Holidays

 

A Little Meat Goes A Long Way *Giveaway*

 

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This article and recipes are sponsored by Joburg Kosher.

One of the trends we have seen this year has been to use less meat in our diets for health and for the environment.  The best way to do that is to use very flavorful meat to flavor vegetable filled dishes.  Many non kosher people use bacon and prosciutto in this way, cured meats with a smokey and salty flavor.  We can use salami.  Joburg started as a Boerewors (South African Sausages) and Biltong (South African beef jerky) company.  Recently they have introduced an Old World Beef and Veal Salami.


 

Latkes That Just Happen To be Vegan and Gluten...

 

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Every year I try and come up with a new kind of latke.   I know I am not alone in this task, it seems all us foodie bloggers are doing the same, we can’t seem to leave well enough alone and like to find new spins on old classics.  There is always new inspiration too. New trendy flavors, new products and sometimes just new thoughts.

Growing up my mom would always make potato, zucchini and mixed vegetable as her latkes of choice.  She isn’t the type to use a recipe and they always came out great.  When I started making latkes, I am going to be honest, it took me some time to figure out how to get them just right.  Sometimes they wouldn’t really cook through to the middle and I was left with a raw potato taste and sometimes they didn’t stick together.  My first successful latke that my family loves actually comes from Joan Nathan.  Her thin crispy latkes use grated potatoes and eggs only, so they are also gluten free.  I found making them thin was the trick and I love the long strands of potato.  The recipe is so good I actually won a latke making contest quite a few years back.


 

Free 20 Recipe #WinnDixieKosher Chanukah Ebook

 

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4 Ways To Throw A Healthy and Easy Chanukah Party

 

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In my biggest, glossiest fantasies I imagine a very specific Chanukah party.

In this fantasy I’m calm and welcoming amidst all the cooking chaos.  (OK, I also want to be wearing my favorite clothes and the earrings my mother gave to me).

The menu: easy to prepare.
The food: gorgeous, delicious, healthy.


 

My 11 Latke Loves *Giveaway*

 

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Fried in oil and or dipped in chocolate are two of my general criteria for favorite foods.  Lucky me it’s Chanukah and there will be no shortage of fried in oil (dipped in chocolate) sweet and savory treats.  Here are my 11 latke loves:


 

Latkes: Stuffed, Topped & Paired to...

 

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This past shabbos someone asked me what to do for her Chanukah event asking “Aren’t people tired of latkes?”.  I staunchly replied no; Chanukah hasn’t even started, how can people be tired of latkes!  In some ways she was right, though, serving the same plain latkes year after year can make things feel a bit cliche or even kitschy.  It doesn’t take much to make latkes exciting, I mean fried potatoes alone (when done well) are pretty appetizing on their own.  Breathe new life into your Chanukah latkes by stuffing them, topping them with exciting sauces or dips, and even creating a meal around them.

 


 

The Best Chanukah Recipe That Is Not A Latke *WIN*

 

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This year try something new and different for your Chanukah party or even just one of your eight nights at home with the family.   Sure we are big latke fans over here on Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller, have you seen the new issue of the magazine with a cover full of latkes? Or have you browsed our collection of over 90 Laktes right here on the site? Once you are done with all those come back here and try something new.


 

Israeli Inspired Sufganiot

 

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Nothing says Chanukah in Israel like sufganiot. About 15 minutes after the completion of the sukkot holiday bakeries all over the country start getting ready for Chanukah, more than a month and a half away, flooding their store fronts, print adds, and Internet sights with mouthwatering samples of their gorgeously crafted and oft uniquely flavoured seasonal treats. Gone are the days of raspberry jam filled, powdered sugar covered sufganiot. The classic has evolved into gourmet offerings ranging from caramel cream and chocolate filled, to specialty confections featuring halva, pistachio, espresso, and other high end pastry creams. Over the past few years some bakeries developed the ingenious system of incorporating small infusion bottles filled with sweet liquors into their treats, making the whole sufgania experience into one Israelis and visitors alike anxiously look forward to.


 

Day In Jerusalem: Hanukkah

 

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The holiday feeling is in the air in Jerusalem. The local bakeries have started to compete with their gourmet sufganiyot flavors. You can find traditional donuts in the following flavors; banana cotte, Irish crème, pistachio, Crème Brule, biscotella and more. It’s worth a trip to Israel for Hanukkah just to see all the gourmet options.

Once you have tasted your perfect choice, it’s time to plan your activity itinerary. Instead of our traditional daily itinerary we would like to offer you lots of great suggestions for Hanukka activities in Jerusalem.


 

Italian Chanukah Party

 

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Chanukah is just around the corner, I can’t believe it!  I’m still going strong with my post-Tishrei diet which excludes dairy and, as of two days ago, gluten.  So let’s just say I’m living vicariously by compiling these recipes, and boy do they look good.  In addition to latkes and doughnuts, having a dairy meal is another Chanukah tradition.  The dairy meal is connected to women in particular because it was Yehudis who helped win the war against the Greeks by feeding their commander salty cheese and copious amounts of wine before killing him and sending the Greek army into chaos.  Just a little food for thought!  The Italian Chanukah party is a great way to pay homage to the strong women in your life and is a festive way to participate in the traditional Chanukah dairy meal.

 


 

Having Fun With The Mensch on a Bench *Giveaway*

 

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What started as a small Kickstarter campaign has become the latest popular holiday gift for Jewish and interfaith families this holiday season.  The Mensch on a Bench, a 12” plush doll with an accompanying hardcover storybook, is the brainchild of Neal Hoffman, a former toy marketing executive turned entrepreneur.  The purpose is to introduce children to the story and traditions of Hanukkah, from the viewpoint of “Moshe” the Mensch.

In Hoffman’s fictional story, Moshe the Mensch, volunteered to watch over the Menorah in the Temple after the Maccabees victory.  During each of the eight nights, Moshe is inspired to continue to serve and witness the Hanukkah miracle.


 

Prepare For Cyber Monday With Our Chanukah Gift...

 

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The timing of Chanukah every year really dictates which sales we are able to take advantage of. Last year with Thanksgivukkah the sales were not in our favor, but this year we have more than two weeks to go and still have Cyber Monday to enjoy tomorrow.  You can see my guide for last year’s Hanukkah gift guide here.  This year I have found some fun new foods that will make the perfect gift.


 

Cook Thanksgiving in an Hour

 

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I’m not kidding, it is possible to spend Thanksgiving outside of the kitchen!  Each dish seems to add up to more and more hours in the kitchen, but with a good game plan and the recipes below you will be out of the kitchen and able to enjoy the day.  I’m no miracle worker though, sorry to say that there are no whole roasted turkey recipes here, those actually take a while to cook!  Instead there are plenty of elegant and alternative turkey based options which will make you wonder why you ever bothered cooking the whole bird anyway!

 


 

British Savory Pies and Pasties For Thanksgiving

 

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Anglo-Jewish history dates back at least a millennium and it is rife with complex twists and turns that are still debated. There are a few things we know for certain: After being (sort of) welcomed in by Norman and Plantagenet rulers in feudal times, significant persecution of Jews began around the late 12th century. They were branded with yellow stars and taxed extensively. They were expelled altogether in the 13th century in a time of religious fervor under the fury of Blood Libels. From then until 1609, there is historical uncertainty about Jews in England, with reports of a few—such as a crypto-Jew (one who had converted and practiced in secret) serving as physician to Henry VIII.  In a twist we certainly didn’t hear about as kids during the telling of the Thanksgiving story, many Puritans were punished for seeming to be “jew-ized” and distinctly pro- Old Testament. The Pilgrim landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620.

But pressure from (mostly Jewish) Spanish and Portuguese traders, the work of  Sephardic Dutch Rabbinical leader Menasseh Ben Israel (who advocated for opening of lands closed to Jews), and the practical politics of the English ruler Oliver Cromwell, led to an invitation for Jews  to return by 1664.  From the Restoration to the Enlightenment and beyond, life became rich for Jews—and not just in London and its environs.

So, for Thanksgiving this year, I decided to take a look at some U.S.–Anglo–Jewish culinary traditions. By and large, English food (notwithstanding Chef Jamie Oliver and Jewish TV chef Nigella Lawson) has always been thought of as bland. Plebeian. And when I lived there, I can tell you that I ate more than my fair share of butter and cucumber sandwiches and egg and chips (aka French fries). The folks at Lutece weren’t worried. But I did have some curious little handheld vegetable pot pies. Those pasties (pronounced PAHS-tees, rhyming with “last” or “past”—not “paste”—with “ease” at the end), were soul warming and easy to eat and carry along. This little pie is not exactly seen as a Jewish food, no doubt, but it’s a fun—and freezable—meal. Once you get the hang of the dough, you can stuff it with almost any stew—and it’s great for leftovers. Freeze them stuffed but unbaked and you’ve got a treat waiting to happen. Pasties, by the way, originated in Cornwall, England, and are believed to have been created for miners who worked under harsh conditions for many hours a day and wanted and needed a meal that would be easy to carry and tidy up. Original pasties featured an inedible dough—so tough that it protected the stew. And it only ever, ever contained beef, turnips, potatoes, and onions. This is such a deep-seated traditional food that, I kid you not, there is a Cornish Pasty Association and it sets rules about this little hand pie.

The rules notwithstanding, I’ve come up with a very American version that takes advantage of turkey, dressing and leftover greens. Keep calm and make hand pies.


 

Just A Pie Full Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go...

 

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The Kosher Connection decided to dedicate this month’s link up to our longtime friend and distinguished Jewish food historian, Gil Marks. Gil has been sick for a while and we want to wish him a refuah shleimah (complete healing). I am sharing my recipe for these mini pies (full of sugar) in hopes to add a little sweetness during this otherwise difficult time. Gil has been an inspiration and a true pioneer. We thank Gil for all his amazing books, writing and teachings over the years and look forward to many more.

I made this recipe as an adaptation to Momofuku’s famous crack pie, I read about online. It is supposed to be so good, that you can’t stop eating it.  I first discovered Momofuku’s recipes when I attempted a new recipe for chocolate cookies that just didn’t really hold together and I ended up with a bunch of chocolate cookie crumbs.  I was able to use those crumbs to make these Chocolate Chocolate Cookies with Cookie Crumbs, which turned out absolutely amazing.  I learned that one of Momofuku’s specialties was using cookie crumbs and cake crumbs in the cookies and cakes.  So, when I found myself with graham cracker crumbs that wouldn’t hold together I knew where to turn.