Holidays

 

Let’s Have a Chanukah Party

 

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Hosting a Chanukah party?

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


 

Thanksgivukkah Tablescape Ideas *Giveaway*

 

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If you have checked your “American” calendar ,  you will have noticed that Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall (no pun intended) on the same day this year. According to Steven Colbert, Thanksgiving is actually under attack!! But wait Steven isn’t it Hanukkah that actually must share the limelight, or wait, aren’t we just killing two birds with one stone. Sorry for the last comment, maybe that wasn’t appropriate….

Anyways… if you were wondering how to decorate your Thanksgivukkah table this year, I have a few easy and fun ideas I would like to share. These ideas are meant for the entire family, not just for Mom, so I hope the kids are following.


 

Hanukkah Gift Guide

 

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This year Hanukkah begins on Wednesday night November 27, 2013.  I can’t remember the last time Hanukkah was even in November.  And who can miss all the excitement over the convergence of the first day of Hanukkah with Thanksgiving, now coined Thanksgivukkah.  Unless you are my mother in law who buys all her holiday presents before Summer is over, you are probably feeling a bit behind schedule this year.  Here is our foodie gift guide, filled with sweets and treats and more to liven up your holiday table.

Let’s start off with my Hanukkah Chocolate Gift Guide:


 

Vegan No Bake Brownies With Variations

 

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Sometimes I really miss baking.  Don’t get me wrong – working as a chocolatier is soul-satisfying, with fine chocolate’s unmistakable taste and aroma and the other fine ingredients I use, I’m in heaven.  On those days when I’m immersed in administrative business tasks and I’m away from the chocolate, I yearn to be back making it.  I love this beautiful food and how happy it makes everyone, including me.

But there is something very special about pastry too, with its varied components coming together in exciting ways when a dessert is assembled and its flavors and textures combined.  When I did pastry full time, I loved coming up with new creations for my clients – whether it was the restaurant needing something special for Mother’s Day or a client with a dietary restriction needing a creative solution.  I miss working regularly with those clients (though many have remained devoted fans of my chocolates too).  And while I still bake for my family, of course it isn’t the same.


 

Light the Menurkey and Celebrate Thanksgivukkah

 

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If you haven’t heard or realized it yet, Hanukkah is really early this year.  So early, that the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving here in America.  While the anomalies of the Jewish calendar never fail to amaze the casual observer, the confluence of one of America’s most popular secular holidays with one of the best known Jewish holidays occurring on the same day in a happenstance that will not happen again for over 70,000 years* has led to a feathered flurry of holiday mashups.

In the spirit of gobbling good fun, here are some of our favorite Hanukkah/Thanksgiving articles, products and recipe ideas.


 

Shabbat Menu – Rainbow Cake

 

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Every year it seems more and more people are jumping on the rainbow cake band wagon for Parsha Noach.  Probably for the same reason there are so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side.  There is just something magical and mysterious and exciting and it is an easy symbol to draw or create out of food.  You can go all out with multi layered Rainbow Cake or you can try my newest creation for those of us chocolate lovers with just a decorated rainbow made out of Mike and Ike on top.  Either way, we have nothing to hide.

Spiced Maple Pumpkin Soup with Sauteed Cremini Mushrooms

Spiced Maple Pumpkin Soup with Sauteed Cremini Mushrooms


 

The Heart of The Cocktail

 

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It isn’t just for ad execs on Madison Avenue, cocktails have always been a part of popular culture.  Until now, I had only ever tried the basics, Martini (not my thing, Bond can keep it), Gin and Tonic, Screwdrivers, Margaritas and Mojitos.  Once I started to really enjoy wine I didn’t even consider cocktails except on vacation to a tropical destination.  Over the years, friends and Shabbat guests would enjoy single malt scotch and bourbon, but straight liquor was never that appealing to me. Maybe I owe a debt of gratitude to Don Draper, but we are living during a renaissance of the cocktail culture and my rocks glass will never be the same.

My most recent concoction was a mint and lime Julep


 

Shemini Atzeret Menu

 

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In our family, whenever there is something that needs doing and it hasn’t yet been done, my husband Ed says “what are you waiting for, Shemini Atzeret?” It was meaningless to our children when they were young but they understood what he meant. There is a finality to things, an ending, when what we need to accomplish, we must accomplish.

On Shemini Atzeret the year has ended, the annual cycle of Torah readings has come to its end. I like to think of this joyful “ending” as akin to school commencement, which of course means “a beginning.”


 

Mix and Match Sukkot Menus

 

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Here we go, get ready for two more three day yom tovim. Unless you live in Israel.  I haven’t heard much from you all in regards to my low calorie Rosh Hashanah menus.  A lot of people read them, but not so many commented to let me know if they liked them and wanted to see more of them.  So, for Sukkot I am offering you a Mix and Match game.  Please comment and let me know which type of holiday menus you prefer.

Menu planning is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.  All you have to do is choose.


 

A Healthy Vegetarian Sukkot Menu

 

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After too much meat over these holidays I am going veggie with this Sukkot menu.  It is still high in protein and filling, but much healthier.  Here is my menu, simple, healthy and delicoius:

Citrus Salad with Beets, Candied Kumquats and Tangerine Honey Vinaigrette


 

Enter the Joy of Kosher Candy Sukkah Contest

 

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While some are building the real sukkah you can keep busy building a CANDY SUKKAH!!

Enter now through September 29th for your chance to win!!! Sponsored by Mike and Ike and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews.


 

Celebrate Sukkot With Unbreakable Tableware

 

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The crash of broken glass is the highlight of a Jewish wedding ceremony, but it’s not a sound you want to hear anywhere near the lunch or dinner table.  With three children, I’ve always been interested in the possibility of unbreakable plates and tableware, but to be honest, they usually look cheap and ugly.

With the holiday of Sukkot approaching and my meal traveling from the kitchen to the unstable fold-out table outdoors, I thought it might be time to revisit the melamine marketplace.  That’s when I got a chance to discover the fun colorful dishes from French Bull.


 

Break Fast with Cheese

 

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Typical breakfast fare includes bagels, lox, cream cheese, maybe a few quiches and maybe a baked ziti or pasta salad.  Sometimes you want to try something new, but it has to be easy and something you can make ahead.  So I got together with The Cheese Guy and came up with a few new recipes for you.


 

It’s Been 1 Year Since I Made Aliyah and My...

 

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Just about a year ago, Hubby and I decided to pick up with our five children and move from our comfortable home in Monsey, New York to a cottage in Israel, a place where we would all have to learn the language and culture, a place where we would be immigrants, just like my parents had been in the USA.  People are still asking me why.


 

Pre-Yom Kippur Menu: Hearty and Filling Foods

 

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Before a fast day, it’s important to fill yourself up with hearty foods but it’s also very important to avoid overly spicy and salty ingredients. Keeping that in mind, I’ve created a menu of recipes that will fill you up before the fast but won’t make you feel bloated or thirsty. A few tips to remember for your last meal before the fast of Yom Kipper: don’t overeat, drink tons of water, eat foods that are easy to digest and eat a lot of protein and complex carbohydrates. So enjoy your pre-Yom Kippur meal and have a safe and meaningful fast!

Salsa Baked Salmon