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Day In Jerusalem – Entertaining Teens

 

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Whether it’s Winter Break Vacation, Pesach or Summer Vacation here are some ideas for entertaining teens in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a city that the whole family can enjoy together but very often the teenagers in the family are looking for something more extreme, a challenging or unique activity that’s worth getting out of bed for.

What was once a hard task; is now a fun endeavor. There are so many exciting activities in Jerusalem that even your teens will be asking to come back for more.


 

Discount Tickets KFWE 2014

 

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It is time to get your tickets for this year’s eighth annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience once again taking place at Pier 61 in NYC.  Every year Royal Wine Corp. puts on this fantastic night to showcase over 200 wines and over 20 restaurants and caterers.  The whole Joy of Kosher team will be there and we would love to see all of you.

Join us on February 24, 2014 and use coupon code JOYOFKOSHER20 to save 20% off right now!!  Go to KFWE to purchase your tickets.


 

We Love Avocados For Game Day

 

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Call us dopey. Call us weird. But when my husband Ed and I get together with my brother Jeff and sister-in-law Eileen every year to watch the Super Bowl on TV, we don’t eat chili con carne or chicken wings, tacos or burritos. For us, a dairy meal is easier, more enjoyable and more flexible (especially when it comes to dessert). Besides, Eileen hates spicy food, so any of the usual Buffalo anything is out. Jeff won’t eat any dish that’s made with chopped meat, so there goes the chili.

In fact, the only thing that we do eat that comes remotely close to being the usual Superbowl “Tex-Mex” or Southwest cuisine is the avocado. There is always some avocado something.


 

What To Do With Blood Oranges

 

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Winter is the season for citrus.  If you haven’t noticed yet, there are all sorts of new oranges out in the market now, not sure if it is the Dietitian in me or the foodie me, but I get really excited for new seasonal produce.   I also grew up in Florida, so a love of citrus is in my “blood” (pun intended).


 

A Healthy and Sweet Tu B’shvat Treat

 

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I grew up in a ‘healthy’ house. What is a ‘healthy’ house, you may ask? Well, my mother, a former nurse, believed that we were only to put food that was good for our body into our mouths. There was never candy or junk food to be found in our home. There was no sugar cereal in the cupboards. There was no soda or juice in the fridge.

If we were thirsty, we drank the same liquid we used to wash our hands with, bathe in, wash our clothes and fill the dog’s bowl with: H2O from the tap. Despite all the limitations on what we could eat, my mother was a good cook.


 

Favorite Tu B’Shevat Recipes

 

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This year Tu B’Shevat, translated as the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, begins in the evening on Wednesday January 15, 2014 and ends in the evening on Thursday January 16th, 2014.  This “New Year for the Trees” holiday marks the beginning of the slow process when the trees begin blossoming and flowering with new life and new fruit.  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.

So now that you know what’s what, I’m sharing my favorite recipes featuring each of the seven species.


 

Gluten Free and Natural on Tu B’Shevat

 

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It is customary to celebrate Tu B’Shevat by eating the Seven Species of fruit and grains which are native to the land of Israel. When I think of Tu B’Shevat I think of slicing open a pomegranate, eating the seeds over Greek yogurt and drizzling it with honey for breakfast, while for dinner I’d imagine Moroccan chicken marinated and then baked in olives and prunes.

Tu B’Shevat is a special day not only for celebrating trees but also for celebrating everything the earth provides for us; all of our fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wheat and barley, etc. Tu B’Shevat is a day to celebrate our health and maybe even re-evaluate our eating habits.  The perfect time to introduce new fruits and vegetables into our daily meals.  After all Tu B’Shevat is a new year, and on New Years we make new resolutions.


 

Candy Wrapper Hair Accessories *Giveaway*

 

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We have a very strange candy minhag in my home every Friday night when my brother in law comes to stay with us…. which is pretty much every weekend! After the dishes are cleared and the table cleaned, out comes the candy. Mike and Ike’s ALWAYS make an appearance. When I was asked to come up with a craft using candy wrappers I was so beyond excited since I’ve been thinking about doing something with them for so long. I loved the idea of creating hair accessories out of the old boxes and wrappers. It’s such a great party craft for girls or the perfect mom and daughter project to bond over.

 


 

Essential 6 Ingredient Soups

 

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When temperatures drop, nothing is more comforting than cozying up with a hot bowl of soup. As a personal chef, I find myself making these three recipes weekly for my clients, and who would ever guess they only require 6 ingredients? These soups take no time to prepare and freeze wonderfully for an easy, last minute dinner. Immersion blenders are essential here, creating a creamy consistency without the extra calories. Want to jazz them up for a special occasion? See starred comments on the recipes for some unique ideas that will impress your guests!

Minted Pea Soup


 

Vote Now For Your Favorites and WIN

 

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Thank you all for nominating your favorites for our Best of Kosher 2013 awards.  The winner of the kitchen gadgets from Lekue is huviepoo and the kitchen gadgets from Rosle goes to davises88 .  Now, the real fun begins – voting and more great prizes!!

Check out all our 8 categories on our Best of Kosher 2013 page, vote for your favorites, every day until January 27th.


 

Tu B’Shevat Celebration Menu

 

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One week from now is the holiday of Tu B’Shevat, beginning the evening of January 15th.  For many years in my life this holiday went unnoticed.  Of course, I remember the celebrations in school with the hard to chew boxer that you either loved or hated and the annual planting of trees (I grew up in Florida, so we could plant this time of year and not freeze to death), but in the years between my being in school and having kids, I will admit I didn’t do much celebrating.  Now, I realize that there many ways we can go about celebrating this holiday, whether it be the smallest gesture of making a seven species granola (thanks for the great idea in the comments here) or going all out with a Tu B’shevat Seder.

Tu B’Shevat literally means the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat.  It is the birthday of the trees in Israel.  The day that the trees begin their new fruit bearing cycle.  So we celebrate by eating the fruits of the trees.  Really any fruit counts, but it is tradition to eat the kinds that are mentioned in the Torah when praising the bounty of Israel: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.  Some go even further and like to include the full seven species of Israel which adds wheat and barley to the fruits.   There are also many kabalistic rituals around this holiday which have become more popular recently and is the reason many people hold a seder, get a guide to making your own seder from Hazon, here.


 

Being Good and Loving It With Poached Pears

 

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Sometimes I behave. Sometimes I don’t. When I am being good, poached pears taste like a beautiful sweet gift from G-d. A light, pleasant, end to a meal — elegant enough to serve on Shabbos easy enough to prepare in about 20 minutes.

Growing up compote was a staple at my grandparents home – served both as a side to the main or as a sweet dessert. I like to think of my Orange Ginger Poached Pears as a dressed up version of the fruit stew I grew up with.


 

In the JOK Kitchen with Tina Wasserman *Giveaway*

 

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Tina Wasserman has been in the food writing business for a while, but two years ago when she wrote her first cookbook, Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of The Jewish Diaspora, she really appeared on the map.  Tina loves to share the history of our food and helps us all connect to our Jewish roots through food.  Her new book, Entree to Judaism For Families, is filled with the tools to help kids of all ages learn to cook in the kitchen and learn bits of history too.  I had the chance to meet Tina recently and I came away with so much amazing knowledge.  Let’s see what we can learn now.

Your books are filled with little history lessons connecting the food to Jewish history, how did you learn all these facts?


 

10 Ways To Eat and Love Beets

 

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Growing up I never really liked beets.  I really had only ever seen them out of a jar usually in a salad bar.  Never had a I seen them raw or with green tops. Apparently, that is still the case for most people living in the U.S. where most beets consumed are from a can and even when sold raw they are often sold without their tops.  Only recently did I discover a love for beets and then a greater love for their green tops.

I have been reading a new book all about the history of vegetables and how to choose, store and cook the best ones for maximum nutrition.  The book, Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson, is a wealth of information that I will share when I can.  So, while I already loved beets, I found even more reasons that you should love them too.  Beets are a rich source of boron, which is good for bones and apparently may be an aphrodisiac too.  And beets, even without their greens (but, please eat the greens they are so good) are one of the healthiest vegetables.  People who eat beets on a regular basis have a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.  Robinson also mentions that the nitrates in beets have been shown to enhance athletic performance, a glass of beet juice with Wheaties might be the true breakfast of champions.


 

Gluten Free Travel Inspired Coconut Chicken

 

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Hey, everyone!

I’m really glad to be joining you here on the Joy of Kosher and I just wanted to introduce myself formally — as I sit at home in my PJs — before we embark on our culinary journey together, otherwise… you know…it could be awkward.