Holidays

 

My Philly Fave’s Mishloach Manot

 

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Philadelphia favorites are the theme of this Mishloach Manot, complete with a map of City Center, you won’t want to miss out on these great ideas.


 

Persian Cardamon Rice Cookies (“Naan-e...

 

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Persian Cardamon Rice Cookies (“Naan-e Berenji”) Posted 02/12/2015 by My Jerusalem Kitchen
Purim is a time when our reality is upside-down. For me, an upside-down reality is eating butter and sugar -- powdered sugar. Enjoying a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth rice cookie teeming with sweet cardamon notes is me in my "real" state. But since I can't live in my real state every day, 'lest risking cardiac arrest and impossible to keep up with bakery costs, why not do so on Purim? These cookies, commonly served for Purim and at weddings, are the perfect addition to your Purim feast, and I hope you enjoy them!

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10 Mishloach Manot (Shalach Manos) Ideas

 

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Purim is coming up in just a few short weeks which means there is plenty of time to plan and prep what you’ll give for mishloach (shalach) manot, which consists of two different ready-to-eat foods (or treats!). Of course, we’ll all be in the same position just a few days before, rushing to come up with a creative idea because, well, life happens and planning can fall by the wayside.  In anticipation of normal life, below are 10 practical and delicious ideas for mishloach manot.

 


 

Jewish Comfort Food: Chulent Re-Make

 

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Hubby is a shy guy.  Actually, let me restate: Hubby is not a spotlight/limelight kinda dude, more the behind-the-scenes type.  He calls himself the idea man.  And we all laugh about it.  Cause most things that I end up doing are his idea – like writing my first cookbook, making Aliyah and most everything in between.

But he is really really, really, really, funny.  Like crazy funny.  The kids always comment about how much we laugh together and how much fun we have.  We cook together, we clean together (although he would argue he does much of that on his own), we shop together, (except, again, when he is doing that all by his lonesome with a crazy long list from me) and we generally travel as a pair.


 

A Healthier Take on Jewish Classics

 

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There are only a few things more confusing than advice on healthful eating: Paleoists, vegans, carb cyclers, ketone diet adepts, fructarians, vegetarians, flexitarians, doctors, dietitians, trainers, scientists, celebrities, coaches, chefs–and the list keeps going– all state that they’ve found the perfect way to eat, but many of them give opposite recommendations. And then, if we were already confused, there’s kashrut…However, if you look closely, there’s something everyone–including kosher laws–agrees upon: plants are great for us, and they should be the core of our diets.

We don’t normally think of Jewish dietary laws being plant based, however, they do give us plenty of freedom when it comes to the plant world. They also promote moderation with products from the animal kingdom; restricting us on how to obtain, combine and eat them. We do obsess with meat and dairy, however, maybe our eyes should be on the plants, which are pretty much free for all (except for checking them for insects, which are not plants!).


 

Israeli Inspired Cookies for Tu B’Shevat

 

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I wanted to create a recipe that was at once inspired by the foods of Israel- fruit, seed and nuts for Tu B’Shvat. The connection to using fruit is so clear- of the four renewal holidays in Judaism, it is all about trees and the fruit they bear at it’s literal essence after all. But many Jewish dishes for this celebration also utilize the Biblical 7 species: wheat, barley, dates or honey, figs, pomegranates, olives and grapes or wine.  I wanted to focus on the contemporary Israel- widely multi-cultural, sophisticated and rich in local food traditions as well. My first thought: tahini. I can’t think of the Middle East, or mizrachi cuisine without it.

Heralded chef Yotam Ottolenghi, in his book Jerusalem with Sami Tamimi, has a great recipe for a tahini cookie – and I have made  it and enjoyed it. There are plenty of tahini cookie  recipes around – Bon Appetit’s Tahini Cookies; David Lebovitz’s Tahini and Almond CookiesMartha Stewart’s Tahini Cookies


 

How To Celebrate a Tu b’Shevat Seder

 

 

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Tu b’Shevat is one of these hidden minor holidays, which haven’t gotten much attention until the last few decades. It is kind of a New Age, cutting age type of holiday with no ‘don’ts’ and not even any specific must ‘dos.’ If you are looking for spiritual renewal through mystical teachings, meditational practice and conscious mindful eating, then Tu b’Shevat has much to offer.

On Tu b’Shevat, the sap in the tree begins to flow once again to revitalize the tree. The secret of Tu b’Shevat gently whispers; “when everything looks dead, dark and murky, life, light and glory is hiding just below the surface.” The time when nothing seems to be happening on the outside is the beginning of the richest inner life. Tu b’Shevat begins a period of renewal for the individual and the community. On Tu b’Shevat we can tune into the redemption of spring. Even though we may be experiencing the winter of exile in both personal and collective stage of our lives on the outside, a new life force begins to emerge within our souls on the inside.


 

Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate...

 

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Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze Posted 01/27/2015 by ToqueandScalpel
As we celebrate the Tu bishvat holiday this recipe came to mind. The components of this recipe bring together flavors that are the essence of holiday. The earthy distinctive savory flavor of the lamb combined with lemon and garlic. Which is then complemented by the sweetness of the pomegranate glaze. I have paired this with a Couscous of dates and toasted almonds. When you take one bite your mouth will crave more.

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A Mom’s Guide To Super Bowl

 

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Have you been waiting patiently on the sidelines as the football fanatics in your life have immersed themselves in a world of ‘touchdowns, red zones and huddles’ for the past 17 weeks? If you’ve been counting down the minutes until the end of the football season – albeit it for slightly different reasons than your other half  – then get ready to celebrate. The big day has arrived; it’s time for Super Bowl Sunday XLIX!


 

Kosher Wine for Tu B’Shevat *Giveaway*

 

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The Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat is one of four “New Years” mentioned in the Mishnah and you don’t have to wait until midnight to start your celebration! Occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, there is a widespread custom to eat foods of the Land of Israel, wheat, barley, grapes, figs and pomegranates, a land of olives and date honey.

In celebration of the grape, we wanted to introduce three special kosher wines from Israel to celebrate Tu B’Shevat:


 

3 Menus for Tu B’Shevat

 

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Because Tu B’shevat has fallen out on shabbos lately, I can’t seem to remember what it’s like to celebrate it outside of the normal shabbos meal.  I suppose it’s the same really, except that we get two celebratory meals in one week, and double the normal amount of cooking.  To help keep things simple, below are three Tu B’shevat menus that are holiday worthy, but won’t have you slaving away for hours in the kitchen after work.

 


 

A Recipe Inspired By Parshat Bo

 

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At Rosh Hashana, I started a blog, Neesh Noosh: A Jewish Woman’s Year Long Journey to Find Faith in Food. Each week, I create a recipe inspired by the weekly Torah portion and what’s in season at my farmers market.  This week, in Bo, the remaining three plagues—locusts, darkness and the death of first-born sons–are inflicted upon the Egyptians. While Egypt was shrouded in darkness, “all Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings” (Bo, 10: 23).  How, despite the plagues and the continuing hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, did the Israelites live at the precipice of freedom and eventually gain freedom?

The Sefat Emet teaches that “God had already placed in Egypt hidden treasures that Israel had to take out. . . . When they clarified the lights that came out of such a place, they would go on to live [and shine] throughout the generations.” (The Language of Truth, Translated by Arthur Green, pgs 93-94).


 

Tu B’shevat And The Seven Super Foods of The...

 

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Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar, is observed this year on February 4th, 2015 on the Western calendar. This is the day when trees in the Land of Israel officially wake up from their winter slumber and begin blooming and bearing a new fruit cycle.

In our home we find it especially meaningful to eat something from all of the Shiv’at HaMinim, seven species of the land of Israel – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates – that have a special significance in Judaism.


 

Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine with Pomegranate...

 

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Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine with Pomegranate Ice Posted 01/01/2015 by Melinda Strauss
Instead of drinking your wine right out of the bottle, spice it up for summer with some citrus, cinnamon sticks and fresh herbs. Add some homemade pomegranate seed ice cubes to cool you down and impress your friends.

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A Healthy Brunch Menu

 

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As I sit down to write up this menu, I am still full from the Sunday birthday brunch I just came from for my almost 9 year old niece.  My sister in law did got raves for her egg casserole and pecan streusel french toast shuffle, which she noted are her faves because she can prep the the night before.  They were delicious, but after hearing about them, I have to note they were not the healthiest.