January 21, 2018

Top 5 Budget-friendly Tech-y Gifts for the Man In Your Life

Father’s Day Tech Gift Picks

Seriously, what gift would make the father in your life happier than technology?  I am fortunate to live with a very tech savvy man who always knows the best products to have around.  So in honor of Father’s Day, I’ve asked him to compile a list of some of his favorite tech-y products.  Any of these would make a great gift for Father’s Day or any other day.  

1- The Amazon Kindle is rated as the #1 Father’s Day gift by Amazon.com and you can buy the Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi for only $199 on Amazon right now. What I love the most about products like the Kindle is how it rids the house of so much paper/book clutter!

2- Plantronics Voyager Pro+ Bluetooth earpiece for a smartphone is considered by those ‘in the know’ to be the best bluetooth in the market.  It has great noise cancellation, streams Podcasts, GPS, is comfortable and the price is just right.  Get your Plantronics Voyager PRO+ Bluetooth Headset now!

3- Logitech Wireless Keyboard &  Laser Mouse.  If you don’t yet have a wireless keyboard and laser mouse then it is time to get into the 21st century.

4- Garmin Nuvi Portable GPS Navigator comes with lifetime maps which means that you can upgrade your maps for free everytime Garmin makes and upgrade.  With Lifetime maps the newest, smallest or most far reaching streets are more likely to appear in your navigation system.  This way your GPS is more likely to do what it is intended to do and less likely to get you lost!

5- A Digital Photo Frame. This is one of the coolest things to have in your house.  Moving pictures strait out of a Harry Potter scene! 


Cheesy Recipes: Less than $8 To Make

Here are some great cheesy recipes for Shavuot (a Jewish holiday where we traditionally serve dairy meals) or for the 9 Days ( a Jewish period of mourning where we don’t eat meat meals)  that are rich in taste but very low in price!   They each cost $5- $8  in ingredients.

Home made PIZZA.  I like to buy my pizza dough at Trader Joes for .99 cents.  Trader Joe’s has kosher pre-made regular, whole wheat and pesto pizza doughs in the refrigerator section.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, most local kosher pizza stores will sell you pre-made pizza dough for around $2 – $3.  Combine that with 2- 3 tablespoons of  tomato basil marinara sauce – which I have found both at Trader Joe’s and retail grocery stores, Kosher, for $2.00.  Add a bag of  shredded mozzarella cheese for $2.50, when you find it on sale at the Kosher market, and you have your pizza for $5.50.

Tasty tipI like to splurge on the spicy marinated mozzarella cheese on Shavuot to make a fancier pizza. Even if I splurge on that $5.49 for marinated mozzarella cheese, I still get my pizza for $7.50 (we split the cost of the marinara sauce with the baked ziti below) !

 Ingredients: 1 pizza dough, 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce, 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese or 1 log shredded.
Preparation: Roll out the pizza dough by hand till it fits in a round pizza dish. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce to cover all the dough. Optional – sprinkle some garlic powder, basil and oregano on top. Pour the mozzarella cheese on top – try to cover all the dough. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
Baked Ziti is so easy and quick to make and always tastes great.  Following my  7 Steps to Kosher Savings, you should be getting your pasta for under $1.00 these days.  Combine that with the remainder of the tomato basil marinara sauce from above ($2.00) and your bag of shredded mozzarella cheese for $2.50 and this dish cost you $4.00!  Splurge on the fancy cheese and it costs you $7.00 splitting the cost of marinara sauce with pizza above.
Ingrediants: 1 box of Ziti, 3/4 jar of marinara sauce, 1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese or buy a log and shred it yourself.  Preparation: Boil water in a large pot.  Add the ziti and cook according to directions on box (around 10 minutes).  When ready, drain the pasta and pour into a baking dish. Pour 3/4 jar of marinara sauce over the pasta. Pour the shredded mozzarella over the pasta.  Mix all together and bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the Pizza and Baked Ziti recipes are my own, I adapted them from
Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher Meals in Minutes cookbook

Hungarian Potato Casserole.  I probably got my shopping genes from my Hungarian grandmothers.  I also received from them some heirloom recipes that are to die for!  This dish might be heavy on your hips but its is light on the wallet and really delish.

Ingredients: 6 large potatoes, 1 large onion, 2 Tablespoons of oil (canola or vegetable), 2 cups sourcream (you substitute heavy cream as well), 1-2 teaspoons of salt, 1-2 teaspoons of paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.  Preparation: In a large pot, heat water until boiling.  Add peeled potatoes and cook until a knife can be easily inserted (approximately 35 minutes). Cook the potatoes until they are soft but firm enough to slice nicely. Drain. Set aside. Heat oil in a frying pan.  Chop the onion and saute until translucent. Set aside. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices. In a bowl, mix onion, sour cream, salt, half the paprika and pepper. Combine the potatoes with the sour cream mixture. Grease a baking dish and layer the potato slices into the dish.   Sprinkle the rest of the paprika on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

 Since potatoes are the main ingredient here, this dish is really inexpensive. (6 potatoes x $.69cents each) + (1 onion x $.50) + (8oz sour cream $1.39) = $6.03.  If you want to get fancy, throw in a layer of frozen broccoli flowers to add some extra health and color.
While this recipe is my family’s, there is a similar one found in Spice and Spirit: The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook (A Kosher living classic).""
Cheesy Challah Casserole.   I make this dish on Sundays when I have leftover challahs.  It is devoured in minutes.  Its like a fancy grilled cheese without having to stand over a hot grill.  This recipe is from The Balabustas Choice Cookbook.
Ingrediants: 1 medium challah, (sliced), butter, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, 2 cups milk, 4 eggs.   Preparation: Spread some butter onto both sides of the challah slices.  Arrange challah onto bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle a layer of shredded cheese.  Add more challah and cheese to fill the pan.  Beat the eggs with a fork and mix with the milk.  Pour the mixture over the challah and cheese.  Refrigerate until the liquid is well set into the challah (2-3 hours or overnight).  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Here’s my breakdown of the cost of ingredients for The Balabuste’s Choice Cheesy Casserole we’ve got 1 leftover Challah $3.00 + 1 bag of cheese ($2.50) + some milk ($1.00) and some eggs ($1.00)= $7.00.
Let me know in the comments section below how these recipes worked out for you!
Happy Kosher Savings!

Win a FREE Cuisinart Gelato/Ice Cream Maker for 4th of July

ice cream maker

Win a Free Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

In honor of the 4th of July celebratory weekend, my Kosher Italian Cooking friend, Dinner in Venice, is giving away a top of the line, brand new, Cuisinart Ice Cream maker.  To win this amazing free cuisinart ice cream maker, just ‘like’  Kosher Italian Cooking on her Facebook page here and comment about your favorite Gelato (that’s ice cream in Italian!) memory.   My favorite Gelato memory is soon to come because Dinner in Venice and I are planning a Gelato making party with the kids – I can’t wait for some authentic Kosher Italian Gelato and neither can my kids! 

If you can’t wait for your Gelato maker to arrive, you can hop on over to your local Kosher Baskin-Robbins for your free ice cream cone click here for details.

Win a Free Electric Viking Mixer

My friend, The Jewish Hostess, in conjunction with Kitchen Caboodles is giving away a brand new electric Viking Mixer.  To enter the contest, all you have to do is click here to get to The Jewish Hostess’ website (this will take you to a page where you enter your name and email address to subscribe to her mailing list) and then ‘comment’ in the comment section of the website about what you would do with your brand new electric Viking Mixer.  I don’t know about you but my current electric mixer is on the brink of falling apart so I would be very happy to win a new one.  The retail value of this Viking mixer is $475! 

The Jewish Hostess can be described as the Jewish, down-to-earth version of a Martha Stewart.  The website provides fun, interactive discussions, recipes, party and table planning ideas for Jewish hostesses all over the world.  Let us know if you win!

It’s Another Blog Party – Live at Nargila Tonight!

Bukharian Bread & dumpling soup called shurb...

Bukharian Bread & Dumpling Soup called Shurb...

Join me tonight, with  Blog Talk Radio & The Kosher Scene, where we will once again, be’ezras Hashem, be transmitting live from Nargila Grill (1599 York Avenue – between E. 84 and E. 85th Street – New York 10028; Tel: 212.535.3700).  Why? Because… tonight the owner’s mother will be cooking her famed Bukharian dishes (not to mention that its also my birthday)! 

Our all-star cast includes Alessandra Rovati (Dinner in Venice), Esti Berkowitz (Primetime Parenting), Levana Kirschenbaum (Levana Cooks), Kim Amzallag (Kosher Inspired/Mishpacha Magazine), Marlene Mamiye (The Jewish Hostess), and me- Suzannah Raff (The Kosher Shopaholic).

We will discuss the cultural differences in Jewish foods, how the Jews throughout history were influenced by the local environment, but still managed to keep a strong Jewish tradition. It’s been said that its food defines a people, we will discuss how we adapted ourselves, how the Jewish cuisine evolved and is far more than just gefilte fish, brisket and tcholent.  I hope to discuss my family’s Hungarian Jewish cooking tradition, my father’s entrepreneurial restaurants, Challah Baking and all its Blessings.

You can tune in to us at 7:30pm (Eastern Time) tonight at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kosherscene or you can join us at Nargila Grill ((1599 York Avenue – between E. 84 and E. 85th Street – New York 10028; Tel: 212.535.3700) for an evening of great talk and superb food.  Nargila Grill is under the hasgacha of of the O K Labs.

We are all really excited to sample the owner Michael’s mother’s Bukharian cooking.  What a great way to celebrate – great talk, great food, great friends and you! Why not come over and say hello?  Or listen in to the great discussion on-line here or over the phone or in the archives.

Win a Free $100 American Express Gift Card (plus $100 credit on JDeal)

Today’s seriously surprising JDeal ends in just two hours -so act fast!  All you have to do is buy for free today’s deal: a chance to win one of THREE $100 American Express gift cards!

Buy today’s jdeal and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a $100 American Express gift card. They are giving away THREE $100 gift cards so you have triple the chance to win. What are you waiting for? Time’s up at 2 p.m. so buy this jdeal now and you could be channeling your inner shopaholic tomorrow. Now that’s a bargain!

Winners will be announced at 3PM. 

As an added bonus, if you’re chosen and you’ve “liked” jdeal on Facebook you will get an additional $100 in jdeal credits!

Save Money on Jewish Apps

alef bet schoolhouse

Jewish Children's App alef bet schoolhouse

While these apps are no longer on sale, they are still great Jewish Apps to own!

This week is Jewish Book Week and to celebrate, Davka corporation is offering four popular Jewish Apps at discounted prices.  

Alef Bet Schoolhouse is fast becoming my all-time favorite Children’s App.  It helps young children master the Hebrew alef bet through puzzles and games and is a multi-sensory experience.  The games are played to popular Jewish tunes (which you have the smart option to turn off), children’s voices and vibrant colors.  Even I’m having fun with this Children’s App for ages 3 – Adult.  And I just love how educational it is for my children! It is on sale now for $1.99 regularly priced $3.99. 

Beautiful Israel features 125 HD photographs by award-winning photographer Yehoshua Halevi.  Vibrant, high-quality wallpaper images highlighting the natural beauty and magnificence of the Holy Land organized by region.  Only $0.99 per iTunes download.  Regularly priced at $2.99.

iBless Food is a handy on-the-go guide to the blessings recited before and after eating. It allows you to instantly look up the correct blessings for more than 380 different foods.  You can view, hear, and learn the blessings recited before and after eating, and test your knowledge of the food blessings with a fun quiz game!  You don’t have to be a Kosher Foodie to benefit from this popular Jewish App – it’s useful for anyone who regularly makes Blessings on their foods – whether you are a beginner or an expert.  On sale now for $1.99 regularly priced $3.99. 

iGematria is a unique Jewish App that translates any Hebrew word or phrase into its numerical equivalent, instantly.  iGematria even includes nine different methods of calculating Gematria!  This App can be used as a facinating game for older children and young adults, or as a useful tool for those writing speeches for BarMitzvahs and other celebrations.  For only $1.99 this week its a great App to buy.   

These Apps are available for the iPad, iPod and iPhone.

Happy Shavuah Ha Sefer – Jewish Book Week!

Win a Free Ice Pop Maker

Joy Of Kosher, a popular Kosher cooking and recipe website, is giving away a free Zoku Ice Pop Maker.  For a chance to win it, go to JoyOfKosher.com and leave a comment on their site answering this question: “what classic recipe do you want to see remade?” IF your recipe is featured in the next issue of Joy of Kosher Magazine with Jamie Geller you will win the Zoku Ice Pop Maker! 

The Zoku Ice Pop Maker is a very “cool” gadget freezing ice pops in as little as 7 minutes without electricity.  Just perfect for the beginning of a hot summer.  Hurry, contest ends on June 22!

Free Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Cones & $0.99 Dunkin Donut Iced Teas

Vanilla ice cream cone

Free Ice Cream Cone

All month long Dunkin Donuts has been offering a buy one get one free Baskin Robins Ice Cream cone.  When you come into any Dunkin Donuts that has a  Baskin-Robbins ice cream stand inside and buy an ice cream cone, you can then return that same day with your receipt for a second free ice cream cone. 

Dunkin Donuts is also offering $0.99 Iced Tea – any size. 

You can find a $1 off Baskin-Robbins frozen beverage coupon here.

Here is a list of Kosher Dunkin Donuts locations throughout North America that was compiled by The Kosher Travel Blog, YeahThat’sKosher.  Keep in mind that each location has a different Kosher Certification with varying levels of standards.  Make sure to check the Kosher Certification in each location if its your first time there. 

  • 687 Amsterdam (W. 94th) New York, NY
  • 51 East 34th Street, New York, NY
  • 535 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY
  • 1980 86th St, Brooklyn, NY
  • 1691 East 16th Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • 934 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY
  • 1903 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY
  • 1922 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • 906 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • 995 Manor Road, Staten Island, NY
  • 120 E Sunrise Hwy, Valley Stream, NY
  • 299 Burnside Avenue, Lawrence, NY
  • 31 Franklin Avenue, Hewlett, NY
  • 25170 Greenfield Road, Oak Park, MI
  • 3132 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, IL
  • 3900 West Dempster Street, Skokie, IL‎
  • 186 Elmora Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
  • 7 Broad St., Elizabeth, NJ
  • 139 ½ Ferry St., Newark, NJ
  • 920 Newark Ave, Elizabeth, NJ
  • 350 Broad St., Newark, NJ
  • 624 Bayway Ave., Elizabeth, NJ
  • 275 Chestnut St., Newark, NJ
  • 1406 Teaneck Ave., Teaneck, NJ
  • 51-57 South Spring St., Elizabeth, NJ
  • 433 N Broad ST, 2nd floor, Elizabeth, NJ
  • 341 West 41st Street, Miami Beach, FL
  • 5819 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2006 Viers Mill Rd, SIlver Spring, MD
  • 7000 Reisterstown Rd., Baltimore, MD

Celebrate Summer with Free Outdoor Concerts Throughout New York City

ASCAP and Manhattan School of Music summer cam...

Image via Wikipedia

To celebrate the first day of summer, Make Music New York has organized live free outdoor music celebrations throughout the five boroughs of New York. Today, June 21st, the longest day of the year, hundreds of spaces throughout New York will be turned into impromptu stages for thousands of free music concerts.  To see the schedule of performances, click here.    Some of the performances include The Soulfolk Experience, the Aaron Siegel Group, West Point Brass Quintet.