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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stuffing Latkes and Link Up


November 18th 2013

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In some circles (very small circles) I am known as the Stuffing Queen.  It’s not the kind of moniker you get etched into a gold necklace or printed on a tee, but from early September to late November every year, it makes me pretty popular.  When I first began hosting family for holidays, I served a wild mushroom stuffing on Rosh Hashanah and Thanksgiving that is now become an annual family tradition. 

On the days leading up to the holiday, I would buy a really nice loaf of bread (none of that pre-sliced stuff) and I would cut into medium sized cubes that I would leave out on the countertop for a day or two to go stale.  These nice big chunks of bread you can only get by cutting it yourself, so take out your battle axe or bread knife and start whacking.  After you think you have finished cooking the stuffing, either in the bird or separately in a pan, place the stuffing in the oven uncovered for about 15 minutes before serving to get the top layer nice and crispy.

Over time I adapted the recipe to take advantage of any kind of bread readily available (usually I go whole wheat, but rye or pumpernickel are great, too), other kinds of fruits or vegetables (like apples, celery and sage), and sometimes even an addition of a smoked or cured meat, like sausage or pastrami.  You really can’t go wrong with stuffing, by adding veggies and using multigrain bread, it can even be healthy.

When it came time to come up with a new recipe for Hanukkah this year, which just so happens to fall on Thanksgiving, I knew Stuffing Latkes would be my legacy.  You can make these delicious stuffing latkes with any stuffing recipe and they can be baked or fried.  You can save these for Friday night and remake your leftover Thanksgiving stuffing in the most delicious way!

Get my recipe for Apple Sage Stuffing Latkes here.



My New Favorite Turkey and Stuffing Recipes


November 18th 2013

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I will now share with you one of my absolutely NEW favorite recipes – Sour Mash Whiskey-Glazed Whole Roasted Turkey.  I love this recipe and picture so much that I wanted it to be the cover of my new cookbook JOY of KOSHER: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2013).  (Please buy your copy and gift copies, now!  And if you already did – THANK YOU!)   I was out voted only because it said “Thanksgiving” and was not “universal” enough.  I get that – but still wanted it.

There is a story behind this bird that didn’t make the book – it was cut for space – but I am happy to have all the space in the world to share it here.

So it was Wednesday at around 12:40 P.M.

I Scooted out of my office…

on a day packed with meetings to grab my favorite lunch, Greek Salad (If you have the book I have a Fancy and Fresh Greek Pasta Salad with Creamy Feta dressing on page 135). And I’m waiting on line at the take-out counter, schmoozing on the phone with my friend Hadassah (you all remember “H” she used to work here at JoK). I tell her that I’m really worried. Hadassah wouldn’t pry, but let’s say she prodded me gently, and I blurted out emotionally and rather loudly that I just don’t know what to do with my brisket! Okay, so a few people turned to look at me and sort of edged away.

Listen, when you write cookbooks, that’s a serious, troubling question. I had already done the wine thing, the beer thing, the broth thing, and lots of other things.

“Try bourbon,” she piped.

“Bourbon! Of course!” I shouted. And more people kinda shuffled away from me.

So when I got home, I tried bourbon on that brisket, and while it was good, I thought it would be better on a turkey. Hubby got in on the action, and the result was downright perfect. We called Hadassah. She came over just to confirm what we already knew, and we now had three adults lickin’ their fingers just like little kids.


This fabulously versatile recipe can be Dressed Down for a weeknight dinner by pouring the same Sour Mash Whiskey-Glaze over turkey or chicken wings and drumsticks.

Now a Turkey ain’t complete without a little stuffing.  This is another one of my favorite recipes.  (Is it possible to have 200 new favorites?), Cranberry Chestnut and Challah Stuffing.  I make tons and tons and tons of stuffing both in the bird and on the side baked up in a casserole dish.  The secret to this stuffing is the Challah and Gefen’s Whole Roasted & Peeled Chestnuts.  They are everywhere now.  When I was in Philly last week I saw them at both Whole Foods and Giant Supermarket and they are avail on amazon in addition to all the kosher stores.

And watch this how-to-make, where-have-you-been-all-my-life, Challah Stuffing.  Hadassah and Tamar helped me here. 

And exclusively in the book and now excerpted online here my Dress It Up Stuffed Baked Onions.  This beauty of a recipe is perfect for all your entertaining occasions.

 stuffed baked onions

• Stuffed Baked Onions •
Serve the stuffing in baked onions.
Peel 5 medium red onions and 5 medium yellow onions and trim the bottoms so the onions can stand upright. Trim about ½ inch from the top and scoop out all but 2 or 3 layers from the inside using a melon baller or small paring knife. Bake the onions at 440°F, covered, in a baking dish with ½ inch water for 30 minutes. While the onions are baking, prepare the stuffing as on page 80. When the onions are done, pour out the water from the pan, then lightly spray it with cooking spray. Fill each onion with about 3 heaping tablespoons of stuffing, mounding it on top a bit. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake, uncovered, until heated through and golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. While the onions are baking, spoon the remaining stuffing into a greased casserole dish. Cover and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. After the stuffing has been cooked and cooled, you can freeze it in a tightly sealed container. To serve, thaw and bring to room temperature before warming in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. If you want to prepare only enough stuffing for the 10 onions, quarter the main stuffing recipe.

If you tried these recipes and loved them or tried and loved any new divine dishes from my new cookbook JOY of KOSHER: Fast, Fresh Family Recipes (William Morrow/HarperCollins 2013) please let me know in the comments.


My Upcoming Live and TV Appearance Schedule


November 15th 2013

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So here you will find the 411 on what I am up to next week in New York. Come see me in person – I would love to sign your book and hug you!  If you live too far away or can’t make it, please tune into to watch me on TV!!  (or at least set your DVR!)

The Business of Wisdom with with Dr. Alvin Augustus Jones

Monday November 18, 2013


Broadcast WCBQ-AM 1340 -WHNC-AM 890 and Dralvin.com


Tuesday November 19, 2013


Chabad Jewish Center of NW Bergen County

Call for address and details: 201.848.0449


I’ll be demoing tons of my new recipes and signing books. Watch and learn as I prepare dishes such as …

Eggplant Caviar Crostini

Scallion Cornbread Muffins

Cranberry Couscous Squash Bowls


Wednesday November 20th


CBS New York: The Couch

I’ll be making some holiday and every day recipes from my new cookbook.

Shalom America with Phil Fink

Wednesday November 20, 2013

1:30pm – get more info here

The Too Jewish Radio Show

Wednesday November 20, 2013

2:oo pm

This show i syndicated throughout Arizona and podcast on the web through iTunes and at www.TooJewishRadio.com

The More Music Morning Show with Al Gordon

Thursday November 21, 2013


Wednesday November 27th

FOX 5: Good Day New York

I’ll be cooking up some holiday favorites.

Monday November 25th


Grand & Essex Market

89 New Bridge Rd, Bergenfield, NJ 07621


I’ll be demoing and signing books.  Join me as I prepare recipes such as..

Lemon Lovers Hummus and Tricolor Hummus Trifles

Pistachio, Almond and Sea Salt Chocolate Bark and Kiddie Candy Bark

And mark your calendars now.  My full Hanukkah special will be airing around the country around the country on Create and local PBS stations.  Create will air the show on 11/30 at 11:30AM & 11:30PM, and 12/1 at 5:30PM.  For PBS air dates and times check your local listings.  Click play above for a preview.


Edible Holiday Gift Ideas


November 14th 2013

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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?

I have always liked being a bit different. To come up with something unique can be a challenge.

I no longer ask what I can buy, but what I can make. Especially when an invitation is to a Shabbat meal, not everyone has time to make elaborate gifts, but there are plenty of easy and unique edible gifts that are quick.

I was recently treating myself to a manicure erev Rosh Hashana, (I hardly ever do my nails, because I work with my hands all day!) When my 22 year old daughter’s, second grade teacher had the same idea.  As we were catching up on life and children, she mentioned to me that she has always remembered that my daughter gave her homemade treats for a teacher’s present. She commented that she had just had a conversation with a mom who complained that she didn’t have enough money to buy all the teachers gifts, and this former 2nd grade teacher informed the mom, that one of her favorite gifts were from a student, (my daughter), who baked her own edible treats herself and added a beautiful thank you note.

While you can’t always know what will compliment the host’s efforts, usually a sweet treat is a safe and appreciated option. A close friend of mine in New York first introduced me to this, no cook, no mess, hassle free, yummy treat. I have added craisins to this free measuring recipe. There are never leftovers! And I am always asked for the recipe. Wrap these babies in a cellophane bag with a ribbon or on a glass platter and you have the perfect edible gift!  These are great for teacher and co-worker gifts during the holidays.

Try my favorite, go to recipe for White Chocolate Pretzel Chunks.  Served on my favorite Swirl Design Platter and it really is the perfect gift.  Now for a limited time I am offering you 20% Off your entire Swirl order so you can get all the gifts on your list.  Visit www.swirlgifts.com place your order and enter joyofkosher in the coupon box.  Offer expires 11/21.

In last year’s Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Hanukkah Magazine they shared another great edible gift idea.  Hand out small jars of sugar or salt for guests to take home as a party favor.

 Sugar & Spice

Lemon Kissed Salt



A Brunch Hanukkah Party Menu


November 13th 2013

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We have shared tons of recipes for Hanukkah, new recipes for Thanksgivukkah and tons of Hanukkah menus and table ideas.  The other day, someone on facebook asked for menu ideas for a day time party.  She said they were having a family get together the Sunday after Thanksgiving and were going to be having lunch, what did we suggest.  I realized that we never shared a menu for people to use during the day.  Most people stay together for a Hanukkah party so they can light candles together, but that doesn’t work for everyone and some people need to get their kids home and to bed early (I remember those days).  Some people might even call everyone over for a lunch and then family can stay through to light candles and still get home for dinner.   So, let’s thank our Facebook friend for reminding me to share this menu.  My feeling is that most of the daytime parties will be on Sunday, which means brunch goes all day.  And since latkes are always in order, a brunch menu is perfect.  Latkes go so well with eggs and/or smoked salmon, the possibilities are endless.

Honestly, I can’t decide, so here are a couple options…

Menu 1

This is a latin inspired meal combining the influences of Spain and Mexico, I would lay out a platter of tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole.  Maybe some plantain chips if desired and if you can even add on cheese or fake meat empanadas if desired.  Then serve..

Potato Pancakes with Guacamole and Poached Eggs

Potato Pancakes with Guacamole and Poached Eggs

Tilapia Ceviche with Mango

Tilapia Ceviche with Mango

Cucumber And Black Bean Salsa Salad

Cucumber And Black Bean Salsa Salad

Don’t leave out the festive drink – this one can be made without alcohol too.

Sparkling Mango Strawberry Sangria

Sparkling Mango Strawberry Sangria

And for a twist on traditional doughnuts, try the Churro.


Churros with Chocolate Dip

Menu 2

This menu is a more classic brunch stepped up a bit.  You could easily just serve your favorite potato latke with smoked salmon on top.  If you haven’t had it before, you will wonder what took you so long.  For this menu you could leave out a platter of crudites, some nice vegetables with dip, like this Blue Cheese Dip.  Maybe some olives and pickles too or even a hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip with french bread.

Herb Potato Fritters with Smoked Atlantic Salmon & Watercress

Herb Potato Fritters with Smoked Atlantic Salmon & Watercress


Egg White Frittata with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Mushrooms

Go with a simple mimosa for the beverage of choice with this meal.



Make sure to put on a rich pot of coffee and serve with these sweet doughnuts.

Peanut Chew Doughnut

Peanut Chew Doughnut

Have a very happy Hanukkah!!!




Day in Jerusalem – Hanukkagiving


November 13th 2013

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A new phrase has been “coined” this year “Thanksgivukkah” as a way of describing the rare occurrence of Hanukka and Thanksgiving falling out on the same weekend. Considering that Hanukka begins first and lasts longer, I have decided to refer to it as Hanukkagiving.  So you might think this would have been a great time to post about Volunteer Opportunities and ways to “give” but we took care of that last month in our post called Volunteer Tourism.  The Thanksgiving activities in Jerusalem are scarce and the days of Norman’s Thanksgiving Feast on Emek Refaim are long gone so to celebrate Thanksgiving, I recommend a nice family turkey dinner at home.

Let’s focus on some unique ways to celebrate Hanukkah in Jerusalem.

How often are you given the opportunity to stand in the center of history? To experience a holiday in the exact location where the miracle originally occurred? It’s truly a privilege to be able to choose from a variety of activities in Jerusalem, as a way of celebrating Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. I’ve chosen to share my four favorite holiday activities.

Old City of Jerusalem

  • “Light Up The City Family Tour”:  This unique candle lit tour takes you through the Old City of Jerusalem. Follow the lights of the Hanukkiot lit in the streets, the windows and most beautifully within the stone walls of the alleyways in the Old City. This family focused tour entertains kids and adults with stories, puzzles and riddles about the Old City and the history of this miraculous holiday. The grand finale of the tour is a view of the Kotel “Western Wall” with the large Hanukkiah lit on the Kotel Plaza.

Reservations: info@funinjerusalem.com


Israel Museum

The overwhelming beauty of the Jewish Art & Life Gallery at the Israel Museum takes on a special meaning during Hanukkah. My favorite exhibit is the one room devoted to Hanukkiot from different time periods and different communities.

  • SketchBook Tour of the Israel Museum: I love to make things interactive when it comes to entertaining the family. I would suggest taking a Sketchbook Tour in this special gallery led by Polly, a Fulbright Scholar and artist. Polly teaches kids and adults to look for the details, find the pieces that inspire them and then to capture that inspiration in their own sketchbooks. Reservations: sketchbook@funinjerusalem.com

Jerusalem’s Diverse Neighborhoods One of the beauties of Jerusalem is the diversity of her inhabitants. As you walk down the block, the neighborhoods change, the communities differ and the people can tell you a different story. Jerusalem’s inhabitants love to share and the stories are worth hearing especially when you can learn about Jews from different backgrounds and how we all celebrate the same holidays with our own spices and flavors.

  • Mekor Baruch Home Encounter: Join locals and tourists as you are led around one of Jerusalem’s oldest neighborhoods. You will be welcomed into Ahuva’s home for coffee, tea and cookies as she explains to you about the Haredi lifestyle specifically for Hasidim from Gur, what it is like to live in her neighborhood and how she became the “Savta Cholent Champion” of Jerusalem. The tour ends with a Challah Baking workshop led by Ahuva, including some great Hanukka ideas for challah shapes.
  • Ein Kerem Home Encounter: Experience Yemenite hospitality when Kinneret invites you into her home; the home where her family has lived since 1948. Learn about her unique Yemenite culture and the story of her Saba Shalom who bravely convinced his family to settle in Ein Kerem. Kinneret will share special Hanukka memories with you. The tour includes Yemenite music and dance as well as a tour of the local artists in the beautiful neighborhood of Ein Kerem.         Reservations: Encounters@funinjerusalem.com

Gourmet Sufganiyot When suggesting my favorite Hanukkah activities to do in Jerusalem, I have saved the best one for last or at least the sweetest one. For kids (and adults like me who are willing to admit it) one of the highlights of the Hanukkah season is when the Roladin Bakery announces its sufganiyot menu. Roladin, a chain of high end bakeries throughout Israel, prides itself on its unique flavors and I have included the menu below and some pictures which can speak louder than words. Yes its worth planning your next trip to Israel for Hanukkah!

Traditional Flavors

  • Traditional Strawberry
  • Traditional Caramel

Gourmet Collection

  • Belgian Chocolate & Cream
  • White Chocolate Caramel
  • Pistachio Cherry Mania
  • Chocolate Chocolate
  • Candy Covered Chocolate
  • Halva & White Chocolate
  • Biscuit: Oreo Streusel

Specialty Chasers: includes a chaser of alcohol inserted into the sufganiya

    • Malabi
    • Bianco Chocolate
    • Praline

Stay tuned for next month’s Day in Jerusalem…”Entertaining the Teens”.



Thanksgiving Pie Fries


November 12th 2013

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner it is firmly pie season. Sure, I make pies all year round, but there is no one-day of the year that screams “pie” like Thanksgiving. (Ok, maybe March 14th does as well, but only among the slightly nerdy circles I run in.) The challenge of Thanksgiving pies for me is that people expect the traditional flavors, leaving me much less freedom to innovate and play around with the dessert than I usually have. It is rare for me to serve the same dessert twice for Shabbat or holidays, but for Thanksgiving people expect the classics.

That is what makes these pie fries so much fun. They have the traditional Thanksgiving pie flavors of pumpkin and cranberry apple served up in a fun new shape. I had seen apple versions of pie fries all over the web, so when I was given the challenge of turning them into more Thanksgiving like treats I jumped at the opportunity. Although they are baked and not really fried, pie “fries” are the perfect Thanksgivukkah treat.

Since I would never dream of serving French fries without some kind of dipping sauce, it was clear that these fries needed a sweet dipping sauce of their own. I always serve cinnamon ice cream with my Thanksgiving pies so I decided to use that same flavor paring here. This creamy and slightly spicy pastry cream is the perfect dip for the pie fries, if you can keep yourself from just eating it with a spoon.

Click through these links for the full recipes for:

Pumpkin Pie Fries

Cranberry Apple Pie Fries

Cinnamon Pastry Cream


How My Creamy Baked Ziti Saved the Day


November 12th 2013

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It’s easy when you live in Israel to forget.  Halloween came and went without a word.  It’s November 7th and a warm 81 degrees F, gone are the long New York winters.  And Sandy – while big news here last year, was not commemorated in any major way at the one-year anniversary mark.

But while in New York 2 weeks ago – it was impossible to forget.  News programs were flooded with “1 Year Later” stories, specials and features.  And everywhere you went someone told their tale.  Tamar and I were out to dinner with our dear friend – Brigitte Mizrahi, the fabulous French woman behind the Natural & Kosher, Les Petites Fermieres, and Sincerely Brigitte line of cheeses.  Her story was intense and inspiring and shocking even one year later.

As we were walking around Kosherfest we were stopped by a bunch of great gals from Jersey – one of them grabbed me and said “do I have a story for you.”  I wasn’t expecting a Sandy story from a perfect stranger on the floor of the largest industry trade show.  But like I said everywhere you went someone had something to share.

Here we are with the Great Gals from Jersey.

Susan told me that together with her neighborhood friends she made 30+ trays of my Creamy Baked Ziti for an uplifting Thanksgiving day lunch held for residents of Union Beach hit by Super Storm Sandy.  I couldn’t believe it – I was so unbelievably touched.  She kept saying “your ziti Jamie!  Your ziti!”.

When you write a recipe you think about lots of things.  Is it easy?  Is it fast? Is it good?  Is it good enough? Is it kid food? Adult food? Family food? Dinner food? Can it be made ahead?  Does it freeze well?  How long will it stay fresh?  Does it need special instructions for re-heating?  And on and on and on.  You never think “can this be made times 30 and served as a hot meal to lift the spirits of someone who has lost and somehow foster a sense of community spirit, strength and perseverance?”.

Make no mistake; I know my ziti didn’t do all that.  But to know that it was part of that effort – and helped Susan and her friends achieve those end goals made me feel this story was worth re-telling.  For no other reason than to share the message that the beautiful ripple effects of your actions and efforts both professionally and personally should never be underestimated.  We love to Spread the Joy here and you know what, Susan Spread the Joy right back when she told me this story.  Thank you Susan – in that moment I felt so happy and so special and so very thankful.

Please take a moment to share your uplifting Sandy stories or any Spread the Joy ideas.  I love to get the good vibes going.