Holidays

 

Shabbat Menu – Purity and The Red Heiffer

 

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From the rejuvenating waters of the mikvah, to the memory of Miriam’s triumphant dancing after the splitting of the In this week’s Parsha Shmini we read of the purifying power of water and it is the first time we read in specific detail the kosher dietary laws concerning what animals are permissible and prohibited, the criteria for kosher fish and birds and a list of kosher insects (yuck!). This week is also called Shabbat Parah, the Shabbat of the red heifer, which describes the ways in which we purified ourselves to being to prepare for Passover. These days we are purifying our homes by purging them of chametz and so we will eat a chametz filled menu featuring the Red Heiffer.

vegetable barley soup

Vegetable Barley Soup


 

Scent of a Moscow Mule

 

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A couple of months ago a cocktail-loving friend of mine mentioned the Moscow Mule. The name didn’t sound the least bit appealing to me, but I have to admit I was intrigued when he explained how he was going to a bar that serves the drink the old-fashioned way — out of a copper mug. Just like when you discover a new word and then hear it everywhere, over the past few weeks I’ve been followed by the Moscow Mule – in signs, news articles and bar menus so I had to try it myself and share it with you.

The Moscow Mule is made from vodka, ginger beer and lime. It was created in the 1940′s to help sell more vodka in the U.S. It was served in the iconic copper mug as a marketing gimmick. People would see others get a cool looking different drink and ask for the same thing. Today, with the resurgence in popularity of this classic cocktail bars are discovering customers walking away with the copper mug as a souvenir, says the Wall Street Journal. People love the drink and want to recreate it at home with the right vessel, but there is a way to do this without committing a felony .


 

Uses For Leftover Hamantashen Filling

 

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

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


 

10 Add On Gift Ideas

 

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

 


 

Sweet and Spicy Sambusak For Purim

 

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Curry leaves, fenugreek, and multi-colored mustard seeds aren’t part of every day Ashkenazi fare. Integral to Indian foods, they are all part of the vast sweep of Jewish cuisine that includes distinct Indian- Jewish communities.

Kolkata (Calcutta), Cochin and Mumbai (Bombay) were home to the largest Jewish communities for centuries, and yet were relatively unknown to the West. There were smaller Jewish communities dotted throughout the Indian subcontinent. They developed foodways deeply influenced by their neighbors, from spices to techniques.


 

Kosher Shrimp Cocktail Recipes

 

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Whether you keep kosher of have any other kind of dietary restrictions, chances are, at some point in your life, you’ve heard comments like: “What? You’ve never had bacon??” or “You can’t eat lobster? You have no idea what you’re missing!”. And it’s true, I don’t.

Because missing something you’ve never had, is pretty much impossible. It would be sort of like missing a person you’ve never met, right?
In fact, I think not being able to eat certain foods is a good thing. It means I can be perfectly happy eating the “fake” stuff, like soy bacon, or veggie burgers, or imitation crab or shrimp. Recreating traditional flavors can be fairly easy, really. Especially when you have a good selection of seasonings and condiments to choose from. After all, those are the ingredients that will mostly infuse the food with flavor!


 

Kosher Wine For Purim

 

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This year we celebrate the holiday of Purim on Saturday March 15, 2015.  As many of you know, the Sunday meal is a festive seudah celebrated with a delicious meal, songs and lots of drinking.  There is a tradition to drink until you can no longer distinguish between Arur Haman and Baruch Mordechai.  While that may be too much for most, it’s nice to know there are some wonderful kosher wines to share at your special meal with close friends and family.

Here are some of the wines we will be celebrating with this Purim:


 

Pockets Of Surprise – DIY Kreplach Recipes

 

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With hidden meanings, veiled faces and conspiracy as the theme for the holiday, it is easy to see why kreplach are a favorite food for Purim. Little purses stuff ed with surprise fillings are fun and delicious treats. While homemade kreplach require a bit of effort, they are worth the time spent. I like to use the kreplach in a variety of ways. They are most often served in soups. I also like to crisp them up and add them as “croutons” to salads and to serve them with dipping sauces as hors d’oeuvres.

Braised Short Rib Ravioli

Braised Short Rib Ravioli


 

Shabbat Menu – Remembering

 

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This week’s parsha describes the laws and responsibilities of the kohanim, the holy priests.  The kohanim keep the fire on the altar burning constantly, from morning until night.  There is also the special Shabbat Zachor reading where we remember the attack of Amalek as we draw closer to the holiday of Purim.  In the spirit of remembering we will share a menu filled with Omega-3 fats, which have brain boosting powers.

Sesame Soy Salmon

Sesame Soy Salmon


 

Unique Chocolate Treats for Mishloach Manot

 

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

honeycomb candy

Chocolate Honeycomb Candy


 

5 Savory Hamantashen Inspired Menus

 

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Here at Joy of Kosher we have a plethora of hamantashen recipes!  Many of the recipes are quite versatile and can be served outside of a Purim party setting.  These menus are inspired by 5 savory hamantashen which work as appetizers, main meals, and of course, desserts.

Cardamom Scented Hamantaschen with Goat Cheese and Pear Filling


 

How To Make A Cheese Board Mishloach Manot ...

 

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Spread the Cheer this Purim!!!

I was so excited when Tamar asked me to design a Mishloach Manot using Natural and Kosher Cheeses. I have always thought that a cheese board would make a great Mishloach Manot. Cheeses pair well with bread, wine, and grapes (just to name a few), and with little effort can be arranged to make a striking presentation. Additionally, with all the nosh, cakes, and sweets everyone receives, your recipients will be thrilled to receive “real” food that they can nibble on and enjoy throughout the busy day.


 

A Chinese Purim Seudah Menu

 

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Looking through all the Purim menus we have shared over the years, Italian, Mexican and the ever popular Persian, I was struck by the absence of a Chinese menu. How could I have let that happen!! Not only do I love to cook and eat Chinese to the point that I make a Passover Chinese Seder that is on permanent repeat from my guests requests, but also because I spent every Seudah growing up at the local Kosher Chinese place.  We didn’t go out to eat very often when I was little, mostly because there were very few kosher restaurants near where I lived in Florida.  Hard to believe I grew up near Boca, which now has an abundant of kosher options.  So, those special meals out for Birthdays or for Purim are fond memories and now that I live in New York I wouldn’t even consider going out to a restaurant for Purim.  I much prefer cooking for my family, maybe a few friends and celebrating in the quiet of our home rather than an overcrowded restaurant.  I can’t wait to share my memories with my kids with this easy to make at home Chinese menu.

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup


 

Our Where’s Waldo? Purim Theme

 

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We’re doing it again.  I am not too cool to be seen in the same outfit twice.  No siree.  Not even on TV.  Not even if it’s a super memorable statement piece like an animal print cardigan.  Case in point:


 

The Ultimate Kosher Gift Basket For Any Occasion ...

 

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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