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A Family Vacation in Lake Como

 

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Lake Como, a popular vacation destination in Northern Italy is best known to most Americans today because George Clooney lives there, see pictures of his villa here.  Now, that wasn’t my reason for going (at least that’s what I promised my husband) and I didn’t have any celebrity sightings at all, but I did see some of the most gorgeous scenery imaginable.


 

24 Hours In Milan

 

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This summer my family and I took an extended trip to Israel and scheduled a stopover to Italy.  We flew from New York to Milan and had a little over 24 hours to enjoy the city.  A lot of people told me to skip Milan that it wasn’t worth a visit (unless you were going during Fashion Week or had a big expense account), but I beg to disagree.  The city of Milan offers much more than we could ever enjoy in 24 hours and it is worth a stopover or a special visit to see for yourself.


 

Cooking With Joy: Coq au Vin

 

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When I get overwhelmed I love to watch The Food Network, specifically The Barefoot Contessa. Everything about her calms me down. She has such an ease to everything she does. One of the dishes that she makes is Coq Au Vin. It’s always been something that I have wanted to try, just had to figure out how to make it easier and kosher. Thank you Jamie for giving us exactly that!


 

15 Travel Friendly Recipes

 

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It’s officially fall here in New England!  The beautiful scenery makes me want to go outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous colors of fall, not to mention the necessary road trips to go apple and pumpkin picking.  Here in the suburbs of Philadelphia (where I attend college) I’m just a stones throw away from hiking trails and the farms of Lancaster County.  I’m done with midterms and looking to spend sometime outside, which means packing travel friendly foods (there aren’t too many kosher options in Amish country!) for my time on the road.  Below are 15 recipes to take on your travels.

 


 

Ancient Pans for Modern Flavors

 

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It’s not that I don’t love my mother; she is great. She is smart, interesting, accomplished and fun to be with.  It’s just that she has this annoying habit of recalling my past mistakes and exclaiming: “I told you so!”

It all started in the eighties when I was a know-it-all teenager, and decided to embark on a modernization spree. The first step was imposing the purchase of a microwave oven and a Braun food processor (my mother continued to whisk her mayonnaise by hand, and used the microwave to store cooking books). Next was my “upgrade” from aluminum and cast-iron pans to stainless steel and non-stick Teflon. Still polite, condescending silence (after all, if that was the extent of my teenage rebellion, she considered herself lucky).


 

A Shabbat Project Breakfast Idea

 

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Looking for inspiration for a Shabbos Breakfast? – look no further than these Israeli Breakfast ideas.

Rushed off our feet during the week sometimes makes it impossible to sit down as a family and eat a healthy breakfast together. Let’s really get into the spice and spirit of the promised land, leaving the macon and eggs behind, to enjoy the land of milk and honey in the form of an Israeli breakfast.


 

New Jewish Summer Camp Options for Parents

 

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This past summer four new Jewish summer camps opened their doors to offer kids (and parents) new choices.  Thanks to a generous grant from four major foundations (Jim Joseph, AVI CHAI, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and UJA-Federation of New York), visionary camp directors were able to create new experiences to meet the demands of many families looking for unique camp experiences that incorporate Jewish values with a concentration on  science, sports, business and health and wellness.

 


 

Bereshis and New Beginnings: Healthy All-Day...

 

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The new year starts on Rosh Hashana, the slate is wiped clean on Yom Kippur, and the Torah reading cycle starts anew on Simchas Torah.  And what begins the Monday after the holidays of Tishrei come to a close?  My new diet, that’s what.  Eating healthy on a holiday or weekday is often times a lot easier said than done, especially when one considers the other priorities that take precedence.  I find that when I call it a “diet” I usually end up gaining weight because I’m always saying “diet starts tomorrow… or after ____ treat”.  Instead, I find that it’s much more sustainable to focus on eating healthier rather than restricting oneself.  Below are 40 healthy dishes (even dessert!) for each meal of the day.  Hatzlacha!

 


 

DIY Passion Fruit Cornucopia and Colada

 

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Wine doesn’t have to be just for drinking. Especially fruit flavored wine, like Morad’s Danue line. I used their passion fruit variety to make a creamy cocktail and a tropical-inspired dessert in honor of harvest season.

 


 

I Failed Again…

 

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I failed.
I did it again.

I didn’t fail because the cookies were dry.


 

Caviar For Shabbat

 

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This article is dedicated to my father, who with out fail, reminds me every three day yom tov to do eruv tavshilin.  Eruv Tavshilin refers to the prepared food that is set aside with a prayer before a yom tov, that allows us to cook and prepare foods on a yom tov for Shabbat when Shabbat is the following day.  This is most often necessary when two days of holiday lead into Shabbat as we have been enjoying this year.  Get all the details of Ervu Tavshilin here and don’t worry if you have forgotten or didn’t know about it before, there are many that allow you to rely on the eruv of the Rabbi in the community who will have everyone in mind.

In my family as I am sure in many it is customary to use a hard boiled egg and challah or matzah for the Eruv.  It is easy to eat the bread at any meal, but no one in my family really likes to sit down to a hard boiled egg, that is how I started to serve Caviar on Shabbat.


 

Fresh Seasonal Food For The New Year

 

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With the holidays quickly approaching, we find ourselves yet again in the kitchen preparing daily feasts for our families and friends. Whether we are cooking traditional foods or new recipes, we sometimes get lost in the idea that the more complicated the recipe, the tastier and more impressive it is. In my own cooking, I find that it’s usually the simpler recipes using fresh and in season produce are the most delicious and healthier to boot.  Let’s put the healthy back into the new year and cook fresh, seasonal foods!

Here is a favorite recipe of mine, Moroccan Mint Beet Salad. Pairs beautifully with any fish appetizer from gefilte to sea bass and everything in between.


 

A Simchat Torah Mexican Menu

 

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On Simchas Torah and Shemini Atzeres, it’s time to push your culinary daring to the limits. Consider the fact that we’ve just come through Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkos, not to mention a Shabbos or two. Everyone at your table is thinking, “If I see one more potato kugel…” So have fun with the menu and try my simple recipes for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos (a mild chili pepper) and Mexican Brisket, a fab twist on traditional recipes.


 

Is Grass Fed Beef Better? *Giveaway*

 

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If I were to ask you where your steak comes from and your first answer is the supermarket, we need to talk. Long before a trimmed, perfectly portioned rib eye finds its way onto your grill or your plate, it starts with a cow and a cattle rancher. The Farm to Table Movement has caused many of us to think more about where our food comes from. Although I don’t yet (and can’t afford to fully) practice what I preach, our family is starting to eat more sustainable and natural foods, including grass-fed beef.

Some kosher consumers feel that eating animals raised in captivity challenges our goal for having greater sensitivity to the natural world. I’m not sure I’m entirely convinced by this argument, but grass-fed meat and pastured poultry seeks to find a thoughtful balance between the ethical and the practical.


 

5 Menus for Shemini Atzeres, Simchas Torah, &...

 

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Ok, I admit it, I am guilty of calling every holiday “my favorite holdiay”.  Another confession, I don’t feel all that guilty– I really love everything about the holidays (minus the limits on showering, but let’s not discuss that).  Sukkos is this incredibly festive, yet humbling holiday.   Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah fall right at the end of Sukkos, after Hoshana Rabbah, and are literally, truly, just straight up days of rejoicing.  In gashmius, materialistic, terms: bring on the food!  These 5 menus will leave you full, feeling festive (you may also need a nap) and will motivate you to dance all night (and work off all those calories…sort of kidding!) by Simchas Torah.