Avgolemono Soup


March 3rd 2014

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Watch me make Avgolemono Soup, an easy Greek favorite that combines chicken broth with rice. The soup is flavored with lemon and thickened with eggs. Avgolemono can usually be made from ingredients you have in the pantry and fridge. Think of it as kosher Greek penicillin.

For more of my Quick and Kosher recipes, please check out JoyofKosher.com’s YouTube channel.


The Ultimate Kosher Gift Basket For Any Occasion ...


March 3rd 2014

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Choosing the right gift basket is like choosing the perfect birthday card. It’s not just how it looks on the outside, but what it says on the inside that counts. There are many reasons to give a gift basket, from sending condolences, to simply saying hi to a faraway friend, to thanking a host for a special meal. With the holiday of Purim coming up soon, everyone is looking for the right basket to send. I’m excited to tell you I’ve found the ultimate kosher gift basket right here in New York City!

Kosher Fruit Basket

Manhattan Fruitier opened in 1987 with the goal of making fresh fruit baskets of unequaled beauty and quality. Instead of cheap cellophane and styrofoam, they reinvented the fruit basket with inspiration from old world Dutch still life paintings. Soon after they launched, the New York Times said, ”Manhattan Fruitier does for fruit what florists do for flowers”, 20+ years later and they are still proving themselves to be the premier gift basket company around.

I visited their new office a few months ago and you can easily see the care they take in creating baskets with the highest quality fruits — from locally grown pears to the more exotic rambutan and baby pineapples. They even take the extra effort to send a selection of fruits that will ripen at different times so the gift can be enjoyed over a longer period of time.

Since fruit is naturally kosher it is not hard for Manhattan Fruitier to assemble kosher baskets, but they carefully selected a range of certified baked goods, candies and honey that meet their high standards of quality and kosher certification.

This year, Manhattan Fruitier has put together several special Purim kosher gift baskets starting at $49.50 for the mouthwatering Purim Party pictured above. The full range of Purim baskets feature a mix of baked rugelach, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, nougat, falafel chips, fresh fruits and even wine. Manhattan Fruitier has teamed up with a local wine retailer so you can add a bottle that can be packed and shipped along with your gift basket. Choose from Hagafen Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($29), Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 ($59) and Domaine du Castel Grand Vin 2009 ($79). All the Purim baskets can be shipped nationwide and all kosher certification information is listed on their website.

Whether you are looking for a pretty, healthy centerpiece for your own table or the ultimate hostess gift, get 20% off at Manhattan Fruitier – until March 15, 2014 with promo code: JOKPURIM20.


Today you have the chance to WIN this Purim Party Basket  valued at $75 from Manhattan Fruitier!!  Tell us about your favorite purim costume and comment below.

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Manhattan Fruitier. However, the opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Swingin’ Sixties Seudah – A Hippie...


February 28th 2014

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Maybe it’s all the hype over the anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America. But suddenly I’m nostalgic over an era I never even lived through! I love the music, the handmade clothes, the beads and the spirit. And this year, we’re going back to the garden!

Coconut Ambrosia Hamantashen

Coconut Ambrosia Hamantashen

My daughter will make me a rainbow loom hippie head band and we will put together mishloach manot in tie dye bags with Ambrosia Hamantashen. For these hamantashen I added dried coconut to the dough and made a filling of Homemade Marshmallow Fluff mixed with Orange Marmalade and topped with a half of a maraschino cherry. We will add some homemade granola and fresh fruit and send it with peace, love and happiness.

beef wellington

Individual Beef Wellingtons

For the Seudah, we will serve a classic 60′s dish that just happens to be the perfect “hidden” food, Beef Wellington. I made this version in individual portions using a homemade vegan pate, you can prep ahead to make it easier on Purim Day.


Green Beans Almondine

Serve alongside an all-time vintage favorite, Green Beans Almondine.  Keep the green beans crisp, by cooking them just a little — until they are bright green.

lava lamp cocktail

Lava Lamp Cocktail

Don’t miss the Lava Lamp.  A symbol of the psychadelic era turned into our beverage of choice for this 60′s party. Make it with or without alcohol so everyone can enjoy.

Happy Purim!!


The Kosher Food and Wine Experience Expands


February 28th 2014

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This past Monday night the whole Joy of Kosher team enjoyed a night out at the eight annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience in New York City.  As always we ate a lot, drank a lot and talked a lot.  It was amazing to see so many of our online friends in person.  This is the premier event for the kosher food and wine enthusiast and has grown so much that it is now happening in LA, London, Israel and Miami.  This year they also added a yacht to showcase desserts and offer a little more space.  I will admit it  was a bit rocky, but it was nice to have a place to sit down and chat.

KFWE allows me the opportunity to sample over 200 wines.  I didn’t quite get to 200, but I sampled some very nice wines so that I could report back to you with some favorites for any upcoming special occasions.  Here are my top 8:

  • Shiloh Secret Reserve Cabernet
  • Herzog Reserve Clone 6
  • Alexander the Great Grand Reserve
  • Barkan Special Reserve Cabernet
  • Flam Reserve Syrah
  • Drappier Champagne
  • Tabor Limited
  • Yatir Forest

Pomegranate always does a beautiful display and nice selection of foods.  You can never go wrong with Chicken Lollipops covered in a tequila lemon sauce, even sitting in a warming tray, these were a big hit, but my personal favorite was actually the Rustic Eggplant & Peppers, one of their signature salads I would consider driving to Brooklyn for.   They also sampled 4 different kinds of their house made sausages, all were delicious.  Some people were big fans of their Shabbos section including grevan (fried chicken skin) and gala shots (some sort of gelled meat fat, I am told), these delicacies are too old world for me, but I know they have their following.

Gemstone Catering by Ari White is always a big hit and always sharing something new.  You can’t beat his 18 hour smoked brisket, but this year he premiered his thin cut Lamb Bacon and check it out as he shows us the Veal Pancetta.  The lamb bacon literally melts in your mouth, while the veal pancetta is saltier chewier paired perfectly with Hempseed Sweet Potato Mash.  Despite his BBQ and meat curing fame, he also makes a mean Smoked Beet and Tofu skewer, I also loved his house made pickles especially the ones using heirloom carrots.

Most of the Kosher Food and Wine Experience is a meat fest.  You don’t really see too many veggies, but that ones that are there stand out.  Silverleaf showcased a tasty kale salad with roasted butternut squash and pomegranate seeds, their Lamb Polpetine happened to be very tasty too.

One of the highlights of last year’s Kosher Food and Wine Experience was the Chilled Cantaloupe soup from the restaurant Basil, it must have been so popular that he was told to bring it back this year.  He also made this artic char served on a kirby pickle to prove that he can’t do wrong.


I am also a big fan of Etc. Steakhouse in Teaneck.  He served a Pink Peppercorn Crusted Rib-eye with red amaranth salad.  I really loved the red amaranth and the whole bite was really well done.  The Chocolate Carmel Peanut Nougat bite that I had to eat in the middle of all my savory foods just so I didn’t miss it, was worth it!

The big surprise of the evening for me was the Jerk Chicken from Jewmaican Cuzine.  I have never been a big fan of meat pies, but these were perfectly sized and seemed totally authentic.  The chicken was saucy and spicy and was juicy, one of the best chickens I have had in a long time.

Finally, I spent maybe a little too much time over at the kosher charcuterie by Prime Hospitality Group.    The selectoin of house made charcuterie was fantastic, a great way to sample and find favorites, mine was the Bresaola.  They also served a Salami Joe on Quinoa Cake that was so surprisingly good I had to have two.

Here are a few pictures for the KFWE that was held in Miami this past December.

Love the Meat signs.

Lots of Chocolate!!

Even Whole Foods got involved.

Were you at one of the Kosher Food and Wine Experiences? Let us know in the comments below.


Thanksgiving Inspired Savory Hamantaschen


February 27th 2014

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Happy Thanksgiving…I mean, Happy Purim!!! Two of my favorite holidays have come together to create this unique Thanksgiving Hamantaschen. Layers of sautéed ground turkey and roasted squash stuffed in a rich savory dough flecked with fresh sage. It seriously doesn’t get any better for me. And I highly recommend making extra filling so you can eat the leftovers all week long.

To take these savory hamantaschen to the next level, serve them with your favorite cranberry sauce. I served mine as an appetizer with this red wine cranberry sauce and you would swear it was Thanksgiving!

Click Here For The Full Recipe


10 Candy Recipes for Purim


February 26th 2014

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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.


Chocolate Truffles

1.  Truffles These chocolate truffles are deceptively simple to make.  You can either pull out the double-boiler or just put the chocolate in the microwave and voilà they are almost done. Just add fillings, such as liquer or fruit, and leave the truffles to chill.


Chewy Caramel Pralines

2.  Chewy Caramel Pralines This is another wonderful chocolate recipe which can easily be altered to please everyone simply by choosing different fillings.  Imagine biting into the praline to discover caramel and roasted hazelnut filling, or even Craisin or pistachio.


Homemade Soft and Chewy Nougat Candy

3.  Soft and Chewy Nougat This is one of those desserts I like to call ‘healthy’.  The recipe is comprised of a few simple ingredients, all of which are fine in moderation.  The outside is made of egg whites, sugar and honey while the filling can be your choice of toasted nuts and dried fruit.


Pumpkin Seed Brittle

4.  Pumpkin Seed Brittle Another ‘healthy’ candy!  The richness of the pumpkin seeds plays nicely with the crunchy texture of the brittle.  It will be a fun surprise for those used to traditional peanut brittle.


Mint Chocolate and Lavendar Popcorn

5.  Mint Chocolate and Lavender Popcorn My father is a huge popcorn fan, when I was a kid he would bring home all sorts of flavored popcorn.  This was not one of the flavors I tried as a kid, but I would not  pass up the opportunity to serve this at a Purim party!


Mike and Ike Rice Krispy Treats

6.  Mike and Ike Rice Crispy Treats Rice Crispy treats are probably the all-time dessert of most children.  Kids and adults alike will marvel at homemade Mike and Ike filled Rice Crispy treats at your Purim party or in your mishloach manot.  If sending them as mishloach manot, try wrapping them in colored cellophane for an extra festive effect.


Peppermint Patty

7.  Homemade Peppermint Patties It takes less than an hour to make these peppermint patties, and I’m sure it will take even less time for them to all disappear!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

8.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls There is something magical about the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  If you prefer not to use peanut butter try substituting your favorite nut butter instead, I’m sure almond butter chocolate balls would also taste divine.  If there is a nut allergy, coconut butter would also work.


Non-Dairy Almond Nougat Pralines

9.  Almond-Nougat Pralines These pralines are simple to make with everyday ingredients you can find in your kitchen (with the exception of praline paste) all you need is chocolate, almonds, and Corn Flakes.


Honeycomb Chocolate Bars

10.  Honeycomb Chocolate Bars This reminds me of the Girl Scout Cookies I ate as a kid.  Most people would expect peanut butter or a peppermint filling when they first sees these chocolate bars.  The honey is a sweet surprise that is sure to cause a smile.


Check out the rest of our Candy Recipes here

Check out more Purim ideas here


A Cowboy Themed Menu


February 26th 2014

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Irony of all ironies, the year before we made Aliyah we were dressed like Israelis (don’t ask) and delivered mishloach manot full of pitas and hummus.   Then when I got to Israel I went for a cowboy and cowgirl costume for the family and made a down home all-American meal. Now, I’m not all that creative, and not all that country, I just stole a page out of my friend Aliza’s playbook. A few years ago she hosted a food-from-the-frontier shindig and together we created a menu similar to the one you see here. I’m not embarrassed to admit it because, on this side of the pond, I’ve got a whole new crew to share it with. These recipes already had a test run, and I know this meal is going to make y’all scream yeehaw (or at least yummy!).

sweet spicy chili

Sweet and Spicy Chili

Secret Spicy Chili

The secret is the cocoa, really! This spunky, chunky, spicy chili is a cool starter when topped with cold soy sour cream and fresh avocado slices. Adjust the heat to your liking by tweaking the ancho chile powder, cayenne and paprika.

overnight bbq brisket

"Overnight" BBQ Brisket

Overnight BBQ Brisket

This brisket must be made at least the night before for soft, tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Better yet, make it easy on yourself and make it now – freeze it for fabulous fall-apart brisket.

Southern Fried Chicken Fingers

Southern Fried Chicken Fingers

Southern Fried Chicken Fingers

Only the best kosher fried chicken you will ever have. To make classic fried chicken use a 3-pound chicken cut in ⅛ and all you have to do is adjust the frying time to 6 to 8 minutes on each side and then continue frying and turning 2 to 4 minutes or until chicken is golden and brown on all sides.

Chili Garlic Sweet Potatoes

Chili Garlic Sweet Potatoes

Chili Garlic Sweet Potatoes

Surprisingly I tasted this dish at an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steak house in Jerusalem, but thought it would be just perfect for my little
bit country menu – especially when I saw the bottle of Chili-Garlic sauce on the shelf at my local market.  A blend of ground chilies, garlic
and vinegar, Chili-Garlic Sauce can usually be found in the Asian section of larger supermarkets (and apparently small Israeli markets as
well) and will keep for up to 1 year in the refrigerator after opening.

Brussels Sprouts with Beef Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Beef Bacon

Brussels Sprouts with Beef Bacon

A traditional way to enjoy Brussels sprouts is made possible to the kosher cook with the release of the hottest new product, Jack’s Gourmet Kosher Facon, winner of the Kosherfest 2012 Best New Product Award.

creamy rainbow coleslaw

Rainbow Coleslaw

Rainbow Coleslaw

I now share my new absolute all-time favorite coleslaw recipe. I will never buy coleslaw again (unless of course I don’t have time to make this!).
Variation: Don’t have tofu cream cheese on hand, or don’t care for it? Use tofu sour cream instead. Although if you don’t care for the pareve cream cheese I am guessing the sour cream is off your list too. Easy enough, just use 2/3 cup mayo and call it a day. Also try adding half a red onion thinly sliced for a slight bite.

Deconstructed Apple Pie

Deconstructed Apple Pie

Deconstructed Apple Pie

I lu-huve tart Granny Smith apples in my pie. But you can use whatever you like or have on hand. Since you’re cooking the apple “pie” filling on
the stovetop you thereby control the timing, and don’t have to worry about using baking apples or coordinating the doneness of your apples with your crust. Simple, sweet, and sassy, this chic cowgirl dessert has attitude — it says “I choose to serve my pie in style” instead of “I am way too lazy to roll out a crust!”

Mishloach Manot Idea – Use packaging from your local takeout joint to put together a cowboy themed Mishloach Manot.  Place the chili in small condiment containers and the chips in French fry paper ‘plates’.

PrintablesDownload the cowboy party printables for your own Purim cowboy feast.  Now you have a menu, napkin holders, wine bottle
covers and banners to add an exciting feel to your Purim party. Printables created by www.thepurplepaperie.com

As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine Purim 2013 (Subscribe Now)


Berry Brulee


February 25th 2014

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Watch Jamie Geller put together this gorgeous dessert in minutes. Based off the classic Creme Brulee, the Berry Brulee is healthier, easier and nondairy.

Click Here to see and print this recipe.


An Oscar Night Menu


February 25th 2014

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Every year I love to plan a special menu for watching the Oscars.  It is so much fun to try and incorporate something from all the best picture nominations into our party.  This year with 10 nominations it is not going to be easy to get them all in, but I will try.  I also got a real kick out of the Oscar Matzos that Wolfgaang Puck will be serving this year, albeit with some beluga cavair, who would have though that matzo of any kind would make it to the awards.

Here is my take on an Oscar night menu for 2014 based on the best picture nominees: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyer’s Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena,12 Years As A Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

corn and honey blinis with kosher caviar


Start the night with these Corn and Honey Blinis served with Bowfin Caviar, recipe brought to us from the chef of Prime Grill who says the Bowfin caviar is the closest thing to real caviar for the kosher consumer.  You can also fake it with the cheaper black caviar found in most kohser markets.  This recipe reflects the sheer excess from the movie The Wolf on Wall Street.

Chicken Piccata

Serve this Chicken Piccata in notice of the night out in American Hustle with the mayor and Irving and their wives.  There is a lot of Italian food going on in this movie, so anything Italian will do, but the chicken piccata is raved over.

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps

12 Years As A Slave is a heart wrenching movie set in the South where collard greens, corn bread and blackberries abound.  This recipe is not your typical southern preparation, but I like it for eating in front of the the television and the leftovers are perfect weekday lunches.

Vegetarian Rice Salad

Serve this rice salad filled with fava beans without the optional cheese for Captain Phillips.  Set in Africa, captain phillips was was captured by pirates from Somalia, where the cuisine is so varied from Indian, Persian, to Italian, so almost anything goes.  Fava beans in particular are mentioned so this rice and fava bean salad is nice choice.

Green Bean and Asparagus Fries

Green Bean and Asparagus Fries

The Dallas Buyer’s Club revolves around the rodeo where fried foods and food on a stick abounds.  I am going with a healthy version with these vegetable fries.

root beer float

Root Beer Float

For dessert serve a classic Root Beer Float, make it with any non dairy ice cream to keep it parve and think about the people floating around in space in gravity.  I am going to have this recipe do double duty to work with Nebraska too.   A movie where beer plays a big role, either serve your favorite Nebraksa brew or enjoy this Root Beer Float.

I have done my best, but can’t fit anything in for the movie Her or Philomena.  For Philomena you could go with something British, tea and crumpets maybe, but does anyone have any idea for the Her?







Create The Perfect Purim Gift Basket *Giveaway*


February 25th 2014

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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.

For the perfect Purim gift basket theme, consider color to express your creativity! Choose your favorite color or mix it up for a variation on a theme (Red and White for Where’s Waldo? Rainbow for Wizard of Oz, Blue and White for Israel). Our friends at Oh! Nuts make it easy with a section of their website devoted to browsing candy by color.   Click for more ideas.

This is an example of some of the candies they sell in pink, you can buy a pink candy sampler or buy each one in bulk.

Another idea is to place these flavored Jordan almonds on a plate like they are pebbles and top with their mini hamantashen.  The mini hamantashen are baked on premises and drizzled with chocolate.  They also sell chocolate dipped hamantashen with colored sugar as you can see in the main image so you can match your theme.

If you run out of time to make your own, choose from a wide variety of Mishloach Manot, many with free shipping and all with delicious hamantashen.  This Picnic Box basket goes with a less traditional more modern approach.  But, you can stick with tradition and order the gold box filled with hamantashen, grape juice, chocolate, and fruit candy for all your friends and family in bulk and get it for under $13 including shipping.

This Mishloach Manot basket comes with this exquisite washing cup and tasty gourmet treats and right now, you have the chance to win this basket!

Oh Nuts is offering 5% off all your Mishloach Manot needs with coupon code: JOKP.


Enter to win this basket now using the Rafflecopter entry below.

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This post was sponsored by Oh! Nuts, all opinions expressed are my own.




3 Cheese Fondue Recipes *Giveaway*


February 24th 2014

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Fondue for two sounds nice, but lately I’ve been doing fondue for five. My kids get so excited when they hear we are having fondue and although we’re talking some serious cheese, I know I will get them to eat their veggies.

Fondue is the perfect family night IN.  Get your kids involved by letting them choose the cheese and their favorite items to dip.  You can all delight in the ooey gooey goodness.  Serve a salad on the side and dinner is served.

It ‘s best to make fondue in a special pot, I use this one from Emile Henry, it is the perfect size for 6-8 people and looks great going from stove top to table top.

I a tried a variety of different flavors, from spicy to savory to sweet, using different cheeses, different liquids and different dippers and you really can’t go wrong.

cheddar fondue with soft pretzels

Cheddar Cider Fondue With Pretzel Bites

This cheddar fondue is made with a mix of Natural & Kosher cheddar and Monterrey Jack.  I used hard apple cider as the liquid, but you can easily use apple juice, sparkling wine or beer.  Our favorite dippers were homemade soft pretzels and lightly steamed broccoli, so you get the perfect crunch.


Pesto Fondue With Polenta Cubes

My pesto fondue was made using a blend of Mozzarella, Muenster and Fontina, once the cheese had melted and startled to bubble, I swirled in a Spinach Walnut Pesto.  I made some crispy polenta squares to dip and roasted artichoke bottoms, mushrooms and cauliflower.


Dill Havarti Fondue

The Dill Havarti fondue was equally delicious with oven-roasted fingerling potatoes.  To make a fondue you just need a bit of liquid, some cornstarch to thicken the base and lots of cheese.  When hot and gooey, take it to the table and set on a trivet or special warming rack with asterno light to keep the cheese melty.  If you don’t have a fondue pot, go out and buy one today and share some of your tremendous cheese recipes with us here at Joy of Kosher!

***Giveaway*** Or, maybe you will be our lucky winner.  Now is your chance to get this Emile Henry Fondue Pot.  Enter now with Rafflecopter below.
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This post was part of an ongoing partnership with Natural & Kosher Cheese and the prize is supplied by Emile Henry.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Shabbat Menu – Eating The Clouds


February 23rd 2014

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Finally, the Mishkan has been built and Aaron and his sons officially are anointed priests.  A cloud appears over the Mishkan to signify the divine presence.  To celebrate the completion of the Mishkan and the second book of the Torah we will rejoice with a cloud like dessert, Meringues.  You can make cookies, pavlova, pies or this amazing creation, the Baked Alaska!

wild rice chicken soup

Wild Rice Chicken Soup


Herb-Roasted Beef in a Salt Crust

Herb-Roasted Beef in a Salt Crust

Roasted Almond Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Almond Sweet Potatoes

Kale Squared

Kale Squared


baked alaska

Non Dairy Baked Alaska

Shabbat Parsha Pekudei.


Recipe Ideas For Your Mishloach Manot


February 21st 2014

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It is less than a month until Purim and time to get planning.  Every year we work to come up with new costumes, new hamantashen recipes, and new Seudah themes.  We also love to put together the perfect gift baskets to send our friends, from using recyclables to make our containers to Healthy Themed Mishloach Manot there is always something new to try.  Here are some homemade treats to include in your baskets this year.


Instead of going with desserts, consider including portable real food!!

sweet potato knishes

Sweet Potato Knishes

Make your own knishes, use any filling you want, they can be eaten hot or cold and everyone loves them.

quinoa stuffed grape leaves

Quinoa Stuffed Grape Leaves

Grape leaves would be a perfect part of a Mediterranean basket.  Send along with Jamie’s Tricolor Hummus and Pita crisps.

date bbq sauce

Date BBQ Sauce

Make a homemade BBQ sauce or Ketchup and send along with some Chicken Skewers.

Mixed Pickled Vegetables

Mixed Pickled Vegetables

Pickled vegetables are very popular right now and they go really well with cocktails.  Make your own and send them along with your Mishloach Manot this year.

pretzel wrapped brats

Pretzel Wrapped Bratwurst with Cider Braised Onions

Instead of just making soft pretzels, wrap the dough around Bratwurst and send with your favorite mustard.


Send along delicious Greek yogurt with your own Homemade Granola.

honey comb chocolate bar

Honey Comb Chocolate Bar Crunchies

Make your own candy, like this crunchy chocolate bar.



Browse through all our Hamantashen recipes and choose one or a few to try this year.

Peanut Chews Cookies

Instead of just giving candy bars, make cookies with candy bars inside them!

Mask Cake Pops

Mask Cake Pops

Make your own cake pops in the shape of masks!!

Mini Pizza Doughnuts

Mini Pizza Doughnuts

Not sure where these Mini Pizza Doughnuts belong on the list, but I had to include them, really amazing!!  Also, note anything mini is great, what are you planning?

Click here for Gluten free baked goods and mishloach manot ideas.

Once you have all your homemade treats ready, get a little help from the store to round out your baskets, Oh! Nuts is offering you 5% off right now with coupon code: JOKP, check out all the color coded candies and mishloach manot supplies here.


A New Look at Rye


February 21st 2014

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Some foods leave an indelible imprint on your taste buds, no matter how old you are when you taste them. The flavors that grab you as a child not only remain, they often, later in life propel food quests. One of my searches is for great rye. If you grew up eating Wall Bakery’s breads from Woodmere, like I did, you know why. True, the bread from other bakeries—Cedarhurst Bake Shop, or Zomick in Far Rockaway was also very good, excellent really, but Wall’s bread stood alone. It has a crust both crunchy and pliable while the inside is plush, heavy and always moist. It’s what I think of when I hear the phrase “the staff of life”–bread so sustaining I believed I could live on bread alone.

There was a second type of rye at those bakeries called corn bread. Now, this is not my mother’s corn bread. She grew up south of the Mason Dixon line and hers was a quick bread, basically corn muffins in a pan. Old world corn was rye with light rye flour and cornmeal and the one thing both rye’s have in common is simple. No matter how many culinary degrees I get, no matter how many bakers I ask, no matter how many pizza stones I use, sourdough starters I nurture, or the amount water I schpritz while it cooks, darn it, I cannot replicate either of these breads at home.

I decided recently to create a dish to feed my rye flavor need. Fortunately rye, a hard winter cereal that is just as apt to be used for a ground cover crop or cattle feed, is now available in it’s whole grain, full berry form thanks to the 21st century food revolution that has made ancient grains available again.

Today’s rye (secale cereale) originated as an Anatolian weed. It was probably cultivated in northern and central European by the Early Neolithic period. Popular in the Bronze and Iron ages, as a beer component, bread flour and forage cover for animals, it is still used for the same things today. Light rye and dark are the same grain, the equivalent of white flour and whole wheat where the outer bran husk is removed from the grain. The berries are the whole grain in it’s purest, edible form. Rye was initially the food of the elite, but quickly slid behind all processed white wheat flours. Drought resistant and temperature tolerant, rye continues to be a popular grain especially in Northern climates.

When I saw some rye berries in a bulk bin at the market I couldn’t wait to get home and play. I’ve added it to soup the way you might use barley, and I love it in salads, especially mixed with wheat berries because the combo tastes like my childhood rye bread. In summer I add fresh raw corn right off the cob for the quick pop of sweetness when you break into a kernel. Add some cut up ripe, juicy tomatoes and serve it in lettuce cups, Asian style for a summer treat. These salads are my modern, lets say neo-Yiddishkite, cornbread and rye breads.

I’ll never stop trying to make a perfect rye bread, but until that happens I satisfy my taste buds and nourish my memories, knowing it’s also healthy for my family. To me, that’s not just a recipe for now, that’s a recipe wow.

Click here to get the full recipe for my Rye Berry and Swiss Salad with Mustard Tarragon and Caraway Dressing




Gluten Free Purim Treats


February 20th 2014

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On the holiday of Purim we eat hamantashen and send baskets of goodies to our friends and families.  This has become much more difficult in the age of allergies that we are living in.  Most often the baskets are filled with fresh baked goods, luckily the gluten free options have come a long way and we have a slew of amazing Gluten Free Treats for you to include in your mishloach manot this year.  All the recipes can be found by clicking on the images.


Pumpkin Apple Butter Gluten Free Rugelach

Did you love rugelach when you could eat gluten? Now’s your chance to rediscover your favorite food, this time gluten free from Lisa, the women who will not leave any Jewish baked good behind, this time with a pumpkin filing.

gluten free CheeseCrackers

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesy Sandwich Crackers

For something truly unique try these cheese crackers filled with peanut butter.  Perfect for munching while out delivering your baskets all day.

Truffle Rosemary Popcorn

Truffle Rosemary Popcorn

If you don’t want to bother with all the gluten free flour mixes, stick with the naturally gluten free treats, like popcorn.  Dress it up with Truffles and Rosemary or your favorite flavors.

Maple Roasted Almonds

Maple Roasted Almonds

Prepare these flavorful almonds and place in cellophane bags with a pretty ribbon, everyone loves the smoky sweet taste they offer.


Candied Orange Peel

Make your own candied orange peel (or lemon or grapefruit).  It is gluten free, easy and filled with fiber.

Mike and Ike Rice Krispie Treats

Mike and Ike Rice Krispie Treats

If you use a gluten free crisped rice cereal you can make your favorite treats of all!!

Cocoa Nib Brittle

Cocoa Nib Brittle

Brittle is a type of hard candy you can make at home with nuts or in this case cocoa nibs.  Crack it into pieces and enjoy this grown up candy.

Toblerone Marshmallows

Toblerone Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are fun treat to send along with a hot chocolate packet and a mug, especially if this Winter continues on.

gluten free hamantashen

Gluten Free Hamantashen

Don’t miss out on hamantashen, just cause you can’t tolerate gluten. Our friend Shoshana has perfected this recipe just for you.
There are so many ideas for Mishloach Manot that can be gluten free, like chips and salsa or our Sushi and Miso combo.