April 26, 2017

All About That Neis, Jewish All Stars & Chanukah House Contest – Win up to $2,000!

I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite things floating around the internet this Chanukah season.

All About The Miracles

First, is the adorable and thoroughly enjoyable Maccabeats newest YouTube Video,  All About that Neis – a play on the hit song, All About that Bass by Meghan Trainor.  Watch it here and enjoy.

Meet Jewish All Stars

Second, is the awesome, inspiring and creative Jew in the City’s 2014 Jewish Orthodox All Stars video featuring Joyce Azria BCBG Generation’s Creative Director, Barry Simon winner of the prestigious  Poincaré Prize in theoretical mathematics, Disney Animator and Director Saul Blinkoff and more.  Watch and share this video to share some light on American Orthodox Judaism today.

Chanukah House Kit_2lbs_15z

Chanukah House Contest – Win Lots of Money!

Finally, Manischewitz has their annual Chanukah House contest where people can design a Chanukah House using the Chanukah House Decorating Kit, share a picture of your decorated Cookie Chanukah House on the Manischewitz® Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Manischewitz) and be entered into the contest to win up to $2,000!

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $2,000

Second Prize $1,000, and

Third Prize receives $500.

Contest ends December 23,2014. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter the contest, however, minors under the age of 18 can submit their entry with parental permission, using a parent or guardian’s e-mail address.  There is a limit of one online entry per person.  For a complete list of rules, please visit www.Facebook.com/manischewitz or visit their website www.manischewitz.com/chrules.

Wishing all my Kosher Shopaholic fans and readers a happy and healthy Chanukah!

Happy Hanukah: Free One Week Trial At Curves

 

When I came across this promotion I figured that after all of our delicious fried latkes and donuts this Chanukah season, a free gym pass was just what we needed.  Consider it a free Chanukah Gift to ourselves!

Curves is offering a FREE one week trial, no strings attached.

Burn up to 500 calories with their combined cardio and strength training workout for lasting results. Click here to get a one-week guest pass today!



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New Shoes For Yael: A ‘Lite Girl’ Book Review & Giveaway

Review

(scroll to the bottom of this page to skip the review and go straight to the Giveaway)

Like most of us, I’m gearing up for Chanuka here at The Kosher Shopaholic and have some great reviews and giveaways for you, my loyal readers.  If you remember from last Chanuka (has it really been a year already?), I reviewed and ran a really fun giveaway for the first Lite Girl Book, Yael’s Loving World.  A book that my 4 year old daughter adores.  The creative author, Malky Weinstock recently sent me the second installment of the Lite Girl Book series called, “New Shoes For Yael”.  Can I just tell you that as soon as the book arrived my little daughter sat down with it and had me put in the audio CD and sat there reading it over and over for hours.  Yes, the book comes with an audio CD that reads the story to you.  It even teaches the children how to turn the page when they hear the beep sound.  It is a beautifully illustrated and sweet book.   Jewish girls from religious homes can really identify well with Yael and when you see how much little girls adore the Yael character books, you realize how much we need Jewish oriented characters for our children.  Children are naturally drawn to ‘characters’ and I know that I am always really happy when I come across ones like Yael who help me instill a good philosophy/hashkafa and Jewish life lessons.

In an interview with Malky Weinstock, creator of the Lite Girl books, she explained that she founded the series of books with the goal of empowering girls with the beautiful Jewish values of Ahavas Hashem (love of G-d) and Ahavas Yisroel (love of the Jewish people)–the bedrock of Judaism –through the first ever inspirational Jewish girl  play character, Yael.   She says, that “Children absorb so much through play and we need these values to be imbued from early on so each girl can grow up with the presence of Hashem and know what He wants from us–to love and connect with Him and with every Jew.  This way, our girls will grow up empowered to be inner driven, proud and committed Jews, caring about family, friends and community, and thus make the world a better place.”  Isn’t that beautiful?  What Jewish mom wouldn’t want a nice book to help us achieve this lofty goal?

The first book, Yael’s Loving World, is an introductory book about Yael and the connection she has to all the people in her world, and to Hashem who provided them to her.  The second book, “New Shoes For Yael”, gently instills an awareness that Hashem makes us all exactly as we need to be.  The 3rd book, still in production, “Yael Becomes A Giver’ encourages a child to become others focused, rather than being self centered.  The 4th book, “Yael Worries No More”, will be a beautiful story about how Yael realizes that Hashem micromanages her life and she can leave her worries to Him.

So, are you ready to win your free copy of ‘New Shoes For Yael’ in time for Chanukah?  If so, enter the contest below.

Giveaway

1 – Answer the following question on my Facebook page thread or in the comments section below: What is  your favorite Chanukah family activity?

2- For additional entries, make sure to ‘like’ Kosher Shopaholic on Facebook and/or subscribe to my newsletter.  Once you’ve done these, make sure to comment that you have just ‘liked or subscribed in order to enter the Lite Girl Book Giveaway’ so that you get your extra count.  If you are already a subscriber and a facebook fan, comment ‘like or subscribe to enter the Lite Girl Book Giveaway’ in either place as well.

Contest open to those with US mailing address only.  A winner will be selected next Weds, December 5, 2012 just in time for Chanukah.

Answer the following question on my Facebook page or in the comments section below:

What values would you like to see expressed in children’s books today?

To Purchase

You can buy one or both of the Yael books online here for only *$11.99 each REGULARLY $16.99.   To get this discounted price, enter coupon code CGIFT for each item you purchaseHurry, because this exciting offer ends soon.  Valid from November 29, 2012 through Tuesday December 4th only.  *Please note special does not include shipping fee.

 

 

Chanukah House Decorating Kit: Review & Giveaway

Review

(Scroll to bottom to skip the review and enter the giveaway or find out how to purchase)

Our favorite Kosher food manufacturer, Manischewitz has come out with two fun new products for this Chanukah season: The Chanukah House Decorating Kit and the Vanilla Cookie Decorating Kit.  The Do-It-Yourself Chanukah House Decorating Kit is a kit that allows you to build a cookie house decorated for Chanukah.  I have kids who love to both bake and build so this package is so exciting for them, my eight year old son even wants to build an extra cookie house as a Chanukah gift for his Rebbi!  The house kit comes with everything that you might need: huge cookie piece parts, icing, sprinkles, mini beads, fondant, six-point star, menorah & mezuzah sugar decorations, sanding sugar and, of course, instructions.  It even includes an edible set-up board.   Its a very exciting product, and also happens to be nut free.

If you’re not up for the building the big Chanukah house, there’s the more simple Chanukah Vanilla Cookie Decorating Kit which includes four giant cookies, 4 icing colors, mini beads and sprinkles, pictured here.  No baking required, only fun crafting with the kids who will love to squeeze the icing and decorate with beads and sprinkles.  I’m really looking forward to doing these crafting projects with my kids!

If I must critique the Chanukah House, I’ll simply state the obvious, it resembles the Gingerbread House, a custom that does not have Jewish roots.  It is possible Manischewitz did this intentionally, providing a Jewish theme to what’s become a familiar winter symbol; or possibly not.  So, I kind of wish that they came up with a craft that was something other than a ‘house’ but I’m not complaining or going to read too deeply into it, I’m happy for the easy and fun Chanukah decorating craft to entertain my family with.

Giveaway

One lucky reader will win two products: 1 Chanukah House Decorating Kit and 1 Vanilla Cookie Decorating Kit.  You can have 4 entries a day!  Here’s how to enter.

1 – Answer the following question on my Facebook page thread or in the comments section below: What is  your favorite Chanukah family activity?

2- For additional entries, make sure to ‘like’ Kosher Shopaholic on Facebook and/or subscribe to my newsletter.  Once you’ve done these, make sure to comment that you have just ‘liked’or subscribed to enter the Chanukah House Giveaway’ so that you get your extra count.  If you are already a subscriber and a facebook fan, comment ‘like or subscribe to enter Chanukah House Giveaway’ in either place as well.

Contest open to those with US mailing address only.  Winners will be drawn on Thursday, December 6, 2012 in time for Chanukah.

Purchase

To purchase the Decorating Kits, you can conveniently order them online through Amazon here for $25.99, or you can grab the JDeal on them for $24 that is running all week, or find them in your local grocery store where they retail for $32.

Special Shabbos Chanukah Chicken Soup Recipe

Chicken Soup With Dreidels & Menorahs: Special Shabbos Chanukah Recipe

I know, I know, you’re probably wondering, ‘how do you get dreidel & menorah shapes into your chicken soup?’.  Once you learn the secret and how easy it is you’ll be wondering why you didn’t think of it all by yourself.  I have to confess, I didn’t think of this ingenious idea myself either.  I read it on the blog, DailyCheapskate, and asked her permission to share this creative idea with you all here.

Draidel Shaped Noodles

Directions:

Take a box of lasagna noodles and cook in boiling water as per the directions on the box.

Once the noodles have cooled off, cut out the shapes with the cookie cutter and set the shapes aside.  You will place them into the bowls of chicken soup before you serve it.  Your Shabbat Hanukkah guests will be pleasantly surprised.  I know my kids are going to go crazy with excitement when they see these in their Friday night chicken soup – which is by far their favorite part of the meal, aside from my challah & tomato dip.

Here’s a picture of what it looks like courtesy of DailyCheapskate.

Since I’m on the topic of Friday night chicken soup, I figured I should share my personal chicken soup recipe with you here.  I played around with different variations of classic chicken soup ingredients until I came up with this final version to get a natural clear golden color, full of flavor, without any soup mix additives.  Using the bones and necks also happens to be a few dollars cheaper then using a whole or cut-up chicken, and while I love to save money, that’s not why I use them.  I use chicken bones and turkey necks because I find the bones give the soup a special flavor different from a whole chicken.  When I can’t find turkey necks I use chicken necks and it only makes the soup richer in taste.   The turkey necks add some iron which is also why I like to use them.  I only use the loose, thick carrots instead of the regular packaged thin ones as well – this also adds to the sweetness in flavor and golden color.

This recipe makes a huge pot of chicken soup.  But you can freeze half of it and this way you only have to make the soup every 2 weeks!  This recipe easily serves 20.  I also make the soup on Thursday and place what I need for that Shabbos in the refrigerator overnight, reheating it an hour before Shabbos on Friday.  My mother taught me that chicken soup always tastes better when its refrigerated overnight.  Refrigerating it also allows you to scrape the extra fat off of the top before you re-heat it making the soup more heart-healthy.

Friday Night Chicken Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

1 package of chicken bones (1 to 1 1/2 lbs)

1 package of turkey or chicken necks (3-4 turkey necks)

5 – 6 thick loose carrots peeled and sliced into thick chunks

1 – 2 large onions

1 celery root,  peeled

3-4 pieces of celery

1 turnip, peeled

1 parsnip, peeled

1 sweet potato, peeled

1 – 2 garlic cloves (optional – I add this in the winter time to help ward off colds)

Directions:

Fill a 15 gallon/60 quart pot halfway with water.  Add 4 – 5 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil.

Add the chicken bones and turkey necks and let them boil for 1 hour.

Add the rest of the ingredients and let soup simmer, with the top of the pot slightly askew so steam can escape, for another 2 hours.

Let soup stand and cool off.  Add more salt & pepper to taste.

Remove all the bones and vegetables from the soup.  When the soup has cooled off, pour it through a strainer – the broth from this usually fits into a smaller 11 quart pot and 5 – 6 quart storage container ( or 2,  2  1/2 quart containers).  I place the pot in the fridge overnight to reheat on Friday and freeze the rest.

Add your dreidel & menorah shaped noodles when serving the soup.

Enjoy & let me know your families’ reaction when you serve up this fun and delicious chicken soup!

 

Hanukkah Treat: Healthy Cookie Dough Recipe

Hanukkah Treat: Healthy Cookie Dough Recipe

With all the not so healthy fried treats we feed our kids over Chanukah, I thought it might be nice if I shared my recipe for roll-out (whole wheat) cookie dough that you can turn into dreidels, menorahs or any other fun shape.

Like everything I do as a busy mom juggling multiple jobs, this recipe is so simple yet versatile.  I made these with my kids on Sunday – they took 5 minutes to prepare.   Now, my kids are having a blast decorating each one before they eat it.  Their favorite way is to dip each bite in chocolate sauce.  We also dip them in baking chocolate, frost them, decorate them with sprinkles and continue to have fun with them well after they’re baked.  The truth is, though, they are so scrumptious on their own, I like them the best without any garnishings – as shown here.   And yes, I cheat on my wheat free diet for a few of these!

There is absolutely no way your family can tell these are whole wheat.  They are crisp and so tasty.  Enjoy!  Wishing you a happy & healthy Chanukah! Don’t forget to make your dreidel & menorah shaped noodles for your Shabbos Chanukah Chicken Soup!

Whole Wheat Roll-Out Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

2 sticks (1 cup) + 1 TBSP margarine

1 cup sugar

2tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

2tsp water

3 cups whole wheat/whole spelt/whole pastry flour (any type is fine)

1 1/2 tsp baking power

dash of salt

Directions:

In an electric mixer, beat the marjorine & sugar well.  Add the dry ingrediants and mix until well blended.  The dough will be crumbly but will stick together when you shape it.  Take dough out from bowl gently one handful at a time and press on the counter to cut out the shapes.  You can also roll it out gently with a rolling pin.  Place shapes on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes.  You can make them very thin and cook them shorter or thick and cook them longer.  You can also take the dough from the bowl and roll by hand into a ball pressing a chocolate chip on the top for thick round cookies.

 

How To Make Hanukkah, 2011

Tablescape by The Jewish Hostess

Chanukah Resources

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins this year on Tuesday night, December 20th and ends on December 28, 2011.  While it is not required to make a Chanukah party to properly celebrate the festival of Hanukkah, Chanukah parties have become a fun and much anticipated tradition among all Jews no matter what their religious observance.

Below is a list of resources ranging from how to light your menorah, the historical significance of Hanukkah, to how to make homemade donuts and latkes as well as some inspiration for a gorgeous Hanukkah party table.  I hope these resources will enhance your celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah.

Chanukah Tablescape

This gorgeous Hanukah Tablescape by The Jewish Hostess can provide you with some inspiration for a beautiful Chanukah party setting of your own.  As fancy and ballabuste as this looks, its actually very inexpensive to make.  All the items were purchased from Ikea and West Elm.

CookKosher donuts

Donut Making Video

Donuts are a Chanukah celebration must-have.  Here’s a short and simple video recipe on how to make home-made donuts by CookKosher.  I love the suggestion at the end to use pizza dough as a shortcut.   I happen to have a freezer full of Trader Joe’s Kosher 99cent Pizza Dough which I can’t wait to use for my home-made Chanukah Donuts.

Latkes from JoyofKosher

Latke Making Video

Potato Latkes are another tradition found in every Jewish home at Chanukah time.  Here’s a quick and easy video of how to make potato latkes for Chanukah by JoyofKosher.

Kosher Cookbooks

For a greater variety on latke and donut recipes you can check out our cookbook gurus Norene Gilletz and Levana Kirschenbaum.  Their best-selling cookbooks, The New Food Processor Bible (a must have in every Jewish home) is on sale for only $20 on Amazon and The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen (another must have) on sale now for only $10 on Amazon.  I’m buying these awesome cookbooks for my preschool teachers as unique Chanukah Gifts that I’m sure will be very loved.

For New Yorkers, Levana is also hosting a Chanukah cooking demo Monday night on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Free Chanukah eBook

Don’t miss your FREE Chanukah eBook , The Jewish Treats Complete Guide To Chanukah which is packed with helpful information like the story of Chanukah, what to do on Chanukah, how to light your menorah and a fun dreidel game.

Chanukah Videos

You can watch an Aish.com  short vort here from Chief Rabbi of South Africa Warren Goldstein about why the Jewish people celebrate the miracle of oil and not the military victory that occurred on Chanukah.  Enjoy this year’s lively Chanukah music videos, all FREE as well!

Dreidel Noodle Recipe

Here’s my Shabbos Chanukah Chicken Soup recipe showing you how to make dreidel noodles!

Gift Guide

Here’s The Kosher Shopaholic Hanukkah Gift Guide for those of you who are last minute shoppers, like me!

Win

Don’t forget to enter my contests to win a $200 gift basket or a free “Missing Menorah” DVD from Shalom Sesame.  You can also purchase the Shalom Sesame DVD set at $15 off using the code KSH102 at checkout.

Ever wonder what the Hebrew initials Nun, Gimmel, Hay, Shin represent on the dreidel?  They stand for “Nes Gadal Haya Shem” “A Great Miracel Happened There”.

Whishing you a freilich, fun-filled, beautiful and tasty Chanukah!

 

The Best Chanukah Gifts for 2011

The Kosher Shopaholic Chanukah Gift Guide

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins this year the night of December 20th and ends December 28, 2011.  While it is a big tradition to give Chanukah ‘Gelt’ ie: money, for Chanukah, it is also a time of gift giving.  My first annual Gift Guide has something here for everyone – adults, children, teachers, colleagues, close friends and distant relatives.

  1. Fisher Price’s classic Little People Hanukkah Set ($47) plays holiday songs and allows children to set the table with latkes and menorahs for a play celebration.  It might be a bit pricey but I can assure you that the entertainment it gives your little ones is well worth it.
  2. Jewish eBooks is a eBook superstore with thousands of Jewish ebooks in English and Hebrew.  This is great for those who love to read on a Tablet.  You can get 50% off all Jewish eBooks during their Chanukah sale with books as low as $1.99!
  3. I am just wild about this ultra classy Bird Dessert Stand.  The only place that seems to carry it is West Elm (who happens to be owned by Williams Sonoma) and its surprisingly inexpensive at just $34.
  4. TheYaldah Year Book ($12.99) is quality reading entertainment for girls between 9 – 15 as it is written and published by the girls as well.
  5. KosherLine gourmet kosher gift baskets are an easy and classy way to send a beautiful, Kosher gift basket to friends and family out of town.
  6. Gift cards are a great option when you are stumped and just don’t know what to get.  This is a popular gift to give employees.
  7. Kosher Cooking Magazines are a hot new trend this year as well.  A year’s subscription to one of these magazines is a luxury and pleasure for most women.  Some to choose from are JoyofKosher, Bitayavon, Kosher Inspired.
  8. Children’s books & music:  There are a lot of quality Jewish children’s entertainment sprouting up this year. You can’t go wrong with Rebbetzin Tap, Shalom Sesame and MomaDoniLite Girl, which I reviewed here, is going to be hugely successful for young girls.
  9. You can never go wrong with a good bottle of wine as a gift.  Kosherwine.com boasts the largest online selection of Kosher wines and is a convenient and easy way to go about gift giving.  They have wines on sale this December starting as low as $5.99.

Wishing all my readers a freilichin, happy & healthy Chanukah.  Make sure you win some great free Chanukah gifts from all my contests this week as well!

 

Light Up Your Little Girl’s Chanukah with ‘A Lite Girl’: Review & Giveaway

Introducing ‘Yael’ A Kosher Character For Your Little Girl

LITE Girl is an all-new concept in entertainment for Jewish girls.  The LITE Girl brand is committed to producing unique Kosher character books and dolls that are designed to instill young girls with Jewish values of “L”ove, “I”nspire, “T”each, “E”ncourage.

Lite Girls characters, like Yael, gently transmit the principles of Ahavas Yisrael and Ahavas Hashem, encouraging our girls to grow and become the kind of women and mothers who make this world a better place.  Their expanding product line, developed for girls ages 4-11, is instantly lovable and collectible. Girls will convey the Lite Girl values in their homes, schools, camps, and more importantly, hearts.

Lite Girl nurtures inner beauty and creates self respect.  A Lite girl is a leader by example, a giver, and a very best friend.

The first of the Lite girl series is an introductory picture book and page-by-page read-along/sing-along audio CD, titled, ‘Yael’s Loving World’.  Yael’s Loving World is designed especially for girls aged 2-7 as a Jewish alternative to Barbie Dolls or Dora.  I was sent a review copy of this adorable book and since we’ve opened the book, my 3 1/2 year old daughter has fallen in love with Yael.  She takes the book to bed with her, puts a flower headband in her hair like Yael’s every morning and wears her sticker all day.  Its really wonderful for our precious little neshamas (souls) to have someone like Yael, a ‘LITE Girl’ to identify with and love.  The book introduces us to Yael’s sweet home where she is loved by her family, friends and Hashem.

FREE Shipping Code

The Starter Kit, ‘Yael’s Loving World’ comes with a Picture Book, Read-Along/Sing-Along Audio CD and Two 2×3 Stickers and would make a great Chanukkah gift for the little girl in your life.  You can purchase it now from the Be A Lite Girl Website for $16.99.  Use the Promotion Code: KS at checkout to save an additional $5.99 on shipping.

Giveaway

Which LITE value is your favorite?

The Kosher Shopaholic and BeALiteGirl are running a “Light Up your Little Girl’s Chanukah with Lite Girl” giveaway raffle drawing.  To enter, contestants must submit a comment telling us which of the LITE values: Love, Inspire, Teach, or Encourage is your favorite. We will do the drawing December 15th -several days before Chanukah so that winner can receive book/CD set in time for Chanukah.

To Enter,  tell us which is your favorite LITE value on

The Kosher Shopaholic Facebook Page OR

In the Comments Section below OR

in a personal email to litegirl@koshershopaholic.com .

For each one of these actions you do, you get a new entry so you have 3 chances to win! Winners will be announced on The KosherShopaholic Facebook Page on December 15th.

Wishing you and all your little ones a very Happy Hanukkah!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chanukah Jewish Music Videos: Free

Chanukah Jewish Music Videos: Free

Here’s a quick round-up of some of the really fun Jewish music videos out on YouTube right now for Chanukah.  There’s also a free song download available in MP3 format at the bottom of this post.  Enjoy & Happy Chanukah!

Click on any of these links to play the video.

The Maccabeats Miracle

Yeshiva Boys Choir, Those Were The Nights Of Chanukah

Miracle by Matisyahu

Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages by Aish

I Light It  by NSCY

Candlelight by the Maccabeets – the song that made them famous!

FREE DOWNLOAD of Rebbetzin Tap’s Channukah song, “The Biggest Light!”
Go to MostlyMusic and put song #15, The Biggest Light, in your basket and it will be given to you for FREE!   A great song for all ladies and kids!

Click here for some great FREE Chanukah package giveaways!

You can find a review of popular Jewish Children’s Music here.