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Joy of Kosher Cookbook Clubs

 

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In anticipation of the release of the new Joy of Kosher Cookbook we arranged for 10 cookbook clubs around the country.  We asked and you volunteered.  The volunteers that were randomly selected from our Host a Joy of Kosher Cookbook Club were tasked with inviting at least 5 friends to talk, cook and eat from the new book.  Here is a recap from some of there parties and we hope they inspire you to host one of your own.


 

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.


 

How To Create a Dessert Table for Hanukkah ...

 

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Well I have certainly made a lot of friends since moving to Israel.  My newest pals are a sister team of event designers from the city of Modiin.  Nesia and Daphna run A La Mode Designer Desserts, Designer Parties.  And I tapped them to create a vibrant, modern, unexpected Chanukah dessert table.  Watch this video and learn how to recreate this thing of beauty step-by-step.  It’s also filled with lot’s of little take-away ideas for gifts, sweets, and snacks that can be incorporated into any party.


 

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:


 

Sneak Peek Of the New Issue

 

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Consider this issue gift wrapped! It’s our great big special Chanukah gift to you, filled with fresh ideas for your Chanukah parties and enough inspiration to last and last through the winter.  This issue is loaded with the season’s coziest customs like
latke making, doughnut decorating and gift giving. Featuring perfect potato latkes, including classic and cauliflower (page 53); ice cream stuffed doughnuts, sushi doughnuts, doughnut ‘kebobs,’ fillings and glazes galore, oh, my! (page 72); and tips
on how to turn your doughnut designs into a DIY moment for you and your guests with stenciled doughnut decorations that are an exquisite piece of art almost too beautiful to eat (page 76)!

Plus party platters (page 64) and party punches (page 62) both adult- and kid-friendly.  Ahem, and may I suggest the perfect Chanukah gift for just about everyone on your list? My NEW Cookbook, Joy of Kosher: Fast Fresh Family Recipes. These recipes are versatile beyond words. I show you how to dress them up for entertaining and dress them down for everyday. On page 42 I take you behind the scenes and give you a taste of what it really takes to cook up a cookbook.


 

Best Uses for Leftover Candy

 

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Can there ever be such a thing as too much candy?  I guess it depends on who you are talking to, but if you find yourself with bags of open candies we have lots of great uses that go beyond popping them in your mouth.  You can separate the candy, make a pretty plate or container to bring over as a hostess gift.  You can serve the candy to your Shabbat guests. The best uses for lots of candy is turning them into fantastic dessert recipe creations.  Here we have 10 recipes to make the best use of your leftover candy.

Mike and Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies

Mike and Ike Bejeweled Sugar Cookies


 

Why I Love Olives

 

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There are a handful of ingredients that not only strengthen the flavor of a dish, but also stand strong as an appetizer-like snack on their own.   My favorite one is small, it’s oily, it’s a fruit, and it’s harvested for its meat and oil.  It is the quintessential olive.

There are dozens of olive varieties encompassing both size and flavor.  Similar to the different nuances in grapes and the wines that grapes become, olives grown in different regions will pick up the fine distinctions of those areas.  The leading growers of olives are the Mediterranean countries ~ Spain, Greece, Italy and Israel where there are groves with some fruit bearing trees dating back thousands of years.  The United States can also claim rights to this delicacy with much younger groves in the Southwestern states.


 

Cooking Israeli Food In America

 

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I just came back from New York City where I gave a few Israeli cooking classes. I always find that no matter where in the world I am, cooking with people is fun, creative and delicious, and passion for cooking crosses cultures and places. As a cook I like to learn and teach new recipes, cooking techniques and tips.

Two cooking classes were hosted by two of my dearest clients and friends Ada-Beth and Laurie, who took my cooking tour in Israel a while ago. The third one took place at Manhattan JCC. I so much appreciate the warm welcome and the opening of the kitchens for me.


 

An Updated Israeli Cabbage Salad

 

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A classic Israeli table is covered with about a dozen colorful salads from all over the Middle East. Once you’ve eaten in a typical Israeli restaurant, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Everything from hummus to babaganush gets served on endless small plates so that you can barely see the table. The collection of salads is a sign of the Israel bountifulness, and general generosity found all over the country.

One of Israel’s most famous salads, found in every falafel stand, is the red cabbage salad.


 

Shawarma: Israeli Fast Food

 

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The most popular fast foods of Israel are by far falafel and shawarma. Both are served in either pita or lafa and with a variety of salads and dips, resulting in the perfect bite of food. Traditionally, a pita is filled with falafel and/or shawarma, a shmear of hummus, some Israeli salad, and topped off with pickles, olives, charif, and fried eggplant. The tastes and textures are phenomenal and can become quite addicting.

In last year’s Hanukkah issue the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine we created the ultimate Israeli fast food experience.  With recipes for all the Israeli fast food favorites, including salatim, pita, falafel and of course Shawarma.  To see the full story and get all the recipe order your subscription and past issue here, Subscribe. Today we are sharing here the recipe for Shawarma.


 

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me *Giveaway*

 

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To celebrate the debut of my new cookbook, my labor of love, my magnum opus, my baby (except that human babies take only nine months to happen and this one took two years – oh, the agony), I’m sharing 25 things you don’t already know about me.  I know, I know, you thought that by now I’ve told you everything, and I have – almost. The upcoming book is my most personal yet – filled with episodes of my life that seem larger than life; diary entries; pictures of my kids; my innermost thoughts, dreams, wishes, goals; my best recipes and crazy moments between Hubby and me.

But there’s so much more to tell. So why not share it, right here, right now? (I mean, besides Hubby’s objection that I’m nuts to divulge all this.) I call it fearless. He calls it folly.  And when I’m finished, it’ll be your turn to whisper a few of your secrets to me.


 

A Haute Market In Jerusalem: The Shuk

 

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Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market is a literal feast for the senses. Visitors to this outdoor market, or shuk in local parlance, are greeted with the vibrant colors of fresh produce, the guttural sounds of vendors yelling competing prices to passersby, the wafting smells of whatever is in season, and the tastes of rich halva, warm borekas, comforting stews and sweet tropical fruits. If you are a food lover, then a trip to Israel is hardly complete without a stop here.


 

Israeli Salads – Not 1 Leafy Green To Check

 

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What makes a salad Israeli?

After all, Israel is the ultimate melting pot of Jewish cuisine. To go even further and peg these salads as Middle-Eastern is so vague since each region from Turkey to Yemen has such a unique flavor profile. In fact, the signature “Israeli” Potato Salad is almost exactly like my Romanian- Hungarian grandparents’ chicken salad – go figure. Look, I’m no culinary anthropologist but I have a simple, straightforward way of defining Israeli salads… roll that drum… salads that are commonly eaten in Israel.


 

Israeli Food: The Fusion Continues

 

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Israeli cuisine, reflective of the Mediterranean diet, is redolent with fresh produce, legumes, fish, herbs, spices, and olive oil. But it was not always so. The first Hebrew cookbook, How to Cook in Palestine by Erna Meyer (1936), recommended: “We housewives must make an attempt to free our kitchens from European customs, which are not appropriate to Palestine.” Meyer appealed to adopt zucchini, eggplants, okra, and olives and eventually people did (although not so much okra). Diced cucumber and tomatoes became ubiquitous ‘salat’ or ‘Israeli salad.’ From the dining halls of kibbutzim arose a new way of eating and thinking about food, inspired by biblical Israel and based on the modern Levant. Some European food traditions endured.  The German quark cheese emerged as the predominant Israeli processed dairy product, g’vina levana. In due course, immigrants from more than 70 countries contributed to Israel’s culinary diversity and continuing evolution.


 

Highlights From The Joy of Kosher Cookbook Launch...

 

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Leah, Yocheved, Ephie and Yael!!!, Donna, Elise, Lisa, Dina, Esti, Hilda, Iris, Jason and Wifey!!! (so sorry forgot your first name), Jill, Judy, Lori, Malki and Malkie, Nancy, Miriam, Rachael, Sharon, Susan, Zessie and everyone else whose name I haven’t mentioned – THANK YOU!!! You all made Monday night the most special and amazing evening of my professional life. Meeting, talking, hugging (lol – you know me, I can NOT help myself!), and laughing with each and every one of you was utterly amazing. I am so touched that you snatched up tickets within hours of our party announcement – so totally cool!!! I am all teary at the thought of it, seriously. I really love you all so much. From Philly, to all parts of Jersey, to Jericho and 5-towns, and Queens and BK and more you came! Did I say I love you all yet?!?!?

We are planning a new and exciting event soon. Until then enjoy these pretty pictures (you are all so beautiful – I am kvelling!).