is the difference between all of them and how is one to choose?

There are two main categories of fats; saturated fat and unsaturated fat.

Saturated fats raise low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL- often called “bad” cholesterol as it transports cholesterol from the liver around the body), and may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Unsaturated fats are a category that’s further broken down into monounsaturated fat (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fat (PUFAs). Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are both healthy fats that should replace less healthy fats in the diet. Monounsaturated fats may lower the risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol, while still maintaining high-density lipoprotein levels (HDL cholesterol; the “good” cholesterol that transports cholesterol from the body to the liver for removal from the body). Included in polyunsaturated fats is Omega 3 fat which lowers LDL cholesterol and can prevent the risk of stroke, and omega 6 fats which also lower LDL cholesterol, but may also lower HDL cholesterol and should be eaten in moderation.

Now that we have the basics, let’s look at some specific oils.

  • Canola oil has been around for a long time, and yet some are still wary of it, and unsure of its dangers or benefits. Canola oil was genetically engineered from the rapeseed plant to make it more nutritious, and while promoted as being just as good as olive oil, few studies have been conducted to prove this.  Canola oil is a monounsaturated fat and also has omega 3, decreases LDL, and is associated with decreased chronic heart disease risks and may also have a protective role in some cancers. Canola oil doesn’t have much of a taste and can withstand high heats, making it ideal to cook and bake with.
  • Coconut oil has been receiving a lot of press lately as providing all sorts of health benefits, few of which have been verified. Coconut oil’s chemistry is composed of medium chain fatty acids, which go through a different route of digestion, and so may be used faster than other longer chained fats, and isn’t stored as body fat. However, no studies have shown that using coconut oil can help with weight loss. Additionally, coconut oil is high in saturated fat and so raises LDL cholesterol. Although it also slightly raises HDL cholesterol, it’s not recommended to replace monounsaturated fats (like olive and canola) that lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. And despite certain claims, there is no evidence that virgin coconut oil acts differently than conventional coconut oil.
  • Avocado oil was originally processed for cosmetic use, but has recently entered the kitchen as its distinct flavour and high smoking point make it ideal for cooking. Additionally, it is high in unsaturated fat; only a bit lower than olive oil in MUFAs and high in PUFAs (both omegas 6 and 3). Avocado oil also contains antioxidants and phytosterols which may have anticancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Pumpkin seed oil is a specialty of South Eastern Europe, where it’s used as an ingredient in vegetable dressings and dessert toppings. This polyunsaturated fat is dark green or red, has an intense nutty flavour, and contains many antioxidants which may decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Fats are an important part of a healthy well-balanced diet. Dietitians of Canada and the American Dietetic Association recommend incorporating 2-3 tablespoons of fat into the daily diet, and fats should make up 20-35% of daily calories. When choosing oils or fats, look for those low in saturated fat, and high in unsaturated fats including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The miracle of Chanukah showed us that not all oil is equal, and that’s just as true now-a-day.

Please leave any questions on this subject or any other in the comment below.


Israel Book Party – BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!


November 26th 2013

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You asked. We answered. And now I am thrilled to announce the ISRAEL JOY of KOSHER BOOK LAUNCH PARTY. Please join me in Jerusalem for an exclusive evening of film, food and wine. The US Party SOLD OUT in hours! Please don’t wait, buy your tickets now.

Scroll down for more details.

The Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival will be hosting a special screening of the first 3 episodes of JOY of ISRAEL with Jamie Geller followed by an evening of food, wine, book signing meeting and greeting.

Party Details:

Who: Anyone in Israel who wants to celebrate with me, buy my new book JOY of KOSHER Fast, Fresh Family Recipes at a discounted price and taste great food and wine from some of Israel’s finest food and wine suppliers

When: Thursday December 5, 2013. Screening begins 19:30- 20:10 followed by festive reception, tastings and signing until 21:00

Where: Jerusalem Cinemateque
11 Derech Hebron
Jerusalem, Israel

Event fee: 25 NIS (Israeli Shekels) That includes film screening, food, and wine tastings!  Books will be available for sale at a discounted price of around 100 NIS.

How do I buy tickets?

Click here and either select and pay for your seat at the Hebrew page – or if you prefer call the Cinemateque on 02 565 4356 to book in English.

Can’t wait to see you and celebrate with you!!!

This evening has been made possible by the following special sponsors.



Hanukkah Desserts


November 26th 2013

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We all love more dessert recipes and our friends in Montreal really know how to do them right.  We showcased the Montreal Hebrew Academy Cookbook, And Then There Was Cake and shared a few recipes last month.  Now, we get to sample a few more special for Hanukkah.

Chocolate Cigars

Light, flaky layers of phyllo dough oozing with warm chocolate, this dessert is somewhat reminiscent of baklava and its sweet almond filling. These cigars are playful and definitely outside the box – think of them as upscale finger food. For a hot and cold combination, serve just out of the oven with vanilla ice cream.

Sugar Sugar Doughnuts

Sugar Sugar Doughnuts

The mere thought of these doughnuts is enough to spark giddy, mouth-watering excitement.  Sugar flying in the air, the smell of dough frying in oil, even the flipping manoeuvre – it’s all great fun! Doughnuts are one of those foods that have the power to lure – who can refuse an invitation to have a warm doughnut or five, especially around Chanukah? This yeast-based version is light and airy and the effort you will invest in working the dough is all worth it. We dare you to have just one!

We hope you enjoy these recipes and have a Happy Hanukkah.  For a last minute gift idea consider our cookbook,   And Then There Was Cake from the Hebrew Academy of Montreal. Copies can be ordered at HA-Cookbook.com or by calling 514-489-5321.


A Magical Hanukkah with Zucchini Latkes


November 26th 2013

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We are approaching Hanukkah which is known to be the holiday of miracles. Have you ever thought that cooking and baking is a sort of a miracle?

Every time you take raw ingredients and turn them into a delicious food that make all your senses so happy and content, you create magic!

Do you feel this mysterious magic?

I walk through the Carmel market at least once a week with guests who share this passion for food and cooking . Everything is so tempting I can feel the vegetables calling out to me to pick them up which I often do. I always want to buy more than what I have on my list – everything looks so fresh and yummy and I immediately think about this magic that will turn the wonderful ingredients into amazing dishes.

Take raw zucchini and turn them into  wonderful Zucchini Levivot

Make my Zucchini pancakes,  another variation on Hanukkah latkes.

They taste wonderfully fresh, especially if you serve them with minted yogurt.

The magic is even more enhanced in my CookinIsrael tours where I introduce Israel through food to visitors from all over the world.

I  witness this miracle of meeting people who are complete strangers in the morning and by the end of the day  we all feel like family . This mysteriously happens around food and with cooking together. People discover new flavors and find them tasty. They take back home with them the recipes to introduce the new food to their families & friends.

I invite you to tour and cook with me when you next travel to Israel. Looking forward to hearing from  you: info@cookinisrael.com


A Syrian Thanksgivukkah Table


November 25th 2013

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We have shared a ton of Thanksgivukkah recipes, table decor ideas and fun gifts and treats.  We couldn’t resist sharing just one more.  Our friend Marlene runs TheJewishHostess.com and is always showcasing amazing tables-capes.  I really wish I could hire to set my table.  This year she decided to share a Thanksgivukkah table and here is a little preview for you.

Marlene notes: As Jews in America,  we are very grateful to be able to celebrate our holidays publicly without fear of being persecuted. Just the fact that we can honor the mitzvah of lighting the menorah at the front window to shout out the 8 day miracle of Hanukka is reason enough to bring out our finest china and table decor to honor our peaceful place in Jewish history. For that reason alone, we should all proudly acknowledge and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Marlene decided to share a Syrian style  Hanukka table sweetened with a tray of sweet chopped nut filled Atayef and drizzled with shirah- a thick rose water syrup instead of the Ashkenaz sufganiyot.  Sounds great to me.

Check out this gorgeous Pumpkin menorah.

Don’t miss the side table filled with edible presents – did you guess it is a cake?

For the full table decor and where to get the supplies to make it yourself, visit The Jewish Hostess.


The Shabbat After Thanksgivukkah


November 23rd 2013

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This Shabbat we celebrate the third night of Hanukkah and it is also the day after the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  In this week’s parsha, Pharaoh dreams of seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of hunger.  After (at least) seven courses of Thanksgiving bounty, there is  undoubtedly an abundance of leftovers in our refrigerator this week. So we remake the plenty from the night before for a completely original  Shabbat Hanukkah menu that will feed your hungry family and guests.

Sweet Potato Soup with Sweet Potato Chips

Sweet Potato Soup with Sweet Potato Chips

apple sage stuffing latkes

Apple Sage Stuffing Latkes

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

rosemary roasted cauliflower

Rosemary Roasted Cauliflower

Baked Cranberry Doughnuts

As an alternate to the stuffing latkes or in addition, the main image is Mashed Potato Kale Latkes.


RSVP For The #HanukkahChat Twitter and Pinning...


November 22nd 2013

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It is almost Hanukkah and that means potatoes!!!  No one can go 8 days without at least one night of classic potato latkes.  To help us get ready for one of our favorite holidays, our friends at the Idaho Potato Commission are sponsoring a #HanukkahChat Twitter party.  See you there…

You’re invited to join our Hanukkah Twitter chat!
Hosted by @JoyofKosher and sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission.

On the agenda

Hanukkah chat with recipes and menus overflowing with Idaho potatoes and more – Win a 1 year subscription to Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine for just by RSVPing below, then Retweet during the chat to win 1 of 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards or 2 cartons of Idaho potatoes (1 Russet and 1 Fingerlings).

We will be talking about: Potatoes and how they fit into our Hanukkah plans.  Share your favorite Hanukkah potato recipes, ask your Hanukkah questions and get new Hanukkah latke recipes and ideas.


Monday November 25th, from 8:30-9:30pm EST


@JoyofKosher @Bitayavon @KosherFoodBloggers @Potatohead100 @idahopotato

Moderator @TamarGenger

How to participate
Use hashtag #HanukkahChat
Use Twubs for easy chatting.

Anyone can participate, but you must be following @JoyofKosher and @IdahoPotato and RSVP before the chat in order to win!

Follow us here


Let us know you are coming to the party in the comments below to be entered to win, make sure to include your twitter handle.

What about the Pinning party?   We are trying something new.   We’d love to see you create a board around our party theme – Hanukkah – using our hashtag #HanukkahChat, but what you put on your board is completely up to you.  We want you to pin what you love!  We’ll be giving you opportunities to share your favorite pins with us during the Twitter Party, and as always, sharing is a great way to connect with new pinners, have your pins re-pinned, and see what your friends find pinnable.


Pumpkin Hanukkah Recipes


November 22nd 2013

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I love Pumpkin! It is one of the most versatile ingredients in my pantry and is a staple in my home. I use pumpkin in many recipes including: soups, risotto, breads, stews, ravioli filling, pie, and more.

One of the few canned foods I use is canned pumpkin puree. Canned pumpkin puree is a nutrient dense food. It is high in vitamins and antioxidants. To achieve the creaminess of canned pumpkin puree it would take hours and many pounds of pumpkin to result in several cups of puree. So now you know the secrets of this restaurant chef.

pumpkin latkes with cranberry apple sauce

This year with Hanukkah overlapping with Thanksgiving it is time to infuse the flavors of pumpkin into my classically Hanukkah creations.  Let’s start with latkes.  I love the bright orange color of these latkes.  I add grated pumpkin and pumpkin puree to a potato base to create the best combination of flavor and texture. Without the potato latke base, grated pumpkin would burn as the sugar content is too high with just pumpkin.  Enjoy my complete recipe for Pumpkin Latkes with Cranberry Apple Sauce.

If you want something a little more savory try adding some curry powder, here is my recipe for Curried Coriander Pumpkin Latkes.

pumpkin donuts

 Onto even sweeter things, try my Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Cinnamon Glaze.  These are dairy so they can’t work for Thanksgivukkah, but we still have 7 other nights of Hanukkah to try them out and they are worth it any time.

I hope you enjoy my Pumpkin recipes, if you have any questions please comment below.




How to make a Candy Mosaic Chanukah Tray


November 21st 2013

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Gluten and Dairy Free Corn Pudding


November 21st 2013

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Golden sweet corn seems iconic at Thanksgiving, a symbol of the harvest. Corn side dishes are a pleasant foil to other more hearty, starchy fare on the Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving is all about traditions — traditions of family, traditions of gratitude and traditions of food.

For some families, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a creamy corn pudding. But if you’re having turkey on the table, you need a pareve, non-dairy side, not a corn pudding rich with butter, cream and milk.

This gluten-free, pareve corn pudding — inspired by a Cook’s Illustrated dairy recipe — has a creamy, custardy texture that comes from coconut milk (the richer canned coconut milk, not the boxed, more watery coconut milk drink). The coconut flavor is subtle, with the standout taste being the taste of crisp corn. Fresh corn kernels cut off the cob work best, but since it’s hard to find fresh corn in November, frozen corn works too.

The eggs give the pudding a light, soufflé-like consistency, studded with nuggets of golden corn. It may seem fussy to bake the pudding in a water bath, but we tried this recipe both with and without a water bath. We found that using a water bath (baking the dish set in a larger pan surrounded by hot water) is the way to go. It insulates the soufflé, cooks it evenly and gently, and prevents it from falling and deflating.

Now that’s something to be thankful for.

Here is the full recipe for my Corn Pudding.


Download and Print a Free Recipe Card


November 20th 2013

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We have a present for you.  A free downloadable, printable recipe card.  Isn’t it cute?

Sure you can get the recipe for Jamie’s Molasses Spice Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze here on the site.  But then you can make the cake and bring it to a friend’s house with this printed recipe card attached.

This is a simple cake, easy to make, and presents beautifully.   It taste great too.  Who wouldn’t want to receive this as a gift.

This card was created using PicMonkey.com, one of my favorite tools for editing pictures, making collages and now creating recipe cards. Click here to get a tutorial to create your own recipe card.

Click here to open and print the card.

Would you like more printable recipe cards? Let us know in the comments below.



8 Nights of Idaho Potato Latkes *Giveaway*


November 20th 2013

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The classic potato latke, fried to a crispy golden brown and emerging from the pan still sizzling, is a family favorite during Hanukkah and year round.  Although the standard ingredients are simple enough, I have seen versions with no added flour, sautéed onions, thick, fluffy, grated by hand, shredded or even mashed.  What makes a really great latke is a really great potato, which is why your search should start and end in Idaho.

Traditional Potato Latkes

Did you know that a Idaho potatoes are filled with nutrients?  Potatoes are a natural source of carbohydrates, an essential nutrient.  Potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.  They also provide vitamin B6 and can be a valuable source of fiber if the skin is left on.


Mashed Potato and Kale Idaho Potato Latkes

Idaho potatoes are particularly perfect for making fried potato latkes. While Idaho is a leading producer of Yukon Gold, Red and even Fingerlings, the Russet potato is best for frying so it is the best choice when preparing potato latkes for Hanukkah. Once you’ve got the right potato, the latke is still capable of surprising variety.  Once you master the basics you can really get creative…

Samosa Latkes

Jamie’s Samosa Latkes were one of the highlights of her second cookbook, (Quick & Kosher: Meals in Minutes).  She added ethnic spices and tender peas and this year I am planning a Hanukkah menu inspired by the flavors of India, who’s joining me?


Asian Scallion Potato Pancakes

I love the flavors, colors and versatility of oriental cuisine and I am really excited about these delicious new Asian Scallion Idaho Potato Pancakes.  I typically serve with a soy and rice wine vinegar dip (with some chopped scallions) alongside Mushroom and Vegetable dumplings as an appetizer.


Cheese and Marinara Stuffed Latke

Shifra, the editor of Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine wrote a whole story on stuffed latkes a couple of years ago.  As a main course, this Marinara and Cheese Stuffed Latke is pizza-tively amazing!

Brussels Sprouts and Facon Latkes

Melinda, at Kitchen-Tested, brings home the facon by filling her latkes with Brussels sprouts and beef bacon.  Yummy!

sweet or savory cranberry latkes

Sweet or Savory Cranberry Latkes

With the once in a lifetime celebration of Thanksgivukkah this year, creative chefs are combining the best of Thanksgiving with Hanukkah culinary traditions.  I love the idea of adding the tartness of cranberries with the savory flavors of turkey and Idaho potatoes.

Smoked Turkey Rosti Latke

For another Thanksgivukkah recipe, especially ideal for the day after Thanksgiving, try these leftover turkey latkes made best with smoked turkey.

I hope you enjoy our 8 nights of Idaho potato latke recipes, see below on how to WIN:

Traditional Potato Latkes

Mashed Potato Kale Latkes

Samosa Latkes

Asian Scallion Potato Pancakes

Cheese and Marinara Stuffed Latkes

Cranberry Latkes

Idaho Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Facon Latkes

Roasted Turkey Latke with Cranberry Apple Sauce

This recipe roundup was sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.   Make sure to buy your potatoes with the Idaho Potato seal so that your latkes will be the best they can be.


Thanks to the Idaho Potato Commission for inspiring all these recipes and for offering the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.  Make sure to join us on Monday, 11/25 at 8:30 pm for a Hanukkah Chat on Twitter and the chance to win more prizes.

In the comments below fill in the blank: Hanukkah would not be complete without____.  And enter with Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Thanksgiving Kishke


November 19th 2013

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There’s a romantic relationship we seem to have with food, even the simplest food. Kishke, the simple stuffed gut is an Eastern European dish that I assume came from the poverty stricken communities in Eastern Europe.

When it comes to tying traditions together, like Thanksgiving and Chanukah, we turn to that romance and come up with recipes and a menu that combines the best of both worlds and a Thanksgiving Kishke is simply delicious. I’d never suggest skipping an actual stuffing at the Thanksgiving table, but if you’re making Friday night dinner the next day, this might be a good way to go. It’s oh-so-simple and you can either bake it in the oven or slow cook it in a soup or stew.

When I came up with this recipe for the first time, I was amazed at how easy it all came together. I was surprised that I had never thought of it before, and I was surprised how well the seasonal vegetables and turkey broth married with the traditional kishke.

So this Thanksgivukkah, elevate that simple kishke and share it with the people you love.  Here is my recipe for Thanksgiving Kishke.


Chocolate Gelt For Grown Ups *Giveaway*


November 19th 2013

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Chocolate Gelt is all grown up and dressed up and it has plenty of places to go.

Veruca Chocolates is now making their specialty, hand crafted Hanukkah gelt with CRC kosher certification.  Veruca Chocolates was started by Heather Johnston, a pediatrician who got frustrated with the medical system and was looking to add some sweetness to her life.  She wandered into a chocolate making class and fell in love with the craft of the chocolatier.  Heather began creating high quality artisanal chocolates that seduce the eye as well as the palate.

Although only the chocolate gelt products are kosher certified at this time, Heather assures me it’s just a matter of time before all her incredible treats are under supervision. 

Last year, Heather began molding her fine chocolates after an actual Judean coin dating back to the 4th decade BCE, she then finishes them with edible gold or silver dust. No more foil packages!  These chocolates come in three varieties, 64% Dark with Cacao Nibs, 64% Dark with Sea Salt and a Milk Chocolate variety.  All are absolutely delicious and gorgeous.

Since getting these gelt I couldn’t help but use them in almost every holiday photo I have taken.  Dont’ they make any table look ready for Hanukkah? Take out your dreidel and get ready to play, this new Hanukkah gelt will have everyone rooting for gimel.

Don’t miss out and get your Hanukkah Sampler Pack today, Click Here.

***Giveaway***  Veruca is also giving you the chance to win a sampler pack!!!  Enter with Rafflecopter below.

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