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A Kosher Adventure In a Lavender Distillery

 

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It was a hot day, the first hot day of our trip, in fact. We had been gifted with cool spring weather up until that point, unusual for July in France. I stared out into the lavender fields, watching the gently swaying purple stalks. The floating specks above the fields snapped me out of my momentary trance. Busy lavender bees pollinating fields reminded me of my own to-do list.

I walked back inside the lavender distillery where our guests were sitting down to lunch. It was a lovely meal, perfect for a high-end and kosher vacation. Kosher Culinary Adventures was serving grilled artichokes with aioli, fig tapenade, deli sandwiches, and more during a live private lavender distilling. Talk about getting to experience a hands on kosher France.


 

Get Passionate About Passion Fruit Wine

 

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The first time we tried Morad Passion Fruit Wine, was a couple of years ago at our friend’s Sophie ‘s house. She had a small get to together with some friends and she cooked her Moroccan specialties, something everyone looks forward to eating at her house: meat and vegetable cigars, home made matbouja, chicken and olives, sweet and savory couscous, carrots salad, lamb tagine, mini meatballs with cumin and peas… We are so lucky we get to enjoy her delicious recipes often!


 

How To Store Wine At The Perfect Temperature

 

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“White should be chilled and red served at room temperature” – sounds simple, right?

Like anything to do with food and wine, it’s never that simple. The rule to drink what you enjoy still holds true, and in this case, drink it however you most enjoy it is perfectly acceptable as well. Having said that, I would not encourage sparkling wine at cellar temperature (about 55° – not cold enough), nor do I think red wine should be served off the wine rack you keep on your kitchen counter (too hot). I know, I know… there is already so much to know about wine, how can I expect you to serve it at a specific temperature as well?


 

How To Spend The Rest Of Summer (For Israelis)

 

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We are down to the home stretch before school starts here in Israel.  Most of the children fly the coop on September 1. Here are some activities to do if you have run out of ideas how to keep everyone happy.

Prepare for school:


 

Cocktails Of The Carribbean

 

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Generalizing about “Caribbean cuisine” is difficult once you recognize that the region is actually a mass of islands, most of which have been owned and occupied by various european countries. Over the years, these invaders have added their own flavors, spices and vegetation to the native landscape:

Rum, the undisputed regional spirit of choice, is distilled from the sugarcane that Christopher Columbus brought over to the new World. The spanish were also responsible for introducing the coconut and pineapple to the West Indies. When you look at things this way, the most famous island drink, The Pina Colada, really owes its origins to spain!


 

Cooking with Joy: Creamy Tomato Penne

 

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Part of the excitement of going out to eat is ordering food that you can’t make yourself.


 

10 End of Summer Recipes

 

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August has traditionally been a vacation month for my family.  My parents, along with many New Yorkers, use August as a time to escape the pavement and retreat to the beach.  August is also the time when many retailers begin to advertise for the back to school shopping season.  Even though there is still plenty of sweet summer left, in the back of our minds we are already looking ahead to September.  There are still a few weeks left though! And in that spirit, here are ten summer recipes to enjoy before the air gets cooler and we say so long to the sweet fruits of summer.

 


 

How To Avoid Lunchtime Letdown

 

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I think School lunches are the most difficult meals to prepare. Day in, day out, painstakingly making delicious, healthy and exciting lunch boxes to avoid, G-d Forbid, ‘Lunchtime Letdown’!

Of course, there’s always the mom who remembers to send a ‘you’re special’ note wrapped around a muffin and the mom that includes a chocolate bar everyday! And then, then there’s me! The the mother who stood making bagels, that could dislocate a jaw, it was so packed with meat, pickles and love, who learned only too late that her children were selling these bagels at school to buy ‘sloppy Joes’ at the tuckshop.


 

3 Healthy New Breakfast Ideas

 

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My clients are always asking for breakfast items that they and their kids can both enjoy. Sugary cereals and breakfast bars aren’t the ideal way to start the day, which is where these recipes come into play. Some of them you can make in advance, and others are better fresh, for the days when you have a little more time. Serve them with a nice fruit smoothie, and you’re all set for the morning!  With  a little planning, you can make delicious, unique, and healthy breakfasts that both you and your kids will crave.


 

Back To School Beans

 

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Some people get the back to school blues.  You know, the feelings of worry and nervousness before the first day.  The stress of getting back into or starting a new morning routine to get everyone off to school and work on time.  I like to beat the blues with beans.

Beans are one of the best sources of vegan protein.  They are also a carbohydrate that is packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body and mind will benefit from.  Beans are satisfying and take longer to digest so they keep you full longer.  This way you won’t be distracted by hunger pains too early in the day.


 

Brown Bag Lunch Ideas

 

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A while back I went looking for brown bags in Israel, not for lunches for a project that I can’t even recall now, and guess what?  I’m still looking.  So if anyone knows where I can find some just say so in the comments.  Maybe by then I’ll remember why I needed them.

But in terms of interesting “brown bag” lunch ideas for our linkup this month we always have dribs and drabs of leftovers in small little cute Snapwear containers in our fridge.  Not enough to feed the whole family for dinner (again) but just enough for one or two lucky customers.


 

How To Buy Fruits and Vegetables In The Right...

 

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Every time I ask my kids what they want me to bring home from the supermarket, the answer is always the same- strawberries. My foreign (non-Israeli)-born kids are still ensconced in that high-speed microchip mentality; all you have to do is want it and it can appear in seconds. They haven’t learned that fruits and vegetables are produced only in certain times of the year, and that it is expensive enough to purchase them in season, much less have them imported from far away and pay even more out of season. They count the days until the start of strawberry season and I purchase several packages every week until the last morsel is gone from the store.

Of course, if you are a frugal shopper you don’t buy them the instant they appear in the supermarket- they are at their most expensive. You wait until the season is more established- then the price drops.


 

Cooking With Joy: Cornbread

 

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After reading Jamie’s intro to this recipe I have my own corn muffin story to tell. When I was younger I would often go to work with my Mom. When I would get hungry my Mom would let me go down to the café that was in the building and get a snack. Well Im sure you figured, I would always get a corn muffin, cut in half and toasted, with a side of butter. It warmed me from the inside out, so good!

So when it came time to do this recipe, I decided to turn it into cornbread muffins! Our annual family Purim Seuda was around the corner, I figured that individual mini muffins would be an easier side then just making a big dish of it. I adjusted the cook time to 15 minutes, down from the original 25. And they came out perfectly!


 

8 Back To School Dairy Lunches

 

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It is time to start thinking about getting the kids back to school and transition for Summer fun/vacation to our normal busy lives.   One of the things I dread most with school starting is packing my kids lunches.  Sure my school actually offers a hot lunch program, but they are expensive and my kids won’t eat them.  One of my kids won’t really eat anything for lunch, the other makes it easy for me with a standard yogurt, granola bar and fruit and the third could probably eat pasta with cheese in a thermos every day if I let her.  With her and you all in mind I have compiled this list of 25 back to school lunch ideas, no nuts, no seeds and no meat.


 

Out Of The Dessert Box Grilling

 

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Grilled desserts are real showstoppers. The high heat oF the grill greatly amplifies the sweetness of summer fruits. In this recipe, grilled plums make a unique dessert salsa. If the jalapenos are too adventurous for you, use only one, or leave them out entirely– I find that it really punches up the flavor of the salsa. Any stone fruit can be substituted for the plums (apricots, peaches, nectarines).

This recipe uses the grill for 2 components: the plums for the salsa, and the pound cake. A medium-high grill is needed both times. If you make the salsa a day or two in advance, the flavor will only intensify.  To assemble the dessert: