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How To Celebrate a Tu b’Shevat Seder

 

 

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Tu b’Shevat is one of these hidden minor holidays, which haven’t gotten much attention until the last few decades. It is kind of a New Age, cutting age type of holiday with no ‘don’ts’ and not even any specific must ‘dos.’ If you are looking for spiritual renewal through mystical teachings, meditational practice and conscious mindful eating, then Tu b’Shevat has much to offer.

On Tu b’Shevat, the sap in the tree begins to flow once again to revitalize the tree. The secret of Tu b’Shevat gently whispers; “when everything looks dead, dark and murky, life, light and glory is hiding just below the surface.” The time when nothing seems to be happening on the outside is the beginning of the richest inner life. Tu b’Shevat begins a period of renewal for the individual and the community. On Tu b’Shevat we can tune into the redemption of spring. Even though we may be experiencing the winter of exile in both personal and collective stage of our lives on the outside, a new life force begins to emerge within our souls on the inside.


 

Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate...

 

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Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze Posted 01/27/2015 by ToqueandScalpel
As we celebrate the Tu bishvat holiday this recipe came to mind. The components of this recipe bring together flavors that are the essence of holiday. The earthy distinctive savory flavor of the lamb combined with lemon and garlic. Which is then complemented by the sweetness of the pomegranate glaze. I have paired this with a Couscous of dates and toasted almonds. When you take one bite your mouth will crave more.

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3 Kinds of Super Bowl Wings

 

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According to the Chicken council of America, American’s eat an average of 1.25 billion chicken wings during the Super Bowl.  What about duck and turkey? We don’t want to see them left out.

So this year consider a new kind of wing.  We have three new recipes and each one uses a different kind of wing, we didn’t leave anyone out.  Whether you want to make regular ol chicken wings or go for something new with duck wings or turkey wings, these recipe will inspire.


 

A Mom’s Guide To Super Bowl

 

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Have you been waiting patiently on the sidelines as the football fanatics in your life have immersed themselves in a world of ‘touchdowns, red zones and huddles’ for the past 17 weeks? If you’ve been counting down the minutes until the end of the football season – albeit it for slightly different reasons than your other half  – then get ready to celebrate. The big day has arrived; it’s time for Super Bowl Sunday XLIX!


 

Kosher Wine for Tu B’Shevat *Giveaway*

 

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The Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat is one of four “New Years” mentioned in the Mishnah and you don’t have to wait until midnight to start your celebration! Occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, there is a widespread custom to eat foods of the Land of Israel, wheat, barley, grapes, figs and pomegranates, a land of olives and date honey.

In celebration of the grape, we wanted to introduce three special kosher wines from Israel to celebrate Tu B’Shevat:


 

Cooking With Joy: Chunky Red Chili

 

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Over the summer we went to a BBQ festival as a family. We tasted every team’s chili, it was awesome! Our 6 year old loved walking around tasting the different tortilla chips that accompanied every team’s chili, so he was super thrilled to have “Team Mommy’s” chili to taste with chips at home. We were all really looking forward to dinner!

As per the recipe, this was only supposed to take 10 minutes to prep. I didn’t find it that quick at all, between opening the cans and browning the meat, it took more like 25 minutes. One thing that I didn’t understand about this chili was the need for the stew meat. While I am sure it added flavor, it never became soft, even after the 2 hours of cooking.  Next time we make this; I would either use just the ground meat, or maybe add in some brisket instead.


 

3 Menus for Tu B’Shevat

 

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Because Tu B’shevat has fallen out on shabbos lately, I can’t seem to remember what it’s like to celebrate it outside of the normal shabbos meal.  I suppose it’s the same really, except that we get two celebratory meals in one week, and double the normal amount of cooking.  To help keep things simple, below are three Tu B’shevat menus that are holiday worthy, but won’t have you slaving away for hours in the kitchen after work.

 


 

In the JOK Kitchen with 12-Year-Old “Chopped...

 

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Last fall, 12-year-old Eitan Bernath of Teaneck, New Jersey made headlines as a kosher and Orthodox participant on Food Network’s hit television series, “Chopped“.  Hosted by Ted Allen, contestants have just 30 minutes to plan a three-course gourmet meal for a panel of expert judges that is based on a basket of mystery ingredients.

I ran into Eitan earlier this year walking the floors of Kosherfest with his mother. Showing marketing savvy well beyond his tween years, Eitan gave me his business card and said he would be happy to share his story and a recipe with our online community.  Now that he has done numerous paid cooking demos,  appeared and cooked on the Chabad Telethon (live television), was a guest on Naomi Nachman’s ” Table for Two” radio show and was honored at the Tzivos Hashem “Power of Jewish Children” dinner, it was way past time we had him on Joy of Kosher.


 

A Recipe Inspired By Parshat Bo

 

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At Rosh Hashana, I started a blog, Neesh Noosh: A Jewish Woman’s Year Long Journey to Find Faith in Food. Each week, I create a recipe inspired by the weekly Torah portion and what’s in season at my farmers market.  This week, in Bo, the remaining three plagues—locusts, darkness and the death of first-born sons–are inflicted upon the Egyptians. While Egypt was shrouded in darkness, “all Israelites enjoyed light in their dwellings” (Bo, 10: 23).  How, despite the plagues and the continuing hardening of Pharaoh’s heart, did the Israelites live at the precipice of freedom and eventually gain freedom?

The Sefat Emet teaches that “God had already placed in Egypt hidden treasures that Israel had to take out. . . . When they clarified the lights that came out of such a place, they would go on to live [and shine] throughout the generations.” (The Language of Truth, Translated by Arthur Green, pgs 93-94).


 

Kosher Chef Wars: Quinoa Style

 

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Quinoa has been gaining popularity over recent years for its grain-like quality and high protein value. It is quite simple to make, and can be prepared like a couscous or rice recipe. Stir-frying quinoa is the ultimate way to add tons of flavor quickly.

We asked two top kosher chefs to share their favorite way to prepare quinoa. Chef Yosef Schwartz of Hassid+Hipster, based in South Florida, shared a new technique in prepping quinoa. Chef David Kolotkin of The Prime Grill shared a savory quinoa pancake.


 

Tu B’shevat And The Seven Super Foods of The...

 

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Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar, is observed this year on February 4th, 2015 on the Western calendar. This is the day when trees in the Land of Israel officially wake up from their winter slumber and begin blooming and bearing a new fruit cycle.

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.


 

What’s In A Casserole? *Giveaway*

 

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That which we call a dish, by any other name would be as comforting.

A casserole is defined as a stew that is cooked slow in the oven. It also refers to the cooking pan that can be used both in the oven and as a serving piece. No casserole does the job better than cast iron enamel cookware. With bright colors on the outside and an easy clean interior, they are my go to casseroles. I recently got a few from Emile Henry, large lasagna size pieces and smaller round pie pans pans. I have found them both perfect for making large layered casseroles, sweet and savory pies and even simple stuffed mushrooms cooked in wine.


 

Cooking With Joy: Beer Braised Top of The Rib

 

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We loved this recipe! I love cooking with beer, I love it so much that I put one in my cholent every week! Beer ads a depth of flavor and sweetness that makes people say “hhmm, what is that”? Hubs was a big fan of this recipe just from the name “Beer Braised Holiday Top of the Rib”, beer and meat, what could possibly be bad?


 

5 Easy and Elegant Weeknight Pasta Dinners

 

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We all have those nights when we crave pasta, or at least a satisfying and quick meal.  Tuesdays are my 5-minute dinner days, I just can’t bring myself to stay in the kitchen for very long.  I’m not sure why, but we all have those days and a great solution is a pasta dinner.  Everything in moderation, including carbs, is my motto so why not treat yourself to an easy meal without compromising nutrition by way of pasta.

 


 

Vodka, Not Just for Drinking

 

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The world of alcohol is celebrating. As you wander through the shelves of bottles, you discover colorful surprises and types of drinks, mainly the kind you have never heard of before. Because people are trying to avoid artificial colorings, we are exposed to bright, colorful bottles and tons of flavor infusions.

Vodka in particular shakes up memories and old tastes for me and my family’s old Polish kitchen. Always with vodka and pickled or baked red cabbage, depending on my father’s mood.