Purim

 

Persian Menu for your Purim Seudah

 

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Last week Laura Frankel treated us to her incredible Persian Purim Seudah menu. Her recipes are fabulous. In fact, if she’s following that menu for this year’s Purim Seudah, I may just show up at her place.

Though I am solidly Ashkenazic, I love the idea of a Persian Purim Seudah and I came up with some Sephardic-inspired dishes to add to the repertoire. After all, the whole Purim story takes place in exotic Persia and the Megillah gives us such a vivid picture of what life was like that we are virtually transported to Shushan. So when in Rome (or, um, Shushan)….


 

Potent Potables for Purim

 

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On Purim, according to Raba, ”a person must drink until he cannot tell the difference between ‘Cursed be Haman’ and ‘Blessed be Mordechai.’”  (Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 7b).

While we hope and pray moderation and good sense prevails on this holiday, we offer a few inspired suggestions to help you get your Purim drink on…


 

Purim Baskets

 

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If you’re the type of person who likes gift giving, especially treats from your kitchen, then Purim is the holiday for you! You probably look forward to the holiday as much as my family. When my kids were young, we would make a whole day out of it. I especially enjoy the making of hamantaschen. Holiday cookbooks are full of poppy seed, prune, chocolate, and even jelly-filled recipes…they’re all good, but I like my own special creations the best!

It’s been years since my daughter dressed up during the Purim Carnivals as Queen Esther and my son as a human gragger. Although we’ve outgrown some holiday traditions, the mainstay for my family at Purim is the giving of shalakh mannes. What a wonderful opportunity to share with your Jewish neighbors and friends a basket full of ready to eat treats from your heart and home. The Megillah instructs us to celebrate the holiday by sharing these foodie gifts. The gift-giving serves as an expression of brotherly love, unity and generosity. For me, it’s an opportunity to share from my own personal kitchen, and not just my Abigael’s kitchen!


 

Candy-Inspired Desserts

 

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I’ve been asked to define Purim, so I guess you could say that on a very superficial level Purim means candy, and costumes, and candy, and more candy.

I was flipping through Martha Stewart mag and I saw a piece on candy- inspired desserts. What a great idea – a sophisticated spin on a candy bar! Anytime I see something that makes my mouth water, I’m gonna remember it, but this time I also cut it out and saved it in my Purim folder. Pulled it up last week and created a “Snickers Cheesecake” just for you. Well, ok, it’s really for me, but I’m willing to share.


 

Hamantaschen Recipe Roundup!

 

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Hamantaschen.  Hamantashen? Hamentaschen! Hamentashen @#$%!  We may not agree how to spell it, but we all like to eat it!  We’ve asked some of our favorite kosher chefs to share their best hamantaschen recipes with Joy of Kosher.  Hamantaschen are the trianglular-shaped, sweet-filled cookies we eat on the holiday of Purim.  In Hebrew, they are called oznei haman, the “ears of Haman” – who knew Haman had triangular ears?  Is he from Planet Vulcan like Spock?  Some things get lost in translation…  luckily, great recipes don’t!

Enjoy these fabulous hamantaschen recipes.  Happy Purim!


 

Italian Themed Purim Menu

 

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When you want to get away from the same ol’ same ol’ Purim seudah, a great idea is to have a have a themed menu. Why not go all out? Get into the spirit with music, table décor and costumes. Of course, spirits help you get into the spirit, so don’t skimp there either.

But let’s stay sober for the moment. We’ve got to consider our themes, and I’ve got three terrific ones for you – Italian, Mexican and Persian. Today I’m breaking out our Italian menu. Mama mia – you’re gonna love it!


 

Homemade Treats for Purim – Win a Gift...

 

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So it’s nearly Purim and the excitement in my house is rising every day. I’m not a great one to fuss with costumes, but my mind is bubbling over with ideas for Mishloach Manot. Depending on what neighborhood you inhabit, these gifts also can be called “shalach munis” or simply Purim treats. It’s more than mere “tradition” to give goodies to friends and family. The practice of giving food – specifically two different types — was mandated as a mitzvah at the suggestion of Queen Esther (you’ll find it in the Megillah), and we’re still obeying to this day. I like to go out of my way to give Mishloach Manot to people I just met or to new friends: it’s a great opportunity to break the ice with new neighbors too.

When it comes to your goodie basket, you can go from cheap and cheerful to expensive and exotic. The only things that limit you are your imagination and your wallet.


 

How to Lose Weight on (and After) Purim

 

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Erma Bombeck once said, “I’ve been on a diet for the last two decades.  I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds.  By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet!”  With Purim just around the corner, here are a few tips and tricks to have fun, without all the fat.

As you instinctively reach for a hamentasch on Purim morning, do you find yourself thinking: It’s okay to stray from my eating plan because: “I’m celebrating” or “I really want it, everyone else is eating it” or “it’s only a little piece, I’ll make up for it later.”  The reality is that the food in front of you tempts you to try it and eating generates immediate rewards (and other “gains” as well), while the rewards from watching what you eat might take weeks, months or even years!


 

Just in time for PURIM!

 

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With Purim being a mere 12 days away it’s the perfect time to start baking your hamantaschen! We have so many delicious recipes for you to try – there is sure to be a recipe here that you haven’t tried before:

Cookie Dough Hamantaschen
Yeast Dough Hamantaschen
Ruth Book’s Famous Hamentashen
Honey Cookie Dough Hamantaschen
Super EZ Hamantaschen
Cream Cheese Hamantaschen
Buttery Hamantaschen Dough
Classic Pareve Hamantaschen


 

A South of the Border Purim Seudah

 

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Call it Mordechai in Mexico… or a South of the Border Seudah.  It is time to plan a Purim Party!  It’s on a Sunday, so no excuses!  CreativeJewishMom teamed up with JoyofKosher and CouldntBeParve to create a fantastic fiesta with everything from (crepe paper) flowers to flan. Ole!

Set the scene with the right tablecloth, or in this case, a Mexican blanket decorated with some bright crepe paper flowers.  If you can’t find a Mexican blanket, any colorful woven table cloth will work.  Bring out all your colorful dishes, paint some whimsical styrofoam fruit (which you can turn into a placeholder by adding a flag or tag tied with some twine or string) and decorate some wine glasses, add napkin rings from plastic bottles and throw those crepe paper flowers into a recycled bleach bottle vase and sprinkle a few flowers across the table. (more…)


 

Healthy Hamantashen and Mishloach Manot

 

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Purim is one of my favorite Jewish holidays.  My children are counting the days, this year a few extra (thanks to the leap year), because they know that on Purim, I look the other way as bags and boxes of sweets and treats pile up outside our door.  I make the conscious choice to be a practical mom, rather than a determined dietitian, but I do try to include some healthy choices in the gifts I give to others. (more…)


 

Memories of Purim Costumes Past

 

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Ahh, those wonderful childhood Purim memories … the hamentashen, the mishloach manot, the noisemakers we made back in nursery school out of old milk cartons filled with dry beans.

And then there are the costumes … Well, this is where my memories stop being so wonderful.


 

Revenge of the Hamentashen

 

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Hamentashen vs. Latkes: It’s On … Again!

On Chanukah, latkes threw down the gauntlet. Now, with Purim 2010 almost here (this year Purim starts on  Saturday night, February 27th), it’s payback time. And this time, it’s pastry.


 

Do It Yourself Purim Cooking

 

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Purim is all about being creative. Though it’s easy to buy candy and bakery hamantashen, go the extra mile by making unexpected treats your friends will relish.

Remember, just because you want to present mishloach manot gifts with a homemade touch, spending hours in the kitchen isn’t necessary.